The Red Flame
Goliath Warden of Tempus
“They say a journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step. My stride is simply longer than most.”
Gok’Dar is a Goliath of average stature for his race. He stands 7’5" tall and has an athletic build. He has tribal markings across his body, which is normal for his race. However the thing that distinguishes his markings are the formation and color. The markings appear in lightning shaped symbols and are an unusual ruby hue.
“A weapon is a tool for making your enemy change his mind.”
Gok’Dar wears hide leather adorned with gemstones the same color as his markings. He carries a large Maul with a head that looks to be fashioned from the same type of crystal. He carries an assortment of other weaponry for certain situations, but favors his Maul even when another tool might be slightly better to use.
“Ten men guard the door? You take care of the one on the left … I’m a little tired.”
Gok’Dar is generally a jovial and easy going companion. He is often at wonder about the world around him as he learns of new cultures and experiences. He often is found making a game of every task he does, challenging himself to outdo those around him, even when he is the only one who cares about such things.
He will sometimes recklessly throw himself in harm’s way to protect his friends, as if trying to prove his bravery (even to himself).
From a young age the goliath Gok’Dar longed to become a Bloodstone Guardian. In his tribe there were already seven of the crimson statues, the oldest of them, Muduk, having lived through the change and evolution of the tribe from one land and name to the next, for nearly two millennia. There was no other in his tribe or any that he had met who held so much strength or wisdom. To be a Bloodstone Guardian meant to never grow old and frail, to never hunger or grow weak from exhaustion, yet still to grow stronger and more skilled. Yes, that was a dream Gok’Dar dreamt often.
So, when Gok’Dar reached the age of twenty years and found that magic flowed in his veins, he quickly embraced it. He learned to harness his inborn talent, so he could perform the Bloodstone Infusion, and start on that path he so yearned for. It was no more than a few months after he learned he held the spark of magic that he set out for the Wyvern’s Maw, a deep rift in the earth in the northern reaches of the Spine of the World. Home to countless creatures that could spell the doom of a young goliath, the Wyvern’s Maw was a place carefully traversed by all but the most seasoned of warriors, and even these usually only traveled in the open with company.
The two month long journey to the rift was fraught with peril, and there were many points where Gok’Dar found himself hiding or avoiding foes greater than he could handle. He reached his ominous goal, though, and made his way down the broken cliffs toward the molten depths far below. It was here, in the sulfurous caverns, filled with noxious gasses, where breathing burned harder than the strongest of goliath spirits, that Gok’Dar found his bloodstone. It was but a small piece, no larger than his fist, but it would do for his first series of infusions, after which he would need to return later for more.
Carefully Gok’Dar made his way back to his lofty home, but when he arrived, he found it under assault. More aptly, it had been under assault. It lie now in ruins, a great host of giants, trolls, and ogres having apparently invaded and laid waste to his home. Only one still stood, Muduk, a great pile of bodies around him. To watch Muduk fight was amazing. Blow after mighty blow he landed, toppling beings five times his height, whose skin seemed nearly as stony as his own. Still they came on, but the Bloodstone Guardian did not falter, and one by one the mighty continued to fall.
A sudden eruption of sound pierced the air, and a wave of power seemed to wash out from somewhere to the north of where Muduk made his final stand. A hush fell over the invading army, and a slow chant was taken up. “Scrageas, Scrageas,” it started out soft at first, but grew in intensity, the great voices of the giants echoing along the mountains, the earth quaking as they stomped or slammed their weapons into the ground with each chant. Louder and louder still the chant came on, and a circle opened around Muduk, who stood waiting for he who might challenge him, waiting to learn what this Scrageas was.
A column suddenly opened in the amassed giants, clearing a path through the dead as well as the living. The open column led to a mighty giant at the far end. His skin had a faint amethyst hue, and darker sigils and runes covered his body. Gok’Dar began to unconsciously tremble at the sight of this great creature. Power rolled off of it in waves. Somewhere, a ways behind it, a humanoid of much smaller stature stood, clothed in deep azure robes, chanting faintly. Scrageas pulled from his back a mighty hammer as he strode forth, and waved his hands to his armies. They fell silent as he approached Muduk, even the robed figure quit chanting. Muduk did not waver, did not falter, but rather charged Scrageas, seeking to take advantage of his confidence. Both Gok’Dar and Muduk would learn that day that Scragaes was not confident without reason.
The eldritch giant dodged swiftly, and even as Muduk twisted to attack the great ebon hammer fell into his back. There was a great eruption of power then, and a shockwave cracked the rocky earth and sent many of Scrageas’ soldiers to their knees. That single blow shattered Muduk into a thousand pieces, as though he were made of glass. Gok’Dar’s heart sunk then, and he turned to flee. He could do nothing for them.
Ashamed of his cowardice, and knowing he could face turning to another tribe, Gok’Dar decided instead to leave the Spine of the World. He did not know where he would go, but he could not bring himself to stay there. For many, many months he traveled through the mountains before he reached their edge. It seemed strange to him as he reached the lower, outer ring of mountains, that there could be such flat land. Far ahead it stretched for leagues and leagues, land flatter and lower than any he had known, dotted with forests and villages, things he had only heard tales of from the dwarves.
During his long, solitary travels, he somehow managed to force away his grief, transform it into confidence. He knew that he would one day return to the Spine of the World, and he would reclaim his mountainous home and destroy the wicked creature Scrageas. It was strange, but Gok’Dar felt almost happy at the prospect, if that were possible.