I’ve started playing in a really fun VTT game of D&D Next. Our DM, Mick, lives in Britain (I think?) and aside from one of my players from the Dracoprime group, everyone else is in Europe too. It’s been enormously entertaining and all in all the group is filled with strong, veteran tabletop players; I look forward to every weekend we game.
My first character, Carlos Infierendzi, is unfortunately no longer with us. Dude was just too chaotic and too good to keep up with the..let’s say..innovative decisions of the adventuring party, and met his end a bit ingloriously (though I’m pretty happy with how it went down :D).
So I got together a half-orc monk to replace the tiefling rogue. Without further ado: the story of Krampus the Bold.
Krampus originates from the harsh island of Trectoyri, a nation ruled by the monstrous folk of Veranthea. Ostracized for his enslaved human mother (an institution forced on every other dwarf, elf and human on the upturned isle), his lot was the lowest given to freemen. Without much recourse Krampus fell back on his fists, tapping into a surprisingly deep insight when push came to shove on the rough streets of Filthville. There was where he learned the core tenet that would steer the course of his life: the strong take from the weak, and thus they survive. Theft, intimidation, and violence are all means to succeed but to do so without valor, without risk or without claiming your deeds, is a sign of weakness. Favor fortunes the bold.
After making a name for himself down on Shitstream Way (the southernmost region of Filthville before the enormous slave fields) by the means of bullying and minor racketeering, the young half-orc was brought under the wing of Zeskrag the Callous. A half-orc himself, he carefully watched the few slaves that survived in the gladiator pits of the town for years, training himself to emulate their techniques before finally buying one himself. After learning all he could, Zeskrag killed his mentor and pounded his way (literally) into the Chainz cabal.
Seeing a spark of himself in Krampus, the older half-orc took him as an apprentice and grandfathered the youth into the elaborate gang. The fledgling monk learned very quickly, himself entering several gladiator battles to great success and surpassing Zeskrag in martial prowess. After finding no greater enemies in Filthville (and having earned the ire of too many rivals), when his conscription to Goblinvania began it came as a relief.
Every monstrous citizen of Trectoyri is required to spend a period of their lives in service to the clever bureaucracy, and the service of half-breeds is considerably longer than most others. For two decades he crossed the monstrous lands, from the southeasternmost cave networks of the Mountains of Drathfire to raids against the removed free isle of the northern waters, Ominara. Krampus captured paladins and holy knights that would’ve otherwise incited rebellion, brought back in droves of escaped slaves, and felled many monstrous citizens that chose not to abide to the few laws enforced upon them. When his service came to an end the half-orc returned to Filthville to take the place of the now dead Zeskrag, but found the ugly politics not to his taste.
Taking up voluntary military service, Krampus led a strong contingent of soldiers down into the Forever Dark in search of a dangerous army of psionic aberrations from the subterranean realm. It didn’t take long for the canny half-orc to track down the enemy forces but in a surprising parley, instead of a melee ensuing they all joined together (well, all those save the few fools that resisted the alliance). Traveling far below the surface of Veranthea, the psionic citizens of the Forever Deep brought Krampus to a strange portal with the promise that beyond it he would find foes worthy of his mettle—with little reluctance he leaped within.
The half-orc’s astral journey landed him in a land truly suited to his tastes—Hyborea. Traveling the barbaric lands, Krampus sought out the strongest and toughest warriors of the realm and bested each one. After becoming the champion of the Coliseum Morepheuon, he finally heard of the great and powerful Conan—and the famous barbarian heard of the unlikely half-orc monk as well. Vercaiziz the seer-warlock had taken an interest in Krampus not long after his arrival on the plane, and in need of a warrior’s soul he subtly led both Krampus and Conan to the same battlefield.
Unfortunately his presence was given away by one of the barbarian’s companions and in the middle of their bout, the human and half-orc came to an unhappy agreement—kill the damnable spellcaster rather than both of them dying, or one of them losing their soul for eternity. In a spectacular battle the duo kill Vercaiziz and afterward, Conan and his companions parted ways as the wounded Krampus lay comatose. Awakening to find his enemy had gone, the half-orc looted the area and followed the seer-warlock’s tracks. In Vercaiziz’s lair the monk found the Manibus Morlock.
Set upon redeeming himself by besting Conan (whom he believed to be a fleeing coward), Krampus became obsessed with luring the barbarian to a battle he could not escape. Eventually deciphering the text, the half-orc captured and slaughtered an entire tribe of raiders to garner the attentions of a powerful extradimensional ally—Morlock. With the devil’s aid, Krampus found his enemy and isolated him; after a battle that lasted hours the half-orc monk believed he had succeeded, sending Conan falling to his death in a pit of lava beneath their battlefield. In truth he had been fooled by his first dealings with Morlock and now confident he had bested the strongest warrior in Hyborea, Krampus accepted a new offer to travel to Jade and act as the devil’s agent.
[redacted, because I don’t know how much I ought to reveal publicly about Mick’s campaign setting]
NOTE: Conan still lives in Hyborea and is probably uber-pissed at Krampus, keen on revenge—as he last traveled across the planes, the half-orc caught glimpses in the aether, revealing the barbarian to be the King of Aquilonia! Krampus has promised to himself that when he can, he will travel back to Hyborea to finally best his nemesis, once and for all.