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Postfest III: Bruzharag the Misbegotten, Orakhan of Ull
Posted on Sat, December 11, 2004 by Dongul
mortellan writes "Down through history, the unforgiving land of Ull has had more than its share of villainous rulers. Up until recently, his Illustrious Ferocity, Draske, had kept all of Ull in line through sheer cunning by playing tribal khans against one another and manipulating foreigners into his deadly schemes. All that came to a crashing halt when the former Orakhan was assassinated in a swift but bloody coup by his own half-ogre nephew, Bruzharag the Misbegotten. How Bruzharag went from obscurity to become the most powerful half-ogre in recorded history began before he was ever conceived.

Bruzharag the Misbegotten, Orakhan of Ull
By: mortellan
Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.

Background:
Draske as Orakhan of a simple but volatile people enjoyed the excessive life of Baklunish royalty. His own family was large and influential, especially in the capital Ulakand. But, in order to stay ahead Draske had to occasionally appease the many khans and tribal chiefs around him for fear of an uprising or assassination. It was Draske's love of gambling however that led to his undoing. A patron of the gladiatorial pits in Kester, he had run up a sizeable debt that even he couldn't ignore any longer for fear of angering his southern cousins. So it was that to settle his dues, Draske gave away his youngest sister Chabi to his debtor, a pit-master named Chagan Vachir. Chabi's reluctance to be lowered to concubine for the obese, disease-marked pit master was not surprising, but Master Vachir wasn't about to let his newest asset go to waste. Discreetly, the impetuous Chabi was selectively paired with Vachir's best ogre pit fighter. Such a practice was not uncommon near the Ulsprues, where many families claimed ogrish blood among their kin by one circumstance or another. By the fate of Istus, Chabi never survived to see her son but Chagan Vachir now owned a half-breed combining royal Uli blood with potent ogrish stock. Vachir's slaves were tasked with raising the child, naming him Bruzharag after his father Bruzhog the Maul, who was slain in the gladiatorial pits mere weeks before his son's birth.

Growing up among the debauchery of Kester, Bruzharag matured much quicker than most Baklunish children and due to his ogrish heritage he was likewise larger than all Uli his age. Bruzharag was afforded special treatment by Master Vachir and the spoiled young half-ogre took full advantage, becoming a terror for the slaves and servants who tended to him. This pattern of preference only became more pronounced when Bruzharag finally came of age to be educated in combat by Kester's best pit fighting trainers. By this time those who reviled Bruzharag nicknamed him the Misbegotten, a derisive name that the young half-ogre aptly turned to his advantage to fuel his skill and rage in the gladiatorial circle.

Vachir groomed Bruzharag for greatness first by wrestling and fighting smaller creatures like war dogs, then as the half-ogre grew in stature and speed he began to engage in a variety of blood sports from team battles to single mortal combat. With a flair for causing pain and showing off to the crowd, the pit fighting phenom quickly caught the attention of all in Ull; even his uncle Draske to the north finally took notice. Because of this the truths of Bruzharag's heritage could no longer be kept silent from anyone including Bruzharag who seemingly downplayed what he learned. It wasn’t long before Draske arrived in Kester to see Bruzharag in action personally. The Orakhan feared Bruzharag’s popularity, particularly in the south and as a schemer himself he was distrustful of Chagan Vachir’s motives for raising this half-breed from his bloodline. For two weeks Draske stayed in Kester, challenging and wagering on other combatants in an effort to slay the Misbegotten in the public arena. When it finally became apparent that none could defeat the half-ogre champion openly, the Orakhan changed tactics and exerted his influence by threatening to disrupt the flow of slaves and trade that Kester depends on if his nephew was not freed from slavery and returned to his clan. After much pressure on Master Vachir by his colleagues, Bruzharag was freed from the pits. However, the half-ogre’s chaotic nature undermined them all when, without warning, he ran away to the Ulsprue Mountains rather than be used again.

Bruzharag quickly found succor with the tribes of the highlands. More than any society in Oerik, these Uli clans freely and proudly intermingled with ogre-kind. It was no surprise then that the infamous Misbegotten was readily adopted by these hardy folk and blended in for the first time. Understandably, Draske was furious over his nephew’s flight so he sent many bands out to find Bruzharag, capture him, and bring him back to Ulakand. Despite their best efforts the rocky Ulsprues proved inhospitable to the plains riding hunters and Bruzharag was deemed beyond reach, thereafter it was assumed he would fade into the wilds never to be seen again. Living among a more reclusive and rustic community gave Bruzharag a new insight on his homeland, one that he never saw in his years of slavery, confined to pits and fighting arenas. The chaotic half-ogre did not hide for long in the highlands, instead he now applied his prowess at arms and used his natural leadership to rouse his ogrish and Uli kinfolk into an unpredictable spate of banditry throughout central Ull.

The main caravan trails leading from the north through Ull to Kester were severely disrupted by the highland bandits, who were stronger than any other Uli faction and were ably led by the now ill-reputed Misbegotten. Those khans and sheiks that once adored Bruzharag now condemned him and even wily Draske was hard pressed to put down the growing civil unrest between lowland and highland tribes. Yet by now Draske was aging and lacked the resolve to quell the banditry. He safely stayed far away in his hall at Ulakand, leaving the khanate council to deal with his out of control nephew. Bruzharag’s successes turned to opportunity as several nomadic clans began to sense an impending shift in power and decided to side with Bruzharag’s camp against the town-dwelling Uli. Now, with ambition and a deep seeded desire for vengeance, Bruzharag went from bandit leader to rival warlord in the span of a year.

The following spring, Bruzharag amassed his horde of half-ogre bodyguards and Uli cavalry to ride northward to Ulakand, sweeping through the plains virtually unopposed and in some cases adding defecting tribal warriors. The hulking warrior and his army stormed the mesa of Ulakand in a bloody overnight coup that ended when Bruzharag slew an outmatched Draske in the name of his mother. With Draske’s mutilated head on a pike, Bruzharag the Misbegotten usurped the title of Orakhan and in the grisly tradition of Uli succession none among the khanates would dare challenge his terrible claim. The new Orakhan rules Ull on a whim, content for now to mainly focus on bullying his royal kin and the duplicitous locals of Ulakand, thus allowing life elsewhere to return to the way it was.

Description:
Bruzharag the Misbegotten (F16) is a half-ogre male with incredible natural strength and uncanny stamina. He stands nearly 7’ tall with broad shoulders and thick vein-corded limbs. Bruzharag’s eyes are gray and ever squinting, set deep within his thick forehead. His straight, coarse hair is blue-black and his skin is a motley mixture of ogre and Baklunish tones. He bears the scars of innumerable pit fights across his body, most notably the severed tip of a pinky finger on his left hand and a sliced lip that has noticeably impaired his speech, although none will admit it to him. Unlike former Orakhans, including Draske, Bruzharag shuns flaunting his station instead leading a simple lifestyle. Bruzharag favors wearing leather or hide attire at all times, except in the hot months when he goes shirtless in public. When on foot he is accompanied by several ogre and half ogre bodyguards brought with him from the Ulsprues. In the rare event he rides a horse, a talent he has yet to master, Bruzharag carries a shield bearing the golden standard of Ull. While Bruzharag is skilled at all martial weapons and a few exotic ones, his preferred weapon is a heavy mace that he acquired during his bandit days, reputedly made of a rare metal if not magical as well. Since becoming Orakhan he has come to possess several other items of magic through plunder or gift from foreign travelers but their exact nature and use depends on his whim.

This is the first taste of a future Ogres of Oerth feature article by Abysslin and Mortellan.


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Re: Bruzharag the Misbegotten, Orakhan of Ull (Score: 1)
by abysslin (abyss@canonfire.com) on Sat, December 18, 2004
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Hmm, not only did this article make Bruzharag sound interesting, but now I'm interested in Ull, too.

I'll have to comb your other articles..



Re: Bruzharag the Misbegotten, Orakhan of Ull (Score: 1)
by Argon on Fri, January 07, 2005
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Mortellen you supplied alot of information in a limited space. I really like this new Orakhan and this article has given me a revelation on how i will portray Ull. I had struggled to find a way to incorporate the Ogre influence in the area and now I think I have my answer. You may hurt yourself with two great submissions and beat yourself out . But anyone who gets to read these will surely feel like a winner.




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