“I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the ordeal of meeting me is another matter.”
Full Name: Korbidian Holzer
Race: Ogre Mage
Apparent Age: 50
Class: Ogre Mage/ Psychic Warrior
Standing at just over 30 hands and under a half-ton, Orb has been called many things; dainty is not one of them. He is a large green monster who daily bleeds himself in prayer to an ancient god of bloodshed. His church is the field of battle and he is a fervent worshiper, preaching with his blades and chanting his war-hymns.
The ways of Orb’s childhood are remembered by him soul-ly. The ways of his Master’s teachings have replaced those tortured memories. Orb is a strict follower of Master Tusk, for it is he that saved and prepared his mind from his past.
see also: A Chronicle of Souspirail
The Dead Trade: For the young Orb, those words came to mean many things. The most important of which is the obvious; The Shepherd trades the dead with all of the city-states that require their slave labor, and his prices are steep. But don’t those words also mean that they have traded their lives and their souls; To what end? Was it their choice, of course not? That is why the only act of kindness his father ever displayed was to find a way out for his son.
As a welp, the young Ogre was being groomed to be within a special group that now belonged among the Necromancers and Summoners that populated Souspirail. The Shepherd saw fit to add Psionics to his repertoire of Herdsmen. They specialized in dealing with the dead minds. With their addition they also added a new spin on the most ancient art of torture that most of the Herdsmen call their hobby. The Shepard learned from these Psychers that there is a reason to keep some sheep alive, for there are things that can be harvested from souls who maintain their mortal forms to supply energy and components for his other arts. Most Psychers are paired with a Herdsman or Sheepman that was skilled in healing the flesh. This way blood, bone and body parts could be harvested from a suitable donor. After which the body and mind would be repaired to start the process all over again.
Orb was raised in this environment of torture and rebuilding, if it wasn’t for his father he wouldn’t have become so desensitized to his situation, it was routine. During his awkward faze of awful growth spurts his father noticed the skin of his young son was developing a green tinge. Fortunately for Orb his father knew what this meant and most of the Herdmen didn’t know the physiology of Ogre Mages. Their blue skin was a racial trait that was born out of summoning and necromancy. Once a change in their skin occurs, they are normally sacrificed for the good of the breed. Orb’s father knew that his son’s skin was adding a greenish hue because he was raised in such a devoutly psionic house. His father drilled the skill into him from a very young age. It replaced much of the time that would have been spent learning the other aspects of the dead trade. But it was without price, and his Aqua-green skin was now a result of his father’s teachings.
Once Orb had mastered the art of Psionically centering himself, his father taught him of the Over-World or the World of Glass. A place where only the mind can go, at least Orb was taught so. His father had Orb spend many weeks exploring the Over-world to find The Grey Tower; once a place that was only held in reality by rumor or happenstance, was taught to Orb to actually exist in the world of glass. Orb lived in a mirage that contained an actual necromantic cesspool, so why would a tower not actually be built in a plane of dreams? So, he looked and he looked. All the while the house gargoyle and homunculus watched over him as he meditated. Orb’s father would check in on him from time to time. Every hour that wasn’t spent learning or working the fields of the dead were spent in the library in Orb’s home. Sitting cross-legged on a woolen carpet was always the last thing he could remember, serving as a vehicle to help his concentration and a subtle reminder of how to come home.
Then one afternoon he found the tower, it was right there all of this time, funny how he didn’t think of it earlier…
Inside the library within Souspirail, once a greenish blue Ogre Mage meditated, now only the carpet and the smell of him remained. The homunculus whined and the gargoyle flew off to tell his master. For the first time since he could remember, the old Ogre Mage smiled when he heard the news.
The Grey Tower
He knocked three times, hearing once that that would make a charm. The massive oak doors opened into a reality. Outside the tower looks the same as the World of Glass always does, misty and subtle. Inside Orb felt like himself when he was not meditating. Inside was a woman of indescribable beauty, next to her a ball of crystal. She whispered into the crystal and out of its mists appeared a minotaur’s head. It wafted out of the crystal and formed a body of mist. They spoke briefly. The Minotaur finished his words and looked at the young Ogre Mage, smiled and said, “he’s perfect, I’ll teach him myself.” Then he vanished. The lady followed up the Minotaur’s proclamation and said, “It was very nice to meet you.” Suddenly, Orb was standing on a grassy hill overlooking a small valley with a citadel on a hill in the center of the valley. “Nice to meet you too,” said Orb to the scene in front of him.
As Orb walked up to the gates of the Ministry they opened. White light slowly spread out of the gates like fog and could not be looked into. After a few minutes the light bank started to fade into a bright mist. Standing in the silhouette of the framed doorway of light, stood a very tall minotaur. Upon one of his horns was perched a silvery creature with extraordinary long claws. The minotaur spoke, “My name is Tusk and this is Woody. I will be your teacher. The lady of the tower asked a favor of me, and she sent you to me. I will take you under my tutelage if you accept it. There are those that feel I don’t belong here running this academy. And by the look of you, you don’t belong either, which is precisely why I will be teaching you myself.”
During his time at The Ministry, he learned everything he could to become a Psychic Warrior which is an old talent according to Tusk, but extremely potent. Tusk spent most of his time unlearning what Orb had grown up learning. Many a meditative session was dedicated to retraining the psychic’s mind to reweave how life is supposed to be lived.
Tusk mentally opened the door to the Ministry for Orb. The fog of light surrounded him and he walked out of the gates. He found himself on a trail in a forest. Orb was sent into the world with nothing but his wits and a loincloth. He cursed Tusk for his old ways. He was cold and hungry.
Orb walked on the trail for the entire day, once along the trail he found some berries to eat. They were bitter and gave him a small stomachache. Nightfall was approaching quickly as it does inside a forest. Once the darkness settled in the temperature dropped quickly. Orb stopped to collect his thoughts and decide what to do next. He closed his eyes for what seemed only like a few moments, but he must have fallen asleep. When he woke, it was much colder and the dew of the forest had covered him as well. Orb look around and vaguely he saw a small spark of light off the trail in the forest. He walked slowly towards the light and it became obvious that it was a campfire. He kept moving, leaving all sense of danger behind him. He broke into a small clearing. Above was the clear night sky bringing even more cold down into the circle of the clearing. In the center of the clearing was a campfire with a man, silhouetted by the fire, sitting on a log. Orb looked around for anyone else, no one or no thing was in sight. He noticed that the campfire was set in a ring of mushrooms on a small yet noticeable rise of grass. Tusk had warned him of places like this…
“You seem cold,” droned the man. The sounds of scraping and grinding can be heard when Orb caught his breath as the man spoke. Orb started to walk up the rise to the fire keeping his distance from the man. The man plunges a weapon into the fire and starts to turn it. “Pull up a log,” the man pronounced monotonously. Orb sees another large log near the fire. “That Yule was supposed to last me the night, but I’m sure you’ll find me another one,” chanted the tinkerer.
The warmth of the fire filled the ogre’s form and seemed to heat him to the bone. Orb looks at the man closely in the light of the fire. He is wearing heavy armor and his eyes glow with the light of the fire. The man plunges a large mace into the fire. “I was told I would meet someone that would continue my schooling. I believe it to be you,” Orb said nervously. The man took the glowing orange/red mace out of the fire and sets it on some rocks that he had positioned beside him. The night air and dew start to cool the mace as it rested. “I don’t know if I am who you are looking for,” droned the man “but I could use a traveling companion. My name is Vessel 12.”
Story So Far . . .
Witnessed the execution of Sebassis, and played a major roll in The Battle of the Black Gallows. Aided in the investigation of Sebassis’ fortress, and battled, among other undead, a male mummy bearing the mark of the Shepherd of Souspirail on the deck of the Osirin. In the Dreamscape, Orb saw a vision of both Tusk, and what looked like a possible future of Flux, choked with the endless procession of the dead . . .