Adventures on Tellene - Stirrot Isle
Grey haired half-orc who believes in purple luck
Choloswag is a member of the Green Skin Thugs. He is considered the muscle and bouncer of this ragtag brotherhood and can often be seen standing behind the shoulder of Luggy “Lucky” Lug.
Short and stocky, with olive coloured skin, Choloswag is everything his namesake. Broad and indifferent, he takes to adventuring with a rough edge and a lack of finesse. Who needs a pick when you simply smash down the door? Who needs words when you can beat a path for yourself.
Swaggering through the streets doing whatever he pleases. Cholo brandishes a Two-handed sword on his back, and a pristine broadsword at his hip. On both forearms, is strapped an ornate pair of spiked gauntlets with rivets of purple running through them like veins.
Choloswag was born !olosaag, the younger of twins within a nomadic tribe called the Outuk. Tradition of the Outuk dictate that every child born within the tribe must bear strong tribal heritage or be cast as a defective product, incapable of amounting to anything more than a whimpering pup.
When Cholo was received, he had to be pulled from the womb, a dear sign of weakness, effeminateness and overly dependent. The chief curled his lips and raised the older of the twin boys as the greater of the two. The lesser was to be disposed of immediately – something so savagely frail risked infection of the Outuk vigour.
However, Cholo’s mother, a milk slave of the tribe named Glasse, saw beauty in her child. With the bribery of her flesh, she convinced a lowly servant to hide the baby instead – an offence punishable by death.
But what of it, thought the woman, she was nothing more than a meat grinder, churning out Outuk dread and filth 9 months at a time. To her, death would be bliss. The servant agreed and hid the baby by the river where Glasse would frequent during her chores to clean the blood and grime from the warrior’s armour.
That evening, the Chief Glangtuk, Warlord of the tribe threw a great feast in celebration of his 40th birthday and the welcoming of 5 new babies to the war band; 5 heavy and voracious half-orcs to be bred into the warriors the tribe was so notorious for.
Glasse sat by the river, watching the bonfire climb higher and higher as the night went on, Cholo sucking peacefully at her teat. The sound of the water trickling through her mind and her eyes burned with fire as they reflected the light of the great bonfire.
The screams of pleasure and debauchery thrummed to the beating of the great leather drums; drums made from the skins of elephants and fearsome beasts; a monstrous cacophony raged through the night, ringing off distant cliffs and echoing through the grassy wastes.
By morning, Glasse was long gone. She did not bother tethering the boat, as it would only leave crumbs of her trail. Instead she let the boat drift along the river, speeding up as it neared the rapids. As the sky began to lighten, Glasse had found her way into a nearby village, her feet were swollen at the ankles, and the gnashing pain between her legs sent bolts down to her knees and up to her neck. But she knew better than to stop, the Outuk scouts would kill all in this village she knew, and for that she was sorry.
Night came and Glasse kept walking, stopping every few hours to feed the baby. When the skies turned black and thunderous, she would find hiding in nearby caves, make a small fire to warm her child and bandage her feet. When the nights turned cold, she would huddle close, keeping the boy warm from the bitter chill.
Some days the air was warm and humid and some days Cholo could even walk on his own, watching as his mother would make crowns from the purple lilac petals which grew in the summer, his mother’s favourite flower. Some days they hunted together, wild dogs and devil pigs, some days they nibbled on bits of dead squirrel, at times they feasted on roast rabbits and fawn; but they never stopped and they never looked back to see who was coming.
Finally the pair arrived at the coast, where the shores met the sky, a place Glasse knew the Outuk would not follow. Past the ocean was a country they could live out in peace.
That night, Glasse left Cholo by the treeline to venture down into the docks to find them passage across the water. When she returned she brought Cholo down near a cliff side shack where an old man welcomed them into his home. They ate a simple supper that night, of thick bone-marrow soup and some bread with goat butter. The old man showed the pair a modest closet room where he had laid blankets and a wooden pillow. Glasse thanked the man and there they slept.
Cholo woke to his mother’s hand clasped tightly around his mouth. It was exceedingly dark, but Cholo’s eyes quickly adjusted to the thin line of light that glowed under the closet door where they slept. The sleep from his eyes dimmed his senses and he murmured through his mother’s palm – he had always been dull and slow to react.
Slowly, the fog of sleep receded and he could see and feel the sickly shine of sweat from his mother’s brow, and the darting terror that hid behind her eyes. There were voices outside, gruff and deep and aggressive. He could hear the sounds of the old man’s reason, the panic and fear in his voice.
A faint smack drowned out the old man’s pleas and a single thud of skin and bone hit the floor. The old man continued to beg, but heavy leathered steps descended upon him. Finally the old man’s voice changed; groans of plea replaced by squeals of assurance and earnestness.
The steps stopped. With a quick scraping motion, they turned towards the closet door. Fear gripped at Cholo’s throat as the penny dropped. His heart raced and his breathing quickened and as his feet began to go numb his mother touched him on his shoulder. Cholo looked up.
There he saw a face he would never forget, a face he had never quite seen before. Through their years of journey along the countryside and wilderness, over mountains and valleys, through teeth infested waters Cholo would only recall with minute detail this moment that changed his life.
Cholo saw the look of defiance.
A hardened look that said it feared no more, the look of serenity and acceptance, a person who had seen the fall and still leapt through with eyes that held the darkness.
No more running. No more hiding.
That moment lasted an eternity within Cholo, and as it coursed through him like lightning through the storm, the fear which molested his soul was torn away.
The door swung open and the firelight poured in. But the only sound the men heard was the thunderous roar of defiance.
Glasse and Cholo didn’t end up taking the boat across the sea that day. Instead they continued to traverse and explore the lands together. The night at the cliff side shack had cleared Glasse’s doubt that the Outuk was still pursuing them; instead it had been three drunken sailors wandering the cliffs. In the end they had only left with a sore bruise and a shock to the system when a woman and a half-orc had burst through a door.
Glasse and Cholo settled down north of that dockside in a small locale. There Cholo entered his teens, quiet and brooding, often teased for his awkward demeanour, but nothing less than what Glasse ever wanted for him – peace and quiet.
On Glasse’s death bed she motioned Cholo close and whispered a secret in his ear, the secret of his brother and twin that was bred and raised as a champion to savages.
“Find him,” she said, “I have heard of his name, the young Han Cholo (An!olo), who slayed the Glangtuk and disbanded his barbaric invaders. Save him, as I have saved you.”
And then she was gone.
The next day, Choloswag packed a dented sword, the purple beetle shell necklace his mother wore and set the house they built on fire. As the smoke rose from blackening walls, Cholo remembered the face of defiance – defiance against a world set so steeply against his kind – and he set sail towards Stirrot.