Dwork The Cook, L2 DOA
orc, 14 years, 5’3”, 174lbs, powerfully built and muscular, broad shoulders and thick, brawny hips, slightly lurching gait, dull green skin, coarse dark hair, beady red eyes, and protruding, tusk-like teeth, scars as a form of body art, ork soldier’s uniform, floppy French chef’s hat
Small for an orc of the Severed Hand tribe, and not particularly hardy, he was never picked to be on the winning team, was always picked last, if at all, to join a raiding party, and often left to toil in the camp while the other orcs went out to foray. It became the joke in the war band that he was a dwarfish orc and the name stuck – Dwork… Not the name of a warrior. It was in the camps that he became an exceptional cook, learned to craft various alchemical remedies and weapons, became fluent in new languages, and learned to care for the wounded in the infirmary. From his daily encounters with his disagreeable brethren and his own negotiations with other tribes and locals he learned to be diplomatic and agreeable even though they looked down on him. He also became strong laboring in the kitchens, far stronger than most orcs, and he often found himself sparring with various warriors, learning little tricks from each and how to adapt them during each bout – they never admitted to losing to him, but often staggered away with wounded pride and a grudge. Donk soon became dependent on this limited acceptance, becoming shaken if he failed in diplomacy.
Because of this, Dwork was never more than a cook and his betters were more interested in a good meal and hangover remedies than his martial skills. From this he learned to keep his head down and only speak his mind when absolutely appropriate. It didn’t take long for this to wear thin and he became bitter. His cooking took a turn into the realm of poisons. Nothing deadly at first, just a few herbs mixed into the occasional dish for anyone who looked down on him particularly harshly causing discomfort and nausea.
Unfortunately, this was destined to go badly and one of his concoctions was deadly, killing one of the tribes favored warriors. The victim keeled over during supper and choked on his own vomit in the presence of his entire war band. It took only a few minutes for Donk to be called out as the villain and if it weren’t for all the little tricks he’d learned from his various sparring partners, he wouldn’t have escaped.
But escape he did with his few possessions and headed south out of the mountains and into the realm of Cheliax. He struggled for weeks in the wilderness, but his cunning allowed him to learn to survive and he managed to find his way back to civilization, such as it is, in the small town of Longacre. Unlike his previous experience, the retired war veterans, surprised by his competence and congeniality, valued his skills as a cook and healer, and appreciated his desire to spar with them on occasion, none of them feeling threatened by the diminutive orc.