A Tale of Treasure Hunters
Dwarven battlerager/maniac/daisy enthusiast.
Level 1 Fighter HP 33 Speed 5 Init +1 Str 16, Con 18, Dex 12, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 8 AC 16, Fort 16, Ref 11, Will 12 Feats: Dwarven Weapon Training At Will Powers: Crushing Surge, Cleave Encounter Powers: Steel Serpent Strike Daily Powers: Villain’s Menace
It didn’t take long for Clan Kedmerfest to realize that Murin was different from other dwarves. Murin seemed to be completely immune to pain and fear, even such pains of shame and fears of censure as were necessary for the right and regular operation of dwarven society, to say nothing of the everyday pains and fears that prevented an individual from causing severe injury to himself. As Murin grew into young adulthood-
an accomplishment owing more to luck and an incredible ability to withstand injury more than any development of maturity or life skills-he continually sought out combat with any and all contenders. Sometimes Murin would be content with wrestling a stray goblin or tackling an orc scout, but more often his lust for battle would lead him into the thick of drow patrols or compel him to challenge the honored veterans of his clan to bare-knuckle street brawls.
Reluctantly, the elders of Clan Kedmerfest concluded that Murin was a born battlerager, one of those rare individuals inflicted on dwarven society once a generation or so. Battleragers did indeed epitomize the dwarven virtues of valor and endurance, but their blood-crazed inability to distinguish between rightful and reckless combat and their lack of such tactical acumen as would lead any sane dwarf to retreat in the face of overwhelming odds were a source of shame for the dwarves, who prided themselves on having more discipline and discretion than screaming orc barbarians. And so it was with heavy souls that the elders decided to send Murin along before he managed to antagonize an ancient red dragon or call out Grazz’t into single combat or engage in some other fool stunt that would bring destruction down upon the clan. They brought Murin to a portal with the promise that there were a great many enemies of the dwarven people on the other side. Murin raced through and the one-way portal closed at his back, leaving Murin stranded in the strange surroundings of Sigil, City of Doors.
Murin took well to Sigilian society. Much as he was alone among aliens, he found their company to be more agreeable than that of the conservative, cautious dwarves he had known in his mountain hall home. He cultivated a number of friendships among the Xaositects and the Bleak Cabal and the Society of Sensation, switching his allegiance between the three factions as the mood suited him (sometimes within the course of a single hour). Murin sought to synthesize the creeds of these factions, believing that the only thing that was real and genuine was the rush of emotions and sensations at the very pitch of physical combat. He believed all lesser experiences were illusory and insignificant. The highest expression of the individual will – indeed, the only expression that had any meaning – was that which could be found in the struggle between life and death. He adapted all of this philosophy into his own particular approach to martial arts as well as his daily habits, which grew more and more perverse as a sign of his disdain for any reality that lay outside of mortal combat. Too, his mannerisms only served to unsettle his opponents, providing Murin with a few crucial seconds to land a telling blow before they were able to realize the danger that lay behind his eccentricities. In pursuit of his belief in the preeminent value of deadly combat, Murin sought out stronger and stronger opponents, hoping to find the one that would finally defeat him and grant him a glorious death, but after a few brutal and bloody episodes in the back alleys of the Hive, most of the alleybashers and sellswords of Sigil found that they had better things to do than answer Murin’s desperate entreaties for death.
When the Faction War came to Sigil, Murin opted out of taking any one side. Murin was ever his own dwarf, and didn’t even fit well into the lawless Beastmen bands. While the Faction War offered many opportunities for violence, Murin disdained ideology as a motivating factor for violence. There was a method to his madness, and he only had respect for violence arising for purely agonistic purposes or violence perpetrated in the defense of the defenseless. Consequently, he wound up acting as a champion of the Hive’s solitary community garden and its proprietor, Mourns-For-Trees. The garden, as meager as it was, held a fascination for the dwarf who had never before seen a simple flower in his mountain home. Accustomed only to the sight of mushrooms and hydroponic wheat, the few blossoms that Mourns-For-Trees was able to keep alive in imported soil by means of druidic magic exerted a strong hold on the battlerager. He kept this tiny corner of the Hive free from marauding Mercykillers and heavy-booted Harmonium patrols alike, insisting in no uncertain terms that any bands of militant namers take their conflicts elsewhere. His protection of the garden culminated in Murin taking on a mob of rioting Doomguards all on his own and felling ten of the rioters before the remainder fled into the alleyways.
At the conclusion of the war, most of Murin’s friends and sparring partners were dead or exiled. He felt that the opportunities for meaningful violence were limited in the city and he returned to the Prime Material Plane. And so he found a portal to take him back to the Prime, which deposited him in the lands of men. If the dwarven battlerager was a strange fit for the hectic, multifarious metropolis that was Sigil, he clashed even more with the laws and customs of Prime cities. And yet he has found no end to the possibilities for conflict in domains supposedly civilized and settled, and found no end to the supply of those persons who would use their power to lord over the weak, and so he continues his quest to find worthy opponents.
Murin stands a brawny four feet, eight inches. He wears his chainmail at all times, even to sleep, and the chainmail reflects the eccentricities of its owner. His armor is covered in graffiti, everything from dwarven runic writing to tally marks indicating his kill count to crude paintings of flowers. He has painted lines that follow his major arteries and painted bulls-eyes onto the parts of his armor that cover his vital organs, the better to aid his opponents’ aim. He regularly threads flower stems through the chain links, expressing a particular fondness for daisies. His hair is done up in two tall mohawks, both dyed with bands of rainbow color, and distinct in that the one on Murin’s right shows the horizontal arcs of a normal rainbow while the one his left features broad vertical blocks of color that, coincidentally, do not conform to the normal order of colors in the visual spectrum. His beard is unplaited and dyed a hot pink. He wields an executioner’s axe with an outsized blade honed to razor sharpness—a blade which Murin hardly ever uses, preferring to strike at his opponents with the flat of the haft of his axe, breaking bones and bashing them unconscious. For, much as he seeks that battle which will culminate in his death (and so be the greatest battle of his life), Murin acknowledges that others cling to their own lives with a most un-battlerager-like tenacity, and would not deny them their own opportunities to achieve their own particular flavors of apotheosis. It is a rare opponent indeed that prompts Murin to use his axe to full effect.
Murin exhibits a wide range of idiosyncratic behaviors. He walks backwards, frequently speaks the opposite of what he means, and wears the scalps of downed foes on a bandolier (he does not kill the unconscious foes he scalps – he regards this practice as an incentive for the foes to seek him out once more and offer him the death he craves). He drinks only water and bathes in whiskey. He frequently begs surrounding persons to kill him at the top of his lungs, and is in the habit of pulling back his armor and baring his throat to the attacks of enemies in hopes that this blow will finally bring on the ecstasy of death. All of these eccentric behaviors only serve to disorient and confuse his foes, providing Murin with that many more openings, and leaving him grumbling at the mental and physical weakness of the opponents in his path.
Murin’s primary motivation is to find that foe which will finally prove his better, and to lose his life to that foe in pitched battle. Until then, he begs lesser enemies to kill him, and responds in disgust when they prove inadequate to the task. He is also motivated to take up the cause of those who would otherwise be bereft of help and hope, for he reckons that a death incurred in the course of a good cause would be that much more satisfying. He feels particularly protective of flowers, and won’t suffer them to be harmed for any reason. Aside from this main goal, Murin has a profound disdain for those who employ magic or trickery to accomplish their goals, and frowns on those who would go to the gods for help. He also has precious little respect for ranged combat, feeling that no battle that does not involve two combatants going toe-to-toe is less than dignified (and less than ecstatic). As such, he is more than willing to punish those whom he sees as flagrant violators of the honor of combat and prove the superiority of direct hand-to-hand confrontation. He has a particular loathing for those who employ lies or misleading euphemisms in the course of their activities, and loves nothing more than offering a corrective rap with the haft of his axe to remind them of what is real and what is not.
These resentments usually do not extend to those individuals who have earned Murin’s trust, and if he feels that somebody uses more subtle means than an executioner’s axe to effect a noble cause, he is more than willing to leap into dragon’s jaws if doing so buys one of these weak, death-fearing, but good-intentioned individuals one more minute of life. Indeed, Murin desires nothing more.