Kingdom of Verdite
Dark Iron Duergar who has an affinity for poking things with blades.
When the land of Midgard, dominated by the Dark Iron Duergar, decided to send an agent to the sinister land of Heladin, they made a fatal mistake: they sent the dwarf Urist McUngeg (which means McFail in Dwarven). He volunteered for the mission as a means of casting down the misconceptions that surrounded his family name.
Of course, he totally failed in the process. Urist brought two things with him into the hot deserts of Heladin: a passionate desire to poke things, and an even more passionate desire to “poke” women. This did not save a second duergar agent, this one a female named Helga Aralrovod (which means Womanarches in Dwarven), who was sent a few years earlier and was ultimately forgotten, from McUngeg’s “poking”.
He came upon her in the night, when the noctunal beasts hunt for their prey. Likewise, Urist had found his; Helga was a spicy specimen, and the only duergar to be found in a thousand leagues in any direction across the damned Heladinian deserts. After Urist’s “deed” was done, he was slain by a giant desert scorpion in a stroke of irony as he attempted to flee the scene.
Helga, however, knowing the land well enough from her years of experience (she also had no desire to poke things), survived. She became pregnant and gave birth to Kol, all while both hiding from the natives of Heladin and the elusive grasp of any other potential horny duergar. During the pregnancy process, Helga came through a religious realization of sorts. The main religion of her homeland, Midgard, was the worship of Tiamat. As she struggled in the lonely desert during her painful months of solitary pregnancy, she realized that she really was solitary. No god comforted her during her bouts of ache. No god quenched her thrist when she needed water. No god filled her pregnant belly with food for her and her baby during long days of starvation. She had done it all herself. Because of this, she taught her son that there is no god, and that the only things that matter in life are self, family, and duty.
To her disgust, Helga found that as Kol grew, so grew his desire to poke things. He grabbed as desert stick, and started to make crude drawings in the sand. He liked how the sand gave way under his pokes and prods. It reminded Helga of how easily her flesh and her body gave way as Urist “poked” and “prodded” her, so many months ago. However, Helga endured, assuring herself that his poking habits would go away.
They never did.
The habits only grew worse, as Kol found that poking things that moved caused many great things to happen. He liked the red stuff that came out, and the cries and squeaks of pain from a desert rat as he impaled it. He liked the crunch and the gore as he skewered a small scorpion. He also liked it when Helga screamed in agony as he stuck her with a few sharp sticks. The red stuff that came out was very tasty. He felt that it was part of him, for some strange reason.
With Helga dead, Kol had to hunt on his own. Using the stealth, ingenuity, and dwarfism his mother’s teachings, and the unstoppable desire to poke things from his father’s genes, he managed to make a life for himself out in the desert. He crafted spears for the hunt, both for hurling and for close-up stabbing. In this way he lived for quite a few years. Of course, such numerical quantities mean little to one such as Kol, whose only guide was his own self, and only track of time was that of the dust-covered, wind-whistled sun.
One day, during one of his hunting sessions, he saw in the distance not the desert beasts, but things that looked almost like him, and almost like his mother whom he had so much fun poking. They were much taller and thinner than he, however. They said things to him that he did not understand. He wondered what would come out if he poked one of them. He did so. Much like his mother, a red liquid flowed, and the tall thing fell to the ground. The other tall things no longer spoke, but instead quivered in place.
Then, a much taller and much thicker thing came. This one spoke words he could understand. He spoke of many things that Kol did not care about or really understand. But, he knew how to reach Kol’s heart. The large thing presented itself as an “Orc” and this orc gave to Kol many things with which to poke other things. They were much better than the crude spears he had crafted for himself. They shined in the sunlight, and cut with much more ease and grace. The orc called these things “daggers”. Kol had been bought.
The orc took Kol to a place with many other people like him and with more of the thinner folk. He wanted to poke them with his new “daggers”, but resisted the urge. The orc’s companions had fed him, and so he no longer felt the need for the hunt. The orc told Kol of a man named Forrester. He said that, when he was poked, the most delightful things would happen. It would open up many more opportunities to poke many more people, he said. But, he said it would be a long time before Forrester could be poked. He told Kol about a man named Xerxes, and how he would lead many people, him included, to go on a huge poking spree. But it would all have to wait. Kol had grown used to waiting: years of isolation in the desert made him so.
The orc continued by saying that he would be put on a special mission to Forrester’s homeland, called Verdite, if he could prove his poking prowess. Kol was put in an arena, pitted against a giant scorpion. Little did he know it was the son of the scorpion who ate his father. Kol proved his prowess in combat. His new poking devices pierced through the chitin like the sand from when he was a child, and the scorpion lay skewered and defeated. The orc started a chant: “Rintoritsas! Rintoritsas! Rintoritsas!”. Bugpoker. Bugpoker. Bugpoker. And so, Kol “Rintoritsas” started on a journey to the lands unknown, lands foreign to the vasts deserts in which he was raised, the land known as Verdite.