Someone who appears one way but whose heart is another...
Similar to Nightcrawler, of the X-Men.
I really enjoyed writing how he was found and how he came to be into the world...
And how being raised the way he was... made him blind to hatred and prejudice. If only all the world could be that way, for real...
As always, I look forward to feedback! What you liked, hated, loved, whatever! I'd love to hear it!
“Over here!” one of the Purple Dragon Knights shouted, his blond hair falling in front of his eyes as he gave chase. One of the Red Eye Orcs whom the Purple Dragon Knights had been actively hunting in the region cut through the Ashbenford Forest.
Garen Havenshield nearly had his head severed when another Red Eye Orc jumped out from the bushes. “Ambush!” he shouted as he raised his shield and deflected the next blow that came towards him. “I could use a little help, Toramar Trueblade,” he laughed as he stepped back and avoided the next swing.
Toramar rushed forward and slammed one of the Red Eye Orcs from the side, “Pardon my less than favorable attack,” he smiled, “but I doubt you would have given me the courtesy of an honorable fight either, as it would seem you tried to ambush my dear friend, Garen.” With that, Toramar ran his longsword through the orc as he struggled to get up.
The other orc, whom Garen had been chasing, would not go down so easily. Just as they’d seen before, something in the Orc’s eyes suddenly appeared as if he was spiritually no longer there as he entered an aggressive form of rage, swinging wildly, all the wounds already inflicted upon him seemed to do little to slow him down.
The Orc had managed to deliver a lucky strike against Garen, cutting into the joints of his armor at the shoulder and drawing blood. This only seemed to fuel the enraged Orc. As Garen fell backwards the Orc leaped from a log, sword in hand ready to bring it down into Garen’s unprotected face. However, in the Orc’s rage and focus on Garen, it had lost sight of Toramar who had been standing to the side and severed the Orc’s head as it leapt through the air.
Toramar kneeled down. “Why am I always saving your life?”
“I believe,” Garen winced, “the score currently stands at five to three, in my favor. Even after this,” he looked at his shoulder as he removed the arm piece to examine the wound. “These Red Eye Orcs and that rage they get into… worse than any barbarian from the North. It’s almost like they leave their body and have no regard what happens to it.”
“If we could ever capture one alive,” Toramar smiled, “we might be able to learn something. But even the few we manage to subdue, they all have a poison they keep in their mouth to bite down on in the event they’re captured; only adding to the mystery of their recent rise.”
At that moment, Toramar heard a sound. He placed his hand on his friend who looked at him knowingly. Toramar drew his blade and quietly made his way through the woods, moving as quietly as his heavy armor would permit him. The sound came again; crying. Toramar moved more quickly and burst into the clearing near the Ashaba River.
A human woman, beaten so badly that her eyes were swollen shut, her teeth knocked out, and tied to a tree. Toramar dropped his sword and rushed to her side and let out a gasp. She had not been the one who was crying; it was the infant that lay between her legs, freshly birthed, and by the looks of it, by the sheer force of the mother, who was now dead.
Toramar wiped the blood off the infant and used his belt dagger to cut the umbilical cord and rushed the crying baby to the river where he washed off the blood and fluid from the birthing process and saw immediately, that the child was not human like the woman tied against the tree. It was a half-orc. Toramar did not even hesitate; he immediately tore off his cloak and wrapped the infant and rushed back to his friend’s side after picking up his sword.
“We need to get this infant back to the Church,” he urged his friend to stand.
“It looks like an orc,” Garen raised an eye brow as he sheathed his own sword after putting the armor pieces back onto his arm.
“Half-orc,” Toramar corrected.
“The mother?” Garen asked.
“She did not survive,” Toramar led his friend back to the woman. “This must be Jana Springstorm,” he concluded; she’d been a part of a caravan that had been attacked almost a year ago and vanished in this very area. Due to the severe beating and torture she suffered at the hands of the orcs, identifying her would be extremely difficult. Garen began cutting her free and placed her body over his shoulder. She was easy to carry as she was emaciated from lack of being fed.
“We will pray for her,” Toramar nodded, “and ensure she is given a proper burial at the Hall of Heroes.”
“What about the child?” Garen asked as they made their way back to their horses at the edge of the forest.
Toramar looked down at the child then back at his friend, “I will ask the Church to bless the child and cleanse him of the evil of the orc blood and I will raise him.”
“You?” Garen paused, shocked.
“It’s the least I could do for her,” Toramar nodded to the woman slung over Garen’s shoulder. “She may not have wanted this child, but it is a part of her. We were not able to save her in this life, but if we can save this child, we might just be able to find our own redemption for failing her.”
The Church blessed the child; but echoed the same concern Garen had shared, but it did nothing to sway Toramar’s decision. Toramar named the child, Dandir, who had been an old folklore hero with a monstrous appearance and fought against the odds to earn the trust of the people, despite how he looked outwardly.
Toramar taught Dandir to fight and defend himself starting at the age of ten. Toramar’s wife, though uneasy when Dandir was first brought to their house, soon embraced the infant. With a heart of pure gold and full of nothing but love, Neena, was someone who might fight against an idea, but nearly a minute later would be in love. It’d been one of the Neena’s strongest traits that initially drew Toramar to her. She had taken in homeless children, dogs, and cats and tended to them. Dandir was just another homeless soul in need of a home and love.
Toramar taught Dandir to temper his inner fury that boiled in his orcish bloodline and find his center and peace when overcome by the rage. He learned to respect and love those that deserved it and always extended his hand to those in need, giving up his own food and clothing at times, to a homeless woman or child in the streets. Toramar’s other children simply embraced him because in their family they were never taught hate; and that carried over into Dandir who looked at everyone the same; whether they were rich or poor, healthy or handicapped, each of them deserved his respect, his love, and his honor.
And now at the age of eighteen, his dream was nearly at hand.
Like his father before him, he sought to enter the ranks of the Purple Dragon Knights; but despite the lack of hatred in his eyes, others still judged him and he knew this.
That meant he had to work twice as hard to earn their trust and respect.
A challenge he wholeheartedly embraced.
Born in hatred, raised in love, Dandir Trueblade would be a Purple Dragon Knight, if it was the last thing he did in this world.