Mahriok's dead brother
Third born son of Einjezel and Toguur to the tribes of the Ohtrahk, Gorek was from birth an exceptionally strong child. Early in his youth, he showed a skill in fighting prowess and instinct which developed as he often times sat on top of the heap when he and his siblings would fight. But at the same time, he was more relaxed than any Half-orc perhaps even had the right to be. Unflappable was a way to describe Gorek. Nothing could pierce his hide, either the physical or emotional. Being calm and cool were natural to him, almost to the point where he was considered to be lazy because of how loosely he viewed life. Even this malady, though, could not detract from his undeniable skill as a combatant, and lackadaisical or not, he was highly valued as a soldier for his tribe’s honor. Gorek treated the respect showed to him with his general coolness. While some might have viewed this as a dismissal, since most Half-orcs would simply have allowed the responsibility to go to their heads, it was very much a weight that he bore with pride and dignity. It was an honor that he never neglected, and that he never let down.
Among his siblings, Gorek was easily the most outwardly happy. At every point in life, he could always find the good. Encouragement for the strengths of those around him, a humor towards their shortcomings, and a gentle hand in sadness accompanied him wherever those he loved were concerned, and Gorek had a big heart. He was playful and fun, although he could turn almost anything into a life lesson of some kind. This wisdom came from his father, with whom Gorek was allowed to spend more time than most of his brothers due to his skill as a warrior. Moved quickly to the front lines of the broiling conflict, Gorek saw much more than an individual of his age should have had to see, and yet he wore it well. His personality was not altered by the tide of war and blood. Instead, it was said, his personality altered the war wherever he went. Men took morale from his presence, from the sight of him on the field, but so much more from the smile that was so quick to come to his face even in the midst of the most dire situations.
Even as the young warrior of his family, Gorek still enjoyed simplistic and even childish joys. When he would come home from his short tours, he would sit with his younger siblings and braid little bracelets, paint their faces like little fighters, and they would playact their own miniature wars. Gorek would always fall under the “superior” might of his little siblings, unless of course there would be those moments when they were on the same side, and then nothing in the world could stand in the way of the little family, united. Even Einjezel would join in, and even more occasionally, Toguur, but Gorek was the leader in such pastimes of joy. (To this day, his siblings still each wear one those little bands that they created with their brother in his memory.)
Gorek outlived many of his friends made in battle, a terrible thing for a young person of any position to have to endure, but even so, he was not himself meant to live forever. The battle of Jorzvog was a great dark cloud on the horizon that soldiers on the front line had been able to see growing and drawing nearer for months. So the hideous bloodshed and turmoil came as no surprise at all to Gorek. He had braced himself for it, and met it as he met all circumstances of life, with a peaceful heart. The men around him fell and rose again, until they would rise no more. He himself was badly wounded multiple times, but kept going with a determination in his eyes and a happiness in his heart for every soul he was able to keep from death’s door. During the course of the weeks long battle, Gorek found himself shifted from one command to another. He was always welcomed wherever he went, but there was only so much good that anyone could do in such a heinous and twisted form of life. Still, his natural air of calm, of home, he took with him. He protected those little glimmers of light that he could find, fostering happiness and that longing for home, that love of life that gave him his strength. Because that, he had long ago found, was the only secret he held which separated him from any other fighter, what gave him the strength that defied death so strongly and which made him unique among his tribe, his unfaltering love of life and those who lived it.
He was not denied happiness in that last battle either, for he was given a chance to meet with his brothers. Notsrak had managed to find them of all the groups and assemble them underneath his command, and together they fought with spirit and determination, vanquishing their enemy and saving many a friend. The time came, however, when even bravery and bold solemnity could not hold upon a field of battle. Somewhere near the end of the battle, during the bloodiest and most chaotic days, Notsrak had led them to a point with the intent of rejoining a larger group after having freed a band of their own from being completely outflanked. In the attempt, though, they had themselves become pinned down, and were locked for hours, maybe even days, within a series of small hills and valleys with only dilapidated shrubbery for cover. There they held themselves, defending against what they could. They lost a few of their number, but it was not in their nature to lose each other. The moment came when they were pressed then, beyond reason, beyond all logical sense, beyond hope. Some say that bravery is marked by stupidity of men who are unwilling to sacrifice hope when all is hopeless. If this is so, then Gorek and his brothers were very stupid indeed. The press made it to them, and instead of cowering to meet death, Gorek calmly went out to face it. He took many with him, as his brothers fought around him. They fought well, with grace and without the fear which can clutch at the heart and debilitate even the strongest of men. Even the arrow which pierced him deeply did not cause him to pause in his resolve even for a moment. A look cast at his brothers brought a final smile to his face as Gorek was cut down. They were able to drag him to safety thereafter, but no amount of their skill could stop the blood from pouring out of his wounds. In his final moments, though, there could have been no greater honor for him then to be held by his brothers, knowing he had fought bravely for them, and for those he loved, and to have those he loved with him as he passed into the next life, or oblivion, or whatever else awaited him; it had all been worthwhile. So without a moment of regret tinging his life, Gorek died.
None of the family to Gorek’s death easily, although none had even so much as a moment to grieve. Perhaps none took it so hard though as Mahriok who had held Gorek as he had died. In the days after that, Mahriok was plagued with horrible nightmares surrounding the event. Sleep deprivation, the horror of battle, and an inventive mind were his malady, a sort of disease to him, in a way. Visions even, abject hallucinations, strange noises, the very heart of madness itself struck at Mahriok. It was afterwards, much later that Mahriok realized, perhaps by a touch beyond the grave, the bracelet around his wrist, and with it came the inexplicable peace of mind that strengthened him, maybe even saved him one last time. The darkness which had begun to crowd in on him dissipated as if under the effect of some spell, Gorek’s spell perhaps. After all, no one had ever been able to banish the chaos and the ill like he had done. So even Mahriok was able to watch as Gorek’s spirit was honored and sent to join his ancestors, although he could always feel the presence of that brother, strengthening and empowering him, like a new kind of magic unheard of before, a kind of magic that guided and soothed and calmed. A kind of magic like memory, love, and a joy in reminiscence that held no one and nothing back, but instead pressed onward with curiosity and adventure, and an unending sort of joy.
(Post Event: Gorek is the most likely to make an appearance from beyond the great beyond.)