World Of Warcraft: Character Background Story
Race: Human – Class: Warrior
Akaros heard the screams from outside, immediately scurrying under his bed, cupping his tiny hands to his ears, his small six-year-old self easily fitting under the small wooden bedframe. He could hear the crackling of raging fires, smell the suffocating smoke and taste the ashes in the air as the horror drifted into his bedroom, too young to fully be able to understand what was going on or why any of it was happening. His father had warned him about the “big scary monsters” known as Orcs before; tall and green, ugly and muscular, with sharp fangs and no hair. So when he saw a huge green creature in his doorway wielding the biggest axe he had ever seen, he knew it must have been an Orc.
“Your parents are dead,” the Orc bellowed in a voice so gruff it made Akaros shiver. The heat from the flames outside was drifting into the room, the only thing protecting him from the fires and the Orc was the straw bed he was lying under. He heard the crashing sound of the Orc’s footsteps as the beast moved towards him, the boy glanced upwards at the straw mattress, wondering if it would protect him from the monster, it did, if only momentarily. The rusty steel blade crashing through straw and wood but the bed withheld the force just enough so the axe rested barely above Akaros’s pale face, the child bolted towards the door, looking to escape the nightmare he was living.
The Orc swung his axe again, narrowly missing Akaros’s head as he ran from the room and out of the house, where suddenly he stopped dead in his tracks. His parents were on the floor right outside the entrance to his home, their lifeless eyes staring straight up at him, right into the little boy’s soul. “Daddy help!” he screamed, the finality of death not yet apparent to him. Akaros could see the shadow of the Orc approaching him, axe lifted into the air, but found himself unwilling to move, thinking his father would rise up back into life and save him. The shadow of the axe dropped and Akaros slammed his eyes shut before hearing a deathly scream.
Akaros’s eyes burst open, but not to the scene of his village being destroyed fifteen years ago, instead to the temple chambers in which he now lived.
“Always the same nightmare,” he whispered to himself before recalling what happened next all those years ago. He had felt the rough grip on him relax, spinning himself around to see an arrow in the Orc’s skull and a group of men run into the village to try and save it, but they were too late, Akaros was the only survivor as the entire village burned around him.
The group of men who had saved the village belonged to a fanatical group named “The Martyrs”, who had found the last remaining survivor of the village screaming at his parents’ corpses, begging them to wake up from their ‘sleep’, the six year old Akaros unable to comprehend the fact his parents would never awaken. The Martyrs had taken Akaros into their ranks and trained him in their ways for the last fifteen years, morphing him into a tenacious warrior who fought passionately for their cause.
Akaros had a free day today, he had no missions assigned to him nor any chores around the temple, so had decided to get dressed before proceeding to the training yard where he would work on his swordplay, always looking to improve himself ready for his next fight. As Akaros climbed down off his bunk, he thought back to the day before, ambushing a Dwarven caravan as they transported materials from one town to the next. Him and a small squad consisting of five other Humans waited on the side of the road, hidden behind a treeline in wait for a few hours, lying with zen-like patience for the merchant caravan. After the hours had passed, a large wooden cart rounded the corner, kicking dust up off the well worn road, defended by only five guards, the dwarves guarding the cart were all typical of their race, around four foot tall with long, bushy beards, two to each side and one riding the horse that was wheeling the cart. As the group passed where Akaros and his fellow warriors lay in wait, the Martyrs charged out from the trees, taking the five guards by surprise and stealing the contents of the cart, which turned out to be bread, meat and other foodstuffs with no injuries of their own sustained.
Akaros finished dressing himself in his armour, which was constructed with cow hides, and left his small, cramped room to enter the main temple corridor, the entire building was made from pine wood, with the corridor he had entered containing a line of doors a dozen long on both sides, each a bedroom for one of his Martyr comrades. There were three such corridors of the Temple, two were for the common soldiers of the Martyr, and the other for the men in charge. Akaros strolled down the corridor, noting the faint smell of pine that enveloped the temple’s interiors, strangely he always seemed able to taste the pine wood too as he made his way through the corridor and out into the main room.
The main area of the temple was essentially a large open space, again made completely with pine, meetings were held here, groups gathered, food was served. Akaros came out of the corridor to the far right of the room, straight ahead of him on the other side of the room was another corridor filled with bedrooms, and to his right was the corridor going off into the leader’s bedchambers. A huge oak door was across the main room to his left, leading off outside into the temple courtyard, the temple supposedly built twenty years ago by Balask, the leader of the Martyrs, and a few loyal followers.
Akaros made his way to the doorway, the smell of fresh meat cooking in the kitchens was now prevailing over the smell of the pine, the kitchen of course easily seen as it was part of the main room, along with a huge table surrounded by thirty chairs, one for each member of the Martyrs. Pushing open the huge oaken door, a huge blast of light hit Akaros in the face as he left the torch lit rooms of the temple out into the sunlight, it was a fine day, without a cloud in the sky.
Akaros had been smacking the training dummy with a dull blade for two hours straight, each hit from the sword knocking the straw filling out of the Elf-shaped dummy. The dummies were made to look as much like Elves as possible, tall with long pointed ears, although the trademark bright shining eyes of the Elves could not be fitted onto them.
“Nice day,” a voice spoke from behind Akaros, the tone authoritative but calm. Akaros sheathed his sword and spun around, smiling in the direction of the man who had just hailed him, a tall, clean shaven Human with shoulder length grey hair, now fifty-two years old but as fierce and passionate about the Martyr cause as ever.
“Hello Balask,” Akaros smiled to the leader of the Martyrs, “how are you today?”
“Very good, well done on your assignment yesterday, I heard the Dwarven caravan was dispatched of without fuss nor hesitation,” Balask was straight to the point as he always was, but afforded Akaros a slight smile, “I have a new assignment for you, different to your usual.” Balask’s tone darkened, staring straight at Akaros, “up until now I have asked you to ambush armed caravans or attack guard outposts, this time I need you to raid an Elven village with a squad of five others, the same people that you attacked the caravan with. You must burn down this village and leave no survivors, Horris will lead the attack.”
Akaros froze, he had only ever killed armed guards before, never unarmed innocents.
“Balask, I have never killed an innocent before.”
“Innocent?!” Balask roared, “Innocent? These are Elves we are talking about, no non-human is innocent! Remember when those vile Orcs raided and destroyed your village, killing your parents and everyone you grew up with? Well now is your chance to get a small slice of revenge on these non-humans!”
“You’re right,” Akaros admitted, coming to terms with what he had to do, each fulfilled assignment with the Martyrs was a small slice of revenge against the non-Human races.
“Remember what we Martyrs do Akaros, our goal is to exterminate all the non-human scum from this planet, we advance the Human race in anyway we can, and to do that now you must purge this Elven village.”
With that Balask left Akaros, trekking back into the temple from whence he came. Akaros had been bought up for the last fifteen years with these beliefs, knowing he must do what he can to help out the Martyrs to repay them for their kindness, he was trained for this, a savage warrior who must do what he can to defend the humans, exterminating those who killed everyone he knew, including his parents.
“Light your arrows with flame on my signal” the tall man named Horris whispered to his five comrades, Akaros one of them. The squad leader wore full black armour which matched his short hair with parted fringe, and menacing brown eyes, he carried a longsword in one hand and a thick wooden square shield in the other. Like the rest of the squad, he also had a bow strapped to his back with accompanying quiver of arrows, an unlit torch had been slammed into the ground, ready to light at a moments notice and dip his arrows in the fire.
“Split” came the next whisper from Horris, as his five warriors split up and found themselves different positions in the trees that surrounded the Elven village. The moon was at it’s full height and the dark of night shrouded the Martyrs, allowing them to freely sneak around the village and eventually take the Elven abode by surprise. Akaros knew the village had no fighting men, they would have already gone off to fight off in one war or another, the homes would be full of the elderly, the young and the women. Easy.
Akaros readied himself for the signal, eagerly awaiting his first proper assignment, raiding caravans and ambushing guards was nothing compared to this, purging a village would make a real impact on the world. The area itself was unremarkable, a huge straw statue of an elf in the middle, surrounded by eight houses all made from wood from surrounding trees topped with thatched straw roofs, perfect kindling for the fire arrows. As the thought raced through Akaros’s mind, a single flaming arrow hit the straw statue and set it ablaze, that was the signal. Akaros lit his torch, set an arrow alight and drew his bow. He aimed for one of the houses, and released. The arrow flew through the sky, slamming into the straw roof of a house with a thud, and by the time he had notched the second arrow the roof had already caught fire.
Arrow after arrow followed from six different angles, hitting villagers, roofs and livestock alike, in no time the entire village was burning, Elven bodies lay spread out along the floor with arrows lodged in them, houses were attempting to be evacuated but as soon as the families ran out they were peppered with flaming arrows.
“CHARGE!” Came the roar from Horris, followed by the six squad members charging out of the trees and into the fore.
An elderly man saw Akaros charging at his family and turned to meet him with sword drawn. No words were spoken, Akaros swung his sword down on the man to see his strike blocked, Akaros thrusted once more, blocked again, the man was stalling making sure his family had time to escape, instead of fighting back. A wild lunge by Akaros was deflected before the man saw an opening and lunged, but it was just what Akaros had been waiting for, with a graceful block and riposte Akaros plunged his blade into the man, killing him, then began to chase down the family.
Akaros sprinted in the direction he saw the Elves run to, before spotting the trio fleeing in the distance, he noticed the family he was chasing were just a mother and her two children, both of which were no older than ten. One of the children had tripped and fallen in the dirt, the mother attempting to pick her son back up, but her efforts were in vain as Akaros caught up to them and pointed his sword at the mother’s throat.
“Please!” the mother screamed, “let my children go! Please!” Akaros lifted his sword in the air for the killing blow, but could not find it within himself to bring the sword back down to finish the deed.
“What are you waiting for?!” a voice came from behind Akaros, Horris walked up to his side, “finish the family, this village is done for.”
Akaros made no move, unable to bring himself to kill the innocent family.
“You traitor, you’re wavering from the cause, you’re weak and have no place with us!” Horris boomed before slashing wildly at Akaros, the warrior jumped out of the way of the slash, drawing up his own sword.
“So you’d turn your sword on a brother? You’re no better than these non-Human scum!”
Akaros replied with his sword, twisting his body as he twirled the weapon left and right, trying to break Horris’s guard. Akaros’s swipes were of pure fury, raging at his life as it flashed before his eyes, his family being slaughtered by Orcs, avenging them by attacking innocent caravans, innocent guards, an innocent village, the only difference him and the Martyrs had with the Orcs that attacked his village were the fact that they were not Human.
Akaros’s anger showed true, allowing him to eventually break through Horris’s block and stab him in the heart, his one time friend and ally falling to the floor, deceased.
Akaros turned back to the family, but they were already gone, he hadn’t even noticed them run off during the duel with Horris. Wondering what he had become, Akaros returned to the treeline where the other four members of the squad were waiting for him.
“Seen Horris?” One of the four enquired.
“He was killed by an elderly man, by the time I arrived to the scene he was already dead,” Akaros lied.
“I’ve never seen anyone beat Horris in a duel, who is this killer? Where is he?”
Akaros took the Martyrs back to the site of Horris’s death, where Akaros had pre-emptively dragged the old Elf’s body over to Horris’s to make his cover story more convincing to the rest of the squad. Silence enveloped the group as they looked at the deceased.
“Elven scum,” muttered one of the Martyrs as another spat on the elderly Elf’s body.
Akaros lay in his bunk unable to sleep, he had been back in the temple for only a couple of hours now with dawn a further hour away. Sinister thoughts raced through his head, after fifteen years of living in their temple, he was finally seeing the Martyrs for who they actually were, racist murderers who hated all that were different to themselves. Fanatics who killed innocents who had done nothing wrong, evil men who were no better than the Orcs who raided his village and killed his parents all those years ago. All the vile, evil deeds he had done in the Martyr name was crushing him, realising who he was and all he had done.
Akaros leapt hurriedly out of bed he only had an hour left before people would start waking up. He donned his full battle armour, grabbing his longsword and shield as he left his room, creeping silently out into the corridor beyond, the sound of his armour rattling softly all that could be heard in the dead of night. Akaros skulked through the corridor, going in room by room, slowly and quietly, opening each door and sneaking up to the side of the sleeping Martyr soldier’s bed, lifting his sword, and slicing their throat.
Akaros moved from room to room, alerting noone to his presence as he slit the throats of every Martyr soldier whilst they slept in their beds, after finishing with the corridor he slept in, Akaros went through the main hall and into the opposite corridor, killing every soldier in those rooms too, knowing the only two guards of the temple were outside the front door, unaware of what was happening within.
After killing every Martyr in the two corridors, Akaros moved onto the main part of his mission, to kill Balask and his lieutenants whilst he slept. Akaros made quick work of the rest of the leaders, making sure he didn’t disturb their sleep whilst he moved in for the kill, then quickly dispatching them. After slaying the rest of the order, Akaros found himself outside Balask’s room, knowing that it was too late to go back now, he opened the door with sword drawn.
Akaros slithered into the room, but saw no sight of Balask, there was a desk in the corner with parchments and a lit candle on top of it, the light from the candle illuminating a small portion of the room. Akaros made to move to the desk but felt the cold touch of a steel blade across his throat.
“Looking for something Akaros?” Balask’s calm voice came from behind, silver sword drawn across Akaros’s throat.
“Yes,” the anger in Akaros’s voice apparent, “I was looking for you.”
Akaros slammed his elbow into Balask’s stomach, the Martyr leader taken by complete surprise, with no time to react, enabling Akaros to escape his grasp and lunge his own sword at the Martyr boss. Balask reacted quickly to parry the thrust and return a few swings of his own, the two swordsmen were evenly matched, with neither gaining any advantage in the duel.
“Leave us be!” Balask yelled, but not at Akaros. The two temple guards had heard the commotion and appeared in the doorway, meaning that even if Akaros were to slay Balask in the duel, the guards would quickly be on him. The doubt caused Balask to gain the edge, forcing Akaros to slam in the desk, knocking the candle over, which in turn set the parchment aflame. Akaros ducked under a wild slash, grabbed some parchment which had caught fire and throwing it at Balask, the Martyr leader stumbling backwards as he swiped the fiery paper away.
Akaros took advantage and lunged at Balask, the leader reacting too slowly and finding a sword buried in his chest. Akaros withdrew the sword and slashed Balask’s throat before hearing a wild scream.
The two guards charged without hesitation, forcing Akaros to retreat to the window, the main bedroom was the only room in the whole temple with a window, which Akaros climbed out of, hiding underneath the frame. One of the guards climbed straight out after him, but was taken unaware by Akaros’s sword, he then leapt back through the window, colliding with the other guard and sending his body flailing into the flames which had now engulfed half of the room.
Akaros left the temple to never return, but not before setting the rest of it on fire, making sure the Martyrs were wiped out entirely, but even though he had eliminated them from history, Akaros felt empty. He had grown up with everyone in that temple, been one of them, what he had done tonight would never erase his past, all the foul deeds he had committed in the name of the Martyrs.
The sun rays reflected off the lake’s surface, it was a crisp autumn evening with a cold wind in the air making the hairs on Akaros’s skin stand up. He scooped up a bucket full of clear lake water and began the trek back to his cabin, hidden behind some trees from view of the lake, it was a quite small reservoir in truth, which ran all the way through the large forest Akaros now called home. Seven years ago he had burnt down the Martyr temple and ran off into the woods, isolating himself from Civilisation, feeling unworthy of being in the presence of any other living intelligent creature.
He had found an area within the woods where he could easily access the lake for drinking water and to wash, he had cut down trees and built himself a log cabin, grown crops and set up traps for wildlife to quench his hunger. He still had his sword, lying by the side of his bed, but that had been unused for the last seven years, a fighter no longer, Akaros wished to see out the rest of his days in peace, instead of facing the horrors of his past, he instead had run deep into the forest from them, and that was fine with him.
He returned to his cabin with a bucket full of fresh water, the crops in his garden to the back of his log hut were growing without problems, he had run into some plants around the forest growing naturally, harvested them and used their seeds to grow his own crops. The cabin itself was small, the size of a single room, as Akaros went inside he always noted how empty the cabin felt to him, there was his bed in a corner, made entirely of wood, uncomfortable at first but Akaros had grown used to it, a controlled fire pit in the middle where he would use small logs or branches to light himself a fire when he grew cold. In the far corner was a small wooden table and carved chair, rabbit roasted on the fire with grown carrots and potatoes was the most common inhabitant of the table during the cold autumn nights.
Akaros slept for most of the day now, when he awoke it was to water his plants, walk around the forest, gather water, set traps and eat, a simple life. But it didn’t stop him from always feeling empty and alone.
“I deserve this for what I have done, how many innocent lives have I taken that I would gladly swap for my own?” Akaros would always tell himself, forcing himself to believe that this punishment was what needed to happen to him to atone for his sins. Akaros left the bucket of water on the table, ready for the next morning, undressed then climbed in his bed, and slept away yet another day in his seemingly unending life.
“Leave us alone!!”
Akaros woke in the night to a woman’s screams, grabbing his sword for the first time in years, he ran out of his cabin towards the sound of the screaming. He didn’t have to run far from his cabin until he saw what was happening – An Elven woman was running with a child, presumably her son, away from a male Human, a bandit of some sort.
Akaros leapt in sword first attempting to disarm the bandit of his longsword, but to no avail, his sword arm was slow and movement predictable, the Human bandit quickly swatted Akaros’s blade aside and returned a risposte, which Akaros narrowly dodged, again the bandit went in for the kill, Akaros barely moving his sword to block in time, once upon a time he was a brilliant swordsman, going toe to toe with Horris and Balask, now he was losing to a common bandit, and losing badly.
“Little slow aren’t we?” the bandit’s hoarse voice carried through the trees.
“He’s right,” Akaros thought to himself, seven years with no practice had left him rusty and nowhere near the warrior that he once was. The bandit thrust his arm forward, trying to pierce through the former Martyr’s guard, again Akaros was slow to parry, next, the bandit launched a wild swing at him, which ended up knocking Akaros to the floor with his sword flying off onto the ground and out of reach, the bandit’s battered face breaking into a toothless smile, before he fell to the floor on top of Akaros, a stone landing next to them.
Akaros threw the unconscious bandit off of him to see the Elven child, a boy no older than eight, still in the position in which he had thrown the rock. His mother came over and grabbed the boy, embracing him. Akaros took the moment to finish the bandit off with a swift stroke of his sword, out of the child’s sight.
“Thank you sir, you saved us,” the boy spoke with a high pitched voice, “my name is Potlik, and this is my mummy, Elaine.”
“I am Akaros, and t-thank you for s-saving me.” Akaros stumbled and toiled over his words, it was the first time he had spoken to anyone in seven years, and like his swordplay, his social skills were also extremely rusty.
“We must go.” Elaine said in a panicked tone, clearly unsettled by the bear like figure of Akaros, his unshaven beard the same colour as his chestnut brown long hair and pupil-less eyes.
“But mummy, this man saved us, we will never be able to find our way out of this forest, we was running for ages and ages,” Potlik whimpered.
“I h-have a c-cabin not far. S-stay the night?” Akaros tripped over almost every word, he could hear his voice shaking when he spoke.
“Thank you but-” Elaine started before Potlik interrupted.
“Show us! Show us!” the Elven child spurted out.
“Okay,” Akaros led, with Potlik following, Elaine not even trying to stop him, she was clearly still in complete shock from being chased before finding this Human living in the middle of nowhere.
Akaros finished cooking the rabbit on the fire he had crafted outside, the birds tweeting and the morning sun bright on his face, he had slept in the garden whilst allowing the two Elves his cabin to themselves, making them all cooked rabbit to eat before sending the mother and child on their way. He entered the cabin with rabbit in hand, his sword left outside where he had slept, the two Elven peasants were awake, the child drinking water out of the bucket and the mother stroking his head, still slightly shaken from the events of the previous night.
An hour passed as they ate the rabbit and Akaros told the two about his past, glad to finally be able to tell someone his story, the Elves sat in complete silence whilst he told his tale, when he had finished, Elaine grabbed her child., “We’re leaving this monster!” She growled, before Potlick stopped her.
“But mummy, he saved us, he’s different now!”
“Did you not hear a word he said? He killed innocent people, he hated anyone who wasn’t human!” Elaine returned.
“He used to but he’s not like that anymore, before daddy died he told me anyone could be a hero, he said even the evilest people can be heroes.” Potlick’s eyes welled up with tears, his mother paused.
“My own father once told me before he died, even the darkest people can eventually see the light.” Akaros’s voice was strong this time, no stuttering, just utter conviction in what he said, as if it were a revelation to him. Akaros moved through his house grabbing enough water and food to last him a journey, went outside and grabbed his sword then returned to the Elven duo, “I will take you out of this forest.”
“And then what will you do Mr.Akaros” Potlick inquired.
“Please, just Akaros, my surname is Farvos,” Akaros corrected the young lad, “I will try to redeem myself, you have rebirthed a fire within me, little one. Sitting here in this log cabin trying to forget the past will not make it go away, to make up for my sins I must return to the world and save people, like I did you. I must help people, nothing I ever do will fully erase the horrors I have commited, but if I defend enough people of any friendly race from the evil in this world, I can perhaps go a little way into saving my soul, and no longer tarnish the last of the Farvos name.”