Real World History
Karduzrok is the first character I created for Living Room Game's role-playing game Earthdawn (Second Edition). Karduzrok is currently active, running a campaign hosted Long Island.
Karduzrok smiles openly, laughs often, and is very friendly. Being fairly tactless, however, Karduzrok does not make a good initial impression on people. It (Karduzdrok considers itself an "it", not a "him" or "her") has no concept of the "polite lie" or other social nicities. This lack of social grace has left Karduzrok with few true friends. Karduzdrok has made peace with this fact, and finds a certain self-confidence in solitude. As a result, Karduzrok carries itself with what other obsidimen consider a sort of inner serenity, but that other Name-Givers can find offputting.
As one who tends to spend money without much forethought or care, Karduzrok has often been poor, even destitute. Karduzrok tends to handle possessions with care, but usually spends raw cash almost as soon as it is accuired.
With strikingly bright blue eyes, Karduzrok's skin gives the impression of black marble, streaked with grey. This pattern is broken, however, by unusual markings on its right arm, which fades to white with grey streaks from the middle of the forearm to the fingertips. Along with its bright eyes and smallish size (for an Obsidiman), this pattern makes Karduzrok fairly unusual looking among its own kind.
Karduzrok tries to hide the nature of its wizardry, taking advantage of the assumptions of most Name-Givers that obsidimen tend to be more inclined to the violent arts. Karduzrok usually dresses very simply, though often paints symbols on its body to demonstrate that he is free from the Horrors.
Karduzrok grew from its Liferock in the Thunder Mountains roughly three decades after Throal re-opened its gates after the Scourge. As a child growing up in the Thunder Mountains, Karduzrok and the others born from the same Liferock gained the ire of a travelling elvish surveyor by refusing his expedition passage through their settlement and deeper into the mountains. The elf, named Sharlosin attempted negotiation, threats and bribery but nothing worked. While Karduzrok was too young to fully understand the particulars, it did gain an appriciation for the fact that money was not the most important thing in the world.
With its strange coloring, Karduzrok stood out among its rockmates. While it played with the other children, Karduzrok was considered a little strange by them. Still, the bond among rockmates is strong and Karduzrok's early years were happy.
That changed when Karduzrok and two of its rockmates were gathering food. Grazt, older than Karduzrok by over a decade was showing Karduzrok and a younger obsidiman, Recogker how to recognize various plants when a chimera attacked. The beast pounced from the sky onto Recogker, spilling its blue-black blood all over the rocks. Karduzrok and Grazt engaged the beast and were both heavily wounded. Grazt managed to land a harsh blow to the animal, and it retreated, the dead form of Recogker away with it.
Though pouring blood, Karduzrok managed to drag the more heavily wounded Grazt back to their settlement. Though both received treatment and Karduzrok eventually returned to full health, Grazt did not last through the night.
As Karduzrok grew toward adolescence, it became clear to the others of the Liferock that Karduzrok was an adept, and probably a wizard. As none of the others of the Liferock followed the wizard's discipline, it was decided that Karduzrok would be sent to the t'skrang town of Denlikiyan, on the Serpent River above Lake Ban. Known primarily for shipbuilding, Denlikiyan was small but rich, a perfect home for Karatrim, a t'skrang wizard to whom Karduzrok was apprenticed.
While Karatrim did introduce Karduzrok to the rudiments of wizardry, he never took Karduzrok particularly seriously as a wizard. More interested in exploiting Karduzrok's great strength for chores around his laborotory, Karatrim tended to skimp on lessons. Karduzrok's education took much longer than usual, and never progressed as far as many other apprenticeships. In addition Karatrim would talk nearly non-stop about nearly anything, a habit which quickly irritated Karduzrok. As a result, Karduzrok hurt his education even more by spending time away from Karatrim whenever possible.
Karatrim's verbal excesses were not enjoyed by many of the other citizens of Denlikiyan, either, so Karduzrok took pains to avoid being associated with him when out alone in the town. One day, he happened along a dwarf painting exquisite symbols on parchment in the town square. As one of the few non-t'skrang Karduzrok had seen, it introduced itself to the dwarf, who called herself Jerrima Alnox. Clearly impressed by Jerrima's art, Karduzrok's normal tendency to speak exactly how he felt worked for it for once, and the two hit it off right away.
Jerrima and Karduzrok spent most of their free time together during Karduzrok's apprenticeship. With the great gap between their sizes, they tended to be quite noticable within the town and Jerrima's charm made the pair many more friends than enemies. Jerrima also taught Karduzrok about calligraphy, often using its skin as a canvas. Karduzrok mixed what he learned from her with the magical scripts learned from Karatrim to form a style all its own. Karduzrok also became proficient at making exact copies of written works for Karatrim.
When Karduzrok turned 30 years old (1482 TH), it had reached adulthood and had been apprenticed for nearly eight years. Karatrim, who long ago had thought of Karduzrok more as a lab assistant than an apprentice, fell on hard times economically. Forced to sell most of his laboratory equipment, Karatrim declared Karduzrok's apprenticeship over. Jerrima convinced Karduzrok to accompany her to Vorst, a town a few miles down river.
As in Denlikiyan, Jerrima was skilled enough in her calligraphic craft to make a living at it, but Karduzrok is not. Instead, Karduzrok gets involved with a local health center, as a guard at first. In the years that followed, a political fued between a number of influential t'skrang families grew progressively violent, sometimes erupting in armed clashes in or near Vorst. To care for the unexpected numbers of wounded, the health center trained Karduzrok in rudimentary physician's arts.
Jerrima, meanwhile, met a dwarf man named Virrax Marrson, and the two became romantically involved. Jerrima and Karduzrok spent less and less time together until, in 1490 TH, Jerrima accounced that she would leave with Virrax, bound for Throal. Finding the physician's training at the health center interesting, Karduzrok elected to stay in Vorst. Before leaving, Jerrima gave Karduzrok a calligraphy brush, which remains Karduzrok most price posession to this day.
Without Jerrima's financial sense to help, Karduzrok ran into money troubles within a year, buying haphazardly and extravigantly. Karduzrok experimented with trying to turns its wizard's skills into profit, but is repeatadly cheated. Finding more success as a hired guard, Karduzrok concealed its wizardry, using spells only as a secret weapon. Karduzrok managed to make due like this for a time, but can never held on to money for very long. While serving as guard to a number of merchants, Karduzrok also managed to learn to cook.
In 1498 TH, Karduzrok was offered a job guarding a human merchant named Vasco Earntride on a trip to Axalacail, down the Coil River. Though attacked once by river pirates, the journey was otherwise uneventful, giving Karduzrok a full purse. Enjoying being out of towns and cities, Karduzrok decided to make the journey back to Vorst on foot.
One day's walking out of Axalacail, just before Karduzrok struck camp for the night in a forest clearing, a human woman approached, asking if she might camp in the same spot. Karduzrok invited her to stay and she introduced herself as Ursula Dray, a questor following the Passion Jaspree. Karduzrok admitted never thinking much about the Passions. Ursula and Karduzrok talked long into the night about Passions in general and Jaspree in general. She told him she was exploring the forest for new species of plant life, and about her love of plants in general.
The next day, she showed Karduzrok much about the plants in the forest. Karduzrok, who had long thought more highly of rocks than plants, found itself experiencing an almost religious revelation, seeing the true complexity of plants for the first time. By the next day, Karduzrok's return to Vorst had been forgotten replaced by a desire to help Ursula look for new species.
The next few days melted into weeks, then months, then years. Karduzrok's spells came in handy from time to time, frightening off assorted creatures. While Karduzrok never felt the call of Jaspree as much as Ursula so obviously did, it did gain more respect for both nature and Passions in general, as well as a deep botanical knowlegde of the plants in that particular forest.
One morning, Ursula announced that her servey of the forest was over, and that Jaspree was now calling her south. She needed to cross the Aras Sea. Karduzrok knew he was not to accompany her, but offered to escort her to Urupa, where she could catch a ship. She accepted, and soon the two were saying goodbye on a Urupa dock.
Karduzrok, after parting with Ursula, decided to stay in Urupa for a while. As before, Karduzrok's money supply dwindled quickly. As in Vorst, Karduzrok took guard jobs, sometimes also working as a medic. While Urupa was a much more interesting city than Vorst, work was harder to come by. After five years of struggling to get get by, Karduzrok found itself in real financial trouble, owing money to a criminal organization, who demanded repayment with various minor crimes. In particular, Karduzrok's skills at calligraphy were put to use forging various documents.
This lasted for a number of years, until Karduzrok (never a seasoned criminal) was caught by the authorities. Karduzrok pled guilty and was imprisioned for five years for forgery.
Karduzrok didn't mind prison so much, surrounded by stone, solitude. As one of the few imprisoned obsidimen, Karduzrok become somewhat of a guardian to weaker prisoners, particularly a windling theif named Miron. Karduzrok also managed to save the life of a human, a short timer in for a nasty brawl, named Carlile McGrath, a member of the same criminal group Karduzrok owed.
Four years passed quickly and Karduzrok was released a year early for good behavior. Not knowing the state of its debt, Karduzrok quietly slipped out of Urupa and headed for Throal with thoughts of checking in with Jerrima. To get to Throal however, one must first go through Bartertown...
Karduzrok is very stable and at peace with itself. Focussed primarily on being happy, Karduzrok does not place a high value on money or success. Karduzrok has nightmares and an irrational fear of chimeras, though has only seen one (all to closely). People who talk constantly about nothing particularly irritate Karduzrok, as does greed.
In prison, Karduzrok realized that it has never fully embraced being a wizard and would like to correct this. Ursula also planted the seed in Karduzrok that the world is a big place, and worth exploring.