Kolgrim Bearclaw

"Glory first, honor second. The rest matters little."
User: Steve
Campaign: Serpent's Skull
Race: Ulfen
Gender: Male
Class/Level: Barbarian/4
Gruff and sometimes unintentionally funny, Kolgrim (often “Kol” to those who know him) is the son of Oleg and Freja. He boarded the Jenivere in Magnimar, Varisia hoping to find the same wealth, adventure, and glory that his brother has in the Mwangi Expanse. Kel must be doing well indeed to be able to pay a spellcaster to make occasional Sendings of his exploits home. If Gorum smiles, he will find Kelgrim and the two of them will become famous for their adventures together. If not, he will become famous in his own right so that Kelgrim can seek him out.

Kol and Kel were raised by their mother in Arsmeril, Varisia. Freja was taken from her home as a small child and remembers little of life before the sailors of the Land of the Linnorm Kings came and took most from her village as thralls. Oleg grew up in the same village and made her his bride. Kel was born first and Kol came two years later while his father was away on a raid. When Oleg returned, he was praised and his station was elevated among the warriors of the town for the battle prowess he had shown – far greater than the way he had previously accomplished and it soon became apparent why: Oleg had encountered a werebear and contracted lycanthropy. As this was seen as a mark of favor among his people, Oleg “Bearclaw”, as he came to be called, became a powerful warband leader and well respected by all but his young bride, who feared the change that could come over her husband. She left him after he flew into a rage, transformed, and injured her and both boys, leaving scars they all bear today. Kol and Kel both have similar scar down their backs. Their mother was not as lucky, having lost an eye to the attack that also horribly scarred her cheek. Freja took her boys south because she feared for their lives. Oleg let them go, though whether because he no longer desired Freja because her beauty was gone or out of remorse for what he had done is unclear – neither the boys nor their mother have seen or spoken to him since.

Freja made a life for herself with her two young boys through whatever work she could find. Sometimes she worked the farms, sometimes she worked the nets, sometimes she worked with the fishwives. She earned some money fortune telling – many believed that her lost eye had given her second sight – and they lived better than could be expected, which was a testament to her strength.

As they grew, her boys did similar jobs when they weren’t having rough and tumble adventures in the surrounding countryside or brawling with each other or the other toughs of the town. They were old enough when they left the north to remember their father as a great warrior but had forgotten much of his cruelty. Their scars gave them bragging rights and they reveled in them and both took “Bearclaw” as a surname. Kel was the first to scrape together enough money to buy some simple gear and leave for a life of adventure. Some two years after he left, they received the first sending from him telling of his success and saying he had sent money for his brother to equip himself and join him. Kol couldn’t wait to go, but was still surprised when the funds arrived carried by a bard who spoke of how Kel had saved his life and that delivering the coin was fulfilling a debt. Kol knows that Kel was in Eleder 6 months ago and is growing quite bored with his time at sea trying to get there.

Kolgrim wasn’t quite as strong as his brother, but he was quicker, and they always had each other’s backs. They ran roughshod over the boys of Arsmeril and though they fought and occasionally stole small things, their little gang was tolerated because Kel had notions of honor and fair play had kept them from going too far. Kel was the charismatic leader, and Kol was happy to follow. Kol’s heart isn’t as good as his brother’s though, and without that influence is much more likely to do what is expedient or in his own interests first.