"You're not real Millers!", the arrogant paladin declared, as he accosted the adopted ogre brothers Tyrrk and Tiny on their family farm. The hostility caught them by surprise, as the Miller family was known as much for their hospitality as their fresh produce, in the western plains of the Karanas. Tyrkk was about to walk away from the foolish paladin, until he began to threaten Furball, the tiny gnoll pup also adopted by Cleet and Henina Miller.
"What's the matter gnoll? Furball stuck in your throat?", the paladin teased, making fun of the gnoll's tendency to bark in the middle of his sentences. "I hope you're not touching those carrots with your filthy diseased paws."
"Hey, leave him alone!", Tyrrk yelled. "Tiny, go find Cleet, and tell him one of those knights of Thunder is causing trouble out here", he said to his younger brother who ran off toward the farmhouse.
The paladin continued to taunt the gnoll, "Show me you're a real farmer by retrieving a carrot with your mouth, you filthy animal." With that, he pushed the young gnoll face-first into the dirt. "You're kind is not wanted out here! Even your parents probably thought you were too weak to be part of their diseased clan."
With that comment, something snapped inside Tyrrk - memories flashed through his mind of his own parents who had been driven away by Chief Goonda for being too slow and weak, after sustaining heavy injuries in battle serving the Greenblood ogres. With his parents left to die in their weakened state, Tyrrk and Tiny would likely also have been sacrificed, as they were also a burden to clan - if it were not for the kindness of Cleet and Henina who found them abandoned and hungry in their field, and took them in as their own.
Tyrrk's rage unintentionally projected on a nearby wolf, who viciously pounced on the paladin with no warning. He followed seconds later after the wolf's attack with a single powerful blow to the paladin's body, who went flying straight through the side wall of the barn. Both the ogre and wolf began to pummel and bite the paladin to a bloody pulp, until Cleet arrived just in time to stop the fighting before it was too late.
As Cleet and Tiny rushed the gravely injured paladin back to the Temple of Thunder for healing, Tyrrk sat alone in the field, astonished and fearful of his raw power - he realized that he needed to restrain his innate strength as an ogre, if he was to continue living among humans. He also worried that the Knights of Thunder would one day seek revenge - maybe not in an outright attack, but patiently waiting for him to make one wrong move, as an excuse for legal or economic retribution against Cleet and Henina. Something changed inside Tyrkk that day, as he realized that perhaps this was not his home, and that he was not a Miller, after all.
Cleet noticed Tyrrk's increasingly despondent attitude - unlike his younger brother Tiny, he was not adjusting well to life on the farm. "Son, I know it's not your fault, you're not what they say you are - you were only defending your brother Furball, and I'm proud of you. You'll always be a Miller - this is what we do, we stand up for those that cannot fend for themselves. It's what's inside you that counts", he reassured. Tyrrk heard the words, but he was too distraught to really let them sink in - he knew had to forge his own path outside of the farm, and he knew his brother Tiny would be better off here. Cleet reluctantly allowed him to sail off from the nearby barbarian fishing village toward Halas, to explore his burgeoning shaman abilities.
Tyrrk excelled in his training as a shaman - with his powerful healing spells, coupled with his ability to weaken and slow his enemies, his friends were always well protected from danger. But perhaps his greatest strength was his empathic link with the animal spirits, who fought savagely and fiercely for him - and thus he never felt the need to show off his strength in battle ever again.
That is, until one wintry cold day deep within the menacing fortress known as Karnor's castle, the mighty ogre warrior Dogz looked at Tyrrk disapprovingly, as she noticed him sitting down in the courtyard while all their companions were on their feet fighting. "Is you help Dogz bash a spectral curate, Tyrrk?? Are you real ogre?" she barked. The words stung, a reminder of the foolish paladin's ribbing many years ago, that he had worked so hard to forget. Of all the misfit adventurers their gregarious druid friend Tilwens had mustered together, it was this fellow ogre that he had the least in common with.
"You has fancy spear - use! Stab now! Here! No, not like that!" she yelled, as she corrected his posture and glared at him threateningly. Tyrrk wasn't used to being ordered around like that, and he began to feel a bit flustered, and slightly annoyed. "Stand up ogre! Bash harder!", Dogz relentlessly chided, "When monster heal, ogre bash! What?? Too weak to bash? Drink ogre swill!", Dogz ordered. Tyrrk took one sip and immediately felt nauseous and dizzy. "Ohh... I need to sit down....", he replied, slurring his words. Dogz looked at him disappointedly and guffawed, snorting as she held up several bottles of swill in each hand "Dogz show you what real ogre is!" With that, she downed 10 bottles of swill faster than a halfling can eat a pie, while still managing to swing her bloodied blade with deadly accuracy, laughing loudly every time she was hit. Procyonea, their dark elf shadowknight friend, also downed a few bottles of ale, roaring and rumbling loudly as she tried to look as fearful as possible with her petite and diminutive frame. "Even tiny dark elf here more ogre than you, Tyrrk!", as they both laughed, while he sulked in the corner.
With the bitter cold wind howling through the courtyard, almost as loud as the ghastly screams of tortured prisoners of the lich king Venril Sathir, the adventurers took a short break to warm up around a campfire that Tilwens had started, while the other halfling druid passed out some fresh pies. Tyrrk graciously accepted the vegetable pie, and proceeded to meticulously slice it neatly into evenly sized portions, enjoying each bite with a spot of tea he had been warming up. Dogz looked at him incredulously, as she grabbed a handful of entire pies and stuffed them in her mouth, crumbs flaking carelessly all over her crafted armor. Tyrrk cringed at the sight, and thought to himself how lucky he was that he did not grow up in Oggok.
However, this moment of respite was brief, as the undead minions of Venril Sathir quickly rallied to investigate this encampment, catching the adventurers off guard. As Dogz and Procyonea valiantly fought each off each wave of ghastly beings, more and more enemies seemed to appear out of nowhere - with the deadly ability to heal one another. Tyrrk was able to weaken each of these foes adeptly - but this quickly drew their ire, while Tilwens tried in vain to taunt them by speaking rapidly at the ghosts. Tyrrk was almost overcome, with no health left - as the spectral beings continued to pound on him, he reached out to his spirit companion Zabarab, in an act of desperation.
For those that have an empathic link to their pets, asking your spirit companion to sacrifice their life force willingly is not an easy or painless decision - and in fact, feels very much like part of yourself is dying. Tyrrk looked at his spirit companion Zabarab, and expressed the following thoughts, "These are my friends, and I have to help them now. I hope you will understand", he communicated, while his pet looked at him nodded in agreement. As Zabarab dispersed into the air, Tyrrk mustered up his pet's energy to clench his fist in preparation for one final mighty bash, interrupting the undead curate from healing himself, thus ending the mighty battle while saving his friends.
"You not all ogre up here in head, but inside here you is real ogre!", Dogz said, pointing straight at his heart. "Dogz proud, Oggok proud, family proud, Tyrrk Miller!", she continued while standing crisply at attention and saluting him. Tyrkk smiled and immediately collapsed from exhaustion after the battle, as his friends rushed to his side to make sure he was okay. "He's cold - get me something to warm him up!", Procyonea shouted. Tilwens draped a luxurious Kunzar cloak around his shoulders, while the other halfling druid fed him some warm rabbit stew. "Rest now, you are safe now here among friends" Tilwens assured.
Tyrrk drifted in and out of consciousness while he regenerated his health - listening in the background to Dogz teaching Procyonea how to roar louder, Tilwens expounding more stories from his endless supply of adventures, while smelling the aroma of fresh pies the halfling druid continued to bake - all within the cold and unforgiving confines of the tall prison walls of Karnor's Castle, that could never be high enough to snuff out the joy of these adventurers.
And thus in the unlikeliest of places in all of Norrath, Tyrkk Miller was able to find what he had been looking for all these years - he finally felt at home.