Beneath Tangled Roots
Half-orc Magus (3rd lvl). ^'5", 290, very cut (but not so massive), gray eyes & straight black hair pulled back in a slipknot.
- STR- nunya
- DEX- nunya
- CON- nunya
- INT- nunya (but obviously smart enough got cast spells)
- WIS- nunya (but Derz is 18 so…)
- CHA- nunya
Derz uses a trebutje & a heavy mace in melee. As a Mugus, he is capable of casting spells that take the time of one standard action while using melee attacks. With the Magus Arcana close range, he can also cast ranged touch attack spells. His Spellstrike ability allows him to cast these spells as a melee attack through whatever weapon he’s using.
One of his favorite tactics is to cast Ray of Enfeeblement while using Spellstrike, rendering stronger opponents weak enough for his party members (who happen to be mostly comprised of ‘wee folk’) to vanquish them.
I Was a Teenage Ogre Magi!
(Or the Humble Origin of Derz Naga)
“You’ll never be half the orc yer pappy was Derz!” my witch of a mother would scream at me every
time I was dragged back to our dilapidated shack in the woods just outside of the city of Vigil by one of
their guards. I thought it a curious thing to say because technically, I was half the orc my father was.
Some eighteen years past, my mother Velda the Strange, had caught the fancy of one Grimgog Naga
the Cunning. Apparently, he was a lieutenant of Belkzen charged with grim duty of ‘taxing’ traverlers on
the Crusader’s Highway. I don’t even know if he still lives for, I have never met him. Well as the story
goes, according to my mother, she encountered him & his bandits on the main road to Vigil one night
while traveling alone as she soften did. He demanded coin or for passage. My mother refused & promptly
dispatched his lackeys with a powerful arc of chain lighting. Grimgog, was shaken by her power (Or so
she says. Mother was always fond of embellishments.), decided that he’d rather die fighting than cringing
in fear like some goblin rushed in to attack. Mother claimed she held him where he stood with a holding
Velda knew that Grimgog was of importance to the orc forces of Belkzen. His bandits had plagued
the Crusader’s Highway for years, making passage for all a most dangerous journey without the aid of
guards or the fearless heart of an adventurer. Many trade and supply caravans had fallen prey to Grimgog
treachery & the major thoroughfare was rumored to be impossible to pass. Soldiers from Vigil could
never find trace of the orc bandits, for Grimgog was indeed cunning & had devised contingencies for any
encounter with forces of humans & dwarves. He had foolishly underestimated my mother however. Or so
Grimgog was quite persuasive for an orc and not just by intimidation. He possessed a power of
persuasion and charisma (Claimed my mother) that would make a wood nymph blush and mother, being
the lonely outcast she was, succumbed to his lewd advances & struck a bargain with the charming orc.
She would spare him his life if he were to cease his attacks against civilians on the Crusader’s Highway.
Grimgog talked her down to only attacking military caravans and ‘one night of passion that she’d soon not
forget’. I think she would have been his that night either way.
Thus, I was conceived. In the dead of night, witnessed by a host of even deader orcs. Six months
later I was born into this accursed world to my mother’s dismay. If she were an outcast of Vigil before,
she was even more alienated for birthing a half-‐orc child: an abomination to humankind. In fact, the
rulers of Vigil would have had us both put to death had Grimgog not kept his word & his attacks on the
Crusader’s Highway were now focused entirely upon military convoys and supply wagons full of arms &
armaments. Begrudgingly, Velda the Strange and her half-‐orc bastard son, Derz were exiled to the forests
near the northern wall.
I shan’t delve too much into the details of my childhood. Being ostracized from the community of
Vigil, mother and I lived mostly in seclusion. I’ve no doubt that Velda loved me in her own way but she
was a harsh & unforgiving parent. She’d always make me use my mind before succumbing to the fits of
rage that my father’s people have become infamous for. For a time, she had tired to teach me of the
arcane. Perhaps I was too young or simply more interested in the fantastic tales she spun of my father’s
roguish excursions on the Crusader’s Highway, but I could only retain the knowledge of the cantrips she’d
“You’ll not live much longer than five more decades Derz. So you have to learn all you can now or
the world shall devour you before you second!” Velda would say during those lessons. But all I wanted to
learn was how to be strong and fierce like my father. By the time I was twelve, I had nearly matured in
mind and body to adulthood. I was becoming far more trouble to the people of Vigil than my mother
could handle. I was forced to leave the shack that was my home after being wrongfully accused of
attacking a merchant’s wagon headed Vellmus or be torn apart by the savage mob of townsfolk who had
come to my mother’s home seeking retribution. In truth, it was I who saved them. My mother is an
extremely powerful witch and would most likely have destroyed them all had I not stayed her hand & fled
into the night.
My flight took me deeper into the wilds northwest of Vigil towards the Hold of Belkzen. If the puny
human thought I was a brigand & a thief before, wait until I join my father’s people, I had assumed with
my young & green mind. After wandering aimlessly for weeks in the wilds, surviving by hunting &
foraging, I felt more like an orc than ever. I was a primal & powerful predator who slew whatever crossed
my path. I laugh now in recollection of those days. In all actuality the only things that did cross my path
were rabbits and deer and, those could either hear or smell me coming miles away. I rarely caught a
thing! It was hunger that made my primal side emerge. I was starving to death when I stumbled upon a
campsite that I assumed was abandoned. I cared not of the return of campers for, they had left a pot of
stew bubbling over the fire & hunger compelled me to eat.
I was busy stuffing my face when as deep guttural voice chuckled behind me and said,
“Now what do we have here? An orc foolish enough to sulk into the Asura while he was away?”
I turned around and look an immaculately dressed ogre directly in the chest. Not know what else to do, I
took a stumbled backwards, knocking over the stew as a brandished the thick branch I had found that
served as my cudgel at the massive orge.
“S-‐stay back! I’m a mighty orc warrior & I’ll kill you where you stand!”
“Asura thinks you’re more likely a hal-‐orcish boy…” the ogre said behind a wide smile and amused
eyes full of wisdom. “… lost in this wilderness. And now you’ve knocked over Asura’s breakfast! Perhaps I
should make a meal of you instead….”
“B-‐b-‐b-‐b-‐back I say!” I shouted waving my outstretched hand in front of me. Before I even knew
what was happening, I began to mumble the words of the one offensive spell that my mother had tried to
teach me. Five jets of flame poured from the tips of my fingers at the ogre who looked even more amused
than before. With a whisper & a flick of his wrist, the ogre repelled the one jet of flamed that had managed
to even get close to him. With a chuckle, he whispered another word & waved his hand as if beckoning
me. I instantly became immobilized & floated in the air towards him.
“Asura is intrigued boy.” Said the ogre. “How did you come know that spell?”
“M-‐my mother Velda the Strange taught me!” I spat back in defiantly with false bravado. “and she
taught me far more powerful spell than that one so be warned! And who in the nine plane of hell is
The ogre bellowed from deep within his massive chest.
“You amuse Asura! Even now, powerless before his might you hide your fear behind a false anger!”
He cast a dark, knowing gaze upon me & I knew my end was near. I chose to return his gaze for, if
were to die, I would not do so cringing in fear. “Yes,” started again. “You see the position you’re in against
Asura & your mind has resolved that there is no escape. Your life belongs to Asura now and for only as
long as Asura choses not to extinguish it.”
He released his spell & I fell onto the ground at his feet.
“Fortunate for you by, Asura happens to know of your mother. It is said that she is an incredibly
powerful witch, genius one could say. “
He strolled away from me with is arms folded behind his back.
“If you are Velda’s child, that would make the orc bandit Grimgog your father no? Tell Asura that
he is wrong.”
“Y-‐you know of my father?” I asked meekly. I was curious yet, cautious not to anger this
surprisingly intelligent ogre.
“More like knew him.” He replied coldly. “Killed by Belkzen himself for disobeying orders Asura is
told. Orcs are such foolish little creatures! Were one of Asura’s underlings to disobey him, Asura would
not kill them. Asura would remove a finger…perhaps an entire hand but Asura would not kill them
because they may still be of use to him. Especially one as sly and surly as Grimgog! What a waste…”
“Belkzen…” I said glowing at the ground. “…he is the King of the Orcs?”
“You might say that boy. Why? Do you wish to avenge you father now that Asura has told you he is
“I don’t know, “ Said blankly. I was going to join the orcs. There is no place for me in Vigil. I was
going to join the orcs &find my father. I was going to become as strong and cunning as my mother had
“Joining the orcs…even the orcs of Belkzen’s Hold would be useless to one such as yourself boy.”
The ogre responded camly.
“My name is Derz,” snapped. “And it doesn’t matter what I want to do now anyway. You’re going to
eat me. So, why don’t you just shut up & get on with it…Asura!”
Asura boomed his deep laugh again and smiled down at me.
“Asura doesn’t have the pallete to stomach human or orc, let alone one of both bloods! Besides
young Derz, you would wasted in a pot just as much as you would be trying to climb through the brutal
ranks of orc society. Your true talent would even be wasted were you to become an orc shaman.”
“What are you talking about? I’m strong! I can fight! “
“Yet you also possess a talent for magic. What would you say if Asura were to tell you that he can
show you a way to wield both steel & spell…in harmony? What would you say if Asura told you that you
could be more powerful than your mother & late father combined…& that no one…human, orc or
otherwise would dare judge you because of the duality of your heritage without fear of death? What you
do if Asura showed you what true power is?”
Stunned by his query, I didn’t know what to say.
“Why would you do this?”
“Because your life is now Asura’s & he may do with it what he wishes boy!” he responded.
“Besides, Asura owe your mother a favor & his tutelage of you in the ways of the magi will most certainly
free him of this debt. Lastly young Derz, Asura loathes Belkzen for his stupidity & would see him & his
army destroyed & his memory forgotten! You shall become the tool that Asura will use to achive this
For four years, I trained with this huge Ogre Magi, Asura the Enlightened. He taught me how to use
magic offensively & showed me ways to expand my arcane knowledge through further study & research.
He taught me discipline in melee & that only a calm mind can defeat foes…especially those more powerful
than you. He trained me in the martial use of his favored weapons: the heavy mace & the steel trebujte.
He molded me into a Magus. A master of both Magic & Melee. He helped me to fufill a legacy that I didn’t
even know was my birthright.
Now, a year has passed since his harsh lessons & I chose to seek out my own path. If it ever crosses
Belkzen’s however I will honor my teacher’s request & destroy the King of the Orcs…