Out of the Rift
A grim hunter that stalks his own kind.
Unusually handsome for an orc, Vandal Brandt stands out even among his own people. His slate grey skin seems as if it is stretched thin, pulled taut over his rippling muscles. His naturally powerful physique is apparent at a glance, with massive shoulders, bulging arms, and legs as thick as tree trunks. He stands seven and a half feet tall, and weighs in at nearly four hundred pounds. His body is covered in scars from a life-time of combat, even his enormous hands, only his face is unmarred. With high cheekbones, almond shaped eyes, and smooth skin he is almost disturbingly beautiful. His haunted stare is captivating, piercing ice blue eyes seeming to see through to the very soul of those he looks upon. His thick, ropy black hair is commonly pulled back into a top-knot, keeping it clear of his face, a habit formed from years of fighting for his life in the arena. He generally is dressed only in heavy leather boots, loose fitting cotton pants, a heavy belt, and a pair of hardened leather bracers. He still wears his trophy necklace, decorated with the teeth of all those he killed in the arena. His face is marked with the red tattoos that once identified him as a slave of the church. The only visible weapon he carries is a hand and a half broadsword on his hip, a devious weapon that is able to split apart into a bladed whip approximately six feet long.
As a Bereskarn Vandal was born with the power to shift himself into the form of a massive grey furred grizzly bear. In this form he towers over even the mightiest mountain bear, standing a full fourteen feet tall when on his hind legs, and weighing in at nearly two tons. The only evidence that this massive beast is truly Vandal Brandt are the eyes, which are the same piercing ice blue in both of his forms.
Born the son of a powerful shaman, his spirit touched by the Great Bear, Vandal Brandt would have held a place of power and reverence within his tribe. Living peacefully in their village high in the mountains known as the Beast’s Backbone his tribe followed their ancestor’s way of life, a way of life that had survived for thousands of years. Sadly the Mountain Howlers drew the ire of the Beast-God’s inquisitors when it was learned that these peaceful orcs did not serve them, but instead worshiped the spirit of the Great Bear. So it was that Vandal Brandt never knew the reverence he was born to, for shortly after his birth his village was raided by the servants of the Beast-Gods, his people slaughtered, the survivors sacrificed to the Rift, or sold into slavery. Carried back to the great temple on the edge of the Rift, Vandal would have been cast into that bottomless well of terrors if not for Balinoc. Balinoc, known widely as the Master of Games, was responsible for organizing the blood sports held in the grand arena. Perhaps it was Vandal’s great size, even as a babe, or perhaps his unusual calm, but something about the orcish babe caught Balinoc’s eye. He saved the child from the Rift, not out of benevolence, but rather out of greed. Somehow the old elf knew that this orc had great potential, and so it was that Vandal Brandt was raised to be a gladiator, living only to spill blood for the Beast-Gods.
As he grew, Vandal Brandt demonstrated time and again his natural strength, and toughness. Hardened by constant practice with the finest weapon masters Balinoc could find, Vandal was shaped into a weapon, a symbol of the Beast-Gods’ power. As the years passed, and his victories accumulated Vandal became known throughout the kingdom. So it was that when the High Priest declared a great game, an orgy of blood, a spectacle for the Beast-Gods’ pleasure, everyone knew that Vandal Brandt would be participating. Balinoc announced a grand prize for the winner of the tournament, the sole survivor would be granted his freedom, reborn from blood, and granted a place among the churches most feared and respected servants, the Revenants. The Revenants are an order of church sanctioned mercenaries, hunting beasts and monsters for pay. With Balinoc’s announcement Vandal Brandt found a renewed sense of purpose, he would claim his freedom from atop a mountain of corpses if need be. He slaughtered dozens, and after destroying his first monster, a hideous creature spawned from the Rift, Vandal claimed his freedom.
Freed from slavery, and inducted into the Revenant’s ranks, Vandal began a new course of training. Learning from his mentor, Lexahl Dhun, he was trained in the secrets of the order. He learned of the weaknesses of many monsters, and how to investigate unfamiliar beasts to learn their weakness. Most importantly he was trained in the secret sorcerous arts known only to the Revenants, and showed particular talent for the powers of the Voice. These new found skills combined with his experience in the arena, and his natural powers as a Bereskarn have made him one of the most successful Revenants in the empire. Still he must take great care, for if his nature as a Bereskarn ever came to light, he would be hunted by his own order.