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Glur'Kun Blood Axe
No one’s ever sure of what they will encounter when exploring a new land. This week’s spotlight tells of a Half Orc who finds more than he ever bargained for, and whose life will likely never be quite the same.

“The Half Orc Glur'Kun slid from the shadows and dove for the moongate. There, much to his surprise, was a new choice, marked ’Ilshenar‘. The curiosity of his human half got the better of him, and he chose it. But then came another surprise: all the Shrines were listed. Ilshenar had to be a place; it was listed beside Trammel and Felucca, which he knew to be solid ground. But why would the dead Shrines suddenly appear in a place never heard of? Glur'Kun made his choice: Spirituality. He had many questions and just as many hopes. Would this place answer those questions?

“Glur'Kun stepped from the portal into a clearing among the rocks of a mountain cliff. Behind him was a small altar with a Britannian Ankh. Before he could investigate this familiar site, a ghost flew through him and crashed into the shrine, falling to the ground as a now living human! Glur'Kun began to heal the weak, but alive, human that was still bleeding from a past life’s wounds. Amazingly, the man jumped to his feet and fell into the gate. ’Run, Man-Orc, Run!’ was the only explanation he heard.

“As Glur'Kun put away his bandages, he heard the familiar sounds of a wisp and the gleeful giggles of a child. From around a corner in the rocks fluttered a small, mature human female with the wings of a rainbow butterfly. He watched backflip after backflip as she flapped, giggled and stared in mid-air at the half-breed before her. Then suddenly, just as she flipped, her tiny hands threw forth a massive ball of flames that hit Glur'Kun square in the chest, knocking him flat.

“The fog quickly cleared from his mind, as Glur'Kun threw on a bandage and sprang to his feet. A quick volley from his bow and Glur'Kun charged forward with his mighty axe, a blur in motion. The ’human wisp bug‘ kept up the pace effortlessly as she flapped her wings. She could bat away the axe swings with her tiny feet as her hands delivered more flaming death upon the creature she tormented.

“It took all he had to just stay alive against the tiny thing. Then his mind clicked... Pixie! He remembered it from stories his human mother had told. These weren't supposed to exist; they were only stories! His mind raced as he fought. Finally, winded and bleeding, Glur'Kun won the battle against the pest. Cleaning his wounds, Glur'Kun searched the body of the now dead Pixie.

“Suddenly, another strange noise grabbed the warrior’s attention. He ran down the pass and into the meadow, which formed a large bowl ringed with mountains on all horizons. Before him was a wooded area with strange purple/blue rock outcroppings jutting above the trees. To the west were a small sheep farm and the foul smell of Gypsies. To the northeast were ruins and an active forge fire.

“Near this ruined blacksmith post was an ongoing battle. An orc was battling another myth: a unicorn, if memory served, and suddenly racing forward to kill him! The orc screamed in broken yet understandable Britannian, ’Wantz dead now uz, she, me thunks!’

“After killing the unicorn, Glur'Kun and the self-proclaimed "’Ilshen Orc King‘ sat down to heal their wounds. After some conversation, the ’King‘ escorted the warrior to his throne. It reminded Glur'Kun of a raised platform from Papua, or a small thatched hut from Delucia. The hut sat far above a rock cropping looking over the trees, and from the platform supports hung the bone necklaces of the past kings.

“The two sat near the fire and ate the stew the King had made. The stories and hours flew... the King was the sole survivor of the clan, and no humans had been seen in ages. Only the ’meat-lezz wunz‘ and ’wyrm-fuud‘ in the fort to the southeast or the "’bugz‘ and "’whyte fuud wit hurnez‘ served as the King’s entertainment.

“The King told of how his tribe had once gotten ale from the Inn to the west on Ilshen Lake, but it was now empty. Some actually learned human Ilshen speech there and they fought with the humans at the ’meat-lezz‘ fort. There was rumored to be an encampment of ’blud lust‘ humans past the ’bug wuudz‘ to the southwest past the now empty sheep farm.

“After much rambling by the King and healing of one another’s wounds, a pact was made. The Half-Orcs and a few trusted orcs and Humans of Glur’Kun’s land would come to this new land and help rebuild the Orcs of Ilshenar to their former mighty presence. In return, the King would teach the newcomers of this wild land and its many strange beasts. With a clasping of arms it was done. ’You shall sit upon your stone chair once again, my friend‘ Glur'Kun promised. ’Und yu shull guurd the vined cave of me thrune az me Gen'ral uf armz,’ the King replied.

“As the sun set behind the mountain range Glur'Kun saw a sight that turned his blood cold… a dragon with no meat on its bones! As the beast swooped for an attack run, Glur'Kun grabbed the King and ran for the ’bug wuudz"’. There was no time to wonder at this massive beast as they ran for their lives. The two newfound friends dashed thru the brush with a trail of giggling butterflies on their tails, and a massive undead dragon above the treetops. The time soon came to cross the open meadow that surrounded the wood, and on to the moongate beyond. Glur'Kun noticed a gypsy camp in the meadow. A few well-placed arrows and several gave chase. Glur'Kun smiled. As the beast flew over the treetops in search of prey, the first thing it noticed were the running gypsies. It pounced and ate.

“Glur'Kun took the chance and ran for the rocks with the King in tow. Through the pass Glur'Kun pulled the King into the gate with him. ‘Trammel, Minoc, and home,’ he thought. In a flash of mystic sky blue they appeared.

“Back at the cabin, Glur'Kun put the King into his human-styled bed. After making a fire, he used the poker to add to the sign over his house door. Sleep would not come. Memories flooded his mind… of the gypsies who murdered his father. Of the treachery of the former Dark Tide Clan of Cove and the Council of Sin that controlled them. Would this new friend help him understand his life’s meaning? Glur'Kun turned to read the sign, and see the new name his friends would be known by as of tomorrow... The Blood Axe Tribe of Ilshenar.”

-Glur’Kun, Half Orc of the Blood Axe Tribe of Ilshenar
Join us next week as we continue to focus on the citizens that make Britannia so unique. As always, keep an eye on FYI for upcoming Spotlight topics and the chance to share your own tales with the Ultima Online community!

Published: April 2001
Please Note: Some dates are estimates as exact dates were unavailable.
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