An unteachable 8 ft tall.
Ivar is a mass of muscle draped in wolf hide armour. He stands at an unteachable 8 feet tall. His hair a long black mane both the front and the back say business, with a beard that is long and braided. He has piercing yellow eyes. Both of his black horns are snapped at jagged angles, like broken pencils. He is a quiet behemoth hiding a great deal of pain from the world. Ivar has a elven wedding ring on that fits his finger better than it fits his disposition. Despite his mercenary, pay me for any job act, Ivar does the right thing when push comes to shove.
For as long as he can remember Ivar Balor has been at war with the Dredge. The Balor clan was strong and fierce. Balor himself was the clan’s founder, he was the fiercest varl fighter in history, known for his use of a spear in one hand and axe in the other. The clan frequently answered the call to arms against many threats, due in equal parts to their location and battle prowess. Legend has it that Balor himself was the first to defeat a sundr in combat though it did take one of his eyes. The clans crest is Balor’s axe and spear across each other with the eye of Balor in front all set on a field of black.
Ivar Balor had been at war with the dredge as long as he could remember. He was a ferocious warhawk and personally responsible for a mountain worth of slag. At the age of fifty Ivar was put in command of a platoon of warriors. After a score of years as commander Ivar reached the point of maturity for Varl. Unlike other races this is not determined by a number, maturity for a Varl occurs when he realizes that surviving a battle is more important than the glory of victory. Around the end of his first century Ivar was made the Balor clan leader. As clan leader he wielded Eschel.
A particularly massive battle took place on the fields of Hithlum, an area a few leagues down the border from Balor lands. The dredge in this battle were actually being led by a sundr. Ripper he was called, known for dismembering his victims with his bare hands. Clan Balor was tasked with maintaining a supply line to Elven allies. On the second day of fighting the dredge collapsed the supply line and Ivar took a score of his best men to reopen it. While cutting a swathe through the enemy Ivar and his troop came upon Ripper. Ivar and charged in and struck Ripper with Eschel causing a huge crack in Ripper’s chest. Enraged and surprised Ripper grabbed Ivar by the horns and picked him up then slammed him on the ground several times, like he was cleaning a rug. After the few slams Ivars horns actually snapped off in the sundr’s hands. The Balor clan was enraged by the manhandling of their leader. They attacked Ripper in large groups, yet no matter how true the blow struck no damage was caused. As Ivar began to fall unconscious he saw many of his clan being slain. Ivar himself was grievously wounded by the sundr, and left for dead. Ivar had made it just short of the edge of the elven lines, and on their next push forward the elves were able to save some of their own wounded and Ivar as well.
Weeks later Ivar awoke in a bed that was entirely too small surrounded by wounded elves. Ivar spent the next few months healing in the Elven tree city Valinor. In that time Ivar learned much about the culture of the elves. He learned how they devoted many human lifetimes perfecting one craft. As a Varl Ivar had known little other than war his entire life, living among the elves exposed him to many other parts of life. He learned about the beauty of art, the majesty of nature and the wonders of science.
Ivar was learning about the different plants in the forest and what their alchemical properties from an elven maiden named Morwen. She had long auburn hair tied back with braids just behind her pointed ears. Bright green eyes were her most captivating feature. As a ranger her athletic frame was wrapped in a form fitting leather armor. They spent many weeks together in the woods gathering different plants for a myriad of reasons. Morwen taught Ivar which plants could be eaten; though he still preferred meat. She showed him which healing potential, actually she provided the healing salves and poultices that saved Ivar after Hithlum. She even taught him which plants could be turned into oils that weaken the armour of dredge.
During this time there were a few small dredge incursions that the elves turned aside with the help of the mighty Varl. The elves taught Ivar how to use a bow and arrow to fight from afar. In return he attempted to show them how to crush dredge armour up close but few among the elves like using axes or hammers. Ivar reluctantly accepted a position training elven warriors and became well respected throughout the city. There is now a small number of Valanor elves who refer to themselves as the brotherhood of the hammer, predominantly from The House of the Turtle.
Ivar’s greatest experience with the elves was yet to come. As months turned to years friendship turned to something more; love, a part of life most Varl never know. Ivar and Morwen would often spend weeks together in the woods enjoying their time together. The couple was married in a grand celebration. In this time of peace Eschel’s power waned, whether from disuse or lack of a true challenge it is hard to say. On the rare occasions they came across a dredge Ivar would and Morwen would strike quickly with their bows, so the dimming of Eschel went unnoticed.
One fateful outing Morwen and Ivar glimpsed a small dredge warband led by Ripper, the very sundr that had broken Ivar’s horns and slain his clan. Morwen and Ivar stealthily tracked the dredge to a human settlement. As the alarm bell rang throughout the town the guards took battle position. As soon as the fighting began the lovers picked off dredge one at a time from a flanking position.
After a short time of cutting the dredge numbers nearly in half, they were charged by the sundr and his personal guard. Ivar moved towards Ripper but was tied up by two bodyguards. Morwen dropped her bow and pulled out her double blades desperately slashing at the sundr, but no blow she struck phased the monster. She switched to defense ducking and weaving trying to avoid the grasp of the cumbersome colossus. Ivar fought savagely to get to his wife’s side but finally noticed how weak Eschel had become. He turned the last guard to slag a moment too late as the sundr wrapped his hands around Morwen and ripped her in twain.
Devastated Ivar fell to his knees ready to accept what came next. Ripper strode towards the heartbroken Varl set to finish off what he had started at the battle of Hithlum. With his right hand Ripper grabbed the stump of Ivar’s left horn, Ripper’s left hand clamped down on Ivar’s shoulder as he began to pull. Ivar felt himself being stretched out and was accepting of his end ready to see his wife and clan again. Suddenly the pulling stopped as arrow after arrow bounced off of Ripper. Due to the help of Morwen and Ivar the human settlement was able to defeat the warband and turned their attention to the sundr. Ripper realizing the battle was lost and pleased with the damage done quit the field. As the humans rejoiced Ivar remained unmoving. He eventually came to and started making the proper funeral arrangements for Morwen.
After that was done Ivar set off on his own traveling as a vagrant across the world hunting food himself or bounty hunting when game was scarce or coin was needed. While passing through a town called Erskine Ivar picked a hunting bounty, for a panther that had started attacking people. Ivar knew the best way to attract a predator was with a good piece of bait. After a few hours of hunting a deer wandered into range of Ivar. He shot one arrow directly into the back leg of the deer and tracked it from afar for the rest of the day. Just before dusk the deer laid down near a pond. Ivar hid about a hundred feet away in some large brush and waited. A few hours later a small human tried to help the deer and was attacked by the panther in moments. Ivar notched an arrow before he could line up a shot a voice shouted, “NOOOOOOO!!!” A giant green snake appeared out of nowhere and pushed the panther away from the human. The snake made quick work of the panther then appeared to talk to the boy, the two actually left together. Ivar carried the pathar to town and collected his bounty.
Ivar’s next contract was to clear out a small group of bandits. Ivar crossed paths with a large human with a painted face and a thin strip of orange hair. The human gruffly introduced himself as Sheamus O’Riely leader of a mercenary group called The Sons of Starkad the two quickly realized they were after the same quarry. Sheamus offered to split the pay with Ivar if they worked together rather than killing each other over 50 gold. Sheamus was a strange individual calm enough outside of combat aside from chewing on his equipment now and again, but almost a feral savage once the fighting started. The small group of bandits may have stood a chance against Ivar or Sheamus but against both they were broken in minutes. Sheamus was impressed by Ivar’s fighting prowess and invited him to join the Sons of Starkad, Ivar tired of being alone and never spending two nights in one place agreed to join.
Together they went to the grand city of Aerethart to turn in the bounty contract. Sheamus brought Ivar to the strong hold of his guild and introduced him to his lieutenants Lana O’Carroll and Bailey Lynch. Lana was an elven weaver who took an immediate notice of the new recruit though nobody really knew why. Bailey’s interest in the Varl was much less mysterious as her first words to him were, “Cool a Varl I have never killed one of those before.” For two years Ivar worked for the mercenary company typically working alone, mostly hunting down bounties. In the last few months however Sheamus has been assigning Ivar various guard details and skirmishes and making sure he works with a team. Lana has been pushing for Ivar start training the new recruits despite his reluctance to take on any leadership roles.
Lana brought the attention of a specific bounty to the attention of Ivar. The weaver had taken notice of Ivar’s tendency to do good over evil, sometimes in spite of profit. Ivar always defended this by saying that in the long run the costs balanced out. This new bounty was on a man who had been selling people into slavery. The only description was that he had always been seen in a mask and red boots.
Most of the victims had been poor people so Ivar went to the Fagravik district. Ivar had spent weeks unable to find any leads. The only thing Ivar was able to piece together was that the victims tended to be young males that were unarmed. One foggy morning Ivar saw the perfect victim walking down the street, a young weak looking human in a green jerkin who looked lost and nervous. Ivar set back and tailed him from a distance, after a few hours it paid off. The masked man in red boots was a sloppy tracker and spooked the boy down an alley. Ivar quickly climbed to one of the roofs overlooking the alley. The human boy walked down the alley till reached the end and turned around as if to fight. The slave trader had slipped into the shadows moments before but, Ivar never lost sight of him. As the masked assailant grabbed his prey Ivar loosed an arrow which struck true directly into the heart of the would be kidnapper. The human child yelped not sure if he was safe just yet.
Ivar jumped off the roof to claim his prize, the human boy was still standing next to the corpse shakily defending himself with a stick. “Get bababack I know how to defend myself.” Said the boy.
Ivar laughed as he told the human, “Just let me collect my prize little one.”
“I am not some prize to be claimed I am a man.”
With his face in his palm Ivar pointed at the corpse saying, “I am collecting a bounty on the man that tried to own you.”
“Oh. Well thank you for saving me large sir.”
“Thank you for being good bait little one.”
“My name is Finn. I am new to this city and a little lost.”
“Ivar. you can follow me back to headquarters after I drop this off.”
“Head quarters of what?” Asked the boy with great enthusiasm. “I happen to be looking for work, does your headquarters have a chef?” Ivar shrugged and with that the pair was off.