As told by Forontir Oerthsaga, Loremaster of the Royal Court of Furyondy
"More than two centuries before the Freelord of Greyhawk began sending sorties against the fell Slave Lords, a male child was born to the Sheh family, deep in the Suss Forest. He was named Malikor, after the legendary warrior-ancestor of his people, the Grugach.
Never many and always secretive, the Grugach disdained interaction with those not of their kind. Malikor's tribe was no exception. Feral and suspicious, they fiercely guarded their remote homeland from any intrusion. With the exception of the near-by Druids and the occasional visitor from Sylvan communities, any who neared the Grugach borders were turned around. Some never left the woods again...
Malikor's birth was viewed with great joy by his people. As the Suss Forest was darkened by increasing migrations of creatures foul and terrible, the Grugach borders began to shrink, as did the numbers of their already dwindling tribe. Now, here was one who would certainly become an exceptional member of their community, who would ably contribute to the continued safekeeping of their beautiful home. Perhaps by following in the footsteps of his father, a skilled and respected hunter-scout.
But life as an elven ranger was not to be for Malikor. In his youth he was instructed by his father in many things; how to sink an arrow into the hearts of beast and foe, how to swing a blade with crushing force, how to tie the tightest knot then loose it with a skillful twist. From his father, the young Grugach learned much about the habits of the beasts that shared their home, and how to swim the swift waters that flowed there. All these things did Malikor learn, but gradually his interest in his father's teachings waned. More and more his mind did turn; to the painted faces of passing warriors, to the tales spun by tribal elders of raging orc hordes and victory in combat! To the soft-spoken whispers of the mysteries found outside the Wood.
After much deliberation, Malikor's father realized his son would never find happiness in the lone life of a ranger. Bolstered by the boy's size and physical prowess, he sent Malikor to live with Kal-Kinion the Ancient. Once named Wyvernbane, after single-handedly slaying one of the dire beasts, Kal-Kinion was the eldest of the tribe. His feats as a young warrior were the source of many songs. His knowledge of weaponry was lethal. Under the tutelage of his renowned master, Malikor's martial skills began to shine. His aim sharpened and his sword swung faster, yet from Kal-Kinion did Malikor learn the use of another weapon: the staff. At first dismayed by the seeming simplicity of the staff, the young elf soon came to revel in the motion of the wooden weapon, and admire the many possibilities it presented. Here was a weapon that was softer than the stones he tread upon, yet could defeat a sword of the strongest steel!
By the time his wizened instructor declared his training was through, Malikor had developed into an able warrior. He wasted no time in entering the Rites of Passage into his people's warrior sept, and soon found himself busy guarding his homeland from humanoid incursions. Several times he encountered people of other races who seemed not to pose a threat to the Grugach, but were deadly foes to the creatures he fought. Unlike his companions, Malikor was not repulsed by their alien characteristics, but found within himself a hunger to learn more. His peers scoffed at his suggestions of opening up to these strange folk, and his elders shook there heads, warning him of the devious complexity of the "Outsiders."
In time, Malikor's bravery, skill and feats on the Grugach borders brought much honor to himself and his family. His compassion and honesty also garnered much respect, and caught the attention of Ehvaryen, an elf maiden who's beauty matched that of a blossoming rose. After observing the tribal Rites of Courtship, the two lovers were wed and wasted no time in starting a family. In an event never before witnessed among the Grugach, Ehvaryen gave birth to twin sons.
As many suspected would happen, Malikor was eventually chosen to join the ranks as a Warden of the Sacred Grove. This was a great honor, and Malikor left his wife, and now adolescent sons, to serve the Druids as a protector. He kept his promises to return whenever duty permitted, which was few and far between. Yet ever his family was in his heart as he guarded the Grove far from home.
It came to pass, before Malikor's time of duty was done, that some entity from the vile Pomarj joined with the evil that festered in the outer reaches of the Suss Forest. Together these powers sought to invade deep into the forest, and if they could not enslave the resident elves, then they would wipe them out forever! They penetrated the forest defenses, reaching all the way to the homeland of the Grugach. The Wardens of the Sacred Grove were hard pressed to defend the Grove, and the Grugach fell away from their traditional home, their warriors barely able to keep the swift foe from destroying the tribe completely. As is often the case, the dark hordes, after wreaking much carnage, fell prey to their own disorganization. The dwellers of the forest, after overcoming the shock of the invasion, soon turned the ravaging tide. The halting of the invasion was turned into a furious slaughter. The invaders had over-extended their resources and paid a terrible toll to vengeance. Most of the invaders never walked out of the forest. Those that did brought with them precious spoils.
Malikor's joy at victory over the invaders was short lived. A message of woe brought crushing news: his village had been overrun. Ehvaryen had fallen to an orc's arrow while desperately seeking the whereabouts of her two sons. As for Malikor's children, they were last seen being bound by brutish humans, and disappeared with the enemy.
After grieving for the loss of his beloved Ehvaryen, Malikor received permission to leave his post in search of his sons. He followed many leads, but none would come to fruition. Eventually, the embittered elf heard of the Freelord's call for action against the Slavers . . ."
A DESCRIPTION OF MALIKOR SHEH:
Malikor stands almost a head taller than the rest of his people, yet is of average height when compared to other elves. His blonde, unkempt hair falls well below his shoulders and often falls before his bright green eyes. His strength is signified by a well muscled physique. The Grugach wears a sleeveless buckskin shirt, breechcloth, leggings and moccasins beneath a traveler's cloak of assorted green hues. In preparation for certain events, Malikor is known to don ritual face paints, as is the custom of his tribe.
Malikor normally wears a smile. Though fierce and headstrong in combat, he is amiable and friendly with anybody he does not suspect to be an enemy. However, the still recent tragedy that has befallen him, and his few adventures outside of the Suss Forest have robbed him of his usual demeanor. Perhaps his experience with his newfound companions will return him to his former self.
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