Thorn was born a razorclaw shifter in the Swiftburr Clan and lived a good life until his 14th year. Up to that point he’d been raised, as his parents, grandparents, and older brother had before him, to be a druid of the highest calibre. Within his clan, Thorn’s family was revered. While the other members of his clan continued to slowly lose their ability to change their form to mimic the lycanthropes of their ancestry, Thorn’s family could not only take on the appearance of menacing wolves, but also a great number of other wild creatures.

The ability to change was in Thorn’s blood, it could not be taught to others. That didn’t mean however that Thorn could change from birth. He needed to learn in a rather unique manner. Only after being injured by a creature could Thorn learn to take on that creature’s shape. As a newborn, Thorn was stung by a bee very shortly after birth, even before he had fed from his mother for the first time. Those that witnessed it said that the bee looked as though it landed with purpose, right over Thorns heart, and before anyone could shoo it away, it stung. Immediately Thorn’s body burst into a swarm of clumsy insects, darting everywhere in no discernible fashion. This surprised everyone around him, including his parents. No member of his clan had ever turned into an insect, let alone an entire swarm! Once the pain abated, Thorn reverted to his normal self. To his parent’s unending torment, from then on, whenever Thorn became upset as a baby, he’s erupt into an angry swarm of stinging bees, indiscriminately stinging those around him. The clan was quite annoyed for the first two years of Thorn’s life, but as he grew he learned to control it.

Despite his unique ability, Thorn grew up with the rest of the children in his clan as best as could be expected. The other kids loved Thorn’s ability to play unique pranks on the elder members of his clan. Their favourite was when Thorn would hide as a mass of insects inside a large pot. When an unwitting victim lifted the lid to the pot Thorn would burst out scaring beejezus out of them. Thorn became adept at moving swiftly to avoid the claws and swinging brooms of his victims as they chased him through the forest.

On his 10th birthday, like all the other children, Thorn was allowed to join in on the hunting party. This was the first time he would be able to use his abilities for something practical, and on the day of the hunt, Thorn was filled with nervous excitement. They were hunting boar and if previous experience was any indicator, their hunting party of 20 men and women would be able to bring back one or two boars that they’d be able to separate from a larger group and kill. As they tracked the scent of the boar the group finally came upon a large family. There were 2 males and 4 females and one particularly large male which must have been the dominant member. The large male seemed to be on the lookout while the others foraged for food. As Thorn’s party silently approached, one of the younger members stepped on a twig before the others could get into position. As Thorn watched the boar begin to turn to find the source of the sound, Thorn shifted into a cloud of large wasps and raced towards the prey. Before the boars could discern what caused the noise they were driven into panicked confusion as they were stung multiple times from all angles. The hysteria caused by Thorn’s actions allowed the members of his hunting party to quickly descend on their prey as the boar thrashed about, biting distractedly at the wasps. Three boar, plus the large male, were brought back to the camp that evening. A truly substantial feast was had that night. From that day on, Thorn was an invaluable member of his hunting party.

Life was good for the next 4 years until one fateful evening in early winter. Thorn was startled awake by the cries of his clan members. Some were screams of agony while others were cries of battle. Thorn ran out of his hut to see a huge, vicious pack of wolves with piercing, glowing purple eyes, attacking his people. His people fought fiercely and Thorn did his best to injure and distract his attackers, but there were just too many of them. Thorn located his brother and with all his ability tried to create enough of a distraction so that his brother could escape. It wasn’t enough. The wolves were intelligent. They spoke to one another in a language unfamiliar to Thorn, and descended upon his brother whose cries were quickly silenced. Thorn, knowing the fight was lost, and having been hurt a great deal already, took off as a swarm into the forest and hid in a knot in a hollowed out tree. His pursuers quickly gave up the chase. Thorn stayed awake all night in the tree until morning.

He was devastated when he finally emerged. Returning to his village, every member of his clan had been slaughtered. He was able to identify and account for 70 of the 73 members of his clan. The other three bodies that should have been there were his father, mother and brother. But they weren’t there. He had watched his own brother fall, but where was his body? There were also no bodies of the wolf creatures that attacked them. They must have all been carried away. There were a large number of tracks that lead to the north so Thorn began following them. He followed them for days, but the farther he went, the colder it got and the more snow began to fall. After a particularly cold evening he awoke to find no trace of tracks and no trail of scent that survived the cold. For the first time in his life he felt lost and alone. Thorn broke down and sobbed.

Over the next 2 years, Thorn learned about his station in the world. In most places, shifters are treated with great apprehension if not avoided entirely. It wasn’t until a jovial, wisecracking dwarven hunter, named Stoic, gave Thorn the time of day and took him under his wing. Thorn’s hunting ability only got better. He could notice and track prey with the best of them and learned a great deal about the natural world. He also learned a lot about blending in. Over time, with practice, he learned to take on a purely human form so as to deal with other’s without raising suspicion. Only when he was angered would his true nature show. His nose would flatten to that of a cat’s, his fangs would grow as would his claws, and his voice would take on a growl. It was quickly learned that negotiation was not Thorn’s forte. Perhaps just as importantly, Thorn learned about humour. Many a tense situation could be awkwardly lessened by an off colour joke. He treated grave misfortune in a very facetious manner which helped him to cope with the lingering pain he felt. Over the next 12 years with Stoic, Thorn learned a great deal. (Including that a quip about raping one’s ear canal or the cleft in a half-orc’s chin, that while not physically possible, is considered by many to be in very poor taste, but by some to be pretty fucking hilarious) But nothing that Stoic taught Thorn would help him find out what happened to his family or why they’d been taken. Thorn decided it was time to set off on his own to try and solve the mystery he’d been avoiding for so long. Thorn had no solid link to the attackers from 14 years ago save one. Whenever he wanted to, he could turn into an exact copy of a monstrous wolf with glowing purple eyes…

Character Sheet – Thorn

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