"These hobknockers couldn't tell their head from an empty flower pot."「 TZA'HAL AGRAF 」⦙⦙ RACE | Orc ⦙⦙ LOCATION | Asshaz'duun ⦙⦙ MAGIC | None ⦙⦙ AGE | 43 ⦙⦙ WEIGHT | 5'10" ⦙⦙ HEIGHT | 175lbs. ⦃ personality ⦄ Tzahal is not the kind of person to suffer fools lightly. She has little patience for others and prefers to keep moving at a punishing pace, believing that those who cannot keep up do not deserve to, and that helping those who are in difficult, but not dire, situations only weakens them. She has a gruff personality, though that is not to say she is humorless. She laughs and smiles if she does, indeed, find something funny, but this occurrence is more seldom than not. Tzahal is given to brute honesty, analysis, and straightforwardness, which can at times appear to be rudeness. She means no offense, but rather she finds it better to communicate as directly as possible as soon as possible. She has little time for beating around the bush, and she would prefer someone give her bad news immediately. She is also quite disciplined with regards to herself, keeping a strict vegetarian diet, exercising daily, and meditating three times a day. While she may not appear to have peace of mind given her rather brusque attitude, she is not at all filled with anger. It is difficult to raise her ire, though it is easy to test her patience. These two are completely different things, however. When alone, she is given to deep contemplation of life's more complex questions. When with others, she will participate in conversation if one has already begun, but otherwise she is not likely to begin conversation unless prompted by some interesting artifact. She does not like small talk, finding it a waste of valuable time and mental energy. Tzahal is also one who prefers solitude to company, but company does not bother her, given they do not go out of their way to get underfoot. She enjoys listening to conversation, and debate is a favorite of hers, particularly on the philosophy of morals and epistemology. However, it is easy to get heated in these sorts of debates, and she limits her most challenging inquiries to people she knows best (and are least likely to leave because their feelings have been threatened). She does harbor the typical orcish belief that magic is a crutch and a weakness, used only by those unable to do for themselves. However, she is also fascinated by magic and its workings, intent on understanding this strange force that has been so long been neglected by the Orcs. While she appreciates magic use and its history, she has a poor opinion of magic users, and her bias sometimes shows more intently at times than others. ⦃ history ⦄ Weapon specialization || Pikes and Polearm Profession || Lumin Monk of the Order of the Lynx Skills || Cooking and memorization by rote. Tza'Hal was born to a scholarly mother and a menial laborer father in the capital. Their marriage was largely frowned upon, but the two clans could do nothing about this strange union, which both lovers were adamant on. Thus, Tza'Hal was born into a family already mostly split in two over the affair, and she grew up in a climate of backbiting and familial strife, as each side sought to wound the other. Even her own parents were not safe from the prying gossips of the family, and by the time she was ten, they were seemingly at constant war with each other over the problem of family. In a bid to get away from such turmoil, Tza'Hal took to academics, as she was extraordinarily good at the art of math. Her mother, recognizing her ability, wanted her to go the route of mathematician and astrologer, a highly respected art, though not particularly well-paid. Her father, on the other hand, recognized this gift for its more practical usage -- construction and architecture, specifically carpentry. He sought to turn her to the career of architect and engineer, a field he himself would have chosen had he been gifted with the means to do so, as well as the brains. Split between her parents, Tza'Hal went to the only person who seemed unbiased -- her grandmother on her father's side, a staunch believer in minding one's own business. The matriarch firmly told Tza'Hal to follow her own leaning, that she know the best course of action for her own life than anyone else. She also very bluntly stated that if anyone should get in her way, a mace was a good method of dispatching the problem. And so, to spite both parents, Tza'Hal chose instead to do, not astrology, not mathematics, not architecture, nor construction... but artillery. Siege engines. Weapons of destruction, lobbed from the sky in beautiful, even parabolas. She chose the art of death at a young age, fascinated and disgusted, and that fascination continued as she went to the Academy of Science and Engineering in the capital city Assaz'Duun. There, she learned how to arc a boulder into a phalanx, and she learned how to live off the land as part of the army. Yet, she had not yet seen death in its entirety, not even among her own clans, who were a healthy lot. It wasn't until she finally held a stint on the battlefield, did she realize what she had gotten herself into. In her first skirmish, she helped to kill something like 300 people, all from her calculations on the siege engine. The enormity of that many deaths only struck her after purveying the field from the ground, rather than her perch in the air. As disturbed as she was, she recognized that this was the toll of her gruesome work. She fought many battles as an artillery commander, directing the different projectiles toward her chosen victims, and still the thorn struck her in the heart, though she did not know what it was. When she was thirty-seven years old, something snapped. After years of continuing death's duties, she realized that she could find no inner peace regarding so many dead before her. She felt dissatisfied with her lot, that there were so many things she did not yet know, not to mention the thorny moral questions she wrestled with regarding the death of one's enemies. That day, she vowed she could no longer in good conscience continue as a warrior and artillery engineer, and she joined an organization she had only heard of briefly from an acquaintance -- the Order of the Lynx. Founded a few years after the fall of Sol'davur, an Orc by the name of Kazzad G'dak formed a priestly organization and movement to confront the ongoing materialism of the orc world at the time, especially after the destruction of the Sur elve's home in their bid to expand. While others sought to destroy what the elves had learned and done, as magic was a mere tool overused and petty, Kazzad sought to preserve knowledge, even that which others considered useless or too dark to keep. He named it after the all-seeing Lynx, and other members of the Academy at the time also joined him, creating a small enclave of peaceful scholars who maintained that the body and mind must be disciplined in order to find inner peace and promote the arts and scholarship, and that outward glory or riches only distracted from Truth. Kazzad G'Dak saved countless documents from the flames, and he fostered orcish scholars who adopted his lifestyle of pacifism, benevolence, poverty, humility, and rigorous, philosophical questioning. Years and years after, the Order of the Lynx, while small, still survives as a multi-racial group now including humans, and Tza'Hal found herself drawn to their radical, but nonetheless attractive, tenets. She has been with them for over ten years now, and she is considered a Lumin, a senior monk. Recently, she has become interested in the workings of magic, if indeed there are any "workings" to be said of them, and in doing so, she has learned of the Sickness that has begun to take root in the magical races. ⦃ details ⦄ STRENGTHS Analytical Empathetic Honest WEAKNESSESGruff Pigheaded Slightly bigoted⦃ appearance ⦄ Tza'Hal has a wide-shouldered frame, more top-heavy than anything else, with thick forearms, but skinnier legs. She inherited nice teeth from her father, and decent nose ridges from her mother. While her hair was long, it was black as coffee, but now it is shaved short in a tonsure. She wears the robes of her order, which are white and saffron, and while in casual wear she wears what is pictured. Her tusks are filed as a show of humility, and her hands and feet are bound in bandages rather than wearing shoes and gloves as a sign of poverty. She carries all her belongings in a small sack on her back. ⦃ writing sample ⦄She sat in the peony position, feet together in front of her with her hands settled in palms up in her lap. She took in a deep breath, then let it out slowly, focusing solely on this motion of lungs and diaphragm. Her mind slowly cleared, as if a pond emerging from fog, and she took in another deep breath. After a few more of these, she opened her eyes and gazed out. It was a small outpost in the Sur lands that lay before her down, and she hardened her heart. It would be difficult to walk in. The meditation could only do so much. She stood up and picked up her spear, on its end her bag. She slung it over her shoulder, the tip pointed to the ground in order to deter any particularly wary Sur from thinking she was a mere Orc raring for a fight. She had no time for such pleasantries. The orc walked into the town and, as she expected, there were no people on the roads or out in the town square, beside the few who were still healthy enough to walk. They stared at her with haunted eyes, bruised and dark, but they were far too exhausted to protest this orc entering their town. The orc glanced down at a piece of paper in her hand, the directions to a particular house. Another monk of the Order was here as well, and he had wanted her to see something he found pressing. Tza'Hal had already guessed what it was, after traveling through several villages that had been overtaken with the Sickness. At last, she came to a small cottage overgrown with ivy within a stand of tall pines. She knocked on the door, and it was quickly opened by a Sur woman with red-rimmed eyes holding a kerchief. The orc let herself in, despite the Sur woman gasping in surprise, and there was a dark chuckle from inside. "Mara, it's alright. She is another monk," an elderly man said from inside on a small bed, and Tza'Hal surveyed the small house to find him. She approached and bent on one knee before him respectfully, ignoring the glare from the Sur woman behind her. "You asked me to come quickly, Darian," Tza'Hal said brusquely. "What is the matter you wished to speak of?" "As rude as I remember," Darian sighed. He looked behind him on the bed, and Tza'Hal's heart constricted. A small lump lay there unmoving. Darian pulled back the blanket gently, and soft sobbing emanated from behind Tza'Hal. "She was five," Darian muttered quietly. Tza'Hal bowed her head. "It's getting worse," Darian said. "I know," Tza'Hal spat. "I believe it has become... a moral imperative to consider our position," the old human stated. "We must search for information on these... Seeds of Life. We have the means and the expertise." "And these magicians cannot? They are more familiar than we with their art," Tza'Hal grunted, but her eyes were locked on the girl behind the monk. "Much has happened and little was kept when your kind took the Surian capital in ages past. Only that which is still in the archives there at Sol'davur is left of their magic workers." Tza'Hal hummed and closed her eyes. She knew what he was asking of her, and while her inclination was to refuse, she had seen the Sickness in many other towns, though this was the first death she had witnessed. Could she even tacitly allow a death, after having so long ago vowed never again to take another life if she could prevent it? "I will leave tomorrow, if you will find me provisions. I can be there in a fortnight."