The Denizens of Gray 12
As with so many of his Half-Orc brethren, Jorn Kromson’s destiny was completely sealed long before he rejoined the waking world, or so it was thought. While tradition in his clan demanded he spend his years from age ten to fifteen training to patrol the border between Human and Orc empires, Jorn showed his great ambition from the very start, starting his training at five and finishing at eight. It was shortly before his tenth birthday that Jorn proved that his great ambition was only to be outdone by his rashness.
Jorn left his clan to find his place in the larger worlds of the Orcs or Humans, whichever would have him. Spending six years back and forth between kingdoms, Jorn discovered that he was overly proficient at very little other than working as a strong arm or hired muscle. Eventually, Jorn accepted that he would not amount to much more than a mercenary or thug if he were not to return to his home, and so he joined the ranks of the Border Guard.
Again a member of the only home he had ever known, Jorn quickly rose in station among his kin. Naturally adept in his work and utilizing what knowledge he had gained in his travels, Jorn was soon a captain, and just as soon was he abusing his power. Smuggling proved to be a very lucrative side project in Jorn’s line of work, and many who should not have been crossing borders were happy to pay large sums for a safe escort.
A few short years later and Jorn was living comfortably on his extra salary, finding a niche as a stop in the Ogres’ Iarnród. Surprised at how much some benefactors were willing to pay for help with the transport of Ogres searching for freedom, Jorn became strongly associated with the Iarnród and the majority of Ogres’ resistances which utilized it.
While the transport and sheltering of Ogre refugees may seem like a noble endeavor, Jorn had no care whatsoever for those who passed through. Jorn simply saw money, the Ogres may as well have been cattle or property, but they knew only that he was the Half-Orc that risked his well-being for their safe-keeping. Jorn was an accidental hero to Ogres everywhere… and was completely oblivious to it.
There came a day that Jorn overheard several members of an Ogre caravan excitedly talking about an artifact that had been given to the group by a Protector of the Road. This artifact was said to be worth a great wealth, and the Ogres were to sell it when they had found their freedom and use its profits and start a new life for themselves. Jorn saw his opportunity and made his decision to recover the artifact for himself that night.
It was unknown to Jorn and the Ogres alike that this artifact had been a prized possession of the Human empire and had been lost in a one of their battles with the Skath. A Human hunting party had been dispatched to find the artifact and had tracked it down to the Ogres’ caravan now resting in Jorn’s camp. Just as Jorn was retrieving the artifact from its hiding place in one of the wagons, the Humans arrived at the camp and confronted him. The Ogres arose to shouts and fighting breaking out between Jorn and the Humans in the firelight, immediately assuming that the Humans must have been there for them. The caravan fled, the artifact still in one of their wagons, while they thought Jorn was holding off their would-be captors. Jorn was eventually captured, but not before killing five of the Humans, including their party leader.
As it turned out, the leader of the hunting party had been the son of a great noble, out on his first assignment, which had been seen as a worthy (if easy) deed to retrieve the artifact. Jorn was sentenced to death for the five killings and his attachment to several unsavory smuggling endeavors, until it was learned exactly who we was, a hero to Ogres throughout the Human empire. With fighting between Humans and Skath more and more prominent, it was determined that an insurrection of Ogres was the last thing needed. Jorn Kromson was sentenced to life in prison and sent to rot in Gray 12 until he lived no longer.