Half-Orc Ranger (Scout)
Ekk originally comes from a small band of half-orcs who left the various tribes of orcs inhabiting the Stonemarch, or human settlements around its edge. When she was 12, the band was attacked and mostly destroyed by some kind of creature that came out of the cave near which they had made camp for the night. She doesn’t remember being near enough to get a good look, but rationally she knows this doesn’t seem plausible, since she would have been sleeping quite near her parents, who were both killed by the thing. More likely, she has come to realize, she blocked any details of the attack and the attacker to protect her own sanity.
Most of the survivors drifted back to the orc or human settlements from which they’d come. Ekk stayed behind in the wilderness, clinging to some semblance of the only life she knew. The first years were hard, as she was not yet strong enough to fend off the larger beasts that might come looking for a meal. In order to survive, she had to rely on dexterity and speed in place of strength, and learn to be constantly alert to her surroundings, even while resting. As she entered adulthood, she spent more and more time in mountain caves, hunting and killing any aberrant creatures she found trace of. The tight quarters and sharp turns of these dim passages rendered her bow quite useless, and so she has grown increasingly skilled with a sword. The bow is still her weapon of choice for hunting natural beasts in the surface wilderness, but she feels it is her true calling to cut down abominations of nature in the dark places of the world.
Her hatred for these monsters and her affinity for the wilderness led her to the god Melora, who commands that nature be cleansed of them. The purposeless and unpreventable slaughter of her family and friends has given her a rather fatalistic outlook on life, and the knowledge that death can strike at any time and is rightfully the ultimate destiny of all creatures has led her to also revere the Raven Queen. In what she saw as a sign of approval from the goddess, shortly thereafter a raven seemed to begin following Ekk on her hunts in the mountains and eventually even into caves. She named the bird Korax and came to regard him as her one true companion.
To Fallcrest in Search of Adventurers
After spending more than a third of her life largely out of contact with anyone at all, Ekk has reluctantly decided she can accomplish more in service of her gods with help from companions bigger and stronger than a raven. Inquiring in Winterhaven whether anyone knew of any adventurers she could join, she was told groups occasionally pass through the settlement, but were more likely simply to spend a night and resupply than to look for additional party members. She learned that better luck could probably be had in the larger town of Fallcrest, some two days’ journey to the southwest along the King’s Road.
Upon reaching the town, she saw notices posted by a merchant looking to hire adventurers for a delivery. The task itself struck Ekk as exceedingly dull, but she knew it was her best chance to find companions with whom she might throw her lot…