Cooperative Fiction

Skip to content

Hargraw Mors of the Strongborn Clan


Hargraw Mors of the Strongborn Clan

Post by Stache on

Name: Hargraw Mors
Self-styled: Giantsblood, The Spotted, Legendbane, Brazen Beast, The Longspear
Age: 31
Race: Half-Human and Half-Giant (purportedly)
Height: 6'5''
Weight: 215 lbs

Physical Description:

The self-styled 'Breaker of Bones' and 'Slayer of Dragons' is at first glance an imposing figure. The man stands at an impressive height, and has a stocky build to boot. The man oft compares himself to an ox, and for good reason, as he has a fairly massive amount of musculature. His body's far from sculpted, as no one would find any abdominal muscles on that belly of his, but he doesn't need it to be. He was a born with the body of a warrior.

His menacing appearance is only further enforced by his clothing. He's covered in a large variety of animal pelts that he's collected himself. Boots made from the leather of boar and furs of badger. Britches consisting of lynx coats and stag hides. Gloves made from the fur of wolf and fox, and of course, his signature hooded tunic made from the pelt of his first kill, the spotted mountain cat Kraig. His overall fashion choices result in his clothes being a mismatch of grey, white, tan, and black streaked and spotted furs. It's hard to find one where pelt ends and another begins. Since the time they were first sewed, there's been little repairs, resulting in much of it having become frayed and grayed. There are coats of red splashed in with the attire too- but those aren't from the pelts themselves.

His visage itself gives one the final clue that he is thoroughly a warrior (if one hadn't gotten this already). Half of his rectangular face is obscured by a bright red bushy beard, matching the color of the unruly patch of hair on his head. What one can see of his face is a surprisingly aquiline nose, caught in the middle of two hard, dark-green eyes. While his skin is usually fair, almost pale white, one will often find it all covered in dirt and grime. The man seldom washes (only when he starts killing enemies with his stench instead of his blade), which rounds his whole appearance off with a generally filthy look.

Possessions:

- A small pouch strung to his belt for holding various trinkets and other things of trade.

- A small bone blade, used for slicing meat, eating, picking his teeth, and every other versatile action one can take with a knife.

- A short curved falchion-like sword, affectionately named 'The Maker of Corpses' and 'The Steel Priest' (because, as he puts it, the weapon helps people 'get closer to their Gods')

Powers or Strengths:

- Brawler: Hargraw had a knack for fighting since he was young, so if anyone thinks that knocking his sword out of his hand will render him helpless, they better think again. The man has killed people with things softer than his fists....so with his fists, imagine what he could do. Far from any kind of martial discipline, the man's fighting style is simply that of a brute, and will use his superior strength and size in his favor to win the day. He takes pride in the fact that he is larger, and stronger, than most men.

- Strongarm: And god forbid anyone allows Hargraw to draw Corpse-Maker. Similar to his hand-to-hand combat, the man is a berserker when it comes to using his blade in combat, which goes well with his strength. His wild frenzied swings and relentless onslaught will quickly overwhelm those not prepared for the man. When met with skilled swordsman however, the barbarian might find himself sorely outmatched.

- Persevering: No matter what the odds, the obstacle, or the daunting task ahead, Hargraw keeps on trucking. Once he sets his mind to something, he sticks it out to the end. He says he'll do something, ohoho, he'll do it. Or die trying. Which has obviously gotten him into many a dangerous situation. If it wasn't due to sheer luck sometimes, he might have met his end long ago. It also exacerbates his perception of himself. He'll continually try to achieve his goal, to prove to himself that he really is the greatest around.

Weaknesses:

- Dull: A bit ignorant, a bit slow, and a bit stupid, Hargraw isn't exactly the sharpest tool in the shed. While not a severe condition, it can take awhile for the man to learn new things, struggle with learning local etiquette and figure out a scenario happening around him. Very culturally ignorant as well. As one of his shortcomings, and few weaknesses (okay Hargraw, sure), he becomes very angered when someone insults him on it. In fact, he takes most insults to his person very seriously.

- Hubris: Hargraw is a tall-talker, a man quite full of himself, and borderline narcissist. Born the best in his native band, the dude has come to realize that he is the best warrior around. Goes into most duels recklessly (explaining his fighting style) and rarely believes that any one could best him. One day his arrogance will be his downfall, and when it does, he might not be able to recover from it. This also leads to vastly overestimating his abilities. His delusions of grandeur led to the extinction of Clan Strongborn, and his greatest injury to date. The injury done to his psychoses now that he has tasted defeat.

- Left Hand: In his younger days, Hargraw thought he was the best there was (...wait, that sounds familiar). His vain self-image led him to get in over his head on a outing one day with his tribe, and he was almost eaten by the creature they were hunting. While he still killed it, his left hand was mangled, and never quite healed right. He still can't fully close it to date. After it was all said and done though, he does get to say he killed a dragon...single-handedly (...get it?! Single-HANDedly?!...although Hargraw's tribe never exactly saw a dragon before. Was it really a dragon? Some unknown reptilian predator not seen by the savages before? Who knows). If someone mentions it however, he'll become very irate. It's a reminder of one of his few mistakes, one of the times he wasn't all that he thought, and hates people bringing this fact back to bare.

- Manipulative: As in, he's easy to manipulate. His desire to be the best, to feed his superego and id, to find someone worthy of fighting. Once someone notices his simple-minded objective in life and how he's not exactly the brightest bulb, they could use his skills for their own means. He thrives for superficial praise from people, the sort that a young child would probably be able to see through, as deep inside, somewhere past his overflowing reserves of bravery and courage, the man fears one thing. That he's actually nothing.

History:

Hargraw Mors was born to an Eyropean mountain clan that called themselves the Strongborn, who lived up in the mountains of Apthoni. From the day he was born, the elders of the clan were able to recognize that the boy was something special. He was large, one of the largest children sired they had ever seen, and it was quickly recognized that he would be a great hunter, something of legend. He was bigger than the others, stronger than the others, and most of all, had an iron will, an indomitable spirit that made the man relentless when he sought to achieve a goal. From the very beginning, he demonstrated this physical superiority over the others, often beating the other boys with sticks, being the first to get dinner among those his own age, and generally being an all-around asshole. It was during this time with his clan that he first learned to hunt the goats and game of the mountains, how to skin animals, tan their leather, and how to survive with nothing except the skin on his back and the breeze between his knees. On his very first hunt at the age of eight, his specialness was proven, as he killed a mountain cat that had been plaguing the clan for decades, practically a demon in their folklore at this point. This led to Hargraw's uncontested recognition for greatness, and his quick ascension to clan-leader at the age of seventeen.

At a generally young age however, the boy who had already come to call himself 'Giantsblood' was not sated with his clan's 'meager' existence. He kept seeking out more and more dangerous game, creatures, and monsters, practically anything that could be a proper testament to his legacy and add to the legend of Mors. This led to the hunts (and deaths) of such legendary creatures as: Mog of Midnight, a leopard as black as tar. Rayal, the King of Beasts, which led a pack of thirty other wolves and had lived past countless generations. And of course, Megalania, a legendary dragon that lived in the forbidden valley of Goanna. Some of these legendary creatures killed were as old as the Strongborn clan itself, and were considered guardians of their people, spirits that did not take life unwarranted. But Hargraw desired a challenge, a worthy hunt, so they followed him, and slayed them, allowing the man to take the title 'Legendbane', despite the loss of their cultural roots.

Still, these legendary creatures did not sate his lust for glory. So Hargraw went to war with the nearby clans that had always lived beside them in peace, seeking glory in war. Since the Strongborn were one of the most skilled clans in hunt, and attacked the others out of the blue, unprovoked in the middle of the night, many in the mountain range were slaughtered. Those that survived the malicious attacks were taken as thralls of Strongborn, forced into labor, and Hargraw's mountain clan grew in this regard. Eventually, the last neighboring clans of the Strongborn in the Apthoni mountain range left remaining banded together to strike down this common threat. But by then, it was already too late. They were defeated after a series pitched battles in the dales of Alp, and after the last foes of Hargraw were cut down, he proclaimed himself King of the Mountains and the Dales.

But this title and new found glory was still not enough. He was destined for greater things than living out a simple life among rocks and goats. He knew it, the rest knew it, and soon, the world would know it as well. Hargraw led the mountain clans under his fist down the slopes of their homes, and on their first raid of the flat lands in over two hundred years. He sacked the nearby town of Keir in a brutal attack, and was able to take it after an entire day of fighting in its streets. Soon after hearing of his victory, the state of Teutonia responded with overwhelming force. From Poznan they marched, and when they reached Keir, there was not mountain man that could stop their advance.

Hargraw had been 'King in the Mountains and Dales' for one month, and at the end of it, had lost his army, his clan, and most importantly, his pride. He escaped from the massacre, though not of his own volition. He would have gladly been cut down then and there, had not one of his most devout followers rendered him unconscious and dragged him away from the fighting. Upon waking up and learning of this, he killed the clan member in a black rage. He was Hargraw Mors. He did not run from battle. He immediately set back forth for Poznan, to challenge the curs who thought they had bested the greatest warrior in the mountains. Travelling down its roads alone, he was eventually noticed by a well-known slaver, just one of many who had heard of the mountain savages that attacked Keir. Clearly seeing that Hargraw was one of them, he had the man captured, though losing three men in the process. No matter he thought however, as he could easily make the losses back in the fighting pits of Hellas. He had originally wanted to enslave Hargraw for his novelty as a moutain clanman, sell him to a Teutonian who lost a family member or wanted to see one of the barbarians who had thought to invade their lands. But the slaver now realized that the item he had was a hot commodity, worth more than he thought.

Under chain and lock, Hargraw was forced to fight in the games of the nobles, in Hellas' 'Arena of Warriors'. There in the fighting pits, he made a name for himself, earning considerable applaud and reputation for his prowess in battle and victories, and earning the slaver a considerable amount of wealth. Though their cheers soothed his injured ego, Hargraw still would not have the rest of his life spent in chains. As luck would have it, Hargraw would be given a chance for freedom. The slaver who owned the the barbarian (now known as the 'Brazen Beast') gave him an offer after his amazing years in service in a drunken stupor. If Hargraw won his 100th battle, and went through the Gauntlet of Gore, the slaver would release Hargraw from his bonds. Of course Hargraw accepted right away, how could he not? He took any challenge offered him, and was ready to strike off his chains once and for all. Little did he know that the Gauntlet of Gore was a form of public execution in Hellas, just made more entertaining. Dozens of creatures loosed onto the field, grand fires lit to form a maze inside it, spikes and pitfalls scattered throughout. If the 'Brazen Beast' took it, the show would bring in thousands to the pits, and thousands of bishan into the slaver's pockets.

Lo and behold, Hargraw killed every single living thing in the arena that day, and thousands of men cheered his name. "BEAST!"

The slaver was bewildered. With the amount of money he made, he buy the pits if he wanted. He also assumed he would finally be rid of the savage. Now he found that he might be forced to uphold his end of the bargain. When he told Hargraw he still had to kill his hundredth man for freedom (as the slaver took his oaths religiously, and decided he would sell the beast instead of seeing him freed), the barbarian replied he was about to. He had taken a fang from one of the felled beasts from the Gauntlet, and hid it from his handlers when they took his weapons. He stabbed the slaver to death with it, took his keys, freed himself, and escaped from the Arena without any other incident (not forgetting to take his weapon with him).

Hargraw now roams Eyropa free, though what he's searching for, he knows not. He only travels west with the loose notion that he'll bring ruin on the men who brought down his rule, hoping to come across some army or order who can grant this wish for him. Where his travels exactly take him however, is another story.

Conclusion:
...and I'm guessing you're still wondering about his last title. 'LongSpear'. The dude doesn't even use a spear. What gives?
...You know what gives.
Last edited by Stache on Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:16 am, edited 4 times in total.

Re: Hargraw Mors of the Strongborn Clan

Post by Katona on

Welcome to Thar, Stache. Thank you for the application.

We appreciate humor in writing, but I have to admit, I think you may have gone a little overboard with this app. One important thing to note is that even "joke" characters need to be fully fleshed out, and must conform to our other rules for new characters, in order to be approved. I'll also add that you should try to avoid excessive coloured text in posts, because it can be difficult for some people to read -- try colouring just the titles instead. Onto the app itself...

First of all, you'll need to reduce Hargraw's powers, as we require first characters to have modest skills and abilities. You can find more information about that in the Rules and New Character Guide. Another concern I have with your strengths and weaknesses is that they don't say a lot about who Hargraw is as a person. You mention very little that brings out his individual personality, his beliefs and interests, likes and dislikes. You have a big focus on this strong, dumb warrior gag -- I get it's a joke and all, but you can have a joke and a good character, if you make sure you create a character that is more like a real person and less like a caricature.

When it comes to the history, I also think it might be wise to try something a little more modest to begin with. You've incorporated a wide range of setting development concepts in your history, and we tend to recommend new people avoid this before they've been around long enough to understand the setting. This is especially important because it seems you haven't read enough to understand the setting properly yourself yet. An example of this is Hargraw's interactions with the Darleone elves. The people of Darleone are extremely xenophobic and it would be extremely unlikely that they'd tolerate someone like Hargraw on their island for long, and I can't imagine any realistic situation where someone would adopt him.

It's especially recommended that you avoid development in Ayana, as it comes with a lot more complications than other places -- your character would fit much better within Eyropa, especially as the people of Ayana are mostly people native to the continent while yours is more of a European type of character. It also avoids a lot of the problems I mentioned with travel and language.

Some other issues: how did he learn a new language if he's extremely slow, as you say? It's not enough to say it's a mystery. You have to make everything in your app make coherent sense. You also seem to imply that the people of Ayana speak the same language as Eyropans, which is very unlikely. Additionally, you need to avoid describing events in ways that only benefit your character despite not actually making sense: for example, Hargraw's interactions with the merchants from Eyropa. If he attacked them and threatened them, why would they ever agree to let him travel with them? Why would they not throw him overboard the first chance they had? Letting a murderous, insane, uneducated foreigner onto your ship is not a very smart thing to do, even for a bit of coin.

Of course, I fully understand if these kind of changes aren't entirely up your alley. Certainly there are other RP forums around who would be a better fit for a caricature type of character, so if you'd prefer to play this character as it is, you should definitely try playing it on another site. However, unfortunately, to write here we'll require you to write something that fits the type of RP we do on Thar Shaddin.

Once you're ready for me to review your app again, let me know by replying to this thread after you edit your app. If you have any questions or concerns, you can reply to this thread, send me or another mod a PM, or even ask another member of the site in chat. Have fun writing. :)

Re: Hargraw Mors of the Strongborn Clan

Post by Stache on

Well, first off, just want to say THANKS for the greeting Katona. I appreciate the warm welcome. Stumbled upon the RP of Thar Shaddin by chance, and the world-building interested me enough to try a hand at an application. Think of the first post as a rough draft, and this the actual attempt at building the character up to the RP's standards.

I do want to take the opportunity to redress some of your points. I first want to say that I completely understand how the font color was overkill, and hard to read, though I thought it might contrast a tad better than the pink on darker pink of the forum. To address the most important note of your review however...the strengths and weaknesses. I don't quite understand your qualms with them. While I rectified them, dropping one strength and expanding upon the downsides of the others, I don't follow how a fighter (which's actions in combat are usually determined by the two players involved) as wild as Hargraw might be op. Compared to some of the characters who wield magic or can turn into animals, I actually thought his 'powers' were quite tame. Especially since they were so mundane in nature as well.

You also said
Another concern I have with your strengths and weaknesses is that they don't say a lot about who Hargraw is as a person.

I didn't realize they were supposed to be an adjunct to the character's beliefs and actual 'character'. I presumed them to just be where to list one's 'powers'. I already supplemented the existing ones, helping one delve deeper into the mind of this brute, though I thought his history adequately conveyed his background. Are Rocky or Grunt from Mass Effect poorly written characters because they simply love to fight and don't have much else to offer? Though I guess they aren't exactly suited to the style of this RP.

Adding a personality sub-category to the App though might help a new user better convey their character to a mod. I am also sorry that I misunderstood the Darleone and Ayanans. While I meant the Darleone 'Mother Teresa' to be a black sheep on the island, I can understand your reserves. As to Ayana however, I thought Hargraw's history fit rather well.
Political struggles occur frequently along the coast lines, where individual groups have more resources and expand more quickly. The continent is full of mystery and magic, making it difficult to colonize properly and form stable systems.

Throughout the land mass are tribes and clans of native peoples, some more advanced than others. While trade does exist between Darleone and Ayana along the eastern ports, the trade routes between populated areas of Ayana are few and poorly maintained.

He shipped to Darleon because Ayana has trading relations with them, and his clan grew by taking advantage of the fact that there are no 'stable system's in Ayana, expanding in power due to the lack of a formal government and military to respond. For how Hargraw achieved passage to the elven island...if one had you at swordpoint, and was a bloodthirsty warlord asking for passage, would you refuse? Once aboard your ship, would you then attempt to throw him overboard, after he sufficiently proved how ruthless he was by sacking the entire port you've been sailing to? Sure, you might outnumber him aboard it...but would you really lose one or two sailors' lives (or your own), when you have the ability to just ignore him? Especially when he even gave you payment?

I've reworked his history sufficiently though Katona, and look forward to your next review of the character. He now has humble origins in Eyropa, and hopefully has more traits clearly outlined. Thanks for taking the time to address all these problems, and I hope that you enjoy the rest of your evening!

Re: Hargraw Mors of the Strongborn Clan

Post by Katona on

Thank you for the edits to your application, and apologies for taking so long to respond. All the staff have been quite busy recently.

I don't follow how a fighter (which's actions in combat are usually determined by the two players involved) as wild as Hargraw might be op. Compared to some of the characters who wield magic or can turn into animals, I actually thought his 'powers' were quite tame. Especially since they were so mundane in nature as well.


What we're essentially looking for is someone within the scope of the average population. Your character is described as some world-renowned, near-unbeatable legendary warrior type. That is far beyond "tame". Even if you were to put that aside, being "wild" is absolutely not a suitable weakness to balance out physical strengths and fighting ability. Being wild does not really hinder a character, as it's exceptionally easy to use it to an advantage or to simply write around it. Also, how strong a character is doesn't depend solely on how much magic they can do, since magic could just as easily be a weakness as a strength -- you have to look at the whole package and how reasonable/realistic it is overall. In this case, your character doesn't pass the requirements.

For an example, Hargraw supposedly killed a dangerous wild animal at the age of eight years old despite his community being unable to defeat it collectively. Even at the age of eighteen, I would find this hard to believe, but as a child? I can't imagine how that could possibly happen, except by extreme luck. You also describe how he somehow became the leader of effectively all the mountain clans in his area, with no difficulty whatsoever, rallying them together in numbers to an extent that the Emperor feels a need to mount a serious attack against them. Regardless of how unlikely this is to happen in general, this is a major setting-changing event that you can't expect to throw into an app history on a whim. Your character also shouldn't be this influential or famous. A direct quote from the Rules page on Character Creation:

When you begin, as in all RPGs, you will be using a character with few powers and little renown. When the staff reviews your character application, this is a major consideration.


I didn't realize they were supposed to be an adjunct to the character's beliefs and actual 'character'. I presumed them to just be where to list one's 'powers'. I already supplemented the existing ones, helping one delve deeper into the mind of this brute, though I thought his history adequately conveyed his background. Are Rocky or Grunt from Mass Effect poorly written characters because they simply love to fight and don't have much else to offer? Though I guess they aren't exactly suited to the style of this RP.

Adding a personality sub-category to the App though might help a new user better convey their character to a mod.


You must somehow express the personality of the character through the application, but we aren't strict on how a person achieves this. Some people like to write a Personality section (as you can see in some of our approved applications), some like to include personality in strengths/weaknesses, some like to include it with the physical description. Often it's useful to use the entire application to express personality traits in the character, but we don't mind how you do it as long as it's there. No one should need to be prompted to add a personality section, because it's quite clear that we require something to that effect if you read the rules and guides.

In this kind of RP, the most important aspects of a person are their personality, their personal beliefs (including fears, motivations, and so on), and how they fit into the world overall (socially and culturally). This is a narrative-driven RP, and we tend towards realistic representations of people, so you need to make your character a "real person" as far as how he interacts with the world. Again, like I said in my first review, you need to make a real person and not a caricature. If you can't represent the character to the extent we require, you might just have to come up with another character idea to work with. We have these expectations for a reason, to preserve the overall quality of the RP, and some ideas are just very difficult to make work. You can always come back to old ideas in future, after all.

A good question to ask yourself is: what kind of RP do you plan to do with this character? Where do you see him going from here? And how will other player characters fit in with what you have planned?

We have a list of examples of weaknesses that you may find useful: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=3421

Here is the WIP write-up for Apthoni, which you may have missed: viewtopic.php?f=40&t=2466




Return to Character Applications

cron