Immu Background

Immugar, not quite an orc nor quite a human (and not particularly fond of either) decided at an early age that she was, in fact, a bear. Her childhood, spent among orcs, wasn't worth speaking of, and she left it behind as soon as she felt capable. Her lone travels led her to a swamp inhabited by a pair of dire bears. Another youth would have met a foolish end at this point but, although Immu could appear stupid in the eyes of others, she was most certainly not. Her instinct about bears had been on the nose, and she had an immediate natural kinship with the deadly animals. Wearing clothing of bearskins, it didn't take long for her to gain acceptance into the family of dire bears; the animals quickly learned that their strange new companion was surprisingly vulnerable, but intelligent and able to manipulate objects with its paws in ways that they could not. The half-orc and the dire bears lived in mutual reverence.

Immu's home in the swamp was not to last. One year an unnatural fog descended, and Immu began to find mutilated corpses of animals with alarming frequency. Investigating this same phenomenon, a group of adventurers stumbled upon the half-orc and her bear family. Immu had little interest in the newcomers but they were keenly interested in her and her kinship with beasts as well as her skill with a greataxe. They convinced her to travel with them, relating their discovery that a lich had been causing the strange fog and the mutilations. To protect her swamp and her family, she agreed to leave them behind and join the adventurers' cause.

Immugar struggled to fit into ‘civilized’ society. She was shocked to learn that ‘civilized’ people did things like relieving themselves indoors, and the others in turn were scandalized when she missed the fact that it was not nearly as acceptable for females to go about bare-chested as it was for males. Many of these subtleties she learned the hard way, and several times her naivety led to near-disaster. Her new allies were largely patient with her, but her relationship with Dariun Lightiron the dwarf was marked by intense mutual exasperation and frequent arguments. Both short-tempered and lacking in tact, their tiffs caused the rest of the group amusement and concern in equal measure. Meanwhile, the party was making a name for themselves in the world, undermining powerful enemies and saving the lives of countless innocents. Immu became renowned for her ferocity in battle as well as her open-hearted willingness to lay down her life for her new friends, even Dariun, who kept her well supplied with magical healing as well as enchanted weapons and armour at generous discounts despite his apparent disdain for the half-orc, who after years of adventuring still retained her animalistic habits. Eventually Immu grew to appreciate her dwarven ally, despite his stubborn, gold-hungry nature and tendency to insult her at every opportunity. His fine craftsmanship and artful eye impressed her to the point that she insisted on him tattooing her. She carries the permanent image of a roaring bear on her right shoulder.

As she gained in battle prowess, Immu began to experience bizarre changes. In times of heightened emotion she sprouted claws from the tips of her fingers. After a few shredded mattresses and unintentional injuries to her friends, Immugar gradually gained control of this new power and, before long, could shift her form into that of a bear’s at will. This ability was a boon to her both on and off the battlefield, the perfect physical manifestation of her inner identity. Dariun, constantly looking for profit in any circumstance, crafted her a new greataxe, a nine-foot monstrosity that she could use in bear form even without the aid of opposable thumbs.

Immugar had come a long way from the grunting beast that had reluctantly been coaxed out of the swamp, but nothing prepared her for Dariun’s sudden proposal. The dwarf expressed his desire to build a clan along with a solid mate who could bear many strong children - in the half-orc he found these qualities he was looking for, and had chosen to love her. Immu was floored, having previously found the notion of having children - and of anyone finding her comely - to be laughable, but Dariun was not laughing, not this time. When she overcame her shock she was flattered and touched to the core. She gave herself over to this completely new notion of family and wed Dariun hastily, returning his love with the same ferocity as she brought onto the battlefield. Given over to domestic paradise, Immu was soon blissfully large with child.

Her new life was turned on its head when another Dariun blustered into their camp, bringing with him a great deal of confusion and strife. Immu could barely keep her wits about her as she watched her husband and his duplicate each fight for their rightful place. With the help of friends, the truth soon came to light - the Dariun who had loved Immugar, who had filled her belly with child, was in fact a doppelganger. The impostor fled, leaving no trail to follow. The true Dariun, free from captivity and back in his rightful place, found the idea of being a husband to the orc to be baffling, and he rebuffed her attempts to bond with him with his old accustomed tactlessness.

No one could help Immu come to terms with the way she had been used and cheated, and the heart that she had allowed to be stolen could not bear to see Dariun day after day. She left her friends for good, intending to make her way gradually back to the simple solitude of the swamp. While on the road one bitter night she went into labour, and in terrible anguish birthed her infant alone. The labour was intense, bringing her usually fearsome strength to a mere thread by the time the child dropped from her loins. The baby was a healthy girl, half doppelganger without a doubt, but Immu could do nothing but love her. She clutched the child throughout the night, nursed it and sang to it, all the while still lying sapped in a pool of her own blood. Before dawn her husband appeared, and she saw him for the first time in his true form. She begged whatever powers that might hear her to give her strength to raise her axe against him, but the strength did not come. The doppelganger quietly wrested the babe from her arms and fled once again.

A group of strangers found her the following day. Taking pity on the wretched creature, they gave her healing and helped her to the nearest city. Numbed and gutted, Immugar was only a shadow of the warrior she had once been. The spirit of the bear had left her; she no longer remembered how to change. Every enchanted piece of equipment on her was a painful reminder of Dariun, and she sold all of it for far below its true value. Not wanting to be located by her old allies, she continued travelling. She forgot her intent to return to the dire bears, and in truth, perhaps, was no longer in the possession of the spirit that had allowed her to commune with them in the first place. She settled instead in a large city where she could be relatively anonymous.

Equipped with a generous supply of gold and little to spend it on, she began to pass her days and nights in the taverns, consuming staggering quantities of ale. After a while she found herself regularly in the beds of strange men. She clung to the little warmth this gave her, and was soon soliciting on street corners. She embraced anyone who would have her; it made no difference if they were kind or cruel. Even the cruel ones might still impregnate her, and it is this hope she holds onto. And she loves each of them in her own way - furtive, embarrassed men curious about rutting an orc, spoiled nobles with unusual tastes, horrid boys with a violent streak and too much money to spend, and men and women alike with desires to dominate or be dominated - she embraces them all, giving herself over to anyone, catering to any taste with full generosity. At the end of each night with a man she presses her hands to her flat belly, wishing for a swell.

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