Iron Kingdoms: Flight from the North
Thard barbarian, Ice Runner of the Skretnya
Name: Koloz Lukyza
Race: Human, Thard of the Skretnya
Koloz was born in the Skretnya Tribe, a collection of Thard hunter-gatherer families along the Uldenstream. As the third son of a tanner, he was delegated to be a scout for the Tribe, which he looked upon as a simple position. He was to leave his family until given the rank of Ice Runner. His trainer, Uzkova Kyrn, brought him into the small group of scouts known as the Pack.
For the first few weeks, the well-respected female taught him to read and write, impressing upon him the need to understand tribesfolk via word and script. He learned how to read a map, and orient himself based on the sun and stars. Koloz learned that though the civilized world thought the northerners were simple and backwards, Uzkova knew that there needed to be some who could handle interaction with foreigners or simple communications with another tribe.
Even the details of ulk movements on parchment for the hunters would prove to be beneficial, though this was looked down upon by several families in the Skretnya.
Koloz learned the art of trapmaking, using a variety of items to capture or hinder a following scout. Nets, snares, and spikes became tools to him, and his ability to fashion such from the woodlands around gained attention from Uzkova who encouraged him to continue this craft. After several months, he had become her favorite and she recognized his growth. He had outwitted all in the tracking exercises the Pack shared, hiding in the darkness and moving without sound from spot to spot. He had strengthened his resolve against the large boys, and refused to be intimidated. By learning their motives and redirecting their outbursts against one another, he showed that he could control the conversation to an outcome of his choosing.
All seemed well in the Pack, Koloz bonded with his companions and grew into a young man. After two years of training, it was decided that he was to be given his chance to be a full member of the Skretnya. He was sent north with a group of Hunters, to learn the ways of the Spear, and to be given a chance to claim his title of Ice Runner. Though he was looked down upon at first, he learned how to use the spear in close range against an opponent or to throw with precise aim. He was taught how to use his shield when he needed to defend himself from a pressed attack, and when to counterstrike his enemy at their weakest. He learned the tasks of gathering dry wood from the wet forest, and skinning and carving a kill after he tracked it to befall one of his traps.
His ceremony of initiation was a harrowing night called the Hunt, during which he had to elude all of his tribe’s best hunters. He felt into a deep, unnatural sleep wherein he was presented a vision of his destiny and the doom of his tribe. When he awoke, he found that he’d caught his chief pursuer in one of his nets!
Before dawn, he was able to bypass the rest of the hunters silently, and enter
the village unnoticed. When he called out to the Skretnya, “I, Koloz Lukyza, claim my title as Ice Runner!”, the Tribesfolk awoke and held a day of celebration. The blessings of the Wurm were held by few folks, but after his visions recently, he chose to be symbolically tattooed across his right torso, shoulder, and arms. The dark inks were put upon his face as well, marking him as a welcomed member of the tribe.
It wasn’t long before darker times beset the Skretnya Thards, though. When their local druid was slain, and their elder warriors went mad and killed each other, Koloz and his ogrun friend Bodgor were sent to seek help from the humans of the south. They found a party of Cygnaran explorers lost in the wilderness, and guided them back through bogrin-infested wilds in hopes of soon reaching the tribe’s encampment.
Koloz nearly died to the venom of a giant Tatzylwurm to save these men and women, but was instead taken prisoner by a mad Saqu-riding wizard who sold him back to his tribe at a hefty price. Koloz was now charged with guiding the lost explorers back to the nearest Khadoran city, but when they were ambushed by trigger-happy Winter Guard, the Ice Runner climbed over the wall and ran away, never to be seen again.