Feel free to ignore this post. Am going to use it as a scratch pad for Blood From the Mountain.

OK. Where are we. Tharok is about to lead the Borchild and 500 Orlokor warriors against the Tragon. The key figures are Porloc, whom he’s leaving behind for later (but whom now is wary about Tharok, and might see him dead to be safe), Maur, who is degenerating into a two dimensional figure, Back Watcher who not only needs a better name but an identity and past, Barok, who also needs an identity, past, goals, motivation, etc, Golden Crow, who is a caricature of Gereint from the Fionavar Tapestry… and I think that’s it. Oh, and Tharok has acquired an as of yet unnamed female slave who called out for a guy called Xavier.

So, let’s flesh these figures out, give them motives and hatreds, see if we can’t make this more interesting.

Barok. Let’s start with the swordsman. He lost his arm to Tharok’s father, refused to duel Tharok because he was not his father, and otherwise has no personality. Whom does he love? Does he have a passion? For Maur? Krilla? The human slave? An as of yet unnamed female? Let’s say he holds a silent flame for Maur. Fair enough. She’s too young for him, but he would see her happy.

Golden Crow. Let’s make him wilier than he has as of yet seemed, he’s watching Tharok and remaining quiet, allowing himself to be discounted. To what end? He hated Graxor, Tharok’s father, and would now take it out on him? No, because he said the spirits blessed Tharok when he was made chieftain. He hates… whom does he hate. There’s no one for him to hate. How sad. Does he love anybody? No, he just likes eating and laughing like a fool. Great.

Maur. Tough, attractive, hard headed. Obvious that she should fall for Tharok. Obvious and boring. Maybe she prefers… Back Watcher? Blargh.

OK, I need more characters, or to fundamentally alter the nature of my present cast. I need somebody to oppose Tharok. Perhaps the chieftain of the 500 Orlokor is a brilliant mind. They start as friends, and rapidly become enemies as they butt heads. Let’s call him Nakror. Ambitious, distantly related to Porloc, charismatic and well liked. We can have him rival Tharok in intelligence, a true prodigy amongst the orcs, but without need of the circlet. He wants to assume credit for the death of the Tragon, and balks at Tharok’s new methods of capture.

Whom else. Back Watcher. Let’s make him awesome. Stupidly strong, but also quietly sensitive. What was his crime? And for crying out loud, let’s find him a better name! Let’s say he’s loyal to Tharok, but quickly comes to love Maur? Who in turn responds to his nature? Perhaps, perhaps, better.

Golden Crow. Let’s give him some agenda. Let’s make him evil? Evil! No, not evil. Let’s make him… mad? Driven mad by the spirits? Perhaps he channels Ogri? He colludes with Nakror. Fine, fine, that works. He works to betray Tharok.

Back Watcher. Maur. Item? Maybe. The slave girl. Maybe Back Watcher goes for her. That works better. Maybe he is tender toward her, when all others are rough. Deal!

OK, so for now we have the brilliant Nakror stealing Golden Crow away, we have Porloc aiming to topple Tharok, we have Barok watching Maur from afar, and Maur…? She’s going to have to get more depth. More something.

Enough for now. More brainstorming later.