There were many rumors about U’Korr the Destroyer. Some said that he was half Daemon and a quarter Giant on his mother’s side. Others believed he was an avatar of some forgotten god of battle or chaos or chaos-battle. A select few theorized that he had fallen into a caldron of an experimental potion that bestowed his might and fighting acumen upon him.
No one knew, except of course U’Korr. Since he was known as the ‘Destroyer’ and not the ‘Emotionally Available’, his origins of his might remain shrouded in mystery.
When he received a missive to break the siege of the Pernicious Donjon by an army of the undead, he rode for seven days and six nights, stopping only to destroy things and for occasional barbecue. He had a personal quest to visit all the barbecue joints in the Land and kept a list on a scroll in his saddlebag.
With the scent of hickory lingering on his fingers and mustache, he finally arrived and the back of the vast, undead army. Not one for ceremony, he got straight to work.
Whipping his enchanted morning stars, one in each hand, he smashed skeletal troops into powder. Over and over again. While he might not have described it like this, U’Korr the Destroyer was in his happy place.
If he had one complaint about battles in general, it would be that they ended far too quickly. Just when things were getting really good, suddenly there was no one left to kill. Sometimes, if he was especially in the zone, he might attack trees or rocks, to keep destroying. It was ultimately unsatisfying, but it was what it was.
Today, well today was different. This battle just kept on going. This was due to two factors. One, the enormous number of undead warriors before him. Two, skeletons are not especially skilled fighters. Their main strengths are they frightening to their foes, and they don’t need to be paid or fed.
Additionally, U’Korr the Destroyer was exceptionally skilled in destroying, I mean, it’s right in the name. He cut a swath through these clattering spear carriers like a flaming sword through an Ice Elemental.
After smashing through three legions of foot soldiers, things got more interesting. Five zombified Dire Bears pounced. Well, really more of a shamble. They were slightly more of a challenge, but a moment later, they soon were chunks of rotting meat and bones.
A zoo’s worth of other reanimated creatures followed, Saber Wolves, Trinacorns, Ooo-Laa’Phants, Embiggened Razor Apes to name a few. All dispatched with U’Korr’s unrelenting style.
Next, a banner of Necro-Knights attacked. These were more fun. Not only were they armed with cursed weapons, but they were also excellent fighters. They took longer to dispatch. One of them, with the sigil of the Siblinghood of the Infernal Blades was a particularly formidable opponent, she almost cut him with her broadsword that was wreathed in purple flame.
Finally, things got serious. A skeletal Giant, still armored in it’s dark iron breastplate, wielding a battle-axe as tall as a tree. This was like Yule and his birthday all rolled into one day.
“This’ll be a job and a half,” thought U’Korr with relish.
While his enchanted morning stars had made short work of other undead, this Giant was more of a challenge. It was impossible to both dodge attacks and chip away at the humongous bones. Such impediments would stop someone like U’Korr.
Using his morning stars, he climbed the titanic skeleton. It involved quite a lot of swinging about, the Giant clearly did not appreciate being clambered upon. To be fair, most folks, living or dead aren’t fans of that.
Finally, he reached the shoulders of his foe. While it was wearing a helmet, the spine was exposed. With a mighty bellow, U’Korr swung both his morning stars, bone exploded, the Giant’s skull tipped backwards, and plummeted to be shattered on the rocky plain below.
U’Korr, leapt from clavicle to rib, to him, along the tibia and fibula, and lastly hopping on the toe bones, he was safely down.
After that, it was a blur of battle. A seemingly endless horde of the undead attacked. U’Korr lost track of those he slew, re-slew technically, but he was living in the moment and wasn’t sweating the details.
Sometime later, he found himself standing on a vast mound of bones and rotten flesh. Looking down on himself, his armor was white with bone dust. Shaking off himself like a dog shaking off water, U’Korr said a single word.
This was what he wanted, a never-ending battle. It sounded so good in his head. But now… Something was off. U’Korr was a being of simple needs, fighting and eating barbecue. He had done both this day. So why was he not happier.
Given this new emptiness inside him, he did something he rarely, if ever, did. He thought about things. While he did so, the undead horde continued to attack. For most, this would be a death sentence. But U’Korr was so accustomed to combat, that his body reacted automatically, even as his mind simmered away.
While deep in rumination, he heard someone.
Looking up he saw a Vampire Lord, holding a flag of parley while standing at the bottom of the even larger pile of dispatched undead. He also noticed it was now night.
“What?” asked U’Korr.
“Would you agree to a cessation of hostilities while we parley?” asked Pfantus.
“Uh, I guess.”
They stared at each other for a beat.
“Whattaya want?” asked U’Korr.
“I speak for the Dread Lady Exhaultia, who commands this army.”
“Well, she has asked me to bargain with you on her behalf. She is a very powerful Necromancer and learned in the most fell magics. She alone raised these unparalleled war legions and marched them across the Land! All who beheld this mobile monument to fear and death trembled and fled before it! For she is the-”
“You talk lots for someone who says nothing.”
Lord Pfantus paused.
“What would it take to get you to stop destroying our… err, her troops?”
“That’s a problem. I’m U’Korr the Destroyer.”
“I know! Your infamy is almost as well known as my lady is.”
“I never hear of her.”
“How… unusual. In any case, might you be open to an offer?”
“To join forces with the Dread Lady Exhaultia.”
U’Korr pondered this for a moment, then replied, “Pass.”
“But you haven’t heard our offer yet!”
“First, riches beyond your wildest dreams, a place in the new regime, and whatever else your heart desires.”
“What is it that you crave?”
That was the question that haunted him.
“Maybe, leave me alone for a bit. I’m figuring some things out.”
“So you wish to sit, unmolested, amidst the greatest army of the unliving, so you can mull over your thoughts?”
“Will you agree not to attack our, I mean my Dread Lady’s forces whilst doing so?”
“If they leave me alone, I’ll do the same.”
Lord Pfantis paused a moment and then said, “Very well, I will leave you with your thoughts. On top of that mountain of bones.”
U’Korr did not reply. In the deepest part of his thoughts, he wondered, ‘Do I destroy because I like it? Or because it’s what everyone thinks I should do?’