Thex Hammerpunch, Skald, born of tribal grassland Orc and mountain Dwarf.

His parents met when a small Orc tribe fleeing the Tyrant's forces came across a Dwarven trading party attempting to sneak back the other way. Disheartened by news of the forces pursuing the Orcs, the Dwarves turned back with them – into Kopix, a constantly warring land. The trek south involved skirting battles and more than a little swordpoint diplomacy, but the Tyrant of Serre would not send his forces far into Kopix and local forces would invariably lose interest upon finding the mismatched caravan apparently had little of value to them or their enemies. The Dwarven party kept their valuables well concealed, and the bulkier goods were of little interest to active soldiers most of the time, particular when a ring of Orcish and Dwarven steel surrounded the carts.

Eventually they made their way to Yres, where little trade was to be had. Many of the more able Dwarves split from the group to attempt to return to their mountain home, taking only a few of the more valuable trading materials. A few of the Orcs went with them, hoping to seek vengeance in Serre or a home in the mountains. The remaining caravan took the bulkier Dwarven trade supplies and moved west into Macon, where Thex was born in an anonymous village.

Selling a large portion of the goods in Macon and taking contracts for transport and protection in the region allowed the caravan to establish itself formally. Finding new trade missions and having formed an unlikely kinship, a small company of Dwarves and Orcs continued to transport goods in the region south of Serre, finding a degree of success and opening offices in several towns – or asking settlers from the company to act as such. Others found new homes in the region or moved on. Thex's parents were killed when a large portion of the company passed too close to the border in the Yres region, falling foul of Serran forces surveilling weaknesses of the plaguestricken land.

At the time, Thex was staying with those employed to manage their office in Arvault, and did not learn of this. Under pressure from the government of Macon, the office closed for lack of news and Thex set off from what he had never thought of as home at the age of 14. Not yet an adult but no more a child, Thex's strange appearance brought him more attention than most people would be comfortable with, but in frequently travelling among a group of Orcs and Dwarfs as a child he inherently expected to be greeted with surprised looks, and he had always been an entertainer and a fighter, which kept eyes on him frequently. Thex moved about from city to city, singing for his dinner or fighting to keep it, often sitting in on trading caravans as a guard or entertainer. Occasionally he found trouble when he became enraged at seeing outsiders treated poorly by authority but mostly he was content to learn the songs and stories any travellers were willing to share.

Some years later, he encounted one of the few survivors of the class that killed his parents and much of their tribe, both from birthright and adoptive, and finally learned of the reason for the trading company's demise. The old dwarf gave him a scroll – all that had remained, he said, of a library which had been near the Orcish territory in Serre – and a metal amulet bearing a stylised Dwarven hammer above a similarly stylised and distinctive Orcish jaw.

The night he learned of his parent's true fate, a dead resignation he hadn't even noticed lifted from him, and was replaced anger. That night he ever knocked a man over with a word for the first time.