Baugl is uniformly filthy. If he were to stand straight, he would be of average human height, but out of habit he is constantly hunched over if not outright crouching. His wiry body is corded with muscle, and his dark hair, coated in grease and grime, is shoulder length. His finger and toenails have been ground down by a lifetime of finding handholds on rock surfaces. If he were cleaned up and dressed, it could be said that he had an attractive face, but no sun and malnutrition have both taken their toll and left his face hollow and pale as death.
When he was a child, and known by a different name, his family was one of the ones who accompanied Kaisha and the many other poor souls into Hydra Keep. When the gates were shattered, the young child fled in terror into the mountain. Though he had the debatable good fortune to not fall into any chasms, he also didn't manage to make it out into the sun again.
Hydra keep is so named for its winding tunnels, and it was in these tunnels that Baugl was lost. Soon devoid of all sunlight, he groped his way through the shadow, terrified beyond what he had ever thought possible. No light, no food, no water, and no way out. In the shadows under the mountain, Baugl lost himself to terror and despair.
After what seemed like several lifetimes of crawling through the darkness, he finally stumbled upon a somewhat gruesome bit of luck. He found what felt like some form of flesh, and whatever it was, it was dead. To hungry to worry about what killed it, he tore chunks off and devoured them.
It was only later, still agonizingly thirsty but more functional now that he had eaten, that he became curious about what he had eaten. Feeling the remains, it became swiftly apparent that whatever it was had been humanoid. To numb to be horrified anymore, Baugl didn't shed a single tear.
Falling asleep, he woke to the faint sound of running water. Not daring to hope that fortune had at last began to favor him, he slowly, carefully pulled himself towards the sound. Crawling down a slick slope, he discovered a small stream of filthy water flowing through the depths. Dirty as it was, at that point it was the purest waters of life to him, having not had a drop to drink in days.
Upon returning to the chamber where he had eaten from the corpse, he heard a loud thump. It was several minutes before he dared to move, but when he did, gingerly working his way over to where the sound came from, he discovered another corpse, coated in some sticky substance, but mostly intact.
It was over a year living in the shadow before he realized that he was living beneath the web of a very large spider. Occasionally, one of the creatures that fell into its web would struggle enough to break the threads, though at that point the considerable fall would kill it. It was in this situation that Baugl lived for years, not knowing day or night, gradually forgetting the sound of voices.
Until one day, when the creatures stopped dropping altogether.
In disbelief, Baugl began to wander in the shadows once more. Deciding that if he couldn't have food anymore, he could still have water, he followed the dirty stream. For a time, he survived only on the algae that grew along the rocks of the stream, until, for the first time in at least seven years, he heard a voice.
It was no human tongue, but nor was it that of a beast. Following the sound, as quietly as he could, he gradually approached the source of the sound. The algae, though it kept him going, was disgusting even to his palate. He craved the meat that he had now spent the better part of his life eating. Not properly knowing what he was doing, he crept up to the sounds, for he could hear now that there were indeed two voices here. Closing to a very close point, some primal part of him seemed to take over. Leaping at the sound, he became a clawing, biting fury. The creature, taken unaware, went down with little fight. The other creature, seeing its companion killed with such speed, fled.
This marked the beginning of Baugl's hunt of the Dark Elves.
For several years, he crept up on them, and from the shadows would snap their necks, tear out their throats with his teeth or simply latch onto them and begin eating them while they tried to get him off. Gradually, a combination of eating the flesh of the Dark Elves and living in the darkness for so long, he began to be able to see once again. Rough shapes at first, but gradually more. Had he been able to see himself, he would see that his eyes had begun to glow with a very faint red, reminiscent of the burning eyes of the Dark Elves themselves.
He became something of a legend among the Elves under the mountain, a shadowy monster that would butcher any who straggled. He became better at stalking them, having nothing to lose but everything to gain. Eventually, he found that he was able to approach them better from above, and to that end learned how to climb around on the stalactites hanging from the roof in so many places. He became corded with lean muscle, the better to snap necks and rend flesh. He became almost supernaturally good at hiding, to the point where he would be able to pick off the elves from the edges of a group, and none would see him.
Eventually, he became too much of a problem for the elves. They organized a number of raids in an attempt to eradicate him from the caverns. After a time, one of these groups managed to find him. They gave chase, and Baugl, knowing that even he couldn't hope to kill that many armed Dark Elves, fled. He fled through paths that he had never walked before, until, rounding a corner, the ground gave away. Not falling into some bottomless chamber, he chanced to fall into the same mucky stream he had lived off for so long. This, however, was much further down the stream than he had ever been, and was at this point a swift flowing river. Not knowing how to swim, he was pulled through the mountain, and he felt that each breath was his last. Suddenly, the river increased in speed, and then Baugl's eyes exploded in pain. With his eyes on fire, he felt once again as though he was falling. Unknown to him, that river had just flung him clear of the mountain, into the sunlight. As he tried to shield his eyes from the sun he had forgotten, he plummeted into the pool of water below. Somehow, he managed to scrape his way to the shore. There he lay, curled up and in pain, until night fell and the sun had set.
Then, and only then, he found that he was able to open his eyes without them exploding in pain. Still, the darkness of night to Baugl was as the midday sun to a normal man, and by this light he saw that he was finally free. Trapped in the shadows under the mountain for fifteen years, he was finally free. Free in the world he had lost, with no skills save those of murder and cannibalism. Following the stream, he once again set off, looking for the lands of men.
None. Baugl occasionally wears a tattered garment, always one that doesn't interfere with his movement.
Baugl is illiterate, and though he once knew how to speak he has long forgotten how. Unless hungry, he will usually try to find somewhere dark to hide. When he is hungry, people go missing.
-Wanted: the Bogyman
People have vanished, with signs of a scuffle. Naturally, it's up to the PC's to find out whats behind it. Though they might not believe the children who say it's the bogyman, they may soon realize that this silent monster who wears the shape of man and hungers for flesh is about as close as anything will ever likely come.
-Baugl the Starcrossed
At one point, on one of his prowls, Baugl chanced to find an open window. Climbing in, he approached the bed to find a young woman. As he was about to reach over and snap her neck, feelings stirred withing Baugl that he had never felt before. He had accidentally fallen in love. The problem is that he expresses this love by leaving her 'gifts' of choice bits from his hunt, generally next to her bed. He has also picked up the habit of stalking her, and making short work of any who he thinks are threatening her. Unfortunately, that generally means anyone who raises their voice with her. The fact that these are the people who often wind up contributing to the 'gifts' that Baugl gives her aren't helping matters. So far, her father has managed to cover up the body parts, but if it ever gets out, then she could be in real trouble. Of course, this is inevitable. It is also likely the time when the PC's enter the scene, and have the unenviable task of figuring out what in blazes is going on.
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? Responses (5)-5
Interesting character. I liked the background story for this guy; well written, good details.
A creepy and somewhat unsettling individual. This skulking marauder really reminds me of Gollum. Might he indeed have been the inspiration for Baugl?
Oddly no, I was listening to 'tear you apart' by She Wants Revenge, and that's what did it. I was trying to avoid making him too gollum-y, I hope I succeeded.
Quite the nasty character, though to me the differences from Gollum are a bit too few not to make the comparison. Though I see the why, associating him with a giant spider really seals the connection.
That said, he is far more 'useable' then gollum, not being tied to a specific magic item in a specific world.
I too noticed the similarities to Gollum. Though they do not seem to detract from the sub. Anyway, it is well written, easy to read. I especially like the part about the giant spider (By the by, why did the food start dropping? Did the spider make his web stronger?). The part about cannibalism actually reminds me quite a bit of Lovecraft, particularly The Shunned House and Rats in the Walls. Over all, great job!