Shababa the Orcish Dancing Girl
Shababa sat sadly in a corner, tears falling from her yellow eyes and dripping from her tusks. 'All I want to do is be a dancing girl, it's not my fault that the Gods made me an Orc. Why is eveyone so narrow minded?'
Shababa is five feet three inches tall, with yellow eyes, light green skin, long curving tusks, long black hair and what Orcs would think is a beautiful face and body (and what most humans think is a pug-ugly body and piglike face.)
Shababa was an Orcish maiden, born to one of the richer and high-ranking Orcish families. Her father was one of those who played The Drums of the Spirits in battle, and from when she was toddling around, the young Shababa decided that she loved music and dancing, and that she wanted to become a famous dancing girl. The problem was, although the Orcs liked dancing, they didnt really have a dancing tradition as such, and many of them laughed at Shababa when she danced and ridiculed her.
Shababa grew up to be beautiful-from an Orcish point of view, with soft green skin, long curved tusks and a good strong body. One day her dancing attracted the attention of an Orcish chieftain of her tribe who made her his personal dancing girl and wanted to make her his mistress as well.
Shababa was uncertain if she wanted to take up the offer. On one hand, he was a chieftain, a great warrior, and rich, but on the other hand he was no longer in the prime of life, and there was also his Great Wife to worry about. Whilst she was trying to make up her mind, it was made up for her when there was an attempt on her life.
Somebody, one of her admirers amongst her tribe, tipped her off that someone sent by the Chieftains Great Wife was going to stab her when she slept, so she used pillows to make it seem like she was asleep in bed and fled from the tribe with only her clothes, her jewellery and a small amount of money and food.
She decided not to stay and accuse the Great Wife of trying to kill her. If she was disbelieved, then under the few harsh laws of the Orcs, she could face mutilation or even execution for false testimony and lese-majesty. If she was believed, then the Chieftain might well decided to make her his new Great Wife, which she didnt want. She liked him but she certainly did not love him.
So she decided to take her chances amongst the humans. She had heard that they valued dancing much more then Orcs-maybe there was a chance that they would enjoy her singing and dancing enough so that she could become famous. Sadly, it was not to be. Although she was allowed by innkeepers to dance at their inns, the crowds who turned up to watch her thought of her as a freak, mocked her and jeered at her, and teased her. She moves ceaselessly from inn to inn and from town to town, hoping to find somewhere where her talents are properly appreciated. Had she been a human, it is likely that she would have indeed become famous for her dancing and singing, but as an Orc she has become a figure of fun.
She gets the occasional coin, usually thrown painfully at her, but makes just enough to live on. Occasionally a kind innkeeper or one who is just amused by her dancing might let her spend a night for free in his inn. She has long since sold all her jewellery and her clothes have become ragged and full of holes. So far she has kept healthy, but the winter will soon be here and she fears that she will get sick.
Recently she has become a barmaid to have a source of money. The pay is bad, but she gets to sleep in the inn for free.
Her voice-it is sweet despiter her being an Orc and she is as good a singer as she is a dancer.
She is pleasant to all who are pleasant to her in return, but has acquired a deep mistrust of humans because of the way that most of them have treated her.
Plot hooks-The PCs see her being hassled by thugs. Do they intervene to help an Orcish girl?
Dancing Barmaid-A PC sees the Orcish barmaid dancing on stage late at night, and dancing very well.
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? Responses (7)
I think the plot hooks could be fleshed out a bit more. Surely she could be more than just a passing NPC the players interact with before going on their merry way. Perhaps she could turn into a barmaid of some sort, simply to survive, and then dance by herself after the bar closes for the night? THAT might be an encounter to spice up your game.
"You walk downstairs to find a glass of water. As you walk around the corner, you see the orc barmaid up on the stage, dancing away with her eyes closed, looking more content than a cat on a lap. She's not half bad at the dancing either. What do you do?"
In all, I like this character, and think she's got some good potential, but how to use her could be added to just a bit more.
I think I'll edit it soon but it's late at night right now.
I am firmly of the belief that you can never have enough refugees-from-an-evil-race-trying-to-make-a-life-for-themselves type characters. As long as they aren't dark elves, anyway. At any rate, this is a fun character that I almost certainly will be using. 5/5.
Yep - second all of that
Apart from Grey's remark about evil races, but only because I never accepted the concept that an entire race is inherently evil
"not one of us" - almost a given
"the enemy" - all too often true
"inherently evil" - never
OK, that's off my chest now - rant over
Must say I like this character - she's somehow "real"
A good believable backstory born of a goal (well a dream really) that doesn't, for once, involve the boring old rule the whole world and/or enslave the entire human race
A good solid NPC who really could (and in my veiw should) exist in every game world
Chaosmark, I really like your suggestion that she might end up as a serving girl - after all, she'd have to find some way of keeping body and soul together while she waits for her "big chance"
And the PCs if they applaud her dancing, I can just see her getting really attached to them - and that could present them with all sorts of difficulties that simple can't be solved by the "hit it 'til it stops moving" tactic so beloved of the archetypal adventure
Well done Cheka Man - just the sort of quality peice we've come to expect from you
A 4/5 I think - it would have been a 4.5 but I really have to drop half a mark for the weak plot hook, which does appear to be little more than an afterthought
I like her too. She is the familiar tragic character, misunderstood, unloved, but indomitable of spirit in her own way. She has a dream...Orcs laugh at her, humans are revolted by her, but one way or another, she will make it ;)
Quite an unfortunate individual. Her predicament is really quite dire. Among her own people, she was seen as an eccentric who had a bizzare obsession with dancing. And among humans, she's seen as a freak that's good for a laugh, but not much else. Stuck between two cultures, neither of which can appreciate her talent, she serves as a good reminer of what happens to those that dare to differ.
Not bad, though the plot hooks could really use some work. I'll see if I can add a couple..