Ukko was an Orc born on a distant island south of the coast of Kaerok. It was but one of many such isles, each a lush and verdant paradise that had once been the heartland of the Dragonkin Empire. But by the time of his birth, only legends remained. Ukko’s clan made its home in the shadow of a once-mighty fortress that had long crumbled into ruin.
His clanmates knew Ukko as a kindhearted and loyal youth whose endless curiosity was matched only by his appetite. An intelligent and perceptive lad, he caught the eye of the Clan’s shaman and soon became his apprentice. From that old Orc, Ukko learned all he knew of poultices, brews both alchemical and recreational, and spirit lore. He was a talented learner indeed and would have made a wise shaman in time, but not even the wisdom of the ancestors could have prepared Ukko for the calamities fate had in store.
During one of his forays into the jungle in search of rare ingredients, Ukko had lost his way and wandered deep into the wilderness. There, the remains of an ancient temple still stood amid the jungle. None shall know what lore lay hidden within its vaults, but it did not remain unguarded; a gargantuan boar ambushed Ukko before the vine-choked gates of the temple. It was larger than any beast he had ever seen, its tusks were like glaives, and its bloodshot eyes burned with madness. There was no escape – a battle to the death was inevitable.
And what a fierce battle it was! Ukko may have been a shaman’s apprentice first and a warrior second, but he was as mighty as he was crafty. The boar soon lay slain, albeit Ukko had suffered injuries too, and his world faded to black. When he awoke, he found himself within the temple’s sanctuary, lying flat on his face, surrounded by smashed pillars and statues. His body ached as if he had walked through flames, and when Ukko gazed into a still pond glittering in the moonlight that illuminated the chamber, he saw a face that was no longer his. A monstrous boar stared back at him from the water, a beast with bloodshot eyes and vicious tusks. At once, rage awoke in Ukko’s heart, and he lost track of time once more.
Again he awoke far from the place where memory left him, surrounded by signs of his rampage: broken trees and lumps of earth torn from the ground. Worst of all, that same rage still simmered within. Ukko could feel the mad beast clawing at his mind, seeking even the slightest weakness to break free. He knew then that the monster he had fought was a Skinwalker – a terrible creature of ancient myths his mentor spoke of with fear and loathing – and that now he bore the curse also.
Ukko realized he could not return to his clan. He would not trust himself before the fearsome beast inside him was tamed, nor did he believe his kin would accept the monster he had become. And so it was that Mighty Ukko travelled north to the bountiful lands of Aravia, where he hoped to learn what he could of his affliction and ways to fight it. His adventures had only just begun.