Norog claims he has no memories of his life as a human, making him a rarity among the hybrid souls known as Skinwalkers. Likewise, he professes no knowledge of his age or place of origin. Since the Skinwalker curse is fundamentally derived from the Undeath that blights Teleria, it is possible that Skinwalkers do not age, and that Norog is hundreds of years old. Those who follow Norog see him as a being out of legend – an icon, not a person.
Many others see Norog as a fat, rude, tyrannical warlord, whose crimes against the holds of Frostheim and the other denizens of the Redspike Mountains stretch back to the extremity of living memory. They believe that if he is immortal, then the imperative to slay him is even greater.
Norog’s gang of thick-skinned, savage Skinwalkers are pragmatically ruthless and methodically extortionate. They take relatively few lives but have left hundreds of lives ruined. Norog himself craves not just violence but spectacle, and the infuriated embarrassment of his foes, as well as vast quantities of food and drink and regular flattering from his subordinates. Appeasement only incites further rapacity from, and negotiations with him are fruitless and usually disgusting and humiliating to boot. One secret to Norog’s success is his mysterious affinity for cold, letting both him and those in his service thrive in the wickedly frigid Redspike Mountains. Under cover of howling gales and blinding blizzards, he charges into battle unhindered, his armor caked in rime and his bare pink skin radiating thick clouds of steam.
Another advantage Norog possesses is the Skinwalker curse, which he wields as both an instrument of fear and as a recruiting tool – for he has learned that sometimes his mere presence can infect. Out of those not terrified by the prospect of being afflicted, many desperate folk are tempted by the primal power even a lowly Skinwalker obtains by fusion with a revenant spirit. For some, transformation is their primary goal when joining Norog. Others are mercenaries, cutthroats, exiles, and seekers of plunder and glory regardless of cost or morality – for them joining Norog is a means to an end. Though some of Norog’s converts have challenged Norog’s informal position of leadership, the results have only ever been blood-soaked snow and Norog giving the tedious chore of cleaning his gigantic morning star and fiendishly spiked shield to the nearest unfortunate peon in his service.
An illustrative example of Norog’s tactics and disposition is the tale of ‘The Lost Eleven.’ Once, a group of Dwarves struck out to find a new outpost near a rich mineral vein deep in the Redspike range. Rappelling partially down into a massive crevasse, they accessed a wall of sheet ice where they carved out a preliminary camp to prepare for the mining to come. Norog, loath to let anyone settle nearby for free, led his retinue to the site to shake down the newcomers and ascertain their worth to him. The Dwarves, having planned for hostility from the locals, barricaded themselves in their makeshift settlement and refused to treat him. In response, Norog gathered every available member of his warband and ordered them to find the biggest rocks they could lift. Then they gathered on the glacial sheet by the edge of the crevasse above where the Dwarves had made their hollowed-out rooms to live and work in. With a thunderous series of stomps, aided by the weight of the rocks they carried, they collapsed the whole side of the crevasse. The Dwarves, their settlement, Norog, and half his followers plunged into the gleaming azure void below. Bashed and churned in the cascade of fragmenting icy shards and boulders, and finally dumped with a tremendous crash at the very bottom, Norog and most of his Skinwalker entourage somehow survived – but not a single trace of the Dwarves remained, and no Dwarven prospectors have come near Norog’s territory since.