Kuulmak is a recently freed slave lizardman. He likes the ocean and not having his tummy rubbed.
Kuulmak is a young hunter from a clan of lizardmen that lived along the rocky coastal waters of a temperate rainforest. His tribe subsisted by hunting local sea animals like otter, seals, and occasionally shark and smaller whales. Their little corner of the world was fairly undisturbed by the other races, though occasionally they would travel inland to trade with the elves who lived deep in the forest.
Kuulmak’s life wasn’t necessarily peaceful, as many of the creatures his tribe would hunt could put up quite a fight, but even so, the tribe didn’t live in fear of outsiders.
A ship of halfling explorers from a faraway land came into view one day, and Kuulmak’s clan was interested enough to swim out and meet them. Kuulmak was away from the tribe’s cave homes when this happened, and he returned just in time to find his clan-mates being killed or captured. The halfling explorers were privateers looking for a new sea route to shorten the distance to foreign ports and when they spied the elven jewelry that many of the tribesmen wore they assumed that the clan must have a source of precious minerals nearby that they could exploit. The halflings invited the lizardmen aboard and then seized them and demanded to know where they kept their ‘great store of valuables’ not knowing that aside from food stores and a few household objects, the tribesmen wore or carried all of their wealth with them.
Kuulmak returned to find that of his tribe, only three other hunters were left in the cave, as all the rest (including the young ones) had gone out to meet the ship. Not knowing that their kin were in mortal danger, the four swam out and saw the situation on board. Not really knowing the situation, and overestimating the vicious halflings, the four attempted a rescue. Tragically, their actions resulted in a bloody massacre as the privateers killed their resisting prisoners when they tried to escape in the confusion.
Kuulmak was himself captured and bound along with the handful of surviving clan members. Having been frustrated in their attempt to gain treasure, or their original mission of exploration, the explorers decided to keep the lizardmen as slaves in order to reap some small profit from their venture.
The voyage to their home country was brutal for the lizardmen. They were kept bound and poorly fed, and when food was presented, it was almost always some kind of vegetable and always cooked, so several of the weak and injured survivors died, unable to digest the fare. By the time the time the ship finally reached its home port, Kuulmak was one of only a half dozen survivors, and the only one healthy enough to put up any resistance when he was taken to the slave market of the city.
He watched as his clan were separated and sold off to various buyers, and he himself suffered the indignity of being claimed by the ship’s owner as compensation for his investment in the failed voyage.
The halfling merchant who purchased him kept Kuulmak shackled like a beast as they traveled many miles inland to his home city. Kuulmak had grown despondent and served as a beast of burden for the merchant who also loved to parade his exotic prize in front of his guests.
One such group of guests was a contingent of elves from a minor house that the halfling merchant was attempting to woo into a trade agreement. Kuulmak was brought out to ‘perform’ for the guests who seemed less than impressed with the display, and were actually quite offended as they regarded the idea of keeping slaves as incredibly barbaric.
That evening, after the elven entourage left Kuulmak was given a beating as he was blamed for ruining the trade deal. He didn’t fight back, though he wanted to. For the first time in months, Kuulmak had a spark of defiance in his heart as the elves had reminded him that not all of the pinkskins were despicable, only halflings. And with that thought, he resolved to make his escape.