Despite having an atypical career for an Orc, Bolorma is quite typical for an Orc woman, physically.
Well, Wood Orc.
Like other Wood Orcs, she is more svelte than bulky, relative to their Orsimer counterparts in the north. Compared to those in Wrothgar, her limbs are more elongated, rather than squarely muscled. Her tusks are thin, long, and partly curved, rather than thick and stout. Her jawline is thinner, rather than round. Her neck is akin to a flexible palm tree, rather than a girthy oak. But to those unfamiliar with Orcs, Bolorma is just another big green woman.
She doesn't disagree. After all, Bolorma is taller and heavier than her standard Breton colleague. But no, she can't lift most of them. She can lift some heavy boxes filled with soul gems and alchemy flasks, though. This, combined with semi-routine exercising (mainly to get away from the stuffy guild hall), made Bolorma's arms and legs slightly muscled, and her core lightly toned.
Dark blue eyes that near amethyst under specific lighting. Platinum blond hair just past her shoulders, and often tucked into a ponytail. Darker eyebrows and eyelashes (due to washing her face and hair separately). Thin, dark lips that either curls up to a fascinated smirk, or a weary frown. Bolorma takes her hygiene seriously, especially after losing her lover to the Knahaten Flu.
Unlike her practical circlet, which is enchanted and doubles as a hairband, her earrings carry the weight of vanity and remembrance of lost loves. A pair of lozenge dangles, shaped like the Imperial red diamond, reminds her of a certain follower of Mara. Three hoops, popular among Orcs of Orsinium, pay tribute to an enchanter and mentor.
On the surface, Bolorma is confident of her abilities. She believes in doing a job well, and a job well done warrants lucrative rewards. Therefore, she has a distaste for slackers and those who cut corners. Still, she isn't above walking away from something she couldn't do, or something not worth doing. After all, everyone has a limit; Bolorma certainly has hers.
Beneath the surface, Bolorma has many layers of doubt. She does not believe she was raised with love, and believes the world has torn away those she loved. She never quite belonged, never quite fit in, never certain of who she is supposed to be. She questions her identity, her faith, and her future. Will an Orc be accepted by the divines? Will the child of a villainous tribe build her home somewhere else? Will a heart broken by loss ever love again? Bolorma is uncertain of the answers, and nothing scares her like uncertainty.
With that said, Bolorma has a very much passionate, curious, and sometimes impulsive, mind. While she is most comfortable in familiar settings, and having everything under control, she delights in new challenges. Learning about current events is a hobby of hers. Learning among the books can be something she spends days losing herself in. Learning from her mistakes is necessity she begrudgingly accepts, though sometimes she rebels against. Learning about anything but herself works as a soothing distraction.
While Bolorma likes to think she is not prejudiced against anyone, she has no shortage of disdain for certain individuals, groups and cultures. She finds established organizations to be entrenched in old ways, thus stifling people like herself of their full potential. At the same time, she believes authority should always exist in any society. Good leadership, whatever that truly means, is sorely lacking in present day Tamriel. Bolorma sees the war in Cyrodiil as meaningless slaughter, and the alliances that perpetuate it as fundamentally flawed. She has no aspiration to become empress, chief, or arch-mage, but Bolorma will not hesitate to take charge to achieve common goals.
She has mixed feelings for battle. It is exciting, it is dangerous, it is exhausting, it is different. With devastating shock spells, Bolorma knows she can inflict as much as damage as a powerful warrior. But since she is unable to withstand nearly as much, she prefers to stay well away from the melee, and using her destructive capabilities as deterrence. If given the choice, she would rather protect her allies with conjured wards and heal the wounded.
In terms of faith, Bolorma believes in the eight divines and Trinimac. She does not pray to them frequently, not since three years ago.
Gold has rarely been a concern for Bolorma. She's not rich, but magic is always in demand somewhere.
When she was young, Bolorma prayed for lightning.
The shamans of her tribe
saw the sparks the day she was born. The speckles of magicka shone through her like light through a prism. Bolorma
, they told her mother, "crystal" in an ancient tongue.
Her mother was the hearth-wife to the chief, and the daughter was destined to be married to the chief of another stronghold, as it had been for generations. Those who stray from their destiny were forever forgotten.
The eldest shaman, Glazulg
, was an eccentric Orc. While the select few with magical talent would study under his tutelage, his recent opposition to the chief caused Bolorma's mother to forbid any future of a young shamaness. Plus, the chiefs of neighboring tribes wanted an dutiful and obedient child-bearer, not a wild and impulsive storm-caller.
In her first fourteen years, Bolorma gra-Makhug
learned how to be the best hearth-wife; cooking, mending clothes and cleaning the longhouse. Ever the willful, curious and nimble girl, she often sneaked out to climb the towering graht-trees of Malabal Tor and tussle with other children. Those escapades would end in her returning with scrapes on her skin, dirt in her nails and static in her hair. A harsh scolding, and sometimes a harsher beating, would come from her mother.
The lightning she prayed for never came, for without training, Bolorma's magic never developed. But on her fifteenth year, the warriors of her tribe made an unprecedented attack on Velyn Harbor. It failed, and a vengeful Dominion general ordered the ethnic cleansing of all Drublog
Wood Orcs. Bolorma was one of the few survivors, because she sneaked out to play.
The forests of Malabal Tor could have spelled doom for Bolorma in many ways. Cultists, werewolves, bloodthirsty Dominion soldiers or just hungry beasts. Instead, she was found by members of the Mages Guild out on a runestone survey
. The mages quickly recognized her latent magic potential and took her to their hall. Among the throngs of Altmer wizards, Bolorma was surprised to find another Orc. An enchanter from the north called Shulgin gro-Brushas.
From Shulgin, Bolorma would learn about his homeland, Wrothgar, and his divine, Trinimac. But more amazingly than a sovereign Orcish kingdom was an organization where Orcs could learn magic. She became Shulgin's assistant as he finished his surveys in Valenwood. Then they traveled north, where Bolorma found herself in awe of the people, their cultures and architectures. By her seventeenth year, Bolorma was Shulgin's apprentice and an associate of the Mages Guild. Their relationship grew intimate as they traveled through the Daggerfall Covenant.
When she was 18, Bolorma had her first heartbreak.
Shortly after Bolorma turned eighteen, Shulgin abruptly announced an end to their partnership. He felt inappropriate sleeping with an apprentice a decade younger, and felt like he was taking advantage of her. In addition, their skills branched in different directions. Whereas he was gifted in enchanting, her talents manifested in electromancy. Before parting ways, Shulgin finally gave Bolorma the endorsement for full guild membership.
Bolorma reacted like any other eighteen-year-old after a breakup. She cursed Shulgin's name, ate a lot of sweet snacks and buried herself in her studies. Her prowess as a sorceress heightened as she progressed in the guild's Wayrest chapter. Spell after spell, thesis after thesis, proving after proving; by the age of 24, Bolorma was qualified as an evoker.
When she was 24, Bolorma felt immortal.Lightning
crackled at her command, and the powers of soul and Oblivion was hers to harness. The only thing holding her back was surely the guild's bureaucracy. The old Breton wizards were just like the old Altmer wizards in Malabal Tor; racist and stuck in their old ways. In addition, she heard the guild would be restricting areal spells to be cast no often than once every three seconds, in fear of "sundering the foundation of Aurbis". What she needed were practical results to prove them wrong. An expedition was forming to study the aftermath of the Celestials in Craglorn: the perfect opportunity.
Reality was far more disappointing than expectation. Instead of fallen stars
and otherworldly manticores
, the expedition spent months digging up rocks, and more months examining them. Against regulations, Bolorma reactivated a dormant anomaly
. Slumbering atronachs sprung to life and rampaged through the expedition camp. Four lives were lost.
Standing before the guild council took Bolorma back to her mother's scoldings. The shame of failing, of being caught, overwhelmed her senses. But she was an adult now, and she didn't have to suffer demotion like her mother's beatings.
When she was 25, Bolorma left the Mages Guild.
The next year was spent drifting from place to place. The stars that once guided Bolorma lost their aetherial inspiration. With every passing night, she looked up less to the sky, and deeper into whatever drink that drowned her sorrows. She found herself in Evermore on her 26th year, zapping skeevers for gold and spending them at a brothel called the Blushing Hawk.
On a caravan escort
job to Skyrim, Bolorma found herself attacked by werewolves. Lightning arced from her fingertip, electrocuting the charging wolf-man. Her familiar emerged from Oblivion, her wards blunted the werewolves' claws. It was surreal to apply her sorcery in such a sudden manner; her training taking over as the beasts were driven off. Bolorma didn't talk much about it after, but the caravanners did, and the Silver Dawn
recruiter at Falkreath heard.
Werewolf hunting sounded like the ideal job to regain her confidence. Bolorma purchased an elegant staff from the Silver Dawn armorer. Then she set out with a raiding party to the Moon Hunter pack
's hideout in the Jeralls, hoping to find glory in battle.
Instead, she found numbing strikes, soaked blood, mangled flesh, torn limbs, disemboweled entrails, decapitated heads, and the screams of her dying comrades, and, oh, gods, the smell!
The smell was nauseous. She found vomit. Bolorma vomited over and over again.
Ran away, then vomited again. Dry heaving. Couldn't vomit anymore.
She found...where was she?
Even more nauseous. Passed out.
The smell of incense, cinnamon tea, medicinal ingredients, an Imperial woman's perfume. Bolorma found herself on a narrow bed, silky fur bedding, soft feather-filled pillows, a comforting quilt. A chiseled candle colored like the graht-oak's bark, the dancing flame casting the shadow of an Imperial woman holding a towel and a bowl of balm.
Her name was Sperantia Solidagus, a healer and a follower of Mara. She was one the few remaining of a order torn by the Alliance War. It was pure coincidence to stumble upon a dazed Bolorma on her reagent gathering trip north of Bruma. But this was the second time for the Orc woman. She needed no convincing; it must've been divine intervention.
So Bolorma once again followed her savior. She and Sperantia traveled through the Colovian Highlands, aiding the ill along the way. Bolorma found peace in service and devotion, taking pride in every recovery like a sign from above. As they reached the Gold Coast, where the rest of the Maran order had relocated to, she found herself falling in love.
Unlike the youthful, fiery, rushed lovemaking with Shulgin, the nights with Sperantia were methodical, tender, but no less passionate. During the days, they would exchange magic techniques. Bolorma taught her to control electricity, and learned healing and alchemy. However, neither would quite master the other's specialty.
When she was 27, Bolorma thought she found everything she wanted.
Spending the next three years in the Gold Coast would be the most fulfilling time in Bolorma's life. She tutored wealthy children in magic, sold glyphs, donated to the poor (as a devout adherent of Mara), and was even considering asking her beloved's hand for marriage. That was, until duty called Sperantia to Elsweyr.
A high priest in Rimmen called for all Maran healers to cleanse Ocrest, which had been abandoned since the Knahaten Flu
decades ago. Sperantia went, Bolorma waited in Rimmen. Several weeks later, only Sperantia's restoration wand returned. She and a few others contracted the flu and died; her body had to be cremated for sanitation.
Alone and devastated, Bolorma prayed at the shrine of the Mother Cat. She prayed and prayed, and turned her face to the sky, but there was nothing. Mara abandoned her.
Stumbled back to...home? No, just somewhere familiar.
Caravan, cart, bridge, ship.
Skingard, Colovia. Kvatch, Gold Coast. Belkarth, Craglorn. Stock up at Mages Guild.
This Shulgin was not the lively enchanter, he was a dying man clinging to the final weeks of his life. Soon after Bolorma left the guild, Shulgin was put in charge of the Craglorn expedition. He uncovered radioactive properties of nirncrux
-infused minerals, but only after irreparable damage had been done to his body. His biggest regret? Leaving Bolorma when she needed him the most.
At this point, the only way Shulgin could apologize was using his position to restore Bolorma to good standing with guild. Even so, she was reluctant to accept. But upon returning to Evermore, she saw everything, even her favorite brothel, was in uncertainty. Maybe she should seek out that illusionist in Falkreath she heard about, the one that could heal wounded minds. Then again, Falkreath itself was enough bad memories to say otherwise. The Mages Guild was the only familiar place left.
When she was 30, Bolorma felt like her life's stuck in a loop.
Well? What would she change this time?
Besides her name, to gra-Shulgin, to honor the man who started this...loop?
She would study harder than ever, her research and experiments would be perfect, and she would not let her heart distract her from becoming the best sorceress she could be. She would withdraw to her solitary side, though she made sure to not overindulge in alcohol and brothels again, substituting physical exercise in their places. She would reach heaven, wherever that is, through determination and violence of action. For Shulgin, for Sperantia.
When she was 33, Bolorma ascended to the position of warlock.
Her promotion came just days before strange lights appeared in the sky. Furthering the confusion was Raxus' unexpected ascension to the Ruby Throne. The guild had conflicting views on this latest turn of events. Bolorma (representing the Evermore guild hall), along with a few other Mages Guild members, were sent to Leyawiin to investigate on behalf of the High Rock chapters.
However, Bolorma thought this new power could be opportunity, rather than risk. Surely the Witchman Emperor and the conjuror of lights would accept the service of powerful mages. If they could end the Three Banner War, what couldn't they do?
And so she went alone to meet the figures in strange armor. They must know something. Maybe a contract and some gold right there? At the very least, they should shake hands and point her to the right direction. Nope, they knocked poor Bolorma out.
When she came to, it was the rattling of chains, the dampness of dungeons, the darkness of the unknown, the ever-present static of anxiousness, and three ageless words.
"You're finally awake