More dexterous and agile than the average Orc warrior, while still maintaining the girth and physique of a brute, Burgruk is both cunning and deceiving in his typical unarmed state. A highly skilled wrestler and hand to hand combatant, his greatest talent is being able to disarm his opponents through grappling techniques, before forcing them into submission or bludgeoning them with his fists. He possesses traits that would make him a veteran Grunt, or a skilled wolf-rider Raider.
Though close to average height for an Orc, Burgruk's herculean build is exceptionally well defined even when in a relaxed state. He possesses a few battle scars, though most have healed. Possessions include several pouches and satchels he typically wears around his belt, which contain many camping and survival utilities.
Loose linen clothing such as shorts, trousers, lower robes, vests and light tunics serve as Burgruk's casual wear—light and flexible, this clothing style serves well for both blending with society and not hindering his movements in a brawl. He often doesn't wear a shirt or general upper body attire, perhaps to provide additional maneuverability, but more likely out of want of vanity. His armor ranges from tough leather hides that resist blunt trauma when fighting, to light chain mail armor to protect him from more lethal weapons. Burgruk rarely wears plate armor, but will do so if he needs to.
Skills and Abilities
Originally forgoing the use of weapons at the end of the Third War, Burgruk began to practice the art of unarmed fighting. Over several years of experimentation and undergoing many experiences, he eventually developed his technique sufficiently to defend himself, unarmed, even against those wielding weapons. Utilizing various techniques for evasion and deflection, it is the result of spending his life thus far that he possesses the speed, agility and strength to put such methods to use effectively. As the art of unarmed combat began to spread across Azeroth, following the introduction of the martially-proficient Monk, Burgruk began learning further methods from more experienced brawlers, often simply by challenging them.
Today, Burgruk's combat abilities render him exceptionally skilled in brawling and wrestling. Highly proficient in both striking and grappling, his enthusiastic and occasionally drunken demeanor make him a challenging combatant both when sparring, and fighting for his life on the field of battle. Though it would only take one swing from a veteran warrior, or a keen bow-shot from a talented archer to take him down, the years of training Burgruk has invested in protecting himself has made him a sly fighter, whose bulky, unarmed and unarmored form deceives others into thinking him an easy target.
Personality and Psychology
A quintessential Orc warrior under a goofy, occasionally drunken surface, Burgruk is naturally strong, honorable, and hard working, yet deeper within his psychology, he is suffering from a form of traumatic stress and raging uncertainties about who he is and what he wants to become. Seeing solace in the ever-changing world that an adventurer faces, the greatest relief to his pain is the sudden introduction of some never before seen element, or never before faced challenge. His nomadic nature rivals that of the Tauren in some ways, save for his typically being alone, traveling in solitude. Burgruk finds comfort in the untamed beauty that the wilderness provides, and is much more comfortable in the wilds than he is in a populated town or village. With people, Burgruk lacks some advanced social etiquette, yet he is aware of this, and actively self-conscious. He sees the world in three shades: those who are his allies and friends, those whom he is neutral with in most regards, and those who he sees as his enemies. He is keen and rationally minded however, skeptical and logical under most circumstances, and though he does not often show his mood through expressions, he will usually clarify his state of mind verbally. He recognizes the value of communication, and the importance of trust.
Still of the mindset that the Horde and Alliance are not enemies as they once were, he has little qualms in dealing with non-Horde races or even non-allied factions, and he sees very few specific groups as being his enemies, unless they demonstrate some initial hostility towards him. Nevertheless, he is a trained grunt, and will not back down when confronted, unless he finds a good reason. Psychological traits include being fairly conscientious: he is somewhat organized and boasts exceptional willpower. He generally errs on the side of caution when entering unknown situations, but is capable of making rapid decisions under stress, and only occasionally demonstrates impulsive characteristics—such as when overwhelmed by rage. When it comes to agreeableness, he is not at all sympathetic, however: he does demonstrate exceptional empathy when confronted with stories that mirror his own. He is not necessarily soft-hearted, but is usually willing to help others, though he is initially suspicious when dealing with complete strangers.
He is known to have a ruthless side during times of intense emotional stress however, and though in his normal state he attempts to subdue rather than kill outright, he will show no qualms about killing in self-defense, or to protect others. In terms of neuroticism, Burgruk is lacking: he is usually calm, very secure and occasionally self-satisfied—rarely is he found to be anxious, or insecure, though when on his own in the middle of the wilderness he can occasionally be self-pitying. Other personality traits include favoring practicality over imagination, variety over routine, and being largely independent rather than conforming. He is a determined ally however, and demonstrates above-average leadership qualities when given the opportunity, though his leading abilities begin to deteriorate as the group size increases.
Since sustaining a head-injury in a shipwreck along the coast of Kalimdor during the initial exodus from Lordaeron that was led by the then Warchief Thrall, Burgruk's outward personality was affected in a slight way that, overtime, resulted in a change in overall behavior. Now when in public, he is expressive and jovial, more than most other orcs, and rarely demonstrates the self-discipline of the average orc warrior. Though still in-control of his emotions and actions, he has a tendency to be wild and overtly enthusiastic. Finding solace in the effects alcohol provides, Burgruk is at his most neutral after a few drinks; too many drinks leads him to be highly indulgent and meddlesome, and in a completely sober state he retreats into a somewhat surly and morose state of mind.
When it comes to personal relationships, Burgruk tends to prefer the company of other males. Spending a great deal of time living in Mulgore following the Third War, he has a particularly special place in his heart for the Tauren. Both affectionate and empathetic, Burgruk feels extreme compassion for the race, particularly since the devastating loss of the great Chieftain, Cairne Bloodhoof. Always seeking the brighter side of life, Burgruk's level of comfort when visiting Mulgore and the city of Thunder Bluff is greater than it usually is when in Orgrimmar, or other trade cities across the continents.
Conceived less than a year prior to the building of the Dark Portal, Burgruk's parents were among those who ransacked the Draenei city of Shattrath on the Orc's home planet, Draenor. The two Warsong clanners, Burkar Bloodclaw and Grukora Wartooth, had their child soon after, and named him Burgruk in honor of their union. When the construction of the Dark Portal was complete, and the blood-rage began to overwhelm the tainted Orcs, Burkar and Grukora were part of the invasion force. Unknown to Burkar at the time, Grukora took their son with her. When discovered, Burgruk's mother explained to her mate that their child was not just a symbol of their union, but an Orc who might be conditioned in the blood of battle—that Burgruk himself might be made into a better warrior if raised in the fires of war. Though Burkar was initially frustrated, Grukora's point of view won him over, and they began taking turns raising Burgruk between campaigns.
When the Eastern Kingdoms were claimed by the Orcs, and the peak of Orcish dominance had been reached, Burkar and Grukora began training the young Burgruk. A regimen consisting of weapons practice and hard labor, the two warrior parents were determined to make Burgruk as physically strong as possible, dismissing Orcish traditions in favor of a more war-oriented nurturing. Burgruk's upbringing was briefly interrupted by the Human offensive, as the Warsong was driven into hiding following the defeat of the Orcs during the Second War. His parents continued to raise him, training him with greater intensity, pressured by the humiliating loss to the Humans. As Burgruk taught his son how to wrestle and fight unarmed—a Bloodclaw tradition—his mother further developed his skill with all manner of weapons. Grukora also helped in educating Burgruk about their culture from the Warsong perspective, putting a positive light on the invasion of Azeroth. However, of the Burning Legion, demons, and drinking of demonic blood, Burgruk's parents remained silent.
The family line of the Wartooth and Bloodclaw was long, and mostly bore traditionalists who were often interested in preserving the old ways. Though Burkar and Grukora were never sensitive to the ways of the Shamen, they began to feel the demons of the Burning Legion had betrayed them, in allowing the Orcs to be defeated by the Humans. Uncertain how to tell all of this to Burgruk, and wary of the consequences it might have had, the two warrior-parents decided not to share with their son the extent to which the demons had influenced the Horde. After several years had passed, and Burgruk reached eighteen years of age, he had already begun to fulfill his parents vision of a strong, skilled warrior. As large and strong as even some of the veteran grunts, Burgruk was permitted to become one himself, and served as a newly initiated grunt of the Warsong clan all the way up to the attempted rendezvous between Grom Hellscream's forces, and the forces of the newly arisen Warchief of the Horde, Thrall.
Among those briefly captured by Humans prior to the meeting between the Warsong and the new Horde, Burgruk was introduced to the Alliance for the first time as a prisoner of war, and he experienced his first taste of combat during the skirmish by Thrall's forces, when he and his Warsong brethren were freed. When it was proposed that the Orcs travel to Kalimdor, Burgruk played the role of follower: he was seeing the rise of the Horde just as his parents hoped he would, and with his skill and strength, all he wanted were more opportunities to prove his worth. During the exodus to Kalimdor, Burgruk found himself separated from his family and clan as his ship was thrown off course by the Maelstrom, and he arrived on the continent by way of shipwreck.
Concussed following the wreckage of his ship, Burgruk survived, though his memory was fragmented somewhat and his behaviors slightly modified; the full effects of which would only become visible following the end of the Third War. Burgruk and the other survivors were able to unite with Thrall's forces after a time however, and still being a battle-ready grunt regardless of what clan he fought beside, he found himself honored to fight among the Warchief's forces. Though he was skeptical of Thrall's ideals due to his Warsong upbringing, the opportunities for battle remained plentiful, and Burgruk kept himself engaged in fighting the native Centaur and Quilboar, and was even among those who helped defend Cairne Bloodhoof's nomadic tribe of Tauren. When the Warsong and Thrall's forces eventually came across one another, Burgruk decided to remain fighting under Thrall's command. Though uncertain about where his loyalties lay, he felt he could always rejoin his Warsong brethren in the future.
When Grom Hellscream took the Warsong clan into battle against the Human camps and fortifications, Burgruk was shocked that his clan would disobey the orders of their Warchief, and for the first time felt the conflict between the old ways and the new vision Thrall had for the Horde. During the battle, he struggled to decide who he wished to remain fighting with, and in the end he chose to remain a part of Thrall's forces. Burgruk felt that if the Horde remained intact, he could always rejoin his clan later—and if the new Horde began to fragment, at least he would be in a position to observe Thrall and his aims: to be able to gather information that would be of use to the Warsong. A consequence of this decision was that he began to feel isolated and alone, but there was little time to brood, as Thrall's forces traveled northbound towards Stonetalon Peak. Burgruk felt he was validated in his decision to observe Thrall, and take note of the Horde's new direction, after the Warchief emerged from the mountain with the news of treating the Humans as allies. Though initially repelled, he did not openly rebel, once it was revealed that the Warsong had been corrupted by demon influence yet again.
As Thrall led his forces to rescue Hellscream and the rest of the Warsong, Burgruk was one of the grunts assigned to protect their base camp, however he found himself torn between serving the new Warchief, and finding his parents. He did not know the extent of the demons' influence until he moved from his post in the heat of combat, and began searching the battlefield. The nearly impossible task of finding two specific Orcs among the chaotic, blood-raged Warsong was made easier when Burgruk visited Jaina Proudmore's Human base camp, and found it under attack by the tainted Warsong—among whom was Burgruk's mother, Grukora. Somehow Burgruk was able to move through the battle and confront her, but he found that his presence was not enough to convince Grukora to quell her blood-rage. Instead he was forced to defend himself, and using the skills Grukora herself had trained him in, managed to kill her. With no time to grieve on the blood soaked sands, Burgruk remained where he was in order to defend the Human base camp until Grom Hellscream was delivered, and purged of the demon possession. Afterward, as the two Orcish heroes ventured to kill Mannoroth and free their people once and for all from any form of demon control, Burgruk discovered his father Burkar also among the Warsong dead. Feeling betrayed by the Warsong's corruption and his parents' death, and still uncertain as to whether he trusted the new direction of the Horde under the leadership of Thrall, Burgruk became somewhat despondent until his warrior nature was called upon once again during the Battle of Mount Hyjal.
The tenuous, temporary alliances between the Orcs, Humans and night elves made little difference to him, as Burgruk compiled his thoughts during the battle against the demons, and took the opportunity to claim as much vengeance as he could against their innumerable demonic and undead foe. The early training his parents had given him, combined with a healthy upbringing in battle, ensured his survival at the end of the conflict. After the World Tree, Nordrassil, was destroyed, and the dark eredar Archimonde had met his end, Burgruk began to recover from the traumatic events surrounding his youth. Only twenty years of age, his experiences in war were surprisingly numerous, and he reflected on that as he traveled south with the new Horde in search of a place to call home.
Now that the Third War had ended, Burgruk wasn't sure what he should do. For a time, he worked as a laborer, helping build the settlement of Orgrimmar. Subsequently he served as a city guard, and for a brief while afterward he even attempted keeping livestock on a farm. Nothing he did appealed to him however, until he realized he could choose to be a free Orc, and travel wherever he wished. Without a second thought, he ventured into the wilderness of the Barrens, alone.
The next ten years defined Burgruk as he is today. No longer did he feel himself bound to any clan, nor even the Horde: instead he became an adventurer, mercenary, bounty hunter, and whatever else would give him the coin to purchase a drink from the nearest tavern and move on the next morning. Within the decade of his leaving Orgrimmar, his travels had taken him from the furthest edge of the Stonetalon mountains to the wide plains of Mulgore; from the dangers of Thousand Needles to the dead lands of Desolace. Visiting many settlements, outposts, camps and trading posts during his travels, and considering Thunder Bluff his adopted home city given its central position within the land of Kalimdor, he began to piece together the history of his people from sources other than what his parents and the Warsong had offered him. The combined research giving him further insight into the Horde, its principles and its future, he began to expand his cognitive thinking to include aspects of philosophy as well as the art of war.
As he had began his search for what he realized was simply purpose and a sense of belonging, he made use of the coalition between the Horde and the Alliance, and often interacted on neutral or even friendly terms with Humans: often pursuing cross-race contracts or bounties, he became accustomed to working and living alongside Humans on an impersonal basis. For most of this time, he was happy, if somewhat quiet and morose, never overcoming the pain of killing his own mother, or of seeing his father dead at the hands of his own brethren. He began to develop further uncertainty as the tensions between the two factions began to rise once more, and he found himself growing distant to the Humans he had once called his trustworthy allies. The Shattering was a sharp reminder to him, however, that regardless of whether he overcame his own troubles, the world would evolve without him. Shocked and unsure at the monumental Cataclysm that had befallen the very world itself, he returned to Orgrimmar in order to rediscover all that had transpired over the past decade.
Since his return to civilization, he has become something of an auxiliary within the forces of the New Horde. An adventurer by trade, Burgruk often accepts quests and duties from members of his faction, in order to secure gold and reputation. Though not destined to make a name for himself in the annals of Horde military history or legend, Burgruk seeks to train himself further in the martial arts, and to use such skills to help his allies and his friends.