Grasp of Orcus
A half-orc innkeeper who is more than he appears... but not much more.
“This is no highway roadhouse. You did not get here by wandering onto the wrong road. You got here by wandering off of all roads. The Red Hook Rat is just a sign I hung out front. Every new proprietor puts his own spin on things. But the true name of this place is The Inn Between. It exists between realms, worlds, planes of existence. It’s a place of respite, neither here nor there. Those who end up here are those who have traveled too far and gotten lost between planes. Everyone who comes here has a story to tell. I have not always been here, but the inn has, and there has always been a proprietor. It’s just a physical manifestation of a metaphysical concept, but… this place is… what there is when there isn’t anything else.” -Balgrazar
Balgrazar is the owner and sole proprietor of the Red Hook Rat, otherwise known as The Inn Between. He appears to be an ordinary half-orc. He is overweight, mostly bald, and looks to be in his early 50’s. Gruff but courteous, he takes the well-being of his inn and its guests very seriously. He brooks no trouble and, under ordinary circumstances, would immediately throw someone out if they started any. In the midst of the Worldstorm, this is not an option, so he should instead ban troublemakers from the common areas, effectively confining them to their rooms. He is excellent at reading people. He can always tell when a customer wants to talk and when he prefers to be alone. He can generally pick out the dangerous ones as soon as they walk through the door, and long experience has made him an expert at avoiding trouble with them. He is stern, but not cruel towards Tai, his adopted charge and only staff member, from whom he demands excellence in her work.
Secretly, Balgrazar is more than he seems. The Inn Between chose him as its caretaker eons ago and has extended his life ever since. He was trained by the previous caretaker, Shump, who was similarly ancient. When Balgrazar retires or dies, the mantle will pass to whoever he has trained to take over. At the moment, he intends for that person to be Tai, but she is not yet aware of it. His status as caretaker gives him no special benefits beyond his extended life, but that extra life protects him both from time and from injury. He is not a warrior, so if he must fight, he will attack in the manner of an unskilled layman, but if he is wounded, he will heal very quickly.
When asked about the nature of the inn or his own past, Balgrazar will clam up unless he has developed a great deal of trust for the person asking, or if extreme circumstances make it necessary for him to answer. If the information can be wrung out of him, it comes to light that Balgrazar remembers little of his childhood, except that he had no home or family, and lived by scavenging in the wilderness, until the day he stumbled across the inn and was adopted by its previous owner. From that day to this, he has never set foot outside the place except to go to the stables out back, or to show a customer to a room in the unattached building. The inn’s previous owner, Shump, vanished without a trace so long ago that Balgrazar can barely recall it. All Shump left behind was a letter bequeathing the inn to Balgrazar.