Age: Presumably 23 before awakening
Birthplace: Tarren Mill
Professions: Miner, Blacksmith
Appearance: Orloc is a pale undead creature standing approximately six feet tall. He bears stitching of an unusual kind across his rotted body, holding his flesh together around his bleached bone structure. His hair is tawny and unkempt, he has no eyes, and he is missing his entire lower jaw. It would be easy to mistake him for a mindless abomination at first glance were it not for his choice of clothing, typically consisting of armor pieced together from from slain, well-equipped foes. Black ichor constantly drips from his frame, pooling in his footprints. It smells foul, like the stink of decay, and it rapidly deteriorates plant life. Behind its ribs is a solid black pearl lodged in a bone pendant in the shape of a shield. It emanates a cold aura that even the dead seem to despise.
Currently Orloc wears a long, draping cape that looks frazzled but somewhat stately, a crimson set of loose-fitting plate armor, wields large swords, heavy gauntlets, and spacious boots. The black ichor stinks up the inside and those nearby can often detect the faint whiff of decay. Around his lower jaw he wears a metal faceplate resembling a toothed maw.
Orloc displays no obvious outward signs of having a personality. He, or rather, it, is not extremely intelligent, acting mostly on instinct as it hovers around the Undercity. Sometimes it takes a fancy to random creatures and has been seen following them around with an almost innocent curiosity before wandering away aimlessly. The creature seems to be aware that it is "broken" and when interacted with often mimics the actions of those around it. Its mannerisms suggest that it can recall memories of human action and repeat them, but whether or not it realizes the motivations of said actions are unknown. Most of the time it appears to simply react to being reacted to; when ignored the creature promptly loses interest.
Oran Locke is a murderous deviant whose lust for power drove him to the edges of depravity in life. In his death, he was enslaved by the Lich King, though he was one of the few allowed to retain some form of sentience to better serve as a soldier. His devotion to Arthas and Icecrown are absolute; he seeks to manipulate and coerce and eventually kill everyone else so that they may too serve his glorious master. Cunning and cruel, he will use any means to get what he wants and in turn further the Lich King's will on Azeroth.
Orloc was, like many of the Forsaken, once a man. Born under the name of Oran Locke in Tarren Mill, his father was conscripted for the battle against the Horde in the Second War. For their safety, he and his mother were moved to Stratholme. After the war had presumably ended, the Locke family received tragic news; Oran's father, soldier and honored husband, was killed in battle. His mother, some say, never recovered from the shock, and when the family moved once again to Andorhal she became reclusive and aloof from society. Oran, lacking a father figure or any form of guidance in his life, made his own way. Throughout his childhood he was a troublemaker, scolded by almost every good-intentioned citizen and despised by the schoolteachers. His mother, unable or unwilling to do anything about her son's errant behavior, sat idly by while her only child became a bully.
When Oran turned twelve years old, his mother fell gravely ill. Many townsfolk believed that her spirit had been broken at last, her son's evil ways the undoing of her already fractured sanity. After her death Oran was admitted to a local orphanage, though he never arrived. Fleeing in the night, taking with him the clothes on his back, the boy vanished into the wilderness.
Not many claimed to miss the hellion that had been the last heir to the Locke name. What became of him in those fragile years in between his leaving Andorhal and his resurfacing at the age of twenty-four is unknown, though his extremely hostile emergence into society suggested that he had joined up with bandits and may have been responsible for several instances of highway robbery. No evidence from Oran's disappearance to the first time he committed murder suggested he was even alive. When he did make his presence known on the outskirts of Lordaeron, he took the lives of a family of farmers in the territory surrounding Andorhal. Their bodies were found brutalized in the very home they had lived in for four generations. At first it was suspected that the farmhands, who were not accounted for on the night of the murders, were the guilty parties, but they were later found buried in the very fields they had been tasked to work. The authorities were baffled, but a neighbor reported that she saw a tall man with blonde hair fleeing the scene, leaving behind a bloodied axe in the side of a tree that was later found by the guards.
Oran continued on for many months, moving from place to place, prowling Lordaeron. Many a traveler learned to fear the bandits along the roads despite the heightened watches and reports of suspicious cult activity. Some officials would estimate that the mysterious Locke killed no less than fifteen people himself, three of which were Lordaeron guardsmen, in cold blood. Each body was horribly maimed, as if killed with a brutally large weapon of some kind and mercilessly assailed even after they had departed the living world. Oran was no fool and was seldom found at the scene of his crimes, and some suspected many more hidden caches of victims waited to be discovered. The ones that had been found were almost always positioned for maximum effect. Some bodies were reported by their bosses, some by their employees, some by their spouses, and some by the guards themselves. Every movement seemed to be calculated, but in the end, Oran's motives remained a mystery as attentions were turned to more pressing matters...
Kel'Thuzad and the Cult of the DamnedEdit
Being an instrument of destruction and chaos, Oran was sought out by a man who thought his talents might be better applied in an organization that held interest in the reaping of the innocent. Kel'Thuzad, necromancer and leader of the cult responsible for the Plague's spreading throughout Lordaeron, found Oran during one of his brief respites in a local town and sought to bring him into the Lich King's fold. He offered many things, including glory, immortality, and as many victims as Oran could wish for, but his advances were refused. In fact, Oran attacked the old wizard outright, though his clumsy efforts were easily deflected thanks to the power Kel'Thuzad possessed. Knowing, however, that killing such a valuable asset would be folly, Oran was allowed to live. Pondering the renegade wizard's actions, Oran fled the town and disappeared until after the Scourging of Lordaeron began.
During the troubled times of Arthas' initial invasion, there was little need for pillaging; the dead left piles of loot for the taking, but were also dangerous adversaries that held no love for the living. While shadowing the last vestiges of humanity as they fled southward from Lordaeron, Oran was discovered by a large detachment of Undead, led by the resurrected Kel'Thuzad. This time, there was no need to take him alive, and the dead were allowed to rend him apart, still alive and screaming as many of his victims had been.
Oran was not to be a wasted corpse. Kel'Thuzad had his remains reanimated and entered into a series of experiments that would grant him strength, durability, and tenacity not usually present in common Scourge zombies. Through a strange, alchemical means and mind control, the lich was able to meld Oran's mind and body into a single powerful killing machine, able to react on the battlefield with intelligence unsurpassed by enslaved Undead and the strength to destroy any living foe he would face, all while remaining bound to Arthas' iron will.
During the final stages of the experiment, the laboratory where Oran was being held was assaulted by the recently-liberated Forsaken. The dreadlord Varimathras himself had divined Kel'Thuzad's plans to employ new types of Scourge on the battlefield and sent his Defilers to claim their secrets before any could be manufactured. Successful in their mission, the dreadlord's elite returned with Oran intact and brought him before the Dark Lady. Judging that he would be a powerful asset, she ordered that Varimathras keep a close eye on him, ensuring there would be no chance of the maniac turning against them.
The dreadlord required the aid of a skilled soul-binder in order to create a phylactery to contain Oran Locke's essence. Though his own abilities were formidable, Varimathras would require necromantic assistance to fully bind the corpse and its soul, and so sought out a rogue operative that had been under close observation for some time. This man, formerly Einrich Vol Kast of Stratholme, was conducting experiments in a forgotten farmstead in an attempt to unlock the secrets of necromancy. Though hesitant at first, Einrich eventually agreed to perform the necessary bindings and construct the phylactery to power the abomination in return for supplies and much-needed funding for his private work. The project took some time to complete, with the dreadlord becoming increasingly impatient while the scientist poked and prodded, but eventually Orloc was "awakened" and assigned to the Undercity for monitoring and assessment. When Varimathras decided that the creature was ready, he assigned Orloc to Meridith Darrow for safekeeping, knowing that she herself was just as studious and able-minded, and also well-connected within the Apothecarium should anything need attending to.
Currently, Orloc tends to the Undercity's defenses, often wandering to Brill and the Sepulcher, only venturing longer distances when the Overseer of Curse or her Executioner, Plagos, order him on special missions. Though many believe his mental capacity to be hindered, Orloc shows a distinct ability to remember things and learn new applications for various tasks, as well as keeping a small journal in a battered satchel. Some of the writings within are nonsensical phrases or things that the zombie has heard, but other instances of doodles and cryptic messages hint that he may be, on some subliminal level, aware of who or what he was, what he is, and how it affects him.
As Orloc met more and more intelligent Forsaken, it became apparent that he could learn at a rapid rate - if not necessarily apply what he knew, or vocalize it. Compared to a blank slate, he began to show signs of awareness and personality that were above and beyond those of a simple abomination. His journal took on coherent thought, after he learned to read, and he began to communicate meaningfully with a young undead girl named Meganna Wheeler. He developed a kind of crush on her, like a puppy returning to one who feeds it. She did not act like other dead-things; Meridith was motherly and Plagos was almost harshly critical, but Meg had an air about her that stirred an echo of a feeling: in life, he had known love, once. The poor zombie would likely never understand that this was the id of Oran Locke, the wicked animating spirit desiring freedom.
Time would bring Meganna into possession of an old sword that once belonged to Oran. It was no coincidence, as the man had made a pact with the Lich King before his demise that ensured he would continue on after death to spread chaos and fear...but Arthas would not bestow a pawn with such power lightly. Oran's intelligence and conscious mind were trapped inside his sword, the very same sword he had tainted with the blood of many innocents, until such a time he could orchestrate its reunion with his spirit. When the spirit was stirred within Orloc, despite being bound to a phylactery and used as an animating source for his old corpse, Oran was able to call out to it, drawing the hapless abomination to the Plaguelands, where he would be able to reawaken memories within the corpse. Initially the plan failed, as Orloc set himself against becoming what his human part had been, but that was not the end. Orloc knew Meg, and Meg was just as easily manipulated as the corpse, if not more so. She discovered the sword - and in it, Oran, though he at first masqueraded as a spirit trapped by the evil of the Scourge. This allowed him to travel with the girl, surveying his surroundings and waiting for an opportune time to make his move. Admittedly, the heart of the Undercity was a poor choice of locale, and many times Orloc came into contact with the sword, but in the end Oran instilled a kind of paranoia in his unwitting wielder and she fled to Outland.
Orloc was distraught over Meg's flight to the "Other World," and became very detached. The soul inside his phylactery longed to be reunited with its other half, but the distance separating them caused a void that even the corpse around it could feel. It took grave measures to return the pieces of the puzzle to the board - Meganna was finally convinced to turn over the sword to Meridith and Curse's safekeeping, but not long after, the Scourge made a move of their own.
During the events of the Scourge Invasion, heralding the Lich King's personal involvement in the fight against all living things, Orloc was a member of the Undercity's armed forces under the command of Lord and Lady Deathweaver. He had been bolstered by the return of his friend, but her duty to the Argent Dawn and fighting the Scourge drew her away frequently. This led to Orloc becoming an almost zealous opponent of the Scourge, and when the walking dead arrived on the doorstep of the Undercity, he participated in the counter-offensive that would drive them back. It was here that Oran, still locked away inside Meridith's laboratory, managed to tip the scales. The power of the Scourge and the necrotic crystals that had been erected around Azeroth empowered him and with the forces of undeath so close at hand, he was able to gain control over Orloc's phylactery, plunging the abomination into a catatonic state.
Meridith tried to tend to the weakened zombie, but in his brief moments of coherence, he was a pathetic shell. Oran's power made him seem weak, insignificant, and useless - until the time to assail the Undercity came. Amidst the chaos the zombie reawakened at full strength, struggling under a foreign control as he was roused and directed to Meridith's laboratory. Meganna, visiting at the time, encountered Orloc, who attacked her outright. He managed to pull his strokes long enough for help to arrive in the form of Eldanis Lightbinder, a blood elf who had befriended Meganna in her quest with the Argent Dawn. Though heroic, the elf's chivalry would prove to be the undoing of more than just one soul that day - he took up the sword that Meridith had foolishly kept and drove it through Orloc's chest, reuniting mind and soul. The only living body in contact with the sword at the time was that of the elf, but Oran was hardly picky after such a long imprisonment.
Rising as a Death Knight of the Scourge, having consumed every bit of the elf that had tried so vainly to save his friends, Oran Locke stalled Meganna and Meridith and slipped out during the attack on the Undercity.
Broken and soulless, Orloc's body lay on the ground amidst a pool of foul ichor, truly lifeless.