Atilla is the only daughter of an extremely opportunistic orc female and a peculiarly open-minded human chieftain of a nomadic desert tribe. Worshippers of Kord, combat (both against foes and competitively within the tribe) is their way of life, used to settle disputes, questions of honor, and to determine guilt. Deaths that occur within the hallowed circle of combat are considered “the will of Kord” and cannot be contested. Any killing that takes place outside of the circle, however, is a different matter, especially “dishonorable” killings involving backstabbing, killing in sleep, poisoning, or ranged weapons.
Atilla, as her father’s only child, stood to inherit the title of Chieftain and become the next head of both the family and the tribe. Having a female half-orc as a leader didn’t sit well with various families in the tribe. A plan to frame her for dishonorable murder was set into motion by the heads of the 2nd and 3rd families, (Garvo and Dorick) but Atilla managed to walk into her father’s tent and witness the two men stab her father in his sleep.
The whole tribe was alerted to the commotion and came to find Atilla and the two men in a violent, bloody struggle. There was no way to determine who had actually committed the deed, so all three were consigned to judgment by Kord: exiled and sent in three of the four cardinal directions, and forbidden to return until one had killed the other two and thus proven his (or her) innocence.
It’s been several years since then and Atilla had resigned herself to simply being just a wandering knife-for-hire until one of the traveling caravans she was hired to protect was beset by bandits led by Garvo.
Neither had expected to run into the other—but Atilla and her companions manage to get the upper-hand and drive off the bandits. Atilla mortally wounds Garvo and before he died, learned that Dorick is apparently in charge of a very large smuggling operation that has fingers and operatives in several major cities in the area.
(Side note: in order to prove she has met and killed Garvo, Atilla skins his face and has it carefully preserved in a fairly expensive, magically reinforced jar. So yeah. She travels with a guy’s face in a magical silver flask that she keeps attached to her belt.)
Possible Plot hooks:
Atilla is now on a quest to investigate and eradicate any type of smuggling operation in an attempt to root out Dorick, kill him, take his WHOLE head back to her tribe, avenge the death of her father and clear her name.
Atilla has a very strong disdain for anyone who depends on ranged weapons to attack, thinking them cowardly, and is not afraid to make her thoughts known on the subject though she will fight alongside people who use ranged weapons.
She’s also a little iffy on magic-users in combat—in her tribe they’re considered “witches” who are good for making your weapons better, but to kill someone with magic that’s unrelated to a melee weapon to the face is… possibly evil in every circumstance because it circumvents “the will of Kord”. At this point in her life though, Atilla is a little less concerned about doing things according to “the will of Kord” and more interested in getting her family name back.
Atilla is technically a “wanted” criminal according to her tribe—if she encounters anyone from her tribe as she wanders, they have the right to act as “the hand of Kord” and extend a single-combat challenge she can’t decline.