One of the immutable laws of the tundra mountains is that orcs like power. A lot. Those who have it are respected. Those who have it are not. The power they like is that which allows them to rule, control, and dominate anything or anyone with an iron fist, or as it more frequently happens, with a large axe, iron armor, a lot of muscle, and of course a male.
Thus, when someone comes into the clan without axes, armor, or many muscles to speak of, in orc terms, and on top of that is a woman, that individual is largely ignored at best or assaulted at worst. On one cold and dreary late winter morning, such a female orc came to the cave of the Redtusk clan. That alone would signal something off, but orcs generally lack the impulse control to consider someone like Fendra to be dangerous. And when that woman says she has come to find an orc male worthy of her, nigh every single male orc sought to prove themselves worthy. None did. With spells, summoned beasts, and brutal skill Fendra broke every orc that attempted to approach her. The traditional power structure of the clan went haywire.
Brawn failed them. Fendra again told them that if one would be worthy she would conceive a warrior great enough to lead the Redtusks to constant victory against their enemies. Continued attempts to be that worthy warrior failed, and even the chief found himself unable to best Fendra. They were in a severe bind, as to admit not a single orc male could best this woman would be to admit they were weak but to continue attempts to take Fendra yielded nothing but broken bones and severe blood loss. Even if one of them after numerous attempts succeeded, they would still lose their reputation as being unable to best a woman. Yet after several weeks, only one unproven male was left; the son of the storyteller named Deshkek. With only a few spells, he set off after the woman. No brawn however, would he use. Rather he crept up upon her, and as she cut open a dead reindeer in an ice cave, and with a simple fire spell, he broke down the snow cliffs above her, and fathered one who she said would lead the Red Tusks.
That is at least the tale Deresk grew up with. He never did care for it for some reason. His father became chief storyteller and priest of the orc gods after his own father's death, yet after his most famous feat, became known as most orc priests are; not warriors who rely on their own strength, but vessels. Despite her supposed loss, Fendra remained a powerful figure, and Deresk continues to believe she was waiting not for a worthy warrior but someone weak she could manipulate. As such he was in an unusual place in orc society, caught between an internal power who lacked the influence to rule, and a mother who continued to dominate the clan from afar. He learned to fight as all orcs do, but all the warriors knew he was not one of their own.
Thus Deresk grew alone; they knew him to be strong, but did not trust him to lead. The chief and his band feared the old prophecy of Fendra, but fear her power just as much. They used Deresk as a symbol and banner. Armed with the knowledge of prophecy, the Redtusks marched into battle. After years of training under the great Redtusk warriors, Deresk was built as strong as his axe, and with his parent's spiritual teachings, he could manipulate the very spirits of the tundra. The Redtusks made war and won, and news of the prophecy and the skills and ruthlessness of the Redtusk warriors spread.
Deresk did not particularly care for any of it. He would throw himself into combat and lets the spirits guide his actions, but did not case either for who was behind or those who fell under his axe. Slaying humans and orcs for little more than a larger chuck of meat seemed pointless, and as one clan was subdued, they came into the territory of another clan to fight. Instead of being buoyed by old stories and military success, Deresk shrugged and considered not paltry victories, but the earth and the snow and the beasts upon it. In between battles, he watched and waited as the sun rose or fell, and contemplated the seasons and the unchanging, circular patterns that governed his life. His contemplations usually came at the end of battles, overlooking vistas opposite the carnage that obscured his view of the tundra. That was unusual for an orc, but when a scrawny one-eyed bear walked to him one cold evening, the bear informed him it was quite normal for shamans. Regardless of his wishes, Deresk in fact originally wanted to eat the bear, the damn thing kept following him, and yet no one else seemed to notice. The others orcs likely would have said something or thrown him out of the clan, but the more he talked about an emaciated bear the more Deresk could wield the powers of the spirits and the more he could break the Redtusk's enemies.
Deresk couldn't care less. With his one-eyed bear, he became stronger, more independent, and less willing to listen to his elders. His father, never a major influence on him, told him of the stories the later Redtusks would tell of his power, his abilities, and his victories. Deresk was unconvinced. Fendra smiled. Her son had become above the orcish ways that led her to change them. And so she encouraged him to fight not for the Redtusks but for himself.
Whether it was a coup she planned, or simply more fighting, Deresk never found out. The chief and his sons went off to battle the chieftain of another orc tribe in an attack against a hated rival chieftain, but after the gods blessed them with victory over their humanoid enemies, another menace approached. A viscous sabre cat tore into them, and within minutes, the old Redtusk chief and all his sons perished. Many in the tribe saw it as a sign that it was time for another to rule, others, including Deshkek, saw it as something more troubling. The chieftan was no great warrior and ruled through the amount of his fallen enemies rather than his skill, but for a simple beast to saly him and his sons was unheard of. Moreover, that the chief attack alone so aggressively struck Deshkek as strange, he sought his mate, as did Deresk himself, for her wisdom, but the shamaness was nowhere to be found. The fragile power structure of the orc tribe had been completely broken. The larger orcs made moves to take power, and lacking security, the rest fell behind to old habits. But Deresk and Deshkek, in tune as they were to the divine and spiritual, could feel more than just coincidence affecting the Redtusks.
That was what the bear indicated anyway. One morning, as he prepared his weapons in order to bring some order into the clan, he saw in the distance a small bear stalking a stray reindeer. He followed the bear and his prey, but soon he found himself far away from the Redtusks and alone on a road, broken by hooves. He could see over the road behind him, leading back to the orcish world, a storm overhead. He looked South to the great cities, clear skies, and beneath it, the same bear chasing the reindeer. Deresk shrugged his shoulders and marched on to catch them.