You see Drifter Bahbtahrol, Woodsman, a Gor'Tog Ranger. He has a square-jawed face, crinkled ale-brown eyes and a bulbous nose. He has leathery skin and a pot-bellied build. He is a bit over average height for a Gor'Tog. He is in his prime. He is in good shape.
He is wearing a large wooden spoon pendant of carved walnut stained with gravy, a stained cloak riddled with moth holes, some leather green-lensed goggles, a tattered scarf, a tattered mesh haversack emblazoned with a faded symbol of Hav'roth, a silverwood longbow, a primitive coyote hide backpack roughly stitched with dried sinew, a brown and green mottled Boar Clan jersey, a black leather arm quiver studded with silver fangs, an albredine crystal ring, a delicate silver rose ring, a braided leather war belt studded with bone arrowheads, an embossed leather holster, an ash-gray gunny sack, an alchemist's canister painted with herbs, a brown leather loincloth laced along the sides, a leather thigh bag heavily-beaded in cambrinth with the image of a wild boar, a thigh sheath fashioned from a weathered mammoth tusk, some steel-toed footwraps, some giant black boots and a damaska boar-hide chest harness.
A former long-time member of the Ilithi Militia, he is an improvisation enthusiast. He first served in Commander Forgenash's unit. His favorite foods are potpies and gravy. His other favorite foods are food, more food, and most everything else. Not much of one for vegetables, though. He has fought the Idon Raiders repeatedly. He is a member of the the Fervid Shade.
Name Origin and Partial History
This curious moniker belongs to a rather rotund Gor'Tog, native to the Leth Deriel/Ilithian region, by trade a Ranger and former militia cook. I stumbled upon him in the outskirts of Shard one evening, near the western gate, where he sat consuming an immense variety of comestibles, most of which lacked nutritional value to all but goats and vultures. Immense in light of my Gnomish frame certainly, but immense even by the bulky standard of his peers.
Curiosity stimulated, I introduced myself, and when the cordial Tog licked his greasy fingers and announced his own name I was instantly captivated by both by the word itself and his strange pronunciation of it - Bahbtahrol. Bahb for short, as he put it.
Initially, I took it to be a single word, "Bob-terl", two syllables in composition, with an odd rolling of the 'r' on the subject's large tongue. After asking him to repeat it several times along with spelling it in the dirt at his feet, I pulled back the layers of his odd lazy dialect of low Common, and discerned the nature of the name in more detail.
The name in fact consisted of the familiar traditional first name - surname combination: "Bahb" and "Tahrol". In phonetic Common, pronounced Bawb Tuh-rawl with heavier accent on the first syllable of the second word. Upon repetition, at times the subject would speak the first word more akin to "bob" or "barb", and drop the trailing 'l' on the surname, arriving at "tah-roh", adding to the difficulty of my research to some degree.
Inquiring into his background further, I learned that the subject remembers very little of his early life before the age of seven or eight. I gathered that like every third Tomma, Dickerson, and Hanryu in the realm, he was orphaned not long after birth. His most dated recollections make no mention of mother or father, but rather place him in the indentured care of an elderly Gor'Tog caravaner in far Arthe Dale, in the principality of Zoluren. The Tog fur trader apparently shared the chore of caring for young Bahb with a benevolent family of Olvi cheese makers in that rural area.
I tolerated the subject's rambling accounts long enough to understand that his name was given to him by the old trader, and most likely further corrupted by the Halfling children of the village. I gather he was often taunted. His size and gentle manner made him easy target for youthful jabs. Beyond that, he had little to share on the origin.
With that sparse information collected, notes meticulously taken, and the pronunciations committed to memory, I bid the Tog subject good day and returned to the library, where I spent days combing the dictionaries of Gamgweth, Gor'tog, and Common. After several false starts, I eventually came to believe I had uncovered some of the origins of the odd appellation.
The surname gave up the secret first, and the key, was Olvi cheese. The Gor'Tog word for cheese is "taru". It does not take an arzumo's leap to reach "Tah-roh" from "taru", and from there, possibly "Tahrol". Given that the subject spent his early life among cheese makers, and bolstered by his passing reference made of the painful childhood taunt "Troll! Troll! Go back to your hole!", I felt confident in my translation.
The first name was a harder nut to crack. Bahb. It presented on the surface no familiarity in Gamgweth, while exhibiting vague characteristics of the Gor'Tog language. Perhaps it was no more than the Common word "bob", to move up and down in short jerky motions. Perhaps it was simply a nursery word uttered over him by a long dead nursemaid. Putting aside my doubts, I did hazard a number of candidate Gor'Tog root words, among them: abu => stocking anabu => plant bapa => hollow bapu => cowardly bawani => rat bata => boy
Realizing I needed more facts, I sought out Bahbtahrol once more. After a days search, I located my subject, this time to the east of Shard, cooking a large spitted animal carcass under a broad cottonwood tree.
Though we had met the once, Bahb greeted me like a long lost brother, with joyful exclamation and a tap on the back the like of which sent me tumbling through the tall grass a good horse length and more. After this disconcerting reunion, and after refusing his repeated attempts to press a chunk of charred meat in my hand, I was able to steer our conversation once more to my research, presenting him with my thoughts. At the mention of "bata taru", he visibly started, eyes wide with amazement, nodding vigorously, obviously recollecting something of significance.
Boy Cheese? This had seemed the least likely candidate to me. I was stunned, and bade him explain what had sparked his reaction. What he spoke of next answered a number of questions, and in part validated my conjecture.
The old Gor'Tog trader had taken to calling him Taru Bata early in their acquaintance - the Cheese Boy. The village Olvi children, mistakenly referred to the Togling as "Bata Taru", and in later episodes tinged with a measure of cruelty, "Bata Troll", which in short order and with careless usage, deteriorated to "Baba Troll". By early adulthood, Arthe Dale township simply knew him as Babtroll, the Gor'Tog trader's servant and dairy hand. Much later, when at last he learned his letters, and put his name to paper for the first time in the Ranger Guild registry, he took his own spelling.
Bahbtahrol. Bahb for short.