An Eldrow warrior, hopelessly lost in the Southlands until he blundered into Morikand, Graz Tak and company. Orbelain is tall and heavily-built, with the dark skin of his kind, a shaved head, black eyes and a braided black beard.
He found himself fighting Dalt'enn and demons almost immediately, and had nearly all his life force drained by Spike the demon Orc.
This could have marked the end of his career, but Morikand the demonologist bound a demon into his longaxe for him, The resultant weapon enabled him to 'return the favour' and drain the soul of a Dalt'enn prisoner to restore his own. He named the axe Conduct after this.
While it would not be fair to say that this made Orbelain a different person,
it did affect his personality significantly. He became far less inclined
to restraint, or mercy, or reflection, and far more inclined to react with
extreme force. He threw himself into the war on the Dalt'enn with gusto.
A second setback was having all his strength drained by another demon. This
time it was Blant Farrand who rescued Orbelain (and Gila) using the necromantic
power of the Necras ring. More tainted power was added to his life-force.
In the climactic battle, it was Orbelain who struck the final blow to slay Lord Dread, and (after being petrifed and restored) slew Amarel the Seer, last of the Dalt'enn.
After the party's return to Nyrn, Orbelain assisted whilst Graz and Morikand manouvred the defeat and abdication of Galnadar the King of Nyrn, saving Nyrnik from obliteration at the hands of Drusor Luckwardern. The city was established as a Free State, with the companions pulling the strings of the Council, and both Drusor and Illeum visited to celebrate the peaceful end of the war.
Both made strong representations to the party to secure their aid in the war in the North, but with the eye for chaos that typified the group, they travelled north in the flying ship Eagle and offered their assistance to Korven instead. An inspiriation struck Vetrick and Orbelain, and they re-visited Gresil's library, where they sank themselves into the study of the tactical geniuses of their era and ones past. Drusor Luckwarden, Piers Van Trek and Loramas were their field, and they eagerly absorbed the lore of battle as illustrated by each. Vetrick was an apt pupil, soon acquiring tactical skills beyond those of any other mortal living, but Orbelain took to the art of strategy as if born to it. At the end of the day when he returned to Greyhawk, he possessed the greatest tactical mind in the world.
Persuading Korven to loan them an army, the companions made an assault on Morinae, the next city in the demonologist emperor's plan of conquest. Combining Orbelain's tactics, Blant Farrand's magic, Vetrick and Gila's suicidal valour and Morikand's demonic airborne assault, the city was conquered swiftly and with minimal losses. Flushed with success, the companions moved on to Gullhaven, the next city northwards. The gauntlet had been thrown down and Drusor had to respond to save his reputation as the general who never lost.
It was at this point that things started to go wrong.
Morikand took the Eagle and a picked group of Forlorn Hope warriors - the first over the wall at Morinae and the army's crack troops - to try and flank Drusor's army south of Gullhaven. Ambushed by Khulandir archers, they were massacred and only escaped at all thanks to swift magic from Morikand.
The demon assassin Asigoth, relentlessly pursuing Blant Farrand, harried them as they travelled north, slaying the sorcerer once but balked by a Magic Jar. Finally, he succeeded. Seeking other allies, Vetrick, Gila, Morikand and Graz went to see Valadain in van Myrid, and while they were away Drusor brought Orbelain to battle south of Gullhaven.
The sides were evenly matched, and normally armies would shun a battle on such conditions. Neither general would back down here however, and battle was joined. It wasn't a noble battle, or even a particularly brilliant tactical battle; in the end it came down to simple, bloody grinding of flesh and lives between rage and metal. The remainder of the Forlorn Hope who had covered themselves in such glory at Morinae fought valiantly, and Orbelain directed his troops with all the skill at his command, but it wasn't quite enough, and in the end Orbelain himself was brought to bay, ringed by Drusor's few hundred survivors, atop a mound of his own slain soldiers.
Drusor wanted him to surrender, but Orbelain refused; he'd asked all these men to die for him and he would not dishonour them by surrendering now. The pair fought as the sun sank. Drusor tried to wound and capture Orbelain, or disarm him, but the eldrow general refused to accept such dubious mercy, and fought on as his Stoneskin was eroded inexorably away. Finally, inevitably, Drusor snuffed him out and the greatest tactician since Loramas died on the field of his first - and last - major battle.
Although he lost the battle of Gullhaven, Orbelain partly achieved his aim; for though Orbelain had lost, Drusor could not in honesty say that he had won either. His handful of ragged survivors were not enough to defend Gullhaven, and once Orbelain's friends managed to get reinforcements there it was ripe for the picking.