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The Thunderhead was a different animal. Once that big ox got properly riled there was no calming him. Not without ten strong men and a lot of rope.

The Dogman on Tul Duru Thunderhead

Tul Duru Thunderhead is part of Logen Ninefingers's original crew of Named Men, along with Dogman, Harding Grim, Black Dow, Forley the Weakest and Rudd Threetrees.

Appearance and Personality Edit

Tul is truly a giant of a man with a thick beard; most people consider him the biggest man they've ever seen. Few men can stand against Tul's massive bulk and big heavy sword in battle, other than Logen Ninefingers of course, but then again the Bloody-Nine is a different sort of man.  

Tul has a deep, booming voice, and a laugh like thunder, which is probably where he gets his Name. He's probably the most basically decent member of Logen's band, and well liked by most men in The North, except for Black Dow; the pair don't get on, and invariably bicker. You really won't like him when he's angry, but luckily he's quite slow to stirred up.

In addition to Northern, Tul understands the Union tongue a bit, but doesn't speak it[1].

History Edit

Tul Duru Thunderhead was one of the champions that Logen Ninefingers fought in single combat for Bethod. It was one of the most decisive duels in Bethod's rise to King of the Northmen, with the whole fate of The North turning on that bloody half hour. Ninefingers beat him but allowed him to live. Logen still has a big notch out of his ear from the duel.

Shortly before the start of the series, bad blood developed between Logen and Bethod. Logen and his crew, including the Thunderhead, were imprisoned in Carleon. Expecting death, Bethod inexplicitly allows them to go into exile.

The Blade Itself Edit

With Logen presumed dead after his fall from a cliff during a Shanka attack, Tul and Dow argue about who should be the new chief. Eventually, Dow sees that everyone is against him, and relents, with Threetrees becoming the new chief of the crew. He decided they will go south.

On the journey, they learn that The North is now at war with The Union. With Bethod army heading south, they fear that The North will be undefended against the Shanka. Forley the Weakest proposes warning the only person they can, Bethod himself. Bethod fears all the others in the crew, so the Forley should be the one to do it. Although, they fear for Forley’s safety, it’s the best idea they have.

Forley entered Carleon alone to deliver the warning. The crew hide away, while Threetrees stand alone on a bridge waiting for the answer. It comes in the form of Bethod’s Carls, who throw Forley’s head in a sack at Threetrees feet. At the sight of their dead friend, the crew attack and butcher all of Bethod’s men without mercy.

Threetrees says the words over Forley's grave honouring his self-sacrifice. Afterwards, Threetrees makes an announcement; the enemy of my enemy is my friend; he will join with the Union to fight Bethod. Who’s coming with him?

Before They Are Hanged Edit

Crossing the river Whiteflow into Angland, Tul Duru Thunderhead and the rest of the crew are turned away at Ostenhorm when they try to offer their services to The Union. To convince them, they ambush Lord Marshal Burr and Colonel West, and the Lord Marshal agrees, assigning them to Prince Ladisla's division, under West's command.

Colonel West sends Threetrees' crew scouting north of the river Cumnur. The crew soon find one of Bethod's scouting parties. After disposing of them, they follow their tracks and discover the King of the Northmen's whole damn army, ten thousand men not five days march away from Ladisla's division. However, when Threetrees and West inform the Prince, he decides to meet the Northmen in battle without delay. Threetrees declares them all fools. His crew won’t fight with The Union, too blind to see they have no chance of defeating Bethod’s host.

However, the crew follows the Union's army safe in the forest, and witnesses the massacre of Ladisla's division. Amidst the chaos, Dogman finds West, Ladisla, Pike and Cathil, and brings them back to the rest of his crew. Threetrees and the others keep following Bethod's army, surprised to find they are now going north, ignoring the easypickings further south. Eventually, the crew make it safely to the main Union Army near Dunbrec, to warn them of Bethod’s movements, though Ladisla dies on the way. More rebel Northmen soon start to join Threetrees crew against Bethod, including Caul Shivers.

As Bethod and The Union prepare for battle, Threetrees' crew are assigned to General Poulder's division tasked with flanking the enemy while Kroy diverts their attention. However Bethod lays on some surprises, first the Shanka attack, and then Fenris the Feared. During the mêlée, Threetrees finds himself facing the Feared alone. The old warrior gives it his best, but the Feared crunches him to the turf, mortally wounded. Eventually, the Feared is routed by Tul, Dow and Shivers, leaving behind him a devastated crew, its leader dead.

The crew bury Threetrees. Overcome with emotion, Dogman cannot speak for Threetrees. Nor can Tul or Dow who seem lessened with their chief’s death. To the surprise of all, Harding Grim steps forward to speak the words. Afterwards, Tul and Dow agree that neither one can be leader, so the crew names the Dogman as their new chief.

Last Argument of Kings Edit

Tul Duru Thunderhead and Dogman's growing crew seize the town of Uffrith with as little bloodshed as possible, to allow The Union to use the city as a port for supplies.

Later, when Dogman is holding a war council, Logen Ninefingers returns from his journey, to the amazement of all his old crew. Tul grabbed hold of him and folded him in a crushing hug. Not everyone is happy to see the Bloody-Nine, especially Caul Shivers whose brother he once killed, but Tul consoles him saying their Names are a heavy weight, and Logen’s heaviest of all. Tul assures him the men will be glad to have him when the fighting starts.

Soon they encounter the hillman Crummock-i-Phail, and come up with a plan to lure Bethod into a trap in the High Places, using his hatred of Logen, Crummock, and the men around them. The Thunderhead leads a crew throwing rocks from the wall during the seven days on bloody siege in the High Places. When the gate is finally breached, Logens crew are unable to stem the tide, and he goes down in the crush of bodies. Disoriented in the mud, Tul lifts him and starts carrying him to safety. Unable to answer, Logen tries to push him away, but can’t, as the Bloody-Nine takes hold. Through a bloody smile, the Bloody Nine cuts his throat and takes his sword.

To everyone’s surprise, Black Dow speaks the words over Tul’s grave

Tul Duru Thunderhead. Back to the mud. The dead know, we didn’t always see things the same way, me and him. Didn’t often agree on nothing, but maybe that was my fault, as I’m a contrary bastard at the best o’ times. I regret it now, I reckon. Now it’s too late. Tul Duru. Every man in the North knew his name, and every man said it with respect, even his enemies. He was the sort o’ man… that gave you hope, I reckon. That gave you hope. You want strength, do you? You want courage? You want things done right and proper, the old way? There you go. Tul Duru Thunderhead. Look no fucking further. I’m less, now that he’s gone, and so are all o’ you.

–Black Dow on Tul Duru Thunderhead

IllustrationsEdit

  • Tul Duru Thunderhead by YapAttackGo to http://yapattack.deviantart.com

ReferencesEdit

  1. Before They Are Hanged, Heading North

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