Tusk as a Pictish warrior

I mentioned this idea briefly in the previous forums but I think it’s worthy of its own thread.

Tusk’s background and ethnicity appear to be a sort of conundrum for the developers to build a story with. They don’t want to go back in time like they did in the 90s. So they want him of a low tech culture which is proficient at surviving in the wilderness indefinitely.
The problem is, we don’t know of any survivalist societies wherein people brandish enormous swords in this day and age, which is Tusk’s signature weapon.

My take on the situation:
I believe fans just want a barbarian with a giant sword (possibly with other weapon options like a battle axe) which means we need to bring Tusk to our time from quasi-medieval times… Unless he’s the descendant of some warrior race. Both are plausible I suppose. I personally prefer him to be a true warrior of the old world.

Who are the Picts?
From Wikipedia: “The Picts were a tribal confederation of peoples who lived in what is today eastern and northern Scotland during the Late Iron Age and Early Medieval periods. They are thought to have been ethnolinguistically Celtic.”
As I understand, Pictish men and women supposedly fought without clothing, which could just mean they wore very little. Such as a loincloth of fur.
They were known to sport extensive tattooing all over their bodies. They were thought to have used swords. Some probably had beards and/or mustaches. Long hair was probably common.
Here are some modern interpretations of Pictish warriors.

This last picture is the Pictish scout from Conan. (Hence the Arnold standing next to him.)
Notice the common theme of muscular, tattooed, bladed weapons, leathers and furs, the last one has a boney ornament. I see no reason to assume they wouldn’t know what a tusk is.

Why should Tusk be Pictish?
I think Picts make a good foundation because they weren’t around for very long and rather little is known about them. This allows all the creative liberty IG might want to make use of.

So what would Tusk’s story be? How did he get to the future?
I mentioned this in the previous forum.
Let’s say a certain tribe of Picts discovered Gargos. The best they could do to combat the imminent threat was to train up a group of elite warriors, among which Tusk was the largest and deadliest. They end up fighting Gargos and despite their losses, (perhaps this is how the Picts disappear from history) they drive Gargos back to his realm. Tusk pursues him and the portal closes behind him. Gargos imprisons Tusk in shadowy stasis as a trophy, and as revenge for foiling his plot to rule the world… Or whatever.
Kan Ra blunders in by ARIA’s design and opens a portal into Gargos’ realm. Gargos wasn’t expecting this. With the portal opened, not only does Gargos gain access to our world, but Tusk is also released from stasis into our time. A specially trained, enormous, muscular, tattooed barbarian with an equally enormous sword forged to slay a shadow god. And he’s angry.

By the way, I’d love to see pictish symbology engraved into the blade of Tusk’s sword. Something like these authentic Pictish stone carvings:

IG, do what you have to with the story, but all I truly want is the 6’11" barbarian with the big sword. I don’t really care about how he gets to fight Gargos centuries after his time… You gave us a Battletoad. Nothing about Tusk’s story is going to trump that. Heck, I’d be content if he’s just a descendant of Cuchulainn or the Fianna and has been awakened to his purpose by the coming of Gargos or something.


I think the harder they work at it, the worse Tusk’s backstory will be. Just make him the hereditary hero/champion/warlord of some secret society who takes up the ancient blade to meet the challenge of Gargos/ultra tech or whatever. It worked for Maya. In the end, her story is “modern” but it’s not realistic or remotely plausible. What jungle is that anyway? Don’t worry about it. He doesn’t have to be anything as long as he is a big barbarian fighting with a sword.

Maybe he’s a pict, maybe he’s a Visigoth, maybe he’s a Templar who lost his shirt. Maybe he’s an actor who went nuts. Doesn’t matter as long as he looks and plays like the Conan ripoff that he is.


Man, I really love this. Great stuff I hope IG consider this concept, I would put this #1 idea for background story of Tusk

I hope IG are reading this backstory, I personally never liked Tusk but this makes me interested.

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I like pretty much everything about your proposed story, especially the idea that he will arrive through the same portal that Gargos does, as it’s not QUITE time travel, but allows for the classic imagery from the original Tusk without some bizarre explanation of how he’s just some office drone who dresses up for Ren Faires on the weekend.


LOL I laughed so hard with the last sentence, sounds like a friend of mine who works at a bank as a financial advisor but if you go to his place he has a real long barbarian battle sword and he tells me how he fantasizes about being in a fur underwear with that sword on his back that just clings with no apparatus holding the sword on his back. He just wishes someone to try and break into his place and wants to go in public like that so that people praise his courage and will finally respect him unless they want to taste his sword. I’m not joking but it is funny!


I read the Highlander suggestion. While I know he’s referring to making Tusk an immortal, that movie character’s ethnicity isn’t far from this Pict idea. I think the Highlanders occupied areas of Scotland around the same time as the Picts, if I’m not mistaken. Linguistically they may have been similar. I just think the Picts were more barbaric and lived off the land more than the highlanders, which makes them a little more appropriate for Tusk imo. I’d rather not see Tusk in a kilt.
Lowlanders, however, didn’t wear kilts.

If Tusk is not going to be a Pict, then Lowlander would be the next best thing.
If he can’t be a Lowlander, then maybe a Highlander.
But as I understand it, the Highlanders were more organized/civilized. (Not fitting for what most of us want from Tusk.)
But the Picts are often depicted as being the savages of Scotland.
If you saw the movie Eagle, that scary Seal Tribe was Pictish. (The director refrained from tattooing them because he was afraid they’d look too native american.)

Yeah I can get behind this it seems allot more fitting to Tusk than the highlander or modern outdoor’s man idea’s that’s been floating around for a while now.

Also I can definitely see Pictish symbols working on Tusk especially what you said about the sword engravings.

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If people are impartial about Tusk’s background as long as he’s a barbarian with a giant sword, then I suppose using the portal as the means of his arrival would allow him to come from any time and any place. He could even be from another world…

Half a year later, I’m still hoping we get something like this idea.

I’m wringing my hands about whether or not they’ve done the right thing with Tusk.