Winterhide Stonestride, Grunt of the Horde, member of the Bloodhoof Tribe. Often also referred to as "the Bastard", despite his personal claim that his proper title is "Zul'Winterhide the Magnificent". This is of course the orcish translation of his name. In Taura-he, he would be referred to as Lowan'ches.
It is worth mentioning that the family name Stonestride was given to an ancestor of Winterhide as a mark of shame, indicating that he walked like a rock. Some of the more sarcastically minded Tauren still find this funny.
Winterhide is fully, wholly and completely devoted to his trade as a warrior. Swords, axes and maces make him disturbingly happy, in particular using them on a nice and squishy victim. He's practiced in most forms of combat, and is able to respond to a great variety of threats.
On a slightly more peaceful note he's learned how to work with metal, stone and gems, and gains a decent living from selling the product of such labour.
Coming from a large family, this Tauren has far more blood relations than he knows what to do with. Five brothers and seven sisters, few of whom can stand each other, is the unfortunate lot he's forced to carry in life. Both parents have however passed on. The mother, Hewnee, married into the Bloodhoof tribe, and was originally a Grimtotem, a very distant relative of Magatha Grimtotem herself. Some of her children carry her characteristic dark colorings, but they are a varied bunch, as characterized by Winterhide's off-white fur. None of them are considered "true" Bloodhoof-members though, and have traditionally been shown quite a bit of prejudice from others of the tribe. Much of this has later proven to be warranted, as the family has gotten a reputation for being somewhat twisted.
Winterhide has practiced the arts of the warrior since an early age, and has the physique to show for it. He's heavily muscled, carries scars both new and old, and carries his well-oiled weapons with obvious confidence. This battle-ready body has probably helped him avoid quite a few laughs at his expense, because only the threatening aura holds certain types of people back from commenting on his obvious reluctance to have anything to do with personal hygiene. He reeks of old sweat, old ale and things that might have crawled inside his armor to die. The white fur is barely noticable in places, and it would take some major scrubbing to restore it to its natural origin.
Winterhide comes from a background of abuse, exploitation and precious few happy moments. His family was always a nest of vipers, always seeking a chance to profit at the expense of one of their own. None more so than his mother however, who when Winterhide was merely a child, set him up in an apprenticeship with a grizzled Grimtotem warrior veteran, Altsoba, who would become the greatest influence on young Winterhide's life.
Altsoba was a man of unspeakable lusts, who justified his corrupt nature by advocating a philosophy of "might makes right". He told his pupil that this was the state of the world, the powerful take what they want, and ethics and morality are merely the tools the weak use to fight back. After all, he claimed, where in nature do you see the prey animal complain that the predator isn't just in his actions? Alienated from family and tribe, Winterhide became an easy target for his teacher, and eventually came to accept these teachings as true. He took to hate as a virtue, and worked hard at becoming powerful enough to be free of those who would subjugate him. Altsoba rewarded his hard work by further indoctrinating him into a rather mad ideology involving how the Earthmother wanted the Tauren to produce a hostile and cold generation, to better combat the dark influences of the Burning Legion.
The apprenticeship ended when Winterhide became a young man, Altsoba dying soon after. Though Winterhide had many a time wanted to kill his teacher, his death was in fact caused by sickness and old age, and Altsoba slumbered in surrounded by family and tribemembers. The young Tauren warrior then went into the world, seeking to bring his skills to bear on the enemies of his people. He did so, quite successfully, ending life after life, employing a cold hate rather than the characteristic white-hot rage displayed by many other warriors. His skills with axe, sword and mace were soon revealed to be greater than most, and he won many a reward for proving himself a colossus of the battlefield.
His personal life was far less a success though. The philosophy of hate and bitterness was anything but capable of making him an integrated member of society. He quickly made a large list of enemies, and very few who could be called friends. He tried to hold on to his values however, as he could not see any other path being rational. Civilization was and is merely a trap for the minds of the strong. A great deal of exposure to other ideals have made him question, and even regret some of his past actions though. While he still believes in the right of the powerful to determine the fates of the weak, he's developed more compassion in his approach, and secretly regrets some of his former crimes. Still, he remains a solitary figure, never quite daring to allow himself to become part of a greater whole.
Winterhide was in some ways a lucky child. His mother, for reasons of her own, bestowed upon him a rather formidable education, quite rare for a people normally more impressed with wisdom and practical skills than formal logic. A goblin teacher was hired for a probably considerable sum of money, an aged traveller sharing his experiences and knowledge on a dozen different cultures, and the science, philosophy and morality of them all. Altsoba always made sure to interpret what Winterhide heard to his advantage though, ensuring that the Shu'Halo grew to scorn these other points of view.
Upon becoming a man and beginning his career as a soldier of the Horde, Winterhide had the following dialogue with his teacher Altsoba, in front of family and those few who might be termed friends.
A: What is the moral right?
W: There is no morality. Morality is the invention of civilization. It is the slave voice that keeps you from using your strength. Ethics always supports the weaker party, becoming the way by which a weak man fights. The strong takes, the weak become victims, and by becoming victims, bends others to their will. Civilization itself was made by the weak, in a great bid for them to redefine strength.
A: So the strong should stand alone?
W: No. There is no being so strong that it can withstand the collective attack of everyone. Hence, alliances must be made. But true alliances must consist only of the strong. The weak should be purged from our ranks, and never be let back in. If the weak are allowed room, then they become not an asset, but a burden. Only when a warrior is strong in solitude can he be strong in a group. Hence, isolation breeds readiness for collective power.
A: And the Earthmother?
W: Each living being is part of the superbeing known as the Earthmother. She is the all-life, and hence, her wishes are also my wishes. To fight for her is to fight for myself. I do not follow her bidding because she is wiser, stronger and better than me. I follow her wishes because she is me.
A: What is mercy?
W: Mercy is what the weak use to dominate the strong. Mercy is the ideal that corrupts the strong, leaving them open to becoming the tools of the civilized. It is easy for a strong warrior to slay a weak one, but a silver tongue can reduce even the mightiest of arms to submission. Hence, the mind must become as sharp as the sword, so it can cut away the lies.
A: What is the greatest goal?
W: To be pure. To be in accordance with the wishes of the Earthmother. To never bend knee, to never allow anyone to rule your spirit, to take what you want when you want it, to experience every sensation to the fullest. To live in accordance with power, and die without ever having been a servant.
A: You are ready. Go out into the world. Eat your fill, drink of the rivers, kill what you wish. Be true to your will, and the world will tremble.
Winterhide is a fractured individual. Not, a split personality, he does not contain several selves. However, he is torn between multiple conflicting identy fragments, which tends to leave him feeling conflicted and socially changeable. By simplifying his character, we can speak of three major pieces of Winterhide.
1. The benign Tauren
By birth, Lowan'ches was a promising child, having both warmth and courage, and would have made a fine young man had he been allowed to grow up in a gentle and nurturing environment. This positive spirit is not gone, but has been beaten into submission, and is currently trying to find a way to deal with his pain.
2. The hateful warrior
By education, Winterhide was formed into a soldier of anger, raising a bitter fist to the sky and promising vendettas against practically everyone. He considers himself a drone of the Earthmother, made for an extreme time, with the purpose of destruction of Her enemies. Few are the people he does not consider enemies, and the only reason he is not joining the Grimtotem is due to placing the undead, the allies of the Grimtotem, on the top of that list.
3. The idiot braggart
The contrast between the hate and the love of the two previous segments have formed a compromise of sorts. Winterhide has developed a third character fragment over time, a rather foolish clown-like figure who enjoys telling people how wonderful he is. Winterhide considers this to be an act, and indeed, to a considerable extent, it is just that. A "toy" to play with, a role to act out. However, he might very well not grasp the deeper meaning of this act. The aggressive nature of the buffon allows the hateful side of him room, but the fact that his act is made too extreme to be taken seriously, allows him to approach people and form connections. Secretly, it has become a way to reach out to other people, without having to lower his defenses.
Linking to various TVtropes has become a favourite of many such wikipages, and in the interest of proving my lack of originality, then here are a few such tropes that might represent various sides of Winterhide's character.