Orcs

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The Orcs were the second of the races Einhasad had created, together with her son Pa'agrio, who gave them the spirit of Fire. They possessed inexhaustible strength and great will power. However, they were not as strong as the Giants. Therefore, the Giants let the Orcs serve them in warfare.

After the fall of the Giants, the Elves were first to take control of the situation, as they were the race responsible for politics during the time of the Giants. The Elves were successful in unifying the races and continued on with their lives. But as time passed, it became apparent that the Elves did not have the same capabilities to rule that the Giants had. The first to stand against the Elves were the Orcs: "Are the Elves stronger than we? No! Do the Elves have the right to rule over us? No! We cannot bear that those who are weaker than we dare to stand above us!"

The Orcs were skilled soldiers, fearless and proud, and, having lived only in peace, the Elves were no match for them. Most of the land became Orc territory in an instant and the Elves were driven to a corner of the continent. There the Elves sought aid from the Dwarves who, with their great wealth and superior weapons, would have been a serious opponent for the Orcs. But the Dwarves coldly refused to aid the Elves. To their eyes, the world had turned in favor of the Orcs. There was no reason for the pragmatic Dwarves to side with the weak. The Elves were enraged, but could not sway their decision.

After the Arteias too had turned down the desparate pleas of the Elves, the latter finally found an ally in the Humans, a fifth race created by Einhasad's husband Gran Kain. The Human "king" promised to help the Elves in their war against the Orcs if they would teach the Humans their magic. The Elves felt that this request was no threat and should be honored; the Humans were too weak, and they themselves certainly could not defeat the Orcs without help. Then the Humans quickly absorbed the ways of magic, learning much faster than the Elves had anticipated. The Human bodies, though not as strong as those of Orcs, had been strengthened through constant labor and infighting among their kind. They were adept with their hands and could skillfully wield weaponry, and more than anything else, their numbers were huge and impressive. In a short amount of time, the Human army became a formidable force.

Soon the Human-Elf alliance began to win more and more of their battles against the Orcs. As the tides of war turned in favor of the alliance, the Dwarves shifted allegiance from the Orcs and began to craft battle supplies for the Humans. With the stronger armor and sharp Dwarven weapons, the Humans could now overcome the Orc army without the aid of Elven forces. Eventually the war ended with the victory of the Human-Elf alliance. The Orcs were forced to sign a humiliating peace treaty and quickly retreated to the safety of the Immortal Plateau, in the northwestern part of Elmore.

This defeat, the experience that strength is of no use against cunning, left the Orcs heavily traumatized. Isolated on the Immortal Plateau, they split into seven tribes: the Hestui, who chose the strong bear as their protective animal, the Atuba, who saw themselves as merciless fighters, even killing members of their own race if need be, the Neruga, who claimed that they never backed off until they had defeated their enemies, the Gandi, who had the habit of "fighting to the death in order to feel alive", the Duda-Mara with their spider totem, who were the only ones who had learned that strategy and tactics are at least as important as physical strength and consequently produced more Shamans and clever people than any other tribe, the pragmatic Ragna, who were not above a bit of treachery, and the Urutu, who saw it as their task to punish the "betrayers" and displayed that spirit in their tribal symbol, a sword embedded in an Orc's skull.

While the Ragna Orcs soon went their own way, as before them the Timak, the Breka and other groups who had got cut off during the war against the Human-Elf alliance, the other six tribes built for themselves a fortress-like village, with a temple to Pa'agrio, at the westernmost corner of the Immortal Plateau. In an attempt to deal with their defeat, they made up their own religion, with a somewhat simplified creation myth which claimed that after Pa'agrio had made the First Orc, he had sent him directly to the Immortal Plateau "to control the chaos"; no mention being made of the Orcs having been put to work as soldiers by the Giants. The conflict with the other races was explained as "the gods of wind, earth and water" being jealous of the First Orc's power, who was "much stronger than their puny creations". It was those gods who were seeking to kill the First Orc. "Eventually they were successful, but not before the mighty Orc created, with his last dying breath, the originators of the Seven Tribes." Those "Seven Originators" (a representation of the low population base after the retreat) were then working hard to make the tribes prosperous, increasing their numbers until they had among them 108 clans.

But paradise never lasts. A betrayal by the Ragna tribe, never elaborated upon in detail, was claimed to have been responsible for the Orcs forgetting the teachings of their ancestors and wasting "thousands of years" fighting each other. This home-made religion is propagated and kept alive by Shamans. Every year, young Shamans are sent at the end of their training into the Cave of Trials, where they undergo, probably aided by the volcanic fumes, some sort of communal halluzination, actually seeing Ancestor Martankus, the Originator of the Hestui tribe, as well as the First Orc himself. From the lava flowing in that cave they bring back the "Immortal Flame", representing the fire that had been bestowed upon the Orcs by Pa'agrio at the beginning of the world. With this holy fire the ever burning torches of the Pa'agrio temple and the village are then newly lighted.


Links

Orc Class and Features
Orc Class Descriptions
Legend


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