Orcs part 3

The Trials for male orcs involve a grueling set of tests designed to place the orc correctly in orc society.  It is here that the Sheshua try to determine if the orcling has any special abilities or gifts.  If the child appears to have gifts he is set aside to undergo the Gift Trials, for orcs who might be candidates to become members of the Orc High Council.  Orcs who are born with no magical tendencies or special abilities undergo the Blood Trials, the passage to become a warrior and perhaps a Tron later on.  Orcs who fall in between or it is uncertain where to be placed but appear to be useful are trained to be Sheshua.

Orcs who are larger and much stronger and intelligent are considered candidates for becoming a Tron (a superior orc) who answers only to the warlord.  Trons help the warlord with strategy, organizing legions, arming and prepping their warriors and controlling the clan in general during times of war.  The majority of Trons are above seven feet and are athletically built for intense warfare against a variety of opponents.  To become a Tron an orcling must first pass the Blood Trials.  Depending on how he scores, a warrior can be given Tron status, but this is the exception to the rule; most become standard warriors.  Trons are exceptional warriors who are candidates for becoming the future warlord of their clan.  Becoming a Tron automatically means annual breeding rights with the females.

Orcs are taught not to fear death but to welcome it.  Suicide, however, is thought to be a coward’s end, while death in battle is considered glorious.  Orcs who have been badly wounded or have become too old are honorably put to death.  Orcs believe that when a warrior dies honorably he goes to the Great Mountain, which is the gateway to the Spirit Realm.  The Spirit Realm is the collection of the greatest warrior souls, where they serve as ancestral guides to the living.

The orcs of Oringard are one clan of the Orc High Council of Nubrince.  It is not unheard of for clans to go rogue and break off from a High Council, such as was the case with the orcs of Kasmoon, who conquered the upper half of the divided ancient kingdom of Paia, then appointed a king and fashioned an entirely different orc society separate from the High Council.  The Nation of Oringard is among the much larger and more successful clans who adhere to the Orc High Council of Nubrince.  The orcs were triumphant in their invasion of Oringard, driving out the elves in 460 ACW.  However, early on in their history, the orcs of Oringard began to squabble over what land to conquer next.  Most wanted to press west into Damir, where the ground could be cultivated, yet a segment of their people saw the Golden Mountains as a place to take refuge and launch attacks from higher ground.  This division caused a civil war within Oringard, one that lasted nearly forty years and decimated the clan.

The orc civil war within Oringard ended with the losing clan wishing to drive north to go rogue, defying the High Council, which ruled in favor of the orcs staying in Oringard and eventually conquering Damir.  Heading north, this rogue orc clan stumbled upon the dwarven fortress of Gilstad in 525 ACW and attacked it, launching the 7th War of Damir.  But the war was brief and the orcs were badly defeated.  Forced to retreat, their shattered army went north into the Golden Mountains and were never heard from again.  The orcs that stayed behind in Oringard spent the next seventy years forced to re-populate and rebuild defensive structures that had been totaled during the civil war.

The orcs did not make headway against Damir until the warlord Phumbaas, who organized the first ever massive orc invasion to cross the Paia and marched west toward Merrimont, the city of the elves, in 601 ACW.  The 10th War of Damir changed the land and gave the orcs tremendous confidence that they would eventually take Damir, despite the loss.  Even with Phumbaas’ defeat, the orcs had made their point: they were to be a thorn in Damir’s side for years to come.

Mal Orah-

The warlord and/or his Trons issue battle commands through the beats of orc drums.  The Mal Orah, which means “Death Charge”, is a command given to attack with maximum effort.  Typically, the Mal Orah is sounded for a full verse before the orcs actually charge, as a means of intimidating their enemies prior to assault.  The Mal Orah consists of slow beats that gradually get faster and louder until they are done in rapid succession.  The Death Charge is described as deafening, as the orcs usually use an abundance of drums, which beat together at once.  The Mal Orah is also used as a form of distraction, the noise making it difficult for their enemies to communicate.

Shogue Language-

The native tongue of orcs everywhere is the Shogue language.  The orcs refused to adopt the Druish language, yet it was still learned in some circles and is still taught among orcs of high positions such as Trons.  Considered the language of the Juhas, orcs only speak Druish rarely or for reconnaissance purposes.  Shogue is a slow language, as it is more important to pronounce the word than to speak it quickly.  Partly due to their militaristic society, orcs want to ensure that their words are heard and understood.  Because Shogue is relatively simple and slow it is among the easiest languages for other races to eventually master.

Orcs in Age of Thunder:

  • Kazul
  • Gozma
  • Noxima
  • Crohl
  • Mogabi
  • Mutawa
  • Morgon
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Elves part 2

A sophisticated race of scholars, warriors, artisans, healers, alchemists, shepherds, merchants, and farmers- there are few professions to which elves don’t aspire.  Elves are a strict and traditional people, who conform to a disciplined way of thinking and acting.  Men are taught to mind their words, while women are taught not to slouch but walk elegantly.  Manners and courtesy are consistently taught, rigidly followed, but when it comes to politics they are rarely practiced.  Elves have a tendency of becoming overly-passionate in political forums, as elven politics has a reputation of being volatile. 

Regarded as a highly emotional race, elves tend to be sentimental toward things the other races care little for.  But it’s these sentiments that allow elves to see and know things that others take for granted and miss, such as farming.  Elves take the growth and care of the land very seriously.  They learn as much about the earth as they can, draw from its resources, but never exhaust the source.  Not known for their stoicism, elves are usually up front with their feelings.  The few elves that are stoic are generally not as highly thought of, considered to be too reclusive and/or improper.

What gives elves an advantage over most other races is their deep knowledge in the medicine and alchemy trades.  Able to develop ointments and herbal remedies by elven alchemists, elven merchants are the only known merchants who frequently stock such items.  It has been this knowledge and the ability to sell their products to a vast network of races that has kept elves relevant and needed in multi-cultural societies such as Damir.

There are three breeds of elves in the world: wood, dark, and high.  Commonalities include a slight figure, long pointed ears, youthful appearances, and medium height range (between 5’0” to 5’9”).  High elves are the most common of the three.  Elves can live for about a hundred years and barely age.  Their hair will gray some and blemishes will appear on the skin, but for the most part a seventy year old elf will look up to fifty years younger.  Elven women reach full physical maturity at age seventeen and males at twenty. 

Wood elves are tanned in skin color, and are usually a nomadic people who shy from large populated areas.  Wood elves have an affinity for nature, preferring to live out in nature and off the land than in any organized community.  Wood elf communities that are remote have been known to be hostile.

Dark elves are very pale in skin color, can have purple eyes and hair, and slightly longer ears than other elves.  Dark elves have a deep understanding for the mysticism of the world, believing in spirits and fortune.  Many dark elves have been known to have mind powers such as reading and controlling minds, telepathy and some telekinesis.  These powers have benefited dark elves but have made them feared and disliked.  Seen as the ugly step-child of the elven race, dark elves are distrusted by other races, but most devoutly by high elves. 

High elves have fair skin, with a wide range of hair and eye colors.  They earned the title “high” for being the ruling class of elves when they were at the apex of their civilization.  Known for their social skills and ambitions, high elves enjoy building up their society and living in cities.

In terms of religion, elves do not worship a particular deity, but they do believe in a heaven where all elves are meant to go once they shed their mortal bodies.  But as mortals they have purpose: a destiny they are meant to follow and fulfill.  Only when their destiny is met will the Morningstar Elyssus accept their spirit into its heavenly realm.  An elf who does not follow or fulfill his/her destiny will be cursed to wander the spirit world.  To help get them to Elyssus, the star took four mortal women and made them into its Angels.  Each angel represents a path for the elves to follow.  Depending on when a particular elf is born, he/she is assigned an angel’s path to follow, and by walking that path the elf is sure to reach his/her destiny, and make their way to Elyssus.

Within their society, elves have a rigid system of codes that they obligate their people into following.  Always with a perspective of being superior in their ethics and customs, the elves regard themselves as more civilized than humans and dwarves.  Priding themselves on their low crime rate, the elves attribute that to their ability to control their most basic desires.  Indeed, keeping one’s chastity, male and female included, is of high priority.  Marriage and intimacy are considered sacred, and the elves look at other races’ promiscuity issues as abominable. 

Women in elven society are still subject to arranged marriages and can only own property if father and/or husband is gone.  Women are permitted to fight, but such a thing is rare as it is unofficially seen as taboo.  However, only women can be priests, and most elven scholars are female.  Despite the inconsistencies of their roles, women are highly valued in elven society.  Due to low birth rate and a high death rate for the mother, the elven population has slumped.  An elven woman who can bear more than three children in her lifetime without dying is considered a marvel.

Because of their population drop and the inability to keep up with human growth, the elves know they haven’t the numbers to compete militarily.  However, economically the elves have a corner on the merchant and agricultural trade, making their existence in Damir necessary and at times crucial to the kingdom’s development and success.

Elves can intermix with other races, such as humans and goblins, and very rarely with dwarves.  Known as half-breeds, a human and elf mixture will normally mean the child will be one or the other mostly, with a few characteristics from the other.  Elves who are remarkably taller or fatter than other elves are half-breeds.  Elves do not get to six feet and they are never fat (elves cannot store excess fat; they burn it or die from it).  Any one of these characteristics suggests a half-breed.  Then there are gelfs: goblin and elf hybrids, who are remarkably unique and exotic looking with skin, eye and hair color assortments like none other.  Unfortunately, gelfs are regarded poorly in both elf and goblin society, and are sometimes run off.

Old Elvish Language-

Elvish is the old language of the elves, before they were taught Druish by the Great Druids a thousand years ago.  While elves speak perfect Druish, they are still taught the old language if only to retain some element of their culture different from whatever multicultural society they may belong to.  Elvish is a fast tongue, meant to get one’s meaning out in one breath.  Thus, the majority of Elvish sentences and thoughts are given in a single breath.  In four breaths, an elf speaking Elvish could have just spoken the equivalent of a paragraph’s worth of information.  While this can be done by any language, it is practiced in Elvish as a discipline for elves to speak and think quickly.

Elves in Age of Thunder:

  • Steffano
  • Talia
  • Opal
  • Moon
  • Fiona
  • Diana
  • Quinn
  • Mortimus
  • Aries
  • Zaphira
  • Alastina
  • Elias
  • Arculf
  • Chevalia
  • Massani