Athos: The Return
Orcs are one of the five major Athosian races. They have the fourth largest population centred heavily on the continent of Grashnak. Orcs are known best for their brutality and fierceness in war. Their strategies, often extremely complex, are handled with absolute efficiency. The most essential unit of Orc is the clan which is lead by a Warlord, called a Mazronok. Orcs, however, are not exclusively bellicose. Orcish merchants are well respected due to their extensive connections and shrewd negotiation skills. The Orc is very opportunistic, capable of great shows of force with either kopesh or words. They are often incredibly successful. Technological advancements in Orcish Cosmopoli (sprawling urban centres of great advancement) are astounding and stand far ahead of the general global progress.
Due to vast deviation in Orcish geographic distribution for millenia and stark inner divisions of clans, cultures vary greatly from group to group. There are four major groups of Orcish culture. Grashnaki, the Orcs of Grashnak, the Romatan, who are the Orcs on Elandir, the Androzze, who are the island dwelling Orcs of the Corvasian and the Andarii, and the newest, Cosmopoli, which appeared in speech around the year 5000 to denote both the great cities and Orcs who embraced their culture.
The first of the Orcs were born on Sysitar, as with all other Athosian life. They built the first city in the South-West, Raxnaxes. Many however, opted to live bucolic lives herding. Orcs are still today considered the finest beastmasters in all of the world and the Orcish rider is a force to be reckoned with. The Orcish culture of Sysitar flourished and was one of the most prime in all the Realm. At the time of The Reckoning, the plague had claimed the lives of the live stock first, forcing them to flee. As a result, the Orcs took the most casualties. They fled North to Grashnak, which had been initially populated by small colonies of Men and Dwarves on the coast. The First War of the Orcs removed any colonies who opposed Orcish hegemony, and in the disconnect from Sysitar and each other, the Orcs splintered into clans rapidly. Warlords separated across the plateaus of Grashnak and began nomad lives. The war was then replaced with the War of Failed Succession that saw the joining of the clans with the other Athosian races to fight Nox. At War’s end, the Orcs returned to their clans.
For the first millenium and a half of the Second Age, the Orcs built their clans with quick populations. They worshiped powerful demigods of war and the elements. Strength for their martial nature. Clans frequently fought and were absorbed into each other. Slowly, the clans became bigger and bigger. The founding of Turokism led to even greater divine providence for the Mazronoki, or Warlords, around 1500.
In 1894, The Second War of the Orcs led to the death of two of every five Orcs on Grashnak. In its wake the Orcs established The Great Council of Turok where Warlord disputes would be settled by agreement. In that way wars were not deterred, but were controlled.
The Second Contact War in 2164 saw the Orcs join with the other Athosian Races in order to subdue the Shadar-Kai. The resulting victory saw the Orcs given vast territories in the Corvasian and the North Western Andarii. By 2500, many Orcs who had moved into the new territories found them pitiful and many turned to state piracy. In 2507, the Romatan as they were called henceforth, invaded Turodor in Elandir. Until the year 3399, they fought often in the pursuit of cementing their place on Elandir. Having finally succeeded, they turned into building a state of merchants and seafarers while still retaining their brigand spirit.
In the time around 4500, the cities of Grashnak, which were developed in order to pay tribute to the nomadic warlords as well as facilitate a system of trade, developed rapidly. Orcs who had lived in resource gathering towns building wealth by trading with the larger Clans, began moving into cities. Education and strong infrastructure made it an attractive place to centre a business. Increased investment and centralisation drove many into the cities for opportunities. The increased industry and development led to many technological breakthroughs. First the press, made in 4671, would revolutionise communications. In 5000, the first air ship, followed by the first Warforged in 5500. Many other developments in technology led to the establishment of the finely educated and industrious citizenry of the Cosmopoli, governed by an oligarchy of Industrialists, scholars, and others who are all elected by a limited number of prominent citizens.
In the present, the Orcs remain clan based and nomadic on Grashnak. They retain the greatest power and number of any group of Orc. They collect direct tribute by the Cosmopoli. The Androzze are the smallest and remain widely dispersed and the Romatan retain their rule in the south of Elandir.
Grashnaki Orcs live on the continent of Grashnak and make up the largest population by far. The Cosmopoli live in the great urban cities of Grashnak and are the third largest population well behind the Romatan who rule Elandir after fleeing from their origins as Androzze for greater wealth.
Much of Orcish remains derivative of First Orcish and Old Systarean, making it one of the oldest continually spoken languages in all of Athos.
Culture and Society
Mordash Mo Sysytros, First Warlord of Turok- The first Warlord who in 1500 declared himself a Mazronok, and divinely ordained by Turok, or Athos. Essentially began Turokism in a single word.