The Rise of Moshran's Children


he company of merchants were a merry bunch. As the wagon trundled across the plains there was much joviality with tales of past deals and hearty songs. As light began to fade, we camped for the night overlooking the river. Around the campfire the caravan leader, an old, bearded Gynkese fellow whose weathered skin told a story itself, began a tale of orcs that had once plundered these plains.

From their birth orcs had banded together as clans, wandering the plains in search of a homeland. Centuries later, following the Andrilai River, they gathered at Lake Talith, where three rivers converge to form the Vorthain Current. Grubuk Thunderhand, eldest seer of the Bloody Skull Clan, spoke on the shores of the lake. He had dreamt of a falcon that guided him along a black river that flowed into this lake, to a new land for orcs.

Come spring the clans travelled around the lake, crossing Thornwater to camp at the mouth of the Black Current. Three days passed before the river swollen with glacial ice melt cascaded from the mountains laden with black mud. Rejoicing the orc clans followed the Black Current to its source high in the plateaus of Norbuk, meaning 'Strong Land'. Here they settled in rich hunting grounds.

Orcs, ignited by Brágon's fire and infused with Moshran's rage, however, lust for blood and war. Ceaseless fighting amongst their own kind means it takes a brave or foolish warrior to pronounce himself warlord over all orcs. Tuchak Bloodfist dared and alas, Tuchak Bloodfist was slain. Once mighty clans splintered and warmongers spread across the lands leaving a trail of terror and destruction.

Led by Krugg Bloodfist, younger brother of Tuchak, war cries of the Bloodfist Clan echoed across the plains as they robbed and pillaged settlements of the Serinjah. Pressing further into human territories, scouts eventually came upon the city of Albar.

Krugg was astonished by his scout's description of the immense fortifications of Albar and dismayed to learn the Albarian army marched not far behind. His pleas to other orc clans went unheeded and the Bloodfist Clan faced annihilation. In a desperate measure Krugg sacrificed thirty captives, including himself, in a blood ritual. A horde of monsters led by a demon decimated the approaching Albarian legions allowing the rest of the Bloodfist Clan to flee back to the plains.

Stories of demon magic, countless monsters and bloodthirsty orcs spread quickly through the human territories. Salkamaerian paladins rose to join Albar in a march against this new foe that threatened all of mankind. Mercenaries paid with coin from wealthy cities swelled the legions and the Serinjah tribes gathered to revenge their kin. As the last survivors of the Bloodfist Clan scattered the army advanced deep into orcish territory, building vast fortifications along the Draikon River. These outposts would serve to protect against raiding orcs for centuries to come.