Orcs, as they are known in the common tongue, are a strange beast like race that emerged during the Second Surge, which was an event that brought mergers of worlds, destruction of civilizations and the resurgence of powerful Myst magic.
The Orc's world in the Myst merged with the lands of Cathwa, which caused a rift in reality. This rift split open the earth and left a great scar across Cathwa. From the scar spit lava and ash, setting settlements and camps ablaze and killing many.
When the ash and volcanic activity settled the people of Cathwa found sharp teethed, narrowed eyed, and tribal men that rode across great hyena like beasts. Their camps and towns were minimalist and tribal in nature, with orc bands holding little in common with fellow tribes--constant warfare among their groups has left their people scattered, but it is said that in their old world, they had once been united and held marvelous kingdoms and advancements in technology.
It is rumored that before the Orcs became a part of the Avsolom races due to the last Myst Surge that the four tribes were united and got along extremely well. The four leaders providing stability in his or her own way. Because of their unity they were able to work together and so is rumored to have had advanced technology that the every day person of Avsolom can't even imagine. However that all changed in a blink of an eye when the Myst Surge merged their lands with the Cathwa Nation. The Orcs found themselves on a land that was scarce of materials as well as harsh. Harsher than the lands they previously inhabited.
At first the four tribes tried to keep their alliance intact and work together. But the actions of Onubub; leader of the Krodgekh tribe was going to have none of it. He felt that since his tribe has put in most of the work since they arrived that they should be the ones to control who gets what amount of the resources they gather. Causing arguments among the other three Orc leaders during their daily meetings. This will go on for three days until the Krodgekh leader decided to take drastic action. Which will cause the four tribes to fall out with each other spectacularly and remain enemies through to the present day.
It will begin as Onubub; the aggressive but tacticless leader of the Krodgekh tribe led his army to attack the Ralzadh tribe. Led by the young but calculating leader Uzgagol. The young leader was also eager to have some glory during this war. But he didn't let it get to his head. He knew that Onubub would attack his tribe first seeing that Uzgagol is the youngest of the four leaders. The young Orc leader placed a small band of his best troops, led by he himself, out in the middle of the Savannah as live bait to draw Onubub's army in. The rest of his forces were hidden in the tall grass and led by Uzgagol's second in command. The plan worked. Onubub did exactly as Uzgagol had expected and led all of his forces in at once. And with that the remaining of Uzgagol's forces that he held in reserve joined the battle. Trapping Onubub and his army. The battle lasted roughly two hours before what remained of Onubub and his army found a route to escape the battle. Uzgagol sent his second in command and half of his army to pursue the fleeing army, his half remaining to hold onto the territory they have gained (where the tribe is presently located). The Krodgekh were chased to the far south of Cathwa where the region is more desert than savannah. There the Krodgekh built a small walled outpost on a high plateau away from the reach of the forces that Uzgagol sent to pursue them. Uzgagol's second in command saw the futility of trying to send his men up the plateau walls after the Krodgekh and so left to rejoin Uzgagol.
The second battle that took place began as Onubub and his tribe were driven south by Uzgagol's army. This battle involved the Maws led by Dragb and the Drazdan led by Gunnakt the only female of the Orc tribes. The battle began at dawn with the battle horns of both armies being blown. Both forces then charged at one another either on foot or their trusted Hyena mounts. The initial clash was brutal, instantly killing some of the soldiers on both sides or leaving some to die slowly of wounds sustained. The lines of each side buckled and swayed back and forth as each side gained land only to loose it. This carried on for four hours with each side trying to deal the blow that will cause the other armys frontlines to break. The cries were said to have been heard for miles as the two armies fought. Then finally on the fifth hour of the battle Gunaakt led a charge that broke through the frontlines of Dragb's army, allowing her reserves and mounted riders to tear through the frontlines, slaughtering anyone who was bold enough to stand in their way and fight.
Dragb who was with his reserves is usually calm and collected. Either because he expected an easy victory or was not mentally there that day ordered what remained of his armies to retreat. Leaving those who were on the frontlines at the mercy of Gunaakt and her army. He will retreat north, pursued by Uzgagol's army who either was eager to gain more glory or wanted to settle something with the older Orc. Gunaakt and her army were too exhausted from the long battle to join in on the pursuit and so remained in place preparing for the final battle that will come.
As Gunaakt's forces rested. Uzgagol's chased Dragb's, with parts of their forces battling here and there, until they were pinched between two massive cracks of the rift. What was left of Dragb's army and he himself built the fortifications that will become the foundations of their new tribe settlement. Having some satisfaction with the outcome Uzgagol's army turned back to the south to now face the female Orc's tribe. By the time the two forces were preparing for the battle the day before the final battle will take place Gunaakt's army was rested just enough for the battle that was to come.
Like the previous major battle of the war between the four tribes. The two armies charged head on into each other. But unlike the previous battles the forces eventually broke into little pockets of battles taking place. In the center of the fighting Gunaakt and Uzgagol met charging at each other in a one on one duel. As the duel began soldiers on both sides stopped to watch the historic duel as it played out. The two Orcs battled fiercely ripping off each other's armor and dealing physical wounds to each other that should have ended the fight. But the two Orcs continued to fight until their weapons were no longer useful and the two leaders too exhausted to continue fighting. There the end of the war came as the two agreed to calling the battle a draw and splitting the territory into two. Gunaakt and her tribe will occupy the land west of the rift and Uzgagol to the east of the rift.
While life eventually became somewhat comfortable for the Drazdan and Ralzadh tribes. The two tribes struggled to maintain a peaceful but rocky relationship. The Drazden settlement will eventually become Yanamar and the Ralzadh will become the Angamar. With the two settlements being somewhat close together these are the two that are the most likely to go to war with one another. Leaving the other two orc settlements to watch developments closely, waiting for a chance to push for territory gains to improve their living conditions and resource situation.
.Sometime after being pushed so far south the Krodgekh struggled to establish themselves due to Onubub constantly trying to march back into battle. Fearing that the thoughtless leader would drag them down until the tribe is no more, Onubub was put to death and a new leader chosen by the Shaman. This new leader helped to establish the tribe and bring everything to order as best as he can. The members of the Krodgekh can say that at least they have a stable leader that will look out for their needs. Their tribe will eventually call their region Unbai.
For what will be eventually be called Urumon. The conditions there are the worst out of the locations of the four tribes. Because of them being so close to the rift not only are there many dangerous beasts that roam the land, precious resources are very scarce. Leading the tribe having to race the Ash Elves to a precious pocket of water, food, or other resource. This has led to constant aggression and tension between the two races and this tribe more than the others eager to establish alliances with other provinces.
While the relations between the Angmar and Yanamar settlements is established but rocky. The relations between the four tribes as a whole has not been repaired. All four are looking for ways to push the other out of a territory to expand their lands and resource stockpiles. Equally the tribes are in a aggressive competition to forge alliances with as many provinces as possible despite how weary they are of the other races. The war may be over but there is still a spark that can cause a full on war to happen between the tribes again. It is just a matter of time before the spark becomes a flame.
Shaped by the harsh environment they were forced to adapt to when the Myst Surge brought them to the land. It should be of no surprise that their religion and culture, to outsiders, is complex and hard to navigate.
First off. Orcs are naturally (in part for how outsiders often treat and view Orcs) are weary of outsiders and are quick to react towards the outsider's arrival with aggression. Either keeping the outsider where he or she stands until their questions are answered with satisfaction. Once they are comfortable with the Outsider's answers the whole aggressive demeanor is dropped and replaced with one of respect and curiosity. However the aggression can be quickly picked back up with the drop of a hat if the visitor says or does something wrong or acts aggressively. If the visitor keeps showing aggression or disrespect he or she maybe cast out of their land all together with any progress done with negotiations or anything completely undone.
If one does all the right things and earns being welcomed to visit the tribe. The visitor will find that their society contains three levels. At the top is the chief and his family, then there are the ordinary folk below them. Then finally the slave class that is made up of criminals (outsiders and orcs from the tribe), orcs from other tribes as well as those captured during conflicts in other provinces. Another thing that the person will notice is that both the men and women share all the duties to keep the tribe running smoothly and to keep it safe. Both genders are taught the art of warfare and combat. However all acts of aggression or combat are completely reactive never instigating.
Treatment of criminals is very harsh. To prevent the criminals from trying to escape their punishment or from fleeing while serving time. The criminals are kept in prison cells high up in the trees. The punishment for stealing is usually forced labor for weeks or months. Harming another Orc is the loss of a limb. Killing a Orc of the same tribe is instantaneously death as the punishment. Orcs caught stealing from another tribe may be killed or put into slavery for as long as the tribe chief sees fit, which can be years. Meals for the slaves and criminals are rationed and not very filling. It would not be too judgemental to say that to be even put into slavery for committing a crime is a death sentence. But if one looked at how scarce resources are or how vital everyone's part in the tribe is. It wouldn't be surprising that their punishment system is so harsh.
Because of resources (at least some) are scarce. It should be no surprise that the weapons and tools that the Orcs forge are designed to be very durable. Everything in the tribe and used to keep the tribe running and protected are built and designed to be long lasting. Interestingly when an item like a sword for example has run its course to the point of no longer being of any use the Orcs bury the item instead of melting it down to be made into another sword or some other item. The items are even made useless further by damaging points or bending it beyond repair before it is buried. To the Orcs it is a way to give back what they used back to nature.
As well as all those. The religion and artwork of the Orcs is influenced by the land and wildlife. First off Orcs have a firm belief that they are a part of nature, not masters of it. So it should be of no surprise that the artwork that is painted on the rocks, carved into designated trees, or carved into bones are of something relating to nature. Because of their primitive look the artwork is sometimes regarded as highly sought after by the rich class to decorate their homes.
For religious purposes some of the bones of the animals they consume are shaped or carved into masks and parts of costumes. Which are worn during religious rituals and ceremonies. Some are even worn during festivities such as marriages or to give visitors something interesting to watch.
Because of their firm belief that they are a part of nature, Magi or people who come to them who have physical mutations are often welcomed into their tribe as honored guests. Some may be treated as someone who are to be worshiped. This treatment will only last as long as the person is welcoming of their culture and treats the Orcs with respect. If the visitor doesn't then how he or she is being treated will be retracted and possibly cast out of their land.
A typical Orc village. Building materials vary between the tribes but the overall design is the same.
An outsider observing their culture would say that it is complex. One observing their religion will also say that it is complex as well. While to the outsiders who may think their religion is complex. To the Orcs it is simple.
They celebrate life and nature. They have a firm belief that they are not masters of nature. But a part of it. So all their celebrations and religious rituals center around nature and life.
Everyone in the tribe takes part in celebrating the birth of a new member of that tribe. How everyone takes part is up to the individual Orc. But the new born Orc is given a bone mask by the tribe shaman as a gift, a long and on going tradition on the Sherman's part of the celebration. To the Orcs it is illegal to kill the young of an animal while it is still with the mother. Killing one or both of the pair is viewed as blasphemy no matter what the excuse the Orc says to prove he or she is innocent. To kill a mother animal or her offspring to a Orc will upset mother nature and cause her to withhold her bounty for the remaining year. And so to please mother nature the Orcs will sacrifice the accused Orc. First the Orc will be tied while laying down to a wooden plank. His body while alive will be cremated, his screams as proof to nature that they are trying to repay for what had happened, when there is not much left of the body. The parts will be scattered among the forest. This part can be seen as complex. While the cremation will release the spirit of the Orc by scattering his remains the Orc will never be able to leave to the Afterlife as a punishment for taking the life of a mother, her young offspring, or both.
Now death is a whole different area. When an Orc dies their body is cremated with the belief that their spirit will go on to the after life with the rise of the Midsummer sun and the set of the Midwinter sun. Then their ashes being buried in a sacred burial mound is a way of giving back to nature. When an the desired parts of a killed animal are taken what remains is cremated to release and the animal's ashes are scattered along a chosen patch of forest or field to release it's spirit to nature or to the afterlife if that is where the animal's spirit chooses to go.
During the predawn hours of the midsummer sun rise Orcs gather at either a ring of massive trees or erected rock circles to watch the rise of the midsummer sun. It is a big ceremony with members of the religious sector of the tribe and regular members dressing up in their bone costumes and taking part in dances, which take part at every bonfire that dots in and around the ring of trees or rocks. Which intensifies as the sun rises as they believe that members of their tribe that have passed on are on their way to the Afterlife. They will gather again during the setting of the midwinter sun. This one is a much more solemn celebration as the Orcs gather to reflect on the lives of those that have passed. As it is said that with the setting of the midwinter sun that they have no crossed over to the afterlife.