Saturday, January 22, 2011

Porandor: Empire of The Orcs

Orcs are great. Few races are so recognizable in fighting fantasy games and stories as orcs. Unfortunately, these creatures are so often misrepresented in RPG's and wargames as to be more parody than tribute. The orcs as envisioned by J.R.R. Tolkien were complex in their evil and more capable of planning and organization than they are depicted in many settings (like Warhammer). So I thought I would put together a setting that is a tribute to orcs as I see them. This setting will be compatible with D&D 3.0/3.5/Pathfinder, but there will be some attention to Labyrinth Lord and similar "Old School" systems.

Porandor Empire (Orc Empire)
Capital: Uliima (Throne)
Government: Tyranny (Monarchy)
Ruler: Baulor Blackeye (Fighter/Blackguard of Ilneval)
Primary Races: Orcs, ogres, humans, and half-breeds.
Minor Races: Drow, Duergar, Goblins, Kobolds, Other.
Religions: Orc pantheon (Ilneval in-particular)
Porandor is an empire of Orcs that five (orc) generations ago defeated the elves of Iroth, and have organized themselves into a powerful nation. The orcs of Porandor are more “civilized” than most orcs thanks to the efforts of the clerics of Ilneval, and influence from their human, duergar and drow allies.
The Empire is a Feudal Society ruled by a Chief Warlord (called the Tyrant). There are a number of other sub-chiefs and lesser warlords as well. There are distinct classes, in order of importance, as follows: Royal Caste (Orog), Warrior Caste, Priesthood, Wealthy, Workers, Women and Slaves. The last three classes are given very little respect. Law in the Empire is simple - do what the superior caste says. The penalty for breaking the law is usually severe and usually death. Warriors and some Priests (called Judicators) meet out punishments and regulate the populace.

Race Relations
Though there are a number of non-orcs living in the Empire, no non-orc may achieve social standing higher than "Wealthy" status. It should be noted however that wealthy folk of any race need to be tough and cunning to hold onto their wealth, with bribes, schemes and intimidation to deal with the orc leadership. Even non-orc clerics and mages are considered "lesser" clerics.
Powerful races such as the Drow and Duergar are a class unto themselves. The duergar are considered such great craftsmen as to be worthy of great honor (though not as great as an orc noble). And the drow scare orcs, and are offered great respect.

Religion
"You, my children, are the water that will wash away all that has gone before. In your hand, you hold my light, the gleam in the eye of Gruumsh. This flame will burn away the darkness, burn you the way to paradise!" -Kraagdush Deathtongue, Orc Cleric of Gruumsh
All of the orc gods are important to the Empire as well as a number of allied gods. However, the cult of Ilneval is central to the Empires power structure. Cults of Shargaas and Yurtrus are secretive on the surface but are dominant in underground orc kingdoms. Demon Cults and the Church of Vecna are strictly outlawed, as these cults tend to try to take over and are deeply distrusted by orcish clerics. The Orc Pantheon will only choose clerics from Orcs, Half-Orcs or other creatures with Orc blood. Only Luthic amongst the orc deities will take female clerics.
Orc Deities: Bahtru (god of strength), Gruumsh (father of orc-kind), Ilneval (god of commanders and patron of Porandor), Luthic (mother of orcs), Sharagass (god of shadows) and Yurtis orc god of disease).
Other Deities: Boccob (Human), Erythnul (any), Fharlanghn (Any), Ghaunadaur (Any), Grolantor (Giants/H-Ogres), Grumbar (any), Laduguer (Dwarves), Lolth (Drow and Half-Drow only), Maglubiyet (Goblin and Hobgoblin), Tiamat (Kobolds or Humans), Vaprak (Half-Ogre/Ogre), Wee Jas (Any). Other deities are considered too dangerous to allow to worship openly in the Empire.

More to come!
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I saw Eternity the other night,
Like a great ring of pure and endless light
-- Henry Vaughan