Environment: Usually temperate regions
Attack: Usually two-handed weapons
Special Qualities: Barbarian rage
Organization: Gang, squad, band or tribe
High on a balcony, above rolling green hills and the meager homes of the village below, Lundiel stood, leaning forward on the stone railing, overlooking the city she so fiercely adored. The sun shone in her long hair as a playful wind whipped it around her face. Her hair was arranged intricately into hundreds of tiny beaded braids, with glowing jewels weaved throughout and loose wispy curls cascading around her face. Her velvet gown was just as intricately woven and was adorned with the same glowing gems.
Lundiel was the highest cleric of the Temple of Boldrei, one of the most powerful deities in the universe, according to ancient tomes. Her work with the temple was that of nurturing and helping those in need.
Today though, she gave a happy sigh, pleased with the life she had built and her position as pseudo-royalty. She enjoyed the work of her faith, and was pleased to be making progress in Boldrei’s eyes, all the while assuring her own comfort and image be maintained. She turned from the balcony as her servant Py arrived with a tray of tea which she placed on a nearby table.
“A note arrived for you My Lady.” She announced. “It’s there on the tray.”
“Thank you Py.” Lundiel nodded, and with that, Py turned and disappeared back into the Temple. After one final moment of contemplation, Lundiel moved back from the balcony edge, and approached the table. Pouring herself some tea, she noticed a letter, sealed with the symbol of The Dark Six, resting on the tea tray. Nearly dropping her cup, she snatched up the letter and tore open the envelope.
Years ago Lundiel assisted in negotiating a spiritual truce with the Grul, the largest tribe of Orcs in the region. She recognized the seal as Bahggin, King of the Grul Orc tribe. Sitting down, she began to read the request she had always known would someday come. It was written in common tongue.
“To the High Temple of Boldrei, we request your attention at present:
Long have the Grul abided by our truce, spoken 7 years before today. It was agreed that your work under Boldrei and the lordship of the city, would assure the Grul its rightful prosperity in the region, in accordance with the laws of The Dark Six. We are done waiting for your supposed leadership to benefit Orc-kind and grow weary of patience. It is time for us to take control and bring our concerns to the real officials of your city. The result of our treaty is less than acceptable and has become increasingly offensive to our tribe.
Our demands are simple. The Grul will reclaim the lands which are owed to us, the lands that are instead occupied by your sniveling citizens. Each Orc shall be allowed the land he requires to live, regardless of its current use. We will wait no longer than a fortnight before we reclaim what is divinely ours.
If you are unable or unwilling to convince your leaders to surrender our land without contest, you will face not only our significant tribe, but our many allies as well. We are prepared to execute the terms of our pact by force if necessary.
Do not delay if you value your freedom and peace. We will be awaiting word from your leaders in the coming days.”
The letter was signed with a scratch “Bahggin, King of Grul”.
In ancient times a noble race of people saved Eberron from oblivion. These people fought heroically and labored selflessly to bind the evil that threatened this world. Many paid dearly in blood, sacrificing themselves in their epic struggle against darkness.
Several years ago I traveled to a very old community in the Shadow Marches and met with some of the descendants of these people. An ocean voyage brought us to the nearest port city and from there we made our way into the marshland. During our trek we were nearly asphyxiated by noxious swamp gases and were plagued constantly by great whispering clouds of midges. Once we arrived at the outskirts of the rustic village, however, the midges dissipated, replaced by a subtle smell of exotic herbs and gentle wisps of fragrant smoke.
I had the honor of attending a banquet that was held as a tribute to a few tribe elders who had maintained what the village people referred to as “the true druidic path”. This is a way of life that they have passed down through many generations. From what I gathered, they believe a noble dragon teacher guided them on the beginning of this spiritual journey in ancient times. The speech of the oldest gentleman who was being honored was remarkable. Although he spoke softly, his words seemed to flood over the area and echo back through. A calming purity and powerful wisdom were intertwined with everything he said.
As I’m sure you now realize the people I’m speaking about are orcs, those creatures that are so often thought of as uncivilized destructive brutes. Contrary to this widely held misconception, many orcs live peacefully. Elegant simplicity and beauty pervade the old orc culture, and for orcs who live this way religion and honor hold far more importance than modernity or material wealth. Regrettably, not all orcs look to the wisdom of the elders, and many have been consumed by greed and the urge to dominate others. These fallen orcs appear to be playing a part in the latest threat that looms over Stormreach. Armies of previously disparate and fractious groups have begun coalescing not far from the city.
If you face these evil orcs in combat, there are a few things you should know. Through prolonged intensive training, orcs can amplify their already high natural strength and constitution. They often become barbarians and tap into the raw energy and wildness of nature. Orcs prefer offense over defense and almost always wield large two-handed weapons in battle. They wear little armor and attempt to overwhelm opponents before they can meaningfully fight back. When struck in battle, orcs often erupt into a violent rage, further enhancing their offensive abilities. Shamans, though somewhat rare, can be powerful, drawing on dark and twisted versions of their ancestors’ magical traditions.
These feral orc armies have none of the fine qualities of their more noble brethren. While menacing, I don’t believe these misguided hoards have the staying power of the good druids I met with in the marshlands. The lives of those druids are inextricably tied to this world and they continually leave their imprint. I’m confident that the virtuous aspects of their great culture will survive, and their honorable elders will continue to show a way forward on the true druidic path.