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Prayer to the Furious One

Author: 
Anonymous

God of curses, hear my prayer!

Lord of the betrayed, give me strength!

Keeper of the grudge, harden my heart!

Holder of the broken promises, ignite my anguish!

Master of the sworn oath, grant me the ferocity to overcome my enemies!

Malacath, hear my prayer!

Malacath and Trinimac

Author: 
Ugdorga

A Discourse on Faith by Ugdorga, the King's Scribe

For generations, Orcs have believed in three constant truths: the stronghold, the grudge, and the fury of Malacath. But before Malacath, at least according to certain traditions and a few noted scholars, there was Trinimac. Today, the city of Orsinium reverberates with the intellectual debate and reverent faith of both sides of the argument: Who is the true god of the Orcs?

For traditionalists, there is no question. Malacath is lord and god. He personifies the Sworn Oath and the Bloody Curse. His portfolio includes conflict, battle, broken promises, and anguish. Everything an Orc feels concerning his or her place in the world comes from the Furious One. The Orcs see themselves as a people betrayed, and Malacath reinforces this belief. For Malacath, clans must stand powerful but alone in their ancestral strongholds. The strongest rules and weakness is cast out with extreme intolerance.

Clan chiefs such as Chief Bazrag, who oppose the idea of an Orsimer king, hold to the teachings of Malacath.

For the new Orsimer, Trinimac is the culmination of their dreams and desires. The warrior god personifies culture and civilization. He calls for unity, not discord; for strength, not malicious chaos. He stands for unifying the Orsimer. For elevating us above our baser nature and making us equal to the other races.

King Kurog and the Orsimer of Orsinium follow the teachings of Trinimac.

An Excerpt from Deities of the Orsimier

Author: 
Anonymous

The debate rages on though - who is the proper deity of our people? In ancient days, the people would claim Trinimac - the warrior god. Our people are battle-hardened and strong, so it would only make sense, would it not? Trinimac is also considered an Aedra and not a mere prince. Surely one such as the great Trinimac would be the one our people look up to?

But debate between the clans has raged on for many years. The popular belief now is that Malacath, a mere Daedric Prince, is truly the father of our people. This side would not be wrong either, in my opinion. Malacath too represents many of the same traits that Trinimac does. Strength, trials of self-worth.

So I bring the idea to you - what if these two entities are one in the same? There have been some claims that this is the case, and if you look deep enough, we find evidence that this might actually be the case. See my references notes in the next chapter, and how these two entities line up side by side-."

Crafting Motifs 23: Malacath Cult

Author: 
Forge-Wife Gurzbog gra-Gulog

By Forge-Wife Gurzbog gra-Gulog

Listen up, smiths! We don't pound hot metal around here just because it's fun. We forge for the glory of Malacath! Shoddy work will not be tolerated. You don't want to craft anything you'll have to apologize to the Orc-Father for when you get to the Ashpit. You want to make items in the Malacath Cult style? Well, there's only one right way to do it, and that's to use the Tilted Square, the symbol of instability. So pay attention!

AXES

A Malacath axe blade is large, of course, because with blades, bigger is better. And it's covered with chevrons and tilted squares, because that's the Malacath Way. Axes are all about chopping things down and making them fall over, so naturally we cover them with symbols of instability. Any questions? Didn't think so.

BELTS

We like to keep our belts simple and not too broad, because most of us have enough trouble bending over as it is. Ha! But we make them of the finest possible materials, such as top-grade mammoth leather, and we craft them to the highest standards. Because Malacath demands it!

BOOTS

Whether you encounter snow or ice, rock or ash, Malacath expects you to keep going. Our boots are crafted from the finest hide and soled with small cleats for traction. And because we must trust our boots to keep us stable on any surface, we decorate them, not with the tilted square, but with the chevron: upright for stability, or inverted for grip.

BOWS

Melee, hand to hand and chest to chest, honors Malacath. Sticking an arrow in someone from a distance does not. For Malacath, a bow is a hunter's tool, not a warrior's weapon. So bows in the Malacath Cult style are lighter and simpler than the other weapons in our armory.

CHEST PIECES

In battle, the Orc-Father calls for a layered defense, with Orcs supporting their fellow warriors left and right and before and behind. Everyone has an equal chance to bring honor to Malacath. Likewise, the warriors of Malacath wear cuirasses layered of fur and stiffened armor, usually with a great cowl-gorget extending across the chest and upper back.

DAGGERS

The daggers of Malacath are versatile weapons, strongly made, slightly curved—and with an edge on both sides of the blade, because sometimes we must reverse to stab those who attack us from behind. Treachery is everywhere.

GLOVES

The gauntlets of the Cult of Malacath reach all the way to the elbow and are adorned with chevrons, the symbol of deflection, for we are taught to parry, at need, with the forearm. We also know that when attacked from behind by so-called friends, the best defense is a half-turn and a savage backhanded blow.

HELMETS

Our helms and hoods are layered, like our cuirasses, and likewise ornamented with Malacath's tilted square. They are sturdy but not too heavy: since betrayal is inevitable, Orcs must be constantly looking askance.

LEG GREAVES

Malacath teaches us that, just as our enemies speak fair before they act foul, it is the way of our enemies to feint high and then attack low. Therefore we take special care with our greaves.

MACES

Malacath! Forge-Founder! Smith-Father! We honor you in battle by wielding the hammer, pounding your foes the same way we hammer out hot steel! Heavy are our hammers, ever ready to smite with the power of the Tilted Square!

SHIELDS

The kite-shaped shields of the Cult of Malacath sport the sacred chevron and the Tilted Square. What is not obvious to the eye is that they are many-layered, of folded steel over laminates of hardwood. Our shields are light, but nigh-impenetrable.

SHOULDER ARMOR

In battle Malacath decrees a layered defense, and so it is with our armor, our pauldrons, faulds, cowters, and poleyns adding layers to our base armor, all adorned with the holy geometries. The pauldron that covers the off-shoulder often sports a knob or boss, to protect the arm of defense.

STAVES

As spellcasters of the Cult of Malacath devote their energies to the downfall of our duplicitous enemies, so their spell-staves are tipped with the sacred Tilted Square, that their Destruction spells may bring collapse and confusion to their targets. Hail Malacath, He Who Speaks Sideways!

SWORDS

Malacath teaches us that, when the Orcs are surrounded by enemies, that is when it is best to turn to slashing our way out. The swords of our cult are the tools to that end, long, curved, and wickedly edged on both sides. Those who think they have trapped us will be surprised... when the prey becomes the hunter!                                                                                            

Crafting Motifs 22: Trinimac Cult

Author: 
Venerable Uugus

By the Venerable Uugus, Priest of Trinimac

The Elves have forgotten the warrior ideals of Trinimac, but we Orsimer keep them alive! As the Children of Trinimac, we embody his stoic courage and bold audacity. The arms we bear and the armor we wear shine with gold, in remembrance of Trinimac's golden skin. And they are accented with polished ebony, in token of Lorkhan's blood when Trinimac tore out his heart.

AXES

The axes of the Trinimac Cult are notched to evoke the hero Avalian's axe, that was damaged when it cracked the heart of the fire mountain. The blades are embossed with Vaia's Golden Ash, symbol of strength and unity of the Orcs.

BELTS

For the worshiper of Trinimac, the belt symbolizes the faith in the Golden Champion that binds the Orsimer together. Its buckle evokes the Champion's golden helmet, surrounding a quartz crystal that represents the clarity of Trinimac's vision.

BOOTS

The Children of Trinimac are warriors, so our shoes are sabatons, armored boots with metal-shod toes, gleaming with the light of the Golden Champion.

BOWS

Our bows are crafted to emulate that of Elsarel, the Orsimer hero who slew the colossal Daedroth Zetthax with a single arrow through the eye. It is said Elsarel did honor to the Golden Champion by practicing with the bow for 20 hours out of every 24.

CHEST PIECES

The cuirasses of the Cult of Trinimac are the highest expression of the cult's devotion to the perfection of artistic labor: intricate, ornate, rife with symbolism, and yet supremely crafted to perform their function of protecting the warrior in battle. In garb the warrior of Trinimac is ever resplendent!

DAGGERS

Our daggers are forged of the finest steel, bifurcated into twin thrusting blades to represent the dual nature of Trinimac, the Golden Champion who is both slayer and protector.

GLOVES

The followers of Trinimac wear gloves of softest leather to enable fine manipulation, but cover their backs with articulated gauntlets of gilded splints.

HELMETS

The warriors of Trinimac wear gilded helms in emulation of the Champion's helmet, often with golden full-face visors to evoke Trinimac's stern features.

LEG GREAVES

Full greaves, gilded and with knee poleyns, protect the legs of the warriors who fight for Trinimac, seamlessly overlapping the sabatons on the feet.

MACES

Those who follow the way of Trinimac call their rounded maces the "fists of Usunok," after the Orsimer hero who could down a full-sized mammoth with a single punch. The cylindrical head encloses a lead ball that rolls outward as the weapon is swung, adding force to the blow.

SHIELDS

The shield of a Trinimac warrior is embossed with Vaia's Golden Ash, the tree from which she carved out the shield that repelled the blow of Rhogar the Destroyer, and which symbolizes the strength, heritage, and unity of the Orsimer people.

SHOULDER ARMOR

The pauldrons of a warrior of Trinimac soar like the wings of Zylvara, the great eagle that bore the Golden Champion to his reckoning with the man-demon Quarvish.

STAVES

Ebony is said to be the solidified blood of Lorkhan, spilled across Tamriel when Trinimac ripped out his heart with more than hands. Therefore, in the Cult of Trinimac, we adorn our spellcasters' staves with knobs and insets of polished ebony.

SWORDS

The sword of a warrior of Trinimac gleams like lightning forged into steel. The one-handed swords are bifurcated like the daggers, but the greatswords are long, single blades, straight and without a taper until just short of the point.

Trinimac House Idol

Author: 
Anonymous

This ancient Trinimac House Idol, from late in the First Era, shows that even during the time of the original Orsinium, some Orcs were intent on worshiping Trinimac—even if they only did so in the privacy of their own homes.

Tiny statues such as this one depicted stylized beasts cast from solid gold that were dedicated to Trinimac and placed inside homes to provide protection, comfort, and a focal point for private worship. Bears, pigs, goats, and even horkers have been found from this period, cast in gold and bearing the mark of Trinimac.

The area around Paragon's Remembrance, an ancient site devoted to the veneration of Trinimac, has long been a source of these tiny statues, and is the most likely place to recover any idols that still survive.

Torug at the Summit, Complete Translation

Author: 
Anonymous

Chief Torug will not allow the looters to find his remains.

Chief Torug will allow no lesser Orcs to find interment above him.

* * *

Chief Torug gathered up his armored bracer and his dying body. He climbed to the summit and placed himself in a cairn of his own making.

* * *

Then he laid Sorrow's Kiss upon his enchanted armlet.

Forever waiting for a worthy Orc to claim his most cherished possession.

Torug ag Krazak

Author: 
Anonymous

Goltragga Torug ne murimush lochan sim

Goltragga Torug ne rohi Ornim lochan norgim krazak

* * *

Goltragga Torug dek vorkhim lorak eb norgimin sim

Torug dulg krazak eb Jur ugo sim ren tum beshkar

* * *

Torug gesh Glushun Zugka ugo magicka lorish

Uba eb uba urgalick voshu Ornim tarask Torug golzarga ubeshka

On Orcs and the Afterlife

Author: 
Erisa Moorcroft

By Erisa Moorcroft, Scholar, Comparative Religious Studies

I have never found it difficult to get an Orc to talk about his or her beliefs when it comes to religion and the afterlife. As each Orc clan and stronghold has a rich and vibrant oral tradition, this should come as no surprise. What did surprise me was how hard it was to form a coherent picture, as no two oral traditions agreed on even the most basic of concepts.

In this time of conflicting faiths vying for the Orcish soul, I found many of the tales I heard to be both extremely moving and extremely disturbing at the same time. Furthermore, I have been unable to locate a single tome related to the topic, or find a reference in any other books on related subjects. The only way to learn about the Orcish concept of life after death or a place of reward or punishment in a world beyond was by asking the right questions and listening to the various oral traditions. For after much research and countless interviews, I finally uncovered the Orc equivalent to the tales of the Far Shores and Sovngarde. Indeed, it was the only thing that the various oral traditions seemed to agree upon. And through them, I have discovered the Ashen Forge.

For the Orcs that revere Malacath, the afterlife promises rewards of immortality, abundant food and drink, and constant battle deep within the Ashen Forge. The Ashen Forge represents the culmination of the three constant truths of life among the Orc clans: the stronghold, the grudge, and the Code of Malacath. Let me explain each of these concepts and discuss how they relate to the Orc afterlife so that the meaning becomes clear (or at least as clear as each different stronghold attempts to make it). What follows is my best attempt to merge the divergent and sometimes conflicting tales into a single narrative.

The Ashen Forge sits at the center of Malacath's own stronghold in the Ashpit. According to some scholars, Malacath's plane of Oblivion consists of nothing but dust and smoke and ash. But his followers believe that the eternal emptiness contains all the things they hold dear and deem necessary to enhance their immortal existence. As the ultimate expression of the Orc stronghold, Malacath's Ashpit bastion stretches endlessly across the planes, extending even behind the stars to Aetherius, granting access to every worthy Orc who crosses from this life into the next. In Malacath's stronghold, every Orc is a chief, every chief has a thousand wives, and every wife has a thousand slaves to cater to their every need. The stronghold's walls rise one hundred feet into the smoky sky, constructed of polished steel and worked iron. Inside the walls, stone keeps, iron towers, and massive longhouses surround the central square that houses the Ashen Forge.

The Ashen Forge fills the endless space within Malacath's smithy, a massive hearth that burns with a fire said to be hotter than the sun. The thing that keeps this fire alive is the adherence by the Orcs of Tamriel to the Code of Malacath, but more on that later. Within this fire, every Orc must undergo the ritual of tempering when first they cross from this life to the next. They are thrust into the coals so that every grudge that he or she carried into the afterlife can be heated, melted, and eventually forged into the next generation of mortal Orcs. With the grudges of Tamriel tempered and returned to the mortal world, the immortal Orcs are now free to begin collecting a new set of grudges related to their new existence. Some particularly memorable grudges can also be hammered and worked into weapons or armor of legendary stature upon the Ashen Anvil, the gigantic work bench that stands beside the Ashen Forge.

The heat that fires the Ashen Forge comes from the burning, white-hot coals that are, according to the Orc lore-masters who would talk to me, the literal manifestation of the bloody Code of Malacath. They believe that the code fuels the fires of emptiness, betrayal, and broken promises, imbuing every newly forged Orc with a foundation of grievances and resentments that will take them far in the mortal world. The hope is that every generation will be better than the next thanks to the efforts of the generation before it and its ability to adhere to and follow the Code of Malacath.\n\nStill, Malacath's faithful believe that they will be rewarded with immortality, nourishment, and constant battle deep within the Ashen Forge. A life-everlasting filled with endless days of warfare, endless nights of fine food and drink, and ongoing opportunities to prove their toughness and demonstrate the quality of their steel.

Fascinating, really, especially when contrasted against the beliefs of Trinimac's followers. Unlike the oral traditions of Malacath that twist and grow with each telling at every different stronghold, the traditions of Trinimac's faithful was surprisingly consistent and they were happy to share them with me. High-Priestess Solgra, especially, was extremely helpful in the preparation of this report. When a follower of Trinimac dies, she explained, he or she ascends to Aetherius to join with their ancestors. It seems that the afterlife for Trinimac's faithful also consists of endless war and celebrations, but with a greater emphasis on once again spending time with family members who came before you. In the end, I guess I found the Trinimac version to be somewhat tame when compared to the more savage and visceral beliefs of Malacath's faithful.

Orc Clans and Symbology

Author: 
Kraltha the Rememberer

An Excerpt

During the time of the Orsinium that was, the city that existed when the temple now known as Ire was originally constructed, six Orc clans rose to prominence in the region. Today, these particular clans have disappeared, either absorbed into more powerful clans or simply faded away, but at their height they had remarkable influence on Orc culture and the raising of Orsinium. Let's look at these clans and the symbols that identified them.

Clan Bragosh, the Hammer Clan
Known for their smithing skills, this clan created specialized armor and weapons and was known as a trader of goods and supplies. Evidence suggests the clan was eventually absorbed by the Morkul clan.

Clan Pandrum, the Fire Clan
A clan rumored to be filled with primitive healers and shamans, they supposedly controlled fire, using it as both a weapon and a tool to take care of a variety of tasks. They seem to have disappeared from history after the second siege of Orsinium.

Clan Enclave, the Star Clan
Not much is known about this mysterious clan, other than they provided aid to other clans for their own purposes. Rumors persist that the clan still exists somewhere deep in the Wrothgar wilderness.

Clan Luccin, the Wolf Clan
This clan was known for conducting effective and terrorizing raids during the night. They were adept at moving through darkness and often took their enemies completely by surprise. Some believe that the clan was eventually absorbed by the Shatul clan.

Clan Murtag, the Rock Clan
One of the oldest clans still in existence to the current day, this clan makes its home in the mountains of Wrothgar, carving dwellings deep within the very rock itself.

Clan Ruskahr, the Owl Clan
A clan of highly skilled archers, they were known for their impressive tracking and hunting skills. They revered owls of all types, but especially the snow owl.