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Heart of Zandadunoz

Author: 
Anonymous

In the dark days after the fall of the first Orsinium, the vicious titan Zandadunoz the Ravager terrorized southern Wrothgar. Desperate Orcs went so far as to form a cult devoted to the service and worship of Zandadunoz.

As Zandadunoz's followers gathered to perform heretical acts in the titan's name, another group of warriors banded together to slay the titan. Thruz gro-Fharun led the Band of Fifty, who dedicated themselves to making southern Wrothgar secure.

After weeks of endless battle, Thruz's band defeated the cult, but at a great cost. With only twelve warriors remaining, Thruz attacked Zandadunoz in the shadow of Honor's Rest. He defined the notion of the Orc hero by ripping the titan's black and fiery heart from its chest, even as its flames consumed him. The heart transformed into a phylactery, supposedly capable of recalling the titan from Oblivion to once again threaten the Orsimer.

Horn of Beasts

Author: 
Anonymous

The shaman of Wrothgar, Zbulgat the Wild-Walker, placed all his considerable power in the Horn of Beasts. Although the shaman shunned Orsinium for most of his life, calling it "Torug's folly," he nevertheless appeared within the city shortly after the start of the siege.

The Wild-Walker and King Golkarr had little love for one another, but the king accepted the Horn of Beasts graciously. "Never use it more than once per cycle of the moons," the shaman warned. Then Zbulgat departed. Golkarr, meanwhile, used the horn to summon the creatures of Wrothgar. Bears, echatere, and hundreds of other wild creatures rallied to defend the city walls.

For the early years of the siege, the horn had a significant impact on the course of the war. Unfortunately, Golkarr decided to sound the horn three times during a single moons cycle, and on the third blare the horn cracked. It is said to still rest somewhere in Old Orsinium.

Chief Bazrag

Author: 
Zephrine Frey

 

Royal Communique: For the Eyes of High King Emeric

Your Majesty,

While taking in the sights of the work in progress known as Orsinium, I encountered another Orc we both know from Kurog's time in Wayrest. Do you remember Bazrag gro-Fharun? I'm sure you do! He was as quiet as Kurog was loud, but just as deadly with a sword or axe. This one-time friend and ally of King Kurog is now a clan chieftain. But despite their history, Bazrag refuses to accept Kurog's rule. He's a stubborn old hardliner, and perhaps the most prominent of the chiefs who still haven't given Kurog their full support. When Bazrag followed Kurog on his mercenary adventures, he battled across Tamriel at Kurog's side. Now he takes his role as clan chief very seriously, always keeping the needs of Wrothgar and the Orcs clearly at the forefront of all his endeavors.

Chief Bazrag considers the old customs and traditions to be sacrosanct. He's a firm believer in Malacath and the Blood Code. A proud and accomplished Orc, he wants to see the rise of a new Orc empire as much as Kurog does. However, Bazrag thinks the process will take generations and can't be hurried along—no matter how many cities Kurog decides to raise. To his mind, patience and adherence to tradition are the keys to uniting the clans and rebuilding Orsinium. Anything else is the addled dream of a reckless fool that threatens the glimmer of hope he sees for his people's future.

Gruff and serious, Chief Bazrag refuses to accept a new god or a new approach to life for the Orsimer. The old ways have served the Orcs well, Bazrag believes, and abandoning them for Trinimac and his ideas about truth, honor, and unity is anathema. In fact, I've heard Bazrag proclaim that the Trinimac movement is nothing more than a plot by the High Elves to spread their own religion to Wrothgar. I'm sure he's just being paranoid, but I have noticed an increasing number of High Elves arriving in Orsinium.

My king, as a chief and opponent of Kurog, Bazrag needs to be handled very carefully. If King Kurog has an equal among the clan chiefs, it is Bazrag gro-Fharun. He has the support of the chiefs still opposed to Kurog's plans. He never displays the slightest bit of fear when confronting Kurog. And his stern and regal bearing keeps the traditionalist Orcs flocked around his banner. He's definitely a force to be reckoned with among those who initiate events and inspire influence in Wrothgar.

Zephrine Frey, Royal Chronicler of Wayrest

Heart of Zanadunoz

Author: 
Anonymous

In the dark days after the fall of the first Orsinium, the vicious titan Zanadunoz the Ravager terrorized southern Wrothgar. Desperate Orcs went so far as to form a cult devoted to the service and worship of Zanadunoz.

As the Zanadunoz's followers gathered to perform heretical acts in the titan's name, another group of warriors banded together to slay the titan. Thruz gro-Fharun led the Band of Fifty, who dedicated themselves to making southern Wrothgar secure.

After weeks of endless battle, Thruz's band defeated the cult, but at a great cost. With only twelve warriors remaining, Thruz attacked Zanadunoz in the shadow of Honor's Rest. He defined the notion of the Orc hero by ripping the titan's black and fiery heart from its chest, even as its flames consumed him. The heart transformed into a phylactery, supposedly capable of recalling the titan from Oblivion to once again threaten the Orsimer.

Ushutha's Journal

Author: 
Ushutha

My research uncovered an old society of some sort - very secretive - who do a ritual here, every ten years or so, to appease Malacath, or honor him. I could not get much information on them, but I have seen marks of their rites here. These curious door locks are part of it, for they are not part of the original city, near as I can tell.

They are similar, and I suppose the secret group changes the sequence for their rituals, but it clearly has something to do with the clans of Old Orsinium, for the plaques are scattered throughout this ruin. We already tried the same combination as the first gate, but of course it did not work.

My thought is that this gate would have something to do with the eventual fall of this city. Garhek has an old treatise that variously claims that Bagrakh and Igrun had started raiding indiscriminately. But then it contradicts itself, saying one raided, but the rulers of the city refused to curb them and in fact took credit for the acts.

We know they holed up in the old city. How did they eat? I hope more is revealed once we get in. And there is, I believe an old symbol for Clan Farhun. That must be wrong though, I don't think they were one of the clans in Old Orsinium thousands of years ago.

… I wish Garhek would get back soon. Ever since we lost Mathriga to spider's poison, I have been questioning our expedition. We should have saved more money and brought hunters or mercenaries to help explore. I should not panic. Not yet.

….. I think that Garhek isn't coming back. Not because he wouldn't want to, but because he can't. I wanted to write the definitive book on the Rise and Fall of Old Orsinium. But this place… I fear I led my friends and myself to a premature end in an old ruin that keeps its secrets

Hammer of Glass

Author: 
Anonymous

The first Orsinium started not as a city but as an armed camp. Eventually, the camp grew into a village, and the village expanded into a town. In just a few short years, it became a sprawling, indefensible mass of people and buildings that were ripe for attack.

Forge-wife Mortuga, first and greatest of King Torug's many wives, sought out a master mason to build a stone wall around the city and define its borders. He had to be a master crafter, as well as possessed of the skills of a warrior and a negotiator to complete the task in record time. She chose Kuthbarg the Steady to handle the job.

Kuthbarg did as he was tasked, raising strong walls around Old Orsinium that can still be seen to this day. As a reward, he was given the Hammer of Glass—a hammer carved from a single crystal. It is believed that the striking sculpture still resides in the ruins of Old Orsinium.

Guthrag's Mask

Author: 
Anonymous

Perhaps the most famous Orc diplomat was Guthrag Stone-Talker of the late 9th and early 10th centuries of the First Era. His powerful oration delayed the siege of Orsinium for more than a decade, but the inevitable happened when he died on the way to Daggerfall.

Despite Guthrag's skills at negotiation, the tales of his enchanted mask are more compelling. According to legends, the mask could transform an Orc's visage into something more appealing to an observer. But sometimes even greater powers were attributed to the mask. Ambassadors and spies used Guthrag's Mask over the centuries to promote the Orsimer cause in foreign lands.

The last recorded owner of the mask was the mysterious Chief's Eye of Fharun Stronghold. The power of the mask was broken when an arrow pierced the mask and plunged into the master spy's forehead. Even bereft of power, the mask remains an item of historical significance.

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.

The Battle of Orsinium

Author: 
Bangor the Liar

The battle for Orsinium raged on. The clans, already reeling from the surprise attack, retreated into the temple as the Bretons finally broke through the walls and swarmed into the city. The clan chiefs knew that  if they did not escape soon, they would die inside their beloved temple.

As they latched the temple doors behind them, the high chief turned and gave instructions to his oldest son. "You need to open the way to the tunnels beneath the temple by setting the pillars correctly. Remember these words and the way will be opened."

And with that, the high chief spoke the following words. "My eyes gaze upon the battlefield", but I feel calm. To my right, Clan Luccin fights with ferocity and keeps our enemy at bay. To my left, Clan Bragosh serves as our shield, protecting us from sights unseen. And above, Clan Ruskahr guards the hills, bows at the ready."

It was now up to the high chief's son. He had to remember the words, to call upon his knowledge of the clans and their symbols, or the tunnels would never open and the Orc clans would fall. He could not let that happen.

Why We Fled

Author: 
Anonymous

Many will say we fled because we were cowards. My children, it is a lie. When time is long gone and your own people have forgotten where they came from, do not hang your head in shame. Remember the story of Turog's folly, of rock Orsinium, and Golkarr's tomb.

The Orcs are strong people, fierce and warlike. Blood is our birthright, and the sinews of Malacath knit around our bones. But we were not made to sit still. We were not made to settle and till the land, but to move and pillage, and plunder. Our strength is to destroy and reap from what we destroy the glory of war.

But many years ago, Turog, first among the Orcs in strength and rage, came to our people with a vision. We will build a great city, said he, and the rest of the world will look to us with fear and respect.

Fear us they did, but know that an Orc is never respected, no matter how great a city he builds.

They built the city into the rock, a shiny gem. Orsinium. And it was a great city, but Orcs were not made to live in cities. It's walls, designed to defend, only trapped us. Its threefold gates sealed us in. The city was a cairn to Turog's ambition—to the dreams of the Orcs, and in time the Redguard and Breton peoples came to destroy it.

We did not flee because we feared war. We fled to meet the enemy and we cut a swathe through their armies and then through their lands. All their holdings in Wrothgar trembled as we marched, and the earth shook with the sound of our footfalls.

O Glory! O Joy! To be Orcs again! Free and on the move!

It was not to last. The enemy mustered their forces in number far exceeding our own and pressed us back to the edge of the mountain, to the plain of unending ice. In the shelter of the clockwork demons we found warmth and home and a defense against out enemies, until the time when we can emerge again triumphant and ride to victory under the light Malacath's tusky grin.