THE OSTHER-OC ORCS ("MOUNT OSTHEN ORCS")

APPEARANCE - COAT OF ARMS - TERRITORY - PEOPLE - HOUSING - CLOTHING
DIET - WEAPONS - OCCUPATIONS - GOVERNMENT - PRODUCTION/TRADE
 
NATURAL RESOURCES -
FESTIVALS - HISTORY

The orcish Osther-Oc tribes inhabit the Northern Sarvonian region of of Caael'heroth and have played a key role in any military conflict fought by the dark elven cities of the north for centuries. The Osther-Oc are mainly warlords and mercenaries who offer their services to the elven towns for supply, weapons and gold. Their kind became known to the world in the dark elven campaign that led to the Third Sarvonian War in which many of these battalions formed the core of orcish armies to keep their brothers in the rows.

An Osther-Oc Orc

View picture in full size Picture description. A female Osther-Oc Orc, equipped with a typical orcish warbow. Image drawn by Faugar.

Appearance. The Osther-Oc have an average size compared to other orcish tribes with 1.7 peds, being smaller than some of their southern brothers but of very strong build. Their skin is often of a pale grey or green due to the lack of sun in the far north. This impression is supported by the fact that Osther-Oc are used to cover their skin with pigments of bright blue or greens as sign of status to identify themselves among various battalions and to show their alignment to a certain dark elven city.

Osther-Oc's eye color is mostly yellow and other than most orcs their hair is of mouse brown which they wear shoulderlong and often colored in white, blue or green as well.

The Osther-Oc are experts in war and as they receive weapons and equipment from their employers they wear most formidable dwarven or elven works, from fine armor to sharp swords.

Female Osther-Oc can be only distinguished from the males by their more slender appearance and that they often wear the hair in a short pony tail. Their corner teeth are also much smaller than those of the males and thus make a far more civilized appearance.
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Coat of Arms/Sign. The Osther-Oc don’t have a coat of arms on their own. Coloring their skin in blue and green is a common identification mark to distinguish warriors by the patterns on their skin. Often the battalions weave the sign of their employer into their patterns as well but beyond that it is hard to distinguish one from another by appearance.

However, most battalions, who are aligned to one of the cities wear the coat of arms of this city either on their clothes or on their round shields.
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Territory. The natural territory of the Osther-Oc is the wilderness around the Osthen Mountain and the surrounding woods and hills and this is still the place of battalions who fled from their current employer or for any other reason hide from the dark elves and dark dwarves in the region. Most others have their homes beyond the gates of the towns and cities in military camps or out in the field in the often disputed borderlands between the cities. Mount Osthen is a sanctuary to the Osther-Oc and a place of peace, so when battalions want to meet on neutral ground this is often the agreed meeting place.
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People. The Osther-Oc are mercenaries by heart. While they might fear the wrath of their dark elven lords their alignment is nevertheless only bound to the money they receive from their employers. The Osther-Oc are the common soldiers of everyone's army in the Caael'heroth region and make their whole living in army camps. This made them experts in war, formidable fighters and professional soldiers. It is told that sometimes orc battalions rebel against their lords and flee into the woods but most of them have a far too good living around the cities, receiving clothes, supplies and formidable weapons in exchange.

The Osther-Oc are also the only orcish tribe known (with exception of the much more civilized Santharian Volkek-Oshra), where males and females are treated equally. Being at constant war with anyone their lords designate as enemies made it necessary to have as many people at arms as possible so the women are trained to fight as well. Only the pregnant ones and the children don’t have to fight and live in own rooms or tents. Due to the good supply and the fact that men and women sleep in the same rooms and there are no limitations concerning love and lust the Osther-Oc possibly are the most fertile tribe of their kind because unlike in many other tribes most of their children survive childhood as long as the battalion is not destroyed in battle or by treachery. The Osther-Oc regard the other orc tribes’ behaviour with great contempt for their treatment of females and find it largely inconceivable that a tribe would not want to treat all members depending on their individual abilities rather than their gender.

A Female Osther-Oc Orc

View picture in full size Picture description. Another female Osther-Oc warrior with a conquered blade in her hand. Image by Seeker.

Weaklings are usually killed as childs because they can’t serve a purpose in the battalion-like clan system. The old veterans, women and men alike, often serve as healers, cooks and teachers caring for the children, teaching them in the arts of war and all necessary weapon disciplines. Children turn to adults with the age of 17 and are trained in all kinds of weapons used by the Osther-Oc and the battalion-based tactics but when the need arises they might get fullworthy warriors earlier. Adulthood is initiated with a ritual that gives the young orc an open position in one of the squads of the battalion which determines in which tent he’ll sleep and with whom he fights. Till this point the children all have mastered already various tests which determine their skills and best usage to the battalion as a whole.

Suicide is very common among old orcs when they can’t serve a purpose for the battalion anymore or become ill but beside that the veterans of a battalion are well-respected members and the ethic and moral core of a battalion. Also noone dares to kill an orc of the own unit without the permission of the orc himself. Everyone is cared for equally and as well as possible. Return to the top

Housing. In peace-times the Osther-Oc live mainly in the barrack-like buildings in or near the cities. In the wilderness they live in tents, rectangular in shape, big enough for about twenty people and so they sleep in the squads they’re also fighting.

Additional tents are those for the women - pregnant women that is -, the children and the supply and cooking tent. The women tent and the children tent are the only "buildings" in the camp that can be said to inhabit non-combatants, the rest of the tents is usually occupied by warriors where women lie beside men as it suits them.

Access to the women’s tent is restricted to the old and the women. This might be the only place where something you could call "family-bounds" are created. With the age of three the children have to sleep in the children tents and are trained as soldiers.

Their expertise in warfare made the Osther-Oc develop a form of encampment that is surrounded by a wall of wooden sticks that protects them from surprising attacks by cavalry but leaves enough room for the warriors to break out of the camp between the gaps. Sometimes wooden watchtowers and gates are erected as well.
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Clothing. Among the Osther-Oc is no difference between male and female clothing. The usual clothing consists of a one-colored, wide tunic, often brown or black, that is fixed by a a simple rope and serves as everyday clothing. Above that, most orcs wear a jacket or shirt of padded leather. The standard armor is a chest- and backplate, shoulderpads and helmet usually made of fine dwarven steel. Really wealthy orcs wear also a complete chainmail and thighpads and a closed helmet that protects the face.

Heavy boots or nailed sandals are the usual footwear. The personal belongings are worn in small bags around the neck or at the broad belt that everyone wears to keep the armor and the clothing in place. For cold winter or at rainy days leather coats and furs or any other kind of cloak are the usual addition to the clothing though the Osther-Oc are surprisingly used to coldness though not loving it.
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Diet. The Osther-Oc are usually receiving standard rations of grain and meat from the cities to supply themselves. If this is not enough they go out in the wilderness and hunt. In general they are better supplied than e.g. the Rhom-Oc though they depend heavily on what the elves give them and life in the wilderness is as harsh as in the Heaths of Wilderon.

Meat is their favourite diet, though it is often mixed up with grain and other sources of food to some kind of stew.
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Weapons. As most of their equipment comes from the dark dwarves most of their weaponry is made of fine steel. Even weapons like spear and bow who are usually made with wood is made of metal. Some weapons only the Osther-Oc use regulary is the short pilum, a throwing spear and a metallic version of the orcish warbow which is also known in other tribes. Their bow though, constructed by dwarves, has even greater range and punch than the average warbow and they have an even wider array of arrows.

Poison is unknown to the Osther-Oc, though. The standard orc soldier carries a broadsword, a heavy sabre or even bidenhanders, one or several spears and a round or oval shield. Split up into several types, there are also archers, equipped with bow and dagger, and pikemen.
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Occupations. Work is split up equally among all members of a battalion. Food, healing and childcaring is done by the old while the warriors clean the tents, the weapons and equipment and do most of the other stuff necessary to maintain a camp.
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Government. There’s no real government among the Osther-Oc. Most serve their elven employers loyaly and with little thought about independence but as most dark elves don’t want to have something to do with orcs anyway they can organize themselves as they please. Usually there’s only a military command chain which also serves to organize life between the battles and wars. Usually groups of twenty elect their group leaders who together with the veterans elect the most experienced warrior as the leader of the battalion. The leader then designates the other necessary commanders to lead the battalion. The battalion is then ruled completely in a militaristic manner. 
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Production/Trade. The Osther-Oc don’t produce anything though sometimes their smiths are as capable in repairing tools and weapons as are the dwarves.
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Natural Resources. The Osther-Oc don’t own any natural resources.
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Festivals. Centuries of war made the Osther-Oc very unaffected by any kind of propaganda. Anything suits as long as they receive something in exchange. The Osther-Oc believe in spirits living in any being on the world and sometimes they can be seen wandering through the woods in the morning just enjoying and from their perspective feeling the world around them.

The Osther-Oc Orcs
View picture in full size Picture description. The Osther-Oc are mainly warlords and mercenaries who offer their services to the elven towns for supply, weapons and gold. Their kind became known to the Santharian world in the dark elven campaign that became the Third Sarvonian War in which many of these battalions formed the core of orcish armies to keep their brothers in the rows. Image drawn by Koldar Mondrakken.

In a society where family bounds are non existent and no Gods are worshipped to for a lack of purpose the Osther-Ocs are focussed in what is, not what was and what might be so there are no great cults or festivals and no remembering of the ancestors beyond extraordinary heroes of a clan.

The dead are buried only in their normal tunic stripped of all equipment that might be useful for another orc. In the belief of the Osther-Oc the spirit of the dead finds either peace in the world around or will be reborn.

Among the Osther-Oc are strict codes how different battalions behave to each other in battle. Much to the dismay of the darkelves the Osther-Oc refuse to kill wounded. A battle is over when one side either capitulates or leaves the battlefield. The wounded are all retrieved, the hopeless swiftly killed. A capitulating battalion might even keep its weapons and equipment.
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THE AGE OF MYTHS
(YEARS 3.400 B.S. - 1.655 B.S.)
ca. 2980 b.S. The Coming of the Orcs to the Themed'lon
Orcs become more prevalent in the Themed'lon region and begin to make contact with the Lost Ones living within the woods. It is not long before open conflict begins between the two races and the small number of elves are forced to retreat elsewhere, possibly to the islands of the Eight Winds Bay. Only with the help of the pendrowe are the elves able to keep the orcs at bay long enough for the elves to retreat.
  

ca. 2900 b.S. The War with the Orcs Begins between the Lost Ones and the Osther-Oc
The first large clashes between the druids and the orcs begin. The hostilities begin as small raids and skirmishes in the Heaths of Eph'denn. They progress to bloodier battles over time.
  

ca. 2800 b.S. The Final Battle at the Themed'lon and the Loss of the Mask of the Tree Cousin
The final battle takes place in the northern outskirts of the Themed'lon. The druids repel the invaders using the pendrowe and divine magic. The orcs flee, never to return to the forest for a long time to come. About this time, the druids are thought to have abandoned the forest for unknown reasons. No recorded history concerning the forest is made until the Third Sarvonian War in 298 b.S. Sadly, during this time, the Mask of the Tree Cousin is lost in the forest to later be discovered by the Kaaer'dar'shin.
  

ca. 1980 b.S. The Hiding of the Mask of the Tree Cousin
As the Folkomore elves scatter to far off lands, chased away from the Osther-Oc orcs, they leave behind a powerful artifact; a mask believed to be made from the bark of an ancient pendrowe. The elves called this mask "Quelth'ananuá Modiás" (lit. "Mask of the Earth"). The departing elves ensure that the mask is hidden deep within the woods in the center of a grove guarded by powerful pendrowe.

The mask is believed to have special powers to give the wielder unique communion with nature and to grant the wielder the ability to share the thoughts of the memory tree. In addition, the mask is believed to have a special connection with the forest and must never leave it. The elves give the forest its name - the "Themanhe'lón" (lit. "Fortified Wood", over time, the name was later shortened to Themed'lon). The forest was now alone to protect itself and the artifact.

THE AGE OF AWAKENING
(YEARS 1.655 B.S. - 822 B.S.)
1100 b.S. The Aeh'os'th'er'oc Tribe Splits
The Aeh'os'th'er'oc tribe splits into two clans with the Aeh'os'th'er'oc being driven to the far north icelands and the remaining settle in north-central Caaeh'heroth and call themselves the Osther-Oc.

THE AGE OF THE BLOOD
(YEARS 822 B.S. - 50 B.S.)
ca. 400 b.S. Nomadic Osther-Oc Are Recruited
For centuries, several clans of Osther-Oc orcs have migrated across the Heaths of Eph'denn in a nomadic lifestyle, hunting beasts and living in relative peace. As the dark armies stemming forth from the Deep Winds Portal of Osthemangar increase, so does the plans of the war's planners in making use of the orcs. Many nomadic clans of Osther-Oc are forced to give up their lifestyle and become one with the slowly building army about to invade the south.
  

298 b.S.
to 288 b.S.
The Subjugation of the Kuglimz by the Osther-Oc and the Birth of the Kaaer'dás'shín
Coming from north Caeel'heroth, a wave of orcs descend from the plains during the initial years of the Third Sarvonian War. The orcs, surprised at having encountered humans within Caeel'heroth, fight several skirmishes with the Kuglimz exiles over a period of several months during the year 290 b.S. The dark elven masters of the Osther-Oc order the full destruction of the Kuglimz outcasts and the orcs comply. However, they are unprepared for the ferocious defense from the Kuglimz and are repelled.

The Osther-Oc are not finished. They know that they have the advantage of numbers and sweep south again, this time defeating the exiles in battle and subjugating the humans once and for all. Rather than destroy the remaining Kuglimz, the orcs instead force them into labour camps and are made to produce food and weapons for the dark armies during the war.

Despite the subjugation, the humans still thrive, and the group grows, but intermarriage does not always occur among the humans alone. The orcs force themselves on many of the human women and a large group of half-orc children begin to be born. These children, rejected by the orcs, are instead raised by their human mothers. This interbreeding continues regularly for ten years until the general orc retreat in 288 b.S.
  

294 b.S. The Remusian Civil War
The Third Sarvonian war brings much hardship to the people of the White Citadel. The Lord at the time, Kellmon, has agreed in a pact with the darklings, while many of the nobles are not willing to deal with these creatures at all, despite the threat they pose for Remusiat as for the rest of the Sarvonian continent. Most of the Remusians stay neutral at first but the differences over the treaty and the growing demands of the darkfriends soon cause open conflict between the city factions.

The ensuing war results in great destruction for the Remusian tribe and eventually ends with the assassination of Lord Kellmon. Thousands die during the civil war. It also is the reason for the tribe's rule of avoiding the elves, because it is them who send troops to steady the rule of Kellmon and order the slaughtering of all resisters to quell the resistance. It was not until the Battle of Rhemir when the Remusians finally defeat an army of Osther-Ocs, about 10 000 the Chronicles say, that made the darkfriends abandon their interest in Remusiat.
  

291 b.S.
to 287 b.S.
The Fortifications of Eph'denn and Anif
Heavy logging is done as the ex-Kuglimz are made to build fortifications and barracks for the orcen armies as they descend further south into Northern Sarvonia. The largest fort is built north of the Themed'lon Forests and is called "Eph'denn". The fort functions as a human slave encampment, orcen training grounds, barracks and watchtowers.

The humans are also made to build a small port fortification on the Shadow Coast called Anif. Some of the human slaves die during the construction of the fort as many of them are beaten or tortured for such simple slights as being too slow, too tired, too old or too young. It is during this interaction that the first half-orc children are conceived.
  

288 b.S.
to 1.000
The Development of the Half-Orcen Culture of the Kaeer'dár'shín
During the time of the orcen occupation, many of the Kuglimz traditions are lost among the exiles that are now known as the Kaeer'dár'shín. The humans, bitter at having first been exiled by their people and then being subjugated under the orcs, abandon the gods Lier’tyan ("All-Mother") and Sur’tyan ("All-Father") and fall into the corrupt worship of the orcen god, even mixing the two religions in a perverted amalgamation of human and orcen faiths.

As the inter-breeding continues between the two races, the number of pure-blooded humans soon dwindles as the majority of the tribe members are now humans with orcen blood. These half-orcs intermarry with the remaining human pure-bloods and thus the orcen bloodline among the exiles continues to be passed down through the generations. Occasional inter-breeding still continues with the orcs, as sometimes a sympathetic Kaaer'dár'shín will take in an orcen exile and mate with them resulting in a child. Over the next three hundred years, the group grows large enough to form a tribe but are still yoked to the Osther-Oc having never truly been independent.
288 b.S. The First Half-Orc Children Are Born
As a result of the orc occupation of Eph'denn, six half-breed children are conceived when some of the orcen warriors rape some of the younger human girls. The children are allowed to live, if only as a way to produce more slaves. The practice of the orcs occasionally violating the human women and conceiving children would continue for some time.
ca. 288 b.S.
to 1.000
The Orcs Retreat and the Kaaer'dar'shin Rebuild
Most of the orcs retreat from the Themed'lon after suffering a crushing defeat by the Sarvonians during the Third Sarvonian War. What is left are the humans and half-orcs, now known as the Kaaer'dár'shín and a war torn forest home. The Kaaer'dár'shín, still under a weakened Osther-Oc subjugation, are allowed to rebuild Torik. The tribe rebuilds the forest's hunting grounds and they come to make the forest their own once more.
  

257 b.S. The Rhom-Oc Orcs call for Help
The Rhom-Oc Orcs, having tasted defeat at the hands of the Susilgerim Dwarves for the first time in many years, send messengers to the other orc tribes of Northern Sarvonia. They ask for their help, and propose to wipe the dwarves (Susilgerim and Kurakim) out of Northern Sarvonia. The other Orc tribes agree to the proposal, and soon preparations for war are under way.
  

243 b.S.
to 145
The Three Hundred Year War of the North
A bloody, back and forth war ensues between the northern dwarves, orcs, and Shadow Elves for the next three hundred years. Many lives are lost on both sides, and the destructive effect on the continent is extreme. The displays of valor and might are the greatest to be seen in that area since the War of the Chosen. The many battles go back and forth, with no one gaining any clear victory.

THE AGE OF CHANGE
(YEARS 50 B.S. - 172 A.S.)
14 Kanapan Men join the Susilgerim Dwarves in Battle
The Kanapan Men, recognizing the disastrous effects a dwarven defeat would mean in the Three Hundred Year War of the North, enter the conflict on the side of the dwarves.
  

93 Susilgerim Dwarves examine Keralkorim Writings in Ximax
The Susilgerim dwarves send a group of the most highly magically-gifted among them to Ximax to see if they can gain the knowledge necessary to understand the magical Keralkorim writings. The greatest among this group is Kograv Mountainshaker. The dwarven party brings with them copies of the Keralkorim writings. The ships are provided by the Kurakim Dwarves, and soon they are underway.
  

145 The Grand Battle of Imlith
After over fifty years, the Susilgerim Kograv the dwarven mage and his companions return from their journey to Ximax. Upon reaching Northern Sarvonia, they find the Susilgerim and Kurakim Dwarves surrounded in the midst of a cataclysmic battle against the orcs and Shadow Elves upon the Heaths of Wilderon. They immediately put their newly learned skills to use in saving the dwarves from destruction, winning the day. After a hard night of hurried preparation, the mages prepare for their ultimate test against the Moh'rhim Shadow Elves. This is the greatest contest of magical prowess seen in the area in several thousand years. The battle continues unceasingly through three days and three nights. On the fourth day, Kograv is the only mage left alive. The Moh'rhim also have lost many of their people. But the power of their queen is great, and threatens still to destroy the dwarves.

As the battle looks bleak, Kograv from his knees raises a heartfelt prayer to Trum-Barol for deliverance in their despair. Suddenly he feels a surge of magical energy through him. Standing up once again, he focuses his energy on the queen of the Moh'rhim, and delivers a blast of pure energy at her. This blast severely wounds her, and is powerful enough to dissipate her corporeal form. This causes her, and the rest of her people, to be swept away back into the Shadow Marshes. The dwarves rally and defeat the confused and bewildered orcs, achieving a final victory. The orcs are all driven back to their own lands, and the dwarves regain control of their mountains.

THE ERA OF THE SOUTHERN WARS
(YEARS 825 A.S. - 1.062 A.S.)
1.000 The Beginning of the Fight for Kaaer'dár'shín Independence: Temejin Tartar
It isn't until approximately 1000 a.S. that a child is born that will later ignite a revolt against the Osther-Oc and finally win the half-orcs their freedom. Temejin Tartar, a charismatic and resourceful leader, is born in 1000 b.S. to two half-orc parents, both of whom work as weaponsmiths. Temejin is well liked by the group and works as a weaponsmith and hunter for most of his young life until the age of 33 when he begins whisperings of a revolt against their orcen masters. Temejin, already highly respected, ignites the people's hearts for another war and soon commands an large army of willing warriors willing to fight the orcs.

It was Temejin Tartar who introduces the concept of quick, stealthy warfare against the orcs and who devises methods of ambush and sneak attacks against the larger, brutish orcs. By using Landesh ponies for speed along the Hearths and the cover of the Themed'lon for ambushes, the orcs are faced with a new formidable people of their own creation fighting for indepedence.
  

1.033
to 1.055
The Kaaer'dár'shín Revolution against the Osther-Ocs
The Kaaer'dár'shín revolutionist Temejin Tartar and his band of skirmishers win many victories against the Osther-Oc orcs and he passes his knowledge along to his younger brother, Terran and his son, Toroth. Temejin dies at the age of 55 during a raid on an orcen camp to secure supplies, but his brother and son pickes up the cause and continued the fight.
  

1.055 Freedom for the Kaaer'dár'shín
Soon after the Kaaer'dár'shín revolutionist Temejin Tartar, the Osther-oc retreat farther north into the Heaths and the half-orcs have finally won their right to live as they pleased. Although they will continue to battle their orcen cousins for many years to come, the tribe is now free to live for themselves. Although still holding fast to many orcen traditions, some semblance of the old Kuglimz ways remains in practice to this day. Unlike the Ash'mari, the Kaaer'dár'shín are not solely given over to the bloodthirsty ways of the barbarian culture, but in the eyes of the Kuglimz, the Kaaer'dár'shín have fallen a long way and are still considered barbaric and reviled due to their orcen heritage.

THE AGE OF DISCOVERY
(YEARS 1.144 A.S. - 1.440 A.S.)
1.334
to 1.352
Second Osther-Oc Invasion in Eph'denn
Eph'denn is occupied by a large war party of Osther-Oc warriors hired by a rogue dark elf warlord named Valsha Ironblood. The orcs occupy the colony for a period of 18 years before being driven off by a Kaaer'dár'shín rebel group and, legends tell, of some angry Pendrowe.

THE AGE OF HAVOC
(YEARS 1.440 A.S. - 1.540 A.S.)
1.468 The Osther-Oc Village of Hell'Wrung is Founded
A clan of Osther-Oc forgo their nomadic ways and found a village along the far northern borders of the heaths called Hell'Wrung. The village is ruled by a warlord who fortifies the area and begins to build an army to conquer his smaller, nomadic brethren. The village becomes a battle ground for many years to come as warring clans vie for control of the village.

THE TIME OF REUNION
(YEARS 1.540 A.S. - TODAY)
1.654 The Rise of Timeras
The Fifth Orcish War is still a fresh and traumatizing memory and has taken a heavy toll on the city. The western gate has almost breached and the Remusians have little hope of the city surviving much longer.

Then news arrive which shock them all. Their scouts report that an orcish army moves towards them at an alarming speed. Normally this wouldn't worry the Remusians because of their defenses, but with the western gate almost down they know they have to act. A group of cavalrymen, under the Command of their lord Araman tracks the army for 3 days before he finds them. The Remusians charge down a mist covered hill and trap the orcs between them and a large lake and eventually crash into the orcish ranks.

Araman is almost immediately killed, but his son Timeras takes command of the battle and defeats the orcs who retreat in disorder. The Battle of the lake is the most devastating victory in Remusian History. Timeras returns with 32 men and 13 horses (out of 300 each) and are made heroes. Timeras is crowned lord in his father's place and presented with the Forsaken Blade. The orcs have more or less stayed away from Remusiat since.

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