THE RHOM-OC ORCS

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

The term Rhom-Oc covers all orcish tribes living in the vast Heath of Wilderon. Most of these orcs live in small family communities scattered over the plains and got known due to their close relationship with wargs with which they hunt the huge herds of reindeers that wander these harsh regions. Usually the Rhom-Oc avoid direct contact with other races except for occasional raids on villages and caravans for which they are feared for and where they use the vastness of the Heaths to escape from anyone who might pursue them.

Appearance. The Rhom-Oc are smaller than other known orc tribes and appear weaker in stature. Most of them don't exceed the height of 1.6 peds and 1.8 peds is already considered extremely tall. The appearanceof the Rhom-Oc is probably a result of the harsh life in the Heaths and despite this they are quite sturdy and immune to all kinds of weather conditions. The skin color is generally a deep and dark green that fades into their surroundings nicely, but exceptions of are brown-skinned orcs are also known - however, they're a rare sight. Another special feature about these orcs is that their eyes show a nearly natural (from a human perspective) amount of white, only the corneas are of the common yellow or red colors, though sometimes with a good amount of brown in it and less glaring than the eyes of other tribes.

The Rhom-Oc Orc
View picture in full size Image description. A Rhom-Oc hunter with his Rhom warg on the Heath of Wilderon. Picture drawn by Faugar.

They cloth mainly in furs and leather. Woven cloth is unknown to them except as loot from their raids. Metal is very precious and only used for weapons and tools as it is very seldom in this region and therefore is a sign of great wealth as is jewellery. Most Rhom-Oc wear decoration made of bones and teeth from their prey. Their long hair is worn open or in long braids over their shoulders to give some protection from the cold. Return to the top

Coat of Arms/Sign. Most of the clans wear a personal sign on their small leather shields, often a pictures of an animal living in the Heaths. Preferred are the pictures of wolves, wargs, jackals, bears and reindeers, more seldom some kind of birds. The shield often changes when the leader of the clan switches to mark the change in politics and leadership.
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Territory. The Rhom-Oc live in the vast Heaths of Wilderon in Northern Sarvonia. They wander freely, following the herds of reindeers as they wish. Over the course of the year they wander northward till summer and then back to the south in more or less one big circle, however most clans stick to special routes and follow only certain herds.

Some, but not all, Rhom-Oc clans are known to settle in the Peat Hillands during winter and it is heard some clans took permanent seats on the lower hillsides of the Imlith or Vindel Mountains using natural caves as permanent encampments.

The general borders of their territory are the Vindel and Imlith Mountains to the south, the Gulf of Oh'Cant'Aelwyn and the Gathorn Mountains north and west. Their eastern borders reach as far as Prism Lake but as they're nomads living in small groups scattered over the Heaths it is hard to determine where the actual borders lie - from a Rhom-Oc point of view most likely the territory you can reach in one day riding on top of a great warg so their territory is very loosely defined.
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People. The Rhom-Oc are the only known orcish tribe that tamed the great warg permanently and in a real supportive relationship. Most others misuse these beasts only for their war efforts while the Rhom-Oc need the wargs in everyday life. The wargs respresent the Rhom-Oc way to travel the huge distances across the plains during one year and with the help of these gigantic wolves they successfully hunt the reindeers of the Heaths.

Every family has its personal pack of wargs they live and travel with. The warriors use mainly the male wargs as their steeds while the female wargs are often the pack animals that carry the sparse belongings, the tents and the tools of a family.

In the life of a Rhom-Oc warrior he or she often only has few wargs as his/her personal ride animals and often builds up a close relationship with the beast he/she has to count on to survive in the harsh life conditions: the wargs help to hunt enough food and the orcs provide them with warmth and protection.

The Rhom-Oc and the wargs form an equal relationship in this respect and it is said that the otherwise fire-shunning warg would follow his rider even into the crater of a vulcano if the rider would ask him to do so. This close is the relatonship between warg and orc among these clans.

The rules governing the Ashz-Oc and the Rhom-Oc regarding the role of the females in orcish society are nearly identical so they are being considered together. Their laws are similar to those of the Losh-Oc, although they are not quite so rigid and females are permitted more leeway. They may study to become shamans (though only under the tutelage of a male and are subject to him) and are also responsible for the care of the
wargs. Females may own possessions that are not subject to the whims of their mates (i.e. a female may barter a piece of jewelry or a deer hide that belongs to her without her mates permission). A female does not necessarily have to be assigned to another male immediately if her mate dies. In theory, she may even live on her own if she can provide for herself and her young. In practise, however, there is a great deal of social pressure to remarry and most generally do, though a rare few prefer to manage on their own. Though the Rhom-Oc and Ashz-Oc orcs usually have multiple mates as well, they tend to have greater respect for their female's wishes, and will not, for instance, give away a mate to another warrior if she is unwilling to go. However, women are still not allowed to be warriors and their responsibilities are still mainly domestic.
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Housing. The Rhom-Oc live in simple leather tents that are built up with four poles into the ground only used for sleep or to cover from rain or storm. One fireplace is in the middle of the tent to provide enough warmth for the family. Though the tents are small, about two to three peds in diameter six to eight orcs, often one family, live in one tent. Most family clans only consist of three to six tents with every tent housing one branch of the family forming the only kind of settlements in the Heaths.
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Clothing. The Rhom-Oc clothe in leather and fur. Most of them wear sturdy leather trousers and leather shirts for riding and fur jackets or vests to protect from the cold. In winter another wide fur coat is wrapped around the body. The warrior use straps of wolf, bear or warg fur attached to their clothing to mark their alignment to these particular beasts.
 
The Rhom-Oc's feet stand in high fur boots that are fixed to the leg with leather straps to connect smoothly with the trousers and prevent the wind from blowing into the clothes.

The female orcs wear trousers as well but instead of the jacket a fur dress over their leather clothing. This is the reason the Rhom-Oc are often named disparaging "furballs" by the humans in the region.

Rhom-Oc also wear all kinds of talismans, amulets or necklaces made of bones or teeth for spiritual protection or help.
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Diet. The main source of food are the reindeers, which are only sometimes spiced up by found or stolen salt, berries or herbs. The food is simple and many of the Rhom-Oc suffer from the lack of variety in their food. This may be also a reason for their small stature and bad teeth.
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Weapons. The Rhom-Oc use a shortbow similar to the Orcish Warbow made of wood and bone for hunting and shortswords or daggers for skinning and fighting alike.

Spears are used against bigger animals though they are not common in fights. The main weapons of the Rhom-Oc, who rides a warg, is the warg itself. Also a long club is used when riding these animals with a thorn attached to the front side for bashing down from the warg's back.

Armor is unknown to the Rhom-Oc, metal is too precious for that, they only use leather shields to protect themselves against enemy blows. Sometimes also the wargs are covered in leather to be protected from fire and enemy warg teeth.
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Occupations. The men are mainly hunters, take care of their weapons and the wargpack. The warriors are also usually protecting the treck to their next camp site. Hunting reindeers is often a task of several days and it takes even more time to gather and prepare the meat for transport.

Women look for berries and herbs when a suitable place is found or make clothes and prepare the hides. Also, if available they milk the female wargs to prepare the fluid for the only known alcoholic drink the Rhom-Oc know.

The role of the healer and shaman is always taken care of by the oldest and most experienced couple which are often the leaders of a family clan as well.
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Government. There's no real government among the Rhom-Oc. However, occasionally various families meet at certain places and discuss in a great council the events of the last year and the strategy of the coming ones. The most important issue on these occasions is how to split up the known reindeer herds the families then will follow over the year and whether to fight another clan for more herds and meat. Also the rare occasions of campaigns against other races or clans are decided here.

All other decisions, may it be raids on caravans or a big hunting operation are discussed individually by the neighboring families and decided by the leaders incolved in such a task.

The influence on these councils are mostly determined by the size of the family that stands behind the leader and his relationship to other family clans. The word of every leader is equal.
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Production/Trade. The Rhom-Oc produce only few things of relevance for other people. Most things are necessary for their own survival. Minor trade is about hides, sometimes flesh and warg breeds. Some rare human merchants are interested in warg hides for some arrogant noblemen to sell to. In the north the fur boots of the Rhom-Oc are appreciated as they're both warm and good riding boots at the same time but besides that there's nothing of any value in the Heaths of Wilderon and so the Rhom-Oc are mainly left alone.
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Natural Resources. There are no big amounts of natural resources in the Heaths. Only small deposits of iron are found on the surface and stone salt in some caves of the hills. Besides that the Rhom-Oc live from the few things that can be found on the surface of the Heaths: reindeers, berries and herbs.
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Festivals. Every spring and autumn the various clans meet at certain places to discuss about various issues concerning the whole clan. At this time the Rhom-Oc also worship their most important Gods and hold several festivals to the Gods' honor. Sometimes different clans mix up at these occasions, only to talk about a common problem or enemy. Besides that these two fixed times in the year are the only days where the different families celebrate the alignment to each other as one bigger community.

These festivals are also used to balance the numbers of family members and to decide marriages. In the Rhom-Oc society this is a rather rational matter. If a family lacks warriors and hunters they try to marry one of their females with a respected warrior of another family who then joins the family. The other way round is also possible and which way to go is a completely rational decision about what helps the survival of a family.

This tradition makes the relationship between the hundreds of families of a clan a rather blurry thing and the Rhom-Oc themselves are possibly the only ones who really know what family is related to whom and why.
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THE ERA OF SUNDERING
(YEARS 11.900 B.S. - 10.000 B.S.)
ca. 11880 b.S. Orcs settle in the Peat Hills
After the fall of F'v'cl'r the ancestors of the Rhom-Oc settle in the Peat Hills for centuries in relative security isolated by the other races.

THE ERA OF CATACLYSM
(YEARS 9.500 B.S. - 8.500 B.S.)
ca. 9500 b.S. Rhom-Oc flee to the Imlith and the Vindel Mountains
The War of the Chosen forces most Rhom-Oc to flee into the Imlith and Vindel Mountains hiding in the valleys and shadows of the hills. The Peat Hills are deserted. Many Rhom-Oc warriors die in the many conflicts, wars and disputes of the archmages or against the other people seeking refuge in the mountains.
  

ca. 9000 b.S.
to 6500 b.S.
Rhom-Oc move to the Heaths of Wilderon
Rising from the ashes the Rhom-Oc slowly recover from their losses. After the War of the Chosen the Rhom-Oc slowly leave the mountains again seeking for food sources. Family by family, clan by clan, generation for generation they enter the vastness of the Heaths and overcome its obstacles. Legends about the first taming of the warg are told by that time and the warg becomes the best ally of the orcs against the dangers of this place. Only few clans remain in the mountains or return to the Peat Hills.

But most Rhom-Oc feel only safe in the wide plains of the Heaths where you can see your enemies come and where only they know the right paths. By 6500 b.S. the Rhom-Oc have recovered from the Great War and cover most of the Heaths with their nomadic settlements.

THE ERA OF CONSOLIDATION
(YEARS 8.500 B.S. - 3.400 B.S.)
5002 b.S. The Rogetyrim Dwarves reach the Imlith Mountains and settle there
The Rogetyrim Dwarves eventually reach the Imlith Mountains and spend many years clearing out its former inhabitants. These include the Rhom-Oc Orcs, who hold a grudge against the Rogetyrim and their descendants for ages afterwards.
  

4652 b.S. The Rogetyrim Dwarves drive the Rhom-Oc Orcs out of the Imlith Mountains
The Rogetyrim Dwarves destroy the few remaining Rhom-Oc Orc settlements in the Imlith Mountains, and then attack the Rhom-Oc upon the Heaths of Wilderon. They succeed in driving the Rhom-Oc into the Icelands. The Rhom-Oc hatred for the Rogetyrim is forever solidified.
  

ca. 3500 b.S. Trade between Rhom-Oc, Kanapan Men and the Ice Tribes
Trade increases and so does the amount of caravans moving north- and westward becoming an interesting target for the wanderings clans. The merchants of the Kanapan peninsula and from the Ice coasts take the risks in exchange for precious goods and gold. However, legends about the ghosts of the Heaths and their terrible mounts are spreading with every caravan lost on the way.

THE AGE OF MYTHS
(YEARS 3.400 B.S. - 1.655 B.S.)
ca. 3000 b.S. Human Supply Posts to support Trade
Slowly the Rhom-Oc neighbours, the humans of the Sarvonian northeastern regions (the Kanapans and the Ice Tribes), found supply posts for the caravans and even brave settlers come to the place to make a fortune but most either leave again or stay forever.
  

2600 b.S. Founding of the City of Basalon
The city of Basalon is founded by Ice Tribe settlers and is soon growing due to a continuous stream of vagabonds, murderers and poor that hope to find peace in one of the most isolated spots of Caelereth. The Rhom-Oc evade the valley of Basalon most of the time but the caravans of merchants and settlers and the supply station bare yet an attractive target for the hungry or desperate orcs.
  

1880 b.S. Plundering of Basalon by the Rhom-Oc
The plundering of Basalon takes place in this year after a decade of Ice Tribe campaigns and aggressive extinction tactics against the Rhom-Oc. Several clans unite for the goal to teach the humans a lesson and many others support their cause. In the winter of 1880 when the humans all take quarter in the city or hamlets 3000 warg riders gather to bring death and destruction over the valley of Basalon.

The humans never expected the stupid orcs to ever organize themself to a dangerous army and never expected that anyone could wander through the heaths in winter so the terrifying army of wargs and orcs hits them totally off-guard. The valley of Basalon is overrun in three days, many hamlets are burned, its villagers killed. But even worse: the Rhom-Oc take the city in one assault burning and plundering it completely. At the same time other clans attack and destroy many supply stations in the heaths.

When spring comes and the first caravans leave the south they encounter the ruins and places of slaughter and arrive in a striving trade town where nearly two thirds of its population have died of starvation.

Thus the Rhom-Oc teach the humans a lesson for years to come. All their tactics and strategies to get rid of the vermin of the heaths fail in the vastness and unknown territory.
  

1657 b.S. The Moh'rhim Elves and Rhom-Oc Orcs form an alliance
The Mohrhim Shadow Elves convince the Rhom-Oc Orcs that they can help them achieve vengeance against the Rogetyrim Dwarves. The elves have been long in planning their revenge, and give much aid and support to the Rhom-Oc in helping them prepare for war.

THE AGE OF AWAKENING
(YEARS 1.655 B.S. - 822 B.S.)
1649 b.S. Shadow Elves attack the Dwarven Imlith Settlements
With the year of Darkness the Moh'rhim Shadow Elves and Rhom-Oc Orcs attack out of the Shadow Marshes, forging their way into the tunnels of the Rogetyrim and Terogerim Dwarves. The Terogerim are ill-prepared for the attack, and are quickly annihilated. The Rogetyrim hold out longer, as they still have possession of the ThrazBarol axe. But eventually, the powerful magic of the Moh'rhim wins out, and both the Great Hall and the ThrazBarol are taken by them. After ransacking the Great Hall, the Moh'rhim withdraw to their own lands again.

The Susilgerim Dwarves, who also live in Imlith, survive the attack by retreating high into the mountains, and never again return to life in the tunnels. This time is now refered to by the Susilgerim as the "Year of the Burning Night".
  

1264 b.S. Susilgerim Dwarves secure the Khorimkaom Forests
After several decades of struggle against the Rhom-Oc Orcs the nearby forests ("Khorimkaom" in Thergerim-Taal) from which the Susilgerim Dwarves harvest some of their poisons are made secure by the dwarves. Underground emplacements are begun to safeguard the area.

THE AGE OF THE BLOOD
(YEARS 822 B.S. - 50 B.S.)
752 b.S. The Heaths of Blood: Susilgerim Dwarves vs. Rhom-Oc Orcs
One Susilgerim dwarf tribal leader, Akakiruhnt, raises much support from the younger generations and invades the Heaths of Wilderon to try to destroy the Rhom-Oc Orcs. They have some initial success, but are later decimated by the Rhom-Oc warg riders upon the open plains and are forced to retreat.
  

263 b.S. The Susilgerim Dwarves attack the Rhom-Oc Orcs once again
With the aid of their new mounts, the Susilgerim Dwarves once again attack the Rhom-Oc orcs. This time however, their Krumhorn beast mounts take away the advantage the Rhom-Oc had in their wargs, allowing the dwarves to effectively beat the Rhom-Oc across the plains. The Rhom-Oc are seriously disturbed by this turn of events.
  

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.
  

256 b.S. The Rhom-Oc Orcs make their Move
As the first step this new orc coalition takes against the dwarves, the Losh-Oc and Ashz-Oc Orcs march on the Prominent Mountains. The Kurakim Dwarves are hard-pressed to hold them off. At the same time, the Rhom-Oc, Gob-Oc, and Osther-Oc Orcs attack the Susilgerim Dwarves from the north. Surprisingly, the Dwarves do manage to hold out admirably despite being greatly outnumbered.
  

246 b.S. The Orcs call on the help of the Moh'rhim Shadow Elves
The war between the northern orcs and dwarves continues to drag on at a standstill. The orcs, growing impatient for victory, remember the aid the Rhom-Oc Orcs received from the Moh'rhim Shadow Elves many years ago. They send messengers to the Moh'rhim to ask for their aid once again. The messengers do not return, but the Moh'rhim soon do. A large force of Shadow Elves soon joins the orcs, turning the tide in their favour.
  

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.

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