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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Natural Resources. The Osther-Oc don’t own any natural resources.
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.
|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.
Information provided by Koldar Mondrakken