Welcome to... Canonfire! World of GreyhawK
Postcards from the Flanaess
in Greyhawk
Cities of
Jason Zavoda Presents
The Gord Novels
Greyhawk Wiki
    Occupied Ulek: Part 1
    Posted on Sun, July 23, 2006 by Dongul
    DangerDwarf writes "Fighting continues on the western front of the Orcish Empire as the dwarves of Ulek refuse to give up their tenacious offensive to reclaim their lost land. Who are these orcs that have managed to hold the Despot’s western border? This the first part of a series of articles expanding and revising upon an earlier article entitled "The Tribes of Occupied Ulek".

    Authors Note: This is part one of an expansion and revision of a previous article I wrote entitled “The Tribes of Occupied Ulek”. In this vision of Ulek’s eastern provinces, the dwarves claim them in name only, eastern Ulek is firmly entrenched with humanoid forces and it is unlikely that they will be removed any time soon.

    The section entitled “Rise of the Empire” was heavily influenced by entries in the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer as well as a write-up of the Greyhawk Wars.

    The Rise of the Empire

    During the month of Readying in 584CY the Despot Turrosh Mak fielded his armies and struck into the Wild Coast. The unprepared villages and towns of the coast fell quickly to his humanoid horde. Flush with victory the hordes turned southwest and pushed into the Principality of Ulek, catching the dwarves unaware.

    Augustos Clinkerfire, the dwarven Warden of the Jewel, attempted to halt the advance as best as he could but found his command structure in disarray. Immediately preceding the assault, advanced orc scouts from the Gutshank tribe had slipped into dwarven encampments and towns assassinating key officers. The overwhelming numbers of the horde, combined with the assault on the Warden’s command structure left Clinkerfire with little option save an organized retreat. It was not until they reached the foothills of the lower Lortmils before Clinkerfire and his men were able to make their stand. Unfortunately by that time the eastern provinces of the Principality were overrun by Mak’s forces.

    Understanding that his fragile confederation of tribes needed continued victories if they were to remain strong Turrosh Mak placed several contingents of his human forces in the newly gained area to hold the line and turned the humanoid horde northeast. Mak despised his need to rely on the human troops but recognized that his humanoid forces were not disciplined nor patient enough for the protracted campaign necessary in holding their new lands in Ulek.

    When finally the newly formed Orcish Empire halted its advances in 585CY many of the humanoid tribes looked to the conquered lands to make their homes. Several tribes returned to the captured provinces of Ulek, eager to pick through the ruins of the dwarven settlements. As more and more humanoid tribes made their way west of the Jewel River Mak was forced to pull several of his human contingents from the region to minimize conflicts between the groups.

    Ulek was not about to concede defeat and continued in attempts to reclaim its eastern provinces. The sustained military action began to destabilize the humanoid tribes of the region and in 586CY Prince Corond arranged an alliance with the Knights of Luna. The combined forces managed to mount an effective counterattack and reclaim some of the lost land. Turrosh knew he needed to quickly consolidate his strength there if he wished to keep his gained lands. Mak found the answer in an unusually disciplined orc by the name of Nevrash the Stalker, chieftain of Clan Gutshank and one of Mak’s most vocal supporters during the initial formation of the empire. Mak named Nevrash as War Chief over the assembled tribes of conquered Ulek in early 587CY, charging him with maintaining the western front.

    The Night of Long Knives

    Nevrash’s appointment as War Chief of the western front did not sit well with several tribal leaders of the occupied provinces. Clan chieftains of more aggressive tribes, such as the Evil Eye and the Broken Bone, believed it was their right to lead the assembled hordes of the region. Nevrash saw his newly gained position in jeopardy as opposing tribes mobilized to challenge his leadership.

    Nevrash quickly responded to this threat by allying his clan with Clan Balefire, a small clan of orcs who were known for the number of sorcerers they produced. Then on the 25th of Coldeven in 587CY, during the dark of the new moon, Clan Gutshank assassins in coordination with a handful of Balefire sorcerers struck simultaneously throughout occupied Ulek eliminating rival chiefs and other voices of contention. This “Night of Long Knives”, as it grew to be called, consolidated Nevrash’s grip on the tribes of the region.

    With several well planned skirmishes against the Ulekian forces along the contested land’s borders Nevrash further bolstered the assembled tribes’ morale. By 588CY Nevrash ruled with absolute authority over the humanoid tribes of the western front.

    Tightening the Grip

    Nevrash, understanding the need to better organize the humanoid forces under his command, divided the occupied provinces into four regions. The western edge was divided into three fronts (Northern, Western and Southern), the fourth region became known as Shargaal and provided support for the tribes of the three fronts.

    Nevrash’s division of the region served two purposes. First he wished to ensure greater accountability by the tribes of a given front in defending their area. Second, and most importantly, he understood it was crucial to minimize the need for cooperation between tribes of differing religious outlooks and therefore reduce intertribal warfare.

    Once he finished organizing the hierarchy of the region and detailing their responsibilities he continued to build on the racial pride that Turrosh Mak had sparked in the orcs during the initial formation of the Empire. Tribal elders continued to spread tales of the Hateful Wars and how the wretched dwarves had robbed them of their “birth right” by driving them from the Lortmil Mountains. Around the campfires could be heard the dogma of orcish superiority and their place to rule over their “ancestral” lands of the Lortmils.

    The Purging

    With the consolidated tribes of occupied Ulek now fully under his control Nevrash then continued to further his agenda. With the humanoid armies relatively stable Nevrash wished to have Mak’s human forces withdrawn from the region. He despised the human presence and saw them as detrimental to his long term goals.

    Gutshank and Balefire orcs began a quiet campaign to fully turn the humanoids against the humans also occupying the region. At their whispered urgings and prodding, violence against Mak’s human forces became more commonplace. As belief in orcish superiority strengthened and spread so did the attacks against the human forces. By 590CY the open hostilities between the humanoids and the humans grew so widespread that the Despot was forced to withdraw his remaining human forces from occupied Ulek and relocate them to other areas.

    Timeline of Events

    582CY - Turrosh Mak takes control of his tribe, the Nedla.

    584CY - In the month of Readying, Mak’s forces invade the Wild Coast. He then marches through the Suss and into Ulek. The march continues until halted at the Battle of Celene Pass.

    585CY – Mak turns his attention to maintaining and strengthening his new holdings.

    586CY – Counterattack by Ulek’s forces, aided by the Knights of Luna reclaim portions of the fallen provinces.

    587CY – Mak names Nevrash the War Chief of the assembled tribes of the Western Front. The 25th of Coldeven marks the “Night of Long Knives”.

    588CY – Nevrash consolidates his grip over the tribes of occupied Ulek.

    589CY – Orcs of Clan Gutshank and Clan Balefire begin a campaign to set the humanoids against Mak’s human forces in the region.

    590CY – Mak withdraws his human forces from occupied Ulek due to increasing violence against them by the assembled humanoid horde.

    591CY – On the 11th of Goodmonth, combined clans from the Leprous Hand tribe unite under the direction of a cleric of Yurtrus to conduct the Rite of Sky Rending. A blight in southern Ulek begins.

    592-593CY – Nevrash continues to strengthen his position in Ulek, increasing efforts to rebuild strongholds and use slave labor for agricultural operations.

    594CY – Current state of the region as presented in this work.

    A Note on Clans & Tribes

    The orcs in this series of articles have two social designations, clans and tribes. Clans are smaller groups, each with their own leader. The clans are the orcish social units that most are familiar with as they are the ones encountered in a lair, roving a particular range and so forth. Tribes are a conglomeration of the smaller clans, usually united by religious belief. The tribes do not serve as a central authority of the clans that fall under it; they simply represent a set of common ethics and beliefs. Clans operate autonomous of the orcish tribes. The tribes simply provide a larger framework for cooperation. For example, two clans from the Death Moon tribe share many religious outlooks and social customs. Whereas a clan from the Vile Rune tribe and a clan from Evil Eye tribe have enough social and religious differences that cooperation becomes difficult.

    Five of the largest orc tribes now reside within occupied Ulek, their names and religious patron are listed below:

    Death Moon Tribe: Shargaas

    Evil Eye Tribe: Gruumsh

    Vile Rune Tribe: Luthic

    Leprous Hand Tribe: Yurtrus

    Broken Bone Tribe: Bahgtru

    Related Links
    · More about Greyhawk Gazetteer
    · News by Dongul

    Most read story about Greyhawk Gazetteer:

    Postfest X(Needfest 2009) The Dirty Dog Tavern in Rookroost

    Article Rating
    Average Score: 4
    Votes: 3

    Please take a second and vote for this article:

    Very Good


     Printer Friendly Printer Friendly

    The comments are owned by the poster. We aren't responsible for their content.

    No Comments Allowed for Anonymous, please register

    Canonfire! is a production of the Thursday Group in assocation with GREYtalk and Canonfire! Enterprises

    Contact the Webmaster.  Long Live Spidasa!

    Greyhawk Gothic Font by Darlene Pekul is used under the Creative Commons License.

    PHP-Nuke Copyright © 2005 by Francisco Burzi. This is free software, and you may redistribute it under the GPL. PHP-Nuke comes with absolutely no warranty, for details, see the license.
    Page Generation: 0.34 Seconds