Orcwood

From World of Charun

Nation founded by Lumpy Tichkeck in 910 III

Wudorc of Orcwood
Enlarge
Wudorc of Orcwood

Contents

Description

Located in the center of the western lands along the former route of the Trail of Gold, lies the forest known as Orcwood, and the nation it contains. Orcs inhabit this vast expanse of woodland freely, eking out an existance far removed from the orcs of earlier ages.

Though no official census has ever been taken, there are at least 9000 orcs living within its bounds, and perhaps another 700 half-blooded orcs. As well, a small population of humans can be found there, usually individuals who find themselves drawn to the somewhat primative orcish lifestyle, or outlaws seeking haven from other nations. Society in Orcwood still retains a traditional tribal air, but has been modified with imported social and governmental ideals. Orcwood is ruled primarily by it's king, but there also exists a council, drawn from the elders of the various orcish tribes making up the nation's population.

Nominally a monarchy, Orcwood actually operates under a unique system of government, based strongly upon old orcish clan tradition. Unlike most governments, it functions from the bottom up, local governmental institutions forming the basis upon which the national government rests and operates.

Essentially, Orcwood is divided upon into eight major clan groups, each of which contains several smaller clans within it. These operate much like the states or provences of other nations, roughtly splitting the forest into eight seperate regions. Each of these regions is governed by it's own council, made up of one elder orc from each of the smaller clans within the clan groups. These 'clan councils' handle most local matters, ranging from simple governence to law enforcement.

Operating atop these lesser councils are the organs of the national government; the high council and the King. The high council is made up eight members; the most senior member for each of the lower councils finds a seat upon it.. it serves two important functions. Primarily, they serve as advisors to the King, offering their combined advice and experience on important matters. Secondly, they serve as an emergency check upon the King's power. Should the King prove unfit to rule the council has the option of removing him from power, requiring a unanimous vote on their part. Perhaps due to the nature of Orcwood's government, which tends to elevate based upon competance and suitability rather than social class, no King has ever had to be dethroned by this method.

Warrior of Orcwood
Enlarge
Warrior of Orcwood

Resting at the peak of Orcwood's governmental structure is the King. Despite the title, Kingship in Orcwood is not hereditary as it is in most human nations; like all other positions, the King's office is simply filled by raising the eldest member of the high council to it. All important matters within the nation are deferred to the King. He handles most diplomatic and military matters, as well as overseeing the operation of the lesser clans and the smooth interation of the nation as a whole.

In comparison to many other nations, Orcwood's structure seems somewhat uncoordinated. Most of the remaining human nations are used to systems based upon wealth, heredity, prestige and influence. In comparison, the tribal structure of orcs applied to modern government seems unwieldy and archaic. However, it sits well with Orcwood's inhabitants and has been operating successfully for as long as the nation has stood.

The orcs of Orcwood are fiercely nationalistic, but markedly less offensively-minded than those of other regions. This can likely be attributed to the sizable span of time they have held control of the region. Consequently, while Wudorcs are somewhat less violent then their kin, until they perceive a threat upon their homeland. Foreigners are treated fairly, if not guardedly, unless they bring conflict with them. Such individuals will find only conflict in return, and orcish law is widely known for its swift brutality.


Orcwood Law

Many visitors to Orcwood are surprised by the nation's lack of constabularies or prisons. This has often been misinterpreted, leading some to beleive that the forest is a lawless region. The simple truth is that orcish law imposes stricter, more brutal punishments than simple jail sentences, and such prisons aren't necessary. A malicious killing, for example, will always result in the guilty party's execution. Lesser crimes, such as theft, rape, or assault, typically result in prominent brandings marking the individual's status as a criminal. Second offenses often warrant disfigurement; the removal of a hand is quite popular. Repeat offenders, even for lesser crimes, might soon find themselves facing execution as well, should they make a habit of being caught. This brutality sits poorly with most civilized nations, and no doubt contributes to Orcwood's poor foreign relations.

Laws in Orcwood are policed by its inhabitants themselves, since most adults are nominally members of the army, active or not. it is not uncommon for a murderer to be apprehended by his own neighbors and brought in for judgement. Just who oversees the trials of the accused varies with the scope of the crime; while lesser offenses might be handled by village leaders or the clan councils, a particularily heinous crime might find its way to the King's Hall for judgement.


Economy

Inhabitants of Orcwood
Enlarge
Inhabitants of Orcwood

Orcwood's long and painful climb to "civilized" status has been given a huge boost by the reorganization of the Trail of Gold. With assistance from merchants, the orcs have set up what is, if not a grand port, at least a respectable facility known as Blackwater. While most orcs still resist the idea of "employment" as ill-befitting a son of Ghuruk, some of the more mercantile or intelligent orcs have been quick to grasp the potential opportunities. This includes hiring parties to act as guards through Webwood, which can be alternately boring or lethal, depending on what one encounters that day. That sort of employment is much more to most of the Orcs' tastes, and they are quick to put down caravan-hunting renegades who might cause trouble.

Orcwood primarily exports leatherwork and woodcraft, as well as the spiderhide harvested from the nearby Webwood and crafted similarily to leather, something unique to the area. Having merchants from as far away as Ulvhavn dickering over their goods has led to a significant boom in Orcwood's economy.

The irony of an orc-infested forest being both safer and more profitable for merchants than the homelands of many humans (let alone the Unor), has not been lost on those who keep an eye on long-term trends.


Warrior of Orcwood
Enlarge
Warrior of Orcwood

Army

As might be expected of a nation comprised almost entirely of orcs, Orcwood's army is quite large for it's population, but not particularily well equipped or organized. most adult orcs are trained to fight, but the nation itself maintains a much smaller standing army, rotating it's inhabitants in two year tours of service. Were war to break out, orcwood is capable of fielding a much larger army all at once, roughly estimated to half it's population, reminiscant to an orcish horde of old.

Most of Orcwood's active army can be found policing its northern and western borders, maintaining a strong presence to deter unwanted intrusion. In fact, the settlements of Northwall and Westgate are little more than military outposts to serve as staging points for the nation's border patrols; in fact, the garrisons in these towns are actually larger than their regular population.

Orcwood's regular army is poorly equipped in comparison to the organized forces of most other natinos. Spears and light armor form the normal kit for an orcish warrior; various grade of leather armor are extremely common. Mail or any other form of metal dependent armor is all but unseen amongst the regular army. Wudorcs also favor composite shortbows, easy to handle in the confines of their thick forest, but capable of great power. All of this results in a light, mobile army capable of doing tremendous damage very quickly. They favor quick ambushes and retreats, as well as other brutal guerilla tactics. Their light armor makes them unsuitedd for garrison defense and heavy assult, which often puts the garrisons at a disadvantage during border conflicts with dhazzir and other savage humanoids along their western border. For this reason, they prefer preemptive strikes, allowing them to play their offensive strength most effectively.


Religion

A vast majority of orcs worship Ghruruk, the "Sixed-Armed Warchief", whom they view as their creator, known more commonly as Slaine. However, given the subtle decline of their warlike nature and the slow infusion of foreign ideas into the nation, it isn't impossible to find adherants to other religions. This is doubly true amongst the non-orc population. The orcs themselves are ambivalant on the issue, and no Gods are formally banned.


History

The nation of Orcwood first came into being around 910 III with Baron Rudolph Stern's dissolution of Elmwood. Seizing the opportunity, the Half-Orc Lumpy Tichkeck laid a claim down upon the forest and environs, setting the foundations for the nation that exists today. Much of Lumpy's reign was met with understandable opposition, a tumultuous period wrought with conflict. even as the cataclysmic end of the Third Age fell around him, he waged a bloody series of battles to depose the Warchiefs who held sway over the hordes and purge any orc too violent to fit inot his vision of the future. He took their place as master over Orcwood and gradually began to enact new systems and codes of law, maintaining them with the only thing an orc could understand - force. By the end of his rule in 17 IV, Orcwood had fallen into an awkward silence as its inhabitants came to grips with their new situation.

Orcwood has adjusted well in the three-hundred odd years since then, and hasn't yet again seen civil conflict of such magnitude. It maintains a tenuous standoff with it's neighbors, Sanctia in particular, but has yet to escalate into anthing more serious than that.

Orcwood has seen 16 kings since The end of Lumpy's reign and the current King of Orcwood is Grugh Goreclaw. Following the end of the Eyetooth dynasty with the death of of Taarsk Eyetooth, Grugh ascended to the throne from his position as head of the Elder Council.


Statistics

Population: 35.000

Settlements and population: Stonetower - 10000, Blackwater - 1500 , Bloodridge - 700

Army: 5000-15000, depending on Wartime status. All adults are trained to fight.

Government form: Autocracy governing together with a Council of Elders

Current Ruler:

Demographics: Orc 92%, Half Orc 7%, Human 1%

Heraldic Colours: INSERT TEXT

Natural Resources: Wood, Leather, Fish, Spider Hides and Spidersilk

Manufactured Goods: Simple Weapons, Wooden Items, Leather Armor, Spidersilk Rope

Wealth: Low

Allies: None

Enemies: None

Religion: Ghruruk (Slaine), Any

Illegal Deities: None

Climate: Mediterrainean

Terrain: Forest

Major Geographical Features


Back to: Main Page | Gazetteer | Realms

Views