A World Enslaved
(the next century)
Nobody saw The Orcs coming. The Kalashek took the brunt of the assault, and they lost town after town. The orcs marched on their capital, Iklesa, within a year. The battle raged for a year before the city truly fell and there was no more resistance from within. The orcs set about conquering the remaining lands, including The Hirogen clans. The only thing that really changed under orc rule was who was in charge. Local laws were observed as before (except for the practice of divine magic, which was allowed in Kalashek lands if it was sponsored by Dumat or Haxitum). It was an arrangement that most people could live with.
The orcs had landed on Ekwa, but could not employ the same tactics they had used on the humans, most because nobody really lived on Ekwa. People who wanted privacy or people who had made a living of exploring the old city lived there, and there was nothing bigger than a village there. The best emotional assessment of the orc “invaders” on Ekwa was disappointed. There had been no fight, and though they had taken good land for their people, there had been no resistance to speak of. Fortunately for them, the island of Lorath was within reach, which would be plenty challenging to conquer. They began planning for the invasion, and sent word back to Prack to get reinforcements. The lords who were now in control of a large part of Kalashek and Hirogen lands responded, and they had plenty of experienced soldiers to help. Troops were moved, and the invasion began.
It was a challenging fight, since none of the sides knew the other’s tactics. The advantage was clearly the orcs, since they had not been involved in a war that had destroyed much of their own land. It was a sad time when the orcs ruled the world. They let the local laws stay in Lorath, but as always, they added in some of their own practices. The humans who held power in the new orc empire decided that they could spread their knowledge to Lorath and give it a facelift and bring it up to par with the rest of the world. That’s correct. The elves built in the forests, but there would be no great tree-cities without the orcs. The dwarves built underground, but there would be no great halls and beautifully designed tunnels without the orcs. How did they help? They helped by bringing in slaves from all over the world to help build these amazing works. The two cities that were the heart of the slave trade were Bastion and Nith. Ships and caravans went in and out of the cities frequently, and they were the heart of civilization, at least for the next forty years. There were rebellions of course, but most ended in the escape or death of a few hundred people. One rebellion though, was the game changer, and it happened in the city of Jera.
People of all races executed a highly organized attack on orc establishments, killing the garrison and the lord in charge of the city. Several orcs remained, but they were not enough to stop the slaves who were high on fighting for their freedom. The city was taken. Orcs moved to take the city back, but as they moved, other positions weakened, and soon enough there was a cascade of rebellions. A year after Jera fell, Bastion was also freed. The cities formed an alliance, and called themselves The Free Cities of Jara. This angered the orcs, and they went on a campaign to annihilate the Free Cities. Before they could really begin their campaign, trouble was stirring in Nith.
The dwarves and elves had always been at odds with each other, but now they had a common enemy. Legend has it that a dwarf and an elf jokingly vowed to join their races together and end the tyranny of the orcs. Whatever the true origins are, that very thing did happen. Fighting in the streets of Nith took place for a month before the orcs decided to leave. The people rose up to take back their lands.
One group called the Blood Eagles was particularly savage. Based out of a town near the old city, they sought to use the great magic of the progenitors against the orcs. As slave ships pulled into port near the old city, a few elves that had been practicing magic retraced the steps of Daemis Remtarac and found the channel. They focused their energy and did something unheard of. They had learned secrets of dark magic from demons they had contacted in secret, and unleashed the most violent act of necromancy the world has ever seen. They took the lives of the slaves in the ships and used the power of their very souls to create a storm of negative energy, which destroyed many orc bases on northern Ekwa. The rest of the power they imbued into themselves and became forces to be reckoned with. They unleashed terrible magic upon the orcs and fought mercilessly to remove the orcs from their homeland. For the first time in history, the orcs knew fear.
In response to the rebel slaves and the Blood Eagles in particular, the orcs took up brutal tactics to make sure the slaves had nothing when they got their “homes” back. Scorched earth tactics take up an entirely new meaning when magic is involved.
Eventually the orcs were pushed back beyond the Yara-Mal Mountains, and the world was free again. The elf and dwarf union was surprisingly stable, and for the first time in history they got along. They called their union The Combine, and many people recognized their strength and allied with them. There was peace and happiness in The Combine.
Unfortunately, the Blood Eagles weren’t satisfied. They wanted vengeance on the orcs for destroying their homes and enslaving the world. Everyone one else was angry too, but nobody kept fighting. It got worse. They used the channel to dominate the minds of passerby and force them into fighting the orcs. The Combine wanted it to stop, so they made open allegiance to the Blood Eagles a crime. Many were punished, but the organization was not destroyed.
The Blood Eagles were not so much of a threat as time went on, and the humans, dwarves, and elves all rebuilt their homelands. All seemed good again in the world.