The Glory of Mhandelore
While it is the most civilized of the outer lands, Goreno is still a wild and savage wilderness. Plants and animals here all seem bigger, tougher, and meaner, and its resident peoples are constantly struggling to keep them at bay or live with them. A tall mountain range dominates the central area with low lying plains and dense forests surrounding them. The coastal seas are some of the most violent in all of Odao, with howling arctic winds battering the northern edge and seasonal ice flows making the Chill Sea too dangerous to sail. Tropical currents coming up from the western Cindulan clash with the cooler air of Goreno which cause powerful hurricanes to pound the southern coast through most of the warmer seasons.
THE FOUR CLANS
The only real civilized lands in Goreno are the home of the orc tribes on the plains south of the Skyreach Mountains. The plains are some of the most fertile in the entire world and allow the orcs to thrive in a more agricultural society. The largest cities are alongside the Mud and Serpent Rivers, where fishing is bountiful, but many villages dot the landscape between the two rivers.
Tordo: The city of Tordo was the first settlement built by the orcs of Zalltork; therefore it is the most populated, as well as most fortified city in the Mog’ruk kingdom. It is a walled city with defenses that range from massive catapults and mangonels to large bastilles; with a garrison of soldiers ready for battle (all the orc cities have these defenses). Visually Tordo is a quite beautiful city. The masterwork architecture of the buildings is both strong and artistic. It is also the hub of trade, technology, and divine magic within the orc kingdom. There are temples here with clerics of the new pantheons, as well as the old gods reborn. Tordo was also home to the small Mog’ruk navy. Having a port with battleships as well as fishing vessels. Present day the population of Tordo is roughly 20,000.
Shurok: The town of Shurok was founded several years after Tordo had become a well established settlement. The town itself lies in between two gigantic mountains. When Mog’ruk and Thootum first arrived here, they instantly recognized a huge potential for mining, as well as stone/metalworking. The surrounding mountains provided ore and minerals of almost all kinds. Silver, gold, and iron ore, to name a few, were mined in abundance, and are mined still from this area. While the buildings here have the same masterwork architecture of Tordo, the beauty and splendor of Shurok pales in comparison. This is a town built for two purposes, practicality and resources. Shurok has defenses similar to Tordo, but not near as great in numbers as the capitol city. The towns positioning is strategic between the mountains so as not to need the amount of defenses as Tordo, not to mention it is a lot smaller to begin with. Present day the population of Shurok is roughly 10,000. The clan of Stone cutter lives here and helps with mining.
Jintar: By the time that Tordo and Shurok had been established, the orcs of Mog’ruk had had enough years to pretty much scout and survey the entire land. They discovered that the most dense and organized population of elves dwelled in the Darkwood Forest. There were small tribes in the Highland Woods, and even a few out of place elven tribes in the Skyreach Mountains, but they seemed more primitive and less threatening than the massive horde of elves in Darkwood. Upon making this discovery, Mog’ruk decided that a defensive settlement closer to the borders of The Darkwood Forest was prudent. Although he hated what he’d seen of the elves and their culture, he did not want to conquer or eradicate them, only to defend what he’d worked so hard to build. The fire carver clan helps hold the elves at bay. The fire giants hate the elves and warn that the elves have a powerful master not of this world.
And so the city of Jintar was established. Jintar quickly became a symbol of military glory to the orcs, and anyone else for that matter. Tordo can actually be considered more fortified than Jintar, but only because of its size and population. With multiple walls, and overabundant defenses for its size, Jintar was an impenetrable fortress of a city. Any attack on this town without technology at least equivalent to the Mog’ruk would be a useless gesture. The city is not much to look at, but like Shurok, it was built for a purpose, and that purpose is not to look pretty, but to defend even the strongest attack the evil elves might attempt. Present day the population of Jintar is roughly 15,000. (80% military). With 800 fire giants the worriers are known as Sentinels. Other giants about 400 also call Jintar home and help with its defense including a cloud giant named Toaldus who has powerful seeing and portent abilities and rarely leaves the city to fight. Kirg’Laghk is the lord of the Fire Carver Clan and all giants answer to him… The giants captured a strange elf flying on a rock from the Pitt He turned to dust when pressed for answers regarding the Seed. A strange Brain Worm from his remains tried to attack the giant troop but was destroyed and disappeared before its purpose could be uncovered. Toaldus has named the Worms Quasi-ghouls and warns that they are agents of the Seed of Evil.
Fakun: Very soon after the construction of Jintar had begun, the stone giant Thootum recommended that a secondary defense base be built where the Skyreach River drains into the sea. This way the orcs could have a line of defense,(instead of the one fort Jintar) against the elves should they ever mount an attack. And so it was done, the naval town of Fakun was born. Named for Mog’ruk’s youngest son, the town was erected quickly and efficiently. A new port and shipyard was built, bigger than the one in Tordo. Army barracks, as well as facilities for building siege weapons were created. Thootum saw to the construction of watchtowers equipped with archers and even small catapults, and positioned them all along the Skyreach River clear through to Jintar. This basically completed the defenses of the orcs, with Tordo and Shurok being fortified plenty to handle anything from the Highland Woods or Skyreach Mountains, now the kingdom was equipped to repel a full scale assault from the Darkwood Forest as well because of Jintar and Fakun. Present day the population of Fakun is roughly 14,000. (70% military)
Mog’ruk Stronghold: In the middle of the lands controlled by the orcs from Zalltork, on top of a very tall hill that enables one to see for miles around, stands the Mog’ruk Stronghold. This structure was the last hope and dream of Mog’ruk the Brave, king of the orcs. And to his happiness, he was able to see his hope and dream become a reality. In his final years he presided over the people from high atop his throne in the castle. Eventually he died a happy and painless death in his sleep, safe in the comfort of his own kingdom and keep. The castle itself is a wonder to behold. Thootum and Mog’ruk’s four children spared no expense in making it the most fortified, durable, and beautiful structure in all the kingdom. It stands over 500 feet tall at its tallest towers tip. From directly above the castle is shaped like a huge pentagon. 5 towers, each over 300 feet tall themselves, are positioned at the points of the pentagon, with the 500 ft master tower being right in the center. Huge walls over 20 ft thick and 100 ft tall connect each of the outer towers to each other. The massive stones used to build this keep are cut so smoothly and perfectly, one might think Darigo himself molded the pieces from the earth. The stones fit together in a way that seems unnatural, almost as if they were pliable by the builder, it gives the illusion that the stone was alive and soft at one time, then it just grew together and hardened. It is rumored that Thootum prayed to the pantheon Cairn, and was granted the gift of stone shaping to construct the stronghold. There is a large central gate on the wall facing the sea that is roughly 3/4 the height of the wall itself. The castle harbors enough weaponry inside to completely defend itself, however it is unlikely it would have to, because a force would have to breach one of the other orc cities to even get here, which is something that only an off-continent power or nation could do. The population of Mog’ruk Stronghold is roughly 1,000. (90% military) Thootum has 60 giants here of various races mostly stone one of Thootum’s subjects is a Titan named Overan he sleeps in a cave outside the city and is 100 feet tall his high resistance to magic and ancient knowledge has made him a valuable asset to the orcs who communicate to him through Thootum and his giants. Overan has lived on the lands of Goreno for millions of years and resisted the call of his former lord Oanis when all the other titans were trapped on Eternia. He knows a lot about the Seed of Evil and helps Toaldus the cloud giant with his visions regarding the elves and The Seed.
The forest of Darkwood is an ancient forest inhabited by evil dark elves. Indeed the forest itself has become evil as well. In prehistoric times, this forest was a lush green paradise which gave birth to primitive elves that were not evil in any way. Of course no one knows this, as far as anyone alive today knows, this forest has always been evil, for a reason unknown. People tell stories of an ancient taint brought on this forest long before even the great flood. During the flood Darkwood was under water, so the elven natives were forced to move to the mountains. The flood era was a time of great advancement for them however. While living in the mountains, they learned how to grind and sharpen stone into efficient heads for arrows and spears. They also developed more advanced building technology, the ability to tame animals to ride, and several other skills they had severely lacked before. Among the more powerful of the elves was a male called Ulwind. He possessed a natural ability to communicate with, and even control some plants and animals mostly nocturnal and predatory molds and funguses as well as trees and plants. Some of the other elves began to show signs of these abilities, but none had the power and prowess of Ulwind. He was also very charismatic and a natural leader, so as one might guess, Ulwind basically became the king of the elves. He took a very strong female ranger named Tissanna as his wife, and together they single-handedly lead the elven people into a new era. This particular race of elves has evolved with evil tendencies, unlike many other races, they enjoy pain, suffering and death. The sound of someone screaming in agony is enjoyed by these elves, almost as other humanoids enjoy hearing music. Any strangers entering in their lands have all been greeted with aggression and savagery, the idea of actually reasoning with, or befriending these elves is impossible. After the floodwaters receded, Ulwind and Tissanna led their people back to their homeland in the Darkwood Forest. Being a more advanced race now enabled them to actually build a kingdom as opposed to being a rampant tribe of savages. Their technology is nowhere near the level of the orcs of Mog’ruk, but their numbers are immensely greater. Upon returning to Darkwood, Ulwind began honing his abilities with nature, as well as teaching the other elves to advance their talents. He also began to listen to the Elders who had come back from the dreaded pit. They showed him dreams of conquest and true horror giving him inspiration and a sense of purpose. As his power grew, Ulwind started creating monstrosities of nature and releasing them into the forest. These creatures are basically golems made from nature itself, some created from plants, some from animals, and some from both. Although Ulwind can control these abominations if needed, they are unlike golems in the sense that they do possess animalistic consciousness. The quasi-ghouls have lent their talents to their King as he has embraced the Seeds will, and serve it through the dreams he has. The elven race is comprised of mostly warriors and rangers, but Ulwind’s new evil druidic elf is becoming more widespread. The building style of the elves relies greatly on the surrounding landscape, with most of the structures being either carved out of massive tree trunks, or built high up in the branches of enormous trees. The elves have no real reliable defense against an outside attack aside from the forest monstrosities and their shear mass in numbers, which is formidable indeed. Present day the population of The Darkwood Forest is roughly Three million fighting men and women.
Positioned in between the Darkwood Forest and the Highland Woods are the majestic Skyreach Mountains. This is a very tall and jagged mountain range, with slopes that climb almost straight up in places. Most of the peaks are so high that they are never seen because they are obscured by clouds. The mountains literally look like they are stabbing through the sky…hints the name. These mountains are also abundant with minerals and different types of ore. When the floodwaters receded, there were a sparse number of elves that decided to stay in the mountains as they did adapt to life here, but there settlements are very small and greatly spread out from one another. An occasional raid on the orc town of Shurok is attempted by these elves, but they have thus far been unsuccessful. Total elven population in all of Skyreach is roughly 2,000.
The Highland Woods are located on the southeastern portion of Goreno. Of all the areas mentioned thus far, it is the farthest from The Pit and its corruption. The forest here resembles prehistoric Goreno much more that the Darkwood Forest. The animals and beasts are wild, the plant life is green and vibrant, and the earth is soft and pure. Orcs come here for the good hunting and herb gathering, while elves live here for the same reasons. The elven inhabitants are more abundant here than in the Skyreach Mountains, but in comparison to Darkwood they are few and far between. To the orcs surprise, no raids have come from the Highland Woods as far as they can tell, and no one knows why. Some speculate that the forest is so rich and beautiful that the elves living in it have all that they could want or need with no desire to take more from anyone. They are still aggressive when orcs come to their territory, but as for striking out, it has not happened yet. The total elven population of Highland Woods is roughly 10,000, scattered in tribes of usually less than 200. The elves here don’t like their kin in Dark wood they have little use for the Seed of Evil and know that it corrupts those around it. With the help of the woodland creatures magic and natural the elves keep their lands safe from invasion.