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Against the Shadow  |  Articles  |  The Orc Schism
The Orc Schism

Recently, there occurred increasinlgy alarming reports from legates in occupied cities regarding more and more frequent infighting among the orc troops.


At first, commanders were quickly punished for failing in keeping discipline. Nothing was solved.


Later, the legates in charge led investigations regarding possible betrayal or White Mother infiltration.  No evidence of resistance involvement in such behaviour was ever found.


Of course, given the violent nature of most orcs, infightings are usually dismissed as excessive and unnecessary brutality, somewhat consubstantial to orc nature.


But in truth, the orcs are slowly separating. On one hand are the new, “civilized” orcs who were born for the most part in northern Erenland and never knew the harsh lands of the frozen North. They are part of occupying forces and have become increasingly “softer” at the contact of humans and halflings, realizing there was no need to make war to get food or resources. Most of these orcs never faced real combat, and have slowly forgotten the violent nature of their race. They were perverted by a century of proximity to the “lesser races”, and slowly became accessible to bribery and the “thieving ways”. They have become thieves, too. They quickly understood that their build would make them master exortionists, getting anything they wanted from terrified humans. Why make war when you can get anything you want simply by bullying humans or halflings?


Some have become bounty hunters and roam the wilderness, earning their lives in a far less dangerous way than if they were soldiers on the “fey fronts”.


Others have organized their regiments into mafia-like organizations, meant to take the most profit they can from occupied lands. Extortion, racket, theft, murder, smuggling, black market, nothing is beyond their grasp. A few orcs of the garrisons even act as hitmen to do the “dirty job” of the underworld, or even for competing legates or traitor princes. After all, who will have anything to say if an orc slays some human in the streets? It’s just another anonymous orc…


Some orcs have even gone as far as acting as “hired muscle” for criminal organizations, and perhaps for some resistance organizations (the Liberators or the Hidden Hand coming to mind).


On the other hand are those who are “traditionalists”, who insist on keeping their culture and behave in barbaric ways. Those are the orcs such as introduced in the basic book (M2E).


Conflict is inevitable between the “modern” and the “ancients”. It is a ripe opportunity for the resistance. Will they grasp it?

Author: smeagol.

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