Perhaps in the most ironic action of the Age of Chaos, aside from unstoppable Rok’ Nhilthamos eating the Ravaging Lord and almost ending the lives of all six races and their fallen gods from the planet only to be stopped by a legal document that says he can’t (the pen is mightier than the sword?), the druids, rangers, and other lovers of nature were more than happy with the imperialistic mindset of Avendyr, King of Men, and his snatching of the sacred homeland that had been passed from one generation to another by the hearty and culturally rich North Tusk Orcs of the Roan Mountains.
Historical records are ripe with the tales of heroism of mankind, yet completely silent on the deeds of the not so fortunate races eeking out their existence on what is know today as Kingsreach. The enormous and long-lived Elvonnen Giants who have made the Roan Mountains their home for longer than the elves and men have roamed Terminus, have had their role in the Deicide War dwindled to fleeting mentions of half-hearted support. Their dwelling in the mountains, a cold and sparsely habitable environment, has protected them from the land grab that Avendyr and his progeny have been involved in. But, it has not saved the orc clan of Avendyr’s Pass from suffering great loss across the spectrum: live, wealth, and property, hallmarks of a free society.
We should lay out the bare facts as we know before reaching any conclusions. At the beginning of the Deicide War, the newly arrived Humans inhabited vast plains at the foothills of the Roan Mountains. Their placement was one of natural fit, having no way of displacing a thriving society, nor could they venture too far from the elves who gave them much needed assistance. Their addition to Terminus added, not detracted or replaced, what was there at their arrival. At the destruction of Havensong, their capital city, Men were forced to flee their valley to the Silent Sanctum which had been built within the sheltering fingers of the Roan Mountains to the north. Once the Deicide War was over, more to the credit of the Suns of Terminus and Dragonkind than anything done by men or elves, Avendyr, the new king of Men, set his sights on a more defendable piece of land at the end of a mountain pass and close enough to the Bethrale Sea that a navy could be created. While the land was good, it was certainly not inhabited.
In the annals of the Keepers themselves, it is said that the North Tusk Orcs “launched several unsuccessful ‘campaigns’ against Thronefast, in an attempt to take back the lands their forefathers forsook during the Deicide War.” The choice of words from the Keepers are slightly askew, as much as you could say that fleeing from a burning house is the forsaking of you homestead and all rights thereto. As we know today, Avendyr’s Pass, now so-called, was Orc land, and the incremental spread through this area has been methodical and purposeful, restricting the growth of the North Tusk community while not taking their main city. This, too, is mentioned by the Keepers, as the noble lineage of Avendyr has “not utterly rid Avendyr’s Pass of the North Tusk, as the remaining tribes would be blood bound to wage war until those lands were returned or their own number was wiped out.”
This leads to the other things we know that can be said of this. The Bloodsworn Covenant of Orcs is widely known. It is a pact between the tribes of orcs around Terminus that binds them in time of war and turmoil to assist their kin from being lost to the sands of time, or from having their lands lost to another race. During the Deicide War, the Ravaging Lord, the fallen god Ittero of the Ginto, waged a campaign against each of the self-proclaimed Sacred Six races on Terminus, but not just them. The lands across the world were being taken by the Revenant. The Bloodsworn Covenant would bind the orcs to fight as one wherever the fight happened to take them. As the history illuminates, there was nothing of value and no army to wage against in Avendyr’s Pass save the North Tusk Orcs during the Deicide War. While the lands may have appeared to be forsaken during the war to those loyal to King Avendyr, why would the North Tusk Orcs have fled their homes with no Revenant waging war on them?
What should be made of these insights into the past? First, it is apparent that King Avendyr stole the land from the Orcs, not a nomadic tribe, but a tribe with ancestral rights to the land where Avendyr built his empire to his own glory. The North Tusk Orcs, while in no clear danger of their own, fled their homeland while war broke out over the surface of Terminus. The only plausible explanation would be that the Bloodsworn Covenant compelled them to fight on distant shores for their brothers, and against the Revenant armies pursuing the destruction of the world. We know that they returned to their homeland, so we can assume that their campaign was at least marginally successful, and without further investigation, it could well have been significant in the outcomes of the war to the benefit of another race. One dead Revenant soldier by an orc’s hand is one less Revenant soldier burning an elven village. Upon returning from victory, the allied forces of the elves, dwarves, and Men were busy carving out a new home for Avendyr and his subjects on their land. With the price of war already paid and their brothers now left scattered to pick up the pieces after the war, their campaigns against Thronefast were futile, having no allies of their own to counter the war machine of the Sacred Six. To add insult to injury, Avendyr and his children after him, demanded tribute from the North Tusk to keep Men from waging nonstop war against their families, further adding to King Avendyr’s coffers. Will the greed and lust for power from the warriors of Thronefast now set their sights on invading and raiding the sacred mountain home of the Kaa’ruk of the North Tusk, their powerful and magical spiritual leader? As the fortunes of the North Tusk Orc have shown since the arrival of Men, the answer must be a resounding yes.
Once could say that the peace and majesty of Thronefast was built on the backs of the North Tusk Orcs, protecting their ancestral homeland from danger and pillaging until its settlement by men, when their tribute added directly to the awe-inspiring beauty of the city, built from the sacred mountain stones that once belonged to the orc. In return for this, Thronefast has only spurned and denegrrated this local tribe, and flamed animosity by their children’s children. This is the legacy of Avendyr and his dynasty.
Benonai, leader of the Resistance Against the Corrupt House of Amensol