Great War of the Castle in the Sky
Sprague Orc Hordes
Sprague Orc Hordes
The Orc Hordes of Sprague are a fierce, tribal society with a largely nomadic lifestyle. They are a martial people disposed to brutal and sparse living conditions. The Sprague Hordes govern themselves through a pure meritocratic chieftain assembly and organize by caste. Three broad castes exist in Orc society: Warrior, Worker, and Shaman. The largest division of authority is the Horde. A Horde is composed of tribes, each further divided by the three basic castes. Positions of power and honor are given solely based on merit. Though age is revered by the Orcs, as old age is a rarity in such a harsh society, it does not guarantee respect. Only proven warriors, no matter their status, have prestige, and only the most highly regarded warriors are chosen as chieftains of a tribe. Large scale decisions that affect the Horde as a whole are made by an assembly of the chieftains with the greatest chieftain moderating the assembly of the Horde.
The Sprague Orcs are very aggressive as their primary means of resource gathering is pillaging. They have a sophisticated culture supported by long standing rituals. While technically they do not have a religion, they are deeply shamanistic. Though, the largest social motivating factor is honor, which is achieved through battle. This causes the Orcs to be extremely hostile to any and all they encounter, including other Orcs.
From birth, every Orc is submitted to continuous martial training as they come of age. It is here that their potental for battle is assessed. Though all Orcs are battle ready, only the most skilled warriors are placed into the warrior caste. Any that are seen to have magic ability are placed in the shaman caste. The rest await their chance to prove themselves in the worker caste. All young Orcs continue their training alongside their other activities up to adult age. This combined with the fact that any Orc may challenge another to a ritualistic duel to the death, provides Orcs continuous opportunities to rise to the warrior caste.
Because the Orcs have not established widespread use of agriculture and they pillage for their resources, they must rely on a nomadic way of life. In order to facilitate this, each tribe roams independently. This ensures mobility of each group. However, when larger towns are raided, many tribes from the same Horde will cooperate. If a large scale war occurs, the entire Horde often becomes involved. It is not uncommon for wars to break out between tribes and especially Hordes.
While the Orc Hordes are largely nomadic, they do have permanent sites. These are usually sites of trade, counsel, or religious significance. The tribes mostly roam with along with the warriors, however, there are certain seasons, particularly the more harsh ones, that the worker and shaman caste become sedentary. The most common permanent Orc settlements are in ideal trade locations or places of religious significance. The Orc tribes often assemble at these trade settlements to resupply or trade off excess goods. The sites often have large arenas designed for the constant battles that ensue among the Orcs.
The warrior caste comprises all of the elite warriors of the Horde. They are charged with both protecting the Horde as well as waging war. The warrior caste must defend the workers, shamans, and the few permanent sites that they have established. Further, they are responsible for gathering resources through any means possible. The most prominent method is pillaging, followed by scavenging. Also, as the leaders, they are the policy and decision makers for their tribes. Though the warrior caste often takes counsel from the other castes, they have the sole responsibility of making the decisions.
The worker caste is devoted to manual labor. They represent the backbone of Orc society. All of the smithing, building, and any other kinds of producing are left to the workers. While the warrior class secures resources, the worker class must transport and utilize them. Without the worker class, the Orcs would be a stone age civilization. And so, despite lacking the honor of the warrior caste, they are not seen with contempt. It is widely recognized that the worker class is a necessary foundation. They are viewed as less capable, particularly in battle, but nonetheless essential.
The last caste is the shaman caste. These are the very rare Orcs that have control over the inborn deep magic of the Orc race. Most Orcs cannot tap into this magic as it lies far beneath the surface of their being. However, every so often an Orc is born that can wield the magic. As an result, they are wrought near insane. They have abilities of foresight and great power, but they are virtually incomprehensible to their fellow Orcs. Therefore, these shaman immerse themselves in an enigmatic and highly ritualistic way of life. From time to time, the power and wisdom of the shaman are receivable. Because of this, they are revered as oracles and legendary warriors by the Horde. But due to their unreliability, the authority lies with the warrior caste. The shaman occupy a mostly cultural position that handles the traditions and rituals of the Horde.
The three castes work fairly harmoniously with the workers being the producers, the warriors being the defenders and providers, and the shaman being the culture and heritage of the Orcs.
The Orcs have long been habitants of the lands of Sprague. Before the Taming of the Lands, the Orcs were fairly sparse living in small pockets in the hills. Because large scale organization wasn’t possible, they relied on scavenging and hunter-gathering.