Rise of the Alstalar
“Either Ophen will destroy the orcs, or they will destroy it.”
The orcs in Ophen all belong to a single tribe, Black Omen. The orcish race had appeared in the opening years of the Age of Chaos and their warbands committed terrible acts of destruction, particularly against the Zithin Empire. As the years passed, the orcish menace grew larger, but also more diffuse as infighting caused the horde to fracture and tribes to splinter off. Throughout the chaos, Black Omen participated in the bloody raiding of civilised settlements from its stronghold at the holy site, Huruk-Tul, nestled between the mountain Garack-Dur and the swamps of the Raahk.
However, almost a year ago, the site was attacked by an army of hobgoblins and their demonic masters. Black Omen fought the much larger force to a stand-still but ultimately had to abandon their home, Huruk-Tul, lest they be obliterated. In the fierce battle to escape, Black Omen’s warchief, Shatogar’Ash, fell and into the breach stepped Angk’Ash, who led the tribe through the treacherous Raahk and ultimately to Ophen.
Originally only 30 harried survivors staggered into the protection of the city-fortress. The authorities in Ophen viewed the orcs warily, having suffered from their depredations for many years, both as Mol’Agoth and as Ophen. Eventually, however, Angk’Ash convinced them to admit the weary orcs. While the initial group of orcs was small and they still remain a small and largely unnoticed faction, they are the fastest growing population in the city due to the prodigious orcish birthrate. This, combined with their exclusively carnivorous diet, is beginning to put pressure on the city in general and on their neighbours, the Zith, in particular, both in terms of space and resources.
Angk’Ash sees the protection of Ophen as the only hope for the vulnerable orcs. Consequently he seeks to integrate the xenophobic orcs more and more into Ophen. After the disastrous Water Riots, he struck a deal with the authorities to have orcish warriors serve in the impressive Alstalar and the nascent Ophen Ranger Corps, in the hopes of investing the orcs in the protection and safety of the city.