Rise of the Alstalar
The Vow of Conquest
Murg’Ash squatted uncomfortably by the tribal balefire. Despite the chill of the evening, perspiration caused his rough tunic to cling to his back. The noise of the other orcs was already thunderous, as they howled out chants and hammered drums. The ancient priest next to Murg’Ash lent his withered voice lustily to the cacophony. Soon the mass of orcs surrounding the balefire parted and seven orcs, covered in wounds and assaulted by the spectators, defiantly shoved their way through, each carrying a crude wooden totem depicting a humanoid figure. During a lull in the furor, Murg’Ash leaned close to the priest asked, “What exactly is going on here? Who are they?” The priest’s dry lips cracked into a smile, “Those orcs represent the alien gods we are bound to destroy. This is the celebration of the Father’s Vow of Conquest.” “Huh?” The priest looked at the young warchief with astonishment. “The vow made by the Father to destroy the pathetic kingdoms of the other gods. Surely even you have heard of this?” Murg’Ash scowled. “Spare me the mock surprise and just tell me.” The priest laughed and then grew fatally serious:
After the Father emerged from his reverie at Huruk-Tul, he had found a purpose for his newly seized divinity. He and his tribe set their eyes on the domains of heaven. Up they ascended to meet with the other gods. In ages past at the First Convocation, in their cravenness the false gods had sought to avert the glorious bloodshed of eternal war by dividing the world, so that their mortal charges might have space in which to grow and prosper without infringing upon their neighbours. The compact had worked well. But the emergence of these powerful new gods threatened this tenuous balance. The false gods sought to know their new kin and enfold them into their plan. So they called a Second Convocation and invited the new orcish gods to attend. Into the divine meeting-hall arrived Mal’Reth, Gal’loth and Hrallik. They were met by the assembled gods, eager to enslave them within the chains of their agreement. The snivelling god of the elves welcomed them and addressed their gaze to great map, saying, “Greetings. As you can see, we have apportioned the world so as to facilitate peace between all the races. There is ample room, enough to accommodate your young race. Where should they dwell?” The Father silently surveyed the map before him. He then shifted his gaze around the room, glaring at each of deities seated there. Eventually, he broke the stifling silence with his roaring voice, “We orcs will take it all, both heaven and earth!” And with that, he slammed his mighty spear into the very heart of the map.