Durgaz's Stuff he knows

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***EYES ONLY*** This is a specialized "lorebook" of all things that would be immediately available (without skill checks) for the character. Things will be posted as they come up or are asked about. Players other than this character SHOULD NOT read this information.

Players can and SHOULD add to this page the things they KNOW from the stories and events they've been in. Please break it down into the sections noted below - Feel free to add sections as you like.

You may also ask for any information, and based on situation or skill checks that info will/or will not be placed on this page.

You WILL abide by the LAWS OF SHADOW

This is your Daily Life Under the Shadow


Craigth Galeck[edit]

Craigth Galeck is a rogue whisper adept who had given up the fight against the forces of the Night Kings, resigning himself to a life of quiet meditation in a hidden grove. During his meditations he began to hear the quiet roar of the Whisper, and it was almost as if the voices were speaking directly to him. He could see orcs on the edges of the Great Forest, smell the blood of his brothers, and hear the anguished cries of all those who fell under an orcish vardatch or arrow. He did not know what all this meant, why he had been chosen to see these visions, but he had committed himself to a life of meditation and he would not be deterred.
The Witch Queen took notice of this exile and she was immediately intrigued. Here was one who had turned his back on the elves, yet his ability to see the conflict that took place in Erethor clearly meant that his heart was still with his kin. Soon she came to realize that what he saw was not the present, but the future. With this revelation Aradil began to speak with Craigth, attempting to convince him to help aid the elves in their cause. At first he resisted out of shame at his cowardly actions, but soon he saw this new power as a way to redeem himself for the mistakes of his past. Now from his seclusion Craigth uses his gift to aid the elves, predicting the outcome of military maneuvers and closely watching the orc armies that skirt the edges of Erethor.

At Night Kings' Command[edit]

  • King Jazir Kammil, the SWORD of Shadow. Jazir is the most known of all Night Kings, the absolute ruler of Erenland. His frequent court is in the city of  ???. Early in the winter of  ??? he began a pilgrimage to Erenhead where it's said he would name the generals that would continue leading his armies. The most feared turn of events would be to know who would take over the Kaladrune campaign.
    Jahzir has entrusted the war against the Caransil to the most competent of his generals, Grial the Fey Killer.
    Three orc tribes vie for leadership of the armies:
    • the Bloody Sword:
    • Scaled Mother:
    • Dark Mother:
    • General Grail, the Feykiller: Grial is likely the key Orc in all of Eredane. He is lead General to the Night King Jazir's armies. He has personally lead many battlewaves, and now pushes the front of the war on Erethor with the Burning Line in the South and has issued a decree to form a second Burning Line in the North. Grial has divided the Shadow’s army into four separate commands in an attempt to stretch and weaken the elven defenses.
      • Commander Belark the Blackheart: (Oruk) Along the Gamaril River, the Blackheart commands 40,000 orcs that have tried to secure the river basin and cut off the Caransil villages north of the river.
      • Commander Frag Longtusk: (Orc) In the Green March, Commander Longtusk with his army of 45,000 orcs fights a more mobile war against a scattering of human and elven villages, attempting to bypass the elven defenses.
      • Commander Kiah the Flame Axe: (Oruk) Just south of the March, in the scorching heat and choking smoke along the Burning Line, the Flame Axe (Oruk) leads the largest of the armies, over 90,000 orcs and goblin-kin, against the heart of the elven defenses. *** Commander Jorg Kinslayer: (Orc) In the Darkening Wood, the Kinslayer besieges the elven stronghold of [Three Oaks] and deals with a forest gone insane, although it is rumored among the orc troupe that Kulos has been given command of Cambrial's great host (in definance of Jorg's efforts) to finally break the stalemate in the Darkening Wood.
        • Talûn-karkû, the white worm (Orc Commander) a fearsome Orc with a distinctive mane of white hair.
          • Dafrum-Dâgalûr: the battle group led by the White Worm. Durgaz’s old regiment, consisting of somewhere between 400 and 500 Orcs at any given time. Consists of members from approximately a dozen families, all of whom are constantly jockeying for position within the regiment (whose leaders are, of course, doing the same within the army of which the regiment is part.) Durgaz’s treachery is not tremendously well-known within the regiment, as open discussion of the incident tends to rouse Talûn-karkû’s anger. Among those that do know, not much is known beyond the fact that Durgaz went mad, killed two fellow soldiers and fled. It is assumed that he is dead.
            • Radagug, the dog: (Orc, Wildlander) Durgaz’s older brother, by about twenty minutes. Although most orcs have numerous half-siblings, only those born at the same time can be sure they they have both parents in common. Competition was fierce between the brothers, due primarily to Durgaz's superior strength and skill with arms, and matters did not improve when Durgaz was made an officer with the Dafrum-Dâgalûr, leaving Radagug in a demeaning position as the head of a company of goblins. Radagug is known derisively as "the dog" by his fellows due to the goblin association. Radagug is slightly smaller than normal orcs, he was a runt amoung his siblings and rather than fight with them for survival he sought to route with the dogs and goblins for survival in adolescence. He now harbors all that hate and focuses it in a pin-point needle directed at his traitor brother, whom he has vowed to behead. Radagug is of the Dark Mother Tribe (Tribal Lands: Bastion region, Warlord: Agnum, Head Mother: Raarn). The battle group they were attached to is the "Dafrum-Dâgalûr" led by Talûn-karkû, the white worm. They fall under the dominion of: "Jorg Kinslayer" an orc commander under "Grial the Fey Killer" who is Jahzir's lead general.
              • the Goblin Dogs: Goblin, Wildlanders & Fighters. This band of Goblins is the misbegotten horde assembled and lorded over by Radagug. More like the Orc's entrourage than a squad, they cheer and jeer on their Commander with sinister glee. These goblins are part of a larger colony bread for landspeed and blitz attacking. Yet under Radagug's care they've slipped in their tactics and enjoy torturing victims they find along their scout trip travels.
              • FORC: Goblin, Sniffer/Rogue. Forc is the the unapologeticly devious keymaster of the manacles weilded by the Goblin Dogs, which he displays proudly on a bandolier denoting that he's a "Captain". He rides a Dire Rat named Grockel. He was given his name for two reasons. The obvious actually can post nickname - when he began using a modified fork and dinner knife as his means of backstabbing and tormenting victims. The less known but even more appt reason is he tends to mimic the Orcs to get an air of power which comes off slightly rediculous at times and resulted in the nickname shortened from "False-Orc" down to simply "Forc". Though some speculate that the "F" more likely stands for a more obscene word...
                • Forc's Brigade: Sadly after Forc's run-in with the heroes of Shadowwall his escape would grant him a special duty... He was put in charge of a band of Sniffers that would follow the bands of orc and mercenary army up and down the Shadow's Highway, cleaning the road clear of dung and manure...
            • the Traitors of Festrun: there are a small contingent of known villagers in the Hamlet of Festrun that apparently pay to watch the orc Radagug behead prisoners. It is not known how or why they have this strange contract...





There is a cry across the shattered land of Eredane, one that cannot be heard by mortal ears. The spirits of the land itself are wracked by the pain of Izrador’s triumph and by the vampiric lust with which he drains the magic from the world. Some say that Aryth herself is responding to the Shadow’s rape of all life and energy. She cannot do so directly, they say, and she has therefore chosen messengers, warriors and champions of her cause.
Others suggest that these adventurers simply come to the forefront via fate, luck, or determination. These have the blood of angels and devils in their veins or can trace their ancestry to giants, lycanthropes, or any number of other magical creatures. It is only natural, these storytellers say, that such exceptional folk will come to the forefront of the fight against the Shadow.
Regardless of the source of these powers, each person follows her own path, one determined by the unique expression of her abilities. Some may choose to follow their destinies, while others will deny the gifts they have been given. However, these are not professions, religions, or skills . . .
they are part of who the character is. It is these powers, and the choices and responsibilities that come with them, that set the PCs apart from all of the other individuals in the world of MIDNIGHT. And it is those choices and responsibilities that define the PCs, for good or ill, as heroes.
Heroic paths are one of the few edges that characters in MIDNIGHT have, but it is a potent one. Some hone their skills to best utilize their path; for instance, someone born to the naturefriend heroic path is quite likely to find himself becoming a wildlander. On the other hand, some heroic paths can have surprising effects on a character; the most peaceful channeler may suddenly find herself directing seasoned warriors in combat.

Pathwalker: Seers[edit]

Seers are gifted with second sight, an ancient and mysterious gift. Visions come to them in their sleep, as they fill their canteens in clear, reflective pools, and in self-induced trances. Seer characters are often introspective, searching always within themselves for the answers they cannot glean from their visions.
Sight: The seer can divine information from an object, place, or person that she is touching.

Aradil’s Eye[edit]

The Witch Queen of Erethor watches over the face of Eredane from her scrying chambers in the heart of the Arbor. With the war against Izrador closing in around her, even the queen’s legendary powers have been taxed, and she has been forced to rely on more mundane methods to gather information. This has led to the creation of Aradil’s Eyes, an elite organization of elven trackers and spies who can go to all corners of Eredane in search of information about the Night Kings and their forces.

Elven Raiders[edit]

Driven back into the dark shadows of their forests, the elves have suffered grievously under the iron fist of Izrador. Most hated of all the Shadow’s enemies, the elves have battled valiantly against a rising tide of darkness. Though their numbers are limited and their options few, the elves never hesitate in the battle against the darkness. Trained to haunt the wilderness with stealth and deadly accuracy with their bows, the elven raiders patrol the borders of the elven forests, constantly searching for the agents of Izrador. When they need supplies or equipment they cannot get for themselves in the forest, the raiders steal forth to attack the goblin and orc encampments, laying waste to their hated enemies and stealing what they can before fading back into the wilds.

A Soldier's Knowledge[edit]

The Kranklobûrz (Dark Mother) Tribe[edit]

Durgaz’s tribe, consisting of 3000+ Orcs. Durgaz’s father was killed long ago in battle; his mother now serves as a midwife back in the Northlands and knows nothing of Durgaz's treachery, or even that he is still alive; nor would she particularly care to learn either.

Logistics / Supplies[edit]

Shadow Camps

  • One orc needs about 1/2 pound (1 trail ration) of food per day, just like all other medium-sized creatures.
  • Oruks and worgs will require four times that (worgs will not have time or security to hunt)
  • Goblins and such less,
  • so on average a camp might need a 1/2 pound per head per day. Assuming a campaign of 1 arc, that's going to be 15 pounds per head. All this will have to be taken with the expedition. Resupply through an unsecured forest is not a good option. Add to this spare weapons, armor parts, and all other stuff necessary to keep a soldier up and about, and let's call it 25 pounds.
  • Add to the orc his own equipment of vardatch, javelins, armor, shield, and he can still easily lug all that himself. So far, no need for a supply train.


Shadow Camp troop counts

  • According to some, the necessary ratio to effectively combat irregular forces with conventional troops is 20 to one.
  • According to Midnight canon, 100 orcs die per elf. This of course, counts in friendly casualties, accidents, diseases, infighting and what not that occurs in the larger battle grounds like the Burning Line.
  • Still, assuming a 20 to one ratio, and assuming some 200 elves are available to oppose a camp's troops, that would demand 4,000 troops to effectively take and hold a new campaign city. It's the holding part that's tricky, especially in a cut-off a location which the locals have intimate knowledge of.

Orc Encampments[edit]

Shadow Camps Structures

  • Traditiaonally Shadow camps are fairly chaotic unless you're talking about orc legions where the discipline and training are far better. Chaotic does not mean stupid. You can't be stupid and survive in Erethor and even orcs new to Erethor have been told and respect the dangers of the wood.
  • Camps may sprawl out, but there will be pickets, possible traps emplaced, and the leaders will have the best position/most defensible spot in the camp.

The Advance[edit]

Shadow Camp Advancement Example

  • Getting to a ruined city such as Althorin will probably demand no more than the 700 or so troops you have allocated to your advance, especially since the elves are incapable of facing the orcs in head-on engagements. They would instead harry from the flanks as they always do, identifying and taking out hot targets like scouts, woodland-capable cavalry (wolves) and legates with snipers or magic. For the average grunt, the advance should seem easy. Any specialized shock troops like a fiendish troll probably won't see any use, and won't even be targeted as it is far too tough to take down.

Holding the Prize[edit]

Shadow Camp holding campaign Example

  • This is where things get tough. The elves know Althorin and the area around it, and can be supplied both from the Gamaril delta and the Pirate Princes. Those same seaward raiders are probably part of the reason there is a land-line to River's Fangs in the first place (the other part being the Shadow's lack of seaborne resources in the first place). The orcs will soon find themselves cut off, without an enemy, and stumbling through the forest trying to secure the road. In Althorin, they will be raided and sabotaged by elves moving through the ruins. Any seaside activity will be hampered by the Norfalls.

Tactics and Stretegies[edit]

If I Was the Elf, following the above Example
Elves don't do straight fighting. Like any good outnumbered people being invaded, they are sneaky.

  • Temporarily evacuate Althorin. Get as many supplies out as possible, scattering them throughout the forest. Booby trap the ruins thoroughly with both mundane and magical surprises. Make certain that contact is maintained with the Pirate Princes through other landing spots.
  • Immediately initiate skirmishing with the orcs. Using a mixture of unexperienced troops and true veterans, attempt to lure out the expedition's mobile and intelligence-gathering forces. Allow the expedition to advance blindly, but also with a false sense of purpose and victory.
  • Surround Althorin. Use about half the elven force to cause the orcs to feel “boxed in”. The other half should be kept in reserve or spent sustaining efforts against the road. Use snipers and kill-teams to take down any leading or special figures, and keep attempting to lure them out with fake raids.
  • Slowly withdraw from Althorin. As long as they attempt to hold the ruins, the ors are on the defensive. While the orcs keep staying paranoid, sallying now and then, keep moving forces back to harassing the road, occasionally rotating troops back to Althorin so there is always change there, and the shadow forces don't pick up a pattern. Keep harassing them until they give up, or just hold them there indefinitely.

If I Was the Orc, following the above Example
As long as the orcs are advancing, their doing their job. When they stop and hunker down, they lose.

  • Acquire secondary objectives. Orcs are best when they are assaulting something, or simply doing something. Anything is better than sitting still, even if doing so means less casualties. Therefore, establish projects such as carving a road to the ruins, making checkpoints and so forth.
  • Force the elves to spread out. With their significant numerical advantage, and the availability of reserves, the orcs can divide into several forces, stage probing attacks and feints, and generally force the elves to keep moving in multiple directions. Casualty rates are not that important.
  • Assault enemy strongpoints. Attempting skirmish warfare with untrained troops against elves is futile. Instead, strong points found during previous probes should be pursued. Keep orc presence in Althorin at an absolute minimum. The town can always be retaken, and supplies are available from River's Fangs and Fallport anyway.
  • Keep requesting more troops. Fighting a guerrilla force means constantly pushing them, despite the casualties suffered, something Grial Fey-Killer is proving on the Burning Line. As long as the road stays open, don't try to limit casualties. The elves will be drained faster than the orcs. Keep the enemy divided and moving.



The elves are more like the elder fey than any of the other fey races of Eredane, both physically and culturally. They are a slight race, lithe, quick, and agile. They are all children of nature, and even with their ancient culture and powerful magic, they still live close to the wilds as part of the Great Forest. They are a unified people, allied not only to tribes or family groups but instead to a single royal line that rules over all of Erethor. The racial devotion to their High Queen Aradil is akin to worship, and though there is a large and powerful Council of the Throne, it seldom opposes Aradil’s will. Despite this greater shared history and culture, there remain various subraces of elvenkind, each with its own unique physical traits and ways of life.

Caransil (Wood Elves)[edit]

The elves of central Erethor, the Caransil or wood elves, are the most widespread and familiar of the woodland fey. They range from the southern Highhorns, eastward to the Plains of Eris Aman and the Westlands, and south to the Aruun Jungle. Their skin is the beautiful brown of ino tree wood, and their hair tends to be long, shiny, and black. Their eyes are large and dark, and they are the tallest of the elves. They wear a variety of clothes, from the dark and mottled camouflage leathers of a scout’s kit to the sunset brilliance of a courtier’s elaborate silks. These elves live in enormous maudrial, or homewood, trees that have been coaxed to grow in elegant but useful domestic shapes by age-old spells. The Caransil eat mostly fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. They supplement their diets with rabbits and grouse raised in family hutches and with river fish from the Gamaril and Felthera. The wood elves are traditionally the artists, philosophers, and craftsmen of Erethor. They are also the lineage from which have come the greatest sorcerers and battle mages of recent times. Their warriors carry longbows and longswords.

Danisil (Jungle Elves)[edit]

These elves of the southern reaches of Erethor, where temperate forest gives way to tropical jungle, are small, slight, and ebony skinned. Historians speculate that they may be the elven line from which the halflings were born. The uninitiated consider the Danisil “feral elves,” but their culture is as sophisticated as that of their cousins. Many of Erethor’s most powerful druids are of the Danisil lineage. Their hair is dark and coarse and typically worn in short dreadlocks. Their eyes are black and so narrow that the whites barely show. They dress in loose shorts and brightly painted vests, but when hunting, they wear only layers of river mud to hide them from both sight and scent. Adults typically adorn their faces and arms with strangely beautiful patterns of ritualistic scarring. The scars are said to frighten away evil spirits. The Danisil live in boa-bil groves along the many small rivers of the Aruun Jungle. Their druids enchant vines to form large slings that suspend their tiny huts high in the jungle canopy. They live off the fruits of the forest but are also cunning hunters. They are good fishermen and use fleets of delicate canoes to fish and hunt along their rivers. The jungle elves have mastered the use of poison arrows and have developed several toxic elixirs uniquely effective against orcs. They also carry wide curved fighting knives called sepi. Izrador’s invaders learned long ago to fear these ugly little blades, but have little need to venture into the dark Aruun; the fell demons of that place fight on Izrador’s behalf without the dark god having to expend a single soldier.


The gnomes are a clever and resourceful race. Though it is well known that they share ancient kin with the dwarves, even the Kurgun do not like to claim responsibility for the lineage. Gnomes are barely taller than halflings, with only a slightly stouter build. They are bronze skinned but pale eyed, with jet black hair that they keep short as they are constantly in and out of the water. Gnomish culture and history are characterized by their adaptable nature. Their nimble outlook on life allowed them to first move from mountain life to that of the coastal hills of the Ebon Sea, and from there to become adroit seafarers and river runners. Though forced to flee before the onslaught of the Dornish invasions, their solicitous demeanors and mercenary hearts allowed them to return to their conquerors bearing little ill will and offering their services as merchants and guides. The gnomes even welcomed the Sarcosans, knowing that they could stand to make a profit as the newcomers’ liaisons to the fey. Through all these years and new trading partners, the gnomes always knew that their conquerors longed only for land and goods. With the coming of Izrador, this is not the case. They cannot fool themselves into believing that the orcs and their dark god will be content to let the survivors of the wars live their lives in peace; whatever the eventual goals of the Shadow, the gnomes know that Eredane cannot survive the heavy-plated burden of his orcs and the dark mantle of his legates. But the river fey’s strength was not in war. So, as always, they bowed before their new masters and offered to serve. Or so it seemed. Though the race has been subjugated along with the halflings, gnomes continue to enjoy a sort of freedom. Even the forces of the Shadow need to transport cargo and soldiers, and the river barges of the gnomes suit this purpose well. The orcs and legates suffer the existence of the gnome barges so long as they move only cargoes in Izrador’s name, while the traitor princes and the false sussars give them free reign so long as they receive the first pick of choice goods from afar. Most other races see the cost of this semi-freedom as the worst kind of enemy collaboration. What few realize is that the gnomes fight the dark god in their own way: as consummate spies and smugglers. It is their secret trade that keeps weapons, magic, and information flowing among the free races of Eredane. Gnomes wear loose pants and garish vests marked with the trader seal of their family. Rafters carry sharp daggers hidden in their belts and use small crossbows to spear pike or to protect their crews from hungry river eels. When they get the odd chance to turn their crossbows on the occasional orc, the weapons prove both stealthy and lethal.


Halflings are a race of tiny folk that some believe descended from the Danisil lineage of southern elvenkind. They call themselves the Dunni, or “the people” in their own tongue. They are almost as dark skinned as the Danisil, with the same coarse hair worn in small, intricate braids that mark their tribal membership. Their eyes range from common black to dark brown and green. Where still free-living, the nomadic tribes dwell on the open plains in large hide tents they share with their extended families. The farming families have almost been wiped out by the advance of the Shadow, but a few groups still remain along the southeastern margins of Erethor. They dwell in cozy sod villages kept alive through their exceptional horticultural skills and the watchful presence of their wogren companions. Halflings wear durable clothes of leather and fine, intricately woven wool. Sadly, most halflings now live in slavery, captured and forced to work in the occupied cites or military camps of Izrador’s armies. The free-living feed on their livestock and crops, while the enthralled survive off what scraps they can scrounge, beg, or steal. The halfling weapon of choice is the spear, with which they protect their flocks, hunt wild boar, and skewer the occasional orc.


The odrendor, or orcs as the men and fey of Aryth call them, are an abominable race created by the black will of Izrador. Though scholars only suspect it and every dwarf would savagely deny it, orcs and the dwarves share a common elder fey lineage. In the prehistory of the Kaladrun Mountains, a large clan of the elthedar was exiled by their kin and found succor in the embrace of the Shadow in the North. In the eons that followed, they were corrupted to Izrador’s cause and transformed into the foul beings they have become. Orcs are huge creatures, sometimes twice the size of their dwarf ancestors and bigger even than the Dorns. They are heavily muscled, with broad builds and powerful limbs. Their thick hides are tough and range from light stony gray to coal black. Their hair is tawny and manelike, growing over their heads, along their spines, and down their chests to their groins. Their large black eyes are hooded and protected by thick, bony brows. Their jaws are large and strong, with tusklike lower canines. Orcs are impressive creatures and even beautiful in a way that only fearsome predators can be. In the lands of the far north, orcs still live in deep mountain caves and rough-hewn, underground warrens. There they are directed by and pay homage to orc priestesses, the kurasatch udareen, “the mother-wives of Izrador.” They consume anything edible, including their own dead, but get most of their food from hunting the surface lands at night or by raiding their enemies. Immune to all but the coldest weather, orcs seldom wear more than weapon belts and armor. In conquered Erenland, orcs have taken over human cities, turning large buildings into meeting halls, communal barracks, and storage depots. They feed and resupply from the tribute they demand of their human subjects and relish the occasional meal of human or halfling flesh. Orc forces are garrisoned in cites throughout Erenland, and orc armies war with the elves in the west and the dwarves in the east. Large orc patrols range across the heartland, subjugating their human thralls and hunting spies, smugglers, and insurgents. In short, they are the enemies of all other people of Eredane. Occasionally, as rare an event as an eclipse or a comet, an orc’s mind will expand enough to present a glimmer of an idea: that there are other options. No one knows what allows an orc to move past his base instincts to slaughter and serve. Some may feel a particular hatred toward their oruk captains or the legates they must serve. Others are shocked and confused upon witnessing acts of kindness by other races. Some are simply desperate criminals among their own people. In any case, these orcs most often have little choice but to obey their masters or suffer the same fate as those of the other races who resist Izrador’s will. On some occasions, however, these orcs find themselves in the position to escape the army and to try to make a new life elsewhere. Such orcs are often turned in by citizens bent on revenge for the mistreatment of their people, but sometimes these refugees are welcomed not only for the muscle they provide but also for their skills in dealing with others of their kind. Orc warriors, whether servants of the Shadow or hunted by their own kind, take great pride in their fighting prowess. They make cuts along their arms for each foe they kill in battle, with different shapes for the race of each victim. The arms of warchiefs are usually covered in such marks from hand to shoulder, and at least half the marks are for killing other orcs. Orcs favor large spears they can both throw and use as thrusting weapons. They also carry heavy iron swords with blunt but serrated edges called vardatches. These weapons are slow but brutal and so heavy that the smaller fey races can hardly lift them.

The Heavy Hand of the Shadow[edit]

Erenland lies firmly under the hobnail boots of Izrador’s orc legions and at the mercy of the dark god’s priests, the Order of Shadow. Seemingly limitless numbers of orcs and goblinkin have spewed forth from the frozen north to occupy every major town and city, raping the land for the supplies they need to continue the war against the fey. Supporting this vast army are the traitor princes and false sussars, petty nobles and administrators who have sold their souls to the Shadow for privilege, as well as thousands of human mercenaries who are willing to fight and enslave their own people for a few scraps from the legates’ table.

Servants of the Shadow[edit]

The Night Kings[edit]

Directing the occupation are Izrador’s lieutenants, the four dread Night Kings, immortal creatures that were once champions in the fight against the dark god.

Sword of Shadow[edit]

In the occupied lands, the best known of the Night Kings is Jahzir, the Sword of Shadow. Once the Lord General of all the armies of the Kingdom of Erenland, Jahzir was captured and twisted by the dark god, and now commands armies of darkness instead of those of light. It was his knowledge and skill that allowed the dark god’s hordes to slice through the already weakened armies of good without breaking stride. He now commands the loyalty of many of the largest orc tribes and has unquestioned control of the orc legions. As the king of Erenland, he has the authority to command the forces of the traitor princes and can conscript troops from the enslaved population to serve as fodder for elven arrows and dwarven axes. Militarily, he is unchallenged by either the Order of Shadow or his fellow Night Kings. He often rides abroad with his armies, but also holds court from his palace in Alvedara and is known to frequent Theros Obsidia; wherever he goes, however, he seems to relish his control over the kingdom he helped to destroy, and does all he can to bleed its shattered remnants to feed his armies.

Sorcerer of Shadow[edit]

Possibly the most dangerous and least known of the Night Kings is the Sorcerer of Shadow.

Priest of Shadow[edit]

Controlling the dark god’s legates is the Night King known as the Priest of Shadow. This gaunt figure, once believed to be a Sarcosan holy man, is responsible for the sacrifice of tens of thousands to Izrador each year. He is reviled in the Sarcosan south for turning the once vibrant city of Cambrial into a vast necropolis. Rumors of his creations, including creatures built from the remains of man and beast and legions of undead soldiers marching to war, are told in every town and village south of the Ardune.

Wrath of Shadow[edit]

The most savage and openly destructive of the Night Kings is the mighty dragon known as the Wrath of Shadow. Thankfully, this creature is rarely seen outside of Highwall or above the battle lines of Erethor. Where she goes, destruction follows, and few live to tell of her attacks. The fey call her the Scar’garath, “doom of Erethor” in High Elven. The dragon is the most powerful creature on Eredane and there is no hero left alive who could withstand its terrible power.

The Order of Shadow[edit]

Administering the occupation are the legates, also known as the Voice of Izrador or the Order of Shadow. From the dark tower of Theros Obsidia, the high priests of Izrador issue orders to the greater legates scattered across Eredane. These latter act as Izrador’s viceroys, spreading both his commandments and his wrath. Each arc, the dark god demands the sacrifice of hundreds of sentient beings, their blood and souls flowing into the dark mirrors that reside within his temples. It is known that these mirrors leach both the life force of Aryth and any arcane magic that comes near them, but what purpose these energies are bent toward has not been fathomed. The Order has extended its tendrils to every facet of the occupation and the ongoing war. In cities and towns throughout Eredane the legates either rule directly or through a closely controlled local noble or orc warlord. On a wider scale they fight an unseen but deadly battle for control with their supposed allies, the Night Kings and the traitor princes. The legates’ power stems from their direct connection to their dark god, the only deity on Aryth who still answers his supplicants’ prayers. Only the Night Kings are more closely connected to Izrador and as empowered to interpret the god’s desires. Speaking with the dark god’s voice gives the legates the authority to command his spawn, including the orcs, oruk, and goblinkin. Izrador also grants his priests a portion of his divinity in the form of divine spellcasting; that tainted gift allows the legates the ability to crush spirits, break bodies, and corrupt souls, turning the twisted remains of their enemies to the service of the dark god. Many believe that a legate can see into your soul in search of disloyal or treacherous thoughts, so few are willing to meet a legate’s baleful gaze.

The Traitor Princes[edit]

Completing the Shadow’s hierarchy within occupied Eredane are the traitor princes, leaders of noble houses who betrayed the Kingdom of Erenland and their own people for an extended, though tainted, lifespan, as well as the power over their fellow men that they’ve always coveted. Lesser in stature but just as greedy and malevolent are the false sussars, petty southern nobles and administrators of Sarcosan descent who have become puppet rulers throughout Southern Erenland. Both types of leaders command their own (largely human) troops, establish their own laws, and conspire against their peers for the Shadow’s favor. Izrador’s gift of long life has heightened the character flaws of the traitor princes, leading to dangerous forms of insanity and instability, while the false sussars long for the dark gift whose cost they cannot fathom. While the areas controlled by the traitors still retain the veneer of civilization, they can be far more dangerous than areas controlled by the legates or even the orcs.

Orc Warlords[edit]

The legates and traitor princes rule in occupied territory, generally what was once the kingdom of Erenland. Those areas that were strongholds of the resistance or are closer to the free realms of the fey, however, like the battle lines drawn up against Erethor and the Kaladruns, are firmly under the control of orc warlords. These regions are often devoid of human settlements, and those who remain are as likely to become food as they are to be slaves. Meanwhile, north of the Pelluria in the decimated and thoroughly destroyed lands of the Dorns, orc tribes have begun to migrate out of the Vale of Tears to resettle in deserted towns and villages. Tens of thousands of the creatures have settled in the hills around Fallport, up and down the Ishensa River Valley, and throughout the barren lands to the north and east of Highwall. The orcs consider anyone in these lands to be their property to use or kill as they see fit. If the migrations north of the Pelluria continue apace, the orcs will soon outnumber the Dorns. The power of the orc tribes continues to put pressure on the traitor princes, who watch as the whispered promises of Izrador fade away with each passing year. In the east, Gregor Chander has been denied the rich farmlands of the lower Ishensa River Valley that he had fought for in the Third Age.

In Bastion, Chandering, Port Esben, and Steel Hill, the princes are forced to house orc legions that “assist” them in maintaining security. Tension between human and orc troops is clearly visible and more than one human or orc patrol has gone missing in areas devoid of resistance activity. Open warfare between orcs and traitorous men has been avoided, however, as the punishments from Theros Obsidia and the Night Kings for such impudence would be swift and merciless. Orc warlords and even traitor princes can, after all, be replaced. However, those princes that survived the fall of the Shadow and those orcs who have clawed their way to leadership are not fools, and know well how to disguise their blows. The Shadow allows the weak to be culled as long as it does not detract from the war against the fey


The destiny of the world is Shadow. — Anonymous note penned in the margin of the Academy’s Commentaries

The Hero[edit]

All my life, I’ve looked up to Eanos, our village smith. Eanos towers over every other man in the village. In a show of strength, on midsummer's eve, he lifts the round stones in the village square over his head and heaves them a full three lengths of his body. The other men can’t even lift one, let alone throw it.
Eanos is always the first man up when there’s work to be done and there is nothing he can’t fix with the strength of his body and the tools he’s been allowed to keep. The orcs constantly bait him, ready to test their strength against his, but he never rises to their taunts. It’s clear that the local legate despises him, but Eanos has never given him cause to vent his wrath until now.
Four days ago, a traveling tinker came to town bearing news and small items for barter. He had healing salves for burns and red rash that we desperately needed. He offered to give us the salves if Eanos would repair a small chopping axe and a handful of metal tools. Eanos knew the laws forbade use of the forge without permission, but he saw no harm in repairing simple tools. The tinker was a spy, sent to lure Eanos into violating the law. The legate and the tinker, with almost a dozen fully armed orcs, came for Eanos just after dawn. The penalty for his crimes was 30 lashes. Eanos, who could easily snap the legate's neck, walked meekly to the wooden post hammered into the center of the village green. He gripped it while the orcs leaned into each lash. Eanos screamed but never let go of the post. When it was over, we washed his wounds as best we could and carried him to his bed. It’s been three days and he still hasn't regained the strength in his left arm and some doubt that he ever will.

The Covenant[edit]

The wars with Izrador spawned many great heroes from all the races. The memory of these champions helps to keep the faith among human insurgents and inspire fey defenders who still battle the Shadow today, and some say the strength they gave in the fight against Izrador persists in the weapons they used.
Legend says Elenial, an elven girl whose family was killed in the orc raid on Althorin, killed 27 raiders with a single arrow. Sneaking through the burning remains of the town with only one arrow left in her quiver, she would shoot an unsuspecting warrior, watch him die, and then sneak to the corpse and recover her shaft undamaged. She did this time and again, until the entire orc host huddled together in fear and set to hunting her. It is said she killed their leader with her final shot, just before they cut her down. Still today, elven archers running low on arrows recite her name as they loose their flights, asking her boon in guiding their aim. The quiver of Elenial, should one be able to find it, is rumored to never run out of arrows.
Puldur was a great dwarven weaponsmith and a stalwart warrior to whom countless fantastic exploits have been attributed. One of his best known feats is the Long Duel of Hanigor Pass. The last survivor of Hanigor’s defensive unit, Puldur held it alone for three days and three nights against an orc raiding party numering in the hundredst. The songsmiths say that in days past, when the orcs still had some semblance of pride and honor, they could be goaded and challenged to single combat; this is what Puldur did, they say, a hundred times and more without rest, holding that cold, lonely ground. Individually, the orcs were no match for Puldur’s stamina or the mithral axe he wielded, and he took them one after another. By the dawn of the second day, the bodies were piled so high they blocked the pass, and the remaining orc fighters skulked away under the cover of darkness. Bards claim it is because of this battle that every mithral axe forged in the dwarven lands is still engraved with Puldur’s clan mark, and it is said that he who wields Puldur’s axe itself can never be defeated in single combat and knows not the meaning of fatigue or despair.

Born and Bred[edit]

Couthlin wrinkled his nose at the rank smell. The odors of sweat, blood, and less polite bodily fluids wafted up to him as he strolled on the elevated walkway. The commoners milled about below in their usual mindless herd.
The large canine creature preceding him stopped and looked up at him, cocking his head in confusion. The legate frowned and kept walking, yanking on the chain attached to its collar.
“Stupid beast. No, they are not civilized. I was exclaiming in disbelief. Being facetious. Go back to your sniffing.” The astirax-possessed hound obligingly returned to scenting the air.
The legate frowned. It was pathetic that he had to rely on one-way communication with a magic-hunting beast. His skills at dialogue and manipulation would be all but blunted by the time he returned to Theros Obsidia. Asnort from the astirax snapped Couthlin from his thoughts. The canine form was watching a passing figure below, quite intently. Couthlin’s dark eyes.followed as well, noticing a suspicious narrow shape jutting out from beneath the figure’s cloak. Roughly hilt-shaped. “A weapon...magical?” he asked in a hushed tone. The astirax growled in assent.
“Then follow,” Couthlin said eagerly, releasing the chain. “Return to me at the temple when you’ve tracked the criminal to his lair.”
The beast slunk into the shadows and trotted after the offending figure...towards its demise, Couthlin hoped. The mage-hunting beast had been witness to too many of Couthlin’s intrigues and coups. The mercenary it now trailed had agreed quickly to his terms: kill the astirax in exchange for the sword the legate had given him.
Meanwhile, below, the astirax salivated in anticipation. The scent of magic was heavy in the air...not just from the sword, but from at least a few enchanted crossbow bolts. All of them aimed at the walkway above, where his master walked.
Rather, his former master

The Other Lands of Aryth[edit]

The peoples of Eredane know little of the lands that lie beyond our seas. Some say the elves of the First Age traveled to all the corners of the world, but even if such legends are true, this lore was almost certainly lost in ages past and was never shared with the wise of other nations. What little we know comes from the records of Dornish and Sarcosan settlers who traveled to Eredane from the eastern continent known as Pelluria in ancient days. Sadly, these records are often little more than folktales and must be held suspect in the light of reason.
From fragments of the Histories of the Old Empire, we gather that Pelluria is a land of greater aspect and extension than Eredane, as
“a youth shall gray and come to infirmity before crossing the breadth of the Kalif’s dominion.”
Even allowing for the excesses of a culture known for its vanity and embellishment, this suggests a vast continent unconstrained by the great oceans that embrace our land on three sides. Nor is there reason to believe that the “Kalif’s dominion” ever covered all the realms of Pelluria. It is known that the Sarcosan Empire conquered the Dornland river valley in the north. It is believed, however, that the fall of the Old Empire in the Third Age had as much to do with a war against a rival power in the east as with internal decay and the loss of its overseas colonies in the west.
The Dorns describe their ancestral home as a land of cold, rugged hills, glacial valleys, and deep, snow-laden forests. In the Sarcosan records, we learn of vast grasslands, endless deserts, and great cities of stone built in the oldest days by the first men of Aryth. The elder races of the fey are unknown in these lands, but the stories speak of stranger peoples that share no blood with the elder fey, of fearsome races that hate all others and feed on the flesh of men. Tales of serpent people and beastmen must be considered little more than fables told for the benefit of wayward children.

Ilsrid of Highwall, The Lands of Aryth

Durgaz's Oath[edit]

I am a creation of the Shadow. In the end, I will be destroyed by the Shadow. But while there is breath in my body and blood in my veins, I will fight to stop the spread of its taint across these lands. I will fight in the vain hope that I might someday do as much good for this savaged world as I have evil. I will fight because it is what I was created to do, and because it is time that my creator felt the bite of his own weapons.

I must strive at all times to keep from feeding the ember that was once my reason for being; I will not be driven by rage, hatred or lust for vengeance. Rage and hate are the tools of Shadow. Vengeance is an illusion, murder disguised as justice. I will have none of these. I will slay my enemy's generals and scatter his soldiers, but I will do this because it must be done, not because I wish it done. The vardatch feels no joy in killing; it is a tool, a means to an end, and now I must be as well. I will be the impenetrable shield, the killing blade, the cleansing torch, wielded by a warrior who cannot be slain, and whose name is Hope.

These men are my companions. They are flawed and imperfect, and some of them are weak. But they have the potential to succeed in places where I cannot, so it is my charge to protect them. If the Shadow should take one of them, I must strike him down as an enemy; if I become a danger to the group, I must take my own life before I endanger theirs. The war is more important than the soldiers.

I must do what I can to protect those others who cannot protect themselves, the helpless and the weak who suffer and die every day for the Shadow's pleasure. They must be saved so that, when we are dead and forgotten, others can rise from their ranks to take up where we left off. But I must remember that I cannot save everyone, that I must pick battles I can win; or that, in losing, can accomplish something greater.

I must remember that I myself am a creature of Shadow; I am living proof that one can turn back from the darkness. But I must not allow this knowledge to weaken my resolve, to fool me with false hopes. If it is possible to share the light that woke me from my nightmare, I will bring it to as many of my brothers as I can, free them from the Shadow's yoke and turn his own armies against him. But if this cannot be done, I must not hesitate to slay them all.

I must remember all of these things. I must keep them within an arm's length, like wayposts in a stream, and hold tightly to them so as not to stumble or be swept away. They are my strength; they are my purpose. And I will serve them, and die for them, as I once would have done for the Shadow, so that they might live on to strengthen others when I am gone.

Gaakh. Let it be so.


Various Seer Dreams[edit]

  • Bound in thick ropes, you stand barefoot at the edge of a large cast-iron cauldron filled to the rim. A sulfurous steam rises from the surface, burning your nostrils. In the distance you hear soft beating.
  • It’s nighttime, and you and your companions sit on the ground, huddled around a blazing campfire. Everyone wears a wide smile and appears to be laughing and chatting amicably, yet you cannot hear the conversations, you notice deep and grisly shash wounds across all of their throats. Your hands fly to your own throat coming away soaked in blood.
  • Your veins begin to burn and writhe beneath your flesh as hundreds of worms burrow through them, occasionally piercing the skin.
  • You wade up to your nexk in a river of bleached bones that flows through a bare and arid landscape. Smooth-barked thorn trees spill their jagged, leafless roots down into the river, swelling and throbbing like hungry serpents. As you fight your way upstream, the roots lash at you as if possessed.
  • You sit in thick, mossy mud at the bottom of a deep well. The darksky above provides only the faintest light, forcing you to strain your eyes in order to see the three shadowy robed figures at the well’s edge. The whisper to each other softly in a strange tongue you can barely hear and do not understand.
  • Staring down at your feet, you notice one of your toes has turned gangrenous. Even as you watch, the rot spreads, and you burst into a cold sweat. Involuntarily you clench your fists and suddenly realize you grasp a newly sharpened cleaver in your right hand.
  • You sit eagerly on the edge of a cold clay table inside a dimly lit gray building. A shaman wearing healer’s robes and a long leather shawl embossed with mystic symbols enters. A steel and gold mask with large tusks and wild straw hair hides his face. He gingerly reaches into a large leather sack and draws forth a tremendous, cat-sized beech and slaps it onto the back of your neck. You feel only a slight pinch and then hear horrid sucking sounds as a cold wave of numbness crains all feeling from your limbs.
  • An ox-yoke is locked around your neck. With blistered feet , you pull a black iron plow through the cracked soil of a graveyard, turning up furrows of bones and decomposing corpses.
  • Pulsing colors swirl before you, and your entire body begins itching uncontrollably. You realize your eyes are closed and force them open, only to discover swarms of black flies enveloping your entire body. To your horror, they busy themselves laying thousands of maggots beneath your skin.
  • An old woman approaches you with a needle and tread. She sits you in a chair and carefully stitches your mouth closed. For some reason, you find yourself unable to protest. Next, she sews shut your nostrils, then your right eye. When she finishes, she kisses your cheek with a maternal smile, and the last thing you see is her crooked, withered finger as she gouges out your unstiched left eye.
  • You stand before an execution block, surrounded by a cheering crowd. At first you tremble, but then you see your own fingers curled around a gargantuan executioner’s axze. A royal soldier presents you with a condemned prisoner, his head hidden inside a burlap sack. As you raise the axe to strike, the guard removes the sack, revealing …
  • It’s a sunny day and you’re chopping wood deep in the forest, enjoying the sounds of birdsong and squirrel chatter. Suddenly your aexes makes a strange noise, and you look down to find blood wellin up from the split in the log. At your side, the stack of wood becomes a pile of severed limbs, and the trees around you begin to scream.

One shall survive[edit]

In the Dark God’s frozen claws. Scores will be settle in blood. Only one will survive to lead them all. Even the greatest amongst them, those that have called the claws their home from before the age of man, will bow to this one. The one will raise the banners of war and like vermin, they will come in their hordes from the bowels of Aryth, and the coldest wood shall burn and the fortresses shall become as dust.
A sea will form in the Caraheen, a vast sea of fire. It will stretch as far as the eyes can see. From the east, a great beast of metal will come, lumbering over the bones of Aryth. It shall feed the sea like none other, belching fire and devastation. Even death will not be a refuge, as the dark spirit of this fire will allow no rest and no end to torment.

The unblinking black-eyed gaze of the Witch Queen[edit]

The avatars she uses to spy all over Eredane are her undoing. Three of them give in to despair, all committing suicide while her consciousness is elsewhere. It is a terrible wound upon her psyche. When they rise from the noose, the poison, and the fall as undead, her corruption is complete. The shock of her avatars giving in to despair and then becoming the hungry dead destroys the benevolent queen, and something else is left in her flesh.
Her first move while under the thrall of the Shadow is to gather her cult. They become her new council, the Witch Council, but even that is not enough to make her people turn against her. When she calls her finest smiths to her Arbor and demand they create for her a new suit of armor and weapons so that she might war on their enemies from the front lines, her people cheer. When she announces that Arderin, once the greatest of the Caransil’s heroes, had turned to Shadow her people despair.
In is when she announces that she is taking the Night King as her husband that the revolt begins. The High Court rallies its forces and attacks the Witch Queen and her consort. They cry as they fight and wail as they die.
She decimates those who stand against her and turns Caradul into a charnel house. Blood runs down the trunk of the Elder Tree until all of the bark is red Caransil wildlanders disappear into the deep wood under the protection of the dire beasts. Most survivors bend their knees and pledge their allegiance to their queen and her consort. This Witch Queen and the Witch King of Erethor welcome Jahzir, the King of Erenland, and Sunulael, the First Legate, to their wedding. Sunulael himself marries them, consecrating their union in the name of Shadow. Zardrix gives her blessing, circling above the Elder Tree once for every year of the Last Age.
Even their wedding is doomed to blood and slaughter. Arderin and his new bride turn on the once-human Night Kings, Sunulael and Jahzir, lashing out at them with eldritch might not seen since the First Age. Zardrix finishes circling the tree and sides with the Witch Queen and King, knowing their might is stronger.
The newly crowned Witch King speaks before a mighty assemblage of orcs, ogres, and shadow-beasts spawned in the breeding pits. The Witch Queen then declares humanity’s time on Eredane finished and explains her plan to hunt them to extinction. Her speech is met with such adoration and bloodlust to fight under the Witch Queen’s leadership.


This section has been moved to its own page: Midnight RPG - Orcish Written Language.