Hot winds are blowing in from the Desolation of Baga, bringing the smell of the blazing sun and the promise of a story. Will you be enticed to journey to the desert and listen to the tale of the orcs?
Often referred to simply as the “orc homeland” and currently called The Desolation of Baga, the name of the kingdom changes with every era a great hero or tyrant appears, always in motion like the shifting sands.
When The Tempest swept the land, a great hero by the name of Baga attempted to enter the Valley of Storms to defeat Alaloth and claim the land for the orcs. Some say Baga heard the screams of his suffering ancestors in the Tempest and sought to set them free. Regardless of the truth, the story always ends the same way. The hero failed and the region around the breach became tainted, while the vegetation and cities were destroyed by a second storm. It is rumored that Baga was cast back into his homeland and swallowed by the earth.
Forced to leave their ruined cities, the orcs from this region adopted the use of tents and became a more nomadic people. High resistance to heat allowed them to quickly adjust to hostile environments and endure the hot winds of The Desolation.
The orcs enjoy tests and trials, such as consuming lethally spiced food and drinks, developing a resistance to poison. They believe that a child must spill blood to be considered an adult, but at the same time, they value life. After all, how can one learn from a challenge that kills them? The orcs consider murder of one’s family and tribesmen a great offense, especially matricide. Hence, they especially despise Alaloth for his deed.
Orcs have a social hierarchy with a ruler who reigns in their capital city Na’Nardur at the top. All the lords of the other orc cities pay fealty to his strength. His rule is determined solely by deed and strength, so the lords of each of the cities always seek to outdo each other. While the hierarchy is based on one’s strength, seeking fame and glory, the society is quietly matriarchal. Female orcs hold significant power in their homeland, albeit not openly. They have an unspoken power network in the Desolation of Baga, and are often powerful magic users and priestesses.
But much has changed since The Tempest hit the Desolation of Baga. Murders have grown in number with many of the orcish murderers exiled. Stronger orcs have held onto their traditions, but the exiled often fall prey to the Alaloth’s cult, The Spectral Circle. The orcs now look at their younger generation with unease, as they seem willing to embrace Alaloth’s teachings and kill to earn power and respect, and many highly respected orcish priestesses have begun to vanish or die under mysterious circumstances.
The title character, Alaloth, is a dark god who turned on his pantheon and came to the mortal realms. There he lies imprisoned in the Valley of Storms, where the Four Great Kingdoms of humans, orcs, elves, and dwarves intersect. From the Valley’s heart, he spreads evil throughout the kingdoms, determined to extinguish any light of hope for all who call this world home.
Beasts of all kinds thrived well before Alaloth’s coming – it is said his fall to the mortal realms merely awoke some that slumbered – and caused others to go mad, which began their migration back to the Kingdoms. Others, however, are known to have been created by Alaloth himself, especially in places where his blood struck the ground or was carried by the wind.
Storms, monsters, plagues, strife, and great dragons beset the land – it will require strength and courage to unite the kingdoms and defeat Alaloth in his prison.
The world of Alaloth comprises four territories. To the northwest lies The Goldwood Forest and The Republic of Larastir, where the elves live. The northeast is home to the dwarves that inhabit Karak-Hohn. To the southwest, the orcs rule in the Desolation of Baga. The humans from the southeast brought about a golden age of civilization: The Blessed Kingdom of Edherest.
This sums up our series about the kingdoms. You can now act as an expert on races that inhabit the world of Alaloth. If you missed any of previous entries, catch up now:
- The Expanse of Karak-Hohn (Dwarves)
- The Republic of Larastir (Elves)
- The Blessed Kingdom of Edherest (Humans)
May the stars guide you!