The Blood Hills is known as a savage land overrun with orc tribes. Windswept, rocky hills nonetheless support grass and scrub that in turn support herds of wild goats and even large herds of a subspecies of bison. Although it is mainly populated with orc tribes, other goblinoid tribes are present in this region.
In the western reaches of this area, aged defensive works, towers built during the days of the Avonian Empire, still stand. These are only lightly manned by legionnaires out of Ganthport and Avongate and some have fallen to orc warlords or destroyed outright. Orc raiders harry Avonian frontier steadings and noble holdings on a regular basis.
The Blood Hills are bounded by the dwarven mountain kingdom named Darrok and they find the dwarves there stubborn foes. To the southeast stands the venerable woods called the Oakwood. Since this is also well defended, and by wildly ruthless tribal elves, orcs find the easiest prey to be Avonian.
The region is also dotted with lairs of dragons with unpleasant dispositions, old ruins, and hidden looted treasure troves secured by orc chieftains of the past.
- We never let a slight go unanswered.
- We are the mightiest beings on Erandor, and we will use any opportunity to show it.
- We follow only the strongest chieftains when the Horde gathers.
- We measure our success by the piles of loot and herds of slaves we take.
- We find sport in the battle for life amid death.
The following aspects represent people revered in this culture and who represent the ideals of the culture. These are roles that can be attained within the culture. They, or variations of them, can be used to help define an NPC aspects.
- Conquering Orc Warlord, Ancestor-worshipping Shaman or Witch, Warg-riding Subchief, Fleet-footed Scout
The following one-word descriptive adjectives or nouns can be used to describe what things this culture values. Use them to help fill out aspects for NPCs and to help provide a deeper sense of who the people of this culture are.
The crowning achievement of the tribes of the Blood Hills was when Warlord Grumm's Great Horde overran Avonian defenses and cities all they way to Avongate. Five centuries later, songs are still sung about The Sacking of Avongate Although the Great Horde was pushed back and eventually destroyed, it was not before the wealth of an empire was plundered and hidden in caches by Warlord Grumm throughout the Blood Hills. This produced a prosperity for the orcs that lasted for nearly a century after Grumm's death 470 years ago.
When the world was Healed, the lands of the Blood Hills changed very little, unlike many regions across the reborn world of Erandor. However, it did awaken dragons who'd long been sleeping. Now, while the population of the tribes is great, some tribes are now Commanded by the Dragon Malthraxis. As a fiercely independent people, the orc tribes twist and rage at when word of such enslavement (as it is considered in orc minds) but rarely find a means to defy the dragon king, Malthraxis.
Although each orc tribe has its own traditions and tales, there are a few things they all have in common. One of these things is the Congregation of Demons, as it is known to outsiders. The orc name for this network of shaman and witches is Krulsh Drok Hemmock and actually refers to ancestor spirits as well as demons. Among their own ancestors, the orcs revere the most ruthless and bloodthirsty of ancestor leaders, outsiders see little difference.
Every shaman or witch is dedicated to the Congregation. It's used as a way to share experience, training, and as a very effective communication network that allows coordination between war bands and tribes across the Blood Hills region. Shaman may be male or female spiritual leaders and practitioners of spirit magic. Spirits worshipped by shaman can grant teach some domains or schools of magic. These spirits are not gods, cannot gain power by worship, and usually reside in the Shadow Realm, the realm of the dead that stands in a grim, twisted reflection of Erandor itself but gain a measure of influence over the living world through shaman.
Shamanism follows rules like wizardry, where preparation time is spent begging the spirits for power. Witches are usually female and have gained similar powers through an infernal pact with an actual demon, but operate under the rules for sorcery. Domains and schools of magic that can be granted by these beings are usually fewer in number than those granted by gods and vary from individual to individual. However, typical domains and schools include: Shadow, War, and Fire.
One event held in common across all the orc tribes is the Festival of Green Stone. This is a yearly event organized by the Congregation of Demons and consists of a great gathering of the tribes. Here they settle disputes (usually via bloody trials by combat), trade, show off their battle prowess and find mates.
Of course there is one tradition all orc tribes hold in high regard. That's the Raiding Season. This usually begins with summer and runs through autumn. While tribes might raid other tribes to settle a grudge, more often they will target neighboring regions instead. Orc consider dwarves, humans and elves to be weaker races and so consider raiding them their right.
The culture’s skill pyramid has Fight at it’s peak with Physique and Provoke below it, and NPCs from this culture will tend have these at a higher than normal rank for an NPC of that type.
With the skills are stunts. Each skill has a rebel and a paragon stunt. Rebels reject the cultural norm while paragons represent this aspect of the culture.
- (Paragon) Decapitate. When using an axe and an opponent you have attacked takes a consequence, you can spend a Fate point to increase the severity of the consequence one step.
- (Rebel) Dirty Tricks. Aspects you place on a target with create an advantage grant a +3 bonus in place of the usual +2.
- (Paragon) March! Capable of long days on the march, it takes a lot to exhaust an orc warrior. You gain +2 to Physique rolls to overcome effects and aspects related to exhaustion.
- (Rebel) Brawl Smash. From long years of getting drunk and beating up your fellow tribesmen, you've become an expert in the use of improvised weaponry. Normally an improvised weapon breaks after one successful use. With this stunt, your instant weapon does not break, at least not from being used to attack. So, the chair you pick up to smash over your ex-buddy's head might last several solid whacks before falling apart.
- (Paragon) Inspire. You can use Provoke in place of Rapport for create an advantage actions to place aspects related to motivating your followers.
- (Rebel) Interrogator. You can use Provoke in place of Empathy to attempt to uncover aspects when your target is restrained.
This culture was created with guidance from the excellent article, "Culture from the Outside In", from the Fate Codex: Vol. 1, Issue 2.