Arduous March

RegionsHells Womb, Grashakh
Period1041 - 1096

In 1041, the Kamoni War ended. The outcome for the losers, nearly 15,000 Orc civilians and soldiers, was a forced migration north of the Kamoni Jungle. They were shadowed by a Kal-Oni army as far as the Mortoth Plain. This forced migration of civilians and soldiers, most former citizens of Tarkrath, became known as the Arduous March.

In the month of Dreamer, ninth month of 1041, the bedraggled mass of orcs reached the Dargirth River. The journey had taken its toll, a thousand lost from starvation and weakness. Supplies were gathered for building rafts to cross a river five miles wide in this area. Once across, they would be in the Ladneg Swamp, a place much fear for its demon past. In one of the forays into this swamp, General Vuraug, leader of the Gud-Mortoth tribe, and all of his personal guard were slain by a lone figure. This was done by an alien, a Lith-Crillion, a race thought to extinct in mortals terms. Now thousands of years old, Blac'drugulois was storied, and like Gruumsh when he was a mortal, traveled far and wide across Bal-Kriav and several other worlds.

Blac'drugulois's encounter with the migrant's leader was no random encounter. It was a plan set in motion by Gruumsh. Blac'drugulois was an old friend, an intelligence advisor that had served under him in the Demon Spawn War. Gruumsh was to task him with improving the fortunes of the Arduous March. Without some help, Gruumsh was sure the migration would fail. They would be torn apart by strong forces holding real estate along their way into Grashakh. Gruumsh wanted them to survive for two reasons. First, they were sources of his Divine Power; the stuff that makes Higher Powers. The second reason was a conflict scenario that predicted humans of the Great Exodus (998 - 1017) dominating the Brucrumus continent.

Conclict scenarios, or civilization scenarios to the non-War Gods, are routinely done by Higher Powers. They are used to determine when they need to undertake the delicate task of helping mortals without drawing the ire of other Higher Powers, or drawing punishment from The Balance enforcing the Mandate of the Heavens.

At the time of all this in 1041, Gruumsh was but a cult power, the bottom tier of the godly ranks. His followers were scattered, not yet concentrated or strong in faith. Gruumsh sought out help, another party to share the blame if he overstepped his powers. He did not wait long, the god Ares also had concerns with the great influx of peoples coming with the Great Exodus. He contacted Gruumush, they compared notes, both agreeing that something needed to be done. Knowing that he would be strengthening a potential rival, Ares could not put aside the glory and battle that would come from it. Ares, bent on battle and war more than any other War God, supported Gruumush, with his models of a strong orc people centered on Grashakh, the heart of the Brucrumus continent. The perfect spot for fomenting conflict and big wars. This is where Blac'drugulois came into the picture. Gruumsh had been out of touch with Blac'drugulois since becoming a Higher Power. After some convincing, and his own background investigative work, Blac'drugulois agreed to help Gruumush's orcs. This came with the condition that it be done his way. It was an attitude that came from the times when Blac'drugulois served under Gruumsh, advising him, and then Gruumsh tweaking the plans, usually resulting in a poorer result.

Hells Womb

Blac'drugulois's leadership skills and policies would re-mold the orc peoples under him. He set up field classes along the march, at camp, educating them instead of having them engage in wrestling, drinking, fighting, and general hostilities. Those that refused to change or proved to bellicose were either eliminated or banished. Blac'drugulois, extremely charismatic and a carrying voice thanks to Lith-Crillion tech, convinced the orcs that those under him and future generations will no longer be a rabble to be driven into the wilderness. They would become a mighty empire, of superior orcs, destined to be the rulers of other peoples, and the mightiest empire of Brucrumus.

Beyond Ladneg, Blac'drugulois's orcs went east along the Agulbandal Depression. At the western edge of Halbintiru, they met stiff resistance from Strumpktar's dwarves. In the highlands north of Gathol, the orcs recruited and subjugated other orc and goblin tribes. As their numbers grew, they began offensive operations against the dwarves. They battled for three years with neither side making much progress. Blac'drugulois decided that fighting the dwarves was a waste of soldiers and resources, so they made a break for the Sorrow Pass. There was fighting all along the way, ending only after Blac'drugulois's armies reached Typhalumus. In this dead volcano on the southern tip of the Grashakh region, Blac'drugulois's people founded Gúluzgash.

In 1047, Blac'drugulois began pushing his territorial control north into Nárfaltuin. In these deep woodlands, his soldiers battled Lorthrindal's wood elves in War of Nárfaltuin (1048 - 1130). While this was going on, other settlement parties continued to advance east and north. They founded Othragmac in 1095, then push north by way of lake Murkin and the river Glumgard building forts and settlements along the way.

On 16 War March 1096, the Arduous March was declared over. On this same day, Blac'drugulois established the Orchish Empire, ruled by him as Emperor, administered by the High Command, and his people no longer called Orcs, but the Githirmil.

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