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Orku - Creatures of Set

Creatures of Set

The Orku are one of the best examples of Set’s ingenuity. These creatures are very closely related to the Orc, but seemed to have ties to the Men of the Desert, and hints of Goblin and Vandal. They are clearly and distinctly their own race, they are not half breeds, for they are not as Goblin Men or the Orc Men that are the Barbarians of the South. They appear to be a harmonization of all of these races into a distinct and cultured race. This race is accredited to Set, because of their intricate and detailed design. Also they pay homage to a being that is called Father of Darkness or Atrhun. Their language is an obvious spin off of Grey Elven or Sindarin. For Father of Darkness in Sindarin is Atarhuine. This Orcish race have tough and dark leathery skin of Vandals, the gaunt and skull-like head with upturned nose of an Orc. Their cheek bones are lower and sharper, their chins are broader and more human, their ears are not short and rounded to a point as an Orc’s, but long and sickle like. They have unusual facial hair that consists of a thick eyebrow-like tuft that curves around the top of the eye and around the back of the cheekbone, it rides the bottom of the jaw like a close-cropped bead and ends at the chin in a spiky goatee that resembles a pinecone. Their hair is a odd reddish color, as if it has been dyed with dung. Their long hair is worn in intricately tied braids on the back of their head. They are about  the same height as a Human, usually shorter. They have the stocky build of a Dwarf with the hulking and shambling look of an Orc. This race immerged on record in the Southland of the around the time of the First Crusade. No record in legend or lore give account to their rising, they seem to have simply sprung up. According to Orku legend they where lead out of the wilderness by a Shaman named Parnumbi, or The Half-Handed in their tongue. He led them in to the where they found a vacant city that was prepared for their arrival. The Orku entered the city and took Parnumbi as first King. Anthropologists have had little opportunity to study the city, but believe that it was hostily taken by the first Orku  from an archaic civilization that the Orku later crushed through conquest. Little is known about this other civilation, except that the Orku virtually copied their culture and traditions. Mystics believe that they were led to the city by agents Set and that he had it prepared for them. Whatever the case maybe, by the time the First Crusaders came southward they encountered a great civilization, that had virtually sprung up out of nothing. Not a century before explorers had traversed the , and made record of a primitive civilization of humans that where nomadic sheepherders. None of the Crusaders found great cities of stone and earth, and a complex irrigation network to all of the farms.  Aquaducts brought fresh mountain water into the cities. The Orku had a strong kingdom that was in the beginning stages of a feudal society. The King ruled from the main city of , and the powerful lords of the surrounding land paid tribute to him and did his homage. The Crusaders wrongfully called their kind Uruk which is the general term for a vile creature of Orcish origin. The  grandmaster of the Crusaders, Wulric FitzOsborn, arrogantly marched his legions through their country, inviting conflict. For he despised the Orku kind. This brash behavior soon stirred the Orku Lords to wrath, and they began to harass FitzOsborn’s  columns as they marched southward. Finally, sickening of the harassment, FitzOsborn retaliated by laying siege to the Lord Valdrahs’ keep. Valdrahs was a minor lord (the equivilent of a baron), he had no more than a wood and earthen castle, and it fell easily to the Crusaders. The Crusaders visciously massacre all of the Orku that lived on the manor and burned the surrounding countryside.  The High King saw this as an act of open war and mustered his forces from the surrounding Lords. FitzOsborn caught wind of this, and in response took prisoner the Orku Crown Prince that had been sent to negoticiate peace with them. FitzOsborn believed that no Uruk had honor enough to be bound by the rules of war, so he felt he was not bound either. When FitzOsborn would not release the Crown Prince,  the King sent a sorcerer place a curse on the Crusaders. The sorcerer cursed the Crusader’s purpose calling it for the Darkness and against the Chaos. He cursed FitzOsborn,  proclaiming his death if he returned this land. FitzOsborn responded by cursing the Uruks proclaiming them Orqu. This is the most vile insult in the all of the tongues of the Elves, and where the current name of their kind finds its root. Then and cut out the tongue of the sorcerer. He sent the Sorcerer back to the King saying, “No tongue needest thou to deliver my response, only this token of my favor to thine King.” The Sorcerer was sent back to the King with a sack made of the finest silks and tasseled in gold. It smelled of exotic scents and spices unknown to the King. Legend tells of the wide smile of pleasure on his face as he opened the bag, and the scream of terror as his heir’s head rolled out onto his lap. The King then swore an oath of animosity toward all of Mankind binding it with the name of Atrhun himself. He declared the name of his kind to be Orku (a perversion of the elvish Orqu). From that day forward the Orku would bitterly persecute any human they could get their hands on. The King donned his armor and climbed into his iron chariot, and lead his Orku into war against FitzOsborn. FitzOsborn had entrenched his forces at the manor of Valdrahs, and was prepared for an attack. The Orku where a force to be contended with, though. They where an entirely different culture than the Crusaders and had a totally different style of warfare. Most of the crusaders where on foot, but  the Orku where mostly mounted. The deadly Orku  archers where mounted on swift horses. They shot arrows that were barbed at both ends so that they could not be dislodged and contained poison. The Orku Knights drove heavy chariots of iron and carried great spiked lances and iron-hafted spears. They wore armor of leather and hide. The knights rode 3 to a chariot, one driving, the other two killing. The footsoldiers of the Orku where debt slaves and prisoners fighting off sentences and debts in military service. They were armed with visious razor flails and spiked clubs. They were given a magical drink by a shaman before they went into battle, so they would not feel pain or fear, only anger. The Orku chariots smashed through the palisades of the Crusaders and the mounted archers set fire to the Keep. The frenzied footman followed mindlessly massacring everyone in sight. The tall shields and shining armor of the Crusaders could not stand against the wrath of the Orku. The battle lasted through the night, and in the twilight hours, the King of the Orku fought his way into the presence of  FitzOsborn, and before all of his captains, beheaded him. The Captains fled from the wrath of the King. By the rising of the sun the horns of retreat could be heard in the surrounding hills as the defeated Crusaders withdrew and fled Southward. The King was mortally wounded in the fray and with his dying breath prophesied the return of the Crusaders from the Southland and charged his youngest Prince with their destruction.

This young King became the first official King of the Orku Nation. As  soon as he took the throne he immediately raised an army and subdued all of the powerful Lords of the surrounding lands, setting up the first form of feudal government. He also marveled at the written messages that FitzOsborn had sent to his father before the war. He studied them everyday wondering their meaning. Finally he charged his prophets and shaman to devise a written language for the Orku, and to set up a center for instruction. The Shaman slowly developed a written language, because the King continued to reject the languages considering them to crude. The center of instruction was the first university in the Southland. It was a boarding school for noble youth that tutored them in matters of courtlife, the etiquette and culture of the Orku, the written and verbal language, philosophy and sagery, along with arithmetic and warfare. This university  not only during the rein of the first True King, but for centuries to come would shape and define the Orku culture. This  university learned and cultured all of the Nobles of the kingdom, and through their influences changed the customs of the entire kingdom. The language was made less crude and soon fit for poetry. The barbaric and orcish customs were soon weeded out of the culture, and people became more reverent toward the Chaos (or the respectful balance between good and evil that sustained them). A written code similar to chivalry was written by the famous scholar Valshend. It was a social code not only for knights and nobles but for every citizen to live in peace. It was proclaimed the law by the First True King. With the flowering new culture and  flowing new language the First True King took the name  Hatar, Father or Founder, this became the title for all kings afterward, he became known as Hatar-Atar. Under Hatar-Atar the first annals of the Hatar where written, a continuing chronical of the Orku nation. When Hatar-Atar passed away,  a great mauseleum was erected for him over the  castle mount of Valdrahs. This became the necropolis of the kings known as Valdrahs. His son Hatar-Alnvint partitioned the partially feudalized society into caste system. At the top was the Royal Family (Hatar and all of the Princes and Grand Dukes), next came the Nobles (Dukes, Counts, Earls, etc.), after this the Sages, Shaman, and Prophets, then Knights and Warriors, then the Scholars and, the tradesmen, and the grangers, then the slaves and outlaws. Each person belonged to one of these groups from birth and was bound to it, unless raised or lowered by a Lord. This segregation of the society had the natural affect of these groups concentrating together and providing support for each other. By the death of Hatar-Altnvint the Nobles had already banded together to form a council to better represent their interests to the Hatar. Hatar-Alnvint, being a visionary declared upon his deathbed that this council should been known as the assembly, and that they would be the advisors to the Hatar. It is an Orku custom, that the last commandment of a dying Hatar would be respected as a permanent and irrevocable law. This act set into motion the other classes into forming their own councils. By the time of the coronation of the new Hatar-Yakt, all of the sages, shaman, and prophets of the kingdom had banded together and drafted an outline of a new governmental entity. The Grand Sage presented this idea before Hatar-Yakt whom he knew was an alumnus of the University, and whom had a deep interest in philosophy and a great respect for the chaos. The Grand Sage convinced the new Hatar that this governmental branch was necessary to preserve the balance, for the Lords protected their subjects from war, but could do nothing to prevent them form famine and plague. Hatar Yakt commanded that a new establishment which he named the Sanctuary to care for the peoples personal needs and struggles on behalf of the Hatar. The Prophets, Shaman, and Sages, quickly divided themselves into ranks according to degree of wisdom and knowledge and began erecting a great Sanctuary in the City of the Hatar. They proclaimed to the citizens that it would be a place of refuge in desperate times, a place where the starving could eat, the homeless sheltered, the unemployed set to work, the troubled counseled, and the guilty absolved. When the tops scholars of the kingdom heard of this they protested in outrage that the Sactuary be built, when the University could be expanded to meet the need. At this time the Sages and Shaman controlled the University, and the Scholars instructed the pupils. The Scholars began holding peaceful protests and demonstrations at the on the Grounds of the University. The  Govenor of the City, which was a Grand Duke. Saw this as open hostility against the Hatar. He rounded all of them up, and threw them in his dungeon to await a trial. The Sages and Shamans pleaded with the Hatar to be given jurisdiction over petty crimes and misdemeanors, while the Lords would have control over capital crimes. The Hatar granted this and the Scholars where given into the custody of the Sages. They were tried under a court called the Inquisition made up of the highest Sages known as the Cardinals. This tribunal was the highest court for civil and social crimes, all other crimes where the Lords’ to deal with. The Scholars where not only found innocent, the Inquisition when on to decree that in the name of the Chaos the right to peacefully assemble in protest could not be denied, but could be regulated by the Lords. This ruling established the Sanctuary as the new social authority, wrenching the power from the University. The Inquisition went even further given the University to the Scholars. The University continued to be a place of thought and development, but it would no longer hold the social power that it had once had, but it still fashioned the culture of the by shaping its leaders. The University lost power in the social ring, but gained mightly in the political arena, for all of the nations leaders where alumni of the university, and many of the Scholar became top advisors to them. By the end of Hatar-Yakt’s rein a Sanctuary was under construction in every city. By the Death of his son Hatar-Yahaed the Sanctuary has spread to even the smallest hamlets of the kingdom, having small houses  of peace as they were called. The Sanctuary was greatly nurtured under the new Hatar-Yahaed. He granted it many funds and even commissioned many pupils of the University to study under the Shaman. Hatar-Yahaed also was open to the protests of the Scholars which had now become common. He observed that they were attempting to form into a centralized body, but could not agree on a plan. He called a council of the University to confer with them. Under his guidance the groundwork was laid for another governmental body which would remain called the University. The Hatar, with the help of his advisors and the Sanctuary set forth a carefully laid plan that interwove the Sanctuary and the University into twin governmental bodies that were closely interconnected. The Scholars where divided up into different orders and charged with different obligations to society. The Sanctuary had already done this, except their orders were called Brotherhoods and the members, Clerics. The men of the orders where called Brothers. The Brothers were commissioned to go out to all of the Sanctuaries and found Universities. They would be cared for by the Clerics and the Universities and Sanctuary would work hand in hand. These lesser universities would tutor the young of the lesser nobles and of the tradesmen. The other Brothers where sent into the countryside to live at the Peace Houses and instruct the residential grangers. The Lords would be forced to pay for these operations, in return for the services of the Sanctuary and University. The Lords where appalled by the idea, and the Assembly was in an uproar. A civil war broke out, in which the Hatar was slain, his son subdued the rebellious Lords and executed them. The Sanctuary declared Hatar-Yahaed the first Blessed, one exalted above the Chaos. His son Hatar-Ulmef demanded that his great-grandfather also be declared a blessed for founding the Sanctuary and the Sanctuary agreed. Hatar-Ulmef was the last of the progressive Hatars for many years. He believed in the purpose of the Sanctuary and the University and in the social banding of the feudal classes. After the civil war, he lacked the martial arm to enforce it. He formed two Warrior Houses forcing the Warrior Class of the Orku society to unite. It had faithfully followed its Lords before this consolidation. But this move forced it into the Kingdom’s politics as a whole, and also boosted their prestige. The Warriors where either sorted into the House of Night or the House of Day. The House of Nights where bound by a vow to uphold the Code of Valshend , the Code of Social Order. They were protectors of the Chaos.  The term Knight comes from the House of Night. The House of Day was bound to struggle against the Chaos, taking monastic vows of a Brother. The term paladin comes from the House of Day for the Orku term for them was Palanda. The Days were in the service of Sanctuary and the University, and the Nights where in the service of the Lords. Each of the Houses had a Grandmaster that Answered only to the Hatar. These Houses upheld the law and order of the Kingdom, and helped shorted civil unrests, and silence bickering lords. The Houses grew in prestige and the Days became the elite arm of the Twin Body, and the Nights grew to become as minor lords, stabilizing the manors of great lords. The Hatar also encouraged the formation of Warrior’s Guilds in all of the main cities to provide freelance protection to those that might need it. The tradesmen of the cities seeing the Hatar’s commitment to social banding began to organize themselves into guilds to increase their power and influence in the Kingdom. The Hatar, now aged and weak, condoned the idea. In the City of the Hatar three prominent Guilds immerged, the Guild of the Smith, The House of the Tanner, and the Merchant Guild. The Hatar was murdered in the night by one of his youngest princes, whom usurped the throne. He took the name Hatar-Gorgor (Father of Terror). This Hatar, the Cardinals proclaimed was the Chaos’s rebellion against their turning away from it. Hatar-Gorgor immediately disbanded the tradesmen guilds, declaring that the commoners should not be allowed to band, but should remain faithfully in the service of their masters. The Cardinals and the Deans began fearing that the Hatar would dismantle the Twin Body. The Hatar proclaimed that the Hatar was the father and should not be instructed by his children and commanded that the Assembly be disbanded. The Lords where outraged because this was their main check against a tyrant King. The Cardinals condemned the Kings action, for it violated the death decree of an ancient Hatar. They called for the Hatar to reassemble the Assembly. Hatar-Gorgor sneered at this insolence had the Cardinals executed. The Lord’s seeing an end to the peace rose up in rebellion against the Hatar. Their peasants were now educated and trained in warfare, thanks to the University. The Hatar-Gorgor did not wish to see the Kingdom uselessly torn apart in rebellion and abdicated the throne handing it over to his youngest son that had just graduated from the Univerity. The new Hatar took the name Hatar-Kallos meaning Heroic Father, and set out to restore order. The Lords where not turned by this shift and power and continued to wage war upon the legions of the Hatar. Hatar-Kallos reinstated the Deans and Cardinals and was coronated Haranta-Kallos, or Heroic King-Father. He became the first of the Harantas or Father Kings. The were not only Fathers of the Country, but now they were Emmessaries of the Chaos. The Haranta immediately demanded a halt to the civil war, but the Lords continued coming and began to lay siege to the City of the Haranta. The Haranta sent a message to the Lords asking them to desist if the last of the Hatars was executed. The Lords agreed, the Haranta handed Hatar-Gorgor over to the Lords whom executed him. The Lords saw their power to rebel as their right from the Chaos if the King was unjust, they also saw that the Haranta was an emissary of the Chaos, and desisted. They were now please with the idea of social bonding, for the kingdom was now strong and the Lords rich. They saw now the advantages to supporting the Twin Body and peacefully resided. The tradesmen of the cities petitioned the new Haranta for the right to for guilds, but the Haranta forbade it, until his passing, for the Kingdom had been sorely hurt in the civil unrest, and needed time to reheal itself and allow the original social banding to strengthen. He advised the tradesmen to from councils and begin drafting charters, and await the day of his death. The day of his death came swiftly, for he became ill and passed away. His eldest son stepped up to the throne and declared himself Haranta-Gordi, but he had not graduated the University yet, and this was the death decree of an acient Hatar that the heir must have graduated the University to be fit to rule. The oldest son of Hatar-Ulmef, the Hatar supplanted by Hatar-Gorgor, stood forward and claimed his right to rule. The Cardinals refused to crown him, because he was born of a Hatar and not of a Haranta. The Assembly backed this one whom called himself Deagor, and installed him as regeant, until the Haranta-Gordi came of age. Tentions rose between the two claimants and factions began to evolve in the royal family. Finally a fued began between the two factions in which Haranta-Gordi was murdered and Deagor was imprisoned. As the fued began accelerating into a civil war, Deagor began to write a document in his cell known as the Rights of Succession, In it he declared that no more of the line of the Hatar maybe selected. Only a pious member of the Royal Family was eligible. This person would be selected by the Twin Body and must be coronated Haranta by the Cardinals. In time of tragedy or turbulence the Assembly would have the right to install a regeant, but the regent must be from the Royal Family. This document fell into the hands of the Cardinals and they deeply approved, in a secret ceremony they coronated Deagor, the second Haranta and released him from his imprisionment. He was charged with instituting the Rules of Succession as his death decree and socialy banding the Royal Family. When Haranta Deagor took the throne with the backing of the Twin Body and the Assembly, the faction that supported Haranta-Gordi became nervous and hired out many warrior’s guilds to rebel. The Haranta offered greater payments for the Warrior Guilds to desist peaceful and granted them clemency. Then he slowly over many years captured all of the main leaders in the factions and had them imprisioned for life. He declared that the Royal Family was in the most need of social banding and called upon the Assembly to draft a proposal. The assembly recommended dividing the Haranta’s own landholding up among them to appease them. The Deans recommended that this be done, but in order to make them vassals unto the Haranta. The Deans argued by making them prominent vassals directly to the Crown, they would be appeased and controlled. Haranta-Deagor agreed and partitioned his land among the Royal Family, and made them pay direct alliegence to him. Haranta Deagor was old when he was coronated and was worn down by his long confinement. He soon passed away leaving the Rights of Succession as his Death Decree. The Assembly elected a lesser known member of the Royal Family to the Throne and the Cardinals coronated him. He took that name Haranta-Gaile or Father-King of the Stars. For he was heavily interested in the new branch of the sciences that was being taught at the Universities, it was the science of Astrology. When he ascended to the throne, he immediately began construction on a mighty watchtower in the west of the kingdom, from which he could watch the stars. He also began construction of a imperial retreat a grand palace in which he could reside as he watched the stars. This Haranta was considered the Father of the Orku reneisance, for under him the arts, music, and poetry where nurtured. The University set up an entire branch in the city of the Haranta devoted to the Fine Arts. The wealth that had been accululated by the Lords, now was elustriously spent, and their halls became those of splendor. For before, comfort had been sacrificed for safety, but now both could be intermingled. The cities became grand, filled with great statues and streets of mosaics. The wealth of the Kingdom grew as the Tradesmen Guilds reformed and the class of the tradesmen began to band. Chambers of Commerce where founded by the Guilds of every city to promote trade. And grand festivals where hosted by the Sanctuary and funded by the thriving Guilds to promote culture. During this time a sporting event similar to a jousting tournament blossomed. It was a great competition that pited the Days against the Nights as a symbol of the struggles between the Chaos. These competitions soon evolved into a carefully regulated league in which a nation champion was eventually selected, the events where soon opened up to those of the Warrior’s Guilds, though they were not permitted to competed against the Day and Nights. These games became known as the Great Games. The competitions would start at local fairs in the spring and by the fall the national victors would come to the capital city to compete for the title of National Champion. These games became a great deal in the days of Haranta-Gaile’s great-grandson Haranta-Obel. A section of the capital city wall was torn down so that the Champion could enter in by a new way. Haranta-Obel’s successor Haranta-Afnar observed while stargazing by night a strange sign in the heavens. After consulting with his Shaman he determined that it signaled the return of the Crusaders. When the Kingdom heard this fury was rekindled in the hearts of many, but fear in the hearts of most, for major war had been forgotten after centuries of peace. The Haranta-Afnar looked to the Cardinals for answers to his troubled mind. One of the Prophets prophesied they would return during the reign of his successor and they would return from the Southland, but they would also return again once more from the North. Distraught by this Haranta-Afnar consulted the Assembly. They recommended that Kingdom begin to prepare for war. In the Southland the Crusaders had been victorious in their campeign and had destroyed the and crushed the heathen Dragons and routed the Barabaras. They had established a Holy Regime in the Land of the Fire and attempted consecrate the land. But the curse of the Orku still lingered upon their heads after centuries. The Haradrim rose up out of the Fiery Wastes and took back the , which was now a vast oasis at the hands of the Crusaders. The Haradrim drove northward with many casualties, sacking their cities, defeating army after army, executing generals. Finally, the Grandmaster Rayvik FitzOsborn ordered the Crusaders to return to their homelands. They then began a frantic retreat northward with the Haradrim cutting down their stragglers. The Crusaders reached the Kingdom of the Orku and decided to pass through. Rayvik FitzOsborn, remembering the cruelty of his ancestor sent to Haten-Gorbul in a silken sack, trimmed with gold, and spiced with rare herbs, one of the Crusaders’ most precious relics as a pentance for their forefathers. Haten-Gorbul opened the sack and found the skull of Wulric FitzOsborn, and took it as a token of revenge. He had the messengers publicly executed and then called upon the Lords to evict the Crusaders from their land. The Lords gathered their mighty armies and marched against the haggard Crusaders. Rayvik FitzOsborn came to the city of the Haranta to explain the symbol. When he entered he was amazed. The city was nothing like the tales of old, it was grand, made of polished stone. The streets where mosaics deplicting famous heros doing valorous deeds. The citizens where richly robed  and carried themselves grandly. When Rayvik entered the city a great mob gathered about his honor guard, demanding his public lynching. This violated the law of peaceful protest and the Haranta ordered the mob dispersed. Rayvik was brought before the Haranta in chains. He was amazed at how far the Orku had come in just several centuries. Haranta Hatar-Atar II (he had taken this name because it was profesied that he would meet the Crusaders again. He believed it was fit to take the name of the first Hatar) was the Haranta at this time and was the first Haranta to take Haranta as a title and not as a part of his name. Rayvik FitzOsborn spoke to the Haranta in the language of the Haradrim, hoping that this would be familiar to him. Hatar-Atar II understood clearly what was said, and heard the plight of Rayvik and the Crusaders. The Haranta then answered coldly in ancient Orku. “There is no honor in an Uruk.” This language was a great perversion of Sindarin so Rayvik did not understand, so the Haranta continued, this time speaking in the modern tongue, “No help comes from an Orqu!” The language was remarkable similar to that of the Gray Elves, Rayvik understood clearly, and replied in Sindarin, “We ask for absolution for our transgressions against your kind, we recant the thoughtless words of our ancestors!”

Then the Haranta replied in the tongue of the Crusaders, astounding all present, “Your kind is an accursed kind to my kind. Even if I wished to remove the Chaos that wheels about your brows I would be powerless to do so. I am sworn to oppose you and to this I must hold. Go to the Sanctuary and do as the Cardinals instruct you, then you will stand trial for all of your kind.” Rayvik was hauled away in chains and brought before the Cardinals. The Cardinals would not let him into the Sanctuary, fearing he would desicrate it. They made him take a ritually cleansing bath and instructed hims to pay homage to the Chaos. When Rayvik refused proclaiming, “I only pay respect to the One Father and his Servants!” They where confused and wondered at what this meant. They gave him over to the Days to be interigated. The curious Cardinals questioned him for two fortnights about his creed and beliefs. He told them of the One Father and his design, and of the his Caretakers the Valar. He explained their roles in the universe, and declared that homage was to be paid to the light only and to the Caretakers, but direct service was owed  to the One Father. When one of the Cardinals ask him if Ahtrun was the One Father he spoke of he replied in Sindarin, “Only serve the light not the dark,”  the Cardinal replied, “We do not serve the dark, we respect it, and we fear it.” Rayvik replied, “I neither respect nor fear the dark, I only recognize its influence in all decisions we make.”  The Cardinal responded, “What do you cal this Father of Light? For he is unknown to us. We have long pondered his existence, for without him the Chaos cannot exsist.” Rayvik said. “The Firstborn call him Illuvatar, or Eternal Father, his name is not revealed, because it is not to be taken lightly.” The Cardinal replied, “I have believed in the this Illuvatar all of my life, for he is essential to the balance of good and evil. The common belief has been that the There is a great Tide of Darkness. Mortals are the balance of the light that struggle to keep it shining.” Rayvik laughed, “The Chaos does not exist, there is no balance between good and evil. There is a great unbalance. Evil has the upperhand, and no Mortal or Immortal can counteract it without the aid of the Father of Light. The Father of Darkness you know is known to us as Set. He is only a minion to a greater evil, which is a minion to a greater evil still. The light of the Father is stronger than the darkness of Set. The darkness has been snuffed many times, but the light has always endured.” With this conversation this Cardinal was converted, the rest where insulted and declared blasphemy. Rayvik was handed over to the Haranta and charged by the Sanctuary with Herecy and Ultimate Blashemy. The Cardinals declared that they would not absolve him or his kind, and recommended his immediate execution and the destruction of the Crusaders. In secret the converted Cardinal performed the rites of absolution lifting the curse from the Crusaders and unbinding the oath of enmity against humans. He was sad though, for it had to be sealed with human blood, so he did not intervene during the trial. Rayvik FitzOsborn was publically executed, strirring the populous to war. The Crusaders in the North of the Kingdom at this time, heard the news of their Grandmaster’s execution and began to debate among themselves. Vengence is the the Fathers’s said many, and others said But we must uphold his honor. The Crusaders where split into two factions, one which fled north into and returned to their homelands, and the other which stayed to fight. They quickly rose a wooden and earthwork castle and built a fortified encampment. They began vast stoneworks and dug themselves in deep for the storm. The armies of the Haranta mustered in the center of the kingdom, grand, seasoned, and well outfitted. They knew this would be a different war than what they had fought, for they had heard tales of the grand castles that the Crusaders had erected in the Southland, and how it to the Haradrim up to a century to starve them out. The Haranta’s army marched up to the walls of the great stronghold of the Crusaders and before ultimatums where exchanged and negociations failed, arrows from great elven longbows reigned down from the battlements, and mighty heils of crossbowbolts from the strong towers. The Orku ranks, which the Generals believed to be a great distances from the walls where decimated by the relentess fire. The Orku attempted to batter down the gates with a great battering ram, but the Crusaders dumped oil on it and set it ablaze. They could not use siege belfries, because it was built on a great hill, at its base was a great moat of water, and at the base of that was a wooden palisade and a bulwark. To reach the bulwark a great gap of barbs and spikes had to be crossed. The Haranta Hatar-Atar II conferred with his lords and generals and decided to enlist the help of the University to “break the back of the Crusader using the arithmatics and sciences instead of lances and bows.” The Deans quickly formed a board of top scholars and professors to design clever ways to break the entrenchment of the Crusaders, that was under the supervision of  the Haranta’s top general. As the war board brainstormed the Haranta set out to take the lower wall of the stronghold. He simply utilized wooden siege belfrys with ramps capable of spanning the spiked pits that lay before the bulwarks. The belfrys were doused in water to make them harder to light on fire. In this way the Orku took the lower wall at a great loss, for it was in range of the deadly Elvin longbows. Then the Orku set about construting a ceiling slanted toward the castle this ceiling protected against longbow fire. Then the Orku built a wooden enclosure on the inside of the gateway to protect against fire from the next gateway further in and acrosst the mote. Then the war board came up with an answer. It combined the simple principles of rope and pulley with that of a catapult, only to a far grander scale. The Crusaders watched in wonder as they saw the Orku dismantle the gatehouse brick by brick and begin erecting what appeared to be an colossal catapult.  They then wheeled it up to the edge of the moat  and cranked it up to full tension with great walling wheels behind the safety of the  lower wall. The throwing arm of the great catapult was fixed with a great stone weight at the end and the tressel was far to high to support any fire. The Orku released the weighted arm and it overturned on a joint that hung over the moat. The great weighted arms momentum forced the catapult to tumble head-over-heals into the moat. The giant tressel sunk into the mud of the moat and the weight held it steadily in place. The Orku now had a giant wooden walkway that lead from the gatehouse of the lower wall out across 2/3rds of the moat. The Crusaders laughed amidst themselves believing that the Orku had miscalculated the length of the bridge. But the walking wheels where soon hitched up to great thick ropes that lead out to two wheels that where on the same axle as the pivoting joint that hung over the moat. These wheels stood on the outside of the pivot screw, one on either side. The Crusaders noticed that the thick sturdy ropes disappeared into the depths of the moat. The walking wheels began to move and the back section of the walkway began to lift, hauled in to the air by the thick ropes which where attached to the end of the walkway facing the lower wall. The thick ropes then spanned the length of the walkway and disappeared into the moat reimerging at the pivot joint and heading back toward the walking wheels. When the walkway had been lifted past a perpindicular angle, the Orku severed the thick ropes and the walkway came crashing down ontop of the gatehouse on the far side of the moat. At this moment a great company of Orku carrying great towershields to protect themselves from the arrowfire. The Orku swarmped across the ramp and lifted and overturned another ramp at the end of the great one, that allowed them to run down into the guarded stairway that lead to the gatehouse of the castle. The Crusaders holding the lower gatehouse where quickly overwhelmed, then the Oruk, having captured the lower entrance to the stair retreated, wheeling a great  wall forward with a sloped roof to protect them from arrow fire. Then a great batteringram was hauled across the moat and up the steep stairs and the Orku battered through the Crusaders’ gate. The Orku at the batteringram where slain quickly by the fierce longbowmen that stood within the castle, but they in turn where swept away by the frenzied mob of Orku flailers that swarmed into the castle. It was now clear the Master of the Crusaders that the Orku would take the castle no matter what the cost. He came forth from the keep and stood atop the tallest donjon of the castle and addressed the Orku. He offered the unconditional surrender of the castle and all of its defenders. The Haranta received word of this plead and crossed the moat and ascended the steps into the courtyard to negotiate with the Master himself. The Master promised that the Crusader would never again pass through the land of the Orku if the Crusaders were allowed to leave in peace. The Haranta told the Master of the prophesy that had foretold of their return. The prophesy declared that the Crusased would pass through one more time. The Haranta shut down all negotications and ordered the siege to continue. As he turned to go he was shot in the back by a crossbowbolt from a sniper high in one of the towers. As he feel forward into his shocked son’s hands he is fabled to have whispered, “Fight on forever, my son.” The Prince Obel-vat, known to the Crusaders as Prince Darkthought kissed his dying father on the head. Then taking a longbow from a fallen Crusader he knocked an arrow and said, “If the Chaos does not exist, Crusader, then let me make it so!” He let the shaft fly, it arched up into the tall donjon and struck the Master  square through the eye. Prince Darkthought then stood before the Orku host and declared himself the Hatar restored. He said that the times called for Chaos to overcome the light. This struck fear into the Orku soldiers and they dared not disobey, for he had a great chance of being installed into power. The host of the new Hatar stormed the castle with  a vengeance, employing every mechanical device conceivable until the total victory was one. It is said that the last Crusader fell on his hands and knees to do homage to the Chaos as Prince Darkthought towered above him. Darkthought declared that his pentance should be to forever be a symbol of the remorse of the Crusader. The Prince, who later became known as the Black Prince, road into the City of the Haranta with his armed host at his back. Before the Sanctuary he sent the last Crusader to be cleansed and then to sue for the forgiveness of the Crusaders. The Crusader was cleansed and entered the Sanctuary and cried out for mercy before the Cardinals. The Cardinals absolved him and granted his kind clemency so long as they never set foot in the Kingdom of the Orku again. Then the Black Prince burst into the Sanctuary uncleansed, with the sweat and blood of combat still fresh on him. He demanded that the Cardinals crown him the new Hatar. The Cardinals refused, declaring that a Haranta had already been elected and Coronated at the death of his father. The Black Prince spat upon the floor of the Sanctuary and declared, “My father’s last words where fight on forever, my son.” The Cardinals knew that this was a Haranta’s Death Decree, and had it official recorded by these terms. 1) The ruler that shall succeed me is my eldest son and all of his sons, until the direct line is broken. 2) We shall forever oppose the Crusader, regardless of their absolution. The Cardinals then informed the Black Prince of the Rights of Succession which protected the current Haranta, and banned the return of the Hatar. Then the Black Prince declared martial law on the city in the Sanctuary before all of the Cardinals. He stormed out of the Sanctuary and hung the last Crusader from a high archway in the center of the city (his remains, now considered a relic are kept under lock and key in the Sanctuary). Then the soldiers of the Black Prince took control of the city and stormed the palace of the Haranta. The Haranta, whom was called Haranta Havar-Ibeth was arrested  and put on trial before the citizens. The Deans and the Cardinals where invited to attend the event. The Deans accepted, but the Cardinals refused declaring the Black Prince a heretic. The Black Prince declared that he would respect the wishes of  the ancient Hatars and Harantas, but he also would not ignore his own father’s decree. He proclaimed that the Haranta, chosen by the Sanctuary would rule the Twin Body, and He, chosen by the last Haranta would rule the Lords. Together they would share power and rule, until his line be broken, then the Haranta would be reinstalled by the Cardinals. He declared that he would protect the people and the Haranta would provide for them. He then took the title Varata, or the Protector and gave the Haranta the title Antanar, or Gift-Giver. Varata Morth as he called himself reordered the Kingdom so that it was so, and then taking his army that had not yet been disbanded road north in pursuit of the fleeing Crusaders. In his absence, the Cardinals pressured their new leader the Antanar to take back the throne. The Lords caught word of this and were greatly displeased, for they backed Varata-Morth and desired his form of government. They felt that the Twin Body had grow to powerful at the Lords’ expense and wished to put it in its place. The Cardinals argued that allowing the Twin Body to govern itself would be giving it far to much power and also secularize its purpose. The Antanar refused to take back the throne, not wanting anymore unrest or bloodshed. He feared that if he usurped the throne the Lords would revolt. Even if he managed to put it down, he still would have to hold out against Varata-Morth when he returned. The Cardinals assured him that all of the Days would support his cause, and that the serfs could be inspired by the Sanctuary. The Antanar finaly stated he would if the rule of Varata-Morth turned into a reign of terror. Varata-Morth returned early from his campeign fearing rebellion. He was astounded and releaved that the Antanar had stayed in his place. When the populous heard of the great victories that the Varata’s forces won against the dreaded Crusader, they rallied behind him. The Lords believed that times of peace lay ahead, because of the crushing defeat of the Crusaders, so they withdrew their soldiers from the Varata’s army. The Varata proved antsy on his throne. He believed that the Orku where encompassed by enemies on all sides and could not rest until he was assured that they where defeated. He embarked on several minor campaigns into the North against the Paladins that had settled there in hopes of taiming the wild Barabaras. Even though these campaigns were successful, the Sanctuary frowned upon it as a waste of lives, and the Lords frowned upon it because they were obligated to commit troops whenever the Varata embarked on a campaign. Tensions began to mount and the Lords secretly threw their backing to the Antanar. Then the Varata’s fears where confirmed. The Haradrim, the dark men of the south—the ones that had driven the Crusaders from the began raiding towns in the southern regions of the Kingdom. The Varata did not wait and raised a great army of chariots and marched southward to break the Haradrim. The Lords whispered to the Antanar, pointing out that he was well on in his years and he had failed to produce and heir, and even to take a mate. They claimed a natural end to the line of the Varata and the restoration of the Haranta. They reasoned it was also likely for him to be slain in battle.  Then openly declaring their support, arranged for a grand coronation at the Sanctuary. The Antanar refused and ordered them to cease their treasonous planning or be tried for treason. The Lords declared that they would not listen to the head of the Twin Body since they where ruled by the Varata. The Antanar, against the counsel of the Cardinals declared the Lords Traitors to the Balance and rose up an army from among the serfs. The Antanar declared that the Twin Body had the right to martially excersize discipline upon Lords that challenged the balance of the Chaos. The Antanar then laid siege to all of their castles and strongholds, and the serfs suffered heavy losses, but willed it if it be the will of the Antanar. The Lords, whom most of their forces where commited to the Varata suffered greater losses as the Antanar burnered their crops and sheltered their peasants within the Peace Houses. The Antanar declared the light had been stirred to wrath. This was a new belief, because before it was taught that the light knew no wrath, and that wrath was given to the darkness. The Antanar struck fear into the hearts of the Lords, leading the Twin Body with such passion, that it was not to be stopped. After one of the Lords surrendered, the others held their breathes to see what would become of him, for his fate would be theirs. The Lord confessed before the Antanar that his views had been wrong and that the Haranta should indeed be returned, but by nature’s will. Then the Lord was absolved, and the armies of the Antanar subsided. The Antanar returned to the Sanctuary and declared that the Antanar would remain even after the reinstallment of the Haranta to guide the Twin Body so that it could take a firm stand in times of unrest. The Varata heard of these goingons and was pleased. He was relieved that the Antanar still stayed in his place, but feared that the Lords who try to assassinate him upon his return. He had now broken the of that had threatened the and took them under the dominion of the Orku. He set up a regeant in the north to keep the Lords in check, and then established his capitol in the greatest city of the Haradrim that he had conquered. He began making changes to their society and country. For the remaining years of his life he remained in the south fervently developing the kingdom of the Haradrim. He also established a great harem of Haradrim women and had many children. When he finally came to his final years the Haradrim nation of the south had been risen to might. The Lords now feared there would never be an end to the Varata, and so motivated the Antanar to declare all of the Varata’s children unfit to rule, for they were of half-breed. The Antanar then declared that he would not rise to Haranta on the Varata’s death. When word of this caught the Varata’s ear he became enraged and began to raise a great host of Haradrim. The Lord feared the approach of the large host and offered all of their forces to the reagent to defend the Kingdom. The reagent which was feeble of mind, and indecisive, did not wish to fight the Varata, but submit to him. The frantic Lords assassinated the reagent and demanded that the Antanar serve as a temporary regeant until the matter was resolved. The Antanar, whom now bitterly opposed the Varata agreed and rose to the throne he raised a mighty army from among the Lords and serfs, but would not commit those of the Twin Body, declaring it an unrighteous struggle. He abdicated his role as the Antanar and appointed the Cardinal that was converted by Rayvik FitzOsborn as the new Antanar. He then lead his army against the Varata. They followed his as if he were still the Antanar with zeal and fervor. They met the Haradrim in the south of the kingdom and fought in prolonged and bloody stalemate against the Varata. Finally the Varata, old with age passed away, he died of natural causes even though he was in the heat of combat. The Haradrim would have broke and ran right then, had not the proclaimed heir of the Varata stepped forward. He rallied the demoralized Haradrim about him and called for the head of the Antanar calling him unjust in his war. He did not realize that this was not  the Antanar anymore he was now Vhyct-Chrushtfith, a name in the ancient tongue that meant Justice Seeker. Vhyct declared the New Varata a half-pure and a bastard to the throne. The new Varata swore death upon Vhyct promising  the unrest would not stop until he held the head of Vhyct in his hand. Vhyct swore that he would continue fighting even after the Varata was put down, and put the sons of the Varata back in their place. Both sides took heavy casualties, and the wore threated to destroy the Kingdom. Finally the Antanar took some of the most hallowed relics from the Sanctuary and brought them to the battle front. Displaying the relics and blessing the Vhyct’s troops, the new Antanar promised great treasures for the one that presented the head of the Varata to Vhyct. This boosted the morale of the Vhyct’s soldiers and the broke through the lines of the Varata and routed them southward. Vhyct gave chase with his chariots biting hard at the heals of the Haradrim. The Haradrim tarried long enough to make good the Varata’s escape. But they were crushed under the momentum of the Orku and their Oliphants where slain. As Vhyct enter the southland of the in the lands conquered of the Haradrim, he was met with an Orku army that the Varata had hastily assembled. Chariot clashed against chariot, and flail against skull. At the end of a bloody day of carnage the fate of the Two Kingdoms was decided, the Varata and his three brothers and two eldest sons lay dead and Vhyct sat upon the throne in the Southland. The women of the Varata’s harem presented themselves to Vhyct in hopes of saving the lives of their sons, but Vhyct was repulsed and had them thrown into the dungeon to await trial. The Antanar was called into the Southern Kingdom to conduct the trials and to reorder the kingdom. The Antanar was appalled at all of the carnage he witnessed on his journey into the and condemned the war as frivolous and wasteful. He then installed Vyct as the new Varata, claiming the would have to be built from afar. Then he freed the women of the harem saying the South needed a royal family so that the Varata could be chosen in the same manner as the Haranta in the North. He then declared that a great Sancuary would be constructed in the City of the Varata and that the Twin Body’s influence would be established. He also declared that no Lords would be allowed to rise up in the , they would instead be Brothers of the Sanctuary and the Univeristy that would rule as Lords and serve as Clergy. The new Varata, Vhyct, declared that this would be so and sent the Antanar off with the command to reinstall the Haranta. So a new Haranta was established, and he took the name of Haranta Vicor in honor of the Varata Vhyct. It thus became the tradition that the Varata of the was considered the mightiest of the Lords  and his Lords were also Clergy of the Twin Body. The Varata would take his name in the Old Tongue, and the Haranta would take his name in the New Tongue and they would be the same name. Haranta Vicor had Varata Vhyct declared a Blessed for his great devotion to the struggle against the Chaos, and he had the Castle of the Crusaders rebuilt into an impenetrable fortress to protect the North from the return of the Crusader. It was populated by the Days of the Twin Body and was given the name Palandith. Varata Vhyct outlived the Haranta Vicor and was pleased when his Death Decree cemented the role of the Varata in place. He spent his remaining years establishing the influence of the Sanctuary in the Southern Kingdom and defending his people from the threat of the surrounding Haradrim. The Assembly pushed hard to elect Varata Vyct as the next Haranta, for he was of the Royal Family, and he was great in the eyes of the people. But the Varata refused to claim the throne, stating that the law set him as the Varata for life. Finally the Antanar, that would later be known as Antanar Kantanio, or “the Potter,” stepped in and preposed the Northern Charter, if The Varata would step up to fill the void, with the argument that the Varata’s line was, in deed not broken, even if it was not pure, which allowed him to become ascend to the throne.

Northern Charter:  The Haranta’s successors, which must be a member of the Royal Family, and a graduate of the University, will be nominated by the College of Cardinals from time to time, elected by the Assembly and crowned the Prince Royales upon their graduation from the University. So that upon being named this They will become Chancelors Royale of the Assembly, under the instruction of the Haranta, where they will be taught in the ways of politics. Then after 3 summits, they will embark on a military tour of duty, commanding an army as Generals under the Varata. Then they shall serve as Prince Clerics or Prince Scholars. These shall be the Lords of the Varata, and they shall hold a Southern Assembly, and from them a Haranta would be selected upon the death of the Haranta.

The Varata ascended to the throne and took the name Victor II, but he refused to don the title Haranta, instead taking up Regency. His son was elected by the Northern Assembly to become the next Varata and the first 3 Princes were anointed Princes Royale.

During these times following the Rifting there was great peace. At this time the Antanar Kantanio handed down the Promise of Peace in the Light

Promise of Peace in the Light: In times when the Orku peoples walk faithfully in the Light and win a great struggle against the Darkness, peace shall favor their land and bless them with great bounty of land and wealth, as well as bless them with justice and great rulers.

The Regeant Victor II, announced the policy of his administration soon thereafter which would ultimately lead to his Death Decree. He announced the Victorious Corollary proclaiming that when favored by the Light, the Orku people must not take it for granted, but must give back unto it in offerings of thanksgiving.

The Victorious Corollary: In times when the Light redeems the lands of the Orku with the Promise of Peace after great struggle against the darkness, the Orku peoples shall utilize the bounty, wealth, and peace for the betterment of their society as well as the betterment of their Nation and lives.

The Orku people of this generation truly did walk in the Light and received its blessings in great bounds. The Rifting had caused great destruction and many lives were lost, but now the land yielded abundantly and coins of gold clinked as they changed hands. The Orku had a wise Antanar, an estounding Regeant, and a great Varata. The Orku used these years of peace and prosperity as a time of great pleasure, but also as a period of great restoration.

With all of the Royal, Noble, and Free Castes banded, now the lowest Castes of society sought to make themselves banded as well. For two generations the Serfs had been moving toward total social banding. They hand partitioned themselves up into Clans and Minor Clans. The Minor Clans were that of the Serfs that served a Lord. The Clans where made up of many Minor Clans, for the Lords all payed tribute to a Royal House, and in this way all of the Serfs that were in tribute to a Royal House formed a Clan. The Serfs of a Minor Clan worked together dividing up the daily tasks and demands of the Lord which they served, many becoming highly skilled tradesmen. The Serfs that belonged to a Clan divided tribute, taxs, crop yield, pay, food, and military duty evenly among themselves. They elected Tures, or Civil Servants to function as overseers of the duties and obligations of the Clan as a whole. These Tures were often taken in by the Lords as managers of their fiefdom to aid their sons that had inherited the postion by Cadency.

The Clans grew in number and in influence and soon the Clans formed Councils in which the Tures of all of the Minor Clans assembled to decide the policies and actions of the Clan as a whole. They would then elect a Head Ture to not only lead the Clan, but also to attend the Council of Clans. In the Council of Clans all of the Head Tures met to represent their interests to the Haranta and to their Tribute Liege. They would also elect a Grand Ture that acted as the Grandmaster of the all of the Clans. In time all Lord would work with the Coucil of Clans when taxes were raised, or when military service was required to make sure the weight was distributed evenly over the Serf Caste. So the Council of Clans became an instrumental body in the political functions of the Orku Nation. The Twin Body also worked cooperatively with it to reach the peoples of the Serf Caste more affectively.

Also the Grangers, those Serfs that had  fulfilled their obligations to their Lord, and purchased their own lot of land began to band. They began consolidating much as the Serfs had been for many generations. Exept they formed corporations that bought, owned, and cultivated vast holdings of farmland. These farming operations became known as Communes. For the Grangers would build small self-suficiant communities scattered throughout the farmholdings. The nearby Lords supplied them with Serfs that were skilled craftsman, protection, and hard laborers in exchange for taxes and military service. Many Wrights were also drawn to these small communities where they set up shops for highly skilled trades and attracted the business of the the local Grangers as well as Lords and Warriors. No one outside of the Granger Caste was permitted to buy into the Communes, except those Serfs that fulfilled their obligation to their Lord and crossed over into the Granger’s Caste.

At this time the new Varata Vyct II, received his first batch of  Prince Royales and was expected to allow the Prince Royales to serve as his Generals in his many campaigns. The Varata, being the son of the beloved regent, he was under pressure to deliver seasoned veterans of warfare to Nation upon the death of  his beloved father. The Varata received them well school and taught in the ways of stately affairs and politics, they also were highly trained in warfare, but not nearly to the degree of his liking. He had been raised in the House of the Vatar, a sword placed his crib before a rattle, a warhammer into his hand before a quill. He had been raised a warrior first and a  statesmen second, thus was the charge of the Varata. But these Prince Royales were only as schooled in the arts of war as any other Noble or Royal in the . He felt it was his duty to make them strong warriors, if ever the Varata was not able to fulfill his pledge. After conferring with his Prince Scholars and Prince Clerics he founded the . He selected the fortress of Uyltumi, which was the garrison of his elite cadre of soldiers the Varatadors. These were the most seasoned fighters in the Nation, even more highly trained than the Days or Nights, but the Southern Kingdom remained loosely banded so they were not their one elite class. The Varata turned their into the Academy, and appointed his finest Varatadors as instructors, and his Captain of the Varatadors the Dean. Each  Prince Royale was now required to study and graduate under the Varatadors at the Academy, also they each were given a personal mentor, a veteran Varatador that would tutor personally tutor them in their studies, help them in their classes, and guide them in their excercises. The Prince Royale would also act as a Squire unto the Varatador, accompanying him on military excercises, hunts, raids, and minor campaigns. When the Prince Royale graduated the Academy his would personally dub him a Veratador and send him into the custody of the Varata to become a general. The Academy quickly became a school for all of Noble blood in the Southern Kingdom, and it became the tradition, that after graduating the Southern University, a Noble Son would go on to be made a Varatador, in the instance they must serve their Varata in arms. Most were dub and then sent off to fulfill their civic duties laid out for them, but many that were far down the line in the Cadency of their family stayed at the Academy after their Dubbing and joined the Cadre of Varatadors. As the Prince Royales where one by one handed into the custody of the Varata they time after time proved themselves on major and minor campaigns alike as the Varata’s Generals. They won much renown and tales of their exploits reach the and the peoples were impressed. It was thanks to the Varata and his Generals that they enjoyed this time of peace free from Paladin, Barabari, or Haradrim. One of the major times they proved themselves was during a great uprising of Haradrim Gladiators. For in the culture of the Haradrim, it was a custom for warriors capture in battle to force into slavery and to fight as Gladiators for the entertainment of the common masses. The Gladiators liberating themselves, killing their owners began ravaging the countryside of the Southern Kingdom. The Noble Houses of the Southern Kingdom called upon the Prince Scholars and Clerics to aid them and put down the rebellion. The Prince Scholars and Clerics lacked the organization and control over their jurisdictions to fulfill this demand and appealed to the Varata to put down the rebellion. The Varata did so with much vegeance, for his armies struggled far and abroad to keep the Orku’s enemies at bay, and now his own people stirred up trouble in his own land. He sent one of the armies commanded by a Prince Royale to crush the Gladiator revolt, which was now gathering Serfs and Slaves alike. The Varata also sent a small Cadre of Varatadors with the Prince Royale, telling him to crush  the rebellion into the ground and to stop the barbaric custom of Gladiating among the Haradrim peoples. The Prince Royale hardened by his training at the Academy and his campaigns with the Varatadors squashed the rebellion before it amounted to much, but in his sympathy showed through, and he spared the lifes of those he captured. He appealed to the Varata, that he may spare their lives. The Varata was pleased to see that all of the training at the Academy had not hardened his sense of compassion, for the Haranta must feel for his people. The Varata agreed and called the Prince Royal back into his presence. When he asked the Prince Royale what he would advise the Varata do with the rebels the Prince Royale Proposed the Southern Code of Social Order

Southern Code of Social Order:  The Noble Houses are direct vassels to the Haranta and have no say in Southern Politics, but instead responsible for representing Southern interests in the North, making them a part of the Assembly. The Southern Warrior Caste would be set into direct service of the Prince Bishop or Prince Scholar they pay tribute to, they are given a manor and an allotment of serfs that owe them obligations. Every serf will be under a Warrior, and will not be allowed to band unless they fulfill their obligation to their Warrior and cross over into the Granger Caste. The Warrior must follow the Cadency of a Northern Warrior devoting his eldest sons to his Nation, his middle ones to his Lord and Self, and his youngest to the Twin Body. He was also required to field a certain amount of Rochi according to how big his estates were. Grangers must buy their land from the hand of their Prince Scholar or Prince Cleric, they would then own him their taxes and military service. The Prince Scholars and Clerics were to divide their lands into jurisdictions to be ruled by the Warriors. All of the Grangers that lived within the juristiction could be called upon by the Warrior to fulfil his military obligation to his liege. Also the Grangers sons were expected to follow a Cadency as well, for every 3 sons one had one must be giving into the custody of his Warrior to become a Rochi. In this way the Grangers were able to climb into a higher social caste, and the Warriors were able to maintain their heavy military obligation to their Tribute Liege. The Wright of the Southern Kingdom were only in the service of the Noble Families, but in accordance with Cadency, must give one in 3 of their sons to unto the Varata, so that he may distribute the skills of the Wrights evenly among his Prince Clerics and Scholars. The Grangers were also offered the chance to enlist into the direct service of the Varata and join his army, and for a distinguished 20 year tour of duty the Granger was promoted to a minor Warrior (basically a Rochi with land and wealth), under the direct service of a Warrior.

The Varata was impressed and sent the proposal to his father, the Regeant (as well as he secret recommendation for the next Haranta).

When the Regeant Victor II received his Son’s word, he was relieved and announced his recommendation to the  Twin Body. He also announce that he planned to give up his throne so that the new Crowned Prince might take his rightful place. The College of Cardinals was shocked, but expected something out of the ordinary from this remarkable ruler. They accepted his recommendation and summoned the Prince Royale to the City of the Haranta. The Prince Royale came, accompanied by the Varata, bearing the Southern Code of Social Order sealed with the stamp of the Varata. Regeant Victor II immediately stepped down from the his thrown and declared that he would make his death decree within the next year. So the Prince Royale was crowned Haranta Viktor III with much pomp and circumstance. The Orku People were overjoyed, but did not wish to see their old hero fade away, so the Assembly installed the former Regeant as the High Chancellor, an honorary position as the Figurehead of the Assembly, and as the High Advisor and Mentor to the Haranta, but he would still maintain his title.

A year passed and went and Regeant fulfilled his promise and delivered his Death Decree in the form of the New Rights of Succession.

New Rights of Succession:  The Varata must be graduated from the Academy and be dubbed a Varatador before he is anointed Varata. If the Haranta passes, but the Varata that took his name still remains he may not change it to match the new Haranta. The Crown Prince will be crowned ahead of time and the next Varata will be as well, so that the Haranta may have what years are left to him to guide him in the ways of justice and fairness. The Tradition of the Sceptre will be observed, but and for the Varata it will be observed as well. If the Haranta does not live to pass his scepter, the Assembly will install a Regeant until the Crowned Prince is crowned. The Haranta upon passing the Sceptre will become the High Chancellor and oversee the Assembly on the Haranta’s behalf, and impart his wisdom unto the Assembly, as well as be the Haranta’s highest advisor and dearest mentor. The Varata will use this time gained by the relief of his position to seek out his last adventure, and the Haranta will use this time to ponder his Death Decree.

Tradition of the Sceptre: When the Haranta begins to feel weary in mind and body, he is to declare that a new Crown Prince be crowned or Varata be anointed, so that he may give up his throne to his successor.

The Last Adventure: When the Varata nears death it is his ultimate dream to embark on a dangerous and epic quest to earn his place in legend. When the Varata hands down his Sceptre he may use this time for himself to pursuit his own adventure, after many years of service to his Nation.

The Great Pondering:  When the Haranta nears death it is his ultimate dream to impart the greatest piece of his wisdom, justness, and benevolence to his people, that they might remember him after his passing. When the Haranta hands down his scepter he takes this time after many years of service to his Nation, he takes this time for himself to ponder his Death Decree.

After taking his year of Great Pondering The Regeant asked the leave of the Assembly to depart on a Last Adventure while there was still health in his body. The Assembly readily agreed, for they admired his many years of faithful service to his country and endless struggle against the Chaos. They were certain he would be proclaimed a Blessed upon his death—and indeed, he was still in good health, good enough health for one last adventure.

The old Viktor II came before the now old Antanar Kantanio, The Antanar gave the timeless Vikor the Blessing of the Light, and also sent him in the name of the Almighty Father of the Light. Many of the Cardinals were confused, and many more were scandalized, but Viktor II nodded knowingly and acknowledgingly accepting the Blessing. He then gathered his oldest comrades together, and many young and intrepid warriors, including many Days, Nights, Rochi, and Varatadors.

Blessing of the Light: A great blessing bestowed by the Antanar upon a person or peoples about to embark on a great quest.

Many wondered at what Viktor II set out to do. He simply told them he was going to the land of the Paladins. Many wondered how he could make war against the Paladins with so few, even though they were elite. Many others wondered if they still exsisted, for it had been sense the time that Viktor II was the Varata that the Armies of the Varata had encountered the Paladins. Viktor sought the Paladins northward, his soldiers fought through Barabari, and Easterling alike, until they at last reached the Middle Kingdoms of Man, here they were met with wonder and curiosity. The King of Naragathrond received them in eager to learn of their culture. He was surprised that they spoke a flowery form of Sindarin, and was impressed by their military prowess. Viktor became known among the Middle Kingdoms as Viktor the Voyager. The King of Naragathrond was fascinated by the rigid structure of Orku society, and the strict rules of conduct, and extreme formality of their kind. To the Orku of Vikor’s Voyagers, as they were called, the Men of the Middle Kingdoms were boorish and uncuth, but good of heart. They were amazed the Paladins had come from among these people, but remembering the blood feud sworn aginst humankind, only the word of Viktor could stay them. The King of Nargathrond was also amazed that of the Haradrim that accompanied many of the Southern Warriors, and of the half-breeds from the South. Many humans seemed disgusted. Some even were repulsed by the Orku, calling them Viles, Vermin, and Ork Filth behind their backs. At this Viktor laughed and told the King of Nargothrond upfront what the Orku thought of Mankind. The King was impressed and entertained by the boldness and wisdom of the Great Viktor and amazed yet at the tale of his life. When it came time for Viktor to depart, it was because hostilities were building between his Voyagers and the people of the King’s Court, but Viktor left with the promise that if the King needed aid, he would answer as long as he remained in the Middle Kingdoms. He then rode toward Doriath, the King had heard of this intrepid band from his ambassadors to the and feared them. He sent large company of heavily armored knights to repell Viktor’s approach. Viktor’s outriders returned to him frenzied with reports of approaching Paladins. Skeptically, Viktor ordered his Voyager to set camp and he rode personally ahead, and when confronting the cavalry under a banner of peace was taken captive. He was forced to wrestle his guards down and kill them with his bare hands, then use their weapons and horses to aid him in his escape. He lost all of his Orku arms and armaments in this episode, and none of the human armor fit his broad and stocky stature. He did keep a greatsword for personal protection as he rode back to  the encampment and aroused his soldiers. In the battle that ensued Viktor fought on bare horseback with no armor, and only a greatsword of a kind that he was not accustomed to, but he survived and his men repelled the heavy cavalry sent to destroy them. Viktor refused his Sergent’s offer of armor and horse, and his Squire and Esquire’s offer as well. Instead he donned the tabard of one of the fallen Doriath Soldiers and took up one of their fallen banners. In this manner he approached the Capital of Doriath on the heels of those sent to destroy him. He stood before the gates and spoke in High Orku tongue, a form of Sindarin fairer than that of the people of Doriath. The Elves within the City were taken in surprise and conviced the King to allow their admittance. When Viktor was summoned before the King, he came before him wearing the tabard of Doriath and bearing the flag. Viktor knelt before him and presented the King his greatsword as an offering of peace. This greatsword happened to be that of an officer, and in Doriath culture presenting the sword of a fallen warrior to his master was a challenge, or a hostile invitation. The King was appalled that Viktor wore the clothes of his country and smacked him hard across the face. In the Orku culture if one Lord smacks another it is a declaration of war, Viktor’s Voyagers were only stayed by the calm hand of their master. Viktor was wise and understood the differences between the cultures. He asked if this was land of the Paladins origin. The King answered the Orku hotly, that this was indeed the birthplace of the First Crusade,but not any of the others. Then Viktro inquired of Wulric FitzOsborn. The King, then realizing that these were the legendary demons that had nearly broken the First Crusade trembled with wrath, for the First Crusade’s failure had nearly cost his House its Dominon. Viktor then asked what the quest of the Paladin was. The  King responded talking to Viktor as if he were an ignorant child that they sought to drive the out Dark One from the Southland. Viktor gasped in awe, did the they believe in the Athrun as well? The King once again smacked Viktor at the mention of this name. It meant Father of Darkness in a tongue so archaic it was now long forgotten. Viktor held his temper and asked if they believed in the Almight Father of the Light. The King’s temper boiled over and he smacked the old Viktor a third time. This time Viktor’s escort when berserk and sliced up the thrown room faster than Viktor could lift his hand. Finally in desperation Viktor held the greatsword to the King’s throat and asked the previous question a final time as the King screamed for the Orku heads on a platter. The King responded, “We crusaded in the name of the Eternal One!”

In anger Viktor declared the Wrath of the Light would burn him if he believed that and slew him there.