CRUSHBONE IMPERIAL ORCS
20 ST +2
15 Cast Iron Stomach
-15 Odious Racial Habit (cannibalism/eats sentients)
-10 Code of Honor (Orcish Customs)
-10 Short Lifespan (mature at 13, aging rolls every: 9m. at 37, 4m. at 52, 2m. at 67)
-1 Never wear red except for warriors
It costs 20 points to play a Crushbone Orc
Common Advantages and Disadvantages
It is common for Orcs to have one or more of the following advantages: Acute Vision, Acute Hearing, Alertness, Combat Reflexes, High Pain Threshold, Night Vision, Recovery, Rapid Healing, Temperature Tolerance, Literacy (if Status or Rank higher than 2). The following disadvantages are also common: Bad Temper, Bloodlust, Bully, and Intolerance (possibly of higher/lower class Orcs).
Outcast Orcs exist as written in Fantasy Folk, 2nd Ed.
Crushbone Orcs are squat, dark humanoids. The average Orc is about 2" shorter than a human of the same ST, and about 20 lbs heavier. The have long muscular arms and short legs. They do not generally have a lot of body hair. Many males are totally bald, but if hair is present, the hair on their heads is usually sparse and stringy. Their faces, hands and feet are broad and coarse. Their skin is dark and leathery. The average Orc wears cheap, utilitarian clothing. Warriors normally wear leather armor under the short-sleeved, red tunic of the Imperial army. Higher class Orcs will wear more colorful clothing, but still utilitarian, and never red. The Emperor always wears red.
Crushbone Imperial Orcs have managed to rise above their debased brethren. They appreciate beauty as much as any other race, and create beautiful, if basic, art. They also have strong voices and enjoy singing. Martial chants and funeral dirges are the most common types of music, but other forms do exist. Orcs love parties. Any excuse for a celebration is a good one. A typical Orcish evening meal includes large amount of ale, food, and rowdiness. Bar fights are common, and usually rough. Good brawling skill is common. Crushbone Imperial Orcs have also developed an acute curiosity. The average Crushbone Orc is likely to poke his nose where it doesn't belong at least once a day. This curiosity has recently led to the quick expansion of the Crushbone Empire as well as a hand full of technological breakthroughs. While the average Crushbone Orc is as intelligent as a human, Crushbone Orcs rarely exhibit the extremes seen in humanity. A Crushbone Orc with IQ higher than 14 is rare (and requires a one-time 10 pt Unusual Background). Magic is also as common in Crushbone Orcs as Humans are, but again, extreme powers are rare. Any Crushbone Orc with Magery level 2 or higher must pay for a 10 point Unusual Background. Thus, an IQ 20, level 3 Crushbone Orc mage must have 20 pts in Unusual Background.
The Crushbone Imperial Orcs are generally stronger and sturdier than humans are. As their society began to organize, the general health of the people improved. This improved health has not helped the longevity of the race. A Crushbone Orc is physically mature at age 13, and begins to show signs of aging at 37. Crushbone Orcs are still very prolific. A female can bear litters of 3 to 8 young every year from age 13 to 43. There is an even distribution between male and female children.
Orcs love being underground--their ancestors may have been troglodytes--and dig warrens that can be extensive. The origins of the race are unknown, but Crushbone Orcs have fought Dwarves and Reptile Men in their earliest histories.
Orcs can eat almost anything, but they prefer meat and good cooking is always appreciated. While Orcs don't hunt other sentient races for food unless desperate, there are no taboos against eating sentients. The general sentiment is "meat is meat." In the past, cannibalism was common. Now, the practice is limited to ritual and times of desperation.
Many centuries ago, there were only tribes of Orcs. The exact number of tribes is unknown, but tradition puts the number at around fifty. Intertribal wars were common. About 4500 years ago, an Orc named Crushbone, war chief of the Crushbone tribe (it being common for Orc Tribes to take the name of their leader began making allies and unifying the tribes around him. It is said that Crushbone the Unifier possessed great charisma and powerful persuasive abilities. Several tribes were alarmed at Crushbone's increase in power as he unified the tribes under his rule. These dissenters, ironically, decided to unify in defiance of Crushbone's power, starting a civil war that lasted several years. Under Crushbone were the twenty unified tribes, while the leaders of the remaining thirty tribes met as a council to plan their resistance. The war was one of the bloodiest and most brutal in Orcish history, perhaps only second to the Crushbone/Dwarven War (also known as the Great Orc War, and or the Orc/Dwarven Wars) that occurred later.
As it became clear that the dissenter tribes were going to lose, the tribal war chiefs decided on a final, desperate counterattack aimed at the commanders of the unifies tribes. Small forces were sent to assassinate the unifier chieftains. A large force was also sent to destroy the Crushbone tribe itself in the hope that it would break the back of the unified forces. The attacks came swiftly and many of the Unifier Chieftains were killed, while many of the commanders were wounded. For days, it seemed that the civil war was over and that the dissenter tribes had won, but Crushbone the Unifier although badly wounded, had survived, but the rest of the Crushbone tribe had been slaughtered to the last child.
Crushbone the Unifier arose from the ranks of the unifiers and demanded a trial of combat for ascension into the leadership position of a tribe, which the unifier chieftains (most of whom were either new to their position or badly wounded) agreed to Crushbone’s Challenge, since a duel to become chieftain was acceptable to them all and again becoming a chieftain would give Crushbone the right to again sit with the unifier chieftains who knew they needed a war leader. The chieftains ruled that Crushbone could challenge any chieftain for the right to rule the chieftain’s tribe, thinking Crushbone would only challenge one of the weakest chieftains for his position.
Crushbone had different ideas and proceeded to challenge each of the twenty unifier chieftains in turn. Each challenge was accepted as the unifier warriors thought it a fine tactic and supported Crushbone’s Challenge, the common Orc Warriors swore they would faithfully serve the winner. With the help of his Dwarven armor and a magical weapon (details of, which are unknown,) Crushbone the Unifier successfully challenged and defeated each of the tribe’s chieftains in single combat, one right after the other. After his last "ally" was defeated, Crushbone proclaimed himself Emperor of Crushbone and appointed all the defeated unifier chieftains who had survived by yielding back into their position, united under the Red Banner of Crushbone.
The thirty dissenter tribes were quickly smashed, as they had fallen to fighting amount themselves, their people scattered and outcast from the budding empire. The few outcasts surviving as slaves were brutally sterilized, and soon, no outcasts existed within the Crushbone Empire. The modern coronation ceremony for a new Crushbone Imperial Emperor is still identical to the rite of ascension into the Crushbone tribe. The Imperial Orcs call their country the Crushbone Empire, although most connect the name with the traditional name of the Emperor, not the salute to the dead tribe it was meant to be.
For several centuries, the Crushbone Empire solidified its existence. The Great Crushbone Unification War had nearly decimated the race, and the years that followed were years of poverty and starvation for many. Several rebellions erupted, but they were brutally crushed. Slowly but surely, the Crushbone Empire earned the loyalty of its subjects. A lucky sequence of wise Emperors raised the quality of life for everyone, and slowly replaced the old tribal leaders with Imperial officers. Eventually, the Empire outgrew its original boundaries and began an expansion that has only been interrupted briefly...
As the Empire expanded, it came into contact with two different races. The first contact was with Elves. Although individually the Elves were vicious fighters, one more than a match for even a party of Orcs, the shear numbers of Orcs soon overwhelmed them and they abruptly stopped fighting and retreated, although they left traps behind that caused the deaths of many more Orcs.
The second race encountered by the Empire was Dwarves. Early contact resulted in Dwarves attacking the Crushbone Imperial Orcs on sight. The Dwarves had apparently had regular contact with marauding bands of Outcasts being pushed outward by the expanding Imperial Crushbone Empire and took the Crushbone Empire as simply a more organized force. The Crushbone Empire foolishly chose to invade the hills and mountains of the Dwarves. Using tactics learned from wars fought on flat plains, the Imperial Orcish Army was literally out of its element, and its failure to adapt to the new terrain would cost thousands of orc soldiers their lives. For hundreds of years the wars between Dwarf and Orc raged, that area becoming known to all as the Butcher Block Mountains.
In time the smashed Imperial Orcish Army was pushed out of the mountains and back into their own territory. Once the battle reached familiar ground, the desperate retreat ground to a halt. The Dwarven forces no longer had the advantage of terrain, their supply lines were stretched to the limit, and they had taken a good number of casualties. The Orcs, however, no longer had the advantage of vast numbers they were used to and individually they were inferior fighters, but the war continued on for another five years with advances by both sides measured in yards.
Then, the Dwarves devised a plan to end the war that was leaching their society of wealth, resources and personnel. The Orcish Empire had built its capital city on a lone plateau in the middle of the old Orcish territory and dug. The new city was called Crushbone. Over the centuries, the warrens extended almost a mile in diameter, and over a thousand feet down. When Dwarven engineers learned of this, they began to devise a way to collapse the warrens, destroying the heart of the Crushbone Empire in the process. The team of engineers, along with a powerful Illusionist, managed to enter Crushbone, and succeed in their mission. None of the team escaped and the current Emperor Crushbone was not in residence at the time. However, the loss of their greatest city prompted a quick and uneasy truce. The Dwarves returned home, and the Orcs began to dig through the rubble. The truce still stands today, although there have been many incidents. There is still a deep hatred between the two races. The huge sinkhole that had been their capital was reclaimed. The capital is now inside a mountain accessible only by way of a single pass with a mouth almost a quarter mile wide. Inside, it descends almost 800 feet to a shallow lake almost a full mile wide. Caves and tunnels surround the Maw, and the walls are dotted with grand balconies. The Maw has become home to a large population of bats that are "harvested" for food. Crushbone castle is situated on the lake, near trainer hill and the slave mines….
Patyrsun's Main GURPS Page
My Main GURPS Index Page
The Adarian Campaign
The Index Page for my personal RPG Campaign that has been run for over 20 years....
This page has been visited times.