The Nightmare Before the Dream
Durog after the Battle at Bloodstones
Durog is the most fearsome, intelligent, determined and charismatic orc ever known. Amongst his own kind, he is regarded as a god. To his enemies he is a bloodthirsty marauder and a boogie man. Through cunning, strength and charisma Durog broke free of the stereotypes that plagued his race since creation. He is credited with establishing the infamous orcish battle company known as the Black Legion which he used to carve out the first and only orc kingdom of history – Blackreign.
Little is known of Durog’s youth but it’s safe to say that it was hard and brutal. The lives of orcs are usually nothing but harsh.
The few attempts by the elves to record orc history first mention Durog appearing in the tribal settlements bordering the northern edge of the Frigid Mire. The same histories tell of Durog selling a dream of unification and unknown prosperity to his maligned people, gathering a large host of warriors, eliminating rivals and traveling north. It is known that soon after these storied events are said to have occurred, Durog and his band conquered the few human and goblin tribal villages along the Scales. With a fresh supply of human slave labor, Durog then organized the work camp of Shale. Durog struck a deal with his cunningly cruel and malicious cousins, the goblins, to allow them oversight of the human slave camp. Under the whips of the devilish beasts, human slaves extracted countless loads of iron, copper, silver and gold from the Scales. The orcs of the Black Legion were soon well equipped with sturdy weapons and armor.
Word of Durog’s passion and success drew his people to him from all across Norand. In only a few years the Legion had grown beyond even the largest armies of the elves and dwarves of Sorand. With Durog leading the Black Legion, it wasn’t long before most of the small human tribes were subjugated and forced to build orc cities and monuments.
Durog carved out a kingdom for his race and ended countless centuries of internecine conflict. He built a massive fortress upon the peak of the tallest mountain in the Grueling Range. His Legion settled at the tor’s base, founding a city they called Bloodsteps.
For decades the orcish kingdom prospered beyond even Durog’s imaginings. His people subsisted on human slave labor and constructed a number of cities and towns across the continent. Durog ruled from afar, passing judgement and settling disputes with his most trusted weapon of justice, the Black Legion. For a time, Durog’s vision sustained his kingdom. The orcs’ bellies were full on war and the infighting all but ceased.
However, not even Durog’s dream of prolonged prosperity and power could overcome the orcs inherent rage. Even as Durog sought to establish a relationship with the elves and dwavres of Sorand, his grip on the hearts and minds of his race was loosening. Years of peace produced boredom. The orcs had no outlet for their anger. Their aggression was building and already a few of the smaller villages had descended into anarchy – bloody plays for power and control.
In an effort to satisfy his people’s need for violence Durog ordered a fighting pit be built in each of the kingdom’s major cities but the action only bought Durog a few years. Indeed, it has been argued that the it was the pits that were the cause of Blackreign’s eventual collapse. A culture of hedonistic orgies of slaughter arose around the pits. One by one, more of the orcish cities transformed from centers of civilization to gruesome battlefields.
The orcs’ human slaves rebelled against their savage goblin masters, whom without the orcs overseeing their efforts, had become increasingly sadistic. Durog dispatched the Black legion to quell and calm the worst of his cities, but they were stretched far too thin. Eventually, all Durog could do was recall the Legion. He holed up in Bloodsteps and raged against his people’s short sighted brutality.
When Roderick began his crusade, no more than a handful of orc settlements continued to resist the lure of violent depravity. Once organized, the humans had very little trouble dispatching the remnants of Blackreign.
It was with unbridled fury that Durog met Roderick in the streets of Bloodsteps. Despite centuries of martial experience and unequaled strength, Durog found defeat at Roderick’s hands. Rather than kill him, however, Roderick chained the orc in the street and made him watch as he slaughtered the Black Legion’s survivors. Durog, broken in both body and spirit, was paraded through his former capital. Covered in rotten food and feces, he was then tossed into his own dungeons.
The immortal nature of orcs would imply that Durog is still alive, chained and caged somewhere deep within the palace’s bowels, though only Roderick and the Inner Circle would know for sure.