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One long lasting and mighty tribe of Thar, the Skullsmashers, were a tribe of ogres, rumored to be the remnants of a great empire that supposedly controlled all of Thar at one time. The Skullsmashers were a solid examples of survivors, that learned to thrive with large numbers. This success was achieved, not just by using brute force slaying all their foes, but by enslaving them as well.
If you were captured by the Skullsmashers and if you were one of the lucky ones, you would only be made to fight for them, usually dying a quick death as arrow fodder. Now, the unlucky ones on they other hand, would become slaves, suffering a far less desirable fate. One that ended in death as well, but a long, slow, drawn out tormented death.
Apparently I was to be one of the unlucky ones.
My most earliest and also darkest memory, was the night of the attack on my tribe. I do not remember much of that night. My mother had hidden me in a place where I can remember only seeing darkness, but what I heard from my hiding spot, I will never forget. War-cries, bellowing for blood and death, mixed in with screams of surprise, terror and pain. These sounds, have haunted my dreams every night since, filling me with panic and dread, yet still being one of the only memories I have of my people, my family.
The Skullsmashers, after the initial slaughter of the weaker tribe, will loot the village, slay the wounded, and force the strongest survivors into their ranks. The ones too young to be of any immediate use, are gathered up and carted off to be sold as slaves. Children are known to fetch a decent price on the slave markets, as they are easily broken and have longer lifespans.
Even orc children.
The Skullsmashers, had connections with the slave markets down south towards the Moonsea. They would routinely send fresh slaves, the spoils of war, down there, to be traded for weapons, equipment, food, drink, and of course, gold. Horse carts filled with children or other slaves of value, would travel for days across the wastes to be unloaded as cargo, for the waiting merchants to bid on.
My next earliest memory was of being stuck in the corner of one such cart, packed full with children from my tribe, as it was being driven through the bleak moor of southern Thar. Its destination, the Moonsea, where a new and fresh hell awaited us. When I look back, I can remember it being my first time experiencing hopelessness.
Now, hope has never been of any use to my kind. Orcs are born thrashing and clawing their way into the world will and continue to do so until something stronger kills it. They do not close their eyes, cross their fingers and hope something better comes along. They reach out and try to take that better thing and either succeed or die the attempt. But, as young as I was, I had not yet been taught the way. All I remembered at that time, was fear.
At least until the moment the pink skins arrived and raided the Skullsmasher caravan.
Jebedoah Grimm GOOD
Banin Helmsplitter MORADIN'S BASTARD
Skagrot THE BROKEN ORC