THE FIRE OF GRUUMASH
Descendants of the South
Beyond the Eastern borderlands of the Grundebaagh Steppe, there are very few hospitable settlements scattered about the heated rocky terrain. Further South, sits an impressive range of mountains known as the Manlua’gha rich and abundant in iron ore. Occupying this heated territory are various native Orcs, known to the East as Gruumlishkin – ‘The Children of Gruumash’ to the common tongue.
The Orcs of this region devote their entire life to Gruumash, the one they believe to be the first of their kind. Some believe his creation to be like that of a sword forged in the heart of a fire. That he was the living embodiment of iron and flame. As he spread his seed throughout the new world his son’s and daughter’s possessed the same raging fire in their blood, that his kin had the will and the physical hardness of the iron he was moulded from and this would carry throughout the ages.
“And so the Zajarr did sweep across the arid landeth that gent claim'd f'r himself, consuming all yond did lie within his did hang'r'd maw. That gent consum'd the dryeth trees and the blades of the vegetation with'ring within the eye of the travelling lamp. That gent hath reached his f'rm tall, kissing the air; the birds and beasts hath fallen folly to his blaze. Then too, didst that gent confronteth the hard heart'd Manlua’gha with sc'rn.
His temp'r did roar f'r three days and three nights, but beneath the rage of the mast'rless fireth, the rocks bubbl'd and did melt tarlike pits. A sulphurous stench, t consum'd the air in a black smoketh and the combustion blaz'd his lasteth tirade. The clouds hath grown heavy and gath'r'd. Ukkausan did awake in h'rr'r and weep'd drops of sorrow of the rid yond did befall belov'd Earavhh below.
On seeing the once cleareth visage of Ukkausan mourneth, Zajarr quell'd his flames sinking in s'rrow of his deed; in his breaketh f'r freedom that gent hadst needlessly did destroy what wast once living and quite quaint, all his broth'rs and sist'rs hadst grown did turn to ash and molten on his untam'd path.
As the smould'ring Earavhh did cool, Zajarr scoop'd the molten and earth. “O sist'r, in mine own blindness of freedom and rage, I tooketh a thing yond wasn’t mineth.
He f'rm'd a man-like creature, with his subsiding breath that gent putteth fireth in its heart, and disp'rs'd as though that gent hadst nev'r been. Ukkausan witness'd through h'r grizzled drops of sorrow, yond that gent hadst hath tried to replaceth a thing stolen. Fireth is not enow high-lone, so the lady bath'd that gent in the raineth and did breathe the four winds, so life t wouldst gain.
But the winds alone were not enough to raise the iron made creature. Ukkausan at a loss, donned the robes of darkness and her facade turned to Nighav. The world dreamed, some with her own troubled brow, and others blissfully unaware; they chased their own slumbered destiny.
Many days had passed, and though Earavhh was not bountiful and lush at this time; nature did return life to the mineral rich soils. When Ukkausan awoke, she beamed a radiant sunlit joy. They were reunited again, and live had not only kissed the dead lips of her beloved, but too the crudely build man of iron. They named their new son Gruumash, and bequeath him the lands which forg’d him.” – Myths of the Bloodkin, Aurelias Daegan.
His merciful design was to be the birth of a strong and honourable race, one to outlast all, one resilient even to the tirades of Nature and of the Gods. His descendants would inherit his strength, his endurance. There are many names that Gruumash is known by, his ancient code is instilled in all tribes scattered across the land; The Gruumlishkin for the most accept this peaceably but choose to refer to him by their name.
Others of the present day theology have argued they are descendents of the elves. This is something that is hard to accept, even by the wisest and most peaceful of Orcishkind. Though there might be the possibility of such a theory having some truth, a scholar may choose his words very wisely in the rhetoric of Orcs and Elves. There are many who have paid the blood price, in wagging eager tongues freely in disrespect.
Gruumlishkin either live in very close knitted Strongholds, by an extremely rigid lifestyle, or they live nomadically by the same set of standards. There is always a Chieftain, he will gain his place when he has slain the former in honourable battle. Usually his strongest son by birthright will take up the sword, but it is not uncommon for another to rise to the blood-soaked title. The Ishan’Gushi, is the wise woman. She who is connected directly to the spirit of Gruumash. These oracles and shamans are not chosen through war, or by Chieftain domination, but by Gruumash himself. They know the fire, the voice it speaks and the earth, and the water. The light and the Dark; it is believed that she exists half in life and half in death and because of this unnerving, unmistakable trait, she inherits the ear of the Stronghold leader often seducing him to her will. As long as an orc remains in the community, only the cheiftain may be mated for life.
He may take many wives, and bear many sons and daughters; but each have their place and their duty to their stead, and there is an overwhelming amount of respect of this tradition.
The Code of Gruumash is very simple. All Gruumlishkin are born knowing this up until their last dieing breath; for it is their life. If the Cheiftain of his Stronghold is a strong one, he will abide it as will each of his tribe. If should forget himself and his Blood Oath; The Ishan’Gushi will enforce it.
1. You defend your Stronghold with your life.
2. You do not Attack, Less it be for valid reason.
3. You do not Kill, Less it be for just cause.
4. You do not Steal, Less it be the last resort of survival.
As a scholar, I am humbled to have encountered the ways of the Eastern Grundebaaghan tribes; humbled to be welcomed, if but for a short time, to witness with my own eyes the culture of this fascinating race of indigenous natives; there is much more to these beings than meets the eye.
-- Ingmar Dragdam, Notes on the Grundebaaghan Region.