The Orc Lands: An Introduction

Posted: 2009-02-25
Word Count: 335
Tags: campaign-logs orclands penandpapergames rpg

This post originally appeared on the Pen and Paper Games Forum. Only some markup (markdown) has changed.

The Orc Lands is a BRP-based campaign I’m running every other week. All the PCs are members of the People – what humans call “orcs”. They live in a land haunted by spirits and the Forest Folk, mysterious beings who guard the deepest forests.

In the time of legend, the People built great cities and created wondrous devices in what is now the Wasteland. Somehow, according to legend, they fell under the sway of the Shining God, whose symbol was an eye, and that led to their ruin. To this day, the People have many superstitions about eyes; they never refer to eyes except in euphemism, never make eye contact for more than a second, and never draw a representation of an eye. (Dots are OK, but blank circles push the edge.)

These days, the People lead brutal lives. Most live in savage tribes of hunter-gatherers, jealously defending their territory from others. A few, called “Mad” by their fellows, still venerate the Shining God and decorate themselves with the symbol of an EYE.

On the other hand, a few tribes have struggled out of barbarity towards civilization. One such tribe is the Ashen Hand, named after its legendary founder. So far, all PCs are members of this tribe.

Recently, the Over-Sea-Folk, who call themselves “humans”, have settled, or invaded, the Orc Lands. One remote settlement lies on the other side of a river that forms part of the boundary between the Ashen Hand and other wild tribes like the Blood Axe. The Over-Sea-Folk bear thunder-tubes that smell like sulfur and throw pellets of lead with uncanny speed. For now, the Ashen Hand leaves the Over-Sea-Folk alone, but many are worried.

In this blog, I’ll present a log of the story so far, and personal comments about my experiences as GM. I haven’t run an actual campaign in years; perhaps my stumbles will enlighten, or at least amuse, others.