The Ortor are the second most populace race in the World of Teréth End. A mountain people, the Ortor stay separate from the other races for most of the year. During winter months however, the Ortor are notorious for assembling large raiding armies that sweep from the high mountains strongholds into the more fertile lowlands in search of food, slaves, and mates. These seasonal raids have fostered a well-deserved reputation as a blood-thirsty marauding barbaric race.
There are four subraces of Ortor:
- Ortòr Ergzrū (i.e., black Ortor)
- Ortòr Murdrū (i.e., common Ortor)
- Ortòr Agârū (i.e., horned Ortor)
- Ortòr Bludzrū (i.e., red Ortor)
The origin of the Ortor is a mystery to most Mortal races. Toward the end of the First Age, war had ravaged most of the World of Teréth End. Dwürden and Eylfāe armies had fought upon every mountain, hill, and plain in a seemingly unending and fruitless campaign to control the world (or at least rid it of the other). Details of this epic war can may be found elsewhere. While war waged upon the land above, the Dwürden sought a means to dramatically turn the tide in their favor. After centuries of research, they developed a recipe for an ideal foot soldier. The creation of these soldiers however would cost them dearly, and irrevocably change the face of the world forever.
The first Ortor were created at Gemürjordok. Although the details of the ritual were later destroyed, it is believed that the creation involved an array of crystals and artifacts that were able to divert energy from surrounding Lehya into the Heart of Lyrast. Once underway, the immense energies that had been summoned to power the ritual shattered the crystals. This created a vortex that began draining the population’s vitality to feed the incomplete spells. When all was done, the Dwürden were weakened but their abominable offspring were complete. The ritual (referred to as the Great Disgrace) created four individuals, now known as Agârkràuk, Irzzik, Parng, and Tōédus. From these four, the Ortor races were born.
Appearance of the Ortor varies by geographic region and sub-species. The Ortor of Teréðor are roughly Yrūn-sized but more muscular. The Teréðori Ortor stand with knees askew and with sloped but powerful shoulders. Ortòri arms are slightly longer than Yrūni arms and are angled in such a way that their elbows crook behind their backs, preventing side-forward rotation at the shoulder-joint. In thin or emaciated Ortor (not uncommon during the Teréðori winters) the elbows often touch or cross behind them. Despite their ungainly appearance, all Ortor are formidable and vicious combatants.
The Ortòri skull has a passing similarity to the Yrūni skull though it is much more heavily constructed. The forehead is sloped back from a heavy brow ridge that sits atop high and wide cheekbones. A large mandible juts forward at the skull’s base, with all lower-jaw teeth angled backward except for large bi-cuspids, which on males cannot be hidden (and appear externally as two separate teeth). Ortòri skin varies from mottled gray to dark brown, and is not specific to sub-species. Ortòri hair is usually dark and greasy, and grows in Yrūn-like patches and from the elbows. Other than eyebrows, Common Ortor have no facial hair, though the smaller Black Ortor may grow long chin-beards.
Ēgzùr-ok stood on a frozen stream bank watching the fish dart in and out from beneath ice-rimmed rocks. He wondered aloud what the ort would decide, taking no notice of his breath on the cold mountain air. Soon, he told himself, it would be time to return to the lowlands. There would be food and soft women. There would also be fighting and many more would die. That was the way of it. Too many stone mounds had been built on the mountainsides this winter. They could stay no longer.
Ortor are selectively bred for combat. Those too weak to survive do not reach maturity, ending their bloodline. The most aggressive Ortor become dominant with the Grod, Ort, Drek, or Urtòrum. Leadership is continually challenged. There is almost always something to be gained from combat (e.g., dominance, entertainment, food, prestige, resources). All Ortor have a deep and abiding hatred of the Eylfāe.
Ortor intelligence is low to average, though an exceptional Ortor may occasionally have an intellect that rivals Yrūn.
Despite the countless skirmishes, battles, and wars waged by the savage Ortor, they have never attacked the Dwürden unprovoked. This is not to say that they have good relationships with the Immortal race; the Dwürden despise the Ortor. The Ortor have an instinctual affection for the Dwürden that prevents them from thinking ill of the Dwürden. Whether this is due to their “design”, or the result of centuries of working-together is unknown.
The barbaric Ortor are organized at four levels. The lowest order is family, i.e., Grod. A Grod includes all those individuals joined by a single grandmother. The next highest order is the clan, i.e., Ort. An Ort includes all those individuals joined within five generations, roughly. Ortgar are led by a clanhead (i.e., Gregk). The position of Gregk is usually determined by fighting prowess. Combats within an Ort are rarely to the death, though scarring and to some extent maiming are not uncommon. The second highest order is the kingdom, i.e., Drak. A Drak is a collection of Ortgar organized beneath a King (i.e., Argor) or Queen (i.e., Argash). Kingdoms are formed to wage war against a common enemy, or to hold land or some other valuable resource. Most enduring Drakgar were formed for a temporary reason, but have been maintained by a strong leader or dynasty. The highest order among the Ortor is the Urtòrum. An Urtòrum is a uniting of Drakgar and Ortgar for a major cause. These unions are temporary.
- Ort Bragnar Bar (Murdru Clan of the Woman-Eaters)
- Ort Pantargor (Murdru Clan of the Lost-King)
- Ort Retugnar (Murdru Clan of the Rotted-Eye)
- Ort Sorbur (Ergzru Clan of the Black Snake)
- Drak Aghkgzar
- Drak Orgkaz
- Drak Qarák-Dur
- Drak Ràkur
The crafts of the Ortor are more crude than their Yrūni equivalents. They are skilled at crafting sturdy objects and are good at mimicking the works of more skilled artisans, given the chance to observe. Ortor metal-smiths fashion bronze and iron goods. Ortòri armor is simple. Although there are plentiful examples of “found maille” being incorporated into Ortòri armor, the Ortor are not known to craft maille on their own. Oratory weapons consist primarily of axes, hammers, swords, knives, spears, and bows.
Most Ortor speak a variation of the racial language Ortòri (e.g., Orgrūkic). Ortòri is remarkable in that it changes little from region to region despite the lack of a centralized system of teaching. Anecdotal evidence suggests that Ortor that are raised in isolation may develop use of the language independently. This is the only example in the World of Teréth End of what may be an instinctual language. The dialects that do exist make it easy to place the origin of a given Ortor geographically.
Most Teréðori Ortor worship one of the four low-gods. Most worshiped of the Eastern Ranges is Tōédus. Each centennial moon each Ort sends a tribal magician to a high place to commune with the gods of their people. Whatever message the magicians return with from their ordeal determine the tribe’s direction for next one hundred moons.
Oratory magic is mostly elemental and combat-oriented. Interestingly, much (not all) of Ortor magic has been unresponsive in non-Ortor “hands”. Discovery of this new twist of Chaos has fostered research into the possibilities of racial magic, magic that can only be performed by a member of a specific race.
Ortor seem to be susceptible to all magics that are directed at Dwürden. The reverse of this is also true. Any magics that are tailored to only work for Dwürden, work for the Ortor as well.
Nomenclature: Ortor Dekàlic: Ortor (race), Ortòri (pertaining to)