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War is Chaos and we have become War!
~ Grand Warlord Mirax


The Xoreth used to be wise Shamans and mighty warriors with great honor before conjoining into a major faction. They symbolize fire, chaos and destruction and this greatly affects their fighting style as well as culture. The Xoreth only measure the force of their army in amounts, not in strength and if their numbers exceed those of the enemy they will engage. According to the rules of honor any recruit worthy of joining their ranks should be able to destroy an opponent, no matter the cost. Furthermore the high mortality rate and perpetular warfare severely limit the Xoreth population, which ensures that there are always enough resources available. Culturally the most distinctive attributes of the Xoreth are the large role their rules of honor play in day to day life and their affinity for fire. Generally the Xoreth tend to accept any Travelers, Visitors or Mercenaries, even for permanent residence, provided they keep the rules of honor at all times.

Racial Composition[]

The Racial make-up of the Xoreth is somewhat similar to the overall tribal demographics with the main differences being an underrepresentation of Trolls and a rather large amount of Imps. While imps wheren't initially present in the Xoreth, they appeared in large numbers in the first Era when the Vitrageos tried to liberate imps. Furthermore, there are some minor percentages of all races present within the Xoreth since anyone who is willing to submit to the Xoreth honor code and their rather violent and extreme culture is welcomed with open arms as one of their own. Still the vast majority of the population are Orks, with a plurality of Goblins, Imps, Ogres and Centaurs. The only race not present in the Xoreth, due to cultural exclusion are most Seraphs.

History[]

Founding of the Xoreth[]

The Xoreth originated in the societal chaos leading up to the Anorum. What orginially started as tribes agreeing to cooperate in order to establish the titanguards soon led to a solidified alliance when the Konarix' nobles started attacking not only the Titanguard in their effort to wipe out all titans, but also the tribes responsible for sending them. Initially the terms of the alliance where merely for the tribes to work together regarding any issue directly related to the war against the Konarix. This alliance proved to be a rather complicated one as even within a homogenous tribe turf wars and brawls where not uncommon. Still through sheer bloodlust the Xoreth, at this point still known as the Cult of Titans, managed to severely slow down the extermination of all titans and with it the anorum. Eventually, during one of the raids, in an effort to unearth more of the Titans tombs, the Cult of Titans accidentally unhearted two ancient Minotaurs. They named these Minotaurs Meridek and Mirax, and eventually discovered unimaginable power lying within these ancient beasts. Shortly after this discovery the vast majority of the Cult of Titans had decided to make Meridek their new Leader, with Mirax serving as his Loyal advisor. Meridek then changed the name of this gathering of tribes to Xoreth, which meant Chaos in his forgotten language. During the ceremony renaming and permanently uniting the tribes he declared: "War is chaos and we have become war" which to this day is still considered the Xoreth's reallying cry.

Reservations[]

Despite the Xoreth waging war for several hundred years to try and stop the Konarix eventually it was clear that the destruction of the titans could never be stopped, merely delayed. After another Titan had fallen despite the Xoreths best efforts a different Plan was made. If they couldn't protect their lands they had to find new lands to settle on and live off. This controversial decision caused many tribes, mostly Centaurs, to leave the Xoreth for religious reasons and soon the Ranks of the Xoreth had grown severely weaker. However this would not stop the Xoreth, on the contrary, the very day the decision was made Meridek ordered the construction of enough ships to carry every man, woman and child who where still under his leadership to the other end of the world. After about four years at sea, only 2 ships had arrived at the coast of the Vitrageos. At first the Xoreth where imprisoned but once the initial Language barrier was overcome and it was made clear that the passangers from the ship where actually sentient, self aware beings, the Vitrageos Government, under Leadership of Yarena, gave the refugees a chunk of land of their own. These Reservations wheren't fertile Land but rather a landscape of Obsidian, rock and wastelands. Still the Survivors of the expedition took the Land without complaining. Life wasn't very good for the remnants of the Xoreth, but thanks to the Minotaurs being capable of covering the workload of several hundred orks and working day and night without a break for several years on end the Xoreth managed to avoid extinction. With a growth in the Xoreth population, conditions in the Reservations became even worse and unrest was sparked amidst the Xoreth. Aditionally the Vitrageos treated them as second rate citzens due to their violent nature and enforced heavy taxes and conscription upon them. It was at this point that The child of the flame, and his loyal servant the Demon Legion had decided to watch over the Xoreth and declare them their responsibility. With this the modern form of Pyromancy was born and their civilization advanced rapidly.

The war of the Desert Curse[]

Eventually an accident occured during the collection of taxes. An ork who was refusing to pay got killed and the bottled up rage of the Xoreth was finally unleashed. Many of the traditions that had been born during the war against the Konarix had been passed on through Xoreth culture and despite life in the reservations being relatively save, every single citzen was a somewhat capable fighter. Fire magic enabling the physically weak to wreak havoc in battle made for an extraordinary force amplyfier and the Xoreth had their army drafted and ready within mere hours from the incident. Additionally Meridek reformed what was originally the peacekeepers amidst their own people into a legion of elite warriors to form the vanguard and push through the harsh vitrageos terrain. Due to this Legion and his rather agressive nature, Meridek became the primary leader of the Xoreth forces as they pushed north. It took two weeks of perpetual fighting but having the advantages of sheer brute force as well as surprise on their side, the Xoreth had managed to conquer or burn every piece of land, from their reservations all the way to the northern mountains which formed the border with the Iotegian. At this point the continued existence of the Vitrageos was at stake. This caused Salohier, the king of the Iotegian to rush to the aid of his former rivals, partially because he feared that the Xoreth would cross the mountains and conquer the Iotegian once they where finished with the Vitrageos, and partially due to his affection with Queen Noraya of the Vitrageos. With the aid of the Iotegian the Xoreth where unable to claim further lands as their own. Unwilling to surrender the war or let their enemies take back any of the conquered land Meridek decided to take with him only his personal Legion and make a charge for the Iotegian capital. Thanks to the excellent training of the soldiers as well as Merideks godlike strength, they managed to succesfully reach the Capital of the Iotegian with most of their forces still in fighting shape. Salohier was desperate. Despite the technological advantage and fortifications of the Iotegian, Meridek could only be defeated with cursed gold. A resource far to rare to utilize as ammunition. The only possible solution was for the king and his royal guard to charge out and meet their attackers in front of the gate. Although this would've probably been the demise of the Iotegian capital, Salohier still had one last resort, a mighty hammer forged from cursed gold. Shortly before the Xoreth elites where done slaughtering the Kings Guard it was Solohier himself fell in battle. Instead the Princess and her Mother begged for anyone to defeat him, with Mairtin the Mad rising to the challenge. In a deceicive strike with a new & enigmatic weapon he had managed to seal Merideks fate once and for all. What he didn't know however is that the minotaurs where sealed away for a reason. Through their veins pumped forbidden magic of old which was instantly released after Meridek was struck down. The resulting event had cataclysmic consequences. First there was an explosion wiping out the entire capital city and all surrounding villages. After this there came a hot wind, burning all vegetation to a crisp and killing millions through famine or fire. Soon however, the survivors discovered that this was not all. Nearly the entire terrain of the Iotegian had gone infertile and the once friendly wildlife mutated into abhorrent abominations. Anything that wasn't perpetually in motion would attract the hot wind and with it the wrath of the beasts.

Change in Leadership and Recognition as a Faction[]

After the news of Merideks demise had reched the mainland of the Xoreth, Mirax had assumed the position of leader. The war against the Vitrageos continued for half a year more. News of what had happened to the Iotegian shook the world and the Excir had decided that they'd side with the Xoreth as a Minotaur holding such powerful magic needed to be protected at all costs. This caused the Lumitian, under the leadership of king Ulmher the second, to contemplate sending reinforcement to the Vitrageos. Instead however prince Gregory of the Lumitian decided to venture towards G'rotsch and visit Mirax. Gregory made a deal with Mirax, granting the Xoreth official recognition as a faction, which at this point had become a sheer formality, and a peace treaty. The Xoreth would be left alone and the war would end from both sides. All land the Xoreth had conquered, excluding the cursed desert, would continue to belong to them. In addition to this the Xoreth would vouch not to take any hostile action against the Iotegian survivors for 250 years. Mirax, who saw this as a major victory decided to gladly take the offer. The Vitrageos wheren't pleased with the Xoreth now being a major opposing force but they prefered it to extinction so all sides complied with the contract. Ever since the Xoreth have been a considered the tenth faction and a major political force in the world of Adicenia for better or for worse.

Geography[]

Climate[]

Most of the Xoreth has a temperate seasonal climate, mostly dominated by south-eastern winds. The massive landmasses of the Xoreth territory cause it to be located between the northern tropical climate and the colder south eastern climate.

Due to the Xoreth being located near several gulfs the climate can be extremely unpredictable and depend on which winds are stronger. Because of this, floods are not uncommon deeper land-inwards of the Xoreth as air coming from the south-west rapidly cools over the massive landmasses and can cause several weeks of rain. The average amount of total percipitation over the Xoreth is roughly 1400mm per year, however in the northern regions near the Iotegian border rain is a somewhat rare occurance with an average of only 230mm per year. While there are no consistent dry seasons, droughts lasting up to two years have been recorded in the planes around the Iotegian borders.

The central mainland of the Xoreth, known as Ember Belt have a far more continental climate. Winters can get extremely cold and summers are often times warmer than elsewhere in the territory. Around the Ember Belt there are several transitional regions to all sides other than the south, which vary greatly in climate depending on how far land inwards you are headed.

Additional climat exceptions within the Xoreth are several Alpine regions with mountains up to 10470 meters high which often times have extreme arctic temperatures as well as several volcanoes, most of which are located in the western part of the Xoreth and are found anywhere from coast to Ember Belt. In the Volcanic regions of the Xoreth, as well as the southern regions periods of cold and darkness caused by volcanic ash clouds are quite common, however due to the strong winds along the west coast these clouds often disperse withing a couple of days and aren't considered disasters.

Biodiversity[]

The territory of the Xoreth can be subdivided into several different ecoregions: The Ashen Lands, Pineforrests, Volcanic Coasts, Leafy Forrests, Grassy Plains, Bleak mountains, Snowy Mountaintops, Pastures and the surrounding grasslands, Volcanic Mountains, the riverlands and swamps. Plants and Animals found in the Xoreth include the common animals and monsters found within the upper layers of the Vitrageos as well as the beasts mostly found within the Iotegian. In addition the Xoreth land harbors many species that have well adapted to hostile lands and savage predators. These beasts range from giant Crustaceans, Cthrinos, reptiloids and drakes to magical beings such as lava spawns and thunderbirds. Aquatic life within the terrain of the Xoreth is often times adapted to extremely high temperatures and high sulfur content making many of the species found here unique and rather unpredictable compared to beasts found elsewhere. In terms of flora the Xoreth too have an extraordinary biodiversity. Most of these plants can be found elsewhere on the continent however several species such as ebonpines and fireleaf are only native to the sulfurous climates exclusive to the Xoreth.

There are many species of ferns, flowers, fungi, and mosses.

Wild animals include Torudeer, giant boar, Ferrams, fox, wolf, forrest hare, and small numbers of the wild beetlebear.

Several of the different Ecoregions in the Xoreth remain wild and untouched by the population other than hunting and unlike other factions the Xoreth don't domesticate animals for meat production but rather hunt for nearly all of their meat.

Urbanisation[]

The Xoreth has 39 major Cities recognized as major Municipalities, 52 Cities considered general municipalities, 174 Towns and 878 Villages and Settlements. The Capitol and largest city of the Xoreth is G'rotsch which is considered the centre of the government, military and trade within the Xoreth. Other noteable major municipalities are V'knah which serves as the primary agricultural centre of the Xoreth and Langhor which is considered the city of magic and knowledge in the Xoreth as it's exempt from many of the knowledge distruction laws.

Subfactions[]

Though subfaction is a rather loose term, the Xoreth associate with several actors that gain certain levels of independence from the Government:

The Council of Langhor[]

Langhor, unlike the rest of the Xoreth cities is run as a technocracy and the highest level of decisions are made by a council of 24 members each of which are chosen by proving their skill in the function they rule over in a ritual. The cities military and guard are independent of the Xoreth and have the right to make their own laws, however are still considered a part of the Xoreth and are obligated to fight in any war the Xoreth are involved in, although their strategies and battles are chosen by their own rulers rather than the general Xoreth military leaders. The city has a reputation of producing the best educated craftsmen and mages and their main trade comes from Aeroponics and magical goods.

The brotherhood of bloodshed[]

Usually referred to as Reds or the Brotherhood in Xoreth commontongue, the Brotherhood of Bloodshed originated from the Titanguards that left with the original Xoreth settlers. Once the Xoreth had established a multi-level government with a significant amount of control over it's citzens Mirax feared for him or his brother lusting after power as was the nature of Minotaurs. To prevent the consequences of this Mirax decided to train the remaining Titanguards, who's morale was dwindling because of the lack of conflicts, to kill Minotaurs and even more powerful beings. As malicious political dissidents started appearing within the Xoreth as well, the jurisdiction of this group was expanded further putting them above the Xoreth code of honor and tasking them with protecting the Xoreth from outside interferrence by any means necessary. Through this a cryptic brotherhood of assassins was born that has spies and assassins everywhere, and are free to act independently only held accountable for mistakes when major political disturbances are caused. They don't get looked upon very positively by most Xoreth as they deal with a lot of subterfuge, but are also powerful enough most Xoreth that know what's good for them simply avoid them over causing a conflict.

Wranglers[]

One of the two nomadic groups within the Xoreth that operate outside of the law with the exceptions of taxes and military conscriptions are the Wranglers. The Wranglers are a group of beastmasters, which usually wouldn't be too strange since the tribes always compensated for their lack of technology by taming wild beasts. However the Wranglers do not follow the traditional tribal style of taming beasts, which is still found in most cities and villages in the Xoreth, but instead developed a new lifestyle that dictates the beast tamers to live alongside the beasts and mimic their aspects, just like they push their aspects onto their animals, if their general companions can still be described as such. This was largely inspired by the druids of the Vitrageos that shapeshift in order to tame beasts combined with the tribal tradition of fighting animals in their own ways to assert dominance. Though the wranglers usually travel alone or alongside their beasts in small packs, they do regularly gather and have a hierarchy based on which of them currently holds the largest territory in the eyes of the local wildlife.

Kuha'xarail'li witchdoctors[]

The Kuha'xarail'li, which roughly translates to masters of what isn't real, or master of the things that can't be explained are another nomadic group found in the Xoreth that are technically a sub-faction. The Kuha'xarail'li have close to no self-governance as most of their inclassifieable dark arts have unpredictable power and effects and generally live quite anarchistic lifestyles. This leads to them being closely regulated by Merduc and being subjected to an amount of laws that's rarely found in the Xoreth, which is what caused them to split away from mainstream Society. Despite this however they do not follow some of the Xoreth rules of honor and are allowed to worship gods and other... things otherwise seen as heretical by most within the Xoreth. They travel in large caravans and traditionally cross the entire Xoreth territory while moving with the seasons. Due to the dark arts they practice the speech of many long term witchdoctors and warriors will be psychotic ramblings, sadistic or masochistic threats and offers or straight up gibberish dependin on how deep they delved.

The Trinity of Tribes[]

The trinity of tribes is the name of an ancient military alliance sealed by bloodpact. When what's now known as the Xoreth fled the destruction of the titans these tribes choose to stay behind while still assisting the Xoreth in the preparations for the journey. The trinity is made up of the moonfang, Shattertusk and Ironhoof tribes, which are not only in alliance with eachother, but also the Xoreth through the ancient pact. Because of this these tribes are bound to fight for the Xoreth in times of war. In exchange for their military services these tribes have been given land on Xoreth ground, often times containing important resources. The most famed examples of this being mines and farms. These plots of land are officially recognized as enclaves and members of the trinity of tribe are to be treated both as Xoreth and Tribal citzens, resulting in them getting citzenship perks and responsibilities from both.

Arbiters of Legion[]

Like most factions, the Xoreth have their nations religious enforcement seperated from the primary faction. The Arbiters of Legion are a cult of fanatic beings that receive part of Legions power whenever the Demon is not corporeal. As a side effect of this power, Legion can speak to them in their very minds. Because of this they serve as advisors to the followers of Legion and as the main force to protect the Xoreth lands from missionaries and the general influence of other faiths by any means necessary, preferably hyperviolence. The ritual to join the Arbiters of Legion includes cutting one's own tongue and vocal cords out, so the voice of the lord legion becomes the only way for the Arbiter to communicate. This is also one of the two only sub-factions of the Xoreth to be completely above the law in every regard, including conscription and taxation. The exact sanctuary of the Cult is unkown though most shrines and churches on Xoreth ground are guarded by them.

The Flames Patrons[]

The other religious group active within the Xoreth, which is also exempt from every and all forms of law are the Flames Patrons. Rather than following Legions doctrine of chaos, war and death they believe that in the end only one faction can remain in the Xoreth and that through Legions perpetual warmongering the weakest factions will eventually be eliminated. As such the Flames Patrons preach tolerance, helpfulness and aim to stop the destruction of knowledge and eventually the honor code within the Xoreth to allow the factions already physically superior members to benefit from the magics and technologies currently forbidden to anyone bound by Xoreth law. Although Mirax opposes the abolition of the rules of honor, he has permitted the Flames Patrons to try and reform the Xoreth as they see fit, considering how the faction would not exist without the child of flame. Rather than temples, altars or the likes the Flames Patrons build schools, libraries and hospitals to try and strengthen their faction as much as possible. Because of the direct opposition to many parts of Xoreth life many cities make use of the rules of honor to try and prevent the flames patrons from setting up shop there. As a remedy to this they have started training champions which can use the already powerful miracles of the child of flame paired with technology and win them entrance to a city in a duel. Still, the vast majority of Flames Patron activity is found in small, often poor villages since they consider these the weakest part in the current Xoreth and try to build them up and are generally very pacifistic for Xoreth standards.

The lost Legion[]

In the war of the deserts curse the minotaur Meridek took the Peacekeepers of the Xoreth reservations and reformed them to a capable fighting force. Not only where these warriors truly supreme when it came to fighting, but due to Meridek praying to the Child of Flame in an unkown holy ritual, that is only still known by the Children of Flame imbued each and every member of this vanguard with fire magic more powerful than even most Wizards. Furthermore the peacekeepers that made up this phalanx already held fanatic hatred for the Iotegian and Vitrageos as well as undying loyalty to Meridek and the Xoreth as a people. This phalanx got dubbed the first legion, as it made up the entirety of the vanguard in the war of the deserts curse. Another part of the nature of the first legion was that all the men and women that it consisted of continued training even while deployed in war and every evening they camp regardless of whether it was after a battle or not, Meridek would sparr with his soldiers relentlessly. Many believe it's because of this that for the full duration of the deserts curse the entire legion of 3000 soldiers only suffered a mere 7 casualties; 5 of which died due to the cataclysm that was brought on by Merideks death. Even as the curse was unleashed and the legion became aware of the demise of their leader they kept fighting as they had promised. While right before their eyes animals where mutating into horrible abominations and all plant life crumbled to dust the first legion kept striking down their enemies and by the time they where done they found themselves in a desert where there was lushy forest just hours ago. It took weeks for the news of the Xoreth victory to make it to the lost legion. Still once they where informed that the fighting was over, the officers decided that this was not the victory they had deserved and that to avenge their leader every last Iotegian would have to die before they could ever seize fighting. Those who had decided to take the victory they had earned where free to leave and more than half of the Legion had returned home. Those that kept fighting however soon became a thorn in the side of Mirax as they not only gave the appearance that the Xoreth had no intention of holding the peace made with the Iotegians but also caused significant international uproar when they assassinated king Serbio the third more than 40 years after the initial assault on the Iotegian capitol. At first the Minotaur sent an envoy, with the intention of getting his brothers men to surrender. Not only was the majority of the escort lost to the deserts curse but the few survivors got laughed at and sent home again. Ever since the Xoreth themselves have declared war on what had now become known as the lost legion and despite them originating within the Xoreth, the group is now regarded as dangerous extremists by every faction as well as the tribes and Artisans guild.

Politics[]

The political practices of the Xoreth are a seemingly random combination of ancient tribal traditions combined with slight amounts of bureaucracy. The government technically only consists of 3 Arch-generals and Mirax who has a right to Veto any of the decisions of the Arch-generals. Despite this however each of the Arch-generals represents and leads certain demographics of people, leading to an overall somewhat democratic rulership and high approval. All minor political decisions and actions within the Xoreth, that don't directly interfere or go against the decisions made by Mirax and the arch-generals will be voted on and debated on a municipality level. During these debates there are often times casualties and literal in-fighting.

Hierarchy and Command Structure[]

Ever since the great war of the second era, the Xoreth have been ruled by Mirax, who took the command immediately after the death of his brother. Furthermore the three most influential generals of the second war gained promotions to the rank of arch-general which indicates that their military authority carries over in day to day life. These Arch-Generals consist of Borok, who is in charge of the soldiers, recruiting, the physical laborers, defense and celebrations; Tajai who is in charge of the fire-mages, shamans, schools, libraries, whether or not a notable piece of knowledge is destroyed, female rights and statistics. The oldest, and arguably most powerful of the arch-generals is Merduc, an elder Ork shaman who has been with the Xoreth since the very day of it's founding. He is in charge of everything not covered by the other two arch-generals which has led to him amassing assistance and putting out a lot of quests to try and maintain political stability. Everyone who is in a position of power that is managed and overseen by the arch-generals is technically bound to their rule, however for each sector there is a command structure that follows a common pyramid-system. In example Tajai regularly calls together the leaders of all major academies in the Xoreth do discuss and decide on new laws. Yet another highly important part of Xoreth politics are the leaders of local munitipalities. Depending on the origin and type of the town or village the qualifications of these Chieftains and Elders can be vastly different. In many of the small, rural farming villages the leader is still decided by combat or meristocratically while cities and townships tend to hold more democratic, though still usually violent councils to decide who to lead them.

Honor & Laws[]

Within the Xoreth society the most notable law is the rules of honor. Though technically not enforcable according to Mirax himself, this ancient code of honor still determines the majority of the Xoreth lifestyle and culture to the point where even their speech patterns are recognizibly affected. The best example of speech being affected by the code of honor is the avoidance of the words "please" and "thank you" as well as their synonyms. Mistakenly saying these words or something of similar meaning is usually shrugged of as an awkward mistake by Xoreth, however in the more rural parts where travelers are an uncommon sight, agressive responses still occur. The actual position of the Xoreth rules of honor towards voicing thanks or pleas is written as: "Self-reliance is honorable, as is repaying those that have helped you. It is of dishonor to rely on others, or to assume that you will rely on them in the future." Furthermore the rules of honor serve to both restrain as well as perpetuate the Violent tendencies of the Xoreth people, with the rules setting clear guidlines as to how a duel is fought and who's allowed to be challenged. The regular laws of the Xoreth are heavily based to take into the code of honor. As such, laws prohibiting murder and the likes are written to not apply if the rules of honor have been followed. Outside of the rules of honor, and the most basic laws, the Xoreth government avoids involvation in as many parts of day to day life as possible. As such there are no rules against weapons, no laws restricting any sales and even all drugs are completely legal within the Xoreth.

Subfactions and other actors[]

As previously stated, the Xoreth laws give any officially recognized sub-faction freedom to complete self-governance, with only taxation and military service remaining controlled by the Xoreth government. Due to this, many of the sub-faction controlled townships and settlements on Xoreth soil maintain their own culture, and distinctively wary compared to settlements run by the actual government. In exchange for these many freedoms that aren't granted to most sub-factions of other Lands, the sub-factions have little to no say when it comes to political decisions, with the exception of the council of Langhor. Despite this however, the Flames Patrons influence many of the decisions of the villages they create footholds in, mostly by influencing the people themselves to call for certain decisions. Regarding non-sub-faction actors within the Xoreth there are two groups with influence on Xoreth lands; The Rogues and the Artisans guild. While the Xoreth government has declared on multiple occasions that aiding, doing business with and joining the rogues would not be prohibited on Xoreth grounds, it's also publicly known that the brotherhood of bloodshed, the arbiters of legion, the council of langhor and the patrons of the flame are allowed to hunt and kill rogues indiscriminately. The artisan guild, who is also regarded as non-grata by most of the ten as well as the rogues, have been allowed to practice their business within the Xoreth, provided any goods produced on Xoreth ground are exclusively sold to members of the Xoreth or their allies.

Foreign Relations[]

While the Xoreth's great affinity for war and chaos is well-known and affects their international political standing, the faction is still regarded as one of the easy to negotiate with countries and frequently joins alliances for the arguable benefit of getting involved in war alone. Nearly all of the ten have at some point or another been allied to the Xoreth, with the exceptions of Iotegian and Vitrageos. Outside of warfare and military matters the Xoreth government usually avoids getting involved and in trade negotiations insists on the avoidance of any subsidies, taxes or regulations. Contracts and laws put in place by the Xoreth government, if not stating otherwise, are treated as lasting eternally, even if this is to the detriment of the Xoreth themselves. Because of this, and an unkowing Excir envoy, the Xoreth are in a permanent alliance with the Excir that is only to be terminated by the death of the child of the flame and the demon legion as well as every living being who regards themselves as a member of the Xoreth. Other notable interractions involving the Xoreth include a constant trade-war with the Geduroth as both factions export mostly ore and liquor as well as a pact with the Aeron Praelii clan that aims to unify education and teaching methods, so far however without much success.

Exploration and Colonization efforts[]

Historically the Xoreth have been founded after the other factions and missed out on the golden age of colonization during the first Era. The majority of the world is regarded as known with very few areas remaining unmapped. Arch general Merduc however managed to convince Mirax and Tajai that in order to remain comperable to the other factions the Xoreth had to have some form of an exploration or colonization effort. This caused the Xoreth to found a navy, which initially was focussed on exploration in an attempt to find something all others had previously missed. It was this navy that first discovered the ephemeral zone, despite the many adversities that prevent it from being explored previously. Once the finding was reported to the Xoreth public, the outcry to colonize the newfound lands swept over the Xoreth public being echoed by even the most remote people. Of course the arch-generals were well aware why the ephemeral zone is usually referred to in common tongue as the forbidden lands and that hardly any survivors return from expeditions. Since regular news of mostly failed exploration attempts keeps the public satisfied however every few months another party of over eager volunteers is sent to their almost certain deaths.

Destruction of Knowledge[]

Amongst the practices of the Xoreth that are generally regarded as savage or primitive, the Destruction of Knowledge is often times seen as one of the most severe examples. Originally being put into place by Meridek, one of the rules of honor states that knowledge and technology, if they cannot be utilized or understood within the near future is to be destroyed for safety reasons. As with the rest of the rules of honor, no exact time or rules have been specified and as such the Destruction of knowledge is called into question, even amongst the Xoreth themselves. The majority of mages within the Xoreth oppose the laws and even arch-general Tajai herself has stated that the rule should be changes as to only call for the destruction of knowledge in case it cannot be kept safe otherwise. Furthermore both the Children of Flame as well as the Council of Langhor have used their diplomatic immunity to hoard knowledge that'd otherwise be destroyed. While the Council mainly keeps this knowledge safe within the Library of Nagarunth, the children of the flame have made it a point to retrieve and translate lost manuscripts and inscriptions with the intention to put the knowledge into practice. The most common example of knowledge being used by the Children of Flame are agricultural techniques as well as architecture and as such many of the unique buildings first brought to the Xoreth by them, such as windmills and pumps decorate the settlements where the children have great influence. Still there remain many within the general populus that support the Destruction of Knowledge and demand their right to burn books, blueprints and inscriptions without any judgement.

Military[]

Although Orks, and as such the majority of the Xoreth, are considered uneducated, inefficient and primitive there is a common saying that states: "An Ork makes no mistakes in war." The Xoreth as a faction have not only proven this saying perpetually but through their incredible efficiency in all matters military have actually managed to construct a military force capable of guaranteeing profits from going to war. Due to this war itself, has become to the Xoreth, both commoners and leaders, that what taxes and trade-deals are to other factions. A tool for the government to control and improve the economy at will. In order to ensure the continuous profitability of warfare, all Xoreth battle strategies as well as their training follow a singular rule of thumb: Every combatant that is deployed has to at least match equally against one enemy unit no matter the circumstance. Other than this rule all such strategical tools as ambushes, logistics, infiltration or guerilla warfare are considered secondary if at all relevant in Xoreth warfare.

Military sectors and divisions[]

At a rudementary level the Xoreth military can be disected into five branches. Three branches form the primary Xoreth assault force and consist respectively of the Legion of Force, led by arch-general Borog, the Legion of Arcane consisting of mages and arcane warriors exclusively under the leadership of Arch-general Tajai and lastly the Legion of Wisdom which is led by Merduc and consists of druids, shamans and beastmasters.

The other two branches are unique in that they are not called in for every war the Xoreth fights in and are not led by arch-generals directly. One of these branches is known as the militia, which constitutes all those people who are trained warriors but have jobs that are too essential for the Xoreth economy during war-time. As such the Militia is treated as reservists and only deployed defensively, usually to defend their own cities and estates belonging to them. The militia is led by Dakra, who was a former candidate for arch-generalship but decided against it in when chosen in favor of following his dream to open a bar.

The Xoreth's last military branch is the navy which was originally founded for the sole purpose of exploration and colonization. As the exploration of the world came to an end and the only piece of land to ever realistically be colonized turned out to be the ephemeral zone, the navy of the Xoreth drastically changed its purpose and make-up to turn from the most peaceful part of the Xoreth government to the heaviest armed navy in the world.

Nowadays the navy is not only deployed for repeated expeditions in the ephemeral zone but also called in whenever the enemy deploys ships against the Xoreth. The navy of the Xoreth, unlike the other branches of the military is not based in the Capitol of G'rotsch but rather from a small coastal village. The Xoreth navy is led by an enigmatic goblin named Toro who manages to keep everything surrounding his identity a secret. The only thing that is known about him is that in combat Toro is capable of singlehandedly sailing the capital ship of the Xoreth marine, which requires 10 ogres and 25 orks as a minimum functional crew.

In traditional warfare the primary forces are usually devided into 5 rows, with the first fighting not being done by the Vanguard, unlike the name implies, but rather by the raiders which are commonly made up by Goblins and Imps usually armed with spearcutter hatchets, grappling hooks and bucklers. After the raiders have broken the enemy formation and taken out eventual high-value targets the actual vanguard, mostly made up of heavily armored centaurs and ogres provide the brute force necessary to break even the most resilient phallanxes. This vanguard will be followed by the breakers, which include all types of warriors and races and primarily serve to engage the enemies trampled by the van to prevent the previous rows from being surrounded. The second to last row of the primary Xoreth formation consists of offensive mages, druids and witchdoctors who lay down chaos from the moment the raiders engage. Ranged weapon users, although uncommon, also includes ranged weapon users. Lastly, the small fraction of the Xoreth army that forms the last row consists of all those who do not need to expose themselves to any danger such as druids, beastmasters and healers as well as supportive magic users and bards.

Scouting, which most other forces consider a task for the Vanguard is also done by the rear-guard in Xoreth formation, as beastmasters are plentiful and reliable scouts without alerting the enemy immediately.

Mercenaries and Subfactions[]

Despite the rules of honor forbiding the hiring of mercenaries, as they state that all combatants have to fight out of their own free will for the same payment, mercenaries are still common place in Xoreth military campaigns. The justification for this, in regard to the rules of honor, is that the mercenaries are to be rewarded the same as all native combatants and will not actually take direct orders from any of the Xoreth military leadership. Because of this, outsiders just tend to follow whichever row fits their combat style and tend to have unusually high casualties.

Due to the Xoreths high involvement in wars however, many mercenary companies that are dependent on large-scale warfare don't have any choice other than either fighting alongside the Xoreth or against them, and although opponents of the Xoreth tend to pay rather well to try and encourage mercenaries to assist them, the sheer brutality of Xoreth warfare tends to convince mercenaries to make due with the spoils of war. Regarding sub-factions of the Xoreth, the majority takes part in the regular military draft and as such belongs under the command of the arch-generals without the respective leaders of sub-factions affecting the course of battle.

The arbiters of Legion, who are excempt from any and all drafting laws however, normally still take part in any and all wars, even ones where the Xoreth as a faction aren't involved. This is mostly due to the believe that war is the purpose of life and it's to be fought wherever, whenever for whomever as long as it is not directly against the lord legion. Another sign of this independence from drafting is that the Arbiters tend to split into small squads, seperated by temple of origin under the leadership of the respective temple-elders and ceremonial masters. These squads often times charge into the enemy legions that are currently not actively fighting in war merely to increase the amount of fighting done. Occasionally this has led to issues regarding trade and diplomacy, however the arch-generals and Mirax allow this practice as it breeds a sense of insecurity amongst the enemy and reduces the casualties to normal Xoreth combatants.

The other sub-faction excempt from drafting, and usually warfare in general, are the flames patrons, who generally lack combat strength other than extremely rare and powerful pyromancies used mostly in rituals. There are some exceptions to this however, which is usually when the patrons are attacked directly or a village under their guidance is targeted by enemy attacks. In these few scenarios the resulting battle is usually a slaughter as the sheer arcane power held by this sub-faction is on par with even the best of warmages. This has, in the past, caused several reputation issues for the Patrons of the Flame as many members of Xoreth feel like refusing to use this pyromancy in combat is heresy and a betrayal of the Xoreth.

Weapons and Armor[]

When it comes to Xoreth armaments, the most famous and feared example is black steel. This alloy, which is made out of several ores and minerals exclusively found in the harshest of volcanic zones, was originally developed to make tools capable of withstanding a minotaurs sheer strength and endurance without constantly having to be repaired.

During the rebellion aginst the vitrageos however, the alloy proved to be more than well suited for combat purposes as it was almost impervious to most kinds of weapons and magic. In combination with the abnormally high poison resistance that Orks and Ogres are granted by their second liver, a full suit of black-steel plate armor can turn any warrior near-immortal. The major drawback of using black steel weaponry and armor is their sheer weight, with the alloy weighing 44 grams per cubic centimeter. Another rather unique property of black steel is that it can only be forged and shaped under extreme heat while in a protective atmosphere, as many components of the alloy would otherwise bind to the surrounding air when heated.

Still, the tribal beginings of the Xoreth managed to turn the volcano the capitol city of G'rotsch is built around into a forge capable of making and working black steel. This feat is often times attributed to the child of flame directly bestowing the knowledge onto it's most loyal followers, but any evidence for this does not exist to this day.

According to Xoreth law, any member of the military that is enlisted long-term, including reservists is entitled to as much black steel equipment as they can effectively use in battle, with the majority of standard issue Xoreth weaponry being designed with the alloy in mind. This very law causes black-steel to be highly sought after by the Xoreth government, who arrange heavy reclamation efforts after each battle, as well as re-buying any black steel from scavangers at an extraordinarily high price. The exact processing of black-steel is a well-guarded secret only known to few of the volcanic forgemasters, although the arch-generals are not too worried about the technology falling into the enemy hands, who lack both a dragonforge as well as the strength to make use of this equipment.

In terms of weapon types, the Xoreth tend to allow their warriors whichever weaponry they please, with the exception of bows, ballistic weapons and weapons solemly intended for stealth. The primary reason for these weapons to be restricted are the rules of honor, however the general lack of technological understanding that prevents the Dragonforge from reproducing these weapons from black steel also plays a large role. Rather than the traditional and widespread ranged weapons, warriors usually carry thrown weapons of all kinds into battle, ranging from javelins and axes to chakrams and grappling-hooks. Usually these weapons avoid many of their common range and power disadvantages due to the utter peak physical performance Xoreth warriors are capable of delivering.

Although melee weapons are completely unrestricted and even daggers, which arguably are intended for stealth, being allowed there's several signature weapons and fighting styles exclusive to the Xoreth, some of which being based on their tribal traditions and origins and others being exclusively designed to benefit from the Xoreth's strength.

Well-known examples of these unique fighting styles and weapons include:

Wielding two handed weapons in each hand[]

Although mostly attributed to berserkers, this technique has its origins with the Ritualistic fighting style of the Arbiters of Legion, who wielded two weapons whenever going into battle to symbolize legions claws. To ensure the rituals functionality these weapons where made to scale of the claws they are supposed to symbolize making them heavy and unwieldy even by Ork standards.

Over the next few generations this fighting style has been adapted mostly by berserkers around the world as their abilities and rituals give them the strength required to wield such humongous weapons effectively.

Furthermore, it's common practice for Vanguard forces wielding two handed weapons to be handed ranged weapons pillaged from opponents to compensate for their range disadvantage in case the formation is broken.

Spearcutter hatchets:[]

This variant of common one-sided hatchets includes hoops below the handle that allow chains or ropes to be attached to the axe as well as three quarters of a circle being cut out from the back, with a generous opening. The hole that has been cut out is usually lined with several rows of saw-teeth.

Generally, in combat these hatchets allow the Raiders to cut enemy spears to allow the Vanguard to advance as well as giving a high level of control over any gripped spears. Furthermore the short statue of the wielders of these hatchets tends to allow them to use their body-weight when gripping and destroying spears without risking getting knocked down or stabbed, as they can just cling to the opponents weapon.

Flailhammers:[]

Flailhammers also known as macehammers are another weapon exclusive to the Xoreth. The weapon consists of an iron pole that's supposed to be half of the height of the wielder, that has a large, usually spiky or sharpened metal ball attached with a chain on either end.

The sheer nature of this weapon makes it incredibly hard and risky to use as with every strike the user risks decapacitating themselves. The original purpose of the development of flailhammers was for the purpose to help even out duels by making the stronger combatant wield one as a handicap. Years of these duels and arena fights however led to flailhammers becoming increasingly popular both as a sign of combat prowess as well as a means to deliver high-impact blows in extremely rapid succession on the battlefield.

Deflector shields:[]

It was originally the Ironhoof tribe that dual-wielded shields in their battle formation, the Lumitian have also practiced this way before the Xoreth. It was the Dragonforge however that re-purposed what was initially fully defensive gear meant to guard those behind the wielder into a capable weapon for both war and one on one duels.

The deflector shields, meant to be dualwielded are heavily modified kite-shields, with sharpened edges, loops for chains which allows them to be thrown as well as spikes and two sets of grips which gives the wielder the option to switch between an offensive and a defensive stance with either hand.

Most fighting styles using deflector shields revolve around disarming, countering or knocking prone your enemy before switching to the offensive, as the sheer weight of these armaments makes them near impossible to effectively combine with heavy black-steel armor. However against ranged weapon users and mages the shields are usually used as a ranged weapon, with one shield allowing the wielder to approach while throwing the other to keep their target at bay. In Xoreth strategy Deflectors usually are deployed in the vanguard.

Spells and Powers[]

Like all factions, the Xoreth primarily rely on the element they represent as their primally taught magic, and as such the majority of spellcasters are pyromancers, fire mages or conjurers specialized in fire. However neither the rules of honor nor the believes of the Xoreth restrict the use or teaching of other schools of magic, provided they are not used to pay homage to their respective god. Additionally the Xoreth's primal origin makes for many shamanic rituals, druidic practices and invocations of old to be employed in combat. This leads to a generally well rounded and unpredictable force of spell casters and power users both on the battlefield as well as in day to day life.

Regarding the mundane use of magic in the Xoreth, the rules of honor as well as believes are far more restrictive however. Many of the Xoreth believe that using any and all magic as a tool is lazy and dishonorable, even a simple flame to light a campfire is considered heresy by many and as such the out-dated tinder boxes are still commonly spread.

The teaching of magic is also rather unpopular, with the entire faction being limited to four magic academies, three of which being in the city of Langhor and the last, directly under Tajai's control being situated in G'rotsch. Of these magical academies two are largely specialized in fire magic. The other two, being directly controlled and managed by the government of Langhor, grant potential students freedom in their magical training, but have extremely strict entrance criteria due to high demand.

Outside of these schools, magic is spread through general apprenticeships which are only allowed within Langhor territories or for military mages only. Apprenticeships with military mages constituate full, long term enlistment of both parties and as such are unpopular amongst inexperienced mages. Lastly there are several schools of magic exclusive to the Xoreth, mostly because they are to esoteric to be taught at academies like the normal schools of magic.

These schools of magic and abilities include:

Wordthreading[]

The rather strange name of wordthreading, doesn't refer to a bardic practice but rather the age-old chants employed by Kuha'xarail'li witchdoctors and some of the shamans of the old gods. These chants have the ability to echo to the realm that's never been and call on the assistance of it's beings. Though the culture and practices of wordthreaders revolve mostly around summoning and serving those beings, their general spells and abilities focus on the energies of the realm that's never been which can be harnassed to assist allies in need, harm foes or even combine into much more elaborate spells. Some of the most famous wordthreading spells are lingering sacrifice and unholy gift, both of which are to be used in Xoreth warfare only if the enemy is not engaging according to the Xoreth rules of honor and only to turn the tide of a loosing battle, despite this they have had great influence on many wars fought by the Xoreth.

Sanities Theft[]

A rather infamous ability that is exclusive to the Xoreth is Sanities Theft. Although inherently a genetic trait common in orks, it is exclusively found in Orks loyal to the Xoreth and by extension Lord Legion. The reason for this is that in order to awaken the sanities theft of an ork they will have to complete a list of ritualistic challenges, some of which require direct approval and assistance of lord Legion in order to fully unlock this power. Still, it is entirely possible for an Ork to betray legion and keep the ability of sanities theft intact afterwards and many governments offered handsome payments for the assistance of those traitors in studying the sanities theft in order to replicate and/or counteract it. Until this day both the ability itself and its full capabilities remain closely guarded by the Brotherhood of Bloodshed who are known for taking out Orks in posession of this gift that might risk it's exposure. What is known about this rather unsettling ability is that it allows the wielder both to share all pain they feel with a subject and to cause extreme hallucinations by making eye contact with a target, leading to the name of this ability.

Combustion[]

Although the tradtitional fire magic as well as pyromancy that originally sprung from the Xoreth are nowadays widespread schools of magic, there is still one derivative of this arcane knowledge that remains exclusive to the Xoreth as a faction. This school of magic is known as Combustion.

Initially invented by Arch-General Tajai during her childhood, to the bare eye the majority of spells of this school would look like slightly altered versions of well-known spells. However, unlike traditional fire magic or pyromancy this school of fire posesses the unique ability to supply the spells with their own oxygen and create highly volatile, hypergolic forms of arcane energy. Due to this combustion is extremely dangerous to use and teach and is only taught to those few students at the G'rotsch or Langhor academy that choose to pledge their lifes to Tajai after graduating top of their class.

One of the most notable spells of the school of combustion are engulfing inferno, which creates undousable flames that always only spread towards the direction they where cast in and can only be extinguished by the caster or drastic measures. Tajai's ability to create super-nova like fiery reactions capable of evaporating even metal and burning water is also rumored to be a part of this school of magic, however these rumors could not be confirmed as off yet.

In actual warfare, other than Tajai herself, the impact of Combustion as a school of magic is hard to distinguish as it's hard to tell it appart from traditional fire magic, however when it comes to political and diplomatic roles, mastery of the school of combustion serves both as a status symbol as well as a badge of honor amongst those Tajai has chosen to lead. In example only Combustion mages are allowed to serve as messagers and diplomats between Tajai and Langhor and in war even fighters and shamans will not question orders or strategies put forth by combustion mages.

Ataxianism[]

This enigmatic group of abilities is exclusive to the Xoreth, as it requires the cooperation and blessing of the Demon Legion. Unlike Sanities theft however Legion's approval is constantly required in order to maintain mastery over these abilities making it impossible for traitors to maintain mastery. Furthermore the ritualistic sacrifice required in order to be able to learn and master Ataxianism binds the users soul directly to Legion, making it possible for the demon to kill anyone who posesses these abilities at will.

Although the exact scope of this power is only known to the Arbiters of Legion, several of it's abilities have reached mundanity within the Xoreth. As Ataxianism allows it's wielders to share what they perceive with the demon legion at all times, it's assumed that this is the only way for Legion to perceive reality while he's banished to the plane that's never been. Furthermore the demon can communicate with Ataxianists and take over their bodies at will. While a subject is being posessed all abilities that are based on this ability will be amplified substantially. In day to day life the posession ability is used regularly, allowing Legion to directly preach his doctrine of war and chaos through his highest priests. Furthermore fights between Arbiters of Legion are often displayed publicly and serve as main recruitment tool for the arbiters, as the display of unholy power is considered impressive even by those who oppose Ataxianism.

In warfare Ataxianism is what allows the Arbiters of Legion to carry out their independent attacks without simply being overwhelmed and as Ataxianism allows users to sacrifice their own lifes to destroy nearly everything around them even if a wielder is overwhelmed it causes significant casualties. Despite all these impressive and unique abilities the most famous ability of Ataxianism allows a user to sacrifice their own life and in exchange revive a mortal being of their chosing. Even if the body of the target is absolutely anihilated the revival will succeed.

Other Equipment and Rations[]

If the Xoreth have any military weakness, it would be their miscellaneous equipment. Because of the relatively low Technological and Arcane proficiency of the Xoreth, both medical and utility equipment as well as rations are a significant limitation to their otherwise supreme military prowess. This absence of any notable support gear combined with the highly ineficient rations have often been cited as the reason the Xoreth haven't conquered the entire continent yet.

When it comes to the rations of Xoreth soldiers there is no real standard defined outside of "weak beer and dried meat". The caloric density of these rations is extremely low, forcing armies to frequently stop their advance in order to resupply. Another issue with this lack of a standard is that "weak beer" is often defined as any beer, leading to soldiers getting drunk on duty or pillaging beer made by races with a single liver which contains too little alcohol to last long enough to serve as ration.

Even when it comes to tools made from metal such as shovels or picks the black steel of the Xoreth doesn't provide an advantage. Because it's common practice to ditch non-essential equipment in combat in order to pursue retreating enemies faster the Military leadership has ruled it a waste to black steel for equipment that isn't essential to combat.

Outside of their weapons and armor the equipment of a Xoreth footsoldier consists of:

  • Standardized leather rucksack reinforced with metal wire
  • Barrel to serve as Canteen
  • Shovel
  • Pickaxe
  • Small Pot
  • Thick woven cloak that can be pitched as a tent
  • Coil of rope
  • Fishing Spear Head
  • Dagger
  • 3 Healing potions
  • 3 Potions of Vigor
  • Pincers
  • Sewing kit
  • Rivets
  • Flask of oil
  • Lighter
  • Bandages

Champions and Specialists[]

Even though the Xoreth leadership doesn't require Champions to fight for them, the title has been adapted from other factions and is used to refer to the chosen combatants of the child of Flame and Lord legion, who each have their own champion. Just like the Arch-Generals themselves the Champions are to fight in the first row of their troops and lead them into battle, which makes for a significant adition to the already impressive military force.

As for specialists, the entire last row of the standard Xoreth war formation should be regarded as specialists. Furthermore the lack of a designation or rank for specialized personel makes it hard to fully settle what Xoreth units are to be compared to specialists. Several unit designations and combat styles belonging to the sub-factions make up for the lack of common, highly specialized squads. As such these small units, although not always at the command of the Xoreth are utilized for missions normal soldiers can't fulfill effectively.

In order to ensure the cooperation of independent specialized fighters a system has been put in place where any squad, not under Xoreth command, that fulfills a mission given by the Xoreth leadership will receive a large deal of fertile land either for themselves or to pass on to their respective sub-faction. The only exception to this rule is the brotherhood of bloodshed, who, according to Mirax, take out any target that gets in the way of the Xoreth government voluntarily and without him sending any orders anyways. It's because of this that the specialists only provided by the Brotherhood of Bloodshed are the well known in terms of abilities, although it is impossible to say which assassinations can be dated back to them.

The specialized units of the brotherhood of bloodshed consist of two assassination squads, one of which specializes in direct, public kills in order to invoke fear while the other relies on infiltration using illusion magic, disguises and even going so far as to permanently altering their appearance. In addition the Brotherhood of Bloodshed includes a squad specialized on ranged combat, which is usually the only one playing a role during any major battles and lastly a squad designated for sabotage who rely on explosives and the most destructive schools of magic. This squad has in the past been utilized during sieges, creating openings in even the most secure defenses.

Lastly one type of Xoreth soldier, although not distinguished as such, is common in Xoreth warfare. These are Smokers, a special type of beastmaster trained in cooperation with the Wranglers that uses animals trained to quickly maneuver enemy buildings and deliver poisonous smoke bombs to flush the enemy out. In recent years however carrier animals and poisonous bombs have slowly given way to extremely durable, fast replicating parasitic insects that are capable of breaking most sieges in a matter of days.

Strategy and Training[]

As a faction the Xoreth are regarded almost completely inept at strategy and lack the logistics to execute anything but the most basic military maneuvers. However the sheer cold-blooded savagery and unwavering discipline on the battlefield make even the most elementary strategy, when executed by the Xoreth a force to behold. To make up for the lack of logistics and mental capacity of many a soldier the Xoreth exclusively rely on a single formation, which is to be emulated if the full formation can't be reproduced on the spot. In defensive scenarios it is usually common for the Xoreth to march out and fight their enemy in the open rather to rely on their walls and weaponry.

The only area where the Xoreth have truly produced any new and innovative strategies is close quarter combat, such as storming castles or defending garrisons. Originally the Xoreth military forces had to avoid these situations as many buildings made by other races are too small for Orks to properly move, let alone fight, in effectively. To try and aleviate this problem attempts where made to send in the raiders, armed with explosives to create space for a fully armed Ork soldier to function but these attempts resulted in catastrophic failure.

After many cases of trial and error and several thousands of casualties a long term solution was finally found. Rather than sending in soldiers and hoping for the best possible outcome, the classification of Smoker and required training have been made available to beastmasters under Xoreth leadership. If a smoker is charged with breaking a fortification or defending a garrison that single beastmaster will be in direct command of everyone with the exception of arch-generals and coordinate the assault singlehandedly. Hence the smokers are not only supreme beastmasters but also master strategists, who've frequently proven that the Xoreth military is not just a mindless war machine.

Outside of strategy the Xoreth military training matches their excellence on the battlefield and children are often drilled for combat as soon as they can walk. Military training and practices are so common for Xoreth children to learn that many associate combat an essential part of growing up and cannot imagine the savages that avoid such practices. From the moment a childs skin has stoped changing color, if they are an Ork or ogre and for other races as soon as a child is capable of independently surviving arena combat becomes a daily routine.

Even the youngest children are taught to settle conflicts in the arena and by the time a child is old enough to seek work, an apprenticeship or education they already have several years of combat experience and more often than not killed several people. At this age it is natural for the young to follow military discipline to the letter, maintaining formations and poses even in their free time and when alone. From here on the individual will be given freedom of any mandatory training. Yet very few chose to avoid violence in their future and the majority seeks out professional combat training or enlistment. Due to this neutoring for combat from early childhood Xoreth civillians are usually on par with at least low ranking soldiers of other factions and generally regarded excellent mercenaries even if they lack any formal combat training.

Society[]

As the level of development and interpretation of religion varies greatly depending on where in the Xoreth a town or city is located the only truly universal cultural trait are the rules of honor and Orkish speech patterns. Even in the furthest reaches of society or in the middle of the wilderness the rules are known and followed as they are the law and the speech patterns tend to be adapted even by those with rethoric skill to avoid angering the rather agressive average population. In most major settlements on Xoreth ground both Legion and the Child of flame are worshipped seperately, and violent outbursts from worshippers of Legion against those who pray to the child directly are not uncommon.

Common recreational activities in the Xoreth consist mostly of drinking, hunting and fighting however neither arts nor crafts are considered honorless and while usually considered something to do in private still play a non-insignificant role in Xoreth society. Expectedly Alcohol and other psychedelics play a major role in Xoreth society with Xoreth alcohol production per volume making up more than 60% of the entire ten.

Religion[]

Rather than declaring a holy scripture the main way to spread their religion, preaching and fighting in the many local arenas are how priests, arbiters and shamans spread their interpretations of the common Xoreth faith. All religions that have managed to gain significant traction within the Xoreth are derivatives of the worship of Legion and/or the Child of flame. Despite this unifiying principle however the diplomatic relationships between religious factions in the Xoreth are harsher than ever and even factions without any dominant religions such as the manacoordian have less instances of religious bouts and skirmishes than the Xoreth.

Common variations of the two main interpretations of Xoreth religion include "The old way" which believes and follows the child of flame, however preaches that the child should be honored by forging a bond with nature and upholding the old shamanic traditions and rituals rather than warfare and destruction. Another way the Xoreth religions are often interpretet is that one day Legion shall take the place of the current god of death and a new Pantheon shall be formed under the child of flame, one which embraces the war and suffering in the world rather than trying to distract from it.

Furthermore throughout the ages the occult believes of the Kuha'xarail'li have taken non-insignificant impact on the way Xoreth religions are practiced with many supersticious believes that can be traced back to the Kuha'xarail'li occultism nowadays being attributed to faith in Legion and/or the child of flame instead. However due to the rather secretive nature that surrounds the masters of the occult other than the occasional voodoo doctor sharing tales with all customers willing to listen there are very little instances of these believes and rites being carried out within normal Xoreth civilization.

Languages[]

With Mirax' signature under the peace treaty of the second age, the Xoreth have officially agreed to make the common tongue their primary language for any and all official government business. The natural longevity and slow cognitive functions of the average Ork however mean that very few of the Xoreth denizens have fully adapted to a new form of language and Gorxith or Old Orkish which is still the dominant language across most of the tribes remains the most spoken language within Xoreth society.

Other than Gorxith the languages Heladic and Praeterian enjoy significant popularity within Imp and Goblin & Elemental culture respectively. In combination with the incredibly high cultural diversity within the Xoreth this has been proven to severely rub off on the common tongue that's spoken nowadays, as the Xoreth interpretation of it, despite ignoring most elementary rules of grammar, actually contains the largest number of neologisms between all regional dialects of adicenia.

For similar reasons the amount of different dialects being spoken within the Xoreth greatly exceeds that of other nations with reported numbers going up to 29 distinctly different dialects, the vast majority of which dating back to the different tribes that initially formed the Xoreth. Despite this great variety in languages and dialects being spoken, the amount of bi-lingual citzenship in the Xoreth is relatively small with only about one third of native born Xoreth citzens being able to communicate in two languages.

Education[]

Supervision of all education under the Xoreth government is considered one of the many responsibilities of Arch-General Tajai. However with exception of the small amount of magic academies there is very little institutionalized learning taking place within the Xoreth system of education. Despite the main means of preparing young citzens for adult life being unregulated apprenticeships and/or military duty, Tajai has, in the third Era, taken steps to set up additional public agencies with the goal of enhancing the already existing educational systems. Despite these so called "Studies" leading to a great increase in well-being amongst the Xoreth population and have been proven to increase combat efficiency in soldiers visiting studies while in training, this system is heavily criticized and often responded to with violence.

To this date many of the Xoreth think that knowledge can be dangerous and should be destroyed rather than shared if it, in current times, does not serve an explicit purpose. Even the Flames Patrons oppose this system, despite having non-regulated schools themselves as they accuse Tajai of merely having founded these Studies for the purpose of finding more magically gifted children to study at her academy. Arcane analysts however have deemd through scrying that, despite this aggrevated climate and increasing efforts to halt the spread of "Studies" within the Xoreth the exact opposite is accomplished by this; Due to having to defend oneself as well as one's study with utmost predjudice if partaking in an education, studying is slowly being seen as an honorable thing rather than a way to avoid honorable combat.

Any and all forms of institutionalized learning, with the exceptions of the Patrons' schools as these are counted as religious practice instead, are counted as public institutions and despite the Arcane Academy of Langhor not belonging under Xoreth leadership it is still counted as a public institution with privatized entry procedures for all accounts and purposes. With the utter lack of a concept of tutition it is instead common for Xoreth educational facilities to assign students work in exchange for education in a similar manner to an apprenticeship, however the ratio of work and study hours is regulated by law to not exceed a 50/50 time-split in favor of education.

Sport and Recreation[]

The most popular recreational activities across the Xoreth are considered universally enjoyed within Xoreth culture and consist of: Arena Combat, Hunting and getting Drunk. Like with most culture specific recreational activities there is a great deal of ritualistic behavior involved and many a traveler has come to an unfortunate death after accidentally insulting these activities because of their seemingly primitive nature. Although the previously mentioned part-times are universal within the Xoreth the militaristic nature of the Nation has given birth to many a new sport that originated as training exercise. In addition to this attempts to compensate for the Xoreth's lack of arcane culture has given birth to Orbflaying a far more violent and erratic counterpart to manacoordian sport orbweaving with the main difference being that rather than shooting the charged manacrystals through a goalpost they are shot at the players instead until one remains standing.

In addition to these contributing factors the rules of honor stating that an honorful duel can be carried out through a sport competition instead has lead to a huge popularity of competitive sports in the Xoreth in the third Era. This has also led to the rules for Xoreth sports to be insanely coherent, well-writen and free of loopholes although the vast majority of them still allow for cold blooded murder as a mundane strategy. Furthermore the possibility of international competition which is rather crucial for an Orks noradrenaline fueled psyche sports non-native to the Xoreth enjoy significant popularity as well.

Parttimes unrelated to sports that enjoy popularity in Xoreth culture are mostly music, which originates from militarism as well as the Xoreth military encourages soldiers to play an instrument to increase morale, as well as sculpting & wood carving which for the most part has completely replaced painting in the Xoreth as most of the citzenship lacks the required motor skill for two dimensional art while still craving creative outlets.

Science and technology[]

Although the destruction of currently unused knowledge, lack of libraries, archives and learning facilities as well as the relatively low cognitive capabilities of the average Xoreth citzen should create conditions impossible for science to thrive in, the incredible tribal stubbornness means Xoreth technology has been progressing at an extremely rapid pace through sheer trial and error methodology and with the Patrons of the Flames' growing ever more present to preserve this knowledge many new developments have recently been made.

Still the average technological standard is the lowest amongst all factions by far and with the exception of a handful of well-hidden Silvershine facilities there haven't even been any attempts at industrialization or machinization in recorded Xoreth history. In general Xoreth culture refuses to let a machine do anything a living being can do and while tools are still being developed there is usually no incentive to improve upon them or further develop them as building complex devices capable of withstanding an Orks strength is painstakenly inefficient.

The main sector where Xoreth technological development takes place is Armaments, closely followed by brewing and botanical agriculture. Regarding the development and reverse engineering of Armaments there is no justified cause for the destruction of knowledge as the Xoreth are always either at war or preparing for the next onslaught. This has led to even the most rural, orthodox, tribals wielding fully automatic firearms or siege machinery provided their workings can be understood.

Professions and economy[]

As one would expect, the burning of liquor and the farming necessary to do so play a major role in the Xoreth economy but are far from the only significant economic sector within Xoreth society. The constant, well-sustained wartime economy has actually settled and adapted to Xoreth life. While the fewest citzens of the Xoreth are able to even spell the words economic theory, the low level of specialization with most citzens knowing at least two or three professions prevents the Xoreth from facing any major shortages or unrests, unlike other factions with highly specialized economies.

Yet another huge advantage and great contributing factor to the Xoreth's wealth and financial stability is their incredible open-mindedness towards the rest of the world, any and all travelers and creeds are welcome to trade and spend their Valorem in the Xoreth so long they adhere the rules of Honor. Especially in wartime, where most other factions will stop producing luxury articles and focus on sustaining the frontlines, purchases of alcohol, sweets, instruments and similar goods soar in the Xoreth as they celebrate the bloodshed rather than trying to end it.

Regarding the distributions of proffessions in the Xoreth, the most common ones respectively are: Brewer, Butcher, Weaponsmith, Armorsmith, Alchemist and lastly, mostly found within the Flame's Patrons, Healer. Despite this huge overproduction of alcohol, it's one of the factions least significant exports, making only 8% of their external trade income, the black steel that's even seen as a scarcity amongst Xoreth however makes up more than 20% of the trade income and is a highly sought after good.

Another highly popular Xoreth export is the meat and materials from beasts hunted in their unhospitable lands, as their sheer savagery is hard to match. The beasts themselves, if tamed are also a highly sought after commodity and a valuable export, albeit a far rarer product. The last noteworthy export product that significantly impacts the Xoreth's economy would be the rare Burning Faethrone mushroom, known to only grow on vulcanic ashes with hot lava under the mushrooms fruit-body. The highly psychoactive and potent alchemical effects make the Burning Faethrone highly popular both as an alchemic catalyst and ingredient as well as ritualistic and recreational drug.

Culture[]

If there is one sentence best used to describe nearly all origins of Xoreth traditions or rites it'd be: "WE ALWAYS DO LIKE THIS WHY CHANGE?" Despite this, the Xoreth are far from conservative and whether or not most citzens are compelled to follow or spread a tradition often depends on the origins of both the person as well as the rite. Orks who are proud of their tribal heritage and visit their homeland will probably only abide tribal culture and perhaps either legion or the child of flames rite, hardly ever ALL of them however.

The only part of Xoreth culture Universally spread and respected is of course their insignia, which doubles as a rune of old with several meanings depending on the context. Like all the tens Insignia's the Xoreth's symbol too is capable of helping channel or even store arcane energy and can furthermore be used to cast both the magics of legion or the child of flame, however only one of these magics can be imbued into the Xoreth insignia, depending on whether it's made red to honour the child of flame or black to honour legion lord of chaos. Legion himself however commanded the red sigil to officially represent all that is Xoreth, with his black version exclusively being used as an addition.

Historically speaking, a large amount of Xoreth culture also comes from their world openness, with many travelers visiting the Xoreth to denounce other gods without having to fear punishment, practice necromancy and other unholy magics or even just seek to offend for the sense of offense, because of this a great amount of vulgarity is included in nearly all recognized Xoreth holidays and celebration. Many of the Xoreth festivities enjoy global recognition and tend to further help draw in travellers, the most famous of these are; Bloodrend day, the fires rebirth which is a solstice celebration and the burning of the old year, which marks the end of a year in the Xoreth calendar. Furthermore, unlike most other factions, the Xoreth allow their sub-factions to host and celibrate their own holidays on top of the nationally recognized ones.

Despite these liberal rules however, there is one Xoreth tradition that's called barbaric, even by their own sub-factions known as the meat-grinder. As the name may suggest this holiday consists of a brutal, city-wide, free-for-all battle, leading to the deaths of significant portions of their population. Politically this holiday is most essential for keeping the Xoreth population low enough to prosper, but several sub-factions have rejected it and whilst even small farm villages tend to participate in the slaughter that traditionally lasts exactly 48 hours, Xoreth citzens have found a proper loop-hole, where they send the weak or elderly away to a clearing in the forest, where a makeshift camp will be built by the vulnerable for the duration of the event. Since they are technically outside of any Xoreth settlements, the people at these camps won't be forced to fight, while still remaining compliant with all Xoreth law.

Architecture[]

The architecture of the Xoreth has, ever since the tribes first arrival on the commonwealth of Adicenia, been shrouded in complete mystery. Distinguishing features of the Xoreth architecture include: Square or cubed structures, domes, spiral and otherwise non-symmertrical fluting, pillars, a general lack of windowpanes and most confusingly "towers" that consist of a series of partially roofed balconies being built against a pillar, rather than layered architecture like most other factions. While certain aspects, such as the domes and rectangular buildings can be traced back to the tribes, the rest of the rather surreal features seemingly appeared from nowhere and was first built after the forming of the Xoreth.

When Xoreth architects are questioned of the origin of their building Techniques, they'll often reference their ancestry passing them down through generations, but any attempts to trace these lineages by historians end with the first generation of Xoreth to arrive on the mainland, without any clue as to the pioneers' inspirations.

Another highly popular Xoreth building Technique that remains popular in some of the tribes as well as the Lumitian Hunter's sub-culture as well is so called "Trophyhomes" which use slain monsters for their core materials and try to showcase as many of a monsters features in the finished buildings. What makes Trophyhomes in the Xoreth significantly distinct from other factions employing this particular building method is the fact that while Xoreth also double down on the animalistic attributes of their prey, they often build this unto already existing structures instead, making for a clear transition between traditional Xoreth home and Trophy home, while containing clear aspects of both.

Other than ornaments directly taken from hunted prey other decorations and symbols often found on Xoreth buildings are of course both versions of their sigil, as well as sculptures of the owner or shapes such as leaves, skulls and flames being carved to protude from the finished building a great deal, which hints that the Xoreth building techniques where originally intended for wood and only later adapted to make for more durable stone housing.

Lastly the Xoreth architecture is often distinguishable from that of the other factions by their use of incredible amounts of obsidian and extreme defensive architecture, such as embrasures, barricades, intentionally long but narrow corridors, right-wound spiral staircases, drawing bridges and even escape tunnels can be found on many of the homes. Other than the signature obsidian, the most used stone is red granite, which will cover near all exterior of xoreth buildings, as many believe the red stands for loyalty.

Art and Literature[]

Regarding Art the most infamous practice within the Xoreth, having been kept from the Tribes and somewhat refined, Statues & Roadsigns Incorporate the bones of slain foes. Great and elaborate wallpaintings, or painted hides often using blood is a precious commodity, usually earned as a spoil of war. Literature, among those in the Xoreth able to read it, enjoys great popularity, with the most common themes being loss, dispair, or conflicts of honor. Older Xoreth literature, such as recorded history volumes, spells and what little other knowledge hasn't been destroyed since the first Era, is almost exclusively written on thick, tanned animal hides. Some of these scrolls carry powerful enchantments, only opening to those planning to use their knowledge as inteded.

Furthermore carvings made out of animal tusks or wood are very popular ranging from ornate everyday objects such as tools or drinking horns to intricate statues of slain foes, who where perished with great honor or mosaics made of spare gems found while mining in public buildings and gathering halls. In the third era, most Xoreth citizenry care quite little for arts or literature, the exception being mages & shamans, however even the most simple minded Xoreth take great pride in their honor & routine, and as such prefer ornately carved armor or weapons to hang from their walls.

What Xoreth arts lack in finesse, however they are renown to make up for with great plays & so called blood circle. A blood circle is a ritual dating back to the tribes, originally being a way of worshipping demons such as legion through brutal and erratic combat to the death, however while duels to the death are still everyday occurance, the Culture surrounding the Art of Gladiatorial combat also spread throughout Adicenia from here, and the fights focus a lot more on entertainment and show value than bloodshed, with complicated introductions and stories being told, whether to the death or not...

Cuisine[]

Originating from the Tribes the Xoreth Diet is very Meat heavy, still including many dishes using Fireblossom as an ingredient instead of external heat to cook or bake them, like Sigiri or Blossombread. The staple carbs are Piruwheat, which resembles a palmtree moreso than a wheat but produces large, starchy grains as well as potatoes and Cullroot, the roots of a dangerous carnivorous plant considered a delicacy prepared in many ways. In terms of popular vegetable dishes most involve Tomatoes and Peppers, which grow well on the volcanic ashes are a staple, but as Seafood and Fish are considered vegetables in Xoreth cuisine, they often get stuffed with olives, lemons and crab meat or get replaced altogether by fried fish of some kind. Signature dishes among the Xoreth are Perok and Zohrok, respectively a Meatskewer of large creatures Filet covered in dough while grilling and a Rib Rack, which is consumed including the bones smoked by throwing woodchips and herbs into volcanic lava. Piruseeds peeled and wrapped in meat, herbs and fish baked under the volcanic ashes are considered a popular traveling ration or work lunch. Perhaps the greatest treat outside of the Legendary Dragon Ale brewed in the gilded dragon and variety of other liquors would be so called Dragon Hearts named after the legend that consuming dragon meat gives eternal life. These are extremely large bell peppers filled with minced fatty fish, lean meat, olives and lemon juice. Covered in bacon and cheese, served with a spicy garlic horseradish sauce. Cheese and other dairy products are considered a luxury in the Xoreth due to their lifestyle making dairy farming difficult, as are sweets or liquors made using dairy.

Fashion and Design[]

As most aspects of Xoreth Culture a core part of Xoreth fashion revolves around slain foes and their body-parts, helmets or shoulderpads made of the skulls of slain foes aren´t an uncommon sight, even in day to day clothing, nor is black steel armor which is worn by members of the military in daily life as a form of jewelry signifying their status. While fresh recruits never take their helmets off, you'll recognize a commander by his chest plate being on even outside of battle and an officer by wearing bracers over his cloths as to always be able to block assassins. Regular jewelry made of gold and silver is very much common in the Xoreth, however these are mostly worn by old people and resemble slain beasts or foes in some aspect as well, being passed on as common retirement gifts. Day to day clothes in the Xoreth tend to be sturdy made of thick, coarse fabric made from Piruwheat string or tanned animal hides decorated with pouches and metal studs, with light undershirts often made of thin leather.

In more formal settings it is common for Xoreth to don head decorations of some kind, such as Pyromancers donnings their signature sorcerers hats, or the more tribal minded Xoreth donning headdressings involving bones and feathers signifying their status & tribe. Xoreth cities and recreational areas as well as public artworks aren't so much planned as they just happen to come into being. If a blood circle has taken place in the same location a few times, Xoreth citizen will gather here hoping for more entertainment, leading to a park to sprout into being. Often new Statues or Artworks of varying quality pop up around frequented areas whenever the army returns from a campaign, when returning soldiers take matters into their own hands. The destructive nature of the Xoreth however means these artworks tend to be destroyed as quickly as they appear, unless exceptional in quality, whatever that may mean to the locals population.

Music[]

Like their Anthem, many Xoreth songs tend to feature marching metal boots as a core instrument. War horns and War Drums made from slain foes as well as rythmic grunting tend to play a role in their fast and aggressive songs, which are almost exclusively played ear-shatteringly loud and for many occasions, arising from the tribal traditions of having songs for birth, death and everything that lies in between. More contemporary Music withing the Xoreth makes use of various black steel striking instruments and bells to produce more high and metallic notes, like those found in Iotegian music, but in true Xoreth tradition these are still very much accompanied by warhorns. As for string instruments, while not unpopular, these are also usually striking instruments in Xoreth, with the Tabula standing out, a rib-cage of a slain creature, with sinews spanned between the ribs. The sinews are played as snares and recently artists have even been experimenting with metal snares or encasing the rib-cage in metal itself. Still you cannot have Xoreth music without the horns of Animals being a staple, wheras vocals are often considered optional or far from poetry. The Xoreth Mages of Langhor and Grotsch however still sing the Lullaby of Fire, a forgotten song, known to comfort the Child of fire in worship which unlike the anthem is considered improper to sing outside off holy ground.

Notable members[]

Grand Warlord Mirax the Immortal: The Minotaur who initially founded the Xoreth and currently leads their Arch-Generals under direct guidance of lord legion after the death of his brother

Arch-General Borog of Shattertusk: Father of Gerak and Arch-General in charge of the Vanguard of the Xoreth Legions, known to be a master of the flail hammer and one man army

Arch-General Tajai First of the Flame: Leader of the best mage Academies of Grotsch and Arcane part of the Xoreth forces in times of war

Arch-General Merduc the Wisest: Said to be older than the first Era this Enigmatic old man is no longer being challenged for his position as the head of anyone who does mysteriously flies off violently

Brewmaster Dakra of Grotsch: The purveyor of the Gilded Dragon and inventor of the legendary Dragonale he is well revered and known as a technological mastermind by Xoreth standards

Lord Champion Rayog the Undying: Current champion of Lord Legion, this old Ork is said to be able to return from death indefinitely

Trivia[]

The Xoreth are responsible for over 40% of the total wars in Adicenia's recorded history

While the Birthrates in the Xoreth are high enough to support their constant war-mongering they tend to drop off greatly in times of peace

Despite Valorem and Bonecrown alike being accepted currencies throughout the Xoreth, barter is still the most common form of trade

Wearing weapons openly is not just a common sight in the Xoreth, you're considered a fool for being unarmed

While most Factions with Mage Academies tend to regulate mages strictly, in the Xoreth fights between rivaling academies often resulting in astronomical death counts aren't uncommon

Saying "Please", "Thank you" or "Sorry" has been the death of many an unexpecting outsider

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