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The Krugel Orcs Hollow World Referenceby Mischa Gelman
The entire region is organised along military lines. The herders and other civilians make their homes in the simple villages and towns that serve as the military camps, on the lowest levels of the organisation. The towns of one area are united when the Krugel plan their raids - this collection of towns is headed by a Kapitann of the Krugel army and practices manoeuvres together thrice a year. The Kapitann's groups unite once a year under a general of the Krugel army - there are four such groups in the desert, one in the north, one in the south, one in the west and one in the east. These groups are each designated with a colour (black, red, white or purple), while the Kapitann's groups are given numbers and the towns are given symbols. Krugel, even civilians, identify themselves by these groups - 5th Black Condor or 12th Red Lance. These names also are the names of the towns, something outsiders rarely manage to grasp. The symbols often specify the approach of the town's military. Some towns specialise in training warrior-priests, others in missile combat, others in herding and some have been rumoured to even try taming bounders for use in combat. The 4 main divisions are of similar composition, but their generals' styles differ oftentimes and make them each unique. The eastern branch (Purple) are traditionally more passive and defensive, as they are further from the action. The southern branch (Black) are the most innovative, being forced to meet the Kogolor, their most bitter and most difficult opponents. The westernmost branch (Red) has it simple - they pick on the simple Neathar and Antalian communities and as such can prefer to be sloppy and disorganised, relying more on brute force. The northern branch (White) tends to mix the aspects of the Red and Purple, not involved in the action too often but occasionally utilised for light raids. They most often are used as the mercenaries and as such are into planning for the occasion. Their tasks include bargaining with the other nations, organising supply lines, and managing long cross-continent marches. The White orcs are often ridiculed for associating with non-Krugels. These four approaches mentioned are very general, as an individual general can change the approach of their troops drastically - by no means are these set in stone. In fact, when changes occur, it often catches the non-Krugel with whom they associate unawares- the dwarves don't expect typically Red approaches while the Azcan would be surprised by the innovativeness of the Black troops if they were hired (and the Azcan would be very upset if the approaches failed)
The Krugel communicate through this vast land and organisational system by utilising a system of horse riders. They are not part of any unit of the military, but rather distinct. They occupy the same rank as your typical soldier. They must spend a year in training to learn the geography of the Krugel lands and must be literate a well as being good riders. Any Krugel officer can order any mail-deliverer to deliver a message or a piece of equipment or anything else to another unit ANYWHERE within Krugel boundaries. Messages sent to the front must be ordered by a Kapitann or higher.
The Krugel are a fairly religious people. They put their faith into Karaash and he rewards this faith by granting the ability of magic to the shamans and wokani of the Krugel. The worship of Karaash does not carry down to the level where the shamans are put under a separate set of guidelines, though. The shamans and wokani must follow the same rules as must all Krugel. Their role blends in well with the military spirit, after all, as Karaash expects his shamans to be warrior-priests, not scholars or medicine men or any other "gentle" role. In fact, shamans who do not adhere to the military life are ostracised from society no matter how knowledgeable they are nor how powerful they may seem to be (though the ostracised are rarely powerful - Karaash tends to punish the passive with a loss of capacity for magic). One sure way to destabilise a Krugel army, and to remove their extremely disciplined approach, is to remove their shamans. For without them, the Krugel cannot be sure if the endeavour is truly blessed by Karaash. Shamans, then, are perhaps even more important than officers, when it comes to the military effectiveness of the Krugel.
Respect for Authority
Respect must be earned among the Krugel. A high rank or a macho attitude mean nothing to them. Rather, respect is earned on the field of battle. A bold manoeuvre that pays off, risking your life to save a comrade or retaining discipline during an enemy charge are all actions (or non-actions) that will earn a Krugel respect. A highly respectable Krugel differs from a high-ranking Krugel, but both deserve listening to and obedience to. This does not take the role of blind obedience. If a soldier feels their commander asks too much of them, they can always question their actions and take the matter to the justice system of the Krugel orcs. A commander's word is never absolute - even the newest soldier may question the highest general if they feel their is the need for the questioning. To prevent abuse of this, any Krugel who is found to have questioned a superior when they did not have good reason will be heavily disciplined. They may even be barred from the military for such actions, if done out of spite or egotism, rather than out of a true concern to help the military. Civilians who question military authorities will often meet a quick death.
Respect for Combat Skill
The main way to gauge an individual, after their behaviours, is how well they fare in combat. This transcends racial barriers - a Kogolor swordsmen who cuts down 10 charging Krugel will make their way into Krugel legends and be given great respect in them.
The Kogolor are HIGHLY respected, in fact, because they can fight. The Krugel have nothing but disdain for the pitiful humans they meet in combat because they fare so poorly. Combat skill is used to judge other nations and races more than manners and respectable behaviour - a Kogolor who shows mercy, or bravery will be given even more respect than if (s)he simply fights well, but it is secondary to skill. Among the Krugel, skill in combat is second to respectable behaviour.
Age and Education
The Krugel have a somewhat negative view of the elderly. They recognise the past deeds of a former military leader, but dislike thinking of their decline with age. A Krugel who withstands the effects of age well is seen in much higher views - he or she is thought to have done a better job of developing a true warrior spirit and body, which has sustained them. The young are viewed by their potential to become skilled soldiers. From a very young age, they are taught to respect the military structure and Karaash and to behave in a proper, disciplined manner, especially in combat. Fun is not seen as something to be had in childhood. A youth should spend their days learning about Krugel military history, military organisation, combat techniques and religion. They are taught by the Gurin, the teacher-soldiers of the Krugel. A Gurin whose pupil reaches high ranks is shown great respect by the society for helping further the military. Once a young orc is deemed fit for combat, (s)he is immediately entered into service. If a Krugel does not wish to fight or is incapable of fight, they are sent to work as herders. If they are not fit for this even, they become a public charge to be supported by the community as a whole. Overall, the orcs try to bring up children in one age group together, to develop comradeship that will be helpful in their future careers.
Krugel marriages occur for any number of reasons. Krugel marry for love. Krugel orcs arrange marriages often. Krugel marry so they can be associated with a famous military leader. Krugel marry because they just don't believe they can find anyone else.
In other words, they're a lot like humans in the variety of reasons for marriage. Krugel marriages are for life - no separation by any means, except death. It's a very serious business and not one to jump into lightly. Krugel marriage ceremonies are conducted by a shaman or wokan of Karaash (NOTE: throughout this document, I always use these two groups together or interchangeably. The Krugel see no difference between them and believe them both to be granted powers by Karaash ... they are simply different groups of the same sect. They utilise Karaash's blessing to different affect.) and are very orderly procedures, conducted along time-honoured customs. The high point of the ceremony is when the bride and groom exchange their gift. The gifts are weapons designed specifically for the occasion, often at great cost to the couple involved. They are ornately designed ofttimes and are functional as well (that is, not just for show). Losing these weapons is considered a great dishonour. Krugel usually marry within their own town. If they do not, the lower-ranking Krugel goes off to live with the higher-ranking one. If they are of basically even standing socially, they both leave their home communities and move into another community.
Such movement is difficult for many Krugel, who are taken from family and must adjust to life with another, as well as having to often adopt the military tactics and techniques of the town they join. Many heads of town dissuade marriage outside the town because they know that its their responsibility if a soldier can't perform because they haven't adjusted to the new life. Still, it does happen not too rarely. Krugel families are headed by whoever has the highest military standing (or higher social position if they are both civilians). Well, nominally at least. In practice, many Krugel families are run jointly or by a lower-ranking member. Children are taught to obey their parents and behave properly. At age 5, they are sent to the local Gurins for training. Visits with their parents are often, and few Krugels do not sent letters home when away on a military mission. The families are surprisingly close, seeing as how the whole institution seems VERY formal and cold to outsiders. The outsiders just don't understand that Krugel express love differently.
The only relations the Krugel have with outsiders is an adversarial one, especially with the Kogolor, or a partnership that goes far from being an alliance. These partnerships are conducted by negotiators of the northern Krugels, who sell the services of these mercenaries to various nations like the Azcan and Schattenalfen. They have little respect for either group and assist them only due to the monetary benefit they gain. All conditions regarding their mercenary service are worked out in the negotiations beforehand.
As you can imagine, law and order among the Krugel is run by the military hierarchy. The highest-ranking officer in a town hears any cases that may arise and gives final judgement on them. There is no prior training required in making such decisions, but most officers are aware of past precedent and know what sentences will be tolerated by their soldiers and the civilians who under their rule. Appeals may be made to the Kapitann of the region if there is a complaint regarding the judgement. Appeals from there can be made to the general of the area, but such appeals are very rare indeed. A general is a very busy (wo)man and does not have the time to hear every little dispute. Usually the town's officer's decision is accepted. Sentences vary widely, depending on the mindset of the officer in question and the exact nature of the incident. Crimes of war (destroying a target that was supposed to be left standing, torturing a prisoner when not ordered to, breaking from formation and many others are included) are much more serious and often are given a public death as a punishment. Discipline in the Krugel ranks is maintained at all costs, after all.
The premier form of Krugel entertainment is that of the contest. Tests of strength weapon skill, knowledge of military history and equestrian events are all common types of contests. Life among the Krugel (I'm sure you've grasped this by now ;) revolve s around militaristic views - hence war games and contests which prove skill at war are what Krugel do for fun. They live, eat and breath the military life.
There are no physicians among the Krugel. Most of the healing is not done by shans either - they only treat the very-badly-hurt and diseased Krugel. Most ailments are treated by Krugel "common sense" treatments, what we today call alternative medicines generally. All Krugel are given lessons in first aid as well during their training to become soldiers - not to the point where all have the First Aid skill, but to the point where they know the very basics.
The Four Generals
Shamans and Wokani
(all of the above are active in the military, the below are not)
Retired military officers
Youth (if they do not join the military, a drop in social status is always the case) Herders
Craftsmen and craftswomen
All these categories have subdivisions-a general new to the role will have less respect than a general who has had success for 13 years. A Kapitann's prestige is based on their track record as well. Soldiers who have seen much action and survived are given more respect than those who haven't seen a fight. A retired officer's prestige is based on his former successes. A master craftsman will be given more respect than a lesser craftsman. No matter where you stand in your category, though, you can never earn more prestige than someone in the above category. A master craftsman will never be given more respect than any herder - a youth whose only future lies as a labourer is still shown more respect than any herder till such time as they are officially labelled as such. As mentioned before though, respect is tied in to how one conducts ones' self and no Krugel is beyond questioning of another Krugel. The whole thing is a very complicated process an outsider can't hope to fully understand. To the Krugel, it makes perfect sense.
The only history the Krugel remember is military history. When the 4 main branches of the military (Red, Black, White, Purple) were organised ("The Founding"). When the local divisions came to be. When the great battles were fought. Who the great generals and other heroes were. Such matters concern the Krugel more than anything else and make up the start and end of all their teachings. The foremost memory of their history though is Chief Krugel and all he accomplished in his life. His example is still the one all Krugel hold themselves up to, though they know they can never achieve such heights of success.
Examples of Communities:
3rd White Pickaxe-761 members. This group works only on mercenary missions into Azcan territory. Their purpose is to maintain the lines of retreat, to lay siege to any Azcan fortifications and to support the main attack groups. They are mainly complimentary troops, who fulfil a variety of functions. The composition of the 3rd White Pickaxe is also varied - mostly cavalry, some siege specialists (a Krugel rarity), some archers and some shamans/wokani.
34th Purple Bison - 254 members. A small group of herders. Little is to be said of this group, which is pretty far from much of the Purple division even, about as far out in the boondocks as any Krugel group can be. They live off a small river that branches off from the main water sources some distance before their land.
10th Black Dwarf - 912 members. A most odd group, the 10th Black Dwarf has decided to model their strategies after the Kogolors who have given them so much trouble. They utilise swords, maces, clubs, spears, javelins, short bows, crossbows and slings. They d o not use cavalry, but rather employ heavy infantry, supported by archers and some shamans/wokani (despite the fact the Kogolor have no mages). Their training is often conducted in mountainous terrain, to try to get them to adjust to the conditions they face in the Kogolor lands. Like most Black units, they have met with some splendid successes and some splendid failures. Their success rate against the Kogolor has been no better and no worse than that of most other Krugel raiders.
25th Red Sabre - 1,455 members. Like most Red units, they thrive on the quick hit. Rush in on a simple Antalian or Neathar village, kill the guards, scare the rest off, loot the place and abandon it. Other than being a pretty large group, they are typical for a western Krugel unit.
History - Ever since she her days in training, Shinnpa knew her glory was not to be found in combat. Rather, she thought, it would be in leadership, in bringing troops to victory. While possessing decent oratory skills, though, she obviously just was no t cut out to be a leader. She thus decided to make her living as a negotiator for the 8th White Tent. She took up the study of the Azcan peoples and was sent off as a junior negotiator, to learn from the elders who had worked deals with the bloody western humans. Two circles ago, at the age of 25, she was promoted from her position as a junior negotiator and given greater responsibilities, which she has carried out well. She is being courted by a fellow negotiator from the 8th White Tent named Drezlig .
Personality - Shinnpa has a lot of potential to become withdrawn and introverted when things are going bad. This usually happens after the distressing event, not during, so rarely affects her work. She still idolises the officers of the Krugel army and h as some trouble talking to them on a normal level. This makes a nice contrast with her negotiating, where she is very professional. There probably is not an Azcan she has worked with who thinks her socially inept, which is in fact the case. Shinnpa's greatest joys come from when she succeeds in her duties and from participating in the tournaments.
Appearance - Shinnpa is slightly above-average in the looks department and prides herself on her appearance. Most important to her is that she appears calm and in control, neat and professional, as she realises appearance influences the opposing sides' view of you and your skills. She stands 5'3" and is in below-average shape and health for a Krugel, as she is not actively involved in the military life. Combat Notes - AC 10 (no armour, DEX penalty); hp 10;At 1;D 1-8 (sword); save Kr 2;ML 11;AL L; S 9,I 12,W 16,D 7,Co 12,Ch 14. Languages: Krugel, Neathar. General Skills: Riding (Horse) (D), Knowledge (Azcan Culture) (I),Det. Deception (W),Knowledge (Azcan Language) (I)
History - Born 40 circles ago in the 2nd Purple Cactus, Briggin took after his father, becoming the town's smith after the elder's passing. Briggin is somewhat of a recluse, spending almost all his times in his smithy alone. His work consists of crafting weapons of all sorts for the Krugel army, mainly for the 11th Black Thorn. His work, while not that of a master, is of high quality, and is appreciated by the Krugel military command.
Personality - As mentioned, Briggin is a loner, spending his days working in the shop, whether filling a supply order or not. He is very shy inside, and prefers to be left with his tools than to being out and about. The townspeople wonder at his isolate d behaviour, but rarely comment on it.
Appearance - Briggin is rather large, standing 5'10" and weighing 220 pounds. He is fairly strong, though much of that weight comes from fat as well. His appearance is sloppy and is never in fashion, if ever such clothes were. He bears a long scar across his left cheek, which he will not discuss at all. He wouldn't fit well into a crowd even if he ever was out of his home. Combat Notes - AC 9 (no armour);hp 6;At 1;D1-6+1 (war hammer);save Kr 1;ML 9;AL N; S 15,I 8,W 9, D 10, Co 13, Ch 9. Languages: Krugel, Neathar. General Skills: Riding (Horse) (D), Craftsman (Smithing) (I+1), Singing (Ch) (Note-while a good singer, Briggin does not prefer that others know of this skill, which he views as feminine and contradictory with his self-image. Briggin often sings while he works)
History - The son of a Kapitann, the very most was what was always expected from Trull. And basically, he has lived up to expectations. As a youth, he got a vision (or so he says) from Karaash, and he was soon apprenticed to the local shaman. He learned quickly, showing talent, while still succeeding in his general studies. At the young age of 16, he was inducted into the army, and has advanced in the ranks to the point where he heads the town of the 19th Black Vulture. Now, after 24 circles, he is one of the promising young talents of the Krugel army.
Personality - Trull is a very loyal servant of the Krugel army. He has nothing but respect for his countrymen and women and treats his soldiers and townspeople very well. Despite being younger than most, he is looked up to and respected. He is insightful, efficient and brave. If he has a flaw, it's that he thinks he has to better. No matter what he does, he believes he should have done more. He believes he's destined for greatness and allows himself no room for error. If he makes a mistake, he'll be beating himself up about it for weeks after. He thinks everybody else expects the world of him, also, so doesn't really understand the amount of respect he gets. He thinks he's failing while everybody around him think he's doing great. And what's worse is that his success has kept him isolated from most Krugel. He looks back with joy at the days of his youth before the vision. His lone sources of comfort are a female Krugel named Likkip, who loves him dearly and wishes he'd stop having such high standards of which he will always fall short and his brother Durwig, who has known the same pressures from a stern, officative father. Having his father as a superior officer does not help.
Appearance - Trull stands 5'8", is of solid build, and by Krugel stands, pretty handsome. He wears fancy officer's clothing at all times, neat and orderly. At times of war, he wears a set of chain mail that has been in the family for many years. Combat Notes - AC 4 (chain and shield);hp 26;At 1; D 2d4+1 (mace; skilled);Save Kr 6;ML 11;Al L; S 14, I 13, W 16, D 9, Co 12, Ch 17. Languages: Krugel, Neathar. General Skills: Riding (Horse) (D), Military Tactics (I), Danger Sense (W), Honour Karaash (W), Leadership (Ch+1) Spells per day - 2/2/1
History - Oh, what a bright future K'pak may have had. She seemed to be on a path to be the perfect loyal, tough, brutal Red soldier. All indications for future success looked good for the brutish orc. That is, until an Antalian repeatedly crushed her left arm with a hammer during her first raid, when the Antalians had stood strong against the oncoming Krugel banditos. Since that fight, she has been unable to contribute much to the Krugel and has become a public charge to be cared for by the 33rd Red Coin.
Personality - For this formerly macho Krugel female, her ego was bruised as badly as her body. She cannot abide by the fact that she no longer is a capable soldier. She hates the pity. She hates the inability to put up a good fight. She hates Antalian s, of course, with a vengeance. She practices combat with one useable arm, and swears that some day those who hurt her shall pay. Many of the other troops in the 33rd Red Coin consider her a bit of a nutcase.
Appearance - K'pak stands 5'6" and is of good build. Having been very muscular before, she is still capable of some strength, despite having the use of just one arm. Her other arm, permanently battered and bruised, is covered at all times. She most certainly does not want outsiders to know of her limitations. She would be of average beauty, if not for the ruined arm. Combat Notes -AC 9 (no armour);hp 5;At 0;D 0;Save Kr 1;ML 9;AL N; S 7, I 8, W 6, D 10, Co 12, Ch 8. Languages: Krugel, Neathar. General Skills: Riding (Horse) (D), Bravery (W+1), Endurance (Co)