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KRUGEL HORDE (Lands of the)

Location: Northeastern Iciria, west of the Ostzee, east of the Neathar lands, north of the World Spine Mountains, south of the Antalian Mountains. HW

Area: 428,163 sq. mi. (1,108,940 sq. km.).

Population: 300,000 scattered in numerous villages of 2,000 or less along the Great Mud and Yenidar Rivers, including Ubul (pop. 6,000).

Languages: Orcish (Krugel dialect).

Coinage: None; uses coins minted in other lands and barter.

Taxes: Military economy; exactions based on need.

Government Type: Khanate organized along military lines.

Industries: Light agriculture, horse breeding, raiding, mercenary warfare.

Important Figures: Geredek (General).

Flora and Fauna: Arid climate; cacti, ponies, bison, sheep, giant ants, basilisks, chimeras, cockatrices, dinosaurs, horses, giant lizards, manscorpions, manticores, giant scorpions, jackals, snakes.

Further Reading: Hollow World boxed set, previous almanacs.

Description by Theukidikies the Historian of Corisa.

The Krugel Horde lives similar to the way of the Jennites, though they do build some towns along the muddy riverbanks in their blighted lands. They are a bestial, but disciplined people, thriving in their rugged environment.

The Land

The lands of these orcs are a scarred and blasted wasteland, more desolate than most of Nithia, fed by long and meandering rivers (the Great Mud and its tributaries), but these rivers are not as fertile as the single River Nithia. None the less, they do provide the lands with enough moisture to sustain life as the inhabitants live it; as pastoralists and in towns, rather than as farmers and in large cities.

Most of the lands are arid plains and scrub country, with a small desert (Izlirun) in the south, and a larger one (the Desert of Boglucubul) in the northeast. The plains are home to scattered dinosaurs and small herds of bison, as well as scavengers such as hyenas. The drier regions are rocky rather than sandy, with broken rock formations and towering mesas, scoured by a hot breeze.

The People

Within these lands live the orcs of the Krugel Horde. They have sickly, yellowish-brown skin and heads shaped somewhat like those of the Brute-Men. The Krugel orcs, both male and female, wear their dark hair long. They dress in leather garments over which they wear a rough cloth cloak that they call a tabarko. Topping off this somewhat ridiculous outfit is an equally outlandish hat, with a broad brim. This does have the advantage of keeping the sun out of one's eyes, however.

Like the Jennites to the far south, the Krugel orcs seem almost born in the saddle. They use a bow much like that of the Men of Jen, but their national weapon is a long spear or lance, used from horseback in a mass charge which can be quite fearsome. For the Krugel Horde is a militaristic kingdom, its people organized like a cavalry army. They maintain permanent towns, rather than being nomads like the Jennites, and these towns are ordered like military encampments.

Like the Antalians, the Krugel enjoy nothing so much as raiding, though they do it exclusively by land on horseback, not by sea. They range throughout the region, raiding for wealth and for their livelihood. They have been known to range as far as the Azcan lands in these raids, but raid all the surrounding peoples with great frequency. They also hire themselves out as mercenaries in other people's wars, taking the opportunity to loot and pillage with wild abandon. Any intruder into their lands who does not come for the purpose of hiring mercenaries is set upon and attacked. Even their women behave in this fashion, knowing no proper circumspection. The Krugel Horde is governed by a strong king, who rules through chieftains who function as military officers. When the king shows any weakness, he is overthrown, killed, and replaced at once by the strongest leader among the orcs.