Atlas Rules Resources Adventures Stories FAQ Search Links
Chronicles of Nentsun
CHAPTER FOUR: WE HAVE HEAVENby Giulio Caroletti
Famine: how could it be? In the Outer Circle it could, as it was not protected by the Devices. So it struck that year, and with it came Plague, and with it came an orc invasion from the hills. The orcs hadn't have charismatic and efficient leaders since a long time, and they had warred against each other and against the half-orcish kingdoms of the southern Outer Circle. Many had crossed the mountains and attacked the Jennites, some had managed to be more dangerous, but no real organized attack had been planned before the war which their leader Hjka called Inheritance of Heaven.
Hjka was an orc born in 701, and was raised in the city of Jarka, a border community of orcs and humans in the southernmost kingdom of the Outer Circle. When the plague and the famine came, he was only 7, and the city of Jarka was soon abandoned by all. Refugees fled northwards, bringing with them the plague to new lands, but most of its inhabitants had died. Hjika himself was abandoned by his parents because he had been struck by the disease. The luck was on his part: firstly, he survived the disease; secondly, an orcish band, noticing the state of abandon of many of the southern cities, ignoring the reason for it, gladly descended from the hills to take possession of them. Many orcs were killed by the disease, but one of the many orc leaders adopted him as his son and told him how to fight. The orc was a cruel beast. He lent the youth to other orc warriors for their "entertainment", and lashed him every time the young orc couldn't accomplish one of the orders he received. Hjika became a bodyguard, a servant, a slave, hardly a son.
Hjika hated his stepfather. The only good thing was that he taught him how to fight...burning at the forge of hate, he became the strongest warrior of the band at 14 years, killed his hated master, and took the leadership of the clan. With stern determination, and a hate for the land that had abandoned him in the hands of those orcs which he hated as well, Hjika unified in a dozen of years all the major orcish clans of the hills under his iron fist. Then he moved to the Inheritance of Heaven.
What had happened in Nentsun between 708 AC, when the plague started in the south-eastern cities of the Outer Circle, and 728 AC, when the War for the Inheritance of Heaven started?
The plague had hit the land and had killed thousands. The famine in the Outer Circle had done the same. The country was struck by panic, refugees hit by the plague moved from city to city hoping to find help, but all they found was death. Armies were greatly reduced. The plague ended definitely around 715 AC. In those years, it had stopped and started again several times, so no-one knew whether this would be the true end...the country began to recover, and for the first time it was talk of a new democratic system of ruling, instead of the leadership of kings and aristocracies. Unfortunately, in 728 AC Hjika prepared his invasion.
It started all of a sudden from the southwestern lands. A great part of the Outer Circle had been left by its inhabitants, and that land was mostly abandoned and wasted. Hjika's orc bands had already occupied several parts of it to prepare the invasion.
It took a lot of time before the authorities of the various kingdoms understood what was happening. Although the situation had become much better and the population had begun to grow, contacts were few and the population sparse in the region. Hjika knew this. His aim was not to occupy all the land, it was just to kill as many Nentsunians as possible and then build a new kingdom for his orcs. When the other states of Nentsun managed to raise an army, Hjika pondered what to do. If he won, he could have Nentsun at his feet...but if he lost, it would mean the end.
Currently he held the possession of one of the best regions of the Inner Circle, that of Einikushagi, formerly settled by rakastas, all fled or killed during Hjika's invasion. Hjika sent envoys to the allied armies and sued for peace in change of the recognition of his authority on Einikushagi. The human leaders agreed. The rakasta leaders were enraged, but Hjika promised to free all the rakastas enslaved and captured by his troops, and the human leaders convinced the rakastas to accept (731 AC).
Hjika announced proudly to the orcs that "we have Heaven". But his savage orcs were not very happy to stop from the easy life of plunder and random destruction to devote their lives to agriculture and peace.
Hjika found more and more problems to control them, and although some ultimately accepted the situation, thinking that it had been an improvement, most didn't want to. First, they directed the irritation about their situations against each other: the old clan rivalries resurfaced, and Hjika found himself amidst a civil war of his people, who refused to obey a "friend of the humans" . Hjika sought the help of the other kingdoms: they told him that they would help him, they even organized an army, but their march stopped in Selemy, the neighbour kingdom of Einikushagi. Hjika, very nervous, sent several times envoys to ask why, but none returned. Finally, while his own fortress was put under siege by the victorious clan, an envoy from the Nentsun kingdom arrived, asking why he hadn't asked them to intervene. Hjika's fortress was conquered and the orc leader killed, then the army moved and destroyed all the rebellious orcs. Einikushugi was resettled by rakastas, but the orcs who had abandoned the savage ways were accepted in the area (738 AC).
By the way: the envoys had all arrived in Selemy, but they were all put to death or killed as rebels by the allied Nentsunian forces. They couldn't forgive Hjika for his victorious campaign of 728-31 AC.