Heroes of Peresh
Orcs were dominant race in the center of the continent, and their influence was spreading. The LOST CITY was becoming over-crowded, and the leaders decided to become more expansionist.
Meanwhile, the dwarves wanted to re-establish their dominance on the land. They saw the Orc culture as savage and barbaric. Some major dwarf kings pushed for “re-establishing order” on the continent by “putting the Orcs in their place”.
But what was their place? The dwarves had settled former Orc regions and claimed the Hammerbelt as their own. Elves and dwarves were living peacefully with each other in the Dwelvenbelt. The Anugan region was too wild and too warm of a climate for the Orcs.
The Orcs needed more room for their rapidly expanding population, but were landlocked by Dwarves on every side. They wanted a place to build another great city. But, not being a sea-faring people, they were trapped.
War broke out because (depending on who you ask) either the strongest Orc chief (or was it the strongest Dwarf king?) chose to become more aggressive in inter-racial matters. The Orcs claim that the Hammerfolk were blocking all attempts at travel and trade through the Hammerbelt. The dwarves claimed that the Orcs were encroaching upon their settlements in the hills, in search of a new settlement site.
The first major battle occured in the hills of Domil. Claims were made about Orc raids, and the Hammerfolk had had enough. They simultaneously attacked and destroyed Orc caravans at Nation’s Pass and the Domil hills. At the pass there was little-to-no resistance from the small caravan of settlers. Domil was a different story. The scouting and settling party contained some of the most prominent Orc leaders, as they searched for a new home. The Orcs were outnumbered, but held their ground against wave after wave of armored dwarven skirmishers. The dwarves were unsuccessful at drawing the Orcs in to the steeper foothills, and the Orcs were unable to kill enough dwarves to deter them. The skirmishes raged on for a fortnight. The turning point came when a Wood Elves hunting party happened upon the scene. They interpreted the fight thus: Jealous dwarves were ambushing hapless Orc nomads. The skilled archer elves encircled the Orc caravan. A new wave of dwarves attacked, carrying heavy two-handed hammers, caught completely unprepared for ranged attacks. The elves promptly slaughtered scores of dwarves in a single night.
Having successfully defended the “innocent” Orcs, the Wood Elves retreated to the forest, with a gift of meats from the Orc caravan. They soon learned the meat had been stolen from Dwarf settlements, and refused to forge any alliances with either side.
The dwarves take it very badly when they lose a skirmish. They regrouped and planned a much more comprehensive war strategy. The orc caravan reported back to the LOST CITY and the Orcs began their military ramp-up as well.
The second major battle occurred somewhere east of the LOST CITY (or north, depending on the city’s location). The Orcs attacked a dwarven army and backed them up against the coast of what is now Battle Bay. With no sea-faring retreat option, the dwarves were routed and mos were massacred. The Orcs began constructing their settlement there, by the sea.
The third major battle was a turning point, as the dwarves gained some help from Dwelvenbelt elves. The added threat of elven magic proved too much for an orc army that was camped in the plains near Domil. They retreated to the LOST CITY. The stage was set for a final showdown.
The fourth, and final, major battle was at the gates of the LOST CITY. Elven magic and breakthroughs in dwarven siege technology provided a real threat to the stronghold for the first time. Dwarven sappers undermined the rock walls while elven fireballs rained in on the city’s wooden siege defenses. The Orcs knew they could not withstand a long siege, so they rushed out in full force on to the battlefield. The battle was long and bloody, until a brave elf mage decided to make himself a martyr. He conjured a terrible fiery beast and let it possess him in an attempt to fend off the massive orc army as they closed on the elves’ mortar positions. The beast, known now only as the Destroyer by both elves and orcs, erupted in rage and began killing everything in sight – elf and orc alike. The transfigured elf began to be attacked by all of the sides in an attempt at self-defense. He turned to the walls of the city for refuge. The sum of all of the dwarf, elf, and orc attacks on the Destroyer began to level the walls of the city. The dwarves took the opportunity to rush the city and rout those remaining inside. Meanwhile, the elves joined their collective magical auras and blasted final kill shots at the beast. Many elves expired in these attempts. In the end, the city had been either completely destroyed, or pushed under the earth by the magic (depending on who you ask).
The dwarves won the day. The elves and orcs lost the most warriors. As for the city, a few theories exist:
1. The men of Bal-peresh claim their rocky plains are the result of the city being blown in to near oblivion, the stone walls raining down all over the northern plains. The city no longer exists.
2. The elves of the Dwelvenbelt claim they tried to not destroy such a wondrous city, and instead pushed it underground through powerful magic. They claim this amazing feat is what killed so many of their sorcerers as they gave their lives to stop the war but preserve the city for future generations of orcs to re-inhabit.
3. The dwarves claim that they so totally destroyed the city that their gods scorched the earth, making it so when the orcs tried to return, all they would find is desert. The city no longer exists.
4. The orcs claim some combination of (2) and (3). They claim the city was pushed under the earth by the elves, but the desert is the result of the orcish gods sending the earth’s sustaining power down with it to preserve the city for future orcs to find under the sands.