DangerDwarf writes "A mighty orc shaman has used the "blood" of his dark god Yurtrus to
poison the land. Now, parts of Ulek's former Grindin province have been
transformed into a venemous blight by the orcs of the Leprous Hand.
The desolate, southern region of the
front has been given to the vile orcs of the Leprous Hand tribe. The once
fertile fields of the old Grindin province now wither under the effects of a
magical blight called forth by the Yurtrus worshipping orcs who reside here.
The lands of southern Ulek lie
shrouded in a thick mist, hordes of undead wander the countryside aimlessly and
small tracts of formerly pristine woodlands are now filled with twisted trees
and sinister shapes. The orcs here are not as plentiful as other regions of
occupied Ulek, but this region of the occupied provinces remains the most
dangerous to travelers.
Ungar, a mighty shaman dedicated to
Yurtrus and chieftain of Clan Plague Wind, presides over the activities of this
region and works closely with the War Chief’s long term goals.
The Rite of Sky Rending
On the 11th of Goodmonth
every year, both of Oerth’s moons are new and darkness rules the night sky.
Some regard this as an unholy night, a time to work wicked magics. It was on
this night in 591CY that Ungar gathered the clans of the Leprous Hand within
occupied Ulek, at the center of the old Grindin province, for a powerful rite.
Sorcerers and shamans of these clans
formed a massive ring measuring close to a half mile across. Entering a
trancelike state they called upon the dark blessings of their god and focused
their growing might upon the center of the circle, where Ungar stood amidst thirteen
drugged and bound captives. The captives, a band of elves, were captured after
a failed raid by the group on Clan Plague Wind’s encampment. They were placed
in a prone position, arranged to form a ring about the high priest. Ungar’s
offering to the plague lord Yurtrus.
Strengthened by the growing energy
being channeled by the assembled shamans and sorcerers, Ungar thrust his hand
into the night sky. In it he held a powerful relic passed through the centuries
by Yurtrus’ faithful. The relic was vial of noxious blood which had fallen from
an avatar of Yurtrus when he had walked Oerth briefly during the mythic ages.
The powerful forces being invoked
tore the night sky asunder, sending forth a green flamed comet. To the horror
of the assembled orcs it crashed into the center of their ring, seemingly
obliterating the high priest and his captive offerings. The ground crumbled beneath the impact
spreading outward towards the ring of spell casters. Many cried in horror and
fled, others continued their dark rite completely lost in trance. The expanding
crater halted at the feet of the remaining orcs of the circle and they
collapsed in exhaustion. Those who fled were later found a short distance away,
transformed into mindless undead husks, cursed by Yurtrus for fleeing the
At the center of the smoldering
crater was a pool of sickly green ichor. Rising from its blasphemous depths was
Ungar, and the mighty shaman was changed. His flesh and muscles were burned
away by the incredible heat of the blast, his charred bones covered by the
still liquefied metallic ores within the meteor. His now empty sockets shone
with a venomous green light. With a terrible howl of triumph he announced his
victory. Blood had called to blood and the dark god heard the call. Yurtrus
sent forth one venomous drop to poison the land and transform his high priest
into an unholy plague lich.
With the Rite of Sky Rending, the
orcs had called forth the “blood” of their god to poison the land. Now the
former province of Grindin is a dreary
place with patches of bare earth, twisted trees and sickly wildlife.
At the site of the comet strike, the
orcs of the Leprous Hand tribe have built a village called Mutok. It is from
there that they conduct sacrifices to Yurtrus, feeding bodies into the pool of
green ichor, the Blood Blight. It is through these sacrifices that the orcs are
managing to slowly expand the radius of corruption.
The nefarious idea to inflict such
an abomination upon the land came from cooperation between Nevrash and Ungar.
Nevrash’s goal is to reach the Lortmils and reclaim the range which he states
is the orcs’ birthright. To accomplish this goal he understands that it will
require the combined strength of the orcish tribes. Nevrash’s plans were
proceeding well, but began to stall in 589CY. The humanoid tribes were losing
focus and growing lazy living off of the spoils of their conquest. Nevrash
needed something to spur them forward.
He again began to spread the dogma
of orcish superiority and at his urging; Turrosh Mak’s human forces suffered
much at the hands of the orcs until the Despot was forced to remove them from
the occupied provinces. It was Ungar who first approached Nevrash with the idea
of spreading a blight across the lands of Ulek.
Nevrash immediately seized upon the brilliance of the concept. Through
his leadership he would continue to spur the orcish armies onward, Ungar’s
wretched blight despoiling the lands behind them would give the hordes further
incentive to press forward.
The blight would also serve two very
important secondary aspects as well. Once Nevrash pushed the hordes into the
Lortmils, leaving behind the plagued provinces, the dwarves would rush into
their lands and seek to end the growing blight. This would hopefully take a
considerable amount of the Principality’s resources and manpower, buying Nevrash
time to establish his forces in the newly reclaimed mountains. This would also serve
in placing the dwarves of Ulek between himself and the remainder of Turrosh
Mak’s forces. Though a dutiful War Chief now, once Nevrash is able to seize the
Lortmils he plans to sever his ties with the Despot.
So, with that in mind, Nevrash
spared no expense to give Ungar whatever resources he needed to eventually
perform the Rite of Sky Rending.
Clans & Tribes of the Blight
Clan lines within this region are
blurred more than any other area of occupied Ulek. Orcs of the Leprous Hand tribe
have always shown greater cooperation between clans than any other tribe.
Because of this, only the orcs of Clan Plague Wind and Clan Black Heart merit
individual description, the rest being generally subservient to these two
Clan Plague Wind (Orc)
Population: Approx. 800
Members: 350 Combatants, 415 Non-combatants (women, children), 35 3HD shamans
Leader: Ungar the
Tribal Affiliation: Leprous Hand
Standard: Black skull
on green field
Orcs of Clan Plague Wind are the
undisputed masters of the blighted southern provinces. The position of their
leader within the tribal council ensures the other clans in the region
affiliated with the Leprous Hand, defer to and cooperate with Plague Wind
They work to despoil the land and
spread disease into western Ulek. They work closely with the desires of the War
Chief and prepare for the day when they will be commanded to spread their
blight northward, urging the tribes there to push harder as they march towards
Organization: The Chieftain
of Clan Plague Wind is a particularly cruel orc named Ungar the Afflicted.
Within the clan, shamans serving Yurtrus
known as the Pleg’zul, serve as leaders. Each war band is headed by a shaman.
Tactics: On the field
of battle this clan makes heavy use of animated undead servants as fodder
designed to weaken its opponents. Under optimal circumstances they will possess
an undead force equal to at least half of their orc forces.
Notable Plague Wind
Ungar the Afflicted
Ungar is the undisputed master of Clan
Plague Wind, and likely the most powerful orc shaman in the Flanaess. His
position as an elder in the Leprous Hand tribal only furthers his authority
among the clans of south-eastern Ulek.
During the Rite of Sky Rending he
was transformed into one of the Afflicted, a powerful plague lich as proof of
Yurtrus’ favor. He towers over most orcs standing an impressive 6’7” tall. He
is now a dark skeleton, bones covered by a thin layer of brown/black sky iron
(the name the orcs give ore derived from meteors) that fused to his form during
the rite. His eye sockets glow with an unholy green light. He dresses in
tattered brown robes and carries a gnarled wooden staff.
Ungar is cautious and deliberate in
all that he does, considering possible ramifications of his actions. His
callous nature is legendary even among the harsh society of orcs, those who
raise his ire often left writhing in agony at his feet. Ungar rarely leaves
Mutok, preferring to personally oversee the continued upkeep of the blight.
Clan Black Heart (Orc)
Population: Approx. 350
Members: 150 Combatants, 175 Non-combatants (Women, Children), 25 3HD arcane
spell users (Nek’rog)
Tribal Affiliation: Leprous Hand
Standard: White hand
clenching a black silhouette heart on a gray field
This clan was formed in 578CY by its
enigmatic leader who gathered surviving members of various decimated clans in
the Pomarj. The Black Heart orcs are unusual among their kind. While most orc
arcane spell users (often called witch doctors) possess an innate ability for a
few spells, Clan Black Heart has a small number of orcs who have actually
trained in the art of wizardry by their dread chieftain and excel in the art of
Black Heart spell users are known
collectively as the Nek’rog and enjoy an elevated position within the society
of the clan. Since the invasion of the occupied provinces, the Nek’rog have
largely resided with Clan Plague Wind in Mutok. There they aid in the upkeep of
the blight while the Black Heart warriors serve in various locations throughout
the region conducting patrols.
Organization: While a
unique clan, the orcs of the Black Heart possess little central organization. The
goals of the Leprous Hand always take precedence over simple clan goals.
Throughout this clan’s existence they have served the will of the tribal
council, often acting on special assignments as attachments to other clans.
With the invasion of Ulek this has become more pronounced, with different
portions of the clan spread throughout the region acting in various tasks.
Tactics: Due to their
numerous assignments to other clans, orcs of the Black Heart have developed few
tactics of their own, often adapting to those with whom they are serving.
Notable Black Heart
Din’kar is a bloated orc that stands
a mere 5’2” tall. His squinting black eyes seem devoid of all emotion, save
annoyance. His gray beard is cut short and square, his hair is similarly short
and stringy. Dressed in a black robe with crude arcane runes embroidered into
it, Din’kar is a strange sight.
Din’kar arrived in the Pomarj in
578CY. Because of his arcane ability, he was able to assemble a core of loyal
orcs around him, building a clan of his own. How he came across his wizardly
ability is unknown, Din’kar is private about his life and discusses little
outside of furthering the goals of the Leprous Hand. Those who have seen him
without his robe on claim his back is laced with scars and seem to believe he
must have one time been a slave, but to whom they can only guess.
Regardless of his origins, he has
proven his loyalty to his tribe time and time again and now often serves as an
advisor to Ungar.
This sadistic orc is a mighty
warrior and serves as the commander of the Black Heart warriors. He takes care
of the mundane assignments of the clan warriors and coordinates their
assistance of other clans of the Leprous Hand.
He stands 6’3” tall and keeps his
head and face cleanly shaved. To enhance his frightening appearance, he has
ritually scarred most of his face. On the field of battle he wears a blackened
suit of plate armor and wields a massive great sword.
Leprous Hand Clans
The other orcish clans of the southern
region are seeming extensions of Clan Plague Wind. Ungar’s position at the head
of the Leprous Hand council ensures the other clan chiefs defer to his
decisions. The various clans often coexist within the same encampments
throughout the region.
These other clans are listed below
with their approximate populations:
Fetid Breath (500)
Soul Pox (350)
Poison Eye (400)
Green Death (200)
The Ghostwalker Tribe (Troll)
These depraved trolls produce a
large number of shamanic adepts who lead this vicious tribe in profane rites. Their
religion is a strange mixture of cannibalism and ancestor worship. Warriors of
the tribe coat their bodies in a thick white paste and cover themselves with
odd symbols that possess a spiritual meaning known only to them.
The orcs of the region give this
tribe a wide berth, as the ravenous trolls are quick to consume anything, even
allies. Its chieftain ascends to power by devouring the previous leader.
The tribe is currently ruled by a
deranged troll by the name of Bejum. The Ghostwalkers are native to the
southern Grindin province and Bejum allied his tribe with the orcish invaders
for the opportunity to feast upon dwarven flesh.
From time to time the Ghostwalker
trolls will travel to the front lines, leaving a swath of destruction in their
wake. Leprous Hand war bands follow the marauding trolls providing support and
extra man power.
Locations in the Blight
Population: Approx 350
orcs plus an additional 200 undead
Clans: Plague Wind,
This village was built within the
massive crater caused by the Rite of Sky Rending and is the focal point of the
blight within southern Ulek. Plague Wind and Black Heart orcs intermingle here
with the remainder of their clans spread out in outlying encampments.
Camp of the Guardians: This section
is built outside of the crater’s rim and consists of Mutok’s first line of
defense. Krang of Clan Black Heart is in charge of the defense of Mutok and
resides here with a contingent of Black Heart Warriors. Occasionally, a handful
of Ghostwalker trolls also aid in the
Statue of Yurtrus: This large
statue dominates the central portion of Mutok’s residential area. The dark god
towering above the ramshackle orc homes and casting a wicked gaze upon the dark
waters of the Blood Blight.
Mutok Village: This
collection of huts and shacks make up the primary residential section of the
village. Orcs of both the Plague Wind and Black Heart clans make their homes
The Nek’rog: This section
holds a magical lodge that serves as a laboratory and study for the
necromancers of Clan Black Heart. Homes of these orcs surround the lodge,
Din’kar resides here as well.
Slave Pens: Warriors of Clan
Plague Wind reside here among the many pens holding captive dwarves, humans and
halflings to use as sacrifice.
The Pleg’zul: The shamans
of Clan Plague Wind make this area their home. A small temple to their dark god
occupies this section as well. Ungar makes his home in the temple.
The Blood Blight: This large
pool of dark and fetid water is the actual impact point of the meteor that was
called down during the Rite of Sky Rending and is the source for the continued
blight of the land. A stone walkway, stained dark with dried blood, extends out
over the foul water. At the end is an obscene altar to Yurtrus where the orcs
offer captives as sacrifice to their dark lord.
Population: Approx 30
Dunmaer was once a quiet hamlet of
simple fishermen. This sleepy community was spared many of the horrors of the
initial humanoid invasion but in the end suffered a far crueler fate than their
The feral trolls of the Ghostwalker
tribe descended upon the people of Dunmaer one terrible night and those who
were not slaughtered in the initial attack were penned like cattle for later
use by the trolls in their nightly feasts. Many of those caged villagers went
mad in the following nights, listening to the horrified screams of their
friends and family as the trolls partook in their grisly meals.
Now the trolls continue to reside
within the hamlet, leaving much of it unharmed but adding morbid decorations to
the place. Skulls lashed to hitching posts, obscene runes painted across
building sides, effigies of ancestral heroes made from bones and wood.
Some nights apparitions of the
former residents can be seen wandering the streets of Dunmaer calling out the
names of lost loved ones, oblivious to their surroundings and unaware of their
state. The trolls have made a sport of stalking the oblivious spirits, taunting
them and throwing javelins through their incorpeal forms.
The few Ulekian scouts who have
ventured far enough into the occupied provinces to see Dunmaer have vowed to
return and give those troubled spirits release.
statistics given are for the Castles & Crusades system though they can
easily be converted for use with any edition of Dungeons & Dragons.
No. Encountered: 1-2
HD: 7 (d12)
Attacks: Slam (2d6+2)
Special: Command Undead, Strength Drain, Aura
of Desecration, Touch of Yurtrus
Type: Undead (Extraordinary)
XP: 630 + 7
This walking corpse has decidedly
elven features. Its tortured, feral eyes shine with a dull green light. The
creature’s pale elven skin, tinged a fetid green, has a leathery appearance and
is drawn tight across its slight frame. It is clothed in the grimy tattered
remnants of a white robe, crudely stitched into the garment are vile glyphs and
runes. Despite its desiccated appearance, this abomination moves with an
druidess, Lethani, had long made the wooded region of Ulek’s Grindin province
her home. After the orcish invasion of eastern Ulek she used her considerable
abilities to remain hidden, striking when the opportunity presented itself
against the hated orcs of the Leprous Hand tribe.
use of animal spies, Lethani discovered that the orcs were making preparations
to conduct a powerful ritual which would poison the land. Determined to stop
such a vile occurrence, Lethani sent word to her contacts among the Knights of
Luna in Celene, explaining that time was of the utmost essence.
band of knights answered her summons. With little time to spare before the
ritual would be enacted, they discussed possible strategies, fully aware of the
disadvantage they had due to the sheer number of orcs. They eventually decided on a guerilla raid
into the orcish encampment in an attempt to slay the shaman who would lead the
were aware that even should they succeed in slaying the shaman, it was unlikely
they would survive long enough to escape the encampment. With grim
determination they accepted that possibility and were willing to make the
sacrifice to put a stop to the invoking of such wide spread corruption.
On the 11th
of Goodmonth 591CY, Lethani and sixteen elven knights made their strike against
the orcs of Clan Plague Wind. The attack occurred during the daylight hours,
making use of the sun to hamper the light sensitive orcs’ vision. The elves
however, were unaware that just prior to dawn that the orcs of Clan Plague Wind
were joined by members of several other clans in the area, thus bolstering
their numbers. Despite a valiant fight, Lethani and the Knights of Luna were
Four of the
sixteen knights died during the battle, Lethani and the remaining twelve
knights were taken captive. The orcish shaman, Ungar, viewed their capture as a
favorable omen from his god and declared they would be given to Yurtrus as a
sacrifice during the rite.
filthy white robes, embroidered with crude sigils denoting them a gifts to Yurtrus,
the elves were bound and drugged. During the Rite of Sky Rending they were
placed in a circle around Ungar as he worked the powerful magics that would
call forth the comet from the sky.
green flamed comet struck the Oerth, Yurtrus delighted in the offering given to
him. As a sign of his favor, the resulting blast transformed Ungar and the
elves. Ungar became a mighty plague lich and the elves became the Beholden.
Twisted undead creatures held in thrall to the will of the orcish god of death
cursed elves now wander the corrupt lands of the old Grindin province,
spreading death and disease in fits of tortured rage. While they do not work
directly with the orcs of the region, the Yurtrus worshipping clans regard the
beholden with awe, viewing them as proof of the dark god’s supremacy. It has
become a custom of the orcs of the Leprous Hand tribe to maim and bind captives
then leave them in an area where a beholden is known to wander so that the
undead elves can feed off of their strength with their weakening touch.
encountered, a beholden will often be accompanied by 3d8 HD worth of skeletons
and zombies. They keep their mindless undead minions close enough so that the
skeletons and zombies are benefited by the beholden’s aura of desecration.
Clerics and wizards are primary targets and the beholden are unafraid of
entering the fray themselves, using their strength draining attacks to bolster
their own prowess.
Sleep and charm spells have no effect on a beholden, nor are they affected by
poison or paralysis.
Strength Drain: The diseased magic of Yurtrus which
animates the beholden also consumes their strength. To sustain themselves they
drain strength from the victims of their attacks. Each time a target is struck by a beholden’s
slam attack they suffer the loss of 1 strength point. Those who survive the
encounter will find their stolen strength returning at the rate of 1 point
every 2d4 turns.
Command Undead: A beholden can command up to 35HD of
skeletons and zombies at one time. When attempting to bring such mindless
undead under their control make a wisdom check with a challenge level equal to
the HD of the undead they are attempting to command. If successful they gain
control of an additional 1d12 undead of that type, up to their maximum of 35HD
of controlled undead.
Aura of Desecration: As a gift from Yurtrus, the beholden
radiate a 100’ aura which mimics the effects of a desecrate spell. All undead within the radius (including the
beholden) gain the following benefits. Attempts made to turn them suffer a -3
penalty. All attack and damage rolls made by the undead gain a +2 bonus.
Touch of Yurtrus: Every time a creature is struck by
the slam attack of a beholden they must also make a constitution save. Failure
indicates they have been infected by a magical disease which can only be
removed with a Cure Disease spell.
After a 24 hour incubation period, those affected by the disease begin
suffering the effects of this wasting disease. Each day they lose 1 point of
strength. In addition to the strength loss, healing magic loses potency against
them, only restoring half the usual hit points. The first point of strength
loss is permanent, if the disease is cured the remaining strength points lost
return at the rate of 1 per day.
druidess Lethani also stalks the occupied southern territories as one of the
accursed beholden. While the other beholden are completely subsumed by Yurtrus’
will, the dark god has allowed a small vestige of Lethani’s conscious to
remain. Thus the fallen druidess is tormented by the knowledge of what she has
No. Encountered: 1
HD: 8 (d12); 54 hit points
Attacks: Slam (2d6+2)
Special: Command Undead, Strength Drain, Aura
of Desecration, Touch of Yurtrus, Keening, Spell-like abilities
Saves: M, P
Type: Undead (Unique)
possesses all of the abilities of a standard beholden with the following
only be harmed by magical weapons of a +1 or higher enchantment.
Command Undead: Lethani can command up to 40HD of
Keening: Much like a banshee, Lethani’s
current state fills her mind and soul with unbearable torment. Once per day she
can concentrate this anguish into a single, forlorn wail. All creatures within
30’ of her when she unleashes this wail must immediately make a charisma save
or die. Those who make the save are still affected by the angst of this
accursed elf and automatically lose their next initiative roll.
Spell-Like Abilities: Lethani can use the following
spell-like abilities, each 1 time per day. Entangle,
Faerie Fire, Obscuring Mist, Chill Metal, Warp Wood.