A Shadow over Akeroth
The Black Mountains rise in the Far East, here stands Orcanum, a desolate and brutal volcanic basin which stands as the Home land of the Orcs. It has been home to two Orc Empires, both of which were toppled by the combined efforts of the neighboring Humans and Dwarves.
The area of Orcanum is roughly several hundred square miles and is a rough and ridged landscape. During the Mythic Era Orcanum was a lush and fertile valley basin, and acted as the center of a great and ancient empire. When Man arrived on Akeroth, they first arrived in what is now Elwynn, prior to the start of the 1st Apocalypse (the Great Deceit). The Orcs welcomed the Humans openly, however, due to Nerulls’ teachings and the Dread Plague, Man was unable to subvert their prime directive to spread death and destruction upon all of creation.
The Orcs due to their generosity were the first to take on Humanity and they immediately lost many sections of their ancestral lands including Elwynn, and Westfall. By losing Elwynn and Westfall the Orcs were forced back into the mountains of Orcanum, for the remainder of the war being pushed back and being subverted in the social hierarchy of Akeroth.
After Man defected from Nerull and joined the newly created Order of the Holy Sepulcher during the Battle for Akeroth, and later when Ishar, the Ebon King ultimately slew Nerulls’ Avatar, The Crimson King, donning his Mantle and becoming the Ebon King.
For countless generations the Orcs attempted to take back Elwynn and Westfall. By launching elite raiding squads deep into both of these regions the Orcs were able to strike fear into the peoples’ hearts ( Kythric). These raids continued as the Humans engaged in the Warring Times, thus allowing the Orcs to push forward and sack the City of Lordsport in 1A. This event caused much afuss among the Humans and a temporary alliance was formed between the many Human nations, the Olfgarin Dwarves, and the Elves that remained in Loch Modain. These combined forces would fight the Orcs on multiple fronts pushing them back into Orcanum and the Pursuing the retreating Horde.
The Razing of Lordsport and the reaction to it by the formation of the combined might of the Humans, Dwarves, and Elves against the Orcs began the Orcs Wars. The combined forces pushed the Orcs back into Orcanum and then further. Once the Orcs were pushed back into Orcanum the combined forces followed them into Orcanum with the use of Defilement Magic by Human wild mages the once lush and fertile valley of Orcanum was transformed into a desolate wasteland, and the Orcs were forced into their citadels. With the desolation of Orcanum the combined forces left Orcanum and the “Orc Wars” came to an end.
After the combined forces left the Dragongate was finally completed sealing the Orcs within Orcanum and only rarely did they venture forth to launch raids against Man and instead heading to Evermare beyond Elwynn and Westfall. The Orcs would come together into raiding parties of around thirty men and march from the Dragongate through the woodlands and into the Heart of Evermare, where from here the raid would truly begin. Together the Orcish raiding parties would scurry along the edge of Evermare before finding a small village to attack.
This pattern of raiding lasted until 7A when the many tribes of Orcanum came together in a raid sweeping through Elwynn and Westfall and into Evermare. Here in Evermare the Orcs raided countless villages, and then the razing began. The Leaders of the Horde had decided to Burn Evermare to the ground, and so they did, transforming the once lush forest homeland of the Halflings into a desolate and Scorched Plain.This event forced the Halflings out of Evermare and into their nomadic lifestyle they have today.
After Evermare was burned the Orcs returned to Evermare with their loot and here the Orc Leaders fought against each other over the loot they had received. Ultimately Lok’Tar rose from among the Leaders unifying the Orcs into an Empire and giving rise to Lok’Tar Ogar.
Lok’Tar lead the Orcs on a war of reconquest against the Humans in Elwynn, causing the city-states of Holmgarde and Geyr to be completely destroyed. Before moving on to the other City-states immediately the Orcs actually rebuilt the razed Cities creating New Holm on the ruins of Holmgarde, and the city of Golbal on the ruins of Geyr, and began moving Orcish settlers into these cities.
The Hordes next target after building New Holm and Golbal, was to sack and raze the Shining capital of Humanity, Lordsport. Due to the size of Lok’tars’ Horde, the cities of Tel and Stormgarde were able to send critical reinforcements to Lordsport immediately before the attack on the city began.
The Battle of Lordsport was a total slaughter with nearly one million people involved directly in the combat, with nearly five million directly affected by the combat. It was during this total slaughter that Lok’Tar was slain. With the lose of their leader the Orcs slowly retreated from the battle sparing Lordsport from much damage, however, the city did not escape unscathed. The Human commanders quickly followed the Orcs routing them back to the Dragongate. During the battle of Lordsport the Grand Sept of Pellor was destroyed and the High Seat of the Order was moved to the High Clerists Tower in Avaros.
It was at the Dragongate that an Interminable Siege began lasting from 8A17-8A43 Due to the size of the Dragongate a forward assault was impossible, so the Humans waited, and slowly bolstered their numbers while infighting amongst the Orcs saw their numbers on the walls steadily dwindle.
With the lose of many of the defenders on the wall, the Human forces launched an assault on the Dragongate finally breaking through the gate and assaulting the inner sanctum of Orcanum. Here the Humans slaughtered countless Orcs, forcing many Tribes out in a mass exodus. With this the Humans left Orcanum more desolate then it as before.
At the end of the 8th Apocalypse the majority of Orcs were forced from Orcanum in a mass diaspora, however, the Shattered Hand and the Blackrock remain (due to their betrayals by not sending vitally needed troops to the Dragongate, which lead to the end of Lok’Tar Ogar).
Since then Orcanum has fallen into great disrepair with many savage creatures coming forth and ruling the landscape. The Orcs that remain, unable to launch raids on Elwynn and Westfall, have instead built tunnels through the mountains so that they may raid Dun Morgaine in the North.
The Landscape of Orcanum has changed much over the course of History since the arrival of Man. Originally a great grass basin that stretched from mountain to mountain and held a great bounty of flora and fauna (many that were only found in Orcanum before the Desolation). With the Orc Wars and later the Desolation, the once peaceful grasslands of Orcanum were ripped asunder and the very land itself became scarred, as the ground churned upward and the majority of native life was lost.