The lands of Vrakdann are the forests west of Celestra, largely unknown to the civilizations to the east. They are less advanced and more savage than the Drakdanni of the south, and viewed as inferior by the Drakdanni. The Vrakdanni have a long history of occasional attempts at conquering Celestra. None have been ultimately successful, though once long ago the Vrakdanni did manage to slay the Fairy Queen (see: Revenge). It is rare, however, for the Vrakdanni to be united under one banner, and are typically warring among themselves to be a significant threat to Celestra.
Two major rivers run through the Vrakdanni lands, the Westflow (the northern one) and the Twilight Run. The source of the Westflow is the magical Weeping Tree, where Amber “West” lives. The rivers are beyond critical for the agriculture of the Vrakdanni, and indeed much of their population is concentrated near the shores of these two rivers.
The Vrakdanni are organized politically much the same as the Drakdanni. The High Warlord is essentially dictator. His generals are the warlords, but most of the time the various warlords have their own armies much like vassals. All warlord authority supersedes all other local authority positions. Individual communities are ran by chiefs, but there is often a garrison of orc soldiers stationed for both extra defense and to ensure chief and tribe loyalty. The garrisoned soldiers are typically part of the High Warlord’s army. In some clans, priests have a lot of authority, but this is not the case across the board. When a High Warlord brings other High Warlords under his banner, he becomes an Overlord.
The last clan to unite all the Vrakdanni was the Blood Dawn, in 709. They invaded Celestra, but were severely routed in the Twilight Pass by magical bombardment by the prepared combined forces of Celestra and Selendorr, with aid from the Jaqmoori centaurs. The defenders knew the attack was coming well in advance. The high warlord was slain in the Pass, and the clans splintered once again. It was this invasion that the author of the book that Synnvol gave Lezarous caught wind of, and he set out to learn more about it and the Vrakdanni in general.
Currently there are nine clans, adding up to a population of app. 300,000.
The Nine Clans
Blood Dawn: The High Warlord of Blood Dawn, Zordraas, one of the deadliest, fiercest, massive orcs the Vrakdanni have produced in ages, has a mind to unite the clans once again. His warlords and all the soldiers of Blood Dawn are fanatically loyal to him. His army went on the offensive early in 798. They have already conquered a sizable portion of the Kordanni lands by the end of 798. Their territory is by far the largest of the clans, as is their population. The Blood Dawns have grown very resentful of the powerhouse economy of the Axestorms, but the Axestorm capitol is by far the most heavily fortified/defended. Zordraas’ great-great-great-great-grandfather united the Vrakdanni in 709.
Shadowtusk: The Shadowtusk clan is small in number but beyond capable militarily. Xu’Dann and Vey’Ghul are both very popular. Most Shadowtusks draw powers from one or the other. They’re a cunning lot, politically. The High Warlord is the oldest among his peers, the venerable, eccentric Suvuunaas. Suvuunas is a priest of Vey’Ghul, and adept in necromantic Csaversa manipulation as well, a closely guarded treasure that he has passed on only to some of his relatives to help secure their foothold on authority. His immediate family has a small undead army to bolster their ranks if need be. The Shadowtusks are formal allies of Blood Dawn, as it has been so for many, many generations, though the other clans are not fully aware that the alliance is still formally active today. So far the Shadowtusks have been neutral in the offensive against Kordann, which has the other warlords curious as to the status of relationship b/w Blood Dawn and the Shadowtusks. Suvuunaas and Zordraas share ancestors a few generations removed. Suvuunaas is Zordrass’ great-granduncle. The High Warlord’s family tends to favor Vey’Ghul, but Xu’Dannian worship is still quite prominent with the Shadowtusks.
Foereaver: Led by High Warlord Rakduun, who is seriously starting to feel the pressure from his neighbors. Doesn’t trust the Shadowtusks, assumes Blood Dawn has him marked for death, assumes the Axestorms will stay out of the middle, and there has been too much bad blood with the clans Mindshatter and Glory Throne in the past. Further, Rakduun has not been High Warlord long. Foereaver has had some major turnover issues lately in their political structure. It’s the worst clan for having the High Warlord defeated and outed/killed by challengers, happens quite regularly. Rakduun has been in charge for three years. The three years previous to that saw six distinct High Warlords. Rakduun’s closest adviser and confidant, invaluable to his keeping power, is his fierce, cruel, cunning sister Larath.
Traditionally Clan Foereaver is one of the strongest, but lately they are correctly perceived as one of the weakest.
Kordann: After the defeat in 709, the Kordann were the first to split from Blood Dawn. High Warlord Korjux, a fanatical warrior/priest of Xu’Dann, felt that the lack of overall allegiance to the Chaos Lord was to blame for their defeat in the Twilight Pass, and promised a brave new Vrakdanni era in which Xu’Dannians would purge all non-believers and once again fully embrace the Chaos Lord.
Their current leader is High Warlord Korgraaks, a descendent of Korjux. Korgraaks was traveling abroad several years. He spent a lot of time in Salimar and the deserts west of it. In the Fall of 797, returned to his homeland and challenged his older brother (fighter/priest of Xu’Dann) for control of his clan, and won, thus making him high warlord. He had a tenuous hold over his clan, and then the Blood Dawn invaded. Their justification for the invasion was Korgraaks heresy in being a priest of Yashytra, though the invasion was going to happen one way or the other. Korgraaks surprised everyone and lasted out the year against the Blood Dawn, but his clan’s defeat is a foregone conclusion.
Korgraaks can trace his lineage back to a shared relative with Overlord Korgrall.
Mindshatter: Led by High Warlord Igspoz. Formal allies with Glory Throne. Igspoz is the cousin of High Warlord Huudthuul of Glory Throne. Together those two clans are the most devout overall to Xu’Dann. They have flirted with the idea of unification, but both High Warlords are too attached to power to allow it so far. They are worried about the strength of Blood Dawn but have a combined strong mind to conquer Axestorm and Foereaver.
Axestorm: Led by High Warlord Khorr. Known to be a priest, unclear exactly under who. Veteran orc, the second oldest High Warlord of the Vrakdanni. Strict legalist and very conservative of Vrakdanni custom overall. Nevertheless, the Axestorm clan in some respects is progressive, particularly economically and religiously. Under Khorr’s leadership they have greatly expanded their naval abilities and exploration. They conduct a lot of trade with Salimar, and have the most powerful economy of all the Vrakdanni clans. Khorr has implemented a form of mercantilism for his clan that has made his clan very wealthy overall. The Axestorms have become quite wealthy in their trade of goods they acquire abroad and then distribute to the other clans, especially slaves and ore. It is illegal for Axestorms to purchase anything from other Vrakdanni clans with rare metals, instead conducting business exclusively in trade or use of the iron coins quite prevalent in the Vrakdanni economy (purchase power of about a silver piece, whereas silver and gold coins have a purchase power about five times their normal value in other civilizations. Most iron bits are minted by the Axestorms.
Khorr isn’t greedy and maintains low-moderate taxes. He is hands-off as far as trade regulation within Axestorm borders, only enforcing a heavy hand on trade outside their borders.
The Axestorms have temples of Xu’Dann, Qivos, Magdon, Or’Dukall, Goringall, Vey’Ghul, Glimmerdin, D’Khaz, and Ukulla, listed in order of prominence, all in its massive capitol, Stormhearth, located where the Northwater flows into the sea, the very southwestern corner of their territory. The population of the Axestorms is heavily concentrated in that one city. Khorr rules from Fortress Stormshield, the most impressive castle in all of Vrakdann. Technically it’s the only castle in Vrakdann, as most other battlements in the nation are of wood, not stone. Stormhearth is also surrounded by an impressive 30’ stone wall, complete with decent ballistae and shitty catapults. The Axestorm clan possesses the only navy worth mentioning, and while it’s more designed for travel than war, it would still be able to completely shut off the sea of enemy lands in any military campaign. Khorr himself does possess a warship, the only one of its kind in Vrakdann. He is also a cannibal, infamous for feasting on his fallen foes, believing he draws power in this way, a custom some other Axestorms have come to practice as well.
The Axestorms have a lot more civilian types in their ranks than the other clans, and their official military is small but well-trained. They are overconfident in their ability to defend their main city/castle, and have no mind for military aggression these days, being recently smitten instead by economic imperialism of sorts.
Glory Throne: Led by High Warlord Huudthuull. He thinks a serious purging of the unfaithful is long overdue for the Vrakdanni. Blood Dawn’s recent aggression put the kibosh on Glory Throne’s plans with Mindshatter to invade Axestorm’s turf. The clan is on permanent war footing, which is frenetic of late first in preparations of invading Axestorm and now readying against a possible Blood Dawn invasion. Huudthuul despises Kuursk of the Logjammers but their clans’ economies are closely linked, with Glory Throne relying heavily on the Logjammers for iron ore.
Iron Fist: In a constant state of warm/hot war with the Logjammers. Led by High Warlord Ghomrok, a gargantuan mongrel. Iron Fist has merged with the hill giants and ogres of the northern mountains, and there has been a lot of racial assimilation. Iron Fist and the Logjammers have most of the mining concerns of the Vrakdanni. Ghomrok is not known for his brains, but his strength is legendary. They are informally allied with the storm giants.
Logjammer: Led by High Warlord Kuursk, a greedy, conniving, shrewd leader. They invented the game of logjamming, which has also become popular with the Iron Fist as well. They are in a longstanding war of attrition with the Iron Fist. Their overall prosperity is entirely hinged upon the smarts of Kuursk and the war wherewithal of Warlord Graak. They are informally allied with the stone giants.
Basically the militaries of all clans are on alert/standby waiting to see what Blood Dawn does after they wrap up their campaign against the Kordanni.
Beginning 1/2/799, Lezarous, Prism, and an assortment of NPCs started their big task of making Lezarous Overlord of the Vrakdanni. Details can be found on Timeline Parallel 2.