Orcish Invasion was a continent-scale war between the greenskins of Baltarok and the High Kingdoms that took place roughly 250 years before the events of Heroica RPG. It also indirectly led to the founding of Heroica.
Nearly three hundred years ago, one of many orcish slaves was born in a small village near the edge of the High Kingdoms. Decades passed as he toiled among his kin for the human masters he had been born to serve. When he looked around him, however, he did not see fellow slaves. He saw sleeping warriors. The orc attempted to rally his kin, but was discovered, and made an example in front of the entire village. He did not falter and did not flinch, despite the long hours he was tormented. The rest of the slaves saw unmoving strength in him. With him as their symbol, they banded together, freeing him, killing nearly everyone in the village, and fleeing to Baltarok. He maintained that his strength was only made manifest by the will of Tarok, and so his fellows named him Tarokai, the son of their patron god.
Tarokai lead his people all the way into Baltarok. The clans and tribes stopped their warring when they saw these tortured former slaves on their journey across the homeland they'd never seen. When they shared the tales of their imprisonment, all of Baltarok became united in their ferocity. Tarokai saw the trapped madness in the tribes, learned of the centuries of pointless war that had brought them to the point of being animals. If they were to reclaim their glory, they had to break free of their prison, take back their enslaved kin, earn their place in the world. He rallied many clan leaders in the building known as the Taaln in the city of Imaestym. Only Clan Musalnav, who ruled Imaestym, decided to remain behind. The rest he led into the High Kingdoms, and to war.
Invasion of the High KingdomsEdit
The invasion was swift and completely unanticipated. Tarokai got his first victory on the shores of the river that separated Baltarok from the High Kingdoms, on the banks of which he killed King Augustus of Ennon in a duel. Centuries later, a bridge was built over the river, named after the fallen king.
Tarokai and his army tore through the High Kingdoms without mercy, cutting a bloody swath through the countryside, freeing their kin and inflicting vengeance a thousandfold on entire kingdoms. They eventually reached the eastern shores of the High Kingdoms.
After a long and grueling attack, the orcs managed to capture Ennon, the kingdom of the late King Augustus. The holy kingdom of Ennoc was destroyed completely, and not a single non-orc was left alive. The whole royal bloodline was eradicated, the cities erased into ruins and the farmlands devastated. The people that managed to flee the country never returned, even after the invasion was over, and nowadays it is only inhabited by monsters and some roguish orcs.
The orcs took the capital of Ennon, Castle Fortaan, as their base because of its highly defensible position in between two mountain ranges. The orc-kin invaders were driven to the valleys beyond the castle, and the armies of the High Kingdoms put the castle under siege. There were still too many orcs for them to conquer it.
Assault to Castle FortaanEdit
In a desperate attempt to put an end to the invasion, a hundred most talented champions were gathered from all around the Crystalline Sea - knights, mages, clerics, barbarian warriors, rangers and even crafty rogues. In the dead of the night they sailed to Draida Bay in order to enter the caverns under Nathuz Mountains, trying to find a way to Castle Fortaan from behind - the same way Tarokai had conquered it. However, there were a hoard of greenskins waiting for them at the bay, and scores more in the caverns. Only six champions emerged from the caves on other side of the mountains to the Valley of Waldurk, all the rest of the hundred having died on the way.
At Waldurk, the six erected a memorial stone with the names of their fallen comrades carved on it, before advancing to Castle Fortaan. The magic the six imbued into the stone is so strong even today that it turns the flowers around the stone blood-red, and drives any beast that approaches it berserk with grief.
As if by guided by higher forces, those six managed to sneak into Castle Fortaan unnoticed, defeat Tarokai and his most elite guards, and open the gates of the castle to the armies waiting outside. Afterwards, the six heroes moved to the Free Islands together to found Heroica, an organization dedicated to heroic deeds. They became known collectively as Veterans, but most of their real identities have been lost in history.
After the fall of their king, the orcs and their kin knew they had lost the war. Many of them retreated back to the western prairies of Baltarok they had come from, but most were either executed or enslaved by the same nations they had invaded. Even though Eubric Freeport had not been part of the invasion, many orcish slaves were soon brought there by foreign traders. There was a time when no orc, ogre or goblin could walk freely in the High Kingdoms or at the western shores of the Crystalline Sea without getting captured and sold as a slave. But over time, the fires of racial hatred simmered down, and people began to speak against slavery. Some kingdoms banned enslaving orcs, and eventually most of the influential houses of Eubric also freed their slaves, quenching slave trade.