Orc King Tarokai was the name taken by the legendary orc that managed to rally the quarrelling orcish tribes of Baltarok under one banner and led an invasion into the High Kingdoms. He was finally killed by six champions that later went on to form Heroica. He is revered as a savior among the orcs of Baltarok, but almost anywhere else his memory lives on in infamy.
His name means literally "the son of Tarok". There has not been a king in the history of the orc-kin before or after Tarok.
The story the orcs of Baltarok tell are of a hero born in chains. 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 now 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.
The Orcish InvasionEdit
The attack was swift and completely unanticipated. 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. Many that were destroyed never recovered. One was Ennon, the largest and greatest of the High Kingdoms. What transpired there was never entirely clear. What is known is that the orcish army annihilated Ennon, freed countless slaves, and Tarokai killed King Augustus on the shores of the river dividing the two lands when he marched to defend the Kingdoms.
The disparate High Kingdoms attempted to regroup, but the sheer volume of orcs that now held the highly fortified Castle Fortaan, former capital of Ennon, proved too entrenched for them to defeat. From the nearby Free Islands, a daring plan was hatched - one hundred champions were gathered from around the world to break the siege and assassinate the orc king. They sailed to Draida Bay and entered the caves below the Nathuz Mountain range, infested with orcs at this point in the invasion. Only six heroes emerged to cross the Waldurk Forest. Under cover of night they snuck into Castle Fortaan and killed the Orc King Tarokai and his commanders, opening the gates of Fortaan from the inside and allowing the High Kingdoms to crush the rest of the orcs.
These six heroes later went on to form Heroica.
Tarokai's death was beyond crippling. He was believed the last, best hope for the orcs, and his murder had a devastating effect on orcish morale. Completely routed and without leadership, the hordes were slaughtered or enslaved, and only a fraction were able to retreat to Baltarok. Ennon had been destroyed, but now they were under the thumb of the High Kingdoms once again - and the slavery that followed was even more brutal than before, the destruction wrought in the Kingdoms fresh in the minds of the survivors. Today, the late Orc King is held in immeasurable regard by the orcs of Baltarok. There, an entire day and night of mourning is spent on the anniversary of his death.