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"May the spirits empower us and our ancestors guide us to prosperity and balance."

~Khan Xugmar WargSpirit

"In the swamp, we resort to reason and instinct above all that is material. By those, we reach true balance and harmony in all doings."

~Unknown Tribesman

Introduction

Once a strictly nomadic people, the Xug'kzai are now a mighty traditionalist orc nation hidden within the dark swamplands of Xulug and newly in the golden plains of Okatchee. They are known for their fur trade, hunting abilities, warg-riding and primal nature. Due to the use of their ancestors' beastly shamanic practices and animalistic fighting tactics, the Xug'kzai are very hostile to any non-orcish outsider, taking lands from abroad and defending it with an iron fist.

History

Ancient History

For thousands of years, nomads traveled throughout Ugork, however four ancient orc clans who were close allies dominated whatever lands they tread. These were the Arau, Nogee, Valo and Waya clans. After traveling too far east in a wasteland, they were stranded in a frozen wasteland and had to quickly adapt to this sudden change. They now dwelled the far-reaches of the Far North where the land was barren and frozen, under the light of the colors dancing in the skies. Life was hard and void of hope, death was a constant part of it.

Fear of the cold kept any of these nomadic clans from moving, except for one year when food ran low. The Arau clan refused to move forward, however the remaining three clans moved forward. They were still unable to find food after many moons of travel, and began to spit up. The Waya clan proceeded southwards, the clan began to slowly die off. There were fifty tribesmen left when they began to notice the small shrubs and flowers on the land. They rejoiced, as for many years they haven't seen a single one.

Instead of staying in this more lush yet still chilly region, they proceeded southwards further as the clan's shamans advised. The population slowly but surely grew until they quadrupled in size, double the size of when they were in the barren wastes. Eventually they began to see trees, but not enough life to sustain their clan, however they reached water. The clan's council began to debate as to stay or go. Half the clan revolted as they wanted to grow within this tundra. The clan split into two, the traveling Zauwaya and the stationary Ichewaya.

Crest of the Spirit Wolf

Crest of the Spirit Wolf, the ancient symbol of the Zauwaya clan.

The Zauwaya began to build primitive vessels together and sail southwards. Fish were plenty, yet some elderly orcs died of age on the journey. The sea was choppy and shook the weak ships like an earthquake hit them. A mist overtook the seas, they knew they chose rightly going southwards at this point, yet it was hard to see more than a fifty feet ahead of you. One of the vessels sunk after crashing into a large rock, killing a third of the once two-hundred orcs in the newly-founded clan.

After about a month of uncharted travel, the clan reached a new land. A land spotted in warm, muddy waters, trees and wildlife all around. The orcs were at home and no longer were a nomadic nation after that point. They named this swampland Xulug and settled there.

The clan began to build small villages around the land. As more spirit-seeking nomads traveled, the population grew within these small villages, to the point they unified under one banner. Very few knows when or who established the Xug'kzai Tribe, as most of their history is transferred through generations orally.

The first major village, Oshukai (Meaning "Valley of Spirits") was soon after established and became not only the largest city in Xulug but the largest spiritual capitol of Ugork. This city was unlike any orcish city, as instead of warfare, its' inhabitants were focused on the world around them and world beyond. These orcs began to write a simple alphabet (as apposed to the common pictographs), began to chart the stars and how the nature around them works. The settlers used earthy substances around them to build warm mud huts (Wiqwams) instead of their usual teepees used for nomadic travel. Many great orcish philosophers came from this city.

Rise of the Tribe

Xug'kzai Tribesman

Xug'kzai tribesman with his faithful warg.

Soon this village became a trade hub, as the Xug'kzai began to sell charms, spiritual items, pelts, primitive armors, tobacco, weaponry and herbs. Their presence in the world was no longer hidden. Many other orcish nations shamed and assaulted them for dabbling in the higher art. They were scorned and called "elves" and many times their village was attacked for this. The Xug'kzai began to train hunters and warriors and and fortified their villages with large, strong mud walls with logs within the center, a breakthrough for those times.

They were nearly invincible for many years. During these times brutal warriors were trained with iron weaponry and armored with a material called swampleather, a flexible leather that was strengthened by the swamp water and dried in the sun for prolonged periods of time. Hunters turned from food-providers to lithe and accurate marksmen who could shoot the head off a boar riding full speed on a Warg. The wisemen of the tribe were able to practice the destructive, animalistic qualities of Shamanism behind their fortified walls. Shamans went from prophets and peaceful guiders in the world to beastly primals who soon took the world by surprise.

The Great Devide

Around when the Xug'kzai reached the size of a thousand tribesmen, an avian nation called the Chedake Tribe from the eastern side of the island proceeded westward to expand their territory. They saw this land fit for villages and proceeded to stake out camps on there, using the large Swampoak trees to build cozy cabins in the marshland. For many years they built small villages and eventually a capitol. Xug'kzai scouts began to report strange humanoids in white and red walk into their territory. The tribe was on full alert, training troops in case of emergency.

Little to the Xug'kzai's knowledge, the tribe began to spew out westward camps within their side of the large island. The tribesmen were angered to see others on their land, but approached them respectfully and peacefully. The avians attempted to buy land from the Chieftain for goods, however their request was denied multiple times. They instead agreed that they may stay on the eastern side of the isle and the orcs could stay on the western half where the mountains within the forest divided them. They became trade partners, trading the Xug'kzai for tobacco and furs. A peace treaty was agreed on so they could both coexist together on separate sides of the isle.

Many years later, the new chieftain of Chedake wanted to purge the orcs from the surrounding land, seeing them as a lower race. He began to burn down their villages and assault them. The Xug'kzai were extremely angered, and declared war on them.

WIP

The New World

This portal led to a strange new world, complete with new animal and plant life never seen before.

Culture

The culture of the Xug'kzai is completely unique to its' people. It is not comparable to any other traditional orcish societies, as it strives for knowledge. However, the Xug'kzai have made peace with themselves and other orcs, but not with other races.

Social

Intellect, wisdom, inner peace and deep thought are valued higher than gold or blood. A tribesman's life is based around finding inner peace, and caring for their kin and bringing wisdom and insight to their nation. Now that the Xug'kzai have settled instead of continuing their old nomadic lifestyle, they can now focus on learning and writing about the world around them.

When a child is born within the tribe, it is cleaned off in a river or lake and then is given a name that the spirits choose for them. Once the orc child has grown to be able to walk and play, he is than given the assignment to gather nuts, berries and edible plants for the tribe to eat. Once the orc is around thirteen in man-years, he is thought how to hunt by his parents and provide on for his own. Once they are adept hunters they are told to decide to either go build a wiqwam in a village and find a partner or enlist in the warband, and are then given years of training for combat.

Orcish partnership is a union of two or more orcs of any gender. Polygamist and homosexual relations between orcs in the tribe are not uncommon. These unions are a bit different than other orcish culture's unions, as these are more about love and trust than the usual marriage for a housewife that is seen outside of Xug'kzai.

This society has little racism within it; as they are thought at a young age judge only by character. All races are welcome to trade and stay in the inns within the villages of the tribe, however, only orcs are welcome within the ranks of the tribe for now. However, they dislike the ways of many outside races. Many are barbaric like the ogres or other orcish nations.

There is no discrimination between genders in this orcish society. Women are able to pursue the same career choices as men, rise to positions of power and are even expected to answer to the call for battle just as men are, some are even major spiritual leaders or military leaders. Strength (especially spiritual and mental), courage, initiative and independence are prized traits in all orcs within the tribe.

An honorable death is found within battle or an orc who contributed much good to their society socially by bringing harmony and wisdom into the world. Once a tribesman dies, they usually place them in a stone coffin within a cave in the mountains. These orcs believe once they die, they will either reincarnate or become an ancestral spirit who comes down occasionally from the afterlife to guide the warriors, morning souls and travelers who need guidance in a time of need.

Political

Xug'kzai is led by two main authorities and a high and low council. These two authorities are the chieftain and the warchief. The chieftain tends to social, economical, trade and alliance issues; the warchief tends to war, training, strategy and combat. A chieftain or warchief can make a vote to do an action, and the council votes either yes or no on their idea. If at least half of the council agrees to the idea and the warchief or chieftain agrees to the others plan, it goes through. A vote can be vetoed from the other by the warchief or chieftain but if more than 3/4ths of the council says yes or no, the veto will be invalid and the idea will go in action.

Economic

Xug'kzai makes most of its prosperity from fur trade and tobacco crops, usually selling it downriver. Secondary prosperity comes from leather-working, herbal medicines, food and lumber. Economically the tribe is a poor nation becuase most don't rely on money for food or other luxuries. Most necessities are derived from the land they live on.

Spiritual

Most tribesmen believe in Shamanism, worshiping the Great Spirit and revering the four elements that make up the world. These give the shamans their unique ability to control these four chaotic elements (fire, earth, water and wind) with harmony and breathtaking grace to benefit their allies or destroy their foes. Shamanism is not a good or evil belief, they thrive on neutrality and balance.

Though the majority of the tribe are believers in shamanism and much of it's culture and values are based off it, it is not an enforced belief. Some even believe in demon magic, although it is not encouraged due to the dark and chaotic imbalance it brings.

Overall

Positives

  • Amazing Shamans, especially with defensive calls
  • Amazing philosophers; love to look deep into nature and it's workings
  • Skillful leatherworkers
  • Skillful hunters and fishers
  • Harmonious with nature
  • Government is led by a council vote instead of a single-man rule
  • Generally pleasant citizens
  • Gender equality

Negatives

  • Weak armor, however this is used for stealth technique
  • Weaponry is not at technological peak, little iron is used
  • Warlike, usually for land
  • Has a small naval force, used primarily for trade
  • Will fight for the benefit of the tribe's people or resources
  • Not a wealthy nation; however, the large majority live off the land around them with ease instead of working except for builders, fishermen, hunters, lumberjacks, healers and farmers.

Trivia

  • Xug'kzai is the first faction in the Ugork genre.
  • Xug'kzai's culture, weaponry, uniforms and forts are based off the eastern woodland Native American tribes of America and the Bloodhoof Tribe from World of Warcraft.
  • Xug'kzai means "Swamp Totem" in orcish. Xug is ancient orcish for swamp/wetland/marsh and Kzai means totem. The reason it is ancient orcish is becuase Xug'kzai is one of the oldest known factions on Ugork.
    • Some of the orcish used in Xug'kzai is a forum of ancient orcish, little is known about this primitive sub-language as it was never recorded or written in those days and passed down orally.
      • It is easy to spot ancient orcish, as it contained more x's, k's and z's.
  • Leather, cloths and fur are what most tribesmen wear.
    • Due to their sometimes nomadic nature, lack of Xulugi metals and stealth fighting style, iron is usually only seen on blades and isn't considered a good armor.
    • In replacement of iron's strength, the Xug'kzai use swampleather, leather soaked in swamp water and dried on sun-lit rocks many times until flexible and nearly unpenetrable.
  • Xug'kzai live in small clans, much like extended families.
  • Most Xug'kzai tribesmen live in either Wiqwams; large dome-like structures made of mud. Portable homes are usually teepees, folding pointed tent used for nomadic travel or temporary shelter.
  • Most of the orcs within the tribe have very dark green skin, it is unknown why.

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