Firestarters

Posted by on Nov 13, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Firestarters

Written by Spartan Franco | Tags:

Among the Orcs of The Kingdom, the Wechtas are by far the most despised of the Three Great Tribes. Their shamans are amongst the most highly skilled of Orc magicians, but in the process they have perverted old shamanic rituals in their lust for still greater power.

Other Orcs, especially other shamans, regard this as the basest form of heresy, and it is for this reason that the Wechtas are hated and feared in equal measure by many. Some Wechtas Orcs have compounded this wrongdoing by turning against their own race, siding with the Dragon Lords in the continuing battles around the new Orc settlements in the Darnak Cluster.

However, the brutal but scheming King Lothar knows that the Wechtas still have much to offer the growing power of The Kingdom, so much so that he has stayed the hands of those in his court who would have the Orcish heretics exiled or destroyed entirely.

The Wechtas harbour a strong affection, even reverence, for fire and flames. This is actually true of all Orcs to some degree. Before they arrived in the Great East Spur and began to build some semblance of a lasting civilization, the Orc tribes were hunter-gatherers, forced to scratch a living from the harshest lands. Hence, fire and its many uses – for warmth, cooking and in battle – was highly prized. Furthermore, all Orc shamans, regardless of their tribe, draw their power from ‘great fire spirits’.

The Orc Raiders Pyre Class Frigates about to burn their prey

But the Wechtas as a whole tribe came to worship fire. Wechtas shamans first discovered sticky black oil welling up amid the dismal swamps of the Hamatcha, and before long began to use it in their rituals. It is this that is partly to blame for their reputation as heretics amongst the Orcs. From here it was a short step to harness its terrible power as a weapon.

King Lothar has not missed the chance to use the terror of flaming oil to add another edge to The Kingdom’s sea power. Amenable Wechtas shamans and engineers have been compelling into the service of The Kingdom’s fleets and set to work to build more devastating weaponry.

The terrible Pyre Class Frigate is the most widespread of these deadly new war machines. It is a variant – if such can be said to exist – of the Warcroc attack ship, but instead of Orc berserkers, the Pyre carries an even more deadly weapon. Great bronze and copper tanks occupy much of the Pyre’s hull space, filled to the brim with oil or alcohol runoff from The Kingdom’s many brewhouses.

When the Pyre’s threshing paddlewheels have driven it into ramming distance, Orc engineers use a crude bellows system to pump this volatile liquid through the flared bronze tubing at the prow of the ship and over clusters of ignition torches positioned there.

Great gouts of fire engulf the enemy vessel, setting light to everything that will burn and smothering terrified enemy crews with blankets of flame. The Orcs’ use of flaming oil in such quantities makes this doubly dangerous, as the glutinous liquid cannot be quenched by water and will even continue to blaze on the surface of the sea.

King Lothar and his War-Chieftains are justly proud of their ferocious ‘sea-dragons’, while the Wechtas who remain aligned to The Kingdom also rejoice in their success, as the King’s protection will allow them to maintain their heretical customs, no matter how much the other tribes may hate them!