Dark Days in Sion
Morg are taller than most humans with ridges of bony plates grown over a slightly elongated hairless skull. Their spines are similarly armored with overlapping plates that also spread across their shoulders. Mottled, ashen gray skin covers a muscular physique often scarred from battle. They are a race of formidable warriors with human and Org ancestors established two thousand years ago by the Org King Eros.
Island of Chival – 3,040 Years Ago
Their story began when Eros married Kari, a powerful sorceress and daughter of King Khimera, the ruler of an evil realm called the Kingdom of Khimera, once at the center of the island of Chival. Up until then breeding between Humans and Org was unheard of despite a long history of widespread, peaceful cohabitation.
It was in a way ironic that the Morg were fathered by an Org because they were known as a peaceful race who raised no armies and waged no wars. Nevertheless King Khimera was at odds with them. He could not abide their outspoken, free-thinking nature. Khimera ruled through fear and oppression. He was in league with and corrupted by demons who marched in his armies and shared his bed. All Khimeran nobles, including princess Kari, had the taint of demon blood in their veins giving them dark magic powers.
Eros was chosen to represent the Org tribes and speak with king Khimera to ensure peace. He was granted audience with the king, but then he was seized, and tortured at length for information. Kari took pity on him and freed him, and together they absconded from the palace. Enraged, king Khimera exterminated all the Org on the island searching for her. Eros grew to love Kari as the only thing left to care for after all the other Org were killed. At that point there was nothing holding him to his birthplace.
Island of Anatol – 3,038 Years Ago
Together they took a ship westward into the setting sun and settled on another island called Anatol populated with Ahuran colonies. Fair-haired humans from the Kingdom of Croesus far to the north. Not everyone took a liking to Eros, who was certainly quite eccentric and strange for an Org after what he went through. Some said he was mad, but many others saw him as a visionary.
Ahurans were superstitious of sorcery and therefore suspicious of Kari, but her beauty and noble bearing were peerless. Anyone could see she was meant to be a queen. But the notion of Eros as a king did not sit well with the Ahuran chieftains who ruled the colonies in the name of King Croesus.
At first, the couple lived together on the outskirts of a small village where she bore him eight children over the course of a decade. During that time they both learned the local language and customs and became deeply involved in village life. Eros was respected at first for his bravery when he helped defend the village from marauders and wild beasts.
But before long his unique ideas and philosophies stemming from his past began to spread along with his reputation. His perception of life had changed, he no longer saw himself as an Org so much as the father of a new race. A warrior race that could easily defend themselves against the likes of king Khimera.
Birth of the Morgons – 3,030 Years Ago
Eros’ named his first eight children born from Kari, Morgons. Physically Morgons are cousins to Eros’ other children that followed, the Morg, except for the blood red pallor in their eyes and skin, and the hint of horns, claws and fangs. Psychologically Morgons are far more devious then Morg with mysterious dark knowledge and innate powers at their disposal born to them by their mother. Kari was especially fond of her only daughter, whom she taught the secrets of sorcery.
Birth of the Morg Race – 3,000 Years Ago
Being that Org had an average life span at least twice that of humans Eros had plenty of time to spread his seed. Eros’ took many local Ahuran women as wives who mothered the Morg race. Many of whom were ugly, disgraced, or otherwise undesirable to potential Ahuran suitors. As Eros’ family grew and his children grew up public opinion of them soured. Many local colonists regarded his children as freaks.
He was forced to move on and keep moving, but everywhere he went more wives and followers flocked to his side. He traveled thus for a few more decades until most of his children were grown and capable warriors in their own right.
Conquest of Anatol Begins – 2,970 Years Ago
He then decided the time had come to begin conquering Anatol. He started by returning to the village that originally turned him away and presented an ultimatum. Submission or death. The first of many battles followed, ending with the death of any colonists unwilling to submit to his rule. Those that did were allowed to keep their status, families, homes, traditions and religion intact so that eventually fewer and fewer resisted him.
Eros becomes a King – 2,960 Years Ago
When the whole of Anatol was finally conquered, Eros was proclaimed king and Kari lived out her final years as Queen Kari dying at the age of 84. King Eros lived a long reign. His Morg and Morgon children married and kept breeding. Even so, the majority of Eros’ subjects were Ahuran colonists who outnumbered his children four to one. Some of them were even chieftains, and towards the end of his reign Eros began to worry about a successor.
None of his children were loved and respected as much as he, and he believed that once he was gone the Ahuran colonists would betray, resist and defy his children. Eros understood this all too well because he never forgave the Khimerans who killed his Org kin. Long ago, Eros decided he would never again trust humans except those he took to be wives.
They knew this when they married him and he made them promise they would allow him to kill any other human, even their relatives if he deemed it necessary. His sons made their wives promise the same to them, and now he decided the time had come to hold them to their word.
Eros Orders Extermination of Humans – 2,900 Years Ago
He called a summons for all his children who at the end of his days numbered in the thousands and told them to drive off all the humans (except their spouses) from the island of Anatol. He instructed them to kill as many as they could in a brutal fashion so that those who fled would spread tales of terror far and wide.
Thus he commanded so the Morg race would stand alone, forever more as isolationists and keep each other safe from humans. After this was done, he promised them he would finally reveal his plans for a successor. This was the news they had been waiting for and gave them all the motivation to carry out his terrible wish, especially when their own human mothers gave their blessings and affirmation.
Years of bloodshed followed which forged the Morg into a united race of xenophobic killers destined to be mortal enemies of mankind. After this was done Eros renamed Anatol, Morg Isle, and gathered his family around him once again and revealed his plans for the future.
|My crown shall not pass to any one of you. Not because I feel any of you are unworthy, but because I think you are all worthy. Kings are the creation of lesser races who do not share your bond of brotherhood. All of you are related to each other through me. I am your father and like all fathers I do not wish to see my children quarrel. Remember this, you are all equals in my eyes and you should never allow any one of you to call himself king and take my place for it will only weaken you as a family and as a race.|
|Still there must be order and leadership and justice among you. My sons from my queen Kari, the Morgons, are oldest and strongest among you. Let them serve this function as the Onin did among my people. To ensure fairness they will live apart from the rest of you Morg, as cloistered warrior monks. They will build Bastions for themselves in the ruins of the seven Ahuran colonies, each ruled by an Overseer they elect. Each Overseer will govern an equal portion of the island and once a year they will convene to discuss trade, write laws and vote on them.|
|This island belongs to all of you, but those of you who wish to permanently settle on a parcel of land have to tithe for it at a rate appropriate to its size and your income. This tithe can take the form of coin, goods or labor. It shall be collected each month and spent on public works by the Builders Guild. On cisterns, roads, bridges, schools and the like.|
|All of you, my children are forbidden to breed with each other, no matter how distantly related you are, for it will corrupt the pure blood of your race. You must look elsewhere for wives, banding together in raiding parties capturing human women abroad for breeding purposes. Those of you that are female must not take husbands. For no males of another race should be allowed to live among you, even as slaves. Those of you that are men should honor and respect your sisters for they will be nursemaids to your children. Let them live and help in your household, or become a sorceress and learn the secrets passed on from our beloved queen Kari.|
King Eros Dies – 2,890 Years Ago
Then having given his final commandments from his deathbed, King Ero’s passed on.
Eros’ children evolved into a harsh, patriarchal society where young Morg males had to participate in raids overseas as a right of passage to manhood. Morg men capture human women and bring them back as wives. Eros had over three hundred, all treated well, who all chose to marry him. Such is not the case with many Morg in present times. Selfish and cruel they lord over their wives like slaves punishing or even killing those that displease them or do not bear them sons.
Most Morg children do not form a lasting, loving bond with their human mothers. Typically Morg wives are so miserable and resentful of being torn away from home that even the joy of motherhood is spoiled for them. Morg females often serve as nursemaids and the children are traditionally raised communally together to ensure a proper education and sense of brotherhood with their peers.
Sturdy, seaworthy vessels are hard to come by on Morg Isle. Trees there are gnarled and twisted, very poor for making planks. Shipbuilding is twice as difficult, time consuming and costly without good timber. Few Morg are rich enough to afford the expense and they have no ruler demanding their construction otherwise, yet they are sorely needed all the same.
Thus, villagers take to collaboration on ship building projects. Contributors own a stake in the ship thereafter with a right to a share of the commerce facilitated by its use. A large portion of that is local transport and trade around the island but the most lucrative venture is raiding foreign lands across the sea.
|O’Skal||Head Shaman||Head Landmaster||Head Guildmaster|
- Skals and O’Skals
Raids are led by veteran warriors called Skals, known for leadership ability and skill. It does not matter if they are elected or simply chose themselves. Technically any Morg could become a Skal if others swear an oath to obey and fight for him abroad. The trouble is securing a ship with which to do so.
The time honored ritual to ordain a Skal requires them to kneel before a Morgon and speak a sacred oath with his warriors gathered close in witness. They vow to uphold tradition and honor the ancestors, bravely leading raids across the sea. The Morgon then symbolically seals his words to his fate pressing a hot brand to the back of his hand. If they make a sound it is taken as a sign that they are unworthy of the mark and their hand is summarily chopped off.
A Skals first battle is often a negotiation trying a charter a ship under favorable terms. Not an easy thing when the vessel itself is likely more valuable than the spoils it hauls back. Most Skals have to find a landmaster to sponsor them until the day they own their own ship. Failed raids are financially draining to all involved but ruinous to Skals. Indebted slavery or death is often their fate.
A fortunate, talented few lead successful raids again and again eventually earning the honor and title of O’Skal , or lord. An O’Skal organizes all the raids from a particular region of the island but none of his sons can inherit that title or position.
Morg law is written by Morgons and thus tends to favor them in all things. Most legal matters, such as taxes, debt-collection, deeds, contracts and the like are handled by them. After so many centuries, they’ve plotted and schemed so that legally nearly all the land belongs to them. This has made them quite rich but they are coy about it as they lease it to landmasters that in turn charge rent to everyone else.
Most Morg are poor as a consequence of this arrangement. Most owe rent to a landmaster in addition to a tithe for the builders guild, and then there are all manner of taxes imposed by the law for goods and services which usually weasel their way into the Morgons coffers eventually.
Murder between Morg is forgivable in certain circumstances but patricide is not and neither is the murder of a Skal, a Morgon, a Shaman or a Landmaster. Morg men often challenge one another to combat over disputes or disagreements but such duels should not result in death and must be fought before witnesses.
In cases where a Morg is certain he has been wronged and has proof he may simply report the crime to a Morgon rather than face his enemy. However Morg law states that any Morg accusing another of a crime will stand for punishment in place of the accused if his claims cannot be proven. Another option is allowing a Shaman to arbitrate a dispute.
|Customs, Kinship, and Marriage|
The Morg economy is based on raiding. O’Skals organize the raids so that potential targets are kept ripe and unawares. Skals lead the raids and bring home spoils to satisfy the men who fight for them and pay off the Landmasters who sponsor them. Landmasters in turn pay taxes to the Overseer.
The only other wealth to be found on Morg Isle comes from mines. The stone beneath the ground is rich with veins of precious metals. Where possible, Landmasters open mines inviting volunteers to work in them for a share of their diggings.