- 1 Summary
- 2 History
- 3 Location
- 4 Social Structure
- 5 Culture
- 6 Religion
- 7 Economy
The Iron Division is a faction of amazonian Orcs and Goblins located in Valc, a large town built within a chain of mountains in the northern part of the hemisphere. They are relatively low in numbers, having built their primarily underground civilization during hundreds of years spent in isolation from the surrounding world. They are also in possession of an advanced technology which relies on magic Crystals.
The Iron Division developed during the course of over 500 years, formed after a nomad tribe of Greenskins stumbled upon a chain of underground caverns which would provide them with a permanent shelter as well as an invaluable treasure to uncover...
Before being officially established as a faction, the Iron Division consisted of wild Orcs and Goblins roaming the land in search for places to settle. As a nomad tribe, they would spend most of their lives traveling, hunting, fishing and growing livestock. Due to the war-like nature of the Orcs, they often raided Human caravans and settlements, which led to the wrath of the local lords who eventually mustered armies to track them down and end their raids once and for all.
Faced with this menace, the nomads were forced away from ripe lands, fleeing to the north, where they discovered the Green Wall, an eerie forest that was both large and dense enough to prevent the Human army to follow through.
However, this rich and dark habitat proved to be almost as dangerous as the Humans, with dark beasts and twisted plants preying upon the new visitors. Trapped inside, the Greenskins could only advance further, eventually discovering an underground entrance at the base of a large mountain.
Initially, the Division's precursors took shelter in the underground, setting up camp inside the mountain's bowels as their livestock dwindled and their hunters fell to the beasts lurking outside. This forced the tribe's elders to send out scouts deeper inside in order to find supplies of water and cave life, knowing that they could not survive for long at the mountain's base.
The Great Discovery
Exploring the caves, the scouts would stumble upon various strange Crystals, some of which seemed to develop entire natural environments around them, thus leading the Greenskins to gradually move deeper inside, feeding ferns to their hogs, picking cave fruit and cultivating mushrooms wherever they could. Sensing the power of the surrounding Crystals, the shamans of the tribe were drawn even deeper inside, with one of their expeditions eventually coming upon an Ancient forgotten temple, with an access to a massive underground cave. Amazed at the sheer amount of glowing Crystals in the distance resembling a starry sky, the Orcs named this place "The Crystal Dome".
Here is where the Shamans also discovered a strange device powered by a mysterious Disk Artifact. Drawn closer by its radiating power, they held a ritual inside the Inner Sanctum of the temple which culminated with their minds accessing the Disk and learning the secrets of the Crystals. When they returned to their sisters, they appeared reborn. And so would their entire tribe be.
The Iron Division's Genesis
After linking their minds to the Disk, the elders learned much of the information it contained. They learned about the surrounding Crystals and their properties, about the layout of the underground and the rich areas developed by these wondrous formations which had been sealed away from the overworld for hundreds of years. They also learned about mathematical patterns and the astrology surrounding their world which later led to them creating their own calendar based upon the planet's rotation around the Sun.
Marking the time of the Great Discovery as "Rotation 0", the elders became the keepers of the Crystal technology, guiding their sisters into a whole new era of development and prosperity.
During the course of the next 300 years, the Greenskins constructed an underground stronghold which they named "Valc" (signifying the first sight of horizon discovered by a sailor in the ancient Orc language). This effort caused the Greenskins to gradually adapt to the underground world, as well as develop a hierarchical structure which attributed each member of the tribe to a Caste based on their skills in order to construct their new civilization in a most efficient manner.
The faction they formed took the name of "Iron Division", with "Iron" and other metals being the foundation of their home, and "Division" representing the way that they were now divided from the other wild Greenskins and the overworld, as a new kin of underground dwellers. They would also adopt a particular banner depicting a clenched fist (representing power and autonomy) encased by a circle with six spikes (representing the Six Castes).
The Present Day Iron Division
After 509 Rotations, the Iron Division presents itself as a strong, autonomous and borderline isolationist faction, extending both inside mountain Valc and around its outskirts, albeit in much smaller numbers. Their home town, bearing the same name as the mountain, is an accurate reflection of their cultural and technological advancements.
During the 500 years of existence, the Iron Division retreated almost completely from the overworld, only rarely getting in contact with Human traders brave enough to travel close to the Green Wall or the Icepeak Dwarves located on the very top of the mountain. However, while their interactions with the outside world were limited, the ground beneath soon proved to be a lot more populated than they had hoped by what would soon become their greatest enemy - the Demons.
This caused the Iron Division to remain a military-oriented faction, despite their success in developing a thriving civilization in the underground. They have spent centuries of skirmishes and small battles with the Demons who seemed to be growing in power after each battle and eventually, this caused the Lancer Council leading the Division to reach out to new allies and unite with the Icepeak Dwarves and the Cave Minotaurs against this common, capital enemy.
This led to a degree of extroversion, especially through trade and joint military operations.
Being built in the underground, Valc was generally formed using the natural space of the caverns to create various rooms. The entire urban planning, landscaping, architecture and engineering of the Iron Division adapted the cave and its natural constructive logic in order to create living spaces. Thus, they have built their habitat around caverns which often vary in shape, width, height or elevation, their homes often appearing to the exterior as a small facade bordered by natural cave rock.
Using a magical technique known as "Magic Quaking", the Greenskins have also extended or collapsed certain caves to reinforce their structures or create additional room.
They also had to adapt certain systems such as an entire ventilation complex or protection against humidity for wooden and metallic components, which are often imbibed in special protective oils. During the latest infrastructure intervention, parts of Valc were even equipped with current water and plumbing, along with a sewage system.
The deciding factor when laying Valc's foundation was the river crossing by its main entrance, which serves as a source of clean water for the citizens. Due to the secretive nature of the inhabitants, the river also doubled as a defensive moat, with a large fortified gate being built right next to it to deter any potential invaders should they venture so far inside the caves in the first place.
The defensive system is continued behind, in the Plaza, through a mix of cave diaphragms and fortified walls and gates build around them. The Plaza is the heart of the town, serving as a gathering place for both citizens and the few outsiders, being filled with shops, a tavern, a park and other public spaces.
Bundled together and fixed to the cave ceilings with chains, massive Crystals provide the town with light and heat, also causing vegetation to grow around.
Branching from the Plaza, places like the Barracks, Forge and Grove serve as the home of certain Castes, with another large path leading further to the Living Quarters, which serve as a housing district. Even further below, Lower Valc can be found with another small plaza area connecting to the Witch Clinic and the Lancer Temple, as well as the later built Transport Hub with an Elevator to Icepeak Fortress, meant to ease the trading between the Iron Division and their Dwarven allies.
Although the Iron Division's citizens have grown accustomed to living in the underground, some of them were eventually sent outside of the mountain, either in order to maintain trade outposts with outsiders or to produce certain resources that couldn't be obtained inside.
One of the main Orc camps from outside is the Parapet base, built on the side of the mountain overlooking the Green Wall. The base serves both as a trading post and as a defense against magical attacks, being equipped with a sophisticated Crystal Ward that prevents mages from focusing when performing strong rituals, thus keeping the Iron Division safe from magic earthquakes, meteorites and other devastating spells.
Another significant base of the Iron Division lies away from Valc, in an underground mine by the Green Wall forest where the Lancer Council ordered the construction of a Mining Outpost after sensing a rich deposit of Crystals which could be harvested.
There are other small camps scattered around Valc's Outskirts, providing resources like timber or growing animals that could not be adapted to the cave life such as horses or wargs.
When laying the foundation of Valc, the Precursor Shamans devised a social structure meant to organize their tribe to best deal with the challenge of establishing themselves a home. As prime guardians of the Crystals, they named themselves "Lancers", forming a High Council which would handle the administration of the Iron Division.
The Greenskins were then split into six different Castes representing their best abilities and training, with each Caste having its own leaders and representatives answering to the Lancers. During the construction of Valc, each Caste became highly specialized in a certain field, becoming more and more effective and organized with their work. This is why in the present day, the Iron Division's Castes are very distinct and recognizable from one another.
The Six Castes
The Lancers are comprised from Orc shamans who have proven their wisdom and strength. They have always been in charge of the Iron Division, attributing various powers to the other Castes in order to prevent an absolute focus of power akin to a monarchy. However, they still guide the flow of the other Castes through their council-based decisions as well as the wisdom and honor they must prove themselves with, making their sisters respect them and their will. They lead the Iron Division from their Temple, built around the Crystal Heart.
The Earth Mothers come from ancient Orc druids and healers, having always been respected by the other Greenskin for their knowledge and power in the field of magic. Because of this, they tend to also have a weighty involvement in the future of the Iron Division. Their Caste currently resides in the Grove, where they have grown their own natural habitat.
The Witches are comprised from both Orcs and Goblins, born from the nomad precursors who kept the art of alchemy and devoted themselves to studying the workings of everything surrounding them. In time, they established themselves as another important Caste, leading research in an increasing number of fields, from medicine to weaponry, thus taking an important role in the advancement of their faction. The Clinic and Research Laboratories where they work at are located in Lower Valc, close to the Lancer Temple.
The Bear Warriors were formed from the strongest of Orcs as a strictly militarized Caste, in charge of the defense of Valc and leading the fight against the Demons. With their own ranks and power structure, Bear Warriors may not contribute to the general decisions facing the faction, but on the battlefield, they are in absolute charge of strategic planning. The Bear Warriors are established inside Valc's Barracks.
The Reavers stem from assassins and rogue Goblins, initially tasked with scouting and charting the underground and later on, as the Iron Division came into contact with the Demons, they became an established Caste. Traditionally, Reavers have been subordinated to the Bear Warriors, but they eventually became a more autonomous Caste with their own power structure. Now, they are in charge of covert operations and recon, keeping a close eye on Valc's surroundings and reporting to the Lancers directly if any danger is at hand. They have their Headquarters in the Grove, close to the Earth Mothers' Giant Stump.
The Fixers come from Goblin tinkerers and laborers. The Lancers had a close collaboration with them as Valc was built, sharing some of the knowledge they had obtained from the Disk with them and in return advancing their craftsmanship and engineering skills which served as the backbone of the Iron Division's technology. Because Fixers cover such a broad spectrum of occupations they are both the largest and least organized of the Castes, having no proper leadership and depending on the other Castes in administrative matters. They have work stations and frequent many locations of Valc, but the Great Forge is the main area where they perform their craft.
Ever since the discovery of the Crystal Heart, the Lancers have understood how powerful the technology of Crystals is, and that they could not afford to have it fall on wrong hands, or lose it from their own. For this reason, every citizen of the Iron Division has to pledge an oath mandating them to defend the Crystal Heart with their life and honor.
For this reason, the Greenskins are also quite secretive and avoid too much exposure with the outer world, lest they befall someone's malicious intent.
The Iron Division employs a rest/work cycle which works in a similar fashion to the day/night cycle from the overworld. Each Caste has to provide its members with housing and facilities, as well as tasks and projects required to the well functioning of the town. Castes also provide for each other and citizens benefit from basic rights including healing and food, and this leads to Valc's inner economy to rely on the trade of goods and services between the members rather than a monetary system.
This, however, does not mean that gold isn't used by the Greenskins, being an universal means of trading with outsiders.
Although it traces back to the nomad Precursors, the Iron Division's culture leaped along with the knowledge instilled in the Lancers, leading to a fast technological advancement. The Lancers,Earth Mothers and Bear Warriors were particularly keen on keeping their ancestral traditions alive, though, and the Iron Division is still heavily rooted in social concepts such as warfare worth, honor and supreme duty towards a greater goal.
Needless to mention, their present culture is influenced by Crystals and their boons.
Language and Writing
Even though their ancestors used to transmit their knowledge orally in order to avoid translation losses, the Lancers decided that in order to share their knowledge with their sisters as quickly as possible, they had to invest in building libraries and transcribing information on clay and paper. Although Orcs initially used a standard cuneiform alphabet, they derived their own from it as they transitioned from writing on clay tablets to using parchments (this also served as a form of encryption should their texts land on wrong hands). Both forms of writing are presently used, with tablets still being easier to produce.
Their mathematical symbols were adapted from the information contained on the Disk which the Lancers accessed, teaching them advanced formulas and patterns left behind by the Ancients in both decimal and binary.
Art and Crafts
In terms of art, the Iron Division has a particular taste for landscape painting, with occasional surreal insertions which reflect their respect and fascination towards the underground world.
They also practice sculpture and some of the Fixers enjoy decorating their wood or stone crafts.
Fixers are also renown for the metal crafts and tinkering, especially when involving fine elements and intricate contraptions.
Architecture and Design
The architecture is generally devoid of any sculpted details, with the Orcs preferring the natural expression of each material to be kept pure, much like the nature surrounding them.
Sometimes they appeal to texture compositions, layered walls or pillars to create visual rhythms. Often they prefer to simply adapt the natural caves to their habitat, using Crystals to grow mossy floors and sleeping on furs on top of cave wall beds.
The furniture produced by the Fixers is renown for both looking stylish and being very well made through a mix of iron and wood, with an iconic table, chair or shelf/wardrobe design that can be found in almost every part of Valc.
Science and Technology
With the Fixers quickly being taught by the Lancers of the properties of the Crystals, it was only a matter of time until they would begin to combine and link together crystals in order to create new devices. With the Witches doing their biological research in parallel, science and technology became a part of the Division's culture, improving Valc's living standards. As the fights with the Demons got more tense, the technological focus shifted from power generators and automatic doors to advanced weaponry like the Spike Gun or Crylance.
With these weapons, the Division became a force to reckon with, able to keep the Demons at bay for centuries with minimal losses.
The Greenskins have preserved their polytheist roots, worshiping all the Elemental Gods indiscriminately. With the faction being essentially led by magic users, the Gods also favor the Iron Division, bestowing them with the power of the elements and protecting them from natural calamities.
After making their alliance with the Icepeak Dwarves, they also adopted their God, Stone, who proved to be more than compatible with their Earth Goddess which they worshiped most closely for being the patron of their environment.
Worshiping rituals and holidays are held during important times of the Rotation, where various offerings are made to the Gods represented by statues and shrines. The ritual generally involves performances such as dancing, singing or reciting. Although few statues and shrines are scattered around, the main places of worship are the Great Stump in the Grove and the Elemental Temple preceding the Lancer Temple in Lower Valc.
The Iron Division sustains most of its economy through local production. Despite coming from nomad roots, the Orcs have given up breeding livestock as their main food supply, preferring to rely on fruit and vegetables grown by the Earth Mothers in the Grove with the aid of Crystals and magic. Additionally, Reaver hunters bring fresh game to provide the butchers with, as meat is in high demand for the Orcs, especially at the Barracks.
Although initially the Iron Division would get their stone and metal from the caves they dug into, they eventually began to trade with the Icepeak Dwarves for their superior cut stone, as well as with the Minotaurs for the ore they mined at a much faster and efficient rate. Obtaining wood and fiber is quite easy thanks to the Earth Mothers' Grove again, and Witches can also mass produce worm silk and dye. The butchers also render leather, fur, skin, bone and fat from what the hunters manage to bring in.
Although within Valc the trade of goods or services replaces money directly, the Iron Division still circulates gold coins and gems as universal currency used when trading with other factions.
Their main export consists of crafting goods (especially parchments, silk, dye and furniture), potions, martial weapons and food. Despite being extremely valuable, the Lancer Council forbids the sale of Iron Division technology (such as guns and Sentries) or Crystals.