The Known Lands
The Makonde Orcs are known as the Orc Horde, or simply: the Horde! The Horde was created through Dragon and Demon magic to help two human nations to take over the world. The Horde is very warlike, and have conquered many lands and many human nations: causing humans to flee to other lands to settle where there is no orc horde. The Horde was ultimately defeated in Caithness by the fledgling nation through the combined efforts of humans and high elves of the Caithness Isles. Forced to occupy the Northern Lands of Caithness, the Horde destroyed all ties it had to demons and the dragon Azazel.
Since then, the Horde has reclaimed it’s Shamanistic Heritage. All orcs of the Horde practice shamanism. The Horde is made of several tribes descended from the Makonde nation. Although not all of the tribes descended from the Makonde are apart of the Horde. But the Horde of Northern Caithness is made up of seven tribes. These are:
- The Timberwolf Tribe
- The Silverfang Tribe
- The Tribe of the Burning Sword
- The Tribe of the Shattered Cross
- The Tribe of the Black Falcon
- The Red Fox Tribe
- The Tribe of the Great Ram
With the exceptions of the Tribe of the Shattered Cross, all Orc Tribes mainly practice shamanism. They have their own rituals and own ways of observance of the spirits of the world. This is shown through several rituals that observe the spirits of the world, and help preserve the race. These are all rites of passage. There are rites of passage related to each tribe, based on their religion and ways of the tribe.
The rites of passage are mostly related to the Wolf, the exceptions are the Tribes of the Burning Sword, the Red Fox, the Black Falcon, the Tribe of the Shattered Cross, and the Tribe of the Great Ram. So these are rites that mostly describe the rites of the Silverfangs and the Timberwolves. The rites are:
- Rites of Marriage
- The Prenatal Rites
- Childhood Rites
- Rites of Initiation
- Funeral Rituals
Rites of Marriage
Orc Rites of Marriage are basically the same across the tribes. Many tribes hold religious significance to marriage. Only the Silverfangs regard marriage as a convenience. To orcs, the marriage happens over two days. Among orcs, marriages are arranged; although orcs choosing their own mates does happen. In the days when the Horde was under the sway of the dragon Azazel, orc men just mated with whomever orc woman they please. Now free, the orcs follow the ways of the Wolf or whatever religion they ascribe too. Also, orc women are afforded more rights in the marriage ceremony. Among all orc tribes except those of the Burning Sword and the Shattered Cross; monogamy is the norm. Although, orcs have been known to take mates of other races (such as trolls); such interracial relations are often frowned on.
The marriage begins with the ritual of Arrangement. When a young orc reaches the age of marriageability, the orc’s family begins to identify a number of potential candidates among orc maidens. Having decided upon one particular young lady, then, the investigation process takes place. For this ceremony one or more representatives of the young man’s family will pay a friendly visit to the family of the young woman whom they have in mind as his potential bride. The visit is purely for the purpose of further investigation. Its allows the visitors to see the young lady. A hint will be given to her parents regarding the purpose of the visit, and their reaction will be assessed. The girl’s parents may also give the visitors some idea as to whether or not their daughter will be interested in the match. This ritual, known as the traf, does not constitute a formal proposal. Following the visit both sides can begin to think more seriously about the possibility or otherwise of the union. It is possible that no progress may take place, and the young man’s parents or representatives will then look for another possible candidate.
After that, the ceremony of betrothal takes place, or the troth. Here, the orc young groom would ask the maiden her hand in marriage. He must also negotiate with the woman’s father and provide the Bride Price or dowry. This is due with the exchange of cows. The more cows paid, the more valuable (and ostensibly beautiful) the bride. Many wives would boast to each other how much their bride price is. After the bride price is paid, the troth is completed and the Orc groom and the Orc bride are considered engaged. The bride also has the right to accept or reject the groom. If it is acceptable to the bride, then the ceremonies can proceed.
The orc ceremony then takes place. With a shaman dressed in important vestments which include wolfskins, the orcs to be married then make vows of chastity and promise to be with each other and always. The marriage is then blessed by the Shaman by him calling on the wolf spirits and the spirits of their ancestors to bless the union. Then the couple is sprinkled with rice and scented water by their family members, relatives, and guests as a sign of blessing. Each guest, then, will receive a flower and an egg. The flowers and eggs are symbols of fertility and union.
The marriage is completed with a celebratory feast. A bull is slain and the meat is enjoyed by all those who attend the feast. Also, vegetables such as leaks, carrots, onions, and dark green lettuce are all enjoyed.