The World Of Khoras - Civilization - Cities - Citadel
Duthelm enjoys a great deal of geological wealth and mines gold, silver, iron, diamonds and quarries a variety of stone. However, its greatest geological resource lies almost directly underneath the Citadel. Within the Citadel Mountain is a tremendous amount of Orichalcum, a valuable stone coveted by wizards because of its ability to store raw magical energy. Orichalcum has a wide variety of magical uses and Duthelm exports massive quantities to other nations, Carrikos in particularly. Orichalcum is Duthelm’s most valuable export and accounts for a large portion of the nation’s wealth.
The Citadel operates an extensive mining operation in a huge cavern within the center of the mountain. The Citadel’s mine is the largest mining operation of this type in the world and the Citadel seems to have an inexhaustible supply. This mine is linked to the Citadel itself by a cave known as the Orichus March. Not only does the Citadel control the largest Orichalcum mine in the known world, but the mineral mined here is of a much greater purity and potency. It commands five times the price of Orichalcum mined anywhere else.
Because Orichalcum eventually loses its potency through continued use, the wizards of Ithria are constantly needing more of the valuable mineral. A continuing trade has evolved and Duthelm exports large shipments of Orichalcum every month. Duthelm’s primary customers are Carrikos and Corvenia. But it is also sold to Vogue, Vorrik, Normidia, Arkalia, the elves of Cyrell, the free city of Ithell, the Drakkellian Alliance and the Coalition.
Duthelm considers Rukemia an enemy state and has declared that none of the valuable mineral will be sold to the empire. However, Orichalcum does find its way into Rukemia thanks to thriving black market trade. Smuggling Orichalcum is dangerous but profitable.
The official name of the Citadel mining operation is “The Slave Mines of Gulgaroth”. Slaves mine the precious mineral under the watchful eyes of orcish guards. Carts loaded with raw mineral are pushed along the road by hand through the Orichus March, back to the Citadel where it is processed and formed into bars or powder.
Life in the Mines is short and the life expectancy of a mine slave is very short… typically 3 years or less. New slaves are sent to work in the mines every month. In fact, one of the most common punishments handed out by officials in the Citadel is work in the slave mines.
The mine is not directly underneath Citadel but is near it, connected to it. It’s a HUGE cavern with many mines piercing the wall.
A special tribe of orcs run the mines. The Scorched Hide Tribe. They are led by Uthmog, the orcish chieftain of the Scorched Hide. He is an abnormally large orc with a tremendous belly. He wields a magical blade of which he is quite proud. The Scorched Hide orcs are all proud of the fact that the Citadel has entrusted the Orichalcum mines to them. None more so than Uthmog. As a group, these orcs fight harder and with more determination than one might expect from typical orcs. Uthmog's personal bodyguard and top lieutenant is a giant org named Mathalar. He is the best warrior in the entire tribe and an undefeated wrestling champion. He sports a ponytail sprouting from an otherwise shaven head. He has dark red skin and abnormally long pointed ears for an org. He fights with a double headed clawed hammer and a spiked chain whip. He wears leather armor fashioned from the bones and skin of his victims.
The Scorched Hide tribe consists of 340 orc warriors, Uthmog the chieftain, Golmok the shaman, Mathalar the head warrior and about 580 females and young. The slave mines are home to some 600-800 slaves (the exact number varies from month to month). Gulgaroth – is an orcish word which means “magic” and “dark power”.
Inside the mine, magical spells are highly erratic and difficult to control because of the sheer quantity of magical “static” emanating from the natural Orichalcum. Magic spells cast within the mine often will distort wildly and produce unpredictable or altered effects unless the wizard is particularly skilled. Golmok’s magic is unaffected because he has spent so much time in the mine and has gotten used to the strange energies therein.
For unknown reasons, the orcs of the Scorched Hide tribe reap the benefits of the affliction without the detrimental side effects (see the Burning). All orcs of the Scorched Hide tribe have coppery red skin with a metallic sheen. Their skin is thick and particularly difficult to cut, but the orcs still maintain enough dexterous and movement to fight well. Their coated eyes are able to see magical auras. With a glance, these orcs can size up magic items and wizards. Finally, many of these orcs are able to cast a simple spell effect or two (they do not suffer adverse affects to their magic in the mine like other wizards do). Their shaman, Golmok, is particularly powerful, able to store large amounts of magical energy in his own body and able to produce more powerful spells than one might expect from a common orcish shaman.
The orcs of the Scorched Hide tribe work closely with the Red Eye Corps, the guild charged with the mining, purification and trade of the mineral. Technically, the orcs work for the Red Eye Corps. While the orcs oversee the actual physical digging and carting of rocks, it is the Red Eye Corps that oversees the rest of the process - from the ore carts to the buyer in distant lands.
Smuggling Orichalcum is big business in Duthelm. It’s very dangerous, but it’s also very profitable. Queen Sillar has declared that none of the mineral can be sold to Rukemia Empire, which Duthelm considers an enemy. There are people at every level of operations that try to skim off the top and take money from the Queen’s coffers.
The Mines – The orcs of the Scorched Hide tribe occasionally sell to third party buyers rather than sending all shipments to the Red Eye Corps Guildhouse of Duthelm.
Rogue Mining Operations – Sometimes miners try to set up small independent mining operations in other caverns in Citadel Mountain and take advantage of other veins of Orichalcum. They then sell the mineral directly to other nations and enjoy 100% of the profits. The Guild searches for and shuts down such rogue mining operations. Unauthorized mining of the mineral is punishable by death in Duthelm.
The Guild – The Guild itself must police its own people to make sure members don’t try to divert small batches of the mineral to smugglers who transport it to Rukemia for sale.
Theft – Thieves often try to steal Orichalcum in transit and smuggle it to Rukemia. Rukemian wizards are willing to pay very high prices for premium Orichalcum from the mines of Gulgaroth. Orichalcum caravans are heavily guarded to prevent bandits from stealing an entire shipment.
Resale – There are people in Carrikos who transport Orichalcum to Rukemia. Although they have no authority over Carikkos, the Guild does everything it can to intercept these caravans and smugglers and prevent Orichalcum from reaching the Rukemian Empire or any of its subordinate nations.
This website was last updated October 5, 2021. Copyright 1990-2021 David M. Roomes.