"A wretched, run-down, filthy land of urban wreckage,
human suffering, political corruption, wasted tax money and run-away crime. Still, it is
an interesting place to visit".
- Lord Chakford, Chakford's Engineers
"Ormek is like Hell, without the charm."
- Sancho, Captain of the Warthog
|Proper Name||The Imperial Protectorate of Ormek|
|Ruler||His Most Magnificent and Majestic Personage, Champion of the Empire and Wielder of the Sacred Blade Black Talon, King Frederick Douni the Pure, Subjugator of the Realms|
|Demographics||Human 49%, Orc 20%, Ogre 13%, Saurian 8%, Grum 5%, Elven 2%, Dwarven 2%, Baenite 1%|
|Languages||Rukemian 80%, Southern 20%|
|Capital City||Stovikar (Population: 85,800)|
|National Colors||Red and black|
|Year Founded||1471 CY|
|Natural Resources||Clay, sandstone, cattle, barley, cotton, fish, oranges, sugar cane, molasses, maritime fauna and flora|
|Manufactured Goods and Major Exports||Pottery, quarried stone, salted beef, cotton textiles, rum, fish and other seafood, whale meat, whale blubber, whale oil, ambergris|
|Government Stability||Very unstable - martial law|
|Allies||Rukemia, War Vale, Mercia|
|Other Religions||Barrinor, Vorkayne, Semorjon, Sarreth Kael, Mireldokar, Glavyris, Daramis, The Three Fates, Drenmoragin|
|Approximate Land Area||1,000,000 square kilometers|
|Terrain||Coastal grasslands, hills|
Ormek is, to put it mildly, a run-down, over-populated, crime-ridden hole. It suffers gang warfare constantly and occasional riots. The entire country is under a state of "martial law". Bandits roam the countryside freely and the nation is plagued with an overpopulation of orcs, ogres and even less savory types. Even though many simple country folk have left Ormek to find peace elsewhere, Ormek's population has continued to soar, especially in the cities.
Ormek occupies a peninsula in the southeast corner of the continent which enjoys hot rainy summers and mild, dry winters. It has a humid suptropical climate with a defined rainy season which lasts from late spring throughout the summer and into early fall. During this rainy season, massive thunderhead clouds will build in the heat of the day and drop brief but intense rain storms. Ormek is hilly in its northern half, but mostly grassy plains in the southern half. The northwest coast, in the area of Galen's Shore, is known for towering sea cliffs.
Carrion crows, burrow hounds and wolves can all be found here. Stray dogs and cats run rampant in the towns and cities. Local deer populations are down as illegal poaching has become a problem. The towns and cities of Ormek are known for terrible blood roach infestations. A number of cities also have a problem with flesh fungus. The capital city of Stovikar is no exception and deals with both of these infestations.
Ormek has similar flora to Mercia, including an abundance of tropical fruit including oranges.
After the Sundering and the Great War, the great Thullian Empire fragmented. The nobles of the southeastern peninsula fell to petty squabbling as each fought to gain control of the region and protect their own interests. While Rukemia began to form to the north, the southeastern corner of the continent settled into several dozen tiny independent baronies. Although there were many conflicts and minor wars, these tiny baronies lived in relative harmony for several hundred years.
The Kingdom of Rukemia formed and grew in strength from until 1456 CY when an ambition noble sized control of the kingdom, executed the king and named himself emperor. With the sudden formation of the Rukemian Empire to the north, the barons of the southeast stood up and took notice.
Fearing that the newly formed Empire would attempt take them over, several of these southeastern baronies banded together. The wealthiest and most influential of the barons, Baron Milius Orbak, intimidated the others into submission and declared himself King Milius. The newly formed kingdom was named Ormek and officially founded in 1471 CY.
For almost 300 years, the kingdom of Ormek grew in strength while the Orbak bloodline held the throne. It reached a pinnacle of success under the guidance of King Talivar the Wise during the years of 1740 to 1757 CY. The kingdom was wealthy and prosperous and fair to look upon. King Talivar was a strong king and commanded a strong army. Under his reign, Ormek resisted the Rukemian Empire's repeated overtures for a political "alliance". King Talivar knew that any such alliance would end up favoring the empire at the expense of his own kingdom.
One of the King's top advisors, Reginal Douni, opposed the King publicly thinking that an alliance with Rukemia would make Ormek stronger. When arguments turned to heated and blatant rebellion in the courtroom King Talivar had Lord Douni arrested. He was sent to the city dungeons on Forestblush 22. However, the king had underestimated Douni's popularity and the extent of his network of henchmen and followers. Within three days, Douni's men had stormed the prison and freed him. On Forestblush 25, the assembled men attacked the court and in a fierce battle, slaughtered King Talivar and those loyal to him. Lord Douni immediately declared himself King Reginal. He quickly appointed men loyal to him to key positions in the government and secured his throne. His first act as King was to meet with imperial representatives and forge an alliance. King Reginal proved an able and fierce opponent at the diplomatic table, not giving an inch and demanding much. The imperial representatives acquiesced to his demands and the pact was signed on the second day of Magereign, 1758 CY.
Three weeks later, King Reginal Douni was found dead in his bed. It was widely rumored that the empire had arranged for his death because they did not want to have to deal with such a headstrong man. They allowed his son, Prince Dalian, then only 17 years old, to take the throne. The young king proved much more malleable and the imperial representatives were able to bully the young king and his advisors into amending the pact with concessions very favorable to Rukemia. These disturbing events and political shifts in the southeast spurned the woodsmen and rangers of the north to declare themselves an independent nation and led to the founding of Kitar.
The young King Dalian steered Ormek through those first years under the yoke of imperial control. While technically a distinct and separate nation, the smaller kingdom owed yearly taxes to the empire, was forced to accept imperial law and was expected to pay fealty. King Dalian did his best to make the transition and the years that followed peaceful ones. Ormek, wealthy, clean, powerful and respected, was a shining jewel in the east and proved a profitable addition to the Rukemian Empire. King Dalian ruled and ruled well, under the circumstances, for more than 20 years.
King Dalian was gravely injured during a wild boar hunt in 1783 CY and died from his wounds at the age of 42. His son, Ebrinis, proved a weak and foolish King. Ebrinis' incompetence was overshadowed only by that of his own son. And so began a long line of kings that have ranged from mediocre to weak-minded fools. This royal line, bereft of strength or wisdom, soon gave way to corruption and decadence. Over the centuries, there was a steady decline. The current reigning monarch is King Frederick Douni, "the Pure".
Ormek had once been the favored province of Rukemia. But several centuries of poor leadership, financial squandering, widespread waste, government fraud and prejudice have destroyed this nation. It is now a shadow of its former self.
This nation is ruled by a tyrant, King Frederick Douni, the Pure, whose state of mind is questionable. He is given to bouts of hysteria and explosive anger, randomly directed about him. He is fond of public executions and especially arena combat. He has had a special amphitheatre built (at great expense to the taxpayers) specifically for this purpose. He has even been known to draw his enchanted blade, Black Talon, and descend down into the arena to give out punishment to royal criminals. King Frederick is a tall man, with sharp angular features, curly black hair and a black beard. He dresses in pure white and make wild claims about his purity, wisdom and divine right to rule. The entire nation is and has been under martial law for years. Royal soldiers are able to detain and imprison citizens without cause or warning. Many hundreds are imprisoned under the label "political prisoners".
Ormek has very strict laws. No weapons or armor are allowed in the city except for the city guards. Religious ceremonies, demonstrations and the like are forbidden. Most laws are ignored by the citizenry. Corrupt judges pass harsh judgments. Imprisonment and execution are common. Money can buy pardons.
The military and city guard have fused over the decades into a heavily armed and armoured group of patrolling bullies. They have average equipment, but are poorly trained. The city guards rove in packs and are little more than government paid thugs.
Weak and unstable, Ormek has a huge debt to Rukemia. Besides Rukemian currency, many other forms of money can be found here. Much of it is virtually worthless and all of it is suspect as many coins here are formed of alloys of several cheap metals. There is a high demand for food and weaponry. There is virtually no demand for construction materials, literature, herbs, etc.
Other than the military, the thieves' guilds are the only groups with any real power in Ormek. The rest of the city is in chaos. Protection rackets and mercenaries are common.
Gutrot is a sour, brown beer which is very common here and very cheap. It is a thick and powerful beer with a foamy head. It is most common in Ormek, but can be found in Mercia and the Rukemian Empire. The taste has been described as “burnt leather with a kick”. Almost every inn and tavern in Ormek serves gutrot.
Magic is fairly common in Ormek. Potions brewed in dirty back alley labs, scrolls with dastardly spells, simple arcane items to aid in thievery and crime and powerful weapons wielding by unscrupulous warriors can all be found here. There is a steady market in dark magic and things better left unknown by decent folk. Wizards can find work here if they're good, but they can just as easily find themselves kidnapped and put to work against their will. Ormek is a continual struggle for power and survival and magic is one of the most useful weapons in that struggle.
|Ravenhill||33,700||Long ago, in 2124 CY, the Stiffening plaque swept through the eastern lands of Ithria. The first cases of it struck this town. A quarantine went into effect and the entire town was isolated from the rest of Ormek. The body count rose frighteningly during that period and all of the dead were taken to a large graveyard that sat on a hill overlooking the town of Gennon. The quarantine had not been established in time and the disease became rampant, quickly spreading through all of Ormek and into Rukemia. Many of the sick came from other towns and districts to the town of Gennon to die. Due to superstitions about the disease, the bodies were not buried, but rather left to rot above ground. Ravens would flock to the hill to feed on the dead. Many mornings, thousands of them would turn the hill black and the graveyard became known as Raven's Hill. When a massive cargo of tara root from Myria finally arrived by ship, huge quantities of the cure were sent up river to Gennon. Superstition made many believe that to cure the source of the sickness (Gennon) would end the plague. Thousands flocked to Gennon from all over Ormek to obtain the root and cure themselves. Eventually with the tara root and magic and quarantine procedures, the tide was turned and death was beaten back. Throughout the eastern lands, the disease was overcome. But the memories of the suffering in Gennon lingered as did the horrible vision of that ravens eating the dead. Gennon became known as Ravenhill and the name stuck. The cemetery which fed death still sits on the hill overlooking the town and it is still used. Ravenhill has grown over the years and become a major city of Ormek. Even though the dead are buried, ravens still nest here in great numbers. Of course, not all is peaceful. Rumors state that this graveyard is haunted, stalked by the dead from that terrible time. Occasionally, a rotting body will appear overnight with no explanation and the great birds will feast.|
|Land's End||21,100||Land's End city is a bustling military port used as a stopping -off point for all manner of Rukemian government and trading vessels. It's one of the few prosperous towns in Ormek, and a focal point for all government anti-piracy campaigns. Many would- be pirate fighters come here seeking adventure.|
|Galen's Shore||14,100||Galens Shore was named for the man who founded it. Stories told about the campfire state that Galen, a young sailor, had returned from a sea voyage with a treasure map that marked the location of a fabulous treasure on the shore of Mercia. However, the map was crude, inaccurately drawn and had many strange markings upon it. Galen was unable to locate the horde. Galen vowed that he would not leave land again until he had found the treasure and so he built a small home on the shore. He went out searching every day for the prize, but always returned empty handed. Months stretched into years and Galen eventually gave up the search. He settled down with a wife, established a small tavern which he ran out of his home and discovered a talent for brewing. Over the long years a small town has grown up around that tavern. Galen died a poor, but happy man. His great grandson is now the mayor of Galens Shore and the tavern is still going strong. The map, which plagued Galen for so many years hangs on the wall in the tavern, framed for all to see. It is now yellow and cracked with age and looks down upon the bar patrons taunting would be treasure hunters. Many have made copies of that map. Scholars have studied the strange runes upon it, unable to decipher them. Wizards have analyzed the map with spells and found nothing. Although many believe that a treasure does indeed lie somewhere nearby and many have searched, no one has ever found the treasure.|
|Kohara||12,600||The story of how Kohara got its name is often repeated late at night in taverns to newcomers and the old-timers swear it is true. More than a century ago, a raven-haired woman washed up on the shore in a raft made from ship wreckage that had been lashed together. She and her makeshift raft were found by a baron lord on the beach. The woman spoke a strange language which all translation spells failed to decipher. Around her neck was a beautiful medallion which bore a single glyph. She repeated one word to the lord - Kohara - and, through gesture, she indicated that it was her name. The young lord was captivated by her beauty. He took her into his house and placed her under his protection. For three years, she stayed with him. During that time, he built a castle and she learned to speak Rukemian. The lord came to love her. Then one night, after three years, a group of men in strange garb bearing the same symbol that Kohara wore around her neck appeared. In the night, they snuck into the lords keep, kidnapped Kohara and fled into the night with the baron and his guards in pursuit. They escaped in a strangely crafted black ship which travelled faster than any ship should have been able. The lord baron assembled his men and his fastest ship and went on a quest to retrieve his lost lady love. That was over a century ago. They have never returned. The lords castle still stands. His great-grandson now rules.|
|Gull Cliffs||8,800||This is a city torn apart by major gang warfare. Several strong underworld guilds violently battle for territory and wealth. Travelers are advised to skip this town entirely. The goverment washes its hands of this place as well, and has cut funding on all levels. Abandoned and left to solve its problems on its own, Gull Cliffs is one of the most dangerous and failed cities of the Empire.|
Black Burrow, Cor, Crookstown, Dakov, Gasak, Gaunt, Goth, Graves, Griskey, Hauser, Ilutha, Jadot, Knorr, Kunsel, Poj, Razed, Towatha, Wazir
Ormek's roads are as bad as the rest of the kingdom. Winding dirt roads connect most towns and villages, but they are uneven, ill maintained and have poor drainage, making them particularly muddy during the rainy summer months. Bandit groups prey on merchants and travelers, making the roads dangerous. Most of Ormek's major towns lie on the coast. Ships routinely ferry goods and passengers from port to port. For more information, see the Travel and Distance page.
|Typical Travel Time|
|Stovikar - Gull's Cliff||Dirt Road||376 km||16 days||12 days||7 days||5 days|
|Stovikar - Raven Hill||Dirt Road||288 km||13 days||10 days||6 days||7 days|
|Stovikar - Kohara||Dirt Road||470 km||20 days||15 days||9 days|
|Stovikar - Land's End||Dirt Road||515 km||22 days||17 days||10 days||8 days|
|Stovikar - Jemotric's Tower (ruins)||Dirt Road||301 km||13 days||10 days||6 days|
|Stovikar - Saltspire Point - ship||Sea||730 km||8 days|
|Stovikar - Freeport - ship||Sea||1,614 km||17 days|
|Stovikar - Aridorn - ship||Sea||1,879 km||19 days|
|Gull's Cliff - Raven Hill||Dirt Road||287 km||13 days||10 days||6 days|
|Raven Hill - Galen's Shore||Dirt Road||291 km||13 days||10 days||6 days|
|Galen's Shore - Kohara||Dirt Road||386 km||17 days||13 days||8 days||4 days|
|Kohara - Land's End||Dirt Road||454 km||20 days||15 days||9 days||7 days|
|Galen's Shore - Fishbaugh||Dirt Road||577 km||25 days||19 days||11 days||5 days|
|Galen's Shore - Brian's Port - ship||Sea||495 km||5 days|
|Raven Hill - Thornwood||Dirt Road||554 km||24 days||18 days||11 days|
|Gull's Cliff - Stony Hill||Dirt Road||416 km||18 days||14 days||8 days|
|Gull's Cliff - Saltspire Point||Dirt Road||353 km||15 days||12 days||7 days|
|Kohara - Brian's Port - ship||Sea||329 km||4 days|
|Kohara - Fishbaugh - ship||Sea||372 km||4 days|
This website was last updated October 5, 2021. Copyright 1990-2021 David M. Roomes.