Large The Blighted Plateau, The Blightlands, Epressa High
- The Walls of Molthal
- Outer Molthal
- Inner Molthal
- The Citadel
Blight Orcs Monarchy Orcish Walls, Towers, Standing Army Arms, Armor, Tools, Siegecraft Food RichardDorran
Molthal is a grim and foreboding city. Located in the far reaches of the Blightlands, up on the Blighted plateau, the city built by Menalus is a cesspit of eternal industry. Driven by slaves, populated by Blight Orcs, only a fool would seek out a place like Molthal without good reason.
DemographicMolthal’s population largely consists of Blight Orcs. True Orcs form a minor population, but many of them prefer to keep outside of Molthal… largely due to the mutual distrust between them and the Blight Orcs.
Non-Orcish visitors to Molthal are extremely rare, but it is not unheard of for Menalus to entertain certain trade delegations… or wealthy supplicants seeking to secure the city’s mercenaries. It is the attitude of many Blight Orcs that all non-Orcs in Molthal are slaves, and so they are treated as such. Those who have business with Menalus will need to provide proof that they have been granted safe passage, usually in the form of an official seal - something that can be obtained for a steep price one of the outlying Blight Orc trading posts within the Blightlands.
Visitors are rare. Slaves are more frequent. Molthal’s raiding parties will enslave anyone they can get their hands on. Humans and Dwarves are favorites. These miserable prisoners can be found toiling away in the pit mines surrounding the city, hauling supplies from one area to another, or fighting in crude gladiator pits for the pleasure of the Blight Orcs.
Rarely, among the swarms of Blight Orcs, one might see an unnaturally tall humanoid with skin the color of ash and flaming red hair. These are the bastard, Half-giant sons of Menalus. Even the lowliest of Menalus’ bastards holds authority over the Blight Orcs. How well they get along with the Orcs themselves varies from son to son, but it is known that Menalus’ four most favored sons are well loved and respected.
ArchitectureMolthal is built out of black stone, quarried from the mountains that surround the Blighted plateau. Many structures, such as warehouses and forgeworks, are well maintained. The vast majority of them – civilian tenements, homes, shops, and so on are not as finely built. Many of them appear to be crumbling, or are otherwise constructed out of wood harvested from the bleak and brittle trees of the Blightlands.
Much of Molthal’s most imposing structures were conceived of by the Fire Giant, Menalus, but the vast majority of it was constructed by Blight Orcs… and it shows that Blight Orc architecture and design still has quite some way to go.
Molthal is divided into four districts. The central district is the smallest and best planned. As one gets further from the citadel (and by extension, the throne of Menalus), the city gets progressively less and less organized. By the time one reaches the outermost district, Molthal is little more than a cesspit of pit mines, forges, and slums.
Points of InterestThe Walls of Molthal – A staggering feat of engineering and a testament to the genius of Menalus. The Walls of Molthal are a series of three walls, built one after the other, with enough space in between for people to live and work. Each wall is approximately six meters thick, and stands at a staggering twelve meters high. Large towers topped with siege equipment dot each wall, interposed with several reinforced iron gates. Smaller ballistas can be found along the walls as well. The amount of traps and tricks hiding within the walls for any would-be siegers are difficult to account for.
Irontown – A network of slums, shanties, and pit mines outside the first wall. Conditions here are, unsurprisingly, filthy. Most of Irontown’s inhabitants are slaves carted in from around the world, but there’s no shortage of Blight Orc slave masters and guards to keep an eye on things.
Outer Molthal – This is where most of the Blight Orcs in Molthal live. Between the first and second walls, Outer Molthal is a labyrinth of barracks, tenements, metalworks, and warehouses. Blight Orcs are industrious, but not creative, and so very few places of business exist. Gladiator pits are common. Food in Molthal is distributed out of the warehouses by quartermasters and stewards. The rank and file of the Blight Orcs live, work, and die in Outer Molthal.
Inner Molthal – Inner Molthal is immaculate, carefully planned, and rigorously maintained. It is here that the favored legions of Menalus’ sizable army live, leadership, skilled laborers, and Menalus’ sons reside. It sits behind the third and final wall, and is the smallest of the districts. At the very heart of Inner Molthal, the citadel of Menalus towers over everything.
The Citadel – Menalus’ citadel is gargantuan, and even someone familiar with the sights of Vel Anir would be awed by the sheer size of it. Menalus is a Fire Giant, after all, and requires ample space to move. This sinister structure is visible from anywhere in Molthal and is the most defensible structure in the city. It is here that Menalus lives and rules alongside his four favored sons.
BackgroundMolthal was established by the Fire Giant, Menalus, who arrived in the Blighted Plateau from lands unknown several decades ago. Originally only the citadel existed – built by the Orcish tribes Menalus had subjugated at his direction. This citadel was christened the Molten Halls by Menalus. A fitting name, given that molten rock can be seen pouring down from its edifices where a more pleasant culture might have installed a waterfall.
The Molten Halls quickly shortened to Molthal as the Orcs under Menalus' rule grew in number and became detached from their brethren. The city grew rapidly, sometimes with direction from Menalus and his sons, but many more times at the discretion of Orcish lieutenants. The walls were added later in order to keep the ranks stratified and keep Menalus' favored Orcs and sons closer to him - and separate from the rest of them.
GovernmentMolthal is an absolute monarchy. The Fire Giant, Menalus, serves as its king. His authority is unquestionable, and those who do find themselves in a questioning mood are often thrown from a parapet - the height of which is most usually determined by the egregiousness of the offense. Directly under Menalus are his sons: half-Fire Giant, half-human bastards sired by Menalus and any number of his concubines.
If Menalus has daughters, they must be kept sequestered or far from Molthal, as no one has seen them. His most talented and favored sons are his trusted advisers and lieutenants, acting out many of the functionaries one might find in a government. This 'council' has no official name. Few things in Molthal do, as Menalus cares little for bureaucratic complexity. As long as everyone recognizes him as King, he could care less what they call themselves.
His sons call it the Council Most High.
Everyone else calls it the Bastard Circle.
Even with such a name, it is difficult to avoid the influence of the Bastard Circle. To doubt or discount the Bastard Circle is to do the same to Menalus, and this often has disastrous effects. They serve the same role as nobles and princes, governing and scheming against one another in whatever manner most befits their wide array of personalities.
Beneath the Bastard Circle are the Legions. Rather than tribes or clans, Menalus instructed the Blight Orcs to organize themselves into Legions. The hierarchy is much tighter and regimented than one would expect for Orcs, and it has resulted in the expulsion and death of many shamans who did not fit into the new order. The Orcs who lead these Legions are now called Legates, and beneath them are an assortment of Centurions, Legionaries, and so forth.
Most Blight Orcs are part of a Legion, but those who find themselves outside that immediate command structure typically take on the support roles needed to keep Molthal afloat. To this end, they typically find themselves answering directly to the Bastard Circle or one of their subordinates.