Lore:Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition/The Wild Region
These vast swamplands were once part of the Second Empire, which, in 1E2837, had seized a large portion of it to create the Imperial Province of Black Marsh. Many humans still refer to the region by that name, but the Elves call it Argonia, after where many of their ancestors fell. Thus, the native inhabitants of the swamplands, a collection of beastly tribes of "lizard-men," have become, in common parlance, the Argonians.
Argonians are rarely seen outside of their homeland, except for a relatively intelligent strain called the hist. Individuals of this strain are repulsive, but peaceful enough to be tolerated among the human kingdoms, and can be found as far from Black Marsh as western Hammerfell. The rest of the Argonians are primitive, reclusive, and practice heathen rituals of nature worship that necessitates a proximity to a certain type of spore-tree, which grows only in the interior of their native swamplands.
Black Marsh never regained its Provincial status after the dissolution of the Second Empire, though some parts of it are still considered Imperial territories. In CE560, the Knahaten Flu spread through greater Argonia, claiming the lives of the Kothringi tribesmen, the only humans to have persisted in the area for long. The hist proved immune to the effects of this plague, leading to wild rumors that they had, in fact, created it through a manipulation of their cherished spore-trees.
Far to the south of the Summerset Isles is the island kingdom of Pyandonea, home to the Maormer, a rare breed of tropical elf. It is covered mostly in dense rain forest, and is a playground for the southern water spirits. The Maormer almost never travel to Tamriel or visit their cousins at Summerset, for they were exiled from the latter kingdom in ancient times. They are known to possess a strange, chameleon-like skin, an involuntary process that is similar to the forest-coupling skills of the Bosmer. They also practice a powerful form of snake magic. With this, they have tamed the sea serpents of their island for use as steeds and warbeasts. The Maormer ruler is King Orgnum, a deathless wizard who is said to be the Serpent God of the Satakal (see Hammerfell).
The coral kingdoms of Thras, a set of islands southwest of the Chain in the Abecean Sea, are home to a godless tribe of beastmen called the Sload. These amphibious slugmen, perhaps the most hated race in all of Tamriel, were long thought to be extinct. After the Sload released the Thrassian Plague in 1E2200, which claimed more than half of the continent's population, the largest allied naval force in Tamrielic history sailed to Thras, slaughtered all the Sload they could find, and, with great unknown magicks, sunk their coral kingdoms into the sea.
Sadly, it has been reported that Thras has risen again, and that its masters, the Sload, have recently been seen in various areas of Tamriel. Citizens are encouraged to avoid these beasts, and contact the nearest Imperial authorities when they learn of one's existence. Much is remembered about the slugmen, and has been collected for you in the nearby sidebar. Be vigilant.
- Juvenile: Disgusting little amorphous grubs.
- Adolescent: Soft, squishy octopuslike things that cannot emerge on land.
- Adult: No outside limit to age or size. Individuals seen on land in Tamriel tend to be older, corpulent adults; the trait of greed is common in these individuals, and they excel as merchants and smuggling entrepreneurs. Younger adults lack essential surface survival skills, and are rarely seen on land. Older adults collapse under their own weight unless buoyed by water.
- Perfect memory. They cannot read or write, but they remember everything they see or hear.
- Magic-adept: All land-traveling Sload know the Recall spell at a high level of skill, and use it casually and frequently as the default mode of travel. It also provides the best defense; they teleport out of difficulty instinctively. We must be on our feet!
- Poor grasping ability, weak tool use. [Sload slowly adapt their outer integument to conform with surfaces and objects, permitting them to pick things up or climb things like disgusting slugs.] Slow! They think very quickly, but never enough to suit their careful, deliberate personalities. They move slowly, and act slowly. It takes them a long time to come to decisions. They can answer questions quickly, if they choose to… which they seldom do.
- Cautious. They have no word in their language for adventure. The closest equivalent means 'tragic disaster'. All their heroic myths are about individuals who sit around and think for years and years, consulting cautiously with wise Sload, until finally they act - always deliberately, always successfully. All their mythic villains act quickly, and always fail.
- Morally Repugnant: Every Sload individual encountered has been a grasping, callous, godless, self-loving schemer. They do not seem to experience or display any familiar human emotions, though they are skilled diplomats and actors, and produce gross, exaggerated parodies of human behavior [laughter at lame jokes, weeping at apparent misfortunes, furious tirades at folly or ineptitude]. They have no compunctions about blasphemy, theft, torture, kidnapping, murder, or genocide. They break laws whenever they calculate it in their best interests. They do not perceive or honor friendship or loyalty in the familiar human terms, except for a cheerful affinity for those who defeat them or trick them in any endeavor. The adult form does not apparently reproduce, and shows no interest in the fate of its offspring.
Literally, 'Orsinium' means Orc-Town in the early Aldmeris. The goblin-ken (orcs, ogres, gremlins, and other beastfolk) that live in Orsinium favor the Elvish name for their settlement, for it suggests, at least to human ears, a glorious and beautiful fortress-city instead of the squalid and filth-ridden village-and-keep that it is. It was founded during the Camoran Dynasty, when hundreds of beastmen were set free by the rulers of the Summerset Isles and allowed to settle lands north of Valenwood. These Orcish tribes chose an uninhabited mountain region near Old H'roldan in High Rock, for their people were (and most still are) dependent on a rare shaggy giant centipede herdbeast that can live only at high altitudes on alpine and sub-alpine forage.
Orsinium did possess considerable strength during the First Era, when Orcish refugees fleeing the Ra Gada invasion of Hammerfell joined the beastman army already gathering there. This army was determined to take control of the Bjoulsae River and force the kingdom of Wayrest to pay Orsinium regularly for its use. Other powers of the area rose to confront the Orcs, principally the Yokudan Order of Diagna and the chieftan-kings of early Daggerfall. The Siege of Orsinium lasted thirty years and ended in its ruin.
Orsinium briefly became an Imperial territory under the Akaviri Potentate, though this ended with the death of Savirien-Chorak in . The Orcs have recently petitioned the New Emperor to grant them a similar status, but Tiber Septim is famous for his hatred of their kind, and has yet to bestow the beastfolk good answer.
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