skin to pale to a sandy yellow-beige. Fiercely traditionalist, they value strength and violence as much as other orcs but seem calmer and more spiritual in general than other tribal groups.
The Lost Times
The Orcish folk have the contients of Scidon since long before recorded history and seem to feature in the oldest legends and stories. Their many, many detractors especially amongst elven historians claim they came to this world from another plane soon before the first Morgash War, named for the legendary Orc warchief who united the orcs into a single force and waged war on the old elven empire.
However others who have examined the oldest histories find earlier mentions of the orcs that were previously passed off as being later additions. Some believe that due to the lack of origin story and their seeming existance here before the influx of elf and dwarf and man or emerge of the beastfolk that they are the original inhabitants of the planet.
After the 3rd Morgash War the orc clans were broken and scattered to the winds. According to some legends the elvish king lead a high magic ritual to curse the race to never again be able to unify, to always be plagued by infighting.
One of the surviving tribes was Known as the Exirost by the Elves, meaning "white turned red" referring to their pale skin but propensity for painting their bodies with the blood of their enemies. This tribe was forced beyond the Broken Maw Mountains and many fled into the Kymash Desert, the largest desert on the continent of Frakturia, with others fleeing north eventually settling in the far north and becoming known as the Exost. The desolate and dangerous land of the Kymash has changed the orcs that stayed there over the millenia leading to the group known as the Xiros.
The Xirosic tribe's proximity to the empire of the Bashmur and their lack of a unified nation or standing force and individual strength and endurance made them ideal targets for the slave capturers of the Akavyr peninsula. The majority of living Xiros Orcs today are descendants of orcs who had been captured and forced into slave labour in and around the city of Ba before escaping back into the deserts now seen as a homeland when the empire collapseed during the great slave revolt known as the Crushing of the Serpent.
The culture and physiology of the Xirosic tibes have grown quite far apart from their cousins largely due to the influence of their slave owners and the physical uniqueness of their home. The Xiros seeking a place to call their own in the desert settle largely in an area known as the Vermian Triangle. The Vermian Triangle remains unclaimed by any major territory, largely due to the lack of valuable resources and the presence of it's namesake the Verma, better known as Giant Sand Worms, huge beasts with five rows of overlapping razor sharp teeth that burrow through the sand like a fish through water.
The Xiros Orcs vary quite a lot in physical characteristic due to magical experimentation by the () during their time as a slave race, these traits can be passed on from generation to generation and can even resurface after multiple generations of not being present. In general however the Xiros retain the large builds, tusks and piggish features of their brethern but in general a paler sandy complexion.
The experimentation has caused a number of highly variable traits in a subset of the population. Common among these are strange pigmentations, unusual tusk shapes and horns or spikes across their bodies. More rarely bursts of heightened physical strength, resistance to mind altering magics and toughened skin which feels like sand. Very rarely some Xiros Orcs have been noted as having extra Limbs and eyes, others with the ability to see through small amounts of solid material or whose flesh reacts explosively to magic. All Xiros Orc have also have 2 pairs of eyelids, it is thought this was originally designed into them so dust wouldn't get in their eyes while they mined but it also aids them in desert storms.
Whatever customs and beliefs the Xiros held before their time in the () slave pits is believed to be lost to time. Modern Xiros hold the concept of freedom and self deterimination above all else, with those who have the strength to be able to achieve their dreams as being the moral ideal. They have a deep seated hatred for slavery and especially enchantment magic and have been known to lash out violently when they see either in action. This stretches as far as parents repremanding their children have been met with threats or beatings in some cases. This culture is accredited by some for being the reason for the eventual banning of slavery on almost all of the continent as not being able to transport such cargo through the kymash cut off the Akayvrian penisula from the rest of the continent making the quickest routes to many of the great trade hubs like the capital of Volitaris take almost twice as long, which with living creatures being expensive to provide for and transport alive that distance meant a lot less slaves were taken outside of the penisula. Some believe the Dawn emperors wouldn't have been so willing to ban slavery if their own cities had been more reliant upon them.
This doesn't mean the Xiros orcs don't take part in the raids or pillaging that orcs are famous for across the continent, but unlike other tribes Xiros will never take unwilling prisoners back to their camps with them or capture prisoners to sell to slavers. The Xiros are known to embark on that they call a rumbling, where a large number of orcs will band together temporarily to take part in a series of raids. Many towns bordering the Kymash know to leave offerings for the warband whenever they hear the characteristic drum beating that signals a Rumbling approaching. Such towns or structures tend to be left untouched.
They say the concept of the rumbling is inspired by the way the Vermia the giant desert worms hunt, and the old practice of sending out an injured animal whenever the low rumbling of a worm appoaching to lead the beast away from the town. The Vermia have a great impact on the Xirosic culture with their adversarial relationship with them being how they are best known as symomynous with the great Vermia hunts as the Exost orcs of the north are with hunting great whales and megalodons . Ironically despite being in a constant state of being hunted by and hunting these creatures, without them the Xiros would almost certainly would not exist without them. With orcs being pushed to the fringes of the world where no other race would live the terrorising of the worms has kept any other power from claiming the Vermian Triangle.