Chapter 87: Harkul tribe (1)

After having his newly formed tribe camp outside the canyon, Grobak led his most fierce and loyal elite guard down the narrow path leading inside. Each member of his elite guard carried a wooden spear with a decapitated head on it. Each of the heads had once belonged to an advanced class being from the Northern church’s expeditionary army. Grobak himself held a spear with the head of Grigor firmly impaled at the end. This was a method to display their imposingness and valor.

It was not uncommon for smaller tribes to pay tribute to the larger ones or to attempt to attach themselves to a larger force for safety. So Grobak arriving with his tribe didn’t immediately alert the Harkul tribe or make them feel threatened. They were after all, a powerful tribe and their numbers were vastly greater than Grobak’s tribe. They had nothing to fear, but Grobak’s strength was intimidating and many Orcs and Human Barbarians of the Harkul tribe glanced at him with awe. Strength was something they admired wholeheartedly and such a powerful and fierce looking Orc was an object of their admiration.

However, not every member of the Harkul tribe looked at him so, some had envious looks while others were somewhat hostile. Orcs were a violent bunch who always sought to assert their dominance over others so some would feel a sort of competitiveness in seeing another powerful member of their kind. The Harkul tribe had many powerful warriors and even several master class beings so they were not weak by any means. As a matter of fact, the Harkul tribe was the current dominant tribe among the tribes of the Steppes and this particular canyon was considered the ancestral grounds of all tribes. Only the most powerful tribe that could dominate the others would be able to make this place their home. The Harkul tribe had already dominated the Steppes for several dozen years and were clearly the dominant tribe in the current time. However, there were a few other tribes which were growing in power and threatened their dominance.

Grobak didn’t mind the stares, regardless of the intent. He grinned ferociously at any and all of the surrounding onlookers while showcasing his aura and power. As a peak master class being, there was almost no one who could contend with his personal strength and the strength of his elite guard was nothing to scoff at either. This was an intimidating presence, and the fact that Grobak was carrying a spear with the head of a werewolf impaled on it was a huge intimidating factor. Werewolves were extremely powerful beings and not something just anyone could kill. This was truly an impressive display of their strength. Grobak was no idiot despite his sometimes foolish behavior. Within him was a devious and cruel mind and his actions often had a purpose. This was no different, he needed to establish his prestige in order to be taken seriously so that he could complete his master’s objective.

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While he was putting on this show for the members of the Harkul tribe, he was also carefully observing the surroundings. This was only one small area of the canyon and most of the stronger members of the tribe would be further in. Nonetheless, he wasn’t careless and continued to observe for any powerful auras or influences within the surrounding groups of tribal members. One particular group caught his eye, they were clearly not members of the tribe. They were Dragonmen, servants of the Dragons. These were a race of beings who had the blood of dragons and other races in them. They were not true dragons, but descendents of dragons who had children with humans and perhaps even Orcs.

Most dragons were lustful creatures who often partook in debauchery and were extremely greedy. Their lust for power, wealth, and their lascivious behavior was common knowledge. They would only bow down to strength and they often preyed on the weak, although not all dragons were like this. There were some dragons who were noble and wise. These dragons were much more rare, but often very powerful and respected. Overall, there weren’t many dragons on the continent as dragons were often hunted and killed for their valuable parts which could be used in a variety of things, like potions, weapons, and magical tools. The only large group of dragons on this continent, were on the Steppes and lived in the wild places where it was difficult to tread.

“What are those things doing here?” Mumbled Grobak under his breath. He didn’t much like Dragonmen and saw them as a disgusting aberration of life. As a High Orc, he considered himself a noble and proud being far above them.

The Dragonmen too, eyed Grobak with interest and a good bit of hostility. They in kind thought themselves above Orcs and Humans because of the blood of dragons running through their veins. To them, Dragons were beings of worship and their ancestors. All other races were their prey and beneath them. Of course, to Dragons, the Dragonmen were replaceable servants and not worth their care. As long as they fulfilled their role as servants and slaves, the Dragons allowed them to live peacefully.

Seeing these Dragonmen here was not a good omen. Grobak immediately saw them as a threat and was concerned they would interfere with his mission.

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“Hmph, I will crush them if they get in my way.” He resolved himself to deal with them at the appropriate time.

Of course, that didn’t stop him from provoking the group by flipping them the finger and giving them one of his ferocious grins. Despite his provocation, they only glared at him with hostility and did nothing else.

“Haha, what a bunch of degenerate scum!” Mocked Grobak before heading deeper into the canyon.

The dwelling places of the Orcs within the canyon was simply dubbed by the Orcs as “The Canyon.” It was an interesting blend of nature and man made structures. These dwellings and other facilities had existed for untold thousands of years and had been expanded upon throughout every generation until the entire canyon valley was covered with these strange earthy structures. It was almost as if the homes and facilities of these tribal Orcs and other races had grown from out of the rock itself. There was nothing sophisticated about the structures and they were mostly crude, sculpted from the rocky walls of the canyon and stretched upwards along the canyon walls.

The only way to navigate the various abodes was by climbing a series of ladders which could easily be thrown down or lifted up in times of danger. It was a highly defensible city which would be difficult to conquer. Fire was mostly ineffective and the walls of the canyon also shimmered with the light of runic magic. The entire canyon was protected by powerful runic spells which Shamans had imbued into the canyon walls over thousands of years. Although most modern civilizations would consider this immense city to be barbaric and lacking any semblance of what a proper civilized city should be, this place was not all it appeared from the outset. The Orc tribes on the Steppes were not as barbaric as some might believe and this city was quite a grand spectacle in its own right.

Throughout the canyon floor were numerous herds of animals both large and small. This was the main food source of the tribes and also provided many other resources used in their daily lives. They didn’t only possess such crude and meager sources of wealth, there were also many exotic and strange creatures as well as materials which were produced by the tribes on the Steppes. These goods could only be found in this particular region and often provided significant wealth to the tribes. They also would often raid trading caravans and even pillage settlements along the borders of the Savage Lands. Since the tribal people were at their roots a nomadic people, many of them also tended to roam a vast area in which they would collect all manner of things.

The Harkul tribe was a mixture of all of these things. They were an extremely powerful tribe and received significant tributes from surrounding tribes and also even from distant nations who either wanted to entice them for a variety of nefarious reasons or perhaps to keep them away from their lands. It wasn’t necessary for such a powerful tribe to spend their lives roaming the Steppes and they had instead made this canyon their home. They had many travelers from throughout the Steppes who saw this place as a sort of holy land and there were even traders who were accepted and occasional foreigners who were permitted on their lands. It was quite the hub of activity and Grobak was immensely impressed. This was his first time seeing this place that all Orcs and tribes on the Steppes revered. It was also here where the powerful ancestral spirits supposedly dwelled.

Even though Grobak was somewhat awed by the presence of this place, he retained his confident demeanor and swaggered throughout the canyon with his group of elites. Despite his attitude, he knew when not to step over the line and didn’t outwardly cause any significant problems with the locals. He acted as an Orc Warlord should, with a confident step, a ferocious grin, and a murderous aura. It also helped when carrying a huge Werewolf’s decapitated head impaled on a spear.

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