The Nine Dooms of Dhalev-gnar
The Nine Dooms of Dhalev-gnar
The ancient kingdom of Dhalev-gnar was a pit of malice, dedicated to the foul worship of Moloch, The Hungering. The cruel kingdom withstood decades of attacks from the goodly nations, until the coming of Gar Goretusk, the orcish warchief of a massive horde. As the horde swept the surrounding lands, the wretched citizens of Dhalev-gnar pursued their wicked service, not heeding the tragic fates of other nations.
Once the orcish horde menaced the lands around the city, the king and his court woke from their depredations. Calling upon their vile, infernal lord, the grim priests of Moloch stoked the great fires, covering the city in smoke and ash, to please their twisted master.
Roused by their offerings, Moloch offered nine dooms to the city.
1. First the court’s priests sent Moloch’s darkness to confound the senses and misdirect the horde. But the orcs, denizens of the shadows and at home in the black, tamed the darkness and made it their own.
2. As the orcs scourged the communities surrounding the capital, Moloch sundered the land and from these abysses poured forth clouds of locusts. The orcs set great bonfires of the living, the smoke of which drove back the locusts into the the kingdom’s own fields.
3. Next the fetid breath of Moloch covered the land, and with it came terrible diseases. The orcs grimly burned their dead and advanced, carrying before them dire fetishes made from the bloated and burnt corpses of their dead.
4. Wild with fear, the court ordered their assassins to kill the warchief and scatter the horde. The orcish mystics saw their hearts and slit their throats in the dark, capturing their souls as they withdrew from the world.
5. The wretched king finally ordered his dread legions unleashed. The orcish berserkers spilt their blood, smashed their lines and trod them into the bloody mud.
6. Blind with terror, the king’s priests summoned the maddening winds from Pandamonium to scour the orcs from the earth. But the orcish priests called on their heathen gods to chain the winds. The winds battered open the great gates and orcs poured into the capital.
7. From the citadel the King offered the lives of his court to his insatiable lord. Pleased by this Moloch rent the heavens and broke the earth. Unholy fire rained down on the lands and black magma rose up to consume entire cities. The orcish mystics set up great cauldrons under tents formed from the treated hides of flayed men. They collected the fires in these cauldrons and directed them towards the high walls of the citadel.
8. The king, lost to panic, emptied his treasury and sent wagons loaded with gold to the orcish warchief. The warchief had the gold melted down in Moloch’s captured fires and had a great girdle forged.
9. Finally, Moloch sent his diabolical servants, to slay the orcs. The orcish warlocks bound them to the permanent service of the warchief and turned them on their ruined masters.
As the fires devoured the kingdom, the orcish warchief strode through the ruins, his great golden girdle adorned with the nine dooms of Dhalev-gnar.
The girdle appears from time to time in both history and legend. In each telling and retelling, the powers it confers on its possessor are said to reflect the nine dooms, though the specifics vary greatly.