Welcome to the third installment of our Rivenstone lore series. These blogs are meant to introduce you to the world of Rivenstone and the warring factions that you, as the player, will be able to take command of in this upcoming miniature wargame. If you missed our first two blog posts, you can find Part I here and Part II here.
In this post we’re covering the orcs and savage beasts of the Orrix. This faction provides a stark contrast to the humans of the Shattered Empire, and helps demonstrate the technological differences between the warring factions of Rivenstone.
Where the humans of the Shattered Empire and the dwarves of the Iron Guard make regular use of machines and firearms in battle, the Orrix employ more primitive (but just as effective) methods of violence.
There is likely no more striking image on the tabletop, and one that better exemplifies the Rivenstone narrative, than seeing a line of Shattered Empire soldiers bracing themselves against the charge of Orrix brutes. There is something almost superheroic about the concept of creatures so tough they will run headlong into a firing squad with nothing more than a massive battle axe and a fierce determination to stop enemy invaders.
For hobbyists, the Orrix will also offer a wildly different experience when it comes to painting and converting models. For those of you who enjoy painting more organic creatures, including wild beasts and monsters, the Orrix faction is going to be right up your alley.
Of all the peoples who called the wilds their home, none suffered the Rivenstone eruption worse than the Orrix. Muscular in form, with jutting tusks and fierce demeanors, the Orrix took pride in needing no cities to endure, their tribes at home amid Venn’s harshest barrens and wastes. They fought fiercely to defend their territories, competing with sizable beasts, which they quickly learned to master and tame.
But this meant they had no shelter when the arcane storms swept their lands, obliterating their settlements and forts. They endured only through ruggedness, strength, and tenacity. The fact that the Orrix survived four centuries of arcane storms while exposed to their full fury is a feat no other civilization can claim.
During this tumultuous time, the Orrix evolved to become even more fierce and deadly. War and conflict are facts of daily life among them, as survival has required them to confront every potential threat with lethal force. Their culture values might, decisiveness, and bold, even reckless courage. Even their youths can hold their own in a fray, and they sneer at both dwarf and human as weak and thin-skinned cowards. In the past, certain tribes of Orrix had greater technological prowess, having adopted some of the weapons of their enemies, but most of that was lost. They have instead become unsurpassed in the mastery of beast handling and wilderness survival.
The beasts that now exist in the wilds of Venn are dangerous and primal creatures, some of them now possessing supernatural capabilities, but the Orrix have yet to encounter one they could not tame. Such creatures are utilized in all aspects of Orrix culture, from warfare to labor. Some are even kept as favored pets.
As warbands from the old nations began to venture out into the world again, they were met by Orrix warbands who greeted them with violent enthusiasm. The Orrix no longer have any interest in harvesting Rivenstone, but instead wish to destroy it, for its existence enrages them. Shattering the crystals sends a surge of energies through their bodies, empowering them in ways they do not themselves entirely understand.
The Orrix know firsthand the suffering Rivenstone can unleash on the world, and they seek to slaughter any who would risk bringing about the next apocalypse through its use. In this, they may possess a deeper wisdom than their enemies would ever credit.
Tor The Hunt Master
Above is an illustration of Tor the Hunt Master, one of the Orrix characters that you will see in miniature form as part of our game. Tor is a beast tamer without equal among the Orrix and one of their greatest champions.
Before the other cultures of Venn began venturing back into the wilderness in search of Rivenstone, Tor spent years hunting and capturing some of the fiercest creatures the wilds had to offer. It was during this time that he caught and mastered his sabrefang, a feline monstrosity that Tor rides into battle.
Like all Orrix, Tor suffered through many years of the Rivenstorm, and despises the other cultures for having the audacity to attempt to mine Rivenstone again after all his people have endured.
Tor’s approach to ending a conflict is quite simple and effective: when battle begins, he immediately seeks out the opposition’s toughest, meanest combatant, and runs them down. While he primarily uses his colossal bolas for capturing creatures in the wild, Tor is by no means above smashing the weapon directly into the skulls of his enemies.
Warbands lead by Tor also benefit from the presence of his favorite pet: his hand-reared murder bird. This small beast is utterly loyal to the Hunt Master and acts as an aerial scout for his forces.
Between the speed of his feline mount, the keen sight of his avian scout, and his own impressive skills at tracking and trapping, there are very few individuals on the face of Venn capable of escaping Tor – should he choose to hunt them.
Thank you for joining us for the latest installment of the lore of Rivenstone. We hope you come back for Part IV as we explore the Iron Guard faction.