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Lore:Thulgeg's March

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Thulgeg's March
An account of the life of Warlord Thulgeg, who led the Orc exodus from Hammerfell to Wrothgar

For many years, the Orcs of the Hollow Wastes held strong against the Ra Gada. But year after year the Redguard kingdoms of the coast grew stronger, while the holds of the desert Orcs fell one by one.

In that time, the warrior-chief Thulgeg came of age. He looked to the north, the west, and the south, and said to his people, "Our enemies surround us, and still our clans bicker with each other. We must stand together under one banner, or be defeated alone."

The desert clans heard Thulgeg, and gathered their strength. When a host from Hegathe marched against the hold of Clan Korkhugg, Thulgeg brought all the desert clans to Korkhugg's defense. He dealt the Redguards of Hegathe a sharp defeat, driving them back to their stone-walled city. In token of his victory, the assembled chiefs named him Warlord and swore to follow wherever he led.

Thulgeg, however, perceived the seeds of defeat in victory. Even united, the clans lacked the strength to overwhelm Hegathe's walls. The Warlord stood upon a hill looking down at the city, and thought long before he came down again.

"Our homeland is a house with three open doors," Thulgeg said to the desert chiefs. "The sea rings our desert on three sides. We cannot win a war against enemies who can come against us from all directions at once. But in the east, we can put our backs to the mountains. We must win our survival with our feet, not our spears."

Heavy were the hearts of those who heard Thulgeg speak, but they knew he was right. While the Redguards mustered their strength, the desert clans took apart their forges and gathered all that could be carried. Then Thulgeg led them east. Many Goblin tribes joined their ranks, swelling their numbers.

Through the canyons of Tigonus Thulgeg marched, a journey filled with thirst and suffering equal to any battle. In the Fallen Wastes, the Redguards of Hel Ra sought to stop him. But Thulgeg led a vanguard of a thousand warriors against the foes in their way, and cleaved a path for the desert clans following him.

Turning north, Thulgeg came to the gates of Bangkorai, hoping to cross the mountains before the pass could be held against him. Alas, word of Thulgeg's march had run ahead of his clans, and the men of High Rock stood ready to defend the pass. Once again, Thulgeg hurled his warriors against his foes, but after a long day of battle the defenses still held.

With a great Redguard host gathering at his heels, Thulgeg knew he was caught between the hammer and anvil. He called his chiefs together. "We cannot stay, but we cannot leave foes behind us," he told them. "Let our clans march on to the mountains under cover of darkness, but leave our campfires burning. I will remain behind with five hundred warriors so that our foes believe we are still here."

The clans did as the Warlord commanded. For three days, Thulgeg feigned assault after assault, keeping the men of High Rock behind their walls and drawing the Redguard host north to Bangkorai while the desert clans retreated into the mountains. Only then did Thulgeg and those few who survived make their own escape.

When the Redguard host came to the deserted camp before the walls of Bangkorai, they saw the dead and they saw the abandoned tents. There they stopped, believing they had destroyed the desert clans to the last Orc. But the Warlord's people survived, and in time Thulgeg led them to Wrothgar where they helped lay the foundations of Orsinium.