Ord are blue-skinned humanoids, trans-dimensional travelers who have interacted with many different places across the Omniverse, including Fartherall, where they were the ancestors of the orcs. In Countermay, they are one of the nine major factions who are vying for control over said continent, known there as "the Ord of the Floating Isle."
Believers in the Tapestry of Worlds say the Ord came from a homeworld of high mountaintops and thin atmosphere. As their world was dying, being torn apart by the Reaver, they scattered in their airships to find a new home, traveling across worlds following a Thread of Air.
Through great rifts in the sky, the Ord appear in their flying vessels. They seize an island and raise it into the sky and build a thriving civilization in general peace with the other two "Elder Races" of Fartherall — the Ald and Olom. Magic, the language of the universe, is studied and chronicled. War is virtually unknown and, when it does occur, is a curiosity and a limited exercise. It is a mini-age of unparalleled peace and prosperity, a time when the Elder Races achieve great technological, philosophical, and arcane understanding.
However, the Elder Races grow complacent and ignore their worship of the gods. The Wyrmbroods leave the wild places of the world and attack the Olom. The conflict escalates, and the three Elder Races unite against the Heirs of Draagan. War blankets the world.
The Elder Races attempt to bring Death back from the dead to turn against the Wyrmhorde. They harvest a golden apple from the Tree of Life, but the apple that reaches Death is rotten, and she arises undead, no ally to those who raised her. Instead of providing aid, Death whispers to the mortal children of the Olom, turning them against their parents. The alliance of the Elder Races shatters. The Wyrmbroods annihilate the Olom, driving them to extinction, and then turn on and devour one another. The handful of remaining broods return to the wild places of the world, greatly weakened.
At the beginning of the late Second Age (or early Third Age, depending on the scholar), the ogres, one of the five Olom legacy races, pursue the Wyrmbroods into the mountains. The Ord seize control of the territories abandoned by the Wyrms, quickly increasing their domain. The Ord and Ald war over territory and who will guide the Olom legacy races in their development.
In exchange for allying with them against the Ald, the Ord promise to give the giants—the strongest and largest of the Olom legacy, who have claimed dominion over the other Children of the Olom—the secret to immortality. The giants agree, and the Ord share the secret: immortality can be achieved by siphoning the life force and youth out of another, a process that ages its victims to death. The giants turn the other Olom legacy races into sacrificial herds to extend their own lives.
However, the elves—who have known no other home, and do not wish to leave—share arcane secrets with the enslaved Olom legacy races, who break free from the giants and ally with the Ald. The humans and dwarves throw themselves against the giants until they have torn down the giants’ society and nearly drive them to extinction.
With the giants gone, the remaining Children of the Olom throw their might behind the Ald. Together, they topple the Ord. The Ord reopen their rifts in the sky and flee the world. To cover their escape, they drop their abandoned floating island back into the sea off the coast of the First Wood. The ensuing tsunami obliterates a quarter of the primordial forest and devastates the Ald.
But not all of the Ord escape. The tidal wave knocks a number of their fleeing vessels out of the sky, and one wing of the relocating population swings too close to the Home Range. The dwarves shoot many of these airships from the sky and capture the survivors and drag them and the wrecks of their ships into the deep places of the world. There, they enslave the Ord and strip them of their secrets and language. They conduct tortuous experiment on the captives, warping and transmuting those strong enough to survive into ideal enslaved workers: powerful, short-lived, with built-in weaknesses, stripped of their staggering intellect and sense of identity. The dwarves build their massive Underkingdom on the backs of these enslaved people — the sole legacy race of the Ord — who they call orcs.
(Had the Ald and Ord not warred and crippled one another in the Age of Wonder, the Ord who were left behind never would have been taken underground and warped into the orcs. The elves feel partially responsible, and it weighs on their conscience, although they would never admit to such a thing.)
"No people in Countermay are more alien than the Ord, not even the Tuatha, not even the Displaced. Blue-skinned and pale-haired, with tapered ears and gem-like eyes, they arrived through a rift in the sky on great airships. Their first act was to uproot an island and raise it into the clouds, where they settled. Why they came, no one knows, but it is clear that this is not the first world they’ve visited, and likely will not be the last. Their technology, powered by a strange combination of steam and crystal, is unlike anything seen in Arcanix or from Esh, a magic all their own. Extremely xenophobic and jealous of their technologies, the Ord keep to themselves. They generally avoid getting involved with the other empires, but are swift to attack when conflict is inevitable. Though it’s unknown why they first came to Countermay, it is generally agreed upon—by the empires below, at least—that they decided to stay once the God-King appeared to the Shad-Hujem. Why? Only the Ord know, and they’re not talking."
ORD 1: Kathas Sandudz hopjokudz? (English: Do you know hopjockey Sandy?)
NATALIE WARNER: Whoa, sorry, what?
ORD 2: Mastiul lor bruskagax kit hopjoko Sando aka! (English: It's imperative that we speak with hopjockey Sandy!)
NATALIE: Dudes, those costumes are unreal! Seriously, you went all out.
ORD 2: (to Ord 1) Gibbagek omad tag aka! (English: I think it's all a game!)
- Vancil, Matt, et al. The Gamers: Hands of Fate Extended e03. YouTube, Dead Gentlemen Productions, 01 Oct. 2013, youtu.be/SS_-8Lor9Uc.
- Vancil, Matt, and Nathan Rice. Romance of the Nine Empires: Rules of Play. Edited by Jeff Quick, Alderac Entertainment Group, 2013.
- Vancil, Matt, et al. The Gamers: Hands of Fate Extended e08. YouTube, Dead Gentlemen Productions, 05 Nov. 2013, youtu.be/aYMZiimKV3s.
- Vancil, Matt, and Nathan Rice. "The Gamers: Hands of Fate." 2012. Unpublished screenplay.
- Online Orcish Lexicon, https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1nNLdn8I82kOwsqydgbOz03AWZ15mnhxXQxLM0ClJpxo/edit?usp=sharing