The following information is based on the collective knowledge of the players. Any descriptions of culture and appearance are written from the point of view of the people of Mardun, primarily the Ulven whom have been at war with the Mordok longer than they can remember. One thing that can be certain is that we are constantly learning more about the mysterious warriors from the swamp.
What are their organizations like? (Family, groups, communities, tribes, clans etc)
- Mordok are separated into small packs much like The Ulven. A pack is a group that stays together in a geographical area and work together to hunt, do rituals, co-exist, etc. Packs can exist close to one another, but due to their Alpha society they don’t normally work together or exist in harmony and are often seen challenging each other or fighting amongst themselves.
- Mordok do show a tendency to hunt or act in pairs. Whether this is a mated pair or two members whose skills and cunning mesh together is unknown.
- UPDATE: In 268 a before-unknown type of Mordok clad in blues and teals started appearing. These blue-clad Mordok seemed very adept at drawing together large forces of other Mordok. All other Mordok show them great deference, even the Alphas and Shamans. Not much is known about these new Mordok, but they show us that we clearly do not know as much about the Mordok as we thought we did.
How do they handle ceremonies? (Marriage, funerals, etc)
- It seems that any “official” ceremonies are conducted by what the Ulven have come to call the shaman of a pack. Pack members will gather around and participate in the ceremonies in varying ways.
- Mordok do not appear to celebrate or observe any holidays.
- UPDATE: A lot of the rituals or spells cast by Shamans involve earth, dirt, and plants. A number of rituals also seem to involve cutting, bloodletting or punching.
What kind of leaders do they have and what is their structure and importance?
- A Mordok pack is usually lead by what the Ulven have named an Alpha. This is the strongest and most powerful Mordok in the group, but it does not necessarily mean it is the largest. Strength, speed, cunning, and brutality all seem equally important.
- Because their Alpha society keeps the packs apart, strong shamans and cunning Alphas are especially dangerous for their ability to bring groups of Mordok together and build a much larger group of Mordok. Many times this is how raiding parties or strikes on Ulven villages are coordinated.
- UPDATE: Shamans also seem to be viewed as leaders of each pack, so much so that sometimes a pack’s Alpha seems to follow the Shaman.
What gods do they believe in for religion and what is their spirituality like?
- The Mordok have a religion they follow but very little is known. A good deal of their religion and magic centers around corruption. Different magical idols discovered around Mardrun created by the Mordok seem to have corrupted the nearby land.
- UPDATE: There appears to be some sort of motherly figure that the Mordok revere. There have been small idols depicting this entity but it is very vague and very little is known. They range in size and shape but definitely have a feminine and almost serpentine appearance.
- UPDATE: Several adventurers have discovered these idols and some reports have come out of strange dreams of a tempting female presence.
- UPDATE: This entity has come to be referred to as The Mother who has offered her gifts to various non-Mordok adventurers, but they always seem to come at some great price
How do they commonly view the other races? The Undead? The Mordok?
- The Mordok seem to take sadistic pleasure in killing and eating the flesh of Ulven in particular. They often hunt, stalk, toy with, and brutally attack any Ulven they encounter.
- The arrival of the colonists seemed to have puzzled the Mordok for a short. Syndar are especially peculiar to the Mordok and stories exist of Mordok actively avoiding Syndar they encounter. This has diminished over time and the colonists are attacked much the same as the Ulven.
- To this day, no serious attempt has been made by the Mordok to communicate with, understand, or live alongside the Ulven or colonists.
- UPDATE: With undead being new to Mardrun, there is very little evidence of how the Mordok regard them. There have been confirmed reports of Mordok viciously attacking the undead they have encountered. Mordok also seem vulnerable to the plague of undeath as several of them were turned into zombies when the lich rampaged across Mardrun.
- UPDATE: Reports have spread and even a survivor of a Mordok encounter has claimed that a Syndar has been seen with the Mordok, dressed and painted up like one of them. When first denounced as most likely being a prisoner, the eye witness account of the survivor of a gruesome torture ritual confirmed that the Mordok seemed to regard this Syndar as some form of leader.
- UPDATE: This Syndar has since become known as the Red Eyed Syndar. He acts as an acolyte of The Mother, leads a small band of Mordok, and offers The Mother’s gifts to unsuspecting adventurers. He’s also taken part in various attacks on the people of Mardrun.
How do they handle honor and integrity?
- The Mordok appear to be very cunning and creative in war. They are survivalists and fighting with an Ulven sense of honor seems alien and unnecessary to them. Using traps, poisons, unfair odds, and openly insulting actions are normal ways of interaction and fighting for the Mordok. Some Mordok have learned how to tug at the Ulven’s code of honor in order to make them even more angry during fights and confrontations.
- The closest thing to an “honorable fight” is if another race challenged a dominant or Alpha Mordok if the challenge is accepted, the other Mordok will back off and let the fight play out. There have also been recorded examples of Alpha Mordok demanding challenges from the other races.
How do they handle grudges and revenge?
- Mordok seem quite capable of remembering things that have happened to them or their packs and are more than willing and capable of extracting cruel punishment and revenge on the adventuring group or a nearby settlement. The means of death and torture they use on their captives also get more brutal, openly showing a very strong desire for revenge.
How do they handle combat and war?
- Because of their tribal nature and nomadic ways, the Mordok almost always fight in small scale guerilla style raids and skirmishes.
- Encounters with Mordok usually fall under one of three categories. Quiet long distance stalking, hit and run tactics, or a brutal berserking assault.
- The Mordok do not seem to “go to war” as other races might. Any sort of large scale raiding parties appear to be merely coincidental, or dissolve quickly once formed.
- UPDATE: They know when it is suicidal to meet a much larger group head on, so they pick and choose their battles accordingly and use opportunity to their advantage. It is not uncommon for a Mordok raiding party to just completely avoid a group of Ulven warriors if they know the battle would not be favorable.
- UPDATE: After the people of Mardrun pushed into the Swamp and established a series of Outposts known at the Shield of Mardrun the Mordok seemed to come together in a much more meaningful way. Large scale battles became far more common and entire units of Mordok have been witnessed being led by before-unseen leaders clad in blues and teals.
How do they handle justice and punishment?
- The Mordok seem to observe some sort of grappling and dominance displays. Whether this is some sort of punishment for a transgression, it is unknown.
How do they handle death?
- Although the Mordok seem to avoid most suicidal situations and generally try to avoid dying, they do not appear scared of death. They also do not appear to feel any grief or pity for slain Mordok.
How do they handle economy and wealth?
- Mordok do not take loot like other races do. They may be just as likely to take a torn piece of shirt as they would a gold pendant.
- Mordok will take armor and weapons from fallen enemies because they are useful.
- There are no records of any Mordok practicing any kind of barter or currency system.
How do they handle politics (voting, representation, race-scale changes, etc)?
- The Mordok appear to follow their Alpha and Shaman leaders. There seem to be disagreements but exactly how they are handled is unknown other than using force to bring weaker Mordok in line.
What are some common mannerisms for their race?
- Mordok are always rough and short with each other. They do not appear to ever act kindly or nice to each other.
- Mordok often move like a predator, slow and deliberate when hunting, quick when attacking. Their posture often hunched over, close to the ground, and they often bob their heads, looking this way and that.
- A Mordok often acts with bravado, trying to make it’s self seem mightier
- Mordok do not seem to use fire as a means to warm themselves or cook food.
Are there any symbols or animals important to this race?
- Bones are an important symbol and decoration for the Mordok
- Wolves appear to be important to the Mordok but not in the form of reverence and respect. Mordok will hunt out and brutally kill any and all wolves they find, and it has been witnessed that Shamans may do an odd ritual and even sometimes urinate on the corpse of a wolf.
Is there anything considered taboo or forbidden to this race?
- Some Mordok have been witnessed to avoid caravans carrying strong spices or potpourris. Whether this actually deters them or is a coincidence is unknown.
- Nothing else is known about this topic at this time.
Are there any common sayings that are used by this race?
- There appears to be some sort of gutteral and basic language that the Mordok use to communicate. So far nobody has learned any of it or understood its words.
- UPDATE: Several idols recovered from the Mordok seem to have some sort of strange writing or dialect. It is very hard to follow or decipher but some patterns could be understood if enough Idols were recovered.
What is a common appearance (eyes, skin, ears, fangs, etc) for them? Is there an uncommon or taboo appearance for them?
- Mordok tend to appear in a variety of colors ranging from blues, reds, purples, and greens though always muted or tinged with ash/charcoal notes.
- Mordok tend to display long ears and tusks or fangsThese traits can vary considerably among the Mordok. Their eyes tend to range wildly in colors.
What overall theme/style do they tend to have? (Clothing, look, etc)
- Mordok almost always wear dark brown and black base layers of basic tattered clothing. They adorn themselves with strips of cloth and pieces of hide and rope in layers and wrappings. Everything about their clothing seems to be piecemeal. They seem very willing to don debris and detritus to blend in with their surroundings.
- It is unusual, but not unheard of for a Mordok to wear bits of brighter colors, usually due to some trinket or trophy
- UPDATE: Mordok Shamans have been often seen wearing purple accents on their clothes. It appears to be an important color.
- UPDATE: Mordok have begun to be spotted acting as commanders of large Mordok forces. They stand tall and wear clothes of various teals and blues and seem to put significantly more effort into their clothing than the Mordok that had been seen to date.
How do they regard magic? What kind of magical people or classes do they have and what do they do?
- Shamans seem to be fairly common to the Mordok and do a number of leadership and spiritual activities. Some Mordok may display a little bit of magic potential but usually all spell casting focused Mordok appear to be religiously dedicated.
- UPDATE: It has been observed that Shamans can control both Arcane and Divine magic on a regular basis, almost like it is a norm to their culture. While this concept is not uncommon outside of the Mordok due to Ulven and Human witches, it does appear with significant more regularity among the Mordok.
Is there a rite of passage or coming of age for them to become adult?
- Nothing official has been observed as any kind of rite of passage.
- UPDATE: There are vague stories about what appear to be more experienced Mordok leading weaker Mordok into fights against the Ulven. The attack is usually withdrawn before either side is outright killed, then the Mordok vanish. To those experiencing this phenomenon, they have said it felt like they were being tested somehow.
What is their courting & relationship process like?
- Extremely little is known about Mordok mating. Nothing has been observed at all.
- UPDATE: Though the Mordok do seem to show different sexes, they don’t seem to show any care for the concept of gender.
How long do they live and what is their birth/child process like?
- There are no official records that explain how long Mordok actually live for, but some Mordok seem to be very old, estimated to be 75-100 years old.
- To this day, no young or baby Mordok have ever been discovered or seen. Wild theories run rampant amongst Ulven an colonist alike, detailing anything from hatched eggs, large litters, growing them in the ground to hatching them out of captured victims.
How do they handle their own names? Is there meaning to how they are structured?
- No record exists of the Mordok using names to distinguish themselves from each other, however no one speaks the Mordok language to be able to verify this for certain.
Are there any special groups or factions within this race?
- No special groups have ever been observed, but sometimes consistent markings or face paint can be seen on specific tribes.
- UPDATE: One Ulven Pack has come across Mordok in a region that were all marked with a specific type of body paint. When dealt a killing blow, they would fly into a blood frenzy and attempt to fight on long after they should have died. There appears to be no consistency in this throughout the Mordok culture as a whole.
Were there any large/significant events that happened for this race?
- The arrival of the colonists appears to have been perplexing to the Mordok. They regarded them as soft targets at first but did not view them with such intense hatred like they did the Ulven and actually left them alone in the beginning. As experienced adventurers killed off Mordok or confronted them, the hatred has been building and Mordok appear to now view them much in the same way as they do the Ulven.
What was this race like on Faedrun? On Mardrun?
- There is no evidence of Mordok ever existing on Faedrun. They appear to have only ever existed in Mardrun.
Is this race a unified group or are there obvious differences between its members? What common ground does this race share?
- The Mordok as a whole seem to follow the same societal structures, but each tribe has its own entity. They do not seem to vary much from each other.
- There seem to be unspoken territories claimed by a tribe’s Alpha but the exact process is unknown.
How do they handle teaching & knowledge?
- Nothing official has been observed other than weaker Mordok seem to follow and learn from experience Mordok over time.
- Although most Ulven refuse to respect any kind of sentience within the Mordok, it is obvious that they are cunning and intelligent. They are capable of hunting, weapon maintenance, and crafting clothing and armor, primarily from spoils taken from battles or hunts.
- UPDATE: As the Colonists and Ulven pushed into the Swamp in 268 they encountered a before unseen type of Mordok. This Mordok stood tall and wore various blues and teals and wore clothes that were very clearly well made and cared for. The rest of the Mordok showed this individual great deference. This Mordok even at one point spoke the common tongue saying “You Started This War. The Mordok Will End This War.” Since then similarly dressed Mordok have started appearing with war parties along The Shield. When they are around the rest of the Mordok fight harder and with increased tactical prowess.
What kind of superstitions does this race have? (sayings, totems, rituals, beliefs)?
- They will ritualistically kill and urinate on Wolves hunted down and killed.
- The Mordok respond to a “blood moon” or a moon that is red tinged in the sky. Whenever there is a blood moon, the Mordok seem to be more brutal and vicious.
- UPDATE: Mordok seem to go out of their way to eat the flesh of whatever they kill. While this is a way to consume food, it seems to mean something more to Mordok. Exactly what the reasoning is behind it is unknown.
What kind of structures do they build and to what style?
- The Mordok seem to be largely nomadic. They are known to find natural cover, sleep in the open near fires, or construct huts from small trees and branches..
- Because of their constant hit and run war against the Ulven, the Mordok tribes are always on the move or at least always ready to move. Many times a well armored and equipped Ulven war party will assemble and move into an area where a Tribe is known to be only to find it completely abandoned. The buildings or dwellings they leave behind seem of no importance to the Mordok.
What kind of weapons and armor are common to the race? Is there something that has special meaning?
- Mordok frequently use punch-style shields so they can throw them away and grapple and grab their opponents and it lends to their skirmish style of fighting they have developed with the Ulven.
- Mordok will use anything they loot off of dead opponents they find useful, but they also use hides and layers of wrapped materials to create patch-work armor. They do not tend to maintain their armor much of which are dented, rusty, and in some state of ruin. When a Mordok’s gear breaks, it is usually mended rather than fully repaired, breaks being covered with another piece, or simply lashed back together.
- Mordok do maintain their weapons, but often seem to allow them to purposefully degrade to a certain point resulting in jagged, rusted, and unkempt appearing weapons. This also makes them more lethal as the wounds dealt by such weapons can quickly lead to infection.
- UPDATE: The Blue-Clad Mordok have been seen in much more well cared for equipment and carrying more well cared for weapons.
What kind of fighters does this race have? Are they known for anything in particular?
- Most Mordok are skirmish-style fighters, used to attacking in small groups against small groups of Ulven. They commonly have lighter armor and move quickly from place to place. Hunters with bow and arrow are also very common to the Mordok. Nearly all of their fighting is done in small, hit and run scenarios. Most Mordok are quite clever at devising and setting ingenious and cruel traps. Most Mordok prefer to engage only when the enemy is weaker than they are and are known to retreat from any opposing group that has an advantage.
- When in close combat, most Mordok are brutal, relentless fighters, pressing in to close range, and not stopping till either falls.
- Mordok are very strong, tough, and resilient. They can take more weapon strikes than a human or Ulven can and still keep fighting. They also heal quickly and recover from wounds that would easily kill even a hardy Ulven. If a Mordok is able to get away from a fight, chances are they will heal from whatever wound they have received.
Is there a particular talent, trade skill, or resource that this race has or focuses on?
- The Mordok use poisons in all forms. Usually these simply animal or plant poisons but sometimes they are strange concoctions of different substances. The most potent is “Mordok Bile”, which will kill anyone infected by it quickly, nicknamed due to the common act of Mordok spreading their blood or spit onto their weapons or into their victims wounds. This has lead to a superstition that Mordok bodily fluids themselves are poisonous, but there is no evidence of this.
- It is not uncommon for a Mordok to poison a victim and retreat to allow the poison to weaken or kill.
What is the population of this race (if known)?
- It is almost impossible to estimate how many Mordok there are. There are no accurate records as to just how large the Mordok race is. There are countless tribes scattered all across Mardrun. Mordok can can live just about anywhere, and eat just about anything, so there is no limit to where they can survive. And because of their hostility, and their hit and run tactics, it is near impossible to garner any real accurate information.
- Some speculate that if the Mordok ever could put aside their differences and united, that they could easily overrun any Ulven or Colonist settlement on Mardrun.