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Goblin (Upgrade: Goblin Hunter)

Goblins are "degenerate" Orcs, who were originally "failures" in the Orc experiment, born from the blood of lesser demons (mostly Imps). Their fertility being inversely proportional to their physical and intellectual capacities, they have multiplied like rodents. Goblins are small (between 4 and 5 foot tall), scraggy, physically weak, but very swift and agile.

The average Goblin is devious, cowardly, and stupid. They rarely attack unless they greatly outnumber their opponents, preferring sneak attacks and (poorly constructed) booby traps. They will usually run from any show of force. In the Orc armies, Goblins serve as servants, scouts, skirmishers, and sometimes sacrifices for the Shamans, missiles for the Cyclops to hurl, or even food if rations become too low...

Goblin - Goblin Hunter abilities

  • Crippling Traps (Basic & Upgrade): "You don't fight goblins, you hunt them down. They have no sense of honor, and no proper place on Ashan." The Emperor Connor III, who is famous for calling an end to the Orc Crusades, had initially wanted to exclude goblins from the treaty. He had nearly lost a leg in a Goblin trap, and whenever he had encountered them on the battlefield, he felt there was no glory to be had in besting them.
  • Sneaky Strike (Upgrade) : "There is much for us to learn from the Goblin. He is not dumb. He has intelligently adapted to his physical shortcomings, and has learned to critically strike his opponent when the odds are in his favor." Queen Tuihdana, a long-time ally of the Orcs, is said to have asked each of her legendary assassins to spend a month hunting with Goblins in the Forests of Irrolan, before accepting them in her personal guard.
 
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MMH6 - Stronghold - Gobelin HunterMMH6 - Stronghold - Gobelin Hunter
 

Harpy (Upgrade: Fury)

Harpies are one of the many “Beastmen” species, created in the workshops of the Seven Cities in the year 512 YSD to replace the Orcs as guards, servants, and “playthings” for the Wizards. Half-human and half-bird of prey, Harpies were originally used as scouts, messengers and skirmishers in the Wizards’ armies. They won their freedom during the Revolt of the Beastmen. The Orcs adopted them as allies and see them as favored children of Father Sky. Very different characteristics have evolved in Harpies born from such diverse species as ravens, eagles, or vultures.

The Harpies who settled in the Pao islands were created from various tropical raptors native to the Eastern jungles, which explains their multi-colored plumage.

Harpy - Fury abilities

  • Strike and Return (Basic & Upgrade): "Follow them to where they nest! Or you'll never be rid of them." The Barons and Dukes of the Holy Empire know the tactics of the Harpy all too well. During the Orc Crusades they were a detested opponent, harassing both reserves and front lines at will. One had to observe closely their position and rush them to their point of origin in order to fight them effectively on solid ground.
  • No Retaliation (Upgrade): "Honor is a luxury for those with the gold to armor their chests. I prefer my Furies. They cloak themselves in courage." Crag Hack, the infamous barbarian who rose to the head of an Orc tribe, is said to have thrown those words likes javelins at Baron Rufus during a truce meeting in the middle of a three-day battle. The Unicorn Baron was complaining that the strafing attacks from Crag's notorious Clouds of Furies were dishonorable because his men could not retaliate.
 
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Centaur (Upgrade: Centaur Marauder)

Like the Harpies, Centaurs are Beastmen, created by the Wizards of the Seven Cities in the year 512 YSD. Half-human and half-horse, they served their masters honorably as scouts and mobile archery in their armies. But those days came to an end when the Wizards replaced them with their new creations, the animated constructs. The various Golems, Gargoyles, Titans, etc. were simpler to manage, cheaper to keep, and unfailingly obedient.

The Centaurs were given less and less noble tasks, and ended up carrying messages and pulling carts. Disgruntled at their loss of prestige, they willingly joined the Revolt of the Beastmen and scattered across the face of Ashan, seeking space, dignity, and freedom.

They soon met with the Orc tribes and became their allies, out of common interest and like-mindedness.

Centaur - Centaur Marauder abilities

  • Vigilance (Basic & Upgrade): "Charge with your shields raised high!" This command usually means one thing: Imperial Sentinels are being asked to charge a contingent of Centaurs. The Centaur Beastmen were created by the Wizards of the Seven Cities originally to pull carts of supplies on the battlefield, but when trained as archers their true utility was quickly discovered. They are one of the best harassing units on all of Ashan, and it takes tactical expertise to outflank them.
  • Manoeuvre (Basic & Upgrade): "Both our flanks were chasing centaurs and our lines grew too thin. When the center broke, the battle was over in three short breaths." The Wizards of the Seven Cities recorded numerous battle reports in the years following the Orc rebellion. These lines were of note, because the first to mention what would appear to demonstrate tactical intelligence on the behalf of the Centaurs. They refused to fight hand-to-hand combat, and chasing them down considerably weakened their enemy's lines.
  • Mobile shooter (Upgrade): "She doesn't have to stop and turn her mount! She is both mount and rider!" The Sunriders of the Empire are as impressed as they are frustrated by the agility of the Centaur Marauders on the battlefield. They can fire deadly arrows and then move to higher ground, or dash to a place before firing from the most deadly positions. Years of skirmishes with the Holy Empire during the Orc Crusades have taught the Centaur Marauders to fight with uncanny discipline.
 
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MMH6 - Stronghold - Centaur MarauderMMH6 - Stronghold - Centaur Marauder
 

Dreamwalker (Upgrade: Dreamreaver)

Orcs pray to Mother Earth and Father Sky, but Dreamwalkers are the voices of the tribes' ancestors. To become a Dreamwalker, a shaman must first undertake a dream journey to the Spirit World to meet the spirits of his ancestors. During this inner journey, the Dreamwalker must also face his own demonic heritage and destroy the Chaos within himself. Many Dreamwalkers die during this trial. Those who survive return transformed: their body twisted and deformed by their struggle with their chaotic blood, but their mind imbued with a greater understanding of blood magic and the spiritual realms.

Dreamwalker- Dreamreaver abilities

  • Sky and Earth (Basic): "One man's dream is another man's nightmare." This Seven City popular expression could be used to describe the effects of the Dreamwalker spell that sends its allies into a waking dream where their movement is liberated and hastened. When cast on an enemy, the dream becomes a nightmare, causing both damage and in increasing sensation of lethargy.
  • Sky and Earth Mass (Upgrade): "Kill the damn Dreamreavers or they'll have us all thinking we're roasting over a sulfur pit!" The Arch-Demon Gru-Zhaal is said to have watched his entire legion caught under the effects of a Dreamreaver nightmare. Though he himself was unaffected by the spell, he channeled visions from his favorite succubus and felt her state of terror. Not only were the Orcs on the field moving twice as fast they should, his own troops were crawling, suffering from some imaginary pain.
 
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Jaguar Warrior (Upgrade: Panther Warrior)

Among the Pao islands’ Orcs, the Jaguar Warriors are elite berserkers. Of their people, they are the tallest, the strongest, and the meanest. To become a Jaguar Warrior, an Orc brave must first kill a saber-toothed jaguar, one of the fiercest predators of the islands, with his bare hands. Needless to say, the mask of a Jaguar Warrior often hides numerous scars earned during this perilous rite of passage. In combat, they rush violently and blindly into the enemy, raking with their obsidian claws. Jaguar Warriors are often used as honor guards by the greatest Orc chieftains and shamans.

Jaguar Warrior - Panther Warrior abilities

  • Feral Charge (Basic & Upgrade): Jaguar and Panther warriors call upon the spirits of the great cats from which they draw their namesake. Often, their first attack resembles the pounce of a feline predator, dropping from the sky and pinning their prey, making immediate retaliation impossible. If their prey is not immediately killed, it is best not to run, for to do so is to give them a chance to pounce again.
  • War Fury (Basic): "Once it starts slashing, nothing but death will stop it." The Necromancer Hafayaad wrote extensively on the tactics and strategies of the Orcs in battle. He made special note of the Jaguar Warrior's capacity to resist curses and control once it had entered into the fray of battle, prompting him to recommend concentrating magical attacks on them until the lines had met, and then praying to Asha for her intervention thereafter.
  • All-around Slash (Upgrade): "It was raining claws, and their growls sounded like thunder." Many Naga consider the Panther Warriors the most beautiful and dangerous foe one might meet in battle. Their charge is furious and instinctive, and falls upon battle lines like a summer storm. Not only must the immediate target of their pounce be on their guard, but those beside them must also look for cover from the rain of death and fury.
 
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Mauler (Upgrade: Crusher)

Lightly armored and heavily armed, the Orc Maulers are the basic front-line of the Stronghold hordes. Their usual tactics is simply to rush straight at the enemy, counting on their numbers, speed, ferocity and toughness to break the lines of the opposing troops and pound the hell out of them. Their heavy shields are not a decorative item, but used to deflect the incoming missiles that are inevitably hurled from the enemy ranks.

Mauler - Crusher abilities

  • Taste of Blood (Basic & Upgrade): "Once the Orc bleeds, the smell of his own blood invigorates him and he grows stronger." When the Wizards of the Seven Cities created the Orcs, this incredible faculty amazed them, and it encouraged their tactical usage of Maulers in the front lines of their armies. The demons were the first to suffer the onslaught of the Maulers, and their resilient aggressiveness even took them by surprise.
  • Shielded (Basic & Upgrade): "Father Sky and Mother Earth protect Orc children." This typical Orc Shaman incantation before battle is not merely a means for bolstering morale. It appears that Father Sky provides them a sort of protection constantly from threats coming from the airs, for all ranged attacks are mysteriously shielded and are less effective than they should be. The Inquisitors of the Holy Empire call this ridiculous superstition, but whenever two crossbowmen are out of their earshot, they will swear that it is true.
  • Assault (Upgrade): "Shaman gets last word, Warrior get last smash!" This famous Orc saying is not spoken as a joke by Crushers, and holds a great deal of truth. When a Crusher attacks and its enemy retaliates it attacks again. Though they may be Orcs of few words, their weapons speak for them.
 
MMH6 - Stronghold - MaulerMMH6 - Stronghold - Mauler
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Cyclops (Upgrade: Enraged Cyclops)

Cyclops are the Goblins' opposites. They too were a "failure" in the Orc experiment, but because they were born from the blood of major demons. The demonic part of their blood took over, and they became monstrous giants, body and mind twisted by chaotic surges.

Cyclops often measure more than 10 feet tall, and they definitely look more demonic than human. A curious trait they all share is that they have only one eye: a large, pupil-less disc, red and glowing. No one knows for sure the cause of this mutation, but a popular wizard theory claims that it is the "mark of Chaos", a symbol of the Dragon-snake Urgash, coiled in a circle, eating its own tail. A select few among them can intuitively channel chaotic magic through this “Evil Eye” to incinerate their enemies from a distance.

Though they are by nature calm with a child-like simplicity, when they are hurt (physically or emotionally), they develop an explosive and terrifying rage. This makes them dangerous to everyone, their own kind included. While many factions would love to harness their power, only the Orcs have the strength, patience, and courage to “tame” them and give them a place in their villages as tireless workers, and on the battlefield as heavy shock troops and “siege engines”.

Cyclops - Enraged Cyclops abilities

  • Slam (Basic & Upgrade): "Closing in on a Cyclops is like trying to keep the ocean at bay with the point of a spear." The Deep Naga respect the tremendous blows of the Cyclops and consider it blessed by Shalassa. Wherever its mighty club strikes the ground a wave of fury is launched at the point of impact, pushing its rivals back. The sensation is similar to being hit by a giant wave when swimming along the coastal regions of the Jade sea on a stormy morning.
  • Sunder (Basic): "If you think their fort is impressive, you should see how quickly they can tear it down." Earland Hammer, the renowned Bloodsmith, is said to have lived a decade with a tribe of Cyclops to learn how to most effectively swing a mass. He once encountered a trader that was extremely impressed by the immensity of their village architecture. Earland told him that the Cyclops have a natural talent for crushing stone and wood, and that they could turn a mountain into a prairie if they were ever given a good reason.
  • Mighty Slam (Upgrade): "Mother Earth hears Cyclop's rage!" The Shaman Palamona is said to have been the first Orc to have made friends with the Cyclops during her tribe's fight for freedom during the Orc Crusades. She claimed to have been given a vision during a dream by Mother Earth, and walked straight into a Cyclops village the very next morning. As two Enraged Cyclops immediately tried to smash the life out of her, they both missed, and she was sent high into the air from the tremendous impacts of their Mighty Slams. She then floated gently to the ground between them, and the Cyclops have been the allies of the Orcs since that day.
  • Impervious to Pain (Upgrade): "The creature's too dumb to know when it's already dead!" The Emperors of Falcon have a long history of underestimating the intelligence of the Orc nations. Their misunderstanding of the Cyclops capacity to continue fighting even after it has been killed is not due to a mental deficiency but simply the fact that it is impervious to pain.
  • Burning Rage (Upgrade): "They say the eye is the window to the soul. The Cyclop's eye is a portal into Sheogh." An Enraged Cyclops can concentrate its anger into a single beam of fiery energy that can literally set ablaze whatever it gazes upon. Or as the saying goes, "Cyclops can't wink, but no one has ever looked at one long enough to be certain."
 
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