To the wayfarer passing by on the road from High Rock to the heartlands, the Orc settlement at the Valley of Scars in Upper Craglorn might look much like any other Orsimer stronghold from Wrothgar to Skyrim. Set against the foothills of the Dragontail Mountains, which together with the valley walls provides the camp with its natural fortifications, a river runs like a vein through its heart offering the settlement plenty of agrarian potential.
If the wayfarer were to linger a little however, they might notice the considerable amounts of nirncrux being mined and excavated. It is unusual because the crimson stone in its natural state is known to be too brittle to create weapons, armour, or to build anything durable. When pounded down into dust however it possesses many properties which the Iron Orc’s use for nefarious purpose. From creating potions to enchanting runes and the imbuing armour. It was even used by the the Scaled Court in the spawning pools of the Serpent’s Nest to create the fearsome Mantikora.
The next thing the wayfarer might note, even above the constant clang of pickaxe upon stone echoing across the valley, is the bellowing and growling of trolls. Whether their grisly clamour is beget from temper or torment is difficult to tell. The Orsimer have always sought to make use of powerful and hardy creatures as war beasts, but the particularly feral nature of the troll makes them almost impossible to fully tame as they have the Welma or the Echatere.
Finally the wayfarer might observe that every member of this tribe is armed and set ready for conflict. Indeed, this seems more a garrison then a settlement. Separated from their cousins to the North, the Iron Orcs have always been an isolated society, even developing their own language. Their often brutal culture has been chiselled by this isolation and the rugged land about. Their ancestors were believed to be originally a primitive society of stone worshippers, but after savage war broke out with their more progressive Nedic neighbours, and faced with annihilation, the Orcs were forced to mine their cherished stone for iron. This only led them to become ever more isolated, withdrawn, and resentful of the outside world.
Their onerous history however is not enough to explain just how far this tribe has now descended into depravity. For before I entered this Valley of Scars I encountered a group of travelling merchants waylaid upon the roadside. They claimed that the Iron Orcs had attacked them and dragged off a number of their comrades. It is not long before I discover their fate as I find a huge pit littered with the bones of human, feline, lizard and mer. It is in this shameful crater where Gulzog the Butcher feeds his trolls.
This wayfarer has seen enough, and shall endeavour to put an end to this most wicked practice once and for all.