Grand's church has started to solidify in the third age of the world. For decades, the worship of Grand existed along with the worship of orc ancestors, neither supplanting the other and often in conflict. Around 1390, however, the son of a powerful clan leader named Jukha Marrowcruncher saw an opportunity to make changes. His tribe, several thousand strong living in and around the base of the Brech mountains, was in conflict over religious issues. Those that followed Grand insisted only Grand was worthy of worship. However, most of the tribe still worshiped their strongest ancestors. Jukha seized power with a stroke of brilliance. Smarter by half than most of his kind, he learned a fair bit of shamanism from his grandfather while still a pug. His grandfather also set him on the path to worship the Destroyer of Dwarves. He practiced the art of enchanting with the spells his god gave him and continued his shaman path to adulthood.
On a hot day in the middle of the third month of the year, called Girding, he carefully placed a great number of powerfully enchanted simple items on and around a platform. He then called the tribe to a meeting in his father's name. Using the enchanted items in a spectacular display of fireworks, halos of light and bloody death for both the two loudest ancestor worshipers and the single most insistent Grand follower, he manufactured an epiphany regarding Grand. Neither side was right, he said; instead, both were. Grand wished for the clans to worship their ancestors, because the ancestors who were the strongest and took the most enemies (and the most dwarven lives) were blessed of Grand. And by venerating them, they paid homage to their god.
Later that same evening, the remaining leaders of the ancestor worshipers and three more of the Grand followers who had cried foul disappeared. In one blood-filled day, he began to knit the two sides. Grand was impressed by the cleverness of this upstart and did not smite him for his creativity. Thus, the modern Church of Grand was born.
Jukha cemented his position by defeating a powerful priest of Dorand and severing his head with an axe he had made and enchanted. With the head presented to the tribe as proof of Grand's power, he seized control of the fledgling church. Grand looked upon his ambitious shaman with favor, and Jukha has been in control of the official church ever since. He declared some edicts and renamed himself Trhahphako (Dwarfbane) in honor of his god, sent out war parties to "convert" other tribes, and gathered power to protect himself from the younger shaman who would remove him. Several years after Blood's demise, he has converted many of Mistone's orc tribe and now looks to Dregar with hungry eyes.
Second Edict: Gnakgakk zhhan-rhanakk trhahgog tao uk haro! (Stinking craft-mating dwarves die on axe. A more genteel translation would be: Suffer no follower of He That Is Not To Be Named to live'death must be by axe.)
Elections and Organizations
- Trhahphako (Dwarfbane)
There is no election for the title of the Dwarfbane. If Jukha is ever usurped or killed, the Forger of Contempt himself would likely have to pick a new head, because the resulting fighting and chaos to take the spot would be devastating.
- Haggagn (Assist)
Below Jukha are two advisors, both powerful shaman called Haggagn, which means Assist in Common. These posts are held by Saghig Dwarvesbone and Nugekhan Marrowcruncher, a cousin of Jukhas. Saghig is less powerful than Jukha, but he has tremendous wisdom for an orc. Nugekhan, on the other hand, has quietly surpassed his cousin in shaman powers and continues to learn while keeping his true abilities secret. These positions are filled by the Dwarfbane directly. Other advisory capacities are held by tribal leaders as needed. Selection is made by an Assist or by Jukha.
- Harog (Axes)
If a clan or tribe is known to be causing problems with the church, the leader will be sent a message via a member of the Harog (Axes). This organization, several hundred strong, has the best warriors of the Brech tribe. Orcs from other tribes may apply to join. Requirements are the worship of Grand, a willingness to submit to Jukha's authority, and a demonstrated prowess in battles against multiple enemies. Single combat is not good enough to be an Axe. They carry messages, publicly dispatch problem individuals or groups, and act as bodyguard to the Dwarfbane and his Assists. Gaakt Smashmouth, a blue-colored orc with some human blood in his history, is the current Grhahbogn Haro (Sharpest Axe). All Axes are trained in in the use of the great axe, and Gaakt is a master of the great axe as well. Gaakt is training three of his most promising warriors to take his place someday. He has stated that the winner of the three in a fight to the death will be the next Sharpest Axe.
- O'og hakt Ohahg (Eyes and Ears)
Normally females in orc tribes are so beneath the males they are not even given names. Jukha saw differently. As a son of the Marrowcruncher's clan leader, he was entitled to a small harem. Over time, he noticed how much was said in the presence of the females on the assumption that they were incapable of understanding wars and clan affairs. He also shrewdly noted what a female would do for even a small advantage or favor. He devised a scheme that has taken him years to put into place but has given him an unprecedented amount of information for an orc leader. Select females are cultivated privately in the temple to be concubines, courtesans, or brides depending on need. They are chosen by their beauty and their ability to remember things they hear, including names, locations, and faces. After training and indoctrination into the Church of Grand, Jukha gives each female a special secret name. He then makes gifts of these females to clan and tribe leaders far and wide. Using enchanted items that the females secret on themselves, information is passed to Jukha about plans and intrigue. The females who participate are fiercely loyal to Jukha and are promised an afterlife in Grand's halls filled with power and wealth. The head of the O'og hakt Ohahg is Jukha's sister Jolagh. The Eyes and Ears report to her and she reports directly to him. The Eyes and Ears in training are kept deep in the temple and Jolagh does not walk outside her assigned areas. Most do not know she is anything more than another breeder or has a name of her own.