• Mark S. Cookman

The Code of the Moon Skull Clan


This is the 13th article in the orc series. Today's topic is an odd one; we are going to examine law among the orcs. Many may argue that orcs are chaotic evil in alignment and therefore do NOT have laws. I hold the opinion that chaotic evil societies may not have laws (other than the strong dominate the weak), but they do have codes of conduct. In my campaign, these codes of conduct are simple, no more than a few rules that all orcs in a clan are supposed to follow and what will happen if they don't. Each clan has their own code (or laws or commands) and each is different based upon the situation and leadership of the clan.

The Moon Skull Clan makes it money by raiding and selling slaves. Disputes are usually settled inside a log palisade arena that has been constructed near the center of the Moon Skull Clan's main encampment, the muddy pit hidden in the Daerkwood that they call Kharzaag. Some money is made by running bets on the fights that go on in the arena, but not much. The fights are most often challenges of orc honor and pride. The orcs and orogs like to fight too much among themselves for there to be any kind of organized gladiatorial games in Kharzaag's arena.

Below you will find The Code of the Moon Skull Clan. As always, it is my hope that you can use this material in your own games. If not, then I hope you can use it as a model to help develop your own monster, primitive, barbarian or nomadic laws and codes. Happy Gaming!

  1. Every orog, orc, ogrillion, half-orc, troll, man, and goblin that raids for the clan gets one share of the spoils. Warbosses get 2 added shares. Silver Warbosses get 3 added shares. Special Mercenaries get 3 added shares. Gold Warbosses get 4 added shares. Spell Casters get 4 added shares. The Clan Leader gets 5 added shares. 5 shares are also sacrificed to Gruumsh, whose representative gets 1st pick of treasures. Second pick of the treasure goes to the Clan Leader and so forth down to the smallest goblin in the clan. All Moon Skulls are equal.

  2. Cowards who flee battle are not welcome in the Moon Skull Clan. By the law of Gruumsh, cowards must be hunted down and killed within three nights or the disfavor of Gruumsh will dishonor the entire clan.

  3. Thieves also are not welcome within the Moon Skull Clan. Anyone who steals anything from another member of the clan worth 1 gp or more, and it be proven before the clan, shall be stripped of all possessions and bound naked at the edge of the clan's territory nearest the Night Wind Clan's territory.

  4. Fights among clan members are settled in the arena at the direction of the clan's Arena Master. Only an Eye of Gruumsh or a Priest of Gruumsh can say when a fight is over. Gruumsh does not want orcs killing orcs; Gruumsh wants orcs killing elves and soft-bellies.

  5. Clan members who do not keep their arms, armor, and equipment in a serviceable fashion so that they can be used, at a moment's notice, to fight for the clan are cut off from their shares and suffer punishment as their Warboss sees fit.

  6. If an orog, orc, ogrillion, half-orc, man or goblin should lose an arm, they will be given 200 gp by the Synod of Matrons in thanks for their sacrifice for the clan. If a leg should be lost, then they will be given 400 gp.

  7. Families and children are sacred gifts from the goddess Luthic and will be treated as such. Crimes against mothers and children are decided by the Synod of Matrons and punishments are dispatched by the clan's champion.

  8. The clan takes captives and sells them to the halfling slaver, Ravenhair. The gold from the sale of the slaves is added in with the rest of the treasure from raiding before shares are made. Moon Skull Clan orcs DO NOT own slaves and are forbidden from buying them. The reason for this is two-fold. First, slaves makes a clan weak. The clan members stop doing for themselves and become lazy. Second, slaves might revolt or set captives free, thus damaging the clan's economy. Weaker clans need strong slaves and the Moon Skull Clan provides them.

#gmadvice #dnd #orcs #dmadvice #rpg

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