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Role-playing is a word used quite often when discussing Ultima Online. There are players role-playing virtuous knights, evil mages, and even skilled tradesmen. The role-playing groups are some of the most fascinating community aspects of Ultima Online, and among them are the Shadowclan Orcs of the Catskills Shard. Uguaguc, Elder Nob of the Shadowclan, tells us the story of the Shadowclan, compiled from the lore of other Orcs.
Shadowclan is an orcish horde on the Catskills Shard dedicated to role-playing orcs, promoting role-playing, and having fun while being sure not to ruin the fun of others.
The origin of Shadowclan is a humble one. Uguaguc and Ugruk founded the Shadow Clan on the Great Lakes Shard. The small band of orcs who lived there made their home in a tent just South of the graveyard between Cove and Vesper. These orcs would make toll-stops to collect tribute on the road to the North and visited much of that world. It was a very hard life for these early pioneer orcs. All of their possessions were stored in a single chest or carried by the orcs themselves. But what little they had they shared with their fellow orcs. Being Dread Lords due to their orcish nature, they were attacked on sight by many of the humans. One of the humans' favorite tactics was uttering "Vas Flam", hurling fireballs at the nearly defenseless Shadowclan.

When the Catskills shard appeared, Shadowclan took the opportunity to start over and move. The Shadowclan laid claim to the orc fort South of Yew and steadily grew stronger. Orc life was hard, but orc life was also good. The life of an Orc was simple; defend the fort, collect tribute (food) from intruders, and gather raw materials to fashion armor and weapons.

A major event in Shadowclan history was when Shadowclan officially gained possession of the orc fort. Seer Ozar visited us, telling us to gather our numbers and warning us that the shardies (our word for the NPC orcs) wanted their fort back. Soon a gruntee came running into the fort yelling about shardies chasing him. Shadowclan ran to the walls only to realize that there were Shard Clan orcs 4 deep with ettin allies on all sides of the fort. Shadowclan was trapped, but in the end and after much bloodshed, the Shadowclan orcs emerged victorious. King Blgrak of the Shard Orcs was escorted into the fort where he offered a peace treaty recognizing Shadowclan's claim to the fort. He then removed his armor and surrendered. Seer Ozar returned and permanently placed the peace treaty on a table in the fort for all to see. Gruesome Standards bearing warnings about the Shadowclan were placed throughout the woods and roads near our fort and our Clan tents and Hall are also properly decorated with orcish banners.

Word spread far and wide about Shadowclan, and new orcs appeared daily by the dozens to join. Humans also heard about us and begun assembling armies to attack us, as they saw orcs as a good way to increase their notoriety and fill their pocketbooks. Nevertheless, the defensive advantage the fort provided, the orcish tactics, and the sheer superiority in numbers allowed Shadowclan to emerge victorious more often than not. The wars raged on endlessly and any time of day or night, the fort could erupt into a battlezone.

When the reputation system was adopted, Shadowclan began setting up numerous guild wars with other guilds interested in role-playing with Shadowclan. Today, large battles still occur on a daily basis against a wide range of enemies.

Role-playing an orc is easy in Ultima Online. Orcs are the race best suited to role-play with regard to appearances and equipment. Kill an orc lord (NPC) and put on his equipment to get almost everything you'll need. Other items that come in handy include a complete set of ringmail armor, other (orcish) weapons, and orc masks.

The critical thing to successfully playing an orc is being stupid. Note that orcs can be crafty and clever in a streetwise sort of manner but they should be rather dumb by human standards. This can be one of the most fun parts of role-playing an orc. Orcs are evil by nature. They kill what they can, and sometimes run away when outnumbered.

It may sound overly simple to role-play an orc, yet Shadowclan has developed a rich orcish culture. The Shadowclan has a well-developed religion. We worship the Wargod, also known as Shakh Buurz and Ghaashakh (or the Guardian as he is more commonly referred to). Our clan has several tribes (denoted by the orc's boot color), bloodlines (essentially a character class, but more of a way of life), an Urucku (orcish virtue) for each bloodline, a priesthood, and different ranks which define the rights and responsibilities of each orc in the clan.

The Drinkie Fest is the most sacred ritual of the Shadow Clan. It occurs in conjunction with the full moon, and is marked by a number of events, the most important of which is the Warboss Challenge. The Mak'r (crafters) orcs of the clan work for days non-stop to prepare the food, drink, benches, weapons, and the site itself before the moon of the Drinkie Fest.

Shadowclan is an open guild and everyone is welcome to create a new orc and join the orcish horde. Each member of the clan plays an important role in the clan. Each bloodline is responsible for different tasks. Both new and longtime members have duties and responsibilities. Teamwork has been the foundation of Shadowclan's success.

Shadowclan continues to be very active to this day. We welcome role-play interaction with anyone who respects our efforts to create a realistic orcish presence in Ultima Online. We also encourage guilds to set up guild war with us so they can interact with us to the fullest without worrying about the highlighting issues associated with battles without guild war.
-Edited by Uguaguc Elder Nob
This article is composed of sections from Yakbarz's
"History of Shadowclan," Kargrath's "Battle for the
Fort," and Grugluk's "Role-playing an Orc."

Shadowclan would like to encourage everyone to try role-playing an orc in Ultima Online. If you are interested in reading more about the Shadowclan please visit their website, http://www.shadowclan.cx/. Whatever your interests, you can find a way of expressing them in Ultima Online, and we look forward to highlighting your achievements in the future.

Published: October 2000
Please Note: Some dates are estimates as exact dates were unavailable.
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