The Art of the Orcish War Drum
Long ago orcs had developed the art of war drumming, an almost mystical training was required for these war drummers to raise the morale and unite orcs in a single cause. The culture of the orcs has long been lost through their servitude of greater beings using them as fodder in their schemes and mad plots.
The forgotten art of the drum is found every now and then, discovered almost by accident through the dedication to drum circles that orcs still pass their free time in. These drum circles are brutal circles where drummers beat their hide covered drums driving the orcs within the circle to mad dances of violence and bloodshed. These drum circles are now usually only performed during coming of age ceremonies and rites. This was not always so.
The war drum was once part of the orcish war machine, driving them into frenzies and causing their will to solidify; lending a fearless aspect to orc kind. This art has been rediscovered by an orc called Gromek of the Gripfang clan. The mountains that these orcs come from are once again crawling out of their dark holes to follow the war banner of the Gripfang clan once again.
Through magic that is very similar to the bardic magic of elves and man, the orc drummer is able to inspire all the orcs that can here the “doom” “doom” of his war drum. The orc blood thickens and the blood rage comes. The orcs that have learned just the beginnings of this nearly lost art are able to drive orcs into a frenzied blood rage. There is more to the drum though, a more physical art. This mastery of the art belongs only to the Gripfang clan now.
With their drums, the Orcish War Drummer can cause concussive blows to fall from the sky; these controlled blows can be focused on an area or even on an individual. These strange magical effects are very powerful and have turned a once bothersome thorn into a fearsome enemy.
Only Gromek has truly mastered the art of the war drum, but he now has many followers and even has commanders atop their giant dire boars beating on their drums, learning the way of “doom”.
The War Drum itself is a tool, the true power comes from the drummer. This arcane magic can form many effects. Among them; inspiration, concussion waves and blasts, earthquake like effects, and even concussive barriers.
Inspiration: The drummer can inspire the orcs around him. This inspiration drives the orcs into a frenzy. They are immune to pain and fear. A master of the drum can also make individual orcs stronger.
Concussion Wave: Producing this effect sounds like a drum roll, it creates waves of force that slow enemies as if they were moving through molasses if they move toward the drummer. Moving away from the drummer, orcs and their foes find themselves aided in their movement as if being pushed from behind.
Concussion Blast: This effect targets a single opponent dropping powerful waves of force down onto them with every beat. These waves are painful and in the hands of a master will kill quickly.
Concussion Burst: Only masters can usually create the concussion burst, it is an area effect that is targeted somewhere on the ground. The blast wave will send everyone in it flying away from the epicenter, hurting those that are too close. This ability is used to break enemy formations.
Concussive Barrier: Creating this wall of force is something only a master can do. This wall of force reflects arrows, flying objects and even those trying to approach will be met by a solid wall of force. Even masters cannot create this effect to far away from themselves.
LEARNING THE ART
Only through drum meditation and natural arcane ability will a drummer ever learn this lost art. It has been found again, but only in the hands of the Gripfang clan. It takes a great deal of time to master and requires drums so large that one needs to be mounted – usually on a large dire boar or wolf – to be used efficiently, otherwise the are immobile.
Orcs must spend months of practice before they are even able to produce any effect, but once a drummer achieves the slightest effect they will begin to learn quickly.