Twas in an age past, when the orcs were scattered to the winds like the seeds of grass. Their foes were legion, and they were mighty andd victorious. The elves raised silver shields and rang silver horns, and rained death and misery upon the clans. The humans came clad in steel and armed with axes, and with swords and with long lances. The dwarves came worst of all, swinging great mattocks and axes, singing their songs of war as they laid the clans unto ruin.

It for a tiem seemed that the day of the orc had ended, and they would become a remnant, hunted for sport and liesure. Such had been the fate of the giant, and the ogre, the troll and the manticore.

In those days, it was sang, that all the heroes had died. None was left strong enough to draw the clans togethert, and slowly they were being eliminated. The humans and their allies were no longer defending their soft homes, or cowering in the confines of dark castles. They took to the field, and the burned the traveling villages, slaughtering the aurochs and the dricos.

Twas during this time that one of the surviving warriors took upon himself a quest. For the orc had survived in human captivity and had heard a tale of a legendary weapon, one that could not be defeated in battle. Twas the human blade Caliburn, that others named Excaliber. Surely the humans success had been solely because of this weapon. The orc returned to his clan, after much deception and divine luck in escaping.

The Kam, the shaman of the clan spoke of a vision, that the orcs would be delivered from such ruin by a fist of darkness. The orc knew this to be true, for in his dreams he had seen the weapon, its black haft and its head shaped into the cruel snarl of a wolf.

The orc made his voyage, with a band of followers. They crossed the Spine of the World, where the mountains scratch the sky. They crossed the great flats north of the spine, and some perished for the poisonous creatures that dwelt therein. Others were taken by thirst. The Kam guided them, and for a span of seven years they sought after the great weapon.

Twas upon the winter solstice, in the depth of the night that the band, greatly reduced stumbled upon the tomb. It was greatly aged and seemed charged with eldritch energy. The kam cast spells and threw open the doors of the tomb. The orc then descended into the tomb, finding a staircase that sank deep into the earth. It sank so deep that he passed beyond the shroud, and entered into the realms of the dead.

There he was challenged to a riddling contest by a wily old kam, centuries dead. Then he was challenged to a duel by a great warrior decorated with the teeth of a dragon. These he succeded in, confounding the kam, and besting the warrior. Upon a black stone pedestal rested the weapon, that which he had sought after. He lifted it, feeling the cold iron, and the leather, and he knew that the salvation of his kin was at hand.

'Know this, by the name Grond shall thee call me. And know that I am the hammer of the underworld. I am the breaker of shields. I am the render of flesh. I am the ender of all life.' Thus the weapon spoke, but only in his mind.

The orc emerged from the underworld, bearing with him the dark weapon. His eyes beheld the stars of the dead and the course of fate, he held death in his hands, and he knew that the time had again come, that the orc would again rise.

The aftermath of the story is well known. For the orc returned to his clan. He made war on the other clans, defeating them and adding them to his own.They chanted the name of the weapon, the name that he too took for himself. From that day, when the orcs gathered at the Great Spire of Heaven, the orc cast aside his old name and became Grond. The hammer of the underworld.

Magical Properties:

Grond is a black iron morningstar with eight spiked flanges. It can be used one, or two handed, and is a weapon of superior craftsmanship. Their are orcish runes upon the flanges that name the weapon, but few even among the orcs can read them.

The bearer of Grond cannot be defeated in combat. Shields splinter under the first strike, and armor provides no protection from this terrible weapon. Mundane weapons are broken in combat with Grond, and magical weapons are allowed a die throw to survive battle with Grond.

Now, it is important to note that Grond does not in any way protect it's wielder. An arrow can kill him, as most of Grond's subsequent wielders have been slain. Nor does it protect him from poisoned weapons, surprise attacks, or magical spells. Thus, Grond's master should be well versed in combat to protect himself, and his longterm survival.

Grond is a unique weapon to be ranked with Excaliber, its inspiration. In response to some complaints, I also submit that Tolkien was a major inspiration. I thought this to be obvious enough to not warrant comment. I was wrong.

Plot Hooks
Found! - Grond has been recovered from its resting place, and the orcs are becoming more strident in their activities and more aggressive. The PCs have to intervene before the tide of orcish warriors threatens to end the current age of civilization with their barbarism.

The Lure - The PCs discover clues to locate the most legendary of orcish relics. They can recover it to add to their own arsenals, or to sieze the weapon and expidite its destruction in the fires from whence it was forged.

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