Wlatsoom Peak is the highest point in an old chain of folded mountains. The mountains themselves are rather undramatic, being weathered and clad almost completely in woodlands. Only a handful of sheer stone faces show under the summertime greenery. In the winter, more of the stone shows, but the mulch of fallen leaves covers the rest of the mountain.
A Rank and Noisome Mountain
It happens fairly regularly, the peak gives a start, sets the trees to shaking and sends the birds flying. The ground shakes for a second or two and then everything is fine, for a bit. Then the smell comes, a sour smell that leaves a bitter taste in the mouth and brings tears to the eyes. It’s isnt bad upwind from the mountain, but the smell clings to the hollows and the lowlands something fierce. After a bit the smell goes away, to wherever the wind blows it, but then the peak gives another shake and starts the stink up again.
Orcs are native to the mountain chain, having long since been pushed out of the arable lowlands and waterfront territories by expanding human kingdoms and nations. While they are still bloodthirst and belligerent as orcs are wont to be, the days of marching under crimson banners to the beat of war drums are gone. The orcs in the Lower Wlatsoom range have adopted a mish-mash culture that mixes their nomadic warrior culture with a semi-settled culture borrowed from humans. The orcs have since become largely settled and are ble to support themselves through subsistence agriculture and retain rather exceptional animal husbandry skills. The Wlatsoom orcs speak pidgin Common, but frequently use orcish nouns when they speak.
The orcs for the most part make for loud and obnoxious neighboors, but aside from a handful of livestock raids and general theft, they are not considered outright dangerous. Travelers and explorers can generally buy safe passage with tobacco, goblin snuff, and liquor. The Wlatsoom Orcs are very tolerant of outsiders, and have a surprising percentage of mixed blood orcs, half orcs and resident humans.
Wlatsoom Peak is rather unique among mountains as it has regular geothermal and seismic activity without being a volcano. The inside of the mountain is criss-crossed with caves and fissures that were created by draining water and stress fractures. This is being heated by a geothermal vent which also serves to fill the caverns with foul smelling vapors. Once a certain amount of pressure is reached, something deep in the earth releases and a great gush of hot mephitic gas comes rushing into the caves, blowing out of the various small and hidden entrances to the cave system. The action causes a very weak seismic event and blows the stinking gas out of the mountain with some force.
Into the Deep - Few things invite adventurers quite like dark holes in the earth. The caverns inside of Wlatsoom are deep and ancient, and there is no telling what might lay beneath the rural country of the orcs and their ever-stinking mountain. Insert dungeon crawl with delving too deep, Lovecraftian ruins, and things that should not be.
Not Bad Folk - The Wlatsoom Orcs are like their peak, loud and odiferous, but that doesnt automatically make them bad folk. The PCs can be given a chance to see orcs as something other than bloodthirsty barbarians.
The Death-Speaker - The Wlatsoom Orcs have started organizing, casting their makeshift plows into spearheads and axeblades. The local raiding and shennanigans have turned bloody and left several dead. An orcish shaman has recieved visions of a new horde and has started organizing the greenskins, all inspired by breathing in the fetid fumes that come from the mountain’s bowels.