Ironically, the Directorate's caste hierarchy is similar to that of the Fialta States. Orcish warriors are accorded superior status, rather like the Fialta, but non-orcs may be declared "honorary" Orcs for the purposes of participation in government and the military (these are often one and the same). Wild elves in particular have often joined the Directorate's military caste, as have, in more recent years, a number of Gnoll emigres.
The Orcish emphasis on martial prowess endures, and Halflings, Goblins, and most Humans are given short thrift. Dwarves are accorded some privilege for their technical knowledge, and a handful of Dwarves and Humans have become respected "gunners," mostly owing to their ability to operate more sophisticated equipment.
Urlek Thaar (a distant descendant of Rurik Thaar, the celebrated Orcish adventurer) began as a successful warchief on a single world, his ambition limited to sacking the civilized cities; from the earliest days of his conquests, however, he had been advised by Karlock, a half-orc scholar who had once spent considerable time on a different world as an aide to a Human physician who dedicated himself to the health of the Orcish tribes. Karlock was rescued as an child by physician, who spared him from the zealot's sword during a campaign with the Knights of Adarnum. The physician took in Karlock and found him a child of surprising intelligence — he aimed to educate the boy, and as the horrors of the knights' campaign against the orcs mounted, he resolved to atone for his part in it by serving as a doctor in an Orcish clan. However, Karlock's time with "civilized" people had taught him their fear of the Orc. He was only spared that fear as a well-spoken half orc of relatively small size and closer-to-human appearance, and fear was instead contempt. When the physician helped an Orcish woman deliver an Ogre-child (always rare, and usually killed by complications from birth), it became clear that the tribe would take its birth as an omen, and likely conquer its neighbors until the ogre and its tribe became large enough to threaten the walled cities of men.
The Directorate was founded by Karlock, a half-orc strategist and adviser to the Orcish conqueror Urlek Thaar in the aftermath of The Great Orcish-Fialta War (also known as Urlek's War, and not to be confused with the Great German War).
Present State of the Directorate Edit
Today, the Orcish Directorate controls a dozen worlds directly and holds fifteen more in thrall. Its century of existence has been one of, at best, cold war with the Fialta, often exploding into violence. Most recently, the Orcish Directorate has made a historic alliance with the Shantine Empire and intervened on the Shantine side in their war with the Fialta. Orcish shock regiments and even auxiliary companies of elves, dwarves and men have been seconded to Shantine commanders.
The Directorate's government is primarily Orcish or half-orcish, but it includes a strong contingent of advisers, especially Dwarves whose clans have made favorable arrangements with the orcs. The Directorate practices war-slavery, meaning that prisoners taken in battle can be enslaved by their captors, whether Orcish or otherwise. The state, however, reserves the right to appropriate "slave-scholars" whose knowledge is of use to the Directorate. Gunsmiths, artisans, engineers, even trained sailors have all been seized in this fashion and pressed into service. They are usually well treated compared to the unskilled slave labor, and some settle into their new lives and achieve high station — others, of course, resist their servitude and often sabotage the Directorate's war efforts.