Once known as the Chieftain of the Minat Orc Tribe, but with the abandonment of the tribal system in Orsinium after the Great Siege of 4E 18, he himself revoked the title and announced all tribes in Orsinium to be defunct. His arch rivals -The Orcs of Malauch under King Balzog- mock him by referring to him by this traditional title.
Race: Wrothgarian Orsimer
Very clean, a stark contrast to the common stereotype of an Orc. Known for his impressive height, he stands at 6' 8”, a height only bested by well bred Altmer. Incredibly well built, a model Orc in the prime of his life, seemingly chiselled by the gods themselves. His sheer size is daunting to most. He has a greener skin tone than many Orsimer, which he inherited from his father. Amongst Orcs he is considered to be good looking, he has perfectly symmetrical and well kept horns above his eyebrows along with regularly cleaned glistening teeth. Although his youthful energy is also carried into his appearance, Khardush carries a certain weathered expression, a sign of the stress the Orsimer has been placed under since a very young age.
Khardush has inherited from his almost mythical father a diplomatic and political genius, although his lack of experience and more than strange religious beliefs can sometimes subvert his natural talent. He however has no aversion to involving himself in political games to achieve prosperity and influence for Nova Orsinium. A shrewd handler of Orsinium's finances and an astute administrator of the city, he has rebuilt the city since the siege and totally reformed its power structure and economy to make Nova Orsinium again the industrial powerhouse it once was. Khardush is certainly not without help however, he surrounds himself with the most scholarly and wise Orsimer from across Tamriel and carries a small entourage of these most trusted advisers with him at all times.
As well as his intellectual ability, Khardush is also a very physically impressive Orc. He spends at least three hours a day training and sparring amongst the sacred order of Trinimac's Hammers, which he uses as a welcome refuge from his meticulous management of Orsinium and its many mines. Trained since a very young age in the art of the Warhammer and the use of Heavy Armour. Also relatively proficient at armoury, although he has not committed to these skills in years.
Khardush has various lightly armoured robes and ceremonial dress suitable for court, distinctly marked by their religious and Orcish symbols. In battle he wears an exceptionally well made ebony suit of armour, a strange mesh between Elvish and Orcish styles, made for him by the great smiths of Orsinium to celebrate the founding of Trinimac's Hammers. He also wields an extraordinarily heavy ebony warhammer, strongly enchanted with turn undead. Forged in Orsinium but thought to have been enchanted in the Arcane University as a gift when Gortwog aided the Cyrodiilic Mages Guild of old in the fight against necromancy.
Born in the dawn of the 4th Era to an elderly Gortwog and a specifically chosen mother unknown to him. Raised in a bitterly divided city, the promise of a great Orc homeland undermined by inner conflict and sectarian violence. The withered but once great Gortwog barely held the city together in the face of political challenge from the city's chieftains. Religious and ideological differences also threatened to destroy Orsinium, although Malacath worship was outlawed and hunted down by the Priesthood of Trinimac, the Daedroth was still largely revered in secret.
Orsinium was held in a war between the new and the old, the traditionalist Malauch worshippers and barbarians who dominated the Tribal scene and the new class of progressive Trinimac worshipping scholars and labourers. The most powerful of the tribal leaders was Balzog gro-Shazgob, Chieftain of the Murzag Orc Tribe. A stern traditionalist and incredible warrior, his simple mind not preventing him from becoming Gortwog's main rival in Orsinium. Gortwog was forced to appease Balzog lest he risk civil war and made Balzog the Grandmarshal of Orsinium's army. In a political master stroke however, Gortwog successfully schemed to send Balzog as an envoy to Wayrest which kept the threat out of Orsinium. This would lead to Orsinium being on the brink of total destruction however, in totally unexpected circumstances.
The causes of the Moonguard Crisis are largely debated but what is certain is that in early 4E 18 Balzog left Wayrest and rallied a huge horde along the Bjoulsae and the Dragontail Mountains desperate for blood before ruthlessly quelling a rebellion against Wayrest in Kambria. The horde raped, pillaged and massacred drawing huge hostility from across High Rock. It seemed that the Orcs had returned to their barbarism.
Back in Orsinium, Gortwog was left with a huge crisis of his own. In order to maintain any credibility and not suffer total destruction in the retaliation from the rest of High Rock, Gortwog would have to declare an oblivious Balzog a traitor. However, his council of chieftains supported Balzog and civil war would inevitably follow. Gortwog had to stall to muster his own forces for the brutal inner city fighting that would follow but eventually declared Balzog a traitor.
The city was plunged into civil war but Gortwog managed to barely maintain control, based in the Iron Citadel. Balzog upon hearing of his banishment immediately marched back to Orsinium with his still bloodthirsty horde, shrouded in glory. The horde pushed back Gortwog's loyal but outnumbered force into the nigh-impregnable Iron Citadel and proceeded to loot the city of all its wealth. Gortwog, and his eighteen year old son Khardush could only watch in horror.
Meanwhile Elysana used Gortwog's momentary stall in his opposition to Balzog as an opportunity to betray Orsinium, breaking their alliance and soon all of High Rock's armies rallied together, united to besiege Orsinium and vanquish the 'Orcish devils'. Balzog and his horde left the to the Dragontails of Hammerfell where Balzog mysteriously found Volendrung, proceeding to declare himself King of all Orcs and leading an unchallenged and lawless horde of Orcs in raids across Hammerfell.
A battered Orsinium was besieged by the united forces of High Rock for almost a year, until Gortwog died at the age of seventy-four inside the Iron Citadel, a grand old age for an Orc. A young Khardush -barely an adult- led peace talks and passionately plead on behalf of his dead father for mercy, eventually succeeding due to the logistical and economic drain the siege placed upon the various Kingdoms.
Orsinium would no longer be a Kingdom, instead it would be a Free City with vast swathes of its lands being confiscated. From then on Khardush was faced with several challenges. Balzog would still always remain a threat, lurking in Hammerfell. Most of the Kingdom's lands and agriculture were lost, and the city left battered. The vaults lay empty and the population heavily diminished and demoralised. Over the next ten years though, Khardush managed to lead a remarkable recovery.
Giant Catterpillars were cultivated in the mountains for food and transport and the mines reopened near immediately for the rebuilding of Orsinium, the Iron City. The old tribal system was dissolved and replaced with a completely new system. All power and industry was centralised to the Iron Citadel, to Khardush and his advisers, all fervent Trinimac worshippers. All other Orsimer were to be equal in Nova Orsinium, each would work according to the best of their ability and each would be given their necessary needs. The old manors were turned into guilds, libraries and temples and industry managed to flourish beyond levels ever attainable before.
Slowly but surely Orsinium managed to replenish itself and began to attract vast quantities of educated Orcs from all over Tamriel, particularly Cyrodiil that was suffering from a civil war. Khardush had led a remarkable economic recovery for Nova Orsinium. More and more the Priesthood of Trinimac would become a dominant force in Orsinium as Khardush became its leader and founded a militaristic order, Trinimac's Hammers. Although the now revered Orc-Lord's piety became almost extreme, the city still attracted many civilised Orcs and exiles from Balzog's horde and has once again become an industrial powerhouse. Ten years had passed since the Great Siege, and still Khardush has made no appearance outside of Nova Orsinium, appalled at the betrayal his father suffered from Elysana and wishing to cause no uproar or hostility in the courts of High Rock. Queen Syllawen of Evermore however, admires the Orcs and once knew Gortwog, or perhaps she just wanted an exotic presence at the Festival of Peace. None the less she pressed and pressed Khardush to join the ceremony and eventually succeeded after agreeing that Khardush would enter the city secretly with his aides and a selection of guards. Khardush saw an opportunity to place the Orsimer back on the political scene in High Rock, a chance to show off the city's renewed wealth and power. One thing is for certain, the Orcs are back.