Plains Tribes

The first evidence of orcish settlements in the plains region, which includes modern-day Aundair and Thrane, demonstrates a presence at least as early as -35,000 YK. Some evidence suggests a presence as early as -40,000 YK, such as obsidian arrow heads found in the northern moutainous areas. The archaeological record shows that early orcish tribes in the plains area were hunters and gatherers, targeting herd animals that roamed the region, but by -30,000 YK (about 4500 EC to use the Dhakaani system]]]) they were settled into large city-states like the Woodlands and Rocky Tribes to the west and east respectively.

Archaeologists divide the ancient orcish civilizations into the pre-Unison period, the Unison period, and the nebulous post-Unison which extends from the Incursion War and the collapse of the city-state to the later Daelkyr Wars. Until recently the pre-Unison was regarded as a formative period, with small villages of farmers who lived in huts, and few permanent buildings, but several large monuments have been found in northern Aundair which indicate a sophistication in building that might challenge this assumption.

Charnag Wun-Taur

Charnag Wun-Taur was the original capital of a druidic high circle that later ruled Noamuth, apparently transferring their capital to that city by the late Unison Period. During the First Daelkyr War, daelkyr general Sakij-Ar'ak' ("Fire is Born") conquered Charnag Wun-Taur, together with many other sites in the Wynarn River Valley, including the great city of Niaresk'afar. A daelkyric text at the site mentions Sakij-Ar'ak' as overlord of Charnag Wun-Taur around 7,000 EC. Marogin's Stela from Charnag Wun-Taur also indicates that Sakij-Ar'ak' was overlord of Noamuth, though the location of that site is lost. From around this time the leaders of Charnag Wun-Taur began to refer to themselves as vassals of the daelkyr, using the Deep Speech for some of their documents and abandoning druidic writing altogether in favor of daelkyric script. This is usually taken to mean that the druids either capitulated totally to the new overlords or they were killed and replaced with uneducated soldiers who did not know the other script.
By the start of the Ocral'dur Dynasty, Charnag Wun-Taur disappears from the historical record, and its overlord city Noamuth even more thoroughly. Inscriptions at Charnag Wun-Taur all fit within a relatively short 400-year span in the second half of the 7th millenium. Any records before or after this period have either been lost, hidden, or were not made in the first place. In the late 850s YK Raham Bejucal from Morgrave University made the first Galifarn academic expedition to Charnag Wun-Taur and recorded two menhirs and a sculpted altar.

Niaresk'afar

Niares'afar is one of the largest archaeological sites and urban centres of the Unison Period orcish cultures, located in the Starpeaks of Aundair. It was rediscovered in 512 YK when Starpeaks Observatory was built under the orders of King Daroon, more or less by accident by workers on the great building project.
Niaresk'afar was one of the two most powerful kingdoms of the late Unison Period, a rival of Cheel Draawaqen to the west. Though monumental architecture at the site dates back as far as the Pre-Unison Period, Niaresk'afar reached its apogee during the late Unison Period, after the cultural collapse of Alum'thain to the east. During this time, the city dominated much of the tribal regions which today lie in Aundair, Thrane, and Karrnath, establishing its political, economic, and military leanings far from the Starpeaks. In addition to being a strong cultural center for the orcish tribes, Niaresk'afar interacted with Dhakaani settlements throughout central Khorvaire especially in Uthroul and Akhaac Provinces. There is evidence that Niaresk'afar was raided by Dakhaani forces in the early Unison Period and its weakness compared to other sites might have made it a target before circumstances arose which led the goblinoid empire to favor trade with the city rather than conquest. Following the large-scale collapse at the end of the Unison Period, both before and during the First Daelkyr War, no new major monuments were built at Niaresk'afar and there is evidence that elite palaces were burned and abandoned at this time. While the city continued to be populated into the Post-Unison Period, these events coupled with a gradual population decline in orcish urban areas generally eventually culminated with the site’s abandonment sometime after the Taaluun Dynasty.

Thanks to numerous expeditions from both Fairhaven and Flamekeep scholars, Niaresk'afar is the best understood of any of the large Plains Tribes cities, with a long list of hierophants, the discovery of the tombs of many orcish leaders throughout the Starpeaks, and archeological artifacts which are well-preserved because of a lack of later inhabitation of the area. Many of the site's mosaics and statues have been moved to the University of Wynarn, but a large number are still in situ at the site itself. Because so many artifacts from Niaresk'afar have been recovered and promoted, the distinctive architecture and iconography of this site are synonymous with orcish culture for many in the Five Nations, to the annoyance of orcish activists and culturalists today.

Zeklet'tau

This site, more commonly known as Eight Stones, is the ancient ruins on which the modern city of Daskaran is built. The name "Eight Stones" was given to the site by the Thranish archeologist Mylas Sylvanus in 519 YK. After excitement over the rediscovered Niaresk'afar ruins in the Starpeaks, Sylvanus wanted to study the cluster of eight inscribed stones in the middle of Daskaran and discovered more ruins underneath the city. By 524 YK, digs around the city had uncovered the foundations of several late Unison Period temples and greatly advanced academic knowledge of orcish culture at the time. Sembaal University of Flamekeep conducted archeological excavations deeper, discovering that the badly-preserved late Unison Period temple-pyramids lay on top of well-preserved earlier temples underneath.

Much of the site of Zeklet'tau has been marred by the construction of Daskaran, but several large sections of inscriptions have been found.
From these sources, Zeklet'tau is known to have existed during the middle Unison Period, allying with Niaresk'afar during the late Unison Period. It was badly damaged during the wars with Cheel Draawaqen but rebuilt after the Incursion War when Niaresk'afar emerged from its decline (when the newer temples were built). After this, Zeklet'tau made a comeback along with Niaresk'afar and greatly helped the larger state in its retaliatory conquest of Cheel Draawaqen and its allies. It survived through the First Daelkyr War and remained a population center into the post-Unison Period, but was gone by the time of the Taluun Dynasty's collapse.

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