Posted by: Jess Riley | November 9, 2008

Theme Week Orcs: A History Of Slavery

I was looking into the history of the orcs, about their enslavement by the humans and their history of taking other races as slaves. Although Thrall has openly moved against any orcs being enslaved in the future, there are still underground organizations of slave owners and slave traders alike.

In particular, let’s take a quick look at the Crimson Ring. The Crimson Ring is an underground organization pitting gladiators (both free fighters and slaves) against each other in fights to the death. Alongside the goblins, the orcs at the heart of this enslave other orcs, and members of other races (Alliance and Horde alike) and training them as gladiators.

There seems to be some dispute about just how far underground these guys are – certainly, they have had matches in public arenas, for example, and some of the gladiators involved became quite famous in their own right. All this, in my opinion, begs the question of why they’re underground. Is it because they’re using slaves for these purposes, or is it because they’re fighting them to the death?

A case can be made for either side, but that’s not quite the key point here. The key that I’m coming up to is imagine the roleplay opportunities this could bring.

Imagine a guild, or an informal group, primarily consisting of rogues, working to uncover the slave traders and slave owners behind all of this. Given that this originates from the graphic novels and not in-game, there’s no definitive answer you could find, but depending on your perspective, that could make it all the more interesting, with the opposition always one step ahead of you. Some great over-arching plots could be taken out of this, with different guildies uncovering different leads, some of which may lead places and some of which won’t. Sure, you’d need some creative people at the helm, but this could go fantastic places.

Alternatively, consider the exact opposite; a guild of underground gladiators and their sponsors/owners, secretly arranging fights where people can come and watch, and bet on the outcome, while not being sprung by anyone important. This offers the opportunity for some long-term roleplay – both individually, as the gladiators get more and more roughed up and people trawl the streets for more people they could get involved, and as a group, maybe as double agents come increasingly close to finding out what’s going on. These two above groups working in tandem with each other could make great plots as they try to outwit each other, I note.

Finally, on a more individual note, consider the effect that this would have on various individuals. While it could come off poorly in inexpert hands, an orc warrior who was trained as a gladiator when younger sounds like a great concept to me; I don’t know about anyone else, but that certainly screams, “Tell me more!” to my ears. Whether as a result of enslavement or free involvement, an insider’s look at underground gladiatorial arenas is a great place to start for a concept.


  1. “These two above groups working in tandem with each other could make great plots as they try to outwit each other, I note.”

    I say, that just oozes so much tasty role-play potential. And it perhaps, is one of the best ideas I have heard on here or even in general for role-play. Because I think if done right, such role-play could be a way of bringing more people into role-playing; particularly people who otherwise skip it like newbs and especially PvP’ers.

    Just imagine a guild playing as an gladiatorial organization and a rule of battle they establish is “you keep what you kill”. So for the victor’s truly go the spoils, as winners have their pick of gear from the fallen. And that plus the money earned from the fight, the reputation of being a good PvP’er and the simple fact it gives people who like PvP, a great opportunity to get it as much as possible (within the frame of the organization) would be perhaps the best way to draw in lots of people into the role-play fold. And even beyond that, for those who opt to only watch the matches and bet occasionally, could find it a nice way of making some money; which attract more people as well. Course, mind you that this all have to be run really well to reach such ends. But if done well, boy could it be a great thing for role-players & non role-players alike on whatever servers it occurs on.

    And I know one thing, after reading this I now want to make a character with gladiatorial origins as such sounds so fun. Plus maybe one day when I get into a position to create such a gladiatorial guild, I will do that too!

    Plus I also love to see you expand on this in the future, and go into all the intricacies of running & making such events/guilds and all the role-play potential that could be had. I know I do it myself, if I could.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: