“It is imperative that we maintain our surveillance of these tribes. Their hard life has made them strong enough perhaps to challenge our long-term objectives.”
–Mossar Khal, High Inquisitor of the Stone Prophecy Dynasty
It is uncertain when the Krog appeared in the hills and mountains south of Norosh, but from what evidence is to be found it is clear that they arrived in the Dark Fells some centuries after the elves first awakened. The mountainous country they live in is so named because of the dense clouds that cover it much of the time, and the mists that cling to its land like a garment so that it is rarely brighter than early dawn or late dusk unless one ascends to the high cliffs or the tops of the trees in the forested areas. it is for this reason, perhaps, that the Krog never became a farming people, but instead are skilled hunters and keepers of herds of garrak, an enormous buffalo with great horns prized for their strength, shaggy hides, and savory flesh.
They call themselves Krog-kennatch, which in their speech means “people of the dawn,” and their own oral traditions claim an ancient origin in a land far to the east of Pellorea, which they left after a cataclysm that they only refer to as “The Breaking.”
The Krog are a large, mighty people, often reaching a height of over two and a half meters, and are massively muscled. Some of their tribes took to warlike and murderous ways, going over the mountains to the east and raiding the lands of Takegura, where they came to be known as ogres. While there are some Krog who continue the practices of dark shamanism and the eating of man-flesh, most of the Krog consider them to be abomination. The Krog live in large clan groups, each of which has a ku’u, or chief, which in turn are under the nominal guidance of a Ku’umah, or clan chief, who oversees the many chiefs. It is difficult to ascertain all of the particulars of their political system, because the Krog do no discuss such matters with strangers, and even refuse to reveal their names to outsiders. In recent centuries, they have taken to calling one another “Wendhel,” when strangers are near, and only reveal their true names to an outsider who has been adopted into their clans, which is a very rare occurrence. It is, however, commonly known that there are 6 prominent clans among the many, which are: Cold Foot, Blue Horn, Standing Rock, Iron Cloud, Red Axe, and Darkfell.
They are a warrior culture of necessity, and have been at war almost continually with the Rephaim giants of Norosh. Indeed, among the few things the Krog will reveal to others is their belief that the Creator sent them to the Fells to keep the wicked Rephaim from entering Pellorea proper.
It was over 160 years ago that a group of men and half-elves from one of the minor kingdoms in the Glass Hills came into the fells seeking to hunt garrak, knowing that the great beasts were kept by the Krog. They came upon one herd by night, murdered its keepers by trickery, and drove what garrak they could homeward. When the Darkfell clan learned of the murders and theft, they sent fifty of their strongest, including several clan mothers who refused to be denied vengeance, to requite the cowardly assault. Their raid on the kingdom of Weyland is well-documented, and bears ample testimony to the strength of the Krog.
The war party found the people of Weyland celebrating, with grisly trophies from their victims on display, and the murderers enjoying a heroes’ welcome for having brought back 6 garrak bulls and nearly forty breeding cows. The party stood at the gates and demanded that the guilty be brought out to face justice, and were met with a rain of arrows. The Krog retreated to the hills for a day, and the Weylanders believed them to have fled in fear. It is more likely that there was some discussion among the Krog as to whether they should raid the city to find the guilty, or simply kill everyone in it. In either case, what did happen was swift and lethal, and no bordlanders ever again attempted to raid the Dark Fells again.
The gates were broken without much trouble, and the soldiers who guarded it did not stand before the Krog and their weapons of garrak bone for long. The people of the city rose to defend their murderous countrymen, supposing that they had done no wrong in killing “mindless ogres,” and the result was slaughter. The war party allowed women and young children to flee, though they took a few as captives. As the battle came to an end, the leader of the war party was called to the east end of the town, where there was, he was told, a wonder to behold. Two krog lay unconscious, and four others stood back, weapons in hand, to prevent the flight of a small boy who had somehow overcome their brethren bare-fisted. The leader threw his head back and roared with laughter for the first time since the murder of the herd-keepers. He tossed a rock at the boy, knocking him senseless. “This boy may be a half-elf, but he’s got the heart of a Krog for sure. Bind him and bring him to my house when we return.”
The boy’s name was Gladden.
Many years later, as he lived among them, he learned their ways and was taught their peculiar sort of fighting, which they called “wrestling.” It is said that it was he who many years later led them to a lasting victory against the Rephaim, reducing the giants to but a remnant of their former numbers.
In recent years, after the elves regained Melloren, Gladden returned to the Dark Fells and was made the Ku’umah of the Darkfell Clan. Little is known of the present state of the Krog, but it is believed that they suffered great losses during the war.
Their religious beliefs are not well-known, but is supposed that they follow a sort of shamanistic observance, worshipping Kurrumarrak the Maker, and it is known that they await what they call the Regeneration, a time when they believe the land will be cleansed.