The Lorc (pronounced /lɵrk/) are toad like sapients native to planet Kesari, the same home planet of the Amphorians as well. The Lorc once nearly dominated all of Kesari and nearly exterminated all the Amphorians under Emperor Ghaag had not a Zalt named Amphor led a successful campaign against the Lorc during Lorc-Amphorian War. The results of war led to a Lorc defeat, the execution of Emperor Ghaag and the complete enslavement of the Lorc, who continue to serve the Amphorians under the NodhCohr Hierarchy to this day.
Like the four Amphorian races, the Lorc also saw the Salamands as a form of deity, but saw it as a monster spawned to punish the Lorc for having not succeeded well enough in what they did. This brought panic throughout their ranks when they witnessed a Salamand, and mentally forced them to work harder at their jobs. The Lorcian chieftain Throhta, who was destined to become the first self-proclaimed Lorc Emperor, was the first one to state that the Salamands were angry for the Lorcs not taking control of the lands around them. It was this belief that initially set up the Lorcian Empire that would come to inadvertently bring the Amphorian peoples together while trying to destroy them all.
Despite having such a prominent role in Lorc mythology, the Salamands did not actually have an official name, and were often referred to as things such as "Great Punisher" and "They Who Shall Remain Nameless".
Although the Lorc Emperors such as Ghaag sought to subjugate the Salamand race to prove to them that they had indeed taken control of the world, their inherit fears of the species as well as its notorious nature of being extremely difficult to catch led to them resorting to capturing the smaller Hellbenders instead for their inscrutable purposes.
The Lorc-Amphorian War & the Unification of the AmphoriansEdit
Eventually, the settlements of the four Amphorian races were discovered by the growing Lorcian Empire, which was ruled by the vicious Emperor Ghaag. He saw the settlements as a threat to his rule, and Lorcian mandate dictated the absolute subjugation of non-conformers. Not only this, but the Zalts were similar in appearance to the Lorc, only sleeker-formed, better swimmers, and better jumpers — the Emperor saw this as a direct attempt to upstage the Lorcs, and soon took action.
He first brought his horrible webbed-fist down upon the small settlements of the Diplods, wreaking destruction amongst their species, and nearly eradicating them in only a few months; the species only survived by fleeing deeper into the swamps, where they ran across the local Zalts. Pleading for the Zalts' help, they at first refused, but did welcome their brethren into their ranks. It was not long before the Zalts felt the wrath of the Empire, as well.
The Zalts fell almost as fast as the Diplods, and both races fled even deeper into the swamps, as the Empire's territory expanded exponentially. Seeing the Zalts and Diplods flee in a direction not congruent with discovering the settlements of the Massocions and Zoaraptors, the Lorcs relaxed, as the Massocions and Zoaraptors were far more snakelike than amphibian, leaving the Lorcs to feel they were not as much of a threat to the Lorcian physiological superiority. They spent several years enjoying their newly claimed territories, while hunting down the remnants of the Diplods and Zalts for sport.
One such hunted was to become the most famous of all Amphorians to come. He was Amphor, an albino Zalt; an incredible rarity. Unfortunately, his albino skin prevented him from staying hidden, and he was eventually discovered by the Lorc sentry-scouts who patrolled the areas of the empire. Ghaag quickly declared a hunt to be on, and many Lorc took after this poor Amphorian.
He was just fast enough to dodge the incoming barrage of projectile fire sent in volleys in his direction and managed to stay ahead of the hunters, although he couldn't lose them, due to their powerful sense of sight. Eventually, while fleeing in a panicked state he accidentally came upon a sudden drop off in the swamp's terrain and slipped under the surface. Surprised by this, the Lorcs took to the waters themselves. The chase continued underwater, and soon Amphor realized that there was no escape to be found down here in the depths. This lead him to swim as fast as he could to the surface; he swam so fast he leapt out of the water and landed on one of the low-lying branches of a Disguiser Tree (which was named thusly because of this story). Realizing he was in the tree, he quickly clambered into the higher branches, hoping the leaves would help hide him from his pursuers.
Soon the Lorc hunting party emerged from the trench and returned to the surface-hunt. However, Amphor was nowhere to be seen. Confused, several went on to find him, while several stayed in the area to see if he was hiding somewhere. After several hours of watching the Lorc look for him, they still had not seen him, and he decided to try and flee — choosing a nearby tree as his new spot he jumped with all his might, misjudging the distance required to get to it and hitting the tree with a loud thump, knocking several loose branches and leaves to the surface. Noticing this, the Lorcs quickly rushed over to the tree to investigate. Frightened, Amphor tried to hide again — however, he had not realized this tree was dying, and almost all of the leaves had just gotten knocked off by his slamming into it. He was exposed. However, after a few more minutes, the Lorcs were still just standing around. It became apparent to him that they could not look up, which was due to the shape of their spines. He used this to his advantage and slowly worked his way from treetop to treetop, until he finally got several miles away from the Lorc Hunting Parties. He had escaped successfully.
News of this failure did not go over well for the Hunting Party and all members were quickly executed by order of Emperor Ghaag, each being fed to the Hellbenders in the coliseum. To save face in this recent embarrassment and improve his people's morale, Ghaag officially declared war on both the Massocions and the Zoaraptors, accepting nothing less than their utter eradication. Not only this, but a vast reward was placed on the head of Amphor, with his slayer being offered the chance of royalty.
The Massocions and Zoaraptors were hit hard and both met severe losses. Seeing this, Amphor pleaded with his Zalt and Diplod brethren to assist them — when they initially refused out of fear of eradication, he told them he had a foolproof plan to defeat the Lorcs. Out of curiosity, the Zalts and Diplods followed Amphor into an area between a large settlement of Zoaraptors and an equally large settlement of Massocions. Here he blew a Trumpet Reed, which alarmed both settlements and brought their populace out to him. Although initially they were threatened by his presence and paranoid as to if the Lorcs had heard Amphor's reed-blowing, they slowly began to settle down as Amphor spoke of how he had evaded the Lorcs and how this was a way that they could defeat the vicious Ghaag. "However", he said, "we cannot fight this battle alone. We must all join together and combine our might in order to prevent our own extermination — all of our exterminations." Reluctantly, the Massocions and Zoaraptors agreed to join with the Diplods and Zalts, and Amphor's army was created.
The first battle led by Amphor was a huge success, and became the stuff of legends and songs — Amphor led a group of many of the slimmest and most agile of each of the four species and made his presence known to a sentry-scout party. Knowing full well they would be unable to defeat so many people at once (or at least without a few escaping), the sentry-scouts quickly returned to the throne of Emperor Ghaag, telling him of the joined forces and that it contained the elusive Amphor, and within the hour an army of hundreds of the Lorc's best soldiers were well on their way to the site. Once the sentry-scouts were out of site, Amphor ordered his troops to climb and then hide in the trees of the area and attack from above, when he gave the signal. Once the entirety of the Lorc Army was underneath the Hybrid-Army, Amphor yelled the signal, and all four species let loose their volleys of death and destruction, causing confusion and eventually panic to sew through the ranks. Due to their inability to look up, the Lorcs were quickly brought down, until not a one still stood.
Empowered by this battle's absolute success, the four species lead a ten-year assault on the Lorc Armies, slowly whittling down their numbers until the Lorc were greatly outnumbered in terms of military might. Quietly fearing the might of his enemies, Emperor Ghaag ordered the gates to the Imperial City shut and barred, preventing their foes from entering. Unfortunately, Ghaag had not considered the sewer systems as a means of entry, and within a month, Diplod scouts discovered this and reported it to Amphor. It was quickly exploited, and when the bulk of the Lorcian populace were asleep, Amphor's entire force snuck in through the causeways and quickly but silently killed all non-child Lorcs they came across, including the sleeping. With most of the Lorcs slain, Amphor stormed the main castle. Ghaag's remaining forces didn't stand a chance.
By the next sunrise, Ghaag had been captured and taken to his coliseum, where the remnants of the Lorc population — only the children — were forced to watch as their former foes fed Ghaag to his own Hellbenders. Amphor was praised by the Zalt-Diplod-Massocion-Zoaraptor forces, and in a decision that would determine the existence of all four of the species, Amphor enslaved the Lorc children in order to prevent them from ever rising up against the other species again. He then declared all four races brothers and chose to name the collective group the Amphorians, in remembrance of this day. The Amphorians all but abandoned their old settlements and moved into the various temple-cities of the Lorc, which had far more advanced technologies. This was the beginning of the Amphorian Empire, which would eventually grow to encompass far more than the Lorcian Empire could have ever even imagined.