Hold of Belkzen
Calling the Hold of Belkzen a nation is a misnomer. It has no central authority or unifying structure, no government that enforces laws, not even a central Gazetteer idea of what it means to be “of Belkzen.” Authority rests with the dozens of unaffiliated tribal chieftains who spend most of their time warring with one another. Even though the Empty Hand tribe led by Grask Uldeth is the most powerful in the land and controls the vast city of Urgir, Uldeth’s authority barely extends past the city walls. The orcs who live in Belkzen don’t often call it by that name; if asked where he lives, a Belkzen orc generally just names his tribe. The name “Hold of Belkzen” is a human construct, and refers to the warlord Belkzen, the legendary orc who united the tribes in the area and conquered the Sky Citadel of Koldukar during the Age of Anguish. After his death, the term came to be applied to all the orc-held lands between Varisia and Ustalav, consisting mostly of a dry river valley bordered by the Kodar and Mindspin Mountains to the west and the Tusk Mountains to the east. Belkzen is a harsh land of little rain, scarce game, and constant peril. The orcs are its biggest threat, but there are many other creatures, hazards, and dire places that spell certain death to all but the most prepared.