Mobaz is an Orsimer tribe that makes its home in the northeastern mountains of the Reach, known for its uncommonly large stock of Orcs, its predilection for shamanism, and for adopting several hundred wayward orphans of the Kane and incorporating them into the tribe. While the inaccessible terrain granted the clan protection for over 300 years, it also, in combination with the harsh climate, made the clan’s growth stagnate until relatively recently. Unlike most orc clans, which traditionally focus on their smithing and warrior culture, Clan Mobaz has always fostered shamans within its ranks and granted them the respect of any soldier or smith. Its greatest asset has always been the coal and iron deposits it rests over, though in recent years the mines have been dug deep enough to strike ebony as well. With this, the Mobaz’s fortunes changed tremendously, and it exploded in wealth and population.Founding
According to oral tradition, Clan Mobaz (derived from “Mobekh”, bear, and “Az”, ash) was founded 300 years ago by the mighty warrior Rognikh Foehammer. According to legend, a clan of giant (as in the race of giants) werebears attacked and destroyed his clan when he was a child, leaving him the sole survivor. As the boy grew, Rognikh began exacting his revenge on the werebears one by one, using well-placed arrows, clever traps, and, when he was big enough, his fiery warhammer. Eventually the remaining bears fled, and Rognikh gave chase across Skyrim all the way into the northernmost mountains of the Reach. There, Rognikh cornered the bears in a glacial valley and slew them all, completing his lifelong act of vengeance. Where the bears’ blood sank into the ground, rich red wheat sprouted -- a sign to Rognikh from Malakath that he was pleased and that this was the place to found a new tribe.
In later years, some of the more skeptical Mobaz shamans would begin to pick this tale apart, investigating historical records in order to see what truth, if any, there was behind it. Most are in agreement that the “bears” in Rognikh’s tales are a metaphor for men from Windhelm, who certainly could have destroyed Rognikh’s stronghold. Efforts to trace Rognikh’s lineage have indeed led to that area of Skyrim, where few strongholds remain. Most agree it is more likely that Rognikh and his followers simply left to find a new home, unable to tolerate their Nordic neighbors.Lineage
Rognikh’s sons and their sons held on to the position of chief until roughly 83 years ago, when an outsider from another clan challenged then-chieftain Hegrok over a territorial dispute. The outsider, Kezhul, utterly defeated Hegrok, took over as the Mobaz chieftain, and wound up consuming a smaller clan’s land. Some rumors state that Kezhul was actually a woman, who took husbands as well as wives. Kezhul’s line has continued unbroken from that day, with his/her latest descendent, Olzog, having recently been overthrown by his son (by his Forge Wife), Korzag.Clan Appearance
The modern Mobaz have been tempered by frigid centuries into a hearty and beastly people. Clan natives are known for their pale green-white skin, green eyes, and thick hair in brown or black. Their noses tend to be broad and flat, with flared nostrils. Their faces bear high cheekbones, square jaws, and a protruding brow. Males and females both tend to be large even by orc standards. In recent years, as the clan has seen its numbers swell with immigrants, these features are already beginning to vary.
Mobaz warriors clad themselves in ebony or orichalcum armor crafted in the traditional Orsimer style. Plumes of horse hair adorn the helmets, while higher-ranking warriors are allowed to don bearskin mantles or capes. Most Mobaz undergo some form of ritual piercing or tattooing, generally around their tenth birthday when they are formally adopted into the tribe. Many tribesmen wear fur-lined leather garb, exchanging them for lighter cotton and leather clothing in the summer months. As a point of pride, many choose to dye their clothing in the turquoise, white, and umber of the tribe.
The clan’s earliest days put it at odds most with the Reachmen, who hoped to kill the fledgling stronghold before it had a chance to entrench itself. Ill-prepared to deal with Reachman magic, the early Mobaz soon faced the very real threat of extinction. A woman of the tribe, Ioka, argued that swords and arrows alone could not be employed against such witchery, and that in order to protect themselves in the future, the tribe would need to embrace magic as well. Despite the protests of others, Ioka began to work on adapting Reachman magic for orcish use.
Combining Reach magic with what she knew of Wyrd magic and shamanistic practices from other tribes, Ioka was able to create a magical tradition that was distinctly orcish, and even used in time to help venerate Malakath. She became known as the first “bone-witch”, and it was not long before both her protective wards and her offensive powers were able to repel the Reachmen. Before long, many youths were studying under Ioka, and since then the Mobaz have fostered a vibrant shamanistic culture. The clan Wise Woman enjoys a place of honor as high as that of the First Wife, and the wisdom of her shamans is always held in high regard.Clan Sigil
Built around the legend of its founding, the Mobaz banner sports the menacing visage of a bear. It is typically scrawled in turquoise paint on a natural leather surface, with two off-white stripes painted underneath, though these colors are just as often all interchangeable. Despite their recent influx of fineries, the Mobaz refuse to refine their banner, often etching it on ragged cloth or tattered hides. When they carry it into battle, the message is clear: the only way to stop a charging Mobaz is to kill them.Children of the Kane
2E 568, after nearly a decade of a flourishing trade and military alliance, the Kane
sent all of the children currently residing in its compound north to be fostered with the Mobaz for safety. Protected by stone walls, a raging river, and mountains that could only be passed four months out of the year, the Mobaz stronghold would prove to be the perfect haven for these fosterlings, who, in the wake of the destruction of Lionfall, made for the majority of Kane survivors.
The initial decision caused a heated debate between then Chief Olzog, the First Wife and Wise Woman Reshka gra-Mobaz, and several of the clan’s more prominent orcs. Though Cyron Kane was blood-kin, they argued, these children were not. The Kane children were outsiders, and humans at that – countless more mouths to feed, backs to clothe, and heads to shelter.
Reshka and Olzog argued that the Kane had been staunch allies of the clan for years – they bought Mobaz ore for a generous amount, and sent relief in the wake of the flood. Because the latter had saved Mobaz lives, the clan, they argued, owed the Kane a blood-debt. Most eventually came to agree with this assessment, but the clan’s master smith, Guresh, challenged Olzog on his leadership. In the battle to follow, Olzog would slay Guresh, but lose an eye, an ear, and three fingers in the process. The Mobaz smiths would continue to harbor resentment over the incident for years to come.
New facilities were built for the influx of Kane children: they were given the same size homes, the same rations of food, and the same quality clothing as anyone else in the tribe. In return, however, the clan immediately put them to work, and the extra labor proved a boon for everyone.
The clan’s sympathy for their young wards suddenly increased when news of Lionfall’s destruction reached the stronghold. A small contingent of Mobaz warriors and shaman had also perished behind Lionfall's walls, further fueling the sense of loss and connection with the Children of the Kane. Ever practitioners of vengeance, and ever sympathetic of the exiled, the Orsimer encouraged the children to exact the blood-price of the Kane’s enemies as soon as they were of age. The wards were raised in orcish tradition from then on, taught everything from orcish combat to orcish smithery to, of course, the Code of Malakath.
In the present day the Mobaz wards are now fully grown, hybrids of both Imperial and Orsimer culture. While most of them left the Mobaz stronghold in 2E 578 when Chief Olzog was challenged and killed by rival Korzag, they consider themselves the Children of the Mobaz just as much as they consider themselves the Children of the Kane. They have been honed into peerless craftsmen and fearsome warriors – and they have been taught to desire revenge.