My evil nature mage and his army of Felinus have conquered most of the human kingdoms. Upon breaching the forest pass and entering the human kingdoms his 1 million strong army of Felinus separate into units of 5,000 and begin to raid the farmland for supplies.

The human populace has fled into the mountain fortresses built centuries before. What is the problem?

Well, at about the time the fortresses were abandoned, a series of wars against a quickly multiplying race of Orcs were fought. Orcs outnumbered humans and Elves. The Human/Elf allies resolved to wipe them out. They were nearly successful and only a small Orc remainder fled into the mountains to escape extinction.

Generations have gone by and the Orcs have built remote cities around these fortresses, growing mushrooms and raising tamed deer to survive. The Orcs have not forgotten the atrocities of the aforementioned Orc Wars and the Humans are in a bit of a predicament. Over a million orcs are living in the mountains and all are well-trained killers due to a more aggressive (but not inherently evil) nature.

About 300 thousand human soldiers are in the mountains and the millions of refugees are quickly starving. Some human camps have even resorted to cannibalism. The orcs have the means to feed (at least feed-they don't have 2 million houses ready for occupation but possibly letting them sleep in the halls or the dangerous, parts of the fortresses) these people, but refuse due to the calamities in the Orc Wars. They have employed native gnomes to increase the growth rate of their chief crops (mushrooms and potatoes).

Since orcs and their Felinus brethren are susceptible to the Mage's mind control powers, the humans know they are doomed if the mage discovers the orcs. Thus, the humans want to keep the Orc's existence as quiet as possible.

Also note that the orcs have heard news of the Mage and want nothing to do with him.


How can I convince the Orcs to shelter the people and feed them before this becomes Humanity's extinction event? I have thought of diplomacy, but since the orcs keep killing the messenger sent to them.....

Also, how can humanity take shelter with the orcs without raising suspicion from the Wizard?


This is spread out over the entire mountain range. Think Rocky Mountains + Appalachian Mountains. They are on the verge and any concerted attacks would throw them over into chaos...which is why they need help.

The millions (2 million, to be specific) of refugees are from the Human kingdoms evacuation. They brought most of their pack animals with them and their food. Despite this, they are on the verge of starvation and only a few more months.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ What is the orc - wizard relationship like? Are the Orcs in any form of threat from the wizard? (as a side note, I find your numbers absurdly high still...a medieval army of 100'000 began to crumble under it's own logistics, let alone 1 million. The humans would not be able to effectively act as 1 entity at 300k either, they wouldn't be able to effectively coordinate movements, and would probably enter a panic mode that includes attacking each other for the little food remaining. I'm also finding the orcs sudden ability to house and feed millions of humans a bit unbelievable as well) $\endgroup$
    – Twelfth
    Apr 17, 2015 at 18:56
  • $\begingroup$ I'll edit the numbers down a little $\endgroup$
    – Jax
    Apr 17, 2015 at 19:07
  • $\begingroup$ On second thought, I don't want to break the answer proposed by @Spacemonkey $\endgroup$
    – Jax
    Apr 17, 2015 at 19:12
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, I don't mean to be harsh...but I realize this is for a story and it instantly sets off disbelief in me when you refer to an army in medieval time of 300k acting as a single unit... At 300k, the order to 'move out' takes more than a day to perpetuate through the camps. I'd suggest that it's more likely that 10k of the army broke off and ran up to the front of the orc gate out of desperation than it is for the 300k to attempt a consolidated diplomatic effort. The largest army in medieval times that was ever raised was in the 100k range and had major communication issues. $\endgroup$
    – Twelfth
    Apr 17, 2015 at 19:59
  • $\begingroup$ What would the mage do with the orcs once he finished the Humans? And why can't he simply use a locating spell to track down the Humans? $\endgroup$ Jul 30, 2015 at 5:12

4 Answers 4


Don't send messengers anymore, send the human king himself with a full combat escort for physical security. There can be a mutually beneficial agreement reached by both sides but the humans are going to give up a lot to achieve Orc assistance, if assistance can be bargained for at all.

Orc Commander's Perspective.

The only assets the human king has to offer is 300K mind-control resistant soldiers. The king also brings with him a huge set of liabilities in the form of a following mage and millions of refugees who need to be fed, clothed and housed by the time winter comes to the mountains. (I'm assuming that the humans have thus far lived on the plains and have little experience with mountain living.)

From the Orc's perspective, the ideal situation would be the death of the mage and the death of all the humans. The ideal way to carry this out would be to support only the human soldiers in their fight against the mage and leave the rest of the human population to rot. If the human king is willing to sell some of his people into slavery then the Orc commander may be able to get rich too. Plus, there's great satisfaction to be had from making slaves of the people who slaughtered your ancestors.

King's Perspective

He knows that a lot of his people are going to die. Some of his camps are already turning to cannibalism so the circumstances are already very dire. Even with massive Orc assistance, which he may never get, large quantities of his people aren't going to survive the winter. Feeding millions of people requires millions of acres of arable land which the mountains do not offer. In addition, much or all of their seeds have been left behind or destroyed by the mage.

The kind knows that he can only offer the Orcs his 300K army and whatever technological improvements have been made since the Orcs and Humans split all those centuries ago. Trading tech with a known enemy is highly dangerous because they can use that new tech to come back and kill you. The king may not have much choice in the matter.


The Orc will able to drive a very hard bargain from the King. Concessions on slavery of some humans, tech sharing, territory lines after the war, an apology for past human/elf atrocities, tributes to be paid after the war, perpetual non-aggression pacts, anything and everything the Orc commander can think of the King will likely have to give up in order to achieve that key concession of shelter and support for the army.

Where the hell are the Elves?

  • $\begingroup$ Good point, where are the Elves? $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Jan 19, 2021 at 0:19

Diplomacy is the only option here. The major hurdle you face is establishing contact. I think the best way to do this is probably by shock: hold up a big message in the direction of the Orcs saying "the Mage will kill you if you don't start listening." Or something. They can't be so stupid as to risk their entire species' survival.

Once contact is established, you can now start negotiating.

  • Point 1. Time.
    The Orc wars were some time ago now, and while the atrocities committed may have been serious, they were likely committed by other humans than those there. Point this out to the Orcs.
  • Point 2. Survival (Orc Wars).
    Explain to the Orcs that yes, the humans committed some pretty horrific acts, but they did it because they believed it was necessary to survive. The Orcs were also doing what was necessary in the war; it just turned out that the human/elf alliance was stronger.
  • Point 3. Survival (now).
    The humans are very close to the fortresses where the Orcs live, and there are a lot of them. It'll take a while to move out of there and it is very likely that the Mage will see them. He may well think they've left some people in the fortresses, so he'll go and investigate - and discover the Orcs, which is not what they want.
    The important thing is to convince the Orcs that only by sticking together can both species survive the Felinus army. 3 million Orcs, humans and elves is a greater force than 1 million Felinus - and while not all of the alliance will be combat-trained, sheer force of numbers may make the Mage not want to attack (or be very cautious about it). The Alliance's combat units would then be much more effective: they have height and knowledge of the battle situation advantages.
  • Point 4. Reparations.
    This is best kept as a last resort - after all, you don't want any obligation to the Orcs. It's a bargaining tool.
    Promise the Orcs that once the Felinus are defeated, you will give them reparations for the acts of the humans in the Orc Wars. That could be money, working on their land for them, food, trade, any manner of things your humans have to offer.

Together, those points make a fairly convincing argument that I would think should be enough to sway the Orcs.

However, you now have an army of Felinus after you and not very long to prepare...


Here are a couple of ideas

It seems clear the humans will have to appeal to the Orcs according to the Orcs' societal ways and culture.

Whether that means slavery, or proving itself, or bargaining.

From the Orcs' point of view, they have a 300,000 strong human army marching towards them. They could overcome them, but 300,000 is no small army, and it's an Army not just general population. Heavy losses would occur on both sides. To top that off, the human army is leading the unwanted wizard straight to them. It is probably in their best interest to make the humans leave in another direction OR to make them disappear. Fast. (Making them disappear has a high chance of making the wizard keep his course and find them so it isn't the best option)

So it comes down to:

  1. The Humans need shelter and food and protection. FAST
  2. The Orcs need a way to resist the wizard. Equally Fast.

If the Humans know how the Orcs could resist being mind controlled/influenced, the Orcs then have a way to deal with the wizard they don't like and make him leave them alone. A bargain can be struck. If not chances are both will have to flee, the Orcs can use the humans as their rear shield while they flee at the cost of a little resources (or kill them for having brought the wizard on them and then flee)


Having the Orcs be susceptible to the Mage's mind control powers poses a significant problem for many of the King's advisers. Given the well know existence of the forts, the mage obviously knows of them, and knows they are the best chance for the humans to mount a defence.

The mage also knows that most of the Human population should starve during the first winter in the mountains given their uninhabited nature.

In early spring when the mage pushes his forces forward, he meets an unexpectedly high number of human fighters. Wondering how so many lived through the winter leads him to the Orcs in swift order.

Given the previous almost genocidal war against the Orcs, and knowing that they cannot be reliable allies given mind control issues there is no way for trust to be built between the two sides. Therefore the King's advisers believe the only good Orc is a dead Orc. Genocide is the general advice.


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