The Tamazi are the sept that came to Skarsind from the lands to the east of Urizen and Highguard where they were enslaved by the people of Axos. After generations in durance, they were freed when the Empire pressured their captors into renouncing slavery. When the Axou Grand Ilarchs freed their slaves, they feared the Tamazi would become a threat and ruthlessly restricted their rights. Offered sanctuary in the Empire, they fled Axos for Skarsind, and for the most part enthusiastically embraced their new lives.

They are not an unduly martial people; their first love is magic, not battle. They have their share of battle mages, but they regard ritual magic as a higher calling. There is a spiritual aspect to their magic - they draw closer to their ancestors as they draw on their power to work miracles. They relish any opportunity for learning, and many hope to persuade the Imperial Orcs to build a great library or college of magic in Skarsind to complete the nation's journey.

Their sept is also marked by an unusual view of death, the ancestors, and the Howling Abyss. For the most part they don't speak of their beliefs openly, more out of a desire not to create any friction with their neighbours than out of fear of the Synod. They enjoy a peculiarly close relationship with six of their ancestors, but they don't revere or venerate these figures. Rather, they invoke their power to help them work their magic. As a whole they have little time for metaphysical discussions of what lies after death, but their views are marked by an unusually cruel view of the Creator, who they regard as an entirely wicked figure determined to dominate or destroy all living things.


The Tamazi hail from the eastern nation of Axos. Their name is a very old word in a forgotten language, and apparently translates as "united" or possibly "bound" in the context of both "bound together" and "chained." It's a term some of their ancestors use, and now that they are no longer in Axos, they have fully embraced it to refer to themselves and their free sept.

In one way they are similar to the Sunstorm in that until very recently they were enslaved by humans. Unlike the Sunstorm, however, they shared a single origin even before they were forced into their durance (that being the term they commonly use to refer to centuries of imprisonment by the Axou). All Tamazi claim descent from five great families of orcs who lived in what is today the nation of Axos. These families fought together to hold the "Victorious Axis" at bay, until one of the five, tiring of the war they believed would never end, turned their back on the others and left. Weakened by the loss, the remaining Tamazi were conquered and enslaved. Their lands were claimed by the Axou, and from that day forth the Tamazi were forced to live in the lowest, most cramped levels of the great Axou citadels. Some speak of the fact that it was their labour, ultimately, that built those same citadels. They learned their hidden ways, and exploited them to meet secretly and keep the memory of their people alive.

Being at the bottom of the pile - quite literally - brought with it additional consequences. Beneath every Axou citadel lies a great necropolis where a thousand years or more of the dead are interred. These winding catacombs and crypts are dangerous, given over to ghosts and rarer unliving horrors. As the folk forced to live closest to this grim mausoleum, the Tamazi were often prey to the things that lurk in the darkness (not only unliving abominations - the delvings of the Axou citadels also attract the attention of creatures such as trogoni). Without their unity, and what little magic they snuck away from their masters, they could not have survived.

Despite having little or no access to magic during this time, their ancestors kept them strong and united. The four remaining families were fractured into a hundred pieces, but that only made their bonds stronger. Each family would share what little they had, striving against impossible odds to support each other. When a Tamazi was taken from the family they were born into, they would find a new family to join wherever they were taken. No orc believes that they can survive alone, after all. Most Tamazi believe it was only the strength of their bonds with each other that allowed them to survive their durance.

Now that they are free, the Tamazi are eager to embrace life among the Imperial Orcs and as citizens of the Empire. Their first priority is to regain their lost mastery of the six realms of magic, but they are keen to reacquaint themselves with all the trappings of civilisation. Skilled builders and masons, they are eager to share their love of grand architecture with their fellow orcs in the hope that they can one day construct a college of magic in their new home.


The Tamazi beliefs are quite different to many of the other septs of the Imperial Orcs. It is not just that they view the Howling Abyss in completely different terms to the other septs, they also enjoy a very different relationship with their ancestors. The one thing everyone agrees on is that each orc has only one life and that they must make it count; not just for their own sake, but for the sake of all living beings.

Traditionally, the Tamazi hold that the Creator originally made this world as a paradise for all living beings where they lived eternal lives of peace. But as the years passed, they grew jealous of the sublime lives they had bequeathed to their creations and determined to destroy them. One by one, people began to weaken and die, as the Creator sought to consume the whole world. The ancestors gave up their lives to oppose the Creator, standing between them and all of creation. According to the Tamazi, it is only the strength and persistence of their ancestors that stops the Creator from destroying the whole world - without them all life would eventually end.

The Tamazi do not believe that the ancestors talk to them to lend them aid to cross the Abyss. Instead, they see the words of their ancestors as a plea for aid, a reminder of the vital need for the living to help the ancestors. To strengthen their ancestors, they invoke their presence when casting spells and rituals, allowing their forebears to draw a little of the power of their magic. In this way they help to keep the Creator at bay for another moment. And while few Tamazi believe they will ever see the day come, their unspoken dream is to strengthen their ancestors to the point where they can finally defeat the Creator. When that happens, death itself will end and the world will become a paradise once more.

Until that day arrives, each Tamazi faces death knowing that they go to meet the Creator who will most certainly destroy them utterly. The Tamazi do not believe that there is any way to escape this fate, not until the day comes that the Creator is finally defeated. They do talk of a Howling Abyss, but they use the phrase as a metaphor for challenge and adversity rather than believing it is an actual place. The Howling Abyss represents your greatest fear, your greatest challenge. To "cross the Abyss" means to find the courage to face your fears and a way to overcome the challenge. The Tamazi do believe their ancestors crossed the Howling Abyss - but they believe that means they passed into death armed and ready to do battle with the Creator.

The Tamazi are careful not to offend the other septs, but most see the idea of crossing the Howling Abyss to some new life on the other side as hopelessly romantic. For the most part, few Tamazi actually concern themselves with what happens after death. They know the fate that awaits them, and to contemplate that is to risk being consumed by despair. Instead, they embrace the ideal that they have but one life and that they must make it count. Knowing that oblivion is the Creator's only gift to their children, they celebrate the life they have - that everyone has - as infinitely precious.

Leave a Legacy

It is rarely expressed, but to the Tamazi the idea of living life well, of taking joy in the moments that are available to you, is a profound act of defiance against a cruel and unjust monster. The ultimate goal for the Tamazi is to leave a legacy. Since there is only one life, it is vital to make the most of it. Everyone should strive to create something that will outlive them, something that will endure. By leaving a legacy, you defy the Creator who seeks to wipe all knowledge of you from this world. Perhaps more importantly, by doing so you create something that can provide support and assistance for your family, something that will help generations of Tamazi to come.

The desire to leave a mark on the world takes many forms. Architecture is one of the most common - the Tamazi are skilled masons and builders, having maintained those skills through centuries of toil in Axos. There is no better way to defy the will of the Creator than to build some great monument that will last many lifetimes. Creating any durable construction is seen as an admirable achievement, but the best work is robust and strong so that it will endure, and is also practical, providing succour for future generations of Tamazi. Supporting your family, now and in future generations, is the sacred duty of every Tamazi and one they take very seriously.

Magic is another key way in which the Tamazi seek to leave a legacy. Magic can fundamentally alter the world, leaving a mark on it that endures. The form that magic takes is less important. Artisans are respected as crafters for their ability to create items of worth, as much as their ability to create magical items. Wielding magic directly, through spellcasting, but especially through ritual magic, is even more important. The ancestors speak most clearly to the Tamazi when they perform rituals. It is a common belief that, drawn to the power they wield, the ancestors are able to take a little from any ritual the Tamazi perform and use it to strengthen themselves for their eternal war with the Creator.

Tamazi ritual magic is sometimes confused with the necromantia of the Axos, but it is actually its own distinct tradition called spiritweaving. It combines elements familiar to Imperial dramaturgists and theurgists. Every orc magician knows the connection between ancestors and rituals, but the Tamazi intentionally invoke their ancestors by recreating and re-enacting the tales of their lives. In the past, they used this approach to perform a handful of rituals handed down from master to apprentice via a complex oral tradition. Now that their durance is done, they are enthusiastically exploring new approaches, sharing its nuances with their fellow septs, mastering the panoply of Imperial lore, and shaping new stories with which to change the world.

Of course, the greatest magic is that which lasts. The best items to make are artefacts, and the best rituals are those that are permanent in nature, but both require a significant quantity of ilium, a material the Tamazi have not had access to for many centuries. It is still possible to leave a legacy without access to such riches, however. Teaching, sharing skills and knowledge with other family members, leaves an impact on the world long after the teacher is gone. Understanding the world, its wonders and limitations, may provide new weapons against the Creator but builds a foundation for later generations to build on. Best of all is to develop new skills or to find new magics. The Tamazi dream of building a college of magic in Skarsind; such a thing would be the perfect way for the entire sept to leave the greatest legacy for future generations.

Creating a Tamazi

The Tamazi sept allows you to create a character who is determined to make a difference in the world. The Tamazi ancestors fight the Creator to keep the world from being destroyed; they expect their descendants to make the most of their sacrifice by living their lives to the full and accomplishing all that they are capable of. More importantly, they expect them to leave a legacy for the future. Unlike other orcs, most Tamazi don't believe that their efforts will help them to cross the Howling Abyss and live on after death. Instead their focus is purely on this world: since death is the end, they must work hard to make the best of things in this life and thus leave their mark on the world. You may want to give some thought as to how your character feels about this. Do they accept the traditional stories of the Tamazi as factual truth? As a metaphor? Or do they pay them little heed, choosing to focus on the here-and-now rather than worry about what might happen to them after death? After all, as the priests of the Way seem to understand, mortals have no way of really understanding what happens after death.

You can play a martial Tamazi character if you wish, but most Tamazi are magicians or artisans. Ritual magic is especially prized - it is a powerful tool for changing the world, but many Tamazi also believe it channels power to the ancestors, which gives you a simple motivation to cast as many rituals as you can. If you don't want to be a magician, you might play an artisan, another highly respected skill among the Tamazi. Regardless of skills, many Tamazi are builders, teachers, and scholars. None of these dictate what skills you might pick for your character but they will affect the way you play them and the things you pursue in the game.

Most resources are suitable for Tamazi characters, with the exception of congregations. The Tamazi have very different religious views to their fellow citizens - even to their fellow Imperial Orcs. They're very focused on this world and somewhat sceptical of talk of virtues, the soul, or other metaphysical ideas. Most Tamazi are much more focused on practical things they can see and touch than on intangible ideas and philosophies. The Tamazi do have their own beliefs, but you should be careful who you talk to about them since they might be considered heretical.

If you are starting a new Tamazi character with friends then it's a great idea to develop a family together. Tamazi families are based on friendship and loyalty rather than blood ties; orcs can and do move from one family to another. But every member of the family is expected to do whatever they can to support their adopted kin. This gives you a strong reason to work together and help each other. Empire is meant to be a game of ruthless politics - which is exactly why having a small tight-knit group of allies that you can trust implicitly can be powerful and fun. They don't have to all be Tamazi - you can include other Imperial Orcs in your family if you want - provided you're sure that they will respect the group and support the other members of the family.

What you should definitely do is think about how your character is going to try to leave a mark on the world. You might want to become a powerful magician casting important rituals for your family and your nation. You might be an artisan who wants to make artefacts that will become great items of worth for future generations. You could be a trader, hoping to earn the money and resources you'll need to create a commission. If you are interested in that part of the game, it's well worth looking at the rules for commissions on the wiki. There are lots of different types of things that characters can build in Empire, and most of them are large and expensive and take a lot of work to accomplish - which makes them great as starting character goals. Don't overlook Imperial titles either, but remember that the Tamazi are not motivated by acquiring power: what interests them is what they can do with it. Try to think of some character goal you could achieve once you become a senator, a general, an archmage, or similar.

Playing a Tamazi

A key goal of the Tamazi is to get a college of magic built in Skarsind for the Imperial Orcs to use to develop new magic. This is a hugely ambitious task, especially for a small nation, so it is something you could spend an entire lifetime pursuing. It's not just something for magician characters: it's a collective goal of the entire sept, so it's something you can be helping to support no matter what your character's skills or talents are. It's not something to throw all your efforts at - but it is a goal that you can come back to and work on when you're not busy with other things. This gives you a good reason to speak to other characters in the game because you'll need the help of countless other citizens to have any hope of success.

The Tamazi believe that it was their family ties that allowed them to survive after they were conquered by the Axou. Loyalty is prized - but you should be careful who you extend it to. If you are playing the event with friends, you can create a family to be part of together, provided everyone is keen to buy into the idea of a group with tight loyalties whose members support each other without question. Having allies that you want to help without asking what it is in for you is a great way to start playing Empire because it gives you more things to do at the event. It means there are characters who will come to you for help, as well as people you can trust with your plans and who you can expect to support you unreservedly.

If you don't have a family, then developing one in play can be a great goal. The idea of "blood brothers" - characters tied together by oaths and bonds of loyalty - is a classic fantasy concept, but it's also something you can work towards in play. You can look out for people who need help and try to support them - and you can try to win the support of other orcs by proving yourself reliable and trustworthy. Building up your own family in play, a group of characters with a history of supporting each other through thick and thin that has developed in play is a great story but it's an important goal that you can pursue in-character when you play a Tamazi.

The Tamazi don't revere their ancestors, instead they see them as forces to invoke when needed. This is especially true during magic, but remember that hearth magic is a powerful force in Empire that can affect everyone, whether or not they are a spellcaster. You should consider ways to draw on the power of one of the ancestors whenever you are engaged in writing, or making insignia or markers or similar. Where other orcs see the ancestors as spiritual figures to be respected, you should view your ancestors as a power that you can draw on in the material world when you need to.

Orcs often talk about the Howling Abyss. Most orcs from other septs believe the Abyss is a real place that awaits them when they die. They believe if they live their lives right, the ancestors will help them to cross the Abyss when the time comes for them to pass over there. This is an article of faith, but it's not one the Tamazi share. You don't want to insult your fellow orcs by contradicting them, but the Tamazi believe the Howling Abyss is a metaphor to describe the most difficult and terrifying challenge you will face in your life. Crossing the Abyss means finding a way to face your fears and achieve something extraordinary so that you leave a legacy. As such it's a completely practical thing and something you can build towards in-character if you set yourself a big enough goal to achieve.

Always remember that as a Tamazi you are looking to leave a great legacy when you die. Power and influence are meaningless to the Tamazi, unless you use them to achieve something. If you are trying to become a senator - think about what important Senate motions you would try to get passed. If you're a general, don't let yourself get fixated on the military campaign this season - think about what the Imperial Orcs could achieve if they pursue a long-term strategy over years. If you're an archmage, don't fritter your influence with the eternals by barraging them with questions - see if you can use your position to improve the Empire's relationship with one or more eternals so that you make powerful lasting allies for your adopted family. Wherever you find yourself in the Empire, you will have more fun if you have some long-term ambition of something that you are striving to accomplish.


Like their former rulers, the Tamazi favour robes. Where the Axou preferred voluminous shroud-like robes, the Tamazi wear tighter, more practical hooded robes suited to those who often had to engage in hard labour. They favour dark colours, and hard-wearing materials, and since joining the Imperial Orcs they have adopted a longer cut with sleeves that come down over the wrists. They are used to wearing hand-me-downs, and heavily repaired ones at that, so they fit in easily with their Skarsind neighbours.

For jewellery, the Tamazi favour bone charms and accoutrements, often carefully scrimshawed, painted, or carved. They put a high value on dragonbone, particularly favouring its use in jewellery or the decoration on an implement or weapon. Bones are often decorated with symbols and insignia representing the ancestors, a powerful hearth magic that helps to strengthen the bonds and makes it easier for the Tamazi to perform their magic. Most Tamazi make their own, and bone items often possess a worth related to the provenance of the bone, and the circumstances around which they were carved.

Further Reading

Core Brief

Additional Information