The Second Founding
The so-called "Brutal Races" survived the Cataclysm because the Tellusian Empire did not value their lives. Pushed to the edge of the continent and forced to live in giant, hive-like Warrens, they were not allowed any access to magic, excepting their primitive shamanism and limited worship of their Gods. Even this was regulated and discouraged.
Then the Cataclysm happened and their masters all died, the Empire was purified by fire and the Brutal races were allowed to flourish once more.
Except the Cataclysm had dire effects. The Glowing Frontier came into being, cutting them off, and even their Gods went silent. Left without the Empire to provide food and support many died. Those who lived, scrabbling together what little remembered lore about farming and construction, banded together and formed a disciplined, ordered society, carefully controlled, and pushed the Chaos back. Without Gods or rulers, the philosophy of Stoneheart, a mighty Orc warrior, took root among the people. Strength was found in cooperation and order. Strong emotions and indulgence was tempered with discipline, both from within and without. The dangerous and toxic creatures housed in the lands set aside for the Brutal races were, one by one, tamed or exterminated.
And then, after two hundred years of rebuilding, the Brutal Races made a breakthrough. Their Shamans, whose animist magics had grown strong and complex, discovered a way to cut through the Glowing Frontier. At the forefront of this effort was a young leader, a Paladin sworn to bring Order not just to their lands, but to the tortured wild lands beyond the Frontier. Victorian Krallack, a young hobgoblin general gifted beyond his years in all aspects of warfare, both an unstoppable warrior in his own right and a strategist unlike any in history, used this new and strange magic to bring down the first frontier. The land that lay beyond was a disorganized plain, peopled by simple farmers and small city states. It was during the effort to bring Order to these lands that the General formed his elite group of Paladins, the Talons, and it was upon conquering them that he called a meeting and declared the Second Founding of the Tellusian Empire.
For over forty years his war machine has only grown, bringing down Frontiers and conquering new lands for the Empire.
While conquered lands become part of the Empire, and their peoples are brought in to serve its armies, the elite front of each new operation is always lead by those from the Stoneheart Lands. The so-called "Brutal Races" form the bulk of this force, and among them few groups are as revered as the Orcspendables. Originally a suicide squad, elite shock troops send to complete missions or die, the Orcspendables eventually became a special operations unit, dedicated to completing tasks that others couldn't. While assignment to the Orcspendables is still often a death sentence, it is now considered an Honor instead of a punishment, and multiple Spears have been founded.