Ghâsh-hai (Black Speech for Fire-folk) or Fire-orcs refers to a tribe or group of tribes of fire-infused creatures mostly of Orc-kind. Most of them are mid-sized Orcs, but there are also Ghâsh-hai Uruks, Ghâsh-hai Goblins, and even Ghâsh-hai Trolls.
They are distinguished by glowing, fiery patches in their flesh, which tends to be red or pale. Many adorn their armour with red-hot spikes, and often wield burning weapons.
The Ghâsh-hai of Mordor were once Mordor Orcs and Uruks in the service of Barad-dûr, tasked with driving slaves to construct Nargroth under the supervision of Urudanî Stonemaiden in the Third Age, after the Gondorians were driven out of Talath Úrui.[note 1] The project unearthed the Great Rogmul, Borangos the Horror, who turned these Orcs into Ghâsh-hai, "with arms and bones of flame." Urudanî was turned into a flame-wraith in thrall to Borangos, and the new Ghâsh-hai remained under her command, though Borangos in turn chose to ally himself with Sauron. It is unknown if all Ghâsh-hai share this origin or if others were transformed by other fire-spirits, but they are typically found in the service of such spirits, such as Balrogs and other Regmyl.
The Ghâsh-hai of Moria are believed to have come from Mordor, but some of them were swayed to the service of Durin's Bane. One of their mightiest leaders, Gothghaash the Firecaller, paid tribute to Mazog. Fire-orcs are also known to be in Angmar: in Gador Gularan, the dungeons under Barad Gularan; and a tribe called the Ghâshfra, who came to the Rift of Nûrz Ghâshu to attempt to free Thaurlach. Other Ghâsh-hai in service to Angmar include Graug, Krampum (who came from Moria), and Tharb the goblin. These three were involved in a skirmish involving Graug's attempt to inform his superiors of the location of Esteldín. Still other Ghâsh-hai are aligned with the White Hand, serving in Saruman's Foundry and the Pits of Isengard.
A Ghâsh-hai Warrior of Moria.
A Ghâsh-hai Archer of Moria.
Tharb, a Ghâsh-hai goblin in service to Angmar.
A Ghâshfra Defender, one of the Fire-orcs invading the Rift of Nûrz Ghâshu.
- Likely shortly after the Great Plague in T.A. 1636