How'd I know this forum would pick an "evil" civ?
Well, alright. He's the flavor for the Clan of Embers:
Are the numberless orcs of Erebus shunned because of their viciousness and cruelty, or are they cruel and vicious because they are shunned? A riddle which troubles sages and priests, perhaps, but battlefield commanders have little time for such thoughts when the Clan of Embers is upon them. Quick and harsh like the fallen goddess they serve, orcs and goblins have menaced civilizations since the end of the Age of Magic. In the Age of Rebirth, however, they pose a more dire threat as uncontrolled hordes have been shaped into one mighty clan under Jonas the War-Priest. Sheelba, their queen, brings the advances of civilization but none of its civility.
World Spell: For the Horde
Starting Mana: Body, Fire, Nature
Strengths: Hmmm... I haven't played CoE very often. They are basically a playable barbarian faction. As a consequence of this, they start at peace with all Orce, Goblin, and Lizardman Barbarians... which is a big deal in FfH. Barbarians can seriously mess you up. Beyond that, they can build the Warrens, a building that DOUBLES unit production. Instead of one unit, they get two. Doesn't work for heroes, though. Finally, their Hero, Rantine, can convert Barbarian cities to the nation, and their once per game "World Spell" converts half of all Barbarian units (except animals) to their side.
Cons: They have a permanent -10% to their research. This is made worse by their inability to build Libraries, an important early research improvement. In Civilization (and Fall from Heaven), Research isn't everything, but it is a great deal.
Now, the Civilization Basics. The game takes place on a square grid. All players start with a Settler and a few military units. The Settler is used to create a new 1 Population CIty (loosing the unit in the process). Cities use their population to "work" the surrounding tiles for food, hammers, and trade. Food is needed to create more population so more tiles can be worked. Hammers let the city build units (including new Settlers) and building improvements (forges, walls, temples, etc.). One of the new units that can be built is the worker which can improve the surrounding tiles to give more food or production or trade. Now trade, you might think generates wealth (gold) for the nation. You'd be partially right. However, the player gets to set a percentage for where trade goes. It can go to wealth, but this is also how the nation generates research. Hence, most of the time the majority of trade will be going to research to learn new technologies.