Orcs are a primitive warrior race, being a cousin to both goblins and ogres. They stand almost as tall as humans, but tend to be stronger and have the thick limbs and broad shoulders common to the ogres. Their thick skin is usually a dull mottled green, though gray and black skinned orcs do exist. Their large blood-shot eyes have the night seeing and they often take advantage of lesser sighted races by attacking at night and with no lanterns or torches. Orcs have small fangs, blunt noses and pointed ears very much like goblins. Unlike ogres, that vary a great deal, orcs all tend to look the same, with balding heads and fat bellies. (They are overly fond of greasy meat and ale).
Like some other cultures do, orcs decorate themselves with tattoos. While not as elaborate as the bathyns, orcs all tend to wear at least two or three such markings. These signify rank, position, kills, etc. A shaman will identify himself with one mark, a chieftain with another. The position of tattoos is important. The more important markings are placed above those of lesser importance.
Orcs, while not as strong as ogres, are more intelligent, though still not the equal of the greater races. They chiefly raid and steal to get what they need, rather than bend knee to work in the fields or study to master the workings of metal. However, some orcs, rare to be sure, are the equal of any man in strength of mind and gifted by dark forces. These orcs often study forbidden texts and learn the arts of necromancy and other dark spells. These orc shamans often cast spells of darkness in battle to further hinder orcish enemies and take advantage of orcish night sight.
As a race, orcs are foul smelling, ill tempered and belligerent. They kill for pleasure and enjoy battle above all else. Orcs care little for honor or justice, laws or consequences. They care only for the pleasures that life may offer - whether that is raiding and killing or feasting and breeding. Orcs have little use for morals or regret. Orcish social gatherings are filled with drunken debauchery. They often throw these wild parties before and after major battles. During such gatherings, orcs will sing and dance with wild abandon. Orcish music is percussive and primal with deep throating chanting and tremendous energy. They participate in frenzied war dances which are wonderful and terrifying to behold.
Orcs live in tribal groups that vary in size. A typical orcish tribe will number around 150 individuals though tribes can be as large as 500 or as small as 50. A tribe is led by the strongest warrior and this orc usually claims the title of chieftain. Some tribes will also have a shaman who can work magic and will serve as an advisor to the chieftain. Although orcs are a patriachal society and most warriors are male, some females will fight alongside the males. Orcish tribes live in the wilds. They craft simple buildings fashioned from logs, bark, rope, cloth and animal pelts. Their tiny villages are often surrounded by a log palisade, decorated with spikes and the skulls of their defeated enemies. Orc tribes have colorful and graphically violent names. They will often craft colorful, decorative war banners which bear the symbol of the tribe. Each tribe adopts specific color combinations that match their banner. Orc warriors will adorn themselves bone jewelry, feathers and incorporate the colors of the tribal war banner. Orc tribes are very territorial. They will often battle each other, raiding each other's communities for food, territory, weapons and prisoners. At other times, tribes will unite under a strong chieftain.
Orcs are sociable and will cooperate with others as long as their goals coincide with that of the orcs. They can often be found working and fighting along side ogres, saurians, skrell, goblins and evil humans. Orcs have no nation to themselves and this is one reason why scholars classify them as a lesser race. However, orcs can be found in great numbers in the Coalition and Duthelm. Smaller groups of orcs can also be found in Ormek, Rukemia, Asylum, the Drakkellian Alliance, Vorrik and the War Vale. Some orcs wander the lands, hiring on to whatever mercenary company will have them, always moving on to wherever there may be fighting. Other orcs will settle into human cities that will have them.
Orgs are a fairly common crossbreed of ogres and orcs. Orgs average about 2 meters tall (6-7 ft), 110 kilograms (242 pounds) and appear to be slightly larger and more muscled versions of orcs with a bit more biological variation (slightly elongated tusks, more variable hair and eye color, slightly elongated claws). They share many of the social and cultural behaviors of their parent races and their existence tends to bond the ogre and orc races together in one of partnership and cooperation. Orgs are common in any population that has substantial numbers of orcs and ogres.
This website was last updated September 16, 2021. Copyright 1990-2021 David M. Roomes.