Orcs are the descendants of Krug, native to the former War Nation of Krugmar of Aegis. The Common term "Orcs" refers to the natural, strong and honorable descendants of Krug. Legally, however, an Orc can be any citizen that has earned his place among the Orcs of the Iron Uzg.
No race is more adapted to the harsh deserts and its predators than the muscular Orcs. Masters of combat and wrestling, these often seven-foot high goliaths can destroy most prey with their bare hands. To an Orc, the most important thing is the hunt and the protection of his tribe and clan. For that reason, they do not intermix well with foreign cultures. They have a mutual hatred and respect for the Dwarves because of their ferocity and strength. However, they think less of other other races simply because they’re not big enough. Where other races establish cities and build monuments to their predecessors, Orcs establish tribes and build strong clans around the mythic figures of their ancestors. Orcs tend toward nomadic life, but what villages they do choose to establish are usually built from the ruins of other cities, swallowed and spat forth again by the drifting dunes of the desert.
Although Orcs can naturally live longer than Humans, their warring lifestyle often ends them before their natural end. The oldest Orc to ever live was Craotor of Clan Lur, who died of old age on the turning of his four hundredth year (one-thousand Orcish seasons). Orcs are just as prolific as Dwarves and Humans, but their children have the shortest period of puberty, sometimes reaching full adulthood in only twelve years. Orcs are also the most likely of their brothers to cull their own, whether purposefully leaving the incapable behind in the desert, or removing the weak through ritual trials. However, the strength of the clan is paramount in an Orc's eyes, and they will defend their young and wise to their very last breath - even if only to provide enough time for the wise to show the young how to best attack after their elder clansmen have fallen.
The name 'orc' derived from the Ancient Elven ork (orq-) 'monster', 'ogre', 'demon'. This was largely a result of the strength, cruelty and bloodlust of the orcish race. It can be spelled (in order of popularity) either Orc, Ork, or Orq. The pronunciation of which is all the same.
The Uruks are the most common and dominant sub-race of the Orcs, being the most present of all the orcs, generally the Wargoths and Rexes, with the exception of a few clans. Uruks are the race from which Ologs and Goblins branch from, being relatively smart and strong respectively. Unlike the goblins with their masterful skill with machinery or the Ologs with their primal instinct of survival and abnormal strength, Uruks are gifted with both intelligence and strength, being able to delve in the path of the shaman or the warrior. As a result, Uruks, like humans, are prone to a great deal of variability between the population, with many Uruks leaning towards an intellectual, purely combative, or pious lifestyles.
The Goblins are the smallest subrace of the Orcs. This is not to insinuate that they are small by normal Descendant standards, however. Goblins are the smallest of the three Orc subraces, and while the other two are towering, Goblins stand at roughly human height or a bit below into the range of Dwarven height. As such, the average goblin is comparable in size and build to the average human man. Besides in build, however, Goblins are rather dissimilar from humanity. They retain other Orcish features such as the Orc coloration and tusks (albeit smaller), however their physique is far more varying than that of the Uruks. Traditionally renowned as tinkers and thinkers among the orcs of Krugmar, the Goblins serve as an important intellectual keystone to the otherwise simple Orcish life.
Ologs are the largest, and arguably most powerful subrace, of not just the orcs, but of descendant kind in general. Almost exaggeratedly suited for the warlike way of life for orcs, it is rare to find an Olog whitewashed, or not integrated within orcish cultures. The history of Ologs in general is a topic for which no clear answer is present. Though it was argued in ages past that Ologs appeared when trolls and orcs mated, there exists no evidence to prove such a theory, and given there has been no findings of any troll crossbreeds amongst any other race, it is widely dismissed. Whether through excessive inbreeding, generations of selective husbandry, or simple natural adaptation or mutation, Ologs have become quintessential parts of orcish culture. Ologs are a CA (Creature Application) race, meaning that a Creature Application must be filled out on the forums and accepted before roleplaying.
The variations in coloration are extreme, and can come in varying hues and shades. A majority of orcs have a skin tone that would fall under green, brown or red. Orcs may also be found in black, blue and even in rare cases purple. The most common hair colors are black and brown, however all natural hair colors are still a possibility. Finally, there is no standard eye color for orcs. All orcs have natural eye coloration.
The orcs also exhibit an additional unique facet. This feature would be their horns, a point of pride for the older orcs. Around the age of 200, many orcs will begin to naturally develop a pair of horns atop their head in addition to their tusks. These horns stem from an additional plate of bone within their skull, resting fused to the top of the cranium. This plate lays dormant for the first two centuries of their life, until it begins to grow up and out of the skull. This growth would be painful at first as the horns push through the skin and nerves on the top of the head, harder than the average bone. For the first 20 years or so they will be little more than nubs, poking only an inch or two from the skull. Over the subsequent 50 or so years these horns will begin to develop much faster, taking unique shapes, more often than not resembling the horns of a goat. Around the age of 390, these horns begin to grow inward, starting to push down through the skull towards the orcs brain, leaving the orc often in debilitating pain. An orc with horns that lives the full 400 year lifespan would be found with their horns poking into their brains, having killed them as much as old age had.
Due to the extreme difference between the orcish subraces they must be broken down individually, as a race-wide min-max would be inaccurate. The reason for the drastic differences in height across the orcish race will be better explained in the specific subrace document. However, as a quick point of reference here are the minimum and maximum heights for each subrace.
“And you Krug, the most hated of The Descendants, you shall always have the lust of war. You are strong? Well the strength shall be used against your brothers, used to pillage and murder! Your lust for battle shall be unsatiated and your descendants shall grow ugly and heartless.”
The curse of the orcs is often described in a very simple way with a fairly vague word: Bloodlust. “The uncontrollable desire to kill or maim others.” Bloodlust is a constant nagging at the back of the mind of every orc, you see somebody or some creature and some grim part of your mind begins almost fantasizing about killing them even if that’s your best friend or mother or favorite pet. So as not to entirely discard the concept of “uncontrollable”, it is to be a part of the mind which can swell and shrink. The longer an orc goes without killing somebody or something this feeling would grow stronger and stronger until either this desire is satisfied or until the orc hits their tipping point. When the tip over point it hits the orc would break into a blind frenzy in which the orc cannot control themself whatsoever and will attack the closest living things near them until they pass out from exhaustion or are subdued. This concept is more dynamic and fluid, not having concrete limits and amounts to mandate when an orc would feel Bloodlust. Some orcs may be able to control their bloodlust better, whereas others might find themselves reaching that tipping point much more quickly.
Centuries of being bred to become warriors has led to a biological and social demand for the children of orcs to mature quickly and become battle ready and it has become the case that orcs of all kinds may physically mature as early as at the age of 12 and at the age of 18 as the latest. This of course puts a great amount of strain on the youth, the most noticeable repercussion of this would be stretch marks across the body of those who mature very quickly. For a cub to grow from the size of an infant to being taller than 6 feet tall in just over a decade will not only stretch the skin but it will also require much food to support such a vicious pace of development. From the point of maturity until the age of 350 the orc will live at a physical capacity fitting for a soldier, but after such a point they will rapidly decline until their body will give out. The stress of centuries of living a life of bloodlust and honor will catch up with the orc from age 350-400 and they will begin to rapidly deteriorate. Orcs neither have the curse of the humans nor the blessing of the elves and because of such their lifespan falls between the young deaths of men and the prolonged lives of elves. Orcs can live to a maximum age of 400 years old and no longer, though the majority will not live to see this age because of their brutal warrior lifestyles.
Additionally, orcs are made up of a variety of so-called ‘subraces’. These are Uruks, Goblins, & Ologs. Each one is outlined in it’s own post below.
The orcish language began as a practical series of grunts and snarls, utilized in combat for the sake of brevity and discretion. This distinctive style of speaking evolved into an official language which the orcs refer to as "The Blah". The true blah derives from the ancient tongue of the ancestors, although a more working-class dialect is often used during daily activities which incorporates elements of bastardized common tongue. Some Orcs believe that even in the early days of Krug, the ancestors began to disassociate themselves from the other races. Their deep, thick vocal chords demanded short grunts and guttural sounds, and from there the Blah began to develop. Even though the other races continued to speak a somewhat broad language (Common), two clans—Blaw and Gragarn—soon isolated themselves from human influence. Away from the influence of the Common language, these two clans developed the Blah as we know it today; and when they returned to the other Orcs, they saw it as a cultural necessity to keep the Blah as the Orcish language. (Taken from Blawharag)
The Orcs live in the harshest deserts that make other races shrivel away. In Aegis they lived in Krugmar, near the Cloud Temple of Aegis. The very north of Asulon was dedicated to the War Uzg of the Orcs. In Anthos they once again claimed the sandy dunes. In Axios, they had lived in the jungle for a short time before becoming nomadic and moving into a desert camp; which after that they moved into a new capital called San'Torr. Although each nation of the Orcs has had a capital city, these are not always fully populated. Many Orcs preferred to live in clan camps across the sands, and nomadic Orcs frequently prowled around the edges of national and clan boundaries. It was generally scowled upon to settle outside of one's national territory for too long, as this often detracted from one's duty to one's nation. A Rex named Drokon'Ugluk crafted the great new city of San'Torr, in which the Orcs now reside, accessible by the Cloud Temple Boats.
Orcs Hate Necromancers/Undead/Iblees/Minions. They have devoted themselves to doing as much damage to the Undead as possible. Often times they performed raids on Undead holdings and forts just for the fun of it. Orcs view children as the future. The elders need to ensure that the youth have a good chance of surviving to become the future. To accomplish this all Orc children are taught the ways of combat at an early age. Every Orc has been taught the basic skills needed to hold their own in combat and many are trained in the finer points of tactics and battle. Orcs have a deep sense of history. Almost every night, the tribe will meet around a large fire and the elders will pass along their history to the children. This history starts at the tribe level reaching to the level of the nation. When most races greet each other, they engage in some minor ritual such as shaking hands. Male Orcs view the meeting of another Male Orc as an opportunity to show their strength. When two Orcs meet, each will kick, headbutt, or punch the other in the gut, head, or face; the stronger the hit, the better. The receiving Orc must shake off the greeting as quickly as possible to show their great strength, while the Orc who initiated the greeting must assess the other for signs of weakness. Some Orcs have been seriously injured by this event, leading to some of the greatest alliances in Orc history. This common greeting also gives Orcs an opportunity to show the other Orc who is better. One Orc may allow himself to be shown that they are weaker in order to show respect for the other Orc. In return the kicking Orc may hold back some of his kick to show respect for the kicked. The ritual is complex and only truly understood by the Orcs themselves. Anger is rare between orcs, save for long drawn out discussions that are solved with word or fist. Arena fighting is saved for great disputes between orcs, those that would shift the balance of power, or shift the direction the orcs may take within the nation. Fights range from simple wrestling matches and feats of strength, to Honor Klomps to the death, the ultimate test of strength and honor between two orcs. Reserved for the steadfast and blood hungry, clans at war or a Wargoth seeking Rexdom may challenge another orc to an honor klomp to prove themselves.
Daily Life in the Uzg
The daily life of an orc is one numbered with many tasks, and many hardships to overcome. To those who worship the spirits, an orc may find themselves waking early to scour the desert lands for dewdrops in offering to a water spirit, or revitalize themselves in a pit of flame for a spirit of flame. For the orcs, worship is a painful and honorable experience to not only strengthen oneself, but to increase their relationship with the beings in realms beyond.Those fond of warfare polish their weapons to a gleam and eye their collections and trophies from conflict past. In warfare, an orc takes extreme pride and value in taking of spoils and souvenirs from their battles and hunts, whether it be the skull of some king, or the blade of a dreadknight. To sit upon the largest coffer of swords,skulls, and armor is to be a great orc, revered not for greed, but strength. As the day progresses, and even the laziest of ologs awakens from the desert heat, work begins.
Ologs lumber about the city, repairing walls and battlements from the windstorms and monsters that lurked about the night prior, as their strength and stature allow them to the be the repairmen and masons of the city. Along with fortifying the nation, one may find an olog testing siege weapons, eating, sleeping, or erecting obelisks and totems to their names. Ologs compete within the city in creating grand and extravagant pillars that highlight their ability to create and craft structures. Ologs live in caves, eat rocks for mild amusement, and lack the ability to count beyond five, however, their spacial ability to create monuments and structures surpasses the other breeds of Krug’s children. Goblins scurry about, tinkering whatever gadget, weapon, or technology had stirred them throughout the night. Their intellectual ability far surpasses the other descendants, and so they sit within some crevice of the city, thinking and meddling. Born of Krug’s blood, a goblin still possesses the violence and bloodlust of their kin, however something deeper stirs within them. Drawn from madness or some strange desire to create, the savant-esque intelligence of a goblin goads and forces them to create. These moments are painful and euphoric as ideas surge and hurricane about a goblin’s mind. Within the dwelling place of a goblin, one would find papers and sheets strewn across walls and the floor, with blood painted across them when the ink had run dry. Goblins are gods and deities of the technological,literary, and philosophical worlds. To them, the material world is only a factory and forge to craft and create new things, and while the sun wanes, and the shadows grow, one may find them scuttling about the dark for new parts and pieces to add to their creations.
Orcs are jacks of all trades, possessing equal intelligence to the other descendants, and the strength to dominate them. An orc may spend his time reading goblin literature, or overseeing an olog’s newest construction project. Others may enter the temple to hear the word of a shaman, or seek out a witchdoctor to curse a rival with something terribly painful. Orcs may rally with their clans for worship or skirmishes between other clans, or set out to conquer something great. Any and all tasks are offered to orcs, and with glee they take it and offer it to the spirits and Krug.
The family life of an orc is far different than their other descendant kin. Orcs hold no weddings, nor court each other as humans would. The orcish people are polygamous, taking on many mates as fit. To choose a mate, one simply needs to woo their suitor, male or female with a feat of strength or wisdom. Other males and females compete for their mates, often leading to fights and disputes. However, many orcs choose ‘lifemates’, permanent mates rather than the entire season. One may only have one lifemate, and still choose mate for the season however. Orcs do not breed for pleasure as the elves or humans may, rather, they breed for the future. An orc’s life is marred with conflict. From war, to the spirits, and life itself, an orc is destined to die. As such, children are the future. The strength of the Warnation is paramount in an Orc's eyes, and they will defend their young and wise to their very last breath - even if only to provide enough time for the wise to show the young how to best attack after their elder clansmen have fallen. The rearing of an orcish child is dependant on both the father and mother. To determine one’s strength, an orcish cub is often pitted against a small scorpion or spider, to ensure the strength of their offspring. While seemingly insane, the life of an orcish child is one of like insanity. By the age of 3–4 years, a child begins weapon training and combat, maturing at around 11 years, and often enlisting in the military at the age of 13-14. An orc’s childhood is filled with learning and battle, that it permanently scars them for the centuries of warfare to come. Often children are mutilated with massive scars or torn limbs that no longer work, and in their adult lives receive limbs of metal or bone that serve rudimentary purposes. Childhood is not a time of leisure and grandeur, but one to harden them against the desert winds, and harsh sand.
Spirits and Shamanism
The Spirits have been a staple of orcish culture since Krug himself took breath upon these mortal plains. Moreover so, these Spirits have shaped the lives of the orcs and the Mortal Realm. Orgon, the prior Greater Immortal Spirit of Corruption,Pestilence,and Failure, who betrayed the orcs, and swathed the lands in a blight so powerful that forced all to abandon such a place. Zagbal, a lesser of Freygoth, and Spirit of the Jungle led the orcs to the lands of Axios and to their jungle, a respite from the violence of Orgon and a lands that allowed them to flourish. The orcs of the Krugmar have been known to revere the Spirits since the beginning of their history, praising the embodiment's and elements of the world around them. However, those outside of this ritual are unaware of its practices and blessings.The spirits are the foundation of this world, being a part of all things. There is a spirit to every aspect of life, and as such orcs devote their adoration to what suits them. A hunter may offer half his kills to Votar, the Spirit of the Hunt, and in return, is blessed with large game or plentiful snares.A troubled elder orc may seek guidance, offering Literature and knowledge to Betharuz, Spirit of Knowledge and Wisdom, and in return, receives his answer in a dream far too real.A warrior who sacrifices the dishonorable to Laklul would find the swamp easier to navigate, and his foes trapped in the thick muck and grime.All spirits seek this sort of power, and as such, bless their worshippers with gifts in hopes they too receive such power. The spirits exist in numerous forms; Ancestral Spirits, Immortal Spirits, and the Elemental Spirits, all existing within their own realms. To commune with such beings, the orcs possess a numerous amount of magics, allowing them to shape the world around them.
Much of the decoding of ancient orcish myth can be traced back to Aveli. Aveli is a contemporaneous elven historian, who writes in a fairly poetic style, studied orcish culture and myth and composed writings about them. Other, more contemporary writings may be found, but much of orcish literature is preserved in tomes beyond the reach of other races, keeping such information and history to themselves and their scholars. Aveli's works can be found above in the History section. Nonetheless, a number of orcish clans and organisations (notably shamans) keep some form of written record as well as an oral tradition.
Their thick skin and resilient nature means that Orcs have little need for clothing. They wear short leather trousers, which usually only go down to their knees or loincloth. Orcs prefer to keep their torsos bare, showing off their impressive tattoos, war paint and piercings. Shamans, mystics, and other figures may don the pelts and feathers of animals, but finding an Orc in normal human or descendant clothing is a dishonorable act. Orcs like jewelery; in particular earrings, nose-rings and other piercings, and they prefer their jewelery to be of gold. Orcs also wear metal-studded bracers, shoulder pads and leggings for decorative purposes as well as for protection. Elite warriors often wear armour for additional protection. Orcs smiths, specifically those of clan Raguk create exquisite pieces of armour, though not with the same knightly figure of human knights, they hold their own sort of beauty. Orcish armor is made out of a variety of materials. Either crafted from the bone of large animals, the armor holds itself as a heavy shield from slashing and hacking forces. Orcs often don helmets which are designed to increase the damage of their headbutts; these helmets are often heavy and always equipped with horns, spikes, or something else that increases damage. A variety of designs are available to all Orcs, while others are clan exclusives.
Weaponry and Combat
The Orcs are provided weaponry and combat arms by the nation military, known as the Krughai. However, each clan makes and brands their own unique weapons as well. Orcs weapons are cruelly efficient. They prefer axes and swords, and they prefer them to be as large and heavy as possible. As an example, an ordinary Orcish battleaxe is too heavy to be wielded by a Human or an Elf, and the large, huge, and gargantuan varieties can only be used by Orcs who have grown in size, due to increased age. While the other races may prefer lighter weapons for accuracy and fast strikes, a trained Orc uses his weapons for deep, heavy blows. These swords and axes are various in type, depending on clan origin and preferred fighting style. Orcs have used everything from one-handed swords and axes to two-handed razors and slicers of combat. Most Orcish weapons are fairly simple in design, but with rich decoration and vicious details added after the actual weapon is finished. Some Orcish weapons may have small counter-hooks and primitive, frightful runes etched along the sides. Orcish swords can also have jagged or curved edges. Finally, axes or swords could also be double-bladed. When Orcish warriors use single-handed weapons, they can also wear shields. Shields are often made from simple leather, but more experienced (or wealthy) Orcs may have full iron shields. These shields are always usable as secondary weapons, with spikes for stabbing, jagged blades for slashing, or sometimes both. Orcs regularly decorate their shields, most commonly with the symbol of their clan. Traditionally, Orcs are not very fond of range weapons, preferring to wade directly into melee combat. They do however occasionally use bows. Orcish blacksmiths also craft more exotic weapons, often designed as much to intimidate and frighten, as to be effective weapons of war. Orcish special weapons often inflict massive amount of damage, but are unwieldy and slow. The Two-bladed two-hand sword is an extreme example of adventurous orcsh weaponsmithing, while the legendary Flattener or famed greatsword War Maker are among the more effective variations. The Flattener is simply a thick metal pole with an anvil-sized, flat lump of metal attached to its end. While this weapon's speed is incredibly slow, a direct hit often proves fatal.
Orcs are great enthusiasts of large engines of war. They build mobile catapults and ballistas, as well as things which are more exotic - and often quite deadly. The Orcish mancrusher, for instance, is rightly feared. The mancrusher launches large slabs of rock into the air, not very far but quite high, and it is designed to devastate soldiers rather than buildings. The Orc dispenser is a more quirky engine. It catapults a single orc five to six hundred meters, and is used to send them directly into the midst of enemy armies. It shoots Orcs at great speed at a quite low, flat angle - and usually with the head first. The living missiles are routinely killed by a combination of the impact and enemies. The so-called Slapper consists of a huge, flat wooden plate, covered by sheets of metal and spikes. The plate is wound up by Orcs using winches, and when released it snaps forward and to the right or left, mowing down anyone who doesn't get out of the way quickly enough. The Mad Hellfire Catapult fires large animal stomach balloons filled with an unstable liquid substance. Upon impact, the balloons either explode in balls of deadly flame, or merely burst, covering everything in harmless goo.
Clans of the war nation are a group of orcs related by blood or sworn oaths who can trace their lineage back to or greatly identify with a great ancestor. They try to associate themselves directly to the descendants of Krug.