Orcs

Country: Karnorc, El Quattor Grande
Avg. Height 6 - 8 ft (1.8 - 2.4 m)
Avg. Weight 180 - 300 lbs (80 - 135 kg)
Life-span: 60 - 90 years
Proficiency: Raw Strength, Endurance, Hunting, Shamanism*, Smithing

The Orcs are a proud people, deeply rooted in tradition and the idea of ancestral heroes. On the surface they may look like, and have the stigma of, brutish thugs and warriors who care only for the glory of combat… But that isn't all they are, by any stretch. Many orcs do enjoy the thrill of a fight, but just as many enjoy the thrill of the hunt and some even enjoy the 'thrill' of poring over texts and magical documents.

Large and green, Orcs tower over most of Aurora's common races and surpass them physically with ease just the same. Their bodies are bulky and forms rather brutish, but many show a surprising gentleness in the face of tinier races or children. That isn't to say they aren't capable of anger, however…

The Orcs' rage is a legendary thing, particularly what's known as their 'battle-rage'. Fury is the flame that they keep lit in the midst of combat, and each blow strikes harder than the last as they build up a fierce and unmatched anger. This hostile and thuggish technique in combat has led to many disagreements and a reasonable amount of fear in the past, though Shamans have recently been working to try and fix the image of Orcs as violent and angry beasts that are uncontrollable and inconsolable.

Appearance

Orcs are large, green humanoid creatures who generally have a hulking slouch to them that gives them a brutish and somewhat stupid look. Many have tusks protruding from the sides of their mouths, though small, and almost all Orcs have muscles that bulge and ripple to the point of looking half like monsters. The majority have either black or dark brown hair, and can grow beards that rival the Dwarves' in length and girth.

They typically keep their hair either short or tied up into ponytails, so that it doesn't get in their way. Orcs have broad shoulders and barrel-shaped chests almost without exception, looking like they're in peak physical form and have then pushed that form beyond its reasonable limitation of musculature. Most are from six all the way to eight feet tall, hulking over the majority of their Human neighbors with ease, though they'd be taller if they didn't have their brutish slouch.

Orcs' hands and feet are large, enough that they're generally seen as bumbling or poorly coordinated by more refined races' standards. It's no surprise that they're also fairly clumsy because of that, and many of Rune's 'prettier' races carry a stigma that they're all stupid or idiotic. Orcs are certainly a simple people, but they carry enough intelligence and wit to keep their race alive… Which is something to be said.

Fashion

Orcish fashion is pretty simple, and a remnant from the time when they were ogre-like and on the verge of non-sentience. Most wear a combination of leathers, hides and metals adorned with charms and sometimes the skulls or other souvenirs from difficult hunts. Rings and jewelry are fairly common, especially in their ponytails or around their necks, but the material's value doesn't seem to matter very much. Iron and steel 'jewelry' is common among them, crafted by Orcish hands, and tattoos are also fairly popular among their kind… Though generally applied by the Goblins that live in Karnorc, instead of by their own uncoordinated hands.

Their Shamans dress a little differently, but not entirely, and generally cover more of their bodies than their warrior counterparts. While warriors and hunters typically leave their chests and sometimes their legs bare, shamans wear long robes or garbs that are still typically made of leather or hide. Their clothing has more emphasis on charms and trinkets, however, with all manner of tiny bones or figurines hanging from it in the dozens. Shamans are also typically the only sect of the orcs who can use magical catalysts, and most carry staves that are upwards of nine or ten feet tall to differentiate themselves.

Culture

Orcish culture is one of respect for tradition and the worship of heroes. Any Orc who dies un-disgraced enters their annals where his or her name and a list of their accomplishments will stay for all of eternity. Many folk from the other races are in the Orcs' annals as well, whether by impressing them through feats of strength or completing their sacred rites and proving a vested interest in the culture. Spirit Magic is all that the Shamans can muster in great amounts, as their magical gift is severely limited, so a lot of their culture is deeply rooted in ancestors and respect for them.

Many outsiders consider Orcs to have no culture that isn't kill, hunt or murder, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. Orcs have a rich history full of heroes and respected figures, one that's kept both orally and in writing on large scripts. Their shamans are 'wise men' as well as storytellers, and are rarely opposed to sharing some of the Orcs' culture with outsiders who do show interest.

In recent days, Orcish culture has (surprisingly) embraced technology into its fold that isn't just items given to them by the Goblins. Thanks to an industrious vendor who moved into Karnorc almost two years ago peddling firearms to a race that no one thought would show any interest in them, many Orcs - and especially Warriors - now make use of things like shotguns. Hunters even use rifles, from time to time!

Cities

Orcs have only one city within Rune, known as Karnorc, which they purchased from the country when Geffen suffered a great disaster. It's largely unknown how they ever came upon the funds to buy a city, and many are even more confused at their chosen name. Karn Everglace then, now Karn Warborn, was a Human who showed interest in their culture and helped to save their King from a grisly fate. In typical Orcish fashion, they seem to have decided to name the town after him.

Karnorc is built on what remained of Geffen, and thoroughly changed from Rune's typical aesthetic. It's a veritable fortress of wood and metal, walled off on all sides save four large gates with long stone bridges extending from them. The city looks distinctly tribal from even a far distance, proving a stark contrast from the rest of Rune's stone and smooth architecture. Karnorc has a surprising amount of industry, even if the majority of that industry is thanks to Goblins who live there, and seems in a constant state of expansion.

In El Quattor Grande, Orcs have no particular home but occupy the southern islands in equal amounts. Once exiled there for their green skin and brutish look, they as well as the Goblins and Kobolds conquered the hostile environment and somehow came out on top despite the odds. Many Kobolds, Orcs and Goblins share a kinship and respect amongst one another both within Rune and in El Quattor Grande.

Government

Orcs are separated into three Clans: Shamans, Warriors and Hunters. The latter two are on the same rough 'level' of importance, though Shamans command a little more respect than them thanks to their rarity. Shamans are the only orcs who are born 'smart', for reasons unknown, and they are trained into their role from a very young age. They handle all of the Orcs' magical affairs, however few they are, and are healers and mystics as well as lorekeepers and storytellers. Despite being physically weaker than Warriors and Hunters, most members of the other two clans treat them with the utmost respect and reverence.

Warriors are little more than what's described on the tin, though Orcish warriors are the source of envy for many an adventurer and soldier alike. Thanks to the Orcs' impressive size and unmatched muscle, Orcish warriors are typically twice or sometimes even thrice as strong as any other race's. Warriors are for war-time, obviously, but they have their own traditions and entertainment in times of peace. Competition is very prevalent among the Orcs, especially the Warriors, and they even have a gauntlet challenge called the 'Blud Pitt' that they run to prove their own strength and try to set record times or impress their fellow Warriors with shows of great strength. Warriors are also commonly weapon and armorsmiths, and while Orcish smithing techniques are fairly simple… The efficiency and killing power of their equipment is hard to deny.

Hunters, much like Warriors, are exactly what their name describes. Orcish Hunters are typically adept at tracking and surprisingly skilled with the bow or more often the crossbow for their clumsy hands. In recent days many use firearms as well, and what is beginning to look like a paradigm shift to the way of the gun has begun. Orcish kind are poor in matters of subtlety and stalking prey in any case, so why wouldn't they make use of louder and stronger weaponry? Though Hunters do go after 'smaller' game ranging from rabbits to bears, the true art of the Orcish hunt comes in the slaying of great beasts. Rune and Mjolnir's wilds are riddled with mana-poisoned creatures that can grow to colossal sizes and prove intense challenges for adventurers and wildsmen alike, and those are a Hunter's true calling.

Names

Orcs are simple with their names, much like Kobolds, and typically have a surname that describes their role or function within Orcish society. Some have no last name at all, and prefer to go by one singular moniker. Shamans typically carry a Title, though their names are just as brutish and simple as everyone else's. Most first names are short noises that can be said quickly and easily, but might feel strange trying to sound out with non-Orcish mouths.

Examples of Orc Hunter & Warrior Names:
Gronk Spearshaft
Glort Bearhand
Freeg

Examples of Orc Shaman Titles:
Bugoog the Wise
Rulork of Great Spirit
Soothsayer Dreej

History

Similar to Kobolds and Goblins, Orcs have a painful history with Rune that has mostly been apologized for. Orcs are perhaps the middle-ground in all of this, while Goblins wound up better-off than them and Kobolds far, far worse. In the early days of Rune's recorded history, its 'prettier' races held ire for the 'uglier' sorts and exiled many of Orc, Goblin and Kobold kind to the southern islands of El Quattor Grande on a practical armada of boats. Those who remained within Rune were given plots of land, but the barren or dangerous sort that no one would have ever wanted, and told to do their best.

Orcs received the worst deal in regard to their lands, but also fared the best due to their general toughness and surprising thrift. Their near-barren lands turned into fortresses of wood and metal in very little time at all, and their Shamans (then very few in number, in the single digits) discovered secrets about their territory that the rest of Rune didn't even know existed. They fell victim to the same underhandedness as Kobolds, however, and much of their land was slowly but surely bought away from them for unfair prices in shady dealings. Shamans, wise though they were, had little concept of the value of zeny and gave up valuable areas for what amounted to pocket change.

The Orcs were eventually whittled down into a singular, though large, camp just north of Goblin territory between Prontera and Geffen. They were at no threat of extinction, due to Orcs' swift reproduction and the general endurance that let them survive what most other races could not, but expansion was certainly out of the question. At least, until Geffen fell.

Rumors were already abound that the Orcs might bring their weapons to Geffen's gates when it fell all on its own, thanks to a series of unfortunate events that culminated with a powerful vampire taking residence there and finally turning many nobles away from what they now called a 'cursed' city. To everyone's surprise, the city itself went onto the market as a result. In an even greater twist, the Orcs appeared only days later with the small fortune required to buy the town as a whole and then moved in over the next month. What was once a walled city for mages has now become a fortified stronghold for Orcs and their kin, where they seem to thrive.

Race Relations

Dwarves

Dwarves are proper businessman, and at the least have not been as unkind with their trades as the greater whole of Rune in its past. When the Orcs still lived in camps it was Dwarven traders who supplied them with much of the metal that they needed to thrive and expand, and this kindness is not forgotten even today. With the rise of Karnorc and proper territory for the Orcs, leaning on Dwarves has become less of a necessity, but the respect remains.

Goblins

Goblins are the second-largest population of Karnorc, and are welcome there as they always have been within Orcish culture. Before Karnorc, the Orcs' lands shared southern borders with the Goblin's northern ones, and there were few disputes due to a mutual respect on both sides. Many Goblins ventured into Orcish lands to offer them goods and metals that the Dwarves couldn't, and their kinship as two of Rune's mistreated 'ugly' races is still strong today.

Kobolds

Kobolds are certainly welcome in Karnorc, though they're small in number there just as much as anywhere else. There's no place for magical study within Karnorc that isn't already handled by their Shamans, and the Wild Kobolds are too nomadic and tribal to ever live in a fortress city such as the Orcs'. The Orcs feel a painful sympathy for their Wild brothers, and know that if not for Geffen's fall and purchase they might be in the same position today.

Humans

Humans have been decidedly unkind to the Orcs in the past, but have shown their nicer sides in more recent years. Human adventurers were the most common visitors to Orc lands and remain such in Karnorc itself, and seem to have a surprising interest in Orcish culture and traditions. Many test themselves in the same brutal trials that the Orcs endure during their coming of age, and some even come out on top and are put into their treasured annals. Their relationship was rocky for some time, but has mended somewhat in recent years.

Elves

Orcs and Elves, despite their relationship with Cubi, seem to get along strangely well. Both have a reverence for nature and the mana that cascades throughout it, providing an unlikely kinship that continues to grow to this day. One of the Orcs' greater heroes, at least foreign heroes, is an Elven girl who helped revive their afflicted King, in fact. While Elves in the company of Cubi may be looked at with less respect, all of the pointed ear are welcome in Karnorc… So long as it doesn't come in a package with horns.

Cubi

Cubi and Orcs don't often get along, but that's mostly because the former can't look past the latter's outward appearance. Cubi typically have a disdain for anything that's ugly, or at least isn't pretty, and Orcs are perhaps the least pretty race on Aurora. They make up for their lack of aesthetic in raw power, of course, but that's hardly enough to impress the everyday Cubi. Few Cubi are strong or stout enough to make it through any of the Orcs' sacred trials, to make things worse, and so they aren't often considered heroes and the like, either.

world_setting/races/orcs.txt · Last modified: 2016/08/18 20:35 by karn