This week, we’d like to introduce you to one of the more misunderstood races of Tinére; the Orcs.
To the east of the Empire lie the open plains, sheltered forests, and jagged mountains of the Orc clans. The war-focused culture of the Orcs demands that battles be fought in order to establish which Orcs get the highest honors, the best spoils, and the most mates. The Orcs are fearless, powerful, and relentless, and there is no race in the world more ambitious. There are currently six Orc clans, though there have been more clans that have risen and fallen over the decades, either conquered by other clans and absorbed, or eliminated entirely. The seven Orc clans are the Animal, Blood, Ice, Iron, Mountain, Stone, and Wyvern Clans. After the War Council of Emessa, The Blood, Iron, and Mountain clans agreed to work with the other races to combat the demon threat. This peace treaty was a first for the Orcs, who have always sought dominance and conflict with Humans and Dwarves. The Animal clan signed the treaty a few years later, but the Wyvern, Stone, and Ice clans remain separate from the racial alliance and continue to fight the demons on their own.
Orcs are born in litters of five to seven offspring at a time, with female Orcs give birth to one litter every spring. This would imply that the Orc population would explode in a short time, but the average Orc life span is only 40 years, and this mark is rarely reached by individuals other than Shaman and storytellers. Their short life expectancy combined with a highly competitive culture keeps the population in relative balance. An Orc reaches full maturity at only 8 years old.
Orcs’ skin have colors that are somewhat reptilian, ranging from acid greens to mottled browns. It is thick and leathery and provides them a modicum of protection from bruises and blunt attacks. Their eyes have slitted pupils that open horizontally, and their bottom canine teeth are elongated, forming something similar to tusks that protrude above the upper lip. Males are extremely sturdy and muscular, growing to about seven feet and gaining an average of 280 pounds, and the females are slightly smaller at about six-and-a-half feet with an average weight of 200 pounds.
Orcs view the rest of Tinére with general indifference. Orc culture demands that one must earn respect through a show of physical strength or endurance or by proving his worth as a leader, and they expect the same from individuals of any race. If one wants an Orc’s respect, he must earn it. Until then, he is just another foot soldier to be either ordered or trampled. However, once one has earned the respect of the Orcs, he has it forever, or until he acts dishonorably. Orcs do not tolerate dishonor any more than an Elf would tolerate the burning of a forest.
Orc culture is similar to that of the Human Thain tribes. They depend on Shaman for spiritual guidance and blessings before important battles. They worship and revere animal and ancestral spirits. To honor ones ancestors is an important staple of daily activity in Orc culture. Each generation, or brood, forms a strong bond of brotherhood. This bond is so strong, the Orcs even have a pair of deities, Jryda and Kryjin, that represent this bond. Even in adulthood, they work together to better the brood’s status, often choosing one member of the brood to elevate towards chieftain. Clan chiefs rarely work together, but in the past, the clans have been united under one leader and been able to accomplish great things within their realm. The more clans and high chiefs there are, the more bickering and fighting there is between the clans. Although, with the building war against the demons, Orcs from some clans have agreed that working together is necessary if they are going to assure their future in the world. Orcs may be ruthless, but the demons are even more so.