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Orcs are a stout race and generally have a low center of gravity. They average at five feet in height and are usually heavy in build. Orcs seem to have a similar gender physiology as humans do. They have large, protruding canines and lower bicuspids, and usually have flat noses.


Orcs were for much of history on Torandor considered uncouth. Because they have a very keen sense of smell, they used various perfumes, colognes, and other methods to craft a personalized “scent” that was just as important as one's clothes. When other races encountered these pungent scents, they believed that Orcs do not bathe often, and the scent was instead body odor, leading other people to steer clear of Orcs. Fortunately, this misunderstanding has long since been corrected.

In historical Orc societies, scuffles and disagreements with each other were common since Orcs consider verbal debate and argument as a proving grounds, leading them to gain the reputation of being stubborn. They argue fiercely when bargaining, and even mundane conversations can lead to bombastic verbal exchanges. An argument between orcs is a truly impressive sight. The pungent scents of their perfumes and their tendency towards arguing made other races believe Orcs to be vulgar and savage people, which led to persecution and discrimination during Torandor's tumultuous past. Many people used to see Orcs as monsters to be quelled and exterminated, and so their history is marred with long eras of conflict and war.


Orc technology was driven mainly by military research and development, in order to create more powerful weapons and armors. Even today, many military engineers will use Orc developments and concepts when designing siege weaponry and city fortifications. However, their technology in other sectors can seem primitive in comparison to some other cultures. Orcs generally use the technology and developments of others in those areas for their own.

Orcs like traveling in wagons or in sedan chairs. A symbol of wealth and power in Orc culture is to be seen as lazy and fat, letting others perform the physical labor of transportation while the elite lounge around. The more wealthy one is, the more sedentary their lifestyle can be.

Orcs were thought to build haphazardly and awkwardly, but in reality their buildings stress stability and function over form. Their strange looking abodes are very sturdy, and use many simple geometric shapes in order to give them stability and fortification from both raids and natural disasters. Orcs tend to build dense towns and cities, and it is a feat of civil engineering to crowd so many (functional) buildings in so little space.

Orc societies generally don't employ a lot of farming or animal husbandry, as they are repelled by many of the smells involved given their keen noses. Instead, they trade and barter aggressively to get the best deals on foodstuffs from others. In times of need, Orcs will hunt and gather.

Orc medical skills are primarily focused on emergency triage and treating wounds from battle, but it can suffer when it comes to treating disease and infection, as well as chronic conditions. Orcs generally live to an age between 40 and 64.


Orcish was considered quite a rude, vulgar language, littered with curses and vulgarities. However, outside perception was incredibly skewed as the language was usually encountered as other races slaughtered and razed Orc camps.

Orcish is a language with many subtleties and is highly contextual, and many phrases and words take on different meanings when spoken with different tones and body language. The same phrase can be either a compliment or an insult depending on how one says it, and what they do with their hands while saying it. To compliment an orc, for example, one could say “you are the filthiest, most sickening piece of horse manure I’ve seen ever to come out the rear passages of a lizard” but should use heavy eye contact and open palms with a lowered voice. Orcish is not a written language, given the highly unspoken nature of conversations.

Orc art primarily exists in the form of theatre and plays, and other forms of story telling, but their culture does not have a large emphasis on painting, dancing, or music. Many of the plays must be memorized and told through oral tradition, and exact verbiage and script matters little compared to the plot and themes. Some of the more famous plays have now been translated and written down in other languages.

Additionally, Orcs consider weapons handcrafted from bones and ivory to be items of great artistic value (even if they may not be as effective in combat). These weapons are displayed or used in rituals or sporting events as a symbol of cultural heritage. Many of these weapons have carvings along their hafts as a way to memorialize events in a village's or town's history, and are an ongoing work of record keeping. Older Orc cities may even have dozens of these scrimshaw weapons as a historical timeline all the way from the very founding of the city.

A rather rude and grotesque caricature of Orcs in the past depicted them as creatures that only saw art in “creative and unusual methods of procreation.” This may have stemmed from Orcs generally preferring polyamorous relationships and a more sex-positive attitude among Orc society.

Orcs enjoy “war games” such as Capture the Flag, and are fierce competitors. Many of these sports originally started as ways of training recruits or soldiers on the best way to defend themselves from raiders, and put up a strong offense against invaders. In officiated sporting events, the losers not only lose the game, but receive the social stigma of being perceived as weak, usually leading to a lowering of social status or expulsion from a society, or indentured servitude to the winner.

Orcs commonly worship Orus, since debate and expression of emotion and ideas are so important in their culture. Orcs also have quite intricate funeral rites and there is a strong following of Anubis. Additionally, many Orcs now worship Zepherin as a patron god of their sporting events. Unexpectedly, many Orcs do not worship Mishra as a Goddess of War, and instead see her as a symbol of the Destruction and War that was levied against Orcs, and the cause of their misery in the past.


Orc law is focused heavily around possession and ownership, and they treat bartering and bargaining almost like legal debate. Generally, Orcs try to get the best deals and take whatever they can get away with.

Since war and conflict was such a predominant aspect of their past, Orc government was usually ruled by their war generals, and is highly militaristic. This can still be found to this day, despite a more peaceful era, and other cultures can sometimes find it hard to work with Orc ambassadors since very often, these ambassadors have primarily studied military tactics and stratagems rather than diplomatic and political strategy. Very few can keep up with an Orc ambassador when it comes time for a debate though, as their methods of evidence gathering and argument refuting are unparalleled.


Goblinoids are generally shorter and more agile, and because of their ability to work together well and follow commands, have unfortunately been subjugated to the service of powerful, evil masterminds in the past. However, since adventurers have kept most large-scale evils at bay, the goblinoid peoples of the world have developed their own culture and settlements. Some keep to their militaristic tendencies, while others create small sprawling settlements to trade and barter. In either case, goblinoids often feel the call to adventure, especially to search for more treasure and make more allies.


Beasthides are beings covered in hair or fur, usually taking after an animal in anthropomorphic form. Usually found in small hunting groups, there are many varieties of Beasthides, as plentiful as there are environments to suit them. Out of all the various Orcish races, beasthides are perhaps the most diverse. Many different types of Beasthides exist, each with their own distinct cultures. Many Beasthides believe they are blessed by Osiris, giving them their animalistic appearance and distinguishing them from other orcs. Below are examples of the most common Beasthide types, though many others exist.

Felidans: Catlike in appearance, Felidans are rather more independent than other Beasthides. Many simply assimilate into other societies, though many enjoy lives of adventure. An old wives' tale persists that Felidans despise water, but this is generally untrue, and one can find many Felidans on the high seas of Jaern. Felidans can resemble domestic cats or big cats.

Bovians: Also known as minotaurs, Bovians resemble cows and bulls. Seeking glory and excitement, many Bovians are found as martial arts performers in cities or take up adventuring. Many Bovians live in extended family groups known as herds.

Leporans: Resembling rabbits and hares, Leporans are one of the more populous Beasthide types. They often settle down in small agrarian villages on the edges of metropolitan areas. Leporans have a tumultuous history, often kicked and pushed around by other peoples, and so greatly value simple, uneventful times and peace.

Lupians: The Lupians are wolf-like people, and live in extended family groups which they refer to as packs. These groups are incredibly tight-knit, and some also participate in polite society while others prefer an isolated life in the wilderness. Loyalty and devotion are important values in Lupian culture. Some Lupians also resemble dogs.

Vulpians: Resembling foxes, the Vulpians are often found in forested or tundra locales. They take pleasure in art and song, and many live in nomadic rondos, though it is tradition for a young Vulpian to strike out on their own for a time to find themselves and their true calling.

Ursians: These rare Beasthides resemble bears. It is uncommon to see an Ursian in a village or town, or even to see more than one. Strong and fiercely independent to a fault, most Ursians carve out rough lives in the wilderness, only coming to town when something is sorely needed. Despite this, many are noble folk, raised to defend their territory in nature and to protect the weak.


Giantkin are distantly related related to the beasthead and plains giants that are found on Jaern, but are generally much smaller, only averaging about 8’ in height. In the distant past, when the dragons ruled over the skies and land of Jaern, the then prolific giant-folk of the world attempted to seize control, but were devastated and reduced to only the few giant species seen today. The giantkin still hold an intense fear of dragons and drakos, since their ancestors were almost wiped out many, many millennia ago. Giantkin, like their giant brethren, are particularly adept at catching and throwing rocks, as well as fighting with their bare hands. Many giantkin sports involve the catching and throwing of heavy boulders, most of which are large enough to easily kill a human or gnome…

lore/races/orcish.txt · Last modified: 2023/08/11 21:01 by quiddlesticks