The King Of Wishes
Big, mean, and green, the Orcs are the rough and ready warbands dotted across the world, always spoiling for a fight, and occasionally harnessed to good ends.
Orcs. Are. Big. Short males top six feet, with heights reaching upwards of seven feet. They are humanoid and typically broad-shouldered, with packs of muscles that would put bulls to shame. Females are shorter, though some still top six feet, and tend to be more wiry in build. Skin tones range from deep greenish to gray-green. They tend to wear their hair in topknots, or shave it off entirely. Seldom does an Orc have a ‘full head of hair.’ They typically adorn themselves with tribal or war paint, and use many skulls and bones as decorations and adornments. Also popular are ornamental and functional weapons as part of attire (i.e. bladed earrings, sash of knives, etc).
Relations to other races
Orcs are rough, tough and uncouth, and thus don’t get along terribly well with any of the races that don’t appreciate abrasive personalities. Or being raided for loot periodically. Istaka have the most problems with Orcs, as both the callous familial relations of Orcs and the near constant raiding of forest-edge Istak villages are quite obnoxious.
Orcs also do not get along well with Elves, who think they are uncouth, Dwarves, who don’t appreciate the constant skirmishing, or Avierie, whose caste system the Orcs think is silly, and that the Aviere should put their Warrior caste in charge since they are stronger.
Orcs get along with Katheni perhaps best, given that both enjoy living life in a rowdy fashion, and both cooperate to keep slavers far away from their respective peoples. Orcish tribes whose lands border swamps or coasts often keep company with Ransha as well, as both cultures enjoy a good scrap every now and then.
Orcs are rough in nearly all ways. Family has no real place in Orcish society: as soon as any given Orc’s offspring are old enough to be self-sufficient, they are more or less turned over to be part of the tribe, not part of the family. That being said, Orcs regard their tribe as family, by stronger bonds than blood. While their society is more of a “thug-ocracy,” where a strong or clever enough Orc can seize power by tearing down the previous leader and bash his or her head in, it is still a fraternal comradeship: no one kills Orcs but other Orcs. Great war bands of multiple disparate tribes have been known to coalesce and attack a city or country that has done grievous wrong to another tribe.
Women, while not necessarily the leadership of the tribe, are highly respected by Orcs, mostly because the saying “Hell hath no fury like” applies to Orcish women on an entirely different level. Orcish women have the tenacity, the capacity, and often the physical ability to beat Orcish men into submission. They fight right alongside their men, often with more grace and skill to make up for their (slightly) lesser strength.
Many a foolish male Orc or outsider has made the mistake of wronging, slighting, or bringing harm to an Orcish woman. Some are said to have survived, and of those, at least two may eventually walk again.
Fighting and contests of strength and skill are exceptionally popular among Orcs.have even been known to take these games on the road and challenge others to make money. Many dispute among Orcs are settled with staged violent contests, rather than real outright violence. Observers, however, are often unable to tell the difference.
Orcish lands are fluid. They tend to concentrate in places where law is stretched too thin, or territories where their particular brand of more-or-less friendly violence is tolerated. More than half of the world’s Orc population can be found in Landeralt, with most in the small kingdoms and republics bordering the Hereditary Evil Empire. Many of them are soldiers there because there’s nearly always fighting to be had. Perfect for Orcs.