orcs Species in Scarterra | World Anvil


Origins: Each tribe has their own different story for the origins of orcs but it is generally believed that Maylar and Nami created orcs together after the godly equivalent of a wild night on the town.   Early History: Orcs are a creature of the Third Age. The first orcs were either created shortly before or shortly after the creation of the first humans. Early histories of both orcs and humans includes the other group as already being present.   Orcs originated on the largest northern continent whereas humans emerged on every major landmass. Where they coexisted, orcs and humans usually fought. Sometimes they traded and cooperated peacefully but these times were exceptions that proved the rule.   A half-orc sorcerer and warrior of legendary power named Mordock used charisma, diplomacy, and naked force to unify the various northern barbarian tribes of humans and orcs as well as a halcoalition including a small number of young dragons, Giants, and other monsters raided the Dwarf nation of Meckelorn and the infant human nations conquering a lot of land and establishing their capital in the captured Dwarf capital based around the Great Stone.   Much to the consternation of all dwarves, Mordock died peacefully in sleep at an old age and not by their vengeful axes. Mordock’s grand coalition did not survive his death. Fighting broke out between several factions, especially humans and orcs. Most of the humans left Mordock’s infant nation and returned to their nomadic ways, as did many orcs. A succession of orc warlords with very short reigns managed the fledgling orc nation for about a century before all semblance of civilized of an orc civilization finally collapsed.   Recent History and Distribution: Nearly all orcs today are nomadic or pastoWest Colassia but during the orcs’ brief experiment with running a nation. Many orcs bought or commandeered ships and some tribes began settling in distant lands though these scattered enclaves of orcs remain relatively small. In their traditional northern homelands, orc barbarians have been gradually overtaking the human barbarian tribes there. It is estimated that orcs outnumber nomadic humans by at least two-to-one.   Orcs have been a nuisance if a not a menace to other humanoids but they have not reached the threat level of Mordock’s time in centuries.   Life Cycle and Society: Most orcs travel in nomadic bands typically numbering between thirty and a thousand members, normally about a quarter of which are children. The more available food is in an area, the larger the orc bands tend to be. Nomadic bands usually share tribal ties with nearby bands. Most orc tribes number between three and thirty thousand members. Customs and practices vary from tribe to tribe considerably. Tribes merge, split, and redefine themselves often, making it hard to keep track of orc practices.   Religious Practices: Orc religious practices vary from individual to individual and tribe to tribe. Most orcs view Maylar or Nami as their main patron or worship both. Korus is the distant third deity most worshiped. Mera, Greymoria, Hallisan, and Phidas usually get token observances, if even that. Khemra is almost never even acknowledged.   There are not many orc divine spell-casters. The vast majority of these are empowered by Nami or Maylar. Any other divine spell-casters are probably oddball favored souls.

Basic Information

Ecology and Habitats

Most orcs in Scarterra dwell primarily in or near the The Great Colassian Tundra. They usually have dominant airy traits which manifests in orcs comparably lanky and long of limb and light grey skin coloration.   Most orcs in Scarnoctis live in deep tunnels and rarely venture above the surface or even near it. They usually gave dominant earthy traits.   Historically, the Scarnoctis and Scarterran orc branches usually avoid each other, but they have been crossing paths more, often violently. In more than a few cases the winning side of a skirmish will try to capture the women of the losing side as breeding stock. This has led to mixed earthy/airy orcs cropping in increased numbers.   It is very rare for orcs anywhere to develop dominant fiery or watery traits, but it is not unheard of. Usually this is the result of rare magical influences.       Fiery orcs, rare as they, usually have dull red skin and wild upward pointing hair. Most fiery orcs are in Scarnoctis. Gradually, secondary fiery traits are becoming more common among mainstream orcs. Their builds tend to be between the lankiness of airy orcs and the stockiness of earthy orcs.       A lot of northern orcs have become prolific ice fishermen and often have secondary water traits, but most orc tribes that migrate to warmer coastal regions don't last long enough for their children to develop dominant watery traits (the humans and other mortals already entrenched in these places respond violently). The few orcs that have domiminant watery traits are usually the second and third generation children of orc tribes that have allied with King Drosst of Uskala.   Watery orcs are most distinguishable by their green skin and hair. They also tend to have longer hair than most other orcs and carry a bit more excess fat on them than most other orcs.
Orc Character Creation Rules   In most games, you need special permission from the game master to play a full orc.   Orcs have the same 1 to five attribute spread that humans have in every attribute except Strength. Orcs have the following additional traits.   Very Strong: Orcs have a minimum Strength of 2 rather than 1. They have a maximum Strength of 6 rather than 5. On top of this, orcs get -1 all non-magical Strength rolls, including inflicting damage. They get a -1 bonus on Willpower rolls when making feat of Strength checks.   Ill-tempered: +1 difficulty penalty all non-magical Charisma and Manipulation rolls when dealing with non-orcs (half-orcs count as orcs for this purpose).   Somewhat dim: Orcs receive a +1 difficulty on all non-magical Intelligence rolls.

Articles under orcs

Cover image: Symbol of the Nine by Pendrake


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