Orcs are fierce warriors closely related to Elves. Nearly two thousand years ago they were created by the Naja as warriors, but the Orcs rebelled and nearly wiped out the Eastern Saurians. The Orc homeland is in the distant East, but many tribes have dwelt in the North and South for centuries.
Note that in their native language of Svartalfar they refer to themselves as Urk.
Orcs (like Elves) generally have less physical variation and reduced sexual dimorphism than Humans. Other species often erroneously assume that the Orc warriors they are fighting are all male.
Orcs average around 6’ for both males and females, making them slightly taller than Humans. They have a lean, ropey physique, averaging 190 lbs. in weight (180 lbs. for females). An Orcs lean physique conceals remarkable physical strength and endurance, which in combination with their martial culture makes them exceptionally skilled combatants.
Orc skin is of a greyish tone, sometimes almost light blue and normally criss-crossed with scars. Orc eyes are pink or red in colour, with vertically slitted pupils and very sensitive to changes in light levels, making them easy to blind. The hair is normally white or grey, and like Elves Orc males don’t have facial hair. Orcs also have pointed ears like Elves
Orcs are omnivores (except Kra-Urk), but they have a more meat-based diet than Humans, as evidenced by the majority of their teeth being sharp fangs.
Orcs seem to have approximately the same lifespan as a human, but they rarely die of old age, instead ailing Orcs will normally seek death in battle.
Orcs are expected to mature quickly under the watchful eye (and hobnailed boot) of tribal elders, and learn the hard way that each must carve his own path, often in blood. They have little patience for art and appreciate only the military aspects of craftsmanship, for their legacy is in the glory of the moment, the fire of battle, and the screams of vanquished foes. Outside of their tribes, their bind themselves to warriors whose valour and skill they deem worthy.
Orc cultures are always tribal, based around bonds of mutual respect and tempered in the fires of battle. Not all Orcs are warriors obviously, but all are capable of fighting and raised in a culture that considers valour and skill in battle the highest virtues.
By default an Orc character is assumed to be an Uru-Urk, what other species refer to as a ‘Common Orc’. They are the dominant Orc culture in the North and South and their mercenaries are a common sight on battlefields.
Black Banners, are only found in the South. They are exiles from the great Orc clans of the East and often sell their services as mercenaries. Although many have trouble understanding a society where a lowly merchant can be held in greater esteem than an honourable warrior.
Kra-Urk, also called Tunnel Orcs, are primitive subterranean Orcs who dwell in the North. Their isolated tribes live deep underground where they have adapted to the darkness. Although primitive they are ferocious fighters with skin as hard as rock.
Tra-Urk, also called Desert Orcs, dwell in The Howling Waste. They have adopted Vasun culture, although they live in separate tribes to the Humans both groups consider themselves and each other to be Vasun.