Together with men, dwarves and elves the Orcs are one of the four main Caelerethian races, but the only one who is bearing evil intent by nature and thus is very aggressive. The numerous different orcish tribes and races with orcish roots like the ogers and the goblins are spread in all parts of the known world and have led many wars against the other races and brought havoc to many lands. While not evil by nature they're rather chaotic and their aggressive tendencies are often exploited by other forces to bring death and destruction to many places of Caelereth.
Although the appearance
of Orcs varies from tribe to tribe orcs
are generally slightly smaller than men but with more
muscular bodies. Their skin and eye color varies from
gray to brown or green and from yellow to red. Their eyes often seem to glow at
night and it is said that they have
an exceptional night vision.
Orcs might have the highest endurance of all races except for dwarves and due to their good noses are able to track their prey over long distances. Their noses are broad and flat, even snout-like, the ears are usually pointed like at elves but bigger and their broad jaws hosts terrible fangs and sharp teeth.
Mode of Living/Habits. Orcs have a much smaller life span than most other races inhabiting Caelereth: It happens very seldom that an adult orc reaches the age of 60, most orcs die between the age of 40 and 50 trying their luck too much when hunting or when fighting other orcs.
At the approximate age of 14 an orc can be accounted as an adult. About this time these young orcs are also becoming hunters and warriors, forming the most vital part of an orc community. Family bounds are different from tribe to tribe, but at some females are treated like property by the males. Of course these approaches can hardly be generalized because every tribe has its own traditions and way of life.
Family, Society and Culture. The clan structures of orcish societies are rather confusing. The only way to gain respect among the clans is by being an outstanding warrior. In some tribes the weak and the old might be killed by their clanmembers when not able to fight in other tribes depending on their fame they become a honored council of Elder Orcs. Only few orcs reach that age though. Most die by illness, in clan wars or campaigns and raids against other races. While orcs regenerate very fast and recover even from bad injuries with growing age many suffer from the terrible wounds they receive in the conflicts of their youth dying rather young compared to other races. Some scholars assume that the life expectancy of orcs would be even higher than that of humans if they wouldn't fight as much as they're still pretty strong even in advancing age but most die by the age of 60 or earlier.
The societal laws governing female orcs vary depending on which tribe one studies, though in general, the orcs have very rigid rules concerning the restrictions placed upon females. These laws, though unwritten, are harsh and unyielding. We give a short summary of the treating of females in the most important orcish tribes:
The most extreme position is taken by the Losh-Oc tribe. To them, a female is considered to be the property of whatever male has first claim on her. As a child and unmated adult, she is subject to her father, brother, or other male guardian. When given to a male as mate, she becomes his property. For another orc to lay claim to her services without permission is considered theft and the offender is likely to be attacked and viciously punished by the other male orcs of the group. Females themselves are not allowed to own things except for personal items such as clothing.
A female’s value is determined by several means - her ability to produce (male) children, her ability to work hard, and her ability to please her mate. Thus an obedient, hard-working mother of two or more young males is considered a “better” catch than a less enthusiastic, barren female or one that only has girl children. Orcs have a complicated set of beliefs about the "male principle" and the "female principle" which apparently fight for control in the female's body and this determines, among other traits, the gender of the baby. So a male whose mate produces mostly boys (especially if they more strongly resemble him than her) is also thought to be more "potent", while she is approved of for having a properly subservient spirit.
However, the female orc does have certain rights. Males are allowed to beat their females (for disobedience, laziness etc.) but not without due cause and not severely enough to cause long-term or permanent damage. A male who does so is considered to be somewhat unmanly and a poor example of self-control. Though he is not formally punished, he is looked on with disfavour. Females are responsible for domestic affairs - preparing meals, keeping the home area tidy and organized, caring for children, watching cattle, and so on. They do not become warriors or shamans, although those with shamanic talents are given to male shamans and may be trained as apprentices to help “control” their abilities.
A male may and often does have additional females assigned to him, usually because their previous mate has died in battle. "Extra" females are usually allotted out to more respected warriors who have earned great battle honours. Each adult male orc is entitled, however, to at least one female. An orc warlord may, on occasion, give one of his extra females to an underling whose mate has died in childbirth or through some accident. This is considered a noble act and the warlord gains great prestige and honour among his warriors for this.
The rules governing these two tribes are nearly identical so they are being considered together. Their laws are similar to those of the Losh-Oc, although they are not quite so rigid and females are permitted more leeway. They may study to become shamans (though only under the tutelage of a male and are subject to him) and are also responsible for the care of the wargs. Females may own possessions that are not subject to the whims of their mates (i.e. a female may barter a piece of jewelry or a deer hide that belongs to her without her mate’s permission). A female does not necessarily have to be assigned to another male immediately if her mate dies. In theory, she may even live on her own if she can provide for herself and her young. In practise, however, there is a great deal of social pressure to remarry and most generally do, though a rare few prefer to manage on their own. Though the Rhom-Oc and Ashz-Oc orcs usually have multiple mates as well, they tend to have greater respect for their female's wishes, and will not, for instance, give away a mate to another warrior if she is unwilling to go. However, women are still not allowed to be warriors and their responsibilities are still mainly domestic.
These two tribes allow females equal rights and privileges with males. They regard the other orc tribes’ behaviour with great contempt for their treatment of females and find it largely inconceivable that a tribe would not want to treat all members depending on their individual abilities rather than their gender.
The Gob-Oc Orcs
Very little is known about the Gob-Oc tribe, except that their females are rarely seen by non-tribe members. Because of this, it is assumed they, like most female orcs, live under some restriction.
Orcristh Orcs (Black
The Orcristh tend to treat their females well, but they are still not permitted to hold any sort of high ranking position or considered to be the equal of a male (with the exception of the Orcal-cha). However, they are considered to have their own special status as "the race bearers". and most males treat their mates with kindness and care. Females are considered to be under the rule of their household male, but their wishes are usually considered when decisions concerning them are made.
The Orcal-cha, the only female with any rank, is the mother of the current Orcal (leader) and holds the position of his most trusted advisor.
mainly on fresh, unroasted meat and are the only among the four main races which
also allow cannibalism among their rows though mostly driven by the belief to
gain the strength of a strong enemy or even family member. Usually this
is meant as a honor to the dead. In this context blood,
red as fire, is seen as the essence of life and most commonly used in ceremonies
Beliefs. Not much is known about orcish beliefs, though it is said that most tribes serve an unnamed dark God.
Tribes. Most clans
have a meeting consisting of all warriors of the clan lead by one or several
leaders and a council of elder Orcs. This meeting decides over peace and war,
about matters of everyday life as hunts and new houses.
The meeting represents the court for those that broke one
of the few laws that exist in these communities, most of them are just being
traditions that are accepted among a tribe over centuries.
Several clans might form a tribe either by having similar habits and living in the same regions or sharing some kind of loyality towards each other. These tribes are often referred to as clan federations. The best known and most feared of these clan federations are those of the Ashz-oc and Losh-oc in Northern Sarvonia. While clans are often only able to do raids and little skirmishes with as many as few hundred warriors in these federations several hundred clans exist that at certain times can band together under warlords or various leaders to wage war against their enemies.
These tribes then can form armies of several thousand warriors that would be able to attack large kingdoms of Santharia and its cities and bring havoc to the lands of the peaceful races.
Beside the leading councils the shamans and priests are a major power as well in the societies. Not necessarily dedicated to one of the many Gods the orcs know and fear they still possess magical powers and use them to persuade the clans and leaders to follow their advice. Some of them believe to be in the favour of the gods, others to be blessed and others are outright swindlers trying to gain major influence on certain clans to strive for power.
It is always hard for leaders and shamans alike to keep the many rivalizing clans and families in line. And several otherwise rather successful wars by the orcs failed because of riots, powerplays and disputes among the own troops.
This was also the case at the beginning of SW III when after the taking of Carmalad in 292 b.S. an orcish clan war broke out which finally led to the withdrawal of various clans of the Ashz-Oc tribe and the defeat of the orcish hordes.
A few of the numerous orcish clans known in Sarvonian lands are
the Rhom-Oc, located in the Heaths of Wilderon
the Ashz-Oc living at the Skeleton Coast and in the South Prominent Mountains
the Losh-Oc living in the Hills of Oro
Origins. According to the
Cárpa'dosían myth orcs were the forth and last race when the Rain of Life
bearing the spirit of the High Goddess Avá the
Beautiful fell on Aér'aí'chán
(Caelereth). The orcs emerged from the
element of Fire and were therefore named Caoía'Eferís ("Children
of the Flame") by the elves.
Among the many myths in the Cárpa'dosía there was also found a secret chapter speaking about the true nature of the orcs. It is still a vivid subject of dispute among the scholars of New-Santhala, but also among the elves themselves if this chapter found shortly before the culmination of the Third Sarvonian War in the Mélor'terquán, the Night of the Turning Shadow, is indeed fake or an original work of the Axhái, the elder elves. In this secret chapter it is written that the destiny of the world could only be fulfilled through the Children of the Flame, that heavenly bliss will only return upon Aér'aí'chán when the hands of the races are befould with the blood of the Children of the Flame. The text is very mysterious, at some passages even unintelligible when describing the fate of the world as a whole, and in the same way it is nearly impossible to interpret the role of the orcs within this strange concept. The most notorious passage from this orcish chapter contains a reference to the place of Eu'reóll, the Tree of Life, where the races originated. It is written that orcish hordes from all over the world shall return to this place when their day has come, when the Melór'terquán, the Night of the Turning Shadow, is at its dawn and "the bright open eyes of the Dreamer finally face the darkness emanating from the two dark hollows of Her counterpart". In the years when the first assaults of orcs initiated SW III the latter passage was interpreted by astronomers as a reference to the star constellations of that time and as a prophecy that the apocalypse was imminent. Currently Santhalian scholars still try to date the apocalypse according to this secret chapter of the Cárpa'dosía about the orcish race.
Picture description.The typical light orcish armour of the Noruck-chmer (Skirmishers), consisting of hides and leather. Image by Faugar.
When going to war - which is possibly the most probable
occasion to meet orcs - they like
to paint their faces in different manners to look even more scary. Armor is
uncommon among most orcish tribes though not necessarily
unknown but they usually cover themselves in thick furs or leather and carry
wooden or leather shields against arrows and sword blows. The most common
weapons are spears and clubs, but they're able of smithing good swords and
sabres as well.
Most tribes can be distinguished by the way of their face paintings as well as their clothes but only few people were ever long enough into contact with orcs to record these differences.
Language. In Northern Sarvonia the orcs have a common tongue to communicate with each other the so-called Kh'om'chr'om. With thousands of dialects this language is often necessary even between related tribes.
It consists of hard grunting sounds and hissing, sounding cruel and unforgiving to other races. It is as hard to learn as to master a life in most orcish societies.
History. Still to be added.
"The Orcish Theme", composed and performed by
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