4.9.21 Orc

The Orcs, like their cousin Ogres, bear distant relation to the Trolls, all three of the races having been created through the machinations of the Goddess of Corruption sometime in the First Mortal Epoch. Originally nomadic hunter-gatherers, the Orcs united with the Ogres in order to take Dun Valley, fighting back the human tribes that had made their home there and showing their early cunning in the ways of war.

During the height of the Indorani Empire, enslaved Orcs formed a significant minority of the imperial military; upon the collapse of their masters' dynasty, the Orcs were forever branded with the same reputation of corruption, destruction and fear that the Children of Despair had commanded.

The race has a long history of military innovation; despite their lack of contribution to other fields, it is a common point of contention whether an Orc or a Dwarf was the first to invent a particular forging technique, or produce the prototype of some common weapon. It is true that owing to the nature of their creation, Orcs have typically favored a more destructive, warlike approach, through which their not-inconsiderable cunning has filtered, but conversion to the Light has tempered this tendency somewhat.

Orcs have large, fierce teeth, with two of the bottom ones rising into tusks, as well as skin of mottled, lush green - a natural camouflage which they developed in order to survive in the valley jungles. Their features tend to be angular and pronounced, often lacking the gracefulness of the other humanoid races.

Men of the Orc race are distinguished, in many cases, by ritual scarification. Scars endured in battle are often incorporated into the design. Designs tend to be passed down through families, although scars signifying wisdom, priesthood, and other honored vocations are often administered in addition to family patterns. Scarification begins young, and its completion - often involving the administration of the most painful scars - signifies a man's coming of age.

Though Ogre men also follow this practice, the two races possess differing designs. The origins of this practice come from the time of the Indorani empire, where marks upon the flesh and scarring corporal punishment were common; Orcs and Ogres, often called upon to punish their own, found resonance with Rahnite philosophy. The practice thus endured beyond the fall of the Indorani, and is still widely employed in the diaspora despite objections from more contemporary Dunnite philosophy.