The average Orc is slightly larger then a human, standing at least 6 feet. Their mass is much greater then a humans as well, weighing on average 300 lbs. Most of this mass is comprised of muscle thus making the average Orc considerable stronger then the average Human. All Orcs have a green hue to their skin. Like other races, the richness of the color depends on many factors such as living location, disease, age, and health. The green hue can run from a slight pastel to a deep rich verdant. Their skin color has also been known to change with the mood of the Orc. The skin usually becoming darker when they are filled with some type of deep emotion.
This skin coloration occurs during the process of mating as well. This is how the males determine that the females are fertile. Since Orcs can only produce offspring once every 2 years, it is important to them to know when the most fertile times are. Mating usually takes place in the spring, even though a female Orc is capable of reproducing at any time of the year. During the mating cycle, Orcs usually develop a darker skin tone then normal, as well as becoming even more brutish then normal. Females especially develop rapid mood swings and their behavior become erratic. It has been question how Orc get together and mate at all, but somehow it works for them.
Orcs have a high metabolism which forces them to eat and drink large amounts of food on a daily basis. This also has the effect of giving them a high body temperature. It also means they must spend a great deal of time searching for food and drink.
Orc children grow at a much faster rate then the other races. A child is nearly full grown by their tenth year. It is from this fact that many believe that Orcs have a short life span, but most Orcs die of other causes before they achieve old age, so one is quite sure what that span is. The average life span of an Orc is around 45 years. It is usually at this point that their reflexes begin to slow and they are killed in battle, or some natural event they could not avoid. Few Orcs live into what could be called old age, but a few have been known to live well into their seventies.
An Orcs constitution is legendary. They are very sturdy and capable of performing acts of strength and stamina that few others can achieve. One noted ability that most Orcs share is the ability to eat of drink nearly anything on the planet and derive without it adversely effecting them. This even extends to such things as poison and spoiled food. No Orc has ever been known to starve to death due to their own actions.
Despite the Orcs nature for combat, they are by nature very hearty and do not become ill very easily. This is thought to be a byproduct of their nomadic life style. Since they are constantly traveling they are constantly being exposed to different diseases and viruses, thus they have built up an immunity to many diseases that harm the other races. They can however become carriers of the virus or disease without knowing it. They have even been blamed for spreading several plagues into human populations, although these accusations can not be substantiated.
Orcs donít think life the other races. They are combative, aggressive, brutish, and nasty. These facts have help to keep them apart from the other races. The Orc history is full of battles, and each tribe keeps a record of its exploits. The greater the exploits, the greater status the tribe has. It is considered the greatest crime in Orc culture to lie about the exploits of the tribe. It is a matter of pride and many fights have been started by questioning the honor of ones tribe.
Orcs donít give any thought toward the natural functions of live such as eating, hygiene, and the like. Instead these functions merely occur for them and they ignore then. This above all else has lead to the notion that Orcs are a disgusting lot.
Orcs are thought to be the most disgusting race on the face of Grandiler. Although this aspect is often debated, there is no doubt that Orcs are a rude and nasty lot. Firstly, Orcs eat a lot, almost as much as they drink. The average Orc can consume nearly their own body weight in food and drink at one sitting. Orcs view eating and drinking as a necessity of life, done only to satisfy their bodily functions. The problem is, is that Orcs are hungry all the time. Being a function of life, Orcs give little regard to how they perform such activities. Their eating habits are disgusting and few people can, or want to watch an Orc eat a large meal.
This notion that performing lifeís basic functions run throughout their culture. Any activity that is a natural part of life is ignored and just performed whenever it is needed. This extends to such things as using the toilet, changing clothes, and other forms of hygiene. Orcs do make some special efforts when around other races to contain themselves, but it must be a conscience effort and is often forgotten. This has the unpleasant side effect for Orcs to smell bad, being called the Orc Musk, even though they have just cleaned themselves.
Dwac-Nor - This ritual is performed once a year during the winter solstice. Orcs get together for a massive festival where they eat, drink, and give thanks to the Great Orc god Nock. During this festival, every Orc must strip naked and change clothes with a friend. They also wash all the clothes they get, before it is worn. This is thought to be done as some sort of renewal ceremony.
Klactor - This is the marriage ritual. At this ritual, the betrothed prove themselves worthy of each other by fighting a champion chosen by the other. It is considered common courtesy for the champion to give only a half-hearted fight. Once the fight is complete, the two battered Orcs, stand before a shaman who performs a bonding ritual on them. The shaman then kicks each Orcs at which point they are married.
Klactor-Ras - This is the after marriage festival. This is a large party to celebrate the marriage of the two Orcs. Each Orcs is to try and eat as much as possible. It is the males family who provides all the food for the party. It is considered an honor if there is still food left when the festival is finish. The honor being that the male and his family can provide for the new wife.
Gortek - This is the ritual of adulthood. All Orcs perform this ritual when they reach the age of 16 years. The ritual consists of being given a knife and being sent into the wilderness for a month. If the Orc survives they are considered an adult and gain all the benefits of being an adult. Often times a few Orcs children will band together for safety and assistance. It is during this ritual that many strong, life long alliances are formed.
Orcs do not like Necromancers. They view them as being the sole reason for the downfall of the dragon clans. The fact that the Orcs were driven out by their dragon friends before the downfall happened makes no difference to them. They have devoted themselves to doing as much damage to the Necromancers as possible. Often times they will perform raids on Necromancer holdings and settlements just for the fun of it. In recent times this hatred had been quelled somewhat. Some Orcs have even gone to work for the Necromancers operating as mercenaries and bodyguards. These Orcs are instantly dispossessed from the tribe and death orders are placed on their heads.
Orcs mate for life, but it is quite common for both males and females to have multiple sex partners even though they are married. There is no shame or harm brought to the marriage because of this. Many humans have a great difficulty with this notion, but it seems to work for the Orcs. Even though there are multiple partners for each Orc, neither is allowed to conceive with any other Orc. This is the one facet of taboo known to an Orc marriage. Should either partner conceive outside of the married pair, the child is considered a bastard and is restricted from many of the rituals and functions enjoyed by the other Orcs. The child is also kept from any arranged marriages because the shame brought into a family would be to great. This has not stopped some Orcs from achieving great things and having families. The greatest exception to this rule is the Legendary Orc, Borchak. He was turned out by his family at an early age, only to become a great warrior being honored by kings and queens throughout the land.
Marriages are often arranged at an early age and usually between different tribes. It is this practice that binds one tribe to another forming larger and larger alliances. Without this tradition, one Orc tribe would have no reason not to attack another and thus they would be fighting each other all the time.
Orcs view children as the future. They are treated well by all the elders of the tribe, even though being treated well by an Orc is like being treated as a prisoner by the other races. Since they are the future, the elders need to ensure that that they will have a good chance of surviving to become the future. To accomplish this all Orc children are taught the ways of combat at an early age. Every Orc has been taught the basic skills needed to hold their own in combat and many are trained in the finer points of tactics and battle.
Orcs have a deep sense of history. Almost every night the tribe will meet around a large fire and the elders will pass along their history to the children. This history starts at the tribe level and works its way back to the days when dragons rules the lands. Some of the history has been modified slightly, or lost in time, but for the most part it is as accurate as anywhere else on Grenidier. By the time the children are 12 years of age they are expected to be able to recite most of their history, at the very least the history of the tribe.
Orcs have developed a hatred for Necromancers. These feelings run deep in Orc culture. The Orcs are the only race that maintain the true history of the Grenidier. They know that the Necromancers and Dwarves helped to bring the downfall of the dragons by cooperating with the Pylos. They have forgiven the Dwarves somewhat for this action, but the Necromancers continue to hunt and kill dragons, as well as the rest of the Shifters. For that the Orcs have vowed eternal vengance.
When most races greet each other, they engage in some minor ritual such as shaking hands. Orcs view the meeting of another Orc as an opportunity to show their strength. When two Orcs meet, each will kick the other in the gut, the stronger the kick the better. The receiving Orc must shake off the kick as quickly as possible to show their great strength, while the kicker must assess the kicked for signs of weakness. Some Orcs have been seriously injured by this event, leading to some of the greatest alliances in Orc history. The kick greeting also gives Orcs an opportunity to show the other Orc who is better. One Orc may allow himself to be shown that they are weaker in order to show respect for the other Orc. In return the kicking Orc may hold back some of his kick to show respect for the kicked. The ritual is complex and only truly understood by the Orcs themselves.
Orcs donít measure time like the other races. The only span of time that Orcs truly understand is tomorrow. Each day is a new beginning for an Orc and they do not look beyond the days timeframe. When a tribe of Orcs settle into a farming community they do adopted time systems of the natives. This is done to help interact with the natives as well as to know when to plant crops and such. Their inability to recognize time has often brandished them lazy and forgetful by the other races. This is unfortunate, because every Orc lives their live as if each day might be their last.
The Orc language is very guttural and difficult for other races to learn. There are also complex hand movements that can change the meaning of some words depending on when they are used. There are a few different dialects to the Orc language, but all of them are close enough to each other that any Orc can understand them.
Interactions With Other Races
Humans: Orcs have no special feelings toward humans. Humans are usually treated on a case by case basis.
Elves: Orcs have no special feelings toward Elves. They are careful because of the number of Elves that have become Necromancers. They will often hold back a bit until they see where the Elf stands on some topics.
Dwarves: Orcs are very leery of Dwarves. They remember that the Dwarves helped bring the downfall of the dragons and let the Necromancers come to power. Most Orcs will give a dwarf a chance before passing judgement, but the judgement is nearly always tainted by their racial bias.