Orcs live much differently than most of the other races of Athera. While humans, Elves, and Dwarves prefer the safety of their walls and the structures of their ruling system, the Orcs instead live in a much more tribal means. This isn't to say that they don't have their own city, Wrothgar, but it is separate from the tribal clans which live outside the city. Orcs are a tough people. Their skin varies in color from light grey, to brown and green. They have pointed ears similar to the Elves, as well as long tusks which protrude from their lower jaw. Physically, Orcs are very robust and athletic, as they spend a lot of their time hunting and being active, training both their bodies and their minds.
The lifespan of an Orc is similar to that of several other races. They are a longlived people, their eldest shamans and warlocks reaching hundreds of years old. However, the ageing process for an Orc is slow, much like an Elf. If an Orc reaches an elder age, they show it physically, with deep wrinkles and greying hair-- and this is only after living a long life of upwards of 500+ years old!
As for magic, Orcs prefer nature-related magic, and even that is subtle for them as most clans (the Highrock Clan and the Bloodaxe Clan), prefer to use their strength and prowess with weapons in a fight, instead of wielding spells like some others would. This doesn't mean they aren't adept spellcasters, however! The Stonewitch Clan, a recently formed clan of Orcs, have taken to studying necromantic and warlock magic. Keep in mind, though, that this is still a widely shunned practice of magic. Most Orcs caught openly, and willingly practicing these illegal forms of magic will likely be brought to justice.
Rarity: Common in Athera, especially in the north.
Reputation: Known for being fierce fighters, approached with some disdain from other races
Best Classes: Ranger, Sorcerer, Rogue, Warrior, Barbarian, Shaman, Warlock
Distinguishing Features: Skintone (green, brown, black, grey), pointed ears, stocky build, tusks
Languages: Orcish, Common
There are four Orc clans which most Orcish people adhere to. These Clans are known for specific things, such as hunting or raising fierce warriors which all go towards contributing to the Orc society. The four clans are as follows:
HIGHROCK CLAN: Regarded as the highest reigning authority over the Orc people, the Highrock Clan live above the other Orc clans atop a large rocky area. This gives them the vantage to see any coming threats from afar, as well as overlooking the other Orc clans. The Highrock leader is Grat Highrock, the son of the former Chieftan. Grat is a warrior, and fights alongside his men in times of battle or war.
BLOODAXE: Their leader is named Vergluk Bloodaxe, another warrior and the chosen representative of the Bloodaxe Orcs. They get their name because of how deadly they are in combat. The Bloodaxe Orcs are some of the deadliest, most fierce fighters in Athera.
STONEWITCH CLAN: When Agronak broke away from the Firewolf Clan, she took a lot of Orcs from various clans with her. It is said that she was communing with dark spirits and demonic beings from another realm. They promised her both power and wealth, in return for her undying loyalty and devotion. The Stonewitch Clan are a shunned group, because they choose to study and practice dark magic. Currently, the Stonewitch Orcs are at war with the other clans, and anyone bearing the Stonewitch sigil is killed -- usually by hanging or beheading. It is also said that the Stonewitch Orcs are allies with the Dark Hand, a necromancer guild.
FIREWOLF CLAN: The Firewolf Orcs are known for their prowess as hunters as well as their skills in archery. They raise wolf companions, who fight alongside them in combat, and sometimes even get large enough for the Orcs to ride! Their leader, though somewhat of a nomadic wanderer, is a famous ranger known as Dugorim Firewolf.
One might not believe it because of how barbaric they are, but Orcs do have their own pantheon of gods whom they worship! Their pantheon of gods are something which represent the lifestyle which the Orcs lead in their everyday lives. They have gods which represent war and battle, as well as conquest, strength, and lie.
VROGAK: The god of strength and combat, he is who the Orcs call to when they need the strength and the will to overcome their enemies in battle.
MORBASH: The god of war, Morbash is the one who comes to those who call to him. He is praised by burning large pyres at night, the fires of war and battle rising up to the heavens on nights before Orc warriors are to leave for war. It is believed that, if Orcs worship Morbash the night before a large battle, he will bless them with luck and power to win their battles.
HOKNATH: Hoknath is the patron deity of the Orcs, for they were created in his image. He is the god of conquest and travel, aiding those who choose to wander and who rise in hordes to overthrow and sack cities and kingdoms.
YAZGASH: A god most commonly worshiped by female Orcs, because of her promise for fertility and good health. Especially chosen in times of pregnancy.
The Orcish military is one which is feared by many throughout Athera. They are a fearsome force to be reckoned with, or for those who are smart enough -- possibly not reckoned with at all! From the time they reach a certain adolescent age, Orc boys are trained to be fighters. They train daily, from morning until the sun goes behind the ice capped hills. They train both their body and their mind, and learn how to use a variety of weapons, as it is believed that a good fighter needs to be proficient in many, if not all, methods of combat. Each clan, with the exception of the Stonewitch clan, designates only the best warriors from within their ranks to be in their Orcish army, though the word army is used loosely, as it is more like a horde than anything else.
Rather than having ranks made up of sergeants etc, the Orcs fill their ranks with different titles:
WOLF RIDERS: These Orcs are part of the Firewolf clan, and are talented archers who roam the battlefield on the backs of large direwolves while taking out their foes with piercing arrows.
BERSERKERS: Fearsome warriors from the Bloodaxe Clans and the Highrock Clans, they fear nothing and yell out to their gods with barbaric, boisterous war cries. Berserkers do not hold back in combat, and they are skilled with any weapon--these are the most feared of the Orc hordes when it comes to large scale battles, because of how brutal and unrelenting they are.
RANGERS: The rangers tame and control their animal companions, fighting alongside them in battle. They are often seen alongside large wolves and bears.