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Orcs

male orc female orc
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he average orc is a little shorter than a human. Their skin is greenish, and two of the lower jaw teeth are longer than the others, and reach a little over the lips.

Their society cannot be described as organized, in fact, it consists of different tribes. The majority of these tribes live as nomads, with a certain teritory in which they travel with their herds.. Pigs and sheep are their main source of nourishment.

Orcs do not build houses, they prefer living in caves. An orc tribe's territory normally has several caves, some are natural, extended caves, others are digged out of the ground like mines. Some orcs have specialized in mining for ore and coal, and sometimes find rarer metals or even a few gems. The main tribe changes its cave with the seasons of the year, some individuals, shamans, old ones or the tribe leaders sometimes, live in the same cave or sometimes a hut over the whole year.

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he larger orc tribes are split into sub–tribes with a kind of sub–chiefs. The tribe leader, most of the time, is the strongest one, and one of the oldest. Usually the main shaman is the smartest one, and often, he is their active leader, his wishes passed on by manipulating and impressing the chief. Or sometimes simply by brewing his favourite beer.

Most orc tribes are quite poor. Over the centuries, they have developed a rudimentary writing, consisting of different signs and scratch marks. In times of war, an orc tribe leader developed an encrypted languague, allowing allies to exchange messages without leaving the enemy the possibility to read them.

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ost orc tribes honor different gods. Oldra, for most tribes, is the goddess of fertility and growth, and is prayed to in spring. She is also called the "spring– goddess" by them. In Summer, they honor Brágon, the "daily–sun–maker" or "strong–in–summer". Since summertime often means wartime for an orc tribe, some tribes pray to Moshran, called "bone–crusher" or simply "blood lord". Either Moshran or Malachín is the war god of a tribe, sometimes both.

In Fall, the most tribes pray to Malachín, "the hunter", for a good hunt and to prepare for the hard winters. The winter caves must be filled with food for the tribe and its herds.

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uring Winter, the tribes live in the winter caves, and Cherga is the honored goddess. Winter is the time of death, time of spirits, time of the ancestors. Some of the ancestors' skulls, are placed in holy places in the winter quarters, and some in the chief's and shaman's quarters, to help them in their decisions and to speak to them in dreams.

Summertime often means wartime for an orc tribe. These wars are often territorial conflicts between the different orc tribes, not resulting in many deaths, often more a sport and training to the warriors. These conflicts include espionage, stealing of animals, and some battles or battlegames prove the strongest clan.

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ince the tribes are quite poor, they tend to raid small villages or farms sometimes, if they don't have enough food for the next winter. Normally, orcs are not bloodthirsty, but when they fight with other races, their primary war tactics is to cause fear in their enemies. Captives who are too badly wounded to survive, are sometimes brutally killed after the battle, with the surviving captives witnessing it. Then, some of these captives, who show strength and a brave heart, will be given the possibility to escape, to spread the news; and drive fear into the enemy's hearts. The others are sold as slaves or become personal servants, mostly peasants, cooks, or forced to help the women with their work. If the slave is worthy and shows good work or strength, and is of strong blood, he may be given the choice to leave some day. Sometimes a slave marries a female orc, and becomes a member of the orc tribe that way, resulting in several half orcs.

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rcs have a different idea of "Art", compared to a human or elf. Orcish "poetry" doesn't rhyme, but tells stories and produces disharmonic sounds to underline or describe situations. Same with orcish music. The melodies an orc produces with a flute or trumpet, can best be described as "loud", because they use most instruments just for the fun and for loudness. Orcs seem to love the sound of a drum, too. "Normal" songs, if played by a good bard, can fascinate an orc too, but it may sound strange to him, like music from another culture always does.

Orcs don't like to complicate matters. For them, it is best if a man speaks directly and with little words. That's why they sometimes have problems with elves, who always take their time, and prefer a more metaphoric speech. If a human insults an orc, the orc wouldn't immediatly strike him with a weapon, instead he would make a fierce, suiting answer, trying to make the other one look stupid. But since the orcish humor appears a little rough compared to a human's, it takes a lot for a human to insult an orc ( if he does not start to insult the orc's tribe or race ). In the most cases, it's the human who attacks first.

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