Orks are a race rather sparse in Templehelm, known to have originated from the north-western Orci Desert, and large ork settlements remain there. The name ork actually stems from the name of the Desert. (Orks are Orcish, Orcish - Having to do with the Orci Desert) There are also known to be orks in an area South of Templehelm, in the Tuskas Mesa south of the Orci, as well as a hybrid race known as the half-orks. Occasionally, orks will migrate to Templehelm in hope of escaping harsh conditions, or simply to adventure. Orks of the Orci Desert and the Tuskas Mesa usually speak the Orcish Language, though the Tuskan dialects are rather simple in comparison to that which is used in the Orci Desert. Some from the South do, as well, although most from those parts speak the common tongue. Orks are one of the races simulated by Netharna in her creation of the Pale Children
Orkish appearance varies somewhat, but generally they sport rough skin in varying shades of green and stand between 6 and 7 feet tall. Orks are generally very muscled, fit creatures- even to the time of one's death. Being primarily carnivorous, orks possess a set of pointed teeth which hide behind their enlargened tusks that protrude from their bottom lip. Often times, orks may adorn their faces with paints and rings, illustrating wealth and class within society. Hair rarely covers the entirety of an ork's head, hence the popular orkish pony tail, and takes on shades of black and red, but never brown or blonde. The weight of orks can vary immensely, from a mere 300 lbs. upwards to 500 lbs.
Clothing is rather simple in orkish cultures. Originating in the Orci Desert, a rather hot region, clothing is light, thin, and rather revealing. Shirts are often not worn, though belts which wrap diagonally across the chest and torso are popular in most northern ork societies. In the south, the nomads don't generally vary from their traditional wear; however, Southern Cave Orks are known for adopting heavier clothing of tougher materials for work in the mines Due to the toughness of orkish skin and their infamous tolerance for pain, shoes are rather uncommon as well amongst these green-skinned peoples. The heat of sand and rock in the sweltering northern sun bothers caravaneers and warriors little as they carry on their daily tasks.
Orks are brutal in combat, but often rely on numbers and their aforementioned brutality to win battles, rather than tactics. With this comes the fact that most orks aren't too bright. Their upbringing renders them in contempt of knowledge, especially in the Tuskas Mesa and Southern regions. Fighting, however, is not difficult. An ork's powerful muscles allow them to easily lift and throw three times their own body weight, and this is only for the average ork. A trained, muscle-bound warrior ork could easily lift seven times their own body weight. Popular weapons amongst the orks include maces, clubs, war-hammers, and battle-axes. These are not the only weapons used by orks; however, in the Orci Desert, certain traditionalists still practice ancient arts involving several varieties of chain-weaponry and in the southern lands the Wild Orks are known to practice archery and throw bolas in their hunting.
Their ravenous strength is only supplied by their ravenous consumption. Orks tend to have extremely fast metabolisms, allowing them to eat any time they wish. In turn, orkish societies mainly fight for food and land, not influence or power. Meat and Fish are staples of the orkish diet across Ateon. In the Orci, fish is caught by coastal Orcs and salted, shipped inland by caravaneers and traded with inner-desert Orcs for salt from the desert's sparse salt springs. In the Tuskas Mesa, massive beasts which roam the plateaus are hunted for their meat and bones. The marrow, skin, flesh and even the fur or hair is used as food to keep the ravenous war-clans operating efficiently. The greatest of war-chiefs raise a type of local megafauna similar to the common tick, called a Do'Somo on their gargants. The bloodsuckers feed off of the massive trunked beast and are slaughtered for their sweet flesh and their durable shells. In the southern lands, deer and elk are hunted regularly and fish caught from the bountiful streams.
Their drinking habits are even greater than their eating ones and orks from all over the world have guts of steel. Most spurn wines and softer drinks, going straight for hard liquors, Rot, and their signature poison "Orkale". The making of this bile varies from place to place, however it can be extremely harmful to non-ork partakers.
One of the most distinguishing characteristics of the orks of Ateon are their short lifespans when compared to the other races of the land. The average Orcish lifespan is 40-50 years of age. This lifespan is shortest amongst the caravaneers and generally longest amongst the coastal Orcish which live in better conditions than the other two components of Orcish society. The oldest Orc to ever live was an elder of the inner-village of Mok-Do, a wise shaman who died at the incredible age of 63- Tales are still told of how he fought death itself for five years using nothing but his wits and his walking staff. The Tuskans have it even worse with a life expectancy of 30-45 years, mostly due to their warlike culture, harsh conditions and dangers posed by the creatures of the region in which they live. The southern orks live longest, averaging around 45-60 years. This is due almost solely to the bountiful sources of food and lesser environmental dangers in the south, two issues very prominent in the Orci Desert and Tuskas Mesa.
There is no central orkish god, nor are there specific patterns of worship which span large cultural minorities of orks. Often, orks will simply give their praises to the most prominent local god of where ever they are residing. Rather than using the common names of local gods, however, orks typically refer to a god by their sphere of influence such as; "Sea God" or "Cave God".
Shamans are the one constant in all orkish cultures. In just about every societal unit of the orks, whether it be Orcish Caravans, Tuskan War-Clans, or Southern Familial Groups etc., there are central religious figures referred to as Shamans. Shamans are typically dedicated to a single deity rather than a whole pantheon or group of gods. In smaller groups such as Orcish Caravans and the familial groups of Wild Orks, there is often no more than one or two shamans and, while they are still dedicated to a single god, they communicate with a multitude of spirits and divines. With larger groups; Tuskan War-Clans, Cave Ork Clans, and Orcish Villages, there are often large portions of the populace who are Shamans and they provide religous and magical services for the entire group.
The Brora Tebraak'sh is a celebration of death in orkish cultures. This most sacred of rites is seen as the pinnacle of orkish barbarism by most foreign observers; however, to the orkish it is a farewell to the deceased, a cycle of rebirth, and a time for renewal. The celebration begins with a eulogy, generally given by the you gest son of the deceased. This does vary though, if there are no children then the eulogy is delivered by a friend or another relative and in the Tuskas Mesa it is generally the war-brothers of the deceased which recite the eulogy, often while the battle in which the deceased passed is still raging. After which the family, or war-clan in the Tuskas Mesa, of the deceased systematically separates the various materials of the cadaver to be recycled for later use. Bones might be put into tools or weapons, flesh might be given to livetsock, if a Tuskan died of disease then the whole of the corpse might be taken away to be used in primitive biological warfare. After the disassembly of the cadaver, the dead's belongings are divided up amongst the living in equal shares. Next the family offers up prayer to whichever deity the deceased had devoted him or herself to and makes an offering to the god. As with everything else, this step varies in the Tuskas. A hearty battle-cry might be substituted for a thought-out prayer and a few of the enemy, dead at the feet of the offerer, is usually enough of a sacrifice by their standards.
Ideologically, the purpose of Brora Tebraak'sh is to ensure that the soul has nothing tethering it to its mortal life on Ateon. It is believed that if the rite isn't performed within five days of death then the spirit of the dead is bound to the land until the end of time. Practically, the rite of Brora Tebraak'sh ensures that any property of the deceased is divided amongst the living, provides the family with resources to be sold or traded in the form of a butchered cadaver, and prevents the exhuming of any deceased at a later date for consumption, an occurance which has caused many a bout of Rarara'brora in the inner-desert hamlets.
Orkish nomenclature is unique in the fact that names are created as mixtures of common words rather than as unique names passing from family to family. Occasionally, orks may identify themselves with their clan and use it as a sort of surname, but this is rarely done outside of areas with large ork populations.
Orkish cultures across Ateon are notorious for their unique crafts and strange artisanry, viewed as beautiful or barbaric depending on who's reviewing them. The different cultures are widely divergent; however, ancient Orcish craftsmanship is a visibly apparent in all orkish cultures and their variants of homeland artisanry.
It's a popular notion in the land of Templehelm that orks are rather adept at the smithing of weaponry, especially those of the heavier varieties like war-hammers and battle-axes. In fact, the crafting of weaponry varies by location and the different sub-races of ork each makes their own style of combative tools.
The Orci Desert has little in the way of resources to make weapons, so most metal and wood is imported from Divia, the Setlian Coast. and various lands of humans and dwarves to the east. It is a long-held tradition in the Orci Desert for the younger brood of the Inner Desert Settlements to learn the practice of chain weaponry forgery and combat. While very few ever grow to be adept at such, though those that do rise as champions of their villages, nearly all go through life with a skill at crafting such devices as the flail, chain whip, nunchaku, and meteor hammer. These rather exotic weapons are scarce in Templehelm, though they are oft prized by Tuskan warlords for the odd style of fighting they allow one to partake in.
The Tuskas Mesa, while generally so far degenerated in conflict as to prevent any sort of exportation of their resources, possesses quite an abundance of iron and copper beneath the hot stone of the surface. Tuskans are not poor in their smithing of greatswords, maces and axes- though the mass amounts required in Tuskan warfare often fail to meet higher standards of caliber.
The Southern Lands are likely possessed of the best smiths of all the Orkish peoples. These are the Cave Orks, their very homes etched into subterranean rock rich in iron, copper, gold, and various other metals. Cave Orks are known for their finely crafted swords, halberds and spears which lend to their people a unique form of combat based in maintaining range in melee fighting. The Wild Orks are rather deficient when it comes to smithing, though they do pride themselves in their use of simple staves and bows expertly in conflict.
The orks of Claude use this skill to armor and equip the priests and paladins of their god to ensure that they are able to effectively convert and spread the word of Claude.
Orkish armor varies from location to location, though it most commonly takes the form of laminar-style plating. In the Orci Desert, where materials suitable for such armors are scarce, metals and leathers are imported from Divia in order to arm the caravans and settlements against the occasional band of raiders. In the Tuskas Mesa, Do'Somo (See Section 1.3) are raised and slaughtered for their chiton to be used as plates in laminar armors. Southern orks of the caves generally wear tempered iron and those of the wilds dress themselves in a crude armor of furs or hides. Styles of wearing such laminar plating varies upon the individual but nearly every ork will don plating down both arms as well as along the back. Some leave the chest open, others apply armor there as well, however orkish warriors are known for going into battle with rather limited protection. Often, instead of covering the legs and chest, a warrior will simply apply clay and paint along their rough skin in traditional writing for luck and victory.
Orkish pottery is crude but artful. Orks do not seek over complicated designs but design classical amphorae and dishware. Their work with clay is sturdy and made for utility, something inherited from a history in deserts- where a water supply is a crucial tool for survival. Most orkish cultures paint images from their myths and legends or supposedly magic words to ward off evil spirits on their pottery. Orks do not use pottery wheels, but form their work with their hands on a flat, still surface. The practice is less popular in the Tuskas Mesa where any pottery is liable to broken rather quickly. Water is kept in pouches made from animal skins and intestines there, instead.
Orks, largely being a nomadic race, depend upon sturdy, spacious baskets to keep their goods and supplies as they travel. Baskets are fashioned from reeds and ferns along the sparse rivers and oasis found in the Tuskas Mesa and Orci Desert. Simple patterns are typically woven into orkish baskets and other handcrafts to break the monotony of life among the desert or mesa. These crafts are sold widely along the northern and southern Setlian coast to tourists and locals alike- both for their value as art and their utility.
This practice is, surprisingly, more prevalent in the Tuskas Mesa than in any other region with a strong orkish presence. While most liquids for drinking are kept in skins and pouches in the mesa, it is a common tactic of war for the western orks to fill glass bottles with their beloved Orkale and fasion something similar to a molotov cocktail. As a result, leading up to battles, Tuskan orks often blow hundreds of oblong, artless bottles to be used in the creation of these explosives. Outside of the mesa, glass blowing is significantly more artful in orkish populations. The Orcs are known for creating small glass figurines and models as toys or trinkets. They are created with many colors to add some brightness to life in the desert. In the south, glass blowing is used to create precise instruments and measuring devices by the Cave Orks, or to create ornaments and decorations for the caravans of the Wild Orks.
Although normal orks tend to be green in color, half-orks sometimes take on a tan color, resembling human or elven skin but still carrying along with it a heavy-hide. Half-orks also have significantly smaller teeth, and often have red eyes. They are created when human, elvish, Ichthy, dwarven, or other beings and the orkish kind settle together, the half-ork offspring race being the hybrid between the two. Their weights and heights are very similar to the orkish kind, however they tend to weigh slightly less, as scaled with their strength, which also tends to be slightly less. Half-orks are so similar to normal orks that they are often confused as such.
As expected, half-orks tend to be much more intelligent than orks, given their lifestyles, removed from the orkish taboo on knowledge. However, this comes at the cost of some of their strength. Male half-orks are looked down upon as weak, however the female hybrids are often favored by normal orks over their own women.
Orks of the Orci desert are often more clever and cunning than the migrant peoples who have left their homeland for lands further south. Orcish craftsmanship of pottery, carpetting, and many other oddities is legendary in regards to such products out of the Orci. The peoples of the Orci are typically a lighter, yellow green than most Orcs. Most importantly, however, the Orcs know that to survive one must do what he can, whatever that might be. Traditionally, Orcish Orcs are divided into two ways of life; They either travel in small familial groups in a nomadic style or they settle in small settlements along trade routes or around the rare oasis spotting the desert. Both classes depend on each other to survive: the caravaneers deliver food and necessities to the settled Orcs and receive handmade crafts and baubles to trade and sell along the coastal settlements.
This mercantile society is almost inbred into young Orcs and is needed for survival. Due to this, Orcs focus most of their lives on surviving through shrewd trades and calculated avarice. In the Orci Desert it is hard for one to rise in social status at all, something measured by wealth and trade relationships in this land of sand and markets. The concept is not alien though, simply distant, and there are a number of merchant princes who manage their accumulated holdings in the desert and along the coast. Many immigrants to Templehelm have shaped up into fantastically adept merchants, traders and sell-swords.
North-West Setlian Orcs
The Orci Desert does not simply start along the Setlian Coast, there is a thin stretch of green lands and areas which has given rise to many cities and towns. Often, Orcs will go to these, predominantly human, cities to look for work and to trade. Orcs are treated fairly well, being a normal sight up in the north where they originate, and are well suited to many jobs in the metropolises and hamlets. Positions as farmhands, laborers, and guards are especially dominated by Orcish peoples along the coast and a good Orc is valued highly on fishing and shipping vessels which set off across the Setlian. These sturdy workers and staunch fighters make for good sailors, able to perform their tasks on ship and defend should pirates care to board.
A group of orks split away from the Orcs of the Orci Desert and moved to lands northeast of Templehelm. The reason why is unknown, but these orks moved away and their way of life changed immensely. Journeying through what were then Emeraldite Lands, they pillaged and destroyed much of the territory, adding to the problems requiring the emerald peoples to settle Templehelm. Once away from the barbaric fighting and conflict in in the northern lands, these orks made the decision to be peaceful to avoid the problems war can bring along. They were said to be wiped out by a band of barbarians long ago.
The Southern Orcs reside in those lands south of the Tuskas Mesa and Orci Desert- all the way into The Great East and The Free Land. Southern Orcs are divided into two primary racial groups: Cave Orks and Wild Orks. Both of which seem to be focused on the ideal of individual liberty and that each is entitled to his own. Very much unlike the Tuskans or Orcish, the Southerners are rather independent of one another.
The Cave Orks live deep in the crevices of the earth and possess a vibrant civilization focused on materialism and militarism. An individual is allowed all that he can claim by his own right and none interfere with another. The Cave Orks are divided into tribes or clans which hunt and battle together against surrounding settlements or invaders. Cave Orks depend on mining and crafting goods for their livelihood, though they practice no external trade with anyone other than the Wild Orks. Anything they have goes toward their own clan.
A successful Cave Ork is ambitious, leaderly, impressive and persuasive. Politics is the traditional past time of these opinionated peoples and they meet regularly to debate the issues of the day. These decisions can range anywhere from the clan's current allies and trade with other clans to which village will be the unlucky subject of their daily raid.
Wild Orks are far more traditional, dividing themselves into small familial groups as was done back in their homeland of the Orci. These nomads travel the land in tents, never staying in one area for too long. Wild Orks are known far and wide for their physical strength and their skilled craftsmanship, though Cave Orks are far superior fighters. Herding, hunting and gathering are all important aspects in the life of a Wild Ork and the materials brought in are mostly used to feed the family or to be traded for materials from the Cave Orks or from surrounding villages.
One of the kingdoms of The Great East, Oranthil is composed of Southern orks, half-orks and half-beasts.
The Free Land
There is also a branch of the ork people which resides in the Free Land of Claude. They are more similar to the other Southern Orks than to the Orcs or Tuskans; however, they may still be seen as a separate people.
Of all the orkish tribes, those of the west carry war in the highest regard. The Tuskas mesas and plateaus are divided by immense ravines and crevices in the earth, canyons and rock formations dominate the land and, if one does not consider the dangers, it is truly majestic. Originally, the land was sparsely settled by anything aside from the occasional barbarian villages, living in squalor. During the times of exodus, when Orcs fled to the North-East and South-East in massive numbers, some would migrate to the south of the Orci, albeit in smaller numbers. These early peoples settled where they pleased, happy to live off of the winding canyon rivers and vicious creatures of the area.
Supplies were still scarce, as they are in the Orci, and a war-like culture gradually developed in the South as disputes and conflict grew. War-lords would claim large tracts of land and outfit their clans to defend it from any interlopers. Eventually, the entire cluster of plateaus became a battleground, tensions always rising. The massive beasts of the land, some trunked and others horned were used as beasts of war and fortresses were carved into the solid stone. What were once hamlets in the mud became massive encampments, dug into the rock and sheltered from the sun above.
This militant culture continues today and the vibrant culture born of the Orci has degraded into one of violence and ignorance in the sweltering sun of the Tuskas Mesa. Battles flare and wars begin, only to end with no substantial change. These orks are brutish, crude versions of their equivalents to the north. Where Orcs see an agreement or a trade, Tuskan Orks see a battle or a killing.
There are only rumors about the Khaz'Nuthbal orks in Templehelm. They aren't native on the island. They're similar to the most of the orks except their tusks are much bigger. The male orks have 4 tusks, 2 big and 2 smaller ones. Their skin is brown usually. There are rumors about that the Khaz'Nuthbal Orks are the hybrids of the mountain trolls and the Tuskan Orks. Their lifespan is between 70-95 years. They are hunters, and they usually avoid wars, but if somebody attacks their camp, they will avenge it. They are immature creatures and they are also quite aggressive. There are stories about a hunter who killed a deer who was chased by a ork. The ork became angry when he saw it so he killed the hunter and ate him instead of the deer. However there are some stories about single orks wandering in Templehelm,luckily not an entire clan.
TurriH | Dugg'Mal, Half-Ork
EMC22222 | Suqua, The Last North-Eastern Ork
Leefish | Skaar'grim, Chief of Squigoroth, The Giganormous Ork of the Tuskas Mesa
896Down | Ran'akak'flam; Glint Librarian, Lord of Dubiety, Knight of Tranquility, Oracle of Akwal | Aromai of the South; Among the Malignant
Alyara | Fjorn, Half-Ork of Templehelm
joseph3678 | Vultug, Burrower of Villagers
fangflyer | Orleg, Magic-Ork of Squigoroth
Ursu777 | Udoril, A progeny of the Setlian coast
Redirection variants: Orcs, Orc, Orks, Orkish, Orcish