Demonhome Orcs

To date, the PCs have only met one of these creatures who they later learned was called an "orc."

Physical Description

Orcs are 7' tall with bony ridges along the outsides of their arms, shins, upper back, back of neck, and shoulders. They have long, ropy hair that is very strong and drapes usually to their mid-back. They have prominent bony brow ridges and golden-brown skin.

Culture

Orcs are an honor culture. They are combative and value strength above most else. This is a necessary survival technique; the orcs prefer to live in the deserts, but those deserts are dangerous. The orcs also know of places of power in the desert that other races know nothing of and use these to their magical advantage. Orcs are the hands-down masters of evocation magicks in the world.

Orc legions are a military organization, but they're also a "family" organization - after all, a Legion only has one queen, and any queenless group is generally a swarm sent out by a queen for a specific purpose.

Birth and Death

Orc neuters generally live to around 150 years old, though they can live as long as 200 years on rare occasions. Generally, neuters are assigned a gender long before this time.

Orc males generally live to around 30-50 years old, though they can live as long as 60 years on rare occasions. Orc males almost never die of old age, since they spend their lives in battle.

Orc females generally live to around 600-750 years old, though they can live as long as 800 years on rare occasions.

Orcs don't really care about individual deaths of neuters or males; they're not important to the hive. The important thing to them is the orc's name - the name should live on. They do honor the actions of that dead person if that person was honorable. The rolls of silk of a Legion captain's tent are embroidered with the names of the entire Legion, including the dead of the legion. The Legion Captain's responsibilities literally stare him in the face whenever he is in his tent - they are his critical and primary responsibility. Orcs treat their bodies as temporary vessels; a dead orc corpse is nothing but useless meat to them. If the tent becomes filled, a new tent will be made and the previous one vaulted. Filling the tent is not generally looked upon as a great thing, as that means that the leader of this particular hive has lost many thousands of warriors.

The orcs believe that if you die with honor, you reincarnate quickly and into a greater position. "If you want to be a great warrior, first die a thousand deaths."

This leads to the orcs not caring about the bodies of the dead, just their names, deeds, and how they died.

Language

The PCs have learned from the dharven that the orcish language is called Török.

Commerce and Trade

Orcs are extremely skilled at developing various natural dyes from the plants, animals, and minerals of the badlands. They are the hands-down leaders in textiles of various colors and styles.

Orcs also raise and farm large but semi-docile spider-like creatures (their name roughly translates to "sandspider"). They live in shallow burrows and spin trap-like webs. The orcs collect their silk and spin very strong white fabric from it; they usually dye it in a variety of vibrant colors. In orc lands, the fabric sells for about 5 sp per square foot. They usually double this price when selling in foreign cities. Their name for this fabric is difficult for non-orcs to pronounce; it sounds something like "(growl)'zek" or "(growl)'zeg".

Orcs are happy to trade with the dharven and humans, though they maintain only the bare minimum of contact with those races. Otherwise, orcs are largely isolationist, though this is not for any overtly aggressive reason. The orcs are generally too preoccupied with the dangers of their lands to plan any overt wars, and their frightening and aggressive stature keeps most human tribes (and even the dharven) generally out of their territory. Of all the races, the orcs seem to have the best relationship with the zwallen, recognizing them as both apex predators and inherently unsuited for orcish territory. As a result, orcs are generally more willing to trade and interact with zwallen than with any other races they encounter.

As the orcs are nomadic, they tend to travel in a militarily-protected group similarly to a Roman legion.

The orcs count in base 6.

Notable NPCs

The orc the PCs have met dresses in heavy, rich robes, but he also works in textiles. They have not learned his name, only that he runs a shop in Hallvar.

Orc Camp

The orcs apparently have a number of semipermanent but ultimately mobile camps that exist around their borders and throughout their lands. The camps look like this.

Orcish_Legion_Camp.png

The legion camps the PCs have run across are always laid out like this.

  1. Cohort tents. A single cohort camps together with the command tents near the inside middle of the camp.
  2. Legion packbeasts - these look like horse-sided tailless scorpion-critters. The orcs call them something that roughly translates to "sandspiders". Some of the beasts are kept with the cohort, but most are located here.
  3. Camp leadership and support staff tents.
  4. Mess tent and camp supply depot.
  5. More legion packbeasts. Any riding beasts ("humpy-backed skinny horses" to the PCs, or, you know, camels) are located here.
  6. Camp marketplace.
  7. Camp armory and fabrication.
  8. Training area. Raids can practice small unit tactics here.
  9. Trench, or trench then inner wall if a longer-term camp.

Orcs as PCs

Neuter

All orcs are born as neuters. They remain genderless until between 10 and 200 years of age, at which time they will develop their individual genders as needed based on chemical cues from their tribe. Orc neuters may be adopted into a tribe not of their birthing, but they must live with that tribe for at least 9 months before they have adapted to that tribe's chemical cuing.

Neuter orcs quickly grow to over 7' tall (often even 8' or taller) and have extensive chitinous plating, even more than full-grown males. This serves to add an extra layer of armor with the expense of making them less dexterous. Under their robes, their skin is covered in chitinous plates, bands that cover their abdomens, backs, shoulders, and thighs. This serves as thick natural armor, but it does appear to impede their dexterity somewhat. They have large, tusked side-mouths (think Predator) that open to expose a tentacle-filled lower jaw. These tentacles apparently have some level of dexterity sufficient to feed food into their inner jaws. Their forearms and lower legs have only small, chitinous bumps.

Neuters are dark brown, dark grey, or black.

Heat Resistant: treat as having endure elements for all naturally-occurring hot weather conditions
Armor Plated: +4 to natural armor, DR 1/-
Level Adjustment: CR 2, I think
Racial Skills: +4 to run, handle animal, survival, intimidate, craft (weaving)
Mods to abilities: +6 Str, +2 Con, -2 Dex, -2 Int
Weapon Proficiencies - orcish crystalline weapons (exotic sword, knife, spear)

Males

Most outsiders only ever encounter male orcs. Male orcs are 6' tall with bony ridges along the outsides of their arms, shins, upper back, back of neck, and shoulders. They have long, ropy hair that is very strong and drapes usually to their mid-back; this, too, is made of a harder material than normal hair, something more akin to exoskeletal plates attached to spidersilk.

Male orcs have golden-brown skin that blends into the badlands well. They are tall and broad with ropey musculature. They have tusklike inner mandibles on their top and bottom jaws that sick out from between their lips. Inside their mouths, more tiny mandibles grow from their palates. These sharp, chitinous mandibles serve to grind the orcs' food.

Heat Resistant: treat as having endure elements for all naturally-occurring hot weather conditions
Armor Plated: +2 to natural armor
Level Adjustment: CR 1, I think
Racial Skills: +4 to run, ride, survival, intimidate, handle animal
Mods to abilities: +4 Str, -2 Int
Weapon Proficiencies - orcish crystalline weapons (exotic sword, knife, spear)

Females

Female orcs generally do not appear in public, though they lead orcish society. When a neuter orc is chemically changed into a female, she grows very wide and fat; she can move, but she loses a considerable amount of dexterity (but gains a considerable amount of constitution). She grows to nearly 700 pounds and 10'+ tall.

Females mate and then lay leathery-shelled eggs, generally anywhere from 15 to 30 at a time. Orcish mortality is very high.

special case - female orcs cannot be PCs due to their attachment to a hive location


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