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ORCS of Midnight

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ORCS of Midnight

Post by The Hive Mind on Thu May 15, 2014 1:16 pm

The odrendor, or orcs as the men and fey of Aryth call them, are an abominable race created by the black will of Izrador. Though scholars only suspect it and every dwarf would savagely deny it, orcs and the dwarves share a common elder fey lineage. In the prehistory of the Kaladrun Mountains, a large clan of the elthedar was exiled by their kin and found succor in the embrace of the Shadow in the North. In the eons that followed, they were corrupted to Izrador’s cause and transformed into the foul beings they have become.

Orcs are huge creatures, sometimes twice the size of their dwarf ancestors and bigger even than the Dorns. They are heavily muscled, with broad builds and powerful limbs. Their thick hides are tough and range from light stony gray to coal black. Their hair is tawny and manelike, growing over their heads, along their spines, and down their chests to their groins. Their large black eyes are hooded and protected by thick, bony brows. Their jaws are large and strong, with tusk like lower canines. Orcs are impressive creatures and even beautiful in a way that only fearsome predators can be.

In the lands of the far north, orcs still live in deep mountain caves and rough-hewn, underground warrens. There they are directed by and pay homage to orc priestesses, the kurasatch udareen, “the mother-wives of Izrador.”  They consume anything edible, including their own dead, but get most of their food from hunting the surface lands at night or by raiding their enemies. Immune to all but the coldest weather, orcs seldom wear more than weapon belts and armor. In conquered Erenland, orcs have taken over human cities, turning large buildings into meeting halls, communal barracks, and storage depots. They feed and resupply from the tribute they demand of their human subjects and relish the occasional meal of human or halfling flesh.

Orc forces are garrisoned in cites throughout Erenland, and orc armies war with the elves in the west and the dwarves in the east. Large orc patrols range across the heartland, sub- jugating their human thralls and hunting spies, smugglers, and insurgents. In short, they are the enemies of all other people of Eredane.

Occasionally, as rare an event as an eclipse or a comet, an orc’s mind will expand enough to present a glimmer of an
idea: that there are other options. No one knows what allows an orc to move past his base instincts to slaughter and serve. Some may feel a particular hatred toward their oruk captains or the legates they must serve. Others are shocked and con- fused upon witnessing acts of kindness by other races. Some are simply desperate criminals among their own people. In any case, these orcs most often have little choice but to obey their masters or suffer the same fate as those of the other races who resist Izrador’s will. On some occasions, however, these orcs find themselves in the position to escape the army and to try to make a new life elsewhere. Such orcs are often turned in by citizens bent on revenge for the mistreatment of their people, but sometimes these refugees are welcomed not only for the muscle they provide but also for their skills in dealing with others of their kind.

Orc warriors, whether servants of the Shadow or hunt- ed by their own kind, take great pride in their fighting prowess. They make cuts along their arms for each foe they kill in battle, with different shapes for the race of each victim. The arms of warchiefs are usually covered in such marks from hand to shoulder, and at least half the marks are for killing other orcs. Orcs favor large spears they can both throw and use as thrusting weapons. They also carry heavy iron swords with blunt but serrated edges called vardatches. These weapons are slow but brutal and so heavy that the smaller fey races can hardly lift them.

ORC RACIAL TRAITS

+4 Strength, -2 Intelligence, -2 Charisma
Medium creature
Base speed 30 ft.
Weapon Familiarity: Orcs can use vardatches as martial weapons, rather than martial weapons.
Favored Region: Northern Reaches.
Night Fighters: Orcs have darvision, which allows them to see in normal darkness up to 60 feet. Darkvision is black and white only, but it is otherwise like normal sight. Further, orcs are so at home in darkness that they gain a +1 racial bonus on attack rolls when there is no light at all.
Light Sensitivity: Orcs suffer a -1 penalty on attack rolls in bright sunlight or within the radius of a daylight spell.
Resistance to Cold: Orcs are immune to nonlethal damage caused by cold dangers like cold weather, severe cold or exposure, or extreme cold. Additionally, orcs suffer only half the normal damage (rounded down) from the lethal cold damage caused by extreme cold.
Natural Predators: Orcs may add their Strength modifiers (in addition to their Charisma modifiers) to Intimidate checks.
Spell Resistant: Orcs gain a +2 racial bonus on all saves against spells and spell-like effects, but those with spell energy have two fewer points of spell energy than they otherwise would. Only the kurasatch udareen may avoid this drawback.
+1 racial bonus on damage rolls against dwarves.
+1 racial bonus to attack rolls when fighting in groups of 10 or more orcs, whether they are enemies or allies.
Automatic Languages: Black Tongue, Old Dwarven Pidgin, High Elven Pidgin, Orcish. Bonus Languages: Any, except restricted languages.
Favored Class: Barbarian
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