Wind can be a terrible, damaging force. It can be harnessed, but it is free to its own chaotic nature. It is this energy, this freedom, this chaos, that embodies the orcs of Dramoth Gilead. I’m sure the image in your mind of an orc is probably tainted by things like Warcraft and Lord of the Rings and Warhammer, but none of those truly capture what is actually my orc.
When the orcish race was created by Destruction, he embodied them with the chaotic nature of wind. This is evident in the fact that they are widely a nomadic race. There are orcs who live in cities, but there are no primary orcish settlements. They appear to be a large humanoid, a bit taller, a bit tougher, and a bit stronger than the average human. Their skin is dusty brown, hair usually very dark, and eyes almost never a color other than an amber color. Besides these differences, they look very much like a human would.
Orcs have very little connection to magic, there are very few orcs who know how to cast magical spells, and those that do rarely become wizards. There is, however, a branch of magic available to orcs that is unavailable to the rest of the primes – spirit magic. The ability to tame and control spirits is a very highly advanced, often dangerous skill. The shamans who have this ability are sought after to become heads of the family groups. This magic allows very amazing abilities to be presented – everything from taking control of the elements to twisting their own bodies into the forms of animals. They also tend to become fortune tellers and can read omens in fires, bones, and other methods.
Their ways are centered around rather sizable famly groups. At the head of the family is a head patriarch, a head matriarch, and a shaman (if one is found.) The patriarch and matriarch do not have to be married, they are usually the oldest male and oldest female in the group. Everyone else in the family group is related – by blood or by marriage – to the patriarch and matriarch. All requests are passed to the heads of the family, who make a decision based on the will of the people below them. The shaman, if available, talks to the ancestors and the spirits to determine the correct path. The groups can, and often do, split if there are rejections to the family’s decisions. The smallest orcish family groups are often just a married husband and wife and their children. The largest orcish family group is found in the southern tip of the continent of Relay, and contains a couple hundred orcs – with more than one patriarch, matriarch, and shaman.
The orcish culture is very heavily based on respect of the ancestors. They do not last very long in any one place – wandering as the weather changes and going to where the best food is for their flock. They have art, made from whatever they find laying around. It is rarely entirely decorative – often serving some purpose, be it for hunting, for ritual, or as a tool. The art is highly tribal in design – geometric shapes and patterns, figures carved into the designs related to spirits or ancestors. Naturally as one would assume, the orcs largely worship their ancestors and spirits. They were created by Destruction – so they do not worship him as their god, they have abandoned that, and chosen to instead worship something that isn’t actively trying to murder them or subjugate them.
Socially, orcs are very highly in-group, not very often do they meet with or accept other races to come to see them. The orcs that do venture out of their family groups to live inside civilization are seen as a bit odd to the other orcs. However, despite this, orcs are trusted very highly by most races (high elves don’t like them, but don’t hate them.) They are seen as good companions, powerful and trustworthy – if not a bit odd at times. The non-nomadic orcs see other races also as trustworthy as the orcs are seen. They find the smaller races a bit too energetic and not willing to settle down long enough, however. The rare orc/non-orc relationship is never followed up by any extended family since the half-orcs are completely sterile.
Only one race left for the four primes to be finished, the tallis.