Half Orcs

Phys-rep requirements: Light green skin.

History in the Eternal Empire:

While the Humans worked as the servants and menial labourers in Imperial society, the Orcs never submitted themselves to the High Elves’ authority as they were a proud and spirited species; instead, they lived in the most remote places, forced to raid isolated villages whilst avoiding the armies of Humans led by their Elven officers, who were sent out to hunt them. Half-Orcs during the time of the Empire were all but unheard of, though it is possible (if very unlikely) that some of the few Humans who fled the Empire may have hooked up with the Orcs, who could well have respected a Human who had also refused to submit to the yoke of the Elves. They would not have been welcome in the Empire, which is probably why they were all but unheard of. Perhaps it was inevitable that, despite the differences between their species, those of the Humans who had been stubborn enough to get kicked out of/leave the Empire would be attracted to the independently-minded Orcs. The children of these unions are usually twice as stubborn as their parents.

After the Fall:

The Humans were quite defensive of what lands they were suddenly left in control of after their masters disappeared one night, while the Orcs very much coveted their new neighbours’ arable fields. This led to some disagreement between the two species, with Humans building high walls and forming militia, while the Orcs raided and attacked as they pleased now that there were no High Elven archmages ready to kick their asses back to the borders. However, after a while, things started to settle down somewhat, with some Orc tribes settling down to form villages (mostly near/in Etris)… and trade is a good way of making money, whereas wars can get expensive; the two species will probably never see eye to eye, but some individuals may have come to some sort of Arrangement. Half-Orcs are rare, but do exist.

Psychology & Outlook:

Orcs can be described as selfish, cunning and competitive. Humans can be described as selfish, conniving and competitive, as well as back-stabbingly-treacherous. Orcish leaders live in constant fear of attack from a subordinate, while Humans tend to fill dead-man’s shoes. Humans are noted for their adaptability, but Orcs have survived in the wilds for generations. These two species would have a lot in common if it weren’t for the constant bickering over territory and mutual snobbery, with the Orcs seeing Humans only as servile lapdogs to their former Elven masters, while the Humans view the Orcs as vicious barbarians still.

Half-Orcs themselves are able to survive pretty much any conditions that could be thrown at them, are curious, determined and are as stubborn as a Dwarf; they are not amazingly good at working in groups per se, as they are quite independent, if straight-forward and direct, thinkers and are quite opinionated. What these opinions are is based on the individual Half-Orc and the circumstances of their upbringing. For those who grew up with the tribal Orcs, they would probably follow the Orc tribal ways and religion and would have been treated with equality. Some may have gotten beaten up by their full-Orc brethren, though this would be rare, as Orcs are open-minded and base their opinions on merit; anyway, it would only have made them tougher, and most Orcs spar regularly in any case. For those who lived in towns, their extended Human families usually tried to pretend that they didn’t exist or found them useful for hired muscle, without the problem of having to pay them much, particularly in that den of iniquity that is Wavemouth. Some Humans just see their green-tinted skin and dismiss them as strange looking Orcs, thinking no more about it. Many half-Orcs have ended up surviving as toughs and mercenaries; the poorer parts of many towns are crowded and dirty, with buildings crammed together and overhanging the alleys, with whole families packed inside each room and orphans and rogues wandering the streets in search of marks.

Half-Orcs have a tendency to wear much repaired and hard-working armour and clothes; they may have a symbol of their gang/tribe or a badge of their hometown. They brandish whatever weapons they feel like using, as no-one’s going to tell them otherwise.

Stereotypes (and what isn’t):

There is a stereotype that half-Orcs are uneducated: this isn’t true. Both Humans and Orcs have been placing increasing importance on education after the Fall, with most Humans being literate at the very least; while Orcs may not have been well-educated during the rule of the Eternal Empire, they certainly have learnt how to access information and how to find teachers in order to gain practical new skills and knowledge.

Half-Orcs are generally good fighters: this tends to be true. Orcs come in two versions; the large, powerful fighters who live short lives and who are remembered for their bravery in battle and the smaller Orcs who had to outwit their stronger and faster brothers to survive, the cunning ones, those who know the value of words. Along with the Human outlook that in order to get ahead in life, sometimes sacrifices have to be made, including spilling the blood of relatives/peers, half-Orcs are pretty hardcore, especially as some of their extended Human family may try to get them killed off.

Half-orcs are sterile: this is true, there are no known cases of any of the half-breeds having children of their own.

Attitude to other species:

Wood Elves

Those who lean toward the Human view on them are suspicious of the Elves and consider that maybe they should treat them as the High Elves once treated the Humans. However, those brought up in the Orc tradition would have a grudging respect for the Wood Elves, as they were both species who were kicked out of the Eternal Empire and spent years in nearby territory, with the Wood Elves proving their worth on several occasions.  Some settlements in Etris contain both Orcs and Wood-Elves.

Humans

It depends on the Half-Orc’s upbringing just how well they get on with Humans and Human society. Humans can be corrupt, selfish, back-stabbing and out only for their own gain, or can be friendly, helpful and concerned for others’ wellbeing…or both. Humans are complicated and their very adaptability means that they can be hard to define. They can appear meek and loyal, just as they did to the High Elves, but will soon show their teeth if needs be and it is to their advantage. Those who were raised mainly by Orcs may look down on Humans as the lapdogs of the old Empire.

Fae

They tell interesting stories, but are considered by both Humans and Orcs to be mostly useless. While some Fae can look after themselves, they are a flighty bunch and are little understood by the more practical and hardworking species.

Orcs

Ferocious fighters, independent, tough, cunning, strong and hardy, tempered by their lives on the wild lands outside the Empire. Half-Orcs’ views on them are tempered by how they themselves were raised and how much they know about their Orcish heritage.

Goblins

Neither the Orcs nor the Humans see the Goblins as being trustworthy; they have yet to shake off their reputation as being lying sneaks who sold information on the other species to the High Elves during the Eternal Empire. Some Human mothers scare their children with tales of the Goblin King and his minions coming to snatch naughty children during the night, but these tend to bounce of the thicker skins and fiercer nature of the half-Orcs, so most of their Human parents give up trying after a while.

Dwarves

The master craftsmen of the Empire; people will do almost anything to get a hold of Dwarven-crafted armour or weapons and for good reason. Dwarves have recently started to travel from their mines and have been setting up trading links; some Humans trade food and grains for master crafted weapons and armour and seem to be on to a good thing.