Orcs

“Orc” tribes are actually a hodge-podge of various races and cultures, probably with a majority of “half orcs.” There are substantial gradients of “racial” purity, and the traditional Orc cultures really don’t care about any such concept. They are abusive and viscous slave holders, who gladly take and mate with slaves. Slaves who survive long enough (which is rare) and somehow maintain their sense of self and courage, will often be accepted as full and free members of the community. Children of slaves are full members of the community. “Freedom” is of great concern in Orcish culture, it is in fact their primary value. They feel that they have to fight for their freedom constantly: from their neighbors, from their families, from their leaders, from their own culture, etc… This struggle is explicitly violent and bloody. This, more than anything else perhaps, keeps orcs from overwhelming other cultures and communities. Orcish racial identity is sort of a common denominator (a prototypical polythetic taxonomy). Via the force of numeric majority, certain traits are common among most (though not all) orcs. Pronounced canines, dark olive skin tones, snub noses, pointed ears, tall and stocky builds, etc…

Orcs

White River zephyrinus