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My Interpretation of Orc Culture So, you've seen some decent Orc RP in your travels and you're interested in making an Orc. Or, perhaps you've seen some of the cultural posts on the forums and want to get involved? Whatever the reason, this might be a good place for you to start before you log into the Uzg (the land of the Orcs) and face your brothers and sisters. It can be a harsh environment in the Orcish world, and it's best to go in prepared. I'm Smaw, I've been playing an Orc for a fair few months and currently run one of the clans scattered around the desert. In my time I've seen a great variance of Orc characters roaming the desert. There is an enormous opportunity within the Uzg for character diversity. Unfortunately, it is very easy to get lost in the combat aspect of our culture, and this can lead to very one dimensional characters. In this guide, I'd like to show how we are more than a warring nation and assist you in becoming a legend that will be spoken of through the ages. By now you may have noticed me use the term "Orc" a fair few times. The common understanding of Orc refers to those known as Uruk. There are infact three variants to the "Orc" Race. What does Orc mean? Essentially, "Orc" is an all encompassing term for any of the three main races that inhabit the Uzg; much like Ape refers to different variants of the same family. There are predominantly Uruk, but can also be Goblins and Ologs. I will discuss this in further detail as we progress along the guide. What you need to know now, is that all of these sub-types are descendants of the great Ancestor, Krug; the progenitor of the Orc species. Who is Krug? Krug is the father of all Orc kind, the greatest warrior and shaman to ever live. He fought alongside the other Ancestors against the Demon known as Iblees, and is the hero of Orcish culture. The other Ancestors are the progenitors of the races known as Humans, Dwarves and Elves. There are four Ancestors, but none as important as Krug himself. For this reason, we will stick to his story, for he is the venerated spirit that all Orc-kind seek to appease. It is said that Iblees sought to trick all of the Ancestors in his quest for dominance, and had managed to manipulate the three ancestors of the Humans, Dwarves and Elves. Interestingly, Krug was keenly aware of the deception that was taking place. He refused to succumb to Iblees' trickery, and was the first to fight against him. Krug's immeasurable strength and fortitude allowed him to battle with the great Demon, despite the horrible scarring that wrought his flesh. Due to the great burns that Krug suffered, his skin bubbled and scoured into an unusual colouration of green. This effect has tried the test of time, and even today, the descendants of Krug suffer as a result. This is the reason that all Orc-kind are born with hideous visages and unusual skin tones. As the four Ancestors worked together to defeat Iblees, he cursed each of them with his last breath. Krug, for his defiance, was cursed with an intense Bloodlust. This curse was so powerful that it would seep into his lineage, and all that came after him would be helpless to fight among themselves until their dying day. This is the reason why Orc-kind are brutish and warlike. If they are provoked, they are easily angered and prone to bouts of combat. However, Krug was also rewarded for his efforts by a mysterious figure. His lineage was blessed with an acute sense of honour, and all of Orc-kind are bound by this internal compass. This allows for a reasonable balance in their daily lives as they fight against Bloodlust. Disputes are settled fairly, and Orc are relieved of their desires to kill and maim by the inherent code of honour they must live by. Bloodlust and Honour By now you may be wondering how these two factors play into Orc RP, and the answer is that both are paramount aspects of Orcish RP. In fact, you could say that the entire thought process behind the development of the Orcish people was built on this notion of bloodlust and honour. But, how do the two work together? It seems to make very little sense. Let me explain. Imagine, if you will, an unkept fire burning in the woods. It begins to rage through the forest, burning everything in its wake and choking the land of oxygen. Eventually, after irreparable damage has scarred the environment, the flame dies out and only remnants of burnt wood and ash litter the floor. This was the idea behind Iblees' curse. The Orcs would destroy themselves and everything around them in a horrible outburst of fury. Fortunately, the intense heat of this inner-fire is maintained by an unseen, but very effective force; honour. Now, imagine a fireplace that is well cared for. It still retains its unrivaled destructive ability, but it is honed and compressed into something that can be utilised well. Instead of simply scorching everything, it has the ability to provide food and warmth to those around it. In the same way, the Orcish sense of honour allows society to flourish around the central fireplace; the curse, or foundation upon which the Orcs must live. In terms of life within the Orcish society, this allows a great deal of productivity to take place. Interestingly, the enforcement of law is seldom seen within the Uzg as the denizens of the Orcish homeland are helpless to resist their inner-honour and integrity. This translates into Orc RP in an infamous dynamic. While the nation of the Orcs is prone to warfare and combat, they are fare in their rampage. For instance, if one were cornered by an Orcish raiding party, one could request combat of equal standing in order to earn ones freedom. An Orc within the Uzg is bound by his honour. It reflects who he is as a person, and his personal strength to fight against the curse. The Orcs are very aware of the anger that runs rampant within them, and the damage it can cause if it is not restrained. To have your honour is to hold your destiny in your hand. It is proof of your will, and your ability to fight against a force that would seek to destroy you from the inside. Now, let us gain a deeper insight into those that must live with this great internal struggle. The Children of Krug Uruk The ruling sub-type of the Orc species, the Uruk dominate the Uzg and are the main figureheads within Orc society. They are generally balanced in terms of physical ability and intelligence. It is a common misconception that Uruk are dim-witted. We can see from the tales of Krug, that of all the Ancestors he was the most keenly aware and perhaps, the most intelligence. This stark balance of raw physical power and mental fortitude has remained strong, and is used effectively by the Orcs of the Uzg. They are competent in all fields, but are generally jacks of all trades. They seldom master aspects of life outside of Warfare, Hunting and Smithing. The more spiritually inclined of the Uruk can go on to become formidable Shamans. In terms of height, they tend to range from 6'5 to 8'. They can be a swathe of colours, but are most notably hues of greens, blues or reds; this colouration also applies to Goblins and Ologs. Goblins Another great misconception about the Orc family is that Goblins are dainty and weak creatures. On the contrary, Goblins, while generally less powerful than their Uruk cousins, are capable of great feats of strength and combat prowess. They are generally the same size as an adult, Human male and of similar stature. In fact, they are very similar to Humans in many ways, aside from the stark colouration of their skin. They possess a keen intelligence, far surpassing that of the Uruk. For this reason, their avid curiosity is usually suited to an environment of building and tinkering. They are responsible for the great war machines of the Uzg, and assist the ruling class in matters of diplomacy. Their literacy skills remain unchallenged, and they are quite capable of communicating with outside races. The Goblins typically range from 5'5 to 6'5 in height and can hold their own in battle against any of the ancestral races. Ologs To the outside world, all Uruk are considered akin to the Olog, but there is an extremely apparent distinction. In essence, the Ologs are mentally retarded. They are only capable of basic thought, and will often blurt out what they are thinking in a long, confusing dialogue. They are only aware of three feelings: Happiness, Anger, and Hunger. These enormous creatures are the powerhouses of the Uzg. They can reach astounding heights of 13' and generate strength twice or three times that of an Uruk. This great load can only be maintained by an intense appetite, and for this reason the Ologs are mainly influenced by food. If they are not currently eating, they are looking for a means by which to eat something; typically other races. The Ologs are easily manipulated, but maintain loyalty to their cousins. They are similarly bound by honour, and do not stray from their kin. In terms of combat, they are only limited by their crushing weight. Their physical senses work as any other animal, and they can react to danger very quickly. Do not mistake these lumbering oafs to be as slow as their minds; it will cost you your life. The Orcish Zodiac To say that the Orcs are an uncaring race is to completely misunderstand their culture. They are not devoid of empathy, and show a great deal of concern for their brothers and sisters; especially their kubs. They hold the destiny of their children in a great regard, and look to the stars for an understanding of how their kubs will develop. With the looming threat of Bloodlust, the Orcs take every advantage they can to prevent any of their offspring from falling further into a life of depravity and internal chaos. When a Fe-Orc is pregnant, or just after giving birth to a kub, she will take on a great pilgrimage to an Ilzhonal; or Star Watcher in common. These masters of the night sky study the constellations with avid interest, and believe that each cluster in the night sky was forged by an individual spirit; one that influences those born beneath it. This system is understood as the Ilzpaak, a means of learning how the spirit a kub is born under will influence its life. I will provide a link to the lore that I created for this notion, although it is still within the first stages of development. Currently, it is there to act as an aid for new players to develop more on their character's personality. It is a resource you may use if you are struggling to think of a way to progress your character. For instance, there is the opportunity to devote your life to the Spirit you are born beneath, or a path of study your Orc may undertake. Now that you understand the history of the Uruk, the three sub-races, and a bit about how they function, we will move onto the idea of the Uzg itself; the political force in the Oricish Homeland. The War Uzg (The Banner of the War Uzg, the unified force of Orcish Clans) The War Uzg is the united hierarchy within the desert. It is the combination of all powerful clans that exist across the desert, and is generally lead by the most powerful clan and its clan leader. Rex: The Rex is essentially the leader of the Uzg, the figurehead of strength within society. Dominus: The Dominus is second in command, and leads in the absence of the Rex. He or she deals with matters of tribute and land acquisition. Wargoth: The leaders of the ruling clans of the Uzg. They represent their clans, and speak in the Wargoth council on behalf of their communities. Below this hierarchy are titles of esteem to those that have shown exceptional ability in their chosen field. I will leave this blank for now, so that you may discover these aspects of the culture as you explore the Uzg. Clans Every Orc is born into a clan. It is a family, a means by which one survives in the harsh environment of the Uzg. If you are unfortunate enough to be born outside of the desert, your first priority upon reaching the sands is to join a clan. It is the only means of progression within the Uzg, as the War Nation itself is comprised of the most powerful clans that scatter the land. Each clan generally has a respective profession. When you are born into these clans, a large part of your life is dictated for you. For instance, the Raguk clan is one of industry, and those born into it live the lives of smiths and miners. If one were born into the Yar clan, one might pursue a life closer to Shamanism. Just as Humans value their brothers more closely than their friends, your clan will be your first priority. In times of conflict, you will stand beside your clansmen as a united force. They are there to protect you just as you are there to protect them. Clans work as unified forces, fighting against a land that will attempt to destroy them at any opportunity. Once a clan is chosen, or once you are born into a clan, there is no leaving. Anyone that decides to abandon their brothers is considered a Whitewash. https://www.lordofthecraft.net/forums/forum/532-clans/ What is a Whitewash? (A Whitewash, pursued outside of the Uzg) It takes an exceptional degree of stupidity or evil to violate the terms of your inner sense of honour. If an Orc has been shown to act dishonourably among his kin, then he is brandished as a Whitewash. A Whitewash is an outcast, an Orc doomed to live the rest of their lives in solitude. They are kicked from the Uzg with a vehement anger, and are often hunted by Orcish raiding parties so that they may be killed and made examples of. It is ill advised to act in a way that may have you perceived as Whitewash. Your character would not last long at all. Life in the Uzg Now, you've established which sub-type you'd like to be. You have a general understanding of how Orcish hierarchy works and you've considered your clan options. You've also recognised how bad it is to become a Whitewash. So, what happens now? What does it takes to be an Orc? In general, all you have to do to survive with your brothers is defend yourself when the need arises. If someone questions your loyalty to your clan or your brothers, you may challenge them to a klomp (fight) in which you can prove yourself. Fighting is an important part of Orcish culture, as strength is one of the foundations upon which the Orcs have managed to survive for so long. Your character will have been bred for Warfare, because the Orcs are something of outcasts compared to the other Ancestors. They are often disregarded for brutes, and were shunned after Krug was given the curse of Bloodlust. The Orc-kind were left to their own in-fighting, which had disastrous effects on their technological and societal progress until recent times. This has spawned a great resentment for the other races of Vailor, and the inherent Bloodlust of the Orcish people has resulted in many wars and raids. This brings us to the subject of the Orcish military, the Krug-hai. The Krug-Hai (A Targoth of the Krug-hai, one of the leading ranks) When a seething anger runs through your veins, you are helpless to resist the call to arms. The Krug-hai is the ultimate fighting force of the Uzg, the united force of Uruk that serve to protect the interests of the people. They defend the desert from those that would see the Orcs bend the knee, and exact a great vengeance upon those that have wronged them in the past. They actively seek to eradicate those that they consider dishonourable, and take to open combat to settle their political disputes. The inner-hierarchy of the Krug-hai is something of a complex system, so I will leave it out of this guide for now. You're after the basics, right? So, what you need to know is that you are automatically a part of the great War machine, and will be called to fight in times of War. This is a great honour for any Orc, and your position in the Krug-hai determines the respect you are given in everyday life. It will allow you to challenge others for larger homes, and even mates. Generally, clans are not considered when you are working with the Krug-hai. It is a separate entity, an organism of brothers and sisters that moves against any opposing force. But while fighting is important, and in many cases necessary for an Orc, the Bloodlust they are cursed with can cause them to run into dangerous situations and emotional trauma. For this reason, the Orcs place a great importance on the notion of Spirituality. Shamanism Orcs look to the great Spirits of the world for wisdom and hope, and find a sense of calm when they feel in touch with the energies that shape the world. In Orcish culture, there is literally a Spirit for everything, and you may pursue a life of worship through your general interests. For instance, a Smith may worship Gentharuz, the spirit of forging and industry, so that he may create stronger steel. For those that take a greater interest in the Spirits, they often choose the path of Shamanism. Shamanism is an art through which one may work with the Spirits to achieve very physical goals. There are four types of Shaman within the Uzg, each with respective end-goals. Elementalist: An Elementalist will work with the Spirits aligned to the elements to achieve goals of terra-forming, or to cause damage to their enemies. Witch Doctor: The Witch Doctor works with the Spirits to imbue their energies into curses and potions that can inflict harm upon living things. Farseer: Farseers spend their lives in search of enlightenment, often traversing the spiritual planes in search of it. They are capable of imparting blessings of spiritual energy upon those they come into contact with. Lautaman: These Shamans may connect with the Spirits to actually communicate with them, and may receive temporary blessings of power from those they speak with. This varies from Farseering in that only the Lautaman can receive the blessings, which is often used to heighten their personal abilities. When you are prone to anger, it can lead to a life of disarray. Some consider Krug to be such a formidable Shaman because he knew he would require great effort to fight against the inherent Bloodlust that coursed through him. Shamanism is a source of wisdom for the Orcs, a means of escape from a day of combat and hardship. The desert is an unforgiving environment, but with the assistance of the Spirits, the Orcs can change it into a warm haven from the judgement of the outside world. Blah, the language of the Uruk Despite already being outcasts, the Orcs are separated even further by their inability to speak common with ease. This is purely physiological, as their enormous tusks prevent them from being able to pronounce certain words. This is why you may have seen the Orcs speak in an unusual way, often mispronouncing words and using terms that seem altogether foreign. When you are typing in Blah, it is best to follow a rather simple rule. Spell everything incorrectly. The Orcs understand common, and use it themselves in the modern age. Generally, they refer to their way of speaking as blah, because they also incorporate unique words that were coined because of a complete inability to pronounce certain words. A list of these basic words will be listed below: Hello: Ug Greetings: Throm'ka Goodbye: Gug'ye I: Mi You: Lat Gruk: Think Thank You: Rulg Kill: Flat Fight: Klomp City: Goi Slave: Znagah Generally, anything outside of this is just a misspelling of the word. I'll provide an example below of how to incorporate both into speech: "Hello there, how are you today? If you're free, I was thinking of going to the Human city to fight; maybe take some slaves." Becomes a mixture of "Blah" words and mispronunciation because of the large tusks: "Ug dere, howh am lat todayh? Iv lat iz freeh, mi wuz grukin' ov goin' tuh dah Hooman Goi tuh klomp, maybi tayke zum znagah." A Final Point Life is not easy for an Orc. They were left to fend for themselves when the curse took place, and have had a tiring battle with Bloodlust ever since. It has caused their nation to crumble many times in the past, and will no doubt continue to. The Orcs live in a harsh and unforgiving environment, a place no other life can live; A land upon which they were forced to reside, or face extinction. It is difficult enough to deal with the curse, without the looming threat of the other races attempting to kill them. They live extremely trying and difficult lives, and hold an immense importance on self-respect and strength, because it is all they have. If they were not as sturdy as they are, they would have died out long ago. They are a race of extreme fortitude, and have come to learn how vital family is. This is why clans are such an important aspect of Orcish culture. It is a means of survival. It is because of this that brotherhood is so valuable to the Orcish people. They have a great love for one another, despite their in-fighting from time to time. They are all in the same, difficult boat, and are riding it out together as a team. Their honour keeps them in check. Where others fall to greed, they remain balanced in their outlook of life. They seek wisdom and spirituality to further align them with peace, and enjoy small activities such as hunting and drinking together. They have fought hard to make the Uzg livable, and they will defend it with everything they have. Do bear in mind that Orcs are just as prone to emotion as anyone else. Although they are raised in a harsh environment, they are still quite capable of feeling fear and sadness; perhaps even more so. It is my personal belief that the Orcs are perfect examples of un-hindered emotion. Their great physicality allows them to act out their intense feelings of anger, and even happiness, while their intelligence and curiosity allows them to venture into the world of Shamanism and explore the mystical aspects of the Universe. They are intelligent, complex, curious people. They have interests, dislikes, fears and vices. They are prone to anger, yes, but they are not so encapsulated by it that they forsake their honour. Remember this as you explore the world of Vailor. You are a Warrior, an individual that has had everything in the world thrown at you. But, you have survived the odds through family and spiritual worship, and it has a strong place in your life. You have a deep connection to the people and the world around you, and as scarred and beaten as you might be, there is raw emotion beneath that green hide.