Of all the Third Creation, Greenskins were most affected by the Downfall. Named after their distinctly different skin pigments (typically but not always Greenish in colour), many suspect that they represent those among the Third Creation that were most heavily influenced and deceived by the Demons in order to bring about the Downfall, giving them vile degenerate forms, violent dispositions, and even reducing their intellectual capacity in many cases. While they are not actually Demonic beings, the influence that Demons have had on them sets them at odds with the rest of the Third Creation. Of the Greenskin races, none are as numerous or feared as the Orcs.
While not the largest of all the Greenskin races, they are undoubtedly larger, stronger, and tougher than any humanoid. History records accounts of Orcish raiders pillaging coastlines throughout the Realm of Strife for as long as the written word has existed, and their propensity for violence and slaughter is well-known. To most civilized races the Orcs are nothing more than a savage and disorganized horde, bent on sowing destruction and chaos. This reputation proceeds the Orcish tribes whenever they venture forth from their homeland, known as the Darklands. Their crude ships appear as if out of a nightmare, spewing forth a teeming mass of brutish warriors. With frightening zeal they ravage any settlements that happens to be nearby, sometimes driving further inland to take on larger more temping prizes.
In rare cases Orcs have been known to establish encampments of their own. For all their savagery they are a disorganized lot, prone to infighting and easily defeated if faced with a more numerous well coordinated army. Only in the wildest lands that lack organized military forces have any Orc encampments survived long enough to become established settlements. More often than not the Orcish raiders leave as quickly as they arrived, ships brimming with the spoils of war. In their wake they leave behind smoldering ruins and a rich harvest of death and sorrow. Perhaps worst of all is their reviled habit of leaving their seed within the womb of any woman unfortunate enough to survive.
These practices have branded all Orcs as mindless and uncivilized brutes. However apt this stereotype may be, it is not universally true, particularly among those tribes that live in isolated settlements in the wilds. Though these tribes usually remain primitive, they are capable of remarkable acts of kindness and mercy, in their own right. As individuals, some Orcs have even been known to act with honor and courage that would put other races to shame. But any Orc, no matter what tribe or background they come from, will always be feared and mistrusted by common folk, forever considered an enemy of civilization.
There is no denying the raw power of an Orc. Born into battle and conflict they are always at ease with a weapon in their hand. Some among them—Zealots and tribal Shamans—further bolster their physical prowess with incredible and devastating powers. Heavily influenced by both the Void and Demons during the Downfall, they have a natural affinity for Shadow and Demonic powers; however, that same influence from the Abomination of Creation leaves them vulnerable to both Natural and Holy powers. Their size, savagery, and fearsome demeanor make them formidable opponents in single combat, highly prized as gladiators, and fetching a hefty price in the slave market. When massed into an army it takes considerable effort to halt their advance, as the citizens of the Northern Kingdom of Tolgatha are well
aware. For they have been holding back a dark tide of Greenskins for generations beyond counting, ever keen to spill out of the Darklands and consume all of Norlanin.
ADDITIONAL LOREOrcish Marriage Customs or The Ceremony of Binding
Of the diverse orcish tribes of the darklands, not much is known, though various cultural influences do occasionally bleed through into greater Norlanin. However, even in these cases, it is difficult to attribute which pieces of culture belong to which tribe.
Marriage is something the greenskin races widely hold in low regard. Many tribes are primitive and barbaric, and marriage is little respected, if not a completely unsung concept.
In other smaller factions, however, marriage is a key part of the functions of the tribe. It is a structure that encourages the survival of a group and prevents the inter-tribal conflict that plagues many of the more primitive groups that seethe jealousy. It is a ceremony that is believed to bind the fate of two beings, which can only be broken at a great cost.
One aspect of the orcish marriage ceremony (known as the binding) identified outside of the Darklands is the blade presentation. When an orc expresses their intent for marriage, they task themselves to create a blade, and the binding ceremony cannot commence until the blade has been prepared. Whether fashioned of bone, hard stone, or forged of metal, the blade (typically a knife) is presented to their partner during the binding ceremony. This blade can be used in battle or hunt, but it may never be lost. Most importantly, this blade imparts the authority to strike down one partner if they fail to honour the vows of their binding by means of infidelity. To these tribes that hold up this custom, the binding is incredibly sacred, and death a fair sentence to any who dishonour it.
These blades of binding are not passed down to further generations; it is said that one imparts a piece of their soul upon forging. If both partners were to fall together, whether in battle or of age, they are buried in one grave in such a way that they both grasp the knife, even as their body decays. This is the ultimate fulfillment of the binding ceremony.
The Ceremony of Binding was a Veteran’s Honor submission from Mitchell Toth’s 2021 Patron’s Guild anniversary.
Affinity: Dark/Shadow Spirit Powers and Demonic Faith Powers (+5% Critical Hit Chance)
Resistant to: none
Weak to: Natural (-5), Holy (-5)
If Orcs are reviled for being true to their nature, Half-Orcs are all the more reviled and outcast from society as the product of that brutal Orcish nature. Born of the unnatural union of Orcs and Humanoids, they are not a true race of the Third Creation, but rather a by-product. They have no family or sense of belonging, for they are typically born as a result of Orc raiders raping human women, who then usually die in childbirth or simply disown their unwanted offspring. Half-Orcs have no place in either world, for among Orcs they are seen as weak in a society that respects only strength, and among humanoids they are seen as monsters to be feared or at best, pitied. This makes Half-Orcs solitary creatures, living on the outskirts of society, scrapping by in whatever way they can, and prone to wandering.
As a gift from their Orc fathers, they retain some of their size and strength, and most of their fearsome appearance, though their features are somewhat softened by their humanoid half. Likewise their humanoid heritage strips away some of the influence of the Demons that is bred into full-blood Orcs. Born into a hard life, no matter what path they take, Half-Orcs are always forced to defend themselves against prejudice and discrimination, usually physically. This makes them excellent Brawlers, and results in a natural inclination toward close combat, though they are certainly capable of more than that. In fact, if the social stigma of their existence could be overcome, in some ways they are a superior race, possessing the the strengths of both races with few of the weaknesses. Those smart enough to recognize this fact will often seek to employ Half-Orcs as bodyguards, for their loyalty can be ensured for a reasonable price and their fearsome presence persuades most to keep their distance.
Like any individual, a Half-Orc is capable of both heroism and villainy. With no society truly willing to lay claim to them, in some ways Half-Orcs are more free than most to forge their own destiny. Despite their outcast status in society, some Half-Orcs have gone on to achieve greatness, overcoming all obstacles and earning the begrudging respect of their peers, both on and off the battlefield.
Affinity: Physical Melee attacks/skills (+3% Critical Hit Chance)
Resistant to: None
Weak to: Holy (-5)