The Orcs were once nothing more than nomadic tribes traveling the vast expanses of the Far Eastern deserts and dry wilderness in search of fruitful land on which they could settle. Scattered across their own land, the Orcs themselves did not interact with anyone other than their own kind for as long as anyone cared to remember, leaving them but fables in human lore, speaking of great green men wandering the sands and valleys of the East. Unknown to mankind, however, the Orcs were running out of food and water; what fertile land they had was heavily contested among their tribes through intricate challenges, shifts of power, or even all-out war. Frustration and need was building in the Orc tribes, their desperation slowly staining the deserts crimson with blood. It was then that the Cult made themselves known to the Orcs, promising fertile land away from the smouldering heat of the desert, though for a price; the utter destruction of humanity.
This offer fell on a single Orc chieftain, Kharag. Faced between such honeyed promises and the dire situation his tribe faced, he accepted, and sent his riders throughout the deserts, bringing word of the task to every Orc he could muster, male or female, young or old, as well as the promised reward. Soon enough, a great army began to form as more and more tribes gathered under these hopeful words, driven by the desire for a better life and a united people. In just a month the Orcish horde had fully gathered, and marched for war against the unsuspecting humans. Alone, the Orcs would have been an equally matched foe to the humans; the only option Kharag saw, however, was an absolute, crushing victory. He had sent riders to the Goblin swamps of Fagorum as well as the mountain ranges of Hjanteror where the Trolls resided. With the offer of greater, fertile and pleasant lands, both the Trolls and the Goblins agreed to follow the Orcs into war against humanity, and thus marched under one banner: the Pact. No life was to be spared, and through their brutal campaign they pushed close to extinction not only humankind, but the Elves and Dwarves also, through their need to annihilate the combined forces of the newly-formed Alliance. For decades, the Pact raged war with the people of Saphriel; only ten years ago did the war end, resulting in the Pact's defeat.
Following the war, the threat of the hell gates united Goblinkind and Orcs with the people of Saphriel. In what began as a temporary alliance, formed from necessity rather than want, all raced joined together to fight against the forces of hell that had begun to spill into the mortal realm, a result of the Cult's machinations. Even with this pressing need, neither side was entirely willing to work with their former enemies; this uneasiness continues even today, where despite being permitted to live within their cities, prejudice towards Orcs from Alliance races is not uncommon.
Orcs are tall, brutish humanoids, often rippling with muscle. The approximate size of an average male Orc is six feet five inches, although they are prone to reaching over seven, and in extremely rare cases close to eight feet tall, though this is no common sight. Female Orcs, meanwhile, are approximately six feet tall, though much like their male counterparts they may reach taller hights; it is very rare, however, for them to advance past seven feet. Both genders reach sexual maturity around 15 years of age, much like humans, and both reach adulthood at around 25 years of age. The average lifespan for males is around seventy five years of age, and for females around seventy.
Orcs are easily distinguished, given their muscular and powerful frames; an Orc lacking in visible muscle is a rare sight indeed. This is especially pronounced in males, be it through training or inherited physiology. Aside from their great size and strength, an Orc's skin is their most notable feature; as of now, the color of their skin has been documented to be green, orange, red, dark turquoise and even dark grey. The most commonly-observed eye colors of the race, meanwhile, have been black, light blue, red, yellow, and green. Along with their skin, Orcs possess larger jawbones and muscle structure around their mouths, as well as larger teeth or tusks extending from their gums, often visibly poking out between their lips. Orcs possess surprisingly thick skin compared to humans; in some cases, their skin has been reported as leather-like in both texture and durability, giving them a great natural defence against smaller weapons. Such physical aptitude, however, comes at a price; the vast majority of the race is unable to use magic, and even those that are graced with it only possess a single aspect.
Sexual Maturity: 15
Age of Consent: 18
Orcs typically worship the God of Conflict, Uldir, though much like the Dwarves they do not gather to worship. They instead frequently pay homage to Uldir through individual, often ritualistic means, such as painting their faces, dedicated kills in battles, and occasionally through dances or sacrifices. Rarely does an Orc worship another god, as it is frowned upon by their people as a whole, though as a result of integration with the Alliance races, it is not unheard of for some Orcs to worship other gods.