Orc

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+2 Str +2 Con -2 Cha [Average] size
[Humanoid] type
+1 (+1/8 levels) racial bonus to Athletics
Darkvision
Bonus Feats Reckless Strike
To Iron Married
Cataphract

Feared on a thousand battlefields, orcs are the most physically imposing of Hallow's humanoids. They are as tough and resilient as dwarves, but are much larger (up to seven and a half feet tall, although the average height is a little above six feet) with matching strength. Most orcs are members of highly disciplined, self-contained mercenary units, serving either as fearsome infantry or as the traders, tacticians, and craftworkers that keep the infantry moving and fighting. A few find their homes in more diverse societies, and usually provide skilled physical labor or security services.

Orc Society

The orcs who were first brought into Hallow were warriors whose ancestors had been enslaved by dark gods for millennia. These lords of chaos and destruction had never done particularly well by any of their followers, but the orcs had it even worse. Fearing the loss of their prized berserkers and shock troops, the orcs' gods had maintained magical controls on the orcs' minds to ensure that they would remain stupid and unquestioning of orders. Once introduced to Hallow, and thus permanently separated from their malevolent overlords, the orcs experienced a rush of intelligence and insight, along with the sudden realization that, for the first time in their lives, they were their own masters.

Almost all were trained warriors, so the orcs began forming bands of disciplined soldiers with newly-competent leadership. These bands eventually settled down into larger, organized clans, each one with an independent base of operations, its own clients for mercenary work, and enough land and resources to supply its field units. In some cases, individual clans join together in larger federations. These federations allow member clans to independently contract for mercenary service, but have standing mutual defense agreements against anyone who would attempt revenge against a clan for its legitimate business arrangements. The vast majority of clans conform to reasonable standards of military conduct; many will work at vastly reduced rates to punish clans that engage in atrocities of any kind.

Most orc clans are organized along strictly military grounds, with adult members assigned rank and granted privileges. A few have experimented with democratic leadership structures, generally with mixed success. Property is almost always communal, with all but a few personal belongings issued from a central supply depot to families or individuals as needed. For most orcs, the gift of a personal possession (particularly a useful one) is the highest compliment one can pay. In a few unusual clans, however, it is considered an insult, because it implies that the clan is not capable of supplying its members adequately.

Orcs favor simple names with lots of hard consonants which emphasize strength and power in order to intimidate their foes and impress their friends. Example orc names are: Kor Arrowhead, Wulf Bloodmaul, Krag Bonesplitter, Bjorn Foehammer, Vaul Godhand, Flint Ironstag.

Orcish Technology and Magic

Orcs tend towards the practical in both their magic and their tools, rejecting untested or inefficient developments along with any technology deemed of more aesthetic value than actual use. Orcs' tools are therefore usually stripped-down modifications of outsiders' technologies, designed for ease of production and maintenance. It is common to see an orc wearing dwarf-built armor and carrying a magical bow of elf origin, with the broad sword carried by almost all adult orcs hanging from the orc's belt.

Orcs gifted in the magical arts tend to build their own wands and foci, and such equipment is almost always optimized simply to channel and amplify energy. Those elementalists (usually Fire Elementalists) and wizards who tend towards magical thuggery often value orc runes and staves, and some orc clans export magical foci to arcane colleges with this aggressive bent.