“The Orcs of Norrath”
This book is a guide that is intended to help the reader identify orcs by analyzing various noticeable features about them.
Having grown up in Freeport, I have known about orcs ever since I was a small child. Though my parents would commonly threaten to feed me to the orcs when I was acting in an unruly manner, I wouldn’t actually see one until I was close to fifteen years old. Since then I have devoted much time to studying these beasts and have collected my findings within these pages.
One of the first things that a person will notice about the orc is their body shape. They stand slightly shorter than human-height, yet possess the hulking brutish qualities of an ogre. Having a slightly stooped posture, the orc’s monster-like qualities rarely cause someone to mistake them for a traveling human or half-elf.
The arms of these horrible beasts are one of the most striking features. Rarely will you find an orc who does not possess a frightening amout of muscles bulging throughout their arms. Their musculature extends from their fingertips all the way up to their shoulders. The upper body strength of an orc should never be underestimated.
Easily recognized, an orc’s face belies its monsterous nature. Mottled and pockmarked, their faces are pressed together causing them to look as if they have a perpetual scowl. The nose is not defined, rather appearing to be two small holes with flaps of skin around them.
One cannot look at the face of an orc and not notice the tusk-like fangs jutting from their mouth. These teeth cause the orcs to speak in an incoherent manner, making it difficult to understand whether they are crying for mercy, or crying out for reinforcements. Suprisingly, they do not use their teeth as weapons, which is fortunate indeed.
Coming in a varitey of different colors, the orc’s skin will range from a deep green to a burnt orange and even all the way to a deep black. Not much is known why there is such a broad range in the skin coloration, but it can be said that their aggressive nature isn’t affected by the color of their skin.
Orcs are not exclusively carnivores. They have been seen from time to time eating various plants if meat is not available. Though their food of choice is (usually) cooked meat, some groups of orcs have been reported to cultivate food from grains to livestock. Though they have the reputation for eating living people, I have come to the conclusion that this is just a story that must have started many years ago.
At first it may look as if the weapons used by the orcs are crude and rusted. This may be the case in the Commonlands, but not in Zek. Utilizing the same standard swords and axes used the world over, the metal they use in its construction is what makes them so effective. Being very similar to iron, the metal has a red tint that gets more vibrant for a short time after the weapon has been used to kill something.
The orcs has two modes of dress. Either they will be covered from head to toe in the strongest armor they can get their hands on, or they will be stripped down to nothing more than breeches. The latter is usually worn by those holding lesser positions, such as lumberjacks. There is no such thing as “casual” clothing amongst the orcs.
Of all the information I’ve collected about the orcs over the years, there is one thing that I have always found disturbing. No matter where I have gone, from the Commonlands all the way to Zek, I have never once spied a female orc. This causes me to believe that of all the countless orcs I’ve seen… I’ve only seen one half of their numbers.