Monday, October 4, 2010

Creature Feature: Orcs

This is the first entry in what I hope will be a continuing set of articles in which I take a monster and explain how they fit into the world of Nightwick.  I decided to start with orcs since they're a fairly common creature in any D&D campaign and they've grown a bit stale for me and I seek to spice them up.


Orcs are ungodly combinations of man and beast whose penchant for rape and murder is well recorded.  Though most artistic renderings show them as having a porcine aspect, orcs vary wildly in appearance due to their chaotic natures.  Rather famously, the orcs of the White Lady are typically goat-like in aspect, though porcine, bovine, and simian ones are not unheard of among their numbers.  Orcs who are not in the employ of some fouler creature tend to rally into tribal groups based around the particular animal that the group resembles.  Groups of orcs large enough to contain multiple animal types are often rife with infighting.

Church scholars and even many wizards and secular thinkers believe that orcs are an unnatural race.  Necromancers, witches, fairies, demons, and other wicked beings use foul magic to shape and twist unlucky humans into orcs.  Orcs, therefore, do not procreate as other creatures do.  No evidence has ever been recovered of orc females, and few orcs have genitalia at all.  Those that do are universally male.  Though it is rare for a victim of an orc attack to survive, whenever a child of an orc and a human woman is born, it is always a malformed and particularly evil orc.  No females have ever been found among these orcs either.

Orcs, regardless of whether or not they are in a dark wizard's retinue or members of a tribe, are drawn to the evil places of the world.  From these locales do they range.  Those unfortunates who have met orcs in the places they dwell tell stories of devil worship and depravity the likes of which not even Froglings are capable.

Some scholars have asserted that orcs and goblins are related.  Most think that this is patently false, and that the two races only work together because of their shared hatred of humanity and its works.

Edit: Removed some particularly humorous spelling mistakes.


  1. You know how I feel about the "default" fantasy races in original settings. (In short, not a fan.) What made you decide to go with Orcs, Dwarves, etc here? I don't mean to debate the choice, I'm simply curious.

    As far as my opinion on the subject, I think I'll have an upcoming article on that myself focusing on the, odd in my opinion, reason that so many RPGs use various races. In short, they sell. (At-least in my niche of the gaming world that is. Don't have any hard data to determine if such is a contributing factor to, say, D&D's popularity over Warhammer and such)

  2. Mainly because I realized how big the Hobbit is on my vision of fantasy, so I wanted to be able to include things from there.

    Also, KC likes them.