By Desa Margoin, Faselin, and Yalin Har
Ever since the elves were overthrown nearly a millennium ago, none of their actions have caused as much long lasting suffering as the creation of the orcs. Although many myths and tales have formed around these monstrous creatures, in truth they are a unique type of were-creature, being a magical, twisted combination of fae and goblin. Although goblins are aggressive and vile little creatures, one would be foolish to create an equivalency between the two. Goblins are cowardly and their aggression has limits. Orcs have neither of these things. Created as the foot soldiers of the elves, orcs have a desire to see life snuffed out wherever it is found. The fact that the Alfar Empire, the Ithragran Republic, and Bag were all willing to fund and cooperate on this research should speak to how much of a threat orcs really are to Aegeroth as a whole.
Orc was originally the name for the species of fae native to Kaplin, the Sardina. However, this name was abandoned when most of their population was killed and necromanced by the First Lich, and the surviving fae of Kaplin instead began to refer to themselves by the modern term Sardina1. These necromanced corpses are often thought of as proto-orcs in contemporary study, as they had many similarities to modern orcs, including a mostly Sardina basis and greater intelligence than monsters of a similar type, in this case the undead. However, there were differences, including a lack of venom, the lack of the ability to procreate, and most notably a lack of any goblin genetics. As the undead they were also entirely reliant on the First Lich for direction, and quickly became mindless shamblers if somehow separated from his control. These “proto-orcs” quickly died out after the death of the First Lich, and were seemingly supplanted in the armies of later warlocks by wights, who are more independent and capable.
Modern orcs were created by the elves sometime after their dominion had been established, made by twisting humanoid fae and goblins together, in a torturous manner not unlike that used by sorcerers and sorceresses of a dark disposition to create other were-creatures. Two factors separate them from most of these kinds of monsters though. One is the ability to speak and use logic, something absent from most were-creatures. The other is the ability to procreate. Orcs reproduce asexually, in cavern lairs and other secluded areas, and seem to mature in a matter of weeks2.
Appearance-wise, orcs look like twisted fae, deformed and with goblin esque features such as noses parallel or close to parallel with their eyes, thick necks, short legs, and long arms. Some also have the more amphibious skin inherent to goblins, and even horns. Orcs are about head and shoulders shorter on average than most fae, and are also slightly weaker. However, one should not underestimate them, as they usually attack in groups, and some are very skilled fighters. Due to being half-goblin, half-fae, orc blood is half iron based, half copper based, and has a muddy purple coloration.
The venom of the orc is injected through their fangs and claws, and slows and weakens those poisoned by them. In great enough doses, it can even lead to temporary paralysis. It is claimed by some that orc venom can also somehow turn fae into half-orcs, also referred to as orc-fae or simply orcish. However, there is no official record of this ever occurring, and a chemical composition test run by autoposists on a dead orc’s venom shows no properties that could cause this intense kind of alchemy. However, it should be noted that in areas orcs have devastated, it is not uncommon to spot twisted and deformed wildlife bearing physical similarities to orcs, which adds at least some tiny amount of credence to this theory.
With the defeat of the elves, orcs now mostly live leaderless all over Aegeroth, killing and destroying whatever they can find. Despite their destructive nature, orcs can be organized and are undyingly loyal to whoever they perceive as their leader. This is most commonly a warlock, but any sufficiently violent individual in power can find themselves their ruler.
Before we end this summary of our findings, we would like to take a moment to discuss Garp. Garp is an orc that Faselin had heard rumors about, who allegedly lived a peaceful life in Bag, specifically the frigid island of Atarine. We can now confirm this as true. Apparently she and two other like minded orcs broke off from their small group, and eventually ended up in Atarine. She told us that of her compatriots, one had died of natural causes (potentially brought about by the unstable genetics of orcs), while the other left to do battle with a group of orcs in Atarine. His ultimate fate is unknown, even to her. From Garp we learned of an interesting concept regarding orcs that no other researchers have ever discussed. According to her, orcs have some sort of genetic memories, fuzzy ones that she had inherited at birth from the orc that spawned her. This may explain how orcs have remained so violent and destructive even after the defeat of the elves, although Garp herself is unsure of the memories’ origins3. Regardless, Garp is proof of a truly disturbing fact. Orcs are not merely mindless creatures, but instead have free will, a will that almost always chooses to wipe out and destroy everything they can find.
- Do not use the ancient meaning of orc to refer to a sardina. It is now viewed as a powerful insult.
- Some believe that, since orcs reproduce asexually, that goblins must too. However, goblin mating has been observed before, although this does not discount the possibility that goblins may be able to reproduce both sexually and asexually.
- We propose the hypothesis that these genetic memories are the same for all orcs, and were implanted into their genetic code by the elves themselves, but this may be difficult to test.