The Chronicles of Etinerra
“Know what the sound a new recruit makes the first time they underestimate an orc? It’s usually one scream if they’re unlucky, none if they are. There won’t be a second scream, ‘cause they’ll be dead.” – Legion joke
“Men have long underestimated the intelligence and capacity of orcs. Branded as bestial, seen as brutes, what they refuse to understand is that orcs are the product of their environment. Elves have long said that orcs seem to take the best of the civilized worlds and then reverse their intentions. If left alone, the orc camps will stay to their own, even at times having established trade with local villages and small hamlets. However, once blood is spilled, the orc tribes respond with a fury unmatched, their sometimes superior weapons scything the Legions as the blade does the grains at harvest time.” – Mark Te-ellen, Historian, The King’s Legions – At the Cusp of the Twelve Century (written – 1077 AD)
Orcs are a race of humanoids, large and pig nosed, tribal, violent, intelligent and cunning. They have an uneasy relationship with humans, elves and littlelings as long as any can recall through written or oral histories. Long living in the mountains across the lands, they kept to themselves in large camps or caverns, choosing to not advance themselves much in technology, save for weapons. The orcs were reknown as weaponsmiths and inventors of efficient and creative ways of killing each other and others.
As the Doom fell, the orcs joined the Goblyns and Ko-balds in the wars against Law. In the tumultuous years following the Doom, orcs savagely beat back the humans and at about the year 30AD, they looked nigh unbeatable. They suddenly stopped. Where orc camps had once stood, within a Winter season of 31AD, they were deserted.
Many called it a miracle and belief in the Church of Light grew quickly, as the King of Men claimed victory. The elves were silent, turning back to more urgently seek their homeland or a place they could claim to get away from the decline of civilization. Sages and warlords brooded and worried. For over twenty years, little was seen or heard of the orcs. Rumors would surface now and again of orc sightings. The foolishly brave adventurer who would explore deep into Bestial-held lands would surely find signs of them, but the orcs seemed to be watching… waiting… and none knew what for.
Soon enough, the forces of Law found out. Around 55 AD, they attacked again with a doubled ferocity some said was almost demonic in nature. All around the Kingdom, the orcs re-established their gained lands, or they retook areas that had been reclaimed by civilized forces. Dark rumors of strange weapons surfaced as well, “deathsticks” that would slay an entire company of men as quick as the 10 yard pace of a man. The orcs have shown a particularly savage disregard to humans and elves, only taking prisoners as slaves and treating them worse than animals. The orcs refuse to give prisoners, choosing suicide and certain death versus surrender. None know what motivates the orcs, but they seem gripped by a religious crusade that holds portends of death and genocide for humans and elves alike.