Irah - Rise of the Red Hand
There are different subspecies of orcs throughout Irah. They are always known for their depravities and their penchant for destruction and mindless violence. That being said, two orcs of different subspecies can be vastly different.
Living in the hostile climate of the Mauta Desert, blood orcs are considered vicious killers even amongst other breeds of orcs. Distrusted in times of peace, their savage warriors are sought out in times of war for their brutality and ferocity. Blood orc bands decorate their standards and shields with the scalps and severed heads of opponents and are known to drink flagons of putrid blood before entering battle. Blood orcs always fight to the death, take few prisoners, and offer no quarter to their foes. Blood orcs have a special hatred for black orcs whom they see as traitors to the orcish god Gruumsh.
A typical male blood orc stands over 6 feet tall and weighs around 200 pounds or more. Females tend to be slightly lighter and smaller. Blood orcs skin is dark reddish-black and their hair is black, dark brown, or crimson (rare, but it does occur). Eye color is always black. Blood orcs favor armor and clothes of black or dark red.
Blood orcs are a primitive (even for orcs), barbaric race of people. Hunters and nomads by nature, they rarely settle in one place for long being always on the move following any source of food. Blood orc tribes and villages tend to congregate near one another for protection, food, and various other needs. Most tribes or villages also situate themselves near an abundant source of water. Other orc tribes avoid the blood orc nations, seeing them as savages and primitives. Trade between the blood orcs and other races is rare though blood orcs do tend to favor the company of gnolls, flinds, and hobgoblins (why, no one knows).
Each tribe or village is let by an elder warrior, a barbarian of great strength and power. Each tribe also includes at least a single shaman or witch doctor who tends to the wounded, predicts the future, and so on.
Fully a head taller than an ordinary orc these foul brutes have been known to make other orcs cringe in fear. Unlike normal orcs, black orcs move in daylight as well as they do the darkness of their subterranean lairs. They are usually found in the mountainous areas south of Twolakes.
Black orcs were taken in early ages by Orcus the Demon Lord of Undead and bred with demonic blood in a matter that would accommodate his diabolical needs. Black orcs refer to their dark master as “Old Man Death”. These orcs fairly worship death and display the death’s head prominently upon their standards and devices. They are often found in the service of necromancers and move easily in mixed groups of zombies, skeletons, and even ghouls.
Larger and more intelligent than their lesser kin, black orcs look down on other orc races as inferior to themselves. When forced to cooperate with other orc tribes in large forces black orcs consistently plot to overthrow the other tribe’s chieftain and take command. This treachery is likely the reason there are so few bands of the black orc nation known to exist, as the infighting tends to keep their numbers down.
Black orcs stand 7 feet tall and weigh 200 to 280 pounds. Females tend to be about the same height, but are a bit lighter. Both males and females have blue-black skin with red eyes and more pronounced tusks than their smaller cousins.
Gray orcs live in the northern orc lands to the east of Ravensgard. They can be distinguished by their gray skin and bright red eyes. They tend to be the most “civilized” of the orcs. They have a larger tolerance for structure than most orcs. They worship Gruumsh, and believe that any orc that breaks a blood vow, will be tortured for eternity in the afterlife.
More commonly called greenskins, green orcs hail from the mysterious jungles of Jadavi. Wiry and quick, these slime green orcs have long ears, smallish tusks, and coyote like eyes. They shoot first and eat later.
Greenskins are a wicked orcish species of arboreal hunters. More stealthy and agile than their common cousins they are slighter of build but suffer no penalties from daylight or bright light. They are generally open and friendly to other evil humanoid races and often set up trade routes with said creatures. They make their homes among the dense foliage of the jungle, building their wooden huts from the trees and branches. Some tribes even build their entire village among the treetops (as a defense measure against land-based adversaries). Greenskin orcs stand about 6 feet tall. Females are slightly smaller. Hair color is always black or greenish-black. Eye color varies, but is usually dark brown, dark green, or occasionally deep, rich blue.
Greenskins are highly proficient in the use stealth and surprise, attacking with their ranged weapons when an enemy is sighted. They seek to disable and weaken foes with arrows before closing to finish the job with their wicked longswords.
Greenskins tend to get along well with most other species of orcs being smart enough to take orders and wise enough to keep their mouths shut. They often serve roles in mixed tribes as scouts and skirmishers. Greenskins are mortal enemies of wild elves and the bane of fey and enchanted woodland creatures. They torture such beings mercilessly should they manage to take one alive. Aside from that however, they have a deep understanding and respect for the natural order of the world. They tend to hunt in packs, using their scent ability to track their quarry. Their hunting packs are competitive with one another, each member seeking to be the one to make the kill.
Greenskin tribes are known to hire themselves out to civilized masters as scouts and even irregular and regular missile units. They are also likely to serve evil druids and despotic ranger lords.
Orog (Greater Orc)
Orogs, also called elite orcs or greater orcs, are the much larger kin of normal orcs. They usually reach well over 6 feet tall but closely resemble normal orcs in all ways except build: orogs are much stronger and stockier. It is believed that orogs are the result of the union of a male orc and female ogre. In contrast to lesser orcs, orogs are highly disciplined and straightforward. Orogs within an orc community quickly rise to leadership positions within their clan, although in orc armies the orogs will segregate themselves into all-orog military units. Orog military units are highly organized, tactically superior, and far more dangerous than those of normal orcs. Such orog units form the vanguard of the army to which they belong. Orogs do not separate themselves into their own clans, despite their tendency to self-segregate while in an orc army.