Wednesday, February 25, 2015

H is for Half-Orc

The unhappy fruit of blasphemous couplings between the bestial orcs and the most degenerate elements of humanity, the half-orcs are a despised and marginalized group, disliked and distrusted by both their parent races.  Abused and neglected, the spawn of these unhappy unions between mortal enemies rarely live long.  Those that do are tough, resourceful and unsentimental.  With loyalty to no society, they are quick to hire themselves out to the unscrupulous as assassins, scouts, mercenaries and thugs.  Others make a living as members of gangs of smugglers, pirates, or bandits, the only communities likely to tolerate their presence for long.  Presented here are four representatives of the strain.  Look on them, o man, and weep.
This individual is clearly a fighter, one of the mercenary warriors who can be found in the retinues of various less than reputable characters in the Western lands.  He has clearly been successful in his chosen profession, for his armour, equipment and clothing, though fashioned in a style recognizably Orcish, is of markedly superior workmanship compared to that owned by the vast majority of Orcish fighters.  He has undoubtedly had it made for him, and at considerable expense.

Whoever it is that has employed has paid him well for his service.  Perhaps he is less treacherous than most of his kind have a reputation for being.
Standing second from right in the above picture we have what appears to be one of the many lone half-orcs who haunt the forests and hills along the fringe of the Western lands.  Such half-orcs are wild and woods-crafty, and having knowledge of the worlds of both orcs and men, they frequently make a wage as scouts, trackers and guides, hiring out to adventurers and armies on either side as it suits them.  A hazardous, but sometimes rewarding profession,
Though the half orcs are not known for their intelligence or knowledge of magicks, the colorful individual above clearly fancies himself as a holy man or spell-caster of some sort.  Most likely he is a priest of the cult of Gruumsh, who, sadly, has a following not just among the half-orcs of the border-lands but among some of the human communities of those territories.  Doubtless a talented troublemaker in the wild region from which he hails.
Hardened by their lonely, bitter lives, tempted by the savage call of their violent orcish blood, capable of blending in amoung both men and monsters, many half-orcs adopt the profession of hired killers, Here their great strength, knowledge, cunning and absence of sentimentality stand them in good stead, and the half-orcs of the border country have traditionally produced many of the world's most famous daggers-for-hire, as the alarming looks of this ill-favoured fellow strongly suggest.
"Knife in yer back, gold in me sack!"

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