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Subject:Orks, Part II
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   Orkish Physiology

            Orks are a race of toughened humanoids, usually approximating a mans height.  The three sub-races of Ork, the Grey Ork, the Wood Ork and the traditional Mountain Ork or ‘Green-skin’, do vary substantially but they have in common many physical traits.

                Orks, while as tall as your average man, are heavier in many areas and ways.  They are a stouter creature with large, wide shoulders.  There backs slope slightly forward at the base of the shoulder blades, leading many to see them as shorter then men, but the stockier frame gives them a very real and very large presence.  Orks possess thick and powerful arms, there fingertips often reaching as low as the knees in many instances, especially prevalent among The Gray Ork.

                The Orks legs however, are shorter.  While wide at the hips, they tend to be narrow around the midriff, with more depth with age then actually width.  There legs are thick and solid, with large and widened, heavy feet.  There knees and calves are enlarged when compared to a mans, and often as wide at the base, with a solidly built ankle, including more than 3 extra tendons traveling down to the foot.

                The Orkish body possesses hardened thick skin, with a rough almost leathery quality.  They withstand the cold of there natural mountain homes much better than most, even dwarves who hide in the rock from the stiff climates, while Ork brave the Wild wind and heavy Snowfall.  Orks also tend towards heavily set forearms, and large broad hands with thick callused fingers.

                The Orks head however, is the most distinguishing difference, beyond the color of his skin from a mans.  Orks tend towards thick and wavy black, red, or grey hair, even in the young.  There jaw is protruding with a heavy set and square line to it, thicker than a mans and with to prominent tusks reaching up to the upper lip.  There teeth are thicker and more solid, with darker gums, often close to black with reddened circles about the teeth themselves.  As has earned them many a nickname, they have rather flat noses, with wider nostrils and a high upturned point.  There eyes range from red to black to yellow, deeply set behind a forward brow that slopes backward into a high hair line, often kept long and shaggy, or ornamented in some tribal manner.

The Grey Ork:

Often claiming to be the ‘True’ Ork, the Grey Ork is a strange creature.  The are very tall, even for there kind; usually between 6 and 7 feet, some stretching even further; and built almost nearly as broad.  They have over-long arms, thick and the shoulder and forearms with coarse hairs, and an over-large head, almost universally bristling with a thick grey mane of hair, spreading down the length of the neck.  There deep set eyes are beady and yellowed, and there mouths surrounded by a thick set of tusk almost half a foot long, often sharpened or banded with iron rings.  Like there name, the Grey Orks are grey skinned, a deep grey close to granite, there fondest cousin it would seem, and they oft resemble the stone in shear weight and rigidity.  Similar to most Orks, there frame is a sturdy one, with heavy set shoulders and stout unshakable legs, thicker around the midsection than some creatures of greater height.  Even more unusual however, is there stubborn persistence, as Grey Orks don’t often reach maturity before the age of 25, and can live anywhere from 100 to 200 years long.

            Grey Ork Racial Traits:

  • +4 Strength, +2 Constitution, -2 Intelligence, -2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma.  Grey Orks are impressively strong and stubborn, but lack much of the culture and education of the more advanced races.
  • Medium:  as Medium creatures, Orks have no specific bonuses or Penalties due to there size.
  • Ork Base Land Speed is 30 ft.  However, Because of there stout and strong frames, Grey Orks can move at this speed even when wearing medium or Heavy armour, or when carrying a Medium or Heavy Load (unlike other creatures whose speed is reduced in such situations).
  • Dark-Vision:  Grey Orks can see in the Dark up to 60 feet.  Dark-Vision is black and white only, but is otherwise like normal vision, and Grey Orks can function normally in no light at all.
  • Wyld Child:  Because of there sole nature and self dependence, Grey Orks gain a +2 racial bonus on all Climb and Survival skill checks.
  • Vicious World:  Grey Orks are no strangers to life’s many woes and hurts, and have toughened over the years against Starvation and Thirst.  They gain a +2 racial bonus on all Saving Throws against Starvation and Dehydration.
  • Social Stigma:  Ork’s are a hated peoples across the world by many whom they have injured in the past, and this has left its mark on the Ork.  Orks take a -4 penalty to all Charisma Checks, and Charisma related Skill Checks.
  • Wandering Loner:  the Grey Ork is an independent creature, often to a fault for there immense pride, and distrust of others.  They automatically start with 2 alignment points invested in Chaos.
  • Weak Mind:  Grey Orks have fractured, and undisciplined minds, even by the standards of there own kind, and are very prone to suggestion and manipulation.  Grey Orks take a -3 Racial Penalty on all Saves to resist Mind-Affecting Spells or Spell-Like Abilities.
  • Unsocial, Illiterate:  Grey Orks, more than any other race, disdain language and the many vagaries and complexities of its art.  There separation from the modern world has become so great in fact that they have, as a group, lost the art of word and letter.  All Language Skills cost Twice as much for a Grey Ork as for any other, and Grey Ork’s must spend 4 Skill Points to become literate in any language they speak.
  • Poor Vision:  Grey Orks have notoriously weak eyes, as set back and small as they are, and suffer a -3 Racial Penalty on all Spot and Visual Search Checks.

            The Wood Ork:

            The Smallest and slimmest of all Ork-kind, the Wood Ork is rarely found north of the Equator, most often in habitats more suited to them, in tropical forest and among the chains of islands in the southern Rasibbean Sea.  The wood Ork stands of equal height with most humans, albeit of heavier shoulder and broader legs, but they don’t nearly match there counterparts for raw strength and bredth of arm.  Wood Orks do however, stand out quite prominently from there kind, for there long pointed ears, drooping back behind there heads, and notoriously wild hair, ranging from green, to red, to blond.  The wood Orks possess darker skin than there mountain cousins, often darkening to a deep emerald color, sometimes even nearly black.  There jaws and tusks both are less pronounced, giving them a more pig-like appearance in snout and jaw, and there eyes are large and wide, curving upwards, similar to that of the islander’s, ther closest northern neighbors in many parts of the world.  Wood Orks usually reach maturity around the age of 14-15, and live a natural lifespan of up to 60 or 70 years.

            Wood Ork Racial Traits:

§          +2 Constitution, -2 Wisdom.  Wood Ork’s have a rather solid frame, though not possessing the raw build of there larger cousins, but they are a rash and impetuous breed.

  • Medium:  as Medium creatures, Orks have no specific bonuses or Penalties due to there size.
  • Ork Base Land Speed is 30 ft. 
  • Dark-Vision:  Wood Orks can see in the Dark up to 60 feet.  Dark-Vision is black and white only, but is otherwise like normal vision, and Wood Orks can function normally in no light at all.
  • Low-Light Vision: because of there unusual life cycles, and there common dense jungle homes, Wood Orks can see twice as far as a Human in moonlight, starlight, torch-light, and similar situations of poor illumination.  They retain the ability to distinguish colour and detail under these circumstances.
  • Jungle-Folk:  as native inhabitants of the dense rainforests and jungle present on their natural continents, wood Orks have adapted to life in this environment, and gain a +2 racial bonus on all Climb, Survival, and Swim skill checks.
  • Vile Venoms:  due to hundreds of years coating there weapons with the most vicious of poisons, wood Orks have built up a natural tolerance, and gain a +2 racial bonus on all Fortitude Saving Throws vs. Poisons.  They are also Immune to Blackwood Sap.
  • Illiterate:  The Wood Orks, while knowledgeable of both letter’s and writing, are by and large illiterate.  There tribal and oft chaotic social structure make the knowledge of such somewhat rare, and difficult to both learn and find.  Wood Ork’s must spend double the usual number of skill points on a language they speak to become literate in it
  • Social Stigma: Ork’s are a hated peoples across the world by many whom they have injured in the past, and this has left its mark on the Ork.  Orks take a -2 penalty to all Charisma Checks, and Charisma related Skill Checks.
  • War-time Child:  The Wood Ork is bred into a world of catastrophe and bitterness, and they have learned the lesson of survival by pure deviousness.  Wood Orks automatically begin with 1 alignment point invested in Chaos. 
  • Black Liar’s:  The trickery and distrust of the Wood Ork is legendary, and they have, even more than other Orks, established for themselves a reputation of great dishonor.  Wood Orks take a -2 penalty on all Diplomacy and Bluff Skill Checks.

            “Green-skins”:

                “Green-skins”, or Mountain Ork’s, are what most peoples of the world think of when you mention Orks.  They are bay far the most common of the three kinds, as well as the most daring in there pursuit of taking part in the events of the world around them, often descending from there usual mountain homes for purposes of either trade, travel, or as part of the conquering almighty ‘Horde’.  Mountain Orks are typically between 5’3” and 6’5”. With females being slightly shorter and tending towards heavier set hips.  They are stout peoples, thick of arm and shoulder, with generally narrow waists comparative to there frames, and shorter, stumpy legs.  Aptly named, there skin most often presents and a mid-way green, darkening around joints or bruising, with long pale tusks, usually between 2 and 3 inches sprouting from a heavy lower jaw.  Mountain Orks usually possess black or blue0black hair, but some tribes often manifest rare cases of deep fiery red-heads, and the occasional grey-mane.  Mountain Ork’s reach maturity roughly at age 15, and live a natural lifespan of between 60 and 70 years.

            Mountain Ork Racial Traits:

  • +2 Strength, +2 Constitution, -2 Charisma.  Mountain Orks are a hardy folk, tough and strong, but they rather uncivilized compared to the plains-dwelling races of the world.
  • Medium:  as Medium creatures, Orks have no specific bonuses or Penalties due to there size.
  • Ork Base Land Speed is 30 ft.  However, Because of there stout and strong frames, Mountain Orks can move at this speed even when wearing medium armour, or when carrying a Medium Load (unlike other creatures whose speed is reduced in such situations).
  • Low-Light Vision: because of there unusual life cycles, and there common mountain homes, Mountain Orks can see twice as far as a Human in moonlight, starlight, torch-light, and similar situations of poor illumination.  They retain the ability to distinguish colour and detail under these circumstances.
  • Battle Hardened:  Over the centuries, the Mountain Orks have founded many battle rites and traditions, and are bred warriors.  As Such they add a +1Racial Bonus to there Shock Value.
  • Stubborn and Mean:  Mountain Orks are well known for there stubborn refusal to submit, and there capacity for relentless pursuit, through all obstacles.  As such they gain a +2 bonus on all Intimidate checks and Survival checks to survive in natural environments.
  • War-time Child:  The mountain Ork is bred into a world of catastrophe and war, and they are learned in this art.  Mountain Orks automatically begin with 1 alignment point invested in Chaos. 
  • Social Stigma: Ork’s are a hated peoples across the world by many whom they have injured in the past, and this has left its mark on the Ork.  Orks take a -2 penalty to all Charisma Checks, and Charisma related Skill Checks.
  • Illiterate:  The Mountain Orks, while knowledgeable of both letter’s and writing, and specifically possessing of there own slightly modified version of the Gürn alphabet, are by and large illiterate.  There tribal and oft chaotic social structure make the knowledge of such somewhat rare, and difficult to both learn and find.  Mountain Ork’s must spend double the usual number of skill points on a language they speak to become literate in it.

   Orkish Psychology

            The Orkish mind is a strange thing to compare to that of a mans.  There are many similarities, as well as many more differences.

Passion:

Green-skin passion is legendary, whether it be for life, love, battle or something else, there drive and heated emotion drives them to great feats.  Orks natural assertiveness and aggressiveness is an inborn trait, rarely deficient and also one of the primary reasons why the Ork race does not have greater dominion over the lands then they otherwise would.

This overzealousness take on many forms, differing greatly between gender’s, and individual Orks.  For example, Orkish pride makes manifest within this particular category, and Many Orks possess a level of personal worth, far beyond there station.  Not necessarily of fault however, this estimation of ones place in the world if of great motivation for an ambitious individual and causes often relentless pursuit of ones goals.  Through proper application, this pride allows an Ork to hold his ground both from impossible odds, as well as handle fear and debilitating emotions which are rooted in self-worth, to affect an Ork less severely.

Examination of this particular trait measures well on individual scales, from the well known vicious protectiveness of Orkish mothers, to the Intense feuds that can last centuries often held between clan family or merely two individuals whom involved themselves in any particular debate.  Additionally, this overwhelming emotion can also be examined on a larger scale, such as when one considers the psychology of The Horde.  When gathered in such large groups, Orks of many tribes quest for greater individual glory, for clan, honour, and family, to both glorify there ancestors, as well as themselves.  However, when one examines this vast pride on the large scale, the individuals own ego becomes only a splinter of the whole, and thus the self interest can become catalytic to a breaking of the horde.  While separated from the large group, individual Orks might hold a pass till everyone of them lies dead and bloody beneath the earth, but when fractured groups of long standing individual honour are forced to share fate with rivals and strangers alike, the interest in success begins and ends with the likelihood of success.  As victory turns away, individual groups become more concerned with preservation of there own to future advantage, and victory for the whole becomes less important, thus leading to the breaking of the larger group in favor for individual preservation.

This Passion is also a bane however, when applied in more genteel or diplomatic settings.

            Wisdom: 

                While Orks are most well-known for there passions and rages, there is a depth to there peoples that is rarely seen or understood by outsider’s.  Orks do value combat prowess, physical strength, and a strong masculine attitude greatly more so than the other races, but the one thing they revere to an even greater degree is the impartiality and reverence to the world around them, often held by the Orkish Shaman’s.

                Wisdom, in the Orkish sense, is when one accomplishes a greater purpose than ones personal benefit, through personal sacrifice.  Shaman’s for instance, may never wed, and may have no children in most Orkish tribes.  They nurture and teach the younglings, guide the warriors in all decision that the War-Chief cannot, and provide a strong spiritual base for the tribe.  Many would happily serve as Shaman, yet the honor must only ever pass to one per generation, and that honor is fervently sought indeed.

                Even not represented in the shamans, there are many examples in Orkish society.  Young Orks admire there father’s, but listen to there mothers, and the belief in feminine wisdom is greatly advanced for so primitive a society as that of hunter’s and gatherer’s.  the respect of ones wife, the pursuit of camaraderie over wealth, the belief of true love, and the Orkish tradition of unity, though limited to tribe, most of all.  Legends are passed down from father to son, from teacher to student, over millennia, repeated with the greatest accuracy, the knowledge that the Orks possess valued so greatly. These legends have been taught as lessons and taken to heart, and the Ork’s as a peoples have prospered in many ways because of this.  Tribes fight so rarely over such things as land, or game, or even providence, more often concerned with matters of pride and respect, assuring themselves constantly of there value as warriors through the only true test of such mettle.  It is a sad thing there rage is so dear to them.

            Virtue & Fault:

            As varied as any race, though rarely seen as such, these polar opposites that combine to form the Ork, both conflict and meld in many ways.  Orks suffer from an over strong pride, a wrathful and violent concept to them.  Yet similarly, this pride is what makes them so rare among the advanced races, this belief of independence despite there faltering world view, and the treatment of there beliefs so often met with such hostility.  The poor bull-headedness of your average Ork is such as well, there stubborn refusal to face so much of the world under an unbiased light has led to more conflict than any race would rightly deserve, causing a great difficulty in peaceful interactions with neighbor or fellow, yet at the same times produced a hard-working folk not easily dissuaded by trouble or strife.  They pursue there game relentless, soldier through storm and fire to pull in the crop, and will not put down there hammer until the craft is done, one way or another.

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