This guide is not meant to be followed to the letter. It is only a guide to give you ideas in your head. This guide is aimed towards new orc roleplayers, but is also aimed to be helpful for experienced orc roleplayers. Some of the text may be fan-fiction, but is aimed to stay close to the Orcish ways as possible.
What is an “orc”?
Orcs are aliens to Azeroth. Their skin colour can be green, grey, brown, dark and red. Orcs are around one head taller than your average human, and usually have a muscular build. They often choose a job as a warrior, and if they have been gifted by the elements they will choose the path of a shaman.
The orcs use all kinds of weapons, but are mostly known to carry a big axe with them. The orcs mainly live on Kalimdor today, but they also have settlements in other parts of Azeroth. The orcs are known to be bloodthirsty beasts to many of the races on Azeroth.
However, over the years of their presence on Azeroth, they have gone from being mindless bloodthirsty monsters, to be a more organized people, that fight for their own survival in the harsh lands of Kalimdor.
• The orcs came to the planet at year 0, and started the war, which would later be known as “The first war”. The orcs won the first war, and destroyed the southern human kingdoms. The Horde loses their warchief, Blackhand, and Ogrim Doomhammer takes his place.
• The orc army is pushed back in the second war, by the gathered Alliance armies in year 6. The orcs are pushed all the way back to Draenor (Outland). However, the orcs did a lot of damage to the northern regions of the Eastern Kingdoms as well. Many orcs were captured and put into internment camps.
• Year 8, the Dark portal is destroyed, but the rift between the worlds is still open. Ner’zhul takes control of the Horde on Draenor, and orders Teron Gorefiend, Grom Hellscream, Kargath Bladefist, Dentarg and Deathwing to retrieve the magical book of Medivh. They are more than successful and gather more artifacts than they were sent to do. The Alliance responses the orcs with sending a group of heroes to Draenor, where they establish Honour hold.
Ner’zhul begins opening various portals for his Horde to conquer, but it ends up with tearing Draenor apart, and it is turned into Outland. Grom Hellscream and Killrog Deadeye quickly decide to escape to Azeroth with their clans.
• Year from year 20 to 21, the enslaved orcs are freed by Thrall. Thrall takes the new Horde with him to the lands in the west, Kalimdor. On his trip, he meets the Darkspear tribe, and with the orcs they are saved. They follow the Horde onwards. In Kalimdor, the orcs and trolls meet the noble race, the tauren. The orcs and tauren quickly get along, due to their code of honour. The lumbering of Ashenvale begins, and soon after the Burning legion is faced at the peak of Mount Hyjal. Here the Alliance and Horde swore a peace treaty, which was later completely forgotten.
• Year 22, the orcs have begun the construction of Orgrimmar, in their newly claimed homeland, Durotar. Here they meet the Mok’nathal “Rexxar”, who helps the entire Horde with many tasks. The orcs, with Rexxar in charge faces off the Kul’tirian army and fends them off.
• A new time begins; the time is World of Warcraft, year 25. New enemies arise around in the world of Azeroth, and a dark horde to the east has risen. Thrall sends the Horde to Blackrock Mountain to kill the fake Warchief of the Dark Horde.
• The Dark portal opens once more, one year has passed since the terrors of Azeroth was fought off. The year is now 26, and the orcs reunite with, what is but a memory of their home world, Outland. Here the Mag’har orcs join the Horde, and with that also Garrosh Hellscream.
• One year after the reopening of the Dark portal (year 27), Orgrimmar is suddenly attacked by forces of undead. The proud orcs, with the help of the rest of the Horde, fights off the undead and launches an attack upon the home land of the Scourge, Northrend, with Garrosh Hellscream in command.
• Year 28, the Horde returns home victorious with Garrosh Hellscream as the hero. The orcs celebrate him, as they do with the the returning warriors.
However, it is not long before a new threat arises, and Thrall must leave to train his shamanistic skills. Garrosh is appointed Warchief for the time being, and leads the Horde this day.
• Year 30, the cataclysm's big threat has ended with Deathwing's death, however a new continent in the south has suddenly appeared, as the thick mists vanish. The Horde vanguard led by general Nazgrim has been ordered to secure the land by warchief Garrosh.
• (Unknown year) The Horde discovered the Divine Bell on Pandaria and secured it for their own use. Garrosh is turning sour as he uses the sha on his own people to enhance them. Meanwhile Nazgrim is leading the resource gathering at Dominiation Point.
Previously, the orcs lived in clans who roamed the world of Draenor. The clans each had a chieftain, the leader of the clan, the one who took the decisions. Shamans, the spiritual and ritualistic orcs, the elder shamans worked as advisors to the clan.
The orcs have always taken much pride in strength, being able to keep oneself alive, both male and female.
There have never been any diversity among the male and females. Each had to carry as much as the other and they could obtain the same ranks.
Still to this day, their culture resembles much. However, the orcs do not serve their clans anymore. They serve the Horde. Yet many orcs still take pride in their old heritage and fight for it. The Warsong clan in Ashenvale and the Frostwolves in Alterac are the best known clans.
The best known thing about the orcs however, is that they love honour. They will even die for it. But what is honour? That is up to each orc to decide. It is often self-respect, dying for a greater cause in a battle, winning a battle with your own raw strength and skill or makes the right decisions.
• The Kosh’harg festival is a festival where the orcs gather and meet old friends. They catch up with each other, as they usually do not have the time elsewhere. They honour their dead ancestors and travel to Oshu’gun’s shadow. A great feast is served, and at night the adults will sit outside and do random chatter. The Kosh’harg is held twice a year, on the days where day and night is the same length.
• The Om’riggor is a rite of passage for the orcs. The young orcs who should be minimum twenty, are sent out to kill their first big prey. If they are successful and return with their prey, they will be celebrated and officially an adult within the Orcish society.
• Victory celebrations are probably the most held celebrations. The orcs love to celebrate a victory over an enemy, and they are often heard of. War tales are heard and loads of food is eaten.
Areas of living
The orcs live all over Azeroth, from the warm jungles of Stranglethorn, to the frosty caverns of the Alterac Mountains. They use their settlements around the world mostly to keep control, and ensure the roads are open to their people.
Most orcs live in the harsh land of Durotar, it is where their capital Orgrimmar is placed. They are said not to enjoy the area due to the forest of Ashenvale lying just north. They would have rather lived in a lush area, than a dry one.
Many orcs live the lives as soldiers, and see a lot of the world when they go to war.
Green skin colour is the most common among orcs these days. Orcs who were exposed to fel-magics had their pigments change from brown to green.
Brown skin colour is the skin colour of the Orcish people before they underwent the pigment changes. They are rare among the orcs, and most of them still live in Nagrand. They can be seen within the Horde ranks here and there.
Grey/black skin colour is the colour of the Dragonmaw and Blackrock orcs. It is said that the Blackrock orcs obtained the skin colour from living in the Blackrock Mountain, and that the Dragonmaw obtained it from rituals.
Red skinned orcs are the orcs who are either known as fel-orcs or chaos orcs. The chaos orcs were the orcs who drank of Mannoroth's blood once more in Ashenvale, where the fel-orcs drank endless amount and also grew bones out of their backs.
Orcs age just like humans do. However humans are considered grown-ups at the age of 15, where orcs are at the age of 18. It is rare to find orcs that are above the age of 80. (An orc is still not considered a true adult before the Om'riggor at the age of twenty. This might have changed during the New Horde however.)
Orcs do not like the idea of getting too old, so that they cannot take care of themselves and their families. It is a great dishonour if others had to see to their well-being.
Orcish names are given by their parents; they are often called something with a meaning such as “Grommash”, giant’s heart.
The orcs take the most pride in their surname. They gain their surname as a feat of an accomplishment that they have done, or a special trait about them. “Skullsplitter” can as an example be given to an orc, who is known to cut the skulls of his enemies. The most known Orcish surname is “Hellscream”, a name given to Grom as his scream was that of hell.
The surnames can be passed on to the children, but there is often taken a lot of pride in gaining one yourself.
Example of known Orcish names;
The orcs often hunt themselves to get food for their families. In the more recent times, markets have opened in Orgrimmar as well as some of the other bigger Orcish settlements.
They love their pork raw, and the boar farms can be spotted all over Durotar and the Barrens. They drink, they brawl and they bet. Orcs enjoy a good fight among friends, where they can prove their strength. Many of the orcs are dirty, and do not find personal healthcare too important.
The Three Hordes
The New Horde
Most Orcs followed Thrall to the forgotten lands of Kalimdor, when the prophet had engaged Thrall and suggested him to escape before it was too late. With the forming of the New Horde, new ideals also came or returned to the Orcs. Demonic woreshippers were shunned upon, and the main goal would be to cease the bloodcurse.
The Fel Horde
In Outland the red-skinned barbaric and mindless fel orcs reside. They think themselves as the superior Horde, and that the New Horde are traitors. They used the blood from the Pit Lord Magtheridon, but lost their source to the demonic blood when he was slain. Most of the Fel Horde has been eradicated in Outland.
The Dark Horde
In the Mountain of smoke resides the Blackrock clan and the Dark Iron Dwarves. The orcs here claims to be the right Horde, with Rend taking the mantle of warchief. They called out that Thrall was a traitor and a fraud. However this Dark Horde slowly began disbanding as Rend was killed.
The Thrall Archetype is the kind of orc, who will not go to battle unless it is the last resort. They would much rather approach diplomatic ways. They strive for the peace of their race and the Horde, and would see it unified if possible. They would never begin with the racism towards other races, unless provoked to the maximum and most likely still not. The Thrall Archetype came into orc society as the new Horde was formed by Thrall.
The Grom Archetype is the brutal and forward orc type. They do not fear starting a fight, not even among themselves to prove who is right and wrong. They honour strength above all else, and do not change their mind usually. They often have a short temper towards others, and will not hold back their thoughts on how they see others. They are very often racist towards the other races of the Horde. The Grom Archetype has been in the Orcish society for many centuries, and is one of the most widespread stereotypes.
The Doomhammer Archetype is the honourable orc. They put their people before anyone else, and are not afraid to resort to violence if someone threatens them. They are the born leaders of the orcs, and often rise to high ranks within the Orcish society. They are sceptical about the other races, but may not voice their opinion about them. They are calm until provoked, and do not often voice their opinion in brawls or duels. The Doomhammer Archetype has always been in the Orcish society and many of the chieftains before the corruption has been this type.
The Gul’dan Archetype is the evil and twisted orc. If they can spread chaos and havoc on not only their enemies, but also the orcs themselves to further one of their own goals, they will do so. They lust for power and status, and may often too communicate with demons. They are not necessarily racists, but they like no race more than the other. The Gul’dan Archetype came to the Orcish society as the orcs were corrupted with fel blood.
You don’t have to play one of the four archetypes, and can mix them too if you want. It is often thought that orcs are only the “smash” stereo, but they are much more. They are the race with some of the deepest lore, stretching out through all the games and many of the Warcraft novels.
Known Orcish clans in-lore;
Black Tooth Grin Clan
Bleeding Hollow Clan
Dark Scar Clan
Burning Blade Clan
Laughing Skull CLan
Lightning's Blade Clan
Twilight's Hammer Clan
Shattered Hand Clan
Searing Blade Clan
The Frozen Paw Clan ~ Clan inspired, allows other races than orcs
Orcs of the Red Blade
Agrammar (Orc-based guild)
The Beastmaw Clan
(Please help me expand this list, write the guild name and server + link to your thread if you have one)
http://theshatareu.wikia.com/wiki/What_I%27ve_Learnt_About_Orcish_Culture - (By Ursala - Sha'tar EU)
World of Warcraft
Roleplayers in the World of Warcraft
Orcs of the Red Blade:
Thank you for your contribution! :)
03/02/2012 19:35Posted by DarlonGreat guide and I'm sure I will use it if I decide to Roleplay and Orc in future. But I do have some questions (i'm not great on Orc Lore). Why are some Orcs green, some red and some brown? And how did the Orcs get to Azeroth in the year 0?
(I'll add this later to the guide more detailed)
The green skinned orcs were tainted by the fel energies on Draenor when Mannoroth gave his blood to the orcs, and not only the orcs who drank it became green. The fel-aura was so strong on the planet, that only the orcs who had the "Red pox" diseases were not effected. (And remained brown, as all orcs were before that)
The red skinned orcs drank a lot more of the demon blood, and is the ultimate "fel-orc" where green skinned orcs are known as "Tainted orcs".
On that account, Mag'har also means Uncorrupted (which the brown orcs are)
I'll add more into the timeline in the future, but to quickly answer your question, Ner'zhul opened a portal to Azeroth, that the Burning legion wanted his orcs to invade.
03/02/2012 19:51Posted by TazkramThe red skinned orcs drank a lot more of the demon blood, and is the ultimate "fel-orc" where green skinned orcs are known as "Tainted orcs".
Just a tiny tiny correction there.
All non-brown orcs are called 'tainted'. The ones that had red skin for a while (think Grom in chaos mode) are called 'chaos orcs'. They merely drank larger amounts of the fel blood.
For an orc to fully mutate and turn into a fel orc, they have to be infused directly with the demon blood, either by drinking it for a long long time or simply through transfusion (which is what they're doing in the Blood Furnace).