Orks have played a rather significant role in the original played out story, usually as antagonists but eventually moving beyond the simple brutish, bloodthirsty berserkers they’re often displayed as. They’re still definitely a warrior people, very physical, ferocious and aggressive, but they’re not by definition an evil people. For all the classic fantasy tropes I employ in shaping the Realm, inherent goodness and evil are things I usually seek to avoid in my writing. And speaking of classic fantasy tropes: yes, the Uruk-Hai are obviously taken out of The Lord of the Rings, but they have been adapted to better fit the lore of the Realm. If I’m ever going to publish anything Realm-related it’s of course a name that’s going to have to change. Until then, though, the Uruk-Hai are part of the Realm!
I was thinking of having this part be a bit more expansive by including more ethnic groups as well as counting the Goblins as a kind of Ork. The former I decided against because of their rather small territory and relatively small numbers they possess. The latter I did not go through with remembering how distinctly different the Goblins were from the Orks and only have being green and having pointed ears in common. Rest assured: the Goblins will be having their own installment in the near future. For now, though, here are the Orks of the Realm!
Peoples of the Realm
4. The Orks
One of the more homogeneous and least numerous peoples in the Realm the Orks inhabit the Northern part of the Lawless Lands, in the centre of the Northernmost Island.
A bipedal mammalian species Orks stand on average between 1.80 and 2.10 meters tall, making them the tallest of the five Northern anthropomorphic peoples as well as the heaviest, with an average weight of 100 to 120 kg. They have a broad and muscular physique and possess an unmatched physical strength and stamina, physical endurance matched only by Dwarves and speed which only the Elves surpass. As such they are considered among the most feared warriors in the Realm. All Orks have large, sharp tusks on their lower jaws, the size of which is both a sign of age and strength, and pointed ears.
The colours of their rugged skin include various shades of green or brown or a mixture of the two aforementioned. A small number of Orks, as explained below, has a dark grey skin bordering on black. Ork eyes are without exception yellow, though they do come in different shades. Their hair is most commonly black, but can be either dark brown or, very rarely, dark red.
Orks are probably the most short-lived people in the Realm, at least of the Northern anthropomorphic species. Because of their rough and violent lives, it is very uncommon for Orks to not meet their end in battle and die of old age. Those who live longer, usually either through incredible strength or avoiding violence, tend to have lifespans similar but slightly shorter than Humans. If an Ork reaches sixty years they are considered old, but those becoming seventy, while rare, are not unheard of. Orks of eighty years old have been known to exist, but they were only a handful of exceptional individuals throughout history.
The majority of the Orks are part of a fairly homogeneous group, both physically and culturally, and posses most of the traits described above: a rugged green or brown skin, usually pallid but sometimes more bright, yellow eyes and black, dark brown or dark red hair. Almost without exception they are tall, broad and muscular and possess pointed ears and large tusks.
Uruk-Hai consist of a small number of Orks who have mutated, likely under influence of the Dark Riders cult and their corrupting magics, to be even taller, stronger and tougher than regular Orks. In addition they are also much more ferocious and have an even greater thirst for battle, often seeking it out until they are killed. Because of this their lifespans tend to be even shorter than those of regular Orks. Unable to reproduce and dependent on the seemingly randomly occurring mutation to grow their numbers the Uruk-Hai are a relatively small portion of the Ork population, usually consisting of about five percent. Appearance-wise they are distinctly different from the non-mutated Orks. Aside from being taller, broader and more muscular, they have larger tusks and their skin is dark grey bordering on black. Only their eyes and hair retain their original colours, though do become somewhat more pallid.