Scales of War
Orcs worship Gruumsh, the one-eyed god of slaughter, and are savage, bloodthirsty marauders. They plague the civilized races of the world and also fight among themselves for scraps of food and treasure. They love close combat and plunge furiously into the thick of battle, giving no thought to retreat or surrender.
Within what passes for orc society, there are orcs that fill special roles. Eyes of Gruumsh are orcs with a special connection to their fierce god. They offer sacrifices, read omens, and advise the tribe’s chieftain of Gruumsh’s will. Orc bloodragers are tribal champions feared for their strength and ferocity, and they also make excellent subchiefs or bodyguards.
Orcs often fight alongside ogres, and they can be coerced or bullied into serving any dark overlord or wicked monster powerful enough to command their obedience.
Orcs favor hills and mountains, places pocked by caverns easily turned into defensible lairs. Bloodthirsty marauders and cannibals, orcs venerate Gruumsh and thereby delight in slaughter and destruction.
Orcs don’t build settlements of their own, instead improving existing shelters with crude fortifications. They prefer to settle in natural caves or structures abandoned by other, more skillful races. Orcs can manage simple ironwork and stonework, but they are lazy and grasping, preferring to take by force the tools, weapons, and goods other folk make.
Orcs band together into loose tribal associations. The strongest individual in a tribe leads as a despotic chieftain. Individual bands within a tribe might wander far from their native lands, but they still recognize orcs from the same tribe as kin.
Orcs often demonstrate their faith in Gruumsh by gouging out one of their eyes and offering it as a sacrifice to their one-eyed god.