An orc’s hair usually is black. It has lupine ears and reddish eyes. Orcs prefer wearing vivid colors that many humans would consider unpleasant, such as blood red, mustard yellow, yellow-green, and deep purple. Their equipment is dirty and unkempt. An adult male orc is a little over 6 feet tall and weighs about 210 pounds. Females are slightly smaller. The language an orc speaks varies slightly from tribe to tribe, but any orc is understandable by someone else who speaks Orc. Some orcs know Goblin or Giant as well. Most orcs encountered away from their homes are warriors
Decades ago there were many tribes of orcs who inhabited the southwestern region of Ytaerreth. That was before the great Clash of Orcs, where several particularly clever and devious orcs united under a single banner known as “Blackfist”. Lead by the Orc King, Prigmus the Black, the Blackfist Tribe, numbering in the many tens of thousands, either assimilated or destroyed all opposing orc tribes in the area.
The Blacfist Orcs worship a local spirit known as Goktarik, the Orcish God of War, and believe that an artifact they call “The Eye of Goktarik” grants Prigmus the power to defeat any enemy.
Until the start of the Highguard Orc Wars in 3420 CE, the Blackfist Tribe had a loose treaty with the nations surrounding their territory (located in the Pine Knolls of Ytaerreth) that granted general borders to the Blackfist. The treaty ensured the orcs would not raid the villages and cities of those nations, but provided little-to-no protection for travelers through the Knolls themselves.
However, with the rise of a new orc leader known as Mainkis the Marauder, and the preemptive attack on the Blackfist by the Nation of Highguard that started the Highguard Orc Wars, the Knolls are an exceedingly dangerous place to venture. And though the orcs still honor their treaty with the other nations, they frequently, and in great numbers, assault the cities and towns of Highguard.
For political reasons, since Highguard acted without council when they broke the treaty with the orcs, the neighboring nations who are also involved in the treaty do not aid the northern nation in the war with the Blackfist. This has given the orcs an advantage, and the upper hand over the militia of Highguard in engagements, and many observers predict that the orcs may actually win the overall war.