Verdant | Races

Orc of Ta’Nakahour

Race Profile

Muscular and agile, the Orc of Ta’Nakahour are a people unto themselves. History says that they once ruled the land now known as Verdant only to be ousted from its borders by Tiamati and her descendants after years of war and strife. They have not forgotten what was stolen from them, however, they have found solace in the green of their new homeland, staking their claim over generations. Solidarity means everything to the Orc people, their numerous tribes bound together by kinship even as personal disputes occasionally cause disruption. They are fiercely protective of their realm, the border marked by large eyes painted on the trees. When one walks in Ta’Nakahour, they are always being watched.

Art & Depictions

Rulers & Government

The Orcs do not bow to King or Queen, and there are no lords who command them. But this should not suggest that they are without the structures which define a civilization. Their society is subtle, full of nuance which may be overlooked by those who are unfamiliar with the character of these people. At the top of their social structure is the Grand Elder, an Orc of distinction who has earned the respect of their peers through a display of prowess. When the previous holder of the position dies, each tribe sends a competitor to Mandregal, the Canopy City and capitol of Ta’Nakahour. Once there, they will compete against one another in a series of challenges. The winner becomes the new Grand Elder, but it would be a mistake to see one as the definitive ruler of their people. The Grand Elder’s place is to maintain a stable relationship between the many factions, acting as a formal adjudicator to disputes between the tribes. They are expected to keep the traditions of the people alive and ensure that their way of life is never stolen from them again. Their word is held in high regard and often their decision on any given matter is final. The Grand Elder can, if need dictates, join the tribes together in a formal army in order to defend Ta’Nakahour. They can call for one tribe to aid another in need, or command that two or more factions join together to support their people. But their power outside of this is far from unlimited.

Each tribe leads its own within their understanding of Orc traditions and way of life. At the head of the tribe are the circle of elders, a small council of respected members who convene to discuss whatever concerns or troubles the village faces. Their duty is to ensure that the people remain well fed, well housed, and the families generally content within the village. If there are troubles between tribes it is the circles who meet to come to terms and ensure that the peace is kept or, failing this, that the resulting fight is done honorably. For the most part, each faction respects the territory of the others, crossing the lines only when needs dictate. The Orcs learned a long time ago that the only way their people to survive is if they do so together.

Allies & Enemies

There is a long-standing distrust between Orcs and Humans for good reason. They have never forgotten the betrayal of the Verdant people and their expulsion from their ancestral homelands by Tiamati and her descendants. Humans are unwelcome beyond the tree-line markers and will be deterred from crossing, bearing in mind that the Orc version of a deterrent is an arrow to the shoulder. Despite this, Verdant has long-established outposts along the Greenback mountains in order to ensure that the border is well maintained. When it comes to Minotaurs, the Orcs bare no personal grudge against them, but as the bovine folk are staunchly allied with Verdant it is a safe assumption that any Minotaur is a threat to Orcs. It is also unusual for an Orc to meet with someone bigger than they are, so there is healthy respect involved. Gabelins are considered to be friendly, and while they are not allowed within Ta’Nakahour, these nomadic traders are welcomed along the borders without concern. Some will say that Orcs, Gabelins, and Humans all come from the same ancient ancestors, as all three share enough commonality to intermix and create offspring. However, all three races will adamantly deny this possibility. The Vadels are generally distrusted in the same way that the Orcs distrust most outsiders, though they will occasionally trade with them if the Vadel has something they need badly. If there is any group which the Orcs dislike more than humans, it is the Yenya. There is bad blood between these two peoples going back long before recorded history, and both sides remember the troubled vividly. They will fight one another on sight with little hesitation as a point of pride.

Religion & Belief

It should come as some surprise that the Orc does not seem to have gods. Their stories say that their people once had many gods, but any Orc will tell you that gods who do nothing when their people suffer are not gods worth having. There is some degree of misunderstanding about this, as they do have places that are considered sacred. However, they will insist that this has nothing to do with divine beings. Rather they insist that are ‘neighbors’ who share the jungles, beings which are known as ‘Geni‘. The Geni are not unique to Ta’Nakahour. In fact, they exist all over the continent. However, the Orcs are among the few who do not consider them to be either nuisance or a threat. For instance, if an Orc found a tree full of ripe, succulent fruit and wishes to pick some, they would first check to see if there is a Geni that might consider this tree to be on their property. Oftentimes, if a particularly large or powerful Geni is identified, the tribe as a whole will go and make offerings on a yearly basis to ensure that they can pass through or respectfully collect resources without being seen as trespassing.

Hunters, Gatherers, & Healers

Within Orc society, one’s duty is the primary factor in any decision-making. This falls into four distinct categories:

Duty to the People
An Orcs first duty is to their people as a whole. This is fulfilled by keeping their traditions, stories, and way of life alive by passing it down from generation to generation. It is also noted that to the people of Ta’Nakahour, Orc is Orc. They don’t believe in things like ‘half-orc’ or ‘orc-ish’. If one has orc blood and lives in accordance with their way of life, they are Orc. There is no division.

Duty to the Tribe
The second duty of an Orc is their responsibility to their tribe. As a communal people, they expect everyone to fulfil a role within their village, and as such everyone is entitled to partake in the bounty. The people are meant to care for one another so that no one goes without. This includes caring for those who may be disabled or too elderly to work.

Duty to the Family
Orcs have a strong belief in the family, which can be very expansive indeed! Orcs are polyamorous, often with many adults intermarried to one another. It is an Orcs duty to have offspring and to devote themselves to caring for their partners and their children in order to maintain strong family lines.

Duty to the Self
Part of an orc’s nature comes from a deep sense of self and pride in their being. As such, being true to one nature is inherently vital to their society. This includes being forthright about one’s ambitions, sexual preferences, gender, and desires in life.

By following these duties, the Orcs believe that their people will continue to prosper both as individuals and as a race. It is especially noteworthy that the Orc folk are very open to their people are trans, and it is oftentimes celebrated when one of the family announces themselves to be of the opposite gender. The individual is then expected to fulfill their role in society in accordance with their aligned gender.

Hunters, fishers, and gatherers are among the most valuable members of their society. Skilled and effective hunters venture out in the jungle to provide not just their own family, but their people with enough meat and produce to sustain themselves. They are adept at tracking local herds and migratory patterns, but it goes far beyond this. They are effectively game wardens of their territory, ensuring that the local species are not overhunted, nor poached by other tribes without seeking permission. Many are skilled at knowing when a disease or blight has taken hold so that it can be cleared away and the land allowed to recuperate over time. They also guard the borders of their territory if it is close enough to the Greenback, providing an effective blockade to anyone seeking a way in.

Farming is difficult to establish in a jungle area dominated by deep gorges, thick rooted trees and towering cliffsides. But the Orcs are ingenious at finding a way to work within their environment. If one goes to a village, they are likely to see an entire cliff full of fat vines hanging with fruit, herbs, and vegetables, the root system carefully maintained to ensure a reliable supply of food nearby.

Healers are invaluable in any society. With the plethora of local ingredients available to them, Healers take advantage, working to ensure that the dangers of living in this lush environment are surmountable. It is often thought that they possess some kind of sacred knowledge, and most Healers will not discourage this as it surrounds them with a kind of awe. While many Healers are simply those who paid attention and experimented until they got results, it is not uncommon for them to have talents resembling those of the Priestesses of Tiamati in Verdant.

Family & Marriage

Orcs are most noticeably polyamorous in their households, the head of the household expected to provide for their family to the best of their ability. With Orcs embracing both same-sex and trans individuals as an inherent part of their people, this can quickly become much more complex. The head of the household is generally expected to be the Orc who built the household as a means to impress their intended first marriage. This is typically a male but it is not by any means unheard of the females to build their own domicile, thus making them the head. Part of the Orc duty is to create progeny, so the first marriage tends to be a male and a female. This is by no means exclusive to a culture that may have multiple spouses, provided that at some point offspring is produced by the household.

Spouses are not married in the singular senses. Which is to say if the head of the household married one wife and then married another, those two wives are now just as married to one another as they are to the head. For this reason, the head of the household must have permission from their other spouses before bringing a new one into the home. At this point, courting becomes a joint activity. Certain manners are expected of course, and it is highly looked down upon to buck tradition if you should try. It is considered rude to court more than one person with the intention of marriage at a time. It is considered a deep offense to take on more spouses than one can reasonably provide for. While sex outside of marriage is not considered a grevious insult, it is considered highly ‘tacky’ to flaunt it or to go around with another Orc’s spouse.

Divorce is rare, but not unheard of. Most disputes between spouses are handled privately, as it is considered the height of crudeness to slander your partners in public or outside of the family. However, if divorce is occurring the entire village will know about it. The Orc who wishes to leave the household will take every single pot they can find and throw it out the window, shattering it on the ground below. Every bit of property they brought with them to their marriage is theirs to remove, and if the Orc in question was well-liked by their fellow spouses it is not unusual for the rest of the household to ‘snub’ the offending spouse.

Children born within the household may never truly learn who their birth parents were, as raising them falls under the responsibility of the entire family. There is no real preference given to ‘first-borns’ as the village works as a unified force and there is no substantial property to be handed down. Orc offspring are considered to be the future of the people, and as such as downright spoiled little creatures. Children are barely set down until they reach a year old, and are adored little things. They are loud, rambunctious, and prone to troublemaking, meaning that their parents must have a great deal of patience to deal with a hoard of them at a time. A group of orc children is fittingly referred to as a trample, as they go everywhere together and are known to raid the bakery house and fruit drying pavilion for food the moment they get hungry.