Mantic-Games-Orc-Artwork

Today we thought we would share some of Guy Haley’s excellent background he is working on for us:

Orcs are among the vilest of all creatures; evil beings created for war. They delight in destruction, all their essence is bent towards violence, mind and body. They despise beauty and goodness, finding their presence painful, and do all they can to bring what is right in the world to ash. It is said that if they ever achieve this aim, they will then fight among themselves in the ruins of the realms of better races, unheeding and uncaring, hatred driving them on to ultimate self-destruction.

Orcs are the footsoldiers of evil. At the height of the War with Gods, Garkan the Black, the dark aspect of the God of Smiths, bethought himself that he would forge an army of man-beasts made for his armies. For 900 days and nights he toiled in his forge pits until, by the light of a blood-moon, he hauled forth in chains the first of Orckind. Not forged of metal, these warriors, for Garkan took the living bodies of purer souls, and struck with his hammer upon them, working and reshaping them with magical heat on his forge of sorrow-cursed obsidian until they were made anew; twisted into near-animals by pain and self-loathing at what they had become.

Other gods, and later, other speaking creatures, took these monsters and experimented on them, much to Garkan’s annoyance, giving rise to the confusing array of Orcoids that plague the world to this day.

Although the dark gods were cast down into the Abyss at the climax of the War With Gods many millennia ago, and Winter, the last of their kind, was finally driven from the surface of the world 900 past, their servants have prospered in the gods’ absence. After Winter’s armies were defeated, many lands were left empty and desolate, and more still were revealed by the melting ice. Orcs breed quickly, and they have spread like a disease to infest large tracts of this new earth. From deep caverns to the heights of the mountains, Orcs and their wicked kin dwell everywhere. Small bands of them can be found in the most civilised of lands, while in the wild north, kingdoms of slaughter are raised and cast down by Orcs in relentless succession. Roving hordes of Orcs, Goblins, Hobgoblins, Half-Orcs and worse, accompanied by all manner of monsters and war engines, are a constant threat to the realms of finer folk.

Orcs are large, muscular creatures, with hugely muscled limbs and thick bones. Their hands are large and grasping, their arms long, like an ape’s. They hunch habitually, but when they stand tall they overtop most men, and their body mass easily twice as great as a man’s. An Orc is tireless. They are lazy creatures, but suitably motivated by the promise of war or the slaver’s lash, they can run without pause for day upon day, their shuffling run eating up leagues eagerly.

Their minds are narrow and as ugly as their faces; their greatest preoccupation being the invention of ever-greater torments for the innocent and good. Humans and Elves alike (the Dwarfs know better) mistake their inability to concentrate and propensity to sudden, mindless violence as stupidity, but Orcs are far from stupid. From their father god Garkan the Black they have inherited an affinity for making; and though their creations are crude and ugly to others’ eyes, they are strong. Orcs are capable of awesome feats of smithying and engineering when inspired – the might of their war machines and weapons is surpassed only by the twisted ingenuity of their instruments of torture.

Orcs have long faces and fang-lined maws. Their tongues are clumsy, ill-suited to speech, and their language is harsh, full of rasping and barking. Above tiny, hooked noses their red eyes glimmer in deep sockets like pits, miniature copies of the Abyss itself.

Wherever there are Orcs, there are their kinsfolk, the Goblins and Orklings. Lesser creatures than the Orcs, what the Goblins lack in size they make up for in viciousness. Many other sub-species of Orcoid curse the world – Greater Goblins, Hobgoblins and the vile Half-Orcs. There are many, many types of these creatures, and the scholars of the speaking peoples spend much time in categorising and describing them, but in truth they are all the same, and interbreed freely. All were forged by evil for evil intent, no matter their size or strength.

Want more? All you need to do is keep coming back to the blog or sign-up to the Mantic newsletter!

Our Orcs are now available to pre-order and will begin shipping at the end of April.

×