Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Orcs, Part III

Orcish Divinities & Cults

Where Orcs Came From
Whatever foul entities gave birth to such a depraved folk isn't entirely known. The most common theories include (select or roll 1d4):
1. Warped and corrupted elves, done by one or more demon lords.
2. Lemurian-type hideous merging of fell men and beast.
3. Experimentations, likely by some mad wizard, made to be his merciless, splenetic, loyal foot troops (though they ended up betraying him anyway).
4.  A naturally occurring race, nevertheless still naturally brutal and evil.

Orc philosophers are surprisingly unclear on the matter.

In any case, orcs follow abominable entities, whether Orcus, the quintessential orc divinity (likely after whom the race was named), other demon lords, arch-devils, evil gods, other orc divinities of their own, or even corruptions of the wholesome gods that humans might follow. The latter is especially understandable since orcs cannot really create, they can only pervert.

What Orcs Worship (d6)
1. Orcus (see Volume II)
   2. a random arch-devil or evil god (e.g. Nergal- see Volume III)
   3. a random demon lord (e.g. Chernobog - see upcoming Volume IV)
   4-6. another specifically orc divinity (deity or demon lord- see below)
Random Orc Divinity Generator
Roll 1d2 times on the following table. Each one indicates part of the orc deity or demon lord's name translated in the human tongue, along with which special abilities its followers typically have* (defined in Part I).

1. King (Orc Chieftain)*
2. Axe (Orc Warrior)
3. Magic (Magic Orc)*
4. Hand (Orc Degenerate)
5. Fire (Orc Pillager)
6. Fist (Orcish Pugilist)
7. Black (Orc Militant)
8. Eye (Orc Warlord)
9. Evil (Orc Witchdoctor)*
10. Master (Golden Orc)
11. Blood (Orcish Manslayer)
12. Wild (Orc Savage)

Then roll to see what the name ends with (1d3).
1. 'God': obeyed by orcs in a way reflecting some religious zeal, but is ultimately depraved.
2. 'Demon': orcs follow it with open depravity.
3. 'Orc': seen as a great ancestor that has achieved godhood or demonhood.

For example, Magic Master Orc (rolling a 3 & 10 on the first table, 3 on the second) might be some sort of upstart, he is softer and more versatile than Orcus, seeking human worship. Black Hand God (rolling 7 & 4, then 1) might be followed by both orc militants and degenerates, precariously bound together by some minor dogma.

*Note3% of orcs will have one of the elite abilities of Orc Chieftain, Magic Orc, or Orc Witchdoctor in addition to the typical ones for which their orc divinity is known. If one or more of those abilities is the orc divinity's actual focus though, then only 10% of its followers will have them- any remaining orcs are just more cowed by their power (and thus have less orcish urgings to kill such leaders). 

For example, a group of 30 orc followers of  Blood Demon (orcish manslayers) will usually have either a chieftain or spellcaster as a leader. A group of 60 might have two, etc. On the other hand, orcs who follow a 'King', 'Magic', or 'Evil' orc divinity might have 3 orcs with such abilities for every 30 of their number. The rest likely won't have any special abilities, except for being fodder.

Read the full article with additional options here.

Next week: our series on folk concludes for a time with goblins!