Argonnessen: A Draconic Exaltation
Often depicted as savage brutes and ravaging barbarians the orcs of Eberron are in fact an incredibly diverse and deeply spiritual people. While it is true that some orcs are uncivilized and wild this stereotype does not reflect on the majority of orcs living in and around Argonnessen. True, there are some wild orc struggling for survival in The Vast but there are just as many organized orc tribes fighting off the denizens of Khyber in The Light.
The orc appear to be an old species and hold some ancient grudge against The Dragon Below and her daughter. The tirelessly fight against the cults which try to free Tiamat and have proven on many occasions to be valuable allies of the Light of Siberys. These tribes in the The Light have even learned to make alliances with Hobgoblins, Goblins and Dwarves, all of which were their ancient enemies. Together these great races are the infantry of the never ending battle to keep the Overlords at bay.
Physical Description: Powerfully built, orcs typically stand just a few inches taller than most humans but have much greater muscle mass, their broad shoulders and thick, brawny hips often giving them a slightly lurching gait. They typically have dull green skin, coarse dark hair, beady red eyes, and protruding, tusk-like teeth. Orcs consider scars a mark of distinction and frequently use them as a form of body art.
Society: The two divisions of Orcs within Argonnessen live in markedly different lifestyles. The Wild Orcs of The Vast live in ever changing hordes that are often times controlled by Dragons. These barbarian orcs often come into close contact with the barbarian human tribes and here, Half-Orcs are not an uncommon occurrence. These Orcs live a short and chaotic life in which they may face off or be ruled by multiple Dragonlords in a number of years and they normally care for little more than survival. Horde allegiance holds some sway, but the Orcs have little chance for any lasting social connections.
The Orc tribes of The Light are another creature entirely. These tribes trace histories back for thousands of years – histories in which they, along with the Dwarves, Hobgoblins and Goblins, help the Great Dragons Warriors of the Light of Siberys to fight the never ending battle against The Cults to the Dragon Below. These tribes are fiercely proud and with good reason! The Light is a dangerous place and few humanoids have the strength to survive there. The Orcs have preserveered though and will be happy to recount their generations of oral tradition about the battles they have fought and the evil plans that they have quelled.
Alignment and Religion: The Orcs of The Vast live a hard and chaotic life and lean towards Chaotic Neutral or Chaotic Evil alignments. They have little time for organized religions but may worship one of the Dark Six in passing.
Their cousins in The Light, on the other hand, are deeply spiritual. These orcs, perhaps through thousands of years of interaction with Dragons, have a stronger affinity to the Progenitor Dragons than most races on Eberron. It is anathema to worship Khyber but she is still recognized to be a great God and part of the cycle of life. Most find Siberys to be too ephemeral though a the few scholars of their race have an affinity for her. Most worship Eberron directly in the form of nature magic: both Druidism and Shamanism.
Standard Racial Traits
Ability Score Racial Traits: Orcs are brutal and savage. They gain +4 Strength, –2 Intelligence, –2 Wisdom, and –2 Charisma.
Type: Orcs are humanoids with the orc subtype.
Size: Orcs are Medium creatures and thus have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Base Speed: Orcs have a base speed of 30 feet.
Languages: Orcs begin play speaking Common and Orc. Orcs with high Intelligence scores can chose from the following: Dwarven, Giant, Gnoll, Goblin, Undercommon. See the Linguistics skill page for more information about these languages.
Offense Racial Traits
Ferocity: Orcs possess the ferocity ability which allows them to remain conscious and continue fighting even if their hit point totals fall below 0. Orcs are still staggered at 0 hit points or lower and lose 1 hit point each round as normal.
Weapon Familiarity: Orcs are always proficient with greataxes and falchions, and treat any weapon with the word “orc” in its name as a martial weapon.
Senses Racial Traits
Darkvision: Orcs can see perfectly in the dark up to 60 feet.
Weakness Racial Traits
Light Sensitivity: Orcs are dazzled in areas of bright sunlight or within the radius of a daylight spell.