Delving the Nentir Vale
Half-Orc – Half-orcs are the offspring of Orcs and Humans — a hybrid race combining the strength, speed, and aggression that underlie Orc culture with the ambition, resourcefulness, and boldness of the human heart. Half-orcs usually live on the fringes of society, finding ways to succeed as virtual outcasts among their own kin. Resilient and persistent, a half-orc is unwilling to accept defeat as long as he or she still draws breath.
Half-ores were first seen on the frontier, where isolated human settlements marked the line between civilization and the wilderness. When the ancient empires of the world collapsed, these frontier territories were the first to fall into ruin. Marauding tribes of orcs, previously held at bay by imperial armies, quickly encroached on settled human lands. Though isolated skirmishes between the races were the norm for long years, Orcs and Humans were eventually forced to ally against the monstrous threats of the ancient frontier. Moreover, primal power provided a common cultural grounding between the tribes of both races, which began to forge a common culture and blood ties over time.
The half-orcs who arose as the result of this commingling combined the best traits of both races. Many people see half-ores as brash and violent, ascribing such behavior to the darkness of their ore heritage. Even the most barbaric half-orcs, however, can draw on the motivation and ingenuity of their human ancestry.
Half-orcs favor their human lineage in appearance, but are distinguished by skin that tends to various shades of gray, broad jaws, and prominent lower canine teeth—though these are still a far cry from the jutting tusks of Orcs. On average, they are taller and stronger than humans as well. Their hair is usually black, though it grays quickly with age. Most half-ores who live among humans favor human styles of clothing and hairstyle, but a few adopt ore traditions, tying small bones or beads into long braids or bunches of hair.
Half-orcs don’t live quite as long as humans do. They mature quickly, reaching adulthood at about sixteen years, and rarely live past the age of sixty.
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