The Lives of Orcs

Culture

Many scholars say that “Orc culture” is an oxymoron, and they’re correct, in that what civilized races consider culture, Orcs view with sneering disdain. Philosophy, art, advanced education — how do such things make a tribe strong and ensure their survival? For survival is the only thing that matters to Orcs, and so far as they’re concerned, survival is ensured solely through strength and conquest. Yet that doesn’t mean that Orcs don’t have certain universal principles and tendencies by which almost all Orc clans operate.
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In spite of their reputation as chaotic creatures, Orcs have a sense of a natural order to things: the strong dominate the weak. Predators dominate prey, while stronger predators hunt the weaker ones (along with their prey), and so forth—a great chain of dominance from the weakest of creatures to the strongest, with the highest spot on the food chain reserved for the Orcs themselves.
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Of course, Orcs are not so foolish as to believe they are the strongest creatures on Golarion. They know full well there are mightier creatures, and frequently bow to superior powers, be it a god, a demon lord, a dragon, or even a powerful human wizard. As a race, however, Orcs consider themselves the strongest of the humanoids, and therefore the rightful rulers of all they survey.
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The drive towards dominance is strongly ingrained in an Orc’s being. They are virtually incapable of relating to others—including other Orcs—in any other way. Alliances with Orcs are either a face-saving name for what is actually surrender, or else a temporary arrangement, until circumstances change or one of the parties figures out how to dominate the others. The idea of inherent equality is alien to the Orc mindset; everything must fall into a pecking order. If there isn’t one, then Orcs will establish it, most often with violence.
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This drive makes the core of Orc culture what civilized races would consider bullying: the strong entirely dominate the weak and are able to do as they please, but their dominance is often shallow and fragile. Someone who proves unusually strong or able to stand up to threats can turn the tables and become the dominant force in the relationship overnight. Orc life is a continuous struggle for control and position.
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Life and Culture
Crafts, Transportation and Attire
Orcish Appearance and Mentality
Conquest and Slavery
The Role of Females
Crime and Punishment
Challenges

The Lives of Orcs

Orks of the Frozen North JosephGargiulo