The eldritch energy of The Blight twists and transforms those who live in or near it. Over countless generations long ago, these changes resulted in the Orcs. They stand about five feet tall, with gray-green skin. Orc eyes shift colors quickly, in very bright hues, yellow, red, violet, green, and many more.
Orcs band together in orderly towns and cities, their natural instinct is to despise nature and the disorderly wherever it arises. An all-Orc town resembles a military camp as much as it does a town. But instead of war, Orcs create civilization, building walls and towers, forging tools and any other useful device.
Orcs have little use or interest in art and the beautiful, everything an Orc creates prizes function over form, and quantity over quality. A team of orcish blacksmiths can generate arms and armor for a full Century in a week, and they are prized for that talent.
Orcs are often taken as slaves, and almost as often their talents and skills see them freed in reasonable time. Rarely are they used as field workers when they can be used as builders or craftsmen, and more than a few Aleran citizens have become wealthy on the backs of Orcish slaves.
Free Orcs are valued members of Aleran society, although they are not eligible for citizenship. Some of the most wealthy members of the Senate have silent Orcish partners that make them much of their money.
Orcish Furycrafters treat their Furies as useful tools, and while they tend to be less flexible than the furies of other traditions, they are excellent at whatever task they have specialized in. Their furies tend to be blocky Earth spirits and even the rare firecrafter still finds himself with primarily cube-shaped servants.
Orcish religion is unusual in that they venerate only one god, Ird. Ird rules over all aspects of Orcish life. He commands that Orcs create and venerate those who do. Order is his watchword, and anyone who disrupts that will be ignored by him on the day of judgement. His worship is practical and simple, much as his people are, with a weekly sacrifice paid for by the whole community carried out at noon exactly on the Firstday. The wealthier the community, the more extravagant the sacrifice, with the Orcish Temple to Ird in Cairhien sacrificing a prize bull worth five hundred Denarii every week.
Orcs do not experience their ancestors in the same way that most other races do. Orcs instead develop instinctual behavior and skills based on their parents. These instincts continue to evolve as the parents do until their death. These instincts are detailed and complete, to the point that a group of orcish children in the wilderness can build a functioning town with no assistance, and rumors persist of a lost tribe of orcs north of Tarvin’s Gap that had this exact thing happen to them.
Orcish characters are blessed by the North Star Ithtandar, granting them a +1 to either of the Ithtandar attributes. Orcish PCs are further blessed by Ird, granting them a further +1 to an attribute tied to one of the other stars. When an Orc communes, they consult their natural instinct for guidance. Since Orcish ancestors are both useful and impossible to separate from their descendants, they have no equivalent of the Ancestor Room.