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The Basics

Best known as the evil brutes in J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings novels, the mythology of the orc goes back much further . In the works of William Blake, the Orc is a positive character, opening the door for authors to choose which mythology they would prefer that their orcs follow. World of Warcraft appears to have begun with brutish orcs but has gradually transformed them into noble warriors.


  • Generally humanoid
  • Squat
  • Broad
  • Flat-nosed
  • Sallow-skinned
  • Bow-legged
  • Wide mouths
  • Slant eyes
  • Long arms
  • Dark skin
  • Fangs
  • Tall
  • Green-skinned
Middle Earth Orc


  • Savage
  • Cannibalistic
  • Braver warriors
  • Cowards
  • Clever
  • Crafty
  • Sensitive
  • Intelligent
  • Noble
  • Social
  • Tribal
  • Have shamans
  • Live underground in tunnels
  • Often portrayed as under the control of another stronger power
  • Capable of mechanical creations, but not much artistic
  • The ’embodiment of rebellion ‘
  • Ride wolves, boars, or wargs instead of horses
  • Related to ogres (which are larger) or goblins (which are smaller)
  • Created from corrupted elves


  • No magical powers
  • Use Nature magic
  • High tolerance for wounding (able to continue, even with severe wounds)
  • Clever at building mechanical items
  • Good at tunneling
  • Absorb energy from sunlight (though too much can give ‘drunk’ effect)


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