Orcs represent the most numerous of Morgoth's minions and perhaps the gravest transgression of the mightiest Vala to Eru, for they were bred (from various potential sources) in mockery of the Elves, The Firstborn.
In all of J.R.R. Tolkien's works, Orcs represent the basest, dreadful and most offensive and repugnant of (Earthly) human-kind. Rather than just being some soul-less essence of 'pure evil' without any vestige of sentient thought, they are often thoughtful and sometimes even humourous. Certainly they are 'bad', and their free will is subjugated to Melkor's dominance under fear of his torment.
Within those bounds, Orcs as players in our game can be very compelling characters. In-culture Role-play is as much important for an Orc-player as any other player.
Orcs were first bred by Melkor (Morgoth) many thousands of years ago in mockery of the Elves of Iluvatar. It is well known that Melkor, though mighty, did not himself create. Rather he corrupted and twisted what Eru and the Valar made.
Long before there were Elves, Orcs, Men or Dwarves, Melkor had corrupted many of the Maiar to his service. Best known of these is Sauron and the seven Balrogs. It would seem plausible that Thuringwethil the Vampire and Glaurung Father of Dragons were themselves lesser Maia. So it is likely that once Elves awoke and some were snared by Melkor and his minions, that some combination of lesser Maia and Elves were the stock of the first Orcs. Later humans potentially were too. Now J.R.R. Tolkien himself expressed at different times and places variations on this theme of Orcish origin. About all that is widely accepted is that Melkor could not have created the Orcs and that Dwarves, being by nature resistant to corruption or evil exploitation, were not part of Melkor's breeding of the most numerous of his evil minions.
Here again, J.R.R. Tolkien was somewhat vague on Orcish appearance. As Orcs exist in mockery of Elves, it's logical their appearance would mock beauty with hideousness. There are many physical variations as J.R.R. Tolkien describes them. Some common traits: Broad, relatively short-statured bodies. Long arms, large hands, thick legs. Dark skin, swart faces, slant-eyed, fangs. Of course all of these traits need not be exhibited in all Orcs.
In the First Age, Orcs should be strong and imposing in battle. They are still under the might of Morgoth. Following Morgoth's defeat at the end of the First Age, Orcs are dispersed and not until the Early Third Age, when Sauron again masses them and breeds the Uruk-hai are they again as potent. So it's valid conjecture the Orcs of Beleriand are at least as tough as Uruk-hai. And that's tough!
Currently (our game's setting), the Orcs are part of the Angband culture, Beleriand's largest. Now that the Siege of Angband was broken, they range wide over Beleriand from their northern fortress, many bolstering the already horrific forces of Werewolves.
As providers of much of the needed conflict of our story, in our game players with Orc characters are in a high profile position where they may make a difference while playing compelling and fun characters. Orc players are provided as much opportunity for in-culture RP as with other species. Opportunities for advancement include Werewolves, Balrogs, and Dragons.
Created and maintained by: Ulmo
Game hosted by: Billo Systems, Ltd. Co.