The history of the half-orc is as mysterious as it is violent. It is said that long ago a fae-like creature named Ai’sheth made a deal with an extradimensional being, known as Orlag, in exchange for power. The result of this bargain was the orc.
A typical half-orc of today
Somewhere along their history a champion among orcs stood out amidst his peers and fought to separate orc kind from their enslavement to evil. This orc champion was known as Boloc and is considered a hero among half-orcs because it was Boloc who created them. The legends say they it was Boloc who took one hundred of his most loyal warriors with him to the Grey Crescent to confront Orlag. There a battle was fought that was unlike any Dalun had ever seen. According to half-orc storytellers Orlag had the might of a god, but so did Boloc when he stood together with his doughty allies. Boloc slew Orlag, freeing his fellow orcs from darkness allowing them return to Dalun as one of the Wise.
Orcs are violent and miserable creatures
When Boloc destroyed Orlag and the evil curse had been lifted from his one hundred companions there was a transformation that took place. The features and posture of the orcs had changed to more closely resemble elves, their complexion was altered and much of the grey, green, and brown pigment faded from their flesh. The monstrous fangs of the mouth shrank to small tusks and the pig-like snout of the nose flattened along the more angled face of the half-orc we now know. Not all traces of orc heritage could be removed because that is who they had become. The dark ritual Ai’sheth undertook gave him the great might that the orcs are known for, but it also made him hideous to behold and thus all orcs were cursed to resemble monstrous beings. When Boloc dispelled the curse only some of the affects were removed and the resulting half-orc now bears resemblance to the still-cursed orcs that raid and maraud the good folk of Dalun.
It is because of this legend that the half-orc communities of today are made up of exactly one hundred and one members. And because unity gave strength to Boloc and his allies loyalty is a very important virtue to all half-orcs. Half-orc tribes began gathering far from the settlements of the other races because at first they were not trusted by the rest of the world. The half-orc people get their name originally from an insult the ghost of Ai’sheth said to Boloc to try to undermine his victory. Ai’sheth’s spirit returned to its master, Orlag, when he was slain and he accused Boloc of not cleansing himself or empowering himself, but in fact killing what made him who he was. Ai’sheth called Boloc “half an orc” because he had lost half of himself when he slew Orlag, his master. Boloc took this insult to heart and named his people half-orcs because while they are no longer orcs, they must still remember their dark past lest they are doomed to repeat it.
Half-orcs, unlike orcs, are not inherently evil. In fact many half-orcs value courage and despise greed because of their dark history. It is common for half-orcs to become adventurers and slay evil monsters to acquire glory and greatness. Despite this half-orcs must still earn their trust and respect from outsiders because of their bloody past; some folk still see half-orcs as just orcs. For example in Drasguard half-orcs are not permitted to own land nor can they be paid as much as a human for the same job. In some parts of the world half-orcs are more accepted, such as in the frontier plains of Brefor outside of the Dungardt Mountains. Half-orcs are mostly welcome throughout Caelildran; more-so in the north than in the south. Half-orcs have been known to make settlements throughout Vyankal, but life is difficult on the Gray Moors and the superstitious folk there are less likely to trade with a people who have an ancestral background of curses, rebels, and monster’s-blood.
There are also tribes of half-orcs who reject the tale of Boloc’s heroism and see him as a traitor and a fool. These evil half-orcs are sometimes called the Children of Orlag because of their reverence towards the being that gave them the power that was partially lost to them. The Children of Orlag live away from other half-orcs and see all others as enemies. Since most folk cannot tell the difference all half-orcs have to deal with dirty looks and scorn at the least and threats of death and outright violence at worst. Fortunately for the Wise the Children of Orlag are so vile and murderous that they present themselves openly as enemies.