Though Orcs are not native to Rekkar-Sarrat, they make up most of the sentient population of the Scablands. In that rough, hard, and savage land, the Orcs have persevered, carving out their right to exist by force. Though the Orcs have occupied their barren home for thousands of years, their people remain primal and fierce, distributed into clans that patrol the Scablands fighting everyone, including one another, for any available resources. Orc clans sustain themselves on war, and their members are just as harsh and savage as the lands they roam. Violence is the only true law to the Orcs – survival of the fittest; only the strong survive. This makes them enemies to all that they encounter, and they regularly fight among themselves for dominance, pride, and glory. In the east, they raid Testudin communities and clash with the hobgoblins who come out of the mountains to do the same. In the west, they trade blows with the Raperean who wage their own holy war against the clans. In the north, the orcs used to do battle with the Azrak along the border, but ever since a cataclysmic battle 100 years ago, the two groups have left each other alone. In the south, the Orcs occasionally do battle with Gnoll bands or Shuka cells.
There are several Orc clans, but their actual number fluctuates as they are merged, eradicated, and formed. In centuries past, there were well over two dozen distinct clans at any given time, but currently there are rarely more than eight. A great merging of the clans a few hundred years ago saw the formation of a number of large clans, but only two of those yet remain, with the lesser clans coming and going. Tribal structure varies from clan to clan, as do the customs and tactics of their members, but the underlying cultural code of glorious war runs deep beneath every group. Orc clans generally acknowledge and respect power, often meaning that their clanlords are the strongest among them, although measures of strength can be different from one clan to the next.
The two greatest Orc clans are Kol’Goshar (Hellspine Clan) and Kol’Kargun (Bonepierce Clan), who each occupy one of the two mountain ranges in the southern Scablands – Hellspine Ridge and the Bonepierce Clefts, respectively. These clans have the highest numbers, most resources, and strongest might at their disposal. The Hellspine Clan often clashes with the Raperean flights in the west, and the Bonepierce Clan count the goblinoids of the eastern mountains as their fiercest outside enemies, but both clans send warbands roving throughout the Scablands in search of wealth and glory. Further, the Hellspine and Bonepierce clans are each one another’s biggest rivals and the two groups wage war on one another just as often as any outside force. The stretch of plain between their mountain homes, called Korgol’s Maw, is their most frequent field of battle.
The Hellspine Orcs are renowned beastmasters and boast large numbers of mounted warriors. These Orcs pride themselves in their taming of dangerous, exotic beasts of the Scablands and even those from the surrounding lands. Dinosaurs, which are native to the Scablands, are the favored mounts for this clan, but they have lately been mastering new flying creatures to better combat their Raperean foes. Hellspine Orcs are hot-blooded warriors, throwing themselves and their beasts at the enemy in wild rage. Despite their frenzy, they are able to muster coordinated tactics and have a collective strategic sense about them. The Hellspine clanlord is Warlord Gor-Borgan Beastblood, The Firewalker, Crusher of Mol’rosh, Wearer of the Five Mantles.
The Bonepierce Clan is quite different from its Hellspine adversary, but no less dangerous. The Bonepierce Orcs are practitioners of magic and alchemy, concepts that are mostly absent from other Orc clans. These orcs dwell within the caves and hollows of their clefts, their homes, sanctums, laboratories, and arcanums hidden within the stone and beneath the earth. Here the Bonepierce wizards and other mages experiment with foul magic and potent poisons, ever researching new and horrible ways to deal with their foes. Unlike the Hellspine Clan, the Bonepierce are cold and calculated, shrewd and cunning. They fight not with abandon and fury, but with precise strikes and weakening blows. That is not to say they are strangers to anger, for they are known for their chaotic and destructive spells as well. The leader of the Bonepierce Clan is High Warlock Dagar-Zul, The Demonbinder, the Storm of Karath’un, Drinker of Sorrows.
Other clans known to the people of Rekkar-Sarrat are Kol’Drogsok (Dragonclaw Clan), Kol’Tolgor (Dustdevil Clan), Kol’Oshkar (Stormbile Clan), Kol’Razgol (Deathblade Clan), and Kol’Sketarg (Earthripper Clan). Smaller Orc clans exist but are generally too scattered or too small or too temporary to carry much weight among outsiders.