Orog (Deep orc)
Regions: Anauroch, The North, Silver Marches, Orc, or Orog.
Racial Feats: Daylight Adaptation, Headlong Rush.
Racial Prestige Class: Orc warlord.
Level Adjustment: +2.
Although everyone in Faerûn knows about the orc hordes of the North (the mountain orcs) and the nomadic orcs of the East (the gray orcs), only a relative few know of a third subrace that hails from the deeps below ground. The Underdark is the chosen haunt of these terrible creatures, the orogs. After thousands of years of survival in the harsh and dangerous Underdark, the orogs have changed to match their home, becoming more ferocious and better able to cope with the dangers found there.
Physically, an orog looks similar to a large mountain orc, except that the ears are somewhat larger, and their eyes are huge and pale. They average six and a half feet tall.
Over the centuries, orogs have mastered the art of forging armor and weapons from the strange ores found in the Underdark. They favor half-plate and full plate armor, which are typically adorned with armor spikes. Orog weapons are festooned with a multitude of hooks, spines, and redundant cutting edges. An orog rarely goes anywhere without being fully armed and armored.
Orogs use the following aging effect characteristics, as described in Aging.
|Race||Middle Age*||Old**||Venerable***||Maximum Age|
Orogs are bigger and more powerful than most other peoples of Faerûn, and use the following random height and weight characteristics:
|Orog, male||5'10"||+2d10||160 lb. x (2d6) lb.|
|Orog, female||5'2"||+2d10||125 lb. x (2d6) lb.|
The orogs are descended from the Skullbiters, a large tribe that lived in the Spine of the World thousands of years ago. These orcs were among the most brutal and savage warriors of the first orc horde to attack the southern lands in -3605 DR. When the horde was finally repelled, the Skullbiter orcs were cut off from their retreat to the north. Cornered between the Netherese and elven armies, the Skullbiters fled into a narrow cave at the end of a canyon. The narrow cave quickly gave way to a seemingly endless maze of caverns; the Skullbiters had discovered the Underdark.
The orcs soon realized they were hopelessly lost, but they knew that their enemies would never follow them into these lightless vaults below. Whenever they came to a choice in their journey through the Underdark, they chose the route that led deeper into the ground. Eventually, the Skullbiters came to a vast underground cavern filled with a veritable jungle of phosphorescent fungi. The orcs figured they had fled long enough, and in the wan light of the fungus jungle, they decided to settle down.
Over the next several thousand years, the Skullbiters spread like a plague through the deeps, often choosing caverns filled with deadly fungi or other dangerous creatures. More often than not, the orcs subjugated these creatures. In their expansions outward, the orcs also discovered numerous veins of pure metal ranging from iron to mithral. By -1000 DR, the Skullbiters had split into nearly a dozen new tribes and had grown strong indeed. Before long, the one-time orcs came to be known as orogs.
With the fall of Ascalhorn, Ammarindar, and Eaerlann in the 9th century DR, the orogs found their way clear to return to the surface world. Lone orogs had long blundered up into the surface world, but they had always been isolated arrivals. Now, the orogs began to seethe up from below in greater numbers than ever. The sight of the upper world awakened a mysterious urge in their hearts. The orogs have found to their great delight that their lesser kin, the mountain orcs, are easily bullied into subservience.
The vast majority of orogs still dwell in the caves below, but when the next orc horde rises it will be one the likes of which the North has never seen. The orogs have been slowly but surely supplying their less-talented kin with deep-forged weapons and armor, and more than a few mountain orc tribes are now led by orog warlords and champions.
The orogs spent thousands of years battling terrible creatures for living space in the Underdark. Now that they have finally begun to return to the surface world, they are finding it to be something of a paradise. Stronger and better equipped than most of their enemies, the orogs are quickly settling into positions of leadership in the eastern tribes of mountain orcs near Anauroch. Whereas mountain orcs revel in the act of war, the orogs revel in its spoils. They are quick to rise to battle, but afterward they fall back to enjoy the fruits of their victories. The concept of leading a horde of raging orcs on a pointless crusade that only ends when the last aggressor falls, still advancing, is alien to the mindset of the orog. Why go to war if you can't enjoy the results?
Most orog characters are fighters or barbarians, but recently more orogs are becoming rangers and rogues as they explore the surface world.
Favored Class: Fighter. Orogs have been battling ceaselessly in the Underdark for centuries. Because orogs have higher Charisma scores than other orc races, a significant minority of them are bards and sorcerers.
Prestige Classes: Many orogs near the surface take the orc warlord prestige class with the hope that they can harness the random, almost mindless, fury of the orc horde for their own conquests and raids.
Deep underground, the orogs use slave labor to expand caverns into well-defended cities. These cities are completely enclosed in the rock and consist of huge, seemingly endless rooms connected by numerous large processionals and public squares. Orog cities often consist of layers, with rooms atop rooms atop rooms. Nobility usually resides in the highest chambers, which are accessed by trapped stairwells and vertical shafts with crude rope lifts. Orog cities such as these can house upwards of eight thousand orogs and up to three times that many slaves.
Most orog cities are much smaller and are comprised of only a few hundred orogs and slaves. All the near-surface cities are like this, although they mimic the larger cities' tendency to consist of dozens (if not hundreds) of interconnected small rooms. On the surface, orogs have so far not built cities of their own. Rather, they have simply moved in and taken over tribes of mountain orcs, seizing the best buildings for themselves and displacing the orcs to the smaller ones.
The one thing that binds together all orog societies is the placement of the forges. Orogs have a long tradition of armor-smithing and weapon forging, and the first thing a tribe of orogs look for when they pick a site for new town is a natural place to set up a forge. Volcanic vents and pools of magma are favorites, but more traditional forges built on epic scales serve as well. Orog forges are community-held, and any orog is welcome to build armor and weaponry at the forge just as long as what is produced is either put to immediate personal use or placed in the community armory.
Language and Literacy
Orogs speak orc and Undercommon. Those few who have a knack for languages learn another tongue common in the Underdark, such as Dwarven or the drow dialect of Elven. Now that the orogs are exploring Anauroch, it's likely some orog characters will learn the tongues of the surface world as well.
All orogs are literate, except for barbarians, commoners, and warriors.
Abilities and Racial Features
Orogs all possess the following racial traits:
- +6 Strength. -2 Dexterity, -2 Wisdom, +2 Charisma: Orogs are incredibly strong, and they make natural leaders despite their ferocious appearance.
- Orog land speed is 30 feet.
- Darkvision up to 120 feet.
- Proficient with greatsword and throwing axe. All orogs train with some sort of martial weapon from a very young age.
- +2 racial bonus on Craft (armorsmithing) and Craft (weapon-smithing).checks. Orogs train from an early age at their tribal forges.
- +2 natural armor.
- Light Blindness (Ex): Abrupt exposure to bright light (such as sunlight or a daylight spell) blinds an orog for 1 round. In addition, orogs suffer a -1 circumstance penalty on all attack rolls, saves, and checks while operating in bright light.
- Resistances: Orogs have fire resistance 5 and cold resistance 5. They are inured to extremes of temperature.
- Orc Blood: For all special abilities and effects, an orog is considered an orc. Orogs, for example, can use or create orc weapons and magic items with racially specific orc powers as if they were ordinary orcs.
- Automatic Languages: orc, Undercommon. Bonus Languages: Common, Dwarven, Elven, Goblin, Giant.
- Favored Class: Fighter.
- Level Adjustment: +2. Orogs are more powerful and gain levels more slowly than most of the other common races of Faerûn. See Powerful Races for more information.
Orog Magic and Lore
Although orogs do not have an inherent distrust of magic, they have little patience for it. Clerics are respected in orog society, not only for their curative magic but because they represent the orog race and serve as spiritual guides. They are often called upon to aid in creating magical weapons. The most common spellcaster in orog society, though, is the bard. Orog bards are often important members of a tactical strike, using drums and chanting to whip the soldiers into a frenzy, then curing them of their wounds after a battle. Orog sorcerers are rare, but the natural leadership and force of personality possessed by orogs make them ideal sorcerers. Those few who develop sorcerous powers become mighty indeed.
Orog Magic Items
Orogs are not known for their creativity; orog magical items tend to be short and to the point. An orog crafting a magical weapon doesn't bother with fancy weapon qualities, opting instead to simply increase the enhancement bonus of a weapon. They have little interest in items like wands, staves, and scrolls, but potions are well liked due to their portability and endless uses in combat. An orog army outfitted with potions of bull's strength, endurance, enlarge, and haste is a potent force indeed.
Orogs brought the worship of Gruumsh with them into the Underdark and have more or less forgotten the other various orc deities. Certain fringe cults of orogs in the deep Underdark have started worshiping Ghaunadaur, but these orogs avoid their more traditional kin. Religion is an established facet of orog society, but not an overwhelming one. In many cities, orog clerics are thought of as little more than healers, the average orog having little interest in spiritual matters.
Relations With Other Races
Orogs get along the best with orcs, whom they find easy to bully and subjugate. They are intrigued by the concept of the half-orc, since these hybrids can operate in the blinding light of the sun with ease and make excellent warriors for surface world campaigns.
Those orogs who remain deep underground often engage in more or less friendly trade with the gray dwarves and the drow, who value the productivity of orog mines enough to let orog cities alone. The orogs often make war on the svirfneblin, but they try to avoid the more alien races such as the illithids and aboleth, whose mental powers can cut down even the mightiest orog with ease.
Orogs are loath to use armor or weaponry of less than masterwork quality; any weapons they construct that fall below this expected level of quality are usually set aside for young orogs to practice with. They have little interest in some of the more exotic types of weaponry found in the Underdark, preferring to use relatively simple weapons instead. The greatsword is the orogs' favorite melee weapon, and they find that throwing axes make good use of their high Strength in the close quarters of many Underdark battles.
Animals and Pets
A typical orog lair not only includes two to three times the orog population In various humanoid slaves, but also a large number of war-trained animals as well. Near the surface, orogs favor dire animals (particularly dire boars and dire bears), while deep underground they often train giant lizards and dire bats as steeds or guardians. In some of the larger orog cities, they keep creatures like thoqqua and even salamanders or fire elementals as guardians for their forges.
This region represents an expatriate orog living among the orcs of the surface world.
- Preferred Classes: Barbarian, cleric, fighter, sorcerer. A character of one of these classes may choose a regional feat and gain his choice of the bonus equipment below as a 1st-level character.
- Automatic Languages: orc, Undercommon.
- Bonus Languages: Common, Dwarven, Elven, Gnome.
- Regional Feats: Blooded, Bullheaded, Daylight Adaptation, Thug.
- Bonus Equipment: (A) greatsword* or throwing axe*; (B) banded mail* with armor spikes; (C) Potion of enlarge (at 5th level) and masterwork armorsmith or weaponsmith tools.