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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
3593 Posts

Posted - 06 Jan 2018 :  09:03:05  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
I'm going to be compiling a list of information (open to discussion of course...) about the world the Gray Orcs came from.

It looks like ALL orcs (edit: of Faerun...not all the multi-verse) can come from this world according to what I've found so far (as in there may be all sorts there and not just Gray Orcs).

The North wasn’t the only region of Faerûn destined to feel the savage claws of the orcs. In –1081 DR, a band of rebellious Mulhorandi wizards opened a portal to the orcs’ homeworld, and unleashed a massive horde of the creatures on the world several years later.

So this ties both the Mountain Orcs (from The North) to the Gray Orcs...all coming from the same world.

The Mountain Orcs remained "primitive" so long in the Forgotten Realms I think because they were dominated by other races. The first migration of orcs into Faerûn occurred many thousands of years ago, through portals built by one of the creator races. For thousands of years after they first migrated to Toril, the orcs were little more than feral savages too busy fighting and warring among themselves to warrant the attention of the great elven nations. This age of true savagery among the orcs of Faerûn is believed to have lasted for well over fifteen thousand years

Meanwhile on their homeworld the orcs there evolved into:

...opened a fateful portal to a savage world dominated by empires of fanatically religious orcs.

They had Empires...denoting a level of civilization that orcs in the Forgotten Realms were never able to obtain. Their power was such that:

The Orcgate Wars began in –1076 DR and quickly escalated into a war of devastating proportions. Orc warriors slew thousands upon thousands, but the most terrible aspect of this army was its magical might. These orcs were much more fanatical than those of the North, and their clerics had developed amazingly powerful and deadly spells.

This tells me that what is LEFT of the Grey Orcs are a pale shadow to what came through the Portal from their world...and what is there is now thousands of years more advanced than when the Orcgate Wars happened!

That's all I have for right now...but it makes me wonder:

If the Gray Orcs came from their world in –1076 DR; what might their world be like at 2,500+ years later?

AD&D for me!

Edited by - Dalor Darden on 09 Jan 2018 16:31:03

Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6599 Posts

Posted - 06 Jan 2018 :  10:43:46  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Why do you say orcs remained "primitive" because they were "dominated by other races"?

They did it to themselves. Savage, hard, brutal lifestyles perpetuated by their instincts, their leaders, their culture, their values, their religion. They are who and what they are because it is who and what they strive to be.
Some would say orcs were "made" to be exactly as they are, strong enough to take what is theirs from the weak.
Others would say orcs "evolved" instead, a race of hardened survivors forged through countless ages of conflict.

Orcs are "primitive" in comparison to the more civilized races, to be sure, but quite adept at the manufacture of implements for war; orcs were often described in old AD&D materials as being expert at mining and metalcraft, indeed they competed directly with dwarves and sometimes subjugated kobolds or goblins to do their dirty labour, although to orcs these crafts were not pursued on their own merits but were instead only meaningful in the "applied" context of creating advantages in war, to an orc a thing is only "beautiful" if it can hurt or kill or destroy very cruelly or very efficiently. Orcs were once noted for being masterfully devious, treacherous, and cunning, naturally talented tacticians - filled with inhuman malice, relentless tenacity, cold patience, and hot rage, even though orcs were considered less intelligent overall in comparison to other races. But recall the 1E half-orc assassins (and assassin/multi-classes)! Orcs were infamously creative in producing complex traps and ambushes which slew many a wary elf or dwarf - but these instinctive/intuitive attributes seem to have been forgotten by orc-lovers (and orc-haters) over time as brainlessly raw thuggish orcish brutality has been emphasized and exaggerated. So yes, the orcs are "primitive" insofar as they are disinclined to farm or build cities or monuments or works of art and learning - but orcs do possess a "civilization" and, measured by its own (orcish) values, it is a strong and powerful and proud civilization which thrives and prevails. You cannot measure orcish civilization by human values, just as you cannot measure human civilization by elven values.

Really, the only thing keeping orcs "down" is other orcs. They are invariably tribal and invariably hostile to those outside their own families, tribes, clans, or nations. Any place inhabited by orcs has experienced the "horde" of unstoppable orcs which attempts to expand into new territories once orc populations grow too large. Orcs may be a minority in the Realms - just another race among many - but they have surely completely overrun and dominated other worlds. (And is it then any wonder why elves are so apprehensive after observing similar behaviours in humans?)

Gygax based his orcs on a combination of generic "Brothers Grimm" pagan mythology and on Tolkien's orcs. While the nature and origins of Tolkien's orcs are somewhat contradictory - he presented differing "origins" for his orcs as his writings changed over time - but they did consistently appear to be a race much younger than elves, nearly as old as dwarves, and somewhat older than humans.

I don't recall any particular reference to an orc homeworld. Orcs, like humans, appear so widespread across worlds and planes that they could have any number of "home" worlds, even any number of separate places which all appear to be their true "origin". For all we know, Mulhorandi wizards could've easily imported orcs to Toril from Oerth. I would speculate that the "origin" of orcs would be part of what we know as the plane of Acheron, Gruumsh's domain, which (like all planes) continually absorbs entire realms and worlds and dimensions from elsewhere into itself. Discovering the truth might be complicated by the fact that while orcs have shamans and may even remember the details of great battles or the genealogies of great war chiefs, they are even worse than humans when it comes to unbiased recording (or revising records of) history.

If anything, I would think the "homeworld" of the orcs has been long lost and forgotten even in orcish racial memory. Likely consumed and destroyed by the orcs themselves. It would explain their nomadic, tribal, aggressive nature; their territorial, possessive, competitive nature; their utter lack of concern in taking or consuming whatever they can, in destroying or polluting whatever they cannot. The temperament and psychology of orcs seems largely uniform regardless of their tribe or the world they live on, it suggests orcs all think the same way no matter what their environment.

Spacefaring orcs are scro ("backwards-orcs" goes the bad Spelljammer joke), and though they vehemently declare their species and identity is dramatically different from their mudball orc cousins - a sentiment these mudball orcs would surely reciprocate if they weren't entirely ignorant of the scro - they are otherwise interchangeable with common orcs in all ways (including general intelligence). Except that the scro have mastered spelljamming, space travel, navigation, and other complex things which require a fairly developed intellect and some degree of magical/technological accomplishment.

Planescape lore briefly mentions that legions of orcs (led by orc-blooded tieflings or cambions) have been used as soldiers in the Blood War in countless campaigns over many millennia. I can't recall the source (and it may be a non-canon Bioware game?) but I do recall a reference to an orc-cambion war leader whose unstoppable ferocity, savagery, sadism, and passion for battle inspired fear and awe from his own baatezu superiors.

Orcs are and have "always been" a feature in every major (A)D&D setting. Except Krynn, where they are conspicuously absent because of the workings of the gods. And Athas, where they were apparently exterminated ages ago in massive genocidal wars.

I've never found the entire Many Arrows reformed orcs palatable, personally. Orcs are iconic monsters, the "bogeyman", human-like representations of the darkest, ugliest, basest and most bestial aspects of human nature. I've long argued that if Wizbro keeps humanizing all the monsters then the day will come that there are no more monsters left to kill ... and what then, heroic PCs will have to start killing other humans? Some of the early-2E Al-Qadim material also presented orcs in a curious light, describing them as being "just another" race in Zakhara's cosmopolitan/egalitarian society, a place where an elf and an orc and a dwarf and a human and a djinn could all haggle in the market or kneel and pray side by side without any thought at all towards racial antipathies. Again, I'm of the opinion that while this was a noble and enlightened experiment, it is not something which truly belongs in D&D or Realmslore, I maintain the opinion that it is necessary to dehumanize orcs (and other monsters) to keep things "right". Still, I offer these comments for the sake of completeness in regards to the treatments of orcs in Realmslore.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 06 Jan 2018 15:33:18
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Starshade
Learned Scribe

Norway
190 Posts

Posted - 06 Jan 2018 :  13:58:20  Show Profile Send Starshade a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ayrik: A wery good post!

Dalor: The creative forces in D&D known as "gods" who wery actively got agendas as altering, modifying and improving aspects, is one of the few differences between D&D and real life (I assume here, religious views put aside; any RL power(s) lets us have free will, and don't alter our species in the shorter timespans of 1000 - 10 000 years). Outside that...

I won't use real life stoneage or iron age as example, that's too simple. I'll use USA! Why don't America have a base on mars? Why haven't they built cities in space? The answer is, probably some of the same as why Mountain Orcs don't progress. No one really wants to go settle Mars; it's bad, 50% of astronauts will die in transit, many colonies will fail, starvation, mental issue will surface, going there would be much worse than anything current generation have ever faced, maybe equal the first humans going to Siberia hunting mammoths in challenge. Could be, we only progress in some ways, only if we face total extinction, or is severely challenged.
In short: The homeplanet of the Orc, probably would be a fun campaign setting! Could be darker than both Ravenloft and Dark Sun even

Edited by - Starshade on 06 Jan 2018 13:59:07
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6599 Posts

Posted - 06 Jan 2018 :  16:03:19  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I imagine that the "homeworld" of the orcs, if it exists, is only a post-apocalyptic barren wasteland. Destroyed by the engines of countless wars waged across countless generations. Seas of wind-scorched dust drifting across the massive ruins of rusted iron structures and machinery, surrounded by sickening blankets of poisonous smog and stagnant pools of oil-scummed filthy water, a world entirely consumed and depleted by the making of the very things which were used to destroyed it. Perhaps massive fields containing the bleached and dessicated bones of millions of orcs are sometimes revealed. Perhaps Gruumsh's own brethren lay entombed and dormant beneath sand eternally slickened red under clouds of corrosive blood-soaked rain. Perhaps the ghosts of orcish legions and armies and nations remain cursed to eternally wage their unending ethereal wars.

I basically imagine the world Wall-E the robot lives on. Without any plants. Without even any cockroaches. After British soccer fans have rioted and after the Soviet Army has done some nuclear testing.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 06 Jan 2018 16:04:19
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31057 Posts

Posted - 06 Jan 2018 :  16:15:37  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The fact that that one quote says "a savage world dominated by empires of fanatically religious orcs" and doesn't explicitly refer to the orc homeworld, as prior quotes did, indicates to me that it was a different world altogether. With orcs all over the cosmos, it's obvious that more than one group left their homeworld.

And while the word "empires" does indicate established, stable nation-states, it doesn't mean that the orcs created these empires. Perhaps they were integrated into and eventually dominated the society that built them. Or perhaps the empires were nothing more than large affiliations of allied tribe.

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31057 Posts

Posted - 06 Jan 2018 :  16:22:10  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik


Spacefaring orcs are scro ("backwards-orcs" goes the bad Spelljammer joke), and though they vehemently declare their species and identity is dramatically different from their mudball orc cousins - a sentiment these mudball orcs would surely reciprocate if they weren't entirely ignorant of the scro - they are otherwise interchangeable with common orcs in all ways (including general intelligence). Except that the scro have mastered spelljamming, space travel, navigation, and other complex things which require a fairly developed intellect and some degree of magical/technological accomplishment.



As a huge fan of scro, I'd argue that they are not interchangeable with orcs. Orcs are known for forming huge hordes and being a threat based on their numbers, while the scro rely on true military prowess and discipline. In fact, it's that discipline that most differentiates orcs and scro.

Orcs are the Incredible Hulk -- "Hulk smash!" The scro are Iron Man -- using their brains to build the tools they fight you with, and applying logic and reason to how they use them. Both can be effective combat tactics, depending on the scenario -- but they are certainly not the same.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 06 Jan 2018 16:23:49
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
6985 Posts

Posted - 06 Jan 2018 :  16:45:17  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dalor Darden

I'm going to be compiling a list of information (open to discussion of course...) about the world the Gray Orcs came from.

It looks like ALL orcs can come from this world according to what I've found so far (as in there may be all sorts there and not just Gray Orcs).

The North wasn’t the only region of Faerûn destined to feel the savage claws of the orcs. In –1081 DR, a band of rebellious Mulhorandi wizards opened a portal to the orcs’ homeworld, and unleashed a massive horde of the creatures on the world several years later.

So this ties both the Mountain Orcs (from The North) to the Gray Orcs...all coming from the same world.

The Mountain Orcs remained "primitive" so long in the Forgotten Realms I think because they were dominated by other races. The first migration of orcs into Faerûn occurred many thousands of years ago, through portals built by one of the creator races. For thousands of years after they first migrated to Toril, the orcs were little more than feral savages too busy fighting and warring among themselves to warrant the attention of the great elven nations. This age of true savagery among the orcs of Faerûn is believed to have lasted for well over fifteen thousand years

Meanwhile on their homeworld the orcs there evolved into:

...opened a fateful portal to a savage world dominated by empires of fanatically religious orcs.

They had Empires...denoting a level of civilization that orcs in the Forgotten Realms were never able to obtain. Their power was such that:

The Orcgate Wars began in –1076 DR and quickly escalated into a war of devastating proportions. Orc warriors slew thousands upon thousands, but the most terrible aspect of this army was its magical might. These orcs were much more fanatical than those of the North, and their clerics had developed amazingly powerful and deadly spells.

This tells me that what is LEFT of the Grey Orcs are a pale shadow to what came through the Portal from their world...and what is there is now thousands of years more advanced than when the Orcgate Wars happened!

That's all I have for right now...but it makes me wonder:

If the Gray Orcs came from their world in –1076 DR; what might their world be like at 2,500+ years later?



No, the statement for -1081 DR does NOT tie the Mountain Orcs (from the North) to the Gray Orcs as all coming from the same world. However, this earlier statement in Races of Faerun (some of which you also post), which is that same source DOES heavily hint that the portals that the Mountain Orcs came through and the portals that the Gray Orcs came through are the same or at least linked. I'm presenting it in continuity to help improve your argument and also lead into something else.

The first migration of orcs into Faerûn occurred many thousands of years ago, through portals built by one of the creator races. For thousands of years after they first migrated to Toril, the orcs were little more than feral savages too busy fighting and warring among themselves to warrant the attention of the great elven nations. This age of true savagery among the orcs of Faerûn is believed to have lasted for well over fifteen thousand years. It wasn’t until –3800 DR that the orcs of the North finally coalesced into actual tribes.

So, this would indicate that the first orcs arrived in Toril some time BEFORE -18800 DR, but PROBABLY after -19800 DR. So, this would have been right around the time that the elves were first forming up their nations (right around the time of the formation of Miyeritar, though I wouldn't put any linkage between the two entities). This is BEFORE the elven sundering as well, and since there are orcs in Abeir, I would posit that the Elven Sundering somehow used some of the mechanisms of the original twinning of the worlds, and that's how orcs appeared on Abeir. I would also wonder if it wasn't the appearance of these orcs that possibly caused the elves to perform the Elven Sundering and creation of Evermeet?

So, the question that pops in my head becomes, was the creation of Evermeet meant ALSO to send the populations of orcs to Abeir? Were the ancient elves who figured out how to perform the sundering aware of Abeir? Thus, on Abeir is there a large orc population on some continent somewhere, and were there very few orcs left on Toril, and thus it took them thousands of years to breed enough to become a threat again (because maybe the elves made it a goal to keep their numbers down by hunting orcs.... kind of like the eldreth Veluuthra, but for orcs). This might be a source for the ancestral hatred between the two races.

Now, let's throw in something else from GHotR and note it with some things we've been talking about with the weave.

From GHotR page 11
By invoking the Ever’Sakkatien to concentrate the Weave in a single location, our ancestors might inadvertently have lessened the strength of the Weave elsewhere in this world, producing consequences that continue to haunt us today. We know that the Weave’s strength is not uniform, and that this variance apparently produces nodes of power, faerzress, dead magic zones, and wild magic zones—all of which are curiously absent from our fair shores. Might this situation not be an unintended consequence of the Ever’Sakkatien? Those among us who have walked the forests of Faerûn have noticed the difference between the Green Isle and the far shores when attempting to employ the Arselu’Tel’Quess—or even simply enter reverie. Was it always so, or did our ancestors’ use of the Ever’Sakkatien produce this effect?

So, one of the things this makes me wonder is also, did the Elves TAKE Primordials from Abeir that were asleep and entrap them in Evermeet, and are they using these beings to empower Evermeets defenses. Of course, it could also be that Evermeet is from the Feywild, and the Feywild is innately even more magical than the Prime Material. However, given what we know about Evermeet going back to the Feywild, but some kind of "not as magical" version appearing on Toril around the time that Laerakond appeared (and next to Laerakond mind you)... I think this mystery is a little deeper than just "its from the Feywild".

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 06 Jan 2018 :  17:10:06  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In the first thing you quoted you make a huge leap/assumption - that because something was mentioned in the same sentence, it could have come from there, If anything, I get the exact opposite gist from that quote (because it firmly separates one group from the other, semantically).

Red orcs, Black orcs, brown orcs, etc... nothing scarier then the Pink Orcs of the Planet Petunia. Have you ever seen a crazed orc dervish swirling around its Tutu? I have... and I'll never be the same again. There are some things even the bravest of souls were never meant to experience.

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

As a huge fan of scro, I'd argue that they are not interchangeable with orcs. Orcs are known for forming huge hordes and being a threat based on their numbers, while the scro rely on true military prowess and discipline. In fact, it's that discipline that most differentiates orcs and scro.

Orcs are the Incredible Hulk -- "Hulk smash!" The scro are Iron Man -- using their brains to build the tools they fight you with, and applying logic and reason to how they use them. Both can be effective combat tactics, depending on the scenario -- but they are certainly not the same.
See, I get the same vibe Dalor does. Just because a race have developed different (superior) tactics doesn't make them a different type of creature.

NOW, if you want a truly superior orcish race, you need look no further than the Sharakim, from Races of Destiny - a truly majestic and powerful creature.

We also have the peaceful (docile?) Ondonti, who dwell to the north of the Moonsea region. They've actually been classed 'fey' in old 2e lore.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 06 Jan 2018 17:12:24
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
6985 Posts

Posted - 06 Jan 2018 :  17:35:38  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

The fact that that one quote says "a savage world dominated by empires of fanatically religious orcs" and doesn't explicitly refer to the orc homeworld, as prior quotes did, indicates to me that it was a different world altogether. With orcs all over the cosmos, it's obvious that more than one group left their homeworld.

And while the word "empires" does indicate established, stable nation-states, it doesn't mean that the orcs created these empires. Perhaps they were integrated into and eventually dominated the society that built them. Or perhaps the empires were nothing more than large affiliations of allied tribe.



Bear in mind, we may be talking 17,000 years between the two crossings. The early crossing may haven say been opened by Sarrukh or Batrachi in hopes that the orcs would come and kill the elves who were becoming a numerous problem.

BTW, one of the things we've been talking about is the portal network from the Council Hills to Ashanath and the city of Shandaular. We were then linking said portal network to other places, such as possibly the mucklestones, the Llewyrrwood (Neverwinter Wood), the Moonshaes, possibly the Ajmer Forest in Durpar, etc.... because of the arrivals of the Rus and the Illuskans that form the Arkaiun.

So, when were the orcgates opened? -1081 DR. When were the orcgate wars? -1076 DR to -1069 DR. When did a portal get opened between Ashanath and Council Hills to form the city of Shandaular? In -1064 DR. I submit the concept that the Orcgate and the Portal in Ashanath are the SAME portal. Further, I'll submit that the link to council hills was "discovered" by Nar Humans because the orcs had at some point opened the orcgate on the south side of Unther (possibly in the middle of the Untheric empire at the time). Maybe this precipitated a surprise attack by the orcs and their deities that caught the Untheric gods by surprise leading to their demise. Furthermore.... that's right near Okoth and Azulduth... we know Tiamat was involved in that long ago fight as well, and we know Sarrukh are there. Did the Sarrukh of Okoth at one point follow Tiamat (and or possibly Set as well) during the orcgate wars?

So essentially, someone finally closes the orcgate in -1069 DR, but Nar humans continue to study it, only to open it in -1064 DR and establish their sister city down in the Council Hills area.


Now, let's throw another twist into this from GHotR
955 DR Year of the Telltale Candle
Orcgates Affair: The mages of the Covenant [797, 976] gather a great, armed host from the human settlements of the North to confront an orc horde massing in the Spine of the World. In a move known as the Orcgates Affair, the Red Wizards [934, 976] of Thay magically transport the horde far to the south by means of great portals. The North is spared much devastation, and the failure of the orcs to appear deals a significant blow to the influence and prestige of the Covenant.
976 DR Year of the Slaying Spells
Upon discovering that the Red Wizards [955, 1081] of Thay were responsible for the Orcgates Affair, the Covenant [955, 1063] begins to work subtly against the mages from the east.
1081 DR Year of the Disastrous Bauble
Another one of the Four Founders of the Covenant [1063, 1101] dies when the Red Wizards [976, 1101] of Thay kill Aganazzar [673] in their assault on the School of Wizardry in Neverwinter. By year’s end, the two groups are engaged in a titanic wizardwar.


So, IF the elven portal network that we've said might exist AND the Orcgates ARE the same portal network... the red wizards may have been using it for this work against the Covenant. I will also note that the Covenant was apparently at work up near Neverwinter... and thus Neverwinter wood/Llewyrrwood... and thus near one of these portals. So an obvious next question that comes from this is "if the red wizards used the portal in the Llewyrrwood to send a horde of orcs to the south... where did they send them?". The answer to this could indicate other nodes in the network (or perhaps they came out in Ashanath, or the mucklestones, or the council hills, etc...). Did the red wizard actually capture/enslave these orcs as they came out through said portal (I actually ask this because we don't necessarily have some accounting of orcs running amok in the south after this)?

So, taking ALL of this into account... maybe another thing we can speculate on is why would this portal network have a connection to this particular world of orcs? Maybe its because SOME of the elves came to Toril fleeing from the orcs of this world? Maybe the elf orc enmity stretches even further back.

I'll even further note that the Nars suddenly worshipped Orcus after the orcgate wars. To my mind, Orcus very much looks like a being who could have bred a variation of orcs, though he's usually shown with red skin. To take this further, lets MIX a little lore from Warcraft and FR (which I never played Warcraft so someone can correct me if I get this wrong... I was into EQ2). The Thayans at some point created two new breeds of orcs, calling them "Neo-Orogs", and these breeds were either red skinned or dark-green to deep black skinned. The Thayans also learned a ritual to create other kinds of orcs, being "blooded ones", who were bathed in some special alchemical bath as youths and also incorporating blood. Perhaps these fanatical orcs were created using say water tainted by a demoncyst (like the stuff coming out of the Thaymount to surround the city of Eltabbar) and the blood ritual piece of this is a sacrament to Orcus or some other demon lord to curse the child but make it stronger.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 06 Jan 2018 18:10:08
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31057 Posts

Posted - 06 Jan 2018 :  17:41:45  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

In the first thing you quoted you make a huge leap/assumption - that because something was mentioned in the same sentence, it could have come from there, If anything, I get the exact opposite gist from that quote (because it firmly separates one group from the other, semantically).

Red orcs, Black orcs, brown orcs, etc... nothing scarier then the Pink Orcs of the Planet Petunia. Have you ever seen a crazed orc dervish swirling around its Tutu? I have... and I'll never be the same again. There are some things even the bravest of souls were never meant to experience.

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

As a huge fan of scro, I'd argue that they are not interchangeable with orcs. Orcs are known for forming huge hordes and being a threat based on their numbers, while the scro rely on true military prowess and discipline. In fact, it's that discipline that most differentiates orcs and scro.

Orcs are the Incredible Hulk -- "Hulk smash!" The scro are Iron Man -- using their brains to build the tools they fight you with, and applying logic and reason to how they use them. Both can be effective combat tactics, depending on the scenario -- but they are certainly not the same.
See, I get the same vibe Dalor does. Just because a race have developed different (superior) tactics doesn't make them a different type of creature.




How about a difference between size, hit dice, magic resistance, intelligence *and* society? Scro are larger, tougher, smarter, and more resistant to magic than orcs are -- it's in their basic stats.

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AuldDragon
Learned Scribe

USA
295 Posts

Posted - 06 Jan 2018 :  19:22:04  Show Profile  Visit AuldDragon's Homepage Send AuldDragon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

See, I get the same vibe Dalor does. Just because a race have developed different (superior) tactics doesn't make them a different type of creature.


How about a difference between size, hit dice, magic resistance, intelligence *and* society? Scro are larger, tougher, smarter, and more resistant to magic than orcs are -- it's in their basic stats.



As Wooly said, they're canonically a different creature. They're also *not* the only orcs in space. They're out there (and they created the Scorpion ship); but Scro see themselves as better and refuse to work with normal orcs (whereas they'll employ but not work for kobolds, goblins, ogres, etc.). They could also be mages in 2nd Edition, whereas normal orcs could not; while this difference was eliminated in later editions, it was a *very* important distinction in 2e.

Scro as a race are only around 300 years old, and they do have a specific homeworld, named for their demipower patron, who they believe elevated them above normal orcs after they settled the world at the end of the first Unhuman War. You're still probably far more likely to encounter normal orcs in space than scro.

Jeff

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Ayrik
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I did not know these things. I'd mistakenly thought scro were essentially just space-savvy orcs, much as Gith Pirates are essentially just space-savvy Githyanki.

But yes, scro and orcs have more than differences in fluff and costume, they have different stats and hit dice and intelligence and abilities. And yes, being able (or being unable) to become a mage is a very important distinction in 2E rules, particularly in the Spelljammer setting (where only mages can operate most spelljamming helms). Definitely a different species, not merely another clade.

All that being said, the nature of the scro in Spelljammer doesn't really have much impact on the nature of orcs in the Realms. The don't interact, and if they share any history at all then it would be at least 300 years ago. Unless their demipower patron was somehow also involved long ago in the Mulhorandi magics which are said to have imported orcs?

[/Ayrik]
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 06 Jan 2018 :  23:08:30  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

I did not know these things. I'd mistakenly thought scro were essentially just space-savvy orcs, much as Gith Pirates are essentially just space-savvy Githyanki.

But yes, scro and orcs have more than differences in fluff and costume, they have different stats and hit dice and intelligence and abilities. And yes, being able (or being unable) to become a mage is a very important distinction in 2E rules, particularly in the Spelljammer setting (where only mages can operate most spelljamming helms). Definitely a different species, not merely another clade.

All that being said, the nature of the scro in Spelljammer doesn't really have much impact on the nature of orcs in the Realms. The don't interact, and if they share any history at all then it would be at least 300 years ago. Unless their demipower patron was somehow also involved long ago in the Mulhorandi magics which are said to have imported orcs?



I don't know of any canonical references to scro in Realmspace, though I personally have imported at least one.

(Also, Obould seems a lot more like a scro than an orc, to me. Just sayin'.)

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 06 Jan 2018 23:09:09
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Dalor Darden
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I'd propose that the Empires are of a Religious Nature...and therefore easily able to be stable in the sense of structure and purpose...not simple tribal gatherings.

If we are going to use the word "Empire" then that alone will denote structure. Even if it were a structure based on religion; that is ok as Orcs are Lawful Evil (according to the rules I play by...none of this Chaotic Evil crap for me thanks).

As for the Mountain Orcs remaining primitive...we have more than enough evidence to show that they were constantly at war against each other...but also that the elves kept them disorganized and in a primitive state.

Too many people look at "mechanics" to represent that races are different.

A Scro IS an Orc...just a better trained and more skilled warrior. Not necessarily tougher; just better because of his culture and training. He is smarter because of his education and cultural learning...not just because he has a higher DNA evolution...or maybe he does.

I'd say that Orcs, much like humans, can be any number of things that SEEM like new races...but in general, they are just orcs just like a Dalesman Archer is the same as a Mooneye Mercenary.

Hells, Cro-Magnon had a bigger cranial capacity than most people alive today...but would he have seemed more intelligent standing next to an educated modern man? No...but in fact he WAS likely more intelligent as he was constantly "at work" surviving. Studies, many studies, have proven that modern man is losing his brain mass because of a sedentary life.

So Orcs are Orcs...that isn't going to change in just 30,000 years really beyond cultural and technological "enhancements" (not counting the magically created Neo-Orogs of Thay).

As for the Orcs not being from the same world...I'm pretty serious about languages. I have to be for both work and for my own educational interests.

This sentence segment, in English (ask an English Professor):

...opened a portal to the orcs’ homeworld...

The important part is "orcs'" here. If they were simply talking about plural form for one group then it would be "gray orcs" and if talking about a single orc would have been "orc's" instead.

However, the use of the s' denotes two groups; and not one.

I'll concede that the person writing may have simply meant "orcs" but that isn't what is written. It is referencing plural groups as written...so that is what I have to go on. As both subject groups are being discussed in the same paragraph and the word orcs' is used; it can only mean two groups.

It then says homeworld...so that pretty much makes it simple for me that both groups are from the same world. I'm not saying ALL orcs come from this world...only that these two groups came from the same world; and so unless other information is presented about orcs coming to Faerun I can safely say they all came from one world. Sure, a vast amount of time has gone on in that world since the two groups were introduced to Faerun...but still, using English as the rules are currently written for it, it means both groups are from the same world.

AD&D for me!

Edited by - Dalor Darden on 07 Jan 2018 07:38:22
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 07 Jan 2018 :  16:07:23  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dalor Darden

A Scro IS an Orc...just a better trained and more skilled warrior. Not necessarily tougher; just better because of his culture and training. He is smarter because of his education and cultural learning...not just because he has a higher DNA evolution...or maybe he does.



So they were also trained to be a couple of feet taller and have magic resistance, and to be able to do something other orcs absolutely could not do?

Scro and orcs share a common origin, but it is canon that they are not the same race.

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Dalor Darden
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Posted - 07 Jan 2018 :  21:29:04  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Dalor Darden

A Scro IS an Orc...just a better trained and more skilled warrior. Not necessarily tougher; just better because of his culture and training. He is smarter because of his education and cultural learning...not just because he has a higher DNA evolution...or maybe he does.



So they were also trained to be a couple of feet taller and have magic resistance, and to be able to do something other orcs absolutely could not do?

Scro and orcs share a common origin, but it is canon that they are not the same race.



I left that open with "...not just because he has a higher DNA evolution...or maybe he does."

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 08 Jan 2018 :  03:04:42  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dalor Darden

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Dalor Darden

A Scro IS an Orc...just a better trained and more skilled warrior. Not necessarily tougher; just better because of his culture and training. He is smarter because of his education and cultural learning...not just because he has a higher DNA evolution...or maybe he does.



So they were also trained to be a couple of feet taller and have magic resistance, and to be able to do something other orcs absolutely could not do?

Scro and orcs share a common origin, but it is canon that they are not the same race.



I left that open with "...not just because he has a higher DNA evolution...or maybe he does."



If he has a higher DNA evolution, then he is a separate species... And therefore, not an orc.

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Dalor Darden
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Posted - 08 Jan 2018 :  03:53:37  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

If he has a higher DNA evolution, then he is a separate species... And therefore, not an orc.



Cro-Magnon are and are not humans...

Cro-Magnon are early man to modern man as orc are early orc to Scro.

Genetically we are identical to them (cro-magnon) but physiologically we are not.

Scro are as much orcs as we are Cro-magnon.

What you are suggesting is that Red Dragons and White Dragons are not Dragons...but simply two entirely different races using that logic.

My point is that Scro ARE different from "normal" orcs...but still orcs.

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Edited by - Dalor Darden on 08 Jan 2018 03:56:27
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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 08 Jan 2018 :  04:38:36  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
According to their MM entry scro "resemble" orcs but not orcs, they are a different "goblinoid race."
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 08 Jan 2018 :  05:26:51  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dalor Darden

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

If he has a higher DNA evolution, then he is a separate species... And therefore, not an orc.



Cro-Magnon are and are not humans...

Cro-Magnon are early man to modern man as orc are early orc to Scro.

Genetically we are identical to them (cro-magnon) but physiologically we are not.

Scro are as much orcs as we are Cro-magnon.

What you are suggesting is that Red Dragons and White Dragons are not Dragons...but simply two entirely different races using that logic.

My point is that Scro ARE different from "normal" orcs...but still orcs.



Wolves, dogs, foxes, and coyotes are all part of the Family Canidae. It is clear that these animals, though closely related, are very, very different from each other. A dingo and a Chihuahua are certainly related, but you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone that says they're the same thing.

So it goes with dragons and goblinoids. There are wildly differing types within each family -- the fact that different dragon types are all related to each other doesn't mean that white dragons and gold dragons are identical, and the fact that they're all goblinoids doesn't mean that bugbears and goblins are the same.

Just because scro and orcs are related, it does not change the fact that they are very, very different, and that all of the source material about them flat out says they are not the same.

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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 08 Jan 2018 :  06:01:28  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
One of my favorite old Dragon Mag articles was when they made 1st edition MM entries for various real world animals - one or two of these was for "Canids" (Family Canidae, mentioned in the previous post and source of this thought :P ) I wish someone with both an avid interest in D&D and a good background in zoology would make an entire supplement like this for real world animals. This would be incredible.
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Zeromaru X
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As for the dragons stuff, I do remember that the original Draconomicon have a section discussing about that dragons are not an species, but a genus. Is quite interesting, but the sages at Candlekeep in the end got to no conclusion to any theory.

Long ago, in the distant past, they fell into decay. The philosopher’s path... The river of glory... Even the saints resting in the darkness rise up without response and block the way...
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Ayrik
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Posted - 08 Jan 2018 :  07:14:08  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You'd be even more hard-pressed to find anyone who claims sun elves and drow are the same species. Yes, both races are elves, and both are derived from the same original stock. Even ignoring the rather obvious (though perhaps genetically "trivial") differences in pigmentation/etc the drow (as a race) possess more hit dice, more intelligence, and natural magic resistance ... attributes lacking in sun elves ... just as do scro in comparison to orcs. Yet they are clearly not just minor variations in one species but are arguably entirely different (and largely incompatible) species.

But again, there seem to be no canon references to scro in the Realms, other than Spelljammer products which might place some scro in Realmspace. So, casting arguments about scro-vs-orcs aside (either way), it seems evident they have nothing to do with the topic's OP.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 08 Jan 2018 07:16:24
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sleyvas
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Obould's mama was brought to the moon to be sold as slavestock when some Scro visited.... then someone started playing "Let's Get it On" by Marvin Gaye.... afterward she got mouthy and the spelljammer skimmed the top of the spine of the world just long enough to boot her out (literally he used his boot to kick her butt out).... and thus Obould was always told by his Mama that he was born as a result of a "booty call".... it's true... I read it somewhere... I think it was on some cave wall....

Oh, and then those scro happened across an illithid vessel who boarded them and ate their brains.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 08 Jan 2018 13:57:42
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 08 Jan 2018 :  14:55:17  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Obould's mama was brought to the moon to be sold as slavestock when some Scro visited.... then someone started playing "Let's Get it On" by Marvin Gaye.... afterward she got mouthy and the spelljammer skimmed the top of the spine of the world just long enough to boot her out (literally he used his boot to kick her butt out).... and thus Obould was always told by his Mama that he was born as a result of a "booty call".... it's true... I read it somewhere... I think it was on some cave wall....

Oh, and then those scro happened across an illithid vessel who boarded them and ate their brains.



I'd be tempted to say that Obould was full-on scro, on a mission to cause as much trouble for elves on the ground as he could, as well as lead orcs down a more scro-like path.

Sure, it's not canon... But scro Obould raising a kingdom to civilize orcs makes a hell of a lot more sense than orc Obould raising a kingdom that treats peacefully with its neighbors on behalf of a god of conquest.

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Cyrinishad
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Posted - 08 Jan 2018 :  16:07:52  Show Profile Send Cyrinishad a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert


I'd be tempted to say that Obould was full-on scro, on a mission to cause as much trouble for elves on the ground as he could, as well as lead orcs down a more scro-like path.

Sure, it's not canon... But scro Obould raising a kingdom to civilize orcs makes a hell of a lot more sense than orc Obould raising a kingdom that treats peacefully with its neighbors on behalf of a god of conquest.



Agreed... Too many parallels between Obould and Dukagsh to be written off as coincidence in a multiverse where Divine Reincarnation is a reality.

To know, is to know that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge. -Socrates

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