An Orsimer warrior prepares for battle

Orcs, also called Orsimer, or "Pariah Folk" in ancient times, are considered sophisticated barbarian beast peoples, despite being a type of Mer. They are from the Wrothgarian and Dragontail Mountains and are noted for their unshakable courage in war and their unflinching endurance of hardships. In the past, Orcs have been widely feared and hated by the other nations and races of Tamriel, but they have slowly won acceptance in the Empire, in particular for their distinguished service in the Emperor's Legions.


Origins of the Pariah Folk

Orcs were born during the latter days of the Dawn Era. History has mislabeled them beastfolk, related to the goblin races, but the Orcs are actually the children of Trinimac, strongest of the Aldmeri ancestor spirits. When Trinimac was eaten by the Daedric Prince Boethiah, and transformed in that foul god's insides, the Orcs were transformed as well. The ancient name for the 'Orsimer,' which means 'The Pariah Folk.' They now follow Malauch, better known as Malacath, the remains of Trinimac.

Strength and Steel

Orcish armorers are prized for their craftsmanship, and Orc warriors in heavy armor are among the finest front-line troops in the Empire. Most Imperial citizens regard Orc society as rough and cruel, but there is much to admire in their fierce tribal loyalties and generous equality of rank and respect among the sexes.

The Moving City

Orsinium, which literally translates to "Orc-Town" in Aldmeris, is the city of the Orsimer and the provincial seat of what was called Wrothgar, or in the late Third Era, the Orsinium Area. It has a history of being sacked and rebuilt, as Orcs are often at odds with their neighbors. In the Second Era, it was located in the eastern part of the Wrothgar region of High Rock. In the late Third Era, it was located between Wayrest, Menevia, and the Wrothgarian Mountains, but it was sacked in the early Fourth Era. It reemerged in between Hammerfell and Skyrim later on in the era.

A Culture of Conflict

Most people consider their society as rough and cruel, but it's been a lifestyle of necessity. With their cities and strongholds being under constant attack throughout their history, every tribe member is trained at birth for battle and war.

The strongest of warriors becomes chief of their stronghold. The women are either wives of the chief, or his daughters, with the only exception of the shaman, who takes care of spiritual matters. Only the strongest males are allowed to mate to keep the tribe strong.

The Orcs do not follow the laws of man, but they follow the code of Malacath, which states: Do not steal, do not kill your kin, do not attack without cause. Those who break these rules must pay the Blood Price.

Orsimer Names

An Orc has a given name and a family name. Orc family names are always prefixed depending on gender. “Gro-” for males and “Gra-” for females. A child will take the fathers name if male, or the mothers name if female. Some orcs take the family name of their stronghold where they are born.

Male Names

Agronak, Bazur, Bogrum, Dubok, Dul, Gaturn, Ghorub, Gogron, Grommok, Hanz, Krognak, Kurz, Lumdum, Luronk, Magra, Magub, Maknok, Orok, Rugdumph, Shagol, Ulmug, Urbul, Ushnar

Female Names

Batul, Borba, Bumph, Homraz, Mazoga, Mog, Mor, Oghash, Orag, Rogbut, Rogmesh, Snak, Ugak, Umar, Umog

Family Names

Agamph, Barak, Buglump, Bura, Cromgog, Dragol, Galash, Gharz, Glurzog, Hubrag, Khash, Murgak, Muzgol, Naybek, Orkul, Orkulg, Rugdush, Shadborgob, Shura, Ugdub, Uzgash, Yarug

Orsimer Traits

Your Orc character has certain traits deriving from your Orc ancestry.

General Traits

Trait Value Description
Attribute Score Increase Endurance +1

Willpower +1

Your Endurance and Willpower scores increase by 1.
Age ~80 years While they are Mer, Orcs do not live as long as their distant cousins. They could live up to 80 years old, but the Code of Malacath demands that an old Orc should end his life before he becomes weak and a burden to his clan. They rarely live longer than 50 years. They reach adulthood at age 16.
Alignment Lawful Neutral The Orsimer are mostly lawful neutral. Orcs follow a code and are often extremely beholden to their traditions. They are dedicated to the strength of their clan over individuals.
Size Medium Orcs are broad and hardy, they are usually around 6 feet tall, even the females, and weigh around 200 pounds.
Speed 30 ft. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Tool Proficiency Artisan's Tools (smith tools) These special tools include the items needed to pursue a craft or trade. Proficiency with a set of artisan's tools lets you add your proficiency bonus to any ability checks you make using the tools in your craft. Each type of artisan's tools requires a separate proficiency.
Languages Tamrielic & Orcish You can speak, read, and write Tamrielic and Orcish. Orcish is a harsh, grating language with had consonants.

Unique Traits

Trait Effect
Aggressive As a bonus action, you can move up to your speed toward an enemy of your choice that you can see or hear. You must end this move closer to the enemy than you started.
Berserk As an action, for the next minute you gain temporary hit points equal to twice your character level. Additionally, you gain advantage on one attack on each of your turns. Once you use this trait, you can't use it again until you finish a long rest.
Blood-Kin You share kindred blood with all of your orc brothers and sisters. Using Honor or Strength, you may be able to avoid conflict with other Orcs.
Menacing You have proficiency in the Intimidation skill.
Subrace Three main subraces of Orcs populate the continent of Tamriel: City Orcs, Wild Orcs, and Wood Orcs.

City Orc Subrace Traits

Not all Orcs choose to live in the strongholds. Those that choose to live in the cities live a much more cosmopolitan life, but they are derided by other Orcs for doing so.

Trait Effect
Attribute Score Increase Your Intelligence score increases by 1.
Orcish Resilience Your tough mind and body grants you resistance to force damage.

Wild Orc Subrace Traits

Traditional Orc society is centered around living in stronghold settlements. These independent villages follow the Code of Malacath, and the strength of each tribe depends on their strongest warrior.

Trait Effect
Attribute Score Increase Your Strength score increases by 1.
Powerful Build You count as one size larger when determining your carrying capacity and the weight you can push, drag, or lift.

Wood Orc Subrace Traits

Valenwood is typically home to the Bosmer, but many tribes of Orcs have made this forested province their home. Like other Orcs, they prize strength and honor, but to the Wood Orcs this means having agility and mobility as much as it does muscular power and endurance.

Trait Effect
Attribute Score Increase Your Agility score increases by 1.
Keen Hearing and Smell You have advantage on Willpower (Perception) checks that rely on hearing or smell.