Half-orcs are uncommon, and they usually live in primitive communities and secluded regions. Such
areas afford half-orcs the opportunity to be judged on merit rather than blood, which the inhabitants of more civilized places often regard as tainted.
Background and History
Like most hybrid races, half-orcs have one of two types of origins. Some half-orcs are the offspring of orc and human parents. Although such commingling is uncommon and sometimes taboo, it occurs frequently in the wilder reaches of the continent. Other half-orcs are the result of interbreeding that occurred generations ago. Such half-orcs often form their own tribes and communities.
The first half-orcs appeared shortly after human immigrants from Sarlona landed in western and northwestern Khorvaire, where orcs were already living. A little-known legend claims that the Gatekeeper druids arranged pairings of humans and ores to determine if the offspring would prove superior to the constituent races, and thus be qualified to carry on druidic traditions. Half-orcs never spread throughout Khorvaire to the extent that half-elves did due to their lower numbers and to social prejudices against them. To this day, members of many races regard half-orcs and orcs in the same way – as more beast than person.
Like half-elves, half-orcs follow whatever religion is dominant in their region. In the Shadow Marches, they might follow the druidic faith of the Gatekeepers or be part of a Khyber cult.
Half-orcs live primarily in western Khorvaire, mostly in tribes in the Shadow Marches. They also appear in the Eldeen Reaches, in Droaam, and sporadically in the Demon Wastes. Half-ores do not represent the dominant race in any region; orcs or humans outnumber them.
A portion of the half-orc population in Darguun is enslaved. These slaves are descendants of half-orcs that hobgoblins bred in an effort to produce more efficient soldiers.
Half-orcs would be easily dismissed were it not for House Tharashk. Although humans comprise most of the house, Tharashk also boasts many half-orcs, a few of whom have developed the Mark of Finding. The house even counts full-blooded orcs among its ranks.