Elf-Orc (3.5e Race)
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Sometimes orc raiding parties or armies leave survivors behind them. Sometimes these survivors end up bearing the children of those self-same orcs or in even rarer cases, the orc women bear the children of the elf males that they bested in battle. Such children find themselves rejected by both cultures and can either spend an entire existence trying to prove themselves to the parent that raised them or find themselves abandoned. The abandoned child must then hope that someone else will take pity on them. For this reason, few elf-orcs survive to maturity although a small culture of them has arisen in human lands.
Elf-orcs combine the best and worst of the natures of both of their parents. They are quick to take offense and short-tempered. They also tend to remain aloof; not thinking that anyone (except perhaps another elf-orc but even then they are skeptical) can understand what they have been through. As such they tend to be cynical in their dealings with others tending to try and get what they want from deception or intimidation. Why bother to care about someone who wouldn’t extend the same courtesy to you?
Still, someone who takes the time to show the elf-orc that they are a loyal friend will find such loyalty returned. An elf-orc that makes a friend will follow that friend into hell. Beware betraying this friendship, though. An elf-orc that has been betrayed by a friend shows a rage unmatched by even their full orc brethren.
Elf-orcs tend to be slightly smaller than half-orcs with a height range between 5 ½ and 6 ½ feet tall although a few taller exceptions have been known. Their weight usually varies from 150 to 220 pounds. The elf-orc's mixed lineage is plain to see from their canted eyebrows to their pointed ears and grayish pigmentation and prominent teeth. Unlike half-orcs, however, their body hair is no more prominent than that of a human. For this reason, elf-orcs are sometimes described as exotically good looking although most elves or orcs will say simply that they look like a member of the other race.
If raised among orcs, the elf-orc is likely to have the same scarring common to their entire race except that the elf-orc will probably have far more scars due to battles with fellow orc tribe-mates and due to their nature to prove themselves to their brethren. Thus, they are more likely to partake in dangerous battles so that they can scar themselves thus proving their bravery and perhaps immolating away some extra trace of their elven heritage.
Elf-orcs reach maturity at age 16 and can live to about 125.
Elf-orcs find that they have the disadvantages of both of their ancestors in this regard. An elf-orc will be killed on sight by any orc who chances upon him unless he is a member of that orc's tribe. Even then, the elf-orc will find himself tortured and ridiculed on a regular basis for his relation to hated elves. Even half-orcs find themselves treated better than these poor creatures.
An elf-orc will be pitied at best by fellow elves and at worst regarded with fear or suspicion. It is not unknown for elves to jump to conclusion about these relatives of the hated orcs and sometimes fear will lead to capture and torture although it is rare for elves to be so callous as to kill an elf-orc without proof that they actually mean them some harm. An elf-orc must be especially cautious around dwarves who distrust elves on general principal and who hate the orcs. The dwarves retrain their +1 bonus to attacks against orcs on elf-orcs and they will not hesitate to fight such a creature without some special circumstance intervening.
In human lands, the elf-orc is treated no worse than a half-orc and in many cases they are regarded more highly due their somewhat more attractive appearance. The fact that neither of their parents is human sometimes works in their favor under these conditions. Humans are wary of half-orcs or half-elves feeling that they are impure humans. The elf-orc can be regarded as just another race and thus find some acceptance in human lands. Half-orcs and half-elves sometimes get along with elf-orcs, understanding much of what they went through due to being a half-breed and seeing the disdain of their kinsmen for who and what they are. Gnomes tend to be slightly suspicious of elf-orcs but no more so than with any of the tall races and sometimes an elf-orc who enjoys a good joke makes great friends among the Gnome people who will protect him from the mistreatment he receives at the hands of others. Halflings have no special regard or hatred for the elf-orc and take them on a case-by-case basis. A helpful elf-orc can sometimes find acceptance among a halfling community who may use him as a helpful mercenary to defend their homes or as a helpful laborer doing in a single day what it would take a Halfling to do in a week.
The savage humanoids greatly enjoy finding the odd elf-orc abandoned in the wilderness or one who has reached maturity and has escaped from either his orc or elven life to find a place to fit in. Elf-orcs are strong and agile and even though they lack stamina, this combined with their wild orc nature and elven affinity for magic makes them a valuable combatant. Many elf-orcs find themselves taken in by such groups who take advantage of their tortured background and hire them on as mercenaries either for fighter or magic support, sometimes as both. While not the happiest life, the elf-orc typically finds himself treated better by other savage humanoids than either by elves or orcs and not knowing any better will settle into this life and sometimes even finds himself eventually leading a tribe of another race.
The Elf-orc almost always takes after chaos due to the heritage of both of its parents. An elf-orc raised by orcs or savage humanoids tends towards evil whereas one raised by elves tends towards good. If raised in human lands, the elf-orc has no predisposition towards good or evil although a large proportion of these become chaotic neutral. In some special cases, elf-orcs have been known to be lawful if raised by humans of extreme moral stature. There is even a story of one that became a Paladin…
Elf-orcs have no land of their own although individual elf-orcs who rise to stature among the savage humanoids or in human communities sometimes either conquer some land or purchase it. These elf-orcs tend to make such places open to members of all their kind so that the elf-orcs have a place to congregate and be with others like themselves. So far, this hasn’t lead to an elf-orc civilization due to the fact that elf-orcs even have a hard time trusting each other as a general rule. Still, there are always rumors among the orcs, elves, and dwarves that the elf-orcs are planning a Kingdom of their own and agents of each of those communities watch elf-orc gathering places for the slightest hint that this might be true.
Elf-orcs tend towards atheism finding that the patrons of both of their parents have turned their backs upon them. Some elf-orcs raised by orcs find that they gain some favor with Gruumsh if they spend their lives constantly trying to purge any signs of the elf stain from their bodies and by killing as many elves as they can in their unusually long lives. Such elf-orcs become horribly scarred and tend to start wearing animal skins all over their body to mask their limited body hair (by orc standards). Many of these elf-orcs attempt to go through the ritual to become an Eye of Gruumsh but due to their elven nature, this ritual is usually made more brutal for these initiates and thus only one elf-orc has ever been on record to become an Eye of Gruumsh.
Among the minor orc deities, elf-orcs are similarly despised by Baghtru and no elf-orc has ever received that god’s favor. Ilneval similarly despises them for their low stamina a feeling that he doesn’t share about the Drorc as in many ways they are as powerful as his own creation, the Orog. Some elf-orcs can gain favor with Luthic or Yurtrus as those gods care more about who can further their divine portfolios than whether or not they are full orcs. Shargaas is the only orc god that shows any favor to the elf-orc much as he does with half-orcs. Their usually high dexterity makes them efficient thieves and assassins something that he finds very useful although he also approves of their mistreatment by other orcs as he feels that this helps to build character. Shargaas is also the only orc god who allows elf-orcs to enter his clergy.
Similarly, Corellan Larethian often turns his back on those elf-orcs that petition him. While not as exacting as Gruumsh, an elf-orc wishing Corellan Larethian’s favor must also spend a life atoning for the sins of his parents either by living a life of extreme piety among the elves (something very difficult to do given the distrust that elves have for elf-orcs) or must spend a life in battle among the savage orcs protecting the elven lands.
Several minor elven deities do accept elf-orcs. Deep Sashelas does not share Corellon Larethians hatred of the orcs for they do not have a record of despoiling his oceans. Thus, elf-orcs are welcome in his temples. Fenmarel Mestarine as the elven god of outcasts also accepts elf-orcs especially wild elf-orcs although he despises all Drorcs. In addition, Lolth, the spider goddess of the Drow has some admiration for the battle prowess of the elf-orcs and more than a few Drow have taken elf-orcs in to live amongst them. Elf-orcs who find themselves in human lands favor human gods with many serving Olidammara, god of Rogues, seeing a god who favors those who rely on their own devices. Kord is another favorite among elf-orcs who appreciate a god that likes a good brawl. Nazarn although an ascended half-orc does not limit himself to only that race and thus more than a few elf-orc warriors count him as their patron. Elf-orcs with an evil bent favor Erythnul, god of slaughter, and find that worshipping him is a means to getting back at those who have made their lives so painful. A few also favor Iuz as the Evil One gives them the capability to exact revenge on those that have wronged them.
Regardless of who raises them, the elf-orc typically finds that they learn orc and elf at some point in their lives. Orc has no written language of its own but orcs use the dwarven alphabet if they choose to write something down. Still, elves say that elf-orcs using their language make it sound harsh and guttural whereas orcs think that elf-orcs speaking orc make it sound too poetic and soft. Thus, many elf-orcs simply speak common when they have something to say.
Elf-orcs find themselves to be the butt of jokes if raised by either orcs or elves. Their names tend to be words for “weakness” or other undesirable traits among the orcs or words for garbage or refuse among the elves. Thus, an elf-orc almost always chooses his own name although those trying to curry favor with Gruumsh or Corellan Larethian will most likely keep their birth name in the hopes of finding favor with their god. Many choose a name from another race to show that they have turned their backs on both sides of their heritage. A note on names: A common practice among elf-orcs that have left their heritage behind is to combine an orc name with an elven one. Thus names such as Imsheliss for a male or Negalee for a female come into being.
An elf-orc is almost always a loner. Thus, he is wary about joining any party for any reason. Still, they are known to join parties if one of their rare friends joins one or if there is money to be had in it. For a few elf-orcs they must simply know that orcs or elves will be slain in large numbers to join a party. Still others are drawn to their savage natures so much that the simple thought of violence and putting their combat prowess to use is enough to get them going. In those circumstances it is sometimes a good idea to keep an eye on such an elf-orc, as they are not typically picky about whom the violence is meted out on.
- +2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, -2 Constitution, -2 Intelligence: Elf-orcs are strong and graceful but also frail and dim. An elf-orc is best suited to attack rather than defense.
- Medium: As Medium creatures, elf-orcs have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- Elf-orc base land speed is 30ft.
- Darkvision: Elf-orcs (and orcs) can see in the dark up to 60 feet. Darkvision is black and white only, but it is otherwise like normal sight, and elf-orcs can function just fine with no light at all.
- Immunity to sleep spells and similar magical effects, and a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against enchantments or effects.
- +1 racial bonus on Listen, Search, and Spot checks: An elf-orc does not have the elf’s ability to notice secret doors simply by passing them. Elf-orcs have keen senses, but not as keen as those of an elf.
- +2 racial bonus on Bluff and Intimidate checks. A harsh life has taught the elf-orc to get what he wants through deception or fear.
- Elven Blood: For all effects related to race, an elf-orc is considered an elf. Elf-orcs for example are just as vulnerable to special effects that affect elves as their ancestors are, and they can use magic items that are usable only by elves.
- Orc Blood: For all effects related to race, an elf-orc is considered an orc. Elf-orcs, for example, are just as vulnerable to special effects that affect orcs as their orc ancestors are, and they can use magic items that are only usable by orcs.
- Automatic Languages: Common and Orc or Elven. Bonus Languages: Draconic, Gnoll, Gnome, Goblin, Dwarven, Sylvan, Giant, and Abyssal. Smart elf-orcs tend to know the languages of the enemies or friends of their ancestors.
- Favored Class: Hex Blade. A multiclass elf-orc’s Hex Blade class does not count when determining whether he takes an experience penalty. The savage nature of the elf-orc combined with their combat prowess, affinity for arcane spellcasting, and inability to fit in makes the elf-orc a natural Hex Blade.
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