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Half-Orcs are products of interbreeding and subsequent hybridization between the various Orcs and Humans or one of the various Elven races (High Elves, Wood Elves, Dark Elves), overlapping with Half-Elves.
Orcish women are generally considered ugly and unattractive by Human and Elven men, making intermarriage rather rare, albeit not unheard of. The other side - Orcish men breeding with Human or Elven women - is much more frequent, albeit it being done on with the woman's consent is still not as frequent as one might think, due to the overwhelmingly negative reputation or Orcs, as well as the fact that male Orcs too are generally considered unattractive by Human and Elven women - another important factor would be that Orcs living in civilized society tend to be either mercenaries or slaves, and the few free orcs are usually lower-class. This assures that Half-Orcs who grow up in non-Orcish society are usually subjects to bullying and ostracism, making them prone to criminality.
Half-Orcs born in Orcish society tend to be fathered by Orcish men and mothered by female Human or Elven captives. Due to their mixed heritage, they tend to be seen as inferior to full-blooded Orcs, often bullied, mocked as weak or cowards, denied any leadership position. Sometimes, they may even go as far as selling Half-Orcs into slavery, assuming that if a child's mother is a slave, the child should be a slave too.
Terminology and biology
While full-blooded Orcs always have green skin, Half-Orcs tend to exhibit a variation between lighter greyish green and darker greenish brown or even dark orange.
Since the immediate state between and Orc and a Human/Elf tends to be an unstable one...
- ...the offspring of a Half-Orc and an Orc will always be an Orc
- ...the offspring of a Half-Orc and a Human/Elf will always the latter.
- ...the offspring of two Half-Orcs will always be a Half-Orc.
The aforementioned model of Elf-Human breeding is oversimplified, and does not accurately represent their biology. In reailty:
- Those with an Orcish ancestry between 45% and 55% (implying that the remainder is Human ancestry) are scientifically classified as "clean crossbreeds", the true Half-Orcs. They are coloquially known as Half-Orcs, as they exhibit both Human and Orcish traits in a half-half ratio: their skin colour is halfway between the green of an orc and the yellowish pink of a human, they are taller than humans but shorter than orcs, stereotypical Orcish facial features are present but not as nearly as salient as in full-blooded Orcs.
- Those with an Orcish ancestry below 45% or above 55% (implying that the remainder is Human ancestry) are scientifically classified as "dirty crossbreeds". Colloquially, they aren't distinguished from full-blooded Humans and Orcs, because pretty much anything other than a perfect 50-50 mixture (or rather, between 45% and 55%) results in a strong tendency towards the dominant side.
- Orcs with some Human ancestry (below 45%) are typically indistinguishable from regular full-blooded Orcs, though they may be shorter, have slightly shorter lifespans and slightly less aggressive.
- Humans with some Orcish ancestry (below 45%) are typically indistinguishable from regular full-blooded Humans, with the exception of slightly rougher features, taller height and tendency towards slightly more aggressive, assertive and confrontational behaviour.
Gabyr and Keldorn
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