Gristlegrim's Monsters Uruks

Legend says that Uruks (Orcs in the common tongue) were created from Elves. Certainly they can interbreed, though each race finds the other repellant. Uruks are manlike creatures, but somewhat hardier than Men. Their bodies are hairless but mightily muscled. Their skulls are deformed, with sloping foreheads, large eye ridges shading deepset eyes, a nose that is little more than two holes in the face, a large mouth above a lantern jaw. Uruks have 6 great tusks that extend beyond the mouth and overlap on chin and upper lip--four on the bottom and two on the top. Their front teeth are conical and pointed, but they do have molars in the back of their mouths for grinding food down to powder. Their skins are heavy and leathery, and come in various colors from pale brownish-yellow to dark brownish-green.

Uruks breed in litters like dogs, female Uruks may have up to 3 litters per year of up to four babies each. After two weeks of maternal care and teaching, the young Uruks are turned loose to join the pack of children that every Uruk tribe has. For four years they live a feral and savage existence, treated more like a pack of hunting dogs than intelligent creatures. Only the strongest survive. When Uruk children reach a certain size, they are taken from the pack by an adult of their sex and trained to be either a warrior or a breeder. Male uruks become warriors, female uruks become breeders. Uruks mature rapidly and age rapidly--thirty is ancient for an Uruk. They are sexually mature at age seven.

In general Uruks delight in battle and competition of all sorts. They speak gutteral languages in which the elvish roots of their words can sometimes be detected. However, why use a long elvish word when a grunt will do as well. Thus, the elvish word for fire is khanatirtha, but the Orcish word is simply tirg. Uruks experience pain as pleasure, and in a twisted way, they believe they are doing favors to people that they hurt. Accordingly, they decorate themselves with tattoos and body piercings. Elaborate rituals and codes have developed in many tribes, and the trained observer can read an Uruk warrior's history in his body markings and embedded jewelry.

Uruks are adaptable and will use virtually any form of weaponry, but they most prefer heavy scimitars and short, powerful, compound bows that shoot poisoned black arrows. Urukish poison is not particularly lethal, but painful in the extreme. In Trollworld they like primitive firearms, delighting in the noise, the kick, and the foul sulfurous smell of matchlocks and muskets. Luckily, the manufacture of such weapons is beyond the technology of most Uruk tribes.

Uruk senses are extremely keen and they can see well in conditions of little light, which is why they are often found underground. The senses of hearing and smell are both acute, and they use these senses constantly. Hence, they seldom bother to post guards or watchmen.

Uruks generally live in tribal groups in which the mightiest warrior is chief. Uruks who survive beyond their 25th year become advisers or shamen. Their are many cultural differences among the different tribes of Uruks, concerned generally with favored weapons, domesticated animals, favorite forms of torture, tattoo styles, etc.

The Uruks of Gristlegrim's Desert World are modelled on the Apache Indians. I'm not going to do an essay on Apaches, but it's often useful to think of Uruks as the analog of Amerindians.

You may use monster ratings for Uruks with the average warrior coming in at 40, but it is preferable to use the T & T rules for monster creation and roll them up individually. Uruks may appear in any number from 1 to 50, but the preferred size of a warband is 10 to 20 warriors.