Orcish Sexuality And Sociology

Orcs have an egalitarian society wherein supremacy is based on strength and cunning, which is comparable for males and females

Aside from their genitalia, males differ from females in two major physiological ways: 1) they are sexually mature from birth and 2) they have highly specialized olfactory centres.

1. Males are physically able to impregnate females from infancy. However, this rarely occurs as adult females do not wish to mate with small or weak males. Rarely, a cunning young male may impregnate a female, but he is unlikely to survive the brutality of the breeding pit.

2. The olfactory centres of male Orcs are finely tuned. Male Orcs are able to detect the presence of both sexually-mature and pregnant female Orcs by smell. The pheromones produced by an adult, unimpregnated, female Orc are particularly strong, and, if the wind is favourable, can be detected by males from miles away. In contrast, pregnant can be detected by smell only in close proximity (2-3 feet).

The ratio of male to female Orcs is roughly 70:30. The mating urge is intense, and copulation is typically a frenzied, violent process with numerous males and a single female. Although the ultimate goal of the male is to achieve sexual congress with the female, in the case of a large breeding pit, this is not always possible. These males sate their breeding instinct with whatever else is at hand, including one another. To an outsider, an Orcish breeding pit is an awesome and terrifying sight to behold, with a cluster of immature males being violently tossed about every which way on the outskirts, and a seething mass of adults writhing and fighting on the interior.

In most species, it takes many hours or several days for a sperm to reach the egg. The process happens much more quickly with Orcs, and breeding pits dissipate shortly after the female conceives.

Orcs have a one-month gestation period. Within two hours of conceiving, a female Orc's abdomen becomes noticeably larger. By the time she reaches term, her abdomen is grossly distended. Multiple births are common, and Orcs have a higher chance of birth complications than other species (likely because when the babies kick, mothers hit back).

The female determines paternity. Since the actual impregnator is irrelevant to a female Orc (likely because it is impossible to determine, more often than not), the last individual of any species or gender to have copulated with her is considered to be the father. The last one to copulate with the female is believed to imbue the baby with that one’s spirit.

Fathers are chosen according to what the female believes is necessary to develop the strength of a clan. Generally speaking, Orcs are a very physical race, and there is a strong preference for powerful fighters to be chosen as fathers. However, in the case of a large clan with many fighters, a female may choose a different mate. If there is a dearth of scholars, for instance, she may prefer a father stronger in magic than in body.

If a pregnant Orc believes her last copulation partner to be sub-optimal, she will continue to search for a new mate right up until she gives birth. It is customary for those who wish to become fathers to petition females with tribute. Common gifts include tasty morsels, armour, spell components, gold, or physical proof of having killed a particularly dangerous creature or foe. These gifts often go a long way toward proving one's worthiness as a father, and to be declared the parent of a child increases an Orc's status. To be declared the parent of an adult increases one’s status even more. Grandmothers and grandfathers possess high prestige, but are very rare, as the life of an Orc is nasty, brutish, and short. Orcs rarely survive past the age of 30, and none have been known to die naturally of old age.

Unwanted infants (eg. runts and those with deformities or sub-par fathers) are discarded at birth.1 Clan is determined through matrilineal lines: the clan of the mother is the clan of the child. The exception to this is in the case of adoption, where the child becomes part of the adopting clan. Infant females are sometimes offered to other tribes as a potent form of diplomacy. These infants are accepted eagerly, as breeding females increase a clan’s viability. Without females, a clan soon withers and dies.

It is rare, but not unheard of, for an adult to petition to join another clan. This is most likely to occur if an adult has lost his/her clan (whether through geographic separation or through the destruction of the prior clan). If accepted, the new clan mate is accorded all the same rights as any other adult within the clan.

Infants are not typically raised by their mothers, but by the clan as a whole. Infants tend to be cared for by whichever adult or juvenile is in closest proximity. Adult females soon tire of constantly rebuffing the sexual advances of infant and juvenile males. Because of this, young males are frequently cared for by juveniles or by adult males. Infant females are cared for by both genders. Babies are not breastfed, but raised on a diet of regurgitated meat. An Orcling's first meal often consists of the nutrient-rich placenta, chewed up and spat into its mouth. Orclings continue to develop quickly until they are one month old and the approximate size of a Kobold. At this time, they commence rigourous conditioning and training.

Few Orcs survive childhood. Juveniles fend for themselves, fighting for food, clothing, and shelter, and as they become more skilled, take part in the care of infants and in gathering food for the clan. As part of their education, young Orcs are sent on raiding expeditions to Kobold caves and Hobling settlements. If they survive several of these expeditions, they are taken on and trained as squires, runners, medics, and magic casters for adult war parties.

Juveniles remain the approximate size and strength of Kobolds until they are ten years old and hit puberty. This stage is marked by a dramatic growth spurt, known simply as “growth.” During this time, young Orcs develop a prodigious appetite. Within one month of growth, an Orc reaches full adult size and strength and females begin producing pheromones[[footnote]] Orcish herbalists have discovered a plant (called “Smell Belly”) which masks a female Orc’s endorphins, making her smell pregnant for a week at a time. Smell Belly is used primarily by fighters, as a gravid condition makes it difficult to wield weapons.

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