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Vaerven - Orks

By Satapatis
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"O Invincible Sun! From the flood, from the plague, from the ire of the Steppes, preserve us." - Makranian prayer.

Calling themselves "arauka" or "rauka", for elves known as the "fomoire", and for the rest of the world also as the Scourge of The Steppes, Vaervenian orks are indigenous people of the great plains of East.

While an average human, or elf, is between 5'5'' and 5'9'' tall, an average ork is between 6'1'' and 6'4'' - and they can be even taller, what makes them largest of all humanoid species.
Massive and strong creatures, raukas are well adapted to the unavoidable hardships of the nomadic lifestyle.

In the "civilised" world orks are known as herdsmen and horse breeders, but also as ruthless pillagers and mercenaries - a perfect definitions of their way of life, because each time when steppe winter was harsh and tribes are starved there will be another influential ork warlord with the same plan - "let's take what we need from our neighbours!"

While in terms of numbers orks could be easily a fourth superpower, they are divided between myriads of warring tribes, each leaded by its own king or warlord. Tribal confederations are rare sight, but not unheard of - and each time when such force emerges it can be a bad news for the rest of Vaerven.

Having said that, araukas are not necessarily murderous and barbaric. They value freedom, honesty, and can be honorable, it is simply that they feel no obligations to the other people when their own families are starving.

Araukas are also known for their love to the horses. In times of war or peace, with sword or bow, arauka tribesman is always dependent on his steed. They value horses to the point when deliberately killing horse instead of its rider can disgrace ork warrior in the eyes of his tribe. And gods have mercy for someone who is cruel for those animals - if any arauka is watching.

Not very surprisingly, their warfare is typical for steppe dwellers. Vaervenian orks are expert riders and horse archers. Quick maneuvers, feign retreats and harassing enemies with arrows launched on the run is a common tactic. Heavy cavalry, recruited from the tribal aristocracy, is used for finishing off shaken foes, or breaking particularly hardy opponents.

Individuals on the picture are surely enjoying quite succesful life - both man and woman are wealthy enough to afford metal armor and gilded weapons. Man is bold enough for adorning his horse and equipment with scalps, while woman is showing bronze mirror strapped to her belt. Her ritual tattoos are another sign of high social status.

Ork facial types and structure:

Next installment: The finest of men, Makranian Dominate.

P.S.: I could divulge on which ancient cultures orks are based, but it is quite obvious.
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© 2012 - 2020 Satapatis
anonymous's avatar
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funyskywalker's avatar
Is this a rpg setting?
knightorder's avatar
knightorderHobbyist Digital Artist
I really like how you've mimicked the Osprey Military books on this one. Also very nice to orcs who aren't the stereotypical Warcraft orcs.
IgorObara's avatar
IgorObaraHobbyist General Artist
I admire Your imagination :) very individual characters 
Dhacxaahsvost's avatar
DhacxaahsvostHobbyist General Artist
They are somehow similar to the Huns or Mongols, right? Nice work here!
Satapatis's avatar
SatapatisProfessional General Artist
They are based on Scythians and Sarmatian, or rather Scythians without Greek imports in equipment. I was avoiding Huns and Mongols because these two cultures are overused as an inspiration for fantasy nations.
999demons's avatar
999demonsHobbyist Traditional Artist
Great penmanship. :thumbsup:
foojer's avatar
greenskin saka? =)
anonymous's avatar
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