Orcs of Middle-earth ~ Origin of the Orc ~ Orc Breeds ~ Orcish Beastiary ~ Discover Your Orc Name ~ Iron Fist of the Orc
The Origin of the Orcs
“Do you know how the Orcs first came into being?
They were elves once, taken by the dark powers, tortured and mutilated. A ruined and terrible form of life.”
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This page written and edited by our Dark Historian Grievous.
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In the Deeps of Time the Elves awoke at Cúvenien in Far Rhûn, in the Wild Woods under the shadows of the Red Mountains of the East. They spread through the woods, and an adventurous group came north to where the Red Mountains met the Iron Mountains of Melkor. The curious elves discovered a pass through them into the wastes of Forodwaith, which the Dwarves of the Ironfoot clan would later name the Mouth of Abôl. But the elves never had the chance to explore the pass. For there they were discovered by agents of Melkor – some tales have reported that they were found by Sauron himself. They were captured and taken west to Utumno, the colossal stronghold of the Dark Lord.
What occurred in the bowels of that great fortress no tales report, but all agree that in the torture and mutilation they endured, the elves became something wholly different, a ruined form of life: Orcs. While the first orcs differed little from their elvish cousins save in mentality, later generations quickly diverted from their original appearance. Orcs became unable to endure the sun and gained larger night eyes, their veins ran with black blood, their height was reduced, they developed a tolerance to poison, and became adapted to killing and doing the Dark Lord’s work. The also bred in remarkable numbers, that could be raised into vast armies.
The first orcs were sent back east, and more and more elves disappeared under the growing shadow. A fear grew on the elves of these creatures, who they knew as Yrch, a fear that led many to reject the call to follow Oromë into the west. Many of these became orcs themselves, or lived in eternal torment trapped in the ruins of Melkor’s citadel after the War for the Sake of the Elves. In the aforementioned war many orcs perished, and the means by which they were brought into being were lost. But many survived in the depths of Angband under Sauron and Gothmog, and came out once more to trouble the world upon Melkor’s return. Ever after they fought under Mellor, until the final conflict during the War of Wrath after which they were scattered across Middle-earth.
Later as Sauron rose to power, he also employed the iron fist of the Orc in all his wars upon the West, but after the Dark Lords final defeat in Mordor, they finally weakened, with all that remained dwelling in diminished clans in the Misty Mountains, and troubled Middle-earth no more.
“A new order will rise. We will drive the machine of war with the sword and the spear and the iron fist of the orc.”
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