Culture of the forest tribes
Forest orcs have no farms, arable or otherwise. All that they eat comes from the forest around them, and much of it is game or fish due to the orcish need for meat. Pemmican, a dish made with deer fat and berries, is a common part of a sustenance diets during the winter. Instead of salting, drying is the most favoured method for preserving meat due to the lack of salt. Supplementing this are the various wild herbs and roots that grow in the woods, which allow for some fairly complex-tasting dishes despite their simplicity.
Cordials are surprisingly popular, and are usually made with berries or fruits found in the Woods. These are recommended with most meals as a healthy alternative to beer (which being made as it is usually with whatever can be fermented is not an unfair opinion). Similarly mint and other herbal teas are drunk by the forest orcs, who regard them as medicinal.
Entertainment in the Whispering Woods is a communal activity. Storytelling, particularly stories of the past in Virmor and of the tribe, provide both entertainment and schooling in the evenings by the fires. Among forest orcs music is not often “sullied” (in their words) by being accompanied by ballads. Instead solo pieces are encouraged, often with woodwind or stringed instruments that can be easily made with local materials.
Forest orcs have little time for luxury, and cloth is not readily available in the Whispering Woods, meaning it is often worn by richer orcs. Leathers such as buckskin and rabbit pelts are more available, dyed in shades of green and brown to blend in more easily with the surrounding forest. The fashion for forest orc clothing is minimal and simplistic, with an undecorated tunic or vest over trousers or a skirt.
Jewellery is also minimalist, with pendants carved in the shapes of nature spirits and hung around the neck or from belts. The most common material is bone or wood, painted with plant dyes or ochre. Occasionally metals such as copper or bronze will be used for the jewellery of richer orcs. Tattooing or painting is also used for some tribes, either as camouflage or as a way of identifying members.
Language and Naming Conventions
Orcish shares language roots with Common and Troll, but has developed into something more guttural due to orcish physiology. Due to the shape of an orcish jaw and the presence of tusks certain sounds are more difficult to pronounce, and have been replaced with harsher syllables. Because of this it is a language that is often considered hard on the ears by non-orcs, and study of it is rare unless needed.
The forest tribes have no written language as The Forged do, relying on an ancient pictograph alphabet in the event that they need to write anything down. Literacy in other languages is not widespread, as there is very little use for it.
For forest orcs naming conventions still run personal name then tribe name – personal names such as the Forged take are seen as vulgar and prideful. Tribe names in the Whispering Woods tend to reference natural elements such as animals, plants or the weather more so than in the Iron Hills.
Sample Male Names: Gren, Rusgar, Vaskgar
Sample Female Names: Akki, Kiku, Skirit
Sample Tribes: Blacktree, Riversong, Windwolf