Orc Religion

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Orc Religion

Postby Nezerin » Tue Jun 17, 2014 9:19 pm

Does it exist? Are there details? I've googled information on Tolkien orc religion and can't really find anything about it. Makes it difficult to really try and play any sort of shaman mystic role.
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Re: Orc Religion

Postby BoogtehWoog » Tue Jun 17, 2014 9:46 pm

Absolutely exists. In fact, the Orcs are the most likely to be religious. Sauron and Morgoth both sought worship. I am not sure there was much in the way of details, so it is really open to your imagination.
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Re: Orc Religion

Postby Hazgarn » Tue Jun 17, 2014 10:30 pm

Even those who don't worship Morgoth or Sauron specifically could have easily fallen into the worship of some other being, real or constructed, or into a simple animism of natural, ancestral, or unclean spirits. And even those clans not specifically religious could easily have cultures steeped in superstition.
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Re: Orc Religion

Postby jimhabegger » Tue Jun 17, 2014 10:47 pm

Nezerin, my first thought, along the same lines as what Hazgarn wrote, is to search on the Internet for information about folk religion. That might give you ideas for possible beliefs and practices. As Hazgarn said, the objects of worship could be Sauron or Morgoth (or any celebrities among their followers); ancestors; or natural, ancestral, or unclean spirits.

The features of your character's religion don't need to be widely known or practiced. They could be largely specific to your family, so you don't need to know if they accord with whatever religion any other orc PC's might be practicing.
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Re: Orc Religion

Postby Onasaki » Wed Jun 18, 2014 12:27 pm

We shall worship the Fork of Lies. All bow before it's power.
I have two forces by my side
One's the truth and one's a lie
Which one's which I cannot tell
This enigma is my hell

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Re: Orc Religion

Postby Croaker » Thu Jun 19, 2014 7:16 pm

Sharghash: The dead are taken into the deepest tunnels of the
mountain, then to hasten the release of the spirit the body is
uniformly hacked to pieces. After cracking the dead orc's chest
and extracting its heart, the hands are hewn off at the wrist,
arms at the elbow and shoulder. Following that, the legs are
severed at each ankle, knee and hip joint. Finally, the cadaver
is decapitated and each piece set aflame. In celebration, the
heart is doused in the strongest orcish spirits available and
consumed by the participants in order of family first, then
closest companions. It is believed the spirit may then flee to
the center of the mountain for reincarnation.

Religion, Spirituality, and Beliefs

Few humans can conceive of such a crude and brutal race as the Orcs
having any form of spiritual beliefs, at least well formed ones, but
there are in fact many larger "Spiritual Movements" amongst the orcish
population of Middle-Earth as a whole, however, many of these are
regional, and even in their regions of strength, they may be limited
to a certain portion of the populace.

Like most things orcish, the dominant theme of all orcish religion is
fear. The orcs live in very real fear of their masters, their master's
masters, and more or less everyone else. It is only natural that
orcish religions should develop horrible, fearsome and ever-present
monstrosities for their religious imagery, and orcs usually loathe and
fear their deities, however loyal they are to them.

The most notable religious movements in orcish society are known as
Morgothian Animism, and Simple Animism by those very few (and almost
certainly short-lived) scholars who have taken the time to study the
orcs in any detail.

Morgothian Animism is somewhat uncommon, although prolific, that is -
it can be found throughout orcish societies everywhere, however, few
people actively follow it (it tends to be the domain of the more
power-driven clan shamans and the occasional warlord's tribe). The
faith is a crude orcish take on the Cult of Morgoth that is popular in
Numenorean and Variag circles (See: HELP NUMENOREANS, HELP
confusing religion of exclusion, murder, war, and sacrifice.

Many shamans of this faith claim to be able to see Morgoth's will
directly, and they are usually responsible for ensuring that the name
Morgoth is feared and loathed by orcs by the time they are old enough
to form an opinion. They remind orcs that Morgoth created them as his
children, and that they are his property and in his debt always. They
proclaim war, murder, indulgence, rape, torture, and other such
attrocities as not only the birthright, but the duty of orcs

There is a complicated oral tradition behind the religion which is
passed down from Shaman to Shaman, but few other than the Shamans
themselves understand (or even pretend to understand) the laws and
rituals of the movement. Mostly, the Shamans of Morgoth are given
roles in their clans that minimize the potential harm they can do to
the warlord who is in power...particularly "Gifted" shamans may even
be given as "tributes" to rival war leaders.

The other major traditional orcish faith is a form of simple animism,
believing in either some form of afterlife or rebirth cycle that
espouses orcish culture. The details vary from region to region and in
some cases shaman to shaman, but it is generally not as hardline,
brutal, or outright destructive as Morgoth's cult. Many of these
movements substitute another powerful spirit (real or imaginary) for
Morgoth, examples of which are the late Twisted Eye of Khagdu cult
that arose in Minas Morgul shortly before the fall of Osgiliath.
Generally, most orcs pay at least some kind of lip service to their
tribe's version of this animism for fear that unseen spirits will
strike them down.

There are still other minor faiths amongst the orcs, and there are
even some few orcs that have given absolutely no thought to anything
beyond their immediately physical situation (after all, all that
thinking takes away valuable smashing time). Religion is pervasive and
common, however unpredictable, and it would be a foolish ambassador
who does not attempt to ascertain the beliefs of the orcs to whom he
Last edited by Croaker on Thu Jun 19, 2014 7:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Orc Religion

Postby Hazgarn » Thu Jun 19, 2014 7:23 pm

Many of the lore documentation in the helpfiles is outdated. These refer to the Mordorian orcs of old SOI. The admins have as much as said that new SOI isn't necessarily bound to the past incarnations of the game. I wouldn't consider this a hard-set limit for what your character's background could or should include.
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Re: Orc Religion

Postby WorkerDrone » Thu Jun 19, 2014 7:26 pm

It gives a good idea of the type of things orcs do, both with their dead and in worship. Derivatives derive.
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Re: Orc Religion

Postby Hazgarn » Thu Jun 19, 2014 7:53 pm

Of course. I just meant that players shouldn't feel limited just because it was in a help-file.
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