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A pair of Derew Orcs. Art by Magdalena Partyka.

The Derew Orcs are victims of an ancient misunderstanding about who they are and where they come from. When the Chatûl and the Elves first encountered a breed of Orcs, it was in the defense of a fledgling Human settlement as Orc raiders came down from the hills, slaughtering everything in their path. For centuries it was believed that these raiding Orcs, now called Blood Orcs, were the only members of their race. It was not until the middle of the Third Age that the Derew were discovered, and since that time the Derew have suffered a great deal of persecution because of the actions of their evil kin. The Derew were peaceful, only being spurred to war in the defense of the forests and the woodlands. As they began to befriend Humans, Elves and Chatûl alike, the various races realized that these Orcs were entirely different from their forebears.

Orcs are humanoid but have a number of physical traits in common with various types of plant life. Derew Orcs are not at all bestial, unlike the feral Blood Orcs. They are a kind and gentle people, capable of great sophistication. While they may be slow to act when careful thought is necessary, they are not unintelligent and are quite capable thinkers. Generally, Derew tend to avoid the destructive powers of Arcane magic, and prefer the more life-supporting powers of Divine or Nature magic. Derew Orc priests commonly revere Tallis, the Lord of Spring as their patron. It is believed that Tallis was the Ilith’ari who created the Derew, setting them forth with a sacred duty to protect the wildlands.

Despite their relatively peaceful nature, there is nothing more terrifying to face in battle than an Orc defending her home or fighting for a cause she cares about. Derew Orcs, when enraged, are every bit as ferocious and wild as their Blood Orc cousins, and every bit as dangerous. Combat is seen as an essential component of life to the Derew. Derew often make war against the various Goblin tribes that threaten their way of life. When in battle Derew use a wide range of weaponry, though they most commonly prefer massive greatclubs, wooden mauls, and similar weapons. Derew warriors tend to avoid the use of axes because of the threat they pose to the woodlands, though it is not entirely unheard of. As Orcs engage in combat, they begin to release a type of pheromone that causes other Orcs to feel a sense of empathy with them, tapping into their feelings of rage. While Orcs affected in this manner do not lose control of their faculties, this effect makes Orc armies of all kinds extremely lethal on the battlefield.

Derew Orcs do distinguish between the genders in the same manner as Humans. Derew Orcs believe that an essential task is an essential task, and they believe that all Orcs in a tribe should participate in every duty from raising children to hunting for food. The childrearing duties are spread throughout the community, and Orcs consider all of the children in a tribe to be siblings. In cases where Derew integrate into another society, they will take on their tribe’s name as a surname. A Derew tribe will generally consist of between three to five families of any number of individuals. Derew submit to the leadership of their Elders, massive tree-like creatures that are said to have been Derew themselves at one point many eons ago. When the smaller Derew tribes form into larger communities, they generally gather around these Elders during their various celebration days and engage in fellowship and merrymaking to promote genetic diversity. Here they will engage in song and revelry in the hopes that children will be conceived. Children conceived during these days return to the tribe of the mother in the hopes that the entire community will grow stronger from this sharing of what Derew view as a resource.

Derew Orcs draw a small amount of nutrition from the sunlight. No Derew would ever pass up an opportunity to bask in the sunlight since it brings them substantial comfort. Derew cannot spend too much time simply enjoying the sun’s warmth, as they will actually become intoxicated if they absorb too much sunlight.

Playing a Derew Orc character in Sidereus can be an unusual experience. Derew Orcs have green skin, and many of them have plant-like material growing from their skin in a sort of symbiotic relationship. Female Orcs commonly sprout flowers from their hair and various other parts of their body. This can happen with males as well although it is less frequent, and both genders are covered in many places over their body in vines and other types of parasitic plants.

Derew Orc characters may not be for everyone. Playing a Derew Orc requires a large amount of makeup and a significant amount of patience to apply it. Keep in mind that getting ready to play as a Derew Orc before an event can result in a long preparation time before you will actually be ready to enter the game. Also be aware that covering up most of your body simply to avoid having to put on makeup is not adequate. You must do your best to cover as much of your exposed skin as possible. Wearing a mask or similar item simply to hide the fact that you are not wearing makeup is not acceptable and is considered an abuse of the rules. At the very least you should be willing to apply makeup to your face in the appropriate colors to depict a Derew Orc. If you are not, do not play this race. Players who play as Derew Orcs are expected to apply their makeup to the best of their ability, being sure to cover their skin as completely as possible, and to ensure it is kept up and remains appropriate for the duration of the weekend. This commitment is rewarded by a more powerful racial template for the character, and should be respected as much as any other rule.