Crafting Motif 21: Ancient Orc Style

Author (in-game): Curator Umutha

By Curator Umutha of the House of Orsimer Glories

Here in Orsinium’s museum of Orcish history, we are proud to display arms and armor created in the style of our ancient ancestors! Feel free to handle the items labeled “reproduction,” but please admire the original relics in the display cases with your eyes only.

An Ancient Orc axe is a thing of simple beauty, its broad curved blade worked with traditional geometric patterns, utilitarian but deadly. The two-handed axe has two blades mounted on its longer haft. Can you not imagine this lovely weapon taking the head right off a skulking Diagna assassin?

The Ancient Orc’s waist cincture is constructed of square or rectangular links, with a large belly buckle inscribed with an abstract clan sigil. Like all Orcish gear from the period, it is even stronger than it looks.

As you would expect from seeing other items made in the Ancient Orc style, even the boots are tough, practical, and unexpectedly beautiful. After our lovely tusks, what defines an Orsimer more than our shapely calves? And what could protect and yet display them better than Ancient Orc boots?

Simple and elegant, the appearance of the Ancient Orc longbow conveys one quality above all others: strength! This is the bow of a people whose muscles were thickened and hardened working in the forge, who can draw a bow powerful enough to drive a steel-tipped arrow through even the best non-Orcish armor!

Whether it’s leather, brigantine, or plate steel, the Ancient Orc cuirass is formed of interlocking and overlapping elements that provide multiple layers of protection without compromising flexibility. And, of course, their intricate geometry is a joy to the eye!

When it came to weapons, the Ancient Orcs knew that size matters! Their daggers were almost the size of short swords, with a single edge and a slight curve just below the point. Lethal and lovely!

As you might expect, the war-gloves of the Ancient Orcs are clearly descendants of the blacksmith’s protective gauntlets, providing coverage nearly to the elbow, and crafted of thick material that nonetheless does not compromise the warrior’s all-important flexibility. In other words: nice gloves!

With Ancient Orc helmets, we see the broad variety that is a hallmark of Orsimer inventiveness: we go from simple hoods that are little more than arming caps, all the way to heavy horned helms faced with a fierce full-visage tusked mask!

An Ancient Orc’s greaves are a natural extension of the Old Orsimer’s lovely boots — in fact, it’s hard to tell where one ends and the other begins! They exemplify the perfect marriage of form with function! You can’t get more Orcish than that.

The Ancient Orcs knew how to make armor — and they also knew how to make weapons to get through it! Their maces featured a spike on one side for perforating leather and chain mail, and a heavy flanged head on the other for bashing plate armor. And all of it as beautiful as it is deadly!

An Ancient Orc’s shield is kite-shaped, of dense hardwood bolstered by overlapping and interlocking strips of metal — but not too much, because a shield that’s too heavy to move rapidly is no use in a melee!

Ancient Orc pauldrons extend the design of the helmet cheek-pieces into layers that protect the shoulders, while simultaneously echoing the shape and ornamentation of the warrior’s shield. These are pauldrons I could look at all day long.

A wonder of the magical sculptor’s craft, the Ancient Orc mage’s staff is tipped with a metallic finial that resembles a fierce Orsimer sorcerer, tusked and horned, mouth half open as if in the midst of uttering a Destruction spell. So intimidating!

An Ancient Orc’s sword looks like a slim single-edged axe-blade attached at two points to a long tang, with a slight curve just below the point. The entire weapon is ornamented with interwoven geometric patterns to create an object of breathtaking beauty.

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