An obscure legend claims that when Corellon put out Gruumsh’s eye in a primeval battle, part of the savage god’s essence fell to earth, where it transformed a race of humans into fierce half-orcs. Another story suggests that an ancient hobgoblin empire created half-orcs to lead orc tribes on the empire’s behalf. Yet another legend claims that a tribe of brutal human barbarians chose to breed with orcs to strengthen their bloodline. Some say that Kord created half-orcs, copying the best elements from the human and orc races to make a strong and fierce people after his own heart. If you ask a half-orc about his origin, you might hear one of these stories. You might also get a punch in the face for asking such a rude question.
Half-orcs favor their human lineage in appearance, but are distinguished by skin that tends to various shades of gray, broad jaws, and prominent lower canine teeth—though these are still a far cry from the jutting tusks of orcs. On average, they are taller and stronger than humans as well. Their hair is usually black, though it grays quickly with age. Most half-orcs who live among humans favor human styles of clothing and hairstyle, but a few adopt orc traditions, tying small bones or beads into long braids or bunches of hair.
Half-orcs don’t live quite as long as humans do. They mature quickly, reaching adulthood at about 16 years, and rarely live past the age of 60.