When I began writing a post apocalyptic fantasy setting, I knew a radiation or toxic corruption would be a recurring theme.  It is part and parcel in the genre. The Blight Elves were part of that, and so is today’s offering. There will be others.  Thing is, I am not personally afraid of all things nuclear.  I grew up in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. This is where the material for the first atomic weapons came from. My grandfather was scientist at the labs, and I grew up understanding that nuclear was not necessarily a bad thing. Nuclear medicine was saving lives daily and nuclear power, while not yet perfected, was easier on the environment than coal burning plants.

That said, nuclear war is the thing that kept you up at nights back in the cold war. It was terrifying to think of a war where dying in a flash was probably the “good” option. This vision of apocalyptic war shaped the genre. The irradiated mutant is a trope that comes up often. With this in mind, I wrote this little variation on orcs.

Burning Orcs

The coming of Space Gods caused humanity to splinter and change.  Some, in the wild places, became Elves.  Others became Dwarves, or other variations.  Those affected by the War God became some of the more bestial races, the Goblins, the Trolls, or the Orcs.  The Orcs in particular tried repeatedly to conquer the fallen world. They often failed, but in the trying they have spread through the world.

The Burning Orcs are the most vicious of the breed. They live in lands that are too toxic, too radioactive for most other races.  These ruins from the fallen golden age are the result of nuclear strikes and failed containment of wastes.  These toxins and the radiation change the orcs even further, not just with mutation, but they also form a mystical connection to the tainted land they live on. The rage they feel burns the air around them.

Burning Orcs look largely like other orc breeds but with more of a greenish tint to their skin. They often manifest horrible lesions or tumors. The ones damaged enough by birth defects that they will be “weak” are killed outright, but the appearance of deformities is pretty common.

The Burning Orcs hold themselves largely apart from other orcs and mainly associate with them only in time of a war. The Shamans of the Fall extol the Burning Tribes to continue the downfall of the world. In their view, the downfall of mankind is a continuing and incomplete mission the Gods set on the world. The only way the Orcs can prove their worth is to finish that work.

In battle, the Burning orcs fight in small units of 4 to 10 with at least one Shaman of the Fall in their midst. Their power is enough to strike down even seasoned defensive lines. When great war bands form, the wise war chief calls on the Burning Orcs as his shock troops.

 

Burning Orc Warrior

Medium humanoid, chaotic evil

Armor Class 18 (Chain Mail, Shield)
Hit Points 60 (8d8 + 24)
Speed 30 ft.

STR- 17 (+3)
DEX- 11 (+0)
CON- 17 (+3)
INT- 10 (+0)
WIS- 12 (+1)
CHA- 14 (+2)

Saving Throws WIS +3
Skills Insight +3, Intimidation +4, Perception +3
Senses Darkvision 60 ft., Passive Perception 13
Languages Common, Orc
Challenge 4 (1,100 XP)

Aggressive. As a bonus action, the orc can move up to its speed toward a hostile creature that it can see.

Green Fire. The burning orc deals an extra 1d6 fire damage on melee attacks.

Born in the wastes: Advantage on all poison and radiation saves. They also have resistance to the Poison damage type.

Actions

Multiattack. The Burning Orc makes two melee attacks with its longsword or one ranged attacks with its blunderbuss and one melee attack.

Longsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (2d8 + 3) slashing damage, or 14 (2d10 + 3) slashing damage when used with two hands.

Blunderbuss Ranged Weapon Attack: +2 to hit,  range 30/60 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (2d8) piercing damage.

 

Burning Orc Shaman of the Fall

Medium humanoid, chaotic evil

Armor Class 14 (Hide Armor) 16 do to Bark Skin
Hit Points 45 (6d8 + 18)
Speed 30 ft.

STR- 14 (+2)
DEX- 15 (+2)
CON- 16 (+3)
INT- 10 (+0)
WIS- 15 (+2)
CHA- 11 (+0)

Skills Intimidation +2, Medicine +4, Survival +4
Senses Darkvision 60 ft., Passive Perception 12
Languages Common, Orc
Challenge 2 (450 XP)

Aggressive. As a bonus action, the orc can move up to its speed toward a hostile creature that it can see.

Green Fire. The burning orc Shaman can change damage type of spells to Fire at will.

Born in the wastes: Advantage on all poison and radiation saves. They also have resistance to the Poison damage type.

Spellcasting. The orc is a 5th-level spellcaster. Its spellcasting ability is Wisdom (spell save DC 12, +4 to hit with spell attacks). The orc has the following druid spells prepared:

Cantrips (at will): guidance, mending, control flames, druidcraft

1st level (4 slots): earth tremor, cure wounds, thunderwave

2nd level (3 slots): heat metal, bark skin

3rd level (2 slots): call lightening, flame arrow

Actions

Multiattack. The orc makes two claw attacks, or four claw attacks if it has fewer than half of its hit points remaining.

Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d8 + 2) burning damage.

Burning Rage: The Burning Orc Shaman can sacrifice a spell slot to give all its allies within 30 ft advantage on their next attack, and to add a 1D6 burning damage to any successful hit.

 

 

 

Liked it? Take a second to support Jeremiah McCoy on Patreon!