Thousands of years before humans came to Khorvaire, the land was dominated by wild orcs and goblinoids of the Dhakaani Empire. The goblin empire scattered the orc tribes and forced them into harsh and unwanted lands: the swamps of the Shadow Marches, the Demon Wastes, and the depths of the Ironroot Mountains. But in the Shadow Marches, the orcs learned the secrets of druidic magic from the dragon Vvaraak, becoming the first of the Gatekeepers. With the invasion of the alien daelkyr from Xoriat, the Gatekeepers put the dragon’s teaching to the test, creating magical seals that bound the daelkyr in the depths of Khyber and protected Eberron against further incursion from the plane of madness.

Three prominent groups of orcs have survived into the present age:

  • The Ghaash’kala are servants of the Silver Flame (which they call Kalok Shash, the “binding flame”), who devote their lives to battling the fiends of the Demon Wastes. Humans from the Carrion Tribes of the wastes sometimes hear the call of Kalok Shash and join the Ghaash’kala, leading to a significant population of half-orcs there.
  • The Jhorash’tar orcs are a perpetual threat in and around the Ironroot Mountains, shaped by their resentment of the Mror dwarves who drove them underground. These orcs are isolated from humans, so half-orcs here are rare.
  • The Shadow Marches holds the largest numbers of orcs and the most significant population of half-orcs.


The orc Gatekeepers played a crucial role in defeating the daelkyr and binding their evil in Khyber, and their descendants continue to maintain the ancient seals and fight aberrations spawned by the daelkyr’s corruption. However, many orcs succumbed to that same corruption and embraced the madness of the cults of the Dragon Below. orcs who follow both of these paths continue to live in the Shadow Marches, and centuries of battles between them have diminished both sides.

Humans settled in the Shadow Marches long ago, and the first half-orcs helped to cement the bond between these outsiders and the native orcs. Certain Marcher clans contain humans, orcs, and half-orcs in roughly equal numbers.

When playing an orc or half-orc character from the Shadow Marches, consider what circumstances brought you into the wider world. The Leaving the Shadow Marches table offers some inspiration.

d8Reason for Leaving
1You’re associated with the Gatekeepers, and you’re on a quest to combat a daelkyr-related threat beyond the bounds of the Shadow Marches.
2House Tharashk recruited you from the Marches to serve as a mercenary in the Last War.
3You’re a simple hunter, but you’ve decided to seek your fortune or a real challenge in the world beyond the Marches.
4Your village was destroyed by monsters from Droaam, so you’re looking for a new place in the world.
5As a cultist of the Dragon Below, you believe that slaying powerful foes is the only way to earn your passage to the paradise that lies deep within the hollow world. You’ve ventured beyond the Marches in search of worthy enemies.
6Your clan works with House Tharashk, and you’ve been recruited as a bounty hunter or investigator even though you’re not a member of the house.
7The leader of your clan committed a great wrong against another clan, which has now sworn to exterminate every last member of your clan. What better time to see the world?
8Your work as an investigator has set you upon a trail of mysteries that leads far beyond the Marches.


With the rise of the dragonmarked House Tharashk, orcs and half-orcs have spread through the Five Nations and beyond. In general, the people of the Five Nations know little about half-orcs. When people imagine a halforc, they usually think of a Tharashk bounty hunter or dogged inquisitive, but a few ignorant sorts might still hold the stereotype of a “simpleton from the swamps.”


The Mark of Finding appears among half-orcs of House Tharashk. Strangely, both orcs and humans associated with the house cannot develop this mark. As a result, dragonmarked half-orcs work extensively with humans, orcs, and unmarked half-orcs in pursuit of the house’s mission of bounty hunting, inquisitive work, and prospecting. Across Khorvaire, anyone who wants to find something or someone turns to House Tharashk.


An orc character has the following racial traits.

Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 2, and your Constitution score increases by 1.

Age. Ores reach adulthood at age 12 and live up to 50 years .

Alignment. The ores of Eberron are a passionate people, given to powerful emotion and deep faith. They are generally chaotic, but can be any alignment.

Size. Your size is Medium. To set your height and weight randomly, start with rolling a size modifier:

Size modifier = 2d8
Height = 5 feet + 4 inches + your size modifier in inches
Weight in pounds = 175 + (2d6 x your size modifier)

Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

Darkvision. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.

Aggressive. As a bonus action, you can move up to your speed toward an enemy of your choice that you can see or hear. You must end this move closer to the enemy than you started.

Powerful Build. You count as one size larger when determining your carrying capacity and the weight you can push, drag, or lift.

Primal Intuition. You have proficiency in two of the following skills of your choice: Animal Handling, Insight, Intimidation, Medicine, Nature, Perception, and Survival.

Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Ore.


Eberron: Rising from the Last War

Image – https://eberron.fandom.com/wiki/Orc