Rogue Trader: Pride and Profit
Orks are a race of brutish, ugly aliens with an unquenchable thirst for violence. They are a green-skinned blight on the galaxy, constantly spawning, gathering together in huge numbers, and battering through the stars like a bloody fist, looting and destroying all that is in their path. That might is right is an unquestionable and obvious mantra to all Orks and one that they understand in every cell of their being. They constantly fight amongst themselves, and only the strong survive in Ork society. Those who achieve authority over other Orks (‘da Boss’ as they are known to Orks) do so because they have proven that they are the meanest and toughest Orks around.
An average Ork stands as tall as a human but is hunched with muscle and would tower over most humans if he were to stand fully upright. They have long arms that are knotted with slab-like muscle; they have a thick skull set low on their hunched shoulders with a heavy brow and glittering red eyes. Their mouths are filled with jagged fangs that jut out like a feral predator. The physiology of an Ork is such that they are exceptionally hard to kill and can shrug off injuries that would kill a human, and can survive and recover from having limbs severed and crudely reattached later. Orks speak a harsh guttural language that mirrors their physical appearance and blunt outlook on existence.
Though their technology is crude, they are possessed of an innate understanding and affinity with machinery and weapons. This racial knowledge manifests through the abilities of so-called Oddboyz, who possess a strange quirk of understanding or ability that sets them aside from the rest of Orks. Of these the most crucial to the Ork war machine are the Mekboyz who create the weapons, armour, and vehicles used by Orks to do what they do best: kill things. Mekboyz are ingenious but unreliable artisans who are masters of creating ramshackle but fearsome space ships, war machines, and weapons from scrap and salvage. Even if they do not come out exactly how they were intended, these devices are still terrifyingly effective—most of the time.
There are those who would claim that the Orks are not the greatest of spacefaring races, that their ships and weapons are unreliable constructions of scrap and parts salvaged from the ships of other races, crudely refitted by luck rather than judgement. There are others, however, who point to the fact that the Orks can be encountered in every corner of the galaxy and the supposed limitations of their technology have not held them back from being some of the most feared and effective pirates in the galaxy. Their ships are massively armed and loaded with Orks eager for a fight, and an Ork’s natural love of violence and acquisition make him a terror to other space-faring races.
Ork Freebooterz want more of everything: more weapons to grow stronger, more salvage to build ships and war machines, and more wealth for prestige among their kind. While many items captured in raids are of little use to the Orks, such plunder is valued highly by other races that fight and die to protect it. Thus, the value lies in the opportunity for battle, and no Ork shirks from a good fight! Orks rarely organize above the level of a single ship. However, small fleets can form around a particularly charismatic or successful Ork leader, known as a Kaptin. To the mind of an Ork Freebooter, two things are uppermost: battle lust and greed. In the Expanse, Orks are usually encountered in small raiding ships, roughly the same size as an Imperial escort vessel. However, the size of an Ork ship is deceptive: invariably, the ship is crammed with a green tide of Orks, which ensures that any boarding action is likely to only go one way.
An attack by Ork Freebooterz tends to be brutal and direct, with the Ork ships rushing headlong toward the enemy firing every gun they have before ramming and boarding their victims. The directness of an Ork Freebooter attack does not mean, however, that an Ork Freebooter Kaptin lacks cunning. Orks often lurk in asteroid fields on the edges of systems where they cannot be seen by the sensors of ships passing to or from the void. Ambushes on convoys of supply ships from this kind of hidden position are common, and even small fleets or warships are not unheard of. Should an Ork Freebooter Kaptin feel the need for bigger prey, the crew may descend on an inhabited world or space station, loot and burn it, and withdraw to their ships and the protection of a debris field. If, however, the Orks of a Freebooterz fleet are really spoiling for a big fight, they are likely to brutalise a world or station and just wait and see who or what turns up to try and stop them.