Naturally, we are all most familiar with this species. Humanity has a habit of forming tribes, finding fault with any concievable thing in the universe, starting what they call 'lineages', developing towns, and letting others set the rules by which they should live their lives. To other races, they appear to joke and then get serious at all the wrong times.
Mankind is the most populous, and almost exclusively (besides dumb beasts, such as horses, chickens, camels, and the like) occupies the various towns within the former heshirol imperium.
Most hard evidence from psycho-scholars suggests that they are of a herd mentality. In large groups and communities of strong laws, they have a weird habit of showering their champions with an over-necessary abundance of graces and then trodding upon the weak, expecting services to continue coming. However, in small groups, they tend to care for more of one another. They are highly social creatures, and tend to go insane when in isolation. Strangely, the ones that are the most creative tend to be quite anti-social in an abundance of ways, but always are forced to return to the herd for basic support of their various ambitions.
As a herd, mankind is also very adaptable. In oral groups, the most logical answer typically comes from social consensus. In a community where written word is frequent, their is often an abundance of conflicting ideas and arguments, and an illogical concept of 'unity' is often desired, in belief, lifestyle, etc.
Like a herd, they bipolarly opposed to change, as it is ingrained in their instinct to cement a sense of stasis in the otherwise ever-changing universe in order to insure perseverance of an idea, or their very existence at a raw level - generally, the young ones and the weak or weakened often have a strong desire to 'fit in' with other groups they are placed within. They fear anything that might change the herd, and thusly ultimately fear anyone that is different.
The greatest evils are often 'selfishness' and in many theocracies 'pride' as well, as that is often considered a 'front of selfishness'. Humans are equipped with powerful social sensors; perhaps among the most powerful of any race. This sensitivity could be what leads to their incredible variety and their constantly 'evolving' (or at least changing) cultures - and whatever they prefer to call 'sub-culture', placed upon a higher culture in any longer standing sovereign body.
As herded creatures that continuously seek new niches of comfort to oppose the realities around them, they are prone to categorization, and prone to judgement, proving self worth over simply feeling it, and refined opinions.
And at the heart of all this, their greatest concern is always survival and (or even more so) whatever makes them happy.
Orcs aren't much inclined to deserts - there's not a lot of food out there. Most of them occupy the steppe regions, and many occupy the barrier along the north.
Many fit into the predator mentality, meaning much of their brains are focused on the next challenge, the next meal, or the next game. They aren't as prone to inventiveness as humans. They are more violent, but are also less judging and have less social expectations among their clans. Socially, orcs can get along with anyone, so long as they both hold the same occupation.
Despite a lack of technology, infrastructure such as towns, trade, and culture (the latter to human opinion; mainly being among those of larger cities, that culture can only arrive with 'sophistication', which itself requires wealth, or that humans are only capable of a minor differentiation of culture in more primitive society - this may not be true about orcs, however humans have a habit of judging things based on what they know, while fearing the unknown), orcs can be highly organized. Clan leaders will get along, so long as they achieve a common goal. As predators, orcs are highly persistent and pursuing the goal is often what makes them happy. Being chained and isolated are sure to cause orcish depression.
Orcs don't really categorize levels of 'seriousness' or 'humor'. In fact, orc laughter is a quirk that evolved only after centuries of contact with humans. Orcs don't have a sense of humor (in the human sense; there's no use for jokes unless it pertains to a scenario, and neither are jokes considered 'too rude' or 'inappropriate during X or Y ceremony' or anything of that sort), and socially arriving 'on level' with a human is all but impossible. Naturally, this is why the two species, while it would be possible to reach a truce and see eye to eye on certain issues, they have all the same, warred and segregated one another for generations.
Many orcs are disgusted with the fact that humans can declare great slaughter on other humans that otherwise appear to be the same - and elder texts pertain to this fact.
Do orcs have morals?
Yes, however it is often a means to an end. An orc is most emotional when it comes to parent and child. Child orcs grow up quickly, though. An orc won't put his own survival or dignity over morals, whereas a human might (and in fact, often will). To an orc, dignity is measured in accomplishments - cemented at a personal level, rather than functioning as an expectation of society for humans.
If orcs are so perfect, why haven't they... ? (etc.)
Orcs aren't exactly perfect (though they remain a wonder of nature, just like humans, or even dogs or cats, etc.). They are simply intelligent predators, where humans are technically intelligent herds. Because of this, orcs are highly individualistic, on a mental level unachievable by humans.
They lack many of the human traits, such as social sensitivity, and the inability to communicate as effectively, despite being capable to answer the 'call' to form large numbers when necessary.
They see no desire to distinguish themselves 'artfully' - the decorations they use are for identification, attention, or status among themselves only. Yes, despite frequent physical differences, the lack of social development causes orcs to have difficulty distinguishing one of their ilk from the other. Hence, tradition often posits social tatooes. Ritual scarring is frequent among warrior cultures (there's many of those).
Orcs will war with one another, but only out of absolute necessity. They don't owe as much loyalty to their leaders as humans think. Manipulating an orc isn't necessarily easy either however - beyond basic needs, each typically has a different opinion, an a different goal. Orcish goals aren't ever grand, and it's believed that orcs don't even dream.
The apparent lack of dreams means that most orcs lack the creativity that humans are capable of - as such, their isn't any known orc inventor (of anything a human might desire, anyway) and few orc religious seek to unite the cultures and tie them together.
This is far apart from man, where most human cultures are imperialistic, seeking to unite distant cultures - something that makes not a lick of sense to just about any orc. Why introduce others to your tribe? Why the constant need to mingle? The presence of crowds only leads to more arguments and more disagreements and more inevitable war, not to mention a potential loss of identity, or needless enslavement. Why do humans let themselves be controlled by only a few?
Another confusion is that small groups of humans tend to war against larger groups, not to get rid of crowds, but to seek 'independence', and an attempt to retain cultural identity and the right to govern themselves.
To an orc, they have already achieved absolute freedom - their own body is present in the universe and able to move about and hunt, and that is enough. A culture shouldn't have a right to govern itself if it lives close to another culture. Both should work in harmony.
Many humans believe that this mentality originated from a secret orcish grand religion of some kind, but most orcs claim otherwise.
As a herd, humans have a much more heightened sexual sense than orcs. There is some notable sexual dimorphism among males and females (won't go into detail right now)...
Blah, I think I had some ideas, but I've forgotten them now. Orcs could be a lot more fleshed out than this. I don't really plan on making them another 'logical means to an end' race or another 'like warcraft/warhammer'. Their may be some similarities, though. I want to make them unique - and that involves disecting every psychological trait that we share as humans (still have yet to fully do that >_> ) and the fact that domesticated animals tend to develop human traits, or that any animal on earth shares some similarities. But ideas aren't forming at the moment. :P
Some orcs have horns growing out from their cheek bones, while others don't. Some are brown skinned, others are more red or black, others are mottled, and others still are green. Others have multiple tusks, some of which can grow long enough to curl, while others still will have only canines. Many orcs have black or purplish blood, but many are also red-blooded.
Many orcs have 'piggish' facial features - a nose bone that receeds into the face, though sometimes only partially. Some have long or jutting noses, similar to a human's, but they are rarely straight and smooth. Orc ears are usually canine in nature, pointed, but sometimes recessed.
An orc's jaw is typically large, but the bite is proportionately weak, bearing only the strength similar to that of a human jaw.
Typical Orc Conversation
"We shall go forth and conquer!"
"Ahhhrrrrrghhhable, lead on! I gotta relieve myself first."
"Alright, I must sharpen my dagger. And then I'll go forward and set my tent. Rahahah."
"Go sharpen your dagger, good then! I'm relieving myself!"
"You're grown. You take to your dagger, good. Good... there's a noise! No, it's deer. I survey the fire."
"I'm sharpening my dagger. Stupid hominids can't handle this. Flint is adequate, surely! Better than bone."
"One day, I shall acquire flint and then we will be in greater harmony."
The whole time, both activities are being accomplished while conversation strangely invariates between shout and whisper.
Human Conversation (conveying similar theme and message)
"I hope to explore the greater landscape, someday."
*other person leaves*
"Where are you going? *notices he's going to the bathroom*. Ah. *proceeds to sharpen his dagger*"
"What the hell was that? Oh, just a deer. Wow. Huh. I should write that in my journal."
"*from the bathroom stall* Why are you talking to yourself?"
"I saw a deer, dude!"
"Amazing. It's probably gone now though."
"Yeah. Say, maybe I can use this dagger against the orcs, someday. I don't think they can handle flint, can they?"
"Quit being so naive. It'll only get you killed."