A common misconception is that orcs are a simple, brutish people, akin to a bugbear or a large goblin. This could not be further from the truth. Although parts of orcish culture can be agressive or violent, this humanoid race has a deep connection to some of the older magics of the world, and is a key part of some of the most mysterious locales on Eberron.

Orcs have been on Eberron since before the Dhakaani Empire, mostly gathered in tribes in the marshes and wetlands of the west (though there are some long-standing tribes in the Hoarfrost Mountains). The share a common ancestor with trolls, oni, and ogres. Their interbreeding with humans created the hybrid race of half orcs.

Orc shamans were the authority on primal magic in their time, having been taught by Vvarakk, a disguised black dragon who had left Argonnessen to teach the non-draconic races the way of primal power. This druidic tradition grew into what is now known as the Gatekeepers.