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Tainted orcs are orcs corrupted by demonic energies.
Orcs once cultivated a shamanistic society upon the dying world of Draenor. Then the dark magics of the Burning Legion corrupted them. Lured by Kil'jaeden through the orc warlock Gul'dan, many orcs consumed the Blood of Mannoroth, which filled them with demonic energies. After destroying the Draenei, the Horde travelled to the world of Azeroth through a dimensional gateway, manipulated into waging war against human nations.
After their defeat in the Second War, most orcs suffered from a lethargy produced from the withdrawal of the demonic forces. Thrall of the Frostwolf Clan, an uncorrupted orc, was able to rekindle their original shamanistic ways, and many of them threw off the shackles of demonic influence and now strive to recover their lost heritage.
During the Third War, Grom Hellscream killed Mannoroth, thus breaking the bond that kept the tainted orcs corrupted. From then on, tainted orcs were able to return to their original ways. However, some orcs remain at the service of the Burning Legion by their own decision, to the point where they are twisted into mockeries of their former selves. Fel orcs are the ultimate step in being corrupted by demonic energies.
Orcs appear to other races as a barbaric and brutal people, but they were originally proud and noble in their way. Those subject to demonic taint give vent to their brutish ways, however. A tainted orc can channel his warrior fury to become truly fearsome in combat. Anger rules the tainted orc’s heart, diplomacy and intimidation are less effective on these orcs.
A tainted orc's body has swelled in size due to the Burning Legion’s corruption, gaining a monstrous form. They have green skin mottled with gray and their dark hair hangs with thick tangles. Their eyes shine with crazed, savage, red light.
Even though some orcs did not consume the blood of Mannoroth, the demonic energies coursing through Draenor were so strong, that they were too partially turned into tainted orcs, at least in their skin color, which turned from brown into green. Those that did consume the blood turned into a brighter shade of green, and suffered from more transformations, as mentioned above.
It is not known if tainted orcs can become uncorrupted orcs again, although Thrall and his new Horde are trying to recover their lost customs. In Warcraft III, it was seen that fel orcs have a chance to go back into tainted orcs, as shown when Grom Hellscream, who was a fel orc for a short time, was able to become his former self with Thrall's help and the combination of orc shamanism and elven magic.
- Tainted orcs are essentially the orcs we know from the games.
- Tainted orcs are created from the template "tainted" from the Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game game series found in Manual of Monsters.