The Orc barely made this list. However, he shoved and muscled his way in with an unusually large double-bladed ax, and I was forced to comply. The brute.
The orc was popularized by Tolkien, but traces of his origin can be found as far back as the tale of Beowulf and old Italian folk tales. Usually depicted as roughly the size of a man, but with tusks or other grotesque, monstrous features. Their skin is described as dark, green, gray, black or brown, depending on the author. Orcs are often portrayed as aggressive, dangerous, not too bright, and as scavengers.
If you are a fan of miniature gaming, then you have no doubt run into the Orcs in the extremely popular Warhammer universe. These Orcs can be found on land or space. Yikes. Orcs can also be found in the World of Warcraft game, the Shadow Run role-playing game (with cybernetics), and the Heroscape game.
It seems that the orc certainly has a fan base. Who am I, but a lone quivering bag of brittle bones, to deny him his accolades. Some may confuse the orc with its close cousin the Goblin. Please do not do so. They do not take kindly to those unable to recognize their distinct contribution to the fantasy canon. Alas, poor Yorick…