I was looking into the history of the orcs, about their enslavement by the humans and their history of taking other races as slaves. Although Thrall has openly moved against any orcs being enslaved in the future, there are still underground organizations of slave owners and slave traders alike.
In particular, let’s take a quick look at the Crimson Ring. The Crimson Ring is an underground organization pitting gladiators (both free fighters and slaves) against each other in fights to the death. Alongside the goblins, the orcs at the heart of this enslave other orcs, and members of other races (Alliance and Horde alike) and training them as gladiators.
There seems to be some dispute about just how far underground these guys are – certainly, they have had matches in public arenas, for example, and some of the gladiators involved became quite famous in their own right. All this, in my opinion, begs the question of why they’re underground. Is it because they’re using slaves for these purposes, or is it because they’re fighting them to the death?
A case can be made for either side, but that’s not quite the key point here. The key that I’m coming up to is imagine the roleplay opportunities this could bring.
Imagine a guild, or an informal group, primarily consisting of rogues, working to uncover the slave traders and slave owners behind all of this. Given that this originates from the graphic novels and not in-game, there’s no definitive answer you could find, but depending on your perspective, that could make it all the more interesting, with the opposition always one step ahead of you. Some great over-arching plots could be taken out of this, with different guildies uncovering different leads, some of which may lead places and some of which won’t. Sure, you’d need some creative people at the helm, but this could go fantastic places.
Alternatively, consider the exact opposite; a guild of underground gladiators and their sponsors/owners, secretly arranging fights where people can come and watch, and bet on the outcome, while not being sprung by anyone important. This offers the opportunity for some long-term roleplay – both individually, as the gladiators get more and more roughed up and people trawl the streets for more people they could get involved, and as a group, maybe as double agents come increasingly close to finding out what’s going on. These two above groups working in tandem with each other could make great plots as they try to outwit each other, I note.
Finally, on a more individual note, consider the effect that this would have on various individuals. While it could come off poorly in inexpert hands, an orc warrior who was trained as a gladiator when younger sounds like a great concept to me; I don’t know about anyone else, but that certainly screams, “Tell me more!” to my ears. Whether as a result of enslavement or free involvement, an insider’s look at underground gladiatorial arenas is a great place to start for a concept.