Nobility is an easy concept to understand, but one very difficult to explain. What is the difference between an orc and and Elf that makes one worthy of esteem and the other worthy of disgust?
Is it a result of extrinsic observation only? It is not a matter of clothing, for some gnomes have been known to be nudists, and yet gnomes have Nobility. There are wild races of Halfling who wear poorer leather garments than some orcs. It cannot be skin color, or a ferocious mien, for the Half-orcs have been recognized as Noble, as indeed they are. Consider also that some Elves find the Dwarves as physically repugnant as orcs.
Is it civilization itself, or the establishment thereof? Humanity has not always had civilization, nor does all of the human family now live under a state; many live as nomads across isles lost on the sea, as foreign to us as the stars. Some orc tribes would be indistinguishable in many ways from the settlements of noble races. History has records, sparse though they may be, of Orc-kings who ruled the low plains many centuries ago.
Is it mental acuity? Are the noble races smarter than the bestial ones? They are not, for kobolds can be a match for any human in cunning, and they are scarcely considered higher than rats. Kobolds have even developed rude machinery in some cases!
It cannot be the presence of a soul, for evidence shows that soul-based magic can still affect them.
Is the concept of Nobility no more than a little boys’ club, in which no newcomer may be initiated? Is it a matter of tradition and personality, and nothing more? Some have argued that it is, but that rabble may be summarily ignored; Nobility does indeed exist in the noble races, and the bestial ones lack it.
Nobility is the desire of a being to look beyond life and consider the infinite. The noble races all ponder the gods and the immortality of the soul, while the bestial races do not. Kobold religion is best described as laughable—they worship fear and power more than any god. A kobold will worship a frightening painting, if it believes it will gain some immediate advantage by doing so. There are tribes of trolls who worship dragons. The orc gods, and a few do exist, do not promise progress or wisdom in any way, when rarely they promise anything. They promise immediate solutions in terms of power or wealth. An orc cares nothing for the life to come, and scorns those who do. Goblins, orcs, hobgoblins, kobolds, trolls; they all worship power in the hear and now, and seek nothing beyond it.
It is the inherent faculty for altruism, even if ignored, and for faith, even if unpracticed, that separates the noble races from the bestial ones. As no bear or fox can build a nation or truly worship a god, neither can any orc, for they care nothing of progress or each other. They are clever animals and nothing more.