Hello all.
Here's an excerpt from "The Lord of the Rings":

Beyond it was a thicket of dark-leaved bay-trees climbing up a steep bank that was crowned with old cedars. Here they decided to rest and pass the day, which already promised to be bright and warm. A good day for strolling on their way along the groves and glades of Ithilien; but though Orcs may shun the sunlight. there were too many places here where they could lie hid and watch...

I didn't understand why it says "may shun the sunlight". If it's the present tense, how does it fit in the narration?
Thanks in advance, Anton 
It is present tense, but it's not part of the narrative. It is simply a factual statement that is true in the present, past and future.
If Tolkien wrote " orcs shunned the sunlight", then that would be an event that happened at the time of the narrative. He could have used the future: "Orcs will shun the sunlight", but the use of "may" means that sometimes they might come out in sunlight (most of the time they do not).
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Thank you, Alphecca.
I did think of this but abandoned the thought soon, because it implies the existence of orcs even in our days, doesn't it?
EDIT: Well, maybe I am not right. One can say: "The greek gods of old are in many ways alike to ordinary men" 
Remember that the entire work is fiction after all. The sentence is present tense because it is a "factual statement" in the context of the story, not in real life..
Thank you, I understand now.
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