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The Purifiers

September 05, 2015

demoIn the Millennium of Purification, a group of Elves and Dwarves join forces to purge the world of the dark magicks they themselves once helped unleash. Is there a chance to make up for their sins of the past and restore order to the world? Find out in the serial fan fic: The Purifiers.

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September 05, 2015

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Ogre Culture

Ogres are a comparatively young race compared to so many others. They are primal, highly driven to act by their emotions, but intelligent enough to not be fools making them a very dangerous combination. According to many theories their origins lie with that of man, but if such tales are true there is very little left in common between the two. In the Old Kingdom and scattered areas around the world Ogre communities can be more closely observed. The difference between humans and Ogres becomes abundantly clear, not just physically but their entire way of life.

These misanthropes have quite a different way of life compared to humans. They have gone so far as to even change elements of their culture just so they would differ from those of man. Ogres tend to live in small tribes, rarely exceeding one hundred members. Most tribes are likely to have a number of non-human lackeys that may double or even triple their overall numbers. Within these tribes there are loose rules and codes of conduct. To many others this culture is primal in nature, but to Ogres and many of the other monster races it is everyday life.



Due to their massive size many believe that the native language of all Ogres is giantese (also known as Troll). It is true that some Ogres are familiar with the language, but it is not their preferred tongue. Instead Ogres prefer gobblely. This is made all the more strange because unlike the other races who speak Gobblely natively (Goblins, Hob-Goblins, and Orcs) they are not commonly believed to have any connection to faerie ancestry. Some actually suspect that it is the Ogre race which created this language and the others, naturally subservient to the strength displayed by Ogres, have adopted it since.

Gobblely is a very primitive language and barely seems to most others as an intelligent means of communication. It is very guttural and lacks any clear sense of rules. There is no written language. To make it all the more confusing and difficult to learn there are literally hundreds of variations depending on the area and the particular tribe. While a word in one dialect may mean "cat" in the dialect of one tribe it can mean "igloo" in the dialect of a different tribe and "tree" to the same tribe in a different area. This can make it extremely difficult to understand.

Fortunately there are certain keywords that seem to remain a constant in all the variations. These keywords can be used to help put together the meaning of a conversation. With an understanding of this primitive language and using the keywords, someone trained in speaking gobblely should be able to understand a majority of the variation (roll under language skill) after listening to it for only about five minutes. While some of the detail may be lost, the meaning is clear. A failed roll means the character cannot make out enough words or that the variation is too different to effectively translate.

Even those formally trained in gobblely have trouble understanding it. The only races that seem to be able to make full sense of it are Goblins, Hob-Goblins, Orcs, and Ogres. All of these races can speak (except faerie folk) and understand all the variations without difficulty. Faerie folk are able to understand it as well, but are unable to speak it. The connection between the sing-song faerie speak and the guttural gobblely is unclear, but some believe it means that Ogres and faerie folk have some unknown similarity since faeries can understand without any type of training.

In the early parts of the Elf-Dwarf War the Dwarves used Goblins and Hob-Goblins to communicate with their allies. With all the different variations it proved nearly impossible for the Elves to decipher the specific dialect in such short messages. This allowed for the use of various types of communication, both magical and traditional, with little fear of the Elves being able to intercept and accurately translate the message. For the first couple hundred years it allowed the Dwarves to combat the Elves on a nearly even playing field.

It is true that the Elves had trouble deciphering the messages themselves, but to make matters worse for them they had trouble enlisting the help of races who could speak it more fluently. Goblins and Hob-Goblins naturally allied with their underground brethren and wished nothing to do with the surface walkers. Faerie folk proved far too unreliable to be trusted, often giving misinformation because they thought it would be good for a laugh. The reason Orcs resisted and held loyalty to the Dwarves is unclear. Unfortunately for the Dwarves the Elves soon figured out how to gain Orcish favor beyond rewards such as gold. While the Dwarves remained secretive of their mystic arts and the secrets of rune magic the Elves offered to share their knowledge freely if the races should help in breaking the Dwarven code.

Sadly the Orcs never realized the depths behind the Elven ploy. Most Orcs are far too dull-witted to ever truly learn the ways of magic, those from 10,000 years ago even less apt than those of today. Given time even the Orcs would have realized the false promise. However, the Elves of the time knew a type of magic capable of granting a portion of their power to others, similar to the art of witchcraft but without the demonic influences. They would grant a small portion of magical power to a few Orcs so that the others would continue to believe.

With the help of the Orcs the Elves were able to crack the Dwarven messages and dealt a number of crushing defeats that eventually lead to the First Peace and the Dwarves effectively crippled (see map on page 134 of The Library of Bletherad). This was just one of the many changes in the tide of this two thousand year war. Many scholars believe it is from this lure that many of the other races, such as the Wolfen, still look to Elves as a potential source for learning magic. In more recent times some kingdoms have resorted back to this "secret code" to safely pass messages.


Children and Aging

The fertile cycle of Ogre women, for those that aren't sterile, is approximately the same as a human female. In addition, with the exception of being 50% to 100% larger than humans, the aging patterns of Ogres effectively mirror those of humans. While it is true Ogres have a longer life span than humans it is not an indication of slower aging. Instead, Ogres have a higher resistance to disease and the ill effects of aging (higher P.E.). Ogres are not immune to such things, but have a notably higher resistance than many other races, such as humans.

However, most Ogre women are sterile and a typical Ogre tribe only has one female for every five males. This makes it difficult for Ogres to reproduce and keep up large numbers. Without outside influences the Ogre race would likely have gone extinct long ago. The main factor that has helped keep the Ogre race going is that they can also reproduce using human women. For every one female Ogre, many of which are sterile, a typical Ogre tribe will have one human female captive as well. These human female captives are kept for the primary purpose of breeding.

A human giving birth to an Ogre child is rarely a pleasant experience for the woman. Without a psi-healer or a properly trained doctor, neither which are very common in an Ogre tribe, it can mean death for the human woman. Giving birth to such a full-sized child can lead to several complications and result in severe tearing and bleeding. Even if the mother does survive it is unlikely she will be able to safely give birth again. Sadly, the health of the mother rarely gives an Ogre any concern and is viewed as little more than livestock. Most captive females will continue to be used until they are no longer viewed as useful. If lucky a human female who is no longer believed to be useful will be released as a form of thanks. Those not as fortunate find their way onto the menu.

Fortunately only half of Ogre babies born from human mothers are full size. The other half may only be 30% to 50% larger than a human child instead of twice that size. These shorter Ogres born from a human woman stands only between seven feet (2.1 m) to nine feet (2.7 m) tall while a true Ogre born from both Ogre parents will stand between nine feet (2.7 m) to twelve feet (3.6 m). These smaller Ogres are considered Ogres by Ogre culture as well as other races.

As for the raising of Ogre children, sadly Ogre customs more resemble those of Goblins than those of the Orcs they favor so much (see Rifter 16 for details on these other races). It is unfortunate that Ogres do not have the same high regard for their children as the Orcs, especially considering all the trouble they go through to have enough children to continue the tribe. A child is left in the care of the females of the tribe who are entrusted with the protection and care of the children.

The males tend to ignore the child or treat it as a burden until the child can prove him/herself as a useful member of the tribe. It is even acceptable for the adult male to slay a child with no other reason than letting out frustrations. Such a death falls upon the responsibility of the female caretaker entrusted with the child. This is justified by the concept that the caretaker should have taught the child how to stay out of the way. To make matters worse the female caretaker is forbidden from interfering in such matters because the males are the protectors of the tribe and higher ranked in the tribe.

All adult males are considered to be protectors of the tribe. Other than defeating any potential threats near the tribe's grounds, and soldiers when they go to war, the males have very little responsibility. Adult males effectively have free reign to do as they please within the tribe. The only ones they need to answer to are other adult males. Any dispute between two males is resolved in a fight. The results are very easy to determine. Whichever Ogre is left standing is right and the one on the ground, sometimes dead, is the one that is wrong.

For this reason the strongest warrior is typically the one in charge of the entire tribe. Leadership can and does change often as new males often vie for the position. Only the most powerful can hold onto the position for long. Being leader of a tribe has little use other than respect and bragging rights because Ogre tribes have almost no command structure. The only time position truly becomes important is when they need to go to war. It is then that the leader of the tribe matters most.


Hunting Habits

In Ogre society the role of hunter falls upon the females. The women must hunt down enough food to feed the entire tribe while the males mainly sit back and relax. Meat is the primary food choice for the tribe, with raw humanoid flesh being the favorite. Animal meat is an acceptable substitute as humans and their allies tend to avoid Ogre territories when possible, making the opportunities to catch one rarer. Ogres are not purely carnivores, as some believe, and are capable of eating grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables. While a purely vegetarian diet is sickening to most Ogres, some non-meat options are acceptable and even appreciated.

When the food is served it is a free-for-all. The strongest of the tribe tend to get their choice picks from the offerings. This typically means the males have first selection. As trained warriors, and generally biologically stronger than the females, few can compete with the males of the tribe. Women typically come in second with children coming in absolutely last. There are always exceptional cases of a very strong and tough female or a highly talented child which moves up in the ranks, but this is the exception and not the rule. Captives, such as human females, are rarely even stronger than an Ogre child. This is not an insult to human women, but a testament to the natural strength of even an Ogre child. Additionally, captives tend to already be weak from hunger and mistreatment leaving them in little shape to battle for food.

To the adult males with their first selection it rarely matters to them if others starve. In their eyes, if anyone starves, it is the fault of the women for not bringing back enough food. Gathering enough food can be a truly difficult feat as Ogres require three times as much food as a healthy, hulky, human warrior. During harsh times when good hunting is hard to find it is not uncommon for children to starve, sometimes to death. Few Ogres will spend any time mourning the death of a child. If the child was strong enough to truly be called an Ogre then they would have found a way to survive. Instead, those who went hungry are believed to have been weaklings who would have eventually been driven from the tribe regardless.



In general Ogres love the chance to prove their superiority in hand to hand combat. They will accept just about any challenge under just about any types of conditions simply to prove they are better. This can be used by a wise tactician to lead an Ogre to its downfall. Ogres are not stupid though and will not fall into obvious traps so it is important to be subtle and clever. Once a fight begins an Ogre will fight to win and will do so at any cost, regardless of the consequences that may be suffered later. The only thing that matters is that the current battle is a victory. Many Ogres have suffered permanent and lasting injuries as a result of such competitions, but hold no regrets as they won the fight at the time.

For most duels Ogres prefer one on one combat. Against weaker races, such as Gnomes, an Ogre will find a one on one fight boring. It is much more challenging and entertaining to be outnumbered, taking on an entire group of Gnomes all at once. This is not to say an Ogre won't fight a Gnome one on one, merely that it is boring to do so. In the end though, the most important thing is winning, and they are not hindered by notions such as honor or mercy. Such a duel almost always ends with the opponent dead. Even an opponent who begs for mercy will likely be slain, and later eaten.

While an Ogre may find it more challenging to be outnumbered by their opponents they hate the idea of outnumbering an opponent. After all it is hard to prove superiority when they outnumber an opponent. The only Ogres that will consider teaming up on an opponent is when a Troll is involved. When a Troll is concerned Ogres will double team, triple team, or worse. Most Ogres will deny such things occur, but some Ogres have come right out and admitted they don't believe Trolls are deserving of a one on one fight.


Other Races

Like most other monster races Ogres hold a special hatred for humans, Elves, Dwarves, and Gnomes. Faerie folk are pests and treated as such. They are despised almost as much as the humans and their allies. A chance to exterminate any infestation in the area is usually taken, though simply settling for a lone faerie will suffice. Though these races are loathed an Ogre will consider serving a powerful warlord or mage of these races. Otherwise any members of these races are more likely to be served on a plate since humanoid flesh is a favorite of these vicious predators.

In this regard they are no different than any other monster, or sub-human, race. However, while most other races do have allies, it is fair to say Ogres have none. Ogres distrust all humanoid life, including other monster races. Some are merely tolerated better than most. Of all the races on the Palladium World Ogres feel the most comfortable around Orcs. This does not mean Ogres trust Orcs as they are paranoid of all humanoids, but Orcs offer the least threat. Orcs being naturally slow-witted as well as impressed by strength and stamina leads to no challenge for power and a clear Ogre superiority. As a result Orcs are always subservient to Ogres and this pleases these not so gentle giants.

There is a strong and ancient rivalry between Ogres and Trolls. The exact nature of this rivalry isn't known, but it is clear when the two interact. Few Ogres will work with a Troll unless the Ogre is in charge or it is an alliance against an even more hated foe. Only humans and Elves are hated enough to bring these two together. Even then there are constant conflicts which threaten to tear the union apart. Regardless of the situation an Ogre will not accept a Troll as an equal.

Some believe that it is as simple as a competition for power and superiority, with Trolls being a direct threat to the Ogres. Close observation of their interactions though indicates it is something far more than pride. There appears to be some deep seeded hatred between the two races. If a Troll ever works under an Ogre, for any reason, it is likely the Troll will be given the worst and most demeaning jobs possible. This, of course, only makes the chances of a Troll working under an Ogre to be all the more unlikely.

It is not uncommon for the two races to get into fights with each other. Though Trolls have a physical advantage these fights can go either way. There have been no clear sides that can honestly claim winning a majority of the battles, though that doesn't stop both sides from trying. Some believe that it is the Ogre's hatred of Trolls that allows them to keep on a level playing field with the physically dominant Trolls. However, it is more likely that the superior numbers of Ogres plays a part, allowing them to team up on a single Troll.

Goblins and Hob-Goblins are both disliked, but come in second after Orcs. Wolfen, true giants, and most other monster races are also disliked, but Ogres will work with them as long as long as they are the ones in charge and/or the reward is great enough. All of these races are held in higher regards than a Troll. The only race that may receive worse treatment than a Troll is a Kobold. This is not a personal grudge or hatred of them, but a result of Trolls favoring them. As a result Kobolds are treated poorly for no other reason than as a punishment for being Troll allies.

Weaker willed races such as Orcs, Goblins, and Hob-Goblins in an Ogre tribe can easily outnumber the Ogres two to one. The other races such as Kobolds and Wolfen will never be more than half of the Ogre numbers. If they have more numbers there is always the chance that they could challenge for power and Ogres won't risk that happening while Kobolds are just plain disliked. Trolls and true giants will be allowed in the fewest numbers, rarely equaling even one Troll or giant to every ten Ogres!

Even though many have observed Ogre culture, few actually realize the place of animals in it. Most believe the animals are nothing more than livestock and tools for hunting and protection. However, to an Ogre, an animal can be as much a part of the community as any other. In many ways animals are preferred over the other races, with the possible exception of Orcs. Almost all Ogre lairs and tribes will have a wide array of animals. Wolves, coyotes, bears, hawks, and falcons are a common sight in Ogre communities. An attack on any of these animals is viewed as an attack on the entire tribe! Also kept are goats, wild boars, pigs, stolen cattle and some types fowl, but these are considered livestock. Stealing or harming one of these animals is considered stealing food, but can be overlooked if it appears too much hassle.



These large creatures were first sighted during the Age of Elves. At this time their ways were just as nomadic and war-like as the barbaric humans at the time. Humans would often be allowed into the borders of Elven cities and treated as lesser citizens or taken as servants. Despite the similarities in their behavior, neither the Elves nor the Dwarves gave Ogres much attention at the time. The Elven favor of humans is likely a result of similar appearances, and possibly but one of the first sources of bitterness between Ogres and Elves.

Ogres were not much more than one more monster race to worry about for a considerable time. It was not until a little over four millennia ago (4,100 years ago to be precise) that the Ogres became something more, a true world presence to notice. This is when the first Ogres emerged as the elite leaders and clansmen of Orc tribes. Now, not only are Ogres a force to be reckoned with, they could lead large groups of Orcs. This not only increased the numbers an Ogre could use to attack, but made the dull-witted and weak willed Orcs a force to be feared, no longer as easily scared away under the leadership of a strong Ogre leader.

Many scholars believe that their emergence as the leaders of Orc tribes is their first appearance to the world, seeking this time period for answers into their origins. As a result few have ever found any evidence. Despite a lack of evidence it has not stopped scholars from coming up with theories. One theory suggests that Ogres originated from a different dimension, possibly one of the many races brought here during the Elf-Dwarf War as minions to take part of the war. If this is true, it is believed they proved too unmanageable. This may help explain their bitterness towards those races.

Another theory claims Ogres may be another of the faerie-kin like Goblins, Hob-Goblins, Kobolds, and Orcs. The sources of such a change are unknown, but if faerie folk are creatures of magic then some scholars believe perhaps the lack of natural magic in the race is from magical deprivation of some sort. This theory is given support by the fact all Ogres speak gobblely the same as the other faerie kin, but this is considered weak support at best.

A more popular belief among scholars is that Ogres and humans have a common ancestry, and may in fact be human mutations. This belief is given added supported by the fact humans and Ogres have similar fertility cycles, aging, and are capable of mating and producing offspring (always considered Ogres), a rarity on the Palladium World. Another piece of evidence is that many female Ogres are sterile which is a trait observed in many crossbreeds, such as mules, and other magical mutations, many of which occurred during the two thousand period of the Elf-Dwarf War.

These facts do not provide evidence to the theory, and both humans and Ogres are adamant to the belief it is completely untrue. The thought of having a common ancestry is equally distasteful to both sides. 137 years ago, somewhere in the Old Kingdom, a Gnome scholar is reported to have found a text regarding the origins of Ogres. From a preliminary report the Gnome mentioned that Ogres were created as the result of a curse put on a tribe of humans sometime during the Age of Elves.

According to the report some Trolls found a tribe of humans that possessed magic of the mind (psionics). The Trolls found it amusing to train the humans in the art of war and then manipulate them to attack an Elven city. Their initial skirmish into Elven territory resulted in massive Elven casualties. Shortly after, the forces of the Elven Empire moved in and put an end to the insurgent human tribe. Those that survived were cursed by the Elven forces, their powers of the mind forever stripped and their bodies to reflect the horrors which they had committed.

This story would help to explain why Ogres have no psychic potential if they are related to humans; though it is true many other races lack psychic potential as well. Also, it could help give some possibilities as to why Ogres and Trolls have such an ancient and bitter rivalry. However, there is no evidence to support this report. The Gnome scholar died only a few days later, the remains left displayed on an Ogre's dinner table. Whatever source he is said to possess as evidence was never found. As a result it is typically dismissed as nothing more than a rumor; rarely referred to as an actual theory. Many who have heard of it continue to believe in it though.