The north is a very inhospitable place come winter. Being used to a warmer climate, I severely underestimated my ability to cope with such bitter winds and snows which drench the clothing and freeze solid. I also fell victim to my map, which is incorrect. While studying, and seeking a place to spend the winter, I believed that if I could make it to the Bluff Hills I could find a halfling village, but alas, this was not true.
Bluff Hills is infested with nothing but monsters! It is an inhospitable place ripe with danger, and though I am brave, if I had a choice I would had fled this terrifying land of rock, snow, and desolation in a heart beat, but alas, the gods of frost had me at their mercy, and I was forced to winter down with vile beasts called Ogres.
Winter in humanoid territory is a tough challenge, primarily because of the lack of resources, ogres are, at any rate, lazy creatures, and winter time is no different. They have nothing! I feared for my safety, it wasn’t I who found them, it was they who found me. Chilled to the bone and frozen to the core, spellcasting was impossible. I just couldn’t focus enough to disguise myself. Thankfully, they did not eat me right away, and placed me into a cell in their cave. It wasn’t warm but at least I was able to thaw out.
Thankfully the ogre is a stupid race, if they had the intelligence of even the goblin I would be dead, but thankfully I was able to transform myself into an ogre, and convince them that I had escaped and I was tricked into this cage. The ogres whose job it was to watch me spent more time playing some game which involved rolling bones, and didn’t see me change, so they figured that I was telling the truth and let me out with a shrug.
Ogres are very large humanoids, no man standing less then 9 feet in height, the tallest of them, who appears to be their leader, is at least 10 feet tall. Their skins range in colors of sickly yellow, blackish-tan, and one has a very disturbing purplish pallor. They are covered with warts and moles that are not the color of their skins, but dramatically different and covered in hair. They stink terribly, a smell very much like curdled goats milk. Their eyes are frightening, they have purple eyes, with white pupils, their nails are long and orangish in color. The ogre is by far the ugliest and most nasty of the humanoids which I have met so far, but perhaps it is just the cold talking.
INDUSTRY OF THE OGRE
The ogre exists only through theft, and stealing the hard work and well-being from others. It cares not for anything or anyone except for itself. There is no honor in these caves, a sick ogre is food, they will eat anything. They hunt the crags and cracks of this dank dark place. This place used to be a mine of some kind, however the ogres are ripping out the timbers and using them for firewood. Every day I sit and listen to the groaning of the weakened mine, wondering when it will finally collapse on my head, but the ogres simply ignore it completely, unconcerned about the unavoidable catastrophe.
There are hundreds of ogres here, waiting for spring. All of them from different tribes and different species of ogre, but I’ll get more into them later.
Ogres keep slaves for petty work, but because of the winter, they have already butchered all of them and their clean white bones litter the dark floor, with just enough pink meat to attract winter flies, everyday an ogre or two will wander over to the bones, and start picking off the maggots the flies have laid, oblivious to their stings.
They keep no animals, they know no worthwhile trade, they can’t make their own clothing, though a few try. They don’t know how to properly tan a hide, their homemade clothing is rotten and stinking, made from animal skins that they don’t even bother cleaning. I’ve seen an ogre so hungry that he ate his and froze to death from the cold.
Life is miserable in this stinking hole, but the howling winter winds above keep me a prisoner down here. I hate them, like I have hated no other creature. Even their stupid guttural language bothers me.
Half-breed ogres are a bit smarter, but even they get on my nerves down here, they seem to only know how to fight and that is it.
COINS OF THE REALM
These creatures are hoarders. Great wealth is in this hole, but it does nobody any good whatsoever. The ogre won’t spend it, he simply collects and will kill for his stash of shiny. Much of his treasure is worthless junk, but a few highly valuable items intermixed with trash. The ogre loves shiny objects, regardless of actual wealth that they may bring, and the ogre must constantly guard his stash, as all of his kin know exactly what he has and wish to take it from him.
Gambling is the favorite past time, they have invented many simple games of chance which can be played with no prep time, and regardless of location. Everything can be turned into a game to them.
RELATIONS OF OGRES
There is no peace here, not during winter. All humanoids in this cruel environment are suffering equally, any opportunity to take advantage of the others are committed for survival. In these hills, the ogre is not at the top of the food chain, but very low on it. Outside are hill giants and the highly feared trolls which normally are considered to be allies of the ogres, but during these times of not, an ogre is simply food to them, and they know it. Thus, we hide. We hide until the sun returns to melt the snows and allow the ogres to go raiding again, and again they will ally themselves with these enemies of the wintertime, but until the thaw, they must hide.
Ogres are closely allied with orcs, and even breed with them, creating a unique form of ogre-orc that lives in this cave. These half-breeds are the most violent of the lot, loving nothing more in life then a good fight. They’ll talk for days on end about war stories. Apparently these creatures are paid something to be here, I’m not sure what though? They are assumed to be the guards, incase something out there does find its way in here.
Ogres can mate with all humanoids, as well as humans and gnomes, but they aren’t compatible with elven, dwarven, nor halfling blood, which is fine with them as the flesh of these beings are considered to be an ogrish delicacy, in fact, in the heart of this mine system is a huge stew pot, inside are the bones of an elven female, at one time she was whole, but they just keep adding water and drinking the broth as a soup, I am ashamed to admit to caving in and tasting this swill, it was mostly water by the time that I arrived. Winter can do funny things to a person, especially out here. There used to be a time where I could trust myself . . . or at least I thought that I could, but can I really?
Human-ogres are more intelligent then the other ogres, and instead of pushing their mongrels away, they are excepted within the tribes openly. Half-ogres aren’t as strong as the full-blooded kin, a few still have the white eyes, but mostly they are gray-skinned powerful people. The ogres listen to them with awe as they tell their stories and advise them. Could it be that just one half-ogre can make the difference between fighting as an individual or fighting as a team? Quite possibly it is.
RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF THE OGRE
Many of these creatures worship a hill giant god they call Grolantor, however he doesn’t grant the shamans any spells. Their true god is a pathetic lesser variety named Vaprak, while he does grant the shamans spells, he does very little else for them, especially in times like this when we could use a god.
They also fear a god that they simply name “Grofogog” or the Destroyer. I have no idea if this god is real or not, but uttering this things name is enough to terrify the mightiest of ogres. Everything bad that happens down here is the work of the Destroyer. This is probably just a monsters version of the boogyman, which is rather ironic if one ponders it. They seem so sincere when they talk about it, some even claiming to have seen it first hand, but there descriptions are always laughably different, however the longer I stay down here, the more I fear that this beast is up there waiting for me. That the destroyer is real, and it knows my name! Could this be even possible? I shutter at the thought!
OGRE FAMILY STRUCTURE
The male ogre is lazy, and their women are exactly the same. Children run all over the place in here, nobody knows whose is whose except for the children perhaps, and even they forget who their mothers are after a couple of years.
Mothers suckle the young until they get teeth, and they bite them. Of course males also suckle mothers milk too, pregnant women are very popular if they want to be, but they have to be careful as a male ogre will kill a youngster because it doesn’t want to share the mother’s milk with a baby. There are no ogre babies alive during the winter, all have fallen victim to hungry males, the last one happened just recently. Its poor little body was ripped apart for its meat, filthy cannibals, every one of them.
Youngsters can fight, and take up arms readily, if they are threatened with danger by adult males, they will quickly bash them and run away and hide for a couple of days. They stick together, and appear to have their own leadership amongst themselves. No ogre is educated in any way, only through experience and pain do they learn anything. They are even natural fighters, which is unfortunate for our own species who these things eat and keep as slaves.
Slaves, if left alive during the warm moons of plenty, are forced to do housework and other chores which the ogre has no idea how to do. They do the cooking, sharpen weapons which are always stolen, and any other odd jobs or activities which the ogre would find to be amusing that day.
Ogres are physical beasts. A few of them use weapons stolen or looted from slain enemies, or found in treasure hordes as the ogres do make for excellent adventurers. The most common weapons down here are rocks and clubs. Items picked up and either hurled at a target or used to simply beat the other to death. Magic really has no sway here, they aren’t smart enough, nor do they have any written language to speak of. All of their history is done orally by the shamans, and ogre shamans aren’t all that bright themselves. I have heard the same stories at least thirty times and the names and places are always changing, so I think that it is fair to say that the ogre has no history.
The shamans are able to cast simple spells, even simple for clerics, however there is a legend of a powerful band of ogres far to the east who are able to manipulate the magical forces to comply with their wishes. They call these creatures Magi-ogres, or Ogre Mages. Personally I think that this too is a myth, yet the shamans swear that this is true, but then again, they also swear that one can cure dysentery by eating rocks so I put very little stock in what they say.
RACES OF THE OGREKIN
I believe that an ogre male, who mates with an orc female bears an Orog child, on the other hand, when an orc male mates with an ogre woman, the result is a half-ogre which calls itself, Ogrillon. The ogrillon is, much like the Orog to the orc, much respected by all ogres, even granted a larger amount of treasures collected then normal. Ogrillon have orc brains, which are very sharp and can formulate plans much easier then the full-blooded ogre is capable of.
Ogres can breed with practically any humanoid race, however, the most common is human. Half-ogres usually keep the ogre strength and are very large, they suffer slight mental problems which are common for this race, as well as their natural laziness and willingness to follow any plan, regardless of morals or how well thought out it might be. Some half-ogres, particularly those of the half-humanoid variety, may carry the purple eyes with white pupils common to ogres, they usually appear to be more yellow then normal as well.
Half-ogres are much greedier then normal ogres are, which is a mystery to me, but true none the less.
There is also word of an underwater ogre which exists in Nyr Dyv that calls itself Merrow. If this is true, then our Oceans may be populated by this ogre strain of humanoids as well. From a picture book of mythical animals which I found in this dank hell, I see that the merrow has green scales with webbed hands and feet, their necks are longer and thicker then land ogres, and their huge mouths are full of sharp black teeth. Their nails are long and black as well, and look extremely dangerous. Their eyes are deep green with milky white centers, and their hair is a slimy sickly green as well. If the legend of the merrow is true, these are much more frightening then the land variety.
The merrow appears to have some kind of nobility which can be identified by large ivory horns which grow on their heads. The race also scar their bodies with ink in peculiar patterns, especially the woman who have the patterns scared all over their bodies. A few orges in this winter cave have shown me scars which they claim to have received from Merrow, which they call Tattoo.
LIFE CYCLE OF THE OGRE
Ogres are rather long-lived, they can live to a maximum age of 90 years old, and age rather gracefully, probably due to its lack of activity. Most ogres fall victim to death from their dependence on theft and raiding to survive. They are natural fighters, and can follow simple orders to a tee, however they tend to take things quite literally. It is just amazing how stupid these creatures are. They exist by bullying others who are smaller then they are, and by hiring themselves out as mercenaries for the highest bidder. Most humans can’t put up with their laziness and lack of forethought, however for pure muscle and manning dangerous areas, one really has no other options but to work with these disgusting creatures.
The ogre can digest anything, it eats garbage and anything which its teeth can get down its gullet. They are healthy and never get sick, despite never bathing or dressing wounds. They also lack pain sensory, I have seen one break all of its fingers, give a sigh and a shrug and crunch them back into place as if nothing unusual had happened. They are also quick healers, not as fast as the troll mind you, but much faster then a human. If they weren’t so languid they would be the perfect race.
Might is right to these creatures. The largest ogre down here is the chief, he gets all the woman that he wants, first dibs on all of the food, as well as treasure . . . or at least he thinks that he does. This is a temporary benefit, once the thaw comes up and these things can get back to raiding, they will break into smaller groups, but for now they listen to the chief.
His name is Big Chief Bloody Mouth in our tongue, he has two underlings who both share the distinction of second in command. These creatures are a bit smarter then the chief, and they use him for his brawn, and brawn he has! I have never seen an ogre as massive and built like him, which is amazing because the creature does nothing but eat and yell at anyone who dares bother him.
There really are no permanent laws, so there isn’t any need to enforce them. Murder and theft are common practices down here, with theft being the most common. They rarely kill one another, but fights are regular, the loser usually backs off before anything too terrible happens to him.
There are a few clerics, but all of them seem to be heretics and they argue with one another constantly in regards to what their gods want from them. There are no set churches, as this would require to much work on their part.
OGRES AT WAR
Ogres, as far as I can tell, don’t care to engage in any long term plans, which war requires. They are passionate about things which are quickly obtained, if it takes more then a week to obtain, they just don’t have time for it.
As I’ve said before, they do do mercenary work, and as long as they are paid regularly, they can stick with it, however they really couldn’t give an opinion about it. They just simply are there.
While they rarely engage in a committed war, fighting is a daily thing. They don’t really know how to care for armor or weapons which they find, steal, loot, or kill for. They are bandits by trade, haunting a road and being mean to avoid many problems is a common tactic. They keep those that are easily managed, forcing them into slavery or for food. Fighting is a daily thing, and it doesn’t bother them one way nor another, violence is not shocking to them, and they enjoy being cruel.
OGRES OF THE REALM
I am freezing, and hungry down here, and this no doubt has tainted my tongue. This is a long-lived race, despite its slothful ways and lack of any usable skills of any kind with the exception of killing and thievery, this should say something about their longevity.
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