Ogrekind: Ogre Bulls, Ogresses, Orogs, and Half-Ogres
The Olom created the ogres—the most bestial of their legacy races—for the sole purpose of waging war, churning out a warrior race of soldiers. The ogres were a resounding success. Smaller than their giant masters, larger than their human subordinates, and dumber than bricks, the brutish ogres excel at violence and little else. However, ogrekind is a bit more complex than one might expect at first glance.
Physically, the ogres inherited few direct physical traits from the Olom. They have the Olom’s strong mesomorphic build, though it’s more hulking than that of their progenitor race. Ogres are the only Olom legacy race to have horns. While ogre bulls don’t pay much attention to them, ogresses tend to carve and notch theirs to indicate rank and pride affiliation. Like the Olom and the giants, true ogres (the bulls and ogresses) will continue to grow throughout their lives. While it’s possible for an old ogre to reach huge size, it’s rare, as few live that long; but among most ogress prides, a large or even huge matriarch ogress can be found.
Ogrekind is curious among the mortal races of Fartherall in that it’s an example of sexual dimorphism—the bulls and ogresses are vastly different from one another in morphology and temperament. The stronger, larger, and less intelligent males are subordinate in ogre society to the smaller but far more cunning ogresses, who bully the males into line when their rages and natural inclinations toward carnage get too far out of hand. These gender roles took shape long ago, after several packs of ogres escaped from their giant overlords and learned to fend for themselves in an unsuspecting and unprepared wilderness. Even so, most ogre prides—which are dominated by ogresses—will drive ogre bulls away, leaving them to mark out their own territory as solo predators and keeping a few choice males around for breeding purposes.
Their massive size and penchant for cruelty typically will position ogres as the apex predators of any area they inhabit. Unfortunately, their fantastically ravenous and entirely carnivorous diets (coupled with ogre bulls being far too lazy and short-sighted to take up breeding their own meat) mean that they can’t remain in one place for too long. Once they’ve eaten everything within a five-mile radius, an ogre bull will take off in pursuit of more meat, which often means an unfortunate village. Ogre prides, on the other hand—which should really be called ogress prides, since such societies are entirely matriarchal—have mastered ranching and dwell in permanent settlements.
Within ogrekind are actually four distinct kinds of ogre. Ogre bull and ogress are two. The other two are not considered “true ogres” by the ogresses or bulls, but they serve vital functions in ogre prides and are hardly uncommon.
Orogs and Half-Ogres
In the interest of creating offspring more intelligent than the bulls, ogresses took to the practice of castrating infant male ogres. This practice gave rise to the orog—ogre geldings not quite as strong or large as an ogre bull, but are smart enough to handle slightly more complex commands. They often serve intermediary roles in ogre societies, positions that an ogre bull wouldn’t have the competence or patience for. Orogs relish power and respect in their prides, but fear nothing more than disappointing their ogress mother.
Ogresses find ogre bulls nearly as ugly as everyone. However, ogresses find human males very attractive, and many prides keep a handful around as pleasure slaves and breeding stock. These unions almost always result in the fourth kind of ogre: the half-ogre. If it’s a male, the half-ogre will join the pride in a position of favor, and will be given a status almost as high as an ogress. If the half-ogre is a female, it is usually killed outright by its ogress mother—the ogresses aren’t interested in any competition.
Half-ogres serve as favored pets among the ogresses, and are intelligent enough to serve as scouts. Furthermore, the fact that they are capable of surviving on plant matter as well as meat—they’re the only omnivores among ogrekind—means that they can range farther afield in service to their tribe. The human fathers, meanwhile, seldom last very long—a single ogress might “marry” several times in her lifetime, and look to replenish her stock of husbands whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Neither Orog nor Half-ogres continue to grow throughout their lives. Half-ogres’ growth is capped by their human blood, and orogs’ is slowed by the hormonal stunting that occurs when they are castrated at birth—an orog can eventually reach size large, but its growth will cease there.
Ogres have no compunctions against slavery or eating other intelligent creatures. They are quite fond of the taste of Halfling.
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