|Habitat||The North Belt and northern Essalonia|
Ogres are grey or blue Human-like creatures found in the north of Aloria in areas like southern Ellador and northern Essalonia. Their history is ancient, going back as far as the days of the Drovv. In more recent times they have harassed Velheim Ailor brave enough to encroach upon the territory of their Truggs--their tribal groups. These Truggs are led by Chieftains who speak for their Truggs in the annual “Great Horn” debates across the north. Ogres are known especially for their alchemically valuable blood, and for their heavy, durable bones, which are sought after by artisans and weaponsmiths alike.
Ogres have been separately observed and encountered by many Races and Cultures of Aloria, stretching back for millennia. The Drovv, ancient inhabitants of the north, spoke of these tall and simple creatures to the Altalar, who themselves later had encounters with the species. While the Drovv never approached the Ogres, the Altalar at first sought contact, and then withdrew to allow the species to continue developing. However, as the Allorn Empire grew more decadent and its values decayed, several Ogre populations were enslaved to serve as laborers; this proved a waste of resources to the Allorn, many of whom found the Ogres to be overly crude and unattractive, electing to focus on Ailor and other fully sentient Races for use as slaves. Centuries later, by the time the Velheim Ailor and Dwarves came into contact with the Ogres, they had grown in intellect but also organization. They actively rejected co-operation with these Races, fearing a repeat of what had occurred with the Allorn Empire, and though the Dwarves were content to leave the Ogres to their business, the Ailor were not. They grew into symbols of strength and power tied with Basjtur both as his champions, tests for the strongest of Velheim society, but also as demonic creatures that deserved to be killed to aid Basjtur in his mission in the world. The perception of Ogres as Demonic was coincidentally reinforced by the coming of the Fifth Void Invasion; falling victim to the depredation of the Void alongside the Trolls, the reserved and prideful Ogres were reduced to flesh-eating beasts of war.
In the wake of the Cataclysm, many of these twisted Ogres fell, but some did not and this set the backdrop for much of Ogre relations with the Ailor and even among their own kind over the coming decades. While Ogre groups remained across the northern lands of Aloria, the largest concentrations were on Makat Island, which soon fell under the control of the Tryllejag Realm. Here, what corrupted Ogres remained rallied their fellows, with some ease, against the Ailor who had long restricted their presence in the region, which was now an island. The wars that followed lasted for decades, but were finally brought to an end by an Ogre rebellion spurred on by external truths. The Great Vampire War that had been raging for decades across eastern Ellador had revealed to the Ogres that their “Great Chieftain” was dark of heart, and in league with the same dark forces that had caused the Cataclysm. Joining with the local Ailor, they killed this leader but then separated from the Ailor to live in their way. By 150 AC, persistent Ogre hunting in the Realm had stopped and the Ogres were largely left in peace. Today, Ogres survive in their small Truggs across The North Belt and northern Essalonia, while those on Makat Island are often the largest and best organized. Locals to Ogre-dominated regions do still occasionally hunt them, but the vicious malice is gone from the activity. Both sides will still fight fiercely to defend themselves, however, should the need arise, and many minor conflicts have arisen within the Realm between Ailor and Ogres, though they never spiral out into the warfare seen in decades past.
Much like the civilised Races of Aloria, Ogres vary wildly in height and weight; the tallest and rarest of them all stand at somewhere around ten feet, though the general Ogre population is typically between six and nine feet tall. Similarly, their weight typically spans between 200 and 500 pounds, with the greater weights being uncommon. Ogre heads are disproportionately small, but very thick, with beady, dull eyes, wide noses, ears similar to those of the Baros Eronidas. Ogre teeth are very similar in appearance to those of Humans, aside from the pair of tusks that jut from their bottom lips in place of lower canine teeth. These tusks are similar to those of Baros Eronidas, though they are longer, some reaching up to four feet, and are always dirtier. Classically, Ogres have always been depicted as physically similar to Eronidas, as the peak of physicality and muscularity, but the truth is more underwhelming. Ogres are thick-boned, with a tendency towards bulk and high amounts of body fat. When they are younger, they appear more fit and in shape but with age, they increase in weight. Their size is mostly due to their practice of long slumbers. While not quite hibernation, they can sleep for several weeks straight before waking themselves up. In order to do this, they constantly pack on weight and bulk to sustain this practice. Their skin color ranges from an ash grey to light blue and they possess thick grey fur on their arms, legs and back. Clothing is not unknown among Ogres, but neither is it ubiquitous, typically consisting of pelts and hides worn almost as a mimicry of the savage early Velheimer stereotype. Additionally, some also wear horned skulls on their heads, sometimes from known species and other times not.
Their bodies are also a wealth of valuable materials. In the modern day, this is one of the chief reasons they are hunted, as these materials can help create some advanced and very interesting concoctions for alchemists and glorious works of art of usable tools by others. Ogre Blood has medicinal effects, able to cure skin rashes, alleviate hard fevers and is said to reduce complications in pregnancy, though some alchemists and doctors are suspicious of its possible effects on the unborn child. Additionally, their bones make for excellent carving material; many notable or powerful Velheim families possess one or two carved Ogre bones from the years when the beasts were hunted more frequently. Today, acquiring Ogre bones is typically less violent. Many are acquired through trade, with bones offered in exchange for goods by some Truggs, though not all are so willing to part with the remains of their dead. A less savory practice for acquiring these bones is simple grave robbery, with a not-insubstantial number of Ailor selling bones stolen from Ogre gravesites. They have also been found to be of excellent use in more savage Eronidas weapons due to their bluntness and weight. Those Eronidas that work as mercenaries in The North Belt or who live on Makat Island long term often seek out such weapons.
Ogres are equal in their gender population but due to their small Truggs, clustered across the north, there can sometimes be entire groups of only male or only female Ogres. As for diversity in their appearance, Ogre skin tones are random and not indicative of parentage (for example, two ashen grey Ogres could produce a light blue Ogre child). Sexual dimorphism is present among Ogres, though not nearly as pronounced as with other Alorian Races; as such, discerning a male Ogre from a female one is difficult in the Truggs that choose to clothe themselves.
Life Span and Development
Ogres are liveborn in difficult, solitary processes by Ogre females and rarely exceed more than two children at a time. These children are similar to Human children in that they have light skin, tend to cry and feed themselves on their mother’s milk. They develop quickly--by their first year, they are weaned from their mother’s milk and their tusks grow in. At the age of fifteen, they have reached adulthood mentally, though physically the next five years will show if they will grow taller or stay at a shorter height. Ogres then spend the rest of their lives warring, eating, and sleeping. While combat against more developed Races is the most common way that Ogres engage in conflict, some Ogre Truggs go to war with each other for vague reasons. The most Alorians have managed to learn about these interspecies conflicts is that they are in part, ritual, but also serve to test Ogres against others of their kind so they do not grow “soft” in battling the shortened species around them. Additionally, they have a very casual sexual life as they only seem to produce children when young, during that five year period where they grow into their adulthood. If a Trugg is made up of only males or only females, they will eventually copulate with a mate at the next Great Horn. Their natural lifespan is 50 years, though many die between the ages of twenty and thirty either due to diseases and infections or in combat.
Ogres are primitive creatures but like the Thylan of Jorrhildr, they possess some civilized habits. They are far more advanced than the Thylan as they actively seek to dress themselves and protect their children in blankets, possess a rudimentary language that is understandable to Humans and have chieftains, each leading a Trugg. They also possess the ability to make tools and while they are more diverse than the Thylan, these tools are very crude and unrefined. Their language is probably the most peculiar development of their species, as it features a union of hand signals and a variety of vocal sounds and syllables. While not openly known, certain scholars of the Regalian Empire do know the basics of this language and the scholars in the Tryllejag Realm do speak to the local Ogres from time to time. They are also organized not just by Truggs but in “Great Horns”, gatherings of Ogres at several known locations across the north of Aloria. At these events, Chieftains fight each other physically over their opinions until one opinion remains valid, but these fights are never fatal. They are aggressive creatures but possess curiosity and a gentle side, mainly when dealing with Ailor and similar sentient Races as they often possess tools, ideas or methods foreign to the Ogres. They will still however, drop this kinder demeanor if they realize they are being tricked, fooled, or their territory is being openly violated.
Territory and Groupings
Ogres live in small encampments made up of anywhere between five to fifteen Ogres in a Trugg. These Truggs have a chieftain in command of them though the smaller ones rarely do. Truggs exist in and around mountainous, cold terrain and the center of their encampment always has a firepit, made of large stones and bits of tree that the Ogres light to eat their meals or as a clear warning to leave them be. As individuals, they live at the borders of this encampment at the edge of the twenty-foot radius given to said central fire.
- The skulls that Ogres wear and use to decorate their encampment are sometimes known, like that of Urlan, but others are not. Some believe they are of pre-Cataclysm animals now extinct or from Dragon species long dead whose bones have been handed down through the ages to the Ogres of today. They absolutely never allow anyone access to them either.
- The most advanced tool that the Ogres have made to date has been a crude type of axe. The way they gathered wood before and still now in areas that have yet to learn the way to make this type of tool is to simply rip a tree up out of the ground.