When Creation and Destruction made the planet of Dramoth Gilead, the latent magical flow throughout the surface of the world also decided to create other races, species, and creatures. It was this simple natural creation that birthed everything from flowers and trees to birds and bees. The planet also manifested not only the normal creatures, but also those which might be called “monsters.”
Among the monstrous creatures were two general humanoid species – ogres and gnolls. Today I’ll talk about ogres and tomorrow I’ll talk about the descendants of the gnolls.
The Dramoth Gilead version of an ogre is almost the planet’s way of creating its own human species. Both versions of the ogre look very human in nature aside from a few key differences. Standing an ogre and a human next to each other would show some variance depending on which species there is. The two variants are the mountain ogre (simply called ‘ogres’) and the desert ogre (or the ‘mesan.’)
Despite the connotation of the term “ogre” – a brutal, vicious person – and the typical ogre in fantasy stories – usually hideous, monstrous brutes – neither species of ogre are violent, hideous, or brutish.
The mountain ogre looks very similar to a human aside from their size. They stand nearly ten feet tall and are extremely strong. They have a pair of horn (sometimes four horns) that resemble sheep’s horns. Their skin is a pale color, their hair is very dark, and their eyes are a pretty gold. They live in very small family bands – often just a husband, wife, and any dependent children. When the children grow up they (regardless of gender) travel to try to find themselves a spouse to form a family group with.
The ogres live in small huts that they build out of wood. An ogre hut almost always has two things nearby – a garden and a flock. Ogres tend flowers and plants and herbs, growing a small garden of essential vegetables and herbs to flavor their foods. They will also protect beds of flowers and plants they find growing in the mountains, putting a rope marker near the plants to show that it’s protected by the ogre. They also raise flocks of sheep for their wool and for their meat. The easiest way to piss off an ogre is to mess with their garden or their flock or their family.
Ogres live very simple lives – tending to their gardens, raising their flocks. They do not terrorize or bother anyone. In fact, an ogre is one of the best things to find in a mountain because they’ll tend to be very polite – not necessarily friendly – but they’ll bring travelers into their home, feed them and give them some tea (which may actually be narcotic… it’s said to send all your worries away.)
The desert ogre are called mesan. They, unlike their mountain cousins, stand barely taller than a human – usually a half of a foot higher on average. They tend to be slender and elegant rather than hulking strongmen like the ogres. Skin is a dark tan color, hair is usually very pale blonde or white, and their eyes maintain that same gold color as their mountain-based cousins. They live either in small nomadic packs or in one of the two mesan homes – Canyon or Mesa – which are, in turn, a big canyon and a big mesa. The large communities in Canyon and Mesa are made up of many different families. There is no real government, they share all they have with the community as a whole – any who are seen to be greedy are denied the community’s goods.
Mesan do not raise crops. The desert is far too unforgiving for that. They rely on the Herd, a huge, constantly moving group of large cow-like creatures. The Herd moves between oases, seeking the shade and the water and the good ruffage therein. The mesan follow these creatures, hunting the weak or the old, gathering the food and water from the oases, and returning to their home. They use the entire animal, paying extremely high respects to the simple creatures. Nothing is thrown out because it’s disrespectful and wasteful. Their homes are tents made of the animals’ skins, except for those in Mesa and Canyon, which are dug out hollows into the sides of the canyon or the walls of the mesa.
The mesan people have an interesting ability. They merely need to concentrate for a few moments and they can detect two things – nearby sources of water, and how far and in which direction Mesa or Canyon is. This ability is an analogy for their lives – all about choices. Do I travel the two miles east to get water when I know Canyon is over a day’s walk to the south? Will I get this water knowing it’s a sure thing or take my chances on the hope that there’s water closer to Canyon? Do I live in the shelter of Canyon or do I follow the old nomadic ways? Do I stay with my people or live with the humans?
Relationships with Other Races
Both species of ogre tend to keep themselves away from the other races – not as a protective measure, but more in that they have little in common with the created races. They have a lasting peace accord with the other races, and there has been the rare breaking of that peace – mostly from some despotic dictator or a warlord. Both species have been used in the past for fighting and sometimes as guards in the cities and towns, but the ogre races feel that the petty squabbles of the younger races are not worth their energy.
Among all the races (with the exception of the elven thoughts of superiority) the ogres are known to be friends and allies, always willing to help if they’re asked. Humans find the ogres to be extremely peaceful, and some wander to the ogre homes to learn their secrets – which results in some mutton stew, some tea, and stories shared among friends. Nün elves enjoy the ogres’ ability to live as one with nature. High elves think they’re better than the ogres, but seek them out if they need assistance with tasks suited for the strong mountain ogres or the hardy mesan. Orcs living in the deserts often band together with the mesan, but due to their huge wandering tribes, they never truly have combined their races. Tallis study the ogres, trying to figure out their societies and how everything works, much to the annoyance of the ogres themselves – tallis ask too many questions.