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By Rivyn: Rivyn's Collection of Annotated Essays

 
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Dissident
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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2005 3:20 pm    Post subject: By Rivyn: Rivyn's Collection of Annotated Essays Reply with quote

History of the Ogrimmer Race and our Glorious Wars, as recorded by the worthy sage MakíTul, Third Age of Feanor, 1943

In the early days, the Ogrimmer were like our lesser cousins, stupid and brutish. We do not know what changed our people, or why, but over the course of time, we were changed from the one-headed louts to the awesome powers we are today. Each of our minds perfects itself while aiding itís companion, making us more than a match for any of the other puling races. These natural advantages combined with our intrinsic affinity for magic to produce a race of powerful beings, both mentally and physically.
As stated, we do not know when our path took us from the common breed, or if there is some missing link between the Ogres and the Ogrimmer, but while they are content to wallow in the mud, singly or with their mates, we thirst for the companionship of our fellows. Thusly, we set up several communities many millennia ago. It is our unique benefit that all such places still stand; what other race can say the same? Even the elves have been driven from their birthlands. But the Ogrimmer built rude villages at first, then towns, and mighty cities. We warred with each other, and cleared forest, and farmed our fields, as any civilized race must. Such was our idyllic life, lasting for uncounted centuries. Then we met the trolls.
Many millennia have passed since our first contacts, but the documents of the times maintain that the foul creatures began raiding our villages for treasure and slaves. Dark rumors of Ogrim sacrifice were even bandied about, though such things remain a mystery. But these first contacts united our people, and in fact laid the groundwork for our most glorious empire. The petty governors of our city-states sought to conquer each other, but faced with the common threat of the nigh-unkillable trolls, were forced to ally. They believed the combined might of the Ogrimmer could easily wipe the beasts from the earth.
They were wrong. The Ogrimmer were uncoordinated, undisciplined, and poor soldiers. They had no training, and each person was expected to provide his own weapons. The trolls too, proved more tenacious, retreating into their jungles and leaving all manner of devious and foul traps in their wake. Great battles ensued, and the Ogrimmer warriors were driven back before the forces of a powerful trollish warlord, called ďWen-JunkaĒ in their tongue. It is believed to translate into ďThe ReaperĒ. It was then that our mighty champion and first emperor made his appearance. Having been captured years before, and sold into slavery amongst the furre kingdom of ďAracthaĒ, he learnt there of war, and the making of weapons, and superior systems of government. He seized control of a dozen cities in his first week back, and within a month had the entire Ogrimmer people under his power. He reorganized the army, the peoples, and the government, and then crowned himself emperor. Less than two years after taking power, the mighty Ogrimmer ďRakíVanĒ led our people against the trollish warlords, who were even then assembling under Wen-Junka to enslave the remainder of our people.
His mighty legion crushed the Warlordís soldiers, driving the trolls back into their wild jungles. Turning his people about, RakíVan took them forth and put them to work, clearing away the great forests. He had them make roads, and cities, and finally a great palace at our present capital of Crumsh. There he lived for many years, and his administrative talents were put to good use helping the empire prosper. Hundreds of years went by, and RakíVanís sons and daughters succeeded him to his throne. Our cities became the wonders of the modern world, centers of learning and trade, even as the Furres nearly leveled their civilization about them far to the west.
But our hated enemies, the foul trolls, were not resting. Centuries after their decimation at the hands of the first legion, they were back, this time led by their dark and twisted shamans. They had discovered an artifact of power in their lands, a massive arch made of steel and bone. They activated it, and unleashed a force upon this place unlike any other: The orcs. Bigger than any human, elf, or furre, the orcs were still small in comparison to Ogrimmer or Trolls. But their numbers seemed limitless. Through the gate they streamed, and the tide flowed north. Our mighty warriors were once again called upon, and re-schooled in the arts of war, and re-outfitted in suits of mail and plate.
The Orc-Gate wars lasted almost a dozen years, and pitted our people directly against the foul green orcs and their trollish allies. It was only the fortuitous intervention of an outside force that brought our cousins, the giants of earth, stone, and fire, to our aid that allowed us any victory at all. The orcs were pushed back, and their gate destroyed. Without their limitless reinforcements, they fled with the trolls into the jungles. A dozen legions and half a thousand giants went into those jungles, and not a single one returned to our people. As the aftermath settled in, the Ogrimmer society flourished once more, and to this day our society is a glorious pinnacle to be strived for by all lesser beings.


Rivynís Annotations: What a load of pissing garbage. Theyíve barely managed to get out of the mud huts in the last thousand years, and they never decimated the trolls. Their history is a lot more accurate: Almost total annihilation of the Ogre-Magi before the giants stepped in and crushed them. These days, theyíre no longer complete barbarians, but theyíve only just begun tapping the true potential of their split minds. They make damn powerful warriors though. I plan on trying to recruit a few of the more moldable ones for my ballista crews in Xanthia. And I donít even get credit for devising on how to mash the Orcgate. The learned sage that wrote this can eat bad meat and die slowly.
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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2005 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Master Huntsman guide to Beasts and Monsters of all types, Vol. XXII: Ogres and Ogre-Magi.
Penned in the First Year of the Fourth Age from the words of Master Ranger Valas Boon.

At first, Ogre's might seem the most fearful of opponents. [Laugh spittle stains the parchment here] They stand anywhere between nine and twelve feet tall, and weigh between four and nine hundred pounds. Their heads sport sparse, knotty hair, and they've been known to attack They often carry small, uprooted trees to use as impromptu clubs. They are known to force armorers to make mis-matched garb for them as well. They are not intelligent, but display a suprising cunning, as well as a most vicious cruelty. [A neat hand has written beside this: "You'd be grumpy too if a bunch of halflings started poking you with sticks."]
Their tactics tend to be crude but effective. Ambushes with thrown rocks and landslides on steep hills and mountainous terrain seem to be favored. However, they are easily frightened, and swift dispatch of half of their forces by any armed group is generally enough to send them fleeing. They also avoid mages, as their powers easily confuse them. [More writing: "As does basic addition, bright colors, and alchohol.]
Most often, they can be found encamped near small villages and off of major roads, attempting to extort nearby populace and travellers for food and gold. They rarely stay in one place for more than a season, as the Royal Army offers a bounty of five crowns for the right ear of any of the beasts. Some years ago, there was a brief scandal involving a rogue cabal of druids, who coerced several of the monsters into removing their ears, only to have them regenerated back in a matter of minutes. [More writing: Cabal? I was provnig a point.]
Their weak spots are like those of any human, with one exception: Ogre skulls are extremely dense, and even the strongest of crossbows will have a difficult time putting a bolt through one of the beasts. They are slow to react, however, so a clever ambush will often allow easy dispatch of the brutes. [Yet more writing: Only if you miss the killing blow on a man, he doesn't rip you in half.]

Ogre-Magi are much more dangerous than their cousins. Each stands at least a head higher, and many reach as much as fifteen feet in height. They are disproportionally broad, having nearly half again as much chest and leg as their size would require, as the monsters have two large, horned heads. Each possesses one eye, a fanged maw, and a pair of sharp ears. Most of the tribes use dyes and inks to permanently tattoo their entire body in a single color, frequently shades of green and blue. Their broad bodies are possessed of a unique musculature, allowing them to lift great loads with ease, and they can maintain a forced march for weeks. [Annotation: Shocking how these fools occasionally get something right.]
Their knowledge of war and strategy is vastly superior to the average soldier, and in a tactical group they can prove a devastating force. They are crafty in battle, and use their magical powers to great effect, especially with illusions. They wield superior weaponry, and many are possessed of thickly enchanted suits of armor. These advantages allow them to take on vastly numerical forces, and still be assured of victory.
They have few weaknesses, but all of the creatures are possessed of pride and a strict code of honor. The simplest way to avoid being slaughtered by the brutes is to throw down ones arms, as their religion strictly forbids slaughtering a surrendered foe. [Annotation: He meets the ONE clan that does this and it becomes common knowledge. The fools who believe this earn what comes to them.]
Ogre-Magi are much less of a problem these days, being almost non-existent on Callendor, and busy with their own internal problems on Pirostia. They only rarely make a bid to conquer a small bit of territory, which is often abandoned less than a year later as internal strife draws them away.


Annotated Below:
Obviously this wasn't written by a 'learned sage', since some things are accurate.
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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2005 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Incarnations:

Ah yes, where to begin. The incarnations are the driving forces of reality, the little bits around the edges that no one notices until something strange happens. To the best of my knowledge, thereís at least seven of them, but three are so rarely in this reality that Iíve never had the chance to encounter them; not that Iíd be especially interested in doing so, mind you.
The four ones youíd actually stand a chance of running into Ďon the streetí, as it were, consist of the more transient individuals: Fate, Time, Nature, and Death. And now, if youíll allow it, Iíll go through a brief rundown of the responsibilities of each as Iíve come to know them.

Fateís job is, of course, to make sure things are clicking along nicely and everythingís going according to itís master plan. Unfortunately, questions of free will arise, and as each facet Ė Iíll mention this bit in a sec Ė changes possessors, the grand scheme, master plan, whatever you want to call it, changes a bit, and all of the sudden history is that much more of an inexact science; and thatís saying nothing about prophecies. And it seems to me as if things arenít really all the predestined unless some facetís taking a personal interest, in which case things tend to get downright strange.
The other odd bit comes in when you start talking about facets. Now, this is secondhand info, so Iím not guaranteeing everything is perfectly accurate, but hereís what happened as best as Iím aware: The old Fate was mentally unstable, and slightly mad. So whatís he try to do but give pass his duties along. This is an old tradition that allows for whoever happens to be doing the Duty to give it to someone they trust or feel is qualified, and rarely is it overly detrimental. The problem was that this particular Fate tried to give it to more than one person Ė seven, to be precise Ė and it ended up that, what with him being fate and all, things arranged themselves to work out just fine. So the powers and duties of fate get spread out among seven people, and thatís how itís been until recently, when a couple of the were reunited when one chap convinced a fellow Fate to give him his power. Now itís down to Six.
In person, Fate is generally the least impressive of your Incarnation. They tend to be a bit fussy and self-centered, but hell if they donít get their way. Things around them naturally bend to accommodate their will, and thatís just how it is. Fate wants to sit down in the middle of a desert, a lovely oasis will be found across the next dune, along with a small nomadic tribe with sherbet and the lovely padded chairs made from camels. Absurd impossibilities become commonplace.
The Duty of Fate is divided into six parts these days. One chap, the one with twice the power and responsibility of the rest, is in charge of making sure the sun comes up, now follows then, and the like. This Fate is heavily involved with Time, since they both bear much of the same responsibility. The next one is in charge of making sure the right people meet the other right people and Love happens. This one works with Nature a bit, as is to be expected. Those moony eyes you see every so often in young people is a sure mark of that pairís handiwork, mark me well. The next three all have the same responsibility, of making sure Ďkeyí events happen properly: Deaths, Births, Lives, and major events of all sorts. They lurk around the edges of things, and work with every other Incarnation on a regular basis. The final Fate has by far the easiest job of them all, and dozens of them can go by before they have to lift a finger, but when they get it in their head to do something, it goes in a big way. This last Fate is, of course, in charge of turning the wheel and bringing about another age. From what Iím told, this is not a figurative meaning: In some strange alternate dimension, there is a wheel of an impossible scope that requires turning. Other theologies also occupy this Fateís time, as apparently tapestries must be woven, puzzles finished, and worlds spun. Maybe this oneís busier than I thought after all.

Timeís Duty consists, simply, of making sure nothing gets mucked up in present and history. Time is constantly running around grabbing great chunks of time from places like oceans and pouring them into cities and such, where people always complain of a lack. Itís remarkable, really, how sometimes that five-minute hallway meeting can seem to last for hours. Itís an unfortunate side effect, if you ask Time.
Time is a strange bloke every time. Itís the job or the method by which it picks them, but they all tend to share this strange obsession with clocks. What you
never say to Time is something like ďOh, itís about two-ishĒ. Thatíll get you flat killed in the most unpleasant way. They all have this thing about getting every detail right, too. Best not engage Time in a conversation, since they seem to have very short tempers. Must be a bit of a stress, but since they tend to ignore the rules, itís not as if they canít take a bit of a holiday or anything. Probably donít feel itís proper or something.
They also tend to have well-trimmed beards and spectacles. It must be part of the job, honestly. Theyíre just not that fashionable.

Nature is something of an enigma to me, as Iíve never actually had the opportunity to meet her. Our jobs tended to bring us to opposite ends of the spectrum. Natureís job is to administer her special care to all things living, and is often incorrectly worshipped by stupid young druids who donít know the difference between three and four leaf clover. What comes next is all what Fate told me one evening.
In person, Nature is always female. Men just donít have the temperament for it. Forget that Ďold man natureí business right out. Nature is strange, Nature is wild, and Nature is Erotic with the capital E. After I got a few cups into him, Fate told me wild stories of midnight romps in the wild places of the world that brought flames to my ears, mark my words. Running about with Satyrs and things, itís a wonder anyone has any respect for her or the sanctity of her job. Regardless, things seem to work out all right, and rumor tells me that killing something around her is a sure way to bring my attention to oneself.
The Duty of Nature, insofar as I have been able to gather, consists mainly of frolicking about, but at some level or point in time she makes sure all the jiggly bits of people that no one else wants anything to do with are put together properly.

The final Incarnation, and one I am very familiar with, is Death. Now, this oneís job is fairly obvious and straightforward, though the exact details are somewhat confused in many texts. In clear and concise terms, Death is the last thing you see before heading off to whatever afterlife awaits, and itís he who makes sure souls are getting where theyíre supposed to go and a troll doesnít end up in some ogreís paradise, or an Elf into a Humanís. Itís also the Duty of Judgement, as occasionally one will find a soul that is very close to being perfectly balanced between life and death, or good and evil. It is then up to death to be the final arbiter, and decide what is to be done with the balanced soul.
Death tends to be picked from one of the longer lived races, or even the occasional immortal; the shorter lived individual doesnít seem to be able to put the job into the proper perspective needed to carry out the Duty properly.

The question has often been brought up of the exact origins of the Incarnations. It is my firm belief that they derive from the thoughts, dreams, and conceptions of the everyday mortals that abound on the planet: Furres, Humans, even the giants and Orcs. Theyíre the personifications of these creatures, and thus their ranks are drawn from the same. An interesting bit of information I picked up as Death is that every creature sees you differently. Dwarves see not the oft depicted skeleton with a scythe, but rather a dwarf with skin of pure, reflective black Ė like obsidian Ė bearing some kind of hammer. Iím still not sure what the giant races see, and I suspect that the other Incarnations appear different to different species, or even individuals. As can be expected, my interactions in the official capacity were invariably posthumously, or within moments of death, and the people in question were in no capacity to answer questions.
Another theory that has been proposed is that the primes created Incarnations as a sort of neutral buffer between the Prophets and the Heretics, though due to the powers and Duty attached to each Incarnation, this seems unlikely.
Interactions with mortals as an Incarnation are often very difficult, as all seem to possess some kind of aura that immediately incapacitates typical members of the mortal realm. Occasionally, however, one stubborn member seeks to challenge the will of an Incarnation, with relatively predictable results. I personally have witnessed Time age one individual several milleniums, and I've heard strange things about Nature's particular brand of revenge. Fate, naturally, has an insurmountable edge in any contest, and Death is...well, Death is essentially inviolate.
However, the power of an Incarnation is bound up in the tradition and Duty, and it is my experience that the office imposes much more on the bearer than vice-versa, marking the idea that they are extraordinary, demi-primelike beings as unlikely. The neccesity of the Duty, combined with the fact that the lifespan remains unchanged, marks Incarnations as an entirely unique group.

-Rivyn Volvagia, Archimondrite,
Penned in the twelfth millenium of the Second Age in the Hall of Wisdom, Sar-Sargoth (Four hundredth copy, with minor alterations from original.)

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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2005 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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