Edar: Return of Akolo
Orcs and Ogres
At the height of the Age of Man, a small party of explorers set out from the shores of ______ in search of a land across the sea, prompted by their leader’s insistence that the world was round and that he would prove so by sailing the circumference. They took three ships, large and well made examples of humankind’s knack for anything it should put its mind towards.
After sailing across the ocean for many days and weeks, the three ships finally saw in the distance their first new land, a continent they immediately named the New World. Landing on the rocky beaches of this exciting place, they set off in to the thick pine forest in search of life.
They didn’t get far. This land, known to the locals as Nauticole, was in fact inhabited by several hundred indigenous clans of orcs and ogres, and the humans were quickly eviscerated to a man. The orc scouts followed the trail left by the unlucky explorers and found their ships, seeing the vessels as strange and powerful devices. They would have set fire to them and have been done with the matter, but the ogre shamans intervened.
At a summit of all the continent’s clans, it was decided that the strange ships should be viewed as holy objects, delivered to them by the strange Small Ugly Creatures, obviously an act of their primal spirit gods to set them a destiny toward taking to the sea. Not much liking sunlight, the ogres remained in Nauticole as the orcs slowly but certainly became the land’s masters of sea. Using the three ships as large scale blueprints, they crafted a whole host of similar ships and set out, becoming everything from fishermen to pirates in a matter of generations.
These seafaring orcs who took to the sea began interacting for the first time with other races. Many orcs became pirates, raiding the dying human empire and later the empires of other races for resources which they took back to their ogre masters. They took slaves by the hundreds, populating their homeland with them and alleviating somewhat the problems caused by their leaving. Still, slaves are often mistreated worse than the giants or even eaten as delicacies, so most do not last long.
From this slave taking practice, though, came the new race of half orcs. Not as strong as an orc but also a bit smarter, this new race soon began to buck at the reigns of control placed by the ogres. The ogres didn’t notice this rebellious behavior, thinking as they had for generations that the orcs and their kind were simple and loyal creatures. Also the ogres were busy with their own experiments, training the giants and trolls as well as creating the half giant race by mixing the giants with human slaves. This was seen as an even greater discovery than the possibility of half orcs, and these half giants soon became the toys and treasures of the ogre overlords.
And so it was that half orcs began to leave their nation behind, joining the other races and “hiding” among them. Some took to becoming merchants, considering it a much less evil occupation compared to their pirate orc forefathers, and in the modern age the most powerful of the half orcs families generally work as merchants. So in general, most orcs are vicious pirates except for the few that have taken less fearsome occupations, while half orcs tend toward the opposite. The half orc race is slowly but surely leaving behind the traditions of old to become a race that can exist both among the other races and those still living in Nauticole.
The seafaring half orcs trade with anyone and everyone, keeping to the sea and leaving the rivers to the halfling traders. They are known for their reverence of large ships, their love of axes and for their shrewd dealings. Some will still deal in slaves and take masters among the ogres, but are never as true to their masters as they pretend and treat the slaves with some respect, much as one would for a well crafted ship or axe. They still view humans as Small Ugly Creatures but that opinion doesn’t keep them from coexisting, while Halflings are Very Small Brothers for their shared interest in water and mercantile pursuits. Elves are viewed as Ugly Treacherous Sneaks, Dwarves are Small Rowdy Builders … in fact, most other races are viewed in terms of how much smaller or uglier they are.