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Posts: 8
Joined: Mon 30 Oct 2023, 09:33

Origin Legends for Orc and Goblin-centric play

Tue 05 Dec 2023, 18:00

As posted in a recent topic, my players are 50% orcs (specifically, Viraga) and 50% goblins.

The GM's Guide and Raven's Purge lore is very Human and Elf-centric, but I do recall it saying somewhere that the orcs don't hold the same belief that Clay made them to serve the Dwarves and Elves. I've been working with my players to world-build a little extra to deepen the Orcs in particular. Aside from some pretty interesting musings about native orc language and even a form of writing overlooked by the other kin, we've put together a couple of creation legends from Orc and Goblin points of view.

Sharing here in case anyone could use them.

We refer to "Tusk" here, as an orcish aspect of Clay. The Many-Faced God is the Raven God, in acknowledgement of the division in humans about its nature. We doubt the orcs care much about the various different forms in which humans recognise the Raven God, just as we doubt other kin care about orcish representations of Clay.
Tusk wrought life from the dead soil, red in tooth and claw. Tusk shaped the orcs to live in this primal world and made them strong to stand proud against the ferocity of nature.

The term "orc" comes from the ancient orcish, Hrockkhu, meaning The Oldest Race.

When other gods saw what Tusk had made, it scared them. The God Huge took mighty Orcs and rolled their clay and pushed them small to fit between the cracks of the stone, misshaping them into dwarves. The interloper-god, the Red Wanderer came down from the sky and pushed thin clay through His fingers, forming it into flimsy Elves. The Many-Faced God gathered the waste scraps and shaped the duplicitous humans in lands far away.

When the humans first came to this land, the other gods stood against Tusk and favoured their own races over the Oldest Race. History was re-spun into old legend and the age of forced servitude began.
Although orcs mostly speak the common tongue (it was imposed on them by their masters), many still learn ancient orcish, which has aspects of throat-singing and to orcish ears is sonorous. Hrockkhu as mentioned above is a poor representation of the complex sound of the word. This also explains a few things like how the Roka clan appears simliarly-named to Emporer Hroka the First. The difference to an orcish speaker is considerably greater.

None of this is recognised by other kin, of course; they see the orcs as near-mindless savages.

The goblin creation legend is more straightforward, being a simple reframing of the existing lore. A more goblinised telling. I took out the heart-stones because we actually established that as a relatively early in-play lore discovery (so it wasn't prior cultural knowledge), and I don't think goblins would care to liken themselves to elves too closely:

Yeah, this moon-goddess Eor made us in the dark, an' we was in the woods an' it was raaaad. Like, we was just screwin' an' drinkin' an' hangin' out and havin' the best time, ya know? There was others, maybe, I dunno. Who cares?

Then this human god turned up. It was like, this big black bird or something. With a snake in its mouth. I dunno. It was weird. It had all these humes with it and started tellin' everyone where they could live. We was like, "Dagnammit! We want to live right here an' keep partying! Let's cook up a clever scheme to make him keep everyone off gobbo turf!"

An' we did. And I dunno what it was, but it was, like, really frickin' clever. But he was well miffed when he realised we'd been messin' with him and he split us right down the middle. Like, he took out all the bits that made us stuck-up wankers and made those bits into stuck-up wankers and then he made the stuck-up wankers live in little twee houses an' shit.

Did us a frickin' favour, really.

Topic Author
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon 30 Oct 2023, 09:33

Re: Origin Legends for Orc and Goblin-centric play

Tue 05 Dec 2023, 23:46

Quick additional comment for our thoughts on the generally-accepted halfling version of their their creation story:
What? Creation? Well, I...

Have you tried Old Hame Gladwick's venison and parsnip pies? They are absolutely wonderful creations.

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