At the dawn of the Second Age of Remnas, the ogres were one of the new races of men to emerge from the ashes of the Seedmen. The origin of the ogres is one of brutality and sorrow. Weak tribes of Seedmen were pushed out of the good hunting grounds and forced to seek shelter in the Wildlands, a harsh, dry territory of flat land that borders the God’s Back Mountains, an enormous range that cuts the continent of Remnas in half. The Seed Tribes who lived here were never far from starvation as the wild game was dangerous and there was little to forage.
The great beasts roamed the plains in huge numbers, seemingly more plentiful than anywhere else on Remnas. However, the creatures that proved to be the Seedmen of the Wildlands undoing were not giants, but the smaller trolls that lived in the foothills of the mountains. Standing a foot taller than an adult Seedman, densely muscled and possessed of cruel fangs, claws and long sharp horns, the trolls crept out of their mountains and every attacked Seedman camp that ventured to close. The lucky ones were killed outright, butchered like any game brought down on a hunt. The unfortunate survivors were forced into the trolls’ caves hidden in the mountains.
The true horror of the trolls was they were possessed of a cunning that was more than that of a mere animal and a capacity for savage cruelty that exceeded even the most evil man’s. The troll mind was complex enough to conceive of slavery. Confined to the caves, their slaves were forced to dig in the darkness for cave grubs and other bugs that the trolls liked to dine on, but their captor’s favorite meal was red meat. The Seedmen were considered a fine delicacy and the slaves came to realize that one of the reasons they were being kept alive was so that there was always a fresh supply just waiting to be slaughtered and served.
The trolls were rapacious creatures, mounting their slaves without regards to age or gender. Many did not survive their masters’ “affections”. Seedwomen who survived the assault and became with child never lived long enough to give birth. The fetus’ developed horns shredded their wombs, causing internal injuries that killed both mother and monstrous child.
The trolls went about solving the problem in the way they always did things: in a manner that was violent and cruel. The trolls had a fixation on creatures called the titans. One of the largest of the great beasts, the titans were solid mountains of moving muscle that walked with an ape-like gait, using their arms and their legs for balance and propulsion. The Seedmen never could understand from the grunting and growling the trolls used to communicate with each other if the titans were mortal enemies or objects of a strange reverence, but the trolls risked life and limb to hunt titans by luring them into crude traps. Then the trolls ate the prey to gain strength from the mystic energy that hid within the felled titan’s body. The trolls made it a point to never share their prize, as they desired the Seedmen to be weak and easily controlled. But they desired the offspring and forced women they intended to bred with to eat titan meat and drink titan blood before their rape and through the pregnancy. To their masters’ cruel delight, the Seedwomen whose diets included the flesh of titans grew strong enough survive their violation and live long enough to deliver a half-troll half-man baby. Sadly, they were torn apart during the birthing and died in agony.
The half-breed children were treated little better than the slaves. The Seedmen shunned and feared them at first. They were as tall and muscular as the trolls and possessed of a sturdy skin that was resilient to injury, but they lacked claws and had smaller, blunter teeth and horns. The half-breeds, like their troll fathers, were prone to violent outbursts when angered, sexually aroused, or frightened, but they could temper their wild natures with reason, for they were as intelligent as men.
The half-breeds inherited the ability to love from their human mothers. The Seedmen quickly came to realize that the half-breeds, called the ogres, were their natural allies against a mutual foe. The trolls’ sick desire for more and more offspring sealed their doom as the caves were ripe for rebellion when the first generation of ogres reached adulthood. When the ogres tell of their history, for they adore stories of heroes, they claim that the final insult was when a troll tried to take a Seedwoman that an ogre was deeply in love with. The enraged ogre killed him with his bare hands. As it had never occurred to the trolls that their captives might fight back, they were unprepared to deal with the situation and the slaves knew that this was their only chance.
Using cave rocks and crude clubs made of discarded bones, Seedmen and ogres fell upon the stunned trolls before they could react. The caves soon ran with the blood of the fallen, troll and slave alike. The captives’ will was stronger, fueled by generations of pent up rage, and they had the strength of their ogre sons and daughters at their side. When the battle was won, the slaves walked out of the blood reeking caves and into the sun, free and proud.
The ogres stayed in the Wildlands, living among the clans formed by the victorious Seedmen. The nature of men being what it is, the tribes forgot the unity of being one people bound by a history of sorrow, and became bitter rivals for game and scarce water. In a few generations, the mixed clans were made up entirely of ogres. It was discovered quickly that the offspring of an ogre and Seedwoman did not become overly large in size or develop their horns in the womb. As a safe birth was possible and ogre blood bred true, there was little reason not to comingle.
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