Artwork by Sam Manley
With the release of Archives of the Empire: Volume II later this month, we wanted to share some thoughts on Ogres from Baron Cecil von Hopfberg and reveal the cover art above!
What can one say of Ogres that has not already been written elsewhere? Quite a bit, as it turns out, for Ogres have a nasty habit of devouring the sorts of scribes who show up and ask condescending questions of them. They are towering creatures, taller than the average imperial citizen by a good yard, and far broader. They place great importance on their girth, viewing it as the source of all good things in an Ogre’s life, and thus are obsessed with eating. While I have been assured that a satiated Ogre can be quite pleasant company, I have never met one who did not profess to be at least a little hungry.
Their anatomy differs from that of most creatures in that they seem capable of eating almost anything, though have a strong preference for meat. Raw is acceptable, though every Ogre appreciates a good cook — doubly so if that cook is a Halfling, as Ogres seem to have a peculiar fascination with those diminutive folk. Both share a love of food, and seem to get along well despite their wildly different behavioural tendencies. Still, they do say opposites attract. The Ogres I have spoken to always talked wistfully of excellent Halfling cooks they had known, often while licking their lips. Presumably at the memory of the fine meals that were made by said cooks. Curiously these Halflings never seemed to be about, and when I asked about them I do believe I saw more than one of my subjects tear up.
While most Ogres one encounters are mercenaries, the vaunted ‘Maneaters,’ whose approach to a siege is said to be chewing down the walls with their bare teeth, there is more to Ogre culture than violence and eating. Not much, it must be said, but there is something. The most enigmatic example is probably the Ogre Butcher. While they do have much in common with the butchers that one might find in Altdorf’s Fleischmarkt, in Ogre culture they appear to take on something of a spiritual role. Moreover, and in stark contrast to any butcher I have ever met, the Ogre Butchers seem capable of a sort of magic. While they attribute this power to an entity most Ogres refuse to discuss, but which appears to be a great mouth of some kind, I am assured by my contacts in the Colleges of Magic that they merely use a form of folk magic that draws the winds of magic from the carcasses they prepare.
Artwork by Tom Ventre
Speaking of carcasses, while Ogres seem to be willing to eat almost any form of meat, they are not without their preferences. In their homes in the mountains they keep many impressive beasts, of which the Rhinox is perhaps the most common. Though to an Ogre these creatures are similar in scale to how a cow might seem to a Reikland farmer, they are massive beasts indeed. Rhinox are covered in matted fur and have several great horns set upon their head that can gouge a fellow to death with a mere flick of the animal’s head. Even the Ogres treat them with respect, often riding them into war, and the role of Rhinox herder is a respected one (if not precisely coveted).
I will leave my writings here, my dear Isabella. I hope you find them somewhat useful in the creation of these Archives of yours. Please send my greetings to my uncle, and do let me know if there is any hope of that introduction you promised me to your good friend the Countess of Nuln. I am, as you know, not getting any younger.
Yours in admiration,
Baron Cecil von Hopfberg
Archives of the Empire, Volume 2 will release soon, keep an eye on our blog for more updates soon!
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