Monday, August 30, 2010
Ogres are the spawn of humans and trolls. Both races consider an ogre to be an abomination.
When a male troll takes a female human, the chances of that mother surviving the birth are rare. However, when a troll female takes a male human (the reports seem to indicate that this is an extremely high number), the mothers often survive. The human males do'nt always make it, though.
The offspring are either immediately destroyed or, as is often the case, thrown out into the wild where they are expected to die. Most will perish, but some manage to survive. There, in the wilderness, they scratch out a living amongst the sticks and weeds searching for meat...fresh or dead.
Due to a ravenous hunger, ogres will often attack almost anything that moves...including each other. For this reason, they are mostly solitary creatures. There have been, on a few occasions, large hunting parties of ogres spotted wiping out entire villages (the "Crimstock Massacre" is reputed to be one such happening). It should not be assumed that these creatures can formulate complex thought patterns. The majority of them are not able to communicate except through a series of shrill, ear-piercing screams, barks, grunts, and howls. When you hear one...you run!
Female ogres enter estrus every 3 to 5 years. Because of this, and cannibalism, there is generally a low birth count amongst the population (not that anyone could really count! Ogres have not been very receptive to captivity. Many will continually beat their heads into bars or walls until they die. Restraints are just impossible! Plus all of the screeching makes people want to kill them outright. Really, really annoying). Somehow, they eke out an existence in the peripheries of the world. This has led some to speculate that troll women must have some kind of fetish for human males. Maybe it's because they're more docile and easy to push around. Who knows???
In trollish mythology/religion, it is believed that the "line" of ogres was created when Ogrellico the Missing, one of the heads removed from the troll god Imbrd Druw during its civil war, Da'a Wahr'r utj da'a Ea'hrtatz, went off and spied a human female, with whom he fell in love with for her long golden hair. He took her to be his consort, and using his avatar (Ogra-Mink), was able to mate with her. Unfortunately, she died in childbirth. In anger, he cast the child off into the forests. This was the first ogre, named so after its father: Ogrellico. After this, the godhead vanished. It is said that he will return in a thousand years.
P.S. It has been noted, and very rarely, that there have been several successful human/troll marriages. Their offspring have been, although somewhat wild and not too intelligent, ogres of a relatively mild nature.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
A-ha! Deep within the confines of Darkwood, along with many of the other foresty areas in our fabled world of Secunda Terra, resides the WOODWOSE. These wily creatures are none other than feral humans who have long gone off the track of civilization. For far too many reasons too go into, these poor saps have coagulated deep in the wilderness...away from those who have shunned them. Surviving on flora, fauna, and the odd enchanted critter has turned these previously domesticated folks into wild men and women!
Then they mated and made little beasts.
Fear of outsiders as well as predatory creatures have made the Woodwose, or Woodies, a mite violent towards anything they consider threatening or strange. Extra care needs to be taken when entering a forest. One must have a vigilant set of eyes opened at all hours. Especially at night! There have been more than a few wanderers who have been silently dragged off into the dark.
Generally, these creatures can either be found alone or in small bands called "manus pilosum"
or "pilbants", which is a Messpitian colloquialism.
In this image we see a Woodwose attacking the gallant woodsman, Root Beard the Ranger.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Don't venture too far inside Darkwood. They're watching. Of all the dangers inside the old, rotting forrest, the Narcissians may be the most dangerous. Well, according to them anyway. Narcissians believe they are the most evolved (and therefore, most superior) species in the known realms. The words arrogance and narcissism come from their language. Along with anger issues and a healthy dose of xenophobia, the Narcissians are the last thing a group of weary adventurers want to run into. It's a good thing their borders are clearly marked ...
- Jeff Tuffenstuff
- Jeff Tuffenstuff
Sunday, August 15, 2010
The twelfth century is best remembered as a time of the Trollish incursions and eventual capture of the territories of the ununified peoples of the Western Lands. The Trolls swept down from their refuge in the Carapace Mountains to conquer the Lands Below (or the Low Countries). They quickly established "The Protectorate", or "Da'a Bkrudk'akdk'urhrdka". In many places, it is still known as "The Curse".
The Trollish Incursions were part of a holy war known as a Grahrnryanrgh. The Trolls raided and pillaged, turned many people into slaves, and imposed their own religion on the remaining populace.
Trollish artists were in high demand due to a re-education campaign put upon the new subjects.
The best known of these artists was Kernlhutz the Elder. Already advanced in age, Kernlhutz was an expert printmaker. His usual mode of expression was found through the use of stone engravings. He was also known as a devout follower of Imbrdism, the Trollish religion. Prolific throughout his life, his engravings glorified the life of Imbrd Druw (as well as explored the facets of his many heads).
His images were used in pamphlets that were widely distributed amongst the conquered peoples. These pamphlets were also the first to burn in massive bonfires after the fall of the Protectorate. Within fifty years of it having been established, civil wars broke out within the Trollish Empire.
By that time, old Kernlhutz had already died. He was blessed to have passed on before the downfall--and spared the indignity of seeing his creations destroyed by a hostile, ignorant and unsympathetic population of cretins.
Except...it was widely rumored that Kernlhutz was poisoned with red lead by one of his jealous, younger competitors: Cuspinian, the Master of Tzwaya'dk'kepkhrk.
Now, he is all but forgotten. The Trolls have vanished and with them the memory of a once talented artist.
Tchew The Other
Saturday, August 14, 2010
This is a depiction of the Troll God Imbrd Druw created by the famous 12th century Trollish artist Kernlhutz the Elder.
Originally, Imbrd Druw consisted of a variety of 27 heads. Constantly bickering, the heads plunged into a civil war. At the end of the conflict, 8 heads were removed, 2 were devoured, and 1 went missing.
These are called: Da'a Ayaghedk
Ogrellico, Da'a Mgyatzanr
The remaining heads are known as Da'a Tzyach'dka'anr.
The heads have the ability to create an avatar, a physical representation of themselves removed from the Godhead. Oddly, their combined forces are not strong enough to make the body move wherever they want it to. So, the body moves on its own accord, the heads continually bicker with each other (Trolls love a good argument...not a debate), and the avatars go off and perform whatever functions the heads wish them to.
It should be noted that "Druw", from Imbrd's name, is pronounced as "tarowa". This has been misinterpreted as "Troll" (there is no 'L' sound in the Trollish language. There is only a 'W' sound). Due to the fact that Trolls are religious zealots, people picked up on the commonality of the word 'tarowa', and eventually turned it into their name for the race of foul, militaristic creatures: "Trolls".
Instead, Trolls call themselves Da'a Tzdkunratj'okartz. Their language is called Tzdkunratj'okartz Dkonrgh.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Mage-Mites. Pesky little critters that eat magic. They're teeny, tiny and voracious. But something strange has happened to the species ... a growth spurt. Intelligence. Language. Tribal and complex social behavior. In just three generations! And they are all led by this guy: Shrew Khan, the Uniter. He's a direct descendent of the Receivers (The first Mage-Mites to get bigger and smarter). He's mean and ruthless. He's paranoid. And he will stop at nothing to destroy the legend and the myth of the Darkmis'th Giver. He will not stop until he is made god-king. All hail Shrew Khan! Titan among the small. Conquerer of the tall.
Did I mention that all of this happened in just under two months?
– Jeff Tuffenstuff
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Zwieback had a fortress. He was a king (self proclaimed, that is) and a conquerer. He employed mercenaries, alchemists, inventors, wizards and all sorts of nasties to protect what was his and what would soon be his. He created a mystical think tank to create new and unstoppable siege weapons. The Leech King is such a weapon. The theory is simple: Castles have moats as a defensive measure. Leeches live and thrive in moats. Create a magical device that can summon and command those leeches to infiltrate a castle and fight (and destroy) any resistance within.
Now, what are the chances that our new fellowship will run into the early Leech King prototype whilst trying to rescue Fandalf? If I where a betting man I'd say ... well, I don't know what I would say, but it would be something really cool and it would let everyone know that I held held the winning hand, or number, or chip, or ... whatever. And then everyone would cry, because the win was so awesome ... sorry. I believe that was a tangent. Focus. Fellowship. Right.
Fellowship meets Leech King. Bloodsucking and death follow.
I hope someone remembered to bring some salt ...
Sunday, August 1, 2010
One winter, many, many years ago...Jeff and I came up with an idea for a story. This was the previously mentioned Biskit storyline. After the concept went on hiatus, I decided to do my own tale in that same world---in the same forest. Taking place 10 years after Biskit's tale (which was to be told after his demise). Biskit, now Zwieback, was reputed to have left a vast treasure hidden within the confines of Haelfern Forest (Darkwood!). Whether this was true or not, did not matter, for word quickly spread...where it eventually made its way to the Trolls.
His interest piqued purely through his greed, Hrrgus, the High Mountain Troll, descended to make his long journey to Darkwood.
As Biskit has been reconstituted, so has Hrrgus. In the process of re-exploring his story, I also developed the Trollish language for him and his kin to speak. Example: "Ghadahr tjoch uod'dkhr mgi tjhrka ihr ghhr-tahrmg'ta mgodahrtjok'nrtz. Yamg hr tjokyanr ghuta! Yagr krogk i'hrgr!!!
That's really hard to type. You can speak it, though.
So, the image you see before you is the original Hrrgus design (with his captive, Aric) from about 2002 or so.
And by the way....
Jeff and I took a trip up to Athens, Ga. this past Friday to go to Drew Weing's Set to Sea book release party. It was located at the ever fab Bizarro-Wuxtry comic shop.
It was pretty neat, but alas, the heat got to both Jeff and I VERY, VERY quickly. Apparently I was beginning to turn red...and that was inside the shop! Plus there was a longer than usual car ride up there...
But really, Set to Sea is a cool little book. If you get a chance, check it out and his blog as well. Congrats again, Drew!
...Chew...Chew...Chew...like S.O.S. but not...'...'...'...'...'...