weirdlet: (Default)
[personal profile] weirdlet
(campaign setting) Orcish word for 'making' and 'breaking' is the same.  Or at least extremely similar, because in their creation, they were broken, and the concept remains central to the culture to this day.  Once high and haughty Sidhe, they were captives from the great war when humans first harnessed their own magic and fought back against their faerie overlords.  The Circean empire took prisoners and with subtle magics and unsubtle torment, broke them to their will and made of them slaves.  The orcish kind are unlovely, but are strong, fierce, resilient, and long-lived unless killed outright- and in the case of the Pit-Born, need not even be raised from young before becoming useable soldiers.  They all (but especially Pit-Born) are vulnerable to both magical control and the bullying of stronger leaders because it is all they have known since the first days.  They expect that life will hurt, because it does.  They expect teaching to be harsh and pass on the same lessons the same way.  It isn't just their personal experiences within their generation that reinforces this- constant reincarnation means that while each newborn orc is its own individual, echoes from the past often blur their perception of the present, including memories of not just endless generations of war, but up to and including the original tortures and breeding programs that made them what they are today.

To make is to break, because what was before is always destroyed or marred in the creation of a new thing.  To break is to make, because one's strength and will to change what is becomes imbued upon what, or who, is broken.

So there's a damn good reason for why the female elite of the central orcish territories are effectively the Marine Corp.  "Neither held nor hindered, neither bound nor bred.  Never again."  They refuse to ever be in that position again.

Sometimes orcs become more aware of their past-life experiences, though rarely all at once- the Awakened, along with those few who still live from the ancient days, often find themselves in positions of power because they are the most experienced (and frequently know the most dirty tricks, both giving and avoiding).  Some find the memories overwhelming and become maddened by them, either becoming driven tyrants or fleeing to live alone in the wilderness, seeking solitude in their pain.  It is rumored that one such has been living up in the high hills since just about the ancient days themselves, a great hulking being of the breed most commonly called 'ogre'.  In the time of war, they were used as a terrible combination of shock-troops and siege-engines, so terrible to behold and so prone to shaking the earth that only those who fled survived, and while many of them were killed, those who lived on were even worse when encountered alone, away from their controlling officers.  When it thunders, people of the lower hills say it is Last Shadow coming out from her lair.
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