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  • Andrew M. Trauger

The Ogrians

A common phrase of warning from parents in Arelatha to their small children: "Eat your peas, or you'll grow up to be an Ogrian." Do this; don't do that--the threat is always the same: "or you'll grow up to be an Ogrian."

Technically, an Ogrian is someone who lives in the country of Ogria, which some would say is an unfortunate name for a country, for it automatically makes other folks think of ogres. But they aren't ogres, no matter how they might speak, dress, act, or smell. Ogria is peopled almost entirely by poor fishermen along the coast and rugged frontiersmen further inland. It's a nation cut off from the rest of Arelatha by the Greenbrier Forest and has not developed at the same rate as other nations. Perhaps not at all. Considered backwards in every respect by others, “Ogrian” is a byword for stupid, uncouth, and impoverished. Long ago splintered from the Kingdom of Kedeth, Ogria was left to fend for itself and Kedeth hardly misses it.

Descended from Kedethian stock--the mother kingdom would prefer no one remembered this--one would not expect such an uncouth and backward nation. Yet even their very speech patterns are backward and lacking in the breadth or depth of vocabulary present elsewhere, including the jungles of Audria. An Ogrian might introduce himself by saying, "Harvey name is," flipping the syntax and leaving it up to you to infer that he was speaking of himself, or that "Harvey" is his family name. And his is a huge family. Because they use words from the Common tongue, it cannot be said that they speak a different language, but it is hardly decipherable by anyone not born into it.

As fishermen, mountain men, hunters & trappers, they have a thriving trade with the mariners of the Pirate Crags, though what they do with the money or goods they receive is anybody's guess. Little is known of their culture beyond the stereotypes promulgated by encouraging parents, and that is largely because so few people care to learn it. A few Ogrians trickle into the rest of Arelatha, doubtless brought in on a caravel somewhere. And all this does is reinforce the stereotype. They are unintelligent, uncouth, and uncivilized.

Perhaps because they so unwelcomed by the rest of Arelatha, Ogrians frequently turn to a life of crime, at first stealing food to eat, then moving on to larger things and, ultimately, if they are not caught, falling into various thieving guilds. Rumor has it that Harvey the Razor of the Moonlight Apocalypse, the lord of the largest thieves guild in Cer Halcyon, was once an Ogrian cutpurse.

It has been proposed that there are good, kind, and even noble Ogrians. To date, none have been found outside of Ogria. Admittedly, neither has anyone bothered to search within Ogria to find them.

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