- "The new mountains gave us shelter... We made fire in their mouths...
- The tribes split the lands... The Tyrants roared and fought...
- There were many kingdoms... It was good for many winters...
- The tribes grew and grew too much. Now we follow the sun once more..."
- —The Saga of the Ogres, as interpreted by Yohan the Honest (declared eaten)[1g]
The Ogre Kingdoms are the rightful and sovereign domain of the large and brutish Ogre race. Wandering tribes of Ogres can be found wrecking their way across the globe, erecting many strongholds and plundering far off and exotic lands the likes of which no man will ever see in their lifetime. Yet no matter how far away they may be, all Ogres refer to the scattered tribal kingdoms that dominate the slopes and river valleys of the Mountains of Mourn their rightful, hard-earned homeland. It is here, amongst the frozen peaks and blistering blizzards that mighty Tyrants rule over their own brutal kingdoms, warring amongst each other, looting, extorting and ransacking all before them as a tribute to their own gluttonous appetite and their ever-hungry God, the Great Maw.[1h]
They fight as thugs, bandits and mercenaries, their hulking numbers coming from a wide diversity of warmongering tribes scattered all across the Mountain range. They pick on the strong and the weak alike, battling mighty foes and powerful kingdoms many thousands of miles away all for the alluring promise of gold, plunder and meat.[2a] Even here, amongst the peaks where they hold claim to all, fearsome beast and mighty creatures dominate the dark corners of their realm, preying on all those who come to close. Yet such is the Ogres ferocious, stubborn and ever ravenous nature that they see these creatures not as a foe to cower and hide from, but as a challenge that needs to be brought down, crushed beneath their boot and eaten to fill their hungry bellies.[2h]
Armies have come and gone throughout the ages into the Mountains, but only the Ogres can truly claim to have conquered it all. It was the Ogres who brought down the mighty Sky-Titans of the upper Peaks, bringing their civilisation low and condemning their children into exile or enslavement.[1f] It is they who once claimed a mighty realm within the Great Steppes of the Far East, battling the ancient Grand Empire of Cathay for supremacy before the day came that their malevolent and ever-hungry God, the Great Maw punished the Ogres for their sins and brought about the Great Migration of their race.[1e] That was many thousands of years ago, and as the Ogres grow in numbers once more, the cycle of history is set to repeat itself. Should nothing stop them now, it is said that the Ogres will stop at nothing to devour every living thing within this ravaged world.
The Ogre race as a whole are a completely superstitious and illiterate group, and thus there are very little to no recorded accounts of history within their race. What little information about their history remains can only be deciphered form ancient cave paintings or the oral stories passed down their culture from generation to generation. Though many of these accounts are extremely exaggerated and overly fantasied, there may yet be truth within the story that none would dare to believe.
- "The Ogres were born long ago...
- Big, strong and fat...
- The little round ones by our side...
- We ate and drank till our guts filled..."
- —The Saga of the Ogres, as interpreted by Yohan the Honest (declared eaten)[2d]
Where exactly the Ogres come from and how they fit in with the other races of the world is a question many scholars have asked. Of course such questions never occur to the Ogres themselves, for they are not scholarly in the least, being unable to read or write. Ogres do value legends — often exaggerated tales of bravado told around campfires — and they do record major events with their cave drawings, but to an Ogre, history means their last meal and ancient history is the feast before that. They are far more concerned with obtaining their next dinner than with debating how or why they came to be.[2d]
Elven loremasters believe that the Old Ones, the mysterious beings who shaped so many of the creatures that walk the world, made the Ogres to join the fight against the rising powers of Chaos. However, the Elves theorise that quite a bit was left unfinished with the race when the polar gates collapsed, ushering in a tide of Chaos powers to the world. To the Elves, this explains the crude and intolerably vulgar nature of the Ogres, and hence the graceful rulers of Ulthuan generally disdain them as a lowly and dim-witted race. Human scholars, led by the strangely prophetic Imperial philosopher Albrecht of Nuln, believe that Ogres are close kindred to the race of Halflings, perhaps coming from some common stock, but somewhere in time splitting into two divergent species, perhaps through some foul mutation. There are many similarities: both races are resistant to the effects of Chaos, both have a comparable and all-consuming need to search out their next meal, and both bear unusual behavioural traits — for Ogres the need to smash and eat everything, for Halflings the compulsion to swipe anything not nailed down.[2d]
A Peaceful Existence (-5700 to -2749 IC)
- "Then came the plains and the tribes...
- Beast, sun, grass, wind, earth...
- The Sunrisers gave us fire...
- We fought for them and ate their young..."
- —The Saga of the Ogres, as interpreted by Yohan the Honest (declared eaten)[2d]
For many thousands of years, the Ogres lived far to the east, in an area of great sweeping steppes. On the borders of far Cathay was a fertile grassland that spread endlessly across the horizon, and there the Ogres thrived and multiplied.[1e] They lived in tribes that followed the plentiful grazing herds of Gnubeast and lumbering Yak that roamed that open country, providing an ever-replenishing supply of fresh meat and milk. It is said that Ogres learned the secret of fire and basic metalworking from their neighbours in Cathay and there were no conflicts along their shared border for many generations. With no natural barriers to divide their kingdoms, they lived a nomadic existence, trading almost as much as fighting. Soon, the Cathayans began to recruit the most intelligent of the Ogres and indoctrinated them into the Grand Imperial Army.[2d]
Yet as more and more tribes stalked the steppes for food, it was only a matter of time before Ogre raids entered into Cathay and some Ogres have already begun to prey upon their neighbours.[1e] Before long, the simple peasant children working in the rice fields began to go missing and the Ogre race began to take the liking of Cathayan flesh.[2d] With the peaceable relations eroding away, the Celestial Dragon Emperor, His Most Excellent Majesty Xen Huong of the Imperial Empire of Cathay had finally had enough of the Ogres.[1e]
Whether Xen Huong's coven of ancient astronomers had anything to do with the catastrophe that befell the Ogres remain speculation. Not long after bones began to litter the paddy fields that a great burning light appeared in the sky. It increased in brightness and size with every passing day until it eclipsed even the great spheres of Morrslieb and Mannsleib. Over the weeks, it grew to be a baleful, glowering orb that crackled and spat above the plains, turning night into day and driving the wildlife of the steppes mad with fear. A corona of sickly green light came into focus around the comet as it grew ever closer, and fanciful observers even claimed that this new celestial body had a face, or more accurately, a mouth.[2d]
The Great Maw
- "A great tooth comet came...
- It grew closer by the day...
- Fire roared in the sky...
- Killed the night and drove the beast mad..."
- —The Saga of the Ogres, as interpreted by Yohan the Honest (declared eaten)[2d]
One fateful night, the comet slammed into the Ogre homelands with such force that it was felt half the world away. All life around the impact site was obliterated in an instant. Two-thirds of the Ogre population was extinguished as if smote by an angry god. Only those near the edge of the plains escaped immediate destruction. The raging firestorms that followed the comet's fall incinerated everything for miles and distant witnesses said that it seemed as if beasts of living flame hunted the lands. Should any have been close enough to peer into the massive crater, they would have seen that the comet had burrowed deep into the heart of the world. Not all the Ogres were destroyed — those farthest from the impact survived, but for them the worst was yet to come.[1e]
The once vital plains were reduced to a searing desert of howling sandstorms and toxic mists. The grasslands were gone, the beast herds were dead and there was nothing in this wasteland to provide nourishment, so the remaining Ogres soon fell to starvation. Cannibalism quickly set in and an unnatural hunger gnawed away at the once-full bellies of the Ogres. Perhaps the whole disaster was engineered by the Dragon Emperor's coven of astromancers, or perhaps it was some ill turn of fate that crashed the comet directly into the heart of their homeland. But to the Ogres, it seemed that a vengeful deity had fallen upon them, a great and terrible maw that existed purely to feed. Thus, the insatiable and merciless god of the Ogres was born.[1e]
The remaining Ogres were greatly reduced in number, but the survivors proved to be the strongest of their species — for the weak did not last long. With bellies aching from hunger, desperate tribes wandered the barrens seeking any kind of sustenance, while keeping wary eyes on the sporadic storms that scoured the empty plains. Those without the muscle or fortitude to make it were soon eaten by their own tribes. Yet no matter how much the Ogres gorged, they could never fully satisfy their eternal appetites. Mired in the barren wastes with no food and suffering endless hunger pangs, there was little choice for the survivors but to move elsewhere. A great cloud of poisonous vapours hung over the comet's wake, blocking all eastward routes towards Cathay, so the Ogres were forced to travel into the unexplored west.[1e]
The First Prophet
- "The Maw was born from the fire...
- The earth shook at its coming...
- The flames ate many tribes...
- To the mountains some fled..."
- —The Saga of the Ogres, as interpreted by Yohan the Honest (declared eaten)[2e]
Ogre legend tells of Groth Onefinger, a prophet amongst his kind who, before departing the old lands, dared to lead his tribe on a journey across the deadly desert to look upon — and offer sacrifice to — this new and powerful god. It was no easy matter travelling to the collision site. Hunger, flesh-tearing cyclones and nameless monsters plagued Groth and his tribe. As they neared the impact zone, the fierce winds suddenly changed. Instead of swirling aimlessly, the wind now rushed inwards towards the crater's hole. So strong was that pull that the Ogres had to fight for every step, lest the intake suck them into the great pit. When Groth and his tribe reached the edge, hunkering down and gripping the edge for dear life, what they saw was astounding, and has since been depicted on countless gut-plates and banners, and is forever etched into the consciousness of the Ogre race.[1e]
The gaping hole that stretched before Groth was immense, like some newly grown inland sea, except there was no water within, only empty and plummeting blackness. Its edge was filled with ridge upon ridge of jagged teeth and rippling, convulsing muscle that stretched down into vast nothingness. Here was a gullet so bottomless it could swallow the Ogre race into oblivion and still hunger for more. Groth and some few survivors returned with tales that filled the remaining Ogres with awe. Thousands of years have since passed, but many Ogres still follow the footsteps of Groth, for the Great Maw exists there still, a vile pulsing god visited upon the world by the vengeful heavens. Not all who take that journey return, for the trip is deadly. Where once vast herds grazed, now giant razor-limbed insects lurk, waiting to burst from under the wasted land to attack unwary prey.[1e]
Large carrion birds ride high on the thermals above, keen eyes searching for their next meal. Most deadly of all, however, is the Great Maw itself, for it still hungers. The presence of the Great Maw writhes in the minds of all Ogres, beckoning them to return, to stand upon that mighty precipice. So Ogres have become a restless race, forever seeking to escape from that whisper in the back of their minds that pulls them back to their gluttonous, yet insatiable god. Some Ogres, those that have travelled around the globe, even claim that there is another Maw in the ocean on the far side of the world — a vast, fanged whirlpool that devours any ship that strays too close. Yet no distance is great enough to escape the pull and lure of the Great Maw, no ritual or feast can fully appease its eternal appetite and, whilst it hungers still, its barbarous sons will feed and feed and feed until they consume the world.[1e]
The Big Migration (-2745 to -2720 IC)
- "The hungry flame sat in our guts...We ate the mountains to put it out...
- but the fire was still there...We climbed further still...
- We ate the Tall Ones' herds...Cavebeast was good meat...
- We climbed the peaks...Above the skies the giants dwell..."
- —The Saga of the Ogres, as interpreted by Yohan the Honest (declared eaten)[2e]
The tribes that were not destroyed in the coming of the Great Maw at first remained in their homeland, but with naught but each other to eat in a land wracked with unnatural storms, many Tyrants chose to lead their tribes away. The Ogres headed westwards, beginning their ascent into the mountain ranges known now as the Ancient Giant Lands. The going was hard, for the Ogres had to contend with frigid weather, avalanches, howling ice storms, and always the steep and precarious climb. It was the beasts of that land, however that proved the most dangerous. For long years the Ogres had enjoyed the bounty of the plains below, where fat herds proved easy hunting and, of the few predators, the Ogres were by far the largest and most fierce. This was no longer true in the high places of the world. During those grueling and steep marches, those Ogres who straggled or fell behind were never seen again. Sabretusks, enormous hunting cats with long tusks for eviscerating prey, waited in ambush to pounce upon the unwary.[1f]
Herds of shaggy Rhinoxen and overly belligerent Stonehorns wandered the slopes, all too willing to flatten anything that strayed too close. During the frequent snow squalls, vision was reduced to only a few strides ahead. In the relative blindness it was not unusual to hear the sounds of a great mauling just a few feet away, although further inspection would often reveal only bloody smears in the snow, a path of gore indicating the direction in which an Ogre had been dragged off. At first, the cave openings seemed a welcome relief to the Ogres, for even their tough hides could not withstand the endless cold of such high altitudes. However, though they longed for refuge, they soon learned to give the rocky fissures a wide berth, as more often than not they proved to be the lairs of great clawed bear-like creatures, the dreaded Mournfangs, or if the Ogres were especially unlucky, an enormous Cave Drake or Chimera.[1f]
A Feast of Titans
- "The War in the Sky began...They were strong and tall...
- But the Ogres were many...We ground their bones in their halls...
- The giant-feasts lasted many moons...but it is not good above the cloud sea...
- We toppled their castles...We threw them down into the skies..."
- —The Saga of the Ogres, as interpreted by Yohan the Honest (declared eaten)[2f]
Those Ogres who made it past the first few peaks made a fateful discovery. The upper mountaintops were permanently wreathed in mists, but once that cloud cover was breached, it could be seen that those mighty mountains soared higher still, surely standing as the highest and steepest range in the world. There, far above the clouds, the Ogres first observed the Sky-titans and their vast herds. The Sky-titans were an ancient race, much taller (and far more intelligent) than the Giants of today. The Sky-titans had hewn vast fortresses into the mountains themselves —blunt, megalithic citadels that overlooked shimmering seas of clouds, pierced by great islands of rock on which stood other castles.[1f]
Hermitic by nature, the Sky-titans had long ago forgotten about the other races of the world, for they were content in their reclusive realm, hidden from others by the sheer inaccessible nature of the peaks and their shrouding cover of cloud. The Sky-titans rarely descended below the treeline, save only to tend their herds of cave-beasts and enormous mammoths. It was these gargantuan beasts that the Ogres first encountered, and the ravenous Ogres at first thought that they had reached some golden realm of plenty, a veritable promised land of red meat. They were utterly unprepared for herd animals as fierce and dangerous as these, however, and many Ogres found that, instead of a gluttonous feast, they were instead gored by mighty tusks, or stomped to death beneath thunderous hooves. The Ogres swiftly learned that the only way to pull down such creatures was to work together, separating a single beast from the pack — much as they had observed the giant wolves hunting the snowy slopes.[1f]
Noting the growing losses amongst their herds, the Sky-titans were soon made aware of this ugly new threat that had climbed the mountains to assail them. Although alarmed, the Sky-titans were far from helpless, and they unleashed lightning storms and avalanches, slaying many Ogres and driving others off the mountainside to fall to their doom. Thus began what the Ogres call the War in the Heavens, pitting the last surviving Ogre tribes against the Sky-titans. Always the attackers, the Ogres surrounded and besieged each peak while the Sky-titans defended their castles with enormous cannons, their largest and most loyal herd beasts and, finally, their vast bodies — stomping upon Ogres or snatching them up and hurling them great distances so they plummeted through the clouds and fell many miles to their deaths.[1f]
Although their population had been drastically reduced, the Ogres still outnumbered the Sky-titans by hundreds to one and, what's more, the Ogres attacked together in tribes whilst the Sky-titans lived alone in their fortress-like peaks, too solitary to ever unite under a single banner. The war was a bitter one, but with every victory, the Ogres grew stronger, as every battle provided an absolute glut of flesh. One by one the isolated mountaintop keeps fell and bloody feasts took place in their colossal halls. The more fortunate victims were already dead when the eating began, but by no means were all so lucky. As the Ogres rampaged further into the mountain range, they noticed that not only did the mountains tower ever taller, but that the Sky-titans also grew larger and larger.[1g]
The most ancient of that long-lived race grew to enormous sizes, yet over the great ages of their lives the Sky-titans become ever more sedentary, until finally becoming like the mountains themselves. Many Ogres believed that the final peaks they climbed in the Ancient Giant Lands were not mountains at all, but instead the eldest of the Sky-titans, now permanently enthroned in living stone. If this was so, they were the last of their kind, for the Ogres could find no more and they reckoned that they had devoured the entire race down to the last finger bone. There was rumour of the final few Sky-titans unfettering their mountaintops and sailing away on the clouds, but if this were true, none could say to where the refugees fled or if they ever arrived there safely.[1g]
A New Homeland
- "There was magic in the peaks...Some were born sickly and fierce...
- Some changed into ice beast...The rest followed the sun...
- The sun took us to deep valley...below the sea of clouds...
- The world looked small...We would take it and eat..."
- —The Saga of the Ogres, as interpreted by Yohan the Honest (declared eaten)[2f]Not content with destroying their foes utterly, the Ogres slaughtered their herds of beasts and rampaged across the peaks, toppling castles into the valleys below. Today only a few shattered stone shells and a wide scattering of immense ruins on the valley floors give any evidence of the once-proud race of gentle giants and the amazing heights they had reached with their architectural marvels. For a while, the Ogres were content to stay put, sprawling out atop the shattered halls of the Sky-titans and dining on the dwindling and now shepherdless creatures. Yet there, on the very roof of the world, the Ogres began feeling the ill effects of living at such heights.[1g]
Great clouds of debris from the explosive coming of the Great Maw continued to be carried upon the wind from the east and it fell heavily onto those highest peaks. At night the skies shimmered with an unnatural aurora and, instinctively, the Ogres knew they must press onwards. Some few foolhardy ones stayed, choosing to live high up above the clouds despite the premonitions many felt. Although Ogres have proven particularly stubborn to the mutating effects of Chaos, they are by no means immune. Over the centuries, the Ogres that stayed to eke out a living amongst the dust-tainted sky-castles regressed in nature until they became feral and bestial. They evolved white shaggy fur and long talons and a new affinity for the harsh cold in which they lived. Thus was the mountaintop race of Yhetees born, and although rare, the abominable creatures have spread to many other high places of the world, where they prey on all who dare those frosty realms.[1g]
As the majority of the Ogre tribes descended the colossal mountains of the Ancient Giant Lands, they headed further westwards into the range known as the Mountains of Mourn. There the Ogres found the air more wholesome, for the unnatural storms and their mutating effects spent their fury on the taller slopes they had left behind. The peaks and valleys of the Mountains of Mourn were rich hunting grounds, harbouring a dizzying profusion of creatures. The Ogre tribes settled in, establishing lairs and campsites amidst the craggy valley floors. Although there were many battles to drive out monstrous creatures, and full-scale wars with tribes of greenskins, Skaven clans and even a few far-flung Dwarf mines that needed to be broken into and given a good scouring, before long the Ogres came to dominate the lands so fully that the area became known as the Ogre Kingdoms.[1g]
Guts of Legend (-2720 to 590 IC)
- "The new mountains gave us shelter...We made fire in their mouths...
- We killed many beasts...The tribes grew well...
- The tribes split the lands...The Tyrants roared and fought...
- There was many kingdoms...It was good for many winters..."
- —The Saga of the Ogres, as interpreted by Yohan the Honest (declared eaten)[2f]
Given their voracious and nomadic nature, it is little wonder that the Ogres have fought so many battles across so many different realms. By dint of their size and strength, Ogres feel they should have anything they want and are always looking for a chance to throw their weight around, consistently taking what isn't theirs. Wherever Ogres march, violence and warfare are sure to follow. Truly, for the Ogres, opportunity knocks with a very large club. Here are recounted some of their most recent major battles.[1q]
War for the Challenge Stone
Past the northernmost peaks of the Mountains of Mourn a hulking stone monolith juts out of the snow-covered plains. This landmark has long been established as a boundary between the Ogre Kingdoms and the many barbarous tribes of men that roam the savage wastelands of the north. Yet this marker is more of a provocation than a warning to would-be invaders, it is a symbol by which victors can proclaim their might and display their glory. To the men of Chaos, the monolith is not just a symbol of triumph, it is a towering icon dedicated to their dark gods. Whilst the great stone is in their possession, it is the site of debased rituals and gruesome sacrifices, its slab-sides washed with blood until its age-worn surface writhes with the foul symbols of Chaos. The base of the edifice is covered in Ogre skulls stacked high — both an offering to the gods, and a promise to their oversized enemies of what will happen should their idol be defiled.[1q]
To the Ogres, the ominous rock is known simply as the Challenge Stone — and to claim it as their own they must first smash aside any army that encamps there. The Ogres do this as a test of strength and a chance to show their dominance. When their foe is defeated, the Ogres feast on the remains, and so there is no confusion about who has done the deed, they scrawl their own tribal marks into the stone's rough surface. The tribe that has its mark on the Challenge Stone is known throughout the Ogre Kingdoms, for it is a worthy feat. They are honoured with prime seats at the tables of the Great Feast, and their victories are well rewarded by Overtyrant Greasus Goldtooth. Over long ages the Challenge Stone has been claimed and reclaimed many times. Each time, as the victors crudely hack their tribal marks into the stone, the eldritch rock shudders, showing the previous marks etched in balefire, visible like scars blazed into the ancient edifice. The stone reforms until only the current ruler's symbols are visible. At present, the Challenge Stone bears the mark of the Bloodmaw tribe, for it was they, led by their Tyrant, Folg the Mauler, who drove off the armies that gathered to defend it in an epic fight during a raging storm.[1q]
Battle of the Blizzard
From out of the Northern Wastes a horde of fur-clad men gathered around the Challenge Stone, erasing the marks made by the cave-dwelling Glutmonger tribe. Many rituals were held under the stone's shadow, but the barbarians were not so foolish as to think their actions would go unnoticed. Unafraid, they shook their weapons and fists at the snow-capped mountains to the south. They invited attack — baying for blood and shouting oaths into the steel-grey skies. Yet as their fell leaders gazed over the massive army, they felt sure that this time the Ogres would not dare meet their challenge. Folg, the Tyrant of the Bloodmaws, assembled his tribe even as storm clouds gathered. The tribe's best Hunter, Targh the Impaler, predicted a heavy snow, claiming all the wild beasts, save for the frost-loving Thundertusks, were hunkering down, a sure sign of foul weather.[1q]
Folg did not mean to shelter from the storm, but instead to take advantage of it. Just as the winter tempest unleashed its icy fury, the Ogres marched out of the mountains to war. Although they could not yet be seen, the heavy tramp of Ogre feet could be felt. The forces of Chaos rushed to form battle lines, fur-clad barbarians, iron-encased Chaos Warriors and hulking Dragon Ogres gazed into the swirling snows, seeking the lumbering forms they knew must soon come looming out. Under cover of the howling snowstorm, it was the Yhetees who drew first blood. Loping forward, the white pelts of the beasts made them all but invisible. To the men it was as if the blinding snow had suddenly grown long and wicked claws.[1q]
Even as the Yhetees disappeared back into the foul weather, dragging their screaming victims with them, the advancing Ogre army loomed out of the storm. On they came, crashing upon the Chaos lines and driving them back. So fierce was their impact that many of the barbarians were crushed or sent flying by a tide of flesh and muscle. Into the center of the enemy line rode Targh, his Stonehorn flattening the foe with every grinding stomp. Not even the black, spiky armour of the Chaos Warriors could withstand those pulverising blows. The largest formation of Bloodmaws was led by Folg himself and they smashed, punched and bullied their way deep into the enemy's midst searching for the Chaos leader. The Chaos Lord's blood red armour stood out like a beacon, seeming to glow from some internal furnace of purest hatred.[1q]
He rode atop a Chimera, a three-headed monster that was considered fierce even by Ogre standards. Three times did Folg swing his maul, a massive club weighted at the end with a boulder. Each blow was accompanied by a mighty grunt, and followed with the pulping sound of one of the Chimera's heads being split asunder. Thus did Folg earn the title of Mauler. It was afterwards said that the Chimera's great canine head was indistinguishable from that of the reptilian or avian head —all were reduced to a crimson mush. The Chaos Lord, half pinned beneath his fallen beast, was trodden to death. There have been many battles over this spot, yet none have been so devastating to the enemy. Tales of the wholesale slaughter of the vast and powerful Chaos army has spread far and wide across the northern wastes. Such a challenge cannot go unanswered and it can only be a matter of time before the Gnoblar lookouts left to watch the monolith spy sinister forms marching out of mists. Then the bellows and war horns will once again echo from the mountains as an Ogre tribe marches down to meet this new challenge.[1q]
Slugfest at Stirpoint
The Empire's Stir River is swift and deep and has few safe crossing points. By seizing control of the ferry that operated at Stirpoint, the Ogres of the Rockeater tribe were able to demand a fortune in tolls while stockpiling plenty of mutton and manflesh to eat. It was the good life the tribe had been seeking and over the course of just a single season, the Ogres had been enormously successful, piling in food and riches in equal measure. The fact that they had crippled all trade across a major artery of the eastern Empire didn't raise any alarms with them, for they were hard-fighting, but never especially bright. They intended to milk the lands for all they were worth and it was a disappointment to them when the Elector Count of Stirland interrupted their accommodating situation. He arrived with the rising of the morning sun, a large host of soldiers marching in great columns behind him.[1q]
In haste, the Ironblasters were hitched to their Rhinoxen and rushed to stave off the Empire advance. Once deployed, the multiple cannonballs of the Ironblasters made gaping holes in the human lines. Several Empire formations halted, taking up firing positions and soon the rolling reports of Empire handguns echoed across the battlefield. Guffawing at the tiny pops and cracks from the puny enemy handguns, the Ogres called upon their Leadbelchers. Named for the scrap-packed cannon barrels they carried, the Leadbelchers advanced into range and responded with a thunderous reply, their shrapnel-filled shot tearing through the densely packed Empire troops. Undaunted by their losses, large blocks of green and yellow-clad soldiers advanced to pit their halberds against the Ogres' clubs. Much blood was spilt on both sides, but by mid-day the superior numbers of the Empire soldiers were making the difference, and the Rockeater tribe was forced to give ground until, by nightfall, their backs were against the docks of the Stir River.[1q]
Preferring to fight by daylight, the men of the Empire retreated to make camp, safe in the knowledge that their foes were trapped. At first light they would wipe out the last pocket of Ogre resistance. They were even expecting reinforcements to arrive by river during the night, all but assuring that tomorrow would see the annihilation of the Rockeater tribe. Trees were chopped down, gunlines were established and strong picket lines were set — if the doomed Ogres attempted to bull-rush out of their predicament, they would be mown down.[1q]
The end of the Rockeaters seemed inevitable, but fortune gave the opportunistic Ogres an opening. A contingent of the Stir River Patrol, a ship-borne branch of especially toughened Empire soldiers, was meant to land north of the Ogre position to strengthen their lines for the final assault on the morrow. Yet somehow they got their orders confused and failed to land to the north, instead dropping anchor at the ferry docks. In the dark they did not notice they had landed in the midst of an Ogre camp. Led by a unit of mercenaries and their young captain, an Ogre named Golgfag, the Ogres stormed across the docks. Before the Stir River Patrol could disgorge their own troops, they found themselves attacked and their ships boarded. All the Ogres were soon aboard, and some even had seafaring experience, having plied the high seas as pirates. Although the Ogres had to abandon their remaining Ironblasters and entire herds of confiscated sheep, they captured enough ships to escape. The remains of the Rockeater tribe sailed safely downstream, taking with them what remained of their ill-gotten gains and all of the pride of the Stirland forces.[1q]
Treasures of Karak Azorn
Ogres are a grasping, greedy lot and once they fix upon a target they are brutally single-minded. The assault on the Dwarf stronghold of Karak Azorn is a bloody testament to Ogre destructiveness and the driving power of their gluttony. For ages, Dwarf expeditions have struck eastwards into the Mountains of Mourn, seeking the fabled Mountain of Gold. While they have yet to locate it, they have found many sites rich with gems and precious metals. The few mines and fortresses they have established in that hostile region have entrances cleverly hidden amongst the peaks and rock faces, for the Dwarfs rightly fear discovery by the Ogres. The second largest Dwarfen outpost in those lands was discovered by a far-ranging Ogre Hunter who took word of the settlement back to Thogub Smashclub, the Tyrant of the Angry Fist tribe. Thogub, an immense slab of an Ogre, rubbed his meaty hands together at the news, fair chortling with joy. He had learned first hand of the riches stored within such strongholds and he remembered well his own fondness for roast Dwarf meat from his adventuring days in the Worlds Edge Mountains. Gathering his large tribe about him, the Ogres of the Angry Fist marched for war, aiming to break the gates and plunder the riches within.[1q]
Breaking into a Dwarf stronghold is a task easier said than done, though. Karak Azorn was a small Dwarthold, yet the Ogres could not crack it. They braved volleys of handgun and cannon fire to batter at the stone gates, they sent Sabretusks sniffing around the mountainside to track down the many secret entrances and sally ports, and the Angry Fist tribe even dragged their Ironblaster to fire at point-blank range, but still the rune-inscribed doors stood. A few gains had been made — Gorgers had squeezed into a drainage tunnel to terrorise the lower workings before being slain and some headway had been made into a side passage before the Dwarfs collapsed the tunnel, burying many from both sides. The siege dragged on, months turning to long years, until at last the Stonehorns came.[1q]
With all the artillery the Dwarfs could bring to bear from their cunningly wrought stone towers, a single Stonehorn might not have survived an assault on the front gate — but three were captured for the job. A trio of such goliaths proved unstoppable. It was short work to turn the previously invulnerable gate to rubble and to enlarge the entrance so that an army might advance into the halls beyond. The Dwarfs defended every step, but were driven ever backwards by the sheer weight of the assault. With the end nearing, the remaining Dwarfs rallied around their thane and prepared to make their stand in the treasure hall. There, amidst piled rubies the size of a Dwarf's fist, giant mountain pearls, piled gold ingots and more, the Dwarfs waited. But the Ogres, having gutted the upper levels had found their real treasure — keg after keg of Dwarfen ale. A great bonfire was made amidst the gutted great-hall and there the Ogres roasted Dwarfs and swilled ale by the barrelful. Thogub let the remaining beardies leave, for the feast was on. Besides, the stunties aren't renowned for their speed, and Thogub reckoned that, once the feast was over, he'd soon catch up with them — he'd need the exercise, and a headstart was only sporting.[1q]
The Rise of Goldtooth (590 to 2521 IC)
- "Thinlings came in great wheel huts...We ate them and took the shinny things...
- They gave us small metal suns...Bad to eat but good for trade...
- The tribes grew and grew too much...Now we follow the sun once more..."
- —The Saga of the Ogres, as interpreted by Yohan the Honest (declared eaten)[2f]
Amidst the constant warfare of the Ogres, one battle stands out; a defining moment where a conglomerate of tribes was forged into a mighty nation whose tread shakes the world. The Great Battle at the Fire Mouth not only galvanised the Ogre Kingdoms, but also roused their dormant volcano god. It began with a great Black Orc invasion. Since the days when they first escaped the enslavement of the Chaos Dwarfs, many Black Orcs have settled within the Mountains of Mourn. Since that ancient time, Ogres and Black Ores have fought many battles, but for all their brawn, the Ogres can never fully eradicate the Orcs from their midst. So it has gone, back and forth, for over two thousand years, both sides growing to respect their foe's fighting prowess.
An Inevitable Clash
Urk Ironskull rose quickly to become the greatest Black Orc Warboss of the Mountains of Mourn. Under his rule, the Black Orcs expanded further than ever, pushing far out from their stronghold of Mount Black Fang. Urk understood how to defeat the Ogres, destroying many tribes n the process. As Urk Ironskull's onslaught gained momentum, it swelled to a Waaagh!, an invasion that attracted greenskins from all over, including many Wolf Riders tribes from the Dark Lands and Night Goblins from Mount Grey Hag. With each new battle, Urk's legions grew and the disjointed Ogres could not hope to stand against the overwhelming greenskin attacks.[1q]
At the time Greasus Goldtooth had only recently claimed the title of Overtyrant — the ruler of all Ogre tribes. While he dominated the kingdoms nearest his own, more distant tribes, particularly those to the north, were not yet convinced of Greasus' right to rule. Greasus had performed feats of strength that carried his name across the Ogre Kingdoms, slaying the great Ice Drake Jaugrel (earning him the title `Drakecrush'), breaking open the stone gates of a Dwarf mine (hence the moniker 'Gatecrasher') and eating an entire herd of gruntalope (earning indigestion, it was simply too many hooves in one go), but he had never fully gathered the Ogres under his command. When Greasus heard of Urk Ironskull's army, he knew it was the challenge he had been seeking. If he could crush the Black Orc invasion, none could fail to recognise his greatness, or dispute his title.[1q]
The voluminous Overtyrant travelled to many valleys to gather support. Under his demand, the Ogre tribes all along the Ivory Road and as far south as Gnoblar Country answered his summons, until an army the like of which the world had never seen was assembled. So great was that Ogre host that the valleys quaked as Greasus led the host north. Uric Ironskull had not been idle. More Tyrants had fallen before him as he penetrated deeper into the Mountains of Mourn. When word of the new Overtyrant and his coalition reached Urk, he planned to confront them at a place of his choosing. With his vast horde surrounding him, Urk Ironskull assailed the Fire Mouth, driving off the strange flame-breathing Ogres that ruled there and planting his war trophies onto the slopes of that smoking volcano. Urk knew this was his chance to wrest control of the entire territory — and he planned to deliver the Ogres' defeat while standing upon their living god, so that the brutes would know true fear.[1q]
Urk Ironskull reckoned the simple bull-rush tactics of the Ogres would lead them straight into his trap — attacking up a steep slope against superior numbers. The Ogre surge would bog down against a sea-like mass of Goblins. Urk held little regard for Goblin fighting ability, but their great quantity would slow down his foes and buy time for the jaws of his trap to close. Massed Orcs stood ready to close onto either Ogre flank while Uric unleashed his deathblow — an assault by legions of armour-clad Black Orcs, who would charge downhill into the weary Ogres. To amuse himself while he waited, Urk ordered his last prisoners thrown into the hissing lava pools of the volcano.[1q]
The Power of Greasus
Urk had correctly judged the hot anger of the Ogres upon seeing the great Fire Mouth occupied by a mocking foe. Yet for all Urk's cunning, the Warboss underestimated the iron rule of the Overtyrant. Urk was used to fighting disparate Ogre tribes, not a vast host fighting as a single army. After a forced march, the Ogres entered the blackened valley and in the early light of dawn they saw Orcs and their trophies upon their volcanic deity and each Tyrant roared to be the first to storm the slopes. No other Ogre save Greasus could have halted that charge — yet by bellowing orders that shook the valley, he stilled the battle-hungry tribes. With a signal, Greasus called for the Tyrants to gather for an impromptu war council.[1q]
The pride of each tribe stepped forward, yet each leader was dwarfed beneath the colossal Overtyrant. Greasus recognised the trap the Black Orcs had set, yet he was not of a mind to back down. If Urk Ironskull wanted to charge down the Fire Mouth and surround the Ogres then so much the better, it would save a lot of marching. Aiming to teach the Orcs not to bite off more than they could chew, Greasus told the assembled Tyrants his battle plan. Several Tyrants scratched their heads, but most grasped the brutal potential. Once the new formations were assembled, all were impressed with the Overtyrant's plan.[1q]
The crux of Greasus' plan was for the great war beasts and Mournfang Cavalry that accompanied each tribe to be massed into a single wedge at the front of the battle line. As there were scores of different Ogre tribes, the monstrous herd was quite large, containing Stonehorns, Thundertusks and other beasts from that primordial land of ice and snow. Behind the formidable front rode a phalanx of Mournfang Cavalry followed by the rest of the Ogres.[1q]
Battle of the Slopes
Although Urk Ironskull had prepared his minions for the Ogre onrush, what surged up the volcano slopes was like nothing the greenskins had encountered before. The ground shook at their approach, and the unmistakable rumblings of the Fire Mouth were heard, the great volcano stirring as if in approval. The living wall of beasts stampeding towards them panicked swathes of Goblins, who, at best, loosed a few volleys of arrows before fleeing. Urk's plan of wearing down the Ogre impetus began to look shaky, but he still had hopes for his second wave, the large mobs of Night Goblins. As the monstrous herd churned up the mountain, dozens of mushroom-drugged loonies were launched out of the black-clad masses, each whirling a heavy iron ball.[1q]
The shaggy beasts did not pause, stamping the Fanatics underfoot and routing the Night Goblins utterly. Without breaking stride, the hulking creatures and gore-splattered Mournfang Cavalry crashed into the Black Orcs beyond. Despite the onslaught, the Black Orcs held, although a third of their number were flattened. Using great axes, the Black Orcs chopped furiously, hacking out trunk-like legs so that some beasts tumbled back down the steep slopes, crushing a path through the oncoming Ogres. Although they halted the stampede and were destroying it, the Black Orcs were pinned in place and could not fulfil Urk's plan by joining the rest of the army as it closed on the onrushing Ogres.[1q]
Further down the slope the jaws of the greenskin trap closed, the Orcs outnumbering the Ogres by more than six to one. Had the Black Orc centre been able to join the assault then it may have been all over. As it was, the Ogres were hard-pressed. Amidst the fury of the great bloodletting, the Fire Mouth itself spoke, shaking the ground and sending thick plumes of smoke skyward. The midday sun was obscured behind falling ash, and the slopes were eerily lit by the glowing streams of lava or the occasional flame gouts spouted by the Ogre Firebellies, the priests of the Fire Mouth, who had eagerly joined Greasus for the fight. Despite the press of greenskins, the Ogres dug in their heels and were starting to push back when the momentum shifted again. Having finally brought down the last of the great beasts near the summit, Urk and his Black Orcs at last joined the main fray. Their charge smashed into the Ogres and it was only the incomparable will of Greasus Goldtooth that held the Ogres in place. The Ogres gave ground, consolidating into a knot of resistance.[1q]
The Ogre centre remained rock solid, for there fought Greasus himself, surrounded by his bodyguard of Ironguts. The bedrock of the Ogre line, Urk realised that to break the resistance, he must break its heart. The most hardened veterans of either side pounded at each other, giving it all they could. Double-handed club strikes crumpled Black Orcs, while the great choppas of the greenskins cracked gut plates and were embedded deep in round bellies. It was here, in the slaughter-filled epicentre that the battle would be decided and both commanders knew it — for they personally pushed to the front, carving paths of carnage as they came.[1q]
Feast Atop the Firemouth
Around their leaders the two armies fought like a pair of raging cave-beasts locking horns atop a mountain peak and heaving with all their might. Disembowelled Ogres strove to smash one last greenskin even while their guts uncoiled from gaping wounds. Black Orcs, their helmets caved in and leaking brain matter; fought to deliver one more axe blow. Greasus swung his diamond-studded sceptre in sweeping arcs that smashed aside ranks of Black Ores at a time. A grand uppercut from Greasus' club-like sceptre caught Urk's personal banner bearer, snapping his totem and sending the Black Orc flying upwards.[1q]
It was a prodigious shot of heroic proportions, and for a moment the battered body seemed to hang in the air above the rim of the volcano before plummeting into the coiling smoke. Surviving Ogres still talk of the distance and height of that majestic blow. Seeing the Ironskull's banner pole snapped and its bearer sent skywards, the greenskin battle line wavered. Howling in rage, Urk sliced his way through a wall of Ironguts to stand before Greasus on the slopes of the Fire Mouth. It was his battle to win and no Ogre was going to stop him. For the first time during the fight, a smile creased the many jowled face of Greasus, and he bared his bullion teeth. Laying down his colossal sceptre, the Overtyrant grabbed at the Black Orc Warboss. Urk's twin axes bit deep into his foe's meaty chest but, undaunted by his own free-flowing blood, Greasus snatched up his opponent with both hands.[1q]
And squeezed and squeezed, then squeezed some more. The sound of Urk's armour buckling and snapping under the massive pressure was audible even over the cacophony of the battle. So too was the wet cracking that followed. For long minutes Greasus strained until his bulging arms visibly shook at the effort. The crushed and twitching thing that the Overtyrant finally dropped was unrecognisable, for Greasus had literally squeezed all the fluids out of the lifeless husk. The Ogres cheered, their hoarse bellows answered by geysers of flame erupting from the volcano. This sight was too much for the remaining greenskins, who turned and fled. The Ogres regrouped and, as directed by the Firebellies, gathered the slaughtered for a feast.[1q]
And what a feast it was — each and every Ogre had to himself a heaped mound of greenskin dead to devour. Greasus Goldtooth had, in one massive stroke, broken the Waaagh! and made absolute mush of its leader. Under the smoky gaze of the volcano god, Greasus had cemented his title of Overtyrant, for even those Ogre tribes that were not at the battle were soon talking of that great triumph and its monumental victory feast. At the end of the week-long celebration, as the Fire Mouth vented molten anger into the sky, foretelling of yet greater battles to come, Greasus gave what to the Ogres amounted as a long-winded speech. To the cheers of the assembled Ogre Kingdoms, Greasus bellowed; "Today the Orcs, tomorrow the world. Let them all tremble...".[1q]
- "Bloody great things they is. Feet big as a horses trough. I should know, a whole load of ‘em stamped over the field yonder not two week’s hence. That’s a half hunnard’s weight of cabbages I shan’t see again in a hurry. Work ‘fer the army so I hear. Pretty thick, but you point ‘em at the enemy and say go...well, I hear the crows don’t get no look in if you catch my meaning. "
- — Rilker Kohl, Peasant Farmer.[3a]
Ogres are large, loud creatures that go out of their way to make a formidable impression. Even in a violent world used to constant warfare, it is hard not to be in awe of a creature that can smash a man's ribs and send him flying through the air with a single swipe of an iron-bound club. Though if raw strength alone isn't enough to cause a stir, the sight of an Ogre reaching out a meaty hand to lift up and consume his recently broken victim in great, greedy bites is sure to register horror in all but the boldest of hearts.[1c]
Ogres are restless creatures, and their tribes are nomadic — ready to move camp at the drop of a well-gnawed bone. Ogres often wander far from their homelands, and when their armies are on the move, they leave behind them a trail of wreckage and little else. The great trump-cramp-trump sound of an Ogre army on the march is not a welcome one, for they will attack and plunder any settlement they come across. In this manner, armies resupply on the move, consuming any who are foolish enough to stay to defend their homes, and then devouring all the livestock and anything else that looks vaguely edible. Any meat not devoured immediately is carried off, so Ogres and their enormous war beasts are often seen with huge haunches of meat and unplucked rib cages tied to their bodies.[1c]
- "A large Ogre, with a huge gut, battle scars, trophies and battle paint is clearly a high status beast—one not to be messed with! If challenged, an Ogre will rarely turn down any sort of contest, be it belching, and Gut barging, Pit Fighting or eating. To turn these down is to loose face. Better to take part and loose than refuse!"
- —Waldemarr, Scholar of Nuln.[3a]
The first thing anyone notices about Ogres is how big they are. A full-grown Ogre stands nearly twice as tall as a man and several times as wide. Those who deal with Ogres find they chiefly exhibit two distinct expressions — that of glum intimidation and a sinister grin, which is far worse. Aside from rancid meat-breath that can startle a Dwarf sober, Ogres have flat, overlapping teeth that are unusually strong — they can bite through the bark of a sturdy Drakwald Oak as easily as if it was the skin of a roast chicken. When an Ogre grins, it has little to do with mirth and everything to do with showing the victim what is going to happen next.[1c]
The gut of the common Ogre is of utmost importance to its owner, socially, spiritually and physically. An Ogre with a large gut is seen as wealthy and strong, for he has obviously eaten well to ensure such impressive girth. The Ogre religion revolves around eating, and the gluttonous Butchers believe that they can commune with their primitive god through this simple act. Perhaps this is due to the fact that the Ogre's vital organs are situated far lower than a man's. These organs are protected by a thick interlocking skein of musculature and can grind and crack food with terrific force, allowing the Ogre to digest almost anything he cares to toss into his cavernous maw. But the common Ogre leaves nothing to chance when it comes to his beloved abdomen, and protects his innards further with a large circular "gut plate". This is usually made of metal, beaten into shape or even cast in a mould, and will commonly depict an icon important to the owner's parent tribe. The gut-plate is secured around the Ogre's waist by a heavy belt that is often used to store the Ogre's eating tools.[2b]
While Ogres are undeniably fat, underneath all that blubber resides massive slabs of pure muscle. Their thick arms end in great ham-fisted hands that wield large clubs with lethal ease. An Ogre's legs are stout and tireless, all the better to carry such a lumpen frame. With thick skin as resilient as cured leather and lungs as large as a man's torso, Ogres can survive cold inhospitable climates and are extremely tough, able to shrug off minor wounds. For this reason, only the richest and most elite Ogres bother with armour beyond their gut-plates and instead stride to battle bare-chested.[1c] His body hair is lank and greasy, and although it is common for an Ogre to be as bald as a boulder, it is rare indeed that one can be found without facial hair. presumably cultivated to trap morsels of food that escape being shovelled into his mouth by his great grasping hands.[2b] It is common amongst many tribes to tattoo themselves or daub themselves with warpaint, although, as Ogres are not hygienic in the least, it is hard to distinguish what is a tribal marking and what is post-dinner gristle.[1c]
- "Now, no one who has ever smelt an Ogre will believe this, but they are an exceedingly proud race, and none more so than the mercenaries that have ventured to the land of men for money. To an Ogre, his status is everything. It will dictate whom he might ‘marry’ (if one can call it that), where in the Ogre Lands he will live, when he gets to eat, what his God will think of him...in short everything that is important to an Ogre. To this crude race, might is right."
- —Waldemarr, Scholar of Nuln.[3a]
An Ogre is not a very intelligent creature — learned scholars describe them as 'thick as two short planks', meaning they have sufficient intelligence to nail the two planks together and beat the observer over the head with it. Indeed, for an Ogre's brain is extraordinarily small in comparison to its body, yet their skulls are many times thicker to protect what little intelligence remains. Rumour has it that by putting an ear close to an Ogre's head, it is possible to hear the ocean. This, however, seems unlikely speculation, as no one in their right mind would dare to put his ear that close to such a ravenous creature's mouth. It is true that most Ogres are somewhat dim and as a race do not invent things or create anything of beauty or lasting worth.[1c]
Instead of cunning or intrigue, Ogres are straightforward, being wholly untroubled by such things as morality or worries over questions of good or evil. If Ogres can get what they want (food and wealth) without fighting, they will do so, but if it's more advantageous to annihilate and eat their opposition, then so be it. Ogres are an arguably benign race, going about their business with little or no malice and, although far from bright, they have an uncanny business-like sense to recognise if their victims are worth more alive than dead. It is a plum situation to have nearby villagers pay a tithe of livestock every cycle of the moon in order to prevent an Ogre attack. Over time, such arrangements pay more than if the Ogres had descended en masse and eaten the whole lot.[1c]
Yet there is one belief that unites Ogres across the world, beaten into them at infancy and carried with them to the grave: might makes right. A strong creature may take what he likes from a weaker creature, including life and limb. Every aspect of the culture of the Ogre kingdoms revolves around this central tenet, engraved on the mind of every inhabitant from the scrawniest Gnoblar to the mightiest Tyrant. Ogres go to great lengths to illustrate their prowess, although an Ogre's status can quickly be assessed by his physical size and the dimensions of his gut. Nonetheless, Ogres adorn themselves with trophies taken from the cavebeasts they have defeated, daub warpaint on bare flesh to indicate tribal allegiance, take names that refer to their personal strengths. and ritually scar themselves to prove they feel no pain. A full-grown Bull arrayed for battle is a daunting sight; a leader such as a Bruiser or Tyrant positively terrifying.[1f]
- "He's the boss. That's that. You'll do what he says like the rest o' us. We all do. You try and give em' lip. He'll pull yer arms off and eat 'em before you've shut yer trap! "
- —Anonymous Ogre Bull.[2k]
Dominance within Ogre society is often regulated by two things; power and guts. The stronger the Ogre, the higher up he is in their brutish tribal hierarchy and the fatter his gut, the more obvious his power is shown to his friends and enemies. The largest and most powerful Ogre within the entire kingdom is known as the Overtyrant, the current ruler being the infamously obese, Greasus Goldtooth. Below him stands a large collection of lesser tribal leaders known simply as Tyrants, and are typical the leaders of their own tribe or petty kingdom within the Mountains of Mourn. They naturally rise to rule and do so with an iron fist (literally, for Ogres commonly wear bladed gauntlets just for this purpose). The next largest Ogres under the Tyrants rule are known as Bruisers and these contenders for tribal power assume lesser command duties.[1l]
Dissension within a tribe (or without for that matter) is handled with sudden and predictable violence, and any who question a Tyrant's decisions must be prepared to fight the leader in a match to the death. Before such a duel, each Ogre removes his gut-plate — an ominous sign, as the victor in such a contest is expected to feast on the guts of the loser. Ogres refer to this traditionally as a "guts out" challenge. Ascension to tribal rule is not entirely hereditary, since all an Ogre has to do is to defeat the current Tyrant, yet it does follow a similar if not gruesome line of succession. As the most powerful Ogres tend to sire the strongest offspring, a Tyrant's fiercest challenges come from his own progeny.[1l]
Thus begets a generational cycle of violence where a Tyrant eventually faces his most ambitious son in a challenge, and to remain as ruler, he must beat down and eat his own rebellious offspring, or be eaten in turn. Ogres being what they are, find this normal and speak proudly of relatives who put up a good showing.[1l] Ogre Tyrants are bullies of the first degree and unleashing abrupt violence helps them keep an iron rule over their tribe. A common tradition amongst Tyrants is to pull a limb or two off anyone who offends them — such as those who speak too much or any Ogre that accidentally eats one of the Tyrant's favourite Gnoblars. The commonly used phrase 'that will cost an arm and a leg' stems from this practice. The arms or legs in question are most often eaten, but some Tyrants use them to bludgeon the offender. The Ogre Tyrant Malbob Mountainsmasher even earned the name "Bigarm" after pulling a Giant's arm out during a friendly dispute. From that day on, Malbob used the massive limb as a club. Until it started to go off, that is... then he ate it.[1t]
- "The Maw was born from the fire...
- The earth shook at its coming...
- The flames ate many tribes...
- To the mountains some fled..."
- —The Saga of the Ogres, as interpreted by Yohan the Honest (declared eaten)[2e]
The Ogre race, no matter what kingdom or lands they may hail from, all pay homage to a ravenous, all-consuming God known in their tongues simply as the Great Maw. The Great Maw, alongside its lesser offspring, the Fire Mouth, are the primary and sole deities of the Ogre race. All Ogres pay homage to these malevolent deities, not out of any sense of love or admiration but one of total raw fear. The Great Maw was the one responsible for the near destruction of the Ogre race, their once beautiful and plentiful homeland now a scorched and barren wasteland as punishment for their sins. It was the Great Maw that now cursed the Ogre's once full bellies into gaping holes from which no amount of food or substance can ever hope to fill. From the moment of its arrival, no Ogre would ever dare to question his existence, for all he has to do is to listen to the hunger which growls within his guts to know the curse the Great Maw has placed upon their race.
There are a great many social and often religious rituals shared by all the tribes that make up the Ogre Kingdoms, of which, the most important are feasts. Feasts are special meals with the entire tribe present that can last for days or even weeks. Consuming meat is a religious matter for Ogres, for to eat a thing is to show superiority over it and it is a way of emulating the Great Maw, their all-consuming deity. Feasts aren't just about eating, and central to any major event are contests — some are light-hearted sport for boasting rights, such as belching contests or Gnoblar flinging, but most are strength tests such us gut-barging, face-cracking and the like. Championship rounds are fought in the pit while the rest of the tribe cheers and jeers. Leadership challenges and personal grudges are often fought during special feats and, regardless of the outcome, whoever wins will doubtlessly hoist himself out of the maw-pit and call for yet more feasting.[1l]
Only an Overtyrant can call a Great Feast, a gathering of all tribes. The top Ogres from every tribe travel vast distances to make a Great Feast, dragging with them the largest game they or their associated Hunters can kilt Especially gifted Ogres (the loudest Bellower, for instance) are given the honour of carrying the tribe's Mawtooth. Upon arrival at the Great Feast, each Mawtooth is placed around the maw-pit, recreating the fanged hole that is the Ogre deity. Greasus Goldtooth, the current Ooertyrant and ruler of the Goldtooth tribe, is especially known for his massive weeks-long events, where gifts are given to loyal tribes, and the disfavoured often meet misfortune in bloody and spectacular fashion.[1l]
- "Pray hark! To brave Sir Baldrin’s tale...Who traveled far to the mountain vale...To slay an ogre, fiend or drake...And meet his Lady of the Lake!...Dismounting now, Sir Baldrin strode...Further still up the mountain road...From nook and cranny, hungry eyes did stare, then widen in despair!...And thus it was that Ogre foul...Stepped out, and gave a fearsome growl; “I’ll grind yer bones to make my bread”...The Knight replied “I’ll have your head!"...Sir Baldrin charged, with greatsword raised...His downward stroke the Ogre grazed. The monster’s club came arching down, And landed hard on Baldrin’s crown!...There came a grisly snapping sound...The Knight was pitched unto the ground...But here Baldrin’s tale does not end!...What awaits our Brettoni friend?..."
- —Quest’s End, a parody of a Bretonnian folk story. Popular throughout the Empire, it is sung to the tune of Carroburg Fayre.[3a]
Ogre society is centered around two important aspects of their culture and way of life; eating and fighting. Ogres frequently challenge each other to contests of physical strength, especially on feast days or during a bout of Ogre games. These contests are also used as leadership challenges. They range from the relatively light-hearted belching contest, where the worst an Ogre can expect is to be showered by gobbets of saliva and half-eaten food, to bouts of pit-fighting, a lethal blood sports that has even gained popularity in the Old World. It is permitted, in fact expected, that an Ogre pit-fight will involve weaponry of some sort. This generally includes, ironfists, heavy chains, punch daggers and bladed. helmets. Suffice to say, the pit fights staged by Mankind are pale in comparison; bloodless and tame next to the extreme violence of an Ogre bout.[1f]
Another favourite Ogre game is gut-barging, held in higher esteem than such pastimes as face-cracking or fistsplinter, for it is as much about girth as it is might. Each Ogre grabs hold of his opponent's belt and attempts to force his opponent to the floor with a combination of strength and weight, his efforts centred; on the gut. Sinews strain and muscles bulge, with neither combatant giving an inch, until after much belching, spitting, threatening and roaring (much of which comes from the audience), one Ogre finally buckles and is forced into the dirt. If both challengers survive an Ogre game, the winner is permitted to eat a part of the loser as a victory spoil. Should the contest be recreational or merely to ascents who gets first cut of a slain foe, this may only be a couple of fingers, an ear or a nose.[1f]
However, if the game question is brought about by a leadership challenge, argument over land or personal grudge, the rivals remove their gut-plates before the bout, a very serious sign. The victor in a "Gut-Outs" contest will invariably beat the loser to death with his bare hands and eat his bloody corpse then and there in front of his cheering audience. In this way, the Ogre not only gained the strength of his vanquished opponent but also the respect of his tribe. Many of these ceremonial games are staged during or after an Ogre feast, when the tribe is well-fed and the games therefore become less likely to turn into a full-scale blood-bath. Feast are of religious importance to the Ogres and given enough meat, they will take any excuse to hold one.[2g]
The guest of honour at these feasts will sit at the right hand of the Tyrants throne and is therefore permitted the second finest cut of the meat. In practice, this is often the Hunters that has taken down and brought the meat back to the tribe in the first place. Hallmarks of an Ogre feast include fireplaces the size of stables and massive trough-like trestle tables around the edge of a maw-pit, a stinking hole in the ground filled with a morass of rotting meat, body parts and busted weaponry in which the Ogres fight their bloody games. Although other races might employ minstrels at a feast, Ogres have no real concept of music and prefer volume above skill, thus an Ogre who can shout louder than his fellows is considered a gifted performer. Their feasts resound to bellowing, hollering and belching as well as the omnipresent crunch of meat and bone.[2g]
However, the Butchers know full well that their tribe appreciates diversity of the meat as much as the next cave full of predators. Whilst the traditional eating songs resound through the feast halls, the Butchers punctuate steaming platefuls of cavebeast with raw Bretonnian in wild garlic, tough Dwarf-meat served in a gromril case, thick sausages stuffed with the finest Empire soldiery, and — widely seen as a delicacy —tender Elf legs fried in horse blood. This is usually washed down with Ogre beer, a thick, viscous and foul concoction, with equal quantities of honeycomb and hornet swimming in its murky depths. Ogre beer is intoxicating enough to hospitalise a Dwarf, and is commonly taken from a drinking horn snapped from the skull of a beast the owner has killed himself. The greatest feasts are staged after the defeat and subsequent ransacking of a great caravan, the mile-long trading convoys that crawl through the Badlands towards the Ogre kingdoms and finally Cathay. These armoured land-trains are invariably well defended (often by rival Ogre tribes), but when a predatory Ogre tribe does finally manage to conquer one, it finds itself knee-deep in luxury goods, gold and quality firewood. An Ogre tribe can subsist on the sacking of a single great caravan for a full month, and the subsequent feast is often a week-long orgy of food and drink that is heard for miles around. Sadly, these occasions are becoming rare, as the iron rule of Tradelord Greasus Goldtooth the Overtyrant forces the tribes into a new era of mercenary activity and cooperation with the human race. Slowly but surely the Ogre kingdoms have become aware that gold is just as valuable as meat, and far more likely to last the winter.[2g]
- "His guts were gobbled then and there...The rest dragged back to Ogre’s lair!...Sir Baldrin’s heart, so stout and true...Took pride of place in wholesome stew...His legs were chewed, his fingers grilled...His lungs with Garlic butter filled!...Bones were snapped and marrow bled...Then powdered into Ogre bread...Chain-mail fitted Ogre’s arm...Tho not with Baldrin’s dandy charms!...His great sword, once a weapon dire...Spitted meat on an open fire...His icon, now thrown into the hearth...His breastplate now a goblin's bath...His blanket used to stuff a hole...His skull now a hollow drinking bowl...And so then this Bretonian’s fate...Was met upon an Ogre's Plate!...Let ye be warned: when eastward bound...Pray take some friends, let ye be found!..."
- —Quest’s End, a parody of a Bretonnian folk story. Popular throughout the Empire, it is sung to the tune of Carroburg Fayre.[3a]
Ogres have lived in tribes since their earliest days on the plains. These bands allow Ogres to take what they want, whether in battle or on the hunt, as few can stand against a bulky wall of oncoming Ogres. A tribe can range in size from a few dozen individuals to larger groups comprising many hundreds. Yet regardless of a tribe's size, it is organised according to a recognisable hierarchy and follows proud Ogre traditions. To ensure their tribe stays strong, any weak or gangly offspring are weeded out by throwing them into the caves as offerings to the Great Maw. It is a grim but practical outlook, for Ogres require a lot of food and only those strong enough to hunt or fight can survive.[1l]
The Ogre Kingdoms are made up of hundreds of different tribes, each with their own ways and violent reputations. As Ogres are blunt and obvious, the tribal name often reflects the most overt tribal traits. For instance, the Skulltaker tribe have attained prominence for their successful hunts, and the borders of their kingdom are well marked with the skulls of beasts so large they defy belief, while the Treehammers tribe is known for carrying oversized clubs, and the Bloody Fists are recognised by their distinctive war-markings made from the blood of their enemies.[1l]
Each tribe attempts to better its own reputation — a feat most often done the traditional Ogre way, that is, through prodigious acts of violence. For example, the Fleshgreeders, led by their immense Tyrant Nogflag the Gouted, would pile everything in a conquered territory that couldn't be carried off or immediately eaten into a single immense mound before erecting a crude throne atop it. Nogflag would climb the pile to sit imperiously atop the throne during the victory feast. Following the festivities, the Ogres would stomp off, leaving their enormous monument of destruction behind, clearly marked with their tribal symbols. It was possible to follow the trail of the Fleshgreeders when they left the Mountains of Mourn — for they left behind them mounds of the various villages, fortresses, lairs and strongholds they dismantled.[1l]
Regardless of their differing traits, most Ogre tribes reside within their own valley in the Mountains of Mourn, at least for a time. Ogres rarely spend too long in a single location, a combination of their wanderlust, nomadic heritage and the general perception that remaining sedentary attracts the ire of their frightful deity. Although never spoken aloud, it is an Ogre belief that 'if you stay in one place too long, the sky will fall on you'. While in a valley this means travelling between campsites, packing and resetting their great hide-covered huts, digging new maw-pits and the like. After a while, however, even this becomes too cramped and a Tyrant will lead his tribe on a journey — sometimes going far off into the world at large, wreaking much destruction as they go. Besides their weapons, Ogre tribes typically carry few possessions and so are ready to move at all times. One of a tribe's most valued items is its Mawtooth, a stone that bears the tribe's scrawled marks and sigils. This icon is carried to every new location and placed prominently in every new camp — often near the Tyrant's hut, or in the ring of giant stones that encircle some Ogre camps.[1m]
Ogres see other tribes as competitors for food and it is best to demonstrate to others that your tribe has larger and more powerful warriors. To this end Ogres constantly engage in highly visible feats of strength, such as climbing sheer cliffs, hurling immense boulders or pulling Hydras out of their rocky dens. Fighting between tribes is common and usually concludes with the weaker tribe being absorbed by the victor. Tribes do not always battle and there are occasions when it is advantageous to work together. For example, when the barbaric men from the north last swept down from the Chaos Wastes in great numbers, they were repelled by an alliance between the Bloody Fists and the Mountaineaters. That great victory is still celebrated by the two tribes, who meet yearly to hold a Spawnroast. At times the tribes have been united beneath an Overtyrant — a ruling king that holds power over all the other Tyrants. It takes a powerful individual to hold even minor leverage over distant tribes, much less rule over them. When there is an Overtyrant, it is far more common for multiple tribes to band together to conquer larger territories — vast armies of Ogres descending upon the world and smashing aside all opposition to take what they want.[1m]
The Ogre Kingdoms are made up of hundreds of different tribes, each widely known by their reputation, as tales of a tribe's feats, heroics and gastronomic exploits are passed up and down the valleys. It is typical for an Ogre tribe to adopt a bold visual, most often a repeated icon seen on banners, gut-plates, tattoos and other surfaces. Here are but a few examples of some active tribes. Each tribe marks the boundaries of their territories hunting grounds with their sign.[1n]
- Goldtooth Tribe - One of the largest and most powerful Ogre tribe within the Ogre Kingdoms, this particular tribe is ruled by none other than Greasus Goldtooth himself.[1n]
- Thunderguts Tribe - An Ogre tribe known for being particularly destructive in their tendency, and have a particular nack in ransoming victims for profit and gains.[1n]
- Crossed Clubs - An Ogre tribe known not only for the large number of Ogre Maneaters in their numbers, but also for their prodigious lies the veteran warriors spew out of their mouths, making much of their renown dubious at best, but none have the guts to call them out.[1n]
- Sons of the Mountain - An Ogre tribe known for living within the highest peaks within the Ogre Kingdoms.[1n]
- Feastmaster Tribe - An Ogre tribe known for having some of the greatest feasts within the Kingdom, all thanks to their slave force of Halfling cooks.[1n]
- Rock Skulls - An Ogre tribe known famously for being the toughest Ogres around. Yet this toughest comes at the cost of being extremely dim-witted, even in Ogre standards.
- Ironskin Tribe - An Ogre tribe known for having some of the largest numbers of Ironguts and iron-clad Ogres in the kingdoms.[1o]
- Lazarghs - One of the oldest and most twisted Ogre tribe within the Mountains, the Lazarghs are all descended from the first Maw Prophet, Groth Onefinger.[1o]
- Mountaineater Tribe - An Ogre tribe with the insatiable need to eat rocks with all their food, making them considerably tough.[1o]
- Eyebiter Tribe - An Ogre tribe currently extorting the lucrative trade routes within the Darklands.[1o]
- "Yes, I summoned them because I needed reinforcements. Yes, I know they are eating your prize cattle. And yes, I know Ogres have large appetites. I've put a notice on the local watch-house offering a small payment to anyone with the wherewithal to make them go. That should prove more than sufficient."
- —Augustus von Raushvel, Baron of Rauh Vale[6a]
Many Ogres have left the tribal society of the Ogre Kingdoms in search of food in the Old World. In the large cities of the Empire, Ogres are almost an everyday sight. Here, they serve in the State Armies and work as hired muscle. The Gaffers Guild, an organization of Halfling building contractors, has an effective monopoly on Ogres in the construction industry, much to the consternation of rival guilds.[6a]
For reasons unknown, yet pretty obvious my many, Ogres and Halflings seem to instinctively get along, most likely due to the roles they play alongside each other. Many important Halflings employ Ogre bodyguards. Conversely, Ogre mercenary bands often travel with Halfling cooks.[6a]
- "Gruugh agh agh waaagh!"
- —Ogre Battle-cry (roughly translated: "Feed me - feed me now!")[5a]
Ogres speak a crude and often guttural language which is known as Grumbarth, or Ogrish to outsiders.[4a] Ogres, being completely illiterate, rely on crude cave paintings and a tradition of storytelling (or just plain old boasting) to convey the folk tales and legends of their civilisation. One of their earliest myths concerns Old Stoneguts, an Ogre that caught and ate the sun one evening but, due to the heartburn it was causing him, threw it back up the very next morning. Ogres place great stock in feats of strength, and the mythology of the Ogre kingdoms is continually fuelled by the Herculean (and often extremely exaggerated) tasks undertaken by its inhabitants.[2c]
- "Oh, people say they’re stupid, but I’ll tell you this—they know the clink of Gold right enough. Strong as bulls they are, and seem to know little fear. I’ve certainly seen them face things that would make most ordinary troops soil themselves. Yes, they’re often underestimated. Yes, they drink and eat and bellow, but until you’ve seen them punch through and flank a line, well, lets just say you learn a little respect for those flabby heads of theirs. Stout mercenaries, but don’t deny them rations. They’ll nod and agree and two hours later you’ll be saying "where’s the horses?"..."
- —Captain Schultz.[3a]
A lone Ogre is capable of besting a dozen men in a fight and a dozen Ogres can overwhelm a village of men and eat the better half of its defenders. A whole army of Ogres, however, is something else altogether. Each Ogre regiment is a sweaty, bellowing mass that builds up fearsome momentum that slams home like a ton of bricks. An army is made up of many such regiments and it hits like an avalanche — a great, sweeping wave of crushing destruction. But Ogres do not stomp to war by themselves, they bring with them lumbering cave creatures, hairy and long-tusked monsters from the wild mountains, and all manner of ferocious beasts.[1c]
The reason Ogres find warfare so much to their liking is that as they crush and conquer their way across the land, they can seize everything they need to survive, and more to spare. Where does an army full of ten-foot tall, muscle-bound monsters go? The answer, naturally, is 'wherever it wants'. So Ogre armies, led by the largest and most ferocious of their kind, trudge the world, seeking riches and endless supplies of fresh meat. And no matter how much food or loot they seize, it never satisfies them for long.[1c]
An Ogre Kingdom army is a massive blunt instrument that smashes through enemy lines like the force of an avalanche. It is a hard-hitting, impact driven force that is devastating on the charge and can only be taken down by hugely massive numbers. With enough bodies to fuel the momentum, nearly nothing short of castle walls can stop their thunderous charge. The sheer intimidation factor carried by a full army of Ogres is a weapon in of itself. Facing these huge, lumbering brutes with packs of monsters led by some of the most powerful warriors in the world is a daunting sight to see.[2a]
In battle, Ogres form large battle lines and surge towards the foe, moving with a speed that belies their lumbering forms. Ogres wade into an attack with the same gusto they show when eating and they are proficient fighters that excel in the use of bludgeoning weapons, such as clubs, hammers and even their massive bodies. A backhanded swipe from such a brute has enough force to break a horse's back, and a single charging Ogre can smash a shield wall asunder. If their initial impact does not scatter a foe, Ogres will press on in the grind of close combat. With their great size and thick skin, Ogres can soak up a lot of punishment too, as they are as tough as their mountainous homes — indeed, fighting Ogres is like battling a landslide.[1d]
- Ogre Bull - Ogre Bulls is a term used to describe all the fighting adult, male Ogres within a tribal kingdom or society. Bulls make up the majority of any Ogre kingdom, an unwashed mass of muscle and fat that can flatten landscapes as well as towns and villages when they gather in horrifically large numbers.
- Ironguts - Ironguts are the Ogres of any given tribe that have the most status and the best armour and weapons. They go into battle armed with massive two-handed weapons, be they enormous scimitars, rocks bolted to tree boughs with iron bands, or simply gigantic versions of the traditional Ogre club. Ironguts wear large, ornamental gut-plates to show off their elite standing, and cover their meaty arms and boulder-like heads in heavy armour plating cobbled together from various conquests over the years.
- Leadbelchers - Leadbelchers, the Ogre term for both the weapon and the unit that carries them, are the heavy artillery of the Ogre Kingdoms. Ogres have long been on the receiving end of artillery fire, and they have grown to respect and admire its tremendous killing power. Indeed such weapons are everything an Ogre admires -- they are big, loud and have a tremendous ability to smash things.
- Maneaters - Maneaters are veteran Ogres of many campaigns fought in far off lands. Travelling mercenaries beyond peer, they have spent decades accruing scars, tall tales, wealth, exotic wargear and skills before heading back to the Ogre Kingdoms. Maneaters have fought throughout the Old World and beyond and many races attempt to recruit such fighters into their armies, promising food, gold or whatever else the Ogres want in return for their services.
- Gnoblar Fighter - Gnoblar Fighters are the bigger Gnoblars in a tribe, and form bands in order to try and steal shiny things during battles. The larger members of Gnoblar society have a tendency towards independence. These Gnoblars forsake their baggage-carrying brethren and band together into loose but numerous groups that take to the battlefield in the hope of stealing some particularly choice shiny things before the Corpse-Harvest.
- Gnoblar Trapper - Gnoblar Trappers are intrepid Gnoblars that delight in catching and torturing small animals and follow Ogre Hunters to battle. These outgoing but vindictive Gnoblars are the largest and most intrepid of their kind, and delight in catching and torturing the small ferocious mammals that populate the foothills of the Mountains of Mourn. Once they have finished 'playing' with these animals (usually jabbing them with sharp sticks), they either devour them there and then or take them back as an offering to their Ogre masters as a light snack.
- Yhetees - Yhetees are a race of large, bipedal beast that inhabits the sub-zero peaks of the Eastern Lands, a distant cousin to the Ogres of today. The Yhetee packs inhabit the highest slopes of many mountain ranges, but are particularly common amongst the Mountains of Mourn and, the place of their birth -- the towering peaks of the Ancient Giant Holds. There, high on the roof of the world, the Yhetees survive by preying on the beast herds of the highlands.
- Gorgers - Gorgers is a term used to describe a feral, degenerate off-shoot of the Ogre race which currently dwell within the cold, dark subterranean tunnels beneath the frigid peaks of the Mountains of Mourn. Even more ravenous than an Ogre, Gorgers are degenerate eating machines consisting of nothing but tough muscle, disease-ridden claws and a malign, mindless instinct to kill and eat.
- Mournfang Cavalry - The Mournfang Cavalry are arguably the heaviest of their kind, the Ogre Kingdoms utilising them to brutal effect as a force of powerful shock cavalry that can literally mow down entire enemy formation in a great, thunderous charge. It is this bold resilience that attracts Ogres to Mournfangs -- for it is hard not to respect an animal that will continue to bite and slash even when its brain has ceased to function.
- Sabertusk - The Sabretusks are a feline species of predators that inhabits the lands and slopes of the Mountains of Mourn. They are predatory creatures that hunt down prey in large hunting packs, their being extremely muscular, has thick fur to survive in the frozen landscape, and a pair of large gaping fangs that is strong enough to pierce thick armour or gore their prey.
- Slavegiant - Slavegiants are Giants indentured into servitude for Ogre tribes. Unlike the Giants that accompany the other races of the world into battle, those who look down on their smaller comrades and pick fights as and when they choose, the Slavegiants of the Ogre Kingdoms live a life of forced servitude.
- Stonehorn - Stonehorns are massive, horned, woolly beasts endemic to the Mountains of Mourn, that the Ogres tame and use in battle. They are massive beasts of muscle and violence, each several times the size of a Rhinox and - if it can be believed - several times as dense. Intelligence is of little import to these great beasts however, for each Stonehorn is quite literally a living fossil, its skeleton hardened by the same rock as the mountains where it makes its home.
- Thundertusk - A Thundertusk is a hulking four-legged beast that strides the glacier-ridden lands of the far north and the Mountains of Mourn. It is a primordial creature that has survived since a bygone era, a time when the entire world was sheathed in ice. However, it has not done so unchanged. Over many generations, the warping effects of raw Chaos has gradually turned the Thundertusk into a walking patch of winter. The Thundertusk emanates frost, sending out chilling waves of freezing air that lap around its mammoth hide, slowing all who dare approach the great beast.
- Scraplauncher - The Scraplauncher is an impressive war machine. It is a large and unconventionally built catapult pulled along by an enormous woolly beast. It's design is haphazard -- the ramshackle construction seemingly built 'on the go' with a random collection of cast off materials. With each stride of its shaggy beast of burden, the jury-rigged device teeters precariously while a frenetic crew of Gnoblars swarm about -- running alongside, clambering on its ropes and pulleys like sailors amongst the rigging, or just hanging on for dear life.
- Ironblaster - The Ironblaster is an Ogre war-machine consisting of a giant cannon pulled by a Rhinox. The cobbled-together wagon that is used to mount the enormous gun barrel is also used to haul the vast quantities of gunpowder needed. Such is the weight of the vast contraption that the Rhinox which pulls it grunts and strains under the pressure and even the stone wheels that hold it up can only last for a few battles before cracking under the immense weight.
- Ogre Tyrant - Ogre Tyrants are the ruthless, tyrannical rulers of the tribal kingdoms that dot the slopes and valleys of the Mountains of Mourn. Ogres call the leaders of their tribes Tyrants and it is easy to see why. Tyrants are the biggest and strongest individuals in a hulking race that prides itself on these physical features. To claim rulership over a group of Ogres requires a mighty brawler, a creature powerful enough to wrestle a Giant to the ground or smash his way through a fortified gate using only his bare fists. An Ogre Tyrant uses his tremendous size and brawn to dominate, earning the right to command the tribe by displaying prodigious feats of what the Ogres respect the most -- strength, violence, extraordinary girth and a healthy, all-consuming appetite.
- Ogre Slaughtermaster - Ogre Slaughtermasters are the most senior-ranking Butchers within the tribe, immense, corpulent hulks covered in offal of dried blood. They have appalling personal hygiene and love nothing more than to wallow themselves in meat, guts and blood regardless of its source. Hideous and mean, Butchers are essentially the Ogre equivalent of a tribal shaman yet their role is more that of a holy man than magic-user.
- Ogre Bruiser - Ogre Bruisers usually act as enforcers or under-chieftains within their tribal kingdom, and they spend a great deal of their time smashing and pummelling in the name of their Tyrant. As a payment for using their fighting skills and brawn, Bruisers have many privileges in the tribe. Not least of these is the license to smack seven shades of dung out of any Ogre not toeing the line, not eating messily enough, or spending too much time playing with his Gnoblars.
- Ogre Hunter - Ogre Hunters are solitary, wandering Ogres, outsiders from their own tribe or perhaps even exiles. Those that survive become fiercely independent warriors and savvy stalkers of beasts. Bereft of a tribe's protection and beefy companionship, the lone Hunter must learn to track and kill, while simultaneously not becoming prey to any ferocious beasts -- it is all too common for the Hunter to become the hunted.
- Ogre Butcher - Ogre Butchers are second only to Tyrants in terms of power and influence, for they not only the spiritual and magical representative of their tribe and god, but they are also the tribe's foremost cooks. Through the gory ritual preparation and consumption of meat, Butchers channel a portion of their fearsome deity's eternal hunger into feats of magic. Invoking the single-minded strength of their god, Butchers can instill unnatural vitality to their comrades, swelling the Ogres muscles and toughening their skin. They can even turn their wrath upon the enemy, causing bones to break or the ground to open up and swallow their foes.
- Firebellies - Firebellies are the roaring, blazing priests of the Ogre deity known as the Fire Mouth. Quick to mirth and anger alike, Firebellies are garrulous and vital individuals who are readily welcomed into any Ogre tribe. Fire burns within these larger-than-life prophets in a literal as well as metaphorical sense. Bald and broad, their ruddy skin glows from within, and their bare chests are tattooed extensively with symbols of destruction. When a Firebelly's wrath is roused, he can breathe out a cloud of billowing flame so fierce that it can melt through chain-mail in seconds.
- Greasus Goldtooth - Overtyrant Greasus Goldtooth, or to give him his formal title, Tradelord Greasus Tribestealer Drakecrush Gatecrasher Hoardmaster Goldtooth the Shockingly Obese, is the fattest and most powerful Ogre Tyrant within the entire Ogre Kingdoms and holds the current title of Overtyrant, the Tyrant of all Ogre Tyrants.
- Golgfag Maneater - Golgfag Maneater is an infamous Ogre mercenary captain, whose fame has made all other Ogre mercenaries to adopt the name of Maneater's. Possibly one of the most successful Ogre mercenaries of all time, Golgfag Maneater forged a reputation for the Ogres as fearsome killers for hire long before they became a relatively common sight in the mercenary armies of the Old World.
- Bragg the Gutsman - Bragg the Gutsman is an infamous Champion of the Ogre race, and the self-proclaimed executioner of the Ogre Kingdoms. Ogres are a battle-hardened and fearless race, but there walks one amongst their number who is feared by all. Even veterans of a thousand battles feel corpulent shivers at the very name of this killer among killers, this shadowy figure that deals out the most gruesome kind of death's imaginable. He is the champion executioner of Ogrekind, a slayer of kings and heroes. To see him on the field of battle is to see death itself at work. He is Bragg the Gutsman, and none he has marked for slaughter have ever survived.
- Skrag the Slaughterer - Skrag the Slaughterer is the legendary Prophet of the Great Maw, also known as the Gore-Harvester and the Maw-that-Walks. Dragging his massive meat-pot behind him - attached to his back with a series of painful, tearing hooks and chains - Skrag hacks and rips at his enemies in a glorious blood-fuelled dedication to the Great Maw. In his wake, he leaves a trail of dismembered limbs and body parts, which it is the duty of his Gore-Gnoblars to retrieve and deposit into his cauldron.
- 1: Warhammer Armies: Ogre Kingdoms (8th Edition)
- 2: Warhammer Armies: Ogre Kingdoms (6th Edition)
- 3: Old World Beastiary (2nd Edition Fantasy Roleplay)
- 3a: pg. 47 - 48
- 4: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 1st ED -- Rule Book
- 4a: pg. 291
- 5: Warhammer Armies: Dogs of War (6th Edition)
- 5a: pg. 30
- 6: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 4th ED -- Core Rulebook
- 6a: pg. 312