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The Oghrizby Christopher Cherrington
The Oghriz Clans of the Adri Varma plateau were not always so barbaric or dark in philosophy as they are today. They were descendants of a Neathar tribe that was assimilated into the conquering Oltec culture. After the Great Rain of Fire, they had completely lost all knowledge of their legendary conquerors and reverted back to a Neolithic hunter/gatherer lifestyle. Several migrating humans and humanoids influenced their existence, most notably the Carnuilh. The Carnuilh were a paler Antalian people, predecessors of the Robrenn and Eusdrian in the west and the Dunnlanders in the east. They introduced spirit worship and a respect for nature. This was a peaceful time for the proto-Oghriz, and these people learned a great deal about life on the plateau.
The first invasion of humanoids came from the Great Horde. If the Great Rain of Fire did not revert these people back, then the enslavement and rape by the orcish tribes did. Not much is known about this time period, but the evidence of inter-racial breeding is clearly seen today. Other waves of conquering humanoids kept the proto-Oghriz busy practicing their survival and warrior skills. The most notable wave of humanoid domination came when several tribes of ogres came up from Sind and Hule. These ogres pushed many tribes east towards the Mengul Mountains (those tribes later became known as the tribes of Den, and later still, Denagoth).
The Oghriz are Formed
The heavy influence of the ogres is seen in the Oghriz appearance. The new bloodline produced a larger human, or short ogre of 6' to 7'8", of a coppery skin tone, dark hair, dark eyes, and very large bone structure. Obesity is very common, and the more obese one is, the more respect he/she demands. Their average weight is between 350 to 400 pounds, a typical baby can be born at 15 to 20 pounds, and their children can weigh heavier than most full-grown humans. They have no real humanoid features, except larger canines, a deep brow, and a strong jaw line. Although a few of this new race have green or blue eyes, but are extremely rare. They don't care for adorning their body with piercing or jewellery, or tattoos; but rather cover their skin and hair with a mixture of lye and ash. After many years of using this makeup, the older members have no colour to their skin and are an ashen grey in colour. Children in their society are worthless; they must prove themselves to the entire clan before being accepted as a member. Sometimes this means they will entertain the older members by jumping into a pit full of feral dogs and fighting their way out. Their spiritual guides require many sacrifices (animal and human or Oghriz). They also provide their leaders training. They will select a member to be a leader (usually the heaviest member of the clan); then take this person for several years for proper instruction in the art of diplomacy and leadership. At times, a clan cannot have a ready available leader to replace the sudden death of the current leader. This clan will be hunted down, its children slain, its women married off as slaves, and the men sacrificed. These people call themselves the Ogrhiz and speak an ancient form of Sindhi that is not comprehensible to the Sindhi spoken of today. Many Hulean words are also in their speech, but only for more recent things introduced to their society, like words for town or cart (a surprising amount of Thyatian is being found more recently, replacing the Hulean words.
The shamans of the Oghriz are actually Druids. They worship nature as a whole, and as thousands of spirits. The more dangerous or monstrous the animal or beast, the more beneficial that animal is in their belief. This may seem odd, as they have no patron immortal, but Ordana may be disguising herself as several animal spirits. When the Oghriz are born, they are checked for blue or green eyes. If they have these coloured eyes, they are immediately taken into apprenticeship under another shaman for many years (about 30). If the child is born without green or blue eyes, and without any displeasing features, the baby is thrown into the river, if it survives without drowning; it is given a name and kept for now. Any child born with displeasing features is simply fed to the dogs (note: displeasing features is also a 'cure-all' for fathers who question the child's real father, or as a 'birth-control' in times of famine). Their spiritual leaders also have usage of words that sound more Antalian than any thing else; these words are used to describe many of their spiritual elements. Of their spirituality, they believe in appeasing their spirits by ritual sacrifice (mostly captured peoples of other tribes). These victims are demanded to find the spirit they wish to appease and ask for its forgiveness or favour (in the afterlife). When no outside member can be found, it is considered a great honour to volunteer for such a sacrifice.
The Oghriz may seem a dark and evil lot, but are actually very social. They tend to greet each other by slapping their knees and running into each other in a great embrace (usually lifting one off the ground to show dominance over the other). They enjoy social eating events that last all night with dancing and wrestling events. They hold an oral tradition of family history, usually in song. The Oghriz don't use musical instruments for their entertainment, but they do allot of slapping, clapping, and stomping. Some Oghriz can even communicate in this manner, and will perform a duel with each other in this manner by either showing their family history, or browbeating insults at each other. The winner is the one who gets the loudest claps from the audience. Children are not allowed in these social events, and if any dare to spy on the adults and get caught, usually get tossed into the fire. When dealing with barter or trade, it is against their beliefs to discuss such matters in public. In fact it is illegal to discuss such matters at all. Bartering is performed by hiding ones hands under a blanket or cloak, and communication is done by a complicated series of finger rubbing and pinches. This can get real complicated when dealing with several buyers at once, but is considered an art when one can accomplish such a task. When talking to an individual in normal conversation, it is a custom to embrace arms with each other, if someone wants to cut in, they rub the arm of one individual to cut in. These social customs can be very unnerving to outsiders, especially if one is accustomed to no physical contact with strangers. Some foreigners get the feeling they were being poked and prodded for food quality, and not being dealt with in a normal civilised manner.
The Oghriz children are literally not seen or heard from in any occasion. Often the very old and skinny (or skinnier) members are forced to watch over the welfare of the children. This usually means they will train them in the art of sneaking about to get things that they need (food, clothing, shelter). Children are allowed to walk about during the day in the open, but only in the form of gangs and if they do not make any sounds, or there are no outsiders present. As stated before, if caught they are dealt with harshly; but that is the way things are, so do not get caught. Often the children will only learn things by spying on the adults, and not getting caught. Usually if one adult sees a child spying, he/she will not say anything and let the child run to try again; but if the child was blatant about the infraction or more than one adult sees the child, punishment is dealt with very harshly. If the child is fast enough or lucky enough to get away before being caught, then he/she best stay hidden for a long time. Children often practice what they learned from their spying forays; but in secret, because if any adult sees their imitation, they will be beaten. Even though children have little to no rights among the tribe, there are certain taboos that are respected or followed when dealing with children. You cannot kill a child other than your own (except in the case when a clan has no leader). A child cannot be sold, or bought, or enslaved. Children can never be sacrificed (except when a child has a child). Oghriz children are not considered a child by age, but by performing some act that earns them respect among the tribe. So there are some 35-year-old children, and some 14-year-old adults. It is a brutal life, but it earns them the respect and admiration of the tribe when they finally become an adult. Sometimes a child will be considered an adult if the child is bold enough to stand up to the punishment or fight back and not get beaten. Another way is to prove their worth in a wrestling match.
Nomads vs. Towns
The town dwelling Oghriz are more lenient on the children, and therefore are having higher populations than the nomadic Oghriz. They also tend to be less warlike, brutal to others, and even less sociable with each other. They still believe in their spirit worship, but only listen to the advice of the shamans, and they do not take part in any actual worship or sacrifices. The nomadic Oghriz sees this as a defiance to taboo, and also as a corruption from outsiders. This has given the nomadic Oghriz the right to wantonly attack and pillage any town or settlement, but since the settlements are dealing with the outsiders, and having higher populations, the nomads are dwindling down and moving further west and north. A few of the stronger tribes have succeeded in capturing a whole town or two, and have gained their superior weapons and increased their child population from rape; but this is the exception (but if a couple of these nomadic tribes continue this trend in the future, it is sure to raise a horde that the rest of the Known World will have to deal with). Town dwelling Oghriz are learning more of the outside world, but still practice their beliefs in barter or trade, slapping duels, wrestling, and occasionally will beat children on the streets at night.