Realms of Tirakan

Realms of Tirakan


EN

They are people of small stature, reaching the size of a human child in adulthood. At the same time, they are characterised by wrinkled skin that resembles the skin of a human grizzly and is greenish-yellow in colour. With increasing age, the skin of an O'grut becomes darker and darker, almost black in one who reaches the age of 50, which generally corresponds to the life expectancy of these beings. The face of an O'grut is characterised by two small, round, close-set eyes. Between them runs a very narrow, deep bridge of the nose, which, however, quickly thickens further down and ends in a bulb protruding strongly forwards. As mentioned, their skin is very wrinkled, including the face. Their mouths, which seem to have hardly any lips, are incomparably wider than those of Humans. Their ears are shaped similarly to those of cats, making the head appear almost twice as wide. Almost all O'grut are completely hairless, rarely one of them has a beard or a half bald head. The women are largely similar to the men in size and shape, their face shape is slightly finer and less wrinkled, breast and pelvis slightly more developed. During her lifetime, a woman gives birth to an average of up to 25 children, who often have just as many different fathers. The pregnancy of an O'grut woman lasts only 5 months and often produces twins or triplets. They do not know a firm commitment to a partner.

The O'grut have the reputation of being particularly boorish and immoral. In fact, there is hardly anything like a behavioural etiquette among them either. Every O'grut, male or female, consumes far more alcohol than any human. It is also customary for them to add several shots of liquor to their soups.

They have always had a strong relationship with the Katora, a neighbouring race of tall orc warriors. Although they are far smaller than them, they are not inferior to them in physical strength. Their excellent physical condition allows the O'grut with their short legs to run non-stop over long distances or to wander for days without stopping. Similar to the Katora, however, they do not possess a great intellect and are even more insensitive than the latter. The clothes of the O'grut are made of hard fibres obtained from the bark of a jungle tree, very coarse and monochrome. Clothes made of linen or wool are imported goods of the Katora and are only worn by the richer and lesser lords. However, the most popular Katora commodity among the O'grut is and remains beer.

The homeland of the O'grut is a hot region criss-crossed by numerous rivers. Their villages are usually located on the banks of a river, because every O'grut loves fish, especially when it is cooked and swimming in a broth seasoned with a few herbs. Fish spawn soup is an unusual speciality.

'''Descriptive passage from Trogwin's story'''

''[...]The turmoil that overcomes O'grut when feasting and orgy holding is imminent should be difficult to describe. With leaping hearts they count the days that still stand between them and the feast. At night they sometimes do not sleep at all, but imagine how the fiery potion from the Katora lands will lumber down their throats or how the tough flesh of a shark's back will slide from one corner of their mouths to the other on their rows of teeth.''

''Almost all the O'grut of the place soon began rubbing their green, rough skins with the juice of the river berry, for it made them soft and shiny. Finally, when it was already the day before the festival, no one in the village was thinking about fishing or weaving. There were competitions among the male O'grut for Alfe, the pearl of the White Water Lake.[...]''

Their houses are little more than boxes (living boxes) put together from a few boards and bamboo stalks. However, they are always multi-storeyed, so that the different families in a village live directly under each other, creating a close community. Their social structure provides for a petty lord in each block of houses who keeps order among the families living together.

It often happens that within a larger tribal area a petty lord declares the independence of his block from the tribal lord and thus creates his own small area of power. Then the tribal lord must intervene by force and overthrow the upstart to regain full sovereignty over the tribal territory. And since many of these small lords dream of greater power and independence vis-à-vis the tribal lord, the latter is usually busy bringing all the newly emerging village-states back under his yoke. What supports this development is the fact that each block of houses had its own household idol and there was no overarching deity. Thus, the O'grut compare their Gods among themselves and every now and then a minor lord makes the claim that the god of his house block is more powerful than those of the others.

There are oral traditions according to which the O'grut were a noble and exalted people in the distant past, but have fallen into cultural decay and resignation due to the demise of their creator deity.

Takeover by The Witch

In 44 EC, the violent takeover and unification of the various tribes takes place under a power-hungry witch. All household idols are destroyed and replaced by a deity called Rax. The tribal lords are killed along with their descendants, and loyal servants of the witch, who are distributed all over the country, make sure that the lesser lords only do what she expects them to do. There are a handful of initiated Humans and Orcs who form the closest, initiated vassalage and underline the witch's claim to power through their physical size compared to the comparatively small O'grut. These vassals are permanently cloaked and wear pointed iron helmets. To most O'grut they appear simply as fearsome servants of a deity.

''[...]Such a powerful spell could only be created by the one witch who had been ruler of all O'grut for a few years. Pedrastern had only seen it once before. That was when she and her vassals came to the village and forced everyone to submit to her. To do this, each O'grut kissed the floating pile of clay on which the witch stood. The witch herself looked as if she had come from the union of an O'grut with an elf. She was completely wrapped in a scarlet robe from which her strange head protruded like a bright ball. It was a fine, pointy-eared head, but with a thick O'grut nose. On its white base were countless red and green spots. But the eyes were the strangest thing: they were completely white. With these eyes she exercised her power, she could, if she wanted, petrify someone before the sight of her. Until now, none of the O'grut had dared to be resistant in any way. The new ruler was strict and ruthless when it came to enforcing her rule.[...]''

The O'grut must build a massive city with sensational structures to honour their new leader and the new deity. The villages, on the other hand, remain in their primitive state. Some even fall into disrepair when the construction of the city is finished and a large part of the rural population moves in. But since this city is far from any water and the city dwellers do not want to do without fish, the remaining rural population is obliged to pay a large amount of fish every week. A difficult time is dawning for these people. In the meantime, a powerful metal industry develops in the city. In countless factories, tools and weapons are produced for the upcoming invasion of the neighbouring peoples. The centre of the city is a huge ziggurat, which the O'grut call Giant Bulwum.

''[...]Half an hour ago, he and Pedrastern had arrived at the strangest collection of living boxes¹ he had seen in his short life. The living boxes were not made of wood or bamboo, but of stones joined together, each one as large as himself. The difference between the living boxes was immense and consisted in their shape as well as their size. They were all immense in size and number. Every single one of them seemed to reach up to the sky. There were also so many O'grut here that he could never have dreamed of. There were entrances where O'grut hobbled through incessantly in countless numbers. From other entrances one could hear a glistening orange light and a luminous sounding thud. There were many different entrances. Some of them were as tall as the trees in the forest. There was also a built stone mound that had quite a few entrances.[...]'' ''This huge complex where he and the others lived day after day was called Giant Bulwum by the O'grut. It would be called a ziggurat by the Humans. It had a diameter of five hundred threads on all sides and had innumerable floors, the highest of which, with the seat of the ruler, was at a height of one hundred and twenty threads. The second highest floor was a large area on which the idol of the city was placed. All the other floors contained the workshops and living chambers for the little O'grut. Then there were other buildings surrounding the giant bulwum. The warriors and their leaders lived in them. They were the only ones who could get together with the female O'grut.[...]''

'''¹''' The story depicts the view of a large city with stone buildings from the perspective of a young O'grut who has never seen anything like it. Accordingly, the descriptions are to be seen as lightly exaggerated. Nor are the buildings box-like structures. The housing boxes, the traditional rural house form of the O'grut, merely represent the only point of comparison for the viewer.

Religion

The household idols of the O'grut are of a very varied nature. Titans as well as Demons or other spirits can be suspected in them.

From 44 EC onwards, the god Rax is the only god worshipped by all O'grut who are subject to the witch. In earlier times, this god was only one among many household idols.

In the deep forests of the land there also exist remnants of a long lost priestly culture of the O'grut:

''[...]Before their eyes rose the stone wall of the first rock. In former times, when there were still shamans, rituals were held at these sites. Pedrastern remembered this only vaguely. Why the shamans disappeared, she never knew. The murals at this place were of a mysterious nature.[...]''