Monday, October 7, 2019

Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea Half Ogre PC's with The Dragon #73, May 1983


There are times when I want to take a break from the normal run of OSR stuff to concentrate on some things that I really love & one of those is half orges. 
Half-ogre PC, by Timothy Truman, from the article “The whole half-ogre: The best darn door-opener there is” by Roger E. Moore, Best of Dragon Magazine Vol. IV, TSR, 1985.  (Article without illustration originally from Dragon #73, May 1983, expanding an idea by Gygax in Dragon #29, September 1979.)

 Tim Truman Half Orge 

 Recently I've had the pleasure to play with DM Steve's group last month in their Thursday night Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea game. Steve's game is set in the up beat years of after the Green Death. The half orges were the left over military forces of  Ragnarok  that had been used as a slave labor force on Hyperborea.  Mongo The Fell was the man servant of an Ixain wizard of the adventuring party. Recently Steave's group made almost successfully through the AS&SH adventure Rats in the Walls. 

The whole subject of orges & half orges peaked my interest & according to Steve the half ogres are the product of a bit of gene splicing, weird mating rituals by local tribes in the Spiral mountain ( the less said the better), & the occasional familial outcast. Then there are the Ixian manservant/bodyguards of certain influenical Ixian families. These bodyguards are used as protectors, man servants, meat shields, and muscle for their masters. There is a strange soul bound that exists between master & servant allowing an almost but not quite telepathic bound between a mile or so. The blind  Ixian sorcerous councils use a combination of occult  intelligence enhancement which has the added benefit of increasing both intelligence & wisdom by +1 & +2 effectively. These does not demean the violent temper nor strength of the monsterous servants which are sold at incredible sums of a thousand gold pieces each to prospective rich & royal buyers.

Le Chat face à l'ogre.jpg public domain

The ogres of the Ixian blood lines are of the Jotunn bloodlines found by the damned wizard nation after they were abandoned upon Hyperborea. Their  Hyperborean masters had been wiped out leaving  the hardy ogre survivors of the Green Death to fend for themselves. According to Steve these beings were the result of selective growth of the body parts of the god Ymir that had been cut off during the events & wars of Ragnarok. The race of Jotunn traces its bloodlines through the gods Keltic & Norse gods themelves according to the wiki entry; "Some deities, such as Skaði and Gerðr, are themselves described as jötnar, and various well-attested deities, such as Odin, are descendants of the jötnar.
The Norse myth traces the origin of the jötnar to the proto-being Ymir, a result of growth or asexual reproduction from the entity's body. Ymir is later killed, his body dismembered to create the world, and the jötnar survive this event by way of sailing through a flood of Ymir's blood. The jötnar dwell in Jötunheimr. In later Scandinavian folklore, the ambiguity surrounding the entities gives way to negative portrayals"

Note that this is from DM Steve's home campaign & in no way shape or form official. This is simply one DM incorporating a favorite Dragon magazine article into his AS&SH campaign. 

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