Seven Realms: Races 102
The overview of races continues from the previous post. This post covers moonfolk and ogren, and explains the biggest difference between ogren and ogres. To understand these races you have to understand that both the Opal Realm and the Unbounds are finite spaces bounded by seemingly infinite, barely restrained chaos. In the case of the Opal Realm, the majority of this wild area is predominately safe, like walking through dreamscapes. The Unbounds however is another case, the majority of everything, flora and fauna, in the Unbounds is aggressive. Plants which cannot lash out at you are likely at least mildly toxic, and there are creatures here that few humans could be vigilant enough to avoid succumbing to due to how innocuous they first appear. While the Opal Realm is a land ruled by reason amidst mild chaos, the Unbounds are a land ruled by the most aggressive creatures in creation, and the Ogren are not at the top of that scale.
Moonfolk are humanoids with pale, almost white, skin that originate from the Opal Realm. There are a fair number of this race that visit the moral realm every year, but there are no major colonies of these people in Arn. They call themselves ethilryn, which in their language means “luminous ones”. It isn’t odd to hear of moonfolk who have lived for a thousand years, and their scholars often comment upon the differences in the mortal realm with each visit. It is one of the reasons they call humans the alterfolk, because the realm looks different nearly every time they pay attention to it.
Few moonfolk males grow facial hair until they reach middle age or older. There are elders with venerable and lengthy beards, but most of the youthful looking ones, at age 800 or less, are often clean shaven in a boyish way. Instead moonfolk rarely cut their hair, and take great pains to braid it elaborately, with most women forming their hair into exotic patterns and shapes.
In general, moonfolk can be mercurial or stoic depending on the individual, but they are both unhurried and passionate at the same time. The noble factions of the White Kingdom, the largest settlement of moonfolk ruled by their own kind, are divided along callings to war, diplomacy, learning and artistry. The commoners are responsible for agriculture and the gathering of resources, but their lives are no less filled with passions sought and refined over centuries. Moonfolk who live in Oneiros, the other large nation of the Opal Realm, or the Alabaster Citadel in the Unbounds have different traditions, but a lack of passionate pursuit of knowledge or skill is not one of them.
In the Unbounds, and to a much lesser extent the mortal realm, there are ogres and then there are ogres. True Ogres, the race most likely indigenous to the Unbounds, are refined looking humanoids with wiry musculature and tall bodies. They have dark, almost blue colored skin, and sport lustrous hair which is considered very beautiful by most other humanoids. They sport a bony ridge on their foreheads, but rather than appearing as a deformity, it is like a crown hovering over the eyes of these humanoids. These people call themselves ogren, both singular and plural, which means “pure ones” in their native tongue. Human legends refer to them as true ogres. Ogren live up to 500 years of age.
In contrast, the creatures most humans consider to be Ogres are an offshoot of this race also native to the Unbounds. These creatures which can be nothing but distant cousins to the ogren, are large, brutish looking humanoids who stand easily eight feet in height, and possess stunted horns growing from their foreheads, squarish, jutting chins, protruding canines, and much lighter skin.
Ogren society is based on perceived and actual status, and members at all levels attempt to present a polite front to all they deal with in order not to disrespect a peer or a better. The surest way to lose actual status oneself is to insult someone who is presently hiding their own status in order to gather information, relax or broker a secret deal. Ogren native to the Unbounds, particularly in the Black Empire, live staid lives without much passion as their rulers do not value art or song. However, intelligence is highly valued, so education is not only allowed it is encouraged. Thus, the highest nobles in the Black Court are highly educated ogren with a talent for military and magical knowledge. These nobles often interact with Troll warleaders to muster the hordes to skirmish both the moonfolk and the mortal realm on occasion.
So these two ancient races possess a link of sorts in their native realms. The Troll-kings, and their underlings the ogres, exist in a cycle of venting destruction at the Moonfolk who have managed to eke order out of chaos. Rather than attempt to tame the seemingly untamable Unbounds, the inhabitants of that world turn their raids outward instead. It is perhaps the reason the Moonfolk built a citadel in the unbounds and the reason the Ogren have successfully colonized parts of the mortal realm,while their luminous counterparts have continued to eschew the opportunities of a large colony in the mortal realm.