ogres Condition in Scarterra | World Anvil


Ogre transformation is a variant of Cannibal Sickness that afflicts humans.   Ogres are humans who have grown addicted to eating mortal flesh. It is not known how many meals of this sorts are needed to begin a transformation but it is known that a human that eats human flesh will transform quicker than an ogre that eats flesh of other mortal races.   Ogre refers to a male, ogress refers to a female. Unisex plural usually uses "ogres". Because humans are so dominant, ogres are more common than other variants of cannibal sickness such as wendigo and vultures. Many Scarterrans improperly use the term "ogre" to refer to any cannibal.   A few ogres are loners, but a majority seek out the company of their own kind and form cooperative groups. They will defend each other from threats directly and help other ogres hide the evidence of their crimes.   Second and subsequent generation of ogres tend to grow stronger and tougher than their parents but are usually uglier too. It doesn't help that ogre clans often have issues with inbreeding. Humans that violate cannibalism taboos tend to think little of violating incest taboos.   Some tribes have taken to recruiting new members for fresh breeding stock. They might try to seduce or trick a normal human into becoming addicted to mortal flesh, or they could kidnap someone and force feed them mortal flesh. It is rare but not unheard of for ogre clans to keep non-cannibal humans as breeding stock but they are probably magically compelled or mundanely brainwashed to support their ogre "family".  
by me with Midjourney
Ogres usually stereotypically are big and ugly, but more than a few ogres and ogresses are relatively normal looking (albeit big). Some are even attractive. Many ogre clans will typically try to keep their uglier members out of sight publicly and use their more better looking clan mates as faces or lures to deflect suspicion or lure in prey. Ogres have no supernatural social powers, but they tend to master the art of deception quickly.
  Ogres, even more than most other cannibal mutants in Scarterra, do not live on mortal flesh exclusive. They can and do eat normal food and most sustain themselves primarily on normal food more than they eat moral flesh. Many ogres keep normal day jobs with respectable Façades, especially farming. Ogres can usually keep their cravings at bay eating human flesh once or twice a month.   Ogres have prodigious appetites and often eat more than a normal human does. The more mutated and powerful an ogre is, the greater their calorie needs.


Besides a growing obsession with eating mortal flesh, initial symptoms are fairly subtle. Ogres that don't learn to hunt mortal flesh with discretion seldom last long.  
Physically, ogres commonly see an increase in muscle mass and bone density making them strong and resilient, they have stronger teeth than normal humans but they rarely use their bite in combat.   Ogres and ogresses, as a rule, are not an attractive lot. They tend to have ugly faces and irregular features that set them apart from normal humans but just like among humans, some are prettier or uglier than the norm.
by me with Midjourney
  Ogres develop a wide vareity of secondary mutations that give them useful powers and ability based on their "hunting style." Observed powers include chameleon like color changing, voice mimicry, retractable natural weapons, superantural dense skin that can turns aside blades, among others.


Purification magic can temporarily suppress an ogre's unholy appetite but to cure cannibal sickness an afflicted needs to have genuine remorse, be subjected to Purification ●●●●●, and then go on a lengthy and dangerous quest while resisting the urge to eat mortal flesh the whole time.  According to the stories, ogres have been cured of their conditions minutes or seconds before their deaths after dying in a poetic and noble sacrifice.


The best way to not get cannibal sickness is to not engage in cannibalism. The same goes for ogre transformation. An human that doesn't eat mortal flesh will never turn into an ogre. The more mortal flesh a human eats, the more likely his or her transformation is, especially if they are eating the flesh of other humans.


by me with Hero Forge
Ogres were proportionally most common during the The Little Unmaking when food was fairly scarce and governments and priesthoods were very decentralized. As the world became more supposedly civilized, a lot of the emerging human institutions set up inquisitions against ogres in their midst gradually driving ogres farther and farther to the fringes of society with every century.
  During the time of Vladimir the Conqueror ther was a brief moment when ogres were somewhat tolerated because they were useful for kiling vampires, but the period of ogre tolerance did not last very long.   In the 19th century of the Feudal Era, ogres do not dare openly identify themselves as such in most places. Many are all living alone in the wilderness or living on the fringe of civilization masquerading as normal humans, usually traveling in disreputable circles.   Because humans outnumber most other mortal Scarterran races by a fairly wide margin, ogres remain the most commonly seen variant of Cannibal Sickness, so much so that in many circles, "ogre" has become a generic term for any cannibal.

Cultural Reception

Almost all human cultures in Scarterra have laws against cannibalism and will execute any ogres they find. At least on paper.     Ogres are strong and tough and they will usually work quite cheap if their employer is not prone to asking lots of inconvenient questions. If an ogre is useful, many unscrupulous Scarterrans will turn a blind eye to ogres in their midst if it suits their interests.     Frequently, ogres find themselves on the fringes of human society, but rarely do they separate from society entirely. Ogres can be commonly found acting among criminal cartels, brigand bands, and pirate ships. Ogres can even get legitimate jobs acting as bodyguards, mercenaries or men-at-arms to lords and wealthy merchants.     Since most ogres make effort to hide their unusual dietary habits, it is not hard for an employer of an ogre to invoke plausible deniability. "I had no idea that Hans was an ogre all this time!" However, very few Scarterrans will shield an ogre from the law if they catch the ogre is outright while eating a finger sandwich though unless the ogre is able to intimidate them into silence.     While some cultures and subcultures will willingly turn a blind eye to ogres in their midst, others take the opposite extreme going after ogres overly aggressively. There is no magic spell that can detect a cannibal so would be government inquisitors and vigilantes hunting ogres look for hints of behavior or appearance. More than a few "ogres" put to death for cannibalism were innocent people who were just unusual looking or socially awkward. Real ogres are often cunning enough to set up fall guys and patsies for their own crimes and often take delight in seeing innocent people killed in their place.    
Symbol of the Nine (with artist's permission) by Pendrake
Most religious authorities are staunchly anti-ogre, at least in public. The Testers and Children frequent tolerate ogres among their ranks but they still treat them like second class citizens.   Outside the Testers and Children, you might be able to still find ogres.   Under other religious umbrellas, you might see an occasional ogre among extremist fringe groups such as the Bacchites and Talons of Korus.
  The Masks and other nonagon groups that dabble in skullduggery often outsource ogre mercenaries with a heavy layer of plausible deniability.   The Lanterns and Tenders occasionally try to cure and rehabilitate ogres, often with tragic results, but occasionally finding success.
Chronic, Acquired & Congenital
Affected Species

Cover image: by Eron12 with Hero Forge


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