Leanders report #4 - On orcish dog keeping Document in Tai'Sans Hearth | World Anvil

Leanders report #4 - On orcish dog keeping

Welcome once more, my dear reader.   I am glad that I get another chance to teach you about orcish customs and beliefs. Today I shall focus on an aspect of the orcish way of keeping, training and using dogs. While this topic may seem as a short topic about not much can be said (and indeed not the majority of this text will focus on the dog keeping itself), it is a wonderful starting point to dive into orcish philosophy and faith and many details that may at first glance seem minute at best, are actually emblematic of the orcish mind and psyche if viewed from the proper context.   So, without any delay, let me explain the general concept of orcish dogs.  

What strange rule the orcs follow regarding the use of dogs

  The most noticeable rule for orcish dog keeping is the rule of non-continuity as I have dubbed it, mainly because the literal translation of Klen'Adarnikk'Aî'Rôkk'herkan'Tain is "the rule that forbids the keeping of two generations that follow each other", which is quite a mouthful. Putting it simply, no dog an orc owns and uses may have parents that were also owned by orcs.   What this means in practice is, that orc dogs are taken from the wild as pups and trained/raised by hand to teach them the required skills. Then if these first generation dogs have a litter, the pups need to be released into the wild as soon as nature allows and the only the next generation of litters of these dogs can be considered for orc use.   There are other rules orc follow, but for our purposes this one is the illustrative one. Now that you know the rule, let us pivot into philosophy.  

How orcs view their place in the world

  As previously discussed, orcs have a very deep connection to who they proclaim as their creator, Tai'San. The orc god is both their heavenly father, lifebringer and worldmaker, but also their teacher in life. In fact, orcs divide knowledge into two categories, which they call divine sense, knowledge given by Tai'San, and common sense, knowledge the orcs knew or know without his teachings. But that topic is worthy of its own entry, so for now let us return to Tai'Sans role as father and creator.   Orcs take this relationship very seriously. I would go as far as saying that it is more serious to most orcs than their own honor, which as you may know they hold in very high regard. One important way orcs honor their father is treating his creation with respect. Firstly this of course applies to ones fellow orcs, but because in orcish belief Tai'San also created the world, it is their duty to not needlessly mar it.   And here we get into another issue I can only briefly adress lest we drift away from our intended topic. Up until now I have written about orcs and orcish things in relatively uniformity and I worry that my readers may interpret them as general truths about all orcs. Orcs are not one monolithic culture, just like our great culture is distinct from our neighbors. Any observations and truths I am proposing in my literature is inherently only applicable to the Norian Orcs, even more specifically the tribes in the Razorcrest Mountains. Depending on how far in the future you are reading my writing, it may not even apply to them anymore either, but given my limited time on this existence, at least the last aspect I shall ignore.   With these amends made, let me return to our conversation about orcish dogkeeping. In orcish belief the sanctity of Tai'Sans creation is generally agreed on, but, given the non-uniformity of orcs in terms of opinion, many different voices can be heard on what this in fact means for actionable rules.   For some orcs, though these are a radical minority, leaving creation in its original state is a paramount goal and any improvements made through animal husbandry, taming or breeding for helpful traits, are akin to sacrilege. On the other end of the spectrum of voices, are equally loud orcs proclaiming that while sanctity of creation is important, it is subservient to the orcs ability to be masters of their world and their destiny. They claim that nature is a changing system by default and that any animal, which the orcs generally see themselves as, always strives to gain the advantage and ensure its survival and safety.   As with many things and in many cultures, the majority of orcish opinion sits somewhere in the middle. They each place value both in the attempt to preserve their gods creation, but also in the place of the orc in that creation. And to many of them, these ideals can appear at odds and irreconcilable.   The main escape they have from the dilemma circles back to my original starting point. If nature and its creation is divine and shall be unmarred, but at the same time orcs are supposed to master this creation, how do you both tame the dog as your companion and ally without changing its integral essence?   The answer is the rule of non-continuity. By giving up control over the bloodline of their companions, they can "ensure" they cannot control the direction of inherited traits, which solves the problem.   The smarter or at least more argumentative of my readers may now argue that this is purely performative because the orcs would still apply a selecting force upon the development of the dogs as a species, as they will undoubtedly, when choosing their next generation of dogs from wild litters show preference for useful traits, and then ensure the continuation of those useful traits for at least that one generation.   I would counterargue here that for one, not all orcs are as intelligent as the prime students of our great city and therefore their reasoning may contain logical errors, but more importantly this argument ignores the simple fact that wild dogs would also apply a selective pressure on their own species, by the simple fact that they too will choose their mates by what they perceive as favourable traits. Additionally, a far more impactful effect of the rule of non-continuity is that no matter what selection does inevitably occur, the dogs will never be bred too far from their wild roots in that they need to retain the abilities to survive for at least one generation in the wild.   I am however aware, that by now I have left behind my original motive of reporting on orcish philosophy and husbandry, and am simply winning made up arguments in my imagination. Therefore I shall leave this writing as it is now and wish you a pleasant time until my next treatise. I wish you the best of studies in the meantime and hope that I have once again passed down some knowledge of our oldest neighbors.

Cover image: Wild meadow (via Midjourney)


Author's Notes

Finally finished an article again! Would love to hear your thoughts on it! What did you like, what didnt you like? Is there anything about the content or the form/prose you think needs more work?

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