Festival of Water and Blood

Written by Heart

Ogres have been considered barbarians for much of history due to what many see as an unsavory practice of cannibalizing their own dead and devouring the bodies of their enemies after a battle. However, in my time spent with the Silverclaw Tribe, I have come to realize that this practice is not done out of sadistic glee, but a deep respect for nature as a whole. This festival, the center of all the hatred that Ogre hold, ironically is done in respect to the other races despite that hatred.
— Grand Scholar of Conlis, Marlin Magnus in "Ogre, Barbarians or Guardians of Nature?"

History

The festival itself is an ancient custom passed down since the time of the original Ogre tribes and is directly tied to the feeding habits and rituals of the Ogre in general. Their deep belief that all life is sacred, and as such killing should only be done as a last resort, and if it is done then one must take responsibility and use the bodies of those that have been killed to their utmost. This means that all meat is eaten, all bones are turned to tools and weaponry, tendon to rope and so forth. Nothing is wasted, and anything left over is turned to compost to be returned to the earth and farms of the tribes. This law extends to all killing and all dead, including their own and refusing it is to be scorned by the tribe and exiled due to how sacred the tradition is. The festival itself comes in two separate parts, the War Fasting, and the Battlefield Feast.

Execution

War Fasting

Originally this festival had not existed, however in the past three hundred years when the Ogre began to join in great battles where many died, they faced their first great failing. There were simply too many corpses on the battlefield, and the meat could not be gathered in time, let alone eaten in time. Hundreds of pounds of meat spoiled, and many Ogre fell sick and died as well due to struggling to uphold their traditions. Due to this, the elders created a new aspect of the tradition itself. It was named "War Fasting", and the rule was simple, the day before a great battle was to take place, the Ogre could not consume anything but water until the battle was over.   The Ogre have also named this as the "Festival of Water", and often involves the use of meditation in steam houses, hot springs, waterfalls both to reserve energy for the coming battle, and achieve a degree of peace and control in order to tame their appetite and maintain their willpower to not consume food or drink. Often, before a battle spies of the other armies will locate the tribes expecting to find them eating, preparing weaponry and tactics, and so forth, only instead to find them drinking water and peacefully waiting for battle. Due to this, many rumors have claimed that the Ogre do not actually need to eat and that they only feast on the flesh of the dead out of sadistic glee, having accelerated the hatred they receive from the other species.  

Battlefeild Feast

The second and original half of the festival, in this the Ogre follow their customs as a species. Gathering and butchering the bodies of their own and the enemies, as well as anything else that died in the crossfire. Meat is separated and the rest of the bodies are placed in great boxes of brine to remain preserved while the festivals second step takes place. This is always done on the battlefield itself, and elders, as well as children and surviving fighters, are all included within it. Great bonfires are built surrounded by smaller campfires, blood wine is brought in great barrels, and the feast is held. Due to the nature of this, it has been nicknamed the "Festival of Blood", and as such paired with the previous stage the names have been combined to become the "Festival of Water and Blood".   As one would assume, due to this practice, the Ogre had been solidified as sadistic psychopathic cannibals that feast on the flesh of their own, hounding the battlefields for the corpses of the fallen. Despite it being the opposite, as every corpse is thanked, and even apologized to for the loss of their lives due to how seriously Ogre take the loss of any life, enemy, racist, or otherwise. Elders of the tribes walk the battlefield, thanking each body individually and promising they would be put to use as the others of the tribe prepare for the feast. Once they have been thanked, and the feast begins, great stories are told of brighter things than war and battle.   Stories of peace, of life and the great cycle of birth to death, and how all life must be respected. The feast is a means to try as a species to ensure the next generation understand what a terrible thing it is to take the life of another, and that though often it is needed, they must always be respectful of it and take the higher ground no matter how badly the dead may have wronged them in the past. It is due to this festival that the species has retained its open mind toward the other races over hundreds of years of abuse and racism, never faltering in their beliefs.

Components and tools

During the tradition, elders are required to mark the dead that have been thanked by placing their bodies back together (as best as possible) and marking them with a deep purple paste made from Blood Wine and the Nataje flower. A rare plant only found growing from the soils of their jungle homes that have been fertilized with thousands of the dead, said to be a flower that connects the lands of the living and dead.   Similarly, during the festival itself, the uses of spices, vegetables, and the same flowers are used in the cooking in order to ensure the souls of the dead are able to sense what is happening as well as the feelings of the tribe as they perform the ritual, in the hopes that the spirits will rest in peace. Notably, the lands that the ritual has been performed on never seem to be affected by necromancy, whether this is the doing of the festival or simple coincidence, is unknown.

General Information

  Type:
Festival   Origin Date:
~270,000,000 BR   Notable Festivals:
  • 239 AR - "Battle of Astrens Rush"
  • 371 AR - "Korens Retreat"
  • 376 AR - "Battle of Blood Mountain"
  • 496 AR - "War of the Tribes"
  • 782 AR - "Fall of Dra'kun"
 

Unique Food & Drink

During the "Festival of Blood", the Ogre tribes are allowed to drink a rare alcohol that they make from scratch with each battlefield known as Blood Wine. This drink is known for being made from the blood of the fallen in great battles and due to this restriction is quite rare, and considered a unique treat to the Ogre in question that drinks it. This drink is a large part of why it is known as the "Festival of Blood", combined with the obvious slaughter that must happen before the festival in question.

Comments

Please Login in order to comment!
25 Apr, 2018 10:46

Great layout, well written and fantastic quote! Looking forward to reading more from your world :D


Check out my worldbuilding in the dark fantasy world of Melior
25 Apr, 2018 11:41

Appreciate the feedback! Glad you enjoyed, I'll be working on more articles and updated the races within the next few days. :D

I'd love to see your own opinions on my main world, Xardia, and it's Free D&D 5e Module!
3 May, 2018 03:45

I loved the visuals this gave amazing work.

13 May, 2018 20:06

I appreciate it, glad you enjoyed! Will be putting up more work on the Ogre, their traditions, history, and so forth in the next week. Hope you look forward to it, they're a favorite of mine due to how alien their culture is compared to modern day humanity.

I'd love to see your own opinions on my main world, Xardia, and it's Free D&D 5e Module!
14 May, 2018 00:44

I love how you made great use of the "not savage at all" trope, it's great to see people putting such unique spins on something that might seem "barbaric" to other species. Also, I imagine that some of the other species involved in these battles might have squabbled with the ogres in order to try and get their dead back?

14 May, 2018 03:13

All of them, in fact, but historically humans are the species most known for instigating war against the Ogre, the other races either don't care or are so rare a single corpse amongst hundreds isn't worth the risk of returning. Still, it's certainly happened, and there are a couple notable Ogre clans that were destroyed entirely due to such interactions.   The clans refusing to back down on the ritual, leading to their own destruction through fanatical grip on their beliefs when larger groups of humans, or simply more powerful races, came back for their dead when the clans themselves were already weakened.   Such will be gone into with substantially more detail when I get the articles on notable battles, clans, and so forth for the Ogre, which should hopefully be up this week along with some other articles in regards to the species, if it interests you.

I'd love to see your own opinions on my main world, Xardia, and it's Free D&D 5e Module!
14 May, 2018 03:30

Oooo! Nice :D Color me intrigued.