Bastards of the monstrous ogres and their frontiersmen victims, ogrekin are tainted by the blood and dark urges of their brutal kinfolk.
History: known to the nomads of the frontier since time immemorial, the ogrekin have been a plague to the people of the frontier since the dawn of history both as violent miniatures versions of their giant forebears as well as the monstrous taint they carried in their blood. For many of the ages prior to the appearance of the imperial frontiersmen they were relegated to the hills and most desolate badlands of the region. Here, these bastards were forced to toil beneath their larger and more powerful kinfolk often serving as lackeys and minions for whatever schemes their forebears could convince them of and as the of their abuse and darker urges otherwise.
This has all changed with the recent introduction of imperial pilgrims and their ambitious and short sighted attempts to settle all the lands the survey. As the frontiersmen began to fill the frontier and its more verdant expanses they failed to heed the warnings of its natkve people and of the dark denizens that inhabited those lands. Soon these dark hill folk and their disturbed ogre brethren descended into an unsuspecting world, and generations of frontiersmen now suffer. In the decades that followed the ogres and thier ogrekin descended and expanded out from their hill and mountain homes, capturing and integrating frontiersmen and their ways of life into their own. Now these descendants of ogres and frontiersmen live in a disturbed mockery of the frontier lifestyle, homestead farming lifestyles mixing with the disturbed traditions of their giantkin.
Society: Ogrekin society comes in two varieties. First are those ogrekin who still live as their ancestors have for centuries. These small tribes live in those lonely hills and mountains as they always have, their people avoided and shunned by the native nomads for ages and undiscovered by the frontier peoples at large. These small tribes often eke out an existence from what they can scrounge from their harsh environs, there numbers only seeing other humanoids when they unwittingly wander into their domain. Because of this and their remote locations many of these tribes suffer from various degrees of severe inbreeding, as the families slowly meld into a tangled mess of cousins and disturbingly close extended family. The second are those more modern kin. These ogrekin have expanded into the lowlands, crafting towns and communities like their frontier forefathers while indulging the darker urges of their giantkin. What comes out is often a horrible mockery of the frontier lifestyle, with unkempt scrub farms and oddly large barns and farmhouses hiding monsters with urges barely kept in check. Many a wandering frontiersmen or caravan have run afoul of these “kintowns” mistaking these dark settlements for safe havens or mercantile opportunities and finding either a swift death at their hands if they are lucky or something far worse. Many of these towns have some standing relationship with their ogre progenitors, often treating them as folk heroes or minor divinities integral in the founding of their family and homes. Many of these communities often build structures capable of housing these massive creatures should any decide to appear and stay. That being said many of these towns are visited only rarely by these towering monsters with some not having been visited by their giantkin in generations.
A third distinction has begun to show up recently amongst some of these frontier tribes with these ogrekin seeking to “assimilate” with their frontier roots. These ogrekin have begun to try to establish relationships with other communities, trading their good and services for those they cannot make or acquire themselves. The fact that many of these attempts are met with hostility or disturbing bargains has hampered many of these attempts but has managed to temper the attitudes and urges of more then a few ogrekin townsfolk, making them more even tempered and less malicious then their more insulated brethren.
Love: Ogrekin believe that the seat of their emotions is within the genitals rather then the heart and make their associations and euphemisms for their feels by way of references therein. Phrases like “I hurt for you”, “I bleed for you”, and “I swell for you” are common terms of affection (often with the terms Mammy or Pappy used in place of you). Ogrekin associate menstruation with both destruction and lust, seeing the idea of blood weeping from a females genitals as a combination of 2 of their favorite pastimes lust and orgiastic violence and is therefore one of the highest connotations in their society of affection. The male equivalent is that of an erection that causes them pain, meant to represent a desire so large it is destructive.
Ogrekin love is often more akin to human lust, a wild uncontrolled fuel of emotions that the ogrekin are said to experience in a manner 10 fold stronger then our own. The idea of loves other qualities beyond raw physical attraction and jealousy over competition are traits that sit in far second place to the aforementioned traits.
Also, because of this belief one of the most horrifying notions to an Ogrekin is the concept of neutering or castration, as this is tantamount to removing their capacity to feel. To an ogrekin the punishment of castration is considered a fate worse then death, leaving them joyless husks unable to love or enjoy the world around them. As such castration is considered the most heinous of crimes amongst their people and is one of the few acts even they often will not commit. Confirmed cases of castration are only seen amongst the most despotic of Mammy and Pappy ogrekin leaders and is often a sign of their rapidly approaching downfall, as their kinfolk will often rise up and destroy them rather then experience the hot knife. Ogrekin bards often use such despots as fodder for songs and stories, using the act of castration as the defining “bad quality” to distinguish their villains.
It is also worth noting that because of this many ogrekin fear eunuchs and others with similar lots in life, believing that they are without emotion or sometimes living dead. More then a few fear that to harm, kill, rape, or consume one of these monsters is an act that risks their very soul and often have taboos against doing such to these terrifying creatures. This has lead to more then a few caravans hiring eunuch monks or other staff as protective measures and charms to ward off their assaults in areas known for ogrekin families. Many orders, guilds, and religions known for keeping eunuchs often have special symbols used to denote those orders and as such have become well known amongst the ogrekin, who have learned to stay away from groups traveling under their banner. Of special mention is the church of the winter lord Naki-Ono, The Whore Frost. Known as the Heartless Lover amongst other humanoids, amongst ogrekin her associations with the removal of love take on a whole new iconography more in line with their beliefs. Because of this she, and by extension winter, are often the most terror inducing of the lords of winter and her cult is often both the most feared and reviled within ogrekin society. Ogrekin who follow her often circumcise themselves as a sign of their faith and to show their connection to her to the world. This often leads to those followers being very secretive and celibate in order to conceal themselves from their kin, an act that often leads to their eventual discovery and execution.
Cuisine: Ogrekin cuisine is primarily hearty stews and roasts assuming they do not eat it raw. Most of their diet is built around whatever they can catch or steal with most dishes composed of meat in whatever pieces remain. Many ogrekin recycle foodstuffs and often recook whatever was not immediately eaten often cooking every bit of a kill over the course of weeks usually starting with the choicest cuts of meat on the first day and boiling the leathers and re boiling the bones for at least the second time by the time the last few weeks roll around.
Ogrekin often do not regularly season their foods as they do not regularly harvest the various spices one needs but they are known to trade for salt and for various corns and squashes. These items are often added to the stew pot to enhance flavor and are prized for their taste.
To outsiders ogre cuisine when actually palatable to most civilized races is considered to be incredibly rich and thick with even a half serving often filling one, sometimes even constituting multiple meals. Considering an Ogrekins diet though they often eat seconds or even thirds. That being said the actual fullness of the meal is often determined by how many times the remaining ingredients have been used, with late pots often being more akin to leather and marrow flavored water then a normal meal.
Religion: Ogrekin usually favor the religions of their upbringing, with those isolated families preferring those lords and spirits of their ogre relations while those aping the frontiersmen preferring to “assimilate” their religions into their culture. Regardless of choice though either culture favors the more violent and hedonistic deities or try to find ways to incorporate those ideologies into their worship. Many ogrekin have taken to the worship of Nurgal, Az, Pazu, and Stromyr to name a few. Some of the more civilized towns have begun to worship some of the more lawful inclined faiths as a way to further become like their frontier forefathers. Unfortunately many of these “faiths” are often little more then minor cults led by mad preachers or other hucksters and what may look like a “lost enclave of Imperial Cultists” might in fact be little more then an excuse for the ogrekin to play a game of “Beat the Heretic”. Many of these Kin Cults are treated as Heresy by there more lawful churches and treated as something to be exterminated on sight.