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12/08/2017 11:15 pm  #1


Orcs in Hyperborea

Why are there orcs in this game? I haven't read all of the HPL, CAS or REH stories, much les all of Burroughs's, Merritt's or Lieber's, or anyone else's mentioned in AS&SH, but I haven't found orcs in their stories, so, other than a (sine qua non) trope of ficción, why are there orcs here?

I'm not saying it's wrong or anything, I'm just asking.


"All suns are grasped within the hollow hand
Of Night, the godhead sole, omnipotent.
Whose other names are Nemesis and Fate."
CAS
 

12/09/2017 11:19 am  #2


Re: Orcs in Hyperborea

AS&SH was heavily influenced by Gary Gygax as well as the classic weird tales of old. I can't speak for the author but I imagine the inclusion of unequivocally evil pig-faced orcs as a nod to the old-school Gygaxian orcs that many a grognard recalls fondly. 

I, for one, love Hyperborean orcs and my pig-faced Orc Death Cultists are among the favorite miniatures that I own. I dislike how modern fantasy portrays orcs as misunderstood noble savages in what I can only assume is a PC backlash to the ridiculous baby orc dilemma

 

12/09/2017 1:22 pm  #3


Re: Orcs in Hyperborea

The "swine-things" in William Hope Hodgson's The House on the Borderland remind me of pig-faced orcs. According to their own statements, this novel was a strong influence on CAS and HPL, so that's a sanction of sorts for the presence of orcs in a game based on their weird fiction.

This is how the creatures are described on the wikipedia page, echoing language from the novel: Humanoid bipedal creatures with pallid-coloured pig-like heads and stature approximately the size of a grown man. They emerge from "the pit" and make repeated stealthy attempts to break into the house of the Recluse. They communicate with each other in a guttural and thick oleaginous speech which betokens a cunning sentience. Described by the Recluse as "half-beast, half-something else, and entirely unholy" with eyes which betray a "horribly human intelligence" ... "superhumanly foul".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_House_on_the_Borderland

 

Last edited by Blackadder23 (12/09/2017 1:24 pm)


"The fear of death, its risk each time, is one of the most stimulating parts of the game. It therefore behooves the referee to include as many mystifying and dangerous areas as is consistent with a reasonable chance for survival." - J. Eric Holmes
 

12/09/2017 2:12 pm  #4


Re: Orcs in Hyperborea

I also like then a lot, they remind me of the swine-things from Hodgson's The House on the Borderland and the swine monsters from the videogame Darkest Dungeons. I'm not sure I have seen them portraited as noble savages, but that is not how I like my orcs.


"All suns are grasped within the hollow hand
Of Night, the godhead sole, omnipotent.
Whose other names are Nemesis and Fate."
CAS
     Thread Starter
 

12/09/2017 3:01 pm  #5


Re: Orcs in Hyperborea

Clark Astonishing Smith wrote:

The House on the Borderland and the swine monsters from the videogame Darkest Dungeons. I'm not sure I have seen them portraited as noble savages, but that is not how I like my orcs.

Dude, Darkest Dungeons is one of my favorite games! I have played it since early access and have over 200 hours logged. The swine folk are a great example of old school orcs. 

World of Warcraft portrays orcs as noble savages and I don't think orcs are inherently evil in mainstream D&D such as Forgotten Realms, either.




 

 

12/11/2017 3:50 pm  #6


Re: Orcs in Hyperborea

DominionClark Ashton Smith muffled levies rise, from mist and Lethe drawn,

Waging some goblin war at thy forgotten whim;
What travelers in lone Cimmeria, drear 

The Black Abbot of Puthuum (also by CAS):

The king had deemed that Zobal and Cushara should form an escort equal to all contingencies: for Izdrel was a land reputedly free of robbers, or, indeed, of any human inhabitants. Men said, however, that malign goblins, tall as giants and humped like camels, had oftentimes beset the wayfarers through Izdrel, that fair but ill-meaning lamiae had lured them to an eldritch death.

Last edited by bat (12/11/2017 3:54 pm)

 

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