The Great Maw

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The Ogres worship an all-devouring god known as The Great Maw. Their relationship is not just one of devotion, but also one of fear, for the Great Maw was once responsible for the near destruction of the Ogre race.

History

Many thousands of years ago the Ogres lived far to the east of the Mountains of Mourn, in the great sweeping steppes on the borders of Cathay. Their homeland was fertile and rolling grasslands spread from horizon to horizon, with grazing gnubeasts and yak provided an ever replenishing source of meat. With no natural barriers to divide their kingdoms the Ogres lived as nomads, trading almost as often as fighting. The great secret of fire was given to them by their Cathayan neighbors, who in return started to recruit the strongest and most intelligent of the Ogres into their grand imperial army. Tribe upon tribe prowled the steppes as their numbers grew, however the barbarian Ogre civilization prospered to such an extent that Ogre raids started to spill into Cathay itself, praying on the simple peasant children on the rice paddies. Before long many Ogres had acquired a taste for Cathayan flesh. This was something His most excellent Majesty Xen Houng, Celestial Dragon Emperor of the imperial palace of great Cathay, took a very dim view of indeed.

Whether Xen Houng's coven of very powerful astromancers had anything to do with the catastrophe that befell the Ogres remains speculation. But not long after the children of the land began to go missing and bloodied bones littered the paddy fields, a great burning light appeared in the sky. It increased in brightness and size with every passing day until it eclipsed even Morrslieb & Mannslieb. over the weeks it grew to a baleful, glowing orb that crackled and spat above the plains, turning night into day and driving the wildlife mad with fear. A corona of green light came into focus as it grew even closer, and fanciful observers even claim that this new celestial object had a face or more accused a mouth.

One sweltering night, this comet slammed into the Ogre homeland with such force that it could be felt on the other side of the world. All life around it was boiled away in an instant, two thirds of the Ogre population was annihilated as the steppes were liquified under the hammer-blow of this new and terrible god. The raging blinding firestorms that followed the comet's fall incinerated everything for miles around. Had there been any survivors left to peer into this massive crater left by the comets descent, they would have seen that the comet didn't just stop when it impacted the earth, but it had burrowed deep into the heart of this world.

For the devastated Tribes that survived the worst had yet to come. Their verdant homeland was now nothing more than a searing desert of howling sandstorms and baleful energy that ripped the flesh from their bones. Other than the Ogres only a handful of insects had survived the disaster, and starvation quickly set in. The surviving tribes degenerated into cannibalisme, falling upon each other in fear and hunger as the drought and lack of food gnawed away at their once-full bellies. To the Ogres it seemed that a vengeful god had fallen upon them, consuming all before it: a great and terrible maw that exists only to feed. Thus the insatiable god of the Ogres was born

The strongest and hardiest of the Ogres found themselves even after having eater their weaker brethren , found that the gnawing hunger that visited upon them at the Great Maw's landing would not leave them. No longer able to cross into Cathay due to the poisonous desolation left in the comets wake, the majority of the survivors migrated to the mountain ranges to the west in search of new homeland and respite from the great drought however, one of the oldest legends tell of Groth Onefinger who went further into the desert with the intent of offering sacrifices to the new and powerful god. What he found had since been depicted on a thousand gut-plates and banners, and is forever enched into the history of the Ogres. Before him stretched a gigantic, gaping crater the size of an inland sea, filled with ridge upon ridge of jagged teeth and rippling, convulsing muscles that stretched down and down into nothingness; a gullet so huge it could swallow a race like the Ogres and still hunger for more. It exists there even now, a vile, pulsing god visited upon the face of the world by the vengeful gods.

To this day many Ogres follow in the footsteps of Groth, the first prophet of the Maw, in a pilgrimage to their deity few return, for the Great Maw still hungers. Its presence still writhers like a malevolent worm in the minds of the Ogres, beckoning them forward one by one. So it is that the Ogres travel the world, subconsciously the relentlessness planted in them by their gluttonous god at the time of its birth. Those that have crossed the ocean claim that there is another maw on the other side of the world, a vast, fanged whirlpool that devours any ships that stray to close to it, but these claims are dismissed by the more civilized races as superstition for how could a comet gnaw its way through the core of the planet?

Such is the reverence to the maw that the Ogres dig stake like pits where they travel, throwing in blood trunks of meat as offerings to their god before each feast. They regularly fight to the death in these stinking meat-filled maw-pits dug into the earth at their feast halls, hoping that the blood spilled in their cannibal rites will appease the Great Maw. But the eternal hunger of the Great Maw can never truly be sated, and while it hungers still its barbarous sons will feed and feed and feed until they consume the world.

See also

Sources