he half-ogre is a curious hybrid, the result of somehow cross-breeding an ogre and a human.
We cannot say for certain how these creatures come to be, although they must be conceived by
rape. The circumstances of a half-ogre's birth are difficult to imagine; if we did not see
them walking the streets of every city in Arcanum daily, most naturalists would call such a
thing impossible. Although of course it is always conceivable that an ogre bull might
violate a human female captive, everything we know about ogres tells us that it must be
quite unusual for the victim to survive any such sexual encounter. Also, if some hardy
human female could survive the assault, it is difficult to understand where an ogre father
finds the patience to await the birth of his half-ogre offspring. Even after putting a
human female to use in satisfying the one appetite, the standard course of the male ogre
would normally be to satisfy his other hungers very quickly. To put it bluntly, one would
expect the victim to be killed and eaten. After being molested by an ogre, most human
women would probably welcome this fate as something of a relief!
Regardless of these lurid speculations, however, half-ogres do exist and they do live among
us. Prior to two hundred years ago, of course, they were exceedingly rare. It may be that
the near-extinction of the ogrish race in recent years has inspired the current generation
of ogre patriarchs to unheard-of heights of procreative ingenuity; we cannot say, as we are
unable to interview them. The best we can do is examine their children, and draw what
conclusions we can from our findings.
Half-ogres, then, show both sides of their parentage quite clearly. In body they are only
slightly smaller than pure-blooded ogres, having a height which averages roughly 120 inches,
or some 300 centimeters. They weigh something in the realm of 2500-3000 stone, and like ogres
they are well-muscled and extremely strong. They do not live as long as ogres do, however,
having a natural lifespan of only 90 years or so, and in character as well as longevity
they show the influence of the human parent. They are more intelligent than ogres by far,
and also far less violent and prone to fits of rage. They can work and live in the company
of other races; normally one sees them employed by gnomes, who are more able than most to
overcome their personal biases against them. Although they do still possess a slight
rumble of the same mystic vibration which exists in ogres and giants, half-ogres do not
seem to have the intelligence or inclination to use magick at all. They probably could
make some use of tools or technological devices, if these were of an appropriate size;
but such items are seldom made to fit an oversized hand or body.
It is a curious fact that all the half-ogres we see around us are male. It may be that
the ogre parents of these creatures do not allow the girl-children of a human-ogre pairing
to live; on a more sinister note, it may be that while their sons are allowed to wander off
from the tribe, the daughters are kept for breeding purposes. In any case, the half-ogres
who find their way into civilized society are well able to make their way in the world, and
always find employment very quickly. They make most excellent bodyguards, bouncers, and
physical labourers; gnomes benefit greatly from their services, and any gnomish gentleman
of substance will be seen to travel with a half-ogre for his personal protection. The
extreme loyalty of a half-ogre guardsman has become somewhat legendary. When called upon,
half-ogres will fight to the death to protect their charges.
Although half-ogres are somewhat slow-witted by the standards of the average human, they
have great patience and a mild temper. They have some of any ogre's hereditary dislike
for dwarves and elves, but these feelings manifest as mistrust or repulsion rather than
being an automatic pretext for mayhem. There even seems to be some innate parental
instinct in them; they show genuine affection for persons smaller than themselves.
Half-ogres are exceedingly gentle with children of all races, and are especially inclined
to be fond of gnomes and halflings. Why this is, we cannot say, but one is occasionally
met with the incongruous sight of a half-ogre minder charged with the protection of a
small child, or even several children.