Orcs, goblins and their rarer (albeit, more beastly cousins) are a common sight on Post-Cataclysmic Earth. From hordes of raiders preying on the peripheries of human civilisation, to valuable members of law enforcement and the military, the Children of Gorgmonn are here to stay on Earth. But how did they get here? And what exactly are they?
Gorgmonn and the First World
The children of Gorgmonn all spring from the godly entity Gorgmonn. Often deemed a god by his offspring, the true nature of Gorgmonn is unknown to humanity. Goblin shamans, however, are certain of his existence, and provide evidence for it with their unique access to shamanistic powers, visions and tools that other species have been unable to master, or even use.
The shamans speak of a homeworld where the Children of Gorgmonn were born. The First World. While they do not speak of how this world was created, they claim that their god created them to represent some aspect of himself – binding them all together with their black blood that grants an immunity to all maladies, curses and inflictions.
The orcs were granted Gorgmonn’s strength, stature and resilience. They were to be compelled to seek glory in all its forms, and to be honourable in all things. Tall, muscular and hardy, orcs characterise ferocity and stoic power. Their underbite fangs only add to their fearful appearance.
The goblins were privileged with Gorgmonn’s keen mind, gaining intelligence and wisdom above their cousins. Gorgmonn’s daughter, Bamari the Bone Mother, took a liking to the goblins and gave them access to the visions she trapped in the bones – allowing them to see fate and act on it. While much shorter than their cousins, goblins are often faster, wilier and smarter.
The orcs and goblins were the intended children of Gorgmonn. But the shamans speak of two more of their cousins. The hobgoblins and bugbears.
It is said that Gorgmonn fell in love with Tyrokea, the Queen of Thorns. Together, they raised Bamari, the Bone Mother, and Latan-ka, the Guide of the Celestial Voyage. But Tyrokea was not content to have only two children. She compelled Gorgmonn to create more children in his image.
But orcs and goblins were already perfect. They carried Gorgmonn’s virtues, without his vices. He pleaded with Tyrokea to be content with their two wonderful children. Unbeknownst to Gorgmonn, his consort had stolen his powers and created two more species in his and her image.
But Tyrokea was not the same as Gorgmonn. In fact, it had been that darkness that had drawn Gorgmonn to the Queen of Thorns.
As she created these new Children of Gorgmonn, they became corrupted.
Hobgoblins twisted the wisdom and intelligence of the goblins and became cunning and duplicitous. A species driven by avarice and a need for bloodshed for its own sake. Unlike their short cousins, hobgoblins are as tall as orcs, but less stocky. They appear like orange humans with sharp teeth.
Bugbears mutated the dignified orc, turning them into beasts obsessed with only finding their next meal. Be it orc, human, elf or other bugbears. They resemble their orc cousins, but are often covered in fur, bearing skew teeth, and bearing razor sharp claws.
The creation of these twisted children angered Gorgmonn, but it was too late. The world was overrun with these creatures. Gorgmonn attempted to slay them, but Tyrokea stayed his hand. She recognised that what she had done was wrong, but she could let her children die.
Even so, what had once been a paradise became consumed by these bestial, dark reflections of Gorgmonn’s unintended children.
Gorgmonn couldn’t bear to watch his children become trapped on a world with their dark cousins. He asked his son, Latan-ka, to create an armada of ships. And with them, he declared the Celestial Voyage.
The Celestial Voyage
Latan-Ka created countless ships that could traverse the In Between. These void-ships were filled with Gorgmonn’s favourite children. The orcs and goblins. These ships were sent to other realms, which Gorgmonn bequeathed to his children – even if they weren’t his to give.
With their conquests blessed by their god, the Children of Gorgmonn soon spread to many worlds across the In Between. Where they didn’t take over worlds entirely, they formed large raiding bands that soon lost their connection to Gorgmonn and the Bone Mother.
These faithless mobs fell to their baser natures, often siding with hobgoblins and bugbears who the Queen of Thorns had snuck onto the Celestial Voyage.
Goblin shamans tried their best to keep these cosmic refugees connected to their origins, but as they travelled to more and more worlds with no way to return, more and more orcs and goblins lost their way.
The children of Gorgmonn were carried to Earth by Celestial Voyages, hitting Earth at different times after the Cataclysm, as well as through random rift storms.
Some orcs and goblins have integrated into Earth society. Orcs, especially, have found a place within law enforcement and the military of many nations – notably, the Holy Roman Empire.
The disparate nature of the arrival of Gorgmonn’s children on Earth has led to trouble.
To many orcs, Gorgmonn bequeathed Earth to them. Humans and the other rift-borne species are interlopers that must be exterminated. These orcs have formed large hordes, led by war chiefs. While most of these hordes exist on the peripheries of civilisation, engaging only in piecemeal raids, some have grown to become existential threats to the fragile nations of Post-Cataclysm Earth.
One of the largest contentions among the refugees on Earth is to maintain the Old Ways or embrace the New Ways.
This can mean something different across hordes and tribes.
The Old Ways, to many, is a strict adherence to Gorgmonn’s desires and the Bone Mother’s guidance. But to others, it is a focus on manifest destiny, and a desire to conquer Earth for all those with the black blood.
The New Ways are becoming increasingly popular among urbanised goblins and orcs. They recognise that Earth is a place they must share with other species. The New Ways calls for integration with humankind, the finding of new purposes above that of conquest, and varying levels of abandonment of Gorgmonn’s teachings.
For many, the Bone Mother is a symbol of the New Ways. She has always been a future-looking goddess. Gorgmonn’s time is done, many shamans argue. It is time for the bones to guide them to a new future.
Regardless of if the Children of Gorgmonn are to embrace the old or the new, they face a lot of challenges on Earth. Monsters are the least of their problems on this world of the magical and monstrous, as they have to reconcile their own bestial natures with that of this civilised world.