the orc

Humans are Weird: Genetic Diversity

What if aliens have very little genetic diversity and they all look the same and then they meet humans. Where we can look extremely different, have extremely different personalities. 

Alien Scientist, S’chern, was quite young for her age; she was barely 21 sols on her marine home planet. But the job was a new position and it came with proper accommodations. S’chern she was among the first Sapienologists in the universe and was tasked with discovering how humans worked. 

Humans, as they called themselves, were eyed warily by most of the galaxy. They had all heard the stories about their ferocity and endurance. Unless you were amongst the few exploring the uncolonized space, aliens didn’t interact with humans much. 

There were treaties and laws and visas, as the humans called them, allowing interplanetary travel, but very few took up on the offer. Younglings just barely out of their last metamorphosis, sporting shiny black shells,  would dare each other to go to Earth. Most would chicken out just as they were about to board the shuttle, refund their ticket, and walk back ashamed. Some, however, were daring enough to go through with it. 

Most of the travelers on the shuttle-pod to earth were explorers looking to hire humans for their crew. They were clad in bulky, gleaming red carapaces, indicating their command status. They were usually accompanied by soldiers who never left their side. 

The final group on the shuttle were scientists. Eager to study the planet and the humans and all forms of life. Unlike the recruiters, who stared stoically straight ahead, or the dared who whispered with another excitedly, S’chern reviewed her notes on humans. 

Reports varied with contradictions that seemed impossible. Captain Kirnik explorer of the frontier reported his humans as determined, capable, and surprisingly ruthless. 

Others said their humans were lazy, and bonded with all life forms, refusing to leave crew-mates behind. 

S’chern resolved to talk about the inconsistencies between reports to determine who was correct. 

After instructions were announced, passengers were placed into cryogenic sleep and were instructed they would be awoken on entry to the human’s solar system. 

Upon entering the solar system, S’chern retrieved her recording cube from its storage and examined it to make sure it was in working order. The others were still stirring from sleep. 

They arrived on Earth two hours after entry and the passengers were ushered off the shuttle. Despite the promises of a quiet entrance, a veritable sea of humans flooded the exit. They carried devices flashing lights that agitated their eyes and she hissed. Instead of discouraging them, it only seemed to make them want to take more pictures. And Hurried whispers ensued containing fragments of English she couldn’t understand. 

The humans wore colors of many types on their hair: Brown, Black, and even Red. S’chern had been told it was a human custom to change their hair color unnaturally. It seemed to be a common thing now. There were the reported pinks and blues, but mostly the aforementioned colors. 

They scattered by quickly into a quieter room that was mostly human free. There was a young human there with shiny black hair and her teeth were bared unnaturally the whole time. 

“It’s called a smile,” One of the more experienced recruiters whispered to her,  seeing S’chern’s horrified look, “It means they’re friendly.” 
She nodded wondering what creature bared their teeth to show friendliness. 

As she was a Sapienologist, S'chern was taken into a chamber where she would meet with a human scientist. There were a few preliminary questions, that she answered in halting English. 

“Greetings,” A human spoke in a mutilation of her original language, “I am Bill." 

"Hello human-Bill,” S'chern bowed her head in an indication of respect, “ I am S'chern." 
human Bill’s features were much different than the human with the terrifying ‘smile’ who had welcomed them. 

"Have you altered your features,” S'chern asked. 

“What?” Human-Bill seemed confused, “No,”
“But you look different from the other human,” S'chern said. 

“Goodness wait until they see dogs,” he remarked to no one in particular. 

“Dogs?” S'chern questioned, “Are these the canine companions you call pets?" 

"Yes. And to answer your earlier question, humans can look quite different. Different hair and eye color, as well as many other features, can vary.” He paused, “I take it your…species has little genetic variation." 

"No,” S'chern clicked her pincers, “ We shed our shells when we reach maturity and change them once more when we are around fifty Sols." 

"Interesting,” The human jotted something down on a device. 

“Now, for curiosities sake, let me show you some dogs." 
After typing something on the device he flipped it around to show an average canine. 

"That is a husky, a breed of dog.” He said. He then typed in something and showed another furred mammal significantly smaller. 

“That is also a dog,’ He said. 

"But they are so different; this has short fur and is much smaller. The other one was huge and had long fur.” S'chern was baffled. How could they both be the same species? 

Perhaps the differing opinions were right, the humans could be both. But How could you expect different ones to react in the same situation?  

After a few more dog identification games, S'chern just gave up. How could they hope to classify humans if they varied this much?  Humans were most definitely weird. 

humans are weird...

…because we express multiple emotions with the same ‘signal’. ‘i’m screaming’ can indicate happiness or outrage or pretend-outrage; crying can mean any emotion that’s overwhelming enough. Aliens, who usually have something much closer to a 1:1 signal/particular emotion ratio, or think of emotions in a completely different way entirely, are baffled.

Alien zZ’zZZziko: Human Mirjam? According to my Human Studies class, a proposal is a happy human occasion, and according to my observations of you and Human Gauri, you enjoy each others’ company. You said yes to her proposal! But you also cried. I do not understand.

Human Mirjam: I was crying from happiness, zZ’zZZziko! 

Alien zZ’zZZziko: I thought crying was a sadness-signal.

Human Mirjam: It is, but it can also indicate other extreme emotions, like happiness or rage. It’s like… humans sometimes smile when we’re nervous? To sorta… diffuse the tension. Things like that can all mean different things. 

Alien zZ’zZZziko: …How do you *ever* know how each other feel???

Human Mirjam: Context, mainly!

yes it's another humans are space orcs post

So even when you’ve figured out how to deal with humans, it still really helps to be able to anticipate that you’re going to have to deal with humans, and there’s still a major pitfall when you’re operating in mixed-species environments where most people are operating as private individuals rather than as representatives of their respective species or planets:

Humans are so good at social modeling, and human naming conventions are such a mess, that it can be really hard to recognize that a person is human until you actually see a visual of them. Some of them include species on their profiles or biographies, but some skip right past species and list location of childhood home or racial/ethnic background or something instead, like everyone else is just supposed to know that the colony on Zendar Three is a human colony or what “latina” means. Some even make a point of not listing their species.

They pick up languages like nobody’s business. It might take an adult years to reach full fluency in a language - or they might pick it up in a matter of months, if they put their mind to it, and the subadults often don’t even require instruction or study. Even the ones who depend on automatic translation technology tend to be fussy about calibration and sounding as much like natural speakers as possible. In general, they put a lot of emphasis on being able to imitate the social manner of the group; many make a study of the social mores of species they intend to interact with, but even if they’re caught unprepared, most will to some extent mimic the attitude and approach of the people they interact with.

And the names. Most people will say that the typical human has a personal name and a family or clan name, and that’s… more or less accurate. Except that sometimes they list them the other way around. And sometimes they only have a personal name. Or they have multiple family names. And a lot of the time they have a kind of secondary personal name that they don’t even use, but not always, and some have as many as three or four of these “middle names.” There are lists of traditional human names that you can learn, but none of them are exhaustive, because almost every human population center and cultural group has its own traditional names and also humans are constantly adapting old names and inventing new ones.

Even if someone has a name that you recognize as being a traditional name of some other species, that isn’t a 100% guarantee that that person isn’t human. Because there’s such a wide variety of human names, there’s some overlap with other species names, to the point that it’s a kind of played out joke that the token human character in popular media has to be specified to be Human Steve. Plus in a lot of human cultures, one of the highest expressions of respect toward a person is to give that person’s name to one’s offspring, so there’s a small but significant number of humans with names that are definitely not human names because their parents chose to honor an alien friend or benefactor with a namesake.

Some humans are amused to be assumed to be another species. Some don’t seem to care, or are apologetic, apparently assuming that the confusion must be embarrassing or upsetting to the other party. A few get offended, but the other humans tend to agree that those ones are jerks and you shouldn’t feel bad about it.

Humans are Space Orcs - Spicy Pepper Edition

Ok to add my own idea to the whole, Humans are weird thing, Spicy food. 

Like some humans will go out of their way to eat the spiciest thing they can find, even if it causes them a lot of pain ( Carolina Reaper). I can just imagine an alien watching some of the humans on a space station in utter shock and disbelief that they are willing eating what is basicly, to the alien, a deadly substance. 

Human Steve: “ Hey Xenon! We got some peppers at the trading post! Do you want to try them?” 

Xenon: “Possibly, what is the name of these peppers?” 

Human Steve: “ I think they are Carolina Reapers. They are super common on earth. They are in candies and other things.” 

Xenon: “ WHAT! Those peppers are classified as a Type 2 deadly substance, and you put them in sweets??” 

Human Steve: “Well yeah, they are mainly used for dares, not for kids.”

Xenon: “how is your species even alive?” 

((Story for this: https://space-orc-oddities.tumblr.com/post/162917932993/ok-first-i-am-completely-in-love-with-your-blog))

Everyone wants a human on their fleet. Everyone needs a human on their fleet. Humas are stupidly brave, strong, smart, and thelist could go on. AS amazing and helpful as they were, they had a lot of annoying traits. The trait that annoyed Faul-iar the most? Humans’ tendencies to touch each and every thing. Especially wildlife that they deem ‘cute.’ Even xey xemself have been petted and touched by numerous humans who find xem cute! Many apologized after they learned xe hated being pet but still… it was annoying.

Even so, Faul-iar became victim to the humans’ amazing tactic called ‘bonding’ and of all the humans, he was more bonded to two of them. Valentina and Jacarei. And they both fascinated xem every single day. Especially the day when xey found out that humans have complete immunities to fatal toxins!

Faul-iar was sent with Valentina and Jacarei to a planet. It was a very well known planet, but the humans wanted to check it out. By humans, *all* the humans wanted to check it out. Now, a big group of humans together in a place they arent familiar with isa bad idea. So, they were sent down in group by group. Each group got a maximum of 2 hours. At least one of the species whowere familiar with the planet was sent with some humans. Faul-iar, Valentina, and Jacarei were the first group.

Now, remember how Faul-iar really hates humans’ needs to touch literally everything? This is where that annoyance came into play. Jacarei and Valentina were touching literally everything. Harmless Fauna, harmless flora, etc… It was kinda annoying just to watch. Faul-iar just rolled xer eyes and then looked away momentarily. That was a mistake. Immediately, xer humans were talking excitedly about something. The translator wasa little laggy so xe just leaned back and relaxed. That was til the translator actually kicked in.

“Oh my god Val look at that!”

“Its so adorable! So fluffy and cute!”

“And its pastel pink and yellow! Pastelmakes everything cuter!”

Faul-iar was immediately alarmed at hearing that. Fluffy, Pink and yellow? That was one of the most dangerous, and posionous species on the planet! Xe had to stop xer humans from touching it! Thisis why taking xer eyes off the humans was a mistake.

“Im gonna pet it!”

Xe started running to them,”No don-!” Xe was to late. Jacarei had in fact started petting the poisonous creature. They looked stunned for a moment before they immediately just perked up and started bouncing around a bit.

“Oh my god! Im really energized! Holy shit Holy shit Holy shit! Fuck yes I feel great!”

Faul-iar ran over to Jacarei. Xe was worried! Xe didnt want to lose of the humans xe bonded the most with! “That creature you has poisoned you with a fatal toxin!”

Valentina’s eyes widened and she started panicking.”What!? Oh no oh no!”

“I am afraid to! We must stay calm and get them back to the ship! Caffein-”

Valentina gave him a weird look, then looked at Jacarei. Both of them immediately started laughing. Valentina was laughing so hard, she fell to the ground, clutching her stomach. This would have alarmed Faul-iar but it is common knowledge humans’ torsos hurt when they laugh to hard.

“Why areyou two laughin! Jacarei! Youre gonna die!”

“No Im not dude! Look! Caffein is in coffee! Caffein is basically coffee! Its a common human drink meant to give you energy!” Jacareiwas talking so fast, Faul-iar’s translator was barely able to keep up.

“Wha-?”

“Its true, its true.” Valentina was still giggling as she stood back up.”Caffein isnt fatal to us.”

At that moment, Faul-iar was grateful that humans were on the side of the Alliance.

A Personal Account of Recent Confederacy History

The Galactic Confederacy was in complete chaos.

Everything had been moving along quite nicely, and then the Humans appeared to ruin it all.

First, they stopped in the Blagdorf system and introduced them to agriculture. The Blagdorfs had been mass producing their food for millennia! It was a thriving hub for export and then they started “growing” their resources. Now it is almost impossible to find authentic Blagdorf Schnitzel in any corner of the universe.

Then! Then they decided to hop on over to the Kankor System and end their thousand year old blood fued with the Arelians. An incredible feat, to be sure- except now they had two of the most terrifying races in the Confederacy as staunch allies. And the Aurelians have refused to share their weapons technology, the blighters.

Their third stop was Andar-12B, a relatively small and unknown planet resting on the outer rims of the Confederacy Hub system. Rather primitive, to be sure. And so what did the Humans do? Why, gifted them FTL travel of course! The race from Andar-12B, who called themselves Terrans, had begun tentative exploration into their region, but this! It was sacrosanct amongst the Confederacy not to interfere with developing worlds. And the Humans had done so without a care at all.

Finally, their flagship touched down on the home planet of the Confederacy, Andromaeda. All members of the High Council, as well as privileged scribes, were present for the first meeting with the Humans.

It did not go as expected.

It began when the leader of their party (4 women, 3 men) flourished a clearly ironic bow at the Head Councilman, Jarak from the Kaiser region. As she straightened, an expression I can only describe as pure madness crossed her rather dull features. There were no special physicality’s about this race at all. They were quite boring, to look at anyway.

As the Council welcomed the Humans to the Confederacy, they glanced between one another before looking to their leader to respond. I will never forget the words she spoke, as long as I live.

“We aren’t here to join your Confederacy.”

Everything was silence. Head Councilman Jarak was still, as if he had been carved from diamond. No one had ever refused to join. You couldn’t really refuse. It wasn’t an option.

And yet, these were Humans. They ruin things, after all.

One of the younger Councilman, a native man, stepped forward and asked the question on everyone’s lips. Or, perhaps questions.

“Then why are you here? And where did you come from?”

The Human party smiled, as if they had been waiting for this very opportunity. You could almost see everyone present lean forward in anticipation.

“We came from the stars.”

The Leader of the party looked towards the darkened sky, and almost whispered her final words.

“And we are trying to find our way home.”



(part 1/? maybe if you like it)
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It is thus probably to Sauron that we may look for a solution of the problem of chronology [of when the Orcs were bred]. Though of immensely smaller native power than his Master, he remained less corrupt, cooler and more capable of calculation. At least in the Elder Days, and before he was bereft of his lord and fell into the folly of imitating him, and endeavouring to become himself supreme Lord of Middle-earth. While Morgoth still stood, Sauron did not seek his own supremacy, but worked and schemed for another, desiring the triumph of Melkor, whom in the beginning he had adored. He thus was often able to achieve things, first conceived by Melkor, which his master did not or could not complete in the furious haste of his malice.
—  Tolkien, J. R. R. The History of Middle-Earth X: Morgoth’s Ring. Ed. Christopher Tolkien. (London: HarperCollins, 2002.) 420. (Myths Transformed, Text X, “Orcs”
Life Channeler (Druid Archetype)

Easily in my top five archetypes from Horror Adventures, today we’re looking at the very embodiment of the sinister agricultural/nature cult, the Life Channeler Druid!

The concept behind most such cults is that individual lives are replaceable, but the well-being of the many is a precious thing. As such, they ritualistically sacrifice sapient beings so that the crops grow with abundance, and the landscape is particularly healthy.

More powerful individuals often set up cults of personality, where individuals are periodically selected to undergo sacrifice willingly. Oftentimes, these chosen are treated as royalty for the days leading up to their sacrifice, at peace in the assumption that a part of them will live on in the natural world they are bolstering.

Of course, these mystics are given all the more credence because their sacrifices actually work, and not just for growing plants. Of course, regardless of whether they sacrifice innocents or enemies, the nature of their power gives them a grey or darkening morality.

With a ritualized sacrifice of a helpless or willing victim, these mystics can indeed cause plant life in the surrounding region to be bolstered, yielding greater benefit and produce.

Additionally, they specifically always tap into the power of plants and/or growth with their connection to the natural world.

Of course, these sacrifices are not just for the benefit of the surrounding region, but also for the personal power of the druid. They craft a series of wicker talismans to trap and contain life essence, filling them with appropriately powerful sacrifices, and are able to use that stored power to fuel magic drawn from their natural domain.

Furthermore, as word spreads of the life channeler’s deeds and power, they begin to attract a following of willing would-be sacrifices, their devotion allowing the druid to sacrifice them without driving the others away.

As they grown in power, their ability to bless the region with greater yield only grows, increasing the distance affecting and the potential yield.

Finally, they can also store the life energy of potent sacrifices of equal life energy to their own inside their own body, allowing them to sacrifice that stored power to negate death magic and life-draining effects that target them.

Looking for a creepy villain or antihero druid who is eager to put their foes to better use? This archetype may indeed be for you. Keep in mind that with leadership, the power level of the followers is limited, so only the lowest level wicker talismans will be able to be filled regularly, so don’t try sacrificing them all at once. Indeed, your most powerful talismans will need to be filled with the energy of powerful foes. I recommend a build focusing on planty control, one that can entrap foes without killing them.

Wickerman is the most obvious direction to take here, especially since, in addition to ordinary, inanimate wicker statues, the most powerful among them can in fact create wickerman constructs. As antagonists, they can be leaders of creepy communes. As player characters, they might be that especially creepy druid that has an agricultural home base that occasionally involves dark rituals.

 

Devoting themselves to an aspect of nature and chaos as eternal genesis, Aki-Nuha is always eager to speed along the process of renewal, the eerily cheerful ganzi kidnapping bandits and woodcutter alike to sacrifice. The locals are hesitant to do anything about it after their orchards and farms began to blossom and grow fruitful, and may actually actively interfere with bounty hunters come to collect the price on their head.

Rumor has it among the scouts that entire orc tribes have gone missing recently, their encampments showing some signs of battle, but surprisingly little blood. In truth, the orc druid Pusak is preparing an elaborate sacrifice to create an animate wickerman, which he will set upon the enemies of the tribe.

Surprisingly, life channelers are quite common in the Underground, since entire communities can depend on a few fertile patches of fungus to survive. Having a druid that can turn the lives of prisoners into guaranteed growth and yield can be quite the boon, especially with buggane and drow and others threats here and there, eager to snatch up resources from others.