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Author Topic: Female orcs--rules and rights  (Read 4383 times)
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Alysse the Likely
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« on: 09 December 2005, 11:43:00 »

Okay, here's my revised draft of a treatise on female orcs with Marvin's and Talia's comments added


Female orcs--Roles, Rights, and Responsibilities

The societal laws governing female orcs vary depending on which tribe one studies, though in general, the orcs have very rigid rules concerning the restrictions placed upon females. These laws, though unwritten, are harsh and unyielding.

Losh'Oc

The most extreme position is taken by the Losh-Oc tribe.  To them, a female is considered to be the property of whatever male has first claim on her.  As a child and unmated adult, she is subject to her father, brother, or other male guardian.  When given to a male as mate, she becomes his property.  For another orc to lay claim to her services without permission is considered theft and the offender is likely to be attacked and viciously punished by the other male orcs of the group. Females themselves are not allowed to own things except for personal items such as clothing.
A female’s value is determined by several means—her ability to produce (male) children, her ability to work hard, and her ability to please her mate.  Thus an obedient, hard-working mother of two or more young males is considered a “better” catch than a less enthusiastic, barren female or one that only has girl children.  Orcs have a complicated set of beliefs about the "male principle" and the "female principle" which apparently fight for control in the female's body and this determines, among other traits, the gender of the baby.  So a male whose mate produces mostly boys (especially if they more strongly resemble him than her) is also thought to be more "potent", while she is approved of for having a properly subservient spirit.
However, the female orc does have certain rights.  Males are allowed to beat their females (for disobedience, laziness etc.) but not without due cause and not severely enough to cause long-term or permanent damage.  A male who does so is considered to be somewhat unmanly and a poor example of self-control.  Though he is not formally punished, he is looked on with disfavour.  Females are responsible for domestic affairs— preparing meals, keeping the home area tidy and organized, caring for children, watching cattle, and so on.  They do not become warriors or shamans, although those with shamanic talents are given to male shamans and may be trained as apprentices to help “control” their abilities.
A male may and often does have additional females assigned to him, usually because their previous mate has died in battle.  "Extra" females are usually allotted out to more respected warriors who have earned great battle honours.  Each adult male orc is entitled, however, to at least one female.  An orc warlord may, on occasion, give one of his extra females to an underling whose mate has died in childbirth or through some accident.  This is considered a noble act and the warlord gains great prestige and honour among his warriors for this.


Rhom-Oc and Ashz-Oc

The rules governing these two tribes are nearly identical so they are being considered together.  Their laws are similar to those of the Losh-Oc, although they are not quite so rigid and females are permitted more leeway.  They may study to become shamans (though only under the tutelage of a male and are subject to him) and are also responsible for the care of the wargs.  Females may own possessions that are not subject to the whims of their mates (i.e. a female may barter a piece of jewelry or a deer hide that belongs to her without her mate’s permission.)  A female does not necessarily have to be assigned to another male immediately if her mate dies.  In theory, she may even live on her own if she can provide for herself and her young.  In practise, however, there  is a great deal of social pressure to remarry and most generally do, though a rare few prefer to manage on their own.   Though the Rhom and Ashz orcs usually have multiple mates as well, they tend to have greater respect for their female's wishes, and will not, for instance, give away a mate to another warrior if she is unwilling to go. However, women are still not allowed to be warriors and their responsibilities are still mainly domestic.

Osther-Oc and Volkek-Oshra

These two tribes allow females equal rights and privileges with males.  They regard the other orc tribes’ behaviour with great contempt for their treatment of females and find it largely inconceivable that a tribe would not want to treat all members depending on their individual abilities rather than their gender.

Gob-Oc

Very little is known about the Gob-Oc tribe, except that their females are rarely seen by non-tribe members.  Because of this, it is assumed they, like most female orcs, live under some restriction.

Orcristh (Black orcs of Nybelmar)

The Orcristh tend to treat their females well, but they are still not permitted to hold any sort of high ranking position or considered to be the equal of a male (with the exception of the Orcal-cha).  However, they are considered to have their own special status as "the race bearers". and most males treat their mates with kindness and care.  Females are considered to be under the rule of their household male, but their wishes are usually considered when decisions concerning them are made.
The Orcal-cha, the only female with any rank, is the mother of the current Orcal (leader) and holds the position of his most trusted advisor.

Alysse the Likely

Edited by: Artimidor Federkiel at: 1/8/06 9:08
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Alysse the Likely
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« Reply #1 on: 09 December 2005, 14:24:00 »

I'm glad I'm no female orc! ;)

Will this go just as a part in the orc-entry?

Would be interesting to know, if the orcs know, that babies inherite the characteristics of both genders, or if they think like the greek, that the female is only the vessel for the seed of the male..

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Marvin Cerambit
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« Reply #2 on: 09 December 2005, 19:42:00 »

Maybe add something about males having multiple females? Males are going to die more so there will be more women available to than there are men. And maybe more women for more respected orcs?

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Alysse the Likely
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« Reply #3 on: 09 December 2005, 20:47:00 »

Thanks for your comments, Talia and Marvin!

@Talia: I wasn't quite sure whether Art wanted to add a section to each entry or just have an overview which could perhaps be footnoted into all of them, so I just went for the overview for now.  Adjustments can be made as needed, though.

@Marvin:  Oops, yes, I forgot to mention that about multiple females.  I'll add it in.

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« Reply #4 on: 10 December 2005, 09:44:00 »

Multiple females rise the question - what is the percentage of babies born female or male? Are so many orcs dieing in fights, that there are enough females available, are there more girls born as boys or are there orc who don't find females?

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Marvin Cerambit
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« Reply #5 on: 10 December 2005, 11:49:00 »

I would go with roughly 1:1. As for being enough females, I don't see how that could be a problem when male orcs have a much higher chance on an early death.

The question would rather be if the warlords are so gready that they claim so much women that lower orcs don't have any left.

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Alysse the Likely
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« Reply #6 on: 10 December 2005, 14:38:00 »

Actually, I would think it would be pretty much a 1:1 ratio of males to females born. Perhaps like people, they have a slightly higher tendency to boys (here in RL, we have about 100 girls:105 boys born, because slightly more girl children survive than boys, apparently)  but in any case, our researchers wouldn't be likely to have the opportunity to study the orcs this closely.  Survival rates are about equal until adulthood as well.

Some considerations, though:
Not all female orcs survive adulthood.  They can and do die in childbirth--they probably have limited sanitation and hygiene knowledge, so infections etc. would be common.  However, there will still be more females than males due to wars and hunting accidents.
Marvin's suggestion, that warlords would be that greedy-- I think it's possible but unlikely, as: a) they have to provide for and look after all the females and their children
b), a warlord would not want the orcs under his command to have any reasons for resentment and grumbling against him.  His position is precarious enough as it is.

I would say, then, that every male orc is allotted at least one female, with the opportunity to acquire more through gaining valor and wealth in battle.  Also, a warlord may give one of his extra mates to an orc who has lost his mate through childbirth or other accident.  This is seen a a very noble thing to do and gains the warlord much prestige and respect among his men.  Again, this is mostly a Losh-Oc thing. Though the Rhom and Ashz orcs usually have multiple mates as well, they tend to have greater respect for their female's wishes, and will not give away a mate if she is unwilling to go.

Thanks for your help, Talia and Marvin! :hug  :hug  If you have more ideas or suggestions, please toss them in!

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Alysse the Likely
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« Reply #7 on: 11 December 2005, 02:56:00 »

Just read these additions as well and I think they shed a good light on the position of females in orcish society now, Alysse:)  So many questions which previously open or unclear are now properly covered, couldn't wish for more.

So to me basically the issue remains on how we can integrate all the information in the best way possible. I think as we have a Races entry on orcs and several tribe entries, we should put the information where one expects it to find. This means:

- Races entry: I would suggest to pick the Losh-Ocs treating of the females as the archetype orcish behaviour and put especially the first paragraphs into the main races entry, here it can go directly into the Family, Society and Culture section.

At the end of the addition in the Races entry I would suggest to summarize some examples on how other tribes differ. Shouldn't be as detailed as the paragraph you have at the moment on the Rhom-Oc and Ashz-Oc, just a few sentences. These summaries can only be exemplary, as we're talking here about what role the females play in orcish society in general - so we cannot mention all orcish tribes here anyway, because there are also orcs living on other continents etc.

- Tribes entries: At the specific tribe entries I would suggest to add e.g. the paragraph you have about the Rhom-Oc and Ashz-Oc, and at the Osther-Oc, the Volkek-Oshra or the Gob-Oc I can add the details you have on them as well (would go into the People section). Perhaps with a sentence or two in front summarizing the role of women in general, and from there explain the tribe's differences.

So mayhaps you can try to split it a bit in this respect, Alysse, so that I can grab it directly and put it into the various races & tribe entries. I guess only some small changes are needed to make that work, and then we're ready to integrate it pretty easily at the next update!


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Alysse the Likely
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« Reply #8 on: 12 December 2005, 04:03:00 »

I've split them into different sections for the various tribal entries. I figured this way you could add the whole thing to the orcish race overview and then the separate paragraphs to each entry as an add-on to the culture or people sections as you mentioned.  This should work.

BTW, obviously these restrictions would not allow for the existence of an orc like Shagrah the Searer among the Losh-Oc--they'd probably kill her off as a child--but it is conceivable (though highly unlikely) that she could have been born to the less restrictive Rhom or Ashz-Oc groups.  Maybe if that part were changed, she wouldn't be quite so dramatic a contradiction to orcish life, custom and society, and thus might be allowed to live.  Just a thought.

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« Reply #9 on: 12 December 2005, 12:16:00 »

How about adding a small part about the Nybelmar orcs? Orcristh will probably be similar to Rhom-Oc and Ashz-Oc and Chyrakisth have equal rights for males and females like the Osther-Oc and Volkek-Oshra.

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Alysse the Likely
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« Reply #10 on: 12 December 2005, 20:46:00 »

Well, when I adapted the entry for the black orcs of Nybelmar, I added quite a bit about the female roles in that entry.  This particular treatise was focussing solely on Sarvonian orcs, because none of those entries addresses the female place in orcish society. Personally, I'm expecting that as future orcish development continues, the developers will include both gender roles (if they differ drastically) in their entries so that this sort of later adjustment isn't necessary.  As the current orc expert (though Grunok may change that! :D ) I'm going to insist on it.

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« Reply #11 on: 13 December 2005, 07:10:00 »

Quote:
I figured this way you could add the whole thing to the orcish race overview

Well, I was thinking of adding something about Nybelmar orcs because it would go in the overview.

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Alysse the Likely
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« Reply #12 on: 13 December 2005, 19:59:00 »

Well, okay, though their social structure is a bit different.  I guess it's pretty similar to the Rhom and Ashz Oc though, with an important exception, but I'll write a quick paragraph for them too.  I'm not sure about the Chyrakisth--they aren't really true orcs, are they?  More of a magical crossbreed?  Anyway, we'll see about them later.

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« Reply #13 on: 14 December 2005, 04:40:00 »

Chyrakisth are rumored to be half elf - half orc, but nothing sure. In any case they are currently classified under orcs. As for women vs. men:

Quote:
The Chyrakisth are separated into sects or families ruled by the strongest mages and warriors, both occupations equally distributed among both genders. Each sects believes in its own supremacy over all other sects of the Chyrakisth and lives as an own, independent community.

...

The Chyrakisth are not monogamous, the relationships changing with the rank of each individual. The highest ranking male being aligned to the highest ranking female and from there down the hierarchy. Given the violent society these relationship obviously change regularly. The offspring from these relationships is raised by the women only until they can walk, from there on they become part of the hierarchy and have to fight for their place in the sect, at first against those of their age, later when they reach adulthood they need to challenge older warriors to advance.

...

The ascension in a sect is regulated by duels between individuals. In theory one Chyrakisth can challenge any other individual of his own gender and higher in the hierarchy but highranking individuals have the right to demand someone lower in the hierarchy to fight in their place against a low ranking Chyrakisth that is below their honour, the obvious challenge being to not fight too many fights that exhaust one in a high position but fight enough fights to prove that one is still worthy of his place.

This rule applies to both genders, the only exception being pregnant females. Those fights are executed with fangs and claws only, however under normal circumstances the raw hands are already dangerous enough so special bracelets and necklets protect lethal parts like throat and arteries at arms and legs.


So it's a bit similar to the Osther-Oc.

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« Reply #14 on: 14 December 2005, 14:09:00 »

Many thanx, Alysse, I'll take that all in in the next update:)  Shakgrah the Searer of course doesn't fit that good anymore now into this scheme, so adjustments are definitely necessary - she could still be a certain exception and thus have become famous, but only within certain limits. I'll add this entry to the list of entries which need to be reworked in the Entry Proposals Forum. Maybe Viresse shows up sooner or later and can do the adjustments herself.

If you still have something to add here and there, feel free to do so, otherwise don't forget the Kuk'arg (Salmon) you wanted to take a final look at - here we already have the picture, so as soon as we have last adjustments, we have a nice illustrated entry to go up:)  


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"Between the mind that plans and the hands that build there must be a mediator, and this must be the heart." -- Maria (Metropolis)
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