So, this one is maybe a bit weird and @Mods feel free to relocate this if it’s in the wrong category or just delete it if there’s already a thread for this I didn’t find on my initial search, but here goes:
So I’ve been walking around with this premise in my head for close to a year now, I think. I don’t really play tabletop RPG’s, I’m not a fantasy auther (or any kind of author really), but regardless, the damn thing just won’t get out of my head. I figured I couldn’t possibly be the only one who tends to have this happen, and even if it doesn’t really amount to anything, I’ve found that sharing these things can generally lead to good discussions and feedback. If nothing else it can help to just get the damn thing out there, so it doesn’t keep bouncing around in your head.
So, I figured this thread could provide a good opportunity for people to share their creative musings, stray thoughts and premises and regardless of whether anything comes out of it, it could perhaps lead to some good discussions!
Now, as for my own little, (well, it used to be little) premise; It’s about Orcs. Pacifist Orcs who do art, always.
Warning: lots of text
The Orcs eschew the idea of violence and consider it beneath them. They are larger, stronger and far more durable than any other race, and have therefore never experienced the fear or of feeling threatened.
They are are a people who hold artistry and the immortality of artistic expression in the highest regard.
From their childhood and through their young adult years, sometimes all the way into their 40’s and 50’s they dedicate themselves completely to the mastery of their chosen artistic craft, be it painting, sculpturing, musicianship and poetry. Once they have reached a satisfactory level of mastery they leave the clan and wander the world, utilizing it as their canvas.
The grandeur and magnitude of their works of art can be seen and heard throughout the entire world, from entire clifsides covered in poetic scrawl to massive vistas cut into the earth, only truly visible from upon high. Entire mountain ridges sculpted into effigies for whatever emotion or inspiration might have struck the Orc in question, musical works of improvisation that reverberate through the landscape sometimes for weeks on end, powered by their gargantuan wooden and stone instruments, they carry with them everywhere. 10 feet tall bass instruments, flutes fashioned from entire trees, drums carved out of ancient tree trunks, even their paint brushes are of such extraordinary magnitude that it would take up to 5 grown men to even attempt lifting them off the ground.
Those of the Orcs who do not pledge their lives to the mastery and expression of their art become scribes, committing themselves to travelling the world and archiving the work left behind by Orcs who came before them. They carry their massive tomes on their backs, filling it with illustrations, descriptions and transcriptions of the artworks they happen upon, and once they have filled every last page they return to the clan to submit their observations for archival and live out the rest of their lives as scholars and teachers to pass on their learnings they have gathered from their travels.
While generally smaller in physical stature, a Scribe is regarded just as highly as an artist. Since the idea of physical power has lost its meaning to them because they are so much more powerful than other races, the idea of discriminating based on physical strength is inherently illogical to them and therefore there is no inherent discrimination towards weaker members of the Clan.
This, however, also means that there isn’t a lot of flexibility. Though you are generally encouraged to pursue your passions, if you don’t see yourself complying to the grander purpose of artistic expression you are set to work more practical jobs, like cooking, construction, etc. These are all considered essential to the survival of the clan, so those who undertake more menial task are still viewed as integral parts of the Clan.
Due to their massive size, standing at up to 9 feet tall and weighing up towards 900 pounds, the Orcs need ample sustenance. They will eat almost anything from tree bark to gravel and even solid rock at times, but consider the consumption of meat crude and unnecessary. Then again, of course they would, they can eat literal granite. Food is purely considered a means of sustenance and is therefore not something to indulge in, which is probably part of the reason they are content with quite literally living off the land. They will, however, never engorge themselves or go on eating sprees through the country as they consider it wasteful and unnecessarily taxing to the world they consider to be their canvas (They quite literally refer to the wider world as Canvas).
And so the Orcs travel the world in relative solitude, searching for that ever elusive path of inspiration. Like the massive Blue Whales they are unconcerned with the comings and goings of other peoples, safely at ease within themselves.
A vocal part of the greater society consider the Orcs to be a nuissance and their artistic escapades not far removed from base vandalism. Many a farmer has had the misfortune of waking up to see his crops disfigured by massive crop circles that from a nearby hell resembles an intricate pattern. Moreover, the booming, reverberating tones of the Orcs instruments have been known to keep entire villages sleep deprived for weeks, unconcerned as they tend to be with the habits of locals.
Most, however, view the Orcs as an important, if incidental part of everyday life. Bearing witness to an Orc in the midst of creating his or her Magnum Opus is a rare and spectacular sight to behold and so people tend to leave them alone. If for no other reason than the power and enormity of the Orcs making the thought of actual confrontation an unappealing one to most who might otherwise be so inclined.
To be clear, the reason these things transpire are not out of any malicious intent on behalf of the Orcs. To them, the world is a piece of clay to be molded into something extraordinary and whatever discomfort they might cause the surrounding folk is purely coincidental and simply not something worth considering in the grander scheme of things. All life ultimately perishes, but art, truly great art, stands eternal.