|Egg Laying Orcs|
Egg Laying Orcs
In the world of Hârn, orcs and gobelins are called "Garguns". They were created or brought to Hârn by a renegade mage named Lothrim. They survived the demise of their initial master, and since the dwarfs didn't press on and retired to Azadmere, it left space for the Garguns to proliferate.
They are 3 to 4 and half feet tall, covered with fur. There are five subspecies with varying stoutness, skills, and reproduction rates.
I came across the Garguns in John Grümph beautifully illustrated and translated Le Monde de Hârn. The name of the creatures has been translated to "Gargnes" and their "foulspawn" nick became "putelin" (whore spawned ones), nicely done.
"Spawn" has its importance, those orcs do lay eggs. Actually, a (lucky) tribe is organized around a fertile queen and a king. About one month after impregnation, a queen may lay up to 80 gelatinous eggs. Properly cared for, the eggs will hatch in three to six months.
One percent of the eggs yield female garguns, they're mostly likely to be eaten or segregated as "princesses". Some of them form a "queen's guard" of vicious princess warriors. The laying of eggs turns queens into bloated figures, the vast majority of princesses would prefer not becoming queens.
As long as their king shows no sign of weakness, the garguns follow him. Should his authority fail, they kill him and the most ruthless succeeds. Access to females is limited to the kings so most gargun males are out of the reproduction cycle, ever dreaming of killing and replacing the ruler.
The orcs of Hârn cannot cross-breed with other races or even sub-species, but that doesn't prevent them from releasing their sexual tension on human, elf, or dwarf females (or males). Humans believe that half-garguns exist, despite mages and wise men affirming it's not possible.
Garguns are fully-grown as soon as one year after hatching, but they don't get older than 25 years. As the source book says, their lives are nasty, brutish, and short.
They hatch loaded with a racial memory, a common set of memories / racial instict that includes the basic of their language, a cross-subspecie gargun sign language, and knowledge specific to their subspecie (for example Gargu-hyeka know about mining from their racial memory). This racial memory, though practical, prevents gargun societies from evolving at all, hatched garguns go to work almost immediately with almost no apprenticeship.
Garguns are irreligious, they require an ongoing demonstration of superiority, seeing is believing.
What do the people of Hârn fear the most about Garguns? A band of males that has just stolen a princess, seceded, and is on a festive rampage before settling in.
Pardon my French Post Scriptum: "Gargnes" is pronounced as "GAR-NEE", not "GAR-GU-NEE". Similarly, "Grognard" is pronounced as "GRO-NYAR", not "GRO-GU-NAR".