Wesnoth lore, idioms and phrases braindump

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Re: Wesnoth lore, idioms and phrases braindump

Post by Boldek » February 23rd, 2012, 2:49 am

nuorc wrote:
johndh wrote:"Your skulls will make fine trophies"
Maybe: ""Your skulls will make fine mugs!"?
Mugs makes me think of dwarvish a bit. Saying 'trophies' hints that he already has a stash collecting dust in his basement, and is more frightening, as judging from the medival period, where dead bodies were treated with utmost respect, head hunting is a very savage and gruesome sport solely for the entertainment of one's enemies. Someone telling me that he was going to turn my head into a mug might lose a bit of its thunder.
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Re: Wesnoth lore, idioms and phrases braindump

Post by Heyub_CS » February 23rd, 2012, 4:41 pm

I believe he's quoting from founding of borstep...
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Re: Wesnoth lore, idioms and phrases braindump

Post by Swiss_Army_Cheese » April 14th, 2012, 12:05 pm

I think I've got 3 idioms to add to the list.
1. "Drown/Sink or burn":, as in "A drown or burn situation"
Definition: A dilemma that once concluded, regardless of which choice is taken, results in more or less identical unpleasant circumstances.
Etymology: During the witch-trials, the accused was tossed into a lake in order to prove her innocence. Should the accused sink (and drown), she'll die an honourable (if pointless) death resulting in her being proved innocent. Should the accused float, she is deemed guilty of witchcraft and is thus burnt at the stake.
2. "Blaming the knife", or "Blaming Mack"..
Definition: To use your accomplice as a scapegoat.
Etymology: This phrase has taken its routes from the archaic legal system which Clearwater Port had since before the 3rd century BW - Where the defendant would have to both create an alibi for themselves and shift the blame onto someone else, who would then become the new defendant. This process would repeat until a guilty party is found.
A popular suspect to accuse during a murder trial, was the bloodied knife found in the victim. Knives, being inanimate objects, were not able to defend themselves in court. As a result of abuse, this loophole was closed by the year 85 BW, but the idiom still stuck
Now this last one is probably going to be the hardest to translate, as it relies on the fact that the words "truth" and "tree" share a common [acronym=^_^ It is funny that root applies to both linguistics and trees]root[/acronym] in the English language.
3. "These trees bear no truth". Or alternatively, "Beware of fibbing trees", "These are no true woods"
Definition: Watch out for Woses!/Beware of Woses!
When to use: Use only on archaic/cryptic SIGN POSTS! Have your characters read the sign out loud, and then they go "?". Then Woses appear and they are like "OH NO"

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Re: Wesnoth lore, idioms and phrases braindump

Post by Lanval » October 1st, 2012, 4:02 am

I'll give this a bump and go into to some Fantasty Racial Slurs and Metaphors.

"Changeling" and "Elf-Friend"
Meaning: Human and [in the latter case] Dwarf terms for those amongst them overly sympathetic to Elves. During peace times, it would be seen as an eccentricity that would imply a wierdness to the character in the eyes of others and a certain degree wariness the speaker has about them. In times of tension or war, it would essentially be calling them a traitor.


Changeling: Ancient rumours of under populated Elf villages stealing human children for the purpose of manual labour [hence they are all so dainty] and sometimes to breed hardier stock amongst themselves, abandoning a weak or damaged Elvish child [Or some sort of Forest creature or magic counterfit] in the place of the human child. This has never been proven but legends are persistant. Based off the Celtic myths of Sidhe stealing human children and replacing them with substitutes that inevitably had something strange about them.

Elf-Friend: Taken from Tolkien, it is rather straightforward in meaning.

"Wait as a Naga"/"Seize Upon Him as a Naga"
Meaning: Someone with mercenary loyalty remaining neutral until he senses the opportunity to gain an advantage against an already weakened opponent. Especially when it invovles treason against the nominal ally of the person in question.
Etymology: Based off the Naga's mercenary nature and willingness to ally with anyone against the Merfolk. May also have some basis in their preference for water based combat where they have the advantage, thus causing them to wait until targets approach them before striking opportunistically.

Meaning: Large Brutish Fellow. Also implies questionable Parentage and lack of Intelligence.
Etymology: Should be obvious enough.

Keep ... as a Dwarf his gold
Meaning: Hold something closer than anything. Usually refering to something trivial, but can also refer to promises and secrets. Can also imply that someone collects and hordes it but not necessarily.
Etymology: I feel this is relatively obvious.

I have an Orcish folk/marching song prepared that is relatively simplistic but stylistically interesting. It's presently tied to a fic/campaign outline I'm working on but will repost it here once it sees light of day in the other thread.

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Re: Wesnoth lore, idioms and phrases braindump

Post by Araja » October 15th, 2012, 1:54 pm

The orcs have always reminded me somewhat of the traditional "Norsemen", with their society idolising physical prowess and individual skill, and those who distinguish themselves in battle rising through the ranks. AKA; "Might makes right". In my view, orcish raids are as much a chance for the orcs to distinguish themselves and earn some fame and glory as they are a hunt for resources. The desire for personal glory would make for some very bad sportsmanship when the orcs faced a well organised force such as the ones fielded by the other races. For an orc who wants to prove himself in melee combat like a true warrior, being shot by a bunch of weaklings hiding behind cover and running away when approached would cause alot of hatred and contempt. I am of course referring to the elves. For the dwarves hiding in their holes, there would be a similar feeling.

On the other hand, something like an isolated human village with almost no real defence would be a source of mockery. As orc society is very much "might makes right", then weak or defenceless targets would have essentially "had it coming to them". If those weaklings don't know how to fight, they shouldn't be surprised when they're ground under the boots of those who can. As a result, I would imagine orcish dialogue mostly being about how sickeningly weak these people are, which (when the orcs were losing) would then change to enraged shouting about the enemy are all cowards, attacking from a distance, from superior terrain, with magic, basically anything that gave them an advantage besides brute strength.

I was thinking primarily of the Orcish Grunt line while writing this, but I suspect the archers and assassins wouldn't be too different. In times of victory they would be happy to find someone weaker than themselves to pick on in a spiteful fashion and jump on the opportunity to say as much, but while losing they would simply angry whiners, much like those found on the losing side of some online games.

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Re: Wesnoth lore, idioms and phrases braindump

Post by Lanval » October 15th, 2012, 2:13 pm

I'm a bit more of the school of them being Steppe Nomads, varything from raiders to, united and angry, Ghengis Khan waiting to be unleashed against Wesnoth. I also think that Viking/Samurai personal honour in combat goes more in line with the Drakes, but it's an interesting thought none the less.

I picture the Orcs as being more pragmatic. They are proud of their strength but care about application. They have no issues raiding enemy weak points or withdrawling when they are weaker. A good Northerner Player will still use terrain himself and take advantage of nightfall, after all. If I had to pick a Western-European Culture to relate them to, I'd go for dark ages raiders in general rather than just VIkings; Combat by Champion and Personal bragging can happen but only when both sides know that bloody combat would bleed them too much and when establishing a reputation might intimidate a loud-mouthed recruit, or establish oneself as more than a loudmouthed recruit. There's some interesting legends about Brags both in Germanic and Celtic [Bythronic as well as Goidelic] story with heroes that would probably suit the Orcs quite well. Justice in both these cultures tends to be viewed as something which the wronged or friends of the wronged would inflict on the wrong doer, so Outlaws have no justice, while a loved Poet would soon have a King or two ready to go to war for him, thus Might makes Right but in a more complicated sense than "You are weak so you deserve it."

I think it'd be really cool to have an Orc introduce himself with; "I am Barekh, despoiler of Eldrun. Where were you when the Grey Clan tore south to the very walls of Weldyn to avenge our fallen chief? When the Great River flowed red with the blood of Orc and Man in kind? I slew many men that day. Know then, that the time shall come again and when it does, we shall not return North after."

Another interesting concept to be pulled from that is Weregild for the Orcs; Blood money and bribes to avoid punishment for a crime or your town being attacked. It makes a lot of sense for Orcs really, why raid a town that's willing to pay you a decent portion of their stock for peace? Raiding becomes a sustainable ressource over time then.

I've already sort of alluded to something like this in my "Tale of Eldred" Story.

Edit; On a side note, are Orcs supposed to be entirely nomadic [as Game text implies "They grow no crops and keep no livestock"] or do they actually have agriculture that is just limited by climate [A bit more common sense since they are able to sustain a class of assassins and explicitly have a city or two further North, both of which would be extremely difficult if not impossible for a society that didn't have agriculture]?

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Re: Wesnoth lore, idioms and phrases braindump

Post by Araja » October 15th, 2012, 4:02 pm

Good points. I was almost exclusively looking for orcish insults and battle-taunts, so once I found a plausible-sounding theory I ran with it, somehow forgetting about how actual orcish warfare is based almost entirely around not playing fair. The orcs you describe are alot more sensible, which makes it harder for me to think of obvious combat taunts. That being said, conversations in Wesnoth largely seem to take place between enemy leaders, so the orc warlord bragging about his victories may well be all that's necessary, as well as very fitting.

On a side note, I wouldn't say the orcs have an "assassin class". From what I know, they form no organisation or guild, and have no more sense of brotherhood than any other kind of orc; It's just a general term for orcs who like poisonous knives. In roaming nomad groups, I would imagine that some the weaker children choose to fill that role on the battlefield instead of archery in order to earn their keep.

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Re: Wesnoth lore, idioms and phrases braindump

Post by Kanzil » October 15th, 2012, 6:42 pm

I would not agree that they are akin to Steppe nomads- in IftU steppe orcs are their own distinct race, implying normal orcs are not as such, whilst normal orcs have settlements in the north, meaning they are almost certainly not nomads. I understand the allusion, however, and agree orcs are depicted, generally, as war- obsessed creatures, though certainly not honourable - for them it is more the winning that is important.
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Re: Wesnoth lore, idioms and phrases braindump

Post by shadowm » October 18th, 2012, 4:25 am

Kanzil wrote:in IftU steppe orcs are their own distinct race
An unfortunate element carried over from a time when IftU was a UMC faction potpourri of sorts. There’s a reason this specific instance of design pointlessness is entirely absent from AtS.
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Re: Wesnoth lore, idioms and phrases braindump

Post by Swiss_Army_Cheese » December 19th, 2013, 5:22 pm

Shame this topic hasn't been posted in for a while. I might have to start posting original thoughts...

Orcish Longboats.
The Orcs aren't known for their seamenship, and with good reason. A nomadic folk who mostly dwell at far inland mountain-ranges has seldom oppourtunities to display their nautical prowess.
In any inter-continental Orcish invasion a team of sham(asal/en/ans) must construct a portal on the site of the land to be invaded. It is on these ill-suited crafts that Orcish pioneers must travel on in order to create a beachhead to begin such construction. The fact that the Orcs have made their ocean-spanning voyages on such unseaworthy vessels is a testament to their much understated seamenship.

While there are scant records of these crafts, most evidence of these vessels comes from archaelogical digs.
Although the concept has been largely debunked due to lack of evidence, early sightings of "green Orcs" may have been part of this sea-faring caste. Some believers say they may have been a sub-race whom's traits have been bread out to extinction. Others reckon it may be caused from scurvy or a skin-condition caused by a temporary lime-heavy diet. Still more say that this merely a case of a few Orcs, whom after discovering land, were in the midst of re-discovering their land-legs.

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