Poll: do orcs eat humans?

For writers working on documentation, story prose, announcements, and all kinds of Wesnoth text.

Moderators: Forum Moderators, Developers

do orcs eat humans?

orcs never eat human meat
3
5%
orcs eat human meat only if there is no other food
12
21%
orcs occasionally eat human meat, but prefer animal meat
19
33%
orcs treat human and animal meat the same way
17
30%
orcs like human meat more than animal meat
6
11%
 
Total votes: 57

User avatar
sergey
Posts: 439
Joined: January 9th, 2015, 9:25 pm

Poll: do orcs eat humans?

Post by sergey » April 2nd, 2019, 4:12 pm

There was a discsussion in this topic regarding that orcs in the Wesnoth universe do (or don't) eat human meat. This poll is created to understand what community thinks about that.

Link to a similar poll regarding drakes eating humans viewtopic.php?f=32&t=49660
Link to a similar poll regarding dragon eating drakes viewtopic.php?f=32&t=49884
Last edited by sergey on June 12th, 2019, 8:10 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Author of SP scenario Dragon Fight and SP campaign Captured by a Nightmare.
Created The Rise of Wesnoth (alternative mechanics) version of the mainline campaign.

User avatar
Xalzar
Posts: 290
Joined: April 4th, 2009, 10:03 pm
Location: New Saurgrath

Re: Poll: do orcs eat humans?

Post by Xalzar » April 2nd, 2019, 5:23 pm

I voted "orcs eat human meat only if there is no other food", but I'm open to more discussion.
IIRC Orcs have never expressed desire to consume human flesh nor eaten any during their raids, in any campaign I've played. They hunt, they even farm the land, they take from others what they lack.

I believe there is a natural repulsion to consciously eat meat from similar-looking species, and Orcs and Humans are not so physically distinct after all.
How many people - in reality - would dare to take a dead monkey (an animal quite similar to humans), cook its flesh (I don't even know if it fits the Orc example...do they cook?) and eat it? Sure, some people would, but the majority would not.
Cannibalism exists of course, but it's rare and normally practiced ritually in more primitive civilizations; and as savages as the Orcs are, they are not primitive.

That being said, I think Orcs are quite pragmatic so in absence of other sources of food I can see them eating humans. After all it's not that they care too much about human lives normally (impaled heads tend to confirm their lack of empathy). Finally, some particularly ruthless warlords could also be quite insane, and drink blood from human skulls, build a skull throne, or eat their enemies' hearts...but that are quite exceptional personal, devious tastes.

By the era of Kapo'ue, it seems there have been a shift in the Orcish culture, as if their bloodlust has started to calm after centuries. In my headcanon the more savage, early Orcs of the first invasions are so bloodthirsty because they were born in the terrible wars of the Old Continent and know nothing else.

User avatar
sergey
Posts: 439
Joined: January 9th, 2015, 9:25 pm

Re: Poll: do orcs eat humans?

Post by sergey » April 2nd, 2019, 6:00 pm

Xalzar wrote:
April 2nd, 2019, 5:23 pm
IIRC Orcs have never expressed desire to consume human flesh nor eaten any during their raids, in any campaign I've played.
This pull request contains quotes regarding "orcs eat humans". Reworking those lines is currently under consideration.

Generally I agree with what you said. Though, it seems to me that canonical orc is an extremely brute individual comparing to humans. That's why it is easier for an orc to eat other similar-looking races. Of course not all orcs are the same. It is supposed to choose the answer that you like more. It may be different under some rare circumstances or considering rare individuals.
Author of SP scenario Dragon Fight and SP campaign Captured by a Nightmare.
Created The Rise of Wesnoth (alternative mechanics) version of the mainline campaign.

gnombat
Posts: 244
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 8:49 pm
Contact:

Re: Poll: do orcs eat humans?

Post by gnombat » April 2nd, 2019, 6:41 pm

sergey wrote:
April 2nd, 2019, 6:00 pm
This pull request contains quotes regarding "orcs eat humans". Reworking those lines is currently under consideration.
Just to clarify: not all those quotes are referring specifically to humans - the first quote seems to refer to merfolk, and one of the other quotes is from Northern Rebirth and is likely referring to both humans and dwarves.

BTIsaac
Posts: 359
Joined: December 7th, 2017, 7:30 am

Re: Poll: do orcs eat humans?

Post by BTIsaac » April 2nd, 2019, 7:19 pm

I figure they'd eat anything as a last resort. Though as far as i know, humans supposedly taste terrible. Also as far as we've seen, orcs have been more or less getting along well with other races when they're not raiding or conquering lands. "By the way, we tehd to eat you people" sounds like a pretty awkward thing to bring up when negotiating treaties with the northern alliance.

User avatar
Xalzar
Posts: 290
Joined: April 4th, 2009, 10:03 pm
Location: New Saurgrath

Re: Poll: do orcs eat humans?

Post by Xalzar » April 2nd, 2019, 8:20 pm

sergey wrote:
April 2nd, 2019, 6:00 pm
Xalzar wrote:
April 2nd, 2019, 5:23 pm
IIRC Orcs have never expressed desire to consume human flesh nor eaten any during their raids, in any campaign I've played.
This pull request contains quotes regarding "orcs eat humans". Reworking those lines is currently under consideration.
I stand corrected. I've not played those campaigns in a while and I couldn't check at the time, but I was so sure...Clearly those lines were not enough impressive for me to remember them, or I misunderstood them as "trash talk" or "feed them to the wolves". :P
Interesting chain of discussions there, btw...it has been pointed out that the majority of them are from the Rise of Wesnoth, which agrees with my headcanon of Orcs starting incredibly brutal and gradually losing their most savage tendencies...

Tad_Carlucci
Developer
Posts: 472
Joined: April 24th, 2016, 4:18 pm

Re: Poll: do orcs eat humans?

Post by Tad_Carlucci » April 3rd, 2019, 3:38 am

I'm in the "if no other choice" camp. To me, orcs would gladly eat human flesh, and might even consider it a delicacy, if it were not for the fact those pesky humans tend to carry nasty pointy things like swords and pikes.
I forked real life and now I'm getting merge conflicts.

name
Posts: 396
Joined: January 6th, 2008, 3:32 am

Re: Poll: do orcs eat humans?

Post by name » April 14th, 2019, 4:18 pm

sergey wrote:
April 2nd, 2019, 6:00 pm
This pull request contains quotes regarding "orcs eat humans". Reworking those lines is currently under consideration.
Could someone post a link to this thread on that pull request? This seems relevant to that as well.
Tad_Carlucci wrote:
April 3rd, 2019, 3:38 am
I'm in the "if no other choice" camp. To me, orcs would gladly eat human flesh, and might even consider it a delicacy, if it were not for the fact those pesky humans tend to carry nasty pointy things like swords and pikes.
Note the wording of the poll though- "eat" rather than "hunt". I do not think orcs would launch raids just to hunt peasants tending to the fields of wesnoth's northern provinces, but orcs do quite often launch such raids to take land, treasure, slaves and conceivably other resources (like livestock). Since humans and other races object to these invasions, you end up with a lot of them lying around dead afterwards. A lot of free meat that would otherwise go to waste or fuel an undead army anytime in the future. If orcs lean more carnivorous in their diet than humans (as their advanced canine teeth seem to suggest and possibly also their enhanced aggression, but even failing that they live further north where plant foods tend to be far less reliable than game and livestock) this would seem to them only more so wasteful.
Xalzar wrote:
April 2nd, 2019, 5:23 pm
I believe there is a natural repulsion to consciously eat meat from similar-looking species, and Orcs and Humans are not so physically distinct after all.
That might be our perspective as omnivores. Highly intelligent but fully carnivorous Killer Whales (have to avoid the term "Orca" to prevent confusion in this context, heh) eat other species very similar to their own. Although not even obligate carnivores, Chimpanzees similarly kill and eat monkeys and other primates as well as engaging in cannibalism following warfare.

These are examples of highly intelligent creatures, and even if humans have some kind of mental edge over the Killer Whales (that have a brain mass twice ours, but lack our dexterous hands or similar tool manipulating appendages without which no technological civilization is remotely possible), we still have much less intelligent creatures than any of these examples that do not engage in this type of behavior. So I think it is fair enough to not assume eating somewhat similar looking creatures is primitive. Whether or not a species does this is likely governed by other factors.
Xalzar wrote:
April 2nd, 2019, 5:23 pm
How many people - in reality - would dare to take a dead monkey (an animal quite similar to humans), cook its flesh (I don't even know if it fits the Orc example...do they cook?) and eat it? Sure, some people would, but the majority would not.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monkey_meat

There might be more of a stigma against monkey meat in northerly cultures, where monkeys do not occur in the first place so such cultures never adapted to such a food source. Similar to how such northerly cultures frown on eating insects and spiders, but in the subtropics and tropics where such creatures grow large enough to become a meaningful food source for people, you do not so often find such a stigma.
Xalzar wrote:
April 2nd, 2019, 5:23 pm
That being said, I think Orcs are quite pragmatic so in absence of other sources of food I can see them eating humans. After all it's not that they care too much about human lives normally (impaled heads tend to confirm their lack of empathy). Finally, some particularly ruthless warlords could also be quite insane, and drink blood from human skulls, build a skull throne, or eat their enemies' hearts...but that are quite exceptional personal, devious tastes.
It might also be that Orcs find Humans' fear of being eaten after they have been killed, kind of silly and childish. After all, why care so much about what happens to your corpse, if you are already dead! And so they are happy to bring up this matter to further intimidate us.

User avatar
doofus-01
Art Contributor
Posts: 3819
Joined: January 6th, 2008, 9:27 pm
Location: USA, the civilized part.

Re: Poll: do orcs eat humans?

Post by doofus-01 » April 15th, 2019, 3:57 am

Orcs probably eat humans under some circumstances. They probably don't farm or hunt them though.

Would humans eat orcs, under some circumstances? Probably, as name pointed out with the monkey meat or bush meat.
BfW 1.12 supported, but active development only for BfW 1.13/1.14: Bad Moon Rising | Trinity | Archaic Era |
| Abandoned: Tales of the Setting Sun
GitHub link for these projects

User avatar
Sadaharu
Posts: 239
Joined: December 13th, 2017, 11:39 pm

Re: Poll: do orcs eat humans?

Post by Sadaharu » April 18th, 2019, 2:28 am

Humans have eaten humans IRL.

btw, proverbial two cents: if you're trying to follow Tolkien's lead I do not remember the author himself saying anything on the issue. The line ‘You shall eat manflesh!’ was uttered by Saruman in Peter Jackson's trilogy, but that trilogy should be considered heretical.

User avatar
Celtic_Minstrel
Developer
Posts: 1568
Joined: August 3rd, 2012, 11:26 pm
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: Poll: do orcs eat humans?

Post by Celtic_Minstrel » April 18th, 2019, 2:47 am

Sadaharu wrote:
April 18th, 2019, 2:28 am
that trilogy should be considered heretical.
Well, that might be going a bit far (it's a pretty good movie trilogy!), but it definitely has its flaws... and eliminates the entire final subplot which is kinda annoying.
Author of The Black Cross of Aleron campaign and Default++ era.
Maintainer of Steelhive.

gnombat
Posts: 244
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 8:49 pm
Contact:

Re: Poll: do orcs eat humans?

Post by gnombat » April 18th, 2019, 5:27 am

Sadaharu wrote:
April 18th, 2019, 2:28 am
btw, proverbial two cents: if you're trying to follow Tolkien's lead I do not remember the author himself saying anything on the issue.
It's been about 15 years since I read Lord of the Rings, and I don't have a copy in front of me, so I can't verify the exact quotes, but according to Wikipedia:
Tolkien indicates that Orcs are "always hungry".[24] Orcs eat all manner of flesh, including men and horses, and there are frequent hints of cannibalism among Orcs. Grishnákh, leader of the Mordor Orcs, accuses Saruman's Uruks of eating Orc-flesh, which they angrily deny.[22] In Cirith Ungol, Gorbag suggests that Frodo (recently poisoned by Shelob) should "go in the pot"; Shagrat indicates that Gorbag could be "for the pot" for making such a suggestion.[25] Shagrat threatens to eat a disobedient orc, and after killing Gorbag he licks his blood from the blade.[26]

User avatar
Sadaharu
Posts: 239
Joined: December 13th, 2017, 11:39 pm

Re: Poll: do orcs eat humans?

Post by Sadaharu » April 20th, 2019, 6:18 am

Celtic_Minstrel wrote:
April 18th, 2019, 2:47 am
Sadaharu wrote:
April 18th, 2019, 2:28 am
that trilogy should be considered heretical.
Well, that might be going a bit far (it's a pretty good movie trilogy!), but it definitely has its flaws... and eliminates the entire final subplot which is kinda annoying.
If I were the Tsar of all the Russias and we were to discuss heresy I might consider you banning you from the Synod.
gnombat wrote:
April 18th, 2019, 5:27 am
Sadaharu wrote:
April 18th, 2019, 2:28 am
btw, proverbial two cents: if you're trying to follow Tolkien's lead I do not remember the author himself saying anything on the issue.
It's been about 15 years since I read Lord of the Rings, and I don't have a copy in front of me, so I can't verify the exact quotes, but according to Wikipedia:
Tolkien indicates that Orcs are "always hungry".[24] Orcs eat all manner of flesh, including men and horses, and there are frequent hints of cannibalism among Orcs. Grishnákh, leader of the Mordor Orcs, accuses Saruman's Uruks of eating Orc-flesh, which they angrily deny.[22] In Cirith Ungol, Gorbag suggests that Frodo (recently poisoned by Shelob) should "go in the pot"; Shagrat indicates that Gorbag could be "for the pot" for making such a suggestion.[25] Shagrat threatens to eat a disobedient orc, and after killing Gorbag he licks his blood from the blade.[26]
Thanks for the quote! I haven't read any of the three books in a few years so relatively minor details such as these tend to escape me. (homework: re-read LotR)
On with the manflesh, then!

Mathel
Posts: 14
Joined: May 26th, 2017, 1:34 pm

Re: Poll: do orcs eat humans?

Post by Mathel » April 20th, 2019, 6:32 am

I think that orcs will eat whatever meat they have. That includes sapient races. (Possibly excluding orcs)

So if they happen to have a lot of human meat (such as from a major battle), they will eat humans.
They will however not kill humans for food.

User avatar
Sadaharu
Posts: 239
Joined: December 13th, 2017, 11:39 pm

Re: Poll: do orcs eat humans?

Post by Sadaharu » April 21st, 2019, 9:14 pm

Well, a question right there is whether they will always meat any available meat or just the ‘normal’ animals and only eat other sapient beings when they have no alternative?

That alone might be a good way of characterising different orcish tribes if you don't want to have them as generic monsters to be killed by random equally generic humans/elves/dwarves.

Post Reply