I haven't wrote one of these in a while. So, I am returning with what I hope will be a fun discussion of Maniria: CHAOS!
Usually, I start with a general background post or two, and then go into some specifics. I'm not going to do that this time for a few reasons. First, there is almost no discussion of Manirian Chaos in the Guide, so it is harder for me to summarize the "canon" position. I suppose that could mean Maniria is an extremely low Chaos region, but (1) where's the fun in that, and (2) that seems extraordinarily unlikely given its history. So, instead, this post will start with a quote from Jeff, and then I'm going to babble about Manirian Ogres who I argue are distinct, because I'd imagine Ogre culture varies by region as much as human culture does.
So, over in the thread on the Holy Country, Jajagappa quoted Jeff:
So, two things catch my eye in this quote:
As most would expect, a massive catastrophe like the Sinking of Slontos creates fertile ground for Chaos to flourish. I'd also imagine the Devastation of the Vent created a similar Chaos bloom in eastern Maniria also.
Less expected, however, is the phrase, "a small ogre kingdom tried to gain ascendancy along the Vankthi River." I want to make sense of that
Lets acknowledge that Ogres aren't "Chaotic Stupid": they aren't so blindly committed to Chaos that they aren't able to plan or coordinate action. That said, they don't tend to take over or rule. Partly, this is because of their magical resources: Cacodemon doesn't really give people the resources to become rulers. Also, it's a matter of context: a small network of Ogres on the margins of human society will likely try to erode that society rather than foment revolution. However, this second point is false in Maniria after the Sinking. An Ogre in Highwater could be forgiven for looking at the destruction, shrugging and going, "Well. Mission accomplished I guess? ...Now what?"
What comes next, it appears, is an interim state of affairs where Ogres create and rule a state-level society with the intent of collecting the resources necessary create a stable flow of humans to eat, and to conduct a large number of Cacodemon rituals. Yes, the eventual goal is still complete ruin of everything (ALL HAIL THE CACODEMON), but compromises must be made in the meantime.
And now I get to the weird bit: to help build their Kingdom of Ogres, Manirian Ogres worship another Chaos deity that will help maintain & centralize political power. This Chaos deity is rarely worshipped in Genertela by anyone, but the Ogres of Slontos would likely know about him: Ompalam, the God of Slavery and degenerate centralization. Ompalam would be a perfect secondary deity to Ogres with dreams of creating a kingdom that would export Cacodemon cults into the rest of Genertela. Manirian Ogres whisper dreams of centralization into the ears of the Trader Princes, Greymayne, and the Takers of Ramalia. Order today for lawlessness and destruction tomorrow.
There will, of course, be purist Ogres who oppose Ompalam's worship by Ogres at any level, and there will be zealots who think Ogres should really give up on Cacodemon and prioritize worship of Ompalam in the name of tasty tasty humans.
....Does this work?