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Grunt/Om'Riggor: What's it all mean?
#1
So, taking this discussion out of that poor person's profile that I've been spamming needlessly...

I've gotten into a discussion with someone about the peon vs. the grunt. Mostly, I've always played my Orcs as -not- seeing Gruntship and the Om'Riggor to be the same task. Basically, you can not become a grunt and still pass your Om'Riggor.

SO. There's one thing that I will quote from @Grakor456

Quote:You're correct that, yes, the om'riggor is a trial all orcs go through. That this then transitions to their position in the Horde is more assumption than explicit fact, so I suppose you could say it's fanon. However, failing a task to be a grunt doesn't make one a peon either: you just fail to move up.

Does this mean---that the Om'Riggor and Gruntship are DIFFERENT tasks? To me, it does.

However, Kage brings up that he believes it's more of a social status than anything else. If you're not a peon, you're a grunt.





So, thoughts?
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#2
Yes, from what I understand from the current long winded conversation is that they ARE two different things.

All Orcs feel the need to go through Om'riggor, which is just a trail of self proving. The trails for becoming a Grunt while similar, are a different thing entirely. The same as the trails for becoming a shaman are different then that of the Om'riggor.

I will admit before this reboot I was actually unaware of there even being an Om'riggor. Which makes me ashamed in the first place!


Also, the final thing this brings in to question is when this is all said and done. What does this mean for currently approved Orcs, future Orcs, and the future of the now seemingly very incomplete and outdated Orcish guides here on the server. I already mentioned I might do a reboot of it with the help of probably the entire forum for feedback.
Wow. Sometimes I forget the past.
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#3
For my defense, the Om'Riggor is a challenge in which a young orc must be able to prove himself able to fight/hunt/survive. A grunt, whether in social standing or not, has to be able to do the above things stated. So, it would only make sense that if you pass your Om'Riggor, you are technically a grunt.

To actually go on a bit, orcs in a social standing pride those who can handle their own over those who cannot. Peons versus Grunts. A peon is one who is reduced to a lowly worker, unable to provide anything to Orcish society then cheap labor. A grunt is someone who has proven they can provide for the horde. Once more, a grunt to me isn't the class of a warrior, but just a social standing.
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#4
I may have been wrong in my first post, but this is actually a fairly complex issue.

So the Om'riggor, speaking purely from canon lore and only from what's said in Rise of the Horde, is a trial to adulthood. It opens up when the orc reaches 20 and you have to complete it or you're not considered a true adult.

Now, the tying of this into the peon/warrior/shaman caste system that orcs have going appears to be fanon, but it's fanon that makes logical sense: if you can't complete a simple hunt, then you're not worthy to join the fighting ranks and should be used for simple labor. It's completely logical...until you realize that peons as a caste didn't truly exist until the First War. Then again, "grunt" as a rank didn't exist until then either, so it may just be an evolution of an already existing laborer/warrior/shaman system.

The other interpretation is that peons are just unskilled laborers and haven't failed any test, only they aren't strong/smart/motivated enough to be anything more than muscle for labor.

I'm not sure where Kaghuros' guide got the idea that gruntship required a trial either, because that's not said. In fact, it's rather illogical: grunts are rank and file troopers. It's entry-level. Expecting someone to kill specific targets before they've had real combat training is a bit bizarre. If such a trial existed, however, it wouldn't have anything to do with peonship. The truth is, Blizzard has never specified how peons are selected, they just exist. Fanon just made assumptions from what we were given.
Have you hugged an orc today?
- I am not tech support. Please do not contact me regarding technical issues. -
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#5
Grunt or peon to me are more occupation than tied to the Om'riggor. Grunts are the Orc equivalents to guards for humans, being adept in fighting but not necessarily being warfront veterans. Peons are the gatherers, miners, lumberjacks, and dockworkers getting the supplies needed for Horde.

The point I'd add to that is while shaman are mentioned as a possible path, in truth there are other paths beyond that as well. A blacksmith wouldn't necessarily be a grunt or a peon, as neither would a cook or even a hunter. They may fall into a "skilled labor" caste in society that is highly important, but just not as honored as warriors are. And someone being skilled labor could certainly have completed an Om'riggor, so I don't think it tied in with rank as much as respect.

Grunts/peons might be more about an Orc showing up to their equivalent of boot camp and being evaluated briefly to see if they are fit to fight or should be sent to dig and gather and build.
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#6
Personally, I've always headcanoned that orcs are designated peons merely by virtue of their uselessness, rather than failing their om'riggor. It doesn't stand that, considering they only existed post-First War, a hunting challenge - a skill far less useful in industrial wartime for orcs - would determine their rank and station. Considering Blizzard's firm portrayal of peons as mentally deficient, too, it stands to reason that they just pick the less able of their race and put them to work.
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#7
(09-06-2013, 10:23 AM)Zhaei Wrote: It doesn't stand that, considering they only existed post-First War, a hunting challenge - a skill far less useful in industrial wartime for orcs - would determine their rank and station. Considering Blizzard's firm portrayal of peons as mentally deficient, too, it stands to reason that they just pick the less able of their race and put them to work.

The om'riggor was an abandoned tradition during the wars. It only resurfaced again after the settling of Orgrimmar. That said, while less useful to them, they sort of left "industrial wartime" and returned to "hunter-gatherer" between the time of WC3 and until around Wrath/Cataclysm.

Blizzard can't seem to decide if orcs are militaristic or a society of hunters, and waver back and forth between the two rather randomly.

Also, I'm fairly certain that the idea of peons being mentally deficient is mostly for comedy, because of how they were portrayed in all of the other Warcraft games.
Have you hugged an orc today?
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[-] The following 1 user Likes Grakor456's post:
  • Kage
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#8
I once had the idea that peons were orcs affected badly by the general fel corruption in the race. There's no lore behind it at all, but it's a fun thought.
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#9
Om'riggor: In many cultures, even in this world, there are rites of passage that mark a new stage in a person's life: adulthood. Om'riggor is the rite of passage that Orcs would use when they lived on Draenor. What we know about Om'riggor is detailed in the novel Rise of the Horde. I have excerpted the part that describes this rite of passage and put it in this spoiler:

Spoiler:

Quote:Last night, with the moon full overhead and the stars gleaming as if in approval, a young male was initiated into adulthood. It was the first time I have had the chance to be part of this ritual, the Om'riggor. In my earlier years, I was cut off from the rites and traditions of my people; and truth be told, all ores had been cut off from such rites for too long. And once I had set my feet on my destiny's path, I had become embroiled in battle. War consumed me. Ironically, the need to protect my people from the Burning Legion and to give them a place where our traditions could again flourish took me far away from these things.

But now, Durotar and Orgrimmar are established. Now, there is a peace, tenuous though it might be. Now there are shaman reclaiming the ancient ways, young males and females coming of age who, if the spirits will it, may never know the ashy taste of war.

Last night, I participated in a timeless ritual that had been denied an entire generation.

Last night, my heart was filled with joy and the sense of connection for which I had always longed.


Durotan's heart hammered in his chest as he stared at the talbuk. It was a mighty beast, worthy prey, its horns not for mere decoration but sharp and dangerous. Durotan had seen at least one warrior gored to death, impaled upon the twelve prongs as surely as if upon a spear.

And he was to take it down with only a single weapon and no armor.

There had been the whispers, of course. Any mature talbuk will do to satisfy the needs of the ritual, he had heard someone murmur in his car as he sat blindfolded in the waiting tent. They are all fierce fighters, but at this season, the males have shed their horns.

Other whispers: You may only carry one weapon, Durotan, son of Garad; but you could hide armor in the wilderness where no one would know.

And, most shameful of all: Theshaman will determine if you are successful by tasting the blood upon your face; the blood from a long-dead talbuk tastes exactly like that of one freshly slain.

He ignored all the temptations. Perhaps there had been other ores who had succumbed to them, but he would not be among them.

Durotan would seek out a female, who was quite well equipped with horns at this time of year; he would take the one weapon he was permitted, and it would be the blood of the beast he killed, steaming in the cold air, that would anoint his checks.

And now. standing in the early, unexpected fall of snow, his axe growing ever heavier in his hand, Durotan shivered. But he never faltered.

He had been tracking the talbuk herd for two days now, surviving only on what he could gather, creating meager fires in the twilight that bathed the snow in a rich lavender hue and sleeping in what shelter he stumbled upon. Orgrim had already completed his rite of passage. Durotan envied the fact that his friend had been born in summer. He had thought it would still not be too difficult in early autumn, but winter had decided to come ahead of time and the weather was bitter.

It seemed as if the talbuk herd, too, was taunting him. He could come upon their tracks and droppings easily enough, see where they had scraped the snow for dried grass or pulled bark from the trees. But they always seemed to elude him. It was late afternoon on the third day when it appeared as though the ancestors had decided to reward his determination. Twilight was coming, and Durotan had thought with a sinking heart that he would have to again seek shelter to mark the end of a fruitless day.

Then he realized that the small pellets of dung were not frozen hard, but fresh.

They were close.

He began to run, the snow squeaking beneath his fur boots, a new warmth filling him. He followed the tracks as he had been taught, cleared a rise—
And beheld a herd of the glorious creatures.

Immediately he crouched behind a large boulder and peered around to gaze at the beasts. They were still dark brown against the white snow, their winter coats not yet upon them. There were at least two dozen, maybe more, mostly females. It was good that he had found the herd, but now he had another problem. How would he take down just one? Talbuk. unlike many prey animals, would protect others in their herd. If he attacked one. the rest would come to defend it.

Shaman accompanied the hunters in order to distract the animals. Durotan was alone, and suddenly he felt very vulnerable.

He frowned and rallied himself. He had been searching for these creatures for almost three days, and now here they were.

Nightfall would see a fresh haunch of meat devoured by a hungry orc youth, or it would see a stiffening orc corpse in the snow.

He watched them for a while, aware that the shadows were lengthening, but not wanting to hurry and make a fatal mistake. The talbuk were diurnal creatures, and they were busy digging hollows in the snow in which to curl up. He knew they did such a thing, but now he watched in dismay as they settled in tightly against one another. How would he separate one?

Movement caught his eye. One of the females, young and healthy from a gentle summer spent feasting on sweet grass and berries, seemed to be in a feisty mood. She stamped and tossed her head—crowned with a glorious set of horns—and almost danced around the others. She did not seem inclined to join them, but like one or two others, opted to sleep on the outside of the cluster of furry bodies.

Durotan began to grin. What an offering from the spirits! It was a good omen. The liveliest, healthiest doc in the herd, the one who did not need to follow mindlessly, but chose her own path. While that choice would likely be her death, it would also give Durotan a chance to win his honor and right to be treated as an adult. The spirits understood the balance of such things. At least, he was told they did.

Durotan waited. Twilight came and went, and the sun sank below the mountains. With the sun went even the feeble warmth it had hitherto provided. Durotan waited with the patience of the predator. Finally, even the edgiest of the herd tucked up its long legs and bedded down with its fellows.

At last, Durotan moved. His limbs were stiff and he almost stumbled. He crept slowly from his hiding place behind the boulder and went down the slope, his eyes on the drowsing female. Her head drooped on its long neck, and her breathing was regular. He could see small white puffs appearing in front of her muzzle.

Slowly, placing his feet as carefully as he could, he moved toward his quarry. He did not feel the cold; the heat of anticipation, the powerful focus, drove any sensations of discomfort away. Closer still he came, and still the talbuk dreamed.

He lifted his axe. He swung it down.

Her eyes opened.

She tried to scramble to her feet, but the death blow had already come. Durotan wanted to scream the battle cry he had heard his father utter so many times, but he bit it back. It would not do to slay the talbuk only to be slain himself by a dozen of her herd in retaliation. He had sharpened the blade to shocking keenness, and it sliced through the thick neck and vertebrae as if slicing through cheese. Blood spurted, the warm sticky fluid spattering Durotan gently, and he smiled fiercely. Anointing himself with the blood of his first solo kill was part of the ritual; the talbuk had done it for him. Another good omen.
Silent though he had tried to be, he heard the sounds of the awakening herd. He whirled, breathing heavily, and let loose with the blood-chilling battle cry his throat had been aching to utter. He held his axe, the gleam of its metal blade now obscured with crimson blood, and bellowed again.

The talbuk hesitated. He had been told that if it was a clean kill, they would flee rather than attack, intuiting on some primal level that they could no longer help their fallen sister. He hoped this was true; he might be able to take down one or two, but would fall beneath their padded feet if they chose to attack.

Moving as one, they began to back away, and then finally whirled and turned to run. He watched them gallop over the rise to disappear, their pawprints in the pristine snow the only evidence that they had been here.

Durotan lowered his axe, panting with exertion. He raised it again and let out a cry of triumph. His empty belly would be full tonight; the spirit of the talbuk would enter his dreams. And on the morrow he would return to his people an adult male, ready to take his place in serving the clan.

-Excerpted from chapter four of Rise of the Horde by Christie Golden.


In the novel, Thrall has a note at the beginning of every chapter. In this chapter, he points out that the practice of Om'riggor wasn't picked back up until after the founding of Orgrimmar. The rest of the excerpt gives an example of how it was practiced back on Draenor, and does point out that it was indeed particular to Talbuk at the time. Basically, what you read on this page summarizes what happened there.

What I'm really wanting to point out with all of this is that the classes of grunt and peon have nothing to do with it, really.

As for how to interpret 'grunts' and 'peons', Grak's first reply nails it, pretty much.

The thing that I think would be interesting to discuss, or perhaps even decide on for the sake of people rolling them, is how a peon becomes a peon. This is something that hasn't exactly been clarified.

Quote:Personally, I've always headcanoned that orcs are designated peons merely by virtue of their uselessness, rather than failing their om'riggor. It doesn't stand that, considering they only existed post-First War, a hunting challenge - a skill far less useful in industrial wartime for orcs - would determine their rank and station.

Personally, I'd prefer to take the interpretation Zhaei has here, especially since the caste of peon arose out of the formation of the Horde. And seeing that they're a necessary class for the existence of this now militaristic society, they're somewhat comparable to what the Helots were for the Spartans, only, the peons still share their race with their superiors and the designation of a peon isn't clarified.
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#10
I always seen Om'riggor as a maturity test and nothing else. I wish CoTH took 90% of RPG books and stuff as canon, but oh well.

This is what lore says and I guess I go with it..?

"Om'riggor is a rite of passage in orcish society. Om'riggor is practiced amongst all orc clans, and both male and female orcs enter adulthood through om'riggor. The rite of om'riggor becomes available at age 20."

I don't know where you got that grunt and peon thing from.
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#11
So, our official stance is, "Om'riggor is not tied to Gruntship?"
Wow. Sometimes I forget the past.
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#12
Sounds like it.
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#13
Good. Now we just need to expand more on the broad or exact thing of Grunt and Peon. Mainly peons.
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