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Thread: [FESTIVAL] Orktoberfest
- Join Date
- Dec 2004
This could really be...anywhere, is what makes it so "scary."
Without further ado, I introduce you to...
Grumman Greybeard walked down the road. Today was an odd day. He had recently escaped the clutches of the vile Malakai Dromotov, only to be pursued by rabid goblins, finally to nearly be eaten by a snake the size of a small mansion. The old man chuckled to himself at his fortune, using his walking stick to keep himself upright. He was clad in a green hat and green robes, and his beard for which he was named draped down all the way to his chest. He knew that there would be no real hospitality for miles to come, as the nearest town was a small hamlet called Dermin Dale, with a population of five hundred at the greatest.
What a surprise came to the elderly wizard's eyes! Upon arrival, the hamlet was not sparse and miniscule, as he had predicted. Some few thousand were dancing and playing in the streets, numerous tents having been set up around the town's perimeter. Grumman gasped in shock and nearly fell over. As he drew yet closer, he noticed that they were not people playing, but orcs! Several thousands of orcs! Grumman silently began muttering arcane incantations and wards to protect himself from the vile greenskins. And then, he saw a sign that made him simply forget all his magic. It read, in common, "MERY ORKTOBERFEST COME AND HAVE A BEER ORK STYLE." Ork style? What was Ork Style? Furthermore, what was with this unorthodox spelling of Orc? Were these orcs friendly, even commercial orcs? This was too much to believe. Nonetheless, he continued approaching the town.
One orc deigned to approach him. The man was, actually, not an orc. Terrible green face paint had been sloughed all over his head, and he had trimmed his hair most pitifully in order to look the part. A curiously pink beer belly burst forth from the man's tunic. "Merry Orktoberfest!" the man called.
Grumman, stroking his beard, was not sure what to say. "Merry Orktoberfest to...you too."
Grumman decided that it would be most prudent to ignore the man and continue through the tent venues. Merchants from all corners of the world were visible, selling oddly orcish-themed things. Rat on a stick, notched great-axes, false dwarf heads (which Grumman noted many dwarves taking offense to), and of course, orcish stout in collectible Orktoberfest gift mugs. In the center of it all was a great stage, upon where a massive banner was slung, which read "Prancer the Dancing Ork welcomes you all to drink and be Orkontent." And true to the banner, one real orc was standing in the middle of the stage, holding two steins of beer and dancing merrily. The orc was clearly drunk, and two guards with pikes stood a reasonable distance away from him.
"Orkontent? Is this some absurd pun on content?" Grumman muttered. "What a ridiculous holiday indeed!"
Grumman wandered out of the town and continued northerly. He'd be able to get some rest somewhere else. Today was an odd, odd day.
A Cause For Celebration:
There are three core causes to Orktoberfest. Greed, fear of the 'outsider', and the human love of alcohol. The tradition of Orktoberfest started many, many years ago, and was originally developed by the Heaven Crag Beer Company and Stavro's Carriages, a well-know carriage rental service, though the list of sponsors and participating merchants has grown several hundredfold over the years.
Orktoberfest begins on the first day of autumn, and ends one week from then. The reason for the selection of this day, as of yet, is unknown.
At any rate, some ten or fifteen years ago, Drok Thingleburn of Heaven Crag Beer and Ernest Stavro of Stavro's carriages were discussing a potential merger between their failing companies. Both were, unfortunately, not doing too well, and they both wanted to find some way to make money. Hence, Orktoberfest was born.
First, Drok, being an alcoholic dwarf, had the idea of a simple drinking festival. Stavro considered that to be inefficient. People could just go down to the tavern whenever the heck they wanted and buy a beer, after all. Ernest thought that an out-of-the-way location would be best, as it would allow them to charge extra for setting up new routes, ambush hazards (real or imagined), and rough terrain equipment.
The problem was then reached--why would people want to come to some out-of-the-way place and buy beer, and where the heck was this place going to be?
Well, Ernest remembered that his elderly grandmother lived in a small hamlet called Dermin Dale, the perfect out-of-the-way location. It was a small town, after all.
But the final question was "Why would anyone ever come to Dermin Dale?"
And to that, Drok had an odd idea. Orcs. Everyone feared orcs, the fearsome things they were. They'd eat you and your babies and have their way with your women, that was the public opinion of them. People who could have orc memorabilia, then, would look 'tough,l as most peasants feared anything with the word 'orc' on it, and anyone who had an orcish trophy had to be 'tough.' And after all, everyone loved beer. Orcish beer, then, would be the gimmick. Of course, it would really be Heaven Crag beer in orc-style mugs. However, trouble came when creating the name Orctoberfest. Apparently, some orcish chieftain had already applied for a trademark on it.
Hence, Orktoberfest, that festival of commercialism, capitalism, and bad spelling of orcs, was born.
The festival has grown over the years, mostly because more and more merchants have wanted to hock their wares. Most scholars of the orcish race have decried the festival, stating that the gifts and things sold are all replicas (which is true), and most of them have no relation to orcish culture anyways, especially the orcish gift mugs (which is also true. Real orcs use drinking horns.)
Yes, indeed! There are all manner of festivities at Orktoberfeest. The selling and buying of orc-related goods is first and foremost. If it could be an orcish trinket, even a fake orcish trinket, you can buy it. "Gruumsh is my Homeboy" tunics? Yes. Gruumsh eyes, in the style of the ever-popular Pelor fishes, are also readily availabe. Cart-mountable Avatar of Gruumsh Bobbling-Heads, made with only the finest gnomish gyroscopes, are commonplace. You could, also, in theory, by a WWGD wagon bumper sticker, but those have become less popular in the more recent years.
But it's not just buying and selling souveniers. No, no, the drinking of beer is another big thing. Numerous brands fight in furious competition to win the "Beer of Orktoberfest" competition, one which the Heaven Crag beers have won every year running, since they do appoint the judges. No one else has ever caught onto this little scheme, which has helped Heaven Crag's sales tremendously, presumably because everyone else is always too drunk to notice until the next Orktoberfest comes around. There's a saying that if you leave Orktoberfest sober, you haven't fully enjoyed it. Whatever this means is totally unknown. Also of note is that Stavro Carriages, in addition to being one of many companies now that supplies fair to the Dale, is the only company that owns the rights to shuttling passengers about WITHIN Orktoberfest proper.
There are also all kinds of games and things for "Orklings," as young admissions are called. Decapitate the 'Umie, Fire-Sprayer (not real fire) Races, any sort of standard carnival fair can be found, though admittedly with an orcish twist (try the Warg-go-Round). People are encouraged to have their faces painted and dress up, though rather steep prices at the various booths have lead to many tourists doing their own costumes, some of which are exquisite, and some of which are simply dreadful.
In short, it's a tourist trap.
To say the least, Orktoberfest is a far, far cry from regular life in Dermin Dale. Regular life in the village is quiet (to say the least). Of course, there are the multitudes of tents and vendors setting up all around the town, the total conversion of everything to a generally orcish theme, and most farmers get the week off, simply because getting to the farm is impossible. A large security detachment of hired mercenaries is brought in to keep all the orcs from every which place brought in to dance (and sometimes to work as bartenders, anything, really) in check. The town simply tranforms. A resident probably wouldn't recognize it at first glance if they'd been away for a while.Totalitarian Cow-pitalism: You have two cows. The government takes them and denies they ever existed. Milk is banned.&&
- Join Date
- Aug 2004
Re: [FESTIVAL] Orktoberfest
I think it's good.
Fairly original. Descriptive. Everything is reasonable (Maybe it is on the first day of Autumn because the companies merged a week before then, and were eager to quickly start generating revenue).
- Join Date
- Oct 2004
- Skiatook, Oklahoma
Re: [FESTIVAL] Orktoberfest
I think it's awesome!
Autumn is chosen as the traditional time for drinking holidays for very common sense reasons, if you're familiar with agriculture. The traditional four seasons begin on the equinox or solstice. "Winter" doesn't officially start until the winter solstice on December 21 (northern hemisphere). Autumn doesn't begin until Sept. 22.
By the first day of autumn, all the standard grain crops will have been harvested. However, even though these crops store well, you have to fear their consumption by rats and contamination by moisture. And if you have more grain than you can easily store, you can concentrate it into alcohol to create a valuable commercial product that's enjoyable to drink and stays good for a long time. Hence, in the fall is when most beer and ale is traditionally made.
Once you have a whole bunch of beer, it's quite heavy, so drinking a little wouldn't hurt anyone... would it?
Heheh. There's a similar cycle at work for the fall feasts we know in the USA as Thanksgiving. You fatten your animals throughout the summer, but as winter approaches you have three choices: 1) let the animals starve or get by as best they can, 2) feed them expensive grain and hay all winter, or 3) eat them. Any animals you don't want to keep over the winter get eaten. If you're eating a bunch of animals, why not invite all your friends (especially the ones who made the beer) and have a big party? Huzzah!! ;D
I could go on about the reason why sausages and sauerkraut are eaten in the fall, but I'm not sure if this little history lesson interests you in the slightest.New Terminator movie = Awesome!