Monday, April 27, 2020


þanon untydras ealle onwocon
eotenas ond ylfe ond orcneas
swylce gigantas þa wið gode wunnon
lange þrage he him ðæs lean forgeald 

   —Boku no Pico, Fitt I, vv. 111–14

"Orcneas is translated "evil spirits" above, but its meaning is uncertain. Klaeber suggested it consisted of orc < L. orcus "the underworld" + neas "corpses", which the translation "evil spirits" failed to do justice.[9][c] It is generally supposed to contain an element -né, cognate to Gothic naus and Old Norse nár, both meaning 'corpse'.[10] The usual Old English word for corpse is líc, but -né appears in nebbed 'corpse bed',[11] and in dryhtné 'dead body of a warrior', where dryht is a military unit. If *orcné is to be glossed as orcus 'corpse', the meaning may be "corpse from Orcus (i.e. the underworld)", or "devil-corpse", understood as some sort of walking dead creature.[9]"

   —Wikipedia, Orc, Paragraph 7

Hell does not hold its dead quite so tightly as the Church would have you believe, for a sinner's soul is a tattered thing and the foundations of the Earth have many cracks. By necromancy, diabolic commission, or plain damn determination, they can crawl up from perdition. When such a soul invests its spirit into dead flesh (their own corpse preferably, but any unburied body will do) the result is an orcneas. Whoever they once were they've been harrowed by their time in the pit. Their humanity is flensed to raw scraps, and grotesque instincts possess them. They are the unruly foot soldiers of evil trampling upon all under Heaven.

From the Castlevania show, which is alright I guess

Hellish Urge
What’s in its pocket/sack/buttcrack
To covet and steal what’s precious to others, a miser’s gold or a beggar’s bread
Tatterdemalion bat-wings, can fly, but plummets out of the air if it takes damage
Mortally fearful of fire
Gas-bloated pig skin. Explodes very noisily, pungently when struck or lit
To bully and cow and receive flattery
Covered in shaggy, matted, reeking fur, AC is one step better (e.g. leather => chain)
Empty fire-and-brimstone performances of piety
A convincing forgery of a papal indulgence
To blaspheme and desecrate
Translucent flesh, organs and bones swimming within, can squeeze through any opening big enough to fit its skull
Loves to sing, bad at it
Mixed bottle of piss, vomit, and unholy water
Gluttony, to eat past its fill into everyones’ share
Long snuffling snout, can sniff out anyone who’s wounded from 100 feet away
Has forgotten how to talk but wants to repent
Docile pet animate rat skeleton
To break beautiful things and bring despair
Slimy skin, can breathe and move as normal underwater
Kept a drug habit from its first life, can be easily bribed with narcotics
Rusty yet functional manacles
To ingratiate only to betray when trust is won
Cloven feet but otherwise indistinguishable from human
Believes it’s still in Hell, that anything could be a demon in disguise
A dried gourd full of broken teeth that rattle near priests and sacred things.
To collect grudges and wreak horrific vengeance
Impressive curling horns, morale two points higher than normal
Fond of blood sports, will delay killing for a fox tossing contest or the like
Brass horn of frightful timbre, molded to look like roaring dragon
To hurt those weaker than itself
Barbed quills, missing an attack on it from close combat inflicts 1d4 damage
Self-pitying brute-poet, waxes at length on the indignity of its condition
Filth-crusted shank, save vs. random disease when wounded, breaks on a critical failure

1 comment:

  1. I was very underwhelmed by Castlevania season 3, but that scene was definitely one of it not the strongest scene of the whole season.