THE OUQUR



By Ludwig Sandbacka

Children of the soil, Bearers of the Great Burden and Tenders of the flower wall. The Ouqur are an enigmatic people. Amongst the few outsiders who even know of the Ouqur’s existence they are known for three things. Their tendency to steal things in an almost absent minded way as they don’t believe that things can be owned, their unparalleled ability to heal and mend anything that has been broken or damaged and their misshapen or twisted appearance. As for theirs origins the Ouqur tell a story of how they long ago awoke in the ground as seeds would in spring. They were fair and unburdened as they stepped in to the light and begun what they call the Undertaking.

Everything in Ouqur society revolves around this Undertaking - to rid the world of wrongness and that which has been corrupted. This is why the Ouqur now are misshapen, they possess the ability to absorb corruption into themselves and neutralize it, but at a cost, what they call the Great Burden. The Burden however also gives them the ability to heal, mend and inspire things to grow. Their society is divided into three distinct parts. Those of the Winds who travel the world to find corruption and gather stories. Those of the Waters who are healers and soothers and brew of the soup of tears from the bodies of the dead. And lastly those of the Weald who tend the plants and the flower wall which protects them from the dangers of the wildlands beyond.

The lands of the Ouqur, the Weald, can only be described as a great jungle, wild and beautiful. Ouqur life is simple and almost innocent. They approach the world with a child like curiosity, they are not violent in any way and have great respect for all life. They have little need to produce things as the jungle they tend and grow provides them with food and shelter.

Extra material from the library

Ouqur poem
A short story about the Ouqur and the Akropa



Short mood text

By Zacharias Holmberg

Early morning sunlight bathed the opening in the jungle in a pale, soothing glow. A slight rustling could be heard, waking some gnawers who had hid in the underbrush to sleep. Keeping their heads down, they watched as two small figures emerged slowly into the opening, one hunched over and limping, the other walking straight, but with great care.

For a moment the two figures stopped, and the limping one gestured towards the opening. And as they walked past, the gnawers saw that they were the twisted ones, and knew they would be safe.

“As I feared, we are late…” the limping one said. He was covered in wraps and bandages, caked over with mud and years, if not decades of dirt. Large tumours and boils covered his face, and his limbs were warped and swollen in unnatural ways. “But not too late.”

The upright one nodded, trusting the older one’s words. Her clothing was not much better, tattered wraps made from great leaves and simple cloths. Though not as twisted as the elder, her arms were starting to warp, and small tendrils were sprouting around her right eye.

They walked into the glade, approaching a great tree, twisted and oily from corruption. A great moon moth had fused to the tree, likely the very thing that had spread the corruption. Now it stood like a foul monument, a sprouting black skeleton, covered in oily growths and strange, spiralling patterns. They could not leave until this had been healed.

“Sings-in-moonlight, are you prepared for this undertaking?” the older one asked, his voice a hoarse, yet confident growl. He already knew the answer.

“Yes, Rain-upon-moss. I am ready.” Her voice was brave, but shaking ever so slightly. She approached the horrible tree, and drew a deep breath. And so, she prepared to draw the corruption into her own body.