Bravo, sir! The ol' "Meats of Unsavory Sources" isn't a new plot, but you've breathed a wonderful life into it. A classic plot where the tale is truly in the telling, and you've told it well. Among other fine touches, the orcish naming ceremony was what did me in. Five blades for you, and a hearty welcome to the Citadel. Go to Comment
Wow; thanks everyone for the comments and suggestions! I had initially written this as a somewhat silly sidebar adventure; something I could throw at my players without derailing them too far from their main quests, but perhaps I should revisit this at some point. Go to Comment
This ended up being woven into a much larger plot; a mysterious benefactor was financing the operation. The PCs also discovered that the meatsmen were being directed to "expand" their business; in other words, start kidnapping human children from homesteads and farms, while leaving "evidence" that orcs are behind it. On the surface level, it appears that this benefactor is trying to cause problems between the orc and human settlements. There are some deeper threads this relates to which I really don't want to expound on, for fear of one of my players stumbling across it.
I'm running this in a campaign environment which has very much a "great north frontier" feel; very sparsely populated, and few civilized establishments more than a couple decades old. The concept of canibalism, wendigos, and struggling for survival against magically brutal climates play a major role. Go to Comment
A culture must hide its hands in the arm of their clothing as a sign of respect and peace. When approaching somebody you show them respect by crossing your arms and hiding the hands in the shirt sleeves. Nobody worries about hidden knives and such, it is the threat of magic that this custom was created to prevent.