The basic image of ogres, of monstrous stupid men who can sweep cattle up in their arms, reoccurs in the folklore of hundreds of cultures. Every single time the ogre appears; a clever human or god appears right behind him, tricking the mighty creature to his death. Despite his strength and cannibalistic ways the ogre stands no chance against the tricky mind of an alert human being.
The common ogre stands nine to 10 ft. tall, smells like a dung heap, and avoid direct confrontations. The merrow resemble their land-bound cousins but breath water and swim like fish. Finally we have the ogre mage, a creature somehow related to the common ogre but remarkably different; although they share a similar physical appearance the ogre mage represents a quantum level greater threat than an ogre.
These three races represent an amalgamation of three basic folklore creatures: the ogre (large, strong, dumb), the merrow (a rather ugly merman from Irish legends), and the Japanese oni (literally ogre, demon, or fierce god). Ogres belong to all cultures. Merrow, as a specific type of relatively friendly merman, really only appear in Irish folklore. Oni come in many shapes but the Core Rulebook III limits ogre magi to a relatively mundane forms.
Although it is tempting to discard the folklore as irrelevant to a gaming supplement, that lore also provides some clues to the solutions we seek. Specifically, it points towards several particulars that can weave together to form a coherent narrative. These particulars form the framework of this book. By picking and choosing which elements fit in a specific setting the Games Master can easily add depth to his ogres. Similarly players can create interesting ogre characters from all three racial strains.