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About scott-martin

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  1. It might be worth refreshing what we know about these wars and these competitors to see how their mercantile monopoly evolved as well as how it was "maintained" (enforced) in the centuries before Tanian. Various far-flung cultures have "pirate" gods, for example. Others cultivated independent relationships with the oceanic powers.
  2. A bit of an edge case (is it published? is it fan speculation?) but Sandy spilled a few beans at the front of the '97 Lore Auction (Conpendium).
  3. This is an extraordinary line revealing deep logic around the Tap. Thank you.
  4. He'll do! The question was about survival, but it looks like the legacy of the Bull Shahs goes on strong in pockets like Tawenos and Hurvisos.
  5. On the bull front, you might be onto deep insight with that primal scene. A brother may readily ally with foreigners, possibly sharing the secret in exchange for protection or revenge. What this entails for modern "storm" bull barbarians' relationship to their ox-making cousins is wide open but somehow I don't see the concept flying high on the chaparral. Maybe Dromal, Dronar or some now-nameless caste-father of farmers contributed the secret in the north and the circumstances around this can easily fuel old grudges like the Tarjinian Bull. At last they had a beast who could really pull a furrow. The technology spreads. This may be the true weapon Syranthir wielded among the old bull people of proto-Carmania, so taboo that the locals would rather focus on the plow it makes possible. Either way, timing here is probably important if we need to restrict this agricultural capacity from warlords of Talor's era. (As far as I am currently aware no bull god survives into Idovanic Carmania or the lunar era but I would be happy to be proven wrong. While applying "the rites of the bull" to younger brothers would be a good atrocity for the Carmangs to inflict on subject Pelorian nations and beyond, Third Age contexts have probably changed.) Barntar could sometimes be a fosterling in the household of Orlanth, a more tractable bull-son from vanished Envorela who was separated from his own family and took the bull/ox decision with him -- as you say, kinsman of the ox. But on the plow front, people have occasionally pondered that troublesome lod-plow from the Lodrilites whom the early children of Malkion subjugated and turned into "laddies." This is its own tricky field.
  6. Love it. This touches on the whole complex of castrating a sacred bull to create an ox but until I get a chance to really review "all the questions about Prax" that piece of it remains nebulous and probably taboo in berserker circles. We know Dronar and/or Dromal comes to the table at the very start of the caste system with "the holy plow" already in hand but nothing about who or what originally drew it. Maybe it dug a shallower furrow in the yielding body of Britha and couldn't be easily transplanted until being modified Since Time -- explaining how Syranthir managed to cross Charg on his belly when Talor couldn't. It kind of starts me wondering in earnest whether Malkion didn't start out with (or acquire) multiple peasant sons bearing multiple plow designs, with their stories conflated except for trace variations in the nomenclature. But that's a slippery slope. Either way, to me the success of the Western-style peasant in Carmania over Pelandan survivals probably hinges on the importation of higher-yield farming magic crowding out the old goddess religion. I don't even know where the Barntar plow comes from. He's definitely a friend of the ox. Maybe the animals drawing the shaker priestess were his originally.
  7. What prevented Akemite forces from simply following the Janube up to proto-Worian and then striking at Dorastor from the north? The Talsardians may have blocked an initial thrust in that direction but by 450 they were allies. Also it goes without saying that there is no Ban in force at this time. Nonetheless first Arkat and then Talor takes the long way around, finally forcing Kartolin despite all precedent. Did Talor's dealings with the Bull and/or blue people mandate what looks like an extensive detour? Was Rist simply a hairier prospect than the unvanquishable fort? I have theories but crowd wisdom is surer. Bonus: does this shed additional light on Syranthir's unprecedented genius in daring to take his nation on a route his sainted predecessors refused to even consider?
  8. On the third hand, without the White Goddess and her sister books we would be unlikely to have the Red Moon Empire or be here to talk about it, so I'm inclined to be a little kinder to his enthusiastic overreach. Likewise, on the viability of God Learner sources, in many if not most cases they are all we have, so even if that bathwater is filthy it's our best shot at recovering the baby.
  9. The "firenewts" White Dwarf editor Albie Fiore inserted into the AD&D Fiend Folio always struck me as familiar for the way they ride around on large flightless birds like heavy ostriches. Looking back it's funny how their society also happens to be organized with elite warriors, priests and overlords. Surely a coincidence!
  10. 1. IMG it's a lot like the "Dragonkill" in that "Luck and Death" aren't forces you wield within the MOLAD environment but external challenges you subordinate through your relationship to the archetypal structures that drive and unify the Sixths: the "mini-monomyth" that makes the Holy Country "Holy." The Master is beyond luck and beyond death, thus eligible for embodying the cult founder who himself embodies all Six. 2. Study of the Book may grant insight into how to combine multiple elemental affiliations within your person as well as open heroquest paths that would otherwise be closed. There are indications that he left the Book deliberately as a trap door if the MOLAD was interfered with, but the way is likely to be extremely hard,"hailing the harshax" notwithstanding. Prince of Sartar doesn't exactly leave him sitting in a position of confidence. 3. Unless you live in the City of Wonders I think most people in the Holy Country participated through their particular Sixth and only in rare and inscrutable circumstances via MOLAD. Finding your way to the City of Wonders and a place within it may be congruent with "worshipping Belintar directly," although those people seem to be big weirdos so who knows. I imagine most of them have disappeared and the rest are somewhere between sad and lazy.
  11. I love it! While it's a shame history hasn't given us examples of the bride winning the contest yet, I wonder if Inkarne or some other future figure will qualify. For us, the question might be which FHQs push back on that very specific restriction on their status in KOS -- "she must speak only on matters of magical interest" -- and how they do it to reach for broader Mastery. There are undoubtedly Esrolian models.
  12. I don't think we are disagreeing here. History probably presents FHQs who at least attempted to effectively "marry themselves" and wield their symbolic power in their own right. It would be interesting to identify them.
  13. In ancient times (WBRM "rune counter" edition) she had the same runes as Beat-Pot, Gunda and Argrath: "Man" like other relatively human individuals as well as Mastery along with an unhelpful range of other entities like the Dwarf, the Sylph and Ethilrist's Cloak. If we were doing it now I'd suggest Earth/Queen and Magic because while she rules the Grazers, it's by right of "thaumaturgy" -- "she must speak only on matters of magical interest" -- and not conventional sovereignty.
  14. The humble belt buckle salesman is of course a reference to one of Greg's more itinerant early career choices. It comes up most recently in the description of the town of Hsin Yin in the Guide.
  15. This thread feeds beautifully back to the Pavis Project, pod racers and all. I wouldn't be surprised if that kid with weird parentage took a lot of "original Adarites" with him "back" across northern Prax in order to (re)build a more perfect Adari by the river. Helps explain how old Pavis could get so weird on a much grander scale: consider the models he had to work with.