Jump to content
Crel

Winter in Dragon Pass

Recommended Posts

Sorry to interrupt but in the Adventures book of the Gamemaster Screen Pack one adventure taking place in early Dark Season involves some herders herding their herd. I guess they must have been home for the slaughter and then returned to the grazing pastures? Before returning again for winter shelter?

I know nothing about herding or cows so would appreciate any help understanding why they're out there after slaughter (which I imagine would be on Reaping Day in Earth Season).

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Puckohue said:

Sorry to interrupt but in the Adventures book of the Gamemaster Screen Pack one adventure taking place in early Dark Season involves some herders herding their herd. I guess they must have been home for the slaughter and then returned to the grazing pastures? Before returning again for winter shelter?

I know nothing about herding or cows so would appreciate any help understanding why they're out there after slaughter (which I imagine would be on Reaping Day in Earth Season).

As long as there remain open (snow free) patches of pasture, keeping the cattle outside saves on the hay.

The real world example of transhumance that I am most familiar with is that of the "Almwirtschaft" of the high pastures of the Alp slopes and foothills, and Jeff is quite familiar with that region, too. In case of those highest pasture, you need to get the cattle down before they get trapped by early deep snows, but looking at the Varmandi clan lands, the hills there are significantly lower than the main Quivini peaks, allowing to keep the herds on the distant pasture a little longer.

Looking at the herder portraits, I would move the scenario to late Earth Season. I wouldn't wish being caught in the onset of early snows wearing the Bronze Age equivalent of a tank top tunic (p.95)... not even wearing a linothorax (all the time?) with a heavy woolen blanket as a coat.

It makes sense to postpone slaughter to the really cold days, makes preserving the meat a lot easier, and there will be some residual pasture near the village after the last hay-making to sustain the beasts that won't be carried through the winter.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Joerg said:

Almwirtschaft

My Yiddish thinks this means an Alpine pub

1 hour ago, Joerg said:

It makes sense to postpone slaughter to the really cold days, makes preserving the meat a lot easier

Bronze Age meat storage was "tied to weights in cool lakes" when it wasn't "dried and pounded with berries and fat into pemmican". There's a lot of research, but the soundbite version is here, which is "lactobacillus digests it, and an archaeologist actually proved it by preserving meat and eating it for a year out of a lake"

http://www.ur.umich.edu/9495/May08_95/storage.htm

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:
4 hours ago, Joerg said:

Almwirtschaft

My Yiddish thinks this means an Alpine pub

Yes, a masters degree in economy makes you a "Wirt" in German (usually Betriebswirt). Lots of lame puns in that, including the "wer nichts wird wird Wirt".

 

2 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

Bronze Age meat storage was "tied to weights in cool lakes" when it wasn't "dried and pounded with berries and fat into pemmican". There's a lot of research, but the soundbite version is here, which is "lactobacillus digests it, and an archaeologist actually proved it by preserving meat and eating it for a year out of a lake"

The source you quoted was for mesolithic hunters, but then there is a continuity of technology from the meso- and neolithic all the way into modern times.

Lactobacillus is the same organism responsible for solid soured milk (hence its name) and Sauerkraut (and other silage). This is one of several fermentation technologies that have been in use for quite some time.

With a steady source of significant amounts of snow, I think that ice cellars are pretty common in Sartar. Ice broken off ponds is denser and will keep longer.

 

Mythically, it is slightly weird to use certain aspects of Darkness (cold, fermentation) to ward off other aspects of it (putrefication).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Joerg said:

Mythically, it is slightly weird to use certain aspects of Darkness (cold, fermentation) to ward off other aspects of it (putrefication).

Let's say you're setting them up against each other so they achieve some kind of weird equilibrium.

Either that or either cold or putrefaction has been sufficiently distanced from the other that they no longer work properly together.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Joerg said:

Mythically, it is slightly weird to use certain aspects of Darkness (cold, fermentation) to ward off other aspects of it (putrefication).

well those terms are not quite exact: there's a positive effect of breakdown of materials into edible parts using things like lactobacillus and fermentation as well as other processes, all of which are putrefaction. The author of the study commented that the food was quite good but it was a little upsetting to work around the dead afterwards (his speciality) and find certain smells of death sometimes made his mouth water. mmm, cadavers! (not cadaverine, which is toxic.)

anyway, forms of putrefaction are Darkness, while the presence of harmful disease-causing things is Chaos-tainted and Darkness is Chaos' first-line enemy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

well those terms are not quite exact: there's a positive effect of breakdown of materials into edible parts using things like lactobacillus and fermentation as well as other processes, all of which are putrefaction. 

Not quite - putrefaction is connected to massive emission of gas and liquefication of tissue when applied to carcasses, or in alchemical context the process of Nigrado or blackening, again under release of (usually noxious) gases.

Lactic acid formation is a (reversible itn life organisms) reaction of sugars leading to an acidification which creates a milieu harmful to other processes, without any gaseous side products (unlike e.g. alcoholic fermentation  which produces carbon dioxide, and worse processes on proteins leaving behind amines - the archetypical "fishy" smell of old fish - or ammoniac, or the foul egg stench of hydrogen sulphide). Targeting only carbohydrates and leaving the protein largely intact (some hydrolysis of the peptides will occurr at the acidification, making subsequent digestion easier much like cooking would do), this sort of fermentation reduces the energy in the food only minimally - in our world, using chemistry and biochemistry to explain things.

 

I just finished reading Ben Aaronovitch's "The October Man", featuring an incident with (unnaturally enhanced) "noble rot", a fungal infestation of grapes leading to premature fermentation of the starch and a better sugar (and hence alcohol) yield of the grapes so afflicted (provided you manage to harvest the grapes after the optimal exposure).

Directed fermentation by selected agents is common in cheese-making, whether the outer mold of Camembert, the blue veiny molds of Roquefort and other such "noble mold" cheese preparations. (I would agree that a couple of cheeses do use putrefaction to arrive at their characteristics. But then, Terry Pratchett's Tiffany Aching novels have Horace, a cannibalistic loaf of Lancre Blue cheese which became a honorary Nac Mac Feegle...)

Other dairy applications are the bacterial agents resulting in yogurt, kefir or junket, or just the precipitation of curd with rennet or acids.

Sour conservation of meat and fish over a limited period leads to meals like Bismarck herring and pickled pork (Sauerfleisch, a northern German culinary abomination).

The salt-selected fermentation of herring leading to garum and salt herring (spekesild, Matjes), the anaerobic fermentation of auks in sealskin to kiviak, and a traditional Norwegian christmas eve involves the consumption of lutefisk (alkali-treated stockfish).

Curing with smoke (both hot and cold) or salt or simply drying is a way to avoid putrefication, and I guess freeze-drying is an option too in extreme winter (it is considered a degradation of food in your home freezer, but while it affects taste and texture, it doesn't affect the nutritional value and makes putrefaction less likely, so could be a desired effect) - not jerky, but rather a similar gelatinous mess when re-hydrated as is lutefisk.

Pemmican is basically the precursor of sausage.

 

19 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

The author of the study commented that the food was quite good but it was a little upsetting to work around the dead afterwards (his speciality) and find certain smells of death sometimes made his mouth water. mmm, cadavers! (not cadaverine, which is toxic.)

Yeah. Branding or uncautious skin contact with (just below glowing) hot metal, ceramics or glass will spread the same aroma as does Schnitzel in the skillet. (But then middling high concentrations of hydrogen sulphide - just below acute toxicity when you stop smelling the stuff - has similar associations.)

 

19 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

anyway, forms of putrefaction are Darkness, while the presence of harmful disease-causing things is Chaos-tainted and Darkness is Chaos' first-line enemy.

Interestingly, Mal(l)ia is a darkness entity and not chaotic in or by herself, except through association. She is the midwife of the Devil, not its mother.

Venoms and poisons aren't a Darkness exclusive - Water has its fair share of that, and so does Earth. Venomous birds or mammals are rare, although poisonous organs are common (e.g. bears' or other carnivores' livers tend to hold too many metabolites of proteins for human consumption).

Chaos and Darkness coexist relatively relaxedly. Cave trolls and sea trolls may regenerate less spectacularly than walktapi, but the difference is one of degrees. Zorak Zorak is as efficient against Chaos as he is against about any other (hated) opponent, because he is so damn similar to Chaos. Trolls hate the Chaos which afflicts them with the same fervor as they hate the Fire that affects them. Broos impregnating their trollkin are a menace, and thus deserve to be eaten. Diseased stuff can be cleansed - or rather destroyed without heath hazard (by trolls) by eating, or by dissolving it in gorp. If swallowed (and flushed) fast enough, small amount of gorp can be eaten, and probably re-formed into Darkness while passing through the rock gizzard. It isn't pleasant food, however, and overdoing it may result in corrosive diarrhea and sore esophagus. In other words, a food for cave trolls.

 

Re: Karrg's Sons requirement eating a relative: can this be a cave troll somehow fathered by the uzko? It would be little trouble to harvest an arm and a leg each season...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By the way, does it makes sense that when staying enough time under very cold temperatures (e.g. during the Great Winter), zombis freeze and cannot move anymore ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Zit said:

By the way, does it makes sense that when staying enough time under very cold temperatures (e.g. during the Great Winter), zombis freeze and cannot move anymore ?

And ducks go ice skating on the frozen Upland Marsh? ;-)

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Zit said:

By the way, does it makes sense that when staying enough time under very cold temperatures (e.g. during the Great Winter), zombis freeze and cannot move anymore ?

that's always been a plot point in the cleverer zombie series. i vote yes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Zit said:

By the way, does it makes sense that when staying enough time under very cold temperatures (e.g. during the Great Winter), zombis freeze and cannot move anymore ?

Alternatively, they might be mobile but greatly slowed and prone to shattering

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Ali the Helering said:

Alternatively, they might be mobile but greatly slowed and prone to shattering

Or you see them moving under the ice. Because that's not creepy at all!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

I like the idea of the Lunar Kalikos Quest melting permafrost and revealing a whole horde of long-slumbering zombies.

#unforseensideeffects

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Ali the Helering said:

Alternatively, they might be mobile but greatly slowed and prone to shattering

Yes, this. Thats why, in the movies, sometimes zombies are slow and plodding, and sometimes really freakishly fast! People in the US Southwest hate Zombies.

SDLeary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/14/2020 at 12:19 PM, Akhôrahil said:

Or you see them moving under the ice. Because that's not creepy at all!

It's just getting  the Mostali ice machine, the Zomboni.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...