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Of Ostriches and Eiritha


Darius West

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Let's talk about the Ostrich Tribe for a while.  I believe there was an article about them in one of the editions of Heroes magazine back in the day.  I don't know if that info remains current.  Now, my understanding is that Ostriches are not Eiritha beasts, and the menfolk of the tribe follow their own version of Yelmalio rather than Waha, and they don't follow Eiritha either, but they are clearly an accepted "tribe" (there are only around 1000 of them, which would generally qualify them as a clan, not a true tribe).  Now on the other hand, the Ostriches clearly haven't received the ruthless persecution and hatred than the Pure Horse people copped, and are in fact a part of the Two Legged Alliance.  (For the record, the Two Legged Alliance is comprised of three tribes, the Ostrich Riders, the Bolo Lizard People, and a third tribe who is unnamed, but I will propose that it is the Morokanth).  So, my question is this...   

What is the relationship between the Ostriches and the Eiritha hierarchy at the Paps?  Is the Ostrich tribe seen as Praxian by adoption?  How are they seen?  All Praxian tribes are pretty hostile to one another, do they reserve any special hatred for the Ostrich riders, as they do for horse riders?  Are the Ostrich tribe simply too small in number to be concerned about?  What are people's thoughts?

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The RQG Bestiary groups them with all the Praxian Riding Animals on pp. 153 so I expect the Ostrich Tribe to have the same cultural & religious affiliations as the other Praxian tribes, like the Morokanth and the Bison Tribe. 

IIRC the 3rd tribe of the Two Legged Alliance were Loper riders  (RQG Bestiary pp. 150).

Birds tend to be Fire/Sky rune creatures, but they don't stay that way. So I'd say the Ostrich has Beast above Fire/Sky since they lost the Waha gambling contest. If you quest back, you might encounter Ostrich as a Fire/Sky creature in Genert's Garden. Like the Augner of Rinliddi (Anaxial's Roster p.22). 

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Horse-riding foreigners expelled the animal nomads from Prax in the Second Age, and dominated Prax under Sheng Seleris in the Third Age, which to my mind explains a lot of that hostility. Also, a goodly number of foreign horse-riding types who travel into Prax meet nomads whose more excitable braves take umbrage at their "unclean" mounts. What they don't realise is that if those self-same foreigners had ridden something else, or nothing at all, the nomads they encountered would take umbrage at that, instead. They want to be offended: they want to have a pretext for kicking off (or demanding bribes not to kick off): the horse thing is just a handy excuse, that's all. 

So if there's a reliable account of Ostrich Riders expelling all the animal nomads from Prax, or dominating all the other tribes, then I might look to see a comparable 'hatred' / 'hostility' (it's more likely just a taboo, coupled with Praxian braves being assholes to foreigners -- such that if a party of ostrich-riding Orlanthi merchants travelled into Prax, they'd be spun a story about how terrible a decision that was, and how their non-Covenant birds are tainting the water they drink, just like what happens to the horse-riding types. Except, of course, ostrich-riding Orlanthi merchants are prima facie ridiculous).

But there isn't, so it's not something the nomads need to pretend to get exercised by. There's no good loot to be won by squeezing the Ostrich Riders.

Just my thoughts, YGWV.

Edited by Nick Brooke
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3 hours ago, Darius West said:

What is the relationship between the Ostriches and the Eiritha hierarchy at the Paps?

The Ostrich tribe are an independent tribe (aka minor), they are one of the Earth Tribes were given to Eiritha’s care by her mother Ernalda, when she could no longer sustain them. They are part of Waha’s Covenant. Their main cults are Waha and Eiritha, with Ostrich mother, coming third and Yelmalio fourth. As they are so small there's only  1 or 2 khans and 1 or 2 Eirtha Priestesses, one of whom is usually the Ostrich mother shaman priestess. Eiritha worship is effectively Ernalda. They have no permanent representation at the Paps, due to numbers. But priestesses are always welcome. There is a shrine to Ostricth Mother at the Paps too.

3 hours ago, Darius West said:

Is the Ostrich tribe seen as Praxian by adoption?

No. They have always been in Prax and the wastes.

3 hours ago, Darius West said:

How are they seen?

Like any other minor tribe - not that important or interesting. Tasty birds if you can find one.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, AndrewTBP said:

IIRC the 3rd tribe of the Two Legged Alliance were Loper riders  (RQG Bestiary pp. 150).

I just read that entry.  Lopers are puzzling.  How do you make a saddle for a creature that has eyes all over its back?  They seem to come from Pamaltela, so perhaps they arrived in Prax with the Agimori?

Edited by Darius West
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The Lopers probably come from the planet Emilla, also known as Uleria by the Dara Happans or Mastakos by the Orlanthi and God Learners, the teleporting planet with the eight hour cycle. They were the riding animals of the Veldang Loper People, aka Zaranistangi, who had conquered Melib and Teshnos.

There seem to be no eye-lid organs in the region of the shoulder, which may make a loper-riding position look a bit like a dad carrying a kid on the shoulder, or a crouch on a knee rest or in stirrups just above/behind the front legs, like a racing horse jockey.

A saddle could cover the area above and below these eye-lids leaving a valley, with a belt across that valley to keep the saddle parts in place in the back. At the top/on the front the saddle would be one piece. The saddle would probably also equalize the slope of the back.

The ambulatory gait of these beasts, and whatever they do for gallop, may cause sea-sichness to the uninitiated...

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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7 hours ago, Nick Brooke said:

 There's no good loot to be won by squeezing the Ostrich Riders.

Well, ostrich feathers. But you can just get those for free by following an ostrich around for long enough.                                                                                    

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The Thelxinoë of the Graclodont set.

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On 8/2/2021 at 6:03 AM, Nick Brooke said:

There's no good loot to be won by squeezing the Ostrich Riders.

Ostrich eggs make good water containers.

Their feathers make good decorations.

Ostrich meat is gamey and tasty.

They also have gold, being Light-based.

 

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Greg had something to say about Loper folk when he was asked about blue people in Glorantha:

Quote

The Veldang of Pamaltela are another part of [the collective water entities which attempted to reclaim the earth after Yelm died]. They are descendants of the ancient Artmali. Artmal called his mother Vendara, who was one of several Blue Moon goddesses. She rose after Yelm died and was very prominent when Artmal and his people descended by boat from the moon to during the watery part of the early Storm Age. The Artmali settled first in south Pamaltela and eventually covered much of the southern hemisquare, with colonies around the base of the Spike. Their “blue powers” were less associated with water than with the related powers of fluidity and growth. They were ruined by the Storm Age, and when their gods died their civilization collapsed. Pamalt’s peoples gained the upper hand and the Artmali were separated into groups with their varying fates.

The Loper Folk (named after their riding beasts) are originally of this race, and travelled to Genertela before the Spike exploded. (Lopers are extinct in Pamaltela now, rare in Genertela).

 

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