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Pol-Joni Questions


icebrand

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So, i want to dive deeper into my newest original creation, Jon Pol-Joni, an orlanthi hero who wields the six-string of storms.

What horse breed do the Pol Joni ride? I read something about it being seredae, is this true?

How do you pick a warhorse then? (The average seredae cant carry a warrior into battle!)

How does rustling praxian beasts work? Do the Pol Joni raid as the orlanthi do, or as the animal nomads do? How do animal nomads raid anyway? 

Do they kill everyone and take those who surrender/fell to befuddle as slaves? 

Also, i read Pol-Joni are buddies with the zebras and others, how come? Dont zebra riders consider horses taboo, and should avoid associating with?

Lastly, any pol joni resources to read more about? Thanks in advance!!!

Edited by Scotty
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"It seems I'm destined not to move ahead in time faster than my usual rate of one second per second"

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7 hours ago, icebrand said:

So, i want to dive deeper into my newest original creation, Jon Pol-Joni, an orlanthi hero who wields the six-string of storms.

What horse breed do the Pol Joni ride? I read something about it being seredae, is this true?

Whatever horses they can ride.  Most commonly this would be Darons and Sereds with a few skirmishers riding Galanas

7 hours ago, icebrand said:

How do you pick a warhorse then? (The average seredae cant carry a warrior into battle!)

Sereds have -1 speed for heavy cavalry so they can.  Galanas have -2 for heavy cavalry and are far better suited for chriot duty.

7 hours ago, icebrand said:

How does rustling praxian beasts work? Do the Pol Joni raid as the orlanthi do, or as the animal nomads do? How do animal nomads raid anyway? 

They are conversant with the Praxian customs about raiding and also the Orlanthi customs.  They would probably raid for livestock rather than steeds.

7 hours ago, icebrand said:

Also, i read Pol-Joni are buddies with the zebras and others, how come? Dont zebra riders consider horses taboo, and should avoid associating with?

The Zebras have no problem with horses and even ride a variant.  They are Pavisites rather than Animal Nomads.  The Animal Nomads consider horses unclean but have become accustomed to outsiders riding them.

 

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15 hours ago, icebrand said:

So, i want to dive deeper into my newest original creation, Jon Pol-Joni, an orlanthi hero who wields the six-string of storms.

What horse breed do the Pol Joni ride? I read something about it being seredae, is this true?

Possibly that, although any hero with some self-esteem will acquire a hyal Goldeneye horse from the Grazers one way or another, sooner or later.

There were dissident Grazerland horse folk who chose life in Prax over following the Feathered Horse Queen, and those would have brought their ponies as breeding stock. Then there were those Goldeneyes taken in raids from the Grazers by Derik and his Tarshite allies, and probably quite a few lesser Grazelander horses.

As far as MGWV is concerned, pure-breed Goldeneyes are as rare among Grazelander herds as War Zebras are among the zebra herds of Pavis, and earlier on among the herds of the Pure Horse Folk of Prax. While these Pure Horse People who were invited to Prax were Pentans who followed the ways of Hyalor, they were (mostly) not descended from the Hyalorings who ruled over Darjiin shortly after the Dawn and then provided the third emperor of the  horse warlord "dynasty" enthroned by the Jenarong rites.

Sered horses are the typical Pelorian and Pentan horse breed. There may be lineages with Goldeneye or possibly Vuanso ancestry in Pent or Char-un Erigia, too.

 

15 hours ago, icebrand said:

How do you pick a warhorse then? (The average seredae cant carry a warrior into battle!)

You pick above-average horses as warhorses, and otherwise make do with what you've got. Which AFAICT has been the case throughout the history of mounted warfare.

 

15 hours ago, icebrand said:

How does rustling praxian beasts work? Do the Pol Joni raid as the orlanthi do, or as the animal nomads do? How do animal nomads raid anyway? 

Excellent question, really.

Mythically, this is almost like raiding for a bride, one from a different tribe. Normally not encouraged (unless you bring her back as a slave).

And even while another tribe's raided herd beasts tend to end up as a roast for the raiders, and practically never as a mount (excepting Unicorn tribe women without the tribal beast, or their husbands/male lovers who joined that tribe), though as beasts of burden they may last longer.

On a grand scale (that of the Nomad Gods boardgame), raiding a herd unattended by warrior/herders summons the Protectress, a dreadfully powerful combat form of Eiritha that will need to be overcome or likely destroy your raiding party.

On a roleplaying game scale, unattended herds only happen after disastrous stampedes or similar mishaps. Otherwise, there are bound to be herders in charge of protecting a clan's herd that is following their alpha cow. And since keeping all beasts together will denude even the richest pasture rather quickly, the herds are likely to split into smaller groups when not on a migratory trek, spreading out across the available pasture.

The herder-to-herdbeast ratio probably is greater than 20 per herder (as suggested for Sartarite cattle herders), possibly rather in the region of 50 per  herder (as suggested for Sartarite shepherds). Praxian herders are mounted as a rule. They probably have outrider scouts looking out for raiders, which need to be avoided or fooled, or in case of doubt subdued with such force not causing major warfare.

The big challenge may be to out-herd the herders who are kin to the herd beasts, and that's where my comparison wiht bridal raiding comes into play. Demonstrate the weakness of the assigned guardians of the herd, and get the part of the herd you want to take over moving in the direction you want without causing a panic, and ideally also without alerting any not-subdued native herders.

 

15 hours ago, icebrand said:

Do they kill everyone and take those who surrender/fell to befuddle as slaves? 

Life in Prax is harsh enough already without making raiding genocidal. That said, you don't raid the clan village on the move, but an outlying smaller group of beasts with a small number of more or less alert guardians.

People captured alive may be taken for ransom or - should there be no ransom forthcoming - as slaves. But raiding for slaves may be done without aiming at raiding herd beasts.

Most of the Pol Joni will have Praxian ancestors by now, as the formation of the tribe included a great number of outlaws from the other Praxian tribes upon foundation, giving them a second chance at a life as protectors of a family rather than lives around outlaws' camp fires. There is no specific hatred against any of the Beast Rider tribes (other than personal grudges).

 

15 hours ago, icebrand said:

Also, i read Pol-Joni are buddies with the zebras and others, how come? Dont zebra riders consider horses taboo, and should avoid associating with?

At least as per earlier descriptions, zebra riders breed cavalry zebras - infertile crossbreeds of war zebra stallions and horses that fulfill the "not a horse" trope. As such, the Pavisite zebra kings have always kept their pure horse kin nearby, and remained on good terms with them.

The nomadic Zebra tribe that formed around Joria, the human-shaped daughter of Joraz Kyrem and the Zebra mother who became Most Respected Elder at the Paps, may have abstained from that practice, at least while residing at the Paps. (These details have been leaked by David Scott in Episode 9 of the God Learners podcast.)

 

There is a certain irony in having the Pol Joni as followers of Jaldon Toothmaker in the WBRM / Dragon Pass board game, as the tribe was founded on the feat of laying Jaldon to a longer (temporary) rest.

The Pol Joni tribe was formed before 1440 (the death of King Yanasdros of Tarsh), as that worthy aided Derik in stealing the magical breeding bull from the Opili nation Pentans that had been previously pushed back into Jarst and Garsting at the Battle of Quintus Vale, and without a tribe in Prax Derek had little need for a breeding bull. The mixed breed of Pentan steppe cattle and Sartarite upland cattle makes a welcome addition to the catalogue of herd beasts to be raided for in Prax, and can deal with the chaparral at least during the fertile season(s) quite well (better than the horses in any case).

 

15 hours ago, icebrand said:

Lastly, any pol joni resources to read more about? Thanks in advance!!!

Few yet, and fewer for RQG canon, and few for direct perusal.

The RQ2 Pavis box and King of Sartar are the two major sources I have used for years, with some extra info in other sources that add color (like that orange-skinned Storm Bull (IIRC) hero from that tribe). The Sartar history in the Sourcebook gives a text slightly different from that in the Sartar section of the Composite History of Dragon Pass in King of Sartar.

Martin Helsdon's Armies and Enemies of Dragon Pass gives a good tribal synopsis.
 

Other than that, lots of fan speculation and occasional fanzine publication, and a number of unfinished or cancelled publications.

The sequels for Valley of Plenty would have dealt with the Pol Joni, but sadly even the (great) first offering of that series has been pulled from the Jonstown Compendium.

Sarah Newton's project detailing Barbarian Town for RQG has been delayed indefitely. And even if there was a finished manuscript in the hands of Chaosium, we would have to wait for that for at least a year, if the progress of Robin Laws's Pavis books is an indicator.

 

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  • Scotty changed the title to Pol-Joni Questions
On 5/18/2022 at 5:29 AM, icebrand said:

How do animal nomads raid anyway? 

The Conduct of Raids

“If you ever hear a fool complain he has too many beasts to care for, raid him to ease his burden.”

Raiding for livestock is a major part of life  in Prax, and the main method for men to achieve acclaim and promote their fortunes within their tribe and clan.  A skilled raider proves themselves in cunning, daring, and skill, which are all the traits one needs to be seen as a Praxian leader, and the beasts they seize will add to their wealth, which leaders also need.

It is the duty of the Khan of a clan to call raids.  While braves sometimes go on raids without permission, this is a danger to the clan and a challenge to the Khan’s authority and generally warrants punishment of all the raiders involved.  At worst, raiding an ally can bring shame and danger upon a clan.  Successful raids that displease the Khan may still invoke the seizure of all the animals stolen, but Khans are seldom so quick to punish such initiative for fear that they will be seen as jealous or threatened by a subordinate.  A wise subordinate will likely gift their Khan post fact.  Sometimes illicit raiding will please a Khan however, and will receive an accolade tempered with only a minor reminder that raiding without permission is not advisable.  To fail in a raid is often to die or be captured and enslaved or ransomed, and hence it is generally its own punishment to raid unsuccessfully and fail.

            All decisions about raids are based upon the information gathered by scouts about the deposition of enemy forces.  It is generally scouts who break the protocol about having permission to raid, as they are the ones who see an immediate opportunity to raid successfully most often.  For this reason, the dangerous job of scouting is a prized one by those who are most brave, as it is often the most profitable for those with the initiative to seize an opportunity.

            When a Khan calls a raid, he may elect to go himself, but generally he will delegate the honor to someone who has his trust as an experienced raider.  This individual in turn has responsibility to delegate who is his order of command for the raid.  It is an honor to be the leader of a raid, but it is also a lesser honor to be chosen as a participant, as it offers each member of the raiding party an opportunity to distinguish themselves with acts of bravery by counting coup in various forms.

            Typically, raiding will require the raiding party to choose one of seven tactics.  The first and most popular tactic is that the raiding party adopts the attitude of scouts, hiding in defilade and observing their targets until they see an opportunity to catch their enemies unawares and steal their beasts.  This potentially minimizes the chance for a fight between those guarding the herd and those stealing the animals.  All clans know this tactic, and so they regularly patrol areas where enemy raiders are likely to be hiding.   This tactic is favored by foot clans like the morokanth, younger braves, and chaos creatures.

            The second tactic is generally favored by the tribes with heavier beasts such as bisons and rhinos, which is to ride directly at those guarding the beasts and actively seek confrontation with the guards of the herd, hoping to defeat and scatter them.  This is a very all-or-nothing tactic, and risks life and limb, but potentially will allow for the theft of many more animals, as there will be no guards left to stop you, as they are dead or fled (or captured).

            The third tactic is one of maneuver, and is favored by those who seek to avoid direct conflict, such as the pygmy clans of the Impalas, Ostriches and Bolo Lizards.  It involves using multiple small groups in combination to harry the guards from multiple directions at once, while scattering or even stampeding the herd they defend away from their protection.  This tactic favors missile weapons and speed.  Slower mounts will fail if they try this.

            The fourth tactic is the night attack.  This is notoriously hard to co-ordinate, and has many apparent drawbacks.  Visibility is poor, communication must be done by shouting, and enemies may mimic and confuse you, and everyone will be tired.  Finally, there is a good chance that the animals you want to steal will become lost in the darkness, and will eventually wander back to their herd on their own before morning.  The best night raiders are the Sable Tribe, who use the light of the full moon to help them see and operate, as well as helping to overpower their lunar magic.  Morokanths favor the night attack.

            The fifth tactic is known as a dirty tactic, as it involves using a dust storm to cover one’s attack.  The aim is to ride in during a dust storm when most of your enemy will be taking cover, and take as many beasts as you can.  This is more difficult than it sounds, as most animals will not want to move during a dust storm, and must be given considerable incentive to do so.  This tactic is really only possible during Earth and Dark seasons when the Bull Wind whips Prax and the Wastes.

            The sixth tactic is to use disguise.  You dress in the manner of your enemies, you ride their beasts, and you mimic the way their tribe speaks if necessary.  You seek to pass yourself off as being of their people.  This allows you considerable latitude to make off with their animals if they don’t suspect you.  Sometimes it is enough to pass yourselves off as messengers or emissaries.  It is also not unknown for actual emissaries who have been rebuffed, and conclude that there is no further hope for the negotiations, simply stealing animals on their way out of a camp.

            The seventh tactic is the "womens’ tactic".  It involves finding ways to lure the members of the enemy herd away.  This can involve tactics such as heading upwind of a herd and releasing cut green grass onto the wind, so the smell of better fodder will draw the herd.  Sometimes it can involve the rune spell Speak with Herd Beast, and an effort to convince the herd that you have something better to offer them.  On the other hand, it is hard to get close enough to a herd to do this without attracting the anger of any nearby guards.

            In essence there are almost infinite variations on these seven tactics, and Praxian boys begin their education in them from the day they start to speak.  A lot of male discussion is about ways to improve one’s chances of a certain kind of raid, or how to defeat such a raid with greater ease.

The next section is called:         

The Raiding and Seizure of Oases

“When you lose your access to water, you live as a slave to water.”

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