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Prax and the thousand questions about the place.


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24 minutes ago, Iskallor said:

What would braves initiating in to Waha expect to happen on that important day?

HeroQuest Glorantha page 171 says

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All of the candidates then complete together a simpler version of one of Waha's Tasks

There are many Tasks of Waha, they are basically the things he had to do to sort the Wastelands out before the coming of Time. The most obvious one is Waha and Death. This is the most well known Khan making task:

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Deep in the Goddesses’ Dream Waha witnessed his father’s epic struggle with Wakboth. Storm Bull dropped blade and was about to die when the Block hit. When born, Waha sought the blade where it fell.
Task: Travel weaponless and naked into the Devil's Marsh or the Krjalki Bog to find Storm Bull's dropped weapon. 

Doing the full version alone will lead to a TPK, so a simpler version is needed. It's likely to be a small broo camp, with numbers appropriate to the initiation group. They are allowed sharp sticks to act as spears and have flint knives. A least one of the adversaries will have a metal weapon. They have to get a weapon each, they don't have to kill the broos, although that's a bonus. This is a HeroQuest so there will be a surprise. Remember all are initiated who don't shame themselves or Waha. The tasks can last several days. 

The group never know which task they are going to do in advance. Argrath on his initiation did Waha and the Dragon, an unknown Task until then. There are tasks of meeting the other gods and spirits of the Wastelands, so Waha and Foundchild where they have to hunt, Waha and Daka Fal where they must learn the living from the dead, Waha and so on. Look at the Waha Charms in HeroQuest Glorantha, most are from Tasks. 

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I would get initiates to be part of Waha's Trick, of taking on a mortal vessel for a time. Essentially, have Waha personify a portion of his essence in each initiate, according to the initiate's interests. Then tell the players that they have to think, talk and act the way their character believes Waha would. And give them a bonus to their favorite skill for the rest of the season, commensurate with how well the character "played" Waha.

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9 hours ago, Baelor said:

I would get initiates to be part of Waha's Trick, of taking on a mortal vessel for a time. Essentially, have Waha personify a portion of his essence in each initiate, according to the initiate's interests. Then tell the players that they have to think, talk and act the way their character believes Waha would. And give them a bonus to their favorite skill for the rest of the season, commensurate with how well the character "played" Waha.

This is effectively the HeroQuest challenge from page 198 of HeroQuest Glorantha. The difference is that rather than it be separate experience, it's a group experience like I fought we won. Everyone is Waha not portions of him. I'd certainly do the benefit of victory bonus from the result (lasts as usual until defeated).

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16 hours ago, Iskallor said:

Cool. So it's Waha and the Feathered Rivals then.

This certainly exists, here's Waha and Daka Fal as an example of the format, the intro text is missing:

Task: Find Daka at his fire. Tell the living from the dead, and send the spirits to the Path of the Dead.
Holy or Spirit place: (Spirit) Daka's Campfire
Applicable Task(s): Waha and Death.
Benefit(s) of Victory: dealing with Ancestor spirits, the Daka Fal spirit society, and the Good Shepherd.

Associated Charms and Rituals
Befriend (Particular Spirit) ritual
Banish ghosts ritual

Holy place and applicable tasks are not always needed. Some tasks can count against the task, candidates are never penalised for not having completed an applicable task. 

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So can I get some idea of the comparative sizes of these various divisions within the tribes and their purpose?

E.g. what is the purpose of a sept, and how many people are in it?

I agree with you that Phratry lacks poetry as a term, belonging in a turgid anthro lecture about kinship more than Prax.  As I am not quite clear about how you affiliate with a phratry I can't offer any alternatives.  

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1 hour ago, Darius West said:

So can I get some idea of the comparative sizes of these various divisions within the tribes and their purpose?

As per the post:

Sable Tribe (phratries per tribe 5) -> phratries (clans per phratry 30) -> clans (septs per clan 5) -> septs (4 families) -> family.

So

75k Sables / 5 phratries = 15k Sables / 30 clans, etc.

1 hour ago, Darius West said:

E.g. what is the purpose of a sept, and how many people are in it?

A sept is a grouping of families, normally an extended bloodline, descended from a particular individual within a clan (historically). 

Phratries are effectively tribal septs.

1 hour ago, Darius West said:

As I am not quite clear about how you affiliate with a phratry

As per the genealogical chart in the post: Descendants of a particular Sable daughter.

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3 minutes ago, Steve said:

David, if through this thread you're attempting to make us want your upcoming Prax book even more, then your evil plan is working ...

Still a way to go yet... The Wastelands are BIG.

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12 hours ago, g33k said:

Or a slavedriver.  ^_^

hmm

21 hours ago, Iskallor said:

 You need a Heroquest ;)

More likely. As you probably realise this isn't my full time job, but a sideline. Family, real job, other games job (I'm a writer for Wotan Games currently working on War of the Nine Realms, a Norse theme board game) make it a slow process. Much is also exploration of Praxian culture, Greg didn't create a fully formed environment and Sandy just added to the chaos:-) Lots of stuff was never really thought about in any depth either. Lots of fan spinoff stuff didn't use the core references as their basis (Nomad Gods, Cults of Prax) and some of the official publications went off in a direction that wasn't really what Greg's vision was (Nomad Gods 2, Drastic Prax).

The main thing I'm working on at the moment is Praxian History. What we have at the moment is basically histories of the invaders - Pavis, Sun County, Lunars, but none of what the Praxians did. I'm doing this by mapping the geography, and other features of the Wastes and looking at population numbers. Mapping the Wastes has taken a lot of my time up. They are based on the historical maps in the Guide that my friend Lawrence Keogh produced, I'm doing them in Illustrator like him so the maps are easily scalable, and file size is manageable. It's been worth it as it has produced some really great insights into the early years of the Covenant (check out my Praxian Histories post). Stuff like why the pro-lunar Sables are based at Moonbroth becomes obvious - they're not based at Moonbroth - Moonbroth is within the Sable Tribe's ancestral grazing - the Good Place. I've also started to integrate the history of the Most Respected Elders at the Paps in to this so it produces a coherent history.

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3 hours ago, David Scott said:

hmm

As you probably realise this isn't my full time job, but a sideline. Family, real job, other games job (I'm a writer for Wotan Games currently working on War of the Nine Realms, a Norse theme board game) make it a slow process. Much is also exploration of Praxian culture, Greg didn't create a fully formed environment and Sandy just added to the chaos:-) Lots of stuff was never really thought about in any depth either. Lots of fan spinoff stuff didn't use the core references as their basis (Nomad Gods, Cults of Prax) and some of the official publications went off in a direction that wasn't really what Greg's vision was (Nomad Gods 2, Drastic Prax).

The main thing I'm working on at the moment is Praxian History. What we have at the moment is basically histories of the invaders - Pavis, Sun County, Lunars, but none of what the Praxians did. I'm doing this by mapping the geography, and other features of the Wastes and looking at population numbers. Mapping the Wastes has taken a lot of my time up. They are based on the historical maps in the Guide that my friend Lawrence Keogh produced, I'm doing them in Illustrator like him so the maps are easily scalable, and file size is manageable. It's been worth it as it has produced some really great insights into the early years of the Covenant (check out my Praxian Histories post). Stuff like why the pro-lunar Sables are based at Moonbroth becomes obvious - they're not based at Moonbroth - Moonbroth is within the Sable Tribe's ancestral grazing - the Good Place. I've also started to integrate the history of the Most Respected Elders at the Paps in to this so it produces a coherent history.

FWIW and for the record:  I meant no criticism when I joked about you needing a "slavedriver" -- rather the opposite.  It was an entirely tongue-in-cheek remark.  You're doing extraordinary work -- the quality is beyond reproach.  The fact that you have other jobs (and family (which in the end is presumably the top priority)) is understood, and appreciated.  :)

I was intending to criticize (via hyperbole) myself and other fans, who can get rather impatient for content and more content, details upon details, until fulfilling the "I want it now" fan-demand (our "thousand questions") can take more time than the actual production of the actual item(s) being demanded.   :wub:  :(

Your reply, btw, is "above and beyond" in terms of giving insight and content; every time I think you've hit a new high-water-mark, you go even further!

 

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20 hours ago, g33k said:

I meant no criticism when I joked about you needing a "slavedriver"

No offence taken, I realised you were joking. Fortunately this site has a very low level of trolling and a good level of support and interest from all. Thanks everyone for the support.

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On 10/26/2016 at 3:32 PM, David Scott said:

Only if it goes toward cloning me.

Hmmm, on the plus side a quicker Prax Pack, on the bad side multiple Davids - On balance, probably worth it.

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IMHO, that'd be unusual (usually indicating a high level of personal rivalry/dislike (probably between 2 leaders, or 2 small-ish groups)) but not unheard of.  If it became common or widespread (involving, say, 10% or more of the Tribe). it would be sign of something pretty unusual & unfortunate going on.

NOTE the Sable tribe has Pro- and Anti-Lunar phratries, which probably raid one another.  This is leading to a pretty major disaster, canonically speaking:  Sable is about to become a minor Tribe...

 

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You can raid clans of your own tribe for mounts and breeding stock as well as dinner-on-the-hoof. I would think it would be common amongst the major tribes, but uncommon amongst the minor tribes (because it's hard to find the other ostrich clan, or either of the other Bolo-Lizard clans, but easier to find another Impala clan).

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2 hours ago, Darius West said:

Do Praxians raid other clans of their tribe?  E.g. do Bison riders raid bison riders on occasion, or Ostrich riders raid their own?  What are the consequences for such raids ?  Do they signal a catastrophic upheaval within the clan or is such activity pretty ordinary?  

Basically no, it's not the Way of Waha. In my mind it's basically kinslaying - don't forget the animals are kin. If you want to set it up as the central core of an adventure - that's fine as this kind of thing is in the realm of story telling. Waha the Raider is the task of Waha that sets this up for the tribes of the Covenent. Raid others, take their beasts, sacrifice them to Eiritha, return their souls to the Great Herd so that they may be reborn and eat well. In times of hardship, eat your own, but not do not raid your own people. There is no honour in that. Also bear in mind that herds are dowery. You need to capture enough other beasts to show your worth. If you steal your own herd beasts, your Mother and Grandmother will not accept them. They did not rear them, they are worthless. This also points to why the Pol-Joni are such a good buffer on the edges of Prax - they don't raid Sartar for cattle, it's the same problem.

Bandits and outlaws and those not of the Covenent ignore these rules, they are not bound by the Way of Waha. 

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10 hours ago, David Scott said:

Basically no, it's not the Way of Waha. In my mind it's basically kinslaying - don't forget the animals are kin. If you want to set it up as the central core of an adventure - that's fine as this kind of thing is in the realm of story telling. Waha the Raider is the task of Waha that sets this up for the tribes of the Covenent. Raid others, take their beasts, sacrifice them to Eiritha, return their souls to the Great Herd so that they may be reborn and eat well. In times of hardship, eat your own, but not do not raid your own people. There is no honor in that. Also bear in mind that herds are dowry. You need to capture enough other beasts to show your worth. If you steal your own herd beasts, your Mother and Grandmother will not accept them. They did not rear them, they are worthless. This also points to why the Pol-Joni are such a good buffer on the edges of Prax - they don't raid Sartar for cattle, it's the same problem.

Bandits and outlaws and those not of the Covenant ignore these rules, they are not bound by the Way of Waha. 

So what happens when the Sables who have accepted the Red Moon meets the White Bull Sables? They sit down all chummy by the fireside and laugh about the vagueries of the deities like a bunch of old illuminates?  Probably not.  Politics is very pragmatic, and in many ways direct religion, and Waha is a very pragmatic deity.  We know that warrior societies form and "bully" clans politically, as Jaldon did after his early and unsuccessful attacks on Pavis. 

I see it differently.  Waha values strength, and raiding is a way of life.  Different clans within a tribe may well have ongoing political differences, for example when Ansil Clan needs 25 head for a dowry and Flower Bison owes them 25 head but says they cannot afford to give them up because their herds are too small, Ansil takes the 25 in a raid as they are warlike and feel owed AND slighted, but this enrages Flower Bison who counter raid to get them back, starting a tit-for-tat feud and breaking.  Similarly if a Khan wants to count coup against another Khan within his tribe, stealing from him shows that he is weak while the successful raider is strong.  

The real issue is the spilling of human blood in such raids.  The raiders are probably obliged to disable but not kill their opponents, and when such a taboo is broken then an outlawry, death price, and reconciliation has a chance to occur.  On the other hand sometimes these old wrongs have a long tradition, and even at tribal moots the other clans need to separate the problem members on opposite sides of the camping ground.  Often warring clans form the political polarities within tribes, and the tribe itself serves as a means of mitigating the worst excesses of the conflict and stop it escalating.  In King of Sartar for example, it is quite acceptable for feuding clans to be in the same tribe; the danger being that they can shift to another tribe and potentially cause a tribal war.  That is no danger in Prax, as once an impala rider always an impala rider; clans don't switch beasts.

As for female power stopping the feud, I think you will find that often it is the womenfolk driving the feud behind the scenes, especially if we are drawing on anthropological precedents from our world, like the Bedouins, the Berbers, the Mongols, the Tibetan herders, and the Plains tribes of North America. 

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