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Termites in the Wastes?

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From the description of Prax, huge areas are covered by dry grasses. That means there is a lot of dry vegetation that accumulates whenever seasonal humidity initiates another spurt of growth, only to be dried out if not grazed upon in time. What happens to this excess, dry stuff?

I remember a statistic that more than 80% of the biomass of a steppe or savannah is consumed by termites in our world (which in turn serve as food to creatures like the aardvark). Is that true in Prax, too? (And if so, are termite hills a mainstay in the diet of herd men?)

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I've often wondered the same thing and have on occasion had their mounds fill the plains, especially the further East you go in the Wastes. With giant ones close to the Tunnelled Hills.

The riders that frequent that far out carry long sticks in their belts.

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Although I don't doubt that termites exist in the Wastes, in the magical ecology of Glorantha, dead plant forms slowly transmute back into the earth they can from (Aldrya being the daughter of Ernalda). Herdmen get the bulk of their diet from herd beast meat. I'm sure they can supplement it with termites if need be. One of the themes of the Wastes is an absence of a rich animal ecology. I'll continue this shortly in a separate post:

 

Edited by David Scott
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I would have to presume that wildfire is also a Thing in any area with lots of dried grass...  Did ol' Oakfed ever have a daughter, Grassfed (no jokes about stoner chicks, please!)

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Wildfire isn't really a problem as Oakfed is tamed by Waha and the Burners spirit society look after him. It's one of the tasks of Waha to prove you are a Khan:

Waha and Oakfed (Solo)

In the Great Darkness, Oakfed burned the world, helped by those he warmed. As Waha approached him, Oakfed burned hotter. Waha knew someone who had a tame fire. He went to Helpwoman and asked how she kept her cooking fire under control. She taught him the secrets of being a firekeeper, and showed him how to make his own sacred fire horn. Now Waha approached Oakfed, and taunted him that he could not burn what was inside. Oakfed leapt and Waha caught him. Waha knew that Oakfed and his family had had useful skills. They helped people survive. He made Oakfed and his family a new home in the Burners spirit society, and promised to release Oakfed and his family if they will help everyone who is a firekeeper. Khans of this task know the rituals of Befriend fire spirits, and Trick fire spirit.

 

Task: Learn to be a firekeeper from Helpwoman. Make a firehorn and trick Oakfed at the Fireground.

Holy or Spirit place: Monkey Ruins, Fireground.

Applicable Task(s): Waha and Foundchild.

Boon: Benefits dealing with all with fire based activity, social, martial, fire spirits, and the Burners spirit society.

 

Associated Charms and Rituals

(Mastery) Subdue Fire Elementals

(Mastery) Befriend fire ritual

(Mastery) Trick fire spirit

 

Wildfire is the intentional releasing of Oakfed. The problem is the taboo you get when you learn to release Oakfed:

(fire) Oakfed. Oakfed is the raw raging wildfire with power to spread. The taboo associated with this charm is Do Not Prevent Fire from Spreading.

 

The shaman who heads the Burners spirit society needs his Khan's permission to release Oakfed, something not done lightly.

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One place I put Giant termites is on the shores of Prax.. W know the Prax Plateau drops sharply when it gets near the coast and there a swamp all along the coast of Prax filled with disease carrying insect. But outside of Corflu not much is said about it. So I filled the area with giant insects and Broo.

  Hmm, If a Broo was able to rape a Giant Termite Queen and it resulted in one of the Rare Female Broo what would happen

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To the west of Corflu, below Defenders Shore lies the Mosquito Marsh, then as it reaches Sog's ruins it becomes Sog Marsh. The marshes disappear completely south of Cam's Well (AAA p30). Here's the full version the Guide text is based on  (too much detail for the Guide):  

"Mosquito Marsh: This unpleasant coast is avoided by Praxians because of the clouds of biting insects that plague it. It has the highest concentration of insects anywhere on the Bleak and Defenders Shore. Occasionally small groups of trolls enter the area, travelling down from Bigglestone to visit the shrine of Gorakiki-Mosquito hidden deep in the marsh. Sometimes they are accompanied by a Praxian shaman."

"Sog Marsh: Once the site of a Waertagi port in the Storm Age. It was destroyed during the Great Flood, and nothing now remains but marshy earth and millions of biting insects. The marsh exist in the Spirit World as well."

The mosquitos are not disease carrying.

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3 hours ago, David Scott said:

The taboo associated with this charm is Do Not Prevent Fire from Spreading.

The shaman who heads the Burners spirit society needs his Khan's permission to release Oakfed, something not done lightly.

That is a nice taboo - I could use that in our game. 

It is easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission ...

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On 30 March 2016 at 10:08 PM, soltakss said:

Some broos shamans might beg to differ there.

I looked into the relationship between the mosquitos and Mallia. Lords of Terror says:

"Insects. Malia is associated with certain insects, notably flies and a few types of beetles. Malia defeated some of Gorakiki's children in the Darkness, and she gains power from this association. Such insects are the preferred hosts for cult spirits, especially Spirits of Disease, which can possess such insects even though most diseases (except for certain insect-specific diseases) do not affect them; this is an exception to the normal disease rules."

The mosquitos here are irritating as they bite, not because they are disease carrying. The Gorakiki shrine here is a powerful centre of power for them. Waha was undoubtably involved in its establishment, there's likely a rare Task called Waha and Gorakiki, known to a few Khans / shaman who are also members of the Shadow People spirit society . A Broo shaman would undoubtably want to change this relationship and convert them to disease carriers. This is a plot hook for players to involve them. Being drawn into a Mallia defeating Gorakiki HeroQuest is undoubtably a cool adventure.

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Yeah, I view the mosquitos of the Mosquito Marsh to be swarms of mosquitos that drive you to distraction with their constant bites (the worst is when you get bit on the eyelid!). Some - maybe even countless numbers - carry disease spirits, but even if none carried disease spirits, the Marsh would be avoided more studiously than a known Chaos haunt. 

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2 hours ago, Jeff said:

Yeah, I view the mosquitos of the Mosquito Marsh to be swarms of mosquitos that drive you to distraction with their constant bites (the worst is when you get bit on the eyelid!). Some - maybe even countless numbers - carry disease spirits, but even if none carried disease spirits, the Marsh would be avoided more studiously than a known Chaos haunt. 

I hate mosquitoes. 

Edited by Salla
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