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David Scott

Praxian Tribal beasts are not terrestrial animals - a Bison diversion

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58 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

What happens when you get an intelligent Herd-man?

This is an excellent question. Let's start with what you don't get - a human. You get a Praxian herd beast that has intelligence, born under the Covenant. Their intelligence doesn't break the covenant as it implies that they are occasionally allowed. Their motivations and outlook are going to be shaped by the covenant and their environment. They are true wonders, a gift from the Gods, and as such are almost avatars of their gods. Hence them becoming priests and khans in their own right. The magics that change intelligence are also part of the covenant, my current thoughts being that they only work on those that live under it. Live under it may be a broad definition, such as if you eat herd beast meat or raid in the Wastelands, you are under it.

32 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

There seems to be a lot of give to the Covenant.

No, there's no give, just a larger scope of effects than most people realise.

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10 minutes ago, Joerg said:

I wonder whether an awakened herd beast (including herd men) really talks the Praxian human dialects, or whether its animal sounds become intelligible for other intelligent members of the covenant without changing its sounds. There is little to stop awakened animals from learning other human languages except anatomical problems, and few if any of those for herd men.

I think they actually talk. We have the skill understand beast speech which wouldn't be needed. I think the covenant took away their talking abilities.

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6 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

On the other hand, you're not really breaking the covenant when you create herd-men out of humans (using fairly easy and standardized magic), are you? I'm confident the Morokanth would argue that they aren't. There seems to be a lot of give to the Covenant.

I have always taken it to be a pretty-identical situation for all Herds, with no special status for the gerns.  So yeah, the same rune-spell that makes a Herd Beast intelligent (and makes it no longer one of the Eaten) can apply to a bison or a sable or a gern or any other.  The single most-common use of this, in ALL tribes, is for high-powered or high-status individuals (e.g. priests / shamans / khans / etc) to have an awakened companion of the tribal Herd-Beast breed.

But also, specifically because they are surrounded by SO MANY HUMANS, the Morokanth sometimes take a Human and en-gern that person (usually temporarily) for one reason or another.  This special case -- re-Awakening a gern that used to be Human -- happens about as often amongst Morokanth as does newly-awakening a bred gern.

YGMV.  I know mine does!

 

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6 hours ago, David Scott said:

This is an excellent question. Let's start with what you don't get - a human. You get a Praxian herd beast that has intelligence, born under the Covenant. Their intelligence doesn't break the covenant as it implies that they are occasionally allowed. Their motivations and outlook are going to be shaped by the covenant and their environment. They are true wonders, a gift from the Gods, and as such are almost avatars of their gods. Hence them becoming priests and khans in their own right. The magics that change intelligence are also part of the covenant, my current thoughts being that they only work on those that live under it. Live under it may be a broad definition, such as if you eat herd beast meat or raid in the Wastelands, you are under it.

Ummmm... has this been Greg'ed or otherwise retcon'ed in some way?  Because it's clear that you USED TO get a human.  Gerns could interbreed with humans, the offspring being human or gern in a 50/50 ratio...  Humans could be turned into gern via rune magic, and back into humans... OR NOT, staying gern permanently.  All gern began as humans, back at the time of the Survival Covenant when they became one of the Eaten.

Is all this no longer true?

I do grant you the rest -- the Praxian outlook, the Covenant'ed and sacred status.  But the gern/human thing has been clear since the beginning of RQ/Glorantha...

 

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43 minutes ago, g33k said:

Ummmm... has this been Greg'ed or otherwise retcon'ed in some way?  Because it's clear that you USED TO get a human.  Gerns could interbreed with humans, the offspring being human or gern in a 50/50 ratio...  Humans could be turned into gern via rune magic, and back into humans... OR NOT, staying gern permanently.  All gern began as humans, back at the time of the Survival Covenant when they became one of the Eaten.

Is all this no longer true?

I do grant you the rest -- the Praxian outlook, the Covenant'ed and sacred status.  But the gern/human thing has been clear since the beginning of RQ/Glorantha...

 

Ages ago when the Internet still was young, I got into pretty much this discussion with Sandy Petersen, and Sandy sort of put that assumption upside down:

WAHA'S CONTEST

There appears to be some confusion on this subject. The losers of these contests (i.e., the beasts) were NOT made stupid and grass-eating. It's the other way round -- the WINNERS became intelligent, capable of eating meat, but lost their power to thrive on grass or coarse plant food.

http://glorantha.temppeli.org/digest/gd2/1996.05/3664.html

While herd men surviving on a diet of grass and other forage from the plains has been revised, I can still see how the descendants of the Storm Bull received a boost in intelligence and articulation through the contest.

 

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9 hours ago, Joerg said:

 

Getting back to the original topic of Praxian bison not being the same subspecies as either the modern American bison or the European wisent, I wonder whether the Praxian ones are a lot less shaggy than their cousins up north in Pent and the Elder Wilds, or whether they shed even more hair whenever it gets warmer.

I doubt it gets cold enough in Prax for them to need much of a shaggy coat in the first place.

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1 hour ago, g33k said:

Is all this no longer true?

It's true, but you don't get a human that thinks as we do. You get one that thinks like a herd beast. It comes from a different culture. PC herd-men would behave as the player wants.

1 hour ago, g33k said:

Ummmm... has this been Greg'ed or otherwise retcon'ed in some way?

The Prax Book will follow the following pattern:

As with all herd beasts / human interactions. The child/calf is the same species as the mother/cow. And only intelligent if part of a sacred ritual. 

45 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Humans could be turned into gern via rune magic, and back into humans

Yes and vice-versa, but we aren't using the term Gern, good old herd-men will do.

1 hour ago, g33k said:

All gern began as humans, back at the time of the Survival Covenant when they became one of the Eaten

All herd-men began as the Children of storm Bull and Eirtha as did the morokanth, have a look at Eirithan genealogy in Cults of Prax.

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   Let me start by saying I am still disappointed that herdmen  no longer look like Linda Harrison( Nova) from Planet of the Apes, but then they say YGMV :=)

 But I think one of the biggest difference Outsiders would not be able to understand about awaken/ Intelligent herdmen would be their loyalty to the Morokanth tribe they lived in. In my opinion an Awaken herdman or herd beast has an inate understanding of Waha covenant that exceeds that of the average Tribal member and understands everyone place in that covenant. So they are not upset when they see a Herd man or herd beast get slaughters as they understand the reason and need.

  Might add in my game awaken  Herdmen tend to be highly respected craft men among the Morokanth, too valuable to risk in combat. That thumb sure helps when it come to sewing leather armor or making weapons.

 

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11 hours ago, Joerg said:

Getting back to the original topic of Praxian bison not being the same subspecies as either the modern American bison or the European wisent, I wonder whether the Praxian ones are a lot less shaggy than their cousins up north in Pent and the Elder Wilds, or whether they shed even more hair whenever it gets warmer.

I've been chatting with @Jeff about this. If Linnaeus was a God Learner, we would have :

Bison bison praxus - the Praxian bison

Bison bison pelorias - the larger Pelorian bison

Bison bison bison - the North American bison

Climate determines pelage, further north = thicker coats.

Anaxial's rooster made them different species, but subspecies is a better fit. We aren't using the term Erambath, just bison. In my slightly dyslexic mind I read it as Prambath for years.

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24 minutes ago, TRose said:

 

   Let me start by saying I am still disappointed that herdmen  no longer look like Linda Harrison( Nova) from Planet of the Apes

 

Who says they don't, Planet of the apes is inspirational for Herd-men. Generally cows and bulls both have long dark hair. Charlton Heston is obviously a transformed human. 

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16 hours ago, Joerg said:

Ages ago when the Internet still was young, I got into pretty much this discussion with Sandy Petersen, and Sandy sort of put that assumption upside down:

WAHA'S CONTEST

There appears to be some confusion on this subject. The losers of these contests (i.e., the beasts) were NOT made stupid and grass-eating. It's the other way round -- the WINNERS became intelligent, capable of eating meat, but lost their power to thrive on grass or coarse plant food.

http://glorantha.temppeli.org/digest/gd2/1996.05/3664.html

While herd men surviving on a diet of grass and other forage from the plains has been revised, I can still see how the descendants of the Storm Bull received a boost in intelligence and articulation through the contest.

 

This is the crux of the change - Greg has gregged Sandy. Sandy's Morokanth are omnivores, Greg's are vegetarians.

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5 hours ago, David Scott said:

This is the crux of the change - Greg has gregged Sandy. Sandy's Morokanth are omnivores, Greg's are vegetarians.

Being mostly vegetarian sort of beats the purpose of worshipping darkness, though - Darkness devours everything. So does the Morokanth-associated Great Spirit, the Dark Eater. IIRC, the Morokanth are among the more picky eaters among the four-legs of Prax, too, preferring rather tender, watery plants.

Ok, the herd men sort of eat anything they find in the Wastes, trying to avoid having to eat meat. Resorting to cannibalism whenever the nourishment from other sources fails is a darkness trait. But if we find this in the herd rather than in the herders, what is the morokanth darkness affinity?

Maybe it manifests only on freezedays, or in Dark Season? Maybe only when the preferred foods are unavailable?
 

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18 hours ago, Joerg said:

Ok, the herd men sort of eat anything they find in the Wastes, trying to avoid having to eat meat. Resorting to cannibalism whenever the nourishment from other sources fails is a darkness trait.

Resorting to cannibalism in extremis is a trait of everyone in the Wastes - thats what the cannibal cult is. 

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29 minutes ago, davecake said:

Resorting to cannibalism in extremis is a trait of everyone in the Wastes - thats what the cannibal cult is. 

I would give the Cannibal Cult a darkness affiliation for this behavior, too.

Herd men are the only herd beasts resorting to cannibalism (or being fed their own offspring by their herders).

Other herd beasts might eat their afterbirths, but that's about all of their meat consumption. It is also possible that the herders take the afterbirth for a special feast in the blessing of the new herd member, giving the new mother beast something else (probably vegetarian, possibly something based on milk from other herd beasts) instead. Waste not in the Wastes. (This also makes for a nice, slightly disgusting encounter for non-Praxians visiting a Praxian hearth.)

Is a nocturnal or twilight lifestyle the only Darkness connection of the Morokanth? That's weak. Like I said, their Great Spirit is the Black Eater. They ought to emulate that more.

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7 minutes ago, Joerg said:

I would give the Cannibal Cult a darkness affiliation for this behavior, too.

I think you'd be changing what we know about the cannibal cult to suit your preconceptions. The Cannibal cults runes are Man and Soirit - they are a sort of malign aspect of Daka Fal, IMO (note they cults rites are about propitiationg hungry ghosts), and perhaps also a group that participated ion the Covenant of Waha but failed. They are not, IMO, particularly associated with Darkness, rather they are a result of the harsh living conditions in the Wastes making question of eating and hunger central to life. The major tribes all have elemental connections, and I don't think the Morokanth are any more likely to resort to cannibalism than the others. 

7 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Herd men are the only herd beasts resorting to cannibalism (or being fed their own offspring by their herders).

Probably true (though I don't know if this is true of all the minor tribes, eg Bolo lizards). But that says more about humanity than it does about the Morokanth, IM).

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2 minutes ago, davecake said:

I think you'd be changing what we know about the cannibal cult to suit your preconceptions. The Cannibal cults runes are Man and Soirit - they are a sort of malign aspect of Daka Fal, IMO (note they cults rites are about propitiationg hungry ghosts), and perhaps also a group that participated ion the Covenant of Waha but failed. They are not, IMO, particularly associated with Darkness, rather they are a result of the harsh living conditions in the Wastes making question of eating and hunger central to life. The major tribes all have elemental connections, and I don't think the Morokanth are any more likely to resort to cannibalism than the others. 

I'll grant you that - their main role is that. But the entire theme of hunger and unsavory eating is a Darkness theme.

(Ok, unsavory eating also falls into the Trickster capacity, but that's beside the point.)

I don't want to suggest that the Morokanth would perform cannibalism in eating other Morokanth or indeed other, non-herd man Praxians, despite ugly rumors claiming just that. I am fairly certain that those rumors still exist in Glorantha, regardless of the current ruling that Morokanth are generally vegetarians.

All I want is the Morokanth to succumb to the Black Hunger at certain times, creating a craving - possibly a magical need - to devour meat, despite their otherwise vegetarian diet. And I want something like that as part of canonical Glorantha.

 

(Herd men being the only meat-eating and indeed cannibalistic herd beasts)

2 minutes ago, davecake said:

Probably true (though I don't know if this is true of all the minor tribes, eg Bolo lizards). But that says more about humanity than it does about the Morokanth, IM).

My point exactly. The way the Morokanth are rerpresented right now, there is no reason why vegetarian Morokanth would have an affinity with the Black Eater.

There is of course a possibility that the entire Black Eater connection is post-canonical, too. That makes the Biturian story about defending the Paps against a Morokanth led Darkness attack quite problematic, though.

My suggestion is that there is a deeper link between the Morokanth and the Black Eater. Morokanth under the influence of the Black Eater will be everything the ugly rumors have to say about them. That influence should not be the norm, but it ought to happen in sufficient frequency that there is substance to their bad reputation. This is not meant as a contradiction to the new canon, which doesn't conform with the info in the Guide, but as an reconciliation between the old information and the new official line.

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I personally wouldn't link eating meat with darkness.

Darkness' connection is with hunger itself, and indeed many of its manifestations (fungi and insects) eat plants primarily.

 

With regard to the Morokanth, I'd say that their Darkness connection isn't about their diet, but about their attitudes and actions. Take, for example, Waha's Covenant.

Among the Praxians, it is a burden to eat meat. It has to be cooked to make safe, it requires slaughtering a valuable herd beast, and the beasts need protecting. The Morokanth instead made a deal with Waha so that they can eat the fertile provender of Prax, straight off the ground. And to do this they placed the burden of meat-eating onto their herds!

To the Praxians, this shows duplicitous nature, willing to cheat their way out restrictions; it shows their cruelty, to burden their herds with a penalty they would not accept themselves; and it shows their hunger, that they would do anything to fill their bellies with grass.

On the other hand, this is who the Morokanth are. They may be sneaky, cruel, and greedy, but they're still members of the Covenant. The other Praxians understand this, and also know that they do care for their herds, in their own way.

It also means that the herdmen are going to be butchered first by any other Praxian, because feeding them is too much work, so any raid on Morokanth herds tends to be for immediate food, or to rescue slaves.

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On 3/9/2017 at 2:16 PM, David Scott said:

Who says they don't, Planet of the apes is inspirational for Herd-men....

<sigh>
Greg'ed again!  Here and I had been imagining Loana from One Million Years B.C.

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14 hours ago, g33k said:

Loana from One Million Years B.C.

Whilst Loana would be a pretty good fit as well, her hair is an unusual colour for herd-men. While I'm not precluding any other colour than black, she would seem to be another candidate for a transformed human. Simon says Balazar for her, but alt hose dinosaurs cry Pamaltela to me.

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2 hours ago, David Scott said:

Simon says Balazar for her, but alt hose dinosaurs cry Pamaltela to me.

Well, all those dinosaurs exist in Dragon Pass and the Dragonewts of the Elder Wilds carried their City on the backs of dinosaurs, so which area lies between Dragon Pass and the Elder Wilds, eh, eh, eh?

Edited by soltakss

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This is spot on!

On 11/03/2017 at 0:29 PM, Tindalos said:

I personally wouldn't link eating meat with darkness.

Darkness' connection is with hunger itself, and indeed many of its manifestations (fungi and insects) eat plants primarily.

 

With regard to the Morokanth, I'd say that their Darkness connection isn't about their diet, but about their attitudes and actions. Take, for example, Waha's Covenant.

Among the Praxians, it is a burden to eat meat. It has to be cooked to make safe, it requires slaughtering a valuable herd beast, and the beasts need protecting. The Morokanth instead made a deal with Waha so that they can eat the fertile provender of Prax, straight off the ground. And to do this they placed the burden of meat-eating onto their herds!

To the Praxians, this shows duplicitous nature, willing to cheat their way out restrictions; it shows their cruelty, to burden their herds with a penalty they would not accept themselves; and it shows their hunger, that they would do anything to fill their bellies with grass.

On the other hand, this is who the Morokanth are. They may be sneaky, cruel, and greedy, but they're still members of the Covenant. The other Praxians understand this, and also know that they do care for their herds, in their own way.

It also means that the herdmen are going to be butchered first by any other Praxian, because feeding them is too much work, so any raid on Morokanth herds tends to be for immediate food, or to rescue slaves.

a few slight alterations:

On 11/03/2017 at 0:29 PM, Tindalos said:

It has to be cooked to make safe

I don't think this is to make it safe, more to do with chewing.

On 11/03/2017 at 0:29 PM, Tindalos said:

it requires slaughtering a valuable herd beast

Some other tribes herd beast - not as valuable as your own.

An excellent summary!

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On 2017-2-26 at 3:11 PM, David Scott said:

He was born that way, arriving in Genert's Garden looking like that. Nothing to do with Prax or Uralda.

I don't think it means Primal Ox in Glorantha, it's just the way Greg came up with the name. Urox and Storm Bull are synonymous with big guy with bull head. Likewise he manifests in this way across Glorantha. KefTavar and his son Bisos clearly being another one of his bull forms.

So, Urox-storm bull (air+eternal battle) = bisos (air+ life), i suppose Bisos is a pre- Great darkness myths of the great storm bull, right?

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