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David Scott

Praxian Tribal beasts are not terrestrial animals - a Bison diversion

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17 hours ago, Iskallor said:

What, with all the other freaky names in Glorantha? Hardly, but I get your point.

True enough, and I like the names myself, so I'm happy to use them.

But I can understand using terrestrial names, just like using trolls instead of Uz.

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6 minutes ago, Iskallor said:

My pcs are so going to meet a Bison Khan who is a Bison...

Actually I'm going to play a talking Ostrich!

I like the idea of an intelligent Herd-man who is an Eiritha shaman who has Morokanth assistants. Her storm bull husband could be an intellegent bison and her children would be Herd-men looked after by her Morokanth assistants (assistant shaman). Occasionally she'd eat one of her children, but mostly she'd eat other Herd beasts (as per RoC intellegent Herd beasts don't oppose the eating of their kin - it's the covenant). Her husband would only eat their children in sacred rituals, as he couldn't digest them otherwise. She could have bison children only as a result of mating during a sacred ritual as normally children are the same sex as the mother. It's also possible to birth an intellegent Herd-man as a result of mating during a sacred ritual, but not an intellegent bison (you can't do both unless you're really powerful).

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31 minutes ago, Iskallor said:

My pcs are so going to meet a Bison Khan who is a Bison...

Actually I'm going to play a talking Ostrich!

Yeah, screw the lottery.  Who needs a rider anyhow?  Filthy parasites.  Lets all go to Sun county and eat the hazia crops, then I'll show you how high a Llama can get!  Unfix your Int beeeast, feed your head!

Edited by Darius West
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14 hours ago, David Scott said:

I like the idea of an intelligent Herd-man who is an Eiritha shaman who has Morokanth assistants. Her storm bull husband could be an intellegent bison and her children would be Herd-men looked after by her Morokanth assistants (assistant shaman). Occasionally she'd eat one of her children, but mostly she'd eat other Herd beasts (as per RoC intellegent Herd beasts don't oppose the eating of their kin - it's the covenant). Her husband would only eat their children in sacred rituals, as he couldn't digest them otherwise. She could have bison children only as a result of mating during a sacred ritual as normally children are the same sex as the mother. It's also possible to birth an intellegent Herd-man as a result of mating during a sacred ritual, but not an intellegent bison (you can't do both unless you're really powerful).

I shall steal this lovely idea and make it so in my game.

One of my Rhino rider pcs recently found an intelligent Rock Rhino, summoned by a failed roll whilst questing at the Painted Wall. He's about to use it as a bulldozer on an adobe building in Sun County.

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15 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Good thing we don't have any Glorantha gnus.

They are one of the lost Praxian Tribes. Coming soon at a heroquest near you.

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I just made an interesting observation.

Minotaurs.  Their heads derive from Aurochs (hence Storm Bull's Orlanth pantheon name Urox, possibly once Aurox), and their physical strength derives from the mating of Storm Bull and human mothers (if Cults of Prax is to be believed).  Lets think about that for a moment...

Minotaurs have the heads of bull aurochs... but cattle are not Waha beasts.  There is some argument for considering Bison to be cattle, but hump cows are different to cattle. No, cattle are not Waha beasts, and are so plentiful that Uralda is the mother of the dominant herd of the world while Eiritha gets all the weird herds of Prax, with Nevala, goddess of sheep coming in second to Uralda.  Arguably Thed and Mralota are doing quite well too... 

Now that means that while Urox is the husband of Uralda and Storm Bull is the husband of Eiritha, that the same masculine "beast" power is potentially begetting Minotaurs in different places.  

But we have a small problem... firstly the name Mino-Taur, literally the Minoan Bull.  There is no Minoan civilization in Glorantha on which to base the name, but we can overlook this and say that we have a name for the creature that is convenient for us to use in describing this familiar mythical beast man trope.

The next problem is that... where are all the Prax beast headed sons of Storm Bull?  Clearly the Uroxi ritual mating produces a typical Bull headed minotaur, but why would a Praxian ritual Storm Bull mating produce a child of Uralda?  I would imagine that each tribe of Prax depicts Storm Bull as the proud bull of their own herd, a symbolic representation of their own masculine beast ?  Or is Storm Bull universally accepted in Prax to be an Auroch, despite Aurochs not being Prax beasts ? Or are they?

And would that mean, by extension, that a male Auroch is fertile with all female herd beasts, given the Gloranthan paradigm?  Also, what does that mean for Sky Bulls ?

Also  Eiritha (Herd Mother) + Storm Bull (Brute Storm) = Waha (Butcher)  but what is Waha's form?  Is he human (LOL herd beast?)?  Or is he a beast like his parents?  If so, what kind?  Perhaps he is a beast similar to the unknown steed of Jaldon?  Or is Waha a minotaur?

I know other people have put a lot of work into the whole White Aurochs hero quest line of story, and it is clearly important with regards to the Argrath legend as a basis for unity between Prax and Sartar.  How have people dealt with this little conundrum? 

 

Edited by Darius West
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Not a conundrum in my game so far.  Minotaurs are the son of Urox/Stormbull. They take the male head of the local clan beast. In Sartar this will be Bulls. 

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6 hours ago, Darius West said:

Minotaurs.  Their heads derive from Aurochs (hence Storm Bull's Orlanth pantheon name Urox, possibly once Aurox), and their physical strength derives from the mating of Storm Bull and human mothers (if Cults of Prax is to be believed).  Lets think about that for a moment...

Minotaurs have the heads of bull aurochs... but cattle are not Waha beasts.  There is some argument for considering Bison to be cattle, but hump cows are different to cattle. No, cattle are not Waha beasts, and are so plentiful that Uralda is the mother of the dominant herd of the world while Eiritha gets all the weird herds of Prax, with Nevala, goddess of sheep coming in second to Uralda.  Arguably Thed and Mralota are doing quite well too... 

Now that means that while Urox is the husband of Uralda and Storm Bull is the husband of Eiritha, that the same masculine "beast" power is potentially begetting Minotaurs in different places.  

Ah, but minotaurs are not just descended from Storm Bull, in fact they are descended from his son, Minotaurus (This was in a Wyrms Footnotes but I cannot remember which one). So, not all children of Storm Bull are Minotaurs. In fact, Minotaurus might have been the child of Storm Bull and Uralda, as he has a bull's head. His descendants are minotaurs.

 

The next problem is that... where are all the Prax beast headed sons of Storm Bull?  Clearly the Uroxi ritual mating produces a typical Bull headed minotaur, but why would a Praxian ritual Storm Bull mating produce a child of Uralda?  I would imagine that each tribe of Prax depicts Storm Bull as the proud bull of their own herd, a symbolic representation of their own masculine beast ?  Or is Storm Bull universally accepted in Prax to be an Auroch, despite Aurochs not being Prax beasts ? Or are they?

Minotaurs being the descendants of Minotaurus mean that they would not take the form of Praxian herd beasts. Storm Bull could well mate with Eiritha, or one of her daughters, to produce the equivalent of Minotaurus for a Praxian herd beast, but he probably hasn't done this.

 

And would that mean, by extension, that a male Auroch is fertile with all female herd beasts, given the Gloranthan paradigm?  Also, what does that mean for Sky Bulls ?

I don't think that would be the case anyway.

The fact that Storm Bull can breed with cattle does not mean that other descendants of Storm Bull can. The Praxian herd beasts are descended from Eiritha, not from Storm Bull. True, the Founders of the tribes are descended from Storm Bull but not the beasts themselves. Similarly, Aurochs are descended from Uralda not from Storm Bull. So, you have herd beasts descended from Eiritha and cattle descended from Uralda, why would they be able to breed?

 

Also  Eiritha (Herd Mother) + Storm Bull (Brute Storm) = Waha (Butcher)  but what is Waha's form?  Is he human (LOL herd beast?)?  Or is he a beast like his parents?  If so, what kind?  Perhaps he is a beast similar to the unknown steed of Jaldon?  Or is Waha a minotaur?

Waha is definitely not a minotaur, as he is not descended from Minotaurus. He is a many-great uncle to minotaurs. He is usually portrayed as human, as he is the ancestor of the human Khans, no matter which herd beast they have, but he could be represented as a morokanth, as he is also the ancestor of morokanth khans.

 

I know other people have put a lot of work into the whole White Aurochs hero quest line of story, and it is clearly important with regards to the Argrath legend as a basis for unity between Prax and Sartar.  How have people dealt with this little conundrum? 

In my Glorantha, the White Bull was a spirit that appeared to all the tribes of Prax and also appeared to some tribes in Sartar and Pent. The PCs in our current Praxian campaign saw the White Bull on a HeroQuest and sacrificed to him, so their steeds turn white when they are together. As they are of different tribes, they realised that this could unite the tribes and found others who had this ability. They united the White Bull Societies of Prax, in the same way that Argrath did in canon. One of our PCs pointed out that his zebra looked pretty much the same as a horse when white, it just had white stripes on white stripes. They went to Pent to speak to the nomads about attacking the Lunar Empire, using the white zebra as a way in to prove they were related in some way, but one of the Pentian's horses turned white when they appeared, identifying him as a member of the White Stallion Sacred Society. This allowed the PCs to unite the White Bull and White Stallion Societies and prove some kinship between Prax and Pent. This also allowed some Grazelander/Pentian HeroQuestors to enter Prax as the reborn Pure Horse People, in fact they revealed themselves under a great web, spun by thousands of giant spiders. The PCs called on the White Bull and White Stallion to appear and the whole group sacrificed and proved that they had the same kinship.

But our campaign has wandered quite far from canon Glorantha.

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6 hours ago, Darius West said:

Minotaurs.  Their heads derive from Aurochs (hence Storm Bull's Orlanth pantheon name Urox, possibly once Aurox), and their physical strength derives from the mating of Storm Bull and human mothers (if Cults of Prax is to be believed).

There are two sources of Minotaurs, delecti stitching beastmen together and the offspring of Storm Bull. We're talking about the latter. First, IIRC Greg's naming of Urox comes from UR (primal, first, original, etc. ) and Ox. The origin myth of minotaurs is in Wyrms Footnotes #12

Quote

As he crossed the earth with great swaggering strides one day he spied a most beautiful woman and became enamoured of her. During those days of love and life she bore the Storm Bull a son who begat a race of half-men/half-beasts. Their father was called Minotaurus and their mother is a daughter of Uleria, Goddess of Love. The race, called Minotaur, inherited their grandfather's Rage as a natural ability and are greatly feared for their battle lust.

So unless there's a source I missed, Eiritha is not their grandma.

6 hours ago, Darius West said:

Minotaurs have the heads of bull aurochs

Minotaurs have the head of Storm Bull, look at the Nomad Gods art for examples.

6 hours ago, Darius West said:

where are all the Prax beast headed sons of Storm Bull?

These are the Founders. They are the sons of Storm Bull that came to Genert's Garden and married Eirithas daughters, giving rise to the tribes. 

6 hours ago, Darius West said:

but what is Waha's form

Quote

Depiction
Due to the nature of nomadic life, depictions of Waha are uncommon. When he is shown it is as a giant figure sitting upon a sacred throne. He has the head of a bull of the tribe's herd animal and the body of a tribesman, and wears the regalia of a Great Khan. In his right hand he holds a skinning knife and in his left a baton carved with his runes of power. At his feet rest the sacred animals of his mother.

So no conundrum with me either. 

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1 hour ago, David Scott said:

So no conundrum with me. 

Good answers for the most part, and thanks aplenty for providing them. :)

I was not aware of the Wyrm's Footnotes #12 article.  

It seems a little odd that Storm Bull has the head of a bull, considering Uralda's cattle are not Prax beasts.  I don't feel you answered that.

1 hour ago, David Scott said:

There are two sources of Minotaurs, delecti stitching beastmen together and the offspring of Storm Bull. We're talking about the latter. First, IIRC Greg's naming of Urox comes from UR (primal, first, original, etc. ) and Ox. The origin myth of minotaurs is in Wyrms Footnotes #12

This is a fly in the ointment.

For Urox to mean "Primal Ox" is awful, considering oxen are normally castrated.  I think my answer is better, and way less squeamishly insulting to the Berserker God of the Orlanthi.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ox  Or does Urox have issues he won't talk about away from a sympathetic ear in the Chalana Arroy Temple?  And we thought the devil only ripped off his ear!  While not all oxen are by definition castrated, the term Ox when applied to bovines almost always implies castration.  Perhaps that is why Urox has never been as popular amongst the Orlanthi as the Praxians?  Not enough berserkers willing to "get the snip" ?    I'm pretty berserk; berserkly berserk as a berserker even, but I'm not berserk about being that berserk.  Lets go join Zorak Zoran huh?

Edited by Darius West
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14 minutes ago, Darius West said:

It seems a little odd that Storm Bull has the head of a bull, considering Uralda's cattle are not Prax beasts

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

18 minutes ago, Darius West said:

For Urox to mean "Primal Ox" is awful

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.

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On 2/26/2017 at 11:02 PM, David Scott said:

First, IIRC Greg's naming of Urox comes from UR (primal, first, original, etc. ) and Ox.

versus

21 hours ago, David Scott said:

I don't think it means Primal Ox in Glorantha, it's just the way Greg came up with the name.

And of course the name has nothing AT ALL to do with Aurochs, despite the similarity of the way the name sounds?  Urox vs Aurochs ?  For shame, there is a tiny linguistic drift involved at best.

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14 minutes ago, Darius West said:

And of course the name has nothing AT ALL to do with Aurochs, despite the similarity of the way the name sounds?  Urox vs Aurochs ?  For shame, there is a tiny linguistic drift involved at best.

I realise that Auroch is derived from Urus and uri, but personally it doesn't matter to me. I was just repeating what I remembered. It doesn't change the Gloranthan meaning.

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9 hours ago, Darius West said:

versus

And of course the name has nothing AT ALL to do with Aurochs, despite the similarity of the way the name sounds?  Urox vs Aurochs ?  For shame, there is a tiny linguistic drift involved at best.

I think he was just presenting Greg's "Ur + Ox" thinking as a bit of trivia/history.

It appears that this (real-world-language) etymology doesn't actually have Gloranthan implications.

But this...

On 2/26/2017 at 5:42 AM, Darius West said:

... Or does Urox have issues he won't talk about away from a sympathetic ear in the Chalana Arroy Temple?  And we thought the devil only ripped off his ear!  While not all oxen are by definition castrated, the term Ox when applied to bovines almost always implies castration.  Perhaps that is why Urox has never been as popular amongst the Orlanthi as the Praxians?  Not enough berserkers willing to "get the snip" ?    I'm pretty berserk; berserkly berserk as a berserker even, but I'm not berserk about being that berserk.  Lets go join Zorak Zoran huh?

... is absolutely HILARIOUS!!!

It is now absolutely part of My Glorantha that SOME cult of StormBull-Haters, SOMEWHERE, tells this story 'round the fire, taunts Stormbull-Cultists with it in the field... and is probably trying to gather the Necessaries to Heroquest back to that fight and make just ... one ... little ... change ...  :lol:

 

Edited by g33k
typo's
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On ‎2‎/‎26‎/‎2017 at 0:02 PM, David Scott said:

First, IIRC Greg's naming of Urox comes from UR (primal, first, original, etc. ) and Ox.

Our word 'ox' appears to derive from a Proto-Indo-European word meaning 'bull' (cf Sanskrit uksan, Avestan uxsan), and even as used today, 'ox' does not always mean a castrated bull. 'Ur', derived from the German, means 'original, earliest, primitive', a 20th century English borrowing.

Furthermore, the Sanskrit word for bull/ox, derives from uks, meaning 'to sprinkle/scatter small drops'. Seems to have implications of rain - suitable for an Air God - and related to the PIE uks, meaning 'to move around with strength'. I wonder how much, if at all, Greg researched?

Seems a reasonable etymology for the name of Storm Bull.

Edited by M Helsdon
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1 hour ago, g33k said:

SOME cult of StormBull-Haters, SOMEWHERE, tells this story 'round the fire, taunts Stormbull-Cultists with it in the field... and is probably trying to gather the Necessaries to Heroquest back to that fight and make just ... one ... little ... change ...

It's called Babeester Gor, and they already have the Necessaries - some nice big axes. ;-)

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On 2017-02-24 at 1:22 PM, Steve said:

Indeed, but that's still quite a few intelligent animals out there, no? Some interesting scenario possibilities.

What happens when you get an intelligent Herd-man?

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4 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

What happens when you get an intelligent Herd-man?

They are just like a human. Or if you want a Herd-man with exceptional powers.

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8 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

What happens when you get an intelligent Herd-man?

In the olden days, you get a vegetarian human who can live off the chaparral of Prax but who doesn't eat meat.

In the modern era, you get a human, as the dietary requirements of herd men match those of humans.

However, because of the special nature of Waha's Covenant, I would be very uncomfortable about having naturally-occurring intelligent herd beasts in Prax, as they effectively break the Covenant. I suppose they are not Eaters as their dietary requirements have not changed, but one of the implied effects of the Covenant was to make the Eaten as beasts, i.e. unintelligent.

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On 2017-02-27 at 1:15 PM, Darius West said:

versus

And of course the name has nothing AT ALL to do with Aurochs, despite the similarity of the way the name sounds?  Urox vs Aurochs ?  For shame, there is a tiny linguistic drift involved at best.

Wikipedia: "The word aurochs was borrowed from early modern German, replacing archaic urochs, also from an earlier form of German." So it's the same "Ur-" bit.

In Swedish, it's still "Uroxe".

Although it seems that this interpretation of the "ur-" part might have been retroactively fitted to mean ancient, primal. Etymology Online says:

"from German Aurochs, from Old High German urohso, from uro "aurochs" (cognate with Old English ur, Old Norse ürr), which is of unknown origin, + ohso "ox" (see ox). Latin urus and Greek ouros are Germanic loan-words."

Edited by Akhôrahil

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28 minutes ago, soltakss said:

However, because of the special nature of Waha's Covenant, I would be very uncomfortable about having naturally-occurring intelligent herd beasts in Prax, as they effectively break the Covenant. I suppose they are not Eaters as their dietary requirements have not changed, but one of the implied effects of the Covenant was to make the Eaten as beasts, i.e. unintelligent.

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.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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"Ur" has the meaning of "aurochs" in German, too. It isn't quite a contemporary word since the species has been extinct for well over 300 years.

The German word paralleling "aurochs" adds two "e"s, Auerochse. And while "Ochse" has identical meaning to "oxen", nobody ever suggested that all musk ox were castrates, either. It has been used for cattle-like beasts (even if they are closer related to goats, like the musk ox) of either sex, just as Bock (buck) has been used for many other horned beasts not resembling cattle but rather goats - Steinbock (capricorn), Springbock (springbok) etc.

 

There are many rites for adopting outsiders into the covenant. Making herd folk out of them is just one variant, usually not one voluntarily chosen.

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.

 

While I can appreciate the horror seeing infants taken from herdman mothers to be eaten (usually male infants, as you don't need many of those for breeding your herd), I sort of miss the Pharantropus Robustus-feeling the grazing herdmen of old conveyed. I guess that in my Glorantha, eating those infants is going to be a necessary supplement for the herd men, while grazing keeps them minimally fed.

 

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.

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