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Morokanth & Darkness


David Scott

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3 hours ago, Tindalos said:

Of course as David has mentioned, most Praxians don't slaughter their own herds. They're a sign of wealth, and essential for living on the plains.

Still, there's also plenty of other products you can get from an animal without eating it.

Their pelts can be used to make string and rope (You might even find a Morokanth's prized herdman with long braided hair, just so that it can be cut off and used as rope when needed)

Their cows can also be milked. With the limited water of the wastes, milk will be a valuable resource, and when fermented into kumis is also a good aid to relaxation.

Their hide can be turned into leather for tents, loincloths, shields, and belts.

Their bones can be used to make various tools, including pins, weapon hafts, spearheads. Their teeth could also be set into a scourge to make it even more painful.

Their fat can be rendered into tallow, and then combined with ashes to make soap. (Which could be used as a pomade for a Morokanth's hide, or to keep the aforementioned prized herdmen's hair in good condition.)

Their organs can also be turned into waterskins.

Of course, some of these can also apply to non-Morokanthi Praxians, since they're more likely to slaughter herdmen.

Many of these items can be used to hold a Gern Ancestral Spirit.

Pelts can be used for the hateful Morokanthi hair extensions and wigs.  The dread Morokanthi roving caravan 'Merkins-r-us' springs to mind.

Human milk is most closely matched by donkey milk, IIRC, so it might be sold to Issaries breeders for the young mules.

Hide can also be used for drumskins, slings and atl-atls, for straps to restrain a 'normal' human before you 'Fix their INT', and for a variety of satchels, pouches and bags.  'Lovely purse, just look at the scrotal patterning!'

Marrow bones can be used for flutes and bull-roarers, brain-pans and dried intestines for Aeolian harps.  They can be used to store powders, pastes and shoots.  Attached to a bladder they can be used to propel substances by air-power, or to form Northumbrian bagpipes.  Skulls can be used for drinking cups and bowls.  Teeth and small bones may be used as playing pieces and dice.  Bone may be ground into powder, ixed with water, and dried into a gel-like glue.

Fat can be used in combination with herbs to hold a healing spirit, activated when rubbed on with the appropriate chant.  Fat can also be used to give cooked veg an interesting flavour.

Organs can be used for divination, and for healing magics.

Intestines can be used as musical instrument strings, and as containers for a wide variety of goods.

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1 hour ago, Iskallor said:

Next you'll be making charms to replace limbs...

Seems like a too easy fix to me.

Well, why not?

If you've got a wooden leg, why not invite a spirit to live in it that could grant you running magic?

People use magic all the time to grant them abilities they lack, or enhance abilities they do have. From acting like your god to walk on the winds, through calling upon a fish spirit to swim faster, or commanding the runes to let you walk across the water.

Why wouldn't the Morokanth find spirits that could aid them with tasks that require hands to do so?

 

12 minutes ago, Ali the Helering said:

Marrow bones can be used for flutes and bull-roarers, brain-pans and dried intestines for Aeolian harps.  They can be used to store powders, pastes and shoots.  Attached to a bladder they can be used to propel substances by air-power, or to form Northumbrian bagpipes.  Skulls can be used for drinking cups and bowls.  Teeth and small bones may be used as playing pieces and dice.  Bone may be ground into powder, ixed with water, and dried into a gel-like glue.

Morokanthi bagpipes is such a terrifying idea. I love it.

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1 hour ago, Tindalos said:

Well, why not?

If you've got a wooden leg, why not invite a spirit to live in it that could grant you running magic?

People use magic all the time to grant them abilities they lack, or enhance abilities they do have. From acting like your god to walk on the winds, through calling upon a fish spirit to swim faster, or commanding the runes to let you walk across the water.

Why wouldn't the Morokanth find spirits that could aid them with tasks that require hands to do so?

 

Morokanthi bagpipes is such a terrifying idea. I love it.

Because i think having them thumbless makes them stand out.

Now they are the "Morokanth who have no thumbs except all of them that have spirit thumbs."

It's a neat idea, but in my view it fixes something that doesnt need fixing that's all. 

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Oh true enough. I wouldn't think it would be common charm anyway, and certainly never intended to imply they were.

Morokanth thumbs are mentioned Pavis: Gateway to Adventure, as an NPC has one; so we know they exist.

I'm just saying that in HQ terms, I'd treat them as a charm. (In a purely mechanical point of view, having it as a charm might be a worse option than just taking a morokanth retainer to do your manual work, since you'd then have to deal with the thumb's taboo. Such is the price of thumbs.)

 

Edit:

Just now, Ali the Helering said:

I seem to remember a canon NPC in Griffin Mountain having a 'Morokanthi Thumb'.

Ah yes, Mr. Greatness. His thumb helps make him stand out, because he uses it to show off: writing his own name, arm-wrestling strangers, holding things, or even just wriggling it about.

 

This is a perfect example of why I like the thumbs, but would prefer them to be kept rare. They're a distinctive feature.

Edited by Tindalos
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8 hours ago, Iskallor said:

What can you craft with no thumbs?

Morokanth, like tapirs, have flexible prehensile snouts that can do certain manipulative things, such as strip leaves off branches or pluck fruit. Not as 'handy' as trained herdman though.

Apparently tapirs also use their snouts as snorkels when underwater (probably doesn't happen too often with Morokanth) 

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6 hours ago, JonL said:

I'm confused by this business about the Morokanth being vegetarians. I thought the whole point of the survival covenant was that some would be conscious beings who eat animals and some would be animals that would eat the limited plants and then be eaten by the conscious ones so that both groups could survive on the limited food - and that the Morokanth were the former and their herd-men the latter. Doesn't the Morokanth being vegetarians fly in the face of that? 

That's why everyone else says they cheated.

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10 hours ago, David Scott said:

This is a small part of the section on the Covenant:

The Herd men eat only a tiny amount of vegetation (as with the other tribes), their main food is the meat the morokanth raid and hunt for them.

So you're saying that the herdmen didn't actually lose the contest.  Their animals do their raiding for them.

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6 hours ago, Pentallion said:

So you're saying that the herdmen didn't actually lose the contest.  Their animals do their raiding for them.

Again, that's why everyone says the Morokanth cheated to win the Contest. And obviously, their herd-men were cheated.

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7 hours ago, Pentallion said:

So you're saying that the herdmen didn't actually lose the contest.  Their animals do their raiding for them.

The angle I'm taking is that the "losers" were actually those that had to remove themselves directly from contact with the goddess (Ernalda) and look after the "winners"

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16 hours ago, Iskallor said:

Now they are the "Morokanth who have no thumbs except all of them that have spirit thumbs."

The effects of the charm aren't permanent. 

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Here's of the charms a player made up in our morokanth game:

 

(Harmony) Use Bessie's Hand (Herd men hand gloves) from Helpwoman (Harmony, Life) . Taboo: Miss with first spear ALWAYS. Bessie was his old faithful Herd-man helper who died and he had her hands made into gloves and her spirit in them. Clearly they were adapted. The character was a Foundchild Hunter.

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So, the "so magical it's in Plunder" Morocanth Thumb is now replaced by a glove made from the skin of a herd man with the herdman's spirit in? Hmmm. How big are Morocanth hooves compared to a herd man's hand?

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1 hour ago, Darius West said:

Apparently the Black Eater is a vegetarian. :)

That would be news to the uz worshipping the same entity for its hunger for just about everything - meat, vegetables, minerals, air, water, ...

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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2 hours ago, Joerg said:

That would be news to the uz worshipping the same entity for its hunger for just about everything - meat, vegetables, minerals, air, water, ...

The last thing Uz need is MORE hunger... an entity like the Black Eater would be worshipped propitiatorily, if at all. Unless, of course, you are using the term as a title for Kyger Litor, in which case they all worship her, but certainly not for her hunger specifically. 

I also suspect that the Black Eater's influence amongst the Morokanth has been rather exaggerated in certain sources. It might be useful for those who want to eat flesh on occasion, but does not seem to me to be likely as a major overall cultural influence - that is Waha's job. The rune affinities of the various praxian tribes are very much secondary to their identity with Waha and Eritha, and IMG at least that holds for the Morokanth as well. 

In general, while darkness is useful to the Morokanth in many ways - to mask their unusual appearance, to help them consume flesh when ritually necessary, and for the stealth to compensate for their lack of mobility as compared to the other tribes - it does not define their culture to the extent sometimes put forward. They are still praxian nomads, first and foremost, strange as they may seem at first. 

[ and on review of the OP - chaos fighting, of course...]

I am also tempted by the idea that Morokanth believe that the covenent requires them to be "fed by" their herds, and that the other tribes are simply being ignorant, barbaric and bloody-minded by taking that to mean you should eat the animals themselves. IMO, the image of the decadent Morokanth lazing about, being hand-fed by her trained herdmen, is far better than a bit of long pig on the BBQ any day. Obviously, eating off the ground is a huge taboo amongst them, and a proper Morokanth would rather starve than graze themselves.

 

Edited by boztakang
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On 3/14/2017 at 5:04 AM, David Scott said:

The angle I'm taking is that the "losers" were actually those that had to remove themselves directly from contact with the goddess (Ernalda) and look after the "winners"

That has ALWAYS seemed to me like the mythologically-appropriate way to look at it.   To the point that I find it jarring to read traditional "canonical sources," which call the "Eaters" (of flesh) the "winners" of the contest... the ones separated from the goddess are the winners???!?!?   yeahNO.

Not in *MY* Glorantha!

The winners are the Favored of the Goddess, fed directly from her bounty.

The winners are the ones with tribes who take care of them, search for food for them, protect them from raids by other tribes, etc...

And if the winners sometimes heroically make the Ultimate Sacrifice so that the losers can survive... well hey, it *IS* the Survival Covenant, after all, and you'd expect heroic things from those Favored of the Goddess, hmmmm?

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5 hours ago, boztakang said:

The last thing Uz need is MORE hunger... an entity like the Black Eater would be worshipped propitiatorily, if at all. Unless, of course, you are using the term as a title for Kyger Litor, in which case they all worship her, but certainly not for her hunger specifically. 

True - rather for her ability to eat anything to do something about that hunger.

And yes, uz religion and society is about propitiating their female ancestors.

5 hours ago, boztakang said:

I am also tempted by the idea that Morokanth believe that the covenent requires them to be "fed by" their herds, and that the other tribes are simply being ignorant, barbaric and bloody-minded by taking that to mean you should eat the animals themselves. IMO, the image of the decadent Morokanth lazing about, being hand-fed by her trained herdmen, is far better than a bit of long pig on the BBQ any day. Obviously, eating off the ground is a huge taboo amongst them, and a proper Morokanth would rather starve than graze themselves.

In the face of starvation, propriety is one of the earliest victims...

Your bucolic image of herd women peeling the grapes for their morokanth masters has its appeal, but it isn't enough to make me change my conservative desire for morokanth consuming the meat of their herds when witnessed.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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The Shadow People spirit society which is based within the Morokanth tribe has the Dark Eater as one of its spirits. The Black Eater is a Grazelander spirit. They aren't the same being. In my mind Dark Eater is an aspect of Kyger Litor, but isn't Kyger Litor.

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8 hours ago, David Scott said:

The Shadow People spirit society which is based within the Morokanth tribe has the Dark Eater as one of its spirits. The Black Eater is a Grazelander spirit. They aren't the same being. In my mind Dark Eater is an aspect of Kyger Litor, but isn't Kyger Litor.

Zorak Zoran. 

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3 hours ago, Pentallion said:

Zorak Zoran. 

I don't think Dark Eater is an individual troll god. Under hero quest Glorantha, it's a single rune spirit - darkness. And looking at the sources this doesn't fit perfectly with anything (bear in mind the drastic series aren't canon):

Nomad God's has no mention of Dark Eater. But Borderlands and Beyond is a good start:

Great Spirits - The Dark Eater

Quote

The Dark Eater, the Great Spirit of Darkness, was a huge and hungry monster, rivaling even Oakfed in his depredations. He invaded Prax with forces of Darkness, but long before the Dawning was driven back into Shadows dance by Waha. Despite this defeat he returns every winter, leading his troll followers to ravage the land they despoiled so long ago. 

Pavis: gta has Dark Eater the Night Terror (darkness)

Dark Eater also appears in HeroQuest: Glorantha as an encounter:

Quote

The Dark Eater: A nightmarish black nothingness wanders towards the heroes. It is a senseless emptiness, dullness past emptiness, endless, bottomless, and all consuming with hunger. 

Heroquest voices has this in Tales from the Wastes::

Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 10.27.28.png

Zolan Zubar is mentioned in History of the Heortling Peoples, in terms of a powerful war god not a great darkness spirit. More info is in the Kolat cult write up:

Quote

Below Me: This position must be filled by Zolan Zubar, the Underworld Spirit. 

and further in Heortling Mythology:

Quote

and Zolan Zubar, “Bearpaw,” an underworld spirit. 

So in my opinion not Zolan Zubar. Dark Eater is a local big spirit that dwells on the Troll borders of Prax. Waha befriended it for his chaos fighting ability and gave him a place of honour in the Shadow People spirit society and likely the instruction "use carefully".

Edited by David Scott
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