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Leingod

Earthshaker Plow Team

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Ever since the first time I got one in King of Dragon Pass, I just fell in love with the idea of using triceratops as beasts of burden. That imagery of something incredibly fantastic but simultaneously mundane and practical just really spoke to me, and is probably what I'd say I love most about Glorantha if pressed to choose just one thing. It very much feels like a setting where people look at the world that's around them and actually figure out how to make it work for them organically.

As Your Glorantha Will Vary, I'm pretty much inevitably going to want to insert that element somewhere into my Glorantha; all that remains is to decide how far to go with it. I don't think they'd be a universal thing; not at all. They'd inevitably be a lot more demanding than oxen in terms of how much they eat, how to safely stable, train and work them, the sheer size they'd demand in general, etc. Then there's the concerns in terms of society and religion: oxen are kind of central to Orlanthi agriculture mythically, with their strong association with Barntar. And though they're creatures of Earth, they're more often associated with Maran Gor, the Earthshaker (and in fact "Earthshaker" is what they're generally called), who very much doesn't represent the fertile, life-giving aspects of Earth.

I think Esrolia would be a natural place for the use of Earthshaker Lizards as beasts of burden to be most prominent, all things considered. A lot of flat, fertile ground, a reverence for all aspects of the Earth and knowledge of how to deal with them, etc. I'd like the lands around the Shaker Temple to be another place with them, but given the description of the terrain I'm not sure how that'd work out; maybe that's where you get the alternate path of using them as elite (very expensive and rare) battle mounts?

 

Edited by Leingod
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IMG, using dinosaurs in any fashion is incredibly rare, both due to the resources and the difficulty in domesticating them. Even Maran Gorites barely use them, and when they do it's nearly always as shock units. The event in KoDP is, in my opinion, the type of thing that would go down in Dragon Pass history as a major and unique event. Personally, I also think some tribes could have a stigma against using them, due to the draconic connection, and speaking of that I believe the dragonewts do have herds of triceratops war mounts, though I don't think they practice agriculture so they have no need of triceratops herd beasts.

YGMV though. Your ideas sound cool, they just aren't my cup of tea.

Edited by Richard S.

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I note the that there are Dino-riders in Prax -- the Bolo Lizard Tribe.

Of course, the nomads aren't agricultural!

 

I am pondering the notion that I may Vary My Glorantha by replacing each family-unit tent (that other tribes use) with something on the backs of Thunder Lizards... braves on Bolo's, families up high on Apatosaurs / etc...

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2 hours ago, g33k said:

I note the that there are Dino-riders in Prax -- the Bolo Lizard Tribe.

Of course, the nomads aren't agricultural!

 

I am pondering the notion that I may Vary My Glorantha by replacing each family-unit tent (that other tribes use) with something on the backs of Thunder Lizards... braves on Bolo's, families up high on Apatosaurs / etc...

The problem with that would be the lack of  the prolific vegetation one would normally expect for apatosaurs to eat. 

However, MGDV, and dinosaurs are quite prolific in the Elder Wilds, and I like your thinking!🙂

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Here's a random idea: the Shaker Temple needs terraces to grow food, kind of like Incan ones (purely made up by me right now). They use triceratopses to carry the rocks needed to build and maintain those terraces.

Sort of an indirect influence way to include them in agriculture, but seemed more plausible to me.

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I'm inclined to agree with Richard S that such a thing is a truly remarkable thing, perhaps the sort of thing that one clan learned how to do. Perhaps it's their Heroquest Secret ("We know the secret of Yoking the Earthshakers"). Maybe one a generation or so, a hero from the clan succeeds in the quest and soon thereafter the clan finds a nest of eggs that can be raised. Perhaps the quest angers Maran Gor and puts the clan on her bad side, so they don't do it too often. 

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1 hour ago, Bohemond said:

I'm inclined to agree with Richard S that such a thing is a truly remarkable thing, perhaps the sort of thing that one clan learned how to do. Perhaps it's their Heroquest Secret ("We know the secret of Yoking the Earthshakers"). Maybe one a generation or so, a hero from the clan succeeds in the quest and soon thereafter the clan finds a nest of eggs that can be raised. Perhaps the quest angers Maran Gor and puts the clan on her bad side, so they don't do it too often. 

Or maybe the ability to do so is part of an ancient pact with her, and requires fairly sizeable sacrifices (not that keeping triceratopses in itself wouldn't potentially be prohibitively costly).

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14 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Or maybe the ability to do so is part of an ancient pact with her, and requires fairly sizeable sacrifices (not that keeping triceratopses in itself wouldn't potentially be prohibitively costly).

At that point, it becomes a question of why a clan would want to use them. If the cost isn't less than the benefit, it's hard to picture a clan actually pursuing this, unless it was a religious obligation. Maybe the ancestors demand it periodically. 

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I think it's rather that there is an ideal number of triceratopses a clan can reasonably support. Let's say 3. More than that and they need more food than the clan can feasably clear and cultivate easily, or something. And the Triceratops plowman/handler might be some kind of ritual specialist in his (or her?) own right, meaning that it's not something you can just train someone to do in a couple of seasons. So there's a bottleneck, maybe.

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Using dinos as beasts of burden or warbeasts was common in past ages. The domesticated beasts of the late EWF were only remotely bovine, and use of dinosaurs may have been as common. Golden Age Dara Happa used "gazzam" (earth shakers) as their main domesticated beasts before bulls and oxen got introduced. While the Gods Wall has various mammal deities on the second and third tier, these may not have been mainstream in Dara Happa proper.

It remains unclear whether such use of dinosaur relied on capturing and taming young adult wild specimen or raising them from the egg (as the ones in King of Dragon Pass were).

 

Given the anti-draconic iconoclasm that accompanied the fall of the EWF, there are hardly any older depictions of dragons left in central Genertela. We have no Third Age proof of pre-EWF use of dinosaurs as husbandry. Given the Second Council origin of the wyrms, I wouldn't be that astonished to find some dinosaur husbandry in the same era.

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On 3/22/2019 at 12:10 AM, Ali the Helering said:

The problem with that would be the lack of  the prolific vegetation one would normally expect for apatosaurs to eat. 

Eiritha provides.

😉

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<envisions a Eurmali transforming a herd of Triceratops to cattle, letting the raid happen, and a couple of hours later, transforming them back>

"I fixed the cattle-raiding problem."

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Apatosaurus ie. deceptive lizard sounds like something an Eurmali would ride, in my Glorantha they are Brotosauruses ie. thunder lizards.

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If you're going to expend magic to improve your ploughing capacity, it's probably more cost-effective to yoke a few Talosi. Dem Earth Elementals can plow gud!

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