Re: Using Chaos

From: Chris Lemens <chrislemens>
Date: Wed May 10 15:47:35 2006

First, apologies for posting the entire digest back. I didn't realize my little handheld did that.

On to substance -- Steve sez:

> There is a VERY big difference between scaring out a group
> of broos and
> 1. _Hiring_ broos and/or working with them as allies.
> 2. _Worshipping_ a foul Chaos entity like Thed or Malia.
> I submit that the Praxian mythos and religion _demand_ that
> a person who actually _worships_ Malia or Thed directly, to
> the point of learning their magic or sacrificing POW to them or
> whatever, is no longer part of the Way of Waha, and thus can
> no longer worship Waha, Eiritha, Storm Bull, etc.

I agree with this completely. The methods of worshipping Mallia, Thed, etc. are not generally known to Praxians. They are hostile spirits for PRaxians, that are dealt with (in HQ terms) through Enemy Practices that allow propitiation, placation, or banishment (or more than one of those choices). The most common moral dilemma is whether to propitiate or placate the enemy on one hand (which ultimately strengthens it) or banish it (which weakens it). It is a decision a khan and herd mother must make; they willl usually want to banish it, but there is a question of resources and strength.

> You can't have it both ways -- either you hate Chaos, or you ally
> with Chaos. There is no "the enemy of my enemy is my friend"
> when it comes to Chaos. This is not just a moral choice -- it is a
> matter of life and existence in Glorantha. If the simple act of commiting
> rape can transform a human into a broo, as has been stated (or at
> least implied) in past publications, then there is NOTHING simple
> about using Chaos as a tool.

There is a difference between "allying" chaos -- though IIRC that is how it is presented in the necessary oversimplification in the Nomad Gods rules -- and "using" chaos as occurred at Moonbroth. I do not think that any khan would have a significant problem with the idea of driving a horde (gaggle? swarm?) of broos against his enemies. His problems would be practical ones, like "how do I keep that many broos from running amok?" and "how do I round up the ones that escape if I win the battle?" Having your enemies kill broos is the _ideal_ way to get rid of the broos.

> Except that you can't simply "clean up" the oases -- all of
> the sources make it clear that cleansing a Chaos taint from
> anything is nearly impossible, and is very clearly impossible
> without actually utterly destroying the tainted object.

I never much liked the idea that minor spirit cults could "wash away" the taint of chaos. But's it has been published.

> And if even one broo escapes, then it is YOUR OWN FAULT when
> your herds and your women and your sons all die from
> broobirth in a couple of seasons. Would ANY Praxian risk that?
> More to the point, would any Waha chieftain risk it?

Yes. They did at Moonbroth. Like I say, the best way of killing a broo is to have someone you hate try to kill it first. That way, if they don't succeed, it is no loss to you and the broo might be weakened.

> Cults of Prax (IIRC, or was it Cults of Terror?) specifically stated
> that only the Tribal Khan could authorize the worship of various
> Chaos entities.

I think worship of chaos entities is completely different from allowing chaotic monsters to fight your enemies.

> Sure, Praxians will make use of "evil" against their enemies, who
> are all evil as well. But they won't so blithely use Chaos, not in
> a million years, not though the hordes of the Monster Men
> from the east overran all of the Wastes and killed every herd beast.
> Eiritha and Storm Bull must still live, and they cannot do that if Chaos
> is allowed to run free.

They would and they did, at Moonbroth. There are bounds on what Praxians will do. For example, no sane Praxian would: - worship a chaos entity
- allow broos to reproduce in their own herds

However, Praxians are happy enought to:

Praxians would pragmatically evaluate the risk to decide whether to: - stop broos from reproducing in someone else's herd - clean out a scorpion man egg nest

Of course, Bulmen have a different approach. The gray area resolves into binary black and white.

Chris Lemens
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