Re: Re: Glorantha Book Now Available

From: KYER, JEFFREY <jeff.kyer_at_...>
Date: Fri, 02 Jun 2000 13:20:52 -0400

bertmeister wrote:
> Chaps and chappeses
> This lack of metal things for Praxians has been bothering me for ages! When
> I first started playing RQ back in1983, these things were not a
> consideration. However, Mr Stafford has been encouraging us to be more
> realistic over the years and this is good - but I do not subscribe to this
> bone swords crap.

Mmmm. I should suggest you look into your Mongols, Amerindians, Berbers and other RL nomads for some examples. None of these folks had anything resembling large amounts of metal. This is why the spear/bow was the mainstay weapon. Or, if they were 'lucky' enough to have a nearby, more techonoically advanced culture, raiding and trading for metal was a major concern.

The North American Indians, a model for the Praxians, had no metal until the arrival of the europeans other than a modicum of copper, often traded at great distances. Wood, bone, leather and sinew was the sole sum of their material economy.

Always remember, if you have a metal sword, where does the metal come from? Bonesmiths (bronzeworkers) are not exactly common, even among folks like the Heortlings -- usually only one family of them to a Clan and they are often sub-standard in quality.  

> Read visions of Glorantha. The Phyllis Ann Karr and John Boyle stories are
> incredible. (sorry Oliver, but I don't like the writing style of the
> Griselda stories). Read the Road of Kings. When the kid got to his
> initiation, he was presented posthumously with a sword and even a mail
> Hauberk and a Large Shield from a Zorak Zoran DeathLord!!!! This is
> unusual, but don't forget. Prax is a hard place to live, with infant
> mortality and the like. When that son, or sons of yours grow to be men,
> hopefully the family (not just the uncle or father) will have accumulated
> somethings to give the new warrior a start, even if it is just one metal
> sword. I know a lot of gamers search for gold , gems and magic - but what
> about, "aaahhh! A mighty blade. This I shall take! One day my son shall
> wield this trophy and remember his fathers prowess in battle!"

These are precious gifts. Quite special. This is a good goal. And, of course, IS one of the reasons for Praxian's incessant raids.

But the bone comments came up from this: During the post-EWF era, there was noone for the Praixans to trade with. No bronze or iron. Nothing. During this time of relative material poverty, other solutions were made. Afterall, if you traditionally use swords, you'd better find a substitute.

And the Praxians are nothing if not traditional minded, neh?  

> So chaps, lets drop this bone-sword crap! Dragonnewts Klanths are Dragon
> Bone right? Dragon Bones are pretty big. What bone would you use off of a
> Bison to make a good sword? Broadswords made from metal are very heavy.
> Bison bones are not so heavy, and are generally not the right shape and are
> unwieldly. Nuff said,

No, they are made from dragon or dragonnewt bone. And, like ivory scrimshaw, can be carved into myriad pieces. its amazing what you can do with properly done bonework. Me? I spent 2 years in the Canadian Arctic, dealing with Innuit and other lifeforms.

Personally, I am not sold on the Praxians using swords at all.


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