Re: Bestiality in Prax?

From: Andrew Larsen <aelarsen_at_6n8avLopX2fIm-R9lUkf1CPsiVP1dPIWfPJL13uqoWOqV2VhcB0pyEicjaIS1yZrKfg>
Date: Sat, 18 Feb 2012 09:03:06 -0600

Well, as I said, the Cannibal Cult violates the eater/eaten distinction that lies at the heart of Praxian religion and life. Most cultures draw strong lines around the principles on which they feel their society is based and react very negatively when those principles are violated. (For example, whites in the Old South saw racial inequality as fundamental to their society and reacted very violently when a black man was perceived as having sex with a white woman, precisely because that threatened to collapse a critical distinction between black and white.) And in Glorantha, practices that violate foundational principles are typically seen as chaotic.
	For Praxians, some beings eat and some beings are eaten.  Their society can't survive without that rule. The Cannibal Cult upends that rule by eating the eaters. In a real-world society, I'd expect that the Cannibal Cult would be a target of constant violence by other Praxians, beyond the normal inter-tribal violence. So in theory, most Praxians ought to regard the Cannibals as chaotic, because their actions invert the foundational principles of society (the way that kinslaying does in Sartar).  But since it's established that the Cannibals are NOT considered chaotic, the question is why?  How do Praxians reconcile the complete inversion of proper society that Cannibals engage in?  My speculation is that somehow the Cannibals mythically wedged themselves into Waha's laws far enough that they are accepted as not chaotic. 
	I'm not saying that's the only way.  I'm just trying to figure out one of the odd features of Praxian society.  As a historian, I'm constantly drawn to the problems in human society, because if you can understand the strange and problematic details, you usually get real insight into the culture.

Andrew E. Larsen

On Feb 18, 2012, at 4:28 AM, Simon Phipp wrote:

> Andrew:
> >But what about the Cannibal Cult, which commits cannibalism but is
> > not 'objectively' chaotic? I think that perhaps normal Praxians
> > (that is, non-cannibal cultists) consider the Cannibals chaotic.
> I don't think that normal Praxians see the Cannibal Cult as chaotic as they are accepted as one of the minor tribes of Prax in a way that, for example, the Broos are not.
> However, they are clearly not part of the Covenant as they gained a different way of surviving.
> > Or perhaps the Cannibal Cultists heroquested to establish their
> > practices as sanctioned by Waha and therefore not chaotic (I seem
> > to remember something about them claiming that Waha had allowed
> > their rituals, so perhaps they have a myth/quest for it).
> Maybe, but it doesn't sound likely to me.
> The Newtlings, Basmoli Berserkers, Unicorn Riders and Agomori are all accepted parts of Prax but haven't HeroQuested to Waha to become sanctioned. So, why should the Cannibal Cult?

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