Re: Herdmen was Cannibalism in Prax

From: David Scott <sciencefish_at_RTcwuk1cpJ_NCTsL6cVFOR-rmeOshDt_jPEqbib8fpYd2gMaHrNKR5msOe9YQUiN>
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2012 12:33:50 +0000

On 20 Feb 2012, at 18:16, Richard Hayes wrote:

> If I remember correctly, (and if I hadn't then it wouldn't exactly be the first time), early sources on Morokanth (the 2nd edition RQ rules, Cults of Prax) don't mention that the Morokanth's human-looking herd are really Gern. So what Chris suggests is that this old Cults of Prax idea lives on, in part, as a rumour is rumoured to still have some truth in it by the other tribes.

Herdmen are pre-covenant humans who lived in Genert's garden, along with the animals. They have the same parents, Storm Bull and Eiritha. The covenant gave those who "won" intelligence. The only difference between pre-covenant humans and humans is their intelligence. I view herdmen like the humans in the old planet of the apes movies, no clothes or homes, just the look. Waha and Eiritha cultists can tell the difference between pre-covenant humans and humans after a check. Outsiders have real problems, they can't tell them apart and they look like you and me. So of course outsiders believe they are real humans, the tribes don't. (The art in Anaxials rooster didn't help either, herdmen look like the apes that appear with the tapirs in the opening scenes of 2001).

> Slightly later write-ups of Waha magic (Gods of Glorantha; can't remember if it was retained in Mongoose RQ) suggest that there is a Waha-specific runespell/feat which curses a sentient being with the loss of sentience (and a corresponding blessing to awaken intelligence in a herd beast, though personally I quite liked the old Cults of Prax idea that this blessing was bestowed upon the herd beasts of 'rune level' Waha cultists when the cultists receives their allied spirit). If it is known that your own clan shaman's most potent curse is to do this, doesn't it follow that the shamans in the Morokanth tribe can probably do the same?

I think this fix/release intelligence magic is more subtle. Awakening a beast to be a divine companion is a great use and the only real use I would go along with. However the opposite is a bit more complicated. Intelligent herd beasts in Prax don't normally exist so all of the tribes except the Morokanth would have no real use for this. The Morokanth could use it to turn a human into a herdman, but that has problems. If you do it to another Praxian he would be spotted in the herd, different Praxian tribes look different, tall, pigmies, etc. The only real use for it would be to bring new breeding stock from outsiders in and I think that would be limited. It would have to be an outsider that had a spirit, not a soul to be compatible with the praxian way and these aren't so common. You might be able to get the occasional one as an outsider slave, but then why turn a slave with useful hands into a herdman.

I'd also question the blessing of turning a herd beast intelligent. We might be wrong in thinking that getting intelligence was a wining trait. I think the animals view the herders as the losers in the contest. All that work when you can just munch food all day, then die painlessly with the peaceful cut and be reborn - idyllic.


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