Re: Cannibalism in Prax (was Bestiality in Prax?)

From: Simon Phipp <soltakss_at_GYJ99nCJkJEkmp0Z4Nv4X4BJ62ZuLohWTqNfnD-L9HoQZjSyfcQD2mx9CYD-Z-LmcmJ>
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2012 16:10:29 -0000

Richard Hayes:
> 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

They didn't call them Gern but they were fairly clear that these were beasts-that-looked-like-men not actual men/women.

> Presumably Gern are not much good to other Praxian tribes as
> slaves/prisoners of war as beasts of burden or as a source of
> leather or food, (though maybe the odd canny Sable knows an Etyries
> merchant with a decadent clientele that pay top dollar for unusual
> book-bindings, "Pol Joni" boots and 'long pork'). How does this
> affect their value when clans trade captured herd beasts?

To a bison rider, a herd man/gern is of little value, but to a morokanth it is of high value. The morokanth might want to trade a whole lousy bison to get back his prized gern bull and the bison rider might trade a couple of lousy gern to get his best bison cow back.

That's when trading comes in handy - to get the best deal.

Each of the Beast Nations of Prax holds their own beasts in high regard and holds the others as just meat. When it comes to killing beasts for food, they will kill other beast types first, then their own geldings, then their own old cows, then lesser bulls, then some young cows and finally the best bulls and best cows. For ritual purposes, they might kill their own beasts in certain circumstances.

Most of them might hold herd beasts to trade with other nations to get their own beasts back. Some, for example the Ostrich tribe, raise other herd beasts for food, but they are rare.

> 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?

The original spell was in RQ2 but was amended for RQ3. It made sense in a way, but spoiled the idea of the Covenant, I thought.

> Would this undermine fear of Morokanth Ogres? Or is this too
> lavish a use of magic for dinner? Alternatively is there a hint
> that the Morokanth are sufficiently sick to eat sentient beings --
> more like Ogres or Ghouls than other Praxians.

It's a ritual for releasing the beasts enslaved by others. Humans would use the spell to awaken herd men, potentially, thus reversing the cheating. Morokanth would use it to enslave humans for the same reason. I would think that it was rare, though, apart from making good allied spirits.  
> Would the "Morokanth Ogre" do the Peaceful Cut first -- and would
> the Morokanth really be doing the deceased a favour if they did,
> if it meant that the deceased's soul was returned to Eiritha to be
> reborn as a Gern?

A Morokanth who used the spell to change a human into a gern would then use Peaceful Cut to send the gern's soul to Eiritha. He would then happily eat the gern.

A Morokanth would never use Peaceful Cut on an actual human and would never eat an actual human. How can they tell them apart? A Nomad is an expert in telling whether an animal is truly an animal or a person in disguise.

Morokanth cannibals would eat humans and, presumably, could also eat other Morokanth. Humans who eat gern are not cannibals, no matter the origin of the gern.

> Are the Cannibals a "cult" (which crosses tribal lines), or are they
> basically a lesser independent tribe?


They might even have secret Sacred Socities in the other tribes as well.

> Maybe the prosaic truth is that their elite members are still
> individually very powerful, with the result that anyone trying to
> eradicate them would face heavy losses for little reward (other
> than getting raided by other tribes taking advantage of the
> losses the tribe waging war on the cannibals had taken in the
> process), with the result that nobody bothers? (After all it
> is  largely a similar logic which stops the Morokanth from
> going the way of the Lascerdans, even though they are unusually
> unpopular with the other tribes, even by Praxian standards ...)

The Praxians got rid of the Pure Horse Tribe as they were not Praxian. It took a while and a huge amount of effort but they managed it. Some survived as the Zebra Tribe, but zebras are Praxian, so that's OK.

Morokanth are part of the Survival Covenant so cannot be rooted out of Prax by Praxians.

The Cannibal Cult, Agimori, Basmoli Berserkers and Ostrich Riders are all Praxian tribes who are not part of the Survival Covenant. They have earned their place in Prax and nobody wants to get rid of them.

See Ya


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