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

From: Richard Hayes <richard_hayes29_at_cvsjeNGH7cvEZ0SjKvQ2tjMUp63it8te7bVq7JYbdA3vxZjU48T_Y-Jq7BGD>
Date: Wed, 22 Feb 2012 12:47:05 +0000 (GMT)

Is it now pretty much settled that the Cannibal Cult, like the Basmoli and the Men and a Half, are part of the Praxian furniture without being part of the Waha/Eiritha tradition? If so, are they a variation on Found Child, a variation on Basmol or completely sui generis? Or is there no canonical version?

I quite like the idea of a 'main' Cannibal Cult that is a lesser independent tribe, as well as smaller secret soceities of cannibals inside and/or exiled from other Praxian tribes.

I quite like other areas of Glorantha having their own 'cannibal cults' -- as an animist heresy, or within the practice of a predatory, carnivorous Hsunchen tribe (though the latter would probably only call it cannibalism if you were eating a fellow tribesman, because humans outside their tribe are of another race), or within a post-Hsunchen religion (like the Pendali). Though local variations will probably be considerable -- cannibalism in Sartar probably means a ghoul or ogre cult, or maybe a Temori practice/heresy. This will be very different from cannibalism in Prax or Seshnela (though anomalously the historic presence of Basmoli in both places could mean that some cannibals in Seshnela and Prax had some shared heritage)

David's suggestions for the Praxian Cannibal cult make a certain amount of sense, especially if a/the key rite of the Praxian Cannibal Cult is the ritual consumption of sentient flesh to appease hostile ghosts, which I understand was part of the concept as written up in Tales of the Reaching Moon #9 and #15

Whilst this means that the Cannibals are okay for most of the year if they keep close to their haunted oases or other safe havens, what happens to them when they come out to hunt? (Perhaps especially if their cannibalistic rites take place on the same cult holy days each year)
 Is David's practice a holdover from pre-Waha times, a different approach to the crisis that led Waha to set up the Survival Covenant, an anomalous  development connected to the Survival Covenant myth, or a later deviation/innovation from the Praxian norm?

Richard Hayes

From: David Cake <> To: Sent: Wednesday, 22 February 2012, 7:46
Subject: Re: Cannibalism in Prax (was Bestiality in Prax?)

On 22/02/2012, at 12:54 PM, Andrew Larsen wrote:

> I think it's also important to consider that the Cannibal Cult almost has to engage in predatory behavior against others.  All the other tribes of Prax are theoretically self-contained.  They herd animals that eat the plants and they eat the animals.  The Basmoli and Agimori focus on hunting animals.  But the Cannibal Cultists, unless they engage in a lot of hunting of animals, pretty much have to survive by hunting humans to eat.  Even if they don't focus exclusively on cannibalism, sentient protein has to form a major element in their diet.  That means that Praxians are going to be on their guard around them at all times, because you have to assume that the Cannibals are seriously considering jumping you. How else can they survive?
    I don't think there is anything suggest the Cannibal cult have to survive by cannibalism alone. The cannibal cult is a spiritual practice, not a diet. And the primary purpose of the spiritual practice is dealing with hostile ghosts, personal power via cannibalism being secondary. They need to eat people once a year as a minimum, perhaps a few times a year normally. Cannibalism isn't their day to day life - for most cultists, cannibalism is simply the price they pay for a measure of safety the rest of the time.
    I think a typical pattern for a semi-permanent cannibal cult group is to settle in an area that is known to be haunted by hostile ghosts, appease the ghosts with their cannibal rituals so they can settle and live there, protected from harassment by the other natives of Prax by the surrounding ghosts. A ghost haunted oasis or similar is likely to have reasonable food supplies with minimal competition for them, as everyone else will be avoiding the place.


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