Re: Praxian tribal campaign

From: Chris Lemens <chrislemens_at_...>
Date: Thu, 14 Mar 2013 23:51:12 -0000


There are some common elements for life in a clan in the four large human tribes. Life revolves around the herds: finding grazing, moving the herds when grazing is exhausted, defending the herds from raiders, raiding so you don't have to eat your herds, culling the herds if you will exhaust the grazing before you can move them (eg the start of flood season), tending sick beasts, milking the cows, separating the lesser bulls from the breeding cows, castrating steers for meat when you will retain good grazing for a long time, making cheese and jerky and pemmican, and so on.

As supplements to this way of life, add hunting and foraging. These scut ivories, when performed of necessity, cause lower social status than herding. While almost every man hunts at some point, families that must survive by hunting and foraging are of lower status than those that need not. There is an arrangement somewhat like the Heortling cattle loan between low status clients and high status patrons. The client loans their hers beasts to their patron, who takes care of them, allowing the client to hunt or forage full time. The patron gets the cow milk, bull semen, and blood; the client gets the meat of any beasts that die and the calves. If the patron loses a beast, the patron must replace it; but if the beast is lost due to raiding, the owner must sen a man on a retaliatory raid. (Remember that women own the beasts.)

Meat taken in hunting is usually shared with other hunters first and then with a patron. A patron will usually feed an injured client during the resulting disability.

Speaking of that, giving cows to a young woman's family is a major part of courting. Beasts of the same tribe are very valuable. Beasts of amother tribe have to be eaten fairly soon because the clan's preferred grazing doesn't do well for other tribes. Think of it like refrigerated meat: it has a definite "best by" date on it. This means that bachelor bands always want to be raiding. This sets up something of a conflict for the khan and kheen, who don't want counter raids, but do want good grooms for their girls.

Conflicts between bachelor bands are most likely to result in counting coup, since there is nothing to gain but honor. Think of it as whatever your favorite violent sport is.

All of this is about sources of strife and conflict. The noble savage motif should have no play. These savages keep and trade slaves. They are capable of nobility, but are not afflicted with it.


Powered by hypermail