[Glorantha]Re: Prax, Horn of Plenty, 48 Old Ones

From: Chris Lemens <chrislemens_at_yahoo.com>
Date: Mon, 9 Feb 2004 07:34:35 -0800 (PST)

> A "treasure", according to Praxian ideas, could have
> several meaning:
> a male treasure (something for war), frex a weapon.
> a female treasure (something for nurturing herds),
> frex a fertility charm.
> a magic treasure (something for shamans, ancestors,
> spirits etc) frex an axis-mundi drum.

Sure. But the point here is that they are all material things that a person could touch in the Natural World. They are not (normally) first encountered in the Spirit World.

> > 3. The absence of the 48oo from NG can be
> > explained by the fact that they have zero
> > military utility. NG was a boardgame of warfare.
> yes but in warfare logistics matter.
> Even in nomadic warfare (as long as nomads eat and
> breath and walk and drink in order to survive and to
> fight).
> And logistics must be related to herds and magic
> too, not just to weapons. The famine tactic of
> warfare is based on control of the growing power
> of the land (agriculture, pasture, water). No
> sensible Praxian Khan should avoid to consider
> the owning of these kind of treasures, such as
> the horn of plenty, in times of war.

Perhaps you have missed the point. My point was that the Horn of Plenty could appear in Nomad Gods because it does have military (specifically, logistic) value. The 48 Old Ones do not appear in Nomad Gods because they lack any military (including logistic) value.

> The repairing of the horn could well having
> been performed in eiritha tradition, but
> probably the broad horn of plenty myth has
> some previous/outside of eiritha connections.
> Maybe "after" eiritha it is bovine (er... not
> in the sense of cow and beef but in the sense
> of not ovine) but before it was caprine or
> ovine. Where sheeps and rams still live in Prax
> and the greatlands (or in the greatlands sky) a
> proto-horn of plenty myth could be still known.

I thoink you lost me here. Are you saying that the 48 Old Ones reflect a non-Eirithan tradition in which the 48 Old Ones were not recombined to form the Horn of Plenty? If so, don't you find it odd that the 48 Old Ones are found at the Paps, while the Horn of Plenty is found anywhere? It seems like the opposite would better explain their locations -- that someone outside the Waha and Eiritha tradition managed to repair the Horn from its 48 pieces. This would explain why the 48 Old Ones are so weak -- they have little individual identity left.

Personally, I don't buy this. I think they are different things.

> And what about the Unihorn lesser tribe?

Unicorn? Or something else?

> I imagined there was an Old One for some of the
> edible plants found in the wastes, or more
> accurately, once found in Genert's Garden.
> Plants such as Holy Grain, Skullbush, Date Palms,
> Dreamweed (perhaps), and other such things which,
> while not particularly agricultural, would be
> eaten by hungry nomads, and still grow where
> water flows - whether in the wake of Ronance,
> or following Seolinthur's rudder, or at an oasis.

Exactly. At most, this is the tending of gardens and (small, stunted) orchards, not cereal monoculture a la Kansas.

Joerg, responding to Peter:
> > So why does Aldrya/Redwood give Eiritha the
> > magic of accelerate growth in Cults of Prax?
> Eiritha of the Paps, i.e. the Golden Age Folk great
> spirit. That means the Oasis Folk use it.

Even in the Golden Age, Eiritha's powers related to beasts. Some agency brought the withered spirits of her sisters to the Paps at some point. (I think it was Waha around the time of the Dawn.) I think this makes the unavailable for the Oasis Folk. In fact, I think it is important that these spirits are not generally available to the Oasis Folk in 1620. The Hero Wars can change everything, of course.

> Besides, Accelerate Growth works on wild food
> plants at least as well as on domestic ones.
> Such as Skullbush...

Yes, but I don't think that's the way that Eiritha hands it out. I think it is directly connected to the Survival Covenant story. Eiritha caused Eiritha's Bounty (grass) to grow. Then Waha made the survival covenant. The pre-story is that Waha went out and gathered in all of the spirits of Eiritha's sisters, including the 48 Old Ones (who, in my view, give magic that would help the growth of various edible, including skullbush) and Tree Sister / Redwood / Aldrya (who, in my view, gave the magic for Eiritha's Bounty). So, the Eiritha women know it as the spirit of Eiritha's Bounty. They would be mystified as to why anyone would want to use it on anything else; if they tried it themselves, they'd probably flub it. How to use this spirit on anything else is one of the secrets that might come out in the Hero Wars.

> As far as we know (i.e. from the Nomad Gods
> boardgame), that concerns the Beast Riders
> and those spirits useful in tribal
> warfare. I agree that whatever the other
> oases might have to offer would be useless
> for Beast Riders, but I contend that we don't
> know that the Oasis Folk don't have
> agricultural/horticultural spirits at
> other places. They are the secretive
> Tada-shi, after all.

I would not make too much of them being the Tada-shi, at least in 1620. They probably have lots of customs that make no sense with the spirits they can access now. If they had access to the skullbush mother (for example), these customs would make horticulture much more effective. As they are in 1620, they barely eke out a living. They don't know the secrets they have.

> It repaired itself... so why would there have
> to be shattered fragments?

Yeah! Oops. Rule violation.

> > The fact that its magic lies in providing food
> > rather than growing it. In the Good Old Days,
> > the Praxians did not have agriculture for they
> > had no need.
> In the Good Old Days, the Beast Riders roamed
> Genert's Garden and Sacred Prax. To call them
> Praxians in this context is like calling the

> Kingdom of Night the Holy Country - not quite
> accurate.

I think Peter was referring to all of the inhabitants of the Garden and Prax. His observation is certainly true for anyone living there.

> The Golden Age folk of Prax (the Tada-shi) did
> have agriculture or horticulture, and therefore
> the need for appropriate spirits. These are
> hardly "nomad gods"...

I know of no evidence that they had agriculture in the sense of plowing up large tracts of land and planting grain. All of the stories indicate that Prax was a forest and that food came readily to hand without effort.

I agree that they had spirits to help the Garden Grow.  Like the relationships elsewhere between certain grains and the earth goddesses (e.g., barley and -- mental blank -- Enralda? Esrola?), each of the 48 Old Ones would have been associated with a particular plant.

Their name "Arrangers of the Golden Land" makes me think more of gardening than cereal monoculture. They gardened out of aesthetics (kinda like elves) than hunger. "This skullbush belongs over here." rather than "57 acres of holy grain will feed my family for a while."

Chris Lemens

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--__--__-- Received on Sun 08 Feb 2004 - 08:33:45 EET

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