[Glorantha]Re: Oasis Folk

From: Chris Lemens <chrislemens_at_yahoo.com>
Date: Thu, 12 Feb 2004 11:14:04 -0800 (PST)

> From: "Joerg Baumgartner" <joe_at_toppoint.de>
> > Even if the Tada-Shi have secretive practices,
> > the spirits they worship are still contactable
> > on the plains by anybody.
> While I don't mandate an Opili's Fort with
> its Hidden Green-like garden at each and
> every oasis, a set of helper spirits with
> powers like "aid <plant> fertility if sprinkled
> with <oasis> water" or similar appears to
> be in order.

I pretty much agree with this, but I think it is a simple spirit given by the (comparatively big) spirit of the Oasis. The Oasis Folk primarily worship the spirit of their own Oasis. It is the biggest spirit they know personally (apart from the aberrations in Pavis).

> We haven't seen many spirits for
> tanning or other hide curing, either.

I think this is common magic. Waha taught the Survival Tricks to anyone, after all.

> Hence the description of the 48OO as
> agricultural spirits. While the Golden Age
> Praxian city folks would have appreciated
> a horn of plenty per city or oasis (as per
> "savannah watering place"), I doubt they went

> and had Ragnaglar break one off for them.

Don't over-emphasize the agriculture there. I'd say horticulture is more like it. Also, "city" is a bit much. I'd say they were more ceremonial centers.

> The Golden Age oasis folk were a sedentary
> people who cultivated some of the land for
> food production. If one takes the myths about
> Foundchild and Waha's Covenant literally, then
> everybody (except the Basmoli) was a vegetarian

> before Death came.

They ate rabbits, too. Those might have counted as veggies then, of course.

> There have been descriptions of Golden Age Prax
> as the land where milk and honey flowed without
> any need for labor. I don't think so: We're
> talking Golden Age Prax here, not Green Age.

I do think so, at least by way of comparison. They had no deiseases or bad weather. The fertility of the Green Age was undiminished. You plant a seed, it grows, you eat.

> Golden Age Prax was a fertile savannah, patches
> of rich grasslands alternating with copses or
> orchard-like shaded meadows.

I don't think this is true. Prax was a forest. I forget which source says so, but this is canon. Oakfed at the forest of Prax. Redwood was its Great Tree.

> It would be an interesting exercise to catalogue
> the extinct trees of Golden Age Prax.

Indeed. Were did cacti (in the cactus desert / cactus forest, depending on your source) come from?

> Prax was the kingdom (or whatever) of Tada,
> a demigod or superhero who fathered or adopted
> the Tada-Shi, aka the Golden Age Folk of Prax.

I'd say _a_ Golden Age people of Prax. The Oasis Folk are the only apparent remnant, but there were others. I think some of them re-appear in the Hero Wars. For the rest of this, I assume you mean the Tada-shi in broad sense, including peoples other than those that became te Oasis Folk.

> What we know about the Tada-Shi is that they were
> - earth worshippers,

I don't _know_ this. I don't see any reference that proves it. We know that the Ostrich Riders -- another Golden Age remnant from the area -- worshipped the sun. I'd say that it is more likely that they worshipped a complete pantheon led by Genert that had its own sun god, river god, etc. One interesting question to ponder is whether the current Oasis Folk have always worshipped their Oasis water spirits primarily or, if not, when and how and why this changed.

> - builders of some sort (producing all the altars
> and ruins scattered over Prax along Ronance's

Again, yes, so long as you mean Tada-shi broadly. For example, the Monkey Ruins were built by apes of some sort.

> - usually quite peaceful and pure (see the Nomad
> Gods description of the battle against Ragnaglar).

Yep, especially by comparison.

> The Oases were tended by them (and still are).
> One can speculate what function the Oases had in
> lush, semi-forested Prax, but clean waterholes
> are valuable everywhere.

I suspect that the Oases are the remnant of larger entities. They were once most likely creeks, streams, and small rivers. Prax in particular stands between mountains on two sides, a sea on the third, and a river on the fourth. Seems strange that there are not more tributaries to the Zola Fel.

> IMO the Golden Age people of Prax had a form
> of agriculture similar to that of the Chagga
> people on the upper slopes of the Kilimanjaro:
> http://www.oneworld.org/patp/vol5_4/eden.html

Yeah! That's evocative. And totally consistent with them being "arrangers" of the golden land. I'd use a word other than agriclture to describe this though. Perhaps it is just me, but when you say "agriculture" I think of cereal monoculture (I know, it is distinctly modern, but still, my mental image is wrong).

Chris Lemens

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--__--__-- Received on Fri 13 Feb 2004 - 03:09:59 EET

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