Re: [Glorantha]Bless Crops

From: Donald R. Oddy <donald_at_grove.demon.co.uk>
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 19:32:58 GMT


In message <20041021131701.1188.qmail_at_web51909.mail.yahoo.com> ALISON PLACE writes:

> I've got a question that I thought might interest
>the great collective (though frequently schizophrenic)
>mind of the digest, while helping me in my game. I
>was checking up on crop yield figures (sparked by
>Chris Graham's question), and wondered what numerical
>effect Bless Crops (or any other similar ritual) would
>have.
>
> The more that I thought about it, the more that I
>believed that this is one of the relatively few
>occasions when you would get a real mini-max algebraic
>calculation on the part of farmers. They keep track
>of harvest yields year after year, plus they know how
>much seed they need to sow each field. Given this
>information, what would be the farmer's choice when it
>comes to using crop blessings?

I think this is the sort of thing that farmers spend hours with a mug of beer arguing over. Each farmer will have their own ideas about what combination of seed, magic, pest control, etc works best on their bit of land. Even which priestess performs the ritual best - "Young Esrania is nearly as good as her grandmother was but I wouldn't let her sister loose on my vegetable patch".

While I agree the calculations will be done, I don't think they'll give clear answers - too many variables and probably a fair bit of prejudice. What I do think happens though is when a particular field moves from one farmer to another the crop yield tends to diminish until the new farmer finds a combination which gets the yield back up.

>5. How many Bless Crops spells is any farmer likely
>to learn? Over enough years, does the family manage
>to bless nearly the whole of their ploughed land each
>year?

This will depend on the number of priestesses in the family/clan. I don't think the blessings last all that long so the amount of time a ritual takes and the number of priestess's available which will determine how much ground is blessed. It will probably affect the crops grown as well because priestess's specialise in particular crops.

>6. Would cultural differences occur in the pattern of
>use between, e.g., farmers in Sun County, Sartar and
>the Lunar Heartlands?
>7. Is it more likely that the farmer decides where to
>cast the blessings, or the local priest/priestess?
>(I'd put that down to culture, but since the farmer
>knows his land best, how much difference does that
>make to the authority of the priestess?)

In Sartar the priestess is likely to be the farmer's wife, sister-in-law or some other relative. They will come to some agreement about priorities as families usually do.

In the Lunar Empire it will be much more the landowner's decision as he will pay the priestess on a professional basis although he will normally listen to her advice. The peasant farmer probably has no say whatsoever.

>8. Really esoteric question - how much has the
>need/security of temples/congregations that can give
>all the necessary agricultural blessings and other
>services influenced the settlement patterns in
>Glorantha?

This sounds like a question from an exam paper at the God Learner sage school.

-- 
Donald Oddy
http://www.grove.demon.co.uk/



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Received on Fri 22 Oct 2004 - 06:57:15 EEST

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