Re: Praxian language(s)

Date: Fri 02 Feb 1996 - 19:13:53 EET

In Glorantha Digest V2 #354, Brian Curley writes:
>So where do the Riverfolk (ala River of Cradles) and their language of
>Boatspeech fit in here? Is it a dialect of Praxian or from another
>language family all together. It seems the Riverfolk have an awful lot
>of interaction with the Animal Nomads not to have a language common to
>both cultures.

The Riverfolk are a distinct culture, and their language is unrelated to
Praxian. It is part of a family of languages spoken by river tribes in
various parts of Genertela. Many speak Trade or Praxian as second languages.
 Note that the Baboons and Morokanth have lots of interaction with animal
nomads, but don't speak Praxian as a first language (at least according to WF


Here's some more about this tribe:
        Copyright 1992 Martin R. Crim all rights reserved except as noted in the
Glorantha Digest FAQ/Copyright notice on this issue of the Digest

        The fisher folk who live on the Zola Fel have always been an independent and
proud group. They claim kinship with the Waertagi. Both men and women
worship the river god, who brings them food, shelter, and safety. The Mru
trust no one but their own folk and the Hasalaru (native farmers). They
sneer at the proud warriors of the nomad tribes, who fear to get their feet
wet. Safe in their boats, the Mru come to rest in reed huts on the river's
many islands, or on land protected by marshy or broken ground. When nomads
threaten them, they simply move out into the river and to a new sanctuary.
 They eat river fish, drink river water, swim like fish, and never have to
pay tribute to the nomads. Where they must camp on open ground, the Mru
string their old nets on poles around the perimeter, each spread square
between four poles. Then the nomads must either ride underneath, risking
having the nets dropped on them, or cut the outer poles, creating a barrier
as the inner poles still hold up their side.

        The only crisis the Mru have ever faced was the Jrusteli invasion. When the
river fought against the Godlearners, the Mru became hunted from Robcradle
(now inside the walls of Pavis) to Feroda (near Corflu). The Jrusteli wiped
out entire clans and families. The folk survived in the marshes and
headwaters, and returned to repopulate the river when the Jrusteli left.

        The Mru helped with the founding of Pavis, and later with the founding of
New Pavis. The cities mocked the nomads, thus pleasing the Mru. The Mru
would never allow a dam on the river, however, or allow any river traffic
they did not control. They allow irrigation and bog drainage because these
things please their god. They allied briefly with the Yelmalions, but now
see them neutrally. They don't like the bridges, and would like to see them

        The Mru charge a toll on all river crossings, and require Zola Fel cultist
pilots on all ships traveling the river.

        Mru feel a deep sense of kinship with Newtlings and the talking fish of the
river. Newtlings sometimes join the river cult, and the talking fish always
do. In fact, by cult law the Most High Priest of Zola Fel is a fish.

        The Mru language comes from Riverspeech, sometimes called Boatspeech. It is
related to the Cetoi language, and speakers of one can speak the other at
1/10 their skill. It is also related to Waertagi, but in a manner only
academics would appreciate.

        Mru occupations follow the Barbarian pattern, but substitute fisher for
farmer, herder, and hunter. Their cultural weapons are the one-handed spear
attack and parry (25), net attack (30), and thrown javelin attack (25).
 Their other base skills are as normal humans, except for Boat (+20), Ride
(-05), Swim (+15), Speak Tradetalk (20), Shiphandling (+05), and World Lore

        The total population is about 4000 souls. This has been steadily rising
since the founding of New Pavis. However, every Mru still knows every other
Mru, by sight and family if not by name. About 1000 call New Pavis home,
another 500 live in and near Corflu, and the rest are spread haphazardly
along the river, in villages of between 100 and 300.

        All adult Mru are initiates of Zola Fel, the River God. About 150 men
belong to Issaries, and about 100, mostly wealthy men, belong to the Pavis
city cult.


End of Glorantha Digest V2 #358

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