Elf bows; Peaceful Cut

From: Neil Smith (NSMITH@dmu.ac.uk)
Date: Thu 30 May 1996 - 16:15:47 EEST

Ian Gorlick posted some details of how elf bows are grown -- I like
it. Also, I think that the bow string is similar to a muscle.
Normally, it is long so the bow is relaxed. But when commanded, the
string shortens and this curls the bow, effectively "stringing" it.

And keep the Morokanth stuff coming!

But on to the main point. As I'm starting a Praxian campaign soon, I
got to wondering how the Peaceful Cut ceremony is actually
performed. These are my thoughts.

The owner of the animal to be slaughtered (normally a woman) selects
the animal from her herd. She approaches the animal and starts to
sing a special song to it, to tell the animal what a good beast it is
and how all the clan is greatful for its sacrifice to the people.
This song calms the animal and the woman leads it away to the waiting

Meanwhile, the butcher has selected the spot where the animal will
be killed. This should be out of site of the rest of the herds (a
gully is ideal) and preferably is somewhere devoid of plants. The
butcher has assembled the tools he needs: the hobble-strap, the
razor, the bowl, the hoe, and the axe [1]. He takes the animal from the
woman at the point where the animal can no longer see the herd. At
this point, the animal is considered dead by the woman and the rest
of the clan.

The butcher takes the animal to the place of slaughter, singing a
calming song. He hobbles the animal so that it cannot move and then
chants to the animal to prepare it for its journey back to Mother
Erithra [2]. When the time is right, the butcher says, "The Covenant
of Waha is that some must die so others may live. You will die and I
will live!" and slits the animal's throat with the razor [3]. The
blood is allowed to spill to the ground, to provide the sustenance
that will allow plants to grow in this spot in the future, to feed
more animals.

After a few seconds [4], the animal is pushed onto its side and its neck
placed over the bowl to collect the rest of the blood (it may be
emptied periodically into a pitcher). As the blood drains away, the
animal's spirit becomes concentrated in its tail. Once the bleeding
has stopped, the butcher uses the hoe to dig a pit in the
blood-soaked earth and cuts off its tail with a single stroke of the
axe. The tail is buried with a prayer to speed the animal's spirit
to Mother Erithra. Once this is done, the butchering of the carcass
can start.

[1] These tools of death are some of a Praxian man's most precious
posessions. Good ones are passed down from father to son.

[2] Rules note: this singing counts as Ceremony time to increase the
butcher's Craft: Butchery skill, at a rate of one minute per

[3] Rules note: this is the casting of the Peaceful Cut spell.

[4] The longer the animal is allowed to bleed onto the ground, the
better luck the tribe will have, but the less food is obtained from
the animal. In times of extreme distress, all the animal's blood is
allowed to drain away.

Comments? A better version of the Words of Butchery would be nice.


Neil Smith E-mail: nsmith@dmu.ac.uk
Junior Research Fellow, Computer Sci. Tel: (01908) 695511 x4145
De Montfort University, Milton Keynes Fax: (01908) 834948


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