Re: turning men into beasts

From: Sandy Petersen (
Date: Fri 31 May 1996 - 22:39:15 EEST

Turning Men Into Beasts
>The typical morocanth does not cast one-use divine spells. The
>relevant number is not the total number of morocanth, but the total
>number of morocanth kahns. Kahns have other uses for their POW.
>Better uses? Maybe.
        And maybe not. Note that shamans also have access to this
one-use divine spell. ALSO note that certain spirits can know it.
And so can a khan's awakened riding beast. And it can be enchanted
into an object. Etc.
        In addition, an initiate can ecologically produce the
effect of a one-use spell by sacrificing his own POW into an
enchantment and giving it to a shaman in exchange for the shaman's
use of a one-use spell. If the shaman values the enchantment as much
as the lost POW, you have produced a way to trade initiate POW for
shaman POW. I'm sure this technique is used among the Morocanth,
though it may not prove effective among many human clans.
        The question is whether a scribe or a healer or a redsmith
or a magician or a leatherworker or an herbalist or a translator or
a PC would be worth having the tribe sacrifice a few points of one
of their shaman's POW. I think the reply is a resounding YES!
        I further believe that the morocanth actually have a
subtype of shaman, who devotes himself to managing the sentient
slaves, works with the Eiritha females, probably takes certain
female characteristics upon himself, and specializes in Fix
Intelligence, among other things.
        One-use POW isn't that big a deal. If a typical shaman gets
2-4 POW a year (an underestimation, IMO), he can afford to blow 1
of those pts each year on a Fix Intelligence. If the working
lifespan of a shaman is typically 30-40
years (my own stereotype of
these guys is that they often seem very old), this means that each
shaman could produce 30 or more fixed INT individuals in his
lifetime, without particularly specializing in the subject. Add to
this the herdmen created by the occasional khan, the extra herd men
created by the slave specialists, and those formed in heroquests and
Sacred Time re-enactments (I, for one, am certain that a captured
human is magically turned into a herd man at every Sacred Time
ceremony amongst the morocanth), and it soon becomes the case that
the number of former humans is about the same as the total number of
morocanth (i.e., about 2% of the population are shamans -- and I
estimate nearly 50 herd men produced per shaman). Every morocanth
could have his own former human. Of course, they don't.
        But since only the top few percent of morocanth get
important slaves worth keeping by transforming their families, we
don't need nearly as many Fix INTs as we even have available to us
- -- at least not for that purpose.

Sandy P.


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