Red Moon over Prax

From: Brian Tickler (tickler@netcom.com)
Date: Wed 21 May 1997 - 22:10:10 EEST


> > Not to a Praxian, who are black and white thinkers if I ever met one.
> > All Chaos is bad chaos.
> Maybe to Joe Six-Bison and Sally Sable, but it can't be that basic to the
> chiefs; if it was, then they'd never have allowed the Broo to fight beside
> them at Moonbroth. Chaos that's killing Chaos is not-as-bad chaos. Not
> _good_ chaos, but chaos that you don't kill at the moment 'coz it's useful
> cannon fodder.

Every Praxian surely knows that the Broos were merely tricked/herded into
fighting the Lunars at Moonbroth; what better way to be rid of 2 enemies
at once? If not for the thrice-damned Sableriders...

> From: Nick Brooke <Nick_Brooke@compuserve.com>
> OK, Robert, we'll do this your way. "An army of three thousand Chaos Fiends
> (you say) is living in Sacred Prax. So: whaddayadoinaboudit?"

I think you are oversimplying (a) how Praxians feel about Chaos and the
Lunars, and (b) how Praxians feel about Prax. I recall that in your
original post you talked about "Sacred Prax" and how most "Praxians" live
in the Wastes and may not venture into Prax for decades. A few observations
(all IMO, of course):

1. I think *decades* is an order of magnitude too long.

2. Nomads are extremely practical; they have to be. While they may rever
Prax as a land containing many individual places sacred to their beliefs
and/or important to their history/forefathers, I don't think any tribe would
forego an opportunity for good grazing unless other factors were
also involved.

3. The "other factors" are many, but the 2 biggest ones would be city
dwellers and other tribes. City dwellers is a misnomer, though, for what
I'm talking about. I mean that for a Praxian tribe, any stationary
encampment is a threat; city dwellers just live in the most unassailable and
disdained kind of encampments. The Zola Fel river valley has permanent
settlements from top to bottom (New Pavis, Sun Dome, Raus Fort, Corflu,
and all the smaller settlements, including non-human ones like Five Eyes
Temple) and is fairly inaccessable to Praxian tribes on a regular basis;
passing through is not tough, but extended stays are troublesome. This
leaves the odd oasis, which are hoarded by the strongest tribes who move
from oasis to oasis, leaving the rest of the tribes to try and get in and
out between the time one big tribe moves on and the next one shows up.
This means that many tribes are forced to live in the Wastes, but will
periodically journey to Prax if they think they have grown strong enough
or if times are desparate.

4. The Praxians fought against the Lunars at Moonbroth because an army
walking through your homeland is a big threat. Hatred alone is not a
sufficient motivator to prompt large-scale organized attacks. Once the
Lunars had "conquered" Prax and proclaimed themselves its rulers, the Praxians
were no doubt worried; but lo and behold, the Lunars proceeded to take over
the city-dwellers cities, leaving the tribes themselves virtually untouched!
>From the Lunars POV, Prax is now "occupied", but from the Praxians POV
things have not changed much; they now have to avoid large movements of
Lunar troops/caravans and the like, but this is easy for them. The
Praxians are probably still waiting for the Lunars to get around to
exterminating them, but until that time, the Lunars are merely an
annoyance and as much as the Praxians hate them, it is not enough to
"unite the tribes", who have more significant problems dealing with each
other on a day-to-day basis than the Lunars.

> The fact that the Lunars have been in situ for a decade *without* serious
> problems suggests (to me) that the Praxians *don't* regard them all as
> vilely tainted by Chaos. Would an army of Broos or (overtly recognised)
> Chaotics be tolerated this way?

No, it/they wouldn't, but again, I believe this is matter of how big an
immediate threat feral, diesease-ridden Broos are perceived to be vs.
Lunars that hide themselves inside cities. It is fear that would drive
an attack; hatred is content to just smoulder quietly until something
comes along to ignite it. The other factor here is the deterrent the
Lunars possess. The Praxians are not stupid; they know that large-scale
offensives against the Lunars will only provoke larger-scale reprisals.
They are content to wait until they can win...that time is not as far off
as the Lunars think... :)

> And remember: who was it that defeated and tortured the biggest, baddest,
> Pentan Horse Riding Scumbag of them all? And the Lunars can prove this to
> the Praxians, just like they did to Hofstaring Treeleaper.

This would be immaterial, like trying to claim one Broo is praiseworthy
for killing another Broo...

> > "They walk and ride horses. They live in cities. They are weak. And
> > when the White Bull comes, we will kill them."
>
> One of the fascinating things we learned at the German RQ-Con is that
> Jaldon Toothmaker has a Fixed INT (thanks, Daniel!). Now I see what that
> meant... Still, two out of four is pretty good for a nomad.
>
> BTW, the Lunars don't seem to use horse cavalry in Prax, at least not since
> the conquest. They get by fine with Hungry Plateau and native Sable Riders.
> (Why stir up enmity and hatred needlessly, through silly tribal
> prejudices?)

Again, it's all perception. What a Lunar perceives as "a silly tribal
prejudice" is perceived as very real threat by a Praxian nomad: bringing
cavalry to Prax would be a possible prelude to the real war that the
Praxians are still expecting...and horses...well, I would say that to a
Praxian horses are perceived much the same way that Trolls, Elves, and
Dwarves perceive humans; a race that doesn't seem to have any clear
advantages, yet clearly dominates any area in which it gets a foothold.
A *tremendous* threat to Prax. The Lunars have been extremely wise not
to press matters by bringing in cavalry...

> > > Don't forget, the average Praxian would love to kill the average > civilized
> > Lunar just for fun (and to steal his stuff). Hell, they kill each other
> > just for fun and to steal each others stuff. And at least other Praxians
> > are brothers in Waha. Everyone else is just meat for the slaughter.
>
> Yep, true. They'd love to attack the average [non-Praxian] *anybody*. Tho'
> again this suggests their "hatred" of Lunars ain't that extreme: if, given
> the chance, a Praxian would kill *anyone* for fun (and to steal his stuff),
> how can you demonstrate to me that they dislike Lunars any more than they
> dislike (say) Orlanthi, or Morocanth, or Pavisites?

Lunars are not only reviled for their affiliations with Chaos, they are
also the newest kid on the block with bragging rights for the victory at
Moonbroth, they are outsiders who don't even know enough to fear/respect
the nomads the way the Pavisites do, they foul every oasis they can find
with their disgusting caravans (which are too big/well guarded to extract
the rightful oasis "usage fees" from that the smaller Issaries merchants are
forced to pay), they are fencing off/planting useless crops on even more
of the river valley (slowly but surely)...shall I go on? In short, the
Lunars represent a totally repellant society that is slowly going to
apply pressure to the Praxian way of life until it is expunged. This is
not enough to cause your average nomad to grab his spear, shout a war
cry, and attack the nearest Lunar patrol, but it is intense hatred
nonetheless...

- --
Brian T. Tickler
tickler@netcom.com or tickler@ix.netcom.com
http://www.netcom.com/~tickler/index.html

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