Uz need no stinking magic

From: James Frusetta (gerakkag@wam.umd.edu)
Date: Sat 31 May 1997 - 08:04:38 EEST


Sandy on Prax:

I said:
> >Does the presence of _some_ of the herd animals
> >deny that area to a clan from _another_ tribe?
Sand said:
> Only one tribe will graze in a given region. Nobody would graze their
> beasts intermingled with an enemy's, unless there was some kind of truce
> going on.

My fault. I meant something along the lines of sheep cropping grass so
close to the ground, it ruins the area for cattle. (Or so I've heard). I'd
vaguely assumed that all the four-legged critters that run a lot (bison,
zebras, sables, etc.) ate the same stuff. Only large stupid herbivore I
know anything about are moose, and they eat anything.

> Match a KL priestess against a CA priestess and tell me who wins?
Fair enough. 'Sides, since trolls always win, who needs resurrection,
anyway. Only _losers_ need spells like that, like them weedy Orlanthi. (KL
just has it for the occasional accident from overeating, of course.)

***
I sez raiding trolls are lightweights, magically (while strong on
defense). Paul Chapman countered that trolls are strong magically.

Okay, I'm exaggerating a little -- trolls aren't _weak_, but they're not
in the same rank on the offense, IMO, as some of the civilized human
cultures discussed elsewhere in their normal _raiding_ activity.

First off, I think that the priestesses stay home. Sandy noted elsewhere
that females rarely adventure; I think priestesses even more rarely
adventure. Why should they? To a troll, raiding is a trip to the grocery
store. It's man's work. The females have more important things to do:
protecting the declining troll race, raising the kids and abusing their
husbands. And some of the _very_ powerful cults (like Subere) have other
concerns than raiding. So your pool of runelevels is pretty much limited
to Zong, KS, AA and ZZ. And the first three need mommy's permission to go
out and play.

Darkness spells are _very_ useful for raiding, but if you don't have
reusable use (through a priest, runepower, truestone, etc.) then you'll be
more careful in using them. Karrg's Sons only get one-use rune magic, as
far as I know (after rechecking in _Troll Gods_). Zongers' rune magic is
pretty limited. That leaves AA (good) and ZZ (very good), but I'm not sure
that's enough to say that troll raiders are powerful compared to their
foes -- especially since AAers will be trading, heading their merc
companies, etc.

IMO, ritual magics are limited by this, though I do think there are more
than are currently given in published stuff. Typical troll raiding to
stock up the larder just isn't important enough to waste one-use magic,
unless you _have_ to. Whereas the Wind Lords can spend the stuff like
candy.

So to me, the Lunars/Orlanthi/Etc. have an advantage: they likely have
more priests and acolytes on the battlefield or nearby to cast magics and
rituals for them. Much of this will be resuable, so they won't stint as
much. And finally, Lunar/Argrathi/Etc. regimental combat is IMO much more
organized than what traditional trolls manage (_some_ trolls might be
different: I'm thinking of either Guhan or the Blue Moonies). A Lunar or
Orlanthi army that catches a troll raiding party of equal size in open
battle will maul it.

So what? The trolls aren't there to fight in stand-up combat all day on
the battlefield. They're there to clobber and run, and they've got enough
magic to do that just fine. And if some of the menfolk die, so what? It's
the female uz that are important anyway. They're strong on their home turf
and the important battles. During a _real_ war, the trolls throw out the
big guns -- there were likely KL priestesses marching against Gbaji,
selflessly exposing their families and clans to danger to protect
Glorantha. (Cue "Why We Fight" footage...)

Now, ZZites are a different kettle of fish altogether. Death Lords get
reusable magics, ZZ has a ton of nifty magics, etc. etc. But ZZites are
only a fraction of the troll population, natch (25% in Halikiv and 19% in
DakInk are the highest percentages, as per Troll Gods), and IMO seperate
themselves into their own little (super strong) raiding parties. So I
would agree with you that ZZ raiders are powerful, especially if they drag
along some XU healers. Incidentially, ZZ "regimental" magics would be a
_real_ hoot. ;) Much more fun than stuffy Lunar/Dara Happan magics, IMO
("Thag, battle go bad. We start ARRRGHKILLKILLFROTH ritual! Bite trollkin
heads off in unison on my command!").
  
> To suggest that a male could not gain great power politically/socially
> or magically as a troll is to deny Gore and Gash, Karrg and Arkat
> Kingtroll, amongst others!
Or IMO just about any Zorak Zorani. One of the few bastions of male power
within troll society.

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