Praxian Border Marches continued

From: Joerg Baumgartner (joe@toppoint.de)
Date: Sat 14 Feb 1998 - 22:40:00 EET


Jose Ramos gives his first-hand experience:
> Joerg proposes that western Prax resembles the Spanish interior.
>Well, although I agree with it in principle (dry winter and summer with
>strong seasonal rains in autumn, very hot in summer and very cold in
>winter), I have to disagree with the plants. In Spain the interior was
>wooded, mainly different oaks and cork oak with little underbrush.

Yes. Unlike in Prax, this forest has been hewn down (for the gold fleet and
the Armada) rather than burnt away (as happened in Prax when the savannah's
forest was fed to Oakfed).

>No olives (too cold).

Central Spain is too high. The Praxian border is considerably lower, and
temperatures below freezing should be very rare this far south of the
Snowline and close to the Rozgali Sea. Date palms work in most of the
Praxian oases, it seems.

BTW: could the God Forgot Islands have olive trees? (Or have had,
considering the eco-warfare the Esrolite priestesses conducted against Locsil?)

>Centuries of shipbuilding and goat and sheep grazing have left a
>steppe fit only for wheat and other grains.

Well, if you would manage to keep Storm Bull and his winds out of Prax, it
would be better agricultural land than much of Dragon Pass. If Storm Bull
fails to visit Prax several years in a row, you might even be able to sell
the plain to Lunar settlers...

> So I propose the Knight Fort colonists are mostly herders (pig, goat
>and sheep) with small plots by the streamside to grow vegetables.

Cabbage-farming?

>Most of
>the original trees, who survived the Great Darkness burning of Prax have
>been cut by the nomads (valuable in the plains) or by the settlers to build
>cabins and palisades.

I suppose that there will be cattle herds as well - if the Pol Joni manage
to keep them on the Praxian Border between Barbarian Town and Adari, why
shouldn't the border ranchers? Of course, the cattle herds would be subject
to raids, unlike the other herds of inferior beasts.

> So some cork oaks survive, harvested every eightth year (and even
>the nomads know the value of this trees, to avoid cutting them), and the
>acorns are useful as food for the pigs. Sheep and goats roam abroad.

Well, I sort of liked the idea of semi-wild orchards spotting sheltered
places along the Praxian border.

> If not for the lack of snow in winter (even if temperatures are
>below freezing for weeks) and the clear days, similar to many orlanthi
>anywhere.

Freezing only in the higher valleys between the Storm Mountains, where IMG
there are feral Orlanthi minuscule clans, about as wild and uncivilised as
the Skanthi of western Aggar. (Once upon a time the "Western Barbarians" in
Wyrm's Footnotes 4 for WB&RM? Or were these the Solanthi?)

IMO the Border Marches would range between 400 and 800 metres above sea
level. Stormwalk Mountain, the most prominent (though mutilated) peak of the
southern Storm Mountains, would be about 2800 metres high (estimated). (For
comparison with Sartar: IMO Swenstown sits about 900-1100 metres above sea
level, so Moonbroth would be around 700-800 metres high.) Anything higher
would be the shared territory of the Wind Children and the savage highland
clans.

Most frost phenomena in Prax should be attributed to the irregular visits of
the White Princess rather than to semi-regular events, IMO.

> The wind, the strong eastern wind will be a strong presence in myth.

Yeah. And the great deception of the Praxians, IMO. Storm Bull is keeping
out Chaos? I don't see how the raging storms coming in from the (even more
chaos-ridden) Wastes do anything but keep Chaos strong in Prax (by driving
new chaos beings in from the east). Ok, this keeps the Storm Bull cult
ecology intact, after all what would the Berserks do if there was no chaos
to kill? (Drink and fight among themselves.) But more importantly, the Storm
Bull winds keep the lush growth from the Age of Tada down. The Beast Nomads
benefit from this - it keeps their rich grazing grounds in Prax open for
their herds, since farmers don't do well in the dry years. During wet years,
Praxian farms should be at least as productive as the maize plantations in
Doblian and northwestern Darjiin.

The Beast-Riders of Prax have no interest whatsoever in regaining the lush
savannah of Godtime Prax. That was a period of glory for the Oasis folk,
while the beast nomads and their herds roamed the steppes in the southern
part of Genert's Garden (now Vulture Country and the Wastes beyond).

IMO most of Pent and the northern Wastes has rich loess soil - both from
"recent" input from Valind's glacier during the late Storm Age and
continuing through history after the chaotic interglacial of the Greater

Darkness, and from Genert's influence. The Storm Bull Winds keep the growth
down in the plains north of the Copper Sands. The Copper Sands themselves
have been magically transformed from possibly the most fertile parts of
Genert's Garden.

Dryads in Prax: I don't really see a need to make the Praxian nymphs dryads.
Water nymphs would be present in each oasis, Cam's Daughters, if I recall
Martin Crim's article on the oases of Prax correctly. Certain hills and
valleys would have their oreads (place nymphs, i.e. lesser earth goddesses).
And there might even be the occasional hag with a Morokanth band of followers.

------------------------------

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