From: Jonathan Coxhead (email@example.com)
Date: Tue 31 Mar 1998 - 13:50:57 EEST
A while ago, I asked about the 6 Great Steeds of Prax, and the 22 Lesser
Steeds (mentioned in _King_of_Sartar_). No-one answered, so I thought I'd
make something up.
I know least about Eanjak (mentioned in Drastic #Prax, maybe?). Any
The 6 Great Steeds of Prax
Bison Sturdy, unstoppable, much like their riders, who
have an exceptional fondness for the cult of
Storm Bull. Rumours of a bisonburger concession
in Pavis are untrue.
Bolo Lizard Ridden by the Bolo Lizard Folk of the Ten
Independent Nations of Prax. The lizards have
long, thin necks and long, thin legs, so it's not
surprising that anyone who chooses to use a bolo
while astride one has to be an expert.
High Llama Their height gives their riders an enormous
advantage in combat, and these are the most
feared of the steeds of Prax. Often, the owner
will keep all his or her possessions on the
beast, and stay astride for weeks at a time. This
may be because most tribes have no ladder.
Impala Numerous, fast-breeding, small and agile, and that's
just the riders. Though they are rumoured to be
able to attack from the safety of distance using
bows and arrows, in practice they normally do
this shortly before disappearing before an
onrushing stampede of bison.
Rhino Ridden by one the Ten Independent Nations. Though
rumoured to be short-tempered, in fact the rhino
is at least as intelligent as any other beast,
and is well served in combat by its armoured
hide. However, a Rhino Rider's attempt at
Peaceful Cut is rarely successful.
Sable Essentially a larger form of the impala, a sable
rider has a special form of saddle that sits much
further back on the beast than is necessary with
other steeds. The necessity for this is obvious
once you've seen one.
The 22 Lesser Steeds
Auroch Smaller and stringier than the type of cow herded by
the Pol Joni, and more able to run away, this is
the native Praxian breed. It has never been popular.
Bellow Beast Easily found by following the distinctive cry,
though the effort is usually wasted. Unable to
carry much because of its spindly legs, and a slow
runner because of its long weak neck, if cornered
the bellow beast bursts into tears. Not much
Brontosaur Herds of Brontosaur wander nearby Dragon Pass,
and some have been seen by Praxian nomads, who
are normally quite surprised by this. After they
work out how to actually kill a brontosaur, a lot
of very fat nomads can be seen sleeping in the
long grass, and the clan can then take a year or
so off from hunting and develop other aspects of
Chaos Herd Normally seen only after a misguided attempt to
gain divine help at an oasis, these beasts are
left well alone unless they threaten to lead
their wake of destruction over the lifegiving
oasis. Then you can hear many shamans going
"Shoo! Shoo!" and "Down, Shep!"
Clawfoot A single herd of these wanders the plains, leaving
some much more threatening-seeming footprints.
The wise nomad recognises these for what they
are, and follows; the unwise takes them for a
herd of giant eagles, and goes the other way.
Cow Herded by the Pol Joni, so shunned by everyone else.
Deer Too small for most nomads to ride, but too large for
the pygmy impala riders, these animals are
sometimes seen in the company of the Silver Deer.
Demibird Ridden throughout Dragon Pass by Dragonewts, wild
herds of demibirds are sometimes seen in
Prax. There isn't much meat on them though, and
they are very difficult to break to the saddle.
Eanjak Sons of Genert, now rarely seen.
Goat Herds of goat are most often seen in the less flat
areas, such as Tada's High Tumulus, Dwarf Knoll,
and the gorge sides between Agape and the Zola
Fel River. They are often followed by bands of
broo, for obvious reasons.
Herd Man Only ridable by pygmies, too slow for transport,
not much meat on them, only one stomach each.
Pretty hopeless, really.
Horse Ridden by the Pol Joni, who are the only nomadic
tribe that do not eat their steeds (or ride their
herds, whichever). Ridden AND eaten by the Pure
Horse Tribe, who are not to be found any more.
Longnose The noses of these beasts are specially equipped for
pulling branches off trees, so they aren't often
seen on the chapparal of Prax.
Lost Herd These beasts are rarely seen, possibly because
their humps enable them to wander for long periods
over the desert without stopping for food or
water. In consequence, they don't really care
where they are.
Herd Morocanth Though Morocanth are normally respected as
fellow-nomads, there has been an occasional
accident with a "fix INT" spell, resulting in an
adequate herd beast. They are normally seen in
ones and twos among the herds of the more
Nosehorn A bit too much like a horse for anyone to take
seriously, when a herd wanders past, it is used
like any other till it goes its own way again.
Ostrich Ridden by the Ostrich Riders, one of the Ten
Independent Nations. Sometimes herded by other
tribes, but ridable only by pygmies. Farmed in
Sun County, and you can buy shares in the farms
in the seedy parts of Pavis.
Pig Kept by Oasis Folk for food, and occasionally
ridden by a youngest son off to seek his fortune
in the wide world, these are scorned by the
desert nomads who are liable to mistake them for
tuskers (or chaos boars), and kill them on
sight. Very tasty though.
Plains Elk These do prefer the cold, but perhaps their low
numbers can be attributed to the fact that they
are visible from MILES off, because of their
enormous and distinctive head ornaments.
Sky Herd When Prax was a dense forest, a herd of beasts
with long necks nibbled the high leaves of
the trees. When Oakfed burned the forest down,
they stretched their necks so far that they ended
up in the sky. Or so my grandma told me.
Unicorn Ridden by the Unicorn Women, an Independent
Nation. Fast, intelligent, armed in their own
right, and untamable. Best left alone.
Zebra Ridden by the Pavis Survivors, and (though easily
mistaken for horses) tolerated because of their
disguise of stripes. Strangely though, if they
are captured, sometimes the stripes come off.
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