Re: Wasteland Cattle

From: Joerg Baumgartner (joe@toppoint.de)
Date: Tue 03 Aug 1999 - 20:49:50 EEST


I've been off-line for a week or so, hence my late reaction.

In Digest 07.020 Peter Metcalfe replied to Nick Brooke:

NB
>>Think of the Pol Joni today, and also the Pure Horse people
>>who dominated all Prax in the Second Age. I'm with Keith Nellist
>>on this one: one of the many reasons why Praxians hate Pentans is
>>that Pentan animals can survive in Prax without being "Praxian"
>>(outside Waha's Covenant).

PM
>The Pol Joni raise cattle which are not Pentan Beasts. I thought
>they were restricted to the Good Place because of this.

The Pol Joni cattle are descended from the sacred bulls Derek Pol Joni
stole from the Opili Nation, the Pentan tribe harrassing southern
Peloria from the southern Arcos Valley during Sheng Seleris' conquest of
the Lunar Empire. In this sense, they are sufficiently Pentan Beasts
(although the question still remains where the Opili Nation got their
cattle from when they split forces from Pure Horse folks like the Char
Un or their goat-herding ancestors).

The Pure Horse Tribe of Prax pretty much restricted itself to the Good
Place, the Better Place and the Zola Fel Valley, but whether this was
because this was the only place where they could thrive or simply the
place where they could thrive best is unknown.

In Digest 07.022 Nick replies:

> OK, the Second Age Pentans in Prax were all Pure Horse People. But
> the Praxians *today* meet Pentans *today* who herd cattle. They'll
> make the association, surely.

Especially since they were sure to make contact with cattle-raising
Pentans along the Snow Line during their enforced exile from Prax during
the Pure Horse Tribe's primacy in Prax. Those bastards ride the same
beasts, speak a similarly abominable gibberish, and use the same magic.
Their only redeeming feature is that at least some of their herds may be
slaughtered for consumption... (I doubt that Praxian raiding Dragon Pass
would refrain from slaughtering Orlanthi cattle or sheep for food. They
wouldn't include them in their temporary herds for long, though, since
they are less manoeuverable than nomad herd beasts.)

Keith Nellist in the same Digest:

> I agree with Peter here, that cattle are restricted to the Good
> Place because of their preferred herd beasts. I don't believe
> that cattle drop down dead or anything dramatic if they tried
> living on chaparral, but that their health would eventually suffer.

Of course their health would suffer - survival in the bad parts of Prax
is more difficult than in the good parts.

> RoC decribed farmers trying to raise sheep etc which succumbed
> to Hoof Rot and other diseases.

These are diseases commonly associated with bad water, right? I'd blame
the humidity of the Zola Fel Valley (and too little salt there) rather
than any properties of the Chaparral. The sheep might survive better if
they had access to the salt licks deep within the chaparral, but taking
them there would mean to be raided by nomads.

> This is the sort of thing that would get cattle, increased chance
> of disease, reduced milk, parasitic infection. IMO. I also think
> that the edge of chapparal is by no means a clear cut line, and
> even if it were then it would move from year to year, season to
> season.

IMO an important point for Praxian survival in the Chaparral is their
use of _all_ resources this environment offers. Immigrant farmers can't,
because they are sedentary. Immigrant nomads like the Pentan Pure Horse
People or the Praxian- or Grazer-descended Pol Joni who took Derek's
offer for a second chance would be more flexible, and able to adapt.
They get the time to adapt in the better parts of Prax, but they succeed
- - as the Zebra tribe proves.

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

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