Cattle in Prax

From: MOB (mrmob@ozemail.com.au)
Date: Wed 11 Aug 1999 - 05:49:16 EEST


G'day all,

_________________________________________
Cattle in Prax; Dwarfs, disease and Runes

Ian G. sez:

>I personally believe that cattle and horses can survive just fine in Prax.
>"Why?" you ask. Because it is more fun that way.

I'm gonna go with Ian here. Strikes me as much having it so cattle and
horses *can* survive on the plains of Prax offers much more game tension,
much more game fun.

However, I don't believe cattle and horses automatically thrive there -
Prax is a tough environment, and it would take some time for the animals
(and the people that herd them) to adapt to the conditions. If natural
selection is allowed to take it course, this will happen. However, the
nomads and their animals have already adapted to the harsh environment: the
Waha Covenant teaches them all the lessons needed to survive and prosper.
This gives them the edge over newcomers, but the longer people herd cattle
and horses on the plaines, the better they'll get at it. Here's where the
conflict lies, because the nomads don't want them, and have a powerful
religious justification to back up keeping them away.

_________________________
Dwarfs, disease and Runes

Ian also sez:
>When disease breaks out in a dwarf community, there is an immediate
>quarantine imposed. All areas that are infected are closed off and nobody
>crosses the lines. Transmission is now confined to the areas already
>infected. A brutal triage system is employed. Valued craftsmen are treated
>with all available resources, if they don't recover then they are recycled.
>Replaceable workers who are ill are recycled before they can infect anyone
>else. Those who haven't shown symptoms are kept in quarantine until they get
>sick (and then recycled) or the epidemic burns out.

Try swapping the word "disease" above and replace with "heresy". I suspect
that exactly the same ruthless policy - brutal triage system and all -
applies when one of the Dwarven Heresies infects a community. The orthodox
leadership view such heresies as a "virus", an infection of the World
Machine.

Peter Metcalfe also answered Richard C's question about Dwarves and disease:

>The question is addressed in Lords of Terror where it's stated that
>Mostali are immune to diseases.

Like the ridiculous assertion in "Strangers in Prax" that Glorantha has no
horizon, I'd cheerfully ignore what it states in LoT about dwarves and
disease. Mostali probably are immune to some human diseases; likewise,
many bizarre dwarven conditions (including those described by Peter)
probably can't be passed to humans. But, some things that would be
relatively minor for a Human (ie. a head cold) could have catastrophic
effects for a dwarf (blow a head-gasket).

Richard theorised:
> I wonder if the transmission of diseases between Gloranthan species
>is influenced by the runes they are tied to? Thus a plant-rune related
>elf may not be able to transmit bark spot to a man-rune-tied human but
>could infect the human farmer's wheat (or rice or hazia) with a similar
>disease.

This is no doubt the beginnings of a rune-based genetic science in
Glorantha, and no doubt there are many learned treatises in Lhankor Mhy
librarys across the lozenge arguing the case. In fact, I know that the
sage Lednem Rogerg is looking for some more human volunteers to help test
his controversial theories about cross-species disease vectors (he's
already managed to get his hands on a dwarf, an elf, a couple of trollkin
and a particularly rancid broo). Apply at the Nochet Temple.

Cheers,

MOB

_____________________________________________________________________
MICHAEL O'BRIEN
9 Parker Street RICHMOND Vic 3121 Australia
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