Praxian infant mortality

From: Bob Stancliff (stancliff@ccgnv.net)
Date: Wed 01 Mar 2000 - 05:08:57 EET


>>>Matthew Thale wrote:
>>>a certain percentage of healthy infants are left to die simply
>>>because the tribes cannot support more unproductive mouths.

>>Bob Stancliff
>> I have to voice strong disagreement. While it makes sense
>>that Praxians are capable of abandoning infants, the harsh
>>life in Prax and the Wastes would preclude the need to do so.

>Andrew E. Larsen
> This would be true for a RW nomadic society, but in Prax, spells to
>heal people are fairly common. A lot of the infants and children who would
>die from an accident in the RW will survive in Prax because someone nearby
>can throw even a Healing 1 or 2 and stabilize them long enough for a
>trained healer to arrive.
> Likewise the diseases that kill many infants and children could be
>cured by healers and shamans, thus substantially reducing the mortality
>rate.

    While it is true that several otherwise fatal cuts can be easily healed,
the rest are not as certain. Many injuries are instantly fatal, such as
hard falls. Poison acts too quickly unless there is someone able to treat
it immediately after it happens. Savaging by predators requires driving off
the animal before healing is possible, and a child could easily bleed to
death in that time. Treating disease and poison are both generally skill
based and do not have the assurance of magical remedies, plus the person
with the right magic or skill is often too far away to help.
    In the rules I recall a discussion of this general topic. The argument
was that while healing is more effective and more people reach adulthood,
the use of death magic and increased conflict tended to thin the adult
population quicker.

    Since there is no way to field test this subject without building a
bizarre and complicated model that might not be accurate, we are left to
narrating the most likely solution as we see it.
    As I said previously, I can believe that a nomad can kill a child. I
say now that I agree with the person who said that an Orlanthi who killed
their child would be a kin-slayer.
    Our world has had numerous groups who would sell their children into
slavery for money or to keep them from starving. Far fewer groups abandon
children, and most of those would (I believe) admit that they are killing
the child, even though they are not stabbing it themselves. 'Giving it back
to the gods' is a poor euphimism to deny the truth. The coincidence that a
minute number of these are found and raised is the stuff of myths.

    What this leaves us with is a world where magic can reduce infant
mortality, but children are considered adult at a much younger age. 15 in
Glorantha is about 12.1 in our world. I generally consider this one of the

most subtle tricks Greg ever pulled on the gamers, since it gets us to treat
much younger people the way they were probably really treated in ancient
cultures.
Stancliff

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