Horses and Garhound

From: Nick Brooke (Nick_Brooke@btinternet.com)
Date: Wed 22 Mar 2000 - 09:25:15 EET


Andreas writes:

> I agree that Yelmalions would like to have horses again.

One of the riffs Sandy and I tested at the last German Con was that
Yelmalions in Prax who have never seen a horse in the Third Age but are
nevertheless ritually obliged to help horses out, not let them suffer, etc.
will have to come up with ways of learning / remembering what a horse *is*.
("A horse is like a zebra, but of only one colour. Usually."). A
500-year-old misshapen taxidermist's relic pulling the Count's retired
chariot when it's on display could be fun, too...

> On the other hand, I made it a point in my campaign, that a
> sensible traveller through Prax _or_ the Wastes wouldn't ride
> on horses. At Pimpers Block there's apart from trading slaves
> a whole economy thriving on travellers to and from Prax by
> exchanging Zebras to Horses and vice versa (charging a minor
> ;-) fee of approximately 30-50%).

Agreed. You're stupid to ride a horse in Prax if you don't have the armed
strength to see off a Praxian warband. The Lunar Army don't bother with
horse-cavalry in Prax since Sor-Eel's cock-up at the Paps -- they do far
better with native and Heartland Sable Riders, and cause less trouble to
boot.

> I can't recall where I've read that horses weren't thriving in
> Prax climate and that this was also a major reason for Sun County
> to abandon horse-farming.

Speculation on the Digest, I assume. Not very well informed IMO, given that
Prax was in the Second Age dominated by horse-riders. Sun County would IMO
have lost their cavalry for nomad-hostility-related reasons. Remember that
for much of the Third Age, the Counts of Sun County were Praxian nomads...

> Shame on me, are the Pol Jonis Yelmalions? They are Yelmist, aren't they?

Nope, they're a bastard Orlanthi/Praxian/Grazer hybrid. They'd be very upset
to be called "Yelmist". I get the impression that Orlanth is more important
to them than Yelm, Kargzant, Yelmalio or Elmal... they are, after all, firm
allies of the Kingdom of Sartar.

> 1. Hasn't been Yelm the first husband of Ernalda and Yelmalio one of their
> sons? Shouldn't be a Yelm-initiate also a valid contestant?

If one turned up in Prax, I'm sure he could talk his way into it. It's a
long shot, though. (Besides, if you were descended from the ever-living Sun
God Emperor of Dara Happa, would you *want* to participate in a barbarian
fertility ritual on the fringes of the Wastes?)

2. If it's bad luck to get somebody out of the contest, why should Sor-Eel
> bother about making the wrong person win?

Because Sor-Eel doesn't know it's bad luck? (Really: why on earth would he
have heard about this peasant superstition?).

Besides, if Myrrhyn wins with Lunar backing, surely that proves he's the
*right* person to win the contest?

> Making Myrrhyn Calmstorm win, would result in a blight, although he is an
> Orlanth-Initiate in acceptable standing because he is enlighted and
> probably tainted by chaos in some way.

Bigot. Who's to know he's illuminated, anyway? (The whole point of that
status is that the gods themselves can't detect it, as long as you behave in
an appropriate manner).

> A honourable Yelmalion being winner on the other hand would result in an
> as bountiful harvest as the winning of a devout Orlanthi would mean.

Not if he "ploughs his bride backwards," as devout Orlanthi are given to
muttering... you can't trust those bloody Elmoes! :-)

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Nick
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