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Discussion Lets Talk Lizardmen and the Honored Dead

Discussion in 'Fluff and Stories' started by Scalenex, Apr 14, 2016.

  1. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    I need inspiration for my Lustrian themed Acropolis of Heroes I want to compare and contrast Lizardmen honoring the dead with how humans do that.

    Sometimes I get the impression that human prayers for the dead in the Warhammer World are pretty simple.

    "Dear Morr, don't let Grandpa come back as a zombie. I don't want to have to bash his head in."

    But beyond that, Humans, Elves, and Dwarves definitely take pride in their ancestors deeds and celebrate their memory.

    What about Lizardmen? They don't have ancestors in the traditional sense. Seraphon don't really die so we'll leave them out. Slann are basically living gods and are worshipped post-mortem as mummies. Let's talk about Sauri, Skinks, and Kroxigor.

    Humans, real humans, like to tell stories about great heroes over campfires and hearths. They have days of mourning and celebrations. They erect monuments and hold holidays.

    Would Lizardmen do this? Yes they are all about honor and duty but they aren't very individualistic. Would they have grandiose acknowledgements, or would they simply say "He acted like all of us are expected to"

    Humans honor their family. Not every culture has ancestor worship but pretty much culture honors their ancestors to some degree. At least those in living memory

    What's family? Spawning brothers are generally considered family right? But what about extended family? Is it informal, this guy is a mentor to me so he becomes a father figure (despite that Lizardmen don't have fathers) or is family based on lineage (others who came from your same spawning pool or adjacent spawning pools) However Lizardmen measure family, how do they honor their fallen family members?

    Hopefully I got the mental synapses firing. Let's hear read your thoughts on how Lizardmen honor their own dead.
     
  2. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    Maybe small shrines near spawning pools? Notable skinks who spawned there are commemorated with a carved glyph in the wall.

    Saurus heroes get statues and relief carvings located various places.

    A whole regiment might be honored with a big cenotaph; sited where they fought.

    Krox end up being unsung heroes...
     
  3. Essmir
    Chameleon Skink

    Essmir Well-Known Member

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    No I think skinks would honor the kroxigor being spawnkin and all.

    Then I allso think they tell storys of the heros in living memory. Especialy Saurus because they don't have so mutch else to do in peace time.

    //Essmir
     
  4. Slanputin
    Carnasaur

    Slanputin Well-Known Member

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    Interesting topic! Certainly, the reason that the lesser races and the Lizardmen venerate their dead would be wildly different. This got me thinking on why humans honour the dead - primarily it comes down to social loss. These losses come in the form of a change in social structure (from a familial scale, in the case of a relative, up to wider society in terms of a highly influential individual, for example - an Emperor.) Such changes result in a) social perturbations as the structure adapts, with those being most affected by this change associating it with the death of the individual(s), and b) it forces a level of existential distress upon the associated living. Losses could come down to changes in emotional support, material support, status within pop culture, impact on ideals and rhetoric, etc. How people react to this comes in the form of honouring their legacy i.e. how they helped influence social structure (and other related systems e.g. economic, environmental etc.) which may be highlighted in how much a social group has to adapt following the individual(s) demise.

    I think the Lizardmen would have a similar structural approach, but not exactly the same. I think only a basic version of the premise above really holds: due to the caste-like pyramidal nature of Lizardmen society the loss of a Slann would have the greatest impact. As arbiters of the Great Plan (or, for the Seraphon, the main players for their part in the Great Game), and as the capstone of social organisation, their loss would cause ripples across an entire temple-city in the least, as such they would be venerated with great attention. However the Lizardmen's rigid social structure is far removed from the familial societies of the human, elf, and dwarf, with a general lack of emphasis on reinforcing social networks via recreation and socialising. Contributions to social structure common in human society (e.g. emotional support) for which a deceased human would recognised for, and thus honoured for, would be lacking in Lizardmen society. Contributions to Lizardmen social structures are more likely to be in relation to their place in the caste system. As such the shock a social system receives from an individual's loss is very much based on their predetermined occupation and level of productivity. I think the impact of a Lizardman's loss on social structure, and as a function of this the level of veneration the deceased Lizardmen would receive, would decrease dramatically with each step down the caste pyramid. In the end a Lizardman's place is more familiar with the drones of hive society than the complex and vagarious human socitieies. Generally I'd say it would be less about celebrating their memory/persona and more the deceased's example as an expedient to the great plan/a manifestation of some cultural ideal.There are, however, exceptions.

    Despite my comparison with a hive society above, variation certainly exists in Lizardmen society. If their civilisation was a perfectly rigid caste system there wouldn't be a) the rise of exceptional warriors, prophets, etc. and, b) no disagreement would occur within caste systems - friction between Skink Priests was emphasised in The End Times, which suggests social variation exists. The fact that sacred spawnings exist, that individuals are chosen to be blessed by the gods, and that disagreement and debate is common between the Slann, suggests that their tiered civilisation is not a perfectly rigid system. If you think of social variation as a Gaussian/Normal curve I imagine the variance of the Lizardmen curve would be far narrower that all other races, but still having variation from the mean. If you think of the far right (say, upper 5% or mean +2) of the curve to be those Lizardmen that successfully expediate the Great Plan more than the average Lizardmen (e.g. exceptional warriors, tacticians, prophets etc.) then I think that those Lizardmen would be the ones to be venerated. However, how they're seen as exceptional is again very different to those of the lesser races.

    As I said, relative to the lesser races there is a smaller of focus on socialisation and familial groups in Lizardmen society. As described above, I think its these that strengthen social networks, and the loss of one results in a changes to these networks which the rest react to in some form of mourning/honouring/veneration etc. Lizardmen society is less concerned with familial and social bonds and more concerned with achieving an ideal. The Lizardmen who are in the high-end of society's Gaussian curve will be there solely for embodying a concept or ideal sacred to Lizardmen society, rather than the large variety of reasons in human society why someone might be important (e.g. humans might be exceptional in society because of their altruism, outspoken nature, or their celebrity in general - I don't think Lizardmen would be seen as exceptional for any of these reasons.) The Old Ones are the ultimate manifestation if these ideals, and as such are venerated in temples. I think it would makes sense that those Lizardmen which are honoured would be those that act as vectors to these ideals beyond which is the norm in Lizardmen society. I can see two variants on this: firslty, those who are direct manifestations of these racial ideals. In this case, exceptional prophets, the blessed etc. would be venerated (e.g. Tetto'Ekko, Tehenhauin...) Secondly, and complementary to this, those Lizardmen which are exceptional at removing obstacles to the Great Plan would also be venerated. In this case, great warriors and tacticians would be venerated (e.g. Nakai, Kroq-Gar, Oxyotl, Chakax...). Obviously, there'll be some intersection between the above two. For both of these cases the loss of an exceptional Lizardman would have a wider impact on Lizardmen social structures because they're based on the ideals which act as the core drive for Lizardmen. Any losses that help in furthering the Great Plan would have a greater impact on Lizardmen social structure, so it makes sense that these exceptional Lizardmen would be venerated as there loss would be keenly felt.

    I'm not sure the above applies to scales however. I think it works for Lizardmen society at large, but at smaller scales would it matter? Exceptional warriors in various spawn-groups might be venerated by their spawn-brothers I suppose.

    Note how I focused solely on "a) [death causes] social perturbations as the [social] structure adapts to loss" rather than "b) [death] forces a level of existential distress upon the associated living". This is because I don't think Lizardmen fear death in the same way the lesser races do, or in the very least they hold very different existential notions. I think they see themselves as components in something greater themselves and, given that this in ingrained in their very physiology, I don't think the potential of death disturbs them. As such I doubt they'd suffer much existential distress from the death of one of their kin.

    tl;dr - how Lizardmen are venerated depends on their level of impact on their idealistic social structure. The greater their impact on the Great Plan the more they embody society's ideals, and the greater their loss is felt as social structures adapts to their demise. The caste system is the primary influence on who is likely to be venerated (the Slann are the most likely due to them having the greatest influence over ideals and how the Great plan is manifested, and it goes down the social pyramid from there.) Variation in Lizardmen society also produces Lizardmen whose contributions to the Great Plan exceed those of their kin, and so their loss is felt more keenly. These Lizardmen are also venerated as a function of their impact on the Great Plan.

    tl;tl;dr;dr - just make a Lizardmen acropolis because it sounds like a damn cool thing to do.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2016
  5. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    Well thought out Slanputin. I just prefer my literary Lizardmen to be a bit more human. Here's my continuum, I rejected the temptation to place every WHF race on here because that would lead to a tangent. Without getting into the specifics, I'd put every force of Order on the robot end along with both Undead armies and the Chaos Dwarves. Everyone else goes on the impulse side except MAYBE the Dark Elves who might qualify for the baseline. They have a rigid strongly hierarchical society with certain times and places set aside for mindless unrestricted carnage that sets back their order. Daemons don't fit on the continuum, pure impulses IS there directives, but I'd argue that since they don't make long-term plans and self sabotage themselves a lot they'd be on the Impulse side.​


    Creatures of pure emotion focused on impulses
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    Skaven
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    :Real World Humans Baseline
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    Scalenex's Lizardmen
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    Robots focused solely on their directives
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
  6. spawning of Bob
    Skar-Veteran

    spawning of Bob Well-Known Member

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    What you guys said, just with cartoons.

    OK that was a lie. There is such a healthy divergence in interpretation of LM culture on this site that I think a hard and fast answer is unwise. So here it is. LM honour their dead and build memorials to and idealised memories of those deemed to be heroes of the Great Plan.

    As a generalisation, LM would claim to be forward lookers, striving to the Great Plans objectives, but in truth they are compelled to live in the past, sifting through ambiguous plaques and records of events to find hints of where they should go next. For this reason alone, they would remember their heroes, analyse their deeds and attempt to model themselves on the most successful / ferocious proponents of cold blooded progress. This of course, is a giant trap which mostly serves to distort the LM view of history and their place in it, and it stifles innovation (effective use of allies) and invention (the wheel).

    It's worth noting, that with the longevity of Slann and Oldbloods, many of the heroes of the past remain so in the present - which makes taking a progressive view of their achievements even harder. Also, I think Slann would be above / not engaged enough with normal passage of time to engage in remembrance of the dead for its own sake, but, man, I bet they wished they had practised when AoS came around.





    In WHFB tradition, notable individuals are returned to the spawn pool of origin to nourish and hopefully influence future spawnings Therefore there must be a notion of venerating exceptional individuals. That new spawnlings could be deemed to have "the sacred markings attributed to Tzunki / Kroq-gar etc" indicates that an oral or written tradition must exist and that great individuals with particular physical attributes are noted in histories. This may not be to the point of building a flashy statue, but to reasonably utilitarian lizards, to be remembered and revered is significant.

    In the Bobiverse, there must necessarily be a veneration of past glories and heroes. Bob requires all other LM protagonists to be longing for the good old days in order to give his main characters meaning as agents of change. In Blood Dish, in the Temple City of Tlanxla, there is a Plaza of Heroes, Shrine of the Mighty, Hall of Fame which are beside the Pantheon of the Lost. No one complained at the time, and no they did not appear solely as a vehicle to propel the blink and you'll miss it "Hall of Fame" gag. Castes in the city had a robust view of their superiority to other castes. Given that all factions were adherents to the Great Plan, the only grounds for assigning oneself superiority on the basis of "species" would have been past glories by members of one's own caste.

    In the Observance of @Tlac'Natai the Observer , individuals (Ahtunowhiho) revere and try to emulate fallen heroes and they despise weaklings. There is a concept of ownership, and I can imagine the messed up general keeping hold of a weapon once used by the saurus whose name I can't remember. In addition, my take on the place has brothers-of-the-same-water (spawnkin) collecting battle trophies to decorate their barracks. Their spawning accrues honour in this way - here they are seeking future reverence of the whole spawning rather than an individual.

    In the sstrange but cosy world of @Essmir , the old chameleon skink (in Essmir's avatar and story - Around the Fire) remembers his fallen spawn brothers and their deeds rather than obsessing about what General Tot'al'pwnaj might have been doing at the same time. This suits my world view about everyday heroes.

    Sla Sla @Slanputin , Lustria's slowest story machine, has a pretty nasty hand pulling the strings which is happy to use personality cults to progress its own ends. For this to work, the twin concepts of "gods / heroes are better than us" and "absent gods / heroes can say whatever we want them to" need to be in the psyche of the reptilian sheep who occupy the Golden City. Wake up people!

    I can't really place other notable authors such as @Kcibrihp-Esurc and @Xholankha the lost one because they both write forwards so quickly, that it is hard to work out the background of their societies. @RoseThorn is disqualified because there are No Spawning Lizards in his story yet.

    Which brings me to the cuddly world of @Scalenex of Malodorex (His characters live in the imaginary city of Klodorex, but the real half rotted, half crisped undead skink lives in his own smelly realm.) My knee jerk response is to say that if the citizens of Klodorex celebrated the glorious dead, they wouldn't have any time for anything else. In the spirit of saying something useful for once, his society has a very good sense of history and the place of heroes in it. Six feet under. No! I must resist my cruel impulses!

    His lizards sometimes triumph, sometimes fail. In this they are painfully human. Named characters have the insight to interpret the spin of the historians but don't get to smugly enjoy their superior reasoning for long and judge the heroes / villains by their deeds. They can ignore the cult of Kaitar around them and say, "he was a big goof whose main asset was that the people followed him. He would have served his lords better by showing restraint and discretion." or "Zat-kai could have sold his daemon insight as an asset." This makes me equivalent to a named character. I am so screwed.


    So what about AoS? Do you remember how it made no sense that you could build an army with Kroq-gar, Tehenhuan and Tetto-eko because they occupied different times in history? AoS has fixed that by allowing dead lizards to return from memory and then wiping them from history anyway! Why aren't you grateful?

    Assuming actual sentience and autonomy, I think celebration of the past and of fallen heroes would be MORE important to Seraphon. My preferred mechanic would be that the Slann calls the actual individual back (complete with their foibles and regrets) rather than (potentially) imperfectly remembers them. However, I write Seraphon stories the other way around because a poorly thought out existential crisis is better than no existential crisis at all.

    @Bowser 's take in The Constellation almost had me in tears again (hope overcomes despair - it's like reading @Slanputin backwards). Death has little meaning in Bowser's AoS, but triumph and heroism have value - because being forgotten is worse than dying. The terrifying alternative in Extermination is that true death leads to the death of memory. This is about as opposite to what Scalenex is asking about as it is possible to get.
     
  7. Bowser
    Slann

    Bowser Third Spawning

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    Exploring death in Seraphon fluff is quite a bit of a challenge.
    this is a perfect way of honouring the dead.

    Wuth Lizardmen it's a bit trickier. It depends on the culture you have built for your city. Maybe they don't honour the individual, but the entire spawning, or the event that lead that individual to be classified as a hero. So you may see a building with stories drawn on the wall, elaborate or crude. Showing a tale of victory against all odds. Or maybe they erect a statue to commemorate the time a skink took out the eye of a daemon. Maybe they have a giant mausoleum with names and dates engraved on the walls, mummified with their legendary weapons and equipment.
    Basically it comes down to the culture of the temple city/settlement/town. Death rituals can be elaborate to nonexistent depending on the culture you have built.
     
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  8. Kcibrihp-Esurc
    Razordon

    Kcibrihp-Esurc Well-Known Member

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    Rosethorn is slowly working towards the lizards, he just... hasn't done it yet, he's also being worried because he thinks his characters are going to die at the Lizardmen's hands, if they don't get sick of the sotek-spawning snakes in our sotek-spawning jungle.
     
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  9. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    If this Acropolis of Heroes is going to be an AoS item (something that is somewhere in the æther Azyr...) maybe it only has statues for Lizards who have died twenty or more times.

    'Killed' in AoS is not quite what it once was? If a Slann can just reremember your scaly hide.
     
  10. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    I agree with half of this statement. A Eurocentric view of history likes to talk about the Mesoamericans being so primitive they didn't invent the wheel. They did. They had toys with wheels and axles. They didn't have domesticated animals capable of pulling wheeled carts so they didn’t bother making wheeled carts. They had llamas and alpacas which are indigenous to regions too hilly for wheeled carts to be effective. Lizardmen don't have ANY domesticated animals (unless you count Huagerdons which are too small to pull a cart). Lizardmen have TAME animals. Tame animals aren't not as docile as domesticated animals and they can't be generationally conditioned to be increasingly useful to their masters. Good luck getting a Stegadon or Cold One to pull a wagon in a straight line. I’m sure Lizardmen use wheel barrows though. Don't mention Dark Elf Cold One Chariots, Dark Elves aren't impaired by little things like reality. More than any other WHF race, I don’t believe Dark Elves would be able to be self-sustaining without hanging lampshades on many aspects of their culture.
    Guns, Germs, and Steel. By Jared Diamond




    In any event, I'm glad that Bob covered various literary universes. I was about to cover Lizardmen funeral practices in Scalenex-verse.

    If a Slann dies, no cost is spared recovering the body, taking it back to the Slann's home Temple City and mummifying. Lets look at the lesser First.

    I don't like the idea of mummification for any non-Slann. I really like the Kroak model but I find the Skink attendant mummy silly. I think a living attendant, or better yet an Eternity Warden.

    Originally, I toyed with the idea of Lizardmen eating their fallen brethren. I thought it would drive home the collectivist society. It also makes Lizardmen have a nice alien view if they have no cannibalism. Alien is fine, but alien has to make sense. Lizardmen live in a food-rich environment and they have lower metabolisms relative to every other race in the Warhammer world, so cannibalism is unnecessary.

    Humans have many different funerary practices but burial is the most common. Judeo-Christian (and other religions) have a dust-to-dust thing. As far as the First are concerned, they don't come from dust, they come from water. Most funerals involve water.

    Ideally a dead member of the First will be returned to his original spawning pool. Their lives come full circle and there is STILL a vague cannibalism notation since when the body decomposes, the nutrients return to the pool.

    If the Temple City is too far away or there are too many dead to haul everyone back to their original spawning pools, funerary rites can be performed at any clean body of water, even the ocean if the Temple City is near the coast. You still have “From water we are created and water we return,” motif.

    What if the army has a lot of dead and the survivors only have a few hours before they need to go on the march again? The First would honor their brethren by dabbing them with a bit of water and saying a short prayer. The body is still going to be there for any old carrion eater, but at least the dead were symbolically given over to water. The Ancient Greeks at a similar shortened burial ritual where a layer of dirt was applied to the dead with reverence and the ceremonial obol was placed in the mouth. Again, the scavengers rough up the corpse but it’s the thought that counts or in the case of the Ancient Greeks, the coin to give to Charon the Ferryman is what really counts.

    What if the army has a lot of dead and the survivors have to leave right now? A Skink priest would splash water in the general direction of all the dead and give a quick prayer for everyone at once rather than one at a time.

    Rank matters too. Ignoring the obviousness of a dead Slann’s priority, here’s an example. A marching army may decide to consecrate most of their dead at the nearest river, but that they opt to take the dead Scar Veterans and priests back to their home city.

    Rank and expediency matters for who presides over the funeral. Ideally you a Skink Priest and/or the closest surviving friend to preside over the funeral, but in a pinch, anyone capable of issuing a prayer and farewell can do it. I don’t imagine Slann presiding over any funeral for a non-Slann. In cases of highly honored dead, the Slann watch the funeral and that’s a big honor in and of itself.

    Even within the same Temple City, not every burial need follow this “return to water” format. Variations can occur because of a First’s affinity with a specific Old One or their activities in life. Devoted followers of earth/stone centered Old Ones would likely be buried. Construction workers could be buried under the foundation of temples they worked on. Desert or plains dwelling Lizardmen are probably more likely to use earth burial more than water burial. I still think in most cases ceremonial water would be applied to the deceased before burial.

    A First with an affinity for an Itza or one of the other predatory Old Ones might be okay with their corpse being eaten by beasts. Not just any beast, jaguar or Troglodon is probably ideal. With the right ritual, an honorable predator can be invited to chow down on the corpse. I don’t the dead being allowed to be eaten by snakes. That’s for Sotek’s sacrifices. Only forsaken traitors of the First would have such a fate for their corpse. A case can be made that a death by snakes isn’t dishonorable and that the deceased is almost literally “One with Sotek.” I’m okay if other writers want to use that, but in Scalenex-verse, Sotek only consumes enemies, not worshippers. Besides, snakes tend to leave a lot of waste products behind.

    Related to bestial deaths, I see First that are too wounded or feeble to continuing serving their Slann go on a Last Journey where they walk out into the jungle, never to be seen again. They probably have a funeral service performed for them while they are still alive. Again, ceremonial water is probably applied. For ultra-weirdness, a Skink who venerates Old Ones of the Sky, wields the lore of Heavens, or just flew Terradons or Ripperdactlyls could be flown far away and dumped from a high altitude….with great reverence of course.

    Few fluff pieces have Lizardmen hanging out around campfires or hearths, but I imagine they would. Fire is the bedrock of civilization and cold-blooded beings would like it. Chotec is probably the most important Old One apart from Sotek who is arguably not an Old One at all. The idea of spreading a fallen heroes ashes over their spawning pool or the site of their victory has resonance. That being said, I don’t cremation being common amongst the First Children of the Old Ones. It takes a very hot furnace to turn bone into ash. I’m sure Lizardmen Temple Cities have both kilns and forges, but that’s a lot of fuel and effort to dispose of a corpse. The way I see it, honored dead closely tied to Chotec would get a sort of Viking funeral combining fire and water. The corpse is placed on a raft and floated out on a lake or river, then the raft is lit on fire. I doubt that practice would reach much farther than Hexoatl, the City of the Sun.

    Related topic, I don't imagine the First bestowing burial goods on the dead. That seems too materialistic. The Lizardmen are a collectivist society and would want to hang on to anything valuable. That being said, I wouldn't be surprised if an Oldblood was able to proudly recite every Old Blood and Scar Veteran who wielded his magic blade before him. Even non-magical items could build up a history and even Skinks would be proud to wield such legacy weapons.

    So anyway, that’s funerals, but I’m no closer to nailing down a design for my Acropolis (which is fine because I have a LOT of other terrain to make first). It’s after the funeral that I’m not sure about.


    And that sticks in my craw.

    I choose to pass this torch on to other writers. I will read any Seraphon fluff piece posted on L-O with great interest. You writers are 100 times better than Games Workshop’s. Maybe it’s a crutch, but I just like using character death as a storytelling tool. I don’t plan to write any Seraphon fluff pieces. Maybe an anonymous contest entry here and there but I just see little personal appeal in writing about something that cannot really die.

    If I get tired of writing for Oldhammer, I’ll try something for Kings of War, 9th Age (even though the 9th Age team rejected my audition piece), or one of my own two fledgling fantasy settings. Scarterra or the other Klodorex.

    That being said, if someone has insightful ideas on Seraphon would honor their fallen, I would very much like to see what you come up with.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2019
  11. Slanputin
    Carnasaur

    Slanputin Well-Known Member

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    I was reading your post and just about to bring this book up. I second this reading suggestion.
     
  12. Scolenex
    Razordon

    Scolenex Well-Known Member

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    I am fond of Guns, Germs and Steel myself. Perhaps we can apply Dr. Diamond's principles to the Warhammer world....nevermind. Applying logical anthropology to the Warhammer world would be like herding cats...cats that are on fire.

    If we took on the task of writing a logical Guns, Nurgle, and Steel article, the end result would probably be about half of the Warhammer races going extinct or at least becoming irrelevant (for instance the last surviving Dwarves have to pledge fealty to the Empire or Skaven enslave the last of the Goblins).

    But logical doesn't apply in WHF. The Chaos wastes have no plants and no herbivores but it's teeming with dangerous top level predators. Even if you hand wave that away by saying "a wizard did it" the Warriors of Chaos shouldn't exist. Without farmland they shouldn't be able to amass giant armies armed with the best weapons and armor on the planet.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 26, 2019
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  13. The Sauric Ace
    Salamander

    The Sauric Ace Well-Known Member

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    Regarding Chaos warriors: it seems that lots of people reckon this as a major problem with grasping the concept of the chaos world. It just doesn't work. As you said, dear Panda ;), quite a large array of factions doesn't work with our real world logic, but I believe most people would, at least, like there to be some hold of realism in the fictive world.
     
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  14. spawning of Bob
    Skar-Veteran

    spawning of Bob Well-Known Member

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    Conspiracy theory # 1138:

    GW destroyed the Old Hammer world and created eternal Seraphon in AoS to prevent Scalenex writing stories.

    It makes as much sense as anything else I've made up.
     
  15. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    Cathay.

    Cathay was the bread basket of the Chaos Wastes. There was never a Cathayan Army because Cathay spent all its effort growing food and herds. And, half of everything went into the Chaos wastes as tribute.

    Also posit vast herds of Fell-Muskoxen (or some uglarriffic herbivore) North of Naggaroth but South of the wastes, they eat Tundra and worse plant life, as well as Zebra Shelled Tundra Grubs. They turn it all into meat :: everything else preys upon them.
     
  16. spawning of Bob
    Skar-Veteran

    spawning of Bob Well-Known Member

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    Then there are the Fell-Lemmings. They are even tenderer than the lemmings still at the top of the cliffs.
     
  17. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    :rolleyes:
    Sea monsters need to eat something... ;)
     
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  18. Slanputin
    Carnasaur

    Slanputin Well-Known Member

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    You say that and yet we're trying to impose some level of social paradigm on pseudo-mesoamerican space-lizards. I think taking on Diamond's principles to the Old World could be of some use. Due to the fantastical elements "plagues" could, in some cases, be replaced by hexes, chaotic corruption, etc. For example: chaos's corruption has a greater affect in cities because the probabilities of exposure and subsequent conversion of one to an acolyte is higher with population density, with vectors of corruption being associated with greater clusters of ideological centres - i.e. arcane colleges, sigmarite churches, political houses etc. Those dealing with magic being special loci for potential corruption as their intimate relationship with magic is tied both to their prosperity as a magic-based institution whilst also increasing exposure to that which chaos is made of.

    Or something.

    The thing is I try and humanise my lizards in my stories so as to make them more interesting/allow me to take the plot where I wants it. My interpretation of GW's fluff is closer to what I said above. The problem with humanising them is that whilst you make them relatable and interesting, it's increasingly harder to maintain a distinction between the lizardmen and less rational/ordered lesser races. Part of my brain is acutely aware that having a skink priest comment on the disordered nature of humans loses gravitas when they've just been weaving a web of political intrigue. Usually I just tell that part of my brain to shut up and mind its own business.

    As for Lizardmen funeral rites:

    Whilst I like the connection you have with water, I actually do think cremation is a viable method for Lizardmen funeral rites. Considering the practicalities, Salamanders could easily be put to use for burning the dead - especially if this is peace-time/post-battle when more of their resources could be dedicated to cremation. Secondly let's not ignore the fantastical elements of magic/stone-age sci-fi which could be put to use for cremation - if needed you could always have a "Solar Kiln of Chotec" or some such which has been adapted as a method for burning the dead. There's also a strong conceptual link between Lizardmen and fire as a method for honouring the dead: heat rises, as does the ash the burns with it. I think a link could easily be made between the light of the fire/light of the stars, and an ascension by flame into the cosmos. After all, that is where the Old Ones came from and the Lizardmen have a very strong connection to the heavens. Traditionally flame is also seen as a great purifier, so this may also be a way of casting of the confines of chaos as they ascend.

    As for those who venerate the Old Ones of the Sky, I quite like the idea of sky burial: when an acolyte becomes to weak to contribute to society they ascend to the high mountains to offer themselves to the gods. Here they could easily freeze to death, and/or have their bodies picked apart by whatever avian creatures stalk the mountaintops. This holds a link to some Incan tradition where maidens were offered to the gods by sacrificing them on the top of mountains. The acolytes could be seen as holding their final service to the sky gods by offering themselves as a sacrifice. They could be seen as joining the sky when consumed by carrion feeders. Running with the death-by-freezing route, high altitude death can lead to mummification which has also has a sacred place in the funeral rites of the Lizardmen. Freezing and thus being mummified in the cold, arid heights of a mountain may be seen to be a sacred act because of the sanctity of mummification.

    I'm pretty sure that the End Times: Glottkin mentioned that the brothers Glott fell to Nurgle because their pastoral community was destroyed by an invading Imperial force. Farming exists as far as they are concerned. Plus, given the expanse of the Chaos Wastes and the large degree of variation I can imagine some chaotic followers involving themselves in farming. Followers of Khorne would probably be the least likely, either choosing hunting, basic scavenging, or cannibalism as their route for sustenance. Followers for the other gods could have agriculture be explained away "for the pleasure of farming"/"following Nurgle's obsession with life"/"invoking the seasonal changes" or some such. Plus, they could be sustained by the chaos winds as their mutations/dedication grows.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2016
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  19. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    I agree that some Chaos aligned humans would farm. I just don't see them fielding massive armies that stretched from one end of the horizon to the other. It weirds me out in official fluff when an outnumbered Empire army beats a Chaos army, that should almost never happen barring Gal Moraz being involved.. I see them like evil Spartans. This is how I see it in Scalenex verse where the Chaos is constrained by logic.

    Imperial Scout: "I estimate we outnumber the approaching Chaos army by four-to-one, my lord."
    Elector Count: "Sound the march! If we hurry we can stop them before the decimate the village of Riverbrook."

    Imperial Scout: "I estimate we outnumber the approaching Chaos army by three-to-one, my lord."
    Elector Count: "We have to abandon Riverbrook. If we can set up in these hills and dig in, we should be able to stop the from hitting the next three villages."

    Imperial Scout: "I estimate we outnumber the approaching Chaos army by two-to-one, my lord."
    Elector Count: "We have to lure them to this open ground. That will be ideal for our cannons and cavalry alike. That's our best chance to stop them There is nothing we can do for the villages between here and there."

    Imperial Scout: "I estimate we outnumber the approaching Chaos army three-to-two, ."
    Elector Count: Looks grimly at the map at all the settlements he's abandoning. "Make for the river then burn the bridge when the army's across. If they try to ford the river they will be vulnerable to shooting and this will give us time to gather reinforcements"

    Imperial Scout: "I estimate the approaching Chaos army matches ours."
    Elector Count: "Tell my wife I love her!"

    Imperial Scout: "The approaching Chaos force outnumbers us, my lord!. "
    Elector Count: "Bring me my brown pants!"

    Back on topic. I like the idea of the Solar Kiln of Chotec but that would probably be a funerary rite for VIPs. Not convenient for battlefield memorials. I don't see frozen mummies as being a good practice for Lizardmen. I'd imagine symbolically Lizardmen link cold and evil much as humans link darkness and evil.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2019
  20. Otzi'mandias
    Ripperdactil

    Otzi'mandias Well-Known Member

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    I reckon skinks would mourn their dead spawn-kin, and maybe a dead slann, but a saurus robot would happily kill hundreds of skinks and kroxigor if it was told it part of the great plan. I always pictured them kind of psycho like that.


    I think skinks used to (pre-end-times) cast a plaque in the honour of the dead skink, and leave it like a kind of gravestone/memorial.
    Then wait a few thousand years and skink language has changed, so these plaques get dug up - "we cant understand this... It must be the work of the OLD ONES!" - and so they got taken into the temple-city to be worshipped.
    Every so often a slann will be woken to translate it - "Uurgh, what? So tired... 5 more minutes... Go kill some Orcs.....*snore*"
    And thats why gold tablets were found every where in the old world, and also why the Lizardmen/Seraphon have such an anti-other-races thing.
     

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