Religion, Beer, and Zombies
subtitled : Wheat, Wombs, & The Walking Dead
being a small discussion on Samurian spirits, Samurian spirits, and Samurian spirituality.
In the gnoll Vitus's homeland, Samuria, one of the most important foodstuffs is (or, rather, was ) beer *. Beer was a hugely popular beverage - for one thing it was generally safer to drink than the water. The barley was left to dry, baked into loaves of bread, and the baked barley loaves broken into pieces and mixed with more dried grain in a large jug of boiled water - then left to ferment. Varieties included dark beer, pale beer, red beer, three fold beer, beer with a head, without a head, and beer with too many heads (either a reference to the Hydra of legend, or to the visual side effects of overdrinking the stuff). **
Naturally, all of this was the sole preserve of the female gender. Beer, like bread, is alive, and needs to be nurtured as it swells with life. To a Samurian (whether human, gnoll, or otherwise), the idea of a male barkeep, brewer,
Quonium Inquam Sic
Vitus Drhazz ul Kashrak ur Rrschdd is an unhappy individual at the best of times not least because hes stranded on a barbaric world filed with humans, but because even if he can find a way off his entire home universe has been erased from existence (that sort of thing can really put a crimp on your day). However, given his expertise and complete bloody ruthlessness in achieving his aims, all is not lost.
Bringing Aura back will only be possible because of certain aspects of the Four Laws of Thaumodynamics, and Quantum Metaphysics, as I discussed in a previous post.Aura was dimensionally unstable, trembling on a cusp in the multidimensional landscape, and all to easily pushed over from being a world with different physical laws, into being one with no laws or real existence at all.
A very basic principle of Quantum Metaphysics,
Four Laws Of Thaumodynamics
Vitus isn't the brightest of souls. This may be due to dietary deficiencies as I've discussed previously, or simply because he's the mental runt of the litter, but it's nonetheless remarkable that he was accepted into the school of conjurers at all. He was definitely a borderline case, but sheer bloodymindedness saw him thru and now his understanding of Auraflow Theory is more than adequate.
But ever since he's been stuck on Earth, Vitus been striving to understand why it's so difficultto perform simple magics, but relatively easy to bugger up the laws of metaphysics on a vast scale. A simple industrial spell such as Heat Metal,easily performed by any master brass worker on Aura, seems to be next to impossible to cast on Earth (Admittedly this might explain a lot about the deficiencies of Earth culture, but it's still bloody annoying). Conversely, there's no shortage of m
The Diet of Civilised Gnolls
Whereas your traditional adventurer-fodder gnoll is well-known for its diet of adventurers (for sound biochemical reasons I explored elsewhere), the civilised gnolls of Aura don't enjoy the liberty of eating passers-by. For one thing, it makes trading difficult.
However, since they do enjoy the benefits of agriculture and animal husbandry (admittedly not quite to the same extent as the human settlements in better-watered lands), they still get enough meat in their diet to enjoy sufficient good health.
Most of this diet is derived from reptilian sources - the drylands bordering the Soulwind Desert sport a wide variety of lizards, snakes, and mammal-like reptiles, a few of which are almost domesticated. None of the natural species are more than pony-sized, given the harshness of the environment away from the oases, but occasionally something much bigger staggers insane out o
I am a mass murderer. As was my father, and his father before him.
Although I may be exaggerating when I say we are mass murderers. We've never killed more than thirty people a year – cultural heroes such as Stalin and Pol Pot managed far more than that. And the Aztecs butchered twenty thousand in a day.
On the other hand, my people have been doing it somewhat longer – offering up our neighbours since before our species came down from the trees. But I suspect you're not overly interested in the details of our faith – it's really very ordinary, in most respects. I suppose an anthropologist would describe it as an 'apocalyptic mystery-slave religion', if we gave him the chance. We have our secret texts, our hidden rituals, our belief in the coming of an ancient and alien messiah, to overthrow the overlords and give us our paradise on Earth. New ways to shout and kill and revel indeed. That sort of thing has a powerful appeal to certa