The Praxians are a Neolithic nomadic society that ride and herd beasts for their survival. Each tribe is named after the beast ridden by members of the tribe, with the best known being the Bison, the High Llama, the Impala, and the Sable Antelope tribes (no Praxian will herd or ride a horse, considering them to be taboo). Their herd beasts provide everything the Praxians need for life – meat, bone, leather, horn, and felt. All of their metal is imported (or taken) from civilized outsiders. The most common materials are leather, felt, bone, horn, and wood. For longer pieces of wood (such as tepee and travois poles), the Praxians make infrequent trips to the mountains near the Wastes. Skilled, magical crafters make tools and weapons from leather, bone and horn that are nearly as good as those made from metal and wood.
All clothing is made of leather and fur, usually decorated with various types of available natural substances such as porcupine quills, cactus spikes, thorn bush beads, feathers, or hair. Imported clothing (which can be from anywhere, and thus look however you want) is considered a luxury and sign of wealth, especially since the harsh living conditions wear them out so quickly while being worn.
Weapons are a combination of locally produced Stone Age weapons, including bow and arrow, spears and lances, horn axes, and so on, with imported Bronze Age weapons like long spear heads and leaf-shaped swords.
The Praxian Art Samples PDF is a good reference for Praxians with classic 1970s artwork by Gene Day and Luise Pirenne.
Page 1. Bison Rider with hide shield, leather helmet (decorated with bison horns), bone chest piece, and painted Bison. The swords are war booty from raiding civilized peoples.
Page 2. High Llama Riders with cured leather cuirass, leather arm protection, hide shield(on back).
Page 3. Sable Rider with sentient baboon sidekick. The Sable Rider’s helmet is decorated with antelope horns. The chain mail is either a gift or war booty from civilized outsiders.
Page 4. Sable Rider. Note the quality 1970s heavy metal helmet. 😀
Page 5. Bison Riders.
Page 6. Female rulers with implausibly large axes (presumably supposed to be a labyrs) and the leather version of the chainmail bikini. Great example of headresses though.
Page 7. Weird picture showing Praxians from all tribes in battle.
As much as possible, we should try to keep this classic look (just without the ridiculous stuff like the leather bikinis, heavy metal helmets, and gigantic axes).
Fig. 1. High Llama Rider warrior: The High Llama Riders ride Aepycamelus (also called alticamelus), an now extinct species of camelid about 10 feet tall and weighing 1500 to 2000 pounds. Their beasts tower over other Praxian beasts and are able to run down even the swiftest skirmishers. As a result, their warriors are armed with long spears that are used as lances, and long-handled axes to reach down at their foes. The people are tall with olive-covered skin and black hair and eyes. Men and women shave their heads except for a ponytail, with the women’s ponytail longer and more decorated than those of the men. They dress lightly, sometimes wearing only leather straps for equipment and a loincloth.
Our male High Llama Rider warrior is a tall, brown-skinned man, with a black queue (ponytail) that has been tied with a leather cord at the top of his head (see picture 2 from “parx-art-samples.pdf). He wears a cured leather cuirass and a loincloth, with leather vambraces and greaves for protection. He carries a long spear with a bronze spear head, and has a long-handled axe with a bronze head (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/35/Combat_axe_Early_Bronze_Age.png), both obtained from civilized outsiders.
Fig. 2: Sable Rider Queen: The Sable Riders ride giant sable antelope (about the size of horses) with long, curving horns. The people have black hair and dark eyes. They wear trousers (made from sable hide) and often a short cloak over their front and back. Wealthy Sable Riders often wear fancy headdresses decorated with Sable horns and bird feathers. Their clans are ruled by Herd Queens, who are also priestesses of the goddess Eiritha, Mother of Beasts. The Sable Riders have the best access to metal weapons and luxuries, as they are often in demand as mercenaries of the rich Lunar Empire.
Our Sable Rider Queen has long black hair held in place with a headdress decorated with Sable horns and gold jewelry from some civilized land. She wears leather leggings and a short cloak. Her clothes are decorated with beads, embroidered designs, and feathers. Her face and skin has been painted with the runes, especially those of Earth, Beast, and Moon. Elaborately decorated leather bags hold magical medicine bundles with which she appeases the goddess of the herds. She carries a Neolithic dagger made from flint (presumably used in sacrifices and rituals) and holds a small stone statue of an animal-headed Mother Goddess.
Below: Preliminary Sketch of two Praxians by Jeff Laubenstein:
and the finished piece:
- Art of the Guide to Glorantha
- FAQ about the Guide to Glorantha
- Guide Art Direction – Aldryami
- Guide Art Direction – Mostali
- Guide Art Direction – Pelorian (2013)
- Guide Art Direction – The Seven Faces of Arkat (2013)
- Guide Interview – Greg Stafford
- Guide Interview – Jeff Richard
- Guide Interview – Mark Rein-Hagen
- Guide Interview – Rob Heinsoo
- Guide Overview – Fonrit
- Guide Overview – Kralorela
- Guide Overview – The West
- Guide to the Guide to Glorantha