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The Shackled Consorts of the Bull God
Author MessageThe Shackled Consorts of the Bull God
Admiral
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Post: #1
The Shackled Consorts of the Bull GodAdmiral 06-30-2014



The Shackled Consorts of the Bull God


The Chaos Dwarf mindset is dominated by the might and decrees of Hashut and his chosen Prophets on the world beneath Chaos. To them, the Father of Darkness is an overpowering figure of not only mythology, but everyday life. His harsh judgement and cruelty awaits anyone who would cheat with their temple tribute or otherwise stray from the true path. Hashut is the one god worshipped by the Dawi Zharr, yet he is not alone to be shown respect.

In their mythology, the Chaos Dwarfs envision Hashut as their own tribal god amongst the Dark Gods of Chaos, and as such they only make passing adorations to the four grand divinities of the Chaos pantheon, namely Khorne, Tzeentch, Nurgle and Slaanesh. Other Chaos deities, including Malal, may be offered some small devotion at best, but are more often than not little more than concentration spots in the Realm of Chaos for the harvest of Daemons, or even a source of raw material as a string of unfortunate Daemon Princes found out to their loss; immortality may be spent in a prison shaped like a weapon or cannon. It's not all bliss just because you never truly die.

More focus is instead reserved for the many lesser figures of Chaos Dwarf religion, including the seven founders of the Brotherhood of Hashut, as well as famous holy men and Prophets of history and indeed living ones. Daemons are an ever-present part of Dawi Zharr consciousness, and their myths are filled with them, both lesser and greater. Chaos Dwarf medicine is even geared to exorcise particular types of Daemons tormenting the sick with certain ailments. Concerning the perils of Daemonsmithing, who can say if they are wrong to believe so?

Certain mythical Daemons are often invoked during spellcasting or conjuration of Daemons, and many of those Daemons invoked for rituals spend their days locked in arcane prisons, half in the Empyrean, half in the most forbidden depths of the Temple of Hashut. Should the Temple ever fall and these mystical cages be broken, then a maelstrom of damnation worse than the inferno of hell would befall the Dawi Zharr, yet the Blacksmiths of Chaos care little for such hazards.

One minor aspect of Chaos Dwarf religion which is nevertheless of some importance to the common people, is the belief in the Shackled Consorts of the Bull God. This is a body of nine holy and one unholy female demigoddesses bound to Hashut.

Various beliefs about their origin exist. Some sects claim them to be enslaved and reforged Daemons (what kind of Daemons are another matter of conflicting opinions), others argue that they are ascended Cow Centaurs chosen by Hashut for their perfect beauty and cruelty. The most common belief, however, is in that of the ten lost sisters.

According to the myth, the ten daughters of a forgotten Sorcerer-Prophet were once taken in a grand procession to the Temple of Hashut, never to be seen again. The ten sisters had been chosen for their virtues, including stern childrearing, humility in front of their fathers and (former) husbands, harsh punishments to slaves and industriousness. Each sister excelled in one particular female virtue of Dawi Zharr society, and they had been chosen by the priesthood because Hashut demanded wives from the ranks of His worshippers.

They were taken inside the holy of holies, and there a mysterious ritual was undertaken, lasting for a whole month and exhausting three Sorcerer-Prophets to the point of death. Thousands of slaves were sacrificed, and the ten sisters bathed in slave blood and ate slave flesh together with the sacred Temple guardians, the Bull Centaurs.

The amount of ritual components grew as large as they grew bizarre. K'daai spirits were said to cook the guts-covered bloodbaths of the submerged sisters whilst a Lammasu flew through the hall, reciting gibberish incantations gathered in the far north from mad sorcerors, whilst exhaling fumes of enchanted incense.

Outside the large Temple, hordes of Chaos Dwarfs would one day cover themselves in ash and sacrifice one slave each whilst singing dirges, hungry until nightfall. The next day they would don their best hats, gabble mad rhymes and whirl like tops through the streets for hours at end, before the husbands carried their wives on their shoulders in a grand parade flanked by the revered guard unit, the Immortals, carrying torches and Orc skulls carved with magical invocations. Slave blood ran in rivers as Zharr-Naggrund seemed to turn insane.

Whilst the religious and sorcerous ritual hysteria grew in power, the ten sisters began to hear the voice of the Father of Darkness, their betrothed. Soon they could smell Him. Then they could feel Him. At last, as a coven of acolytes shaved their own beards at the fiery altar in an act of ultimate sacrifice, the ten women could see Hashut, covering their whole field of vision. It was said He was every bit as mighty to behold as was His feared idols.

What happened then, when the ten sisters passed from this world into becoming Hashut's wives, is something of a mystery. Opinions diverge. Some cults claim that they melted into lava and sank without a trace left behind into the obsidian floor. Others think the Prophets sacrificed the women in the altar flames to let them reach a higher level of existence.

Most, however, believe that a fell Daemonic possession took place, whereupon the possessed women's flesh was reforged, just like Daemonforged iron is hammered into armour upon the shackled anvil. They were turned into half flesh, half metal creatures shaped like bovine females wreathed in shadow and flame, and not a trace of their Dwarfen ancestry remained visible. They then transcended to the Father of Darkness whilst at the same time being locked for all time inside ensorcelled pens beneath the Temple of Hashut.

Yet one sister, Matzhkra, turned utterly insane in the process. Noone knows what her original virtue had been, but when the priesthood (and Hashut Himself) had finished breaking her and shackling her to the floor with chains engraved by Daemon claws, she had become Matzhkra the Leaden Trampled, the Slave Concubine of Hashut. Her tormented wailing is believed to be audible a split second before Daemonsmiths succesfully opens an Empyrean portal to hunt Daemons with sorcery.

Matzhkra the Trampled is widely believed to symbolize slavery, yet she also have a hidden meaning. The nine wives of Hashut are thought to be heifers, not cows (though some contradictory, popular legends about the Herd of Ten's offspring with the Bull God also exist), while  Matzhkra's status is unclear. She is clearly the enslaved concubine of Hashut, yet the question of her being the demigoddess mother of Bull Centaurs and even Great Tauruses is one theological point which divides the many Chaos Dwarf sects.

What is clear and agreed upon, however, is that Matzhkra in her hidden meaning represents the Dawi Zharr, the race which is already dominated by Hashut, whilst the nine consorts represents the rest of the world's races, those who are to be dominated by Him. Sayings, such as "the Old World is nought but a heifer to be mounted by the Great Bull God", originates from this belief.

Yet in the fell forging of the ten sisters into the shackled herd of Hashut, a mythological connection to not only fertility, marriage and domination was established, but also to metals and geology. For the Chaos Dwarfs believe that each of these holy bovine females and their specific virtues are associated with one metal each, which streams in a molten flow from their udders into the Dark Lands generally and particularly into the Plain of Zharr, the great crater unsurpassably rich in minerals.

Thus it was was that the ten lost sisters became the Shackled Consorts of the Bull God, bound forever to His destiny, shackled by their overpowering husband yet still of some potent meaning to Chaos Dwarf families and women. To some cults, the wives of the Father of Darkness possesses a small portion of his ability to ward off evil spirits, and are as such called upon to thwart Daemons. Yet it is said in Zharr-Naggrund that the combined power of the nine wives of Hashut is not enough to challenge His left back hoof.

Their names are associated with the virtues of the Rinn'Zharr, and some of them, like Ulkzhana the Golden Fertile and Kertuli-Ma the Copper Rearer of Tuskbabes, are called upon during the difficult time of childbirth, something of immense importance to both Dawi Zharr society and empire. The spirit of Azhursag the Iron Ferocious is called upon when Chaos Dwarf women need to form ranks and partake in battle, whilst industrious and hardy maidens are favourably compared to Harzhkigal the Titanic Tough.

None of the wives of Hashut, not even the shunned concubine Mazhkra, exemplify a meek and docile character, for such weakness is frowned upon by the Chaos Dwarfs. It just isn't ladylike.


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Post: #2
RE: The Cow Herd of the Bull GodAdmiral 06-30-2014

Enter cow level.

This background proposal is very much open for discussion and modification. Let me explain the reasoning behind this odd piece of fluff:

Although Hashut is the supreme deity to the Chaos Dwarfs, I think a touch of polytheism, with Daemons and demigods of a lower order (and peripheral links to the wider Chaos Pantheon) plus famous prophets and revered cult founders, would only make that religion better. Remember that the introduction of that volcano god for the Ogres made their beliefs a tad more interesting. Polytheism is just more fun for outsiders, on the face of it.

After all, CDs have many of the other hallmarks of ancient pagan religions, including sacrifices, fire worship, bull worship, idolatry, evil spirits (Daemons) and a world view not much concerned with good and evil, though twisted to something as malevolent as the Dawi Zharr themselves.

It would as such be a logical step to include a nod to fertility cults and divine marriages whilst they're at it, since it follows that the worship of a trampling bull god (a virile male creature, obvious for anyone who owns a FW Bale Taurus) would include some minor female bovine figures in the background. Hashut is a bull, not an ox, after all. You can bet an ardent devotee would make a big theological point about that thing!

Succesful religions usually provides something for most of their believers, so how about the women and the sphere of life which is the family? Although the core Cult(s) of Hashut probably provides many answers here, the stage is open for peripheral beliefs and sects everywhere in Chaos Dwarf society, including some concerned with the female in a bull god world, in effect cows.

This wouldn't mean that cows are sacred creatures (that's reserved for Ind), but rather that there exists some lesser mythological cows of Hashut. Since this is grimdark Warhammer, the cow demigods would be completely dominated by the mighty bull, symbolized by their shackles. This herd of the Father of Darkness would also be a religious justification for harems amongst the leaders of CD society, a feature which would further set them apart from ordinary, monogamous Dwarfs.

Compare the shackled cows, who are lowly indeed in the presence of Hashut, to Valaya, the ancestor goddes who is the equal of her two male companions, and you've struck grimdark ore. This wouldn't mean that every Chaos Dwarf woman is a weak, helpless creature in the thrall of men, far from it!

They'd rather be strong, capable folks used to handling slaves with the same brutality as the men, used to trading and used to working as hard as the males. Regardless of possible pretensions of presenting a humble attitude when in the company of their husbands, most CD women would probably be independent ladies since they have to take care of business whilst their menfolk are away a-warring and doing stuff. Many wives of leaders would also have a subtle influence in matters of state.

The steep demands of empire in such a hostile place as the Dark Lands would call for it, if nothing else.

And since Chaos Dwarfs are all about slavery and cruelty when they're not forging Daemons into guns, one of the cows got to be a subjugated slave concubine, akin to Grimstonefire's Hanbeh the unwilling one, the bound slave.

What do you say? Yay or nay?


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06-30-2014 03:09 PM
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Post: #3
RE: The Cow Herd of the Bull GodMadHatter 06-30-2014

What a read!

Gonna comment more tomorrow however the myth about Zeus abducting Europa in bullform came to mind! Hashut!

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Europa_(mythology)


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06-30-2014 04:06 PM
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RE: The Cow Herd of the Bull GodMadHatter 06-30-2014

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marathonian_Bull

I think it might be relevant the greek bull-myths seem to all be about seduction or rape... Ahem. Fathering of minotaurs etc... Anyhow the reasoning that the bull is a sexually charged mythological figure aswell as fiery and aggressive in astrology is relevant since folklore->tolkien->warhammer->warcraft is the order of things Wink


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Post: #5
RE: The Cow Herd of the Bull GodAdmiral 07-01-2014

Poll added to test the waters.

@MadHatter: Thank you! Good parallels to the myths. I look forward to further comments. You're entirely right about that fantasy food chain. Big Grin


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07-01-2014 07:45 AM
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Dînadan
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RE: The Cow Herd of the Bull GodDînadan 07-02-2014

Overall, looks good, but I think it could do with a different name.


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07-02-2014 02:16 PM
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RE: The Cow Herd of the Bull GodAdmiral 07-02-2014

Dînadan Wrote:
Overall, looks good, but I think it could do with a different name.


Thanks, any suggestions? Happy


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07-02-2014 02:21 PM
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Post: #8
RE: The Cow Herd of the Bull GodDînadan 07-02-2014

Admiral Wrote:

Dînadan Wrote:
Overall, looks good, but I think it could do with a different name.


Thanks, any suggestions? Happy


How about 'The Ninsuna of Hashut' or 'The Sarratum of Hashut'?  According to an online Sumerian Dictionary I found Ninsuna means 'Lady of the Wild Cows' and Sarratum means 'Queen'.  Or how about 'The Dingiru Assat of Hashut' which would be 'The (God) Ten Wives of Hashut'


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07-02-2014 02:37 PM
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RE: The Cow Herd of the Bull GodMadHatter 07-02-2014

I agree on a different name... I agree about a different name and I'm undecided because I love the idea of cowcentaurs after seeing Keras! However as a conservative Hashut-fanatic I like to think of Hashut and the Chaos Dwarfs relation as that between Zeus and Europa. The bull is the one true emblem of sheer masculine sexual aggression and this is a serious religious matter and by the Flaming Hoofs of the Dark Father we need answers!

Relating to this issue, would there be great cowruses?

EDIT: The cow is an emblem of peace and docility, this must be taken into consideration.


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This post was last modified: 07-02-2014 02:45 PM by MadHatter.

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Post: #10
RE: The Cow Herd of the Bull GodAdmiral 07-02-2014

Dînadan Wrote:
How about 'The Ninsuna of Hashut' or 'The Sarratum of Hashut'?  According to an online Sumerian Dictionary I found Ninsuna means 'Lady of the Wild Cows' and Sarratum means 'Queen'.  Or how about 'The Dingiru Assat of Hashut' which would be 'The (God) Ten Wives of Hashut'


Good proposals. I'm usually all for further ties back to Mesopotamian influences in CDs, but would it be better with Khaozalid words in the translated version instead? Or perhaps a mix between Khaozalid and Sumerian words? A mixture would make it a bit more mysterious.

And, though Ninsuna might be my favourite of the proposals, these cows are brutally tamed and does not roam free at all. Not only the concubine, but even the wives are shackled. Let's see what others think about your proposals. The Ten (or Nine) Wives of Hashut would probably be the most neutral and dependable line, but perhaps something more colourful would be better?

This is worth some serious pondering and lots of proposals to find the best one.

Would "The Wife[ly] Herd of the Bull God" work? Or perhaps "The Shackled Consorts of Hashut"?

MadHatter Wrote:
I agree on a different name... I agree about a different name and I'm undecided because I love the idea of cowcentaurs after seeing Keras! However as a conservative Hashut-fanatic I like to think of Hashut and the Chaos Dwarfs relation as that between Zeus and Europa. The bull is the one true emblem of sheer masculine sexual aggression and this is a serious religious matter and by the Flaming Hoofs of the Dark Father we need answers!


That's why the wives were demanded from the CDs, and are both shackled and dominated by Hashut. Matzhkra is even enslaved.

MadHatter Wrote:
Relating to this issue, would there be great cowruses?


Yes, because the Tauruses (and Lammasus) are "natural" monsters, not summoned Daemons, and breeds true. That's why they're stabled in the Temple of Hashut.

A friend of mine have made a lot of jokes about Great Cowruses. Happy

MadHatter Wrote:
The cow is an emblem of peace and docility, this must be taken into consideration.


Indeed, that's why I attempted to shatter that image by punches of grimdark in the fluff. Perhaps something more could be done with the background? Or would it be enough to change the name?

One background change could be to make these shackled, fiery cows have molten metal or lava streaming from their teats, believed to have some connection or the other with some aspect of forging or the vast, mineral-rich crater that is the Plain of Zharr. It would be another dark twist of mythological predecessors like Audhumbla.

Do you have any proposals? Don't miss Dînadan's ones. My gut feeling here is that the best option for the name could be reached by discussion amongst others, not including me.

This needs careful consideration, not least because the aim is to include this background in the collection of CD religious texts, and if possible to "release it" with "CDO presents: ..."


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Post: #11
RE: The Cow Herd of the Bull GodDînadan 07-02-2014

Admiral Wrote:
Would "The Wife[ly] Herd of the Bull God" work? Or perhaps "The Shackled Consorts of Hashut"?


Shackled Consorts of Hashut sounds best to me if we're sticking to English for a name.


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07-02-2014 03:23 PM
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Post: #12
RE: The Cow Herd of the Bull GodAdmiral 07-02-2014

Dînadan Wrote:
Shackled Consorts of Hashut sounds best to me if we're sticking to English for a name.


Well, we'd have to stick to English for the fully translated name in any case, but we have the chance to make the Khaozalid name to something out of the ordinary. And that could include Sumerian elements, which I'd like to see, if possible.

Any more suggestions? What do others think of Shackled Consorts?

Thanks for contributing! Cheers!


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RE: The Cow Herd of the Bull GodMadHatter 07-02-2014

Ill look deep into my whiskyglass tonight and ponder this issue of utmost religious importance. The existance of great cowruses naturally a matter of deciding caliber...


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07-02-2014 03:36 PM
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Post: #14
RE: The Cow Herd of the Bull GodAdmiral 07-02-2014

As for the potential Audhumblification, how about each cow having one particular molten metal pouring from her udder?

There'd be kind of a twisted theft of inspirational sources here, because Dwarfs are usually the ones with Nordic and Celtic stuff in their luggage. Yet we can hardly see them having a mythology with cows a bit like Audhumbla, something which wouldn't be entirely out of place for Chaos Dwarfs.

It'd give sort of a subtle bridge back to their uncorrupted origins, and at the same time be a brick in the face of it.

MadHatter Wrote:
Ill look deep into my whiskyglass tonight and ponder this issue of utmost religious importance. The existance of great cowruses naturally a matter of deciding caliber...


Good! Cheers!


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RE: The Cow Herd of the Bull GodDînadan 07-02-2014

Admiral Wrote:
As for the potential Audhumblification, how about each cow having one particular molten metal pouring from her udder?


That's a tad...disturbing Shock



One a side note while on the topic of cows and their...produce...would milk have any religious significance for Chaos Dwarfs?


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07-02-2014 03:51 PM
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Post: #16
RE: The Cow Herd of the Bull GodAdmiral 07-02-2014

Dînadan Wrote:
That's a tad...disturbing Shock


Indeed! But is it disturbing in a positive way, like you'd expect to find amongst evil folks like the Dawi Zharr, or just plain disturbing? Tongue

It'd give some minor mythological basis (not the only one) for CD understanding of geology, which could be good since Chaos Dwarfs need that dose of mysticism.

Also remember that the cows would be half-metal, so having molten metal as milk wouldn't be out of place.

Dînadan Wrote:
One a side note while on the topic of cows and their...produce...would milk have any religious significance for Chaos Dwarfs?


Probably not much. Bull milk on the other hand... Sick

No, only joking. Milk would not be sacred, I guess, because bulls are sacred not cows. Still, milk might actually be used as an ingredient in religious festival food, alongside stuff like Orc blood, Goblin livers, ground Ogre bones and lots of ash. Milk has a connection to the bovine, after all, though I think ash would have more religious importance even in cooking to Chaos Dwarfs.

Or? There could be more sensible interpretations than mine here. Happy


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This post was last modified: 07-02-2014 04:01 PM by Admiral.

07-02-2014 03:59 PM
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Dînadan
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Post: #17
RE: The Cow Herd of the Bull GodDînadan 07-02-2014

Admiral Wrote:

Probably not much. Bull milk on the other hand... Sick


Don't envy the Dwarf who' awarded the honour of 'milking' the Great Tauri and Lammassu. Sick



Quote:
No, only joking. Milk would not be sacred, I guess, because bulls are sacred not cows. Still, milk might actually be used as an ingredient in religious festival food, alongside stuff like Orc blood, Goblin livers, ground Ogre bones and lots of ash. Milk has a connection to the bovine, after all, though I think ash would have more religious importance even in cooking to Chaos Dwarfs.

Or? There could be more sensible interpretations than mine here. Happy

Possibly, but on the other hand the purpose of cows' milk is to suckle calves and allow them to grow up strong - that goes for bull calves as much as cow calves.  As such good milk could be considered the foundation for a strong bull, so while it is bulls that Chaos Dwarfs revere, it's not impossible that milk could play a part in their religion somehow (maybe something similar to wine and Christians in regards to Communion - wine in and of itself is nothing special, but takes on a symbolic role within that one ceremony?)


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07-02-2014 04:17 PM
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Admiral
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Post: #18
RE: The Cow Herd of the Bull GodAdmiral 07-02-2014

Dînadan Wrote:
Possibly, but on the other hand the purpose of cows' milk is to suckle calves and allow them to grow up strong - that goes for bull calves as much as cow calves.  As such good milk could be considered the foundation for a strong bull, so while it is bulls that Chaos Dwarfs revere, it's not impossible that milk could play a part in their religion somehow (maybe something similar to wine and Christians in regards to Communion - wine in and of itself is nothing special, but takes on a symbolic role within that one ceremony?)


...and there we had that more sensible approach. Wink

You're right, it's an obvious way to see it for CDs.


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07-02-2014 04:22 PM
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Post: #19
RE: The Cow Herd of the Bull GodMadHatter 07-02-2014

I've made up my mind. I'm pro-cow, aslong as they are respected because they're favoured by (and the mothers of) the sacred bull. I wouldn't go so far as to call them bovine madonnas, atleast not in my clan Wink

The cow brides being subjugated by Hashut is quite an interesting concept however, to the hindi the cow represents all other creatures and by honoring it all animals are honored... The cow mythos here could perhaps from a hindi perspective be prophetic of Hashut subjugating all other races? The Bull-form of Hashut symbolic for His divine contempt of all lesser races? In the case of such a parallell it would be better with 9 enslaved brides and one being dominated but by her own free will as to represent the choice of the Dawi-Zharr?

"The cow is more, a symbol of the Earth. It always gives and feeds, representing life and the support of life. Honoring the cow inspires in people the virtues of gentleness and connectedness with nature. The cow takes nothing but water, grass and grain, while it gives of its milk, as does the liberated soul give of his spiritual knowledge."

The Old World is naught but a heifer mounted by the Great Bull-God. Hashut!


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This post was last modified: 07-02-2014 10:14 PM by MadHatter.

07-02-2014 10:12 PM
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Post: #20
RE: The Cow Herd of the Bull GodBloodbeard 07-03-2014

Good writing as always Admiral. And a good discusion has followed. Will make my points brief.

1. I hate cowcentaurs. I don't think the fit into the setting or bsxckground. Thy bullcentairs were born back in the day, and a born by regular chaos dwarf women. Acxording to Tharmurkhan that is official. The priest do everything they can to kewp the frw bullcentauers alive, to the point of frankensteinism.

That, and the fact they aren't mentioned,  tells me cowcentaurs don't exist. If there where female and male centauers, there would be greater numbers.

So I say cut the xowcentaur part.

2.  I suggest changing the word from "cow" to "heifer". A cow is female cattle that has had offspring.  A heifer is female catyle that hasn't.  I thinl the word is cooler and it would make senae they havn't fathered any children or calves. Children because thwy must be pure wives to Hashut. Calves because Hashut doesn't have children.

The rumour or myth of the Herd of Tens offspeing woukd be a completly, but cool, othrr story.

3. In hebrew religious context "the red heifer", was a red skinned heifer sacrificed to God in a purification ritual. Specifically people who had been in contact with corpses would purify themselves bathing in the still hot ashes. Red is our colour. And cattle is our symbol. And sacrife through fire is pretty much our thing.

And the historical reference to religious sacrifice is rather cool.

Might even take care of the naming problem. The hebrew name is Para Adumah.

Peace! *drops mic*


This post was last modified: 07-03-2014 12:31 AM by Bloodbeard.

07-03-2014 12:25 AM
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