Let's talk about Cimmerian Raids

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Supplement Four
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Let's talk about Cimmerian Raids

Postby Supplement Four » Sat Aug 21, 2010 5:59 pm

I'm thinking ahead for possible plots in my Cimmeria based game, and I'm wondering about raiding. It's generally accepted that some Cimmerian clans raid, right? Raid the Vanir, the Picts, go across the border into Aquilonia, even other Cimmerian clans, yes?

Raiding is a pretty "evil" activity. Player characters, at least in my games, tend to wax towards "good". So, I wonder how they'll act in a raid.

And, what is a Cimmerian raid like, anyway? I don't see a lot of rape going on, but maybe they'd take women back with them as wives?

Would they ransack a town, setting fire to everything? What about the town's people? Would they move from person to person, murdering them?

That's how I traditionally think of raiding. A force storms into a town, takes what it wants, burns the place to the ground, and kills everything they see.

Maybe Cimmerian raids are different?

This is another topic that probably should have been covered in the Cimmeria sourcebook.

Do you think Cimmerian raids are the traditional, evil type, as mentioned above?

Or...maybe Cimmerian raids are more like a traditional bandit shaking down a town? The Cimmerians appear, in force, go through the town's goods with a line of "security" that keeps the townsfolk away from those taking stuff. And, then they just leave. The Cimmerians don't get rough unless provoked--unless resistance is put up. Then, they do only what is necessary to steal from the town.

That seems more palatable with what I think of Cimmerians, but does that really fit the fierce northern savages that REH describes?

What are you thoughts on Cimmerian raids?
Jacek
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Postby Jacek » Sat Aug 21, 2010 6:49 pm

Depending on the situation. If they raid someone out of desperation (hunger in the village for example) and they're forced to risk an attack on a stronger enemy they should be trying to avoid any contact with the locals over what's absolutely necessary and thus avoid wasting time.

If they are raiding group has the edge in a possible fight, though, the raid is likely to turn into a show of prowess and ruthlessness by the raiders wisihng to gain respect or plentiful spoils.
Cheers,
Jacek
Supplement Four
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Postby Supplement Four » Sat Aug 21, 2010 6:56 pm

Good thoughts, Jacek. I hadn't put a lot of thought into the "why" of their raiding.

There very well could be a tactical reason for murdering the men at the target of their raid--to stop any retalliation.

What if the raid is for no other reason to than to take what others have to enrich the clan? One of the few times this is mentioned in the Cimmerian book, it states that Cimmerians will especially raid their neighbors if they have luxuries that the raiding clan doesn't have--like livestock. Can't keep those damn pigs in the pen!
VincentDarlage
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Postby VincentDarlage » Sat Aug 21, 2010 11:05 pm

Ancient cultures didn't consider raiding to be evil. It was more like practice for the warriors without having to actually go to war. Nialldubh is correct in that it was kind of a sport.

Some African cultures raid to get wives, because otherwise they would have to inbreed - in a few places, the women ran out to meet the raiders so they could get kidnapped! LOL.
kintire
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Postby kintire » Sat Aug 21, 2010 11:11 pm

Hmmm.

SOMETIMES it was like that, but raids could turn very nasty very quickly. The Highlands saw many raids as Nialdubh describes, and they saw many ruthless massacres as well.

Raiding is often seen as a sport and practice for warriors by the raiders, usually not so much by the raidees. Even where it is very formalised, it is feud-fodder as soon as anything goes wrong.
Supplement Four
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Postby Supplement Four » Sat Aug 21, 2010 11:15 pm

So, the question is: How would REH write a story about Cimmerians raiding?

Let's say REH wanted to write a story about Conan's grandfather, before the blood feud that sent him north, raiding with his prior clan over the border into Aquilonia.

How would those raids be described, do you think?
VincentDarlage
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Postby VincentDarlage » Sun Aug 22, 2010 4:35 am

Supplement Four wrote:So, the question is: How would REH write a story about Cimmerians raiding?
He would write it splendidly.
Supplement Four wrote:Let's say REH wanted to write a story about Conan's grandfather, before the blood feud that sent him north, raiding with his prior clan over the border into Aquilonia.

How would those raids be described, do you think?
I think they would be described with standard Howard brilliance.
Supplement Four
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Postby Supplement Four » Sun Aug 22, 2010 6:38 am

VincentDarlage wrote:He would write it splendidly.

(skip)


I think they would be described with standard Howard brilliance.
Funny man. 8) You know what I meant.
Spectator
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Postby Spectator » Sun Aug 22, 2010 5:28 pm

I tend to think that the inter-tribal raids would be more of the snatch and grab type of cattle raids that have been mentioned.
But remember that Cattle is wealth and in the winter a carcass could sustain a family unit for a long time, so taking cattle is tantamount to starving someone. Which would then mean that the Defending tribe would protect the cattle with their lives and the thieving tribe would only go after the easy money, like someone mentioned earlied scaring off the shepherd boy without killing him, kinda thing.

I think the cattle raids would be kinda small and local.

I like the concept of the bride-taking. I think John Robbert Maddox mentioned it in his Conan the Valorous novel.
I suppose taking a woman by force and then inserting yourself into her is RAPE, so I am not so sure about this Cimmerian anti-rape provision everyone mentions?!?!

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