28 February 2012

The Lascerdans

The Lascerdans are a mysterious race of sentient reptiles from the ancient past of Glorantha. As with most little-known elder races, information about Lascerdans is scant.

What little information I have managed to scavenge is as follows. Lascerdans inhabited Umathela before and in the Dawn Age, when they were exterminated by the elves of Pamaltela. Lascerdans descended from the pel-mre of the distant, mythical past of Pamaltela, reptilian life created by Pamalt and Balumbasta. That would have made them distant relatives of the Slarges.

Physically, Lascerdans looked like muscular lizard-men with a gaping mouth. One description mentions their having the head of a basiliscus. Although Pamaltelan humans remember them as coming "from the mountains", Lascerdans were at least semi-aquatic, preferring river-bottoms and swamps.

The Lascerdans dammed the rivers to make shallow lakes and swamps, which destroyed forest land, though it did create some mangrove forests. However, the elves of the woods at the time were mostly green elves, and could not survive in mangroves.
The Lascerdans farmed and fed on pens of freshwater manatees (and probably other aquatic livestock), and their infamous slash-and-burn practices were not true slash-and-burn. Rather, the Lascerdans chopped out huge tracts of forest, burnt the wood, and hauled the greenage back to the rivers to use as cheap and fast manatee fodder. They recognised that they got more useful fodder from cleared areas than from the huge tree-covered portions, so they became tree-enemies. That might explain why the elves fought a genocidal war against them. The last Lascerdans were exterminated along the Palau River in 475

It is believed that the Lascerdans worshipped a fire god (a volcano god like the Olodo?), the Mother of Manatees (a herd goddess), and, more importantly, the River Gods of Umathela. They left some mysterious ruins in the forests of Umathela, called Lascerdan Stones.

Canonical sources mention the Lascerdans as being 'extinct' in Second Age Pamaltela but, hey!, my Gloratha varies...

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