So , I was visiting with an animal activist friend recently. She devotes her time and resources to rescuing and caring for abandoned animals in a nearby province . On a recent beach walk, she found a cat buried in sand and debris. Somebody had cut and forced a plastic bottle on to the cat’s head. When she found the cat, the bottle was partially full of sand and salt water, because the cat, now starving, was too weak to move away from the edge of the water. This detestable cruelty to an innocent creature, left her feeling violated and emotionally weakened….felt so sad when she told me ….I almost cried too…
There has been a lot of discussion lately in panther tribes about having larls and baby larls wandering about camp, Shelly writes down her thoughts on the subject, all credit of this article to Shelly.
— What I see as the CONS —
(1) It’s impractical for a panther tribe to have trained larls at their disposal.
From a BTB perspective, larls acting like pets or allies of a panther tribe simply never happened. In the books Norman describes larls like this:
” the larl in its native haunts in the Voltai Range, that incredible pantherlike carnivore which may stand six to eight feet high at the shoulder.” — Outlaw of Gor, page 21.
A kitty that stands 8 feet tall at the shoulder isn’t exactly the cuddly little fur ball that I’ve seen RP’ed so often in SL! Norman describes them as massive, ferocious killing machines! They are driven by instinct to avoid humans and seek the mountains:
“None of the men below the mountains, the mortals, had ever succeeded in taming a larl. Even larl cubs when found and raised by men would, on reaching their majority, on some night, in a sudden burst of atavistic fury slay their masters and under the three hurtling moons of Gor lope from the dwellings of men, driven by what instincts I know not, to seek the mountains where they were born. A case is known of a larl who traveled more then twenty-five hundred pasangs to seek a certain shallow crevice in the Voltai in which he had been whelped. He was slain at its mouth.” –Priest-Kings of Gor, pages 19-20.
Now, I realize both the Priest Kings and the Pani used larls. The Pani actually had larls trained from birth, for Lord Nishida’s use. They also used them for hunting in the wands:
“A cage wagon rolled past, in which, turning and twisting about one another, agitated, were several larls. These were the beasts, primarily, who had patrolled outside the wands. They were trained from cubhood, to respond to secret commands. Accordingly, one who knew these commands might command them, venture beyond the wands, and so on. Ashigaru prowled the edges of the road, lest any of Lord Nishida’s minions, primarily mercenaries, be tempted to avail themselves of an unobstructed highway to another prince, one with perhaps a deeper purse.” — Swordsmen of Gor pg 635
I would say though, both examples of ‘tamed larls’, Pani and Priest King, represent extremely rare special cases. As a panther tribe, I think it is very unlikely we would have the wherewithal to keep and train larls from birth. Even if they were raised from cubs, they would still eventually turn on us. SL doesn’t make such a battle realistically possible, since a beast 8 feet tall at the should would decimate our tribe with very little effort. I’m envisioning a beast with something like 800% GM meter health and instantaneous kill with its paws… *shakes her head at the thought*
(2) Domesticated larls will drive people away from our sim, and our tribe.
This point probably depends on how we use larls and what we restrict them to. But, I think having larls in the forest is enough to discourage some people from visiting. Having them trail individual panthers around is much more likely to result in calls for a mod (I would ask for a mod if I was battling a panther and a larl jumped in to help her out). Having them defend the camp is going to cause additional heartache. Sending them along with us on raids will damage our reputation – even in the GE community, which is much more forgiving than the BTB crowds.
(3) Larls will drive sisters away from our tribe.
Some people love RPing with animals, so this doesn’t apply to everyone, but some don’t want animals interjecting themselves into the RP. Some simply don’t know how to deal with them. I admit that I often find myself in that crowd. When I think how I would likely respond to the presence of a larl I see myself acting out of fear – for myself and my tribe. If I was true to that feeling (IC of course) I would kill every larl I encountered, I actually took this approach when I first encountered larls in the forest though and I have since learned that killing a beast is no different than killing a person, in that it creates drama and heartache and generally isn’t worth it.
— What I see as the PROS —
(1) I have come to appreciate the diversity.
I admit I was a little steamed when Dani first allowed beasts in the forest. After watching for awhile though, I have come to appreciate that they add elements to our forest that don’t exist on other Gorean sims. I think part of what makes Valkyrie Forest special is that we have such a variety of characters. We have panthers, mercs, slave hunters, ferals, city folks, outlaws … and yes, even beasts. I think we need to decide some guidlines for using larls, with the books as a guide. I think we should put something in the sim rules so visitors understand what to expect from our beasts. I think if we do that then the larls could become a benefit to our sim.
(2) I have come to appreciate individual role players.
I will single out brigid the larl here. He (using the gender of his avie) spends a good bit of time on our sim each week and contributes to the role play whenever he is around. He defends the camp and individual tribe members. He has also attracted other beast avies, who are also contributing (As a recruiter this is gold to me). I’m told he has even made a donation to the sim. This is exactly the kind of people we should be looking to attract. Whether they RP in the tribe, in the village or in the forest remains to be decided but I think we should do everything possible to make a home for dedicated, contributing members of our virtual family.
I must point out that larls have the potential to be very, very effective defensive tools for our camp. Larls can jump, climb and run around. They can strike with paws and are deadly in close quarters. We can use them in camp. We can send then around behind attacking forces. I think the possibilities are only limited by our own imaginations. Do we really want to turn away such a potential source of defensive strength when we have so much trouble fielding enough bows to defend our camp?
— Ideas —
I’m not going to ask for ideas and not supply one or two of my own. These are just ideas …
(1) What if we made a larl cave at the base of camp, or near the back door? Then they wouldn’t technically be domesticated.
(2) What if we kept them outside camp, but allowed them in the forest? This might prevent some of the problems with tribe members.
~ source : Shelly (Asia Chun)