On Primitive Red World Agriculture
Question: What sets civilization and society apart from the primitive sentient?
Thesis: The temple and the university are born out of the surpashroom.
Antithesis: A surplus of food such as that provided by middle surpashroom agriculture is not a necessary or sufficient condition for the development of a civilized society.
Anticipated Objection: The Troglodytes do not farm or utilize surpashroom or anything like it, yet we see cultural and religious practices, knowledge gathering, and complex organization among them.
Anticipated Objection: The Dragonkin have an oral culture with hundreds of distinct stories, yet feast primarily on a foraged food—the little worm.
Anticipated Objection: Dwarves have never domesticated surpashrooms.
Reply to first Objection: We will not call Troglodytes civilized. Their hunting of other sentient humanoids for nourishment and religious sacrifice is to us an affront to their labling as a civilized society. Further, while hear tell of numerous shrines to dark gods unknowable, we believe that theirs is a society without linear knowledge transfer and without the ability to withstand a great calamity. Further, where is Troglodyte education? The very word Troglodyte speaks of a hostility to the very concept of education. Are not ideas which conflict with tribal fiat held as falsehood? We reject the objection and call Troglodytes uncivilized.
Reply to second Objection: We admit the merit, but not the effect of the objection. While Dragonkin are known to only eat of the little worm or the Goblin, we hold that they have a surplus made available to them in their symbiosis with the great Shrooms. This we admit. We hold that the little worm is available in surplus. We hold that should the little worm be removed from the Forest, the Dragonkin may yet cease to have a civilized society. We therefore reject the objection.
Reply to third Objection: While none among us doubt the civility and depth of society that the Dwarves posses, we hold that certain stores of food have been responsible for their rise. For instance, while the Dwarves have not domesticated a Surpashroom line or a kin mushroom, we note that the Dwarf in his city still never goes hungry. Whether it is upon a surpashroom he has peddled his craft against, a stray centipede or spider, or the fresh game brought back by his clan’s hunters, he is fed by the excess of food that another brings back. Therefore we acknowledge the objection but reject it: Dwarves have surplus, just not in this manner.
Synthesis: Let us not be swayed by these objections, the general path to civilization is through the domesticated surpashroom. This is the shroom that humans found in the gilded cave and made to grow along the rocky crags of the windy path. This is the shroom that elves of old took to the tops of Great shrooms and planted in the ceilings of caverns. This is the shroom that every halfling who’s ever lived has plundered away from an Elf.
We affirm our thesis: The temple and the university are born out of the surpashroom.
Feimon the Long-Lived – On Society