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    Sources of Fremen Water Stockpiles

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      Native inhabitants of Arrakis, descendants of the Zensunni Wanderers

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    Sources of Fremen Water Stockpiles

    Postby Eru » 19 May 2010 15:05

    We all know that the Fremen had dew-collectors and the like, but one thing that is never really touched on is all of the water which came from slain Harkonnens and Sardaurkar. Isn't there a figure of how man troops the Baron lost during his 2nd occupation of Arrakis? Some conversation with Rabban. The human body contains 40-50 liters of water. A single liter was a fortune to a Fremen. I like to think that a substantial portion of the water in the Fremen caches like the one shown to Jessica is from dead Harkonnen troops :twisted:
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    Re: Sources of Fremen Water Stockpiles

    Postby lotek » 19 May 2010 15:19

    I doubt the water from the H was a major part in the stockpiling of water by the Fremen nation:

    - i'm not sure how big a deathstill would be but i'd say it would be a tough endeavour to process so much bodies
    - in some cases there were no bodies(cf the Fremen kamikaze who takes down a troop transporter with his ornithopter)
    - taking the water of the fallen warrior was a way of getting back whatever loss the fight implied(that is for ritual fighting but it is safe to assume the same reasoning applies to standard fighting)

    You have to remember that spice is the foremost currency in the Duniverse, and that on Arrakis it is water. So i always pictured the Fremen selling spice for water(and for hardware, paying the Guild's bribes...)

    For the Fremen every little bit counts and of course they would not have shied from taking as much water back from the H, but don't forget that Kynes was a planetologist and as such he tried to give the Fremen the way to build a system without the need for extra resources.
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    Re: Sources of Fremen Water Stockpiles

    Postby Nekhrun » 19 May 2010 15:38

    There was also the water collected from the atmosphere, which was probably the main source.
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    Re: Sources of Fremen Water Stockpiles

    Postby MrFlibble » 20 May 2010 14:12

    Hm, come to think of it, I don't remember the original books stating that the Fremen would claim water from slain Harkonnens. Wouldn't the hatred toward the Harkonnens prevent them from using their water? KJA, on the contrary, seems to like this idea, because even from what little of the new books I have read, the custom of taking the water of the dead HKs is mentioned several times.
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    Re: Sources of Fremen Water Stockpiles

    Postby lotek » 20 May 2010 14:39

    I think it would have more to do with the inconvenience of processing the H bodies, considering the Fremen tribes probably raided more often the pan and graben villages than the H dared to venture in the deep desert, especially towards the final steps of the conflict.
    Does anyone else think the Fremen would consider the H's water tainted?

    Remember that scene(Paul has to accept the water from Jamis after their fight_Chani's answer tells us everything we need to know about the Fremen pragmatism, IMO)

    Jessica looked at Chani.
    "They're recovering Jamis' water," Chani said, and her thin voice came out
    nasal past the nose plugs. "It's the rule. The flesh belongs to the person, but
    his water belongs to the tribe . . . except in the combat."
    "They say the water's mine," Paul said.
    Jessica wondered why this should make her suddenly alert and cautious.
    "Combat water belongs to the winner," Chani said. "It's because you have to
    fight in the open without stillsuits. The winner has to get his water back that
    he loses while fighting."
    "I don't want his water," Paul muttered. He felt that he was a part of many
    images moving simultaneously in a fragmenting way that was disconcerting to the
    inner eye. He could not be certain what he would do, but of one thing he was
    positive: he did not want the water distilled out of Jamis' flesh.
    "It's . . . water," Chani said.
    Jessica marveled at the way she said it. "Water." So much meaning in a
    simple sound. A Bene Gesserit axiom came to Jessica's mind: "Survival is the
    ability to swim in strange water." And Jessica thought: Paul and I, we must find
    the currents and patterns in these strange waters . . . if we're to survive.
    "You will accept the water," Jessica said.


    Strangely enough I don't recall any hints that prove the Fremen indeed deathstill-ed the Hs, but I'll look for that :)
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    Re: Sources of Fremen Water Stockpiles

    Postby MrFlibble » 20 May 2010 14:58

    One issue is that they would have to carry the corpses to a deathstill. Secondly, remember the scene when Hawat talks to a Fremen during Harkonnen attack, and the Fremen take one of Hawat's dead men to process his water in exchange for help? It is clear in that scene that the water is used to seal a bond between the Fremen and the Atreides, represented by Hawat. On the other hand, I vaguely remember it being mentioned somewhere that for some very severe crime a Fremen could be either banned from the tribe or killed - can't remember exactly, - and his water would be allowed to seep into the sand, because the tribe would not accept tainted water from a criminal.
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    Re: Sources of Fremen Water Stockpiles

    Postby Apjak » 20 May 2010 15:28

    One thing to remember is that Arrakis was not always a desert planet, it was desertified, presumably by sandtrout. If the native water were plentiful enough, even though it was encapsulated to protect the worm vector, it would still cycle in to the atmosphere with regularity.
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    Re: Sources of Fremen Water Stockpiles

    Postby MrFlibble » 20 May 2010 15:40

    In this respect, I wonder how the migration of people on- and off-planet affected the water balance, as with frequent interplanetary travel Arrakis was no longer an entirely closed ecosystem.
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    Re: Sources of Fremen Water Stockpiles

    Postby SandChigger » 20 May 2010 21:24

    That's a good point, too. (Reminds me: was it The Hitchhiker's Guide that mentioned a world so worried about "traveler erosion" of their planet that they weighed you when you arrived and when you left, and if you weighed more when trying to leave they cut off the equivalent in flesh? ;) )

    Apjak wrote:One thing to remember is that Arrakis was not always a desert planet, it was desertified, presumably by sandtrout. If the native water were plentiful enough, even though it was encapsulated to protect the worm vector, it would still cycle in to the atmosphere with regularity.

    The quotes from GEoD I posted recently about the Arrakeen seas and oceans during Leto's time would seem to indicate that the water was plentiful enough. I can think of at least two natural, albeit small, sources of atmospheric moisture during the desert phase:

    1. Evaporation from the minimal polar ice caps
    2. Spice-blows

    (Big ole juicy burp of pickled sandtrout poop & peepee, belched out onto the surface sands to dry in the sun and wind ... that implies evaporation of the moisture into the air. ;) )
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    Re: Sources of Fremen Water Stockpiles

    Postby Hunchback Jack » 20 May 2010 21:30

    lotek wrote:Strangely enough I don't recall any hints that prove the Fremen indeed deathstill-ed the Hs, but I'll look for that :)


    "New victories," Jessica said. "Rabban has sent cautious overtures about a
    truce. His messengers have been returned without their water.


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    Re: Sources of Fremen Water Stockpiles

    Postby Nekhrun » 20 May 2010 21:38

    SandChigger wrote:That's a good point, too. (Reminds me: was it The Hitchhiker's Guide that mentioned a world so worried about "traveler erosion" of their planet that they weighed you when you arrived and when you left, and if you weighed more when trying to leave they cut off the equivalent in flesh? ;) )

    Apjak wrote:One thing to remember is that Arrakis was not always a desert planet, it was desertified, presumably by sandtrout. If the native water were plentiful enough, even though it was encapsulated to protect the worm vector, it would still cycle in to the atmosphere with regularity.

    The quotes from GEoD I posted recently about the Arrakeen seas and oceans during Leto's time would seem to indicate that the water was plentiful enough. I can think of at least two natural, albeit small, sources of atmospheric moisture during the desert phase:

    1. Evaporation from the minimal polar ice caps
    2. Spice-blows

    (Big ole juicy burp of pickled sandtrout poop & peepee, belched out onto the surface sands to dry in the sun and wind ... that implies evaporation of the moisture into the air. ;) )

    Wasn't there also something about digging wells that quickly dried up? If they could get any water that way before the sandtrout encapsulated it it might be worth the effort to keep drilling wells.
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    Re: Sources of Fremen Water Stockpiles

    Postby SandChigger » 20 May 2010 21:45

    I got the opposite impression, that it wasn't worth the effort....

    FH in Dune wrote:"... They've never found water traces there, anyway. But the mystery, Wellington, the real mystery is the wells that've been drilled up here in the sinks and basins. Have you read about those?"

    "First a trickle, then nothing," he said.

    "But, Wellington, that's the mystery. The water was there. It dries up. And never again is there water. Yet another hole nearby produces the same result: a trickle that stops. Has no one ever been curious about this?"

    [Later in the Ecology Appendix]

    There'd been open water on Arrakis—once. He began reexamining the evidence of the dry wells where trickles of water had appeared and vanished, never to return.
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    Re: Sources of Fremen Water Stockpiles

    Postby Nekhrun » 20 May 2010 22:27

    SandChigger wrote:I got the opposite impression, that it wasn't worth the effort....

    FH in Dune wrote:"... They've never found water traces there, anyway. But the mystery, Wellington, the real mystery is the wells that've been drilled up here in the sinks and basins. Have you read about those?"

    "First a trickle, then nothing," he said.

    "But, Wellington, that's the mystery. The water was there. It dries up. And never again is there water. Yet another hole nearby produces the same result: a trickle that stops. Has no one ever been curious about this?"

    That's the quote I was thinking of. These are off-worlders talking about it though, don't you think it might have been worth it to the Fremen? I'm not sure a people who were so patient and resourceful wouldn't dedicate some time and resources to gather that "trickle". These are people who save the moisture from their breath after all.
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    Re: Sources of Fremen Water Stockpiles

    Postby Omphalos » 20 May 2010 23:17

    Water was probably being constantly redistributed in the atmosphere also. I think encapsulated water was what led to spice blows. That was the way subterranean water could get to dew collectors.
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    Re: Sources of Fremen Water Stockpiles

    Postby MrFlibble » 21 May 2010 06:24

    Hunchback Jack wrote:"New victories," Jessica said. "Rabban has sent cautious overtures about a
    truce. His messengers have been returned without their water.


    HBJ

    Nice find, thanks. Still no indication that water obtained in such way was added to the tribe's supply. Taking the water could have been a purely symbolic act, since water was obviously a sacred substance to the Fremen. Still can't remember where I read about exiled/killed Fremen criminals whose water would not be accepted back into the tribe.
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    Re: Sources of Fremen Water Stockpiles

    Postby lotek » 21 May 2010 07:31

    Without precise info from the books, it is a matter of what is the strongest, religious taboos or water pragmatism.
    Both traits are very strong in the Fremen.
    We know they will take the water of non Fremen found in the desert
    "Get their water," the man calling out of the night had said. And Paul
    fought down his fear, glanced at his mother. His trained eyes saw her readiness
    for battle, the waiting whipsnap of her muscles.

    "But the woman," the voice above them said.
    Jessica readied herself anew. There had been death in that voice.
    "Yes, the woman," Stilgar said. "And her water."
    "You know the law," said the voice from the rocks. "Ones who cannot live
    with the desert--"
    "Be quiet," Stilgar said. "Times change."

    "It's the way to kill offworld strangers found in the desert and take their
    water as a gift from Shai-hulud," Paul said. "Yet you permitted two such to live
    one night, my mother and myself."
    As Stilgar remained silent, trembling, staring at him, Paul said: "Ways
    change, Stil. You have changed them yourself."




    "My knife goes where Stilgar commands it, Paul-Muad'Dib! Let us fight soon,
    Paul-Muad'Dib! Let us wet our world with the blood of Harkonnens!"

    Ritual sentences have deep rooted meaning in Frank's work, and at the same time are pretty straightforward(I know it's great isn't it?!), so that could indicate they don't plan to save their blood/water.



    As others and I have said, processing the Hs bodies when you're doing guerilla warfare is complicated, it will definitely hinder mobility.
    Still looking for more quotes that would suggest the H water was considered impure.
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    Re: Sources of Fremen Water Stockpiles

    Postby RedHeadKevin » 21 May 2010 08:50

    I don't remember the original books stating that the Fremen would claim water from slain Harkonnens

    if you remember, at the Battle of Arrakeen, Alia did what good Fremen children did, she killed the wounded and marked their bodies for the water-collection teams (I don't have the exact quote in front of me, but someone must.) I'd assume she killed Sardaukar, Harkonnen troops, and dying Fremen.

    Of course, by the Battle of Arrakeen, I'm not sure how many Harkonnen troops fought with the Sardaukar against the Fremen, Rabban was cut off by that time, and didn't have a whole lot of troops left. Since it was Fremen custom to take the water of strangers, I'm sure they took Harkonnen water. To quote Chani: "but.. it's water."

    I vaguely remember it being mentioned somewhere that for some very severe crime a Fremen could be either banned from the tribe or killed - can't remember exactly, - and his water would be allowed to seep into the sand, because the tribe would not accept tainted water from a criminal.

    That was done in the case of Abominations ( besides Alia, were there enough Abominations for the Fremen to have a plan for what to do with thier water?) IIRC, it was also done in the case of the tribe from Jacurutu (no, not us.) The water was spread on the open sand in the heat of the day, so it wouldn't contaiminate tribal cisterns.
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    Re: Sources of Fremen Water Stockpiles

    Postby Freakzilla » 21 May 2010 09:17

    "Where is Alia?" she asked.
    "Out doing what any good Fremen child should be doing in such times," Paul
    said. "She's killing enemy wounded and marking their bodies for the waterrecovery
    teams."


    There was only one Battle of Arrakeen. The Harkonnen defeat of the Atreides took place all over.

    The only instance I know of Fremen NOT taking water from the dead is in case of possession.

    She was particularly bitter at the way the Sisterhood's mythology had
    trapped Alia. Fear built on fear! The habits of generations had imprinted the
    fate of Abomination upon her. Alia had known no hope. Of course she'd succumbed.
    Her fate made the accomplishment of Leto and Ghanima even more difficult to
    face. Not one way out of the trap, but two. Ghanima's victory over the inner
    lives and her insistence that Alia deserved only pity were the bitterest things
    of all. Hypnotic suppression under stress linked to the wooing of a benign
    ancestor had saved Ghanima. They might have saved Alia. But without hope,
    nothing had been attempted until it was too late. Alia's water had been poured
    upon the sand.
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