Re: Children, Free Knowledge, Guilds

From: Nick Brooke <>
Date: Mon, 3 Nov 1997 13:34:39 -0500

Stephen wrote:

> Just as many Christian churches do in America each year with their
> Christmas pageants, I also think it is likely that children will
> either fill some of the roles or, more likely, be coached into giving
> their own holy day performance. At least in some religions, such as
> Ernalda's or (especially) Voria's.

My own favourite example is (of course) the Seven Mothers' Nativity Play, in which some lucky children get to dress in animal costumes to sing the oh-so-moving Chorus of Animals. Their mums can spend *weeks* sewing the donkey, sheep, goat etc. costumes; although some temples retain stocks of their own for use year after year, there is natural attrition in any "ritual garb" worn by six-year-olds and smaller... And the song has plenty of animal-noise choruses which the little darlings *love* singing out-of-tune.

I just love thinking of Storm Bulls bursting in on a 7M ritual and going all out for the "goat-like figures" on the fringe...

> Imagine the dilemna of a Lhankor Mhy who has to give away knowledge
> for free to a foe on the quest, because that is what his god did.

Of more practical use: imagine the cunning of one of your players, working out that his character can demand knowledge for free from a hoarding Lhankor Mhy, *if* he can only turn up on the right day in the right context at Sacred Time, and play his ritual part...

That kind of thinking has got me banned from the Hero Plane in three nations already... :-)

> What is the likelihood of powerful guilds in the West, however?
> There, magic is the domain of the wizardly caste, mostly, not of
> any particular group, and it is not as specialized as it is among
> the Orlanthi cults. Should this discussion of guilds be moved over
> to the Hrestoli and Rokari?

Certainly there are craft guilds in Loskalm, and powerful guilds in Safelster. I imagine they'd be stamped on by the Seshnelan Rokari, though in the more "reasonable", "civilised" Rokari land of Nolos they probably hold some sway.

Guilds ought to be prominent in Pavis (as discussed), and are present in Sartarite cities (but there as one of Sartar's "innovations", not as an ur-Orlanthi piece of tribal culture and history). And if it came from King Sartar, likely there are proto-guilds of some kind in his original homeland, Heortland...

Lunar "guilds" would be like Roman collegia: some of these would be craft- or trade-related, while others were religious, political, secretly criminal, etc. The Empire would take a detached interest in knowing what groups of people were meeting together, what common purpose they might be promoting, etc.; see the reaction of the Romans to Christianity for an example of state-sponsored repression, or as a case in point, Emperor Trajan's refusal to countenance a municipal fire brigade for a city in Bithynia ("because it's probably just an excuse for people to get together and hold seditious meetings"), as recounted in one of Pliny's letters. It'd be of more general interest IMHO to deal with Lunar recognition of semi-formal groups (and the ways in which they are monitored, approved, recognised, etc.) than to take a narrow focus on trade-associations alone.

Sinologists can tell me about Kralorela; I have some of the pertinent facts from the (excellent) Judge Dee books, but still never intend to head out East and see what really goes on out there...


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