Re: Heortling hitches.

From: Donald R. Oddy <>
Date: Wed, 26 Sep 2001 23:58:07 GMT

>From: Alex Ferguson <>

>Donald R. Oddy:
>> I think it depends on what exactly is the status of a thrall in
>> Orlanthi society. If they are simply property of a bloodline
>> then it is purely a matter of how the head of the bloodline views
>> it.
>What makes you think bloodlines have property? :-|

Well whatever entity has property in Heortling society, was the issue ever resolved?

>> If they are more like people with very limited rights then
>> they may well be able to appeal to a clan member to champion
>> their cause.
>I think that's more likely the "official" legal position. In practice
>I'm not sure if it makes much practical difference. Their rights
>are likely sufficiently minimal that I'd hestitate to suggest what
>they actually might include...

Given the importance of cult ties that could make a lot of difference, a right not to be abused by their owner could well be championed by a clan member of the same cult whereas if there isn't such a right there can be no legal challenge.

>> Whichever, a thrall is going to have great difficulty claiming rape
>> as their word will count little against that of a freeman.
>I'm not talking about "claims" of rape, since I was assuming the
>thrall would pretty quiet on the matter, one way or another. I'm
>thinking in terms of "how it looks". Is a thrall someone it's
>proper to have sexual relations with? (I suppose they will at least
>generically be Orlanthi adults in the initiatory sense, if you've
>pinched them off another clan...) Do a thralls "rights" include
>being able to consent, or refuse consent, to sex?

I rather think no one would take any notice unless it was brought to their attention in a way that they couldn't avoid. Of course someone might wish to make a scandal of it for political reasons and no doubt various preceedents could be used to prove either way. Of course it is possible that the accuser also does the same given the opportunity.

>> There is also the issue of who thralls breed with, since an Orlanthi
>> all thralls will be female.

Think about it, the two ways of obtaining thralls are capturing them in raids and taking in people who are unable to protect themselves. Now there aren't many Orlanthi men who will be captured in raids, most will fight back and either die or escape. A clan which is unable to protect itself will usually have lost most of the menfolk. Orlanthi attitudes don't fit with becoming thralls, whereas Ernalda can accept it as the best of a bad job. Even with a second generation where you would expect an equal mix there will be a fair number of young men who decide to escape and there seems to be some dispute about whether children can be born thralls. Personally I don't see how a clan could maintain a population of thralls simply by raiding neighbours.

>> In a similar vein, what standing do thralls have in religious matters?
>> To cut them off from Ernalda seems unreasonably harsh yet they are
>> hardly going to be welcomed among the free women. Is there perhaps
>> a cult of Ernalda the Thrall which gives them a place on the
>> periphery of the rites? Given that Ernalda is described as enslaved
>> by Yelm there is a mythic basis for such.
>Tricky, since to allow them to worship on that basis would be
>mythicly equating _oneself_, as the clan chief in particular with
>the Evil Emperor. (Pretty much wearing an "Insert Death here" t-shirt.)

Not really, the decision about who and how Ernalda worship is carried on is a matter for her priestesses not Orlanthi chiefs. Perhaps it is something the women just don't tell the men about. The mythic ambiguity will be one of the reasons thralls are uncommon in Heortling clans.

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