Re: Heortling hitches.

From: Donald R. Oddy <>
Date: Fri, 28 Sep 2001 18:50:33 GMT

>From: Alex Ferguson <>
>I think the Orlanthi legal system isn't as pernickity about what
>your definable "rights" in this sort of sense as this implies. If
>an associate of the thrall wants to speak up for them in the moot,
>then it's more a matter of how glib he is with the precedents and
>how much clout he has in general than whether his case is "in order".

Perhaps "right" is the wrong word, "tradition" might be better. Certainly without some precedents to support his case it won't get anywhere.

>Again, there is no "accuser". My thought was, if you have sex with
>a still-enthralled thrall, doesn't it "have the appearance" of
>coersion or intimidation? (The type of "seduction" you'd go to
>hell for in the middle ages, if I recall my cod theology right.)
>And if you have sex with a thrall you've just freed, doesn't it
>look like "bribery"? Hence my comment about "fear or favour".

It's rather like the ageing politican or businessman having sex with a junior employee today. Most people will ignore what's going on although if asked claim to disapprove. Those who wish to make a fuss for political reasons will do so and I suppose there might be some who have moral objections but I don't see Heortling society having any time for professional moralists telling people they are going to hell. Remember many marriages are made for political or economic reasons so the idea of exchanging favours for sex won't be as offensive as it is to modern morals.

>I'm not at all convinced. The easiest way to be made a captive I
>think is probably _being_ a raider, and getting captured. (And
>everyone raids everyone else, so it's just a matter of ransom and
>return, or "he's a keeper".) Nor can I see any difficulty with
>capturing male children, even if you think that every half-trained
>fyrdman farmer is a "give me freedom or give me death" merchant.

I can see raiders getting captured, but young Orlanthi men must be just about the most unsuitable thralls going. First you've got to knock the idea that they're clever enough to escape out of their heads and then get them to do productive work for their enemies. Much easier to get what ransom or exchange deal you can, or even sell them to the Lunars.

>Depends what sort of "population" you have in mind. I doubt the
>numbers are ever exactly impressive. An especially hard-case clan
>might like to make a point of always having thralls (maybe literally
>>=2) but I doubt it's ever economically significant. (I think I
>once saw a suggestion that the Sambari were into the "slave trade"
>but this may be an anomaly related to their proximity to Prax (or
>post invasion, to them being Lunar-loving scum...) KoDP will have
>a range of numbers of cite here (however canonically or not)...

I had in mind a regular but small proportion, enough to provide a tradition for the clan but under 5%. Possibly just enough for wealthy carls to use as a symbol of their status and prowess. Economically they are going to do the hard dirty jobs that in other clans are done by the poorest people. I find it difficult to believe that a few clans sometimes owning a few thralls would create a recognisable social group as implied by KoS and existing in just about every comparable real world society.

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