Heortling inheritance, Heortling freemen, Alakoring vs Heortling

From: Ian Cooper <ian_hammond_cooper_at_...>
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 08:34:26 -0000


David Dunham

>I thought of another thing to mention about my view of "primary
>-- this is the individual who gets the bulk of the personal gear,
>such as sword and armor or a magic item. This type of property is
>divisible, and it probably wouldn't make sense for a farmer to give
>this to one son and not also give that son a share of his cows
>(swords are great but you need cows to live).

Bit who does the war-gear belong to. It may well have been recieved from the clan when dad was made a weapon thane or from the bloodline on adulthood as a gift. That gift had an obligation of service and might have to be returned on death. For example for the Anglo-saxons the heriot (war-gear) given by a lord to his man by his lord was repayable on his death. Of course his lord might then gift his son but his son would then be talking his place.

Part of the value of those wealth rules in HW is that your wealth is not easily measured in pennies, but in range of resources, debts, obligations, favours and patronages that you can call on.

Gift to superior = favour
Gift to equal = alliance
Gift to subordinate = loyalty

Much of grandfather's wealth may go to his grandchildren during his life in gifts, to help establish them, raise their status by increasing their economic resources to work available land etc, in return loyalty would be expected.

Gerald Bosch

>I agree that there must be some relationship between a carl's wealth
> and wergild. I think that we might have different views of a "carl."

In Germanic culture weregild depended on status and seems to have been a deterrent to killing the more powerful. In celtic society weregild was a flat 7 cows each. The equality of Orlanthis society and the fact that leaders are elected means that a flat 'Cletic' value might be more appropriate, but remember: weregild is a starting point for negotiation, most of those historical weregilds were beyond the resources of a bloodline to pay in Germainc culture and the low Celtic ones were often bargained up; if you wanted to settle and not feud then you negotiated an appropriate price. Orlanthi might have an equal weregild that is often changed for bargaining, a bloodline might worry less about a stickpicker than a thane ("All Orlanthi are equal, but some are more equal than others").

>The point I was trying to emphasize is that I believe that wergild is
>set fairly high to create a form of social control on individual
>violence. IMG, most people are not really capable of paying the
>wergild of a substantial member of another community, they will be
>forced to fall back on their bloodline,

Agreed. Traditionally weregild was payable by the bloodline and paid to the bloodline (two thirds by immediate household, third by more remote bloodline). A bloodline could declare a miscrant outlaw if they did not wish to pay his weregild. The obligation of the bloodline to pay placed considerable social control on the individual by the kin.

But weregild is not just about deterrence, it is about compensation. It is seen as a restoration of the balance of parties amongst the aggrieved parties. The dishonour done to them by the loss of a member is compensated by the payment by the miscreants bloodline, who are forced to effectively gift them placing them in an inferior position. Weregild is related to the culture of gifting, you are gifting to settle a feud.

Peter Metcalfe

Firstly thank you for your comments Peter, very helpful.

>>The Alakorings are Vingkotlings but influenced
>>by Alakoring Dragonbreaker.

>Not correct. Many of the Alakorings were never Vingkotlings
>or Heortlings (such as the Talastari Tribes).

Must re-read that Enclosure article - I guessed that the Vingkotlings were not the only Orlanthi antecedent culture, thanks for illuminating this with some fact. The question that this raises is how much of what say KoS says about the Orlanthi is Orlanthi culture and how much Heortling. What are the cultural and socio-economic differences between these groups. I'm not looking for a "how to tell the Barbarains apart" list of weapons, but an understanding of the differences between the cultures.

>The Hendrieki are much older than the Sartarites as they
>have been around since the Chaos Wars.

True I was trying to show however influence by Malkioni cultures, but that is still contemporary with Sartarites I guess.

>The Rexes (also Reg and some other celtic term that I can't recall)
>are used in Heortling Tribes too. I think Alakoring cleansed the
>old tribal kingship of draconic influences and promulgated this as
>Rex rather than any class struggles.

Well Tarsh is certain to have influenced Sartar, part of that kingdom was the kingdom of Tarsh and if the Tarshites are Alakorings then the rex cult might have spread to the Sartarites and to the Hendriki. However Iw astrying to use what the Rex cult implies (with its power over the religious hierachy about the Orlanthi culture that lead to its inception).

it has been previously stated by Greg that Alakoring weakened the religous control of power in the tribes in favour of secular power, this coupled with comments that the clans were once led by Wind Lords leads me to suspect that the religious hierachy and not an elected body ruled the tribe (it may well be a ring still, but not an elected one). However I'm not suggesting that Alakoring brought in democracy, I see that as Heort's role. I'm using it to try and determine what the antecedent culture was like, so we can figure what is local to Heortling culture (i.e. my suggestion democracy) and what is Orlanthi common culture. That is why I am questioning - is democracy a Hoertling thing that was not present in the Vingkotling tribes on the evidence we have, or was it an Orlanthi thing.

Obviously the Wenelians, Talastri etc. appears to be different again.

This is just one idea of how to represent the difference, others may be better, I am just searching for them.

>Tarsh only moved to a hereditary nobility as a result of lunar

Well they are close enough to DH to have been influenced even at the time of the change, but I don't think everything has to be explained this way. However it is one way to go.

So the question is: what is common to Orlanthi cultures, what is local to various groups.

PS I was less interested in whether the Esrolians have some sort of Egyptian motifs from the Kingdom of Night or if they are Minoan as the fact that they are an Orlanthi culture that diverted considerably through its move to an earth/matriachal society, and what does it draw/can it tell us about base Orlanthi culture.    

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