Re: Heortling inheritance, Heortling freemen, Alakoring vs Heortling

From: Peter Metcalfe <metcalph_at_...>
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 23:31:48 +1200

Ian Cooper:

> >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
> >Orlanth 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.

Tarsh is far too late to have spread the Rex cult to Sartar and the Hendreiki.

>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).

The only source for that is that Orlanth Rex teaches a single feat called Weaken Priest (and in RuneQuest this was Command Priest). I am far from convinced that this feat was the raison d'etre for the Rex cult. It might simply follow from Orlanth being King of the Gods and thus owed loyalty from _every_ god. As the blurb about him states "He can command all of the gods, even the ones that are not part of his family."

>it has been previously stated by Greg that Alakoring weakened the
>religous control of power in the tribes in favour of secular power,

I don't see any evidence for this, not having seen a Greg-Bull on the matter. AFAIK it's implied from a Runequest Spell but IMO people are reading too much into that.

>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

Orlanth's myths make much of the free nature of his society and Ring. For clans to be, before-Rex, governed by a religious hierarchy trivializes this aspect of Orlanth for me.

>However I'm not suggesting that Alakoring brought in
>democracy, I see that as Heort's role.

I don't think so. The statements on Orlanthi Society (Glorantha Intro p147-148) is intended to be true for all Orlanthi, not just the Heortlings.

>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.

I don't quite understand what you mean by democracy here. It means different things to different cultures (contrast Athens and our modern democracies - the Athenians would consider ours to be oligarchies whereas we would consider the Athenian government to be less representative). If you mean that anybody can become a chief even if he was a stickpicker, then that is true for all Orlanthi. If you mean that the chief has the approval of the clan, then that is true for most Orlanthi (if he didn't, he wouldn't be chief anymore). If you mean that that the chief follows the majority wishes then that is true for very few Orlanthi - for most chiefs give the voice of the thanes, the carls and the cottars equal weight. Which mean that the ordinary orlanthi has less voice than a thane.

--Peter Metcalfe

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