Re: Heortling Marriage

From: John Hughes <nysalor_at_...>
Date: Wed, 3 Jan 2001 17:30:12 +1100

CELTIC ANALOGUES Ian, thanks for those insights and elaborations regarding temporary marriages. Nothing is ever simple. :)


> But surely this only translates as "only marry outside the clan" if your
> clan has only one bloodline? Which may be a reasonably common
> situation, but certainly isn't the only possibility.

While "Report on the Orlanthi' is our best source to date on Heortling society, it is written by a non-Heortling and contains a number of errors and outright contradictions. Dating the document is difficult, but it may have been written sometime after the "death" of the gods (it speaks of de-sanctified, mixed gender Sartarite initiations) - that is, a long time in the future from most of our campaigns.

You can derive some contradictory but equally valid principles from the text of ROTO - and its inspired more than a few heated discussions over the years :). When I wrote the culture and society chapters for Thunder Rebels, Greg and I pounded out the basic realities bloodlines, marriage, clan identity, odal vs personal property etc. Perhaps surprisingly, there was little disagreement.

Thunder Rebels (sooon, sooon, we all chant) will clarify both the basic situations and the scope for exceptions. However, given that the Orlanthi are a particularly pragmatic folk, with no centralised law system (as Olli said, it depends on the lawspeaker and the political reality), with twenty four tribes that between them utilise just about every kinship and marriage system known, and given they have endured intense social dislocation and an influx of new values and realities since the Lunar invasion, NOTHING would ever surprise me among the clans. Tradition vs lateral thinking ("there is always another way) is one of the big axes of Orlanthi culture. That's what scenarios are all about.

As Alex would say, 'let one thousand flowers bloom'.

>The way we run it, the adulthood initiation ceremony is what ties you to
>your bloodline: normally you join the bloodline of your mother's current
>husband/protector, who may or may not be your RW genetic father.

Bloodline membership is certainly flexible, even if the default (depending on local kinship and type of marriage! the usual conditions and reservations apply) is the bloodline of your father's or your unwed mother's. As your status rises you become increasingly tied to the people and politics of a particular bloodline, and only major tragedies or trauma would result in an adult swapping. (Though given Sartar, that means its still reasonably common :))

>Once that's done, that's your bloodline. Glorantha
>is magic. RW genetics does not apply.

I'm not sure that those two statements are mutually exclusive. Bloodline membership and exogamy are about sociality, politics, resources and economics as much as genetics.

> Yes, marrying someone from outside the clan is a good way of doing
> inter-clan politics. But quite often, you don't want to lose someone to
> another clan: the women are the ones who know how to appease the
> local spirits, after all. Keeping their local knowledge local has its
> advantages. So they marry into another bloodline within the same clan.
> Their children will still be in the same clan, though members of a
> different bloodline from their mother.

These problems are real enough, but the usual answer would lie in one or another of the available forms of marriage, perhaps Esrolian, Underhusband or Bed-Husband. Women who marry into a clan will also learn the local secrets as they become completely accepted and trusted - usually after the birth of their first child.



nysalor_at_...                          John Hughes

Aussie Zen

"No worries": The Australian Zen utterance for Yes. "Galah": No mind or detachment of mind, complete  freedom from focused thinking.
"Laid back": An advanced being who can't even be  bothered with Nirvana.
"She'll be right": An Australian Zen mantra, pointing to  a state of mind beyond the apparent dualities  of good and evil.
 Vegemite: nine ingredients combined into a state of  foodlessness. An edible koan. "We are happy little vege-mites".

Powered by hypermail