Ernalda is patient and far-sighted. Orlanth is the Storm and will act accordingly. Ernalda is the Earth and will act accordingly. These aren't "dumb decisions" - these are mythic acts that are in accordance with their divine natures.
> Heortling women leave the clan of their birth, while Heortling men
> settle into a nest made for them.
> So to say: Ernalda gives up the Earth Palace to live in Storm Village.
She does both. And Orlanth also lives in the Earth Palace. The Storm Village and the Earth Palace are linked - both gods are in both places simultaneously.
> (In mythical reality, she keeps the Earth Palace, but in mundane
> reality, her followers give up their birthrights).
Amongst the patrilineal Heortlings (at least most Heortling clans), that is right, but that is a clan thing. Some clans do it in reverse.
> Affinal kin is not treated the same way as kin is. This means that
> Orlanth's brothers are kin to the Storm Tribe, but hypothetical Earth
> Tribe members that were not participating in the Making of the Storm
> Tribe are excluded.
OK, let's not talk mythological relationships, since they are by necessity going to be contradictory and confusing. Let's just talk the Heortlings.
Ranulf is of the Blue Jay clan. He marries Durene of the Wild Cat clan. Ranulf possesses enough status that the Blue Jay and Wild Cat clans agree that Durene will come to the Blue Jay clan. As a result, their children will be Blue Jays. However, Durene can still call upon the support of her Wild Cat kinfolk and if Ranulf mistreats Durene, there is likely to be a feud between the Blue Jays and the Wild Cats.
Women tend to have a broader social network than men - they have both their birth clan AND their marriage clan. Men tend to focus solely upon their birth clan.
> The usual marriage contract assigns the offspring to the clan where
> the couple lives, which is (excepting the Esrolian Marriage) the
> husband's clan. Thus, a woman who divorces usually divorces from
> husband (there will be reasons for that) _and_ children. Which makes
> divorce rather rare, I would think.
Year marriages are far more common. And although the norm is that the husband gets the child, there are often many exceptions.
> This is the big issue of strictly exogamous clans, really. It breaks
> the bloodline ties of the females.
Here I disagree. Women keep their birth kin - they are not Separated from their clan (like a Humakti, Uroxing or other cultist). If Durene needs assistance from the Wild Cat clan, she can call upon them. In some stories, the wife's kinfolk are more relevant than the husband's.
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