Re: Heortling Duels (in Heortland)

From: valkoharja <rintasaa_at_P5abZXdO9FVQVJWDOFHZPpepQSckJZXSZ4URadI0Pi1ZshWpS0bZ36FI7yLSqS_lFlI>
Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2007 21:26:56 -0000

> You don't just kill a mom, you kill a member of a bloodline and of a
> clan. On some level, I think an honour duel is a way to prevent it
> from escalating into a feud.

Indeed. The chief of the wronged clan has tried to prevent things becoming a feud. The chief, Great-hearted Haran, is a kind and thoughtful man, but many in the clan think the death of the killer isn't enough payment for the dead mother.

And it's no wonder. The mother, beautiful Theyrún* Dawnsfire was a renowned Yinkini heroquester, famous in large parts of Heortland. Her greatest achievement was birthing a litter sired by Yinkin. Her death was the result of the offending clan's men trying to steal a few of the kittens for their own clan (in her litter there were two kittens and two human children). Despite their trickster magic Theyrún woke as the thieves were sneaking out of the longhouse and, springing naked from her bed, killed two of the huscarls with her bare hands. The third man, Grymbjörn (cruel bear) struck her from behind with his sword, slaying her.

Now her kits have come of age, and her daughter wants to settle the blood-debt. She has her mothers sword (Cat's claw, made from a claw Gavreninkin once lost in a fight), and says it thirst for the blood of her killer.

*Theyrún is built like viking names were, and means Theya's Mark (or rune), since the child had remarkable red hair that shone like the dawn.

> (You did specify a duel to the death in this case - presumably with
> no wereguild paid to the loser.)

Yes. The chief of the offending clan did offer wergeld (which would have been huge for a recognized hero and clan ring member), but the daughter (and much of her clan) thinks that only blood can pay for blood.

> In a duel to the death, I wouldn't limit it to the "stand there and
> hit each other" approach - I like sticking them on an island or
> hilltop and only one gets to come down. (Maybe, if there is a
> reason for enough to be there, with a circle of Humakti surrounding
> the hilltop to make sure only one comes down.)

I wonder if chief Haran's work has been for nothing. Will either clan accept the result of the duel if their clansman/woman falls? I can sort of see the duel are being a clearing, with both clan's warbands looking on from the opposite sides. The problem here is that it's pretty much exactly the Champion's Battle, and can easily escalate from there.

If it's a fair duel, I'd expect the gods or war to favour the clan whose member won the duel, if it comes to general battle.


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