Re: Heortling Duels (in Heortland)

From: Greg Stafford <Greg_at_I1wCOuusnOVuJJZh5LGJ9_tMEKFLVCq9Pll_cbb0P0rAuRAFjxZLT9V4RWAcVHDSxPKXMSM>
Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2007 19:26:24 -0700

I'll try to catch up on a couple of things while I have a few moments.

First, yes, the Holmgang is the model to use. Orlanthi would certainly use the procedure, and whatever terms they agreed on beforehand would be sworn to by the rest of their clan, too. A Humakti would likely oversee the proceedings and extract oaths. Breakign the oats would give the oath-breakign clan bad battle luck thereafter.  

> L.Castellucci wrote:

On August 21, 2007 05:26 pm, valkoharja wrote:
> > 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 thus we see the lovely Heortling problem of "No one can make you do
> anything" come to light. Haran can order the clan to accept the
result, but
> if even the daughter winning the duel isn't considered enough by some...

If the clan is backing the duel, and their man loses,then the clan would not do anything else, or be oath-breakers. Humakt, Orlanth and Ernalda would turn against them.

> > 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.
> As swords do.

Yea, listening to swords is pretty predictable.

> > > (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
> And from what you say, some even think that it will take more blood
than just
> the killer's.
> I was really thinking that the agreement probably included no weregeld
paid to
> the clan whose champion falls. Mind you, I'm not sure heortlings ever
> to that.

They don't.

Weregeld is an alternative to blood.

Of course, ygwv.  

> > 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?
> It certainly sounds like Theyrun's clan might not, even if her
daughter wins,
> let alone if she falls. You haven't given us much reason why
Grymbjorn's clan
> wouldn't accept his defeat.

If they accept the terms of the duel---and the opponents would have to be pretty stupid to not make it binding---they will have to accept the agreement or become oathbreakers.  

> > 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.
> It could. Which is one of the reasons I think they might send the two
away. To
> an island, to a hilltop, etc. Not allow the two fyrds to line up and just
> tempt it into a Champion's Battle.

No, if the clans agree to a duel, then they will abide by it even if the result is not to their liking.

OK, when I say "will" I do mean "under normal and expected circumstances."

Stories are made up of exception to what is expected.

> (Of course, having that as a threat looming over the duel may be just
what you
> want for your game. *grin*)
> > 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.
> That strikes me as appropriate.

If the terms of the oath are broken, then the oath breakers will have very, very bad luck indeed. Orlanth and Ernalda are the Keepers of Oaths. They will withdraw their protection from oath breakers. This is a VERY serious handicap. It is the same as the whole clan being outlawed.


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