Re: Heortling Duels (in Heortland)

From: John Hughes <john.hughes_at_a2PL5achFX2Ms2aCQ1a-ZTabsjeHUqtc3EsLpoHPmRKh0ZyVzqDw4zJBDFJ-7f5F>
Date: Wed, 22 Aug 2007 15:24:54 +1000

I'd be more cautious about this.

Remember for the Orlanthi, the kindred always comes before the individual.

If the resentment has been simmering for so long, why hasn't it been bought before the courts?
If its such a significant slight, what action has been taken on the clan level?

If its a complete outsider, kill them anytime.

If its a person from a clan recognised by custom,or kinship, the emotional effects of the duel are going to spell trouble no matter who wins.

And the purpose of holmganga was to protect life, not to take it. Holmgangulog (law of Holmgang) was put in place to **limit** the effects of duels.

If the resentment is deep enough, how will a mere wound assuage it, esp. given the HQ rule system which offers few lasting effects?

If its a duel to the death, einvigi, then that will spiral out into a circle of death and vengeance, death and vengeance. While ritualised and contained violence is a step up from open feud, if death is a result then the violence will continue to play out, one way or another It was exactly this that brought Iceland society to the very edge of extinction after just a few hundred years. The Heortling system has been around for **MIllenia**, surviving chaos, darkness, the end of the world and even male stupidity. :)

Surface similarities aside, the society that developed holmganga was not Heortling society. A lot of careful thought has gone into creating the Heortling law system, and duelling has never been a particularly important part of it. if they're strangers, kill them, no worries. if they are within the circle of law, the **clan** must deal with it.

Even within the eternal adolescence that marks so much of Heortling society, if a clan is to survive then level heads will prevail.

If a member of my clan was planning a duel to the death with someone within the circle of law, I'd have them exiled. Immediately (and temporarily). And I'd do my best to make sure the other duellist was exiled too. If the opposing clan *doesn't*, then you know the duellist has enough support to fuel a feud.

And that's bad.

If both are exiled (even if just for the day of the duel) they have no clan. Death or injury is no one's responsibility. Both clans are protected.

In Heortling roleplaying, a degree of cunning and foresight can be much more effective than simple bloodlust. And it can provide a much more nuanced and rewarding roleplaying experience.

YGWV. Cheers


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