Re: Heortling Duels (in Heortland)

From: donald_at_cyfssFCtcYrl96Dv1SBvaTn3NxXLz6bKqxdnm0SgC2MQPSVv10g7mwcrfHwc5tZ6PIx2Y
Date: Wed, 22 Aug 2007 14:39:54 GMT

In message <> "bryan_thx" writes:

>> In the long term there's still a problem, when a new generation
>> who hasn't sworn the oath grow up the feud may reignite.
>I think in the game mentioned, the clans were not officially feuding.

I don't see feuds being declared as such. Feuds start from disagreements about something and escalate if the causes aren't resolved.

>What would be interesting is the terms of the oath. Obviously it
>settles the matter of the mother's death--there will be no further
>revenge killsings, demands for wereguild, etc afterwards. Presumably
>it includes the two clans not interfering with the duel, nor attacking
>the other clan during the duel.
>But does it extend longer than that? Is there anything to stop
>someone of one clan claiming offense from someone of the other clan?
>For that matter, if it seems like the impartiality of the duel was
>somehow compromised, is there anything to stop one clan from sending
>leaders in their best cloaks to the other clan, to declare blood feud
>(to keep everything open and legal). Not because of the killing of
>the mother, of course, but just from general gross offense.

Anything not covered by the oath can be cause for a new feud or restarting an old one. If an individual wants a cause for feud they can probably find one. Whether the rest of the clan will support that individual over it is a different matter.

>I imagine negotiating the terms of the oath is something for the
>lawspeakers, as each clan wants maximum freedom of action for
>themselves, protection from the other clan, and enough clarity that
>they are not apt to accidentally break the oath and suffer terribly
>(imagine if it was protection on all members of both clans for a week,
>and far from the duel, in the deep woods, a hunter of one clan
>accidentally shot the hunter from another. Or the oath covers all
>damage, and someone's horse gets spooked and gallops wildly, running
>down an opposing clansman. In the normal course of things these could
>be negotiated out easily enough, but if it violated the terms of an

IMO the negotiations over terms are carried out on two levels. There are the open ones where lawspeakers haggle over wording in public and the ones held in the loom houses where the peacemakers agree what they can convince their menfolk to accept. Remember that there will be women in the two clans who are related to each other even if only a sister's sister in law. There's a reason for the Ernaldan subcult of Orventili and there'll be a strong element in each clan looking for another way. Few people will be interested in trapping the other clan into breaking their oath so widespread terms won't be included.

That's the other thing which needs to be remembered. In a mainly non-literate society oaths are important - you just don't break them. Someone who does cannot be trusted in anything for if they would break on oath then no agreement they make can be relied on. While oathbreaking isn't specifically mentioned as grounds for outlawry I can see it coming under the heading of betraying the holy place where the oath was sworn. Humatki are obsessed with this sort of honour but even a stickpicker will avoid making a promise he doesn't believe he can keep.

Donald Oddy


Powered by hypermail