Re: Consequence when breaking the caste taboo's in rokari society

From: donald_at_kPPrm5IAdQEcr3Ok17RrjMuZrBAzZ0PdFaQsKFednYo7bHFifE4YCtuBHgUfr6fVbls9i
Date: Wed, 09 Jan 2008 13:28:01 GMT

In message <> Grimmund writes:
>Well met!
>On Jan 8, 2008 6:58 AM, <> wrote:
>> There won't be many peasants in any grain producing area who don't
>> have a lot of experience of using a grain flail.
>As a grain flail, certainly. As a weapon, not so much. Again, it
>would tend to depend on what other restrictions and opportunities are
>in place. If the peasants hunt, for example, a grain flail would not
>typically be the first choice.

At least they won't hit themselves with it.

>2. What would loyal peasant levies be armed with?
>spears, because they are cheap and easy to make.

I'm not convinced about this. The spearmen gradually disappears from most of europe as the feudal system becomes fully established. Where they remained (e.g. Scotland and Switzerland) they are drawn from the ranks of freeman not serfs. I'm doubtful that peasant levies were expected to fight. They were more there as labourers for seiges and making camp.

>>If the users can't put up a wall of sharp points the
>> enemy will get in close and chop them up.
>This is the main disadvantage of a spear.

Yes, and why the group tactics are easier to learn than individual ones. Sure a heroic individual can do all sorts of stuff but not your typical peasant after a few hours of training. Better to spend that time getting him to hold his shield at the right angle to deflect an attack and keep his spear point well spaced from the others in the shieldwall.

>Back to the original post for a second:
>>In our own world peasants were not allowed to carry swords because
>>the rebellions the peasants have caused through the history.
>That depends on the peasants.

The distinction is between freemen and serfs. In the real medieval world freemen were rarely restricted by law on weaponry - that's one of the points about being a freeman. The serf often was. However proper swords were too expensive for most freemen so few had them. Japan is slightly different in that they didn't have the western concept of freeman.

In the context of western Glorantha I think the caste taboo applies only to full swords and there are a lot of weapons which are called knives which we would think of as swords. Additionally bonded peasants are sufficently suspect that anything which is primarily a weapon rather than a tool is likely to get them into trouble.

Donald Oddy


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