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

From: Peter Metcalfe <metcalph_at_PhUhBAgVZbAqTjvtzeEfa5xRe3aa6mw8l2bmv80uW8jODPtTz7k8YT25D-10SEvYFj0>
Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2008 23:29:59 +1300

At 11:59 a.m. 11/01/2008, you wrote:

>I'm tolerably versed on the (Earthly) historical precedents, but I am
>curious if there is anything specifically Gloranthan about these
>restrictions. I'd also be curious about the rules for carrying the
>artefacts of different castes in other Malkioni societies - I could
>imagine that under one interpretation the Loskalmi would bring social
>pressures that might make the Rokari look moderate to bear on those
>who pretend to a caste that they have not properly earned.

The answer is - it's a mess.

The Malkioni have whole libraries of how people acted from the Old Republic of Zerendel to the Great Crusade against Chaos and the Empire of the God Learners. To find an acceptable code of caste, they make judgements upon history, deciding whether historical figures are moral exemplars of the Malkioni faith that should be followed or damning them as vile heretics that are nothing more than teachers of damnation.

When Malkion established the fighting caste, he really didn't say this caste and only this case should be the ones to carry swords. The formulation of caste rights and responsibility with respect to the Malkioni community as a whole is something that was invented by others as they sought to generalize from the various acts of Malkion into creating universal laws. But in doing so they were forced to arbitrarily exclude certain actions in order to prevent the castes from blurring into one another and to avoid them fighting about who gets what.

An obvious clash is hunting. Hunters are providers and so belong in the Commoners Caste. Yet their tools are designed for killing. Likewise is hunting a wolf that preys on sheep an act of providing for the community or is it defence of the community?

An additional consideration is politics. Lords as rulers are not meant to fight. Yet in fighting battles, you accumulate glory and so there is an incentive to fight. So the learned scribes that must decide on the questions of caste conduct are under intense pressure to construct elaborate rules and justifications so that a Noble can fight using weapons that are theoretically restricted to the fighting caste. You could always refuse a lord but that runs the risk of having him cut off your endowments or even worse, dissolve your monastery altogether.

--Peter Metcalfe            

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