> Personally I find the idea that the whole clan suffers from the
> wrath of Orlanth and Ernalda if someone breaks their marriage
> vows excessive. It's likely that every clan in Sartar is in
> that position whether they know it or not.
I think that breaking any sacred vows brings bad luck/retribution to the
breaker, and that it falls upon the whole lineage.
what does that mean? What kind of retribution? OK, first are personal guilt and shame on the part of the breaker--this naturally affects how a person acts. Guilty people lose their ability to concentrate, lose time they would devote to doing other things to concealing their activities, and suffer other emotional consequences like rejection by contemporaries, mistrust by others, perhaps even a loss of self confidence. These are all things that normal people suffer, and the fact that they affect effectiveness is a result of the gods' retribution. The perpetrators of the adultery also suffer a social stigma. Their neighbors and kinsman can not completely trust him or her anymore. This is a huge loss in a community. Sure, we might forgive that horny ol' tweeter his sexual improprieties, but his rejection of social mores weakens the social fabric. That individual is no longer 100% with the community, and what percentage loss can we afford when uz live over that hill and the healers cannot drive out the murrain unless everyone is fully committed? Also, vows give benefits and have requirements to obtain those advantages. If people don't fulfill the requirements then they lose the benefits, of course. Each of the types of marriage grants different benefits to the participants (and their communities), and the stronger the commitment, the greater the boon. So breaking vows of sexual fidelity loses the advantages. At the very least it likely equals a downgrading of the type of marriage to a bed-mate or love-mate (see KoS page 243). Since the marriage-relationship assumes many factors of property, family and emotion then all of those are automatically changed by infidelity. If it is a secret then people find things going wrong for no apparent reason. All of those results are considered to be forms of divine retribution.
In short: retribution doesn't mean that thunderbolts will level the stead and the earth itself vomit up the sowed seeds. It is much more subtle. But persistant.
-- Greg Stafford Game Designer [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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