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Robin "RoM" Mitra

Crime, intraclan justice and punishment

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I wonder how criminal justice and punishment works within a clan. Both SkoH and KoS explain in detail how justice works between clans. It is also said that there is no law for disputes within a given bloodline. That brings me to my questions:

 

  1. Are disputes between bloodlines handled the same way as between clans?

  2. What methods of punishment exist beside wergild and outlawry? Wergild is only applicable between clans, and outlawry is only justified for major offences. Example: Two people from the same clan but different bloodlines get into a brawl and one breaks the other’s jaw with his fist or pokes his eye. That would be kinstrife and demands punishment. But what kind of punishment? Wergild doesn’t work but even lesser outlawry seems too harsh, at least in case of the broken jaw.

  3. Are there mitigating factors? Wergild is scalable from a single sheep to a large herd of cattle. Besides that there seems to be only lesser and greater outlawry. Example: Two people from the same clan come before the clan ring and without indictment they confess their adultery. It happened at Voria’s flower day, both feel very ashamed and it will never happen again. Surely it is still adultery and needs punishment. But it doesn’t seem to be as severe as a long and secret love affair that is only uncovered by divination or interrogation (scenes from KoDP come to mind). Of course there could be compensation claims to or from another clan for breaking the bond of marriage. But besides that, would their own clan still outlaw the culprits?

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I'd expect more opportunities for restorative justice through labor within communities,  partly because much of the property is held in common, but also to hopefully give people a chance to interact in a structured way once tempers have cooled.

Hookups at steamy religious festivals also wouldn't usually count as adultery, providing something of a pressure release valve for inconvenient sexual tension within the community.

There are surely variations in severity otherwise though.

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6 minutes ago, JonL said:

I'd expect more opportunities for restorative justice through labor within communities,  partly because much of the property is held in common, but also to hopefully give people a chance to interact in a structured way once tempers have cooled.

 

This was my initial thought too. It's generally convenient due to closer residential patterns, and arguably avoids disrupting social interaction.

Some form of wergild might be possible as well.

It's also possible that crimes are solved at the lowest structural level possible in most cases, so in other words, crimes inside a household is generally handled by the household head, crimes within a bloodlined is usually handled by the senior bloodline household head, and so on. This might only apply to less serious crimes though. One assumes secret murder would always include the Clan leadership, for example, as would other serious crimes like rape (including marital rape) or cattle theft (the latter admittedly being hard to pull off in an intra-clan context).

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6 hours ago, Robin "RoM" Mitra said:

I wonder how criminal justice and punishment works within a clan. Both SkoH and KoS explain in detail how justice works between clans. It is also said that there is no law for disputes within a given bloodline. That brings me to my questions:

 

  1. Are disputes between bloodlines handled the same way as between clans?

 

No.  Disputes would be heard before the clan ring who make the decision.

 

6 hours ago, Robin "RoM" Mitra said:
  1. What methods of punishment exist beside wergild and outlawry? Wergild is only applicable between clans, and outlawry is only justified for major offences. Example: Two people from the same clan but different bloodlines get into a brawl and one breaks the other’s jaw with his fist or pokes his eye. That would be kinstrife and demands punishment.

 

It's not kinstrife if they are from different bloodlines.  The clan can hear the dispute and impose punishment.

6 hours ago, Robin "RoM" Mitra said:
  1. But what kind of punishment? Wergild doesn’t work but even lesser outlawry seems too harsh, at least in case of the broken jaw.

 

What's the problem?  Pay him a sheep or a chicken?  Why wouldn't that work?

 

6 hours ago, Robin "RoM" Mitra said:
  1. Are there mitigating factors? Wergild is scalable from a single sheep to a large herd of cattle. Besides that there seems to be only lesser and greater outlawry. Example: Two people from the same clan come before the clan ring and without indictment they confess their adultery. It happened at Voria’s flower day,

 

Adulterers are oathbreakers and their punishment is divine (spirits of reprisal)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10 hours ago, Robin "RoM" Mitra said:

I wonder how criminal justice and punishment works within a clan. Both SkoH and KoS explain in detail how justice works between clans. It is also said that there is no law for disputes within a given bloodline.

 

There is always the in-laws.

Your average clans-person is married to a person from outside of the clan, who will have siblings or cousins in her birth clan possibly taking an interest in the welfare of that individual. The marriage came to be as a contract between clans, and while the target clan is supposed to take care of the indivudual's welfare and legal representation, in an intra-clan conflict the clan is

 

10 hours ago, Robin "RoM" Mitra said:

1. Are disputes between bloodlines handled the same way as between clans?

No. By belonging to the same clan, there is no way that the clan can serve as the advocate for the dispute. Instead, the chief acts as the judge of the dispute, and his decision  (hopefully considered, advised by the clan ring) settles the outcome of the dispute. (Never the cause, though, and thus it will well up again and again.)

 

10 hours ago, Robin "RoM" Mitra said:

2. What methods of punishment exist beside wergild and outlawry? Wergild is only applicable between clans, and outlawry is only justified for major offences. Example: Two people from the same clan but different bloodlines get into a brawl and one breaks the other’s jaw with his fist or pokes his eye. That would be kinstrife and demands punishment. But what kind of punishment? Wergild doesn’t work but even lesser outlawry seems too harsh, at least in case of the broken jaw.

Depending on the circumsances, the two brawlers and all the bystanders who didn't break up the brawl get fined to provide the necessary make-up sacrifices to the ancestors and the gods.

If the brawl was about an object, that object goes to the clan chief to do with it as he sees fit.

A brawl is a major offence, the pathway to kinstrife. Any injuries dealt out in the brawl are exacerbating the offence, possibly making it kinstrife.

Most of the property of the clansfolk are privileges assigned by the clan (chief), and can be taken away. This will affect the brawler's spouse, children, and in all likelihood sibings, parents, uncles, and lots of in-laws as well.

Wergild is meaningless.

If the brawl is masked as something else (sparring, competitive wrestling), there would not be the issue of the dispute. Causing the injury will still be a financial damage, if only for the cost of the healing magic.

Repeat offenses may cause the chief or the ring to intervene, with a heavy hand.

10 hours ago, Robin "RoM" Mitra said:

3. Are there mitigating factors?

Yes. Personal importance to the clan. If the offender is too valuable (to the chief) to be taken from his position, no action may be taken.

10 hours ago, Robin "RoM" Mitra said:

Wergild is scalable from a single sheep to a large herd of cattle.

Neither are possessions of an individual, and no single household owns a herd of cattle (althought it may manage one for the clan).

10 hours ago, Robin "RoM" Mitra said:

Besides that there seems to be only lesser and greater outlawry.

There are a lot of privileges that may be retracted, including freedom.

10 hours ago, Robin "RoM" Mitra said:

Example: Two people from the same clan come before the clan ring and without indictment they confess their adultery.

There are at least two, usually three clans involved in this - those of the spouses of the culprits. This is a matter between clans.

As is divorce.

The damage done to the clan may well warrant lesser outlawry.

The only mitigating factor would be mythic precedence - Eurmali, Yinkini or similar involvement.

10 hours ago, Robin "RoM" Mitra said:

It happened at Voria’s flower day, both feel very ashamed and it will never happen again.

If it happened during and as part of a rite, it didn't happen.

10 hours ago, Robin "RoM" Mitra said:

Surely it is still adultery and needs punishment. But it doesn’t seem to be as severe as a long and secret love affair that is only uncovered by divination or interrogation (scenes from KoDP come to mind).

The only difference is the additional cost.

10 hours ago, Robin "RoM" Mitra said:

Of course there could be compensation claims to or from another clan for breaking the bond of marriage. But besides that, would their own clan still outlaw the culprits?

Depending on the damage to the clan, the clan might actually sell off the culprits as slaves, possibly to the offended clans.

Lesser outlawry might be the lesser punishment, as the offender gets a chance to gain wealth elsewhere and return to repay the clan for the damages and the loss of his work-force.

 

When you say "crime", do you mean pre-meditated crime?

In that case, possible penalties are Status loss, Exile, Slavery, Greater Outlawry and subsequent death.

Basically, if you commit a crime against someone from your community, you divorce yourself from the community. Status loss may mean that you end up as unfree in your own clan. Being sold off elsewhere is slavery.

 

Disputes between bloodlines should not be about crimes. The typical dispute is about status (i.e. the share in the clan wealth) assigned to the parties. Having the favor of the clan chief is your ticket out of that mess, being on his black list will mean that the chief will jump at the opportunity to take stuff and influence away from you.

The clan chief or clan ring act as mediators, and if they fail, the clan is in serious trouble. Sometimes it is possible to exile individuals from the hostile bloodlines. You don't really want to marry them off, as that gives them a power base they could use against your clan.

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24 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Neither are possessions of an individual, and no single household owns a herd of cattle (althought it may manage one for the clan).

Is this really the case? With things like wergeld payments, cattle raiding, cows as rewards and so on, one would think that a herd of 20 cows (as productive as a farm going by RQ numbers) for a household with more of a "ranching" profile might be achievable?

I mean, cows can clearly be household or even personal property, so why would a herd of 20 be out of the question?

Edited by Akhôrahil

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3 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Is this really the case? With things like wergeld payments, cattle raiding, cows as rewards and so on, one would think that a herd of 20 cows (as productive as a farm going by RQ numbers) for a household with more of a "ranching" profile might be achievable?

I mean, cows can clearly be household or even personal property, so why would a herd of 20 be out of the question?

20 cows as property not directly available to clan purposes sound like a big deal to me. These cows would be exempt from sacrificing in clan ceremonies unless the owner(s) feel the need to show generosity or personal piety, for instance, they would be exempt from weregild payments caused by another household's clan-member's misdemeanor, and also for tribute demands. This is borderline possible for a thane household.

The vast majority of a clan's cattle should be owned by the clan (or, as RQG appears to formulate it, the temple) and basically assigned or leased to the herder families or dairy-producing cottagers. A rancher stead (say a dozen adults) with 80 heads of cattle (including a number of oxen and likely a bull) would own maybe five or ten of theses outside of the clan herd. A semi-free stead with maybe 6 adults might have a few oxen (probably less than a half team) and a few dairy cows kept nearby while the majority of the cows is on the summer upland pastures - clan-owned cattle, under supervision of the delegated herders.

The Seattle Farmer Collective used to be quite enthusiastic about cattle-loans and similar traditions borrowed from the Old Irish. My model isn't much different from that - those who get assigned cattle get the duty to bring them through the winter, to provide some of them for the sacrifices and tribute, and get to reap the benefits of having been loaned these cattle for themselves (mainly milk and rarely supernumerary calves).

Stable capacity is a factor here, limiting the amount of cattle that can be kept through the winter. Hay storage (or other greenery forage like young branches from bushes) is part of the duty the recipients of clan-owned cattle need to fulfill.

In places with mild winters, cattle might spend the winter outside, requiring increased protection against predators (both mundane beasts, foes and magical entities).

In the end, Heortling society isn't that socially mobile. An individual may gain status by becoming a companion of a VIP, and might become a VIP or at least eligible for the jungle camp be able to start a wealthier household than he was born in from that, but that takes a lot of dedication, good luck, and a timely end of such individual service while on the winning side.

 

Imagine your players manage to become the thane of Apple Lane through some unlikely plot cheat. That post involves five cottagers' homes with nine tenant farmers some of whom opted for limited freedom in exchange for a secure existence whereas others appear to have born into those roles, and probably a number of conventional cattle and even a few horses or similar mounts assigned to the thane's manor. The cattle etc. are bound to belong to either the Colymar tribal temple or the Hiording clan the hamlet is associated with. If your players are from the Ernaldori clan of Clearwine, it seems fairly unlikely to me that the Hiordings would have a vested interest in providing cattle for them. Horses and some weaponry, yes - basically they become something like sworn warriors, although it isn't clear whether to the Hiording chief or to the Clearwine Temple. I suspect the latter, with probable interesting consequences when the Hiording chief wants something from the thane of Apple Lane.

So, if the players gain some ransom from their activities in the shape of cattle, those cattle might be the basis of their private herd. They might even stable a number of these with their tenants, establishing themselves as the local nobility, expecting little more than some dairy and the return of a healthy yearling cow and/or oxen a few years later (some of which might be loaned away again).

Few players will wish to keep close tabs on this, other than "cows owed to my character" on their possessions sheet - these cattle are basically money in the bank, paying a small rent. They do help create some loyalty of the followers, which might be worth more than having the cows as four-legged cash.

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In my campaign, one of the characters is a somewhat older herder (in her thirties) with no aspirations for marriage or farming the land. Being able to achieve a full personal/household herd (as opposed to herding the cattle of others) would essentially mean doubled income and Free standard of living (as well as personal independence), so it's an obvious goal. For the overwhelming majority of herders, this kind of thing is likely unachievable, but PCs tend to gain access to wealth and status more rapidly than regular folks.

Edited by Akhôrahil

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15 hours ago, Robin "RoM" Mitra said:

I wonder how criminal justice and punishment works within a clan. Both SkoH and KoS explain in detail how justice works between clans. It is also said that there is no law for disputes within a given bloodline.

 

Replace the word "bloodline" with "extended family" and it helps to clarify things. Close kin are responsible to and for close kin. So if Jon Jaranosson kills someone from another clan, his brother Jaran Jaranosson is just as responsible as him as far as the law is concerned. But if Jon steals from or otherwise harms Jaran, there is no outside group Jaran can go to for compensation - it is up to Jaran and his extended family to deal with their wayward brother. At least until Jaran harms someone outside of the kinship group.

The two things an Orlanthi court can do is: 1. Order payment to the victim (aka ransom, life price, restitution, etc.); or 2. Exiles the perpetrator. The first can be in whatever amount the judges decide is appropriate and it is up to everyone involved in the court to enforce that. Usually the perpetrator's kinfolk immediately pony up the amount to minimise the dangers inherent in enforcement. Exile opens the perpetrator up to being killed by those he injured, without the protection of his own kin.

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19 hours ago, Robin "RoM" Mitra said:

I wonder how criminal justice and punishment works within a clan...

I suspect that many of us tend to overthink it, and assume it's documented. I'd look to how oral (or semi-oral) cultures work today, for example modern gangs, juvenile and criminal or places where warlords violently compete to run the show. Basically, might makes right combined with traditions, some barbarous, some wise.

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15 minutes ago, Charles said:

I suspect that many of us tend to overthink it, and assume it's documented. I'd look to how oral (or semi-oral) cultures work today, for example modern gangs, juvenile and criminal or places where warlords violently compete to run the show. Basically, might makes right combined with traditions, some barbarous, some wise.

My note on how conflicts are handled at the lowest relevant structural levels was taken from Evans-Pritchard's account on how traditional conflict resolution occurs among the Nuer people in South Sudan, although the sources are from the 1920s-30s, so things might've changed since then While the Nuer lack the more formalized corporate clan structure that the Orlanthi have, they did have a system of "wergild" which involved members of ritually (but not politically) powerful third-party bloodlines/lineages intermediating and sacrificing cattle to end feuds, as did/do their neighbors, the Dinka people.

Basically, as outlined by others above, less serious infractions are likely to be solved at the smallest possible scale, played by ear and relevant tradition, and with an attempt to keep most people happy, or at the very least keep the most powerful happy and things running smoothly.

If the stakes are higher, people are probably going to try and activate their social capital by drawing in as many family and lineage members, and possibly ask for favors from close friends or patrons/clients.

If these third party members fail to mediate the conflict, only then do I see the Clan Ring getting overly involved in an official capacity, but this is mostly speculation.

All of this might of course be avoided provided the offended party is sufficiently intimated to shut up about the incidence. A cottar might refrain from making a ruckus on fear of being beaten up by the extended family of their carl patron, for example, over some grazing rights or misappropriated calfing or somesuch infringement. I'd assume stuff like that happens.

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First of all, thank you for the very many replies. They are very helpful. Some points are clearer to me now. However, I have still questions.

 

On 11/5/2019 at 4:01 AM, metcalph said:

It's not kinstrife if they are from different bloodlines.

I tend to disagree here. See SKoH p. 217: "Wergild applies only when a person kills or assaults a person from a different clan; it never applies when one member of a clan kills another – such murder is kinstrife and is beyond the scope of Orlanthi law and custom." It doesn't mention bloodlines. Also p. 276: "Since Starbrow’s Rebellion, the Colymar have been torn apart by kinstrife between two claimants to the tribal kingship, both from the same clan – Queen Leika and King Kangarl." Again it doesn't say they are from the same bloodline, and I believe they are not.

On 11/5/2019 at 4:01 AM, metcalph said:

What's the problem?  Pay him a sheep or a chicken?  Why wouldn't that work

I understand that compensation / wergild is only paid between clans. While a chicken might be private property and not so much the clan's I believe the rule stays the same.

On 11/5/2019 at 4:01 AM, metcalph said:

Adulterers are oathbreakers and their punishment is divine (spirits of reprisal)

I agree. Still mundane jurisdiction would have to punish too. They cannot solely rely upon the gods to make things right. If the leaders failed to uphold justice they would become like Tragic King Errarth, who did not punish adulterers and had to pay for his negligence.

 

On 11/5/2019 at 9:38 AM, Joerg said:

There is always the in-laws.

As is divorce.

Yes, but what if doesn't come to divorce? They might be several reasons why the other clan would not pursue this course. A divorce is always complicated and might be costly. In my example above it was a one-time lapse. The marriage may still be more or less intact. If there is no harm done to the other clan they don't have the right to compensation. Or does any kind of adultery always entail divorce?

On 11/5/2019 at 9:38 AM, Joerg said:

No. By belonging to the same clan, there is no way that the clan can serve as the advocate for the dispute. Instead, the chief acts as the judge of the dispute, and his decision  (hopefully considered, advised by the clan ring) settles the outcome of the dispute. (Never the cause, though, and thus it will well up again and again.)

Can the chief really do that if two bloodlines are disputing?

On 11/5/2019 at 9:38 AM, Joerg said:

Yes. Personal importance to the clan. If the offender is too valuable (to the chief) to be taken from his position, no action may be taken.

Neither are possessions of an individual, and no single household owns a herd of cattle (althought it may manage one for the clan).

There are a lot of privileges that may be retracted, including freedom.

I agree with your view on cattle ownership and I like the idea of status punishment (lots of plot obstacles, although I don't know if that is really an option). But I disagree to the freedom issue, unless of course the perpetrator was outlawed first. Otherwise it should be impossible to impose a prison term or thralldom to an active clan member.

On 11/5/2019 at 9:38 AM, Joerg said:

The damage done to the clan may well warrant lesser outlawry.

 

The only mitigating factor would be mythic precedence - Eurmali, Yinkini or similar involvement.

If there are no mitigating factors people have no reason to stop after the first transgression. If it doesn't matter whether you have been unfaithful once in your life or every single day of the year, you may simply keep on doing it. It is possible and there are many RW examples for similar systems, but I find it odd.

On 11/5/2019 at 9:38 AM, Joerg said:

Disputes between bloodlines should not be about crimes. The typical dispute is about status (i.e. the share in the clan wealth) assigned to the parties.

Yes, but I guess it still happens. There is a law against it, what means there is a need for it.

 

On 11/5/2019 at 11:21 AM, Akhôrahil said:

In my campaign, one of the characters is a somewhat older herder (in her thirties)

Suddenly I feel old myself 😉

 

On 11/5/2019 at 12:48 PM, Jeff said:

Replace the word "bloodline" with "extended family" and it helps to clarify things.

Sounds good.

On 11/5/2019 at 12:48 PM, Jeff said:

The two things an Orlanthi court can do is: 1. Order payment to the victim (aka ransom, life price, restitution, etc.); or 2. Exiles the perpetrator. The first can be in whatever amount the judges decide is appropriate and it is up to everyone involved in the court to enforce that. Usually the perpetrator's kinfolk immediately pony up the amount to minimise the dangers inherent in enforcement. Exile opens the perpetrator up to being killed by those he injured, without the protection of his own kin.

And 1. is only applicable between clans or between bloodlines as well?

 

On 11/5/2019 at 5:07 PM, Charles said:

I suspect that many of us tend to overthink it, and assume it's documented. I'd look to how oral (or semi-oral) cultures work today, for example modern gangs, juvenile and criminal or places where warlords violently compete to run the show.

I don't see it that way. Modern gangs are rather small entities with laws the members have given themselves. If they have such laws at all and are not governed by personal prowess, charisma and intimidation. The Sartarites have an oral judicial system but they trace it back to Heort, Vingkot and Orlanth, even to Umath. On Lawstaff Day the recite all the important laws they know. That doesn't sound to me like like a juvenile gang. 

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4 hours ago, Robin "RoM" Mitra said:

Yes, but what if doesn't come to divorce? They might be several reasons why the other clan would not pursue this course. A divorce is always complicated and might be costly. In my example above it was a one-time lapse. The marriage may still be more or less intact. If there is no harm done to the other clan they don't have the right to compensation. Or does any kind of adultery always entail divorce?

 

There are multiple forms of Orlanthi marriages. They are essentially contractual, with some stipulations being made before the wedding/betrothal. Monogamy is *generally* part of this, at least what we can call "ordinary monogamy", which would mean that there are some exceptions like religious festivals, and I would personally argue extended absences. 

Basically, depending on the form of marriage, and the individual partners, they may or may not seek divorce. There is of course also the issue of power/status imbalance between the kinship groups involved.

4 hours ago, Robin "RoM" Mitra said:

Can the chief really do that if two bloodlines are disputing?

 

I will assume that he can do so, at the very least if he or the Ring considers it a threat to the wellbeing of the Clan as a whole.

4 hours ago, Robin "RoM" Mitra said:

And 1. is only applicable between clans or between bloodlines as well?

 

It's not necessarily a given that all restitutory payment is Wergild. Wergild is a specific system, following specific formulas. It's quite possible that restitution is possibly outside this formalized framework, on a case-by-case basis.

4 hours ago, Robin "RoM" Mitra said:

I don't see it that way. Modern gangs are rather small entities with laws the members have given themselves. If they have such laws at all and are not governed by personal prowess, charisma and intimidation. The Sartarites have an oral judicial system but they trace it back to Heort, Vingkot and Orlanth, even to Umath. On Lawstaff Day the recite all the important laws they know. That doesn't sound to me like like a juvenile gang. 

Like a lot of oral societies, Orlanthi tend to view their laws as universal (to them) and eternal. Realistically, they are quite mutable and manipulateable. Less so perhaps in a magical world were spirits of reprisal actually do exist, but still... gang law isn't a hundred miles off.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed

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1 hour ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

There are multiple forms of Orlanthi marriages.

RuneQuest Glorantha, page 427:

Quote

Marriage is a mutual bond between participants from different clans. Since sexuality is open and unmarried sex not frowned upon, the marriage bond is significant. Since marriage is sanctified by divine oath, adultery is frowned upon and sometimes dangerous. Divorce is common and available to husband or wife. Traditional law oversees the division of shared property in a divorce. The wife always returns home with her dowry, and the groom always recovers the bride price, except in cases of marriage breach.

Seven classes of marriage are recognized.

  1. Husband and Wife: Both participants have equal property, status, and responsibility. The woman moves to her husband’s house, and children belong to his clan.
  2. Husband and Underwife: The husband has more status and property, and consequently more say in what goes on. The woman moves to her husband’s house, and children belong to his clan. The husband may have more than one wife.
  3. Wife and Underhusband: The wife has more status and property, and consequently more say in decision making. The man moves to his wife’s house, but the children belong to his clan.
  4. Esrolian Husband: The wife has more status and property than the husband. The man moves to his wife’s house, but the children belong to her clan. The wife may have more than one husband.
  5. Yearwife or -husband: This is a temporary marriage, renewable after a year, subject to terms listed above.
  6. Bedwife or -husband: No property changes hands save for that publicly granted with witnesses. The children are raised by the individual who is not named in the title. Thus, a bedhusband is not responsible for raising the children.
  7. Love-spouse: No property changes hands, even to the children of the pair. A vow of monogamy for its own sake, or the sake of romantic love. Children go to the father’s clan if there is a question about their fate.

 

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9 hours ago, Robin "RoM" Mitra said:
Quote

It's not kinstrife if they are from different bloodlines.

I tend to disagree here. See SKoH p. 217: "Wergild applies only when a person kills or assaults a person from a different clan; it never applies when one member of a clan kills another – such murder is kinstrife and is beyond the scope of Orlanthi law and custom."

Look at King of Sartar p221

Quote

Bloodlines

There can be no crimes against one’s own kin of the bloodline. Bloodlines must maintain
their own internal standards of behavior and maintain obedience to the family well being. An
individual who is not an outlaw is inseparable from his family. No laws govern the treatment
of an individual by his kinsmen. Common sense and good will bend the actualities towards
familial kindness, but it isn’t laws which determine this behavior.

Bloodlines are responsible for all their members. The group shares in the punishments
incurred through the actions of its members. The group also shares in the rewards, such as
judgments awarded to them.

 

9 hours ago, Robin "RoM" Mitra said:

I understand that compensation / wergild is only paid between clans. While a chicken might be private property and not so much the clan's I believe the rule stays the same.

That makes no sense.  There's nothing in Orlanthi law forbidding the clan from ordering that compensation be paid to settle internal disputes.  How else is a clan going to maintain justice if it can't order compensation?

 

 

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1 hour ago, metcalph said:

That makes no sense.  There's nothing in Orlanthi law forbidding the clan from ordering that compensation be paid to settle internal disputes.  How else is a clan going to maintain justice if it can't order compensation?

Yes, definitely. However, as there is really no judiciary enforcement method outside of outlawry (there are plenty of social ones before that, though), this kind of thing could conceivably spiral into a leadership crisis - after all, no-one can make you do anything. This would only happen if the chief is weak or the perpetrator extraordinarily stubbarna, though.

Edited by Akhôrahil

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10 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Yes, definitely. However, as there is really no judiciary enforcement method outside of outlawry (there are plenty of social ones before that, though), this kind of thing could conceivably spiral into a leadership crisis - after all, no-one can make you do anything. This would only happen if the chief is weak or the perpetrator extraordinarily stubbarna, though.

The clan council can of course demand compensation to be paid within the clan. Or can take land and herds away from one family and give it to another. This is fraught with dangers, so is unlikely to happen unless there is a fair amount of consensus within the council. When there isn't, a common solution is for the clan to divide itself into two.

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Just now, Jeff said:

The clan council can of course demand compensation to be paid within the clan. 

Of course they can demand it. But the methods of actual enforcement are very blunt. The whole thing mostly works from social pressure.

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Taking away land and/or herds and re-assigning that to the damaged party is basically a change in status for that bloodline, and might of course be protested by that bloodline, their in-laws (whose status from the marriage will lose, too), and the husbands of the daughters married away from the clan whose status wife gets diminished, too. Lesser outlawry is by far the easier way out for the culprit's family.

1 hour ago, Akhôrahil said:

Of course they can demand it. But the methods of actual enforcement are very blunt. The whole thing mostly works from social pressure.

Actually, the clan chief has the final say in assigning land and herds, and could re-assign some of it each Sacred Season (or Sea Season) depending on the outcome of the previous year's stewardship of land and herd, or other factors.

The land re-assignment might be to yet undeveloped land for the culprit and his family.

There is also the possibility of assigning prolonged temple duty to the culprit only, with the temple paying an indemnity to the injured party - basically turning only him into a semi-free person. That way at least his offspring doesn't lose any status.

Edited by Joerg

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11 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Taking away land and/or herds and re-assigning that to the damaged party is basically a change in status for that bloodline, and might of course be protested by that bloodline, their in-laws (whose status from the marriage will lose, too), and the husbands of the daughters married away from the clan whose status wife gets diminished, too. Lesser outlawry is by far the easier way out for the culprit's family.

Actually, the clan chief has the final say in assigning land and herds, and could re-assign some of it each Sacred Season (or Sea Season) depending on the outcome of the previous year's stewardship of land and herd, or other factors.

The land re-assignment might be to yet undeveloped land for the culprit and his family.

There is also the possibility of assigning prolonged temple duty to the culprit only, with the temple paying an indemnity to the injured party - basically turning only him into a semi-free person. That way at least his offspring doesn't lose any status.

My thought was rather that since no-one can make you do anything and intraclan violence is a bad, bad thing, ultimate enforcement rests in the possibility of outlawry. If you reassign someone's land, that person could be stubborn and refuse, weapon in hand on "his" land. Some of his kin might back him up (even if they think he's in the wrong, as long as it's not just moronic). Unlike in our society, there is no state monopoly on force, delegated to a police force allowed to use supposedly violence on the citizens. While there is ultimately outlawry, that's a Big Deal. Rather, your kin telling you you're a bloody idiot and need to straighten up, the women sorting things out behind the scenes, the threat of loss of standing and so on, are the tools that actually make the system work, rather than legal authority and enforcement. A chief will have serious troubles enforcing a decision that large segments of the clan loathes, legal right or no.

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7 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

My thought was rather that since no-one can make you do anything and intraclan violence is a bad, bad thing, ultimate enforcement rests in the possibility of outlawry. If you reassign someone's land, that person could be stubborn and refuse, weapon in hand on "his" land. Some of his kin might back him up (even if they think he's in the wrong, as long as it's not just moronic).

An unrepentant culprit like that will be exiled anyway. Possibly to greater outlawry. The problem comes when it isn't the culprit but say his uncle who defends his "ownership" of that land.

Unlike the EU, a Heortling clan doesn't have an Article 51 to regulate how to secede from a clan. While there may be precedens of consensual clan splits, what happens when not enough people for a proto-clan announce that they are going to pack up their belongings and move away (say to Nochet, the tribal federation city, Pavis County, or a rival clan)?

Even though much of the cattle and all of the land is owned by the clan temple and administrated by the clan chief and the ring, each bloodline in the clan has a claim to a share of that. In the case of land, you cannot take that along if you move away, but if you just transfer to a nearby clan, you might be able to take the claim to some of the clan lands along with you (reducing the amount of cattle and silver, and possibly pieces of the clan regalia you might receive).

With the current setting, the Big Rubble or Pavis County might be an attractive place to re-settle. You'd want tools, seed, lifestock, food, and transportation, in exchange for the housing and fields you leave behind. In the Rubble, that bloodline might move into one of the more peaceful domains, and/or establish a trade in New Pavis. Especially if one of your kin has sailed wih Argrath.

 

7 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Unlike in our society, there is no state monopoly on force, delegated to a police force allowed to use supposedly violence on the citizens.

While that is true, the clan chief has a very real police force in the warrior retainers of the clan. While the clan nobles might equal them in equipment, usually the warriors have more experience.

The chief has the law (or tradition) behind him.

7 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

While there is ultimately outlawry, that's a Big Deal. Rather, your kin telling you you're a bloody idiot and need to straighten up, the women sorting things out behind the scenes, the threat of loss of standing and so on, are the tools that actually make the system work, rather than legal authority and enforcement. A chief will have serious troubles enforcing a decision that large segments of the clan loathes, legal right or no.

True. If the chief goes against the majority of the clan, his position will be challenged, and possibly overthrown. The warriors usually pledge their loyalty to the clan temple rather than to the person of the chief, but not necessarily. But such checks and balances are easily overcome if the chief was sufficiently corrupt in the recruitment and vows.

A chief going against half of the clan risks a split of the clan, too.

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3 hours ago, Joerg said:

Unlike the EU, a Heortling clan doesn't have an Article 51 to regulate how to secede from a clan.

Oh man, now I can't help but picture a satirical scenario about the shenanigans and black humor of a clan split that just gets more and more convoluted...

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1 hour ago, Akhôrahil said:

Oh man, now I can't help but picture a satirical scenario about the shenanigans and black humor of a clan split that just gets more and more convoluted...

The would-be-splitting bloodlines keep electing a newer and newer Ring that keeps bumbling it up.

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On 11/6/2019 at 9:59 PM, Sir_Godspeed said:

There are multiple forms of Orlanthi marriages. They are essentially contractual, with some stipulations being made before the wedding/betrothal. Monogamy is *generally* part of this, at least what we can call "ordinary monogamy", which would mean that there are some exceptions like religious festivals, and I would personally argue extended absences. 

Basically, depending on the form of marriage, and the individual partners, they may or may not seek divorce. There is of course also the issue of power/status imbalance between the kinship groups involved.

I know the Orlanthi marriages. I would even say monogamy is *always* a part of it, and extended absence does not soften it.

So adultery does not automatically result in divorce? Any objections?

 

On 11/7/2019 at 6:55 AM, metcalph said:

Look at King of Sartar p221

I know that paragraph. It is from the same text. But it doesn't mention kinstrife and from what is written I for one cannot deduce that kinstrife only happens within a bloodline and not a clan. What makes you say it is?

Any views from the others on this?

 

On 11/7/2019 at 6:55 AM, metcalph said:

That makes no sense.  There's nothing in Orlanthi law forbidding the clan from ordering that compensation be paid to settle internal disputes.  How else is a clan going to maintain justice if it can't order compensation?

Ok, you convinced me here. 🙂

 

On 11/7/2019 at 8:18 AM, Jeff said:

The clan council can of course demand compensation to be paid within the clan. Or can take land and herds away from one family and give it to another. This is fraught with dangers, so is unlikely to happen unless there is a fair amount of consensus within the council.

Thanks for the clarification.

 

On 11/7/2019 at 10:10 AM, Joerg said:

There is also the possibility of assigning prolonged temple duty to the culprit only, with the temple paying an indemnity to the injured party - basically turning only him into a semi-free person. That way at least his offspring doesn't lose any status.

I like that idea. I think I will use it for my campaign.

 

On 11/7/2019 at 10:31 AM, Akhôrahil said:

If you reassign someone's land, that person could be stubborn and refuse, weapon in hand on "his" land.

I don't think that is likely. First of all it would be a major affront. The household and next of kin would be embarrassed and ashamed, and it would certainly lead to outlawry. Secondly the clan chief usually has the means to execute his decisions. Otherwise he wouldn't be chief for long. Surely there are enough competent warriors who would love to kick the perpetrator off "his" land.

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20 minutes ago, Robin "RoM" Mitra said:

I know the Orlanthi marriages. I would even say monogamy is *always* a part of it, and extended absence does not soften it.

 

Two of the marriage forms specifically open for non-monogamy (Husband & Underwife and Wife & Esrolian Husband). It would be inaccurate to call polygamous sexual relations adultery of course, since they are still regulated by marriage norms.

Then there is the exception of ritual sexual relations, in which someone might be tasked with performing in stead of a divinity or hero. The idea here seems to be that since the people involved are acting in place of deities, it's not really "them" who are having sex, so in effect, no breach of marriage. Children can still be conceived though, so it's not like they don't physically carry it out. Also, children are a blessing, so there's that.

My point about ameliorating circumstances for extended absences might just be a personal interpretation, but I still believe it is common enough for a lot of people to have to deal with it in ways that they find personally acceptable and pragmatic (a relevant dilemma for professional warriors, herders moving into the mountains for the summer, sailors and caravaners, traders, etc.). It's not like this is unknown for Ernalda or Orlanth to have something on the side, after all. So, probably still adultery, but... possibly tolerable. That's my take on it, at least. And children are a blessing, in general.

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