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Behind this cryptic title, one "simple" question:

Orlanthi clans are exogamic. In your opinion, what happens to children born not only out of wedlock but from two members of the same clan? What would be their status? Could they be considered as strangers and then adopted by someone into the clan? Let the Law-speakers in you rise to the challenge!

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Seems pretty simple to me; the child is unquestionably the child of their mother, so in any case of uncertainty or unusual circumstance that's the important part. Any status or relations in the clan comes from her. The only issue that might arise is if the mother later marries out of the clan, in which case either her new husband agrees to raise her child as his own or the child is left behind with their mother's family.

In short, if he was conceived out of wedlock, then all that really matters is that Onorfal is the son of his mother.

Edited by Leingod
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Just now, soltakss said:

The outcast, shunned by their clan is a common theme. They might be accepted, to a certain extent, but treated as inferior, or taboo in some way.

On the other hand, the Heortlings don't have a strong taboo against sex between unmarried people, and their views on property means obsessing over inheritance isn't going to be as big of a deal, either. So, barring unusual circumstances I don't think children born out of wedlock are going to face such a stigma that it could be described as "taboo." At worst, typically they might just get chronically short-changed, like having a real uphill struggle to make anything of themselves but a tenant of their more prosperous relations.

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One way would be to exile the parents and a) exile the child with them too or b) keep the child and induct them into some cult that makes him or her less likely to have children, like the humakti. 

 

This is kind of a cruel choice I know. 

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19 minutes ago, Leingod said:

So, barring unusual circumstances I don't think children born out of wedlock are going to face such a stigma that it could be described as "taboo."

I suppose it depends on who the parents are. some relationships might be seen as being abnormal or odd.

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3 minutes ago, soltakss said:

I suppose it depends on who the parents are. some relationships might be seen as being abnormal or odd.

Sure, if we're talking incest between close relatives, or she was seduced by a trickster, or something like that, which is covered under what I termed "unusual circumstances" above. But if this is just "Onorfal's father was some distant cousin within the clan, or a wandering entertainer, or etc." then I don't think it'd be considered a big deal by most.

As I said before, the Heortlings don't stigmatize sex outside of marriage, and marriage itself is more about binding clans together than about babies. So, I don't think a woman having a child while unmarried would be especially unusual or worth remarking on for most, or that their child would face a major stigma under most circumstances.

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Interesting thread.  In the RQG player character backgrounds, I guess I assumed that your parents were married.  And it is definitely implied on page 33:

"If one of your parents dies, you may decide that the surviving parent remarries."  (emphasis added)

But the possibility that they are not married, or your father is somebody mysterious (or just a rat) is interesting.

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3 minutes ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

Interesting thread.  In the RQG player character backgrounds, I guess I assumed that your parents were married.  And it is definitely implied on page 33:

"If one of your parents dies, you may decide that the surviving parent remarries."  (emphasis added)

But the possibility that they are not married, or your father is somebody mysterious (or just a rat) is interesting.

The RQG character creation goes with a default assumption of a permanent marriage that only ended with the death of one or both parties (potentially), almost certainly for the sake of easing new players into what is already a more complex and involved process than they might be used to. But as in reality, a Heortling's family situation might be more complicated and outside that "norm."

Their parents could be divorced, for example, or the marriage itself was actually temporary, or maybe they're actually the product a sacred union their parents undertook as part of a religious festival (in which case the resulting child is seen as a blessing from the gods, and possibly destined for greatness). All stuff that could well be used to enrich a character's family and background with GM approval, I suppose.

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The parents of my character were unmarried, because none had the right to marry the other. They were just 'best friends'. We (me and my GM) considered that, as neither were married, both were respecting their obligation and restrictions. So, the kid was considered 'normal' and stayed with his mother.

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There's no one answer and the answer to "could x possibly be y?" is yes.  The texts don't directly answer the question and do say that Sartarite clans vary.  All Orlanthi will vary even more.

S:KoH talks about exogamy and a wide range of marriages so you can infer that typically the former will be a bigger deal.  The parents of the RQG pregen Yanioth probably were not married - they could have been, but Vasana is only two years younger and her parents were married, whereas Yanioth's father is unnamed.

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40 minutes ago, Leingod said:

Sure, if we're talking incest between close relatives, or she was seduced by a trickster, or something like that, which is covered under what I termed "unusual circumstances" above. But if this is just "Onorfal's father was some distant cousin within the clan, or a wandering entertainer, or etc." then I don't think it'd be considered a big deal by most.

As I said before, the Heortlings don't stigmatize sex outside of marriage, and marriage itself is more about binding clans together than about babies. So, I don't think a woman having a child while unmarried would be especially unusual or worth remarking on for most, or that their child would face a major stigma under most circumstances.

I'm pretty sure all sexual relations within a clan are considered the Heortling equivalent of incest. The clan, not the bloodline, is considered the exogamous unit (blood-relationship is largely irrelevant here). This would be scandalous, gross, and possibly a Chaotic act to them. 

There are some different ways to deal with this:
- Both are censured heavily and exiled (outlawed?). Possible, but it would be a significant loss for the clan, and would quite possibly be very unpopular with the families of both of the lovers.

- Censure and exile the one lover with the lower social status. This makes the more powerful family happy, which is the more important thing, politically. 

- Collectively "forget" who the father is, and prevent them from getting together again, and marry them off to separate partners. This stuff happens with taboo relationships in real life too.

- Pull a sneaky move, and make an in-law clan adopt one of them, then have them marry each other formally exogamously. Will probably be controversial, but might be done if there is enough political clout to make it happen.

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Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes:

Quote

Bloodlines are exogamous, which means that members of the same bloodline can never marry or have sex with each other.

...and:

Quote

Clans are largely exogamous, and the wives must come from someplace else. [...]

All clans have a list of prohibited clans, with whom marriage or sex is forbidden, in order to prevent unwitting incest. Most clans have a second list of prohibited marriages, due to ancient feuds and other historical events.

Many have a select list of possible clans to marry, perhaps vague (all animal clans) or specific by clan name. Most have a traditional set of nearby clans with which they hold close connections. Some have no concrete guidelines, other than the normal prohibitions, and the clan's collective acceptance.

So my understanding is that:

  1. Having a kid between two members of the same bloodline is considered incest and the parents are in big trouble. Whether the kid is in trouble too (for instance it gets exiled along with the parents, or worse), or whether the kid is considered "innocent" in the matter (and therefore kept and raised inside the clan anyway) probably depends on the specific situation, and on the specific people being in charge of the ruling at the time.
  2. Having a kid between two members of the same clan (different bloodline) seems frowned upon, or actively discouraged, but it doesn't seem to be considered taboo to me ("largely exogamous" means to me that there's a minority of internal unions). If anything, it seems quite unrealistic to think that in a group of, say, 600 adults, there's never going to be two of them that are attracted to each other. Trying to prevent this from ever happening seems doomed to failure and to a number of nasty undercover affairs and associated scandals... but I could imagine the "guidelines" being stricter in a small clan than in a bigger clan.
  3. Different clans will have different traditions imprinted onto their children and teenagers, to a point where intra-clan unions are kept to a minimum by virtue of social dynamics. I'm thinking for instance of boys and girls in a clan being separated most of the time for their daily activities and chores, and having most of their mingling time with the opposite sex to be part of activities/festivities/sports events/etc. that are organized with some other select clans... thus vastly improving the chances of couples forming between the clans, rather than inside them. There's also the possibility that arranged marriages dominate anyway, in which case it's just simpler.

So IMG having an affair or a kid inside the same clan is OK -- it's just uncommon. If such a situation is considered problematic, it's for other reasons: the two lovers are part of the same bloodline, or the two lovers belong to clans that are "forbidden" to get together, or one of the lovers had some kind of contractual obligation like a year marriage, or some other thing like that.

Edited by lordabdul
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31 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

Having a kid between two members of the same bloodline is considered incest and the parents are in big trouble. Whether the kid is in trouble too (for instance it gets exiled along with the parents, or worse), or whether the kid is considered "innocent" in the matter (and therefore kept and raised inside the clan anyway) probably depends on the specific situation, and on the specific people being in charge of the ruling at the time.

While not necessarily canonical now, the HW/HQ1 book Gathering Thunder had a scenario "Last Days of Skullpoint" based on unwitting incest.  The participants were effectively cursed with Chaos as a result.  Whether you wish it to be that bad would be up to the GM, but it's definitely NOT GOOD!  A child from this would probably need to undergo ritual purification.

34 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

Having a kid between two members of the same clan (different bloodline) seems frowned upon, or actively discouraged, but it doesn't seem to be considered taboo to me ("largely exogamous" means to me that there's a minority of internal unions). If anything, it seems quite unrealistic to think that in a group of, say, 600 adults, there's never going to be two of them that are attracted to each other. Trying to prevent this from ever happening seems doomed to failure and to a number of nasty undercover affairs and associated scandals... but I could imagine the "guidelines" being stricter in a small clan than in a bigger clan.

I've used special events/rituals for "Year Marriages" between different bloodlines (e.g. Harvest Bride).  The two take on "mythic" roles, and in that way "step out of" their clan roles.  

In my mind, this helps to keep the clan "woven together" so the bloodlines do not fragment into effectively rival clans (and really create kinstrife).  But clearly the Ernalda priestesses and clan lawspeaker will be needed to help ensure these crossings don't result in unexpected incest down the line.

 

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6 hours ago, lordabdul said:

Different clans will have different traditions imprinted onto their children and teenagers, to a point where intra-clan unions are kept to a minimum by virtue of social dynamics. I'm thinking for instance of boys and girls in a clan being separated most of the time for their daily activities and chores, and having most of their mingling time with the opposite sex to be part of activities/festivities/sports events/etc. that are organized with some other select clans... thus vastly improving the chances of couples forming between the clans, rather than inside them. There's also the possibility that arranged marriages dominate anyway, in which case it's just simpler.

I don't think keeping the kids apart is going to make them less likely to get the hots for each other. If anything, that just makes them view each other less as relatives. IMHO having them work closely together from a very early age is equally likely to make them avoid courting, possibly some kind of Westermarck effect kinda deal (although admittedly it's not a universal concept). Ultimately it's going to come down to social pressure. If children are imprinted from an early age that their peers are no-no, then that is probably going to be internalized for most of them, whether they are "co-ed" or not, as it were. And as you mentioned, some level of deviation from the norm is inevitable.

Although, that being said, "boys and girls" is a broad category. 7-9 year olds are a whole lot different from 14-16 year olds, after all. 

Lastly, we must be careful to avoid conflating sexual attraction and marriage. Heortlings are pretty chill with young adults fooling around and stuff, but marriage is serious business. "Sex is easy, marriage is hard". Marriage is about alliances, exchange of valuables, and establishing a new household, stuff that cannot be consituted on the grounds of horniness or romantic attraction alone, and the Orlanthi are obviously very aware of this.

 

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2 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

I don't think keeping the kids apart is going to make them less likely to get the hots for each other. If anything, that just makes them view each other less as relatives. IMHO having them work closely together from a very early age is equally likely to make them avoid courting

Very possible yes. I frankly have no specific knowledge or reference for one way or the other being more effective... but we agree that upbringing and social norms will go a long way to make sure that, say, 90 or 95% of couples are following the clan's traditions.

4 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Lastly, we must be careful to avoid conflating sexual attraction and marriage. Heortlings are pretty chill with young adults fooling around and stuff

The OP was specifically about having a kid out of wedlock... so effectively "fooling around and stuff" and finding yourself pregnant.  As I said, I don't think that's a big deal by itself, and it sounds like you agree? It's a big deal only for other reasons (same bloodline, enemy clan, etc.). I think it could also be a big deal if one of the parents belongs to a notable family, since the kid may 20 years later show up in a claim to some throne or land or magical item (and possibly after said kid has made sure all the other pretenders had unfortunate incidents).

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Thanks everybody! Many answers mainly focused on the "out of wedlock" part while I was more interested in the "from the same clan" part. I thought the clans were exogamous, and as such I specified "out of wedlock" just as a consequence of the main point. But @lordabdul rightly pointed out that the clan is only "largely exogamous". 

So, in a way I should rephrase my question asking about children born from two persons of the same bloodline, that is effectively born from incest. Thanks @jajagappa for the information about  Last Days of Skullpoint, I will check this scenario now. As far as "practical solutions devised by the law-speaker" @Sir_Godspeed has offered a whole-range of very sensible paths which could provide very interesting gaming opportunities while pointing out that one of the main concern is patrimonial. I also like a lot @Jape_Vicho 's suggestion that the child could be initiated in a cult cutting all social ties, but initiation happens quite late in life and it also raises the interesting question of the possibility to forcefully initiate someone in a cult if his initiation has not hinted that he was favored/claimed by the god in question. 

@jajagappathanks for pointing out the Last Days of Skullpoint. It is a very, very good scenario, albeit terrifying. And put my OP into a whole new light!

 

Edited by Minlister
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Well in that case, the kid has a mother, right? He's Onorfol, son of his mother. His biological father has no legal role except for being a member of the same clan. These sorts of "fatherless" births happen reasonably often, usually the result of fertility festivals where women are encouraged to take lovers. Sometimes these children end up being given to one of the temples to be raised or even end up serving in the household of the chieftain.

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Thanks Jeff, I understand and I agree that such children must be relatively frequent, hence my interest; but my question is about the incest dimension of such birth. It doesn't create any kind of problem at all? Should we think that fertility festival creates some kind of special magical circumstances?

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Just now, Minlister said:

Thanks Jeff, I understand and I agree that such children must be relatively frequent, hence my interest; but my question is about the incest dimension of such birth. It doesn't create any kind of problem at all? Should we think that fertility festival creates some kind of special magical circumstances?

Who knows who is actually present during a fertility festival? Are they spirits or gods? Mortals? Kinfolk? 

These are things that happen while in the Hero Plane - and normal social rules likely do not apply.

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Yes, once more I agree. It is a very interesting idea that such children conceived during a religious festival could be considered as scions of spiritual/divine beings.

But, fundamentally, once more we are circling around my question; I am concerned (for a scenario building purpose) about more mundane, daily issuee. Maniskis from Highstead frolicking with Adessa of Widestead. Natural things potentially leading to social problems. Or more as exemplified by the Last Days of Skullpoint.

Of course, everybody could pretend to believe that Adessa and Maniskis' child was in fact conceived by the mother during a fertility holy days. That would a socially acceptable solution in most case I guess?

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3 minutes ago, Minlister said:

Yes, once more I agree. It is a very interesting idea that such children conceived during a religious festival could be considered as scions of spiritual/divine beings.

But, fundamentally, once more we are circling around my question; I am concerned (for a scenario building purpose) about more mundane, daily issuee. Maniskis from Highstead frolicking with Adessa of Widestead. Natural things potentially leading to social problems. Or more as exemplified by the Last Days of Skullpoint.

Of course, everybody could pretend to believe that Adessa and Maniskis' child was in fact conceived by the mother during a fertility holy days. That would a socially acceptable solution in most case I guess?

Aha, so now we have the classic problem of what is permitted within the sacred boundaries is not permitted outside of it. Sex with another clan member is perfectly fine within the sanctified place where the Divine World meets the mundane, but it is frowned on or even forbidden outside of it. What might result in blessings and divine favour within the temple can result in retribution and divine anger outside. And because this takes place within the clan, you run the risk of being outlawed or at least exiled.

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My interpretation of the clan-bloodline split is that bloodlines are consanguine in the degree of immediate family and clans are consanguine in the degree of first cousins or so, as an analogy to modern American perceptions of incestuousness. (And presumably, relations between clans that are closely related, like parent and child clans or clans that have frequently intermarried in recent years, are another layer of consanguinity out.)

Of course, my assumption in writing and playing is that all background relationships are clan-exogamous and one which isn't is interesting enough to be in the foreground.

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I think we have a clear idea of what happen in hero/god  plan/festival. There is no issue as the gods accepted it

When we are in a mundane affair, I would say that answering "Who knows who is the father " may help us

The mother probably knows (not always, but almost) who is the father

The father probably believes, but there is always another... way, so the doubt remains.

If the affair is secret that's all for the community living members. Of course one could know it by discussion or spying)

But the baby is here. some people can be suspicious and want to know who is the fathers. some politicians can use it to make some move. some could be afraid to any curse, some don't care /are happy

 

Depending of people, in a preventive way, the community could organize a trial, a divination (gods / ancestors ) or do nothing. Probably no murder because it is kinstrife , so not the best option.

 

But in another hand, we are in glorantha. So the baby can be a curse for the community (calling chaos, displease ancestors or god, stir up grudges by his presence,...).

 

Here we have the curative perspective, what will do the people to clean the community from this effective curse ?

I think every option give good hook for the gm. The curse may appear immeditaly, during the childhood, during the initiation of the guy (I consider after the initiation there is no opportunity to start something, thing should be created before and detected after the initiation, but nothing new can start after)

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