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3 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Thunder Rebels (p.42) had a list of "body fines":

While think this actually very useful, I deliberately avoided some elements of older stuff as those without access to it, but have RQG might find it a bit unfair. I actually liked just using what was currently printed as it made sense of what the Orlevings were trying to do.

  • If the wound be not serious, there is no need for justice.

in my mind a serious wound means nearly died as no one's magic worked so. so in RQ terms, limb loss or 0hp brought back, but heal body etc. invalidates this.

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5 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Thunder Rebels (p.42) had a list of "body fines":

  • If the wound be not serious, there is no need for justice.
  • If a high priestess be slain in her words, or a chieftain in his rites, a noble, a serdrodosi in her fits, a white woman, a kolating in his leaps, a juror in her pledging, or a champion by cowardice, one hundred cows be the price, or outlawry, or both; if they be maimed, then fifty cows. And ten cows to the gods in either case, and two white bulls for cleansing.
  • If a thane be slain, or a hearthmistress, or one of the Ring, then fifty cows be the price, and five hands of seasons outlawry, or both; if he be maimed, then twice five hands of cows. And five fine cows to the gods in either case, and a pair of gelded horses for cleansing.
  • If a carl be slain, or any godi, or the head of a bloodline, or a bride before her rites, then twenty-five cows be the price, and three hands of seasons outlawry if the act be planned; if he be maimed, then ten cows.
  • If a cottar be slain, or a stickpicker or other beggar, then ten cows.
  • If a guest of the stead be killed or maimed, then the price of the host.
  • If an alynx, a bull or cow, a ram or ewe, a stallion or mare, or a boar or sow be slain, that was blessed by the gods, then a cottar’s or a carl’s price, as the casting stones say.
  • If an alynx queen be struck down, or interfered with that she lose her kits, then two cows.
  • There be no price for the death of a stranger, or an outlaw, or a trickster outside the bond, for there is no honor without honor, and no justice without kin.. . . .

I'm a little surprised at the combination of wergild and outlawry for "regular" murder (I mean, the clan might outlaw someone who is a troublemaker separately, but this makes it seem as though it's part of the punishment, and "regular" murder is often thought of as a civil affair with purely economic consequences, and makes a difference between planned and unplanned actions), although less so in the second point where you're not just killing someone but also violating the natural order. I'm also not sure what to make of this part: "then fifty cows be the price, and five hands of seasons outlawry, or both". Isn't "both" already part of the "and"?

It's also interesting that HW clearly assumes that maimings that can't be easily healed are a thing, unlike in RQ-going-by-the-rules where only exceptional injuries can't easily be fully healed. One more difference between the Gloranthas.

Love the part about sacred animals!

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4 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

I'm a little surprised at the combination of wergild and outlawry for "regular" murder (I mean, the clan might outlaw someone who is a troublemaker separately, but this makes it seem as though it's part of the punishment

Yes, I think that's likely excessive,... unless your chieftain thinks you were a fool for committing it and bringing the clans close to a feud.

6 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Love the part about sacred animals!

Yes!

Also, that it might matter what the person was doing when it happened - e.g. killing a priestess during a ritual is clearly a very bad thing. (And hope that the goddess doesn't bring down a curse as well!)

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2 hours ago, David Scott said:

...

in my mind a serious wound means nearly died as no one's magic worked so. so in RQ terms, limb loss or 0hp brought back, but heal body etc. invalidates this.

I always take as baseline wergild the "free market" price of the appropriate healing.

What would a healer charge to heal said wound?  That's the presumptive minimum wergild, likely plus various extras.

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1 hour ago, jajagappa said:

Yes, I think that's likely excessive,... unless your chieftain thinks you were a fool for committing it and bringing the clans close to a feud.

I mean, that banishment by your chief makes all kinds of sense. It was more that the outlawry would be meted out as part of the judgment itself. At least if we go by the Icelandic format, paying the fine specifically means you avoid outlawry. It also has some really weird effects - one major reason to pay wergild is that so you avoid vengeance, but if you then become an outlaw, anyone is free to take whatever vengeance they can on you, so it makes the wergild payment meaningless (from your perspective - it still matters for the clan).

1 hour ago, jajagappa said:

Also, that it might matter what the person was doing when it happened - e.g. killing a priestess during a ritual is clearly a very bad thing. (And hope that the goddess doesn't bring down a curse as well!)

Agree - at that point it's not just a civil crime that requires economic compensation, but a breach of How Things Should Be. Possibly even chaotic.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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4 minutes ago, Bill the barbarian said:

There's still a difference between murder and killing in all the Gloranthas right?

Well, there's a difference between murder and secret murder, but about the same thing. A secret murder is something you try to hide. On Iceland, it meant not declaring what you had done for the next three steads you passed.

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2 minutes ago, Bill the barbarian said:

No there is a difference between killing and murder. Murder is killing in secret.

This is not the typical Gloranthan terminology. You will see it referred to specifically as "Secret Murder" in many places.

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On 9/3/2020 at 5:24 PM, Akhôrahil said:

All that is true, but another aspect of it is that the wergild amounts has to be reasonable. 10 cows for giving a Carl a black eye is ridiculous - no court would uphold it, and your clanmates would think you silly for being ready to start a feud over it. And this reasonableness is heavily connected to actual economic damage to the clan. 

Hi: recovering mediaeval historian here. Historic wergelds (e.g. in the Frankish or Anglo-Saxon law codes I studied 30 years ago) were disproportionate and most likely unaffordable to most families. That gives a lot of leeway to kings / judges to broker deals, which is the way they like it.

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38 minutes ago, Nick Brooke said:

Hi: recovering mediaeval historian here. Historic wergelds (e.g. in the Frankish or Anglo-Saxon law codes I studied 30 years ago) were disproportionate and most likely unaffordable to most families. That gives a lot of leeway to kings / judges to broker deals, which is the way they like it.

That's the idea in Glorantha as well (unsurprisingly, the average person will have a hard time compensating for the death of another average person), but even if your clan is paying (the typical outcome), they need think it's reasonable, and in particular, if it's taken to a judge, it's the judge's idea of what's reasonable that will count. 

Sure, a judge might decide to be unreasonable and punish a part they dislike, but everyone knows what the going rate is, so there's limited leeway. 10 cows for a black eye or 100 cows for a slain cottar will be clearly and correctly regarded as unreasonable, and you don't get to break tradition and precedence willy-nilly without consequences.

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The point about wergilds is that they are neither proportionate nor reasonable and it is important not to see justice within a 21st Century perspective. Historically, they were usually an imposed settlement on the feuding families negotiated as trade-offs by district leaders at the folcgemōt or þing as a way of stopping the already extensive bloodshed, possibly also to stop escalation involving more families. Retributive violence was always the first resort and to ask for wergild was a definitive sign of weakness and dishonour on the family. Feuds were about honour and even minor or alleged slights needed to avenged. Wergild was used to end feuds by trading off one sides wounds and dead against the others. Sometimes this also resulted in time-limited outlawry for some of the protagonists as well as paying of land/goods/silver.

Germanic law codes relied on strength and power of the protagonists to achieve an end. None of it was ever fair or proportionate but relied on who had the strongest supporters. Some of the primary sources have blatant miscarriages of justice. You might be awarded 10 cows for your Carl's black eye but you still have to have the power to enforce payment.

Remember Violence is always the option...

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41 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

That's the idea in Glorantha as well (unsurprisingly, the average person will have a hard time compensating for the death of another average person), but even if your clan is paying (the typical outcome), they need think it's reasonable, and in particular, if it's taken to a judge, it's the judge's idea of what's reasonable that will count. 

Sure, a judge might decide to be unreasonable and punish a part they dislike, but everyone knows what the going rate is, so there's limited leeway. 10 cows for a black eye or 100 cows for a slain cottar will be clearly and correctly regarded as unreasonable, and you don't get to break tradition and precedence willy-nilly without consequences.

It might provide a chance to "demote" someone from freedom (carl) to semifreedom (cottar).

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4 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Also, that it might matter what the person was doing when it happened - e.g. killing a priestess during a ritual is clearly a very bad thing. (And hope that the goddess doesn't bring down a curse as well!)

Anglo Saxons also used larger wergilds for killing priests holding sermons.

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1 minute ago, Brootse said:

Anglo Saxons also used larger wergilds for killing priests holding sermons.

I would have thought you would have been rewarded by the congregation for ending the droning on of the priests... their sermons did tend to go on a bit

 

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5 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Also, that it might matter what the person was doing when it happened - e.g. killing a priestess during a ritual is clearly a very bad thing. (And hope that the goddess doesn't bring down a curse as well!)

I shot the priest... but I did not kill the priestess...

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23 minutes ago, Nozbat said:

Germanic law codes relied on strength and power of the protagonists to achieve an end. None of it was ever fair or proportionate but relied on who had the strongest supporters. Some of the primary sources have blatant miscarriages of justice. You might be awarded 10 cows for your Carl's black eye but you still have to have the power to enforce payment.

My impression is that that's not quite how it works in Sartar. Rather, the judge is someone with authority (regular power in the case of the Prince of Sartar, traditional/magical/religious power in the case of someone wielding the Lawstaff), to enforce his legal decisions. Basically, if you go to the Prince, he will make a judgement, and he will (attempt to) enforce it, because he has committed his authority to it and doesn't like to see it challenged. What's the point of going to a judge who can't do that - whatever he says is just an opinion! Similarly, if you defy the wielder of the Lawstaff, bad magical things will probably happen to you, plus you're objectively in the wrong for all to see.

Something similar happens in Red Cow, when (spoilers) the Lunars are brought in to end the clan feud. Their decision might be regarded as unfair, but importantly, they can back it up. It's not exactly voluntary to agree to their ruling once it's happened.

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12 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

This is post-Christianization? Or did it apply to pagan priests as well?

It was post-Christianization, but there were pagan Vikings around. The law definitely didn't count pagan religious leaders as priests.

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1 minute ago, Akhôrahil said:

This is post-Christianization? Or did it apply to pagan priests as well?

I don't recall any primary Anglo-Saxon source discussing pagan priests. Most extant MS are AS Chronicle, lives of Saints, prayers, Scripture, law codes or charters with the exception of Beowulf. Most scholars believe there was a strong A-S oral tradition which was lost in the conversion to Christianity unlike the pagan Icelandic sagas or Irish/ Welsh MS.  

There is a general taboo on killing most priests whatever the era or culture as they are viewed as communing with the unseen powers and to do so would imperil your soul/ shade/ journey to the afterlife... 

Personally, I would view the taboo as emanating from the priests themselves to scare people 

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On 9/4/2020 at 12:52 PM, jajagappa said:

Thunder Rebels (p.42) had a list of "body fines":

It seems that this list is not so much Germanic-type Wergilds but more Pelasgian Greek Kathamos and it’s interesting to see that there is both a temporal and spiritual cost of causing harm within the Clan or Tribe. That price is only for those within ‘the Law’ and not for those outside the ‘Law”.

Firstly, the price is high to prevent impetuous behaviour and as a deterrent to breaking the peace of the clan and the price is set as to the usefulness of the person harmed or killed. A useful psychological tool of positive reinforcement to obey the Clan laws.

Secondly, there is a blood price to purify or cleanse the Unlawful act to be completed in a ritual act or offering. I assume that failure to comply with the blood price will also bring both bad luck and Devine displeasure, possibly not only on the individual but on the family, clan or tribe?

A useful campaign hook...

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13 minutes ago, Nozbat said:

I assume that failure to comply with the blood price will also bring both bad luck and Devine displeasure, possibly not only on the individual but on the family, clan or tribe?

Yes, I would expect so.  One effect might be that a Spirit of Disease (as is "dis"-ease) might manifest somewhere within the community as the deities withdraw their protection due to their displeasure/anger.  Investigating the cause/manifestation/source leads back to those who fail to comply, but it also requires a communal effort to "close the door", so to speak.

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