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Sartar justice case : PC v. Raveena Drenlondottr


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Dear all, I have been shocked for months by the attitude of this unknown person named Raveena. She is claiming the Apple lane thane status just because her father (at least she pretends to be his daughter, but who knows ?) was the thane.

Or maybe there are others hidden reasons ?

So my question is very simple, in all your Lhankor Mhy tablets, how can someone defends a thane position as an heir ? A chief must be acclamed, a thane must be appointed by a chief, am I wrong ?

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In general, I’d be surprised if that a properly acclaimed Thane would lose much sleep over Raveena’s claim.

But, given the old Sheruff Thane, was Dronlan Swordsharp, I’ve always assumed that there’s a *possibility* at least that he’s related to a certain Garrath Sharpsword, aka Argrath.  Certainly, it would be rather neat in my campaign if Argrath had a special interest in Apple Lane.

If so, what happens with Raveena could make things deliciously complicated a couple of years down the line!

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Her claim is pretty nonsensical as far as standard Sartarite property/inheritance laws go (I guess all that time abroad has given her some un-Sartarite notions about what being someone's daughter makes you rightfully heiress to), and I think that's probably the point; it's a case that would be laughed out of the tribal court (unless the tribal king was unhappy with their thane for whatever reason), so Raveena is either going to try to gain allies in the tribe to strengthen her case (likely out of whatever enemies or rivals the thane makes), or try to get outside help, maybe even from Lunars looking to destabilize Leika's still-fragile reign.

Or you could just have it be some absurd claim no one takes seriously and laugh her right out for it, or maybe just settle it with a duel.

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Such things are not hereditary, but lineage is very important in Sartarite society, otherwise they wouldn't constantly be naming their ancestors back multiple generations. As someone that grew up there, she could claim a strong understanding of the needs of the village, she would have grown up with "pretty Aileena", as she was known back then, Brightflower and others. She would be well known (for better or worse) to long-time residents and she has a lot of martial experience. If Leika was the one that named her father as thane, then maybe she would remember him fondly, appreciate his service, and want to help his family. Do not confuse a clan/tribal culture with a meritocracy.

That said, her claim went nowhere in my game as the eventual Thane had led the defense against Tusk Riders and had a letter of support from Aileena. She will be back, however...

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10 hours ago, Leingod said:

Raveena is either going to try to gain allies in the tribe to strengthen her case (likely out of whatever enemies or rivals the thane makes), or try to get outside help, maybe even from Lunars looking to destabilize Leika's still-fragile reign.

Yep. Plus: I assume that in this kind of situation, the one claiming kinship and familial history with the place can also pull on some long held debts, oaths, and other obligations. So Raveena may be able to sway half of the local population by reminding that so and so's grandfathers pledged support "for 7 generations" to the Drenlon bloodline. Failing to uphold this may result in these grandfathers' spirits paying a visit to their oathbreaker grand-children... Or maybe Apple Lane was founded around a key magical item, and she knows where it is (her dad told her) and going to get it with a fancy ceremony and dangerous quest to prove her worth, or maybe she already has it... or whatever else.

I think that Raveena isn't coming back with her claim without having such an ace in her sleeve because otherwise, father or no father, she wouldn't have any better chance at succeeding than any other random schmuck.

Edited by lordabdul

Ludovic aka Lordabdul -- read and listen to  The God Learners , the Gloranthan podcast, newsletter, & blog !

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5 hours ago, Scorus said:

Such things are not hereditary, but lineage is very important in Sartarite society, otherwise they wouldn't constantly be naming their ancestors back multiple generations. As someone that grew up there, she could claim a strong understanding of the needs of the village, she would have grown up with "pretty Aileena", as she was known back then, Brightflower and others. She would be well known (for better or worse) to long-time residents and she has a lot of martial experience. If Leika was the one that named her father as thane, then maybe she would remember him fondly, appreciate his service, and want to help his family. Do not confuse a clan/tribal culture with a meritocracy.

That said, her claim went nowhere in my game as the eventual Thane had led the defense against Tusk Riders and had a letter of support from Aileena. She will be back, however...

On the other hand, though, she joined up with a mercenary company and left home right after coming of age and seemingly hasn't come back to this parts of Sartar since. If she'd remained in the tribe, or even if she was just in semi-regular contact with it, that'd be one thing, but if no one in Apple Lane has seen her since she was just out of childhood (which in itself doesn't really suggest she was all that attached to the place or its people), then in many ways, the woman who suddenly arrives demanding her "birthright" is virtually a stranger to many of the people living there now, even the ones who grew up with her.

Edited by Leingod
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40 minutes ago, Leingod said:

On the other hand, though, she joined up with a mercenary company and left home right after coming of age and seemingly hasn't come back to this parts of Sartar since. If she'd remained in the tribe, or even if she was just in semi-regular contact with it, that'd be one thing, but if no one in Apple Lane has seen her since she was just out of childhood (which in itself doesn't really suggest she was all that attached to the place or its people), then in many ways, the woman who suddenly arrives demanding her "birthright" is virtually a stranger to many of the people living there now, even the ones who grew up with her.

that is my vision too. In previous edition, his father had not see her for a long time, and it seems to me she never came back before the sheruff's death

No big search but for me she left about 15 years ago the hamlet and, as in 1613 (griffin mountain) she had only 45% / 50% in her main weapons, I consider she left as soon as she was able to.

Don't know if apple lane has a large history. Apple lane is not clan just a kind of aggregate of nice people from different origin (those who died before 1625 and those who arrived few years ago) So not sure she can invoke any ancestor

1 hour ago, lordabdul said:

Or maybe Apple Lane was founded around a key magical item, and she knows where it is (her dad told her) and going to get it with a fancy ceremony and dangerous quest to prove her worth, or maybe she already has it... or whatever else.

could be a point, some "apple lane regalia" to prove her rights. or smarter, to prove that tusk riders are not the big deal compared to the terrible power she is the only one to fight

 

well, as usual, the best way is kill her husband, then marry her to share the position ;)

 

 

 

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For a legal claim against you, your opponent must be backed by a different clan (tribe, guild, temple) than you. Vareena might go all Lawstaff on the current thane, as the situation has some similarity with the claims for (the high pastures of) Arrowtop Mountain. But what kind of backers could she bring?

There could be an interesting story in Vareena and her followers rounding up the old band from Trilus, with a grizzled Torath Manover barely able to walk but still a zone of death with his sword (possibly the Windsword). A story like Joe Abercromby would write...

Did the current thane deal with Pig Hollow all the way through? If not, Vareena and hers could match the current holder of the office by going against Redeye. Or possibly challenge the Thane to a race against this stain on Colymar honor?

Vareena could renew her claim for Ernaldori clan membership. Her Grazer marriage would have to be acknowledged by the clan, too.

She might appeal directly to King Leika for acknowledgement of her tribal identity - after all she was born to a tribal thane's household.

 

One question I have is what exactly it is that Vareena wants from this recognition of her claims. Is it noble status? Or does she really wish to lord over an out-of-sight hamlet full of odd people, few of which she would remember from her childhood? Is she looking for retirement?

Does she want support to take revenge on Erinda? The Dragonrise may have robbed her of that opportunity.

Does she have children that she wants to leave in a secure place before seeking her fate in the upcoming Hero Wars? (BTW, what happened to her brothers, who had managed the farming of the Thane's stead, after the death of Dronlan? Disowned by Blackmor? Sent into slavery, possibly to the New Temple?)

 

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that is my vision too. In previous edition, his father had not see her for a long time, and it seems to me she never came back before the sheruff's death

 

She may not even have learned of his death until recently, and may have started her journey in the expectation of meeting her family here.

But, out of curiosity, what exactly would have happened to Dronlan's family after he died or retired from the post as the Thane of Apple Lane? Or any other (tribal) royal appointee's family? Dronlan was a direct follower of the tribal king, or the tribal temple. While he was born as an Ernaldori, the first legal affiliation would have been the tribal temple headed by the tribal king. Now from the events in Sartar Companion, it looks like King Blackmor wasn't much of a personal friend of Dronlan's. The Thane of Apple Lane would be one of several such appointees any new king of the Colymar would inherit, take a renewal of their oaths of allegiance, and leave in place.

How many such tribal thanes do the Colymar have, and where?

There are the heads of the major cults, representing their respective temples. (And the temples would be their primary legal backing, not the tribal king.)

There are the personal cadre of bodyguards/armed companions of the king, and any odd magical companions who may not hold any tribal office but may have been instrumental in their heroquests (like Leika's Crown Test into Snake Pipe Hollow).

There would be administrators of tribal owned steads with tenants, like Apple Lane. Where would these have been? Would the destroyed Lunar Manors have been in such places?

 

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No big search but for me she left about 15 years ago the hamlet and, as in 1613 (griffin mountain) she had only 45% / 50% in her main weapons, I consider she left as soon as she was able to.

Don't know if apple lane has a large history. Apple lane is not clan just a kind of aggregate of nice people from different origin (those who died before 1625 and those who arrived few years ago) So not sure she can invoke any ancestor

I tend to refer to Apple Lane as Gringlestead. There is a thane appointed by the Colymar king in place, but all the weird folk assembled here in the original description of the setting are here because they have some companion relationship to Gringle - maybe not direct. The Ulerian temple may be past the original priestess who founded it.

 

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could be a point, some "apple lane regalia" to prove her rights. or smarter, to prove that tusk riders are not the big deal compared to the terrible power she is the only one to fight

Such an indirect duel would be interesting, and might serve as the motivation behind the adventures in The Smoking Ruins.

 

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well, as usual, the best way is kill her husband, then marry her to share the position ;)

Or, to quote Friedrich Schiller,

"I would, allow my intention,

Become the third in your union."

(The rhyme is better in the original version, under the link.)

 

Edited by Joerg
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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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3 hours ago, Joerg said:

But what kind of backers could she bring?

Given Apple Lane's placement at the juncture of a trade route and the boundaries of Hiording and Varmandi land (and not that far from Orlmarth lands), I think she'd appeal to whichever clan dislikes the new thane.  Dronlan could have come from any number of clans (but was likely a supporter of King Kallai before 1613), but it wouldn't be surprising if his wife was from either the Hiording or Varmandi.  So Javeena likely has cousins, uncles, and aunts in the area. 

This is a case where I think each GM likely needs to work out what relationships make for the most interesting conflicts in their game.

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52 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

Given Apple Lane's placement at the juncture of a trade route and the boundaries of Hiording and Varmandi land (and not that far from Orlmarth lands), I think she'd appeal to whichever clan dislikes the new thane. 

My point is that she, as an individual, cannot file a legal claim. She needs some kind of community to take her in and back her claim for the current thane (who has the backing of King Leika, one would assume) to even get into a legal case.

While it is possible that Dronlan's children were born into their mother's clan rather than Dronlan's, that would be a highly unusual case of Esrolian marriage where the male is clearly the socially superior (a tribal thane beats about everything a clan's thane can be except for chieftain or chief priest).

If he cohabitated with the mother of his children without marriage, the children would belong to the mother's clan. Dronlan (as a thane) can still have personal followers from wherever he wants to (one of the perks of being a thane), so he could have instituted his sons as companions. Alternatively, Vareena may be a pre-marital child, therefore belonging to her mother's clan even if her mother did marry Dronlan later on.

If Vareena cannot provide clan provenience, she can still apply for status as tribal follower, but that would at best make Leika a neutral party, not a supporter. She might be able to get her temple to back the case - possibly old Torath Manover, but how much influence can the Trilus temple exert in Colymar lands? Possibly Asborn Thriceborn, if he had a hand in helping Vareena join the mercenaries which ended up bringing her into Torath Manover's band.

52 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

Dronlan could have come from any number of clans (but was likely a supporter of King Kallai before 1613),

Sartar Companion p.169 states that Dronlan hails from the Ernaldori clan, and was installed by Dangmet, the predecessor of Kallai.  I doubt that there is any new canon that supersedes this info, so for the while I would treat this as the official information until officially contradicted

 

52 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

but it wouldn't be surprising if his wife was from either the Hiording or Varmandi.  So Javeena likely has cousins, uncles, and aunts in the area. 

Possibly even still has brothers, although of unknown status. The other folk would be in-laws, without much of an obligation to take her into their clan and into a legal dispute that could cost them dearly. The current thane would have to be in their bad books already for either clan to take this risk.

Since we are talking pre-1613 for Vareena's disappearance, both the Namolding and Lysang clans were from the Colymar tribe at her departure, too, so she might have maternal ties to the Malani tribe now. That could open a much bigger can of worms.

 

52 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

This is a case where I think each GM likely needs to work out what relationships make for the most interesting conflicts in their game.

Full agreement there.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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24 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Sartar Companion p.169 states that Dronlan hails from the Ernaldori clan, and was installed by Dangmet, the predecessor of Kallai.  I doubt that there is any new canon that supersedes this info, so for the while I would treat this as the official information until officially contradicted

So, then depending on who the Apple Lane thane is, there could be Ernaldori who might support Raveena's case (i.e. want the land back in their hands).  And then Raveena's mother can be from whichever clan creates the most conflict.

25 minutes ago, Joerg said:

My point is that she, as an individual, cannot file a legal claim. She needs some kind of community to take her in and back her claim for the current thane (who has the backing of King Leika, one would assume) to even get into a legal case.

Yes, that was my point.  She will appeal to whichever clans she has relatives from (and who want some of the wealth from the place flowing to them).  If PC's made Varmandi unhappy, then Raveena's mom was a Varmandi, and the Varmandi now support her.  Otherwise, give her Hiording relatives.

27 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Since we are talking pre-1613 for Vareena's disappearance, both the Namolding and Lysang clans were from the Colymar tribe at her departure, too, so she might have maternal ties to the Malani tribe now. That could open a much bigger can of worms.

Yes, either of those could work too, and particularly create more tensions with the Varmandi.

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thanks, I like the ideas, and I will follow this (finding an already opposite clan as mother's clan, comme par hasard... la vie est bien faite)

so she has to be supported by one clan (and it would helpfull for her to provide some proof of her value)

But...

 What a clan ring could say against the thane appointement ?

because there is a thane, a tribal thane in a [no-clan] land. If the thane is honourable / has any value (at least defending apple lane)  what I see is more or less a challenge of Leika :

challenging the decision : you made a mistake, this thane is not enough good

or challenging the authority on Apple Lane : you had to discuss with us before taking the decision or you have no right to decide

 

Am I wrong ? I just want to have a deeper explanation than only  "clan foo refuses your appointment so you have to convince them to change its position"

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7 hours ago, Joerg said:

How many such tribal thanes do the Colymar have, and where?

There are the heads of the major cults, representing their respective temples. (And the temples would be their primary legal backing, not the tribal king.)

There are the personal cadre of bodyguards/armed companions of the king, and any odd magical companions who may not hold any tribal office but may have been instrumental in their heroquests (like Leika's Crown Test into Snake Pipe Hollow).

There would be administrators of tribal owned steads with tenants, like Apple Lane. Where would these have been? Would the destroyed Lunar Manors have been in such places?

Apple Lane is an outlier in almost every way. Any other tribal thanes outside of the ones you name would also be outliers. Since Runegate is controlled by three clans, perhaps a tribal thane is appointed to govern it. If any of the defensive structures (Tarkalor's Keep, Odd Tower, etc.) are re-engaged then there would likely be a thane put in charge of it. Alebard Elf-friend and Asborn could be tribal thanes.

The slave farms euphemistically known as the Lunar Manors were political boons awarded to influential or wronged families by the Empire. I doubt they were even taxable by the tribe, much less controlled.

In my game, the Hiording clan is attempting to regain control of Apple Lane, ruling it in conjunction with the Varmandi with promises that it will continue to be open to all clans and tribes. Despite being Hiording, the Thane prefers reporting to the Queen so I don't think that will go anywhere.

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Regarding Vareena, she obviously was born with a silver spoon (parent's social rank lesser noble) but chose the path of the adventurer as soon as she came of age, taking more or less permanent leave from her clan and tribal membership, transferring both allegiance and worship to the temple of Torath Manover.

15 years or so later she returns, a hardened veteran adventurer (more so than mercenary) with experience and high-ranking connections in Trilus and Jonstown (where Joh Mith is about to settle down and take over a very high rank, it seems).  Those Jonstown connections via Joh Mith would count for more if she has maternal kin among the Namoldings.

Joh Mith obviously knows Vareena from his visits at the Lightbringer Temple in Trilus. The expat community there is small.

It isn't quite clear whether Vareena would have gone under the name of Dronlansdotter. From her description, she could not leave Apple Lane fast enough, and her father may not have been her significant parent (or so much so that she felt a professional rivalry).

Joh would certainly have learned about Gringle packing up his remaining belongings and leaving Sartar, and the death of Dronlan would have come up in that tale, too.

We don't know whether Vareena still was a follower of Torath at the time of Dronlan's death. If not, not even Joh Mith's news to Trilus would have reached her within a year.

It is entirely possible that she had already set out to make a name for herself as the leader of a party like Torath Manover's at the start of her career - possibly escorting Bluebird back to New Crystal City in the course of him clearing his name. That would bring her into the vicinity of the Grazelands.

 

1 hour ago, Scorus said:

Apple Lane is an outlier in almost every way.

Yes. It is the typical atypical hamlet in Sartar.

We have several more hamlets around an inn run by an Issaries innkeeper or administrator now. The detailed map of the Colymar tribal territory and surrounding places has more than a dozen places called Inn, quite likely similar in appearance to Farfield, the setting of The Rattling Wind in Pegasus Plateau. Another one (without any farmers around) between Alone and Herongreen.

There are other places where people with some merit have a claim to a piece of land inside the tribal area, for instance Alebard's Tower in or near Antorling lands. Alebard was a companion of Londra of Londros.

 

1 hour ago, Scorus said:

Any other tribal thanes outside of the ones you name would also be outliers. Since Runegate is controlled by three clans, perhaps a tribal thane is appointed to govern it.

As the seat of a triaty, it probably has a Rex Oppidi, or City King. Nowadays a sub-king of the Colymar king. The Tree Triaty of the Lysang, Namolding and the predecessor of the Antorling clan possibly had one, too. Possibly Fairjowl in Antorling lands - the Colymar kings of old appear to have had a habit of destroying one clan in a triaty and then reforming it around a direct descendant of Old Man Colymar. Arnoring, Antorling - they even sound similar.

 

1 hour ago, Scorus said:

If any of the defensive structures (Tarkalor's Keep, Odd Tower, etc.) are re-engaged then there would likely be a thane put in charge of it.

Tarkalor's Keep would be an appointee by the Prince of Sartar, I think. Those three towers named after Saronil's sons were supra-tribal keeps inside the northern border of the principality.

Odd Tower may be a well-preserved ruin from before the Dragonkill, but then the same probably goes for Alebard's tower. Given the shape of Clearwine, some of those ruins may be structurally more sound than the newly built Lunar mansions, or what remained of those.

1 hour ago, Scorus said:

Alebard Elf-friend and Asborn could be tribal thanes.

Asborn is, as the chief priest of Orlanth under Leika. Probably wasn't under Blackmor.

Alebard is to the Colymar tribal kings what Gringle was to the Princes of Sartar, I suppose.

1 hour ago, Scorus said:

The slave farms euphemistically known as the Lunar Manors were political boons awarded to influential or wronged families by the Empire. I doubt they were even taxable by the tribe, much less controlled.

These things sprung up after Blackmor returned from Exile as a Lunar turncoat, which is why I think that Blackmor assigned steads, inns or hamlets controlled by the office of the tribal king as partial repayment for the Lunar support to back his claim against Leika.

Who on the Lunar side took the bribes to actually assign the manor sites to Heartland families is a matter inside the Lunar administration, at that time run by Fazzur and his deputies like Gordius Silverus.

 

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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  • 2 months later...

Sorry for resurrecting n somewhat older post, but I found most of this discussion useful. 

 

I came across another aspect this her case recently, in the Heroquest: Sartar kingdom of Heroes (or maybe the companion book) at the end of the one adventure in that book it states that after the Lunars burn down Gringles shop, the majority of the population of Apple Lane fled and the only people to remain afterwards was the priestesses of Uleria. 

Earlier, when I was first reading the rumors and came across this one, i kept wondering if the pervious Thane had a child, why wouldn't anyone in the village recognize this person claiming to her kid. I'll have to double check, but I think the new source for Apple lane, the GM Adventure Book, I believe other than the Temple Priestesses, the only person who was in apple lane before was Squanch the Grey Lord. 

 

Anyway, food for thought. I'm just now going to be laying the tracks for this one in my current game.

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