Jump to content

Recommended Posts

9 hours ago, lordabdul said:

Back in HQG, it seems like "thane" was a title that meant you have some kind of sway in the clan and/or tribe. But it could be anything I think? Either a mounted warrior ("weaponthane") or a non-combative member of the community (priest, god-talker, etc.). Probably most "devotees"? (HQ rough equivalent to Rune levels)

This was a bit blurry. A person serving on the ring of the clan would be accorded some sway and respect, but needn't be a noble by status. Usually, you would want ring-members able to act as representatives of their cults in magical rites. Bringing someone with an actual say in the local council apparently provides a lot better magical identification than bringing in a lesser status specialist god-talker.

Plenty of ring types have pre-defined magical roles for the ring members. Different rings will call for different specialisations, but then highly proficient individuals will be expected to be put on the ring even if they don't exactly fit the role whose seat they are taking. A catch 22 in Orlanthi personnel management...

 

9 hours ago, lordabdul said:

With RQG, I get the impression that "thane" is now reserved for the military people (previous known as "weaponthane"). The thane of Apple Lane is specifically there as a military and judiciary leader, defending the place and enforcing the tribal law.  The Clearwine Fort write-up in Gamemaster Adventures for example separates "thanes" from "Rune masters" and lumps them under "nobles". Priests and god-talkers are listed separately.

I think that a noble's household is expected to field at least one mounted warrior to the tribal forces, ideally several. In case of an elderly noble, those warrior duties may be carried out by his sons, daughters, nephews, or possibly adopted orphans or foster children in the absence of able-bodied children. How many of these fully kitted noble combatants come from a noble household is decided by the wealth backing that noble, the number of war-trained horses available, etc.

A clan usually has a few households that provide candidates for chiefhood. I would expect them to be ready to step up to the duties of a mounted warrior even between holding such office, so the number of "almost-noble" households in a clan may be a little higher than just the households of the chief and the head priest(ess).

Practically any level of Orlanthi social units above household has professional warriors without administrative duties but equipped as mounted fighters. These weapon-thanes don't quite have the noble status, and may actually be "garrisoned" at the household of the local nobles. As bodyguards, they are something like companions, and may even be called up to add their oaths to their leader's oath. Outside of bodyguard activities, they are military leaders.

These warriors are usually personal followers of the local leaders. When the leadership changes hands or households, the warriors may remain with the household they served before (at presumably lower status), or they may swear to the new holder of the office. Since the office-holder trusts his weapon-thanes with his life, not every new office-holder will easily inherit the followers of their predecessor and possibly former (?) rival.

 

1 hour ago, Jeff said:

Nobles are the highest rank. They are leaders of the community. Several ranks of noble exist. The highest is the Sartar dynasty, who are descended from the Founder God. Ranked below that are the Tribal King and the companions of the Prince. The lowest is that of Clan Chief. The nobility of Sartar is tied together in a web of connections centered on the Prince – the Orlanth Rex of the kingdom. Many noble families have ties of marriage or friendship with other noble families.

In most clans, only two noble families probably exist: that of the clan chieftain, and that of the chief priestess.

That would lead to only one family being able to provide a replacement chief. I think there would typically three or four families geared up to take on the mantle of chieftain's household. That doesn't bar exceptional and heroic individuals from other backgrounds to ascend to chieftainhood, but they will have much less backup from a household used to deal with all the fall-out of chieftainhood like hosting important guests etc.

But then the "temple" of a clan noble will provide much of the organisational support to the chieftain's household - officials who may almost be regarded as companions of the chief even when not holding any office on the ring.

Thunder Rebels provided a sleuth of names for such functionaries loaning from terminology as used in Beowulf, channeling as ancient a form of the English language as possible. Hence "dishthane" or "horsethane". These wouldn't be actual nobles, but office-holders of some sort. Possibly temple ranks in the clan Storm or Earth temple.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Joerg said:

This was a bit blurry. A person serving on the ring of the clan would be accorded some sway and respect, but needn't be a noble by status. Usually, you would want ring-members able to act as representatives of their cults in magical rites. Bringing someone with an actual say in the local council apparently provides a lot better magical identification than bringing in a lesser status specialist god-talker.

Plenty of ring types have pre-defined magical roles for the ring members. Different rings will call for different specialisations, but then highly proficient individuals will be expected to be put on the ring even if they don't exactly fit the role whose seat they are taking. A catch 22 in Orlanthi personnel management...

 

I think that a noble's household is expected to field at least one mounted warrior to the tribal forces, ideally several. In case of an elderly noble, those warrior duties may be carried out by his sons, daughters, nephews, or possibly adopted orphans or foster children in the absence of able-bodied children. How many of these fully kitted noble combatants come from a noble household is decided by the wealth backing that noble, the number of war-trained horses available, etc.

A clan usually has a few households that provide candidates for chiefhood. I would expect them to be ready to step up to the duties of a mounted warrior even between holding such office, so the number of "almost-noble" households in a clan may be a little higher than just the households of the chief and the head priest(ess).

Practically any level of Orlanthi social units above household has professional warriors without administrative duties but equipped as mounted fighters. These weapon-thanes don't quite have the noble status, and may actually be "garrisoned" at the household of the local nobles. As bodyguards, they are something like companions, and may even be called up to add their oaths to their leader's oath. Outside of bodyguard activities, they are military leaders.

These warriors are usually personal followers of the local leaders. When the leadership changes hands or households, the warriors may remain with the household they served before (at presumably lower status), or they may swear to the new holder of the office. Since the office-holder trusts his weapon-thanes with his life, not every new office-holder will easily inherit the followers of their predecessor and possibly former (?) rival.

 

That would lead to only one family being able to provide a replacement chief. I think there would typically three or four families geared up to take on the mantle of chieftain's household. That doesn't bar exceptional and heroic individuals from other backgrounds to ascend to chieftainhood, but they will have much less backup from a household used to deal with all the fall-out of chieftainhood like hosting important guests etc.

But then the "temple" of a clan noble will provide much of the organisational support to the chieftain's household - officials who may almost be regarded as companions of the chief even when not holding any office on the ring.

Thunder Rebels provided a sleuth of names for such functionaries loaning from terminology as used in Beowulf, channeling as ancient a form of the English language as possible. Hence "dishthane" or "horsethane". These wouldn't be actual nobles, but office-holders of some sort. Possibly temple ranks in the clan Storm or Earth temple.

 

A candidate for chief does not need to be from a "noble" family. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Jeff said:

A candidate for chief does not need to be from a "noble" family. 

No. But there is a notable trend in the list of past chiefs or kings to come from such families, so I thought it worth mentioning the presence of such let's say reliable sources of management personnel.
The Orlanthi admire personal heroics even on a very local level and will be ready to follow such an individual regardless of birth status or ancestry. Having such an ancestry (or being able to claim it) is a bonus. See Argrath.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Joerg said:

No. But there is a notable trend in the list of past chiefs or kings to come from such families, so I thought it worth mentioning the presence of such let's say reliable sources of management personnel.
The Orlanthi admire personal heroics even on a very local level and will be ready to follow such an individual regardless of birth status or ancestry. Having such an ancestry (or being able to claim it) is a bonus. See Argrath.

birth (or adoption) in a noble family gives you more chance: you gain time to train your orate, fight skill, customs, read and other lore when other have to hunt, harvest or just.. work, high level relationships, money, weapons, armors, ... everything to help you to become a leader when other have to gain it in addition of just their life.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Jeff said:

The lowest is that of Clan Chief.

Interesting... I thought other "nobles" might have included leaders of notable temples and guilds... I guess maybe they have the lifestyle and wealth of a noble, but not the "noble" title then? And maybe many of those people fall under the "priest" label instead? That is: they're leaders of some kind (Earth priestess, Issaries priest, etc.), but not part of the actual "nobility" (a bit like a Bronze Age version of bourgeois vs nobles?).

A note for other players: parts of what Jeff has been sharing about the upcoming Sartar Homeland book are actually heavily hinted at when you read the "Noble" and "Priest" occupations in the RQG rulebook. I realized that there's great and underrated setting info in that chapter!

There's still a bit of a confusion for me between nobles, priests, and Runemasters... especially when RQGMA talks about "priestly nobility" or uses different categories in different places 🙂  It also doesn't help that nobles are priests too! 😄 (Orlanth Rex cult or whatever leadership cult is appropriate in that region).

My guess is that a rule of thumb is:

  • Nobles are clan chieftains, tribal chieftains, city rexes, confederation and kingdom princes/kings/queens. All the Orlanth Rex stuff.
  • Priests are God-talkers or Rune Priests (roughly equivalent to "part-time" vs "full time").
  • Thanes are full time warriors (initiates or Rune Lords). Some might be priests too (warband wyter priest or Humakt temple priest for instance).

 

8 hours ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

but what about family members without any official roles. Are they considered as "nobles" too  (--> they have a title) or just son/daughter of ?

Sounds to me that "noble" == "initiate or priest in the Orlanth Rex cult" (or whatever leadership cult you have). The thane of Apple Lane is a lay member of the Rex cult and isn't a noble (but might be as rich as one). The family members of a tribal chieftain wouldn't be nobles unless they are themselves, like, clan chieftains or something.

 

7 hours ago, Joerg said:

These warriors are usually personal followers of the local leaders. When the leadership changes hands or households, the warriors may remain with the household they served before (at presumably lower status), or they may swear to the new holder of the office. Since the office-holder trusts his weapon-thanes with his life, not every new office-holder will easily inherit the followers of their predecessor and possibly former (?) rival.

The Colymar tribe has around a hundred (weapon)thanes that form the "personal retinue" of the tribal chieftain (Queen Leika currently). I'm sure that this big group of people is divided between people personally close to the chieftain, people loyal to the current particular chieftain (and not necessarily to a replacement one), and people who just want to serve the tribe. I would naively go with maybe between 20% and 35% of these thanes going away/being replaced by new ones when one chieftain is exiled or kicked out and replaced by another one?

 

5 hours ago, Joerg said:

Having such an ancestry (or being able to claim it) is a bonus. See Argrath.

I think ancestry is different from nobility. Say you belong to the Colymar tribe and you're a simple free farmer with ambition. You have built a following over time and want a shot at the tribal seat. It just happens that you've got some claim as a descendent of Colymar himself. You have ancestry, but you're still just a big-mouthed Orlanth Thunderous farmer. You're not a noble. But yes, claiming a famous ancestor would help.

 

Edited by lordabdul
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

I thought other "nobles" might have included leaders of notable temples and guilds...

I'm sure they do.  Consider the families of say the Ernaldori clan (not that they are necessarily named, but following Jeff's example of two main families).  One noble bloodline (say the Brandgorsons) is generally clan chieftain, the other (say the Chans) runs the Clearwine Earth Temple.  There can only be one clan chieftain at a time.  Brothers, sons, or uncles in that line may well be thanes, or they may be initiated into important cults (e.g. Issaries, Lhankor Mhy) while daughters are married into other clans (e.g. Orlmarth, Konthasos) and become priestesses/god-talkers of Ernalda or initiate into other cults (e.g. Issaries, etc.).  Harmast is one of these sons and has been initiated into Issaries - and presumably is sent on important trade and diplomatic missions as a result.  If he does well, he might become a thane (e.g. Thane of Apple Lane) and potentially Ernaldori clan chief at some point.  Likewise there is only one high priestess of the Earth temple.  They will marry daughters into other clans to cement alliances and lead local Earth shrines, and similarly sons might either bring wives from other clans or marry out.  But these noble children are likely to be initiated into important cults, too (e.g. one of the Chans as leader of Babeester Gor supporting her sister; elders retiring to become priestess of Asrelia and thus controlling temple wealth and land distribution). 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, jajagappa said:

One noble bloodline (say the Brandgorsons) is generally clan chieftain, the other (say the Chans) runs the Clearwine Earth Temple.

In that case there's only one actual "noble" and that's the clan chieftain, no?

The previous Clearwine Earth Priestess, Beneva Chan, would have been a "noble" on account of being wife of the previous clan chieftain (Kallai), but the new one, Beneva Chan, is "just" a super (most?) important priestess. I'm not sure she's initiated into the Rex cult except as a lay member, for instance.

Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

In that case there's only one actual "noble" and that's the clan chieftain, no?

The previous Clearwine Earth Priestess, Beneva Chan, would have been a "noble" on account of being wife of the previous clan chieftain (Kallai), but the new one, BEreneva Chan, is "just" a super (most?) important priestess. I'm not sure she's initiated into the Rex cult except as a lay member, for instance.

As I understand Orlanthi society, having a noble as the household head or possibly even as prominent resident of the household will elevate the entire household to noble standard of living. That's how Harmast has "noble" as his occupation. He is not (yet) a functionary of either the Ernaldori clan nor the Colymar tribe, but he has all the trappings, including his steeds (taking a fancy for striped horses) and his equipment.

I might have another definition for a minor "noble" or "landed thane" - somebody whose household receives income from 5 or more tenant farmer (or herder, vintner, fisherman, hunter, crafter) households.

 

If every single person of freeman status would have to be able to show their own plow and plowteam, a clan with say 300 adults would have about 75 freeman males. That would mean an oxen population of 600... If it is one team per household, with each household having say 4 adult males on average, there would still be around 150 oxen to be kept - that's still quite a lot.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, lordabdul said:

The previous Clearwine Earth Priestess, Beneva Chan, would have been a "noble" on account of being wife of the previous clan chieftain (Kallai), but the new one, Beneva Chan, is "just" a super (most?) important priestess. I'm not sure she's initiated into the Rex cult except as a lay member, for instance.

Remember that Kallai was clan chief of the Taraling, not the Ernaldori, and subsequently King of the Colymar, so he's a distinct noble line (which includes Kangharl and Leika).  The marriage of these two noble lines probably had more complex arrangements where the daughters stayed with the Ernaldori/Earth temple rather than being part of the Taraling clan.

Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Joerg said:

If every single person of freeman status would have to be able to show their own plow and plowteam, a clan with say 300 adults would have about 75 freeman males. That would mean an oxen population of 600... If it is one team per household, with each household having say 4 adult males on average, there would still be around 150 oxen to be kept - that's still quite a lot.

Going by the math, it's pretty clear that you need one plow per household, and that the Carl status is inherited to the rest of the household.

Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, Joerg said:

As I understand Orlanthi society, having a noble as the household head or possibly even as prominent resident of the household will elevate the entire household to noble standard of living. That's how Harmast has "noble" as his occupation. He is not (yet) a functionary of either the Ernaldori clan nor the Colymar tribe, but he has all the trappings, including his steeds (taking a fancy for striped horses) and his equipment.

Yeah which is why I think there's some confusion between being *actually* a noble, and being someone with a *noble standard of living* or belonging to a *noble family*.

I'm just trying to understand all this so I might very well be wrong, but based on what Jeff wrote, the "lowest level of nobility is clan chieftain", so for instance Harmast is clearly not a noble, but he has noble standard of living, ransom, etc. Most of the time, I suppose you get a noble standard of living by virtue of belonging to a noble's household (Harmast's case), but I suppose you can also achieve it by just being a wealthy merchant or crafter or whatever.

Edited by lordabdul
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

32 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

Yeah which is why I think there's some confusion between being *actually* a noble, and being someone with a *noble standard of living* or belonging to a *noble family*.

I'm just trying to understand all this so I might very well be wrong, but based on what Jeff wrote, the "lowest level of nobility is clan chieftain", so for instance Harmast is clearly not a noble, but he has noble standard of living, ransom, etc. Most of the time, I suppose you get a noble standard of living by virtue of belonging to a noble's household (Harmast's case), but I suppose you can also achieve it by just being a wealthy merchant or crafter or whatever.

It's the problem of one term doing double duty (or triple, etc.)

The three "noble" occupations of RQG (Noble, Priest, and Scribe) appear to actually be part of the "Free Wealthy" social class.

Harmast is in an interesting position as his father is a true noble, while Harmast isn't even a part of the "petty nobility" that the Free Wealthy represent, but just a regular farmer.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...