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How magic changes Glorantha from Earth. Let's start with sex...


JRE

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Brief followup to @Eff long and useful post.  This discussion is great, and reminds me that Sartar customs are very different than say, western Europe, but as a GM and player, I'm more interested in how marriage affects PCs than society as a whole.  Perhaps that should be spun off into another thread?  Thoughts?

Anecdotes of how marriage has affected your PCs welcome!  Our group has had very few marriages, and usually they occur around the time that the character retires from active play.

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19 hours ago, JRE said:

We will have to agree to disagree, as I just deleted a draft that was just a ping pong game of arguments, when clearly we have a quite different vision of orlanthi families, and the associated mortality that drives that same situation.

Though I punctually agree the events from 1621 onwards will mean lots of kids after 1626, which will be important in the final stages of the Hero War, as the lot of kids in 1602-1612 will fuel the coming war years and supply player characters. 

Honestly, Sartarites have a huge impetus to repopulate after 1602, and every subsequent year.  They had a huge reason to populate prior too, given the threat on the horizon.

Ignoring that, they have a huge impetus to populate given the "axles over the next hill" want to take their land in stock standard Orlanthi territorial feuding.

In a society where motherhood is revered, and social survival of the in-group depends on motherhood, please don't assume that women don't want to make that choice.  That's a modern post-industrial thing and both anachronistic an inappropriate for Glorantha imo.  Motherhood is not a boring or inferior life choice for women in Glorantha, and it carries social and religious power and importance.  The bronze age is a "populate or perish" environment where motherhood is very important.  Sure, in Orlanthi society there is the law "nobody can make you do anything", which means that human females in Orlanthi societies need not choose motherhood and can opt into pretty much any cult, and some do, but 85% (the orlanthi definition of All) women will likely join earth related cults like Ernalda to help them with farming and maternity, just like 85% (again All) of males will join Orlanth or the Thunder Brothers such as Barntar.  At least that is my take on matters, but I think it is born out by the material.

Edited by Darius West
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20 hours ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

I sometimes idly speculate on how Bless Crops compares to Haber–Bosch for crop yields.

Heh. Nice thought.  You raise a separate point entirely imo.  The nexus between Alchemy and Sorcery, as well as how they relate to Divine magic.  Is there a sorcery spell that aids and protects crops?  I would be surprised if there wasn't.  Can it be supplemented by alchemy?  We just don't know, but it probably should be possible.

Nitrogen fixing is a long term issue for agriculture.  I understand that the Mesoamericans used to save and plant fish heads and fish bones with their maize to act as nitrogen fixers due to the chemical composition of the bones. Medievals used legume crops to fix nitrogen.  Observations were made and methods employed even without a scientific basis.

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10 hours ago, Eff said:

Greg Stafford's vision of Glorantha in 2010 was that gay marriage was accepted and common, and that it was not mediated by different gender roles or physical sexual characteristics. Warriors could marry warriors and caregivers could marry caregivers. This obviously throws any firm statements from King of Sartar out of the window, because there's a more fundamental question to ask here- in a same-gender marriage, who's the husband and who's the wife, legally and customarily speaking for the purposes of the standard marriage and the Esrolian marriage? 

Going out on a limb here, I wonder if he was really referring to formal marriage, which is a contract, or the typical bedhusband / bedwife situation that will be fairly common, specially for people who are not worth the meddling of the Clan ring, as I assume approving marriage peoposals is one of the duties of the ring, which automatically means that the number of sacramental marriages are low. Bedwife and bedwife would be probably quite frequent after the casualties of the conquest and occupation, and as households combine in order to work the land more efficiently.

However, I am convinced that you can have alternate partners in this sacramental marriage, which means a religious ceremony, but it requires that someone takes a husband role (which in many Clans will be Orlanth, but some may well allow other options, such as Heler, Yelmalio / Elmal, etc.) and the other a wife role that will be Ernalda or one of her daughters depending on who is worshipped locally. It may be a serious matter, or just a serious of jests and jibes who takes what role if the correspondences are not clear. Maybe it is my preconceptions, but I see Argrath in full blue paint glory while Annstad plays coy in a nice Esrolian dress.

As a contract, I assume there will be varied clauses, hammered between the two rings, so a same sex marriage may well have specified approved ways to have children, or children may be considered a breach of contract. It may well have a duration specified, so divorce would be a political problem.

I also think that in cases of lovestruck lovers in friendly clans the rings may well be quite permissive and allow them to marry with little negotiation and quite permissive escape clauses.

As we have been discussing sex outside the marriage is seldom forbidden, as otherwise in an arranged marriage that may be a strong cause of kinstrife, if you marry someone who is already in a relationship. Fertility rites may well serve also as a safety valve to relieve sexual stress. 

 

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21 hours ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

This also means that the couple may find it hard to divorce, contrary to what many on this thread assume.

I assume the conditions for divorce are part of the contract. This is as easy or as difficult as the clans negotiators wants it.

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18 hours ago, FlamingCatOfDeath said:

Tenet farmers and stick pickers marriages aren’t important to the Clan

Agreed for stick pickers, but I think that even tenant farmers are important: they provide food and wealth to the clan. In a society where wealth is measured in cows, all those that increase the number of cows the clan may have are counting.

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remember pression ins not only fron the clan ring but parents, bloodline, priests may have interest too

pretty sure that a stick picker parent may have some plan too. The power balance would probably be a little bit different but anyone could have ambition, and some would like to "use" their children to get advantage

Edited by French Desperate WindChild
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8 hours ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

I find this belief that contracts make matters of the heart clear, simple, and conflict-free rather, er, let's say "not compelling".  🙂

I don't think it is conflict free, clear and simple. I just said conditions are written.

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14 hours ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

I find this belief that contracts make matters of the heart clear, simple, and conflict-free rather, er, let's say "not compelling".  🙂

What matters of the heart? We were talking about marriages, and ending them.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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