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Orlanthi culture


kalidor

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6 minutes ago, kalidor said:

I have a question for the Tribe. Is posible to be a Thane of an Earth Temple and not be under the Tribe authority? For example, being a thane of  the Greenstone temple but not under the rule of the Rex of the Malanni tribe. Only responding to the high priestess of Greenstone. 

That's a political question really.  The Queen of Greenstone would be happy with the arrangement but the Malani King will not.  Every now and then, he summon the thane, issue rebukes for dereliction of duty etc until the thane acknowledges his authority.

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2 minutes ago, metcalph said:

That's a political question really.  The Queen of Greenstone would be happy with the arrangement but the Malani King will not.  Every now and then, he summon the thane, issue rebukes for dereliction of duty etc until the thane acknowledges his authority.

I thought that earth temples had a lot of political independence. I mean, you don't mess with the Rex but you conduct your own temple business. 

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1 hour ago, kalidor said:

I thought that earth temples had a lot of political independence. I mean, you don't mess with the Rex but you conduct your own temple business. 

A tribal wyter would imply a common loyalty passion.  So the king and high priestess would have reason to cooperate.  That said, you can still have individuals who don't get along and want theirs to be the premier department.  A conflict like that should begin to erode the wyter when their subordinates take sides.  This looks like material for game play.

 

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The Greenstone domain would extend into Arfritha Vale and Swan Valley, which were sort of conquered by the Clearwine-based Colymar. I have been wondering about temple authority in that region for some while now, including the granary services.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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That is a good basis for conflict and conflict is a good driver for adventure. However keep in mind that Command Priests affects all Rune masters in the caster's tribe, so if Greenstone is considered as Malani, the Malani king can severely curtail their magic use... However if thy are shared it is possible the Rex magic does not work.

I would expect functionally independent Thanes (Aldermen?) in towns that are shared but do not belong to a specific tribe. I suppose being a Rune Master in such a town's temple has the benefit that probably the only Rex that can order you is a rightful Prince of Sartar. 

Edited by JRE
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As I imagine an Orlanthi tribe, a 'thane' is both a warrior of the tribal 'crown' whose upkeep is the responsibility of chief or king/queen through a landhold, a salary, or combination of the two.

However, comma, but, it is entirely possible to be a warrior of a temple whose upkeep comes from temple lands and who is rated as a thane for purposes of status, prestige and ransom. Many Babeester Gor worshipers could rate such a position, if devoted and skilled enough. The difference is that the thanes are at the beck and call of the clan, while the guards are solely responsible to the temple clergy.

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what do you mean by thane ? for me the answer will drive this discussion 🙂

for example :

I consider that a thane is a "noble" position in the tribe or clan or kingdom*, focused mainly, but not only, on war, law and protection.

So in this position a thane must be loyal to the ring who appointed them. they may have loyalty to the earth temple but if they want to be loyal to the temple more than the ring (= follow the temple order in case of conflict) they should give up the position or consider that the ring is no more the "true" leader of the community (then the thane is now a rebel and an ennemy of the tribe/clan/...)

 

However an earth -or other- temple may  have some "noble" position focused mainly, but not only, on war, law and protection. I just don't call them "thanes" but runelords. And some of these runelords may have no loyalty at all to the tribe/clan/kingdom

 

 

 

* kingdom as Leika is a king.

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On 12/16/2022 at 7:30 AM, kalidor said:

I thought that earth temples had a lot of political independence. I mean, you don't mess with the Rex but you conduct your own temple business. 

The King can still have you exiled or killed.  You are there on the Tribe and Clan's sufferance.  You'd better show some loyalty and good will, doubly so if you are an outsider, as you will be the first suspect if there is any sabotage or subterfuge.  If you are an outsider with power, or even an insider with power, you will always have rivals who will plot to displace you.  The greater the loyalty you display the greater the freedom you will likely reap in the longer term.  Trust is always earned.

Edited by Darius West
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This is just one example of the multiple lines of authority and responsibility in a Sartarite clan.

At the top you have the Chieftain, who most often represents their cult in addition to their role as Priest/tess of Orlanth Rex.

Then you have the Clan Ring, which usually contains the leaders of several cults present in the clan. The ring will ALSO usually represent the different groupings in the clan... i.e. the carls, the herders, the craftsmen, etc. These might be individual roles [the most successful farmer representing the carls even though he's not a cult Rune Level, for example] or they might be someone with multiple roles [a Rune Priest of Heler who also represents the carls].

Then you have the family head or stead holder.

And lastly you have yourself, because 'nobody can make you do anything'.

Every decision in the clan happens along multiple lines of authority and influence. If the Chieftain worships Humakt, they also represent Orlanth Rex, the interests of the thanes, and the interests of the clan war band as a whole, the fyrd. If a Ring member is a Rune level of Issaries and the clan has a temple to that god, that Ring member also has multiple lines of influence... they represent the clan's reputation and diplomacy and the crafters.

And several temples will maintain a small cadre of professional warriors for use by the clergy, both ritually [taking the role of protector in cult rituals] and practically [caravan guards for the Issaries merchant or Babeester Gor worshipers for an Earth temple]. Now these warriors may not be quite up to the standards of thanes. They may be part-timers who tend hides of land part of the time with their family /steading and military temple duties part of the time. But they're still a significant cut above the average farmer in the shield wall.

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One thing that could definitely potentially happen is that an earth temple sponsors enough of a full-time military force that they require a full-time military leader. And then that military leader marries the high priestess. And now you have a earth clan bordering a storm clan, instead of an earth temple supporting a storm clan.

Likely this is how the Old Earth Temple in Tarsh works. And it is more or less what happened with the sun domers under Monrogh a generation or two back.

Avoiding that issue ever coming up is the main reason earth temples mostly use Babeestor Gor axe maidens as guards.

If that option is not available for some reason (e.g. they all died in battle with the Lunars), then the temple leadership has a number of choices. In Esrolia, they would have the full range of 6 potential husband-protectors. But Sartar has a much more limited set of choices, with Argan Argar, Flamal and Magasta all being more or less off the menu. This leaves;

- Orlanth: fully commit to being part of one particular clan, holding no farmland or herds in their own right. 

- Yelmalio: come to a similar arrangement with any local sun domers

- Storm Bull: offer to shelter a storm bull chaos-fighting band for a season or two. 

if coin is available, they can hire Humakti mercenaries. Excellent protection, no unfortunate mythic implications. But few can afford this indefinitely.

So any time a temple can get some necessary fighting done by orlanth adventerous types not closely affiliated with any clan (i.e. the player characters), they will jump at the chance.

 

 

 

 

 

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48 minutes ago, radmonger said:

with Argan Argar, Flamal and Magasta all being more or less off the menu

there's literally a temple to AA, the OG Darkness husband, in Boldhome? why are Uz off the menu? the trolls have a fraught relationship with the Red Goddess and Her empire

Edited by Qizilbashwoman
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1 hour ago, radmonger said:

One thing that could definitely potentially happen is that an earth temple sponsors enough of a full-time military force that they require a full-time military leader. And then that military leader marries the high priestess. And now you have a earth clan bordering a storm clan, instead of an earth temple supporting a storm clan.

Why would this happen? 

Though a Lunar through and through, she is also a human being.

"I just read an article in The Economist by a guy who was riding around with the Sartar rebels, I mean Taliban," -Greg Stafford, January 7th, 2010

Eight Arms and the Mask

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4 minutes ago, Eff said:

Why would this happen? 

Because it happened before; 'running off with the boss's wife and founding his own company' is kind of Orlanth's thing. The local clan/tribal rex will not appreciate ending up in the mythic role of the Emperor. But most of the things they could do to stop that happening would end up only reinforcing that identity.

 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, radmonger said:

Because it happened before; 'running off with the boss's wife and founding his own company' is kind of Orlanth's thing. The local clan/tribal rex will not appreciate ending up in the mythic role of the Emperor. But most of the things they could do to stop that happening would end up only reinforcing that identity.

If it's just a reiteration of the Orlanth myth, he won't have anything to say about it because he'll be dead before the high priestess can shack up with anyone else. But why would this lead to the formation of a new clan? Orlanth, uh, kind of already had a clan, as did Ernalda, within the myth. (Also, I kind of have to wonder how this shacks up with things like free will and consent, for that matter.)

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Though a Lunar through and through, she is also a human being.

"I just read an article in The Economist by a guy who was riding around with the Sartar rebels, I mean Taliban," -Greg Stafford, January 7th, 2010

Eight Arms and the Mask

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30 minutes ago, Eff said:

if it's just a reiteration of the Orlanth myth, he won't have anything to say about it because he'll be dead before the high priestess can shack up with anyone else.

One really useful aspect of mythic precedent is that living people can recognize the patterns emerging (this king is a jerk) and accept the resolution (time for the queen to pick a new dad) without playing out every beat of the story everybody knows. A jerk king losing thanes is headed down the emperor's wyrd. We can all see that. A smart jerk king reads the writing on the wall and surrenders the role before the myth takes over. Of course "smart" and "jerk" rarely ride together but the community can appeal to enlightened self interest and force an abdication. When enough of you vote with your feet and enough satire appears in the agora, the emperor deflates. The guy who wore that crown pivots to some hopefully more productive role.

"If you only followed the parables you yourselves would become parables and with that rid of all your daily cares."

I think the tragedy of the Ernalda story, much like that of her sister the moon (let her pale light in to fill up the room), is that she is mythically drawn to bad choices as well as good ones. When the myth takes over, that's the end of consent and all you have left are mythic remedies. Until that moment, her people are free actors like everyone else. Ernalda in herself doesn't have a lot of mythic remedies. To get out of a bad choice she needs to endure until someone gets drawn into the situation or she becomes someone else who can do it herself. But I'm not the expert here.

Edited by scott-martin
system crunch
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2 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

One really useful aspect of mythic precedent is that living people can recognize the patterns emerging (this king is a jerk) and accept the resolution (time for the queen to pick a new dad) without playing out every beat of the story everybody knows. A jerk king losing thanes is headed down the emperor's wyrd. We can all see that. A smart jerk king reads the writing on the wall and surrenders the role before the myth takes over. Of course "smart" and "jerk" rarely ride together but the community can appeal to enlightened self interest and force an abdication. The jerk king vanishes. The guy pivots to some hopefully more productive role.

"If you only followed the parables you yourselves would become parables and with that rid of all your daily cares."

I think the tragedy of the Ernalda story, much like that of her sister the moon (let her pale light in to fill up the room), is that she is mythically drawn to bad choices as well as good ones. When the myth takes over, that's the end of consent and all you have left are mythic remedies. Until that moment, her people are free actors like everyone else. Ernalda in herself doesn't have a lot of mythic remedies. To get out of a bad choice she needs to endure or become someone else. But I'm not the expert here.

Yes. To invoke the specter of myth-as-just-so-story, both the story of the Bad Emperor and the story of Orlanth outlawing himself offer a basic guideline of what kingship and leadership mean- the negative example and the positive example. Goofus stacks the rules in his favor, Gallant accepts the principle of judicial independence. (Our other Goofus, Bad King Urgrain, takes impartiality too far by accepting bribes but not letting that stop him from ruling against the bribers!) By the time you get around to the opening contours of the story of Orlanth and Yelm, things are already well on the downslope. 

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Though a Lunar through and through, she is also a human being.

"I just read an article in The Economist by a guy who was riding around with the Sartar rebels, I mean Taliban," -Greg Stafford, January 7th, 2010

Eight Arms and the Mask

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11 minutes ago, Eff said:

Goofus stacks the rules in his favor, Gallant accepts the principle of judicial independence.

Some tribes decide Goofus is actually the better role model and evolve along Goofus lines until something gets in their way. Or some new revelation emerges and they become Gerlant people or whatever. RuneQuest is historically about people (including key creative) who for whatever reason found the Gallant complex especially compelling, maybe imprinting on Prince Valiant and his struggles. It's where we spend our time, how the cosmological constants are jiggered in our part of the world that collectively adds up to everything.

Edited by scott-martin
really just an excuse to bait elmal deep conspiracy theorists down here in the minutia
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1 minute ago, scott-martin said:

Some tribes decide Goofus is actually the better role model and evolve along Goofus lines until something gets in their way. Or some new revelation emerges and they become Gerlant people or whatever. RuneQuest is historically about people (including key creative) who for whatever reason found the Gallant complex especially compelling, maybe imprinting on Prince Valiant and his struggles. It's where we spend our time, how the cosmological constants are jiggered in our part of the world.

"You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become a goofus." - Talor the Laughing Warrior, seconds after learning he'd volunteered to be the ball in a friendly game of Trollball with dad's new friends. 

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Though a Lunar through and through, she is also a human being.

"I just read an article in The Economist by a guy who was riding around with the Sartar rebels, I mean Taliban," -Greg Stafford, January 7th, 2010

Eight Arms and the Mask

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1 hour ago, Eff said:

If it's just a reiteration of the Orlanth myth, he won't have anything to say about it because he'll be dead before the high priestess can shack up with anyone else.

They may well be, though generally defeat in some ritual contest is enough. The thing is, if they are, their son (or other heir) is not going to consent to be part of the clan ruled by the person who killed their father. So the clan is unlikely to stay together without a problematic amount of bloodshed.

There is always another way. In this case that means having the guy you killed resurrected so he can publicly acknowledge your rightful rule.

it should be stressed that this kind of kinstrife over clan leadership is not really a thing that routinely happens in 1620s Sartar, But the reason it doesn't happen is because of the Sartar-level institutions (like the axe maidens. lawspeakers and cult of humakt) that largely exist to prevent it.

 

 

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On 12/15/2022 at 1:16 PM, kalidor said:

I have a question for the Tribe. Is posible to be a Thane of an Earth Temple and not be under the Tribe authority? For example, being a thane of  the Greenstone temple but not under the rule of the Rex of the Malanni tribe. Only responding to the high priestess of Greenstone. 

OK thane literally means “Martial Companion,” this denotes a member of the Orlanthi martial aristocracy. Often transliterated as “Lord”. 

Groups with enough wealth to support a full-time Orlanth (or similar martial cult) cultist with a horse or chariot and all the trappings can have a thane. A thane also is expected to take a leadership role in the local community, leading patrols, forcing off bandits, predators, monsters, etc. Now the Earth Temple doesn't normally do that, as they look to other cults for that, and defend themselves with members of the Babeester Gor cult. But Greenstone might do that for the husband-protector of the High Priestess (or her representative) if she wishes.

Now remember that Orlanth Rex gets the backing of Greenstone and all the other key cult leaders. So within the Malani areas, we have two top dogs - the tribal king (the local BIG MAN), and the Prince of Sartar (whom even the local big man is expected to defer to). 

But Orlanthi politics don't have well defined organisational charts. You have basically two social tiers - tenants/free commoners and the lords/priests (many of whom come out of the tenant/free commoner families). The Orlanth Rex cult sits on top of all of that, but there's a lot of jostling. 

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2 hours ago, Jeff said:

OK thane literally means “Martial Companion,” this denotes a member of the Orlanthi martial aristocracy. Often transliterated as “Lord”. 

Groups with enough wealth to support a full-time Orlanth (or similar martial cult) cultist with a horse or chariot and all the trappings can have a thane. A thane also is expected to take a leadership role in the local community, leading patrols, forcing off bandits, predators, monsters, etc. Now the Earth Temple doesn't normally do that, as they look to other cults for that, and defend themselves with members of the Babeester Gor cult. But Greenstone might do that for the husband-protector of the High Priestess (or her representative) if she wishes.

Now remember that Orlanth Rex gets the backing of Greenstone and all the other key cult leaders. So within the Malani areas, we have two top dogs - the tribal king (the local BIG MAN), and the Prince of Sartar (whom even the local big man is expected to defer to). 

But Orlanthi politics don't have well defined organisational charts. You have basically two social tiers - tenants/free commoners and the lords/priests (many of whom come out of the tenant/free commoner families). The Orlanth Rex cult sits on top of all of that, but there's a lot of jostling. 

Thank you Jeff. I don't understand very well the politics between earth temples, and their grade of political independence, and tribal Rex or clan chieftains.

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