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RebelScum88

Distinction between Sartarite Carls and Cottars?

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Hello all,

I've been wondering about the nature of the Sartarite clan structure, specifically how fluid the designation of Carl and Cottar is. I know Carls take on more responsibility and fight in the shield wall, but aside from that I'm not sure how one knows she is a Carl or cottar. Is it wealth based, where you just have to be rich enough to afford the equipment? Or is it caste-based, where even a poor Carl has greater standing than the wealthiest Cottar?

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55 minutes ago, RebelScum88 said:

Hello all,

I've been wondering about the nature of the Sartarite clan structure, specifically how fluid the designation of Carl and Cottar is. I know Carls take on more responsibility and fight in the shield wall, but aside from that I'm not sure how one knows she is a Carl or cottar. Is it wealth based, where you just have to be rich enough to afford the equipment? Or is it caste-based, where even a poor Carl has greater standing than the wealthiest Cottar?

From SKoH, the difference is whether you are of independent means (a Carl) or dependent on others (a Cottar).  Like the distinction in our modern world between a farmer and a farmhand (or a tenant farmer).  It is largely wealth (and wergild) based.  If you've become wealthy enough to have a stead, a herd, and weapons, and dependents, you've risen to the level of a carl.

SKoH p.16 notes:  "Freemen, or Carls, are worth 25 cattle. Any one with a stead, a herd of 42 cattle, a full plow and plow team, and hands enough to harvest it, as long as he has weapons as
well."  

Cottars are worth 10 cows.  They have a plow and team but "living either in a relative’s hall or in a small cottage. You help a carl to work the lands the clan has apportioned to him, for which the carl gifts you with a share of the farm’s produce"

Many herders and hunters will fall under the label of Cottar.

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6 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

From SKoH, the difference is whether you are of independent means (a Carl) or dependent on others (a Cottar).  Like the distinction in our modern world between a farmer and a farmhand (or a tenant farmer).  It is largely wealth (and wergild) based.  If you've become wealthy enough to have a stead, a herd, and weapons, and dependents, you've risen to the level of a carl.

SKoH p.16 notes:  "Freemen, or Carls, are worth 25 cattle. Any one with a stead, a herd of 42 cattle, a full plow and plow team, and hands enough to harvest it, as long as he has weapons as
well."  

Cottars are worth 10 cows.  They have a plow and team but "living either in a relative’s hall or in a small cottage. You help a carl to work the lands the clan has apportioned to him, for which the carl gifts you with a share of the farm’s produce"

Many herders and hunters will fall under the label of Cottar. 

To expand on what SKoH has to say:

Quote

At the very top of  the clan is the clan Chieftain (“dar”).  The chieftain has at least 15 hides of  land and sizable herds of  livestock gifted to support him and his household.

Thanes,  also  called  “Horse  Men”,  are  those folk with a leadership role in the clan: the bodyguards of   the  chief,  the  priests,  the  heads  of   households and  bloodlines,  the  members  of   the  clan  council and   others   who   have   been   given   unusual   and important  responsibilities  within  the  clan.  Among their responsibilities include being the first ones to go to war; as a result, fighting is almost always their primary  or  secondary  occupation  and  thanes  are well equipped, trained, and ready to fight whenever necessary.    Thanes  are  allocated  herds  of   livestock and about 5 hides of  land and herds of  livestock to support  them  and  their  household. A  typical  clan has around thirty to fifty thanes.

Carls, also called “Cattle Men,” are the free folk of  the clan, with the widest range of  legal rights and responsibilities.    They  own  a  whole  ox-team  and  a plow and are allocated one hide of  land to support their family.  Carls own some military equipment and use it to defend the clan whenever the chief  calls.  A typical clan has about one hundred carl families.

Cottars, also called “Sheep Men,” are the lowest class  of   free  folk.    They  have  no  lands  allocated to  them,  and  instead  work  the  lands  and  herd  the livestock of  others.

Of course, it's also frequently pointed out that it's not quite as simple and clean as all that. The very existence of a "half-carl" alone should attest to that. There's also the fact that craftsmen are technically cottars, since they are dependent on others to provide them food, but many of them have weregild assessed as that of a carl, especially craftsmen like redsmiths.

Then there's the fact that not every clan assesses the most valuable means of providing for yourself to be. The "Eighteen Occupations" lists the "Four Providers:" farmers, herders, hunters and fishers, and what hierarchy exists between the four is purely up to a clan. The Red Cow clan, as its name implies, is big on cattle and herding, and because of that an entire bloodline of fishermen that was adopted into the clan have been so thoroughly marginalized and shut out from leadership in the clan - Chief Broddi Strong-Kin outright considers fishers barely better than stickpickers, the charcoal burners and firewood gatherers who are barely a step up from mere thralls or beggars - that they've formed the main breeding ground of the clan's Lunar converts.

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The status is very much dependent on how essential your services are to the clan. Even the stickpicker Eurmali becomes a thane in weregeld when placed on the ring. Godtalkers of more obscure deities more often than not are cottar class in origin, but their religious position makes them carl in status if not in wealth.

There are plutocratic notions in Heortling law - you need to bring certain possessions to the wapentake in order to be allowed to vote, which greatly reduces the political influence of poor cottar households if the richer clan members enforce those rules strictly. For the most time, the fiction that status equals wealth is maintained, and with the favor economy, immediate material wealth doesn't quite measure the credit rating of a person, household, bloodline, or even clan. 

Upward mobility is given for merit in Orlanthi society, at least to the individual and his hearth while the office lasts. The real question to me is how downward mobility is handled in Orlanthi society. What must happen for a household to fall from (inherited) thane or carl status? Short of exile (which erases all status), I don't see any provision for this in Orlanthi tradition reported so far.

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1 hour ago, Joerg said:

you need to bring certain possessions to the wapentake in order to be allowed to vote,

No you don't. The wapentake isn't the vote, it's just how the clan acclaims the new chieftain. As described in Thunder Rebels:

Quote

The members of the clan elect a chieftain at a  moot.  After  candidates  prove  their  eligibility,  the  election  begins.  The candidates  come  forward,  starting  with  the  youngest,  and  a  voice  vote  is taken. Each adult has a single vote, regardless of their rank. If a verbal vote does not clearly differentiate the winner, the clan takes a count, with each person placing a spearhead in the ceremonial election basket of his favored candidate. The winner must have a plurality of votes.

Afterwards, the clan acclaims the new chieftain by a wapentake. All members shout and bang weapons on shields with as much noise as possible. After this acclamation, the priests and priestesses obtain a vow, bless the new  chieftain,  and  initiate  him  into  the  cult  of  Orlanth  the  Chieftain (even if female). Then the entire clan retires to a great feast of celebration.

Unless it's been changed since then.

Edited by Leingod

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8 hours ago, RebelScum88 said:

Hello all,

I've been wondering about the nature of the Sartarite clan structure, specifically how fluid the designation of Carl and Cottar is. I know Carls take on more responsibility and fight in the shield wall, but aside from that I'm not sure how one knows she is a Carl or cottar. Is it wealth based, where you just have to be rich enough to afford the equipment? Or is it caste-based, where even a poor Carl has greater standing than the wealthiest Cottar?

A carl or a "free person" (as the term is used in RQ) is capable of supporting themselves and their family without being dependent on a master. A cottar or tenant is the dependent of another and is thus seen as "half-free". It is a pretty loose designation, but folk know who is what.

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5 hours ago, Leingod said:
Quote

The members of the clan elect a chieftain at a  moot.  After  candidates  prove  their  eligibility,  the  election  begins.  The candidates  come  forward,  starting  with  the  youngest,  and  a  voice  vote  is taken. Each adult has a single vote, regardless of their rank. If a verbal vote does not clearly differentiate the winner, the clan takes a count, with each person placing a spearhead in the ceremonial election basket of his favored candidate. The winner must have a plurality of votes.

Afterwards, the clan acclaims the new chieftain by a wapentake. All members shout and bang weapons on shields with as much noise as possible. After this acclamation, the priests and priestesses obtain a vow, bless the new  chieftain,  and  initiate  him  into  the  cult  of  Orlanth  the  Chieftain (even if female). Then the entire clan retires to a great feast of celebration.

Unless it's been changed since then.

The original text had everybody with a spear, shield and hard hat or a sewing kit gets a vote. That's a fair bit of investment for a cottar household.

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If a carl is defined by his alloted property (whether cattle or land), and property is alloted by the clan ring/chieftain, how does one accumulate personal wealth to rise in rank - or indeed, when?

It's very tempting to look at the Heortling society as analogous of Germanic Migration Era/Dark Age society, due to the obviously borrowed terminology and closely resembling hierarchy, but as various publishers and writers have made quite the point of emphasizing over the years, Heortlings are not Saxons or Vikings. One of the things that drive that home the best for me is the highly corporate clan structure. I'd imagine it's inspired by (Scots?) Gaelic social structure, but sadly I don't know a lot about that, I'm afraid. Hence my question above.

For example, if a cottar somehow manages to amass a great deal* of wealth (maybe he had an exceptional few years with calfing?) how does he "appeal" to the clan to be given non-dependent land, and greater share of it to boot? Can he do that at all? If not, how do we explain social mobility at all?

(*"Great deal" from a Heortling commoner's perspective, of course.)

Edited by Sir_Godspeed

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3 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

If a carl is defined by his alloted property (whether cattle or land), and property is alloted by the clan ring/chieftain, how does one accumulate personal wealth to rise in rank - or indeed, when?

It's very tempting to look at the Heortling society as analogous of Germanic Migration Era/Dark Age society, due to the obviously borrowed terminology and closely resembling hierarchy, but as various publishers and writers have made quite the point of emphasizing over the years, Heortlings are not Saxons or Vikings. One of the things that drive that home the best for me is the highly corporate clan structure. I'd imagine it's inspired by (Scots?) Gaelic social structure, but sadly I don't know a lot about that, I'm afraid. Hence my question above.

For example, if a cottar somehow manages to amass a great deal of wealth (maybe he had an exceptional few years with calfing?) how does he "appeal" to the clan to be given non-dependent land, and greater share of it to boot? Can he do that at all? If not, how do we explain social mobility at all?

I'd wager it's when he has enough wealth to have an ox-team, so he can work the land by himself.

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9 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

If a carl is defined by his alloted property (whether cattle or land), and property is alloted by the clan ring/chieftain, how does one accumulate personal wealth to rise in rank - or indeed, when?

It's very tempting to look at the Heortling society as analogous of Germanic Migration Era/Dark Age society, due to the obviously borrowed terminology and closely resembling hierarchy, but as various publishers and writers have made quite the point of emphasizing over the years, Heortlings are not Saxons or Vikings. One of the things that drive that home the best for me is the highly corporate clan structure. I'd imagine it's inspired by (Scots?) Gaelic social structure, but sadly I don't know a lot about that, I'm afraid. Hence my question above.

For example, if a cottar somehow manages to amass a great deal* of wealth (maybe he had an exceptional few years with calfing?) how does he "appeal" to the clan to be given non-dependent land, and greater share of it to boot? Can he do that at all? If not, how do we explain social mobility at all?

(*"Great deal" from a Heortling commoner's perspective, of course.)

Well, the idea that the kin-group (in this case a clan) owns the land rather than individuals in it is similar to some Native American groups, like the Iroquois Confederacy. In that setup, usually the chieftain is the one who decides who gets what lands, and that seems to hold true with the Heortlings, as well. So most likely, a cottar who feels his contributions to the clans merit him getting land of his own - or who has a full plow team and so can work his own fields without borrowing from another - would lobby to the chieftain for a promotion.

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Saxon inheritance laws which designate a single heir to take over the entire farm isn't that different from this. The individual holds the farm for his bloodline.

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There is a similarity to Odalsrett (primogeniture combined with preference for relatives to take over rather than non-relatives) and medieval Norwegian Åsetesrett (the right to buy back family land that's been sold out of the family for the same price) is there - but what's different is the highly formalized and corporate (in the sense of "acting like a unified body") nature of the clans is different, from what I know.

The comparison to the Iriqois is probably good, and I should read up on them. I'm also reminded of the Fur people of Sudan (of "Darfur" fame), who also practice property allotment by clan on a generational basis, I think (although there the husband and wife are given separate parcels that they own individually, apropos of nothing).

I'm just wondering what exactly happens on a practical level. "Hey, Bargand, you know Tulstvar, that cottar of yours who has a stead on the outskirts of your land and owes you one lamb and x loads of butter every spring, and three days of labor every week, against that you help him plow his fields in spring and high summer? Yeah, we've decided he doesn't need to do that anymore, and also he'll be taking some of the fields you were previously using as per the chief's decision. Cheers!" 

Maybe I'm underestimating the amount of free (or even just fallow) land there is to go around. Or maybe a change in cottar to carl status implies neolocalisation, where a former cottar moves off his old patron's land and out of the old cottage in order to build himself a new carl-stead.

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2 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:


Maybe I'm underestimating the amount of free (or even just fallow) land there is to go around. Or maybe a change in cottar to carl status implies neolocalisation, where a former cottar moves off his old patron's land and out of the old cottage in order to build himself a new carl-stead.

There's generally fallow, common, and wilderness land on a tula. If there isn't, then there's a serious problem... That's when a part of the clan needs to split off, take some treasures, a new name, and find an unoccupied territory, or steal an area from another clan.

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Farming density in Heortling communities will rarely go to the limits of plowable land. There will often be patches of clearings which could be expanded with some work, or less-than-optimal-but-far-from-hopeless pieces of land that can be claimed for plowland. Pasture is a lot less critical and can be good only a few inches above the bedrock.

But brush or woodland on terrritory claimed by the clan is not unused. There are berries and even branches that get gathered, healing herbs etc. which grow in such company and shading, pasture for poultry or pigs, bed stuffing, additional winter fodder, refuge for game that can be hunted or spirits to be placated, etc.

Most folk with carl status couldn't support themselves any better than any cottar individual, they just happen to live in a carl household that tills land with a plow. Cottars (like e.g. young Harmast Barefoot in the Hendriki chapters of the Ten Women Well Loved draft) also grow vegetables and similar foodstuff in their garden plots. Thanks to Harmast's lovemaking rain magics, his cabbages were always well watered even though the land suffered a severe drought under Palangio's regime.

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Yeah, I think you're right, both of you. I was struggling a bit to mentally picture the density, etc. RW Bronze Age settlements tend to be quite densely clustered around a central authority, and I suppose I also had some ill-fitting images of manoralist High Middle Ages Europe with its feudal serfs in packed villages in the middle of the fields.

However, upon reflection, the settlement pattern I'm thinking of is now more akin to how my own country was in the 1600-1800s, where many free farmers (bonde - "settled man") (Norway never really developed a proper village concept or manoralist culture) had peripheral properties (usually a physically distinct clearing/stead) that were rented out to what is known as husmenn ("house men" - ie. a cottager, or tenant farmer). They would be given a small plot to farm themselves, against paying a rent which was usually payed out in labor and annual agricultural goods. Unlike serfs, these house-men were free to leave whenever they wanted, theoretically, and they could conceivably clear new land to make their own farm. As far as I understand it, similar patterns existed in the more rural parts of England, mostly in the north and west, outside the stronger influence Norman-style manor economies. 

This dynamic, with the added context of the clan as a property-regulating institution seems like a pretty decent fit for Kerofinelan/Heortland Orlanthi.

Thanks, everyone.

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The biggest controller of land and wealth in any Orlanthi settlement are the twinned temples of Ernalda and Orlanth. Remember these cults are usually synonymous with the clan - the chief priest is the chieftain. Individual farmers with the ability and resources to farm enough land/herd enough animals to support themselves without being the dependent of another are considered "free" - as are their immediate family. If the other free members of the clan accept their claims to land/livestock, then they enjoy the protection of the full clan and enjoy the status of a fully free clan member. If however, the farmer has claimed land that other farmers are thought to have a better claim to, or took it from another, or is working land outside the perceived ambit of the clan, then their claims aren't recognised and they don't get the status.

The temple land is allocated to support the temple and its priests, but is usually worked by tenants who are the dependents of the temple. Similarly most nobles have land that belongs to them but is worked by tenants. Even free farmers make use of tenants or other dependents. The tenants are entitled to a percentage of the crop, but are not considered fully free.

I think all of this is in the Wealth Chapter of RQ.

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45 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Yeah, I think you're right, both of you. I was struggling a bit to mentally picture the density, etc. RW Bronze Age settlements tend to be quite densely clustered around a central authority, and I suppose I also had some ill-fitting images of manoralist High Middle Ages Europe with its feudal serfs in packed villages in the middle of the fields.

In central Europe, these Fürstensitz central authorities appear quite lately, even though there must have been social and magical elites like the maker of the Nebra Disk long before. Settlement spacing of cultures like Unetice or Urnfield is very much like the Roman Iron Age barbaricum.

 

45 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

However, upon reflection, the settlement pattern I'm thinking of is now more akin to how my own country was in the 1600-1800s, where many free farmers (bonde - "settled man") (Norway never really developed a proper village concept or manoralist culture) had peripheral properties (usually a physically distinct clearing/stead) that were rented out to what is known as husmenn ("house men" - ie. a cottager, or tenant farmer). They would be given a small plot to farm themselves, against paying a rent which was usually payed out in labor and annual agricultural goods. Unlike serfs, these house-men were free to leave whenever they wanted, theoretically, and they could conceivably clear new land to make their own farm. As far as I understand it, similar patterns existed in the more rural parts of England, mostly in the north and west, outside the stronger influence Norman-style manor economi

You mean in the parts of the Danelaw settled by Norwegian settlers? Yes. Not that Angles or Jutes had been significantly more gregarious before they left the Cimbric peninsula, unless threatened by constant conflict. Without external threat, the first and second century AD saw lots of isolated steads or small groups of steads in Anglia. In the third and fourth century, few isolated steads remained active (according to the use of burial sites) while bigger centers accumulated much of the population. Grave goods give evidence through the wear on the weapons.

The settlement distribution of Norwegian steads has remained relatively constant, if you allow for significant parts of more marginal farmland abandoned when the climate deteriorated, and reclaimed when it got milder again - at least in the Vesteraalen, on which I have data until the 17th century.

Viking Age Norway and earlier did have King's seats - lots of them, and small ones - as small as Skrova (inland of the Lofoten) or nearby Steigen. Given the much harsher climate, communities had to stay smaller just to be able to make enough hay to get the lifestock through winter. Only the fishing communities around Vestfjord could make do with somewhat less land, and live by trading dried cod with the south, and even there the Halogalander steads were quite isolated. The coastal sami fisherfolk appear to have stuck together a bit more, relying on fishing and seasonal reindeer herds captured in permanent traps.

Ottar, the trader visiting Alfred the Great of Wessex, probably only lacked divine descent to call himself a king, or he had given up on that submitting to Harald Finehair. Finehair's institution of hundreds that had to provide a ship for the royal fleet cannot have come out of nowhere, there must have been some small clan-like local organisation before, likely for a local thing or so. Travel between steads on boats was easier than overland travel, weather conditions permitting.

 

Norwegian/Icelandic style settlement patterns require an absence of big armies and some alarm against Viking raiders. A shipload of raiders would still outnumber any number of defenders of a stead, which made fortifying these steads a luxury only chieftains (ship owners) could afford and crew. Retreat and ambush were the best bet to avoid significant loss to the raiders.

Sartarite settlement patterns (to get back on topic) suggest a prevalence of fortified central settlements for a clan, with between 30 and 85% of the population living there, and in cases of temple sites like Clearwine, contingents of neighboring clansfolk, too. Looking at the Red Cow, about half of the clan population appears to inhabit the former giant hillfort, the rest spread out in steads and hamlets.

 

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16 minutes ago, Jeff said:

The biggest controller of land and wealth in any Orlanthi settlement are the twinned temples of Ernalda and Orlanth. Remember these cults are usually synonymous with the clan - the chief priest is the chieftain. Individual farmers with the ability and resources to farm enough land/herd enough animals to support themselves without being the dependent of another are considered "free" - as are their immediate family. If the other free members of the clan accept their claims to land/livestock, then they enjoy the protection of the full clan and enjoy the status of a fully free clan member. If however, the farmer has claimed land that other farmers are thought to have a better claim to, or took it from another, or is working land outside the perceived ambit of the clan, then their claims aren't recognised and they don't get the status.

The temple land is allocated to support the temple and its priests, but is usually worked by tenants who are the dependents of the temple. Similarly most nobles have land that belongs to them but is worked by tenants. Even free farmers make use of tenants or other dependents. The tenants are entitled to a percentage of the crop, but are not considered fully free.

A cottar is free to pack up and go elsewhere, the main difference towards a carl is what he will be tolerated to take along of the stead's wealth. Tenants are bound economically, given favors like cattle loans by their "landlords" of thane or carl rank. If they leave the clan, their most immediate kin will have to take on outstanding favor debts. They would have to leave barefoot, like Harmast.

Reducing chieftainhood to clan priesthood is doing the clan structure a bit of a disservice, IMO. Yes, the clan chief is the priest of and single contact to the clan wyter, but that doesn't make him or her the chief sacrificer of his/her cult. Temple leaders are semi-hereditary (given the highly unfair advantage the priests' children get in observing rituals etc.), if only through marriage with equally privileged households in other clans in case of "wives".

 

16 minutes ago, Jeff said:

I think all of this is in the Wealth Chapter of RQ.

 

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3 minutes ago, Joerg said:

A cottar is free to pack up and go elsewhere, the main difference towards a carl is what he will be tolerated to take along of the stead's wealth. Tenants are bound economically, given favors like cattle loans by their "landlords" of thane or carl rank. If they leave the clan, their most immediate kin will have to take on outstanding favor debts. They would have to leave barefoot, like Harmast.

Reducing chieftainhood to clan priesthood is doing the clan structure a bit of a disservice, IMO. Yes, the clan chief is the priest of and single contact to the clan wyter, but that doesn't make him or her the chief sacrificer of his/her cult. Temple leaders are semi-hereditary (given the highly unfair advantage the priests' children get in observing rituals etc.), if only through marriage with equally privileged households in other clans in case of "wives".

 

 

A tenant is free to pack up and leave, at least in theory. But since much of what they "own" belongs to someone else, they likely don't have much. Not sure what you are basing the rest of that on.

And yes, in most clans, the chief priest of Orlanth is the clan chieftain. That's no disservice - just that there is no distinction between political authority and religious authority.  Again, this is in both RQ and in the forthcoming Gods and Goddesses of Glorantha.

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55 minutes ago, Jeff said:

A tenant is free to pack up and leave, at least in theory. But since much of what they "own" belongs to someone else, they likely don't have much.

What I meant to say, yes.

55 minutes ago, Jeff said:

And yes, in most clans, the chief priest of Orlanth is the clan chieftain. That's no disservice - just that there is no distinction between political authority and religious authority.  Again, this is in both RQ and in the forthcoming Gods and Goddesses of Glorantha.

If "priest" includes "Wind Lord", then maybe, although I can see both Storm Voice chief priest and Wind Lord first warrior defer to mere initiate politician/negotiator/poet etc, who may be initiate of another deity in addition to Orlanth, like Vasana's cousin Harmast. I don't see Vasana on the track to chieftainship, but I can see Harmast returning from the side of Argrath at some point and unhurriedly politely being given chieftainship a few years in the future, with the then chief quietly stepping down.

The Red Cow chief at the beginning of the campaign is neither. Sure, there is Lunar occupation and suppression of the Cult of Orlanth going on, but still this cannot be entirely blamed to the Lunars.

Yes, a chieftain is a form of a priest. Just not necessarily to either Orlanth or Ernalda. He is the guardian of the clan wyter, able to communicate directly. Chief and wyter play an instrumental role in managing the clan's portion of the magic of the worship services at any holy day celebrated by the clan, regardless which specialist priests officiates the rites of the deity celebrated.

 

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8 minutes ago, Joerg said:

guardian of the clan wyter

Great thread, guys. This last bit starts to look a lot like "Orlanthite ancestor worship" to this casual observer. In that particular clan, the genetic bond itself is the collective representation from which authority derives. For other clans at other times, it depends on the circumstances and your talent pool.

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1 hour ago, Joerg said:

Finehair's institution of hundreds that had to provide a ship for the royal fleet cannot have come out of nowhere, there must have been some small clan-like local organisation before, likely for a local thing or so. Travel between steads on boats was easier than overland travel, weather conditions permitting.

It's not that Viking Age Norway didn't have clans (ætter, perhaps more accurately translated as lineages), but rather that compared to the highly corporate clans of the Orlanthi, their political-military function does not appear to have been as formalized. The Things also usually seem to appear to have been based on locality rather than descent, as far as I know.

Anyway, sometimes it's useful to look to Viking Age to gain some insight to the Orlanthi, other times not. I'm still working on which is which. ;)

1 hour ago, Joerg said:

Sartarite settlement patterns (to get back on topic) suggest a prevalence of fortified central settlements for a clan, with between 30 and 85% of the population living there, and in cases of temple sites like Clearwine, contingents of neighboring clansfolk, too. Looking at the Red Cow, about half of the clan population appears to inhabit the former giant hillfort, the rest spread out in steads and hamlets.

With that kind of density there has to be a significant amount of intensely farmed land around those settlements.

I'm reminded of some texts I read about Pashtun agriculture in the Swat valley in Pakistan. Similar elevation, though maybe not climate, and irrigated terrase farmland rather than the barley fields the Sartarites seem to prefer - but some interesting similarities in social stratification and collective land ownership nonetheless. Oh, and the endemic warfare, of course.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed

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34 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Yes, a chieftain is a form of a priest. Just not necessarily to either Orlanth or Ernalda. He is the guardian of the clan wyter, able to communicate directly. Chief and wyter play an instrumental role in managing the clan's portion of the magic of the worship services at any holy day celebrated by the clan, regardless which specialist priests officiates the rites of the deity celebrated.

The chieftain is the chief priest of the subcult of "Orlanth as chieftain," whatever name you give him in that aspect (i.e. Dar the Leader), and it is through this that he can contact the clan's wyter. Ernalda and Elmal also have dedicated "chieftain subcults" that allow someone from these cults to take on that same role and power.

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4 minutes ago, Leingod said:

The chieftain is the chief priest of the subcult of "Orlanth as chieftain," whatever name you give him in that aspect (i.e. Dar the Leader), and it is through this that he can contact the clan's wyter. Ernalda and Elmal also have dedicated "chieftain subcults" that allow someone from these cults to take on that same role and power.

That's my impression from Thunder Rebels/Storm Tribe, but it seems Jeff's comments above point to a switch in focus. Also, I always thought part of the Alakoring rites that were introduced post-EWF was that the priests shouldn't lead the clans, but maybe I got that wrong.

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7 hours ago, Leingod said:

The chieftain is the chief priest of the subcult of "Orlanth as chieftain," whatever name you give him in that aspect (i.e. Dar the Leader), and it is through this that he can contact the clan's wyter. Ernalda and Elmal also have dedicated "chieftain subcults" that allow someone from these cults to take on that same role and power.

The cult of Dark (or Rex) is pretty much a cult with one initiate/priest with a clan or tribe as lay members.

Given the gender-divided nature of the cults of Orlanth and Ernalda and the known (though not that common) case of female chiefs and kings, there can be no "if you are chief you are the clan priest of Orlanth" effect.

As a result, I see the expressed need for a chief priest (or god talker) to Orlanth and to Ernalda besides the chief. There will be rites that demand the chief leading the sacrifice, and there will be rites demanding that the rite is led by the specialist priest, and there will be rites where some other quester will lead.

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