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Menhir

About slavery

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8 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

I agree with the above. It's all well and good to start a slave revolt if you're a bunch of chained-up, desperate war captives with little to lose -

And still, war captives are one of the main sources for able-bodied slaves throughout history, carried off into the often distant lands of the invaders, distributed as individuals into households full of slaves of various origins, often with the language of the captors the only common means of communication.

 

8 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

but what if your entire clan/tribe/city was enslaved, and revolting means that, quite likely, a punishment army will be dispatched to kill everyone - including your wife and children. Simple slavery might be more acceptable than that.

That's conquest, not slavery. Fonrit may have started that way. The case of the Maboder survivors "rescued" from Telmori captivity is the only such case known to me anywhere in or near Dragon Pass.

The Oasis people are something else - a population submitting to whoever comes in force to their place, taking their food, water, wives, whatever as they please.

 

 

8 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

This also depends on if there is a real market for individuals slaves, in the sense of what we find post-1492 with the transatlantic slave trade, where individuals rather than local populations were enslaved, and bartered off in a proto/early-capitalist manner.

That is in no way different from the slave (or indentured folk) trade that had gone on before. A main commodity the Vikings raided for were slaves. So did the barbary pirates up to the 19th century. Human traffic still is going on, sometimes masked as labor contract.

The Wolf Pirates in Glorantha do likewise. They capture coastal and riverine people to work for them on their island strongholds (Threestep Isles, Seshnela, Jrustela), and to entertain them.

8 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Given that much of Peloria is densely populated due to already- local population, there might not be that much point in importing individuals slaves, for example. Better to use the slaves in the areas where they were subjugated to build and maintain the frontier.

Household slaves, fodder for gladiatorial or triumph games, bat fodder, orgy novelties - all of that is at good demand in the Heartlands. Oraya can do with cheap labor. Mines will eat up workforce when run by unscrupulous profiteers. Certain navies use slave rowers for military transports.

 

8 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

The attitude of "outsider aren't moral entities" does seem to prevail in many areas of Glorantha, as it did in real life. Hence the enormous importance of collective agreements (Shadow Tribute, etc.) essentially making it possible to give aliens a place in the moral schema.

Most societies that accept slavery have no qualms at all to turn some of their own into slaves. Mostly not from among their own kin, although desperate situations will see kin given up in tribute.

One of the tragedies of the West African slave trade was that local chieftains sold members of their own constituency into slavery. When sold to neighboring tribes, the slaves often weren't much worse off than before, but when sold to the white traders stacking them in unsurvivable density on ships to carry them off into the New World they were uprooted and had hardly any chance to leave slavery.

Many civilized societies don't bat an eye at selling criminals - including (and often especially) petty criminals caught stealing food or unable to pay taxes - off into temporary indenture or outright slavery. Tax extortion indenture or outright slavery is a common Lunar terror tactic. Tarsh and Saird have a great demand for field workers on their maize plantations, feeding a certain portion thereof to the corn rites that enable the rich harvests that made Lunar Tarsh so affluent.

 

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Slave Collars, as pointed out, are the most applicable solution, but they are magic items and not everyone has a slave collar.

Drugs that reduce Magic Points would also work.

Forcing a slave to cast almost all Magic Points in the mornign might be good as well, perhaps to fill up the family POW Crystal.

Cutting off Foci, if you use Foci in your game, might be OK, as that stops the spell from being cast, but you can just imagine the Focus, so that might not be any use.

Restricting access to shrines used to stop the regaining of Runemagic, but I am not sure if you still need to go to a Shrine/Temple to regain runemagic.

Making the slave become apostate might work, as that normally cuts off access to magic

 

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With the advent of the RQG currency you don't need to go to a Shrine or a Temple, you need to be on Consecrated ground and make a Worship roll to regain Rune Points. Being at a Shrine or a Temple (or on Cult Holy Days) gives you a bonus to your Worship roll. As does expending additional Magic Points (and that last makes it easy to have a 100% chance of successful Worship). It's difficult to entirely stamp out worship within your slave population if they're from a heavily-Initiated culture like Sartar; Sanctify is available to any Initiate and if anyone's got a votive image at their home temple, they'll get a point to cast it in their quarters (even if they arrive in slavery having blown all their Rune Points and never get a chance to Worship) and then they can bootstrap their Rune Points by Worshipping.

So preventing the slaves from setting up sacred spaces would be another facet of controlling them.

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I'd figure that most people/most slaves just don't have enough "worrisome" magic for it to be a bother. I don't think anyone minds if their slave knows a couple of points of Healing, Repair, or a point of Bladesharp. Even something like Disruption isn't any worse than their carrying a knife-something that most slaves probably do. Even if they know Mobility 10 and make a run for it, they can still be hunted down. The magic doesn't make that much of a difference. 

Those who know a lot of magic or the big stuff, get the slave collars, if necessary, but I'd think that anyone with that much magic is probably more valuable doing something other than manual labor. It would make much more sense to either ransom them off or make some sort of deal with them, since anyone with that much magic probably has a cult and powerful friends that will come looking for them. Putting a slave collar on a Rune Priest is probably more of a spite move than an efficient one. You do it to show him, and everyone else, who's boss, not because you need an extra farmhand. 

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In my Glorantha, some slaves are taken to the Block and forced to touch it. The Block is made of unattuned Truestone and unattuned Truestone has the property that you are forced to cast all your Runemagic into it, or at least that was the RQ2 rule. Since the Block is so big, it has an unlimited capacity, so just sucks all your runemagic and rune points out of you. Not good for the slave at all.

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One major component of slavery in most real world societies has to do with the degree to which slaves experience Social Death. Social Death means that the slave is no longer regarded as a human being in social terms--they do not receive the normal polite treatment people receive, they may be humiliated by not receiving proper clothing or food, they may lose their names, they may not be accorded the normal benefits of religion, and so on. In Graeco-Roman society, slaves were often referred to as if they were mere extensions of the owner's body. Republican Rome recognized two categories of slave, servi who experienced near complete social death and who, if freed, entered into a new social identity as a freedman/woman; and nexi (usually debt slaves) who did not experience full social death and who, when freed, returned to their previous social status. Nexum was abandoned after a scandal in which a nexus slave was forced to sexually service his owner---the idea that a man who was still in some sense a citizen could be used sexually was deemed unacceptable, so the entire practice of temporary debt slavery was legally abandoned. 

So I think to some extent the question this thread is looking at deals with the question of social death, but read through the magical lens of Glorantha. Does a slave suffer full social death in a particular Gloranthan culture? Sartarite thralls don't seem to--they seem to have at least some limited membership in the clan that owns them. They participate in at least some of the rituals of the clan and probably have some basic legal rights in terms of how they are treated--Babs Gor isn't going to allow female thralls to be raped, for example. But Lunar slaves probably do. The real world cultures that the Lunars are modeled on generally inflicted social death on most slaves, and plantation slavery generally seems to require a high degree of social death as a tool to keep the slaves in line.

But in Glorantha, since ritual tends to pervade everything that happens, it's likely that the Lunars have ritual ways to reinforce Social Death. So perhaps there is a religious ritual that Lunar slaves are subjected to that essentially 'kills' them to their god. In other words, when Hengist is enslaved at a slave farm, he undergoes a ritual in which he is 'killed'. The effect of the ritual is that Orlanth is tricked into regarding Hengist as having died, meaning that Hengist can no longer contact Orlanth during the normal rituals, cannot access his runes for magical purposes, and so on. If asked through divination, Orlanth says that Hengist is dead. This is probably either Yanafali or Xaroni magic, a specialized form of Sever Spirit. Hengist can still be initiated into new cults, if he's permitted that option, so he's pushed into the cult of Danfive Xaron, a big part of whose function is to control problematic people like Sartarite slaves.

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15 minutes ago, Bohemond said:

But in Glorantha, since ritual tends to pervade everything that happens, it's likely that the Lunars have ritual ways to reinforce Social Death. So perhaps there is a religious ritual that Lunar slaves are subjected to that essentially 'kills' them to their god. In other words, when Hengist is enslaved at a slave farm, he undergoes a ritual in which he is 'killed'. The effect of the ritual is that Orlanth is tricked into regarding Hengist as having died, meaning that Hengist can no longer contact Orlanth during the normal rituals, cannot access his runes for magical purposes, and so on. If asked through divination, Orlanth says that Hengist is dead. This is probably either Yanafali or Xaroni magic, a specialized form of Sever Spirit. Hengist can still be initiated into new cults, if he's permitted that option, so he's pushed into the cult of Danfive Xaron, a big part of whose function is to control problematic people like Sartarite slaves.

This of course opens up a rescue being modeled on a hero quest into Hell/the Lands of Dead, because the quest would 'bring back to life' the captive.

Ikadz the Torturer is a hell-spirit in Peloria connected to slavery; this would also suggest that the 'dead' city of Alkoth consists of Shargrash's slaves. Shargrash could also 'take' a person and thus make them dead/a slave.

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8 minutes ago, Bohemond said:

One major component of slavery in most real world societies has to do with the degree to which slaves experience Social Death. Social Death means that the slave is no longer regarded as a human being in social terms--they do not receive the normal polite treatment people receive, they may be humiliated by not receiving proper clothing or food, they may lose their names, they may not be accorded the normal benefits of religion, and so on. In Graeco-Roman society, slaves were often referred to as if they were mere extensions of the owner's body. Republican Rome recognized two categories of slave, servi who experienced near complete social death and who, if freed, entered into a new social identity as a freedman/woman; and nexi (usually debt slaves) who did not experience full social death and who, when freed, returned to their previous social status. Nexum was abandoned after a scandal in which a nexus slave was forced to sexually service his owner---the idea that a man who was still in some sense a citizen could be used sexually was deemed unacceptable, so the entire practice of temporary debt slavery was legally abandoned. 

Funny that the practice was picked up by the English and was in widespread use providing cheap work for the colonies. Indenture rather than slavery, but in effect the same. The current US practice of using chain gangs is less economically motivated, and the mere housing and feeding of prisoners with tax payer money is more profitable than any forced labor of the inmates, but it remains a form of indenture, too.

On the other hand, without a permanent address to your name you lose much of your personhood in modern western society, too.

8 minutes ago, Bohemond said:

So I think to some extent the question this thread is looking at deals with the question of social death, but read through the magical lens of Glorantha. Does a slave suffer full social death in a particular Gloranthan culture? Sartarite thralls don't seem to--they seem to have at least some limited membership in the clan that owns them. They participate in at least some of the rituals of the clan and probably have some basic legal rights in terms of how they are treated--Babs Gor isn't going to allow female thralls to be raped, for example. But Lunar slaves probably do. The real world cultures that the Lunars are modeled on generally inflicted social death on most slaves, and plantation slavery generally seems to require a high degree of social death as a tool to keep the slaves in line.

Orlanthi thralls still are people, although they are not regarded as kin, and when it comes to human sacrifice, thralls (including enthralled captives from raids or war) are the first to the block, and probably likewise when the Lunars rounded up Bat Fodder on its way to Whitewall. On the other hand, their children are born as free if underprivileged clan members even in slave-hunting clans.

The Lunar approach to slavery might be seen as the logical extension to the de-humanizing of the lower tiers of Dara Happan society. Freedom is a suspect concept to the Dara Happans anyway.

8 minutes ago, Bohemond said:

But in Glorantha, since ritual tends to pervade everything that happens, it's likely that the Lunars have ritual ways to reinforce Social Death. So perhaps there is a religious ritual that Lunar slaves are subjected to that essentially 'kills' them to their god.

The entire Lunar religion is based on the concept of return from Death, and so is the mythology of the cult of Yelm. But then, the Lunar Way is also about Liberation, not necessarily from one's social station (which may mean slavery), but from all mundane matters. Attain spiritual liberation, and you will gain access to magic that can let your physical liberation follow - in case of doubt through physical death and spiritual rebirth and embodiment on the Red Moon.

But none of the Lunar cults enforces conversion, not even the least altruistic ones like the Cult of the Crimson Bat which only takes voluneers. Granted with the option of non-volunteers being sacrificed before cultists are fed to their demon deity,, but the volunteers are given a conscious choice. Possibly with suicide as a third option unless the cultists are desperate to bring enough sacrifices that they prevent suicides.

I don't think that a ritual death like e.g. entering the City of Alkoth does anything to alter cult membership. Everybody knows that there is a period of time between physical death (or entering the lands of the dead part of the Underworld) and the final judgement. In case of physical death, the usual interval is a seven day period. In case of people who entered the Underworld on other paths, or those who know a heroic way out of Hell without facing the judgement of Daka Fal, that period may be a lot longer, depending on the nature of their way out.

There might be ways to remove the physical slave bracelets and collars and to replace them with magical ones tattooed or branded into the slaves, but that just exchanges removable enchantments for permanent until destroyed ones, and to make sure that the markings aren't easily defaced by other slaves, they probably need a condition that will harm the bearer fatally when the markings are tampered with.

Covert possession by some sort of spirit might be another way, and I can think of unsavory cults or spirit societies which could provide spirits only too happy to inhabit a human body against their will for an extended time, but this would be easily (though not cheaply) curable by shamans or theist exorcists.

8 minutes ago, Bohemond said:

In other words, when Hengist is enslaved at a slave farm, he undergoes a ritual in which he is 'killed'. The effect of the ritual is that Orlanth is tricked into regarding Hengist as having died, meaning that Hengist can no longer contact Orlanth during the normal rituals, cannot access his runes for magical purposes, and so on. If asked through divination, Orlanth says that Hengist is dead. This is probably either Yanafali or Xaroni magic, a specialized form of Sever Spirit. Hengist can still be initiated into new cults, if he's permitted that option, so he's pushed into the cult of Danfive Xaron, a big part of whose function is to control problematic people like Sartarite slaves.

Like I said above, being dead doesn't end your initiatory bond, but you are right, being stuck in the Underworld prevents you from regaining your rune power (and in severe interpretation, your chance of regaining magic points/renewable magical stamina, too).

But then, nobody needs a slave incapacitated through having zero magic points (as per RuneQuest), except maybe as human sacrifice.

Carrying your own piece of the Underworld (or even a greater Chaos void ) around with you to lead your god to assuming that you're in the Underworld, and you are fine as far as your owner is concerned. Again, this might be something curable by an exorcism, possibly combined with a surgical removal of the token piece of hell carried by the victim.

It might be a Lunar hell, like the one Sheng Seleris (and a while later Hofstaring Treeleaper) was banished to, in which case no ordinary cult would be able to offer an exorcism, but that seems like absolute overkill by several magnitudes.

 

I would settle for a magical curse or two, possibly some form of dead man switch triggers for an area effect enchantment. Some kind of evil version of the Issaries Market spell, targeting the escaping or misbehaving slave with agonizing pain or similar, possibly as a spirit sending.

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In the Near East, the problem of difficult slaves taken in war had a nasty solution: blinding. This reduced their value but rendered them more tractable; they could still be used to labor at grindstones or to lift water from wells. (Bronze Age and Iron Age life was often unpleasant - it wasn't just the Assyrians who did this.)

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30 minutes ago, M Helsdon said:

In the Near East, the problem of difficult slaves taken in war had a nasty solution: blinding. This reduced their value but rendered them more tractable; they could still be used to labor at grindstones or to lift water from wells. (Bronze Age and Iron Age life was often unpleasant - it wasn't just the Assyrians who did this.)

Was this a standard treatment, or was it a form of escalation of brutality like the Oldster Fonritians would inflict?

There are lots of other unpleasant mutilations that retain more functionality, like ham-stringing of smiths, gelding, removal of the tongue, amputation of fingers... but we see little evidence for that in Lunar/Dara Happan enslavement. Branding and punitive curses seem to be the Pelorian way, possibly inherited from the Vadeli and their leader YarGan. The branding might affect the aura of the enslaved individual, too, and will act as a beacon for spirits of reprisal. The Afadjanni noose is just a variant of this.

Male slaves in Prax or Pent can say good-bye to their reproductive appendages, though they may keep their peckers (unlike certain types of eunuchs elsewhere). In The Coming Storm, the giant thrall Willandring suffers the same mutilation as Wayland in Germanic myth. (The names aren't that different, either...)

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I noticed that the Vinga myths in Storm Tribe include leading a mass slave escape.

Since Vinga can basically be spontaneously initiated to by an (Orlanthi) Earth cultist who suffers a severe enough trauma, this may make things dicey for the Lunars. Apparently she's not very common as a cult or mystery in Peloria, so they may be caught by surprise...

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5 hours ago, Joerg said:

little evidence for that in Lunar/Dara Happan enslavement.

The redemptive ordeals of Danfive Xaron undoubtedly conceal a tradition that few writers have cared to explore. 

1 hour ago, jeffjerwin said:

Since Vinga can basically be spontaneously initiated to by an (Orlanthi) Earth cultist who suffers a severe enough trauma, this may make things dicey for the Lunars. Apparently she's not very common as a cult or mystery in Peloria, so they may be caught by surprise...

They have their own red-headed liberator of women and other suffering creatures. Who may or may not enjoy reciprocal initiation with Vinga but I'm not aware of anyone who's tried to test the hypothesis. Probably in the hero wars someone will . . . maybe in the other direction.

For urban Peloria I tend to favor the language of the classical mystery religions: servitude is nearly universal (echoes of the other chaos nest halfway around the world) and the longing for manumission -- at least an esoteric or posthumous salvation -- is fierce. This is one of the consolations the goddess provides that the gods of the city do not.

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1 hour ago, scott-martin said:

The redemptive ordeals of Danfive Xaron undoubtedly conceal a tradition that few writers have cared to explore. 

Those might be derived from the Gerran martyrium, when her "hosts" amputated all her limbs and more (without killing her) for food during the Greater Darkness. While it is tempting to make comparisons to the accelerated mystic training the Kralori subjected Sheng Seleris to, there was no direct cultural exchange between Kralorela and Peloria before Sheng's conquests, and Danfive's piercings and mutilations predate that.

Austerity in mystic practices aren't that rare, but the point in many of these is that they are self-inflicted. Tne Dnnfive Xaron mutilations appear to be cathartic rather than punitive in nature, self- or at least peer-inflicted as token of liberation from former crimes.

Of course, like the Gerran self- or peer-inflicted piercings and amputations, the voluntary nature of these do reflect an involuntary earlier practice. Danfive is a product of Bull Shah rule in Peloria, which was about as cruel as the horse warlords and the Spolites ever got. The Bull shahs in turn learned their inflicting of torture from YarGan and the Blue People, which leads back to the conflict between Vadel and Zzabur the Flayer and what they did to non-Danmalastani.

But the general thrust of these austerity practices appears to be the cynical "pain is good for your character" sentiment.

 

Dara Happan society has always been tiered, and the upper layer may have started out as feathered non-humanoids like King Griffon, with the humans a servant population in their right place, and not only satisfied but pleased to bask in the glory of their overlords in that place. Mythically, that is.

 

The Lodriiites aren't slaves. Or are they?

 

4 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

I noticed that the Vinga myths in Storm Tribe include leading a mass slave escape.

Since Vinga can basically be spontaneously initiated to by an (Orlanthi) Earth cultist who suffers a severe enough trauma, this may make things dicey for the Lunars. Apparently she's not very common as a cult or mystery in Peloria, so they may be caught by surprise...

Vinga appears to be another Sairdite deity. I know that Jeff Richard used to say that everything about Ernalda comes from Saird, although that was before Greg developed and shared his Ezel material. Vinga appears to be the deified version of Janerra Alone, who led her On Jorri people from oppression under the Storm invaders to be an integral new part and component of the Storm Kingdom.

It is the wooing of Orlanth, not the passive accepting role that has been discussed over in the Orlanth Abuser thread, not the elusive Lady of the Wild style "I won't be conquered, so conquer me" style, but the woman taking agency after nobody in her group has succeeded, taking on the traits of the  oppressor yet retaining the capacity for giving birth.

Saird is a distinct part of Peloria, on the fringe of the Solar microcosmos (as depicted in the Copper Tablets with the eight towers). It doesn't appear to have been part of Murharzarm's realm, but it became part of Anaxial's realm in a mythic overlap possibly caused by the reconstruction of the universe from shards of reality. The Anaxial myth has Anaxial seeding the new post-flood world with equals who lose status for departing early, with only the people who remain on the ship until the ship is transformed to the new city (Yuthuppa) fully worthy of personhood. Yet even so, the initial Yuthuppans were tiered. The Pelorian Vinga or Janerra was the female child saved by pregnant Herustana against the divine plan that Anaxial carried out with his ark, the remainder of the female rule preceding Brightface, the one who became the wife of Urvairinus. The one who reappears generations later as the slave who suffers being amputated for food, gateway to a very different form of liberation.

 

1 hour ago, scott-martin said:

They have their own red-headed liberator of women and other suffering creatures. Who may or may not enjoy reciprocal initiation with Vinga but I'm not aware of anyone who's tried to test the hypothesis. Probably in the hero wars someone will . . . maybe in the other direction.

There is a question about the status of the On Jorri in Orlanth's kingdom. Even though kin of the demigod ruler of the mortals, they appear in the list of other "wretch" populations that the Orlanthi took in as lower tier and/or lowest tier "us". King of Dragon Pass first explored this myth, introducing the Nalda Bin people, from which later came an entire list of such refugee ethnicities absorbed by the Orlanthi. The Clan Questionnaire hinged the question of acceptance of thralldom on this mythic event - you are given the chance to include them as full co-equals (carls), as mostly co-equals but of lower status (cottars), or as wretches who better be thankful that their children may have a better (still under-priivileged) life in your clan while being worked (too death, this being the Great Darkness) without gaining much of the fruit of their work (thralls).

1 hour ago, scott-martin said:

For urban Peloria I tend to favor the language of the classical mystery religions: servitude is nearly universal (echoes of the other chaos nest halfway around the world) and the longing for manumission -- at least an esoteric or posthumous salvation -- is fierce. This is one of the consolations the goddess provides that the gods of the city do not.

The way of Gerra, to whom losing her hair was one of the earliest amputations/humiliations in the Manarlarvus cycle of her myth.

 

In a way, <G/Jan>erra changing from her nurturer mother role to the warrior mother is a series of amputations, too. While not exactly a parallel to the painful purification myths elsewhere (like the Baths of Nelat stuff), Janerra sheds much of her self to become one with Orlanth, to become Orlanth, impregnating herself that way. Reducing motherhood to just impregnation and delivery of the blessed child destined to rule and accept her people.

(And pinging back to the Orlanth Abuser thread, this is paralleled by Orlanth's married life. While pleasant, Orlanth's marriage is an ongoing ordeal of purification. Lucky bastard.)

 

At last, a return to the "slaves of the bird-headed tyrants": Imarja, Esrolian archetype of ruthless authoritarian rule, fearing Kodig. A goose bill may appear less brutal than a raptor bird's, but the bite while not cutting is every bit as powerful and may rip out flesh without cutting it off first.

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5 hours ago, Joerg said:

The Lodriiites aren't slaves. Or are they?

That bit of our understanding is probably a work in progress. I think their urban lot is not great but as long as they're considered Sons of the Low Brother they retain ancient rights. 

The Orians, on the other hand, may not. For years I thought the Gerrans built their own complex but now I see a history where it was built for them.

5 hours ago, Joerg said:

At last, a return to the "slaves of the bird-headed tyrants": Imarja, Esrolian archetype of ruthless authoritarian rule, fearing Kodig. A goose bill may appear less brutal than a raptor bird's, but the bite while not cutting is every bit as powerful and may rip out flesh without cutting it off first.

Not quite the right thread to explore this but I always got the feeling "hen pecking" was the mildest of the punishments for Esrolian men in the era when the grandmothers cooperated with Dorastor to ban Orlanth initiation. Granted, the gender reversal doesn't really balance what happens to women elsewhere in the lozenge despite their defensive magic from Greg, but it's worth noting in the abuser context.

Harmast is depicted in the novel as that rarest and luckiest of dawn age Orlanth mutations, a man who learned how to "love women" as free individuals and not objects. I wouldn't be surprised if he's the first person who rectified a lot of the wooing myths and cleaned up god's character.

As far as the bird kings go, that's a real Chariots Or The Ducks scenario for prehistoric Rinliddi, my friend,  I like it a lot.

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41 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

That bit of our understanding is probably a work in progress. I think their urban lot is not great but as long as they're considered Sons of the Low Brother they retain ancient rights. 

The Orians, on the other hand, may not. For years I thought the Gerrans built their own complex but now I see a history where it was built for them.

Not quite the right thread to explore this but I always got the feeling "hen pecking" was the mildest of the punishments for Esrolian men in the era when the grandmothers cooperated with Dorastor to ban Orlanth initiation. Granted, the gender reversal doesn't really balance what happens to women elsewhere in the lozenge despite their defensive magic from Greg, but it's worth noting in the abuser context.

Harmast is depicted in the novel as that rarest and luckiest of dawn age Orlanth mutations, a man who learned how to "love women" as free individuals and not objects. I wouldn't be surprised if he's the first person who rectified a lot of the wooing myths and cleaned up god's character.

As far as the bird kings go, that's a real Chariots Or The Ducks scenario for prehistoric Rinliddi, my friend,  I like it a lot.

Imarja is not an "archetype of ruthless authoritarian rule" - she's the Gloranthan Shakti, the feminine Creatrix. She doesn't even have a cult, but is revered by many Esrolians as the distant Universal Mother. The God Learners identified her with Glorantha.

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22 minutes ago, Jeff said:

Imarja is not an "archetype of ruthless authoritarian rule" - she's the Gloranthan Shakti, the feminine Creatrix. She doesn't even have a cult, but is revered by many Esrolians as the distant Universal Mother. The God Learners identified her with Glorantha.

Then it is the absence of a cult that enables the Grandmothers to enforce their misandry and authoritarian rule in her name? It isn't like joining the Grandmothers requires any form of enlightenment. From what we discussed about Bruvala and her successors, carrying the previous ressentiments over and letting them dictate her decisions is pretty much a non-liberated approach.

Fact is that the Grandmothers weighed the disobedience of headstrong husbands or husband candidates like Rastagar, FInelvanth or Broyan heavier than furthering Chaos and bringing destruction upon their very families.

Did the Kitori have a grudge against Broyan of the Volsaxi? Sure. Would the Norinel connection have egged them on and given them the whereabouts and means to strike? If they could remove an ally of Samastina, certainly. Not out of love for the Lunar cause, but for hate and fear of Kodig.

 

A question why this ancient principle chooses a shape associated with a more ancient reign of sky people may still be asked - does her shape hark back to a time of avimorph sky humanoids/vaguely anthropomorph bird people in the early Golden Age?

 

Revisiting slavery:

The Esrolians provide at least one group of the Heortlings in Dragon Pass who have a tradition of slavery, and with the autocratic rule of the grandmothers and their at times spendthrift expenditure of men without any regard of personhood, possibly as a general cultural trait.

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On 9/15/2018 at 1:21 AM, Atgxtg said:

I'd figure that most people/most slaves just don't have enough "worrisome" magic for it to be a bother. I don't think anyone minds if their slave knows a couple of points of Healing, Repair, or a point of Bladesharp. Even something like Disruption isn't any worse than their carrying a knife-something that most slaves probably do. Even if they know Mobility 10 and make a run for it, they can still be hunted down. The magic doesn't make that much of a difference. 

Those who know a lot of magic or the big stuff, get the slave collars, if necessary, but I'd think that anyone with that much magic is probably more valuable doing something other than manual labor. It would make much more sense to either ransom them off or make some sort of deal with them, since anyone with that much magic probably has a cult and powerful friends that will come looking for them. Putting a slave collar on a Rune Priest is probably more of a spite move than an efficient one. You do it to show him, and everyone else, who's boss, not because you need an extra farmhand. 

I'd agree with this. The majority of people don't know killing or escape magic. And their magic could be useful day-to-day. A slave is a valuable asset after all, and the more efficiently they can work the better. Those who do pose a threat were the reason the Empire created slave bracelets in the first place.

Of course, only free men can worship Orlanth, so slaves get cut-off from their god, and will lose magic once it is cast. Ernaldans don't have this issue, and we note in The Coming Storm that: "The cult of Ernalda the Slave is popular amongst the thralls. This is Ernalda in her aspect as a prisoner of the Emperor’s Court, before Orlanth freed her. She teaches endurance and forbearance to her faithful." I am sure different cults handle this issue according to their godtime mythology.

Slaves tend to be kept in line with fear. Fear of the consequences of rebellion, fear of the consequences of escape. Of course, rebellions still happen, and then the punishment tends to be harsh. Witness Jar-Eel putting down Beat-Pot's rebellion. Even if you have a little bit of killing magic, you are naked, unarmed, and unarmoured.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Ian Cooper said:

Slaves tend to be kept in line with fear. Fear of the consequences of rebellion, fear of the consequences of escape. Of course, rebellions still happen, and then the punishment tends to be harsh. Witness Jar-Eel putting down Beat-Pot's rebellion. Even if you have a little bit of killing magic, you are naked, unarmed, and unarmoured.

Yeah. Best case scenario for most slaves is that even if they do use magic and escape, their problems are just beginning. They will be have limited resources, and somehow have to not only survive but also evade capture, and make their way to where they either have allies who can back them up, or where they won't be seriously hunted.  I think that if some one is, for whatever reason, so powerful that they can't be held or coerced effectively, then they shouldn't, and probably won't, be enslaved. 

 

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On ‎9‎/‎15‎/‎2018 at 9:44 PM, Joerg said:

Was this a standard treatment, or was it a form of escalation of brutality like the Oldster Fonritians would inflict?

I believe it appeared in a Hittite or Neo Hittite law code, but was pretty much standard for the time. The past is often a very foreign country.

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On 9/13/2018 at 9:45 PM, Joerg said:

That's conquest, not slavery. Fonrit may have started that way. The case of the Maboder survivors "rescued" from Telmori captivity is the only such case known to me anywhere in or near Dragon Pass.

The Oasis people are something else - a population submitting to whoever comes in force to their place, taking their food, water, wives, whatever as they please.

Slavery and conquest aren't mutually exclusive. I know this isn't an historical example, but the Hebrew enslavement in Egypt is pretty much presented exactly like this, although the start of their (alleged) enslavement there is a bit more complicated than just being conquered.


EDIT:

Anyhow, there are plenty of mundane, cost-effective ways to keep slaves. Terror tactics, public torture, decimation, branding, normal (unenchanted) collars, social stigma, hostages, removal from local area, etc. etc. have all been used in real life to great effect. The odd spell here or there isn't going to make much difference, much like the odd shiv here or there doesn't dismantle the entire prison system.

However, there will always be slave rebellions, and more commonly just riots. Most commonly, however, is the so-called "weapons of the weak", which is dragging your feet, purposely screwing up tasks, faking injury and so on. These are less effective in the hands of particularly brutal masters.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed

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