Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Sir_Godspeed

Orlanthi Clan Fission

Recommended Posts

From what I understand, the common reaction to an Orlanthi clan becoming too big (above 1500 or so, if I recall correctly, but I might be off) is for a portion of it to organize into a new splinter-clan and move off.

Now, granted, for all I know it's probably equally possible for individual households to simply move off an join a nearby, less crowded clan (possibly as half-free cottars) which sounds a lot less dramatic and thus would probably get a lot less press in a cool storyline about wandering into new lands and doing heroic deeds and all that.

My question is mostly this: if there is a new clan broken off from an old one, how do they choose a name, do they continue to remember/mark their origin from another clan, do they preserve the mythic traditions of their previous clan (I'd imagine yes, can't see why not, unless they make some new connections in their new area, like finding a nymph or something).

Realistically, how many people, and how far can you imagine moving off? (this will be mostly women, children, elderly, farmers and livestock after all, not a band of dedicated warriors) Is this even a feasibly tactic in the more densely populated areas, such as in Heortland? Do you think it's common to send out an exploratory party first? Can one perhaps negotiate with a clan that has a claim to an area, but can't effectively populate it? (of course, this would call in question their claim to it, so the point might be moot).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dunno if I'd consider it "*the* common reaction"... it happens in the King of Dragon Pass game but are there other references to it?  Might be more YGWV.

About traditions, I'd say a new clan will recognize the same ancestors (including the new clan founders, eventually) but has to find/get/create/invoke a new wyter.  And traditions can evolve, like if the new clan ends up giving special honors to different minor gods or subcults for whatever reason.

About land, I think Greg said informally that all the best agricultural land was occupied in the first age.  Of course wars and disasters such as the Dragonkill cause depopulation sometimes.  And with magic you can sometimes make bad lands better.  Anyway, fuel for storytelling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Much like a bloodline, the splinter group is likely to take their name from their leader or other notable figure. The new wyter, when acquired/found, might also point to a new name.

How far they would have to go is so much based on the exact context - like much of the other issues here really. If they leave in good circumstances and there is farm land available, they could just go over the river/across the hills/etc. If no land is available, they'll have to go as far as they need to secure a future. Bad circumstances and relations to their neighbors could force them much further afield as well, or direct them in a specific direction towards any remaining allies. Omens and things like that will likely have an impact, too.

Consider an example from the Cinsina/Red Cow. Before assuming leadership of the tribe, Ivartha was planning to create a new clan in the disputed/unsettled/Telmori-plagued lands not that far away. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My basic stance here:

This is Glorantha!  Abandon the precepts of logistics and practicality!

If the events (leading to & allowing the fission) aren't heavily infused with myth & magic, they probably don't matter, and the "new clan" fails and/or is reabsorbed.

Orlanth, and other Lightbringers, and Ernalda, and likely other Gods & Great Spirits, will throw some extra challenges and opportunities toward the existing Clan.  Groups that coalesce to solve the problems likely form the nucleus of the new Clan, spirits who take an interest and/or ally themselves may become  Wyter, etc etc etc.

Edited by g33k
Typo
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lismelder's split from her father and her brother most likely split the royal clan, too, and I would expect that you can map quite a few of the Lismelder clans to original clans of the Malani.

The Colymar Book speaks more of fusions of destroyed clans with volunteers from the five original clans of the Colymar, like e.g, the Karandoli after their first destruction (when they suddenly have leaders with direct descent from the first five clans, especially Ortossi, King when Sartar made his offer). Both triaties that got absorbed by the Colymar did so after losing a clan which then was re-formed with folk from the original five clans volunteering.

I don't think there is any further need for a mythic precedence for a splinter group to march away than the initial stage of the Downland Migration.

So let's talk about the magic. A wyter of a divided people will be a weak wyter.

Let's talk about what to allow the leavers (Clanxiteers?) to take along, and whether they get a deal or just break off, and who gets to go.

The new group will carry some of the regalia of the old clan, in King of Dragon Pass terms a few of the treasures. A couple of the former prominent leaders in the clan will be gone.

 

Where can they go? Post-Windstop Sartar will have some vacancies, as there will be communities that did not make it through that cataclysm (or whose magical escape was so complete that they haven't returned yet). The conditions for a new start aren't bad inside of Sartar.

Setting up in a rather recently abandoned agricultural region may meet some protests of neighboring clans - fallow fields usually make rich pastures. It will be rather unlikely for those clans to have expanded their agriculture there, however, unless they themselves were close to a split.

In older times, a three-way split would have created a triaty. While it is somewhat weird for former cousins to be promoted to your mandatory marriage pool, such a solution would simply promote the old clan wyter to that of the triaty. Initial small clan size is mitigated by having the rest of your former clan nearby. There is a good chance that the former clan seat becomes a partially shared main village for the triaty.

(This is a quandary for pioneer clans, like Colymar's original group, or the Renekoti of Riskland - if yours is the only (Heortling) clan to have entered the new place, you have an acute lack of marriage partners. It helped that Colymar collected his new clan from both Hendriki and Esrolian groups, allowing for a measure of intra-clan cohabitation in the initial years, but that split into several clans must have been more or less pre-programmed.)

With the exodus/extermination of the Lunar presence in Pavis, there is empty space there, too, and land to be reclaimed from Lunar confiscation.

The leavers could move into a city. First choice might be their own city confederation. An urban clan or guild can be considerably smaller than a rural clan that has to be both a military force and a productive primary producer. The 25k Sartarites in Nochet are likely to be the result of such clan splits.

A newly urban clan had better have a plan and some specialization to survive in that new environment. Some business or service they are uniquely or at least highly qualified to provide. They'll need a sponsor inside the city to set them up with premises - if they left on friendly terms, that could well be their former clan or tribe. If they move into a more distant urban area, they can be trading agents for their former clan or tribe.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Double post.

So, in order not to waste the opportunity:

Why should a clan want their former kin to fail? Will it be complete bloodlines that leave, or will there be a mix of bloodlines going away ("younger sons" syndrome)?

Many of the leavers will still have siblings in the clan they left. Now it is true that you cannot choose your family, and joining the leavers might be a less drastic way to leave your immediate family than joining Humakt or Eurmal. But it is normal to have sisters in other clans, and occasionally brothers, too, when a marriage goes uxorilocal. The result of a clan split just adds a new, momentarily migratory clan to this.

Edited by Joerg
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×