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Sir_Godspeed

Orlanthi Clan Fission

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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).

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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.

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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. 

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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
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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.

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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
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On 4/15/2019 at 1:09 PM, Sir_Godspeed said:

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).

I'll use the typical Gloranthan answer of "it depends".

If you just create a clan because the old clan is too big, then, yes, they would keep a lot of the traditions. I'd say that they probably create a number of bloodlines first, then those bloodlines forma a new clan. 

However, if the split is because of a schism, then there might be problems. If the clan is split between two leaders, then there might be bad blood between them. If the clan splits because one side wants to support the Lunars and the other is against the Lunars, the clans would be rivals. If the clan splits because a member finds a new power and people flock to him, then the old clan might resent that, reject the power and otherwise hold a grudge.

On 4/15/2019 at 1:09 PM, Sir_Godspeed said:

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).

I'm watching the excellent Resurrection: Ertugrul at the moment. It's a Turkish serial about the father of the founder of the Ottoman Empire and has a lot in it about clan politics, both within the clan and  with clans in areas they move to. It's well worth a watch, but has a lot of episodes, around 100 per series and has 5 series in total.

One storyline has Ertugrul founding a new clan by persuading people from his own clan and another clan to follow him on a holy mission. In this case, his mother joins him and takes  the clan regalia, so his clan starts off with a set of clan regalia.

So, a new clan can start off with its own regalia, which might be a copy of the old clan's regalia, or it might create new regalia through the actions of the clan leaders.

There might be bad blood between the clans as the new clan might have taken some items from the clan regalia, leaving the old clan with pale copies. Sun County in Prax has something similar, where the Count's Regalia is a copy of a copy or the originals.

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On 4/15/2019 at 7:09 AM, Sir_Godspeed said:

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).

I think several hundred would be the minimum necessary to create a viable clan. Much less and what you get is more like a bloodline or a fragment of a clan that would probably need to join a new clan. A brand-new clan is very vulnerable. Until it finds a new tula, it's just wandering rootlessly like the Deadwood (who first appeared--I think--in a scenario in the old Tales of the Reaching Moon, but who seem to be semi-canonical). Once they find a new tula, they need to forge bonds with any supernatural beings on the tula, acquire a new wyter, build alliances with neighbors, and persuade a tribe to let them in. All of that is on top of the basic survival stuff like building steads, marking out fields, etc. 

And remember that the thing that deters aggression against a neighbor is the threat of reciprocal aggression from the neighbor or the neighbor's allies. So a rootless or newly-settled clan is going to be vulnerable to aggression from all its various neighbors until it has managed to build up those various bonds. A clan without a wyter is particularly vulnerable to magic aggression like curses. A clan without political allies is vulnerable to military aggression. So founding a new clan is risky business. It happened a lot in the settlement period because everything was in flux, but by the 17th century it's probably an unusual event in Sartar because much of the decent land is either occupied or else problematic to exploit (like the Staglands because of the Telmori). Ivartha the Skinner's attempt to colonize Torkan's Vale ended in disaster because of the Telmori, even though she had the support of the Maboder tribe. 

So the specific scenario you mention--a group of women, children, elderly farmers, and livestock, without warriors, attempting to form a new clan--strikes me as likely to end in failure unless the women have a LOT of magical resources to back them up. For example, if the group is lead by an Ernaldan who has powerful peace-making magic or a Maran Gor who can intimidate enemies with threats to destroy crops or buildings, they stand a chance of surviving, assuming they can attract husbands quickly (to provide farmers, warriors, and a critical component in fertility rituals). But a clan that goes a long time without warriors is probably doomed to be destroyed. 

The question of where to get husbands from strikes an interesting spark for me. According to Roman history (which is probably legend and not rooted in fact), the Romans started out as an all-male group. They conducted a festival and invited the neighboring Sabines and then during the festival the Roman men seized the unmarried women and took them as wives, sparking a war that ultimately led to the unification of the Romans and the Sabines. Perhaps there's an Ernaldan equivalent of that--a festival in which the women use Ernaldan magic to make all the unmarried men fall in love with them and declare year-marriages with them. As I write this, I like the idea so much I'm going to find a way to use it somewhere. 

A more realistic option for what you're describing is your suggestion that they find a clan that has more land than it can exploit for its population and seek to join that clan as a new bloodline. They would need to intermarry with the clan as part of the clan-building rituals probably, and their treasures would become part of the clan regalia. 

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2 hours ago, Bohemond said:

So the specific scenario you mention--a group of women, children, elderly farmers, and livestock, without warriors, a

Just to clarify - I did not say the group did not have warriors. I was just describing what I thought such a splinter-group looking to form a new clan would probably look like: demographically varied, reflecting more or less the same proportions of society overall, with dedicated warriors in a minority. In other words: it wouldn't be an army. It would obviously have warriors - inasmuch as every Orlanthi group containing adults, and containing even a modicum of a political leadership has warriors by the very nature of Orlanthi clan structure.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed

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