Graves; Dara Happans; Cattle Raids

From: via RadioMail (
Date: Sat 25 Feb 1995 - 09:11:55 EET

Alex used the term

>Is this getting into Grave Crime territory

which leads me to wonder, what do people think about graves and the plundering thereof? The Icelander Grettir the Strong seemed to think nothing of going into a barrow for its treasure, but he ended up in a terrific fight with its inhabitant.

I suspect the Orlanthi think that plundering an Orlanthi grave is a bad thing, but digging up anyone else is OK (if dangerously stupid). Perhaps Esrolians or Naverians believe anyone buried in the ground should be left there.

("Orlanthi graves," you ask? Yes, I believe in Ralios bodies are returned to Mother Ralia, rather than being burned.)

David Gadbois wondered

>There is still the question, though, of how the Dara Happans, with all
>their inbred snobbery, secret depravity, and overwhelming uselessness,
>could have managed to survive in an apparently culturally intact way
>these 400 or so years since the Glorious Revolution of Our Goddess.

One, the Dara Happans have always been ready to adapt their culture [FS.70: "Khordavu's great unification effort brought together many disparate customs and purposes."

Two, Dara Happa is apparently a hydraulic civilization (water-based). These are usually very resistant to overall change on Earth.

Three, perhaps the Goddess is not so much a revolution as it appears. Perhaps she's another esoteric ruler-class deity like Yelm -- we know that the average Lunar citizen has a hard time with the doctrines about chaos. And Fortunate Succession seems to go to great pains to connect the Red Emperor to the Dara Happan emperors.

Four, it is in the nature of empires to leave subject peoples alone. As long as they pay their taxes and speak to the tax collectors in Lunar, they can pretty much do what they want.

[BTW, those who wonder about Fortunate Succession: It's available from Wizard's Attic, PO Box 718, Hayward CA 94543, 800-213-1493. It's 110 pages of Greg's draft and note quality writing on the Dara Happan and Lunar emperors, and I think the price is US$25.]

Erik Arnold writes

>I also especially like the theory that to be a free man you must own cattle.
>Explains the cattle raids nicely. However, your essay fails to explain how
>cattle ownership after raids is determined. A raid is not usually conducted
>by a group of socially climbing individual warriors (although, this is
>certainly not unheard of - especially with player characters). IMO, a raid
>is one _clan's_ effort against another to rob the other clan of wealth.

In my East Ralios campaign, raids usually are done by individuals (perhaps a failing as a GM, not wanting to make the PCs mere participants in a larger raid). Ownership after individual raids is simple, however -- all booty is turned over to the clan thane, who then redistributes it (typically fairly evenly among the participants, keeping some of it for himself/the clan).

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.7 : Fri 10 Oct 2003 - 01:50:42 EEST