Date: Tue 06 Jun 1995 - 15:30:07 EEST
I liked Peter Metcalfe's idea of a practically minded Hrestolianism which discriminates in favour of the "haves" while still paying lip-service to the possibility of progression for the have nots. It reminded me in some ways of the Borgias with their somewhat flexible attitudes to what constituted priesthood - "it's OK to lead the pope's armies in battle as long as you wear a tonsure, Cesare my son...."
To stick to the strictly mechanistic approach to progression we can always assume that the "examination for knighthood" is biased towards the skills rarely available to the peasant farmer (i.e. the Farmer caste member whose ancestors have always been Farmer caste). Thus although the peasant may struggle to 90% in Animal Lore by the age of 30, the squire has already reached Animal Lore (warhorses and how to look after them so they will give of their best in battle or tournament) 90% by the age of 20. Similarly Craft (Farming) is no use if the examiner wants to see proof of your ability at formal calligraphy.
Assume a similar allowance for corruption at the transitions from Knight to Wizard and Wizard to Lord, and you have your son into the power-holding clique. Now you can use your political influence to get him into a position of importance. You don't need feudal land holdings to establish a dynasty.
The co-operation of the lower classes? Needed up to a point, but only if they are constantly subject to idealist Hrestolian teachings in church. I would picture Loskalm (if it is Hrestolian enough to warrant being regarded as culturally distinct - which I think it is) as being a theological battleground between the idealists who want a true meritocracy and the realists who want to recognize vested interests.
Note I use the terms "idealist" and "realist" to describe wings of the Hrestoli movement, not in the Hrestoli =3D Idealist / Rokari =3D Realist sense.
Last minute thought as to a real-world analogue for Loskalm - Bohemia at the time of the Hussite Wars?
End of Glorantha Digest V1 #302
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