From: Sandy Petersen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed 07 Jun 1995 - 02:52:21 EEST
>"Hereditary rights are hereditary wrongs!"
>the Loskalmi tend to blame anything that's wrong in other lands on
>their hereditary institutions.
>Loskalmi are very socially cohesive, surprising perhaps given the
>apparent individualism encouraged by their religion.
It has now become clear to me that the Hrestoli family pattern is probably different from most Westerners. I submit that because of the danger of hereditary feudal patterns, most Lords do _not_ raise their own children. Ditto most wizards and high-ranking knights. Maybe only peasants do so (and not all of them). Instead, I believe that most children of high-ranking Hrestoli are raised in the equivalent of boarding schools. They are reared in groups, torn from their families, much like the infamous Mamelukes and Janissaries of old. And like the Mamelukes, the typical Hrestoli youth grows up with much stronger attachments to his brethren than to his parents or natural siblings.
The genius of the Hrestoli is that the youths are not raised separately for the purpose of being loyal to a single man (as was the intent with the Moslem groups mentioned), but to be devoted to the national order, as with kibbutzim or the Spartans of old.
Here we have a system in which the Loskalmi can be as unified and cohesive as we like, yet striving for excellence, as each youth realizes that his personal triumphs redound to the glory and honor of his classmates. The youths may not be officially associated together after they graduate, but if your class has, say 400-500 people in it, throughout your future life you'll encounter former friends that you can help, or that can help you. It's like an aboveground secret society.
I further suggest that, in view of the Hrestoli view of women, that most women are _not_ raised in boarding houses, but are kept at home. However, the women of St. Elleish have opened up special houses to raise girls in, so that they, too, can gain the camaraderie and unity that is common to most Loskalmi men.
This may also explain why Hrestoli don't necessarily rise through the ranks as fast as possible -- they'd leave behind their brothers.
If a kibbutzim is too alien to picture the Loskalmi, think of a knightly order such as the Round Table, the Templars, or Hospitalers. Once again, the fraternity outweighs family (at least in theory).
>I sincerely hope that there will be no such blanket fiat on
>Gloranthan cultural expressions of sex and gender.
Such a fiat on claustration doesn't faze me a bit. There still spreads before us a wide world of sexual myths, hangups and mysteries available.
PMichaels then enlightens me as to just what subincision is. Ah. Thanks. From the term I had theorized it was a reference to the South American Indian (among others) practice of cutting a buttonhole through the foreskin or sometimes completely through the penis, so that a rod can be inserted crosswise. The belief is that this enhances female pleasure. Mebbe it does.
I had heard of subincision in a little different mode -- not to receive a "vulva", but for birth control, as urine and semen naturally pass out of the basal opening, and thus would not be able to make a woman pregnant unless the man physically held his finger over the opening during sex. Both practices make sense (one mythically, the other physically).
>Although I'm not sure how this worked, Chinese male eunuchs
>who survived being fully dismembered used quills to help them
Ditto all "Type 1" eunuchs as classified by our hero MOB. The quill wasn't, strictly speaking, necessary, but if you didn't use it then your urine would trickle all over your thighs and crotch. Rather than mop up the mess each time, the inserted quill enables you to pee just like a regular guy.
>If the Left Hand Path does involve subincision, they would not be
>allowed to enter Fanjosi, the City of Men.
Subincision sounds exceedingly Pamaltelan to me. Not only because it enables men to attain female mysteries (no doubt important to some groups), but also because when used as I mentioned above, it is an effective birth control that doesn't require the woman using special equipment. I agree that subincised males can't enter Fanjosi.
BIRTH CONTROL IN GLORANTHA
We know it exists (at least those of us who have sexually active female PCs know it). How is it done?
Physical Prevention: I predict everybody knows how to use animal bladders as condoms. Certainly the Praxians and Pentans do.
ANTI-BIRTH POTION: the dwarfs long ago invented a potion which prevents breeding in humans, and spread the knowledge of it as widely as possible. Hence, almost any land possessing alchemists would be able to provide this potion. Most human slaves of the dwarfs are forced to ritually ingest it (shades of "The Pnume" by Jack Vance!). This potion operates only on a male, and renders his seed unfertile. A dose of the potion starts taking effect within the week, and the effect lasts for a season or more. Typically, a user takes a dose every season to maintain the effect.
DRYWOMB: the elves, as hostile to humanity as any dwarf, propagate the growth of this tasty fruit bush in the lands around their territory. The whitish pear-shaped fruit brings on immediate menstruation in female humans (who have reached their menarche), followed by a "skipped" period. Continued ingestion of the fruit result in continued absence of the menses until it has not been eaten for several weeks. If a pregnant woman eats this fruit in the first few weeks of pregnancy, she will miscarry. If she eats it after that, the child usually is born, but may have physical problems.
LIMPSTICK: A berry that when eaten causes a man to be impotent for 24-36 hours. Argh. Another elf magic, fostered by mischievous women and Tricksters.
THE SLARGES: it is a well-known tale from Tarien that the stink of a Slarge can cause miscarriages. More research needs to be done here. At least one theory holds that it is not slarges in general that cause miscarriages, but a particular great slarge, who has developed such an odor and now utilizes it to ease the spread of their race.
THE BIRTHING SONG: Note: big Doraddi secret. Amongst the Doraddi, a woman _cannot_ become pregnant without performing the Birthing song. To do this, before sex the woman must drink some water and urinate, eating nothing more until after coitus is through. After the act, she must chant the birthing song. If she cannot sing it, a female friend or relative can do so on her behalf, in her hearing. Note: deaf-mute women cannot become pregnant, for they can neither sing, nor hear the song.
The birthing song is not 100% effective, and usually even when sung, no child results. However, if the ritual is not carried out, there is _no_ chance of pregnancy. This does not apply to magic pregnancy, such as with spirits, broos, or ogres. Doraddi women are just as subject to such as anybody else.
There are ribald stories in which a woman coincidentally drinks and urinates before sex, and then hears _another_ women in a neighboring tent singing the Birthing Song, to her horror (and pregnancy). There are also tales in which a would-be grandmother connives to get her daughter pregnant by such means. Despite such tales, obviously the rate of unwanted pregnancies amongst the Doraddi is nigh unto nil.
Since the song is post-coital, when it is heard night after night from a particular tent, the inhabitants often find themselves the brunt of teasing. Couples who embarrass easily often sneak off into the night to try for pregnancy. Of course, such sneaking off can also be a source of fun for one's acquaintances. You can't win for losing.
Women who are anal retentive usually eat a nut or piece of fruit just before the act to ensure safe sex (since you cannot eat after drinking and urinating or the song won't work).
Supposedly, some lineages' women are able to sing special songs to ensure the birth of a daughter.
Ability to become pregnant without using the Birthing Song is evidence that one of your ancestors was not human. Hsunchen, for instance, do not use the Doraddi song, nor do Fonritians. Of course, everybody knows that the Fonritians have wareran and veldang blood, and _they_ aren't full humans, so ...
The Doraddi, in keeping with their love of complicated interrelationships, have a cumbersome system of ranking crimes, though they do not have law, as we would know it. There are three great categories of crimes: TMIMGANGA (crimes which bring the vengeance of the gods), GLIGANGA (crimes which kill the tribe's life), and TMARGANGA (crimes which harm the harmless). Some crimes fall into multiple categories. For instance, child-murder strikes all three.
TMIMGANGA: these are crimes which anger Pamalt himself. Some are victimless crimes. Some are not. The punishment is selected by the tribe's Elders council.
Abusing one's lineage plant Cannibalism Disobeying or abusing one's female ancestors (mother, grandmother, etc.) Impiety Menstrual sex Murder (note: also considered Gligangi) Prostitution Rape (note: also considered Gligangi)
GLIGANGA: these are crimes that harm the tribe itself and threaten it with dissolution or death. The tribe's chieftain affixes penalty, though very often the punishment is left up to the injured party.
Consorting with chaos Failure to properly share a prey animal Murder (note: also considered Tmimgangi) Rape (note: also considered Tmimgangi) Theft
TMARGANGA: Moral outrages which any right-thinking human should be offended by (so say the Doraddi).
Touching a corpse (except for the old women) Injuring a child Owning a human indentured servant Serving the Kresh Wasting a food animal (i.e., leaving the carcass to rot) Witchcraft
Punishments: the Doraddi regard penal codes as stigmata of the Six Legged Empire, and much prefer to make the punishment fit the crime and the criminal. Hence their justice can seem extremely arbitrary to a visitor from more legalistic lands.
End of Glorantha Digest V1 #303
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