Boarding Schools; War Wounded; Kings' Sons

From: Nick Brooke (
Date: Wed 07 Jun 1995 - 11:09:28 EEST

Sandy writes:

> I believe that most children of high-ranking Hrestoli are raised
> in the equivalent of boarding schools.

State Orphanages and Boarding Schools are a feature of the Tales #13 Hrestoli sect write-up. One is merely moved to ask: shouldn't we let some of the poor boys in, too? OK, they'll be ragged something rotten in the dorms, but we can only hope some kindly master will take them under his wing... (Is sending a fresh-baked cake from home to little Timmy a breach of Hrestoli ethics? ;-)

Schoolteachers are, of course, ex-army types who lacked the magic skills bonus (and inclination) to become magic-using Wizards. So are town clerks, librarians, and the like. "Wizard" is a general class for educated functionaries: they don't all study and use magic. In Loskalmi society, these have all served in the Army and been demobbed for one reason or another.

Anyone: what do you suppose happens to wounded ex-Soldiers in Loskalm? They can't very well go on to reach the 90% weapon proficiency they need to retire into civilian life, but (pace King Brian the Wild) there's not much call for these cripples in the Army. It seems reasonable to me that they could get "Wizard" jobs which did not permit the study and use of "high sorcerous" magic: civil servants, teachers, supply clerks and quartermasters, etc. OK: so this goes against the letter of Hrestoli Law. But if they can't do work like this, what on earth do we do with them? Bust them back down to Farmer class? Eat them? Ignore the issue and hope it goes away?

May not be much of a problem now, but wait till they collect all the crippled, the wounded and maimed and ship them back home from Junora: the legless, the armless, the blind and insane, those proud wounded heroes of Loskalm...

Social attitudes change when "our heroes" come home. Maggie did the perfect Idealist thing, and banned the war-wounded from her Falklands celebrations -- they might have made people stop rejoicing to ask some more worrying questions...

Dave Cake writes about:

> the Peter Principle: being promoted to your level of incompetence.

Yep, all these arguments and examples are convincing to me.


> there are probably few farmers' sons who end up as Kings, and few
> Kings' sons who end up in the fields

I agree with the former. However, in "How the West was One" we discovered that the King's son is the man most victimised by the Hrestoli Idealist system. It's OK for Counts and Dukes and Cardinals and Generals and the like to twist the rules in favour of their offspring, but the King himself must be seen to be above such gerrymandering. His son starts work out in the muddiest, windiest field you can possibly find, and has to claw his own way to the top in the archetypal Hrestoli way, receiving no help whatsoever from his background.

It doesn't half give him a chip on his shoulder, BTW... just ask Mike Dawson or John Medway.


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