From: Peter Metcalfe <metcalph_at_quicksilver.net.nz>
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 2004 15:20:06 +1200


> >But most
> >Kings have far better things to do than to make low level
> >appointments all over the country.

>In the Real World history this was what most feudal kings had
>to do most of the time.

There's no such thing as a feudal king - there are medieval kings and they come in all shapes and sizes. You would be far better off by pointing to a specific historical model (Polish Sejm, Tsarist Service Aristocracy etc) and saying this is how Heortland might work etc. But you won't do that.

>I try to quote from memory: the only way the sheriffs could
>change the clans was by introducing western concepts. Thats

Wrong. The only way that they could change the clans is by adopting Malkioni Ways. There's far more to Malkioni ways than just feudalism and the government of Heortland is not feudal in its description. Sheriffs are not a feudal office (they are not given fiefs in return for military service) and never have been. Heortland does have Nobles but the basis of their authority is apparently administrative rather than being hereditary fiefs.

>The beneficient Sheriff of Shrewsbury (?) in the Brother Cadfael stories
>was a royal appointee. The infamous Sheriff of Nottingham - one of the
>greatest villains in adventure literature - was a royal appointee.

Since Tarshite Sheriffs aren't royal appointees, I find this sort of argument far from compelling.

>"Intro" makes it sound like the benefits previously bestowed by the
>Larnsti were now primarily bestowed by the Sheriffs.

What benefits are you talking about? The Larnsti are still around doling out their benefits. All that has changed is that wielders of Larnsti magic are now part of the clan whereas previously all were outsiders.

>Reading the description in
>"Intro", I get the impression that the clans were faced with a "take the
>Sheriffs or have no access to Larnsti magics at all" decision after the
>return of Andrin from the dead.

Your impression is wrong. The clans' anxiety comes from the radical nature of the change - having a Larnsti replace the clan chief.

>Some dissidents don't go with [Andrin's]
>changes and emigrate or fight a prolonged civil war, resulting in Volsaxar
>remaining largely free of Sheriffs.

Wrong. The Civil War was between Andrin's Death and Return. The first wave fled the Civil War while the second wave left because the Civil War had left Heortland changed in a way they didn't like, namely the king returns but is apparently a pharaonic stooge. The constitutional changes that he effects come later and occur over an extended period rather than in one Great Leap Forward. As for Volsaxar's evolution, that develops many years after the Pharaonic takeover and the circumstances for that are unknown.

>In the reformed tribes/earldoms, the kings received a greater measure of
>control over formerly unruly clans,

No evidence for this whatsoever. It's clearly stated in the Intro that the King, the Nobles and the Sheriffs look after the freedom of the Heortlanders rather than control them. People are still allowed to be unruly in Heortland.

>Magic shifts away from Orlanth the quarreling chieftain to Belintar the
>peaceful Overking as the activities of the people shift that way.

No magic has shifted away from Orlanth. Orlanth is still as strong as he ever was.

> >What I object to is your phrase which unnecessarily conveys
> >the implication that the sheriffs are the Heortland equivalent of
> >Ingsoc.

>That's your implication.

It happens to be your belief from your continued refrains that Heortland is less free and that the Sheriffs being tied to the clan wyters can nip dissent in the bud. The sooner you drop that, the better.

>The Heortlander clans give up their "freedom" or custom of freely feuding
>with one another, under the guidance of the Sheriffs.

So the description of Heortland's love for freedom is just one Great Big Cynical Lie and that the Heortlanders are just big hypocrites? Their "freedom" is actually slavery to the sheriffs?

>We haven't produced any document
>dealing with the relation of the Volsaxi to the Andrinic changes,

Who is we? I'm no longer on the Whitewall list and don't believe that anything definite can be thrashed out until something more definite is declared about the Volsaxi (and I don't mean idle musings from Greg but something definite).

>migrations of clans from one tribe to another, or forced inclusions of
>tribes of the different model by either sides of these civil wars in the
>past - as background material for warbands at the siege.

What civil wars in the past? There has only been two known civil wars and as far as I'm concerned, the evolution of the Volsaxar was an artefact of pharaonic magical policy rather than actual resistence to the Pharaoh.

>Then why this outrage at my statement that the Andrinic regime can be
>regarded as oppressive a) by traditionalist neighbors and b) by
>traditionalist subjects?

Because you then conclude that the Andrinic regime actually is an oppressive one (on the apparent grounds that if it is not free then it must be oppressive), waste entire posts on defending that particular topic without actually developing anything more about Heortland.

>Why do you describe Andrinic Heortland as an ideal place (apart from the
>external troubles) when there can be interesting internal conflicts to be
>played out there?

If I have ever described Andrinic Heortland as an ideal place of peace and plenty, you might have a point. But I never have and so you don't. What I have been doing is pointing out to you repeatedly that your conclusions are false because many of the arguments that you bring up for it are wrong or just invented.

>The replies along the lines "this cannot be, must not be" haven't been
>very helpful.

There was a time when I would have been more helpful on Heortland. But bitter experience has taught that this is largely a wasted effort and your continued oppressive heortland theories only confirm that.

> >So why do you persist [in oppressive heortland] without a single
> >shred of evidence?

>I persist creating story-seeds. There will be ex-clans/shires that love
>their sheriffs. And there will be such that hate his guts. The latter are
>providing more story-seeds than the former.

So because you have a limited repertoire of seeds (Black and White with no shades of Grey), Heortland must be oppressive?

> >What worship would threaten [the Sheriff's] position? The only
> >banned religion so far is the Black Arkati, which is a Good Thing in
> >the Orlanthi eyes.

>At least some traditional chieftain rites (like the gift-giving, the
>annual appointment of land-use and similar privileges) would demand much
>of the authority wielded by the Sheriffs, and therefore must not be
>performed in the old way.

Why must they not be performed in the old way? It doesn't matter how a sheriff decides where families can farm and it costs him nothing to act as the old chieftain did.

--Peter Metcalfe

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Received on Wed 23 Jun 2004 - 06:56:57 EEST

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