[Glorantha]Re: Heortland

From: Joerg Baumgartner <joe_at_toppoint.de>
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 2004 17:54:22 +0200 (CEST)

>>The Lava Beds are no more? What's the source for that factoid?

> See them on the Lunar Map anywhere?

No. But while that map is fairly complete, there still are features which may not have made it into it.

A typical "invented fact" if I had pointed this out...


>> >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

Wrong. There's a difference between kings whose power structure is based on enfeoffment and those who e.g. have a bureaucracy channel their powers. If there's a technical term for those, look it up and be proud of that achievement.

> - 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.

Since Peter never could be bothered to notice my material he might be one of the long-time subscribers of this list not noticing me using Anglo-Saxon and early Norman England parallels as models for Heortland. The choice of example Sheriffs should have been a clue, too...

>>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.

Thanks for correcting the quotation.

> There's far more to Malkioni ways than just feudalism

such as materialism, monotheism, Rokari serfdom etc. - none of which are applicable in a free Heortland society (although Rikard's cronies sort of tried).

> and the government of Heortland is not feudal in its description.

We get earldoms, baronies, shires - lots of terms describing (mostly Anglo-Saxon) feudal institutions.

> Sheriffs are not a feudal office (they are not given fiefs in return for
military service)

Correct. British Sheriffs acted as deputies of the king. There were compensations for performing this office, but no enfeoffment.

> and never have been.

They rather developed as a way for the king to sidestep feudalism and exact a more direct control over key places in his realm.

> Heortland does have Nobles but the
> basis of their authority is apparently administrative rather
> than being hereditary fiefs.

There is nothing intrinsic about fiefs which makes them hereditary. They started out similar to the Orlanthi chieftain's gift giving, a means of distributing revenues and duties.

Early Anglo-Saxon feudalism (and also some of the new starts caused by the influx of Scandinavians) marks a transition from the barbarian king to the "king with his power based on feudal followers".

>>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.

I wasn't discussing Tarshite Sheriffs here. Anyway, they appeared in print only after their presence in Sartar and Heortland was established.

>>"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.

The text in "Intro" doesn't read that way.

: The silence of the Larnsti was worrying enough but the king then announced
: that Sheriffs, schooled in Larnsti magics, would replace the clan chiefs.
: The clans were perplexed - on the one hand it struck at their clan
: traditions, which the God Learners had never done, but on the other they
: were unwilling to do without the blessings of the Larnsti.

Hands up all who got the impression from these lines that the magic of the Larnsti had become unavailable otherwise!

> All that has changed is that
> wielders of Larnsti magic are now part of the clan whereas
> previously all were outsiders.

Nothing of this is printed in "Intro".

And again, where did the part of the clan wielders of Larnsti magic come from? Did the clans adopt Larnsti? Did they send clan members to the brotherhood, or get in teachers?

>>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.

Translates as: this impression is not Peter's intention in writing this text.

The impression is very real and true.

> The clans' anxiety comes from
> the radical nature of the change - having a Larnsti replace
> the clan chief.

I.e. have a non-Orlanth cultist take over an Orlanth position in the ring?

(Which would have been less of a problem if Peter had allowed for a joint subcult of Orlanth and Larnste in the discussions on the Whitewall list and elsewhere...)

The introduction of the Larnsti into official Glorantha had necessarily to be the few short paragraphs in "Intro". However, in the time since there have been questions about them, by other people than myself as well, and Peter could have given us a quick overview what he intended, in positive statements.

He never did.

Instead, whenever anyone wrote anything about the Larnsti, there was a "Wrong" from Peter.

We have been told many things the Larnsti are not. There are more things the Larnsti might be or not, so we can have a game and expand the negative list:

The Larnsti are a heroband. - Wrong.
The Larnsti worship through the hero cult of Hendreik. - Wrong.
The Larnsti were founded by Hendreik. - Wrong. ...
The Larnsti are chaotic. - Wrong.
The Larnsti worship Sedenya. - Wrong.

>>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.

Needless to say...

> The Civil War was between Andrin's Death and Return.

Wrong. (See, I can write that word, too...)

There was a civil war when Andrin died, and it continued for a while after he returned.

> The first wave fled the Civil War

Dating the civil war somtime around 1318 (Colymar left) to 1325 or 1350, depending which KoS source you prefer (CHDP or Colymar Book).

> 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 last immigrants to Sartar (Locaem and Kultain) arrived 1400ish, after the Kurash Varn mission to the Upland Marsh. This might be after the Second Wave, but 1370 or so might still be within Second Wave.

> The constitutional changes that he effects come later and occur
> over an extended period rather than in one Great Leap Forward.

We do get the civil war (-like situation) which sends Hardrard the Green to re-occupy Whitewall as the royal seat of the Volsaxi (rather than Karstanstead, which with its library is more suitable for peaceful times). Most probably after the Kultain/Locaem migration.

I'll take 1400 for the conclusion of this "extended period" for lowland Heortland. We all "know" that Highlanders take longer to adopt such ideas.

> As for Volsaxar's evolution, that develops many years after the
> Pharaonic takeover and the circumstances for that are unknown.

And of course it would be heresy to develop a theory or storyline about that... phie the Whitewall list...

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

> No evidence for this whatsoever.

No evidence against this whatsoever.

But the reformed clans are less unruly.

Sheer coincidence.

> 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.

You may do any revolution you want as long as you don't change a thing.

People in Heortland are free to disagree with their leaders, and with their king. They will have the right to agitate. And the leaders have the right to challenge the agitators and quell the unrest.

The people in Heortland do not have the freedom to establish traditional chieftains in traditional clans, unless they pack up and move to Volsaxar, high up into reclusive mountain valleys, or into the Praxian Marches.

>>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.

Translation: According to Peter, the weakness leading to Orlanth's chaining by the Lunars has no roots at all in the conditions in Heortland.

>> >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.

Of course, you may have Sheriffs plotting against the king, even those appointed by the king.

Under the (not disproven) assumption that the Sheriffs have a personal obligation to the king, they may be in a better position to prevent violent rebellion against the king than a mere observer on the tula.

>>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?

The texts predating "Intro" stressed the personal freedom of the Heortlanders. The text in "Intro" abstracted this freedom and made it into a cultic object.

I haven't said anywhere that the Heortlanders are restricted in their personal freedom.

I happen to disagree with some of the text in "Intro", which I said at the time it was submitted. Making no ground trying to use reason, and then learning of the death struggle of my mother, I stopped making the effort (and indeed contributing to Glorantha at all, for that while).

Returning to work on Heortland I found I had to deal with the material canonized in my absence, so I have tried to make as much sense of it as I can find.

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

> Who is we?

People on the Whitewall list trying to write up background, not Peter Metcalfe.

> I'm no longer on the Whitewall list

What was wrong?

> 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).

The way to produce that is write it up and get an approval or denial by submitting it for publication. Which is what the Whitewall list is about.

>>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.

Both Hardrard the Green and Broyan have been mentioned in connection with Civil Wars. There was a time when Volsaxar had to focus on the Kitori problems, but otherwise there was nothing to keep the Volsaxi from having open rebellion against the Andrinic kings.

>>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

I conclude that certain acts of rebellion aren't an option for good Andrinic shires which would be honorable options for traditional clans.

> (on the apparent grounds that if it is not free then it must be

Funnily I never said oppressive except possibly taking this term up from you.

> waste entire posts on defending that particular topic

Yes, I could have spent the time better than letting Peter distract me...

> without actually developing anything more about Heortland.

Imagine telling a story:

"Once upon a time," ("Wrong!!! There was no time then!!!") "there was a cunning King" ("Wrong!!! He was a wise and honorable man!!!") "who led his tribe of a handful of large clans" ("Wrong!!! There are no large clans!!!") "through a difficult time" ("Wrong!!! There has been nothing published about this time being difficult!!!")

> 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.

What's wrong about invented background? The same can be said about Vadeli anal probers and skins of shite.

> There was a time when I would have been more helpful on Heortland.


>>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),

Wrong. (alternatively, we could use <p> for the beginning of our paragraphs...)
Your perception is that of Black or White with no Grey. My story seeds embrace the Grey. In order to place them, I have to tarnish the Pure White in "Intro" with some Black to get the characters into the setting.

> Heortland must be oppressive?

"At the edge of light there must be darkness."

There has to be a reason why there are no Andrinic shires in Volsaxar or Sartar. Giving possible reasons for traditionalist Orlanthi to despise the Andrinic system makes me describe Heortland as oppressive? Saying that worshipping the Pharaoh comes with a cost as well as benefits makes me demonize the Pharaoh?

That's because my conclusions are false because some of the arguments I bring up for it Peter disagrees with, or are based on "invented" additional material?

I have never stated or meant to imply that all Andrinic clans are dupes, oppressed by vile agents of a tyrannical high king who disinherited them from their ancestral rights, and magically exploited in God Learner fashion by an evil Pharaoh. I have put such sentiments into the mouths of traditionalist agitators, and have been a lot softer in my choice of words than Sartar Rising: Barbarian Adventures in the description of enslaved tribes. (Compare Nick's Rough Guide to Sartar: http://www.btinternet.com/~nick_brooke/moonie/sartar.htm )

>>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.

When the old chieftain performed the gift-giving, he did so as an act of Orlanth-worship by embodying the virtues of Orlanth(dar) the Chief. Basically, he became Orlanth dividing up Stormstead.

To phrase it anally retentive, I have seen no evidence and have no reason to assume that a person trained in Larnsti magics is initiated to Orlanth the Chief (or Anatyr the Chief or Ernalda Orendana), i.e. qualified to perform these rites.

There is a strong religious component to being clan chieftain (tribal king, warband leader etc) in Heortling society.

--__--__-- Received on Thu 24 Jun 2004 - 07:25:34 EEST

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