[Glorantha]More Heortland

From: Peter Metcalfe <metcalph_at_quicksilver.net.nz>
Date: Fri, 25 Jun 2004 02:33:32 +1200


Joerg:

> > 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.

But there never was any such thing as a king whose power structure was based on enfeoffment. That's one of many (artificial) definitions of feudalism. Another definition is the manorial economy but that's just as applicable to Bronze Age Greece and hardly unique to medieval europe. Because of the wise range of often contradictory definitions, the most acceptable definition of the word itself is that it is a synonym for "medieval".

Turning to Heortland, the power structure there is not based on enfeoffment nor were Sherrifs an office based on enfeoffment. That the Heortland clans are now organized by manors is possible but the difference between clan-based economies and manorial economies is slight.

> > 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.

Insofar as I understood the Anglo-Saxon and Norman parallels on the few occasions that you were informative, I had understood the parallel to be:

         pre-Rickard Heortland   Freedom Loving Anglo-Saxons
         Rikard Heortland        Greedy Oppressive Normans

Now _that_ parallel, I have no problems with and it even finds support in the Glorantha: Intro "Malkioni are being made sheriffs over the Hendreiki as they care nothing for the Hendreiki customs and are all too willing to obey their new masters".

_But_ since the publication of the Glorantha: Intro and attendant sesmic events, you've changed your view and _now_ think that the parallel is:

         pre-Andrinic Heortland  Freedom Loving Anglo-Saxons
         Andrinic Heortland      Greedy Oppressive Normans

which is a totally wrongheaded understanding of Heortland IMO.

> > 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).

Except the conversion of Heortland military from thanes to knights for one thing. Another is the introduction of western government offices such as steward and marshal. A third might be the usage of Malkioni farming practices such as the Heavy Plough. A fourth is Malkioni style clothing and so forth. None of these changes require the Heortland government to be based on enfeoffment nor the Heortland economy to be based on the manors.

> > 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.

Anglo-saxon feudal institutions? The classical definition of feudalism was that it was what the Normans introduced. None of the terms require enfeoffment and so they are not feudal institutions according to your definition.

> > 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.

So why do you describe sheriffs and shires as feudal institutions then?

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

>I wasn't discussing Tarshite Sheriffs here.

And I'm not discussing Norman sheriffs.

> > 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".

Wrong, it's implicitly there. The replacement of the clan chiefs with special Larnsti called sheriffs is one element that's stated while the description of the Larnsti as a magical brotherhood of wanderers before Andrin (pretty hard for a wanderer to be part of a clan) is another element that's also stated.

>(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...)

I didn't "allow" it because Larnste and Orlanth were two separate gods and that the cult of Larnste was far greater than a mere subcult. The only possible subcult, Mastakos, that could be shared ruled itself out because worshippers of Mastakos are found outside Heortland.

>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.

I have given quick overviews to those that have asked. You OTOH did not ask but engaged in repeated griping about how he disliked the Larnsti for more than two years after the book's publication. For you to now start complaining how I'm not being constructive is rather immature.

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

Trying to dig up arguments on the Whitewall list and start a flamewar here? To put the context in the above statements, I said that Broyan's Larnsti should be viewed as _a_ part of the Larnsti rather than the entire brotherhood itself. That way there would be more freedom for the other Larnsti in Heortland. The second statement derives from the Glorantha: Intro. The third statement is from Dragon Pass p29 which describes a Gollanstead around a Gollan that lived thousands of years ago (which predates Hendreik) and although I wrote the original paragrah, the "thousands of years" was inserted by Greg.

Now I posted all that on the Whitewall list (along with the statement that the Larnsti should be understood in the Heortland context and not Whitewall) but the points were drowned out in the haze of Blackberry-induced idiocy, which is the primary reason I quit that list.

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

Not according to the Glorantha: Intro.

> > 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).

We don't have a civil war for the unpublished date in which Hadrard the Green establishes the Volsaxar.

> > 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...

I have no problem with people developing theories about the evolution of the Volsaxar. My position is that there's too little evidence and that any theories that could be created could easily be invalidated by something that Greg changing a date or two. Having a bad experience about Broyan, Rikard and the Aeolians during the writing up of the Glorantha: Intro and knowing how long it takes to get things published, I prefer to stick to more out-of-the-way areas.

>But the reformed clans are less unruly.

They are?

>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.

You have an astonishingly constrained idea about what freedom is. For you it's the right of the chieftains to partake in clan feuds and call themselves chieftains and little else. When I raised the rhetorical point about who could said to be more free - the US, France or Germany - you didn't even respond.

> > 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.

I would have to view Sartar as more culpable in that respect and we all know that Orlanth was strong in Sartar before the conquest.

> > 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.

You could try reading the text. You would have found:

         "When the Pharaoh ruled, he changed many things
         but left their love for freedom intact.  Although their leaders
         have become increasingly malkionized, the Hendreiki still
         remain free Orlanthi.  For example, the warriors of the
         Hendreiki are not thanes, but western-style knights.
         But the knights are not nobles, just another of the free
         classes.  Before any noble can be appointed, he must
         receive the approval of the Hendreiki beneath him.  Bondage
         is so abhorrent to the Heortlanders that fewer slaves or
         serfs exist there than in most western countries."
                 Glorantha: Intro p140

         "In addition the old regime worshipped Free Hendreik
         as the god of liberty who ensured the freedom of
         everybody in heortland so that they will never be
         conquered.  They even brought slaves and manumitted
         them so that the presence of an unfree person would
         not pollute their land."
                 Ibid, p142

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

By describing the sheriffs as oppressors, you do convey just that.

>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,

I didn't consider the use of emotional blackmail (i.e. threatening to quit your post as Dragon Pass expert unless changes were made to bring it in line with your campaign) to be the use of reason and to make matters worse, it was your _first_ comment on seeing the document in question - no constructive suggestions, just the straight out threat plus numerous nitpicks.

> > 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.

Where has Hardrad been mentioned in the context of a civil war?

>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.

Except of course the virtual absence of anything remotely resembling a civil war in Heortland throughout much of the Pharaonic period and the question of why the Pharaoh didn't wipe them out.

> > 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.

I freely admit that's invented. But I'm not presenting that as canonical fact. Your problem is that you state something (invariably contentious) as a fact and struggle mightily against alternative suggestions.

>There has to be a reason why there are no Andrinic shires in Volsaxar or
>Sartar.

I've already given my pharaonic magical policy for the absense of Volsaxi sheriffs in the Whitewall list. And their absence in Sartar is that the Larnsti can't move outside Heortland.

>Giving possible reasons for traditionalist Orlanthi to despise the
>Andrinic system makes me describe Heortland as oppressive?

As I've said before, your problem is that you then try to use those reasons as actual facts about Heortland.

>Saying that worshipping the Pharaoh comes with a cost as well
>as benefits makes me demonize the Pharaoh?

Those style of arguments remind me think of angels dancing on the head of a pin and I consider them just as useful.

>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.

When you describe the Sheriffs as being able to use the Wyters to determine what their clan is up to and describe the Heortlanders as less free than the _Tarshites_, as you have done, then you _do_ give such impressions.

> 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.

So what? The problem is that you then turn around and make Statements to the effect that Heortland is actually the distopia that the traditionalist agitators portray it as. The Heortland love of freedom is, according to you above, an abstract cultic object.

> > Why must [rituals] 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.

If true, that still doesn't require the sheriff not to perform the rites in the old ways. Even if he doesn't know Orlanthi magic, so what? The allocation of land is still made.

--Peter Metcalfe

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Received on Thu 24 Jun 2004 - 18:04:04 EEST

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