Re: Quibbles

From: Nick Brooke (100270.337@CompuServe.COM)
Date: Thu 24 Oct 1996 - 11:50:28 EEST


Wotcher, Saravan:

I'll kick off by saying that my respect for you remains undiminished, and I'm
enjoying this "argument" as a good chance to deploy yet more propaganda for the
Evil Empire.

Yep, I agree that the attitude of RoC and indeed the old Pavis box was that
Orlanthi worship per se was persecuted everywhere by the Lunars. But it gets
kinda hard to run a game set in Sartar if the Lunars actively persecute every
Sartarite they meet -- and it's also incompatible with what we know about Lunar
policies in Sartar. We do see the Lunars occupying ancient holy places (Altar of
Orlanth Victorious -- triggering Starbrow's Rebellion; Old Wind Temple --
triggering the Dragonrise), but we don't hear anything about routine repression
of the Orlanth cult in other ways. And, for me, the clincher is seeing how many
openly acknowledged Orlanthi kings and chiefs there are in the kingdom.

So I follow the Tarshite model -- the Lunars are trying to strengthen the King
at the expense of the Tribes, and thus prevent Orlanthi worship at the tribal
level ("weapontakes" at which thousands of armed subjects are exposed to the
oratory of the Rebel-God's most vocal supporters) while ignoring it above or
below this. So they try to secure the Holy Places (used only for mass worship),
but don't close down the clans' own shrines in every stead and village. Divide
and Rule.

> Seriously though, what about the taxation bit? Did my interpretation sound
> reasonable? I think it probably works along lines of manageability.

Yep, I agree. Another thing is that an "unreasonable" tax can be used as an
incentive. Consider: if we *threaten* to charge half a cow per man, it gives us
a lot of leeway to be "generous" by alleviating this uncollectable tax (compare
with those unaffordable wergilds from barbarian lawcodes: a deterrent, not an
economic reality). The Lunars could also:

1) Lift taxes in exchange for auxiliary service with the Army (which is
        how we Indomitable Greydogs ended up on the wrong side at Whitewall);

2) Permit payment in kind to further imperial goals (the obvious case
        is getting Sartarite complicity in the persecution of the Ducks);

3) Use economic pressure to force conversion (the Umayyad/Laurie method:
        offering tax breaks for Seven Mothers worshippers).

Regards,

====
Nick
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