Yelm & Law

From: Carlson, Pam (
Date: Fri 31 Jan 1997 - 21:00:00 EET

Peter Metcalfe:

>But the 'Son of Yelm' filfuls a similar function [as "mask"] within Dara
Happan Mythology. Look at the Wyrm Footprints. Hastatus,
Sagittus, Hyraos and Tholm are described as 'Sons of Yelm' in
that they are viewed as manifestations of Yelm. Since Shargash
is also a 'son of Yelm' (cf the GRAY), he is viewed in a _similar_
manner by the Dara Happans.

I think there is a fundamental diffrence between the mask/son aspect
described in the culturally generic WF write-ups, and the more clearcut
position various deities occupy in the DH social order, as described in
GRoY. In fact, GRoy doesn't even list Saggitus and Hastatus as Yelm's
sons, does it? (I must admit, It's been a while since I last read


Also, FS makes it clear than DH religion has many levels, and changes
throughout time. The Lodrilli have their own philosphy, the Yelmies
another, and the women likely have yet another, which is generally
ignored completely, (if the even knew of it). I am sure that at some
time, Shargash _was_ thought of as a mask of Yelm, and at others he was
condsidered quite seperate. Perhaps the Alkothi consider Yelm just a
mask of Shargash, who is, after all, the most important deity in the
world to them.

It seems pointless to argue who is a mask of whom, unless you specificy
the cultural POV. I do think that using examples of deistic
relationships from the Theyalan pantheons is not valid - the cultural
differences are far too great. The DH's thrive on authority and
hierarchy, the Theyalans are generally more fluid and independant.

> Where else do you think the Lunars got much of their philosophy from?

I think the old Pelandan ideas had a big influence on Lunar philosophy,
perhaps as much as Dara Happan. Of course, Pelandan and DH philosophy
do seem to have a common, ancient source.
Will has an excellent question:

> It is set in Boldhome and will be a more low power level game.

YAYYY! Any farmers?

> My character is a follower of Lhankor Mhy and is by profession one of the
many jurors working there. My game master
has given me the task of coming up with a legal system for both the
Sartarites and the Lunars and an idea of how these two different sytems
would work together in the same region.

Jeff Richard has done a lot with the primitive legal structure of
proto-Sartar in his "Taming of Dragon Pass" campaign, which is described
in detail on David Dunham's Gloranthan website. Well over 3/4 of our
plots involve legal themes, (could have something to do with Jeff being
a law student.)

In general, this model is based on law as precedent, and on the Laws of
Heort, as described in KOS. This makes Lankhor Mhy important to
remember all the precedents, so an LM lawspeaker can advise the clan on
the actions considered just in the past. (And nearly every just action
has an equal and opposite just action!) In short, there is no great
body of codified law- it's a fluid system involving memory and
litigation, enforced (for a gift of indebtedness) by whoever has most
huscarls. The "jury" is the whole clan present at the moot, or the
chief or king, depending on the situaltion. A modern-type select jury
is not used, (at least, not in 1350). Joerg and Jeff may have ideas on
how the system has changed by 1600.

The Lunars present a less clear picture. In the "Home of the Bold"
LARP, the legal authority was Leonidas of Darleep, a Yelmic magistrate.
In old Dara Happa, it seems clear that Yelmies were magistrates, and the
body of law was the written _Antirius Precepts_. I envision these much
like the Codes of Hammurabi. (And, as in Hammurabi's time, if the judge
was truely stumped, he threw both parties into a big river, and whoever
made it to shore was the just party.) There is no jury - just a Yelmic
judge who has a heck of a lot of power. But at least the Yelmic
magistrate _claims_ to be impartial, something the Orlanthi condisider

 I am not sure if the modern Lunar empire outside Dara Happa has another
legal system, and, if so, what it is. Perhaps there are competing legal
systems - ie, old-school Yelmic magistrates used by the military, vs a
more politically astute Seven Mothers Provincial Court, with a Danfive
Xaron magistrate? Perhaps the court system in use depends on the whim
of the provincial governor?

Nick Brooke might have more clear idea?



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