Ancestralism in the Orlanthi

From: Peter Metcalfe (
Date: Sun 03 May 1998 - 15:05:15 EEST

Joerg Baumgartner:

>Blessings of the old clan sound like magical benefits from the common
>ancestry to me, but not to Peter.

I'm confused. First you say that the Colymar severed itself
from these ties and now you say the ancestor magic still works.
You can't have it both ways.

>>I disagree with the postulated 'accumulated magical properties of
>>the ancestors'.

>In the Report on the Orlanthi, only tribes are explicitely given a wyter,
>but each clan has an analogous ancestral clan spirit.

>If for clans this is an ancestral spirit, then this indicates that the
>clan's ancestors have a part in making up this communal spirit. Severing
>yourself from your ancestors thus weakens your clan spirit.

I disagree strongly. An ancestral clan spirit is by no means
the same thing as an ancestor for a spirit. Ginna Jar is not
the ancestor of the other lightbringers. Thus

>>The only impact of the ancestors is the bloodlines
>>(and resulting kinship ties) and the amount of boasting you can
>>do. In older days (1st age), it may have been important but the
>>Orlanthi have moved away from that IMO.

>The "Report on the Orlanthi" clearly is post-1615 S.T., since it refers to
>the land of Sartar, and to the crown test of Leika Ballista.

And if the Orlanthi culture changes so fluidly and dramatically
as you suggest then there is little good in calling it a report
on the Orlanthi. Why not simply call it a Report on the Sartarites
then? There is no record of the ancestor worship anywhere within
KoS so I do not think the model you suggest is present among the
Dragon Pass or Heortlander Orlanthi.

>>>By fleeing into taboo lands and undergoing a rebirth/adoption by Ironhoof
>>>the Grazers thwarted these shamans.

>>Arim the Pauper had relatives among the Grazelanders (cf Wyrms

>Vendref relatives, most probably. "He freed many slaves" (CHDP)

In which case they would have been described as such.

>I don't see how a Pelorian Orlanthi would have had (memories about)
>relatives among horse riders who had lived beyond the Death Line for the
>last 210 years.

C'mon Joerg! We been talking about the importance of Orlanthi
bloodlines and you mean to tell me that an Orlanthi _cannot_
remember whether he is related to some King of the Pure Horse
People 300 years ago? How far back do you think the Orlanthi
can remember their bloodlines? Do they only have enough INT
to remember 3?

>The best deal I could give you would be a female relative
>caught in a raid and having become a wife of a Grazer warrior, perhaps

Implausible as Arim the Pauper was the first person to cross
the Deathline.

>>That is not ancestral magic, that is hand-me-down magic. Hareva
>>despite severing her ties still can grow the Ice Wine.

>Still? "At the place now called Clearwine Temple, Hareva _found_ the first
>white grapes, and so they stopped." (KoS p.201, emphasis mine) The Clearwine
>grapes evidently are a plant native to Dragon Pass, and could well be the
>connection between Tarndisi and the Colymar.

She would have to know what to look for. She only had the grapes
and the method of making Ice Wine involves more than just having
the grapes.

- --Peter Metcalfe


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