Re: Land and Prestige?

From: David Dunham (dunham@pensee.com)
Date: Tue 03 Aug 1999 - 00:11:08 EEST


Peter Metcalfe answered me

> Me>> Surely a Humakti would simply be content with a life as a Huscarl
> >> in the service of his chief or king? What's the point of giving them
> >> land if they are going to be utterly useless at working it?
>
> >Prestige. The Humakti would get some cottars or carls to work his
> >lands, and would thus have clients who would support him.
>
> David Weihe was speaking in terms of feudalism which is different
> than the clan deciding that a Humakti within their clan has rights
> to till a certain steed. So simply remarking 'prestige' does not
> answer the question at all. Why would a clan alienate some of its
> own lands to give to a Humakti?

I've forgotten the specifics of the original question, but Orlanthi
are not feudal.

> So what if the Humakti brings in tenant farmers? All they do is to
> prevent the clan's own members from working the land and allow
> strangers to work it. Before long, they be claiming the land as
> their's and ignoring the clan's title to them. So what if the Humakti
> swears an oath? They're not immortal and his heir may refuse to
> reswear the oath of loyalty or the famers will refuse to accept the
> new land-owner.

With all due respect, I doubt you've played a farmer game.

Let's treat this at a clan level, which we've played at extensively.
The clan chief will give control of land to a Humakti (who, I
believe, is fully a member of the clan -- if that's your sticking
point, then this should become a different discussion). The Humakti
will then make cattle loans or in some other fashion convince clan
members (and in some cases, outsiders) to work the land (I think we
both agree that a Humakti is not going to be directly responsible for
agricultural decisions).

The Humakti now has the prestige of owning a stead, and of having
clients dependent on him. The chief has rewarded a supporter without
dipping into the treasury.

Land is always clan property, so why would the Humakti suddenly
conceive of an urge to come up with new laws and treat it otherwise?

> >Of course, as you point out, the Humakti is probably a weaponthane in
> >service of a chief or king, and thus this is a sneaky way of the
> >chief of king raising his own prestige.
>
> You really are going to have to explain this one for I don't see
> how a clan could possibly get prestige from giving up its own land
> or why the act should be "sneaky"?

Assigning land to a clan member is not giving up land. It's sneaky in
that the land is really being assigned to the clan chief, since the
Humakti is responsible to the chief in a way that most steadholders
are not. (Giving lots of land to a rival faction is a good way to
stop being chief, since it gives that faction an economic base with
which to build up a large number of clients.)

The differences between the case of a chief and a king are left to
the reader. Hint: kings are usually clan chiefs.

David Dunham <mailto:dunham@pensee.com>
Glorantha/RQ page: <http://www.pensee.com/dunham/glorantha.html>
Imagination is more important than knowledge. -- Albert Einstein

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