thralls and sherrifs

From: Ian Cooper (
Date: Mon 07 Aug 2000 - 12:16:54 EEST

Phil Hibbs says:

>This is also what led me to ask about numbers of
thralls, because they have
>a population of 1150 and 200 thralls, which I think
is unsustainable in
>Orlanthi culture.

Gary R Switzer
>One possible explaination might be that pre-Rebellion
your clan had a
>population of 900 or so, plus 50 thralls, and less
territory. Betraying the
>Rebels to the Lunars got you 150 "thralls" (displaced
members of those
>clans who chose options 1 or 2) as a share of the
spoils, plus a chunk
>of land from a neighboring clan with the 50 people
living on it.

A number of clans were declared outlaw after
Starbrow's rebellion. This would give them no recourse
to the law at a tribal or kingodm level against raids
on their territory and those raids may well have led
to the taking of captives as thralls. Just becauset
he clan you have had centuries of confilct with was
weakened by the Lunars does not mean you would not
choose to epxloit that weakness.

But as soemone else suggests you might well manumit
slaves after 7 years (they become part of
your household as they have no kin in your clan, you
become responsible for their weregeld etc., which
could lead to interesting plot developments). Thralls
who father or mother children with free can members
would themselves become free (historically this only
really applied to female slaves but orlanthi culture
is euqal) as would their children. Also there might
be conflicts within the clan as to whether there
should be thralls or not which could make for
interesting conflicts).

>:- --Peter Metcalfe
>:Sheriffs exist in Heortland (Glorantha Intro p142).
>:I did put them there because of the Apple Lane

Aero Hobbies
>I was wondering about that one. I found the reference
to sheriffs in the
>Glorantha books Heortland section really painful.

I think that on his website and in his Tentacles write
up on Heortland Joerg has suggested that the Heortland
political organisation is quite Anglo-Saxon, and I
like this model (I quite like the Anglo-Saxon England
under the Normans model, but with better relations
between the immigrants and the indigeneous populations
and no heriditary nobility for knights but thanes who
have achieved their position through merit). Barons
and sherrifs are appropriate to that period.

Under the saxon model the sherrif is the shire reeve,
a court official within a shire. A shire is an
administrative region goverened by an earl earldorman)
to whom the sherrif's report. The shire consists of a
number of hundreds which have local courts, the shire
court is above these. The shire reeve may well have
grown out of the king's reeve a local official
appointed by the king originally to run an estate, but
later gaining authority over local courts. Under the
Normans, Barons' began to replace earldormen and
sherrif's gained more power.

For Orlanthi we could assume clan=hundred, shire
=tribe - so the placement of sherrif's as appointed
heads of the clan and baraons for tribes works wellas
a model for transition to a more medievel Western
culture (of course traditionalist will be outraged
after all it smacks of the Emperor to appoint
centrally not elect), as happened in Norman England.

As for our friend from Apple Lane, I would explain it
as a position created by one of the king's of Sartar
with responsibilities for organising local defence,
maintenance of roads and bridges or royal estates - to
which Dronlan was elected. Remember Apple Lane is not
part of a clan tula so it mgith well have been
established by Sartar as a trading post as part of his
efforsto unite the tribes into a kingdom. It would
need someone to enfore the king's peace, there are no
clan's to do it. Perhaps he would be best seen as a
reeve rather than 'shire' reeve, maybe the 'sherrif'
title was a joke by some traveller from Heortland
little understood by the locals, who have used the
title with pride ver since.


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