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Re: crippled?

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  • onechance2many
    ... The text, one of the standard military manuals of the Five Empires (no title given), is by Hirkkulmeshmru the Dwarf who lived during the Engsvanyali
    Message 1 of 24 , Feb 1, 2002
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      --- In tekumel@y..., George Hammond <geestar3@u...> wrote:
      > --snip--
      >
      > > Wasn't there a famous Tsolyani general who was a dwarf? That
      > > deformity didn't stop him from being revered.
      > > John Dewey
      >
      > I think he was an author of a notable old text on some aspect of
      > warfare, can't remember what. Might be Engsvanyali era.
      >
      > cheers,
      >
      > George H.

      The text, one of the standard military manuals of the Five Empires
      (no title given), is by Hirkkulmeshmru the Dwarf who lived during the
      Engsvanyali period. In the Tekumel Sourcebook, page 81. His work was
      one of four cited as standard military manuals used in the Five
      Empires. Obviously a figure of some importance despite any physical
      peculiarities.

      Bruce
    • joe piz
      ... A crippled ordinary soldier is indeed in ... Perhaps I m being lest realistinc and gritty than Malcolm, but I think, in these rare cases where an
      Message 2 of 24 , Feb 1, 2002
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        --- George Hammond <geestar3@...> wrote:


        \A crippled ordinary soldier is indeed in
        > trouble, but if his
        > injury was gained in battle, he will at least have
        > more honor than those
        > crippled in other ways. A crippled Tirrikamu or
        > higher officer might still
        > train recruits or serve the legion behind the lines.
        > Yes, such a one will
        > have lost the chance for glory, but he or she won't
        > be dumped in the mud
        > outside the barracks. The legions take care of
        > their own, just at the
        > clans do.

        Perhaps I'm being lest realistinc and gritty than
        Malcolm, but I think, in these rare cases where an
        devestating injury was gained in a glorious way that
        the wounds would serve as an inspiration and badge of
        honor in this militray society. I could see a lower
        clan, with not a lot to point to by way of honors and
        status symbols to be rather proud of Horsu who lost an
        eye, ear, and an arm being one of the 12 survivors of
        that cohort who held that crumbling fort for 6 days
        against repeated Yan Koryani assaults until the relief
        arrived. None of the officers made it, so these mere
        foot soldiers are all who are left to tell the tale.

        I could see members of this clan proudly pointing to
        their cousin who "made good", who brought more honor
        to the clan than nayone else in living memory, who's
        name will be remembered. I could see such a person
        being set up as an example to the kids and being
        treated very well in the hopes that a recommendation
        from him might carry just enough weight with the
        legion to get a promsing kid in.

        again...just MOPTekumel.

        __________________________________________________
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      • Malcolm B. Heath
        I m hesitating to reply here, just because this is starting to sound like we will always agree, and always be arguing about it. It s a half-full, half-empty
        Message 3 of 24 , Feb 1, 2002
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          I'm hesitating to reply here, just because this is starting to sound like
          we will always agree, and always be arguing about it. It's a half-full,
          half-empty issue. Or, to put it in more Tsolyani terms, George is a
          scholar priest of Thumis, and I a scholar-priest of Hru'u.

          Perhaps if I laid out what my assumptions are, it may help us gain better
          edification. When I say "our society", please substitute "21st century
          post industrial western wealthy democratic society".

          As always, this is my own views of life in Tsolyanu, and I make no claims
          for veracity or compliance with the Professor's vision.

          For those born with disabilities, I make the following assertions:

          * Infanticide is more common than our society. There are no hard fast
          rules about this, of course. A lot depends on circumstances, especially
          relative wealth. But I believe it does happen, and isn't all that
          uncommon. How it's viewed; well, that's another discussion entirely. I
          suspect that it's considered a bad thing, but not much talked about.

          * The Tsolyani, I believe, do not share our view that the body is separate
          from the mind, or any of the other Enlightenment sort of philosophy that
          makes our science work the way it does, and allows us to separate the
          disability from the "person", as we would say. I think that the average
          Tsolyani would think that one born deaf was also lacking in other
          characteristics, such as intelligence, for example.

          *This would lead to them being passed over for jobs, being treated like
          imbeciles/children thier entire lives, and being kept out of clan
          business, not trusted with important tasks, and generally being
          marginalized _even within the clan_, at least to a certain extent. Would
          they be cared for? Yes. Would they be loved? Certainly. Would they be
          allowed to participate as full members of the clan? Doubtful.

          * Obviously, there are degrees. One born with a slightly deformed foot
          would probably not suffer much of this at all. The above applies to
          relatively severe birth defects, including being crippled (unable to
          walk), blindness, deafness, and less concealable cosmetic deformities.

          For those who are injured/crippled/scarred later in life, I think that
          this is much more fluid. A lowerclass soldier badly scarred or crippled
          would probably not suffer much, since it would be seen as heroic, and he
          didn't really have much chance for promotion anyway. If he was unable to
          work at all because of his injuries, his clan would take care of him, but
          might very well resent him, at least on a personal level, honored soldier
          or no.

          For the more elite, it becomes both more and less difficult. If the
          person is scarred, they had better be able to fight still, and be good at
          politics, since they will be worse off for the scarring in a society that
          is very concerned with personal beauty.

          If they are crippled, then they had better be VERY good at thier job, and
          already of a high rank, or they will be cashiered. A crippled, but
          brilliant general certainly will have a place, but a crippled but so so
          colonel will not.

          Scars can be seen as heroic, certainly. But they are also a turn off.
          Not to bring up a bucket of worms, but take for example the adoration that
          is given to the wrestlers of the WWF (at least here in the US); many who
          are very excited by them, and admire the scars, huge muscles, and the
          like, would also be shocked with the idea of actually marrying one of
          them. At least, that's the impression I've gotten. I believe the scarred
          soldier may hold a similar attraction, and revulsion, and facination, for
          the members of Tsolyani society.

          One final point, sure to bring up controversy. We keep refering to the
          Tsolyani as a warrior society. I'm not sure what this means: warrior
          societies in anthropological literature are usually tribal, organized
          around individual charismatic individuals, and are usually small bands who
          compete with other bands for control of an area, or wealth, usually in the
          form of herds.

          The Tsolyani hold war to be noble, certainly. But actually, at least
          until recently, they didn't fight much, really. A qadarni here and there,
          a duel now and again. Lots of training. But not much real fighting.

          They are organized into large fighting units, and very well organized, and
          directed by a centralized, Imperial government.

          They take a detailed, traditional, and precise approach to combat.

          So, I would like to get a better definition of what we mean before we use
          "warrior society" any more.


          Just my thoughts, as always.

          Malcolm



          On Thu, 31 Jan 2002, George Hammond wrote:

          >
          >
          > --On Wednesday, January 30, 2002 6:47 AM -0800 "Malcolm B. Heath"
          > <malcolm@...> wrote:
          >
          > > While I agree that marriage is a flexible institiution in Tsolyanu, you
          > > are assuming that the the disabled person was allowed to become good at
          > > something in the first place; this is where I disagree with you.
          > >
          > > I feel (and this is just my opinion) that the Tsolyani love of display,
          > > and high and homongenous standards of beauty, along with the integration
          > > of physical appearance and grace with sucesss, would prevent those with
          > > even minor disfigurement from advancing very far.
          >
          > in public, yes. In high status clans, yes. But I think you underestimate
          > the strong ethic of supporting clan members. A clan-cousin who is crippled
          > will certainly have a more difficult time, but I think that most clans
          > would try to put the unfortunate to useful work, not leave him to rot.
          > And in a literate clan, they would give the cripple some education. "La,
          > he'll never do at a feast or in a legion, but he can at least keep the
          > accounts". I'm not saying a crippled person could advance to high estate,
          > but he or she could plausibly be a real participant in internal clan life.
          >
          > >> Promotion sure, but marriage? I'd say that anything but a fairly severe
          > >> disfigurement or disability would not be such a problem, if acquired in
          > >> the line of duty, and if the person had gone on to serve the clan in
          > >> some successful manner. The Tsolyani are a warrior culture, after all.
          > >
          > > Indeed, and what use a crippled soldier? What use a soldier who is too
          > > scarred to be on display in a culture that values that above real martial
          > > prowess? It would affect the soldiers chances for promotion, and also
          > > for marriage, since the "best" matches would be reserved for the
          > > soldiers who could go far in thier career.
          >
          > absolutely it would affect promotion, and could easily prevent good or
          > better matches (assuming he wasn't an officer and a hero before being
          > injured). A crippled ordinary soldier is indeed in trouble, but if his
          > injury was gained in battle, he will at least have more honor than those
          > crippled in other ways. A crippled Tirrikamu or higher officer might still
          > train recruits or serve the legion behind the lines. Yes, such a one will
          > have lost the chance for glory, but he or she won't be dumped in the mud
          > outside the barracks. The legions take care of their own, just at the
          > clans do.
          >
          > > I think we pretty much agree, George. I'm taking a harsher approach
          > > mostly due to experiences I had in other parts of our world, where the
          > > odd and crippled were treated very badly indeed; some of that is
          > > undoubtedly creeping in. Also, Western cultures were pretty harsh about
          > > this sort of stuff up until the 20th century;
          >
          > We probably mostly agree, but I think you have underestimated the effect of
          > group-identity in this case. Clans exist to take care of their members,
          > even (and in some ways, especially) the non-productive ones. Legions have
          > a similar sense of identity. This is not to say that a disable person
          > wouldn't have to work very extra hard to achieve a good place, but neither
          > would be they be quite so harshly treated as you suggest.
          >
          > > Wasn't there a famous Tsolyani general who was a dwarf? That deformity
          > > didn't stop him from being revered.
          > > John Dewey
          >
          > I think he was an author of a notable old text on some aspect of warfare,
          > can't remember what. Might be Engsvanyali era.
          >
          > cheers,
          >
          > George H.
          >
          >
          > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
          > tekumel-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
          >
          >
          >
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          >
          >

          --
          ---
          Malcolm Heath
          malcolm@...
          http://www.indeterminate.net
          PGP Key available from http://www.indeterminate.net/malcolm.asc
        • George Hammond
          --On Friday, February 1, 2002 10:24 AM -0800 Malcolm B. Heath ... Things do trend that way some times. ... I agree entirely. ... I agree with your
          Message 4 of 24 , Feb 1, 2002
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            --On Friday, February 1, 2002 10:24 AM -0800 "Malcolm B. Heath"
            <malcolm@...> wrote:

            > I'm hesitating to reply here, just because this is starting to sound like
            > we will always agree, and always be arguing about it. It's a half-full,
            > half-empty issue. Or, to put it in more Tsolyani terms, George is a
            > scholar priest of Thumis, and I a scholar-priest of Hru'u.

            <grin> Things do trend that way some times.

            > For those born with disabilities, I make the following assertions:
            >
            > * Infanticide is more common than our society. There are no hard fast
            > rules about this, of course. A lot depends on circumstances, especially
            > relative wealth. But I believe it does happen, and isn't all that
            > uncommon. How it's viewed; well, that's another discussion entirely. I
            > suspect that it's considered a bad thing, but not much talked about.

            I agree entirely.

            > * The Tsolyani, I believe, do not share our view that the body is separate
            > from the mind, or any of the other Enlightenment sort of philosophy that
            > makes our science work the way it does, and allows us to separate the
            > disability from the "person", as we would say. I think that the average
            > Tsolyani would think that one born deaf was also lacking in other
            > characteristics, such as intelligence, for example.

            I agree with your example: any person with a disorder affecting speech and
            communication (e.g. deafness, speech impediment, stammer, blindness, palsy)
            will usually be assumed to be mentally deficient. I also support your
            general point with respect to the mass of low-status, relatively uneducated
            Tsolyani. For them nearly any disability could be an indicator of general
            inferiority.

            But I wonder if educated folk, with their concept of the 5-fold soul, of
            which the physical self is only one part, might be more sophisticated in
            their understanding. Also, setting aside the question of the commonness of
            magic, the "mind-reading" spells might allow for some more greater
            understanding too. Hmm, or not. I wonder how a hearing mind-reader would
            experience the thoughts of a person born deaf? Heh, speculative fiction
            can raise some remarkable questions.

            > *This would lead to them being passed over for jobs, being treated like
            > imbeciles/children thier entire lives, and being kept out of clan
            > business, not trusted with important tasks, and generally being
            > marginalized _even within the clan_, at least to a certain extent. Would
            > they be cared for? Yes. Would they be loved? Certainly. Would they be
            > allowed to participate as full members of the clan? Doubtful.

            again I agree.

            > * Obviously, there are degrees. One born with a slightly deformed foot
            > would probably not suffer much of this at all. The above applies to
            > relatively severe birth defects, including being crippled (unable to
            > walk), blindness, deafness, and less concealable cosmetic deformities.

            hmm, I think the most important distinction is intelligence and
            communication, impairment of these dooms the individual as you have
            suggested. Limited strength or mobility are less damning, at least at
            higher status levels, and the considerations you give below would apply.

            > For those who are injured/crippled/scarred later in life, I think that
            > this is much more fluid. A lowerclass soldier badly scarred or crippled
            > would probably not suffer much, since it would be seen as heroic, and he
            > didn't really have much chance for promotion anyway. If he was unable to
            > work at all because of his injuries, his clan would take care of him, but
            > might very well resent him, at least on a personal level, honored soldier
            > or no.

            yup, sounds right to me.

            > For the more elite, it becomes both more and less difficult. If the
            > person is scarred, they had better be able to fight still, and be good at
            > politics, since they will be worse off for the scarring in a society that
            > is very concerned with personal beauty.
            >
            > If they are crippled, then they had better be VERY good at thier job, and
            > already of a high rank, or they will be cashiered. A crippled, but
            > brilliant general certainly will have a place, but a crippled but so so
            > colonel will not.

            again yup. Sent home to rusticate in a quiet clanhouse somewhere.

            > Scars can be seen as heroic, certainly. But they are also a turn off.
            > Not to bring up a bucket of worms, but take for example the adoration
            > that is given to the wrestlers of the WWF (at least here in the US);
            > many who are very excited by them, and admire the scars, huge muscles,
            > and the like, would also be shocked with the idea of actually marrying
            > one of them. At least, that's the impression I've gotten. I believe
            > the scarred soldier may hold a similar attraction, and revulsion, and
            > facination, for the members of Tsolyani society.

            Geez, you live on the edge. Any Tsolyani warrior finds out you compared
            them to those professional entertainers, he'll cut you down like a dog <g>.
            Seriously though, I think I agree, scars will have very mixed values,
            strongly affected by who they are on, and what effect they have on
            appearance.

            I suspect we have slightly different views on the general principles, but
            would predict just about the same fate for any specific case.

            Denis, you started this long exchange talking about a particular character
            (or potential character) in a game. Can you give us more details?

            George

            ps, I think Malcolm's points on "warrior society" are so good, they warrant
            their own thread, so I'll start it and respond there.

            cheers,

            George H.
          • Bill Cumberland
            ... From: George Hammond To: Sent: Friday, February 01, 2002 2:28 PM Subject: Re: [tekumel] crippled? ... palsy)
            Message 5 of 24 , Feb 2, 2002
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              ----- Original Message -----
              From: George Hammond <geestar3@...>
              To: <tekumel@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Friday, February 01, 2002 2:28 PM
              Subject: Re: [tekumel] crippled?


              > I agree with your example: any person with a disorder affecting speech and
              > communication (e.g. deafness, speech impediment, stammer, blindness,
              palsy)
              > will usually be assumed to be mentally deficient. I also support your
              > general point with respect to the mass of low-status, relatively
              uneducated
              > Tsolyani. For them nearly any disability could be an indicator of general
              > inferiority.

              So you believe that the Tsolyani deliberately surround their Emporer with
              the mentaly deficient. I think the Survitors of Silence show that the
              Tsolyani understand that such people are not neccesarily mental defectives
              but simply people who do not fit well in society. Ie you don't want them
              around but when they are amongst you a suitable place must be found.

              Another Perspective,

              Bill Cumberland
            • George Hammond
              --On Saturday, February 2, 2002 9:42 AM -0500 Bill Cumberland ... No, I don t, and that s not what I wrote. I wrote that I thought deaf people (and others)
              Message 6 of 24 , Feb 2, 2002
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                --On Saturday, February 2, 2002 9:42 AM -0500 Bill Cumberland
                <wwc3@...> wrote:

                > ----- Original Message -----
                > From: George Hammond <geestar3@...>
                > To: <tekumel@yahoogroups.com>
                > Sent: Friday, February 01, 2002 2:28 PM
                > Subject: Re: [tekumel] crippled?
                >
                >> I agree with your example: any person with a disorder affecting speech
                >> and communication (e.g. deafness, speech impediment, stammer, blindness,
                >> palsy) will usually be assumed to be mentally deficient. I also support
                >> your general point with respect to the mass of low-status, relatively
                >> uneducated Tsolyani. For them nearly any disability could be an indicator
                >> of general inferiority.
                >
                > So you believe that the Tsolyani deliberately surround their Emporer with
                > the mentaly deficient.

                No, I don't, and that's not what I wrote. I wrote that I thought deaf
                people (and others) will *usually* be assumed to be deficient. By usually,
                I was thinking that would be the case among the 85% of Tsolyani who are
                uneducated low-status farmers and laborers. In the very next line after
                the ones you quoted, I speculated that educated Tsolyani would have a more
                sophisticated understanding. The Servitors of Silence are a good example
                of what I had in mind, though I admit I hadn't thought of them when I wrote
                the message. If the existence of the Servitors is widely known in the
                Empire, and not just one of those things only discussed in high clan
                circles, then I'm probably wrong. In that case deafness and speechlessness
                (the Servitors are deaf-mutes) would be widely understood as different from
                mental deficiency.

                George H.
              • John Nowicki
                There s also the possibility, which I think is likely, that the Servitors aren t recruited from a deaf-mute population, but are made deaf and mute on
                Message 7 of 24 , Feb 2, 2002
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                  There's also the possibility, which I think is likely, that the Servitors aren't recruited from a deaf-mute population, but are made deaf and mute on recruitment. You go through serious qualifications as a youth, and then are brought in and trained until you are given the "treatment" and made a Servitor. One of those high prestige things the clans send younger children of a weak lineage to do and "honor the clan" with...not that the elders would ever have _their_ children honor them, mind you.

                  If that's the case, it wouldn't have anything to do with perceptions of anything, as it is a proceedure done to healthy people for a specific purpose.
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: George Hammond
                  To: tekumel@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Saturday, February 02, 2002 3:35 PM
                  Subject: Re: [tekumel] crippled?




                  --On Saturday, February 2, 2002 9:42 AM -0500 Bill Cumberland
                  <wwc3@...> wrote:

                  > ----- Original Message -----
                  > From: George Hammond <geestar3@...>
                  > To: <tekumel@yahoogroups.com>
                  > Sent: Friday, February 01, 2002 2:28 PM
                  > Subject: Re: [tekumel] crippled?
                  >
                  >> I agree with your example: any person with a disorder affecting speech
                  >> and communication (e.g. deafness, speech impediment, stammer, blindness,
                  >> palsy) will usually be assumed to be mentally deficient. I also support
                  >> your general point with respect to the mass of low-status, relatively
                  >> uneducated Tsolyani. For them nearly any disability could be an indicator
                  >> of general inferiority.
                  >
                  > So you believe that the Tsolyani deliberately surround their Emporer with
                  > the mentaly deficient.

                  No, I don't, and that's not what I wrote. I wrote that I thought deaf
                  people (and others) will *usually* be assumed to be deficient. By usually,
                  I was thinking that would be the case among the 85% of Tsolyani who are
                  uneducated low-status farmers and laborers. In the very next line after
                  the ones you quoted, I speculated that educated Tsolyani would have a more
                  sophisticated understanding. The Servitors of Silence are a good example
                  of what I had in mind, though I admit I hadn't thought of them when I wrote
                  the message. If the existence of the Servitors is widely known in the
                  Empire, and not just one of those things only discussed in high clan
                  circles, then I'm probably wrong. In that case deafness and speechlessness
                  (the Servitors are deaf-mutes) would be widely understood as different from
                  mental deficiency.

                  George H.

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                • George Hammond
                  --On Saturday, February 2, 2002 4:00 PM -0500 John Nowicki ... Actually the Sourcebook covers this (sect 1.370), I just looked at before responding to Bill.
                  Message 8 of 24 , Feb 2, 2002
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                    --On Saturday, February 2, 2002 4:00 PM -0500 John Nowicki
                    <aramis@...> wrote:

                    > There's also the possibility, which I think is likely, that the
                    > Servitors aren't recruited from a deaf-mute population, but are made deaf
                    > and mute on recruitment. You go through serious qualifications as a
                    > youth, and then are brought in and trained until you are given the
                    > "treatment" and made a Servitor. One of those high prestige things the
                    > clans send younger children of a weak lineage to do and "honor the clan"
                    > with...not that the elders would ever have _their_ children honor them,
                    > mind you.
                    >
                    > If that's the case, it wouldn't have anything to do with perceptions of
                    > anything, as it is a proceedure done to healthy people for a specific
                    > purpose.

                    Actually the Sourcebook covers this (sect 1.370), I just looked at before
                    responding to Bill. Most new Servitors are children of the current ones,
                    and if born normal, are deafened and made mute at a young age. In
                    addition, "women from every part of the Empire" bring their deaf-mute
                    infants to Avanthar, and offer them to the High Steward of the Golden
                    Tower. Further, "if selected, these "Chosen of the Seal" are assured of a
                    luxurious and eventful life." If they're coming from every part of the
                    Empire, that suggests that the nature of the Servitors is widely known, but
                    again, we don't know how far down the social scale this sort of thing goes.
                    My guess would be that the "Chosen of the Seal" are only drawn from high
                    clans, but I'm just guessing.

                    By the way, I assume that deaf-mutes are used as Servitors as a way of
                    assuring loyalty and maintaining secrecy within Avanthar. The Servitors
                    cannot overhear secrets, and could not tell them if they wanted to. They
                    further reinforce the power of the exalted Emperor: only his voice, and
                    those of his chosen companions or counsellors, are heard within the
                    Imperial chambers. As the Exalted One is always, always under the gaze of
                    at least one Servitor, there is little difficulty summoning assistance as
                    required. I can't find the sourcebook passage, but somwhere I have read
                    that the Servitors use a sort of drumming finger language to communicate.

                    George H.
                  • Malcolm B. Heath
                    Hmmm. Could it be possible that the Tsolyani don t think that the Servitors in Silence _are_ all that bright? I just want to throw this out there...there are
                    Message 9 of 24 , Feb 2, 2002
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                      Hmmm. Could it be possible that the Tsolyani don't think that the
                      Servitors in Silence _are_ all that bright? I just want to throw this out
                      there...there are many examples in history of rulers being surrounded by
                      "special" people, be they eunuchs, or members of a different ethnic group
                      (such as the norse guards of some byzantine emperors); people who would
                      perhaps not be though mentally deficient, but at least quite strange, or
                      categorically different than the general populace?

                      Considering the fact that from what we've heard, the most powerful people
                      in the empire fall flat on thier face when they meet a prince, and have
                      paroxyms of holy terror when they are within the antechamber to the Petal
                      Thone, it seems likely to me that those who actually serve the emperor
                      would have to be different. Very different, so different in fact that
                      they would not really be considered "people" in the normal sense of the
                      word.

                      Malcolm


                      On Sat, 2 Feb 2002, George Hammond wrote:

                      >
                      >
                      > --On Saturday, February 2, 2002 9:42 AM -0500 Bill Cumberland
                      > <wwc3@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > > ----- Original Message -----
                      > > From: George Hammond <geestar3@...>
                      > > To: <tekumel@yahoogroups.com>
                      > > Sent: Friday, February 01, 2002 2:28 PM
                      > > Subject: Re: [tekumel] crippled?
                      > >
                      > >> I agree with your example: any person with a disorder affecting speech
                      > >> and communication (e.g. deafness, speech impediment, stammer, blindness,
                      > >> palsy) will usually be assumed to be mentally deficient. I also support
                      > >> your general point with respect to the mass of low-status, relatively
                      > >> uneducated Tsolyani. For them nearly any disability could be an indicator
                      > >> of general inferiority.
                      > >
                      > > So you believe that the Tsolyani deliberately surround their Emporer with
                      > > the mentaly deficient.
                      >
                      > No, I don't, and that's not what I wrote. I wrote that I thought deaf
                      > people (and others) will *usually* be assumed to be deficient. By usually,
                      > I was thinking that would be the case among the 85% of Tsolyani who are
                      > uneducated low-status farmers and laborers. In the very next line after
                      > the ones you quoted, I speculated that educated Tsolyani would have a more
                      > sophisticated understanding. The Servitors of Silence are a good example
                      > of what I had in mind, though I admit I hadn't thought of them when I wrote
                      > the message. If the existence of the Servitors is widely known in the
                      > Empire, and not just one of those things only discussed in high clan
                      > circles, then I'm probably wrong. In that case deafness and speechlessness
                      > (the Servitors are deaf-mutes) would be widely understood as different from
                      > mental deficiency.
                      >
                      > George H.
                      >
                      >
                      > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                      > tekumel-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                      >
                      >
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                      >
                      >

                      --
                      ---
                      Malcolm Heath
                      malcolm@...
                      http://www.indeterminate.net
                      PGP Key available from http://www.indeterminate.net/malcolm.asc
                    • onechance2many
                      ... There is usually a good reason for surrounding yourself with these different people. It has nothing to do with their being not all that bright . Eunuchs
                      Message 10 of 24 , Feb 2, 2002
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                        --- In tekumel@y..., "Malcolm B. Heath" <malcolm@i...> wrote:
                        > Hmmm. Could it be possible that the Tsolyani don't think that the
                        > Servitors in Silence _are_ all that bright? I just want to throw
                        > this out there...there are many examples in history of rulers being
                        > surrounded by "special" people, be they eunuchs, or members of a
                        > different ethnic group (such as the norse guards of some byzantine
                        > emperors); people who would perhaps not be though mentally
                        > deficient, but at least quite strange, or categorically different
                        > than the general populace?

                        There is usually a good reason for surrounding yourself with
                        these "different" people. It has nothing to do with their being
                        not "all that bright". Eunuchs were used not so much because of
                        the "fooling around with the wives / harem" thing but because a
                        eunuch could be trusted not to have dynastic ambitions (for obvious
                        reasons) and because their difference isolated them and helped
                        insured their loyalty. The norse Varangian Guard of the Byzantine
                        emperors were there because of their absolute loyalty (they never
                        broke their word) and trustworthiness. The "Greek" / imperial
                        subjects of the empire were often less than trustworthy. The norse
                        status as outsiders / heathen also isolated them and further insured
                        their loyaly. In short it comes down to loyalty and isolation (which
                        insures their self interest lies with the throne).

                        > Considering the fact that from what we've heard, the most powerful
                        > people in the empire fall flat on thier face when they meet a
                        > prince, and have paroxyms of holy terror when they are within the
                        > antechamber to the Petal Thone, it seems likely to me that those
                        > who actually serve the emperor would have to be different. Very
                        > different, so different in fact that they would not really be
                        > considered "people" in the normal sense of the word.
                        >
                        > Malcolm
                        >

                        They pretty much fall down in front of the high ranking OAL types who
                        are Servitors of Silence too (remember the Servitor who was
                        representing the Emperor by moderating the meeting of the heads of
                        the 20 temples in The Man of Gold? He seemed quite unimpressed with
                        the power these prelates represented). As for why the Servitors are
                        used, I think it comes down to privacy / security, loyalty and their
                        interests being bound to the throne. In that they represent the
                        direct will of the Emperor the Servitors are "different", I don't
                        think they need anything else to set them apart (superstitions, etc.).

                        Bruce
                      • Bill Cumberland
                        ... From: George Hammond To: Sent: Saturday, February 02, 2002 3:35 PM Subject: Re: [tekumel] crippled? ...
                        Message 11 of 24 , Feb 4, 2002
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                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: George Hammond <geestar3@...>
                          To: <tekumel@yahoogroups.com>
                          Sent: Saturday, February 02, 2002 3:35 PM
                          Subject: Re: [tekumel] crippled?


                          >
                          >
                          > --On Saturday, February 2, 2002 9:42 AM -0500 Bill Cumberland
                          > <wwc3@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > > ----- Original Message -----
                          > > From: George Hammond <geestar3@...>
                          > > To: <tekumel@yahoogroups.com>
                          > > Sent: Friday, February 01, 2002 2:28 PM
                          > > Subject: Re: [tekumel] crippled?
                          > >
                          > >> I agree with your example: any person with a disorder affecting speech
                          > >> and communication (e.g. deafness, speech impediment, stammer,
                          blindness,
                          > >> palsy) will usually be assumed to be mentally deficient. I also support
                          > >> your general point with respect to the mass of low-status, relatively
                          > >> uneducated Tsolyani. For them nearly any disability could be an
                          indicator
                          > >> of general inferiority.
                          > >
                          > > So you believe that the Tsolyani deliberately surround their Emporer
                          with
                          > > the mentaly deficient.
                          >
                          > No, I don't, and that's not what I wrote. I wrote that I thought deaf
                          > people (and others) will *usually* be assumed to be deficient. By
                          usually,
                          > I was thinking that would be the case among the 85% of Tsolyani who are
                          > uneducated low-status farmers and laborers. In the very next line after
                          > the ones you quoted, I speculated that educated Tsolyani would have a more
                          > sophisticated understanding. The Servitors of Silence are a good example
                          > of what I had in mind, though I admit I hadn't thought of them when I
                          wrote
                          > the message. If the existence of the Servitors is widely known in the
                          > Empire, and not just one of those things only discussed in high clan
                          > circles, then I'm probably wrong. In that case deafness and
                          speechlessness
                          > (the Servitors are deaf-mutes) would be widely understood as different
                          from
                          > mental deficiency.
                          >
                          > George H.
                          My apologies the message I sent was supposed to be ironic, but looking back
                          on it I see it just came out rude.

                          Bill
                        • George Hammond
                          --On Monday, February 4, 2002 11:07 AM -0500 Bill Cumberland ... Apologies cheerfully accepted. :) We factfiends tend to get our back up when we think someone
                          Message 12 of 24 , Feb 4, 2002
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                            --On Monday, February 4, 2002 11:07 AM -0500 Bill Cumberland
                            <wwc3@...> wrote:

                            > My apologies the message I sent was supposed to be ironic, but looking
                            > back on it I see it just came out rude.
                            >
                            > Bill

                            Apologies cheerfully accepted. :)

                            We factfiends tend to get our back up when we think someone has failed to
                            show the same obsessive detail-hunting as we do.

                            Your nobility is assured, for as the Professor has written:

                            "Civility is the livery of the man of noble honour..."

                            regards,

                            George H.
                          • Malcolm B. Heath
                            ... This humble priest of Hru u applauds both the noble priest of Thumis, and his esteemed debate partner.
                            Message 13 of 24 , Feb 4, 2002
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                              On Mon, 4 Feb 2002, George Hammond wrote:
                              >
                              > Your nobility is assured, for as the Professor has written:
                              >
                              > "Civility is the livery of the man of noble honour..."
                              >
                              > regards,
                              >
                              > George H.

                              <snap><snap><snap><snap><snap><snap><snap><snap>

                              This humble priest of Hru'u applauds both the noble priest of Thumis, and
                              his esteemed debate partner. Both show the actions of noble men.

                              Malcolm
                            • krisolov35
                              Wow. What a great bunch of responses! Thank you all for the thoughts, elaborations and notes. To elaborate more on the character in question, and perhaps add a
                              Message 14 of 24 , Feb 5, 2002
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                                Wow. What a great bunch of responses! Thank you all for the thoughts,
                                elaborations and notes. To elaborate more on the character in
                                question, and perhaps add a somewhat controversial bit I ask the
                                following: What if a person were to feign infirmity? Obviously (to me
                                at least) this would be ignoble in the extreme. Would a devotee of,
                                say, hru'u or ksarul, who delight in deception and trickery go to
                                such a length? I think it'd be a fairly effective disguise given
                                previous discussions. Could a clan sanction such a deception to
                                further its interests? I would not imagine a higher status clan would
                                consider such a base action, but what about a lower status clan,
                                beset by rivals?
                                Denis
                              • Victor Jason Raymond
                                At the midst of coming in after everyone else has departed.... It should be noted that the Lady Arsala in Flamesong was clearly crippled in that she was
                                Message 15 of 24 , Feb 5, 2002
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                                  At the midst of coming in after everyone else has departed....

                                  It should be noted that the Lady Arsala in Flamesong was clearly "crippled"
                                  in that she was visually blind - and everyone knew that. Everyone also
                                  knew that she had exchanged her normal sight for the ability to "see"
                                  Otherplanar energy, and nobody doubted her expertise, ability,
                                  intelligence, etc. - consider for a moment that she was one of the
                                  entourage of an Imperial Prince, and one of his advisors/wizardly
                                  bodyguards (can't account for weapons of the Gods, though....).

                                  So there are clearly some dodges, here, depending on your status and position.

                                  Victor

                                  At 03:09 AM 2/6/02 +0000, krisolov35 wrote:
                                  >Wow. What a great bunch of responses! Thank you all for the thoughts,
                                  >elaborations and notes. To elaborate more on the character in
                                  >question, and perhaps add a somewhat controversial bit I ask the
                                  >following: What if a person were to feign infirmity? Obviously (to me
                                  >at least) this would be ignoble in the extreme. Would a devotee of,
                                  >say, hru'u or ksarul, who delight in deception and trickery go to
                                  >such a length? I think it'd be a fairly effective disguise given
                                  >previous discussions. Could a clan sanction such a deception to
                                  >further its interests? I would not imagine a higher status clan would
                                  >consider such a base action, but what about a lower status clan,
                                  >beset by rivals?
                                  >Denis
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >Yahoo! Groups
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                                  >
                                  >
                                  >To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                                  >tekumel-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                                  >
                                  >
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                                  Victor Raymond / vraymond@...
                                  ISU Sociology Department


                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • Malcolm B. Heath
                                  Indeed, and the more I think about it, the less I believe what I said about the view that being blind or deaf implying lack of mental ability to the Tsolyani,
                                  Message 16 of 24 , Feb 5, 2002
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                                    Indeed, and the more I think about it, the less I believe what I said
                                    about the view that being blind or deaf implying lack of mental ability to
                                    the Tsolyani, at least the upper classes.

                                    However, when Harsan was beset with the shaking sickness, Tlayesha (sp?)
                                    noticed that he seemed "more intelligent" than those she had previously
                                    encountered with similar conditions.

                                    Then again, she herself was rather horribly disfigured, and so perhaps had
                                    a more open mind.

                                    Interesting, and deep subject, you all. Great opinions!

                                    Malcolm


                                    On Tue, 5 Feb 2002, Victor Jason Raymond wrote:

                                    > At the midst of coming in after everyone else has departed....
                                    >
                                    > It should be noted that the Lady Arsala in Flamesong was clearly "crippled"
                                    > in that she was visually blind - and everyone knew that. Everyone also
                                    > knew that she had exchanged her normal sight for the ability to "see"
                                    > Otherplanar energy, and nobody doubted her expertise, ability,
                                    > intelligence, etc. - consider for a moment that she was one of the
                                    > entourage of an Imperial Prince, and one of his advisors/wizardly
                                    > bodyguards (can't account for weapons of the Gods, though....).
                                    >
                                    > So there are clearly some dodges, here, depending on your status and position.
                                    >
                                    > Victor
                                    >
                                    > At 03:09 AM 2/6/02 +0000, krisolov35 wrote:
                                    > >Wow. What a great bunch of responses! Thank you all for the thoughts,
                                    > >elaborations and notes. To elaborate more on the character in
                                    > >question, and perhaps add a somewhat controversial bit I ask the
                                    > >following: What if a person were to feign infirmity? Obviously (to me
                                    > >at least) this would be ignoble in the extreme. Would a devotee of,
                                    > >say, hru'u or ksarul, who delight in deception and trickery go to
                                    > >such a length? I think it'd be a fairly effective disguise given
                                    > >previous discussions. Could a clan sanction such a deception to
                                    > >further its interests? I would not imagine a higher status clan would
                                    > >consider such a base action, but what about a lower status clan,
                                    > >beset by rivals?
                                    > >Denis
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >Yahoo! Groups
                                    > >Sponsor<http://rd.yahoo.com/M=214508.1858224.3361270.1501205/D=egroupweb/S=1705334760:HM/A=950747/R=0/*http://content.search.shopping.yahoo.com/search/tmpl?tmpl=psshowcase2001.html&query=tag:PSshowcase2001+%23cversion%3A%7Bimage_PSshowcase2001+url_PSshowcase2001+desc_PSshowcase2001+title_PSshowcase2001+morehtml_PSshowcase2001%7D&q=PSshowcase2001>
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                                    > >tekumel-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the
                                    > ><http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/>Yahoo! Terms of Service.
                                    >
                                    > Victor Raymond / vraymond@...
                                    > ISU Sociology Department
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                                    > tekumel-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
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                                    >
                                    >

                                    --
                                    ---
                                    Malcolm Heath
                                    malcolm@...
                                    http://www.indeterminate.net
                                    PGP Key available from http://www.indeterminate.net/malcolm.asc
                                  • George Hammond
                                    --On Wednesday, February 6, 2002 3:09 AM +0000 krisolov35 ... Ha! Denis, this is an excellent question. There seems (to me) to be a lot of internal
                                    Message 17 of 24 , Feb 5, 2002
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                                      --On Wednesday, February 6, 2002 3:09 AM +0000 krisolov35
                                      <krisolov35@...> wrote:

                                      > Wow. What a great bunch of responses! Thank you all for the thoughts,
                                      > elaborations and notes. To elaborate more on the character in
                                      > question, and perhaps add a somewhat controversial bit I ask the
                                      > following: What if a person were to feign infirmity? Obviously (to me
                                      > at least) this would be ignoble in the extreme. Would a devotee of,
                                      > say, hru'u or ksarul, who delight in deception and trickery go to
                                      > such a length? I think it'd be a fairly effective disguise given
                                      > previous discussions. Could a clan sanction such a deception to
                                      > further its interests? I would not imagine a higher status clan would
                                      > consider such a base action, but what about a lower status clan,
                                      > beset by rivals?
                                      > Denis


                                      Ha! Denis, this is an excellent question. There seems (to me) to be a lot
                                      of internal contradictions within Tsolyani society about subterfuge,
                                      espionage, diguises, and hidden identities. I hope that some other more
                                      experienced folk will comment on this topic.

                                      My take on it is that perceived morality of feigning illness could vary
                                      from noble to worthy of impalment, depending on circumstance. Here are
                                      some examples of my ideas.
                                      --feigning infirmity to "cheat" on the limitations of one's status ("only
                                      the blind and persons of great stature are allowed into the courtyard to
                                      hear Lady Miruna play"), quite ignoble and reprehensible.
                                      --feigning infirmity to lull an enemy into complacency: cunning and
                                      perfectly allowable (it's worth noting in this case that there doesn't
                                      appear to be much social restraint on attacking one who has offended but is
                                      infirm or weak. Possibly a proud duelist or warrior might consider some
                                      fights beneath him, but if so he or she would just employ persons of
                                      suitably lower status to administer the beating.
                                      --feigning infirmity to mock or make fun of someone genuinely afflicted.
                                      Ignoble if they are not of lower status than you, subject to demands of
                                      shamtla or worse (possibly much worse...) if the person is exalted.

                                      fwiw,

                                      George H.
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