Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Guildless

The traveller should expect to be feared or pitied by many for having neither guild nor clan nor temple. The adventurer, despite that he may have great wealth, is still cousin to the vagabond and the bandit (the word 'askaris', literally meaning 'swarming locusts', can be applied to mercenaries, groups of bandits, or any other band of armed outsiders). Indeed despite their curiosity about our world, I was almost never asked about it, for all assumed that I must have a great shame or great sorrow to have travelled so far alone. This feeling is more intense outside of the big cities, where rootless wanderers are less common.

The hemianthropoi are unique in that a few of them will freely choose to leave their homes to wander the world; albeit to the bewilderment and mortification of their more sedentary fellows. All other lone wanderers will not have chosen their life, but been driven to it by circumstance (I say lone wanderers, since those nomadic folk who travel in family groups are an entirely different class of person). Through lengthy enquiry, made difficult by the tenderness of the subject, I have identified several common reasons, here appended.
  • Fleeing an unwanted arranged marriage.
  • Chosen for human sacrifice.
  • Rejected in love and set out to prove themselves a hero, to find forgetfulness, or to die.
  • Exiled for a crime, or facing execution, slavery or imprisonment, or an escaped prisoner (whether innocent or guilty). Given the nature of society in much of the world, the law may be the custom and opinion of local people rather than a formal judicial body.
  • Life made intolerable by an oppressive fuedal lord, or a slave-owner.
  • Escaping an unpayable debt, whether of money, goods, labour, or honour.
  • Deserted from an army.
  • Life is forfeit due to their participation in a war (usually a failed rebellion or civil war, since these are the mostly likely cases where the defeated side will be persecuted after surrender).
  • In the case of barbarians, became dependent on some aspect of civilised life and so unable to return to their own. Commonly the barbarian grows to need liquor, reading and the academic life, or the ownership of slaves.
  • In the case of zeru, or albinos, fleeing the persecution that this condition often brings.
  • Starvation, war, madness, disease, or some malevolent entity has destroyed their community.
  • In the case of the wealthy, guilt about the source of the family's wealth has driven them forth. Commonly related to slavery, crime, war, a political objection to inequality of wealth, or a religious objection to luxury.
  • Some cause or cult fired their passion and, having lost their faith, they are unable to return.
  • Life or freedom is forfeit due to the actions of a relative, such as criminal or political activity.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...