Travel Customs

When crossing a clan boundary a Heortling traveller must petition patrolling thanes for the right to cross their tula. They must indicate the purpose of their visit and the length of their stay (if they intend to stay at all). They then participate in the Hospitality Greeting.

If the traveller is clearly important, they may be directed to a nearby headman at a stead or even the clan chief, where the Hospitality Greeting might be extended. Otherwise the traveller will have to negotiate for the right to travel across the tula or for food or shelter. The right to pass can be granted without the Hospitality Greeting, but the right to stay requires it.

The role of patrol leaders is to grant or withhold rights of passage and hospitality. Visitors from friendly clans are looked on favourably. (Though it’s traditional to give a hard time to any potential suitors who come courting the clan’s unmarried women.) Enemies of the clan are unlikely to be granted passage. However, exceptions are often made for lawspeakers and Issaries heralds, through whom negotiations are made and messages passed. However, they are usually escorted straight to the chief.

If a clan official denies hospitality or the right to pass the visitors are expected to leave. However, he is within his rights to drive them off or attack them. If he grants passage he, or his patrol, may escort the visitors to ensure they don’t linger or cause trouble.

Granting hospitality permits the visitor to stay at a stead or, in certain circumstances, with the chief. As the Orlanthi value generosity, guests may be entertained to demonstrate the host’s hospitality. However, the guests are often expected to reciprocate and provide hospitality or favours in return. Favours and obligations of this sort are currency amongst the Orlanthi.

Non-Orlanthi cannot offer hospitality or favours in return and so should give gifts to the host. It is common for hosts to gift a visitor in return. The resulting escalation of gift exchanges can be expensive for both sides.

The King’s Road

The King’s Road travels straight through the Kendring tula, bringing the daily traffic that runs between Jonstown and Boldhome. The traffic keeps the patrols busy up and down the road with as many as a dozen movements a day in the summer. Much of this is merchant traffic, usually caravanned, and provided the travelers stay to the road they are permitted to travel unmolested, with one or more riders escorting them.

The question of charging tolls on the road comes up periodically at clan moots. Current policy is not to charge, partly from tradition and partly from Lunar insistence on free movements along the arterial roads. However, sensible merchants often stop at Goodhaven and offer a discount.

Imperial patrols, wagons and caravans are usually allowed to move unchallenged, though they are always shadowed by riders or scouts. Clan policy is to avoid antagonizing the Lunars.

Inns

Reading a map of Sartar would give the impression of inns dotted at intervals all along the main roads, some with colourful names like the ‘Dancing Apple Inn’. However, with the exception of the network of Geo’s houses, there is nothing resembling a tavern or hotel at these places. More often than not they are just a family cottage in the countryside.

Strangers are not automatically welcome in Orlanthi communities. However, some people or families do not mind playing host to travelers. Maybe they are people curious to hear stories of the outside world, or simply bored folk desiring company and entertainment. Patrols may direct visitors to the places ‘where travelers go’. Some of these hosts find this amusing and may even come up with names for their ‘inns’. However, there is the danger that the guest may assume too much of their rights as a ‘patron’ and find out too late that they have offended an entire clan of well-armed people with an elaborate and violent code for dealing with insults.

Travel Customs

The Book of Kendring Percyprune