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    Canonfire :: View topic - Serfdom in Greyhawk?
    Canonfire Forum Index -> World of Greyhawk Discussion
    Serfdom in Greyhawk?
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    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Oct 29, 2018
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    Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:45 pm  
    Serfdom in Greyhawk?

    Does any of the kingdoms practice serfdom? That is, making slaves of the farmers and have them work the land for you. It's part of Feudalism. Granted there are freemen in the world of Oerth, but there also must be serfs, right?

    Adept Greytalker

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    From: Aspedri

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    Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:26 pm  

    Yes. If I recall correctly the Great Kingdom, Furyondy, and Nyrond all practiced serfdom based on the Carl Sergeant supplements. I suspect this is pretty common in Oeridian lands in general, so the smaller Oeridian states probably do as well. Of course, post Greyhawk Wars, this might changes, much in the way the Black Death increased the value of labor, giving serfs more negotiating power.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:54 pm  

    Yes, most of them. Some are less beneficent than others, and of those some are that way by design and others by necessity. Greyhawk is not a world of democracies, republics, or constitutional monarchies, but one of predominantly feudal monarchies and theocracies. And there are tyrants. Lots of tyrants. The Yeomanry is the most obvious exception, being a nation of freemen.
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    Last edited by Cebrion on Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:48 am  

    Thank you for your timely response. That was pretty much what I was looking for. Smile
    Adept Greytalker

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    From: Aspedri

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    Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:24 pm  

    I'd also recommend reading Tuchmann's A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century. It gives an overview of peasant life, specifically in France at the time, with its ups-and-downs. Also, Tuchmann is a fantastic author, and her work is very readable.
    Adept Greytalker

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    From: Aspedri

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    Sat Nov 24, 2018 7:36 am  

    On review for another project, based on Marklands it appears that Furyondy and Nyrond have been moving in degrees to tenancy with regards to their peasants. The nobility would prefer rents and free tenants have the ability to negotiate their arrangements. There are portions of both countries that are closer to serfdom, however, I think the Viscounty of the March was noted. This is not to say tenants have modern landlord-lessee relationships. There are still a variety of feudal obligations, but most are not tied to the land for life.

    The Great Kingdom is still practicing serfdom per Ivid the Undying.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Sat Nov 24, 2018 1:46 pm  

    Could be that the Great Kingdom of Ahlissa is practicing serfdom out of tradition than need. The Great Kingdom still is a feudalistic country. As for the other two, mayhap they sense change coming to the Flanaess. Perhaps plague?
    Adept Greytalker

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    Sun Nov 25, 2018 3:05 pm  

    In my opinion, serfdom is the traditional Aerdian system, and the Great Kingdom uses it as a means of control. In my vision, Furyondy and Veluna moved away from it over the last couple of centuries slowly, as it was better to receive rents in kind or money than deal with serfs. Similarly, Nyrond began moving away, and may have completely ended the practice legally by reading between the lines, though I think this would have been more to get cash rents for the nobles and king than anything. The Overking did not have an efficient or largely trustworthy administration so simply calling upon his nobles for revenues was probably easier, and most of them probably saw no reason to change a system that kept them in power.
    GreySage

    Joined: Oct 06, 2008
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    Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:31 am  

    EltonJ wrote:
    That is, making slaves of the farmers and have them work the land for you.


    It should be remembered that, in the real world, during medieval times, there was a REAL difference between "serfs" and "slaves." Not an imaginary one. Serfs did not equate with slaves.
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