layla: grass at sunset (Default)
Layla ([personal profile] layla) wrote2012-08-21 11:32 pm

Annotated Raven's Children - Issue #1: Page 20

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There's an interesting disconnect between what I had in mind for the Raven Tribe's political structure and what actually came across. And this is basically a side effect of the original template for the Raven Tribe having been Mongolian warrior cultures (or, well, what I knew of them in 1994, anyway) which was then switched to Arctic nomadic hunting cultures in, as it were, post-production.

My general idea with the Raven Tribe, at the time I wrote the above, is that they were essentially egalitarian. Leaders were chosen by group consensus to lead in two areas, war and hunting (hence war-chief and hunt-chief, respectively). The war-chief also handles trade, and dealing with other groups in general; the hunt-chief also handles domestic disputes among the men, basically the internal dealings of the male side of the tribe. (I may have called it hearth-chief. I'd have to look back through my notes to see what I settled on ... I think I used both terms at various points for the same role.) Women had their own parallel power structure.

But they don't act that way. They act like Deneko is the boss, period. Which is a holdover from Deneko having originally been the warrior chieftain of a nomadic horse-riding tribe in a Siberia-like setting. It wasn't still supposed to be that way, but somewhere in the back of my head, that's how the power dynamics worked, and that's how they came out when I put the first issue together.

I did have in mind that Deneko abused the (theoretically limited) power that he had, but even so, it shouldn't really have been displayed as it was. I retconned it later, in the third issue, so that Deneko had done a power grab in the cultural chaos resulting from the Tolshay Kahn messing around with local politics (there'll be a lot more about this when I get to the third issue) and therefore the Raven Tribe were essentially teetering on the edge of tipping over from an egalitarian hunter-gatherer society into a chieftainship. Which is an interesting idea to play around with -- as a writer, I absolutely love playing with cultural change -- except that it wasn't really planned that way, but was, rather, a desperate backward-looking attempt to make sense out of something I hadn't quite gotten right on the first try.

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