Wednesday, 20 June 2012

The Winter Of The World III

Still rereading Poul Anderson's The Winter Of The World, I am learning more about the Rogaviki. Anderson condensed a wealth of background information into one short novel. Anyone who just follows the plot to find out how it ends will not remember many details but should realise that he has read a rich text.

More about the Rogaviki

A Kithmeet meets near solstice in each territory. The Landmeet, two months later, is for everyone in the Northlands but Rogaviki attend as individuals, not as leaders or delegates.

Each family practises private rites, know only their own and do not discuss them. A Fellowship is an informal association of families with nearby winter quarters, hunting together. Widowed husbands might stay together for the children and remarry even to a much younger wife.

Most unwed women stay in their Fellowships but some:

form trapping or trading partnerships;
settle at Stations;
travel abroad, returning rich in tales;
become artists, artisans, entertainers, inventors, prospectors, scholars, teachers or scientists;
seek wisdom as Forthguides travelling freely and repaying hospitality by teaching or advising.

Forthguide Krona of Starrok, in her late thirties, lifelong celibate, often travels naked, carrying a staff bearing a sunburst carved in walrus ivory from the Mother Ocean, but at night wears a long gray gown and hooded blue mantle. She lives for her own enlightenment, requiring oneness of body and mind which is like the oneness of bird and flight and is approached by efforts and austerities.

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