July 2, 2011

Hari Ragat: Titles

Since some of you keeping track of Hari Ragat’s development aren’t Filipino, let me provide you a key to the royal and noble titles being used here.

King.  Rajahs may either inherit the title or gain it by acclamation.  All Rajahs will have several Datus bound to them by oath. 

Prince.  Title given the sons of a Rajah.  However (in the world of Hari Ragat) the title may also be used by jumped-up Datus.

Chieftain.  As with Rajahs, Datus may either inherit the title or win it by acclamation.  Rajahs may also confer the title on a warrior they wish to honor.  Most Datus will be followers of a Rajah, but many are independent.

Most of the time, I’ll stick with these titles.  From time to time though I may also bring in others such as:

A High King; a Rajah who claims suzerainty over one or more other Rajahs.  It comes from Sanskrit and more or less means ‘Under the Sandals’ – it’s said to refer to the story in the Ramayana where Rama on being exiled makes his brother king, but the brother reveres Rama so much he puts Rama’s sandals on the throne instead and does obeisance to them. 

Same as Saripada, but less frequently used.

Royal Lady.  Literally meaning ‘of the blood’ this title is given to honor the wives and daughters of Datus, Lakans and Rajahs.

Feudal Structure
There ain’t any.  Vijadesan social structure is much more freewheeling than Medieval European – simply because if you don’t like your king or chief, you can simply pack up and sail away. 

The basic community is made up of a Datu and his followers.  Labor and military service are exchanged for the Datu’s protection and patronage.  In turn, those Datus who feel the need for protection or desire additional wealth and prestige commend themselves to a Rajah or Lakan.  Service and mutual protection, not land, is the basis of forming these relationships.

Also, these relationships are voluntary and don’t necessarily continue from generation to generation.  When a Datu or Rajah dies, his heir must win the loyalty of his followers or develop a following of his own.  It’s very fluid, unstable, tending to encourage bitter rivalries and feuds – and hey, isn’t this potential to generate story exactly what we role-players want? Yeah!

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