December 11, 2011

Hari Ragat: the Patronage System


The Vijadesan system of patronage is similar in many ways to feudal European society in the Middle Ages, and one easy way to think of your Orang Dakila character is as an equivalent to a European knight; however there are some important differences between the two systems.

Unlike the European knight, who is invested as one by a higher authority such as a baron or king, an Orang Dakila is self-made; if by dint of wealth and renown he gains himself enough followers, he can claim higher titles at any time. Moreover, the basis of Vijadesan patronage is not grants of land but the oaths of voluntary followers.

These followers may put themselves under patronage as nunuwis, pure tributaries with no martial obligations, or as kadulohan, members of the dulohan warband. Followers attach themselves to Orang Dakila for protection, to gain access to the patron’s wealth and generosity, and to join in his trading or raiding expeditions for wealth and glory.

The chain of relationships is then built bottom-up, as commoners subscribe to the patronage of a warrior, the warriors to a datu, and possibly datus to a lakan or rajah.

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