[LMB] Technicalities (was The 5 Gods)

Keith Wells dkwells66 at gmail.com
Thu Sep 3 20:26:59 BST 2009

> From: Tel <teluekh at yahoo.com>
> To: "Discussion of the works of Lois McMaster Bujold." <
> lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk>
> Date: Thu, 3 Sep 2009 07:47:06 -0700 (PDT)
> Subject: Re: [LMB] Technicalities (was The 5 Gods)
> But you're ignoring the necessary compromises between Imperial power and
> the power of the rulers of individual districts. The armsmen are the last
> vestige of the independent armies of the Counts. When Miles swears Baz, his
> status as Gregor's vassal is a complication. All of Vordarian's armsmen back
> him against Gregor and Aral. Roic says that a conflict between the will of
> the Emperor and Aral's will in case of treason would be a puzzle, but he'd
> obey the Emperor -because Aral told him to-.
Ah, but the Count is only the legal ruler of his District after taking oath
to the Emperor.  When the Count commits treason, he is breaking that oath,
and his right to accept the Armsman's oath is voided.  The Armsmen then
decide where there personal word and honor will take them.  As Szabo says in
ACC, "Any man can give their personal word."  We do not know if all of
Vordarian's Armsmen joined him in is revolt.  It is never mentioned in *
Barrayar*, and I doubt any mention would have been made of any that
defected, as it was not part of the plot line.

Technically, General Count Piotr Vorkosigan and Ezar Vorbarra committed
treason in their revolt against Emperor Yuri.  Because they won that war,
their honor was restored as one became Emperor and accepted the oath of
allegiance of the other.  In winning, all was made good, as they removed
from power Mad Yuri, a bad emperor.  If they had lost, then their lives were
forfeit, as well as any Vor who had supported them, in all likelihood.
Would Yuri have executed the Armsmen as well?  Probably, considering that he
was considered mad.  But a good Emperor would probably exonerate them on the
idea they were following the orders of their Counts and Lords.

I think it comes back to a point I made in my first post.  It all depends
upon Belief.  If you believe in the Imperium, and in the Emperor, then they
have the right to command your service.  If who you believe in is your
Count, then you serve him, and only serve the Imperium if he tells you to.
To Aral, the higher service is to the Imperium, and that is where he
instructs his Armsmen to direct their obedience.  For Bothari, he served
Cordelia, and the direction of Aral as Regent to serve her during the
Pretendership gave him a legal way to follow her without being directed to
do so later.  The Imperium was nice and all, and Gregor seemed like a nice
child, but Bothari needed to serve those who believed in him.


More information about the Lois-Bujold mailing list