Criers & Heralds
This is a short narrative and relevant references references from the Books where Criers & Heralds are mentioned.
I make no pronouncements on these matters, but report them as I find them.
Arrive at your own conclusions.
I wish you well,
In books 25 and 26 heralds and criers are mentioned together so I included both in this compilation. Ambassadors are also mentioned but they already have their own page.
Criers are found from Turia to Torvaldsland and from the Barrens out to the Farther Islands.
There is no indication what Caste a crier or herald might be. And in such diverse locations it would be difficult to make any broad assumptions, such as the Caste of Scribes.
These are all the relevant references. Arrive at your own conclusions.
Somehow I must liberate Marlenus. I knew that when I entered the palace my presence would be inexplicable to the guardsmen and that I would not long be able to pass myself off as a herald of Pa-Kur, certainly not when it became clear that it was my intention to depart with Marlenus.
One disappointment to me in trekking through the streets of Turia was that a crier advanced before us, calling to the women of the city to conceal themselves, even the female slaves. Thus, unfortunately, save for an occasional furtive pair of dark eyes peering from behind a veil in a recessed casement, we saw in our journey from the gate of the city to the House of Saphrar none of the fabled, silken beauties of Turia.
Several times criers had passed through the streets shouting that I was still at large and calling out my description.
Lysias looked about himself. "I claim the immunity of the herald!" he cried.
"He will have, of course," said Samos, "the immunity of the herald."
I regarded them. "I claim," I said, "the immunity of the herald."
"It is denied!" screamed Lurius, his wide, bloated face scarlet with rage.
Svein Blue Tooth was the high jarl of Torvaldsland, in the sense that he was generally regarded as the most powerful. In his hall, it was said he fed a thousand men. Beyond this his heralds could carry the war arrow, it was said, to ten thousand farms. Ten ships he had at his own wharves, and, it was said, he could summon a hundred more "He is your Jarl?" I asked.
At the second Ahn, long before dawn, the herald of Samos had come to the lakelike courtyard of my holding in many-canaled Port Kar, that place of many ships, scourge of Thassa, that dark jewel in her gleaming green waters. Twice had he struck on the bars of the sea gate, each time with the Ka-la-na shaft of his spear, not with the side of its broad tapering bronze point. The signet ring of Samos of Port Kar, first captain of the council of captains, was displayed.
"Make ready your arrows," I heard, a crying from outside the lodge. "Make ready your arrows! Make ready your knives! We are going to make meat! We are going to make meat!" This was a crier of the Sleen Soldiers, Agleskala, Striped Lizard. He was moving through the village.
"Make ready your arrows!" I heard again. "Make ready your arrows! Sharpen your knives! Sharpen your knives! We are going to make meat! We are going to make meat!" Slowly, through the camp, in the darkness, now crowded with men and women, rode Agleskala, the crier of the Sleen Soldiers.
"If I use more than one arrow, you will not tell anyone, will you?" he asked.
"I will tell you," she said, "you may be assured of that."
"But you will not tell others, will you?" he asked.
"No," she said, "except maybe Miniwozan."
"Do not bother," he said. "I will have it announced by the village crier."
"Miles, Ambassador of Argentum, Miles, General of Argentum!" announced the herald.
The men behind Miles put down the boxes they had brought. Doubtless new riches would soon grace the steps of the dais.
"The throne of Corcyrus," said Ligurious, "greets the ambassador from Argentum, Miles, general of Argentum."
"On behalf of Claudius, Ubar of Argentum," said Miles, "I accept the greetings of Corcyrus."
"I am a citizen of Ar," said the player. "It is my understanding that the cities of Brundisium and Ar stand leagued firmly in friendship, that the wine has been drunk between them, and the salt and fire shared, that they are pledged both in comity and alliance, military and political. If this is not true, I should like to be informed, that word may be carried to Ar of this change in matters. Similarly, I am curious to know why a player of Cos, no understood ambassador or herald, sits at a high table, at the table even of Belnar, Ubar of this city. Similarly, how is it that Temenides, only a player, and one of Cos, as well, to whom both Brundisium and Ar stand opposed, to whom both accord their common defiance, dares to speak so boldly? Perhaps something has occurred of which I was not informed, that ubars now take their orders from enemies, and those not even of high caste?"
Too, posters, and such, usually hand-inked, are common in public places, usually put up by the owners or managers of palestrae, or gymnasiums, public baths, taverns, race courses, theaters, and such. Sales of tharlarion and slaves, too, are commonly thusly advertised. Heralds and criers, too, and carriers of signs, are not unknown.
Occasionally heralds, or criers, would pass by, calling out news or announcements. Many on this world, you see, cannot read. Thus the importance of the heralds, the criers, and such. Many things are advertised, too, in such a way, by calling out bargains, the fruits in season, the markets, the cost of cloth, and such. Too, one may hear men, or, often, boys, for it costs less to hire them, calling out the pleasures of various taverns, and the delights that may be found within.
The first of the formal dancers had been called to one circle or another, following the hailings of the torch-bearing crier. Men who might have been interested in bidding on them, having found them of interest in the exhibition cages, might then follow them to the designated circles, to continue their appraisal. Others, too, of course, the curious, the lustful, the admirers of beauty, and such, tended to gather about the circles in question.
Matters had been explained by crier to hundreds of mercenaries.
Lord Okimoto, without turning his head, said something to Lord Nishida, which I could not hear, and Lord Nishida lifted his hand slightly, signaling the fellow of the Pani, who was serving as herald.
"Begin!" called the herald.
Aëtius was standing near me.
No man moved.
"Fight!" cried the herald. "Begin! Fight! The gold, the gold!"
Then a thousand blades were drawn forth, as though with a single flash of sound, from a thousand sheaths. The hair on the back of my neck rose.
"Fight!" called the herald.
"What is your cause?" I inquired.
"You will learn," he said. Then he spoke to the herald, "Give each a tarn disk of gold, and dismiss them."
At this point, a Pani crier began to cry out. A set of feasts were to be prepared, served in dozens of rooms, and barracks, and in the courtyard, at long tables, celebrating the victory of the exploratory force. I heard then the roll of drums once more, and the soundings of conch trumpets.
We then stood back, in the crowd.
"Make way, make way!" called a herald.
Making their way to the pier were members of the port's administration. I knew several, from my work in the harbor office, in the registry.
Lady Bina, in any event, as there was no sign of public concern or agitation at her removal from the House of a Hundred Corridors, as exhortations, alarms, proclamations, offers of rewards for her return or information leading to her return, and such, were not being broadcast throughout the city and countryside, as there was no hue from the public criers or letterings in red on the public boards, as the city was not swarming with soldiers and guardsmen searching for her, had come to reconcile herself however, reluctantly, to the fact that her presence in the House of a Hundred Corridors had not been a benevolent sequestration prior to an eminent companionship but a detention, and one of a possibly dark import.
This response appeared on the public boards and was also broadcast throughout the city by public criers, for many Goreans, particularly of the lower castes, do not read.
I looked up from the sand in the stadium, at the foot of the stairs, to the raised, temporary, square platform, some twenty feet in height, and twenty feet in width and breadth, in the center of the stadium. At each corner there was a herald, with a large, mounted cone through which he would address the crowd.
The heralds at the corners of the platform cried into their amplifying cones, "Welcome to the noble Geoffrey of Harfax, doer of justice, friend of law, champion of right, benefactor of the state, beloved of the Home Stone of Ar!"
On the platform with the four heralds were two scribes, standing, before a table on which reposed, amongst a miscellany of other objects, some papers, a bottle of ink, and a feathered pen.
Little, or nothing," I said.
Decius Albus then made a sign to the four heralds. Each then, largely in unison, using the giant cones, oriented toward the front, rear, and sides of the stadium, began a series of apparently rehearsed remarks.
I pushed my way to one of the corners of the platform, and thrust the startled herald there from the platform, he then plunging down to the sand.
In a moment the platform was largely deserted. The three remaining heralds were amongst the first to leave. Several men on the platform had leaped to the sand below, not losing any time in negotiating stairs. I saw the herald whom I had thrust from the platform limping toward the wagons.
"Are the heralds in place?" I asked.
"Not yet," said Seremides.
"There will be trumpets," said Hemartius. "The first notes will signal the entrance of the heralds, the second that of the disputed object and her guards, the third the parties of the prosecution and defense, the fourth the Ubar, the fifth, and last, the entrance of the contestants, from opposite sides of the arena."
There was a blast of trumpets.
"Those are the first trumpets," said Seremides.
"The heralds will measure the war square," said Hemartius.
"Go to that corner of the square," said the herald, "that corner opposite your opponent."
The sides of the square were some forty feet in length.
"When the trumpets sound again," said the herald, "you will advance to the center of the square, to greet one another, and honor one another, sharing the cup of conflict, the wine of war. Then you will return to your respective places. At the next sounding of the trumpets, meet again at the center, blades unsheathed."
"Return to your place," said a herald.
"This is my place," I said.
"No!" said the herald.
"Do you wish to keep your blood inside your body?" I asked.
"Barbarian," sneered the herald.
The herald, perhaps despairing of dealing with a stubborn barbarian, or concerned to keep his blood in its usual place, waved Alan, of the house of Hesius, to the corner opposite mine.
One of the heralds said, "The cup of conflict, the wine of war." One then handed a goblet to Alan and the other to me. Alan lifted his goblet to me and then drank.
I remembered Pa-Kur. I did not drink.
Alan seemed surprised, and disappointed.
"It is only water," said the herald to me, he who had handed me my goblet, "water from the spring thaw of the mountains of the Voltai."
I handed him back the goblet.
"Are you ready to return to your places?" asked one of the heralds. "The trumpets will then sound."
"I am," said Alan.
"Hold," I said.
"What is it?" asked one of the heralds.
I ignored him. Rather I spoke to my opponent.
"Be careful of your speech, noble swordsman," said one of the heralds. "Geoffrey of Harfax is popular in Ar."
"He is a tarsk," said Alan. "He seeks to sway me from my duty, to blind my eyes with tears, to slow my blade, to blunt its edges."
Shortly thereafter, the heralds withdrawn and the sand cleared, there was a blare of trumpets, and a cry of anticipation from the stands, following which Alan and I advanced toward one another.
Many about the square of battle seemed stunned, or dismayed. Seremides, leaning on his crutch, regarded me with disbelief. Thurnock and Clitus appeared stricken. Hemartius appeared relieved. Decius Albus was smiling. I sensed that Pa-Kur's mind was racing, trying to fit this development into some significant pattern, and was unable to do so. Even the faces of the heralds were covered with scorn.