From the Online Etymological Dictionary:
c.1300, from Anglo-Fr. vengeaunce, O.Fr. vengeance "revenge," from vengier "take revenge," from L. vindicare "to set free, claim, avenge" (see vindicate).”
This is a post I decided not to make last year, but now I think I will, because I feel like it and the thread is still active.
“Vengeance” is a story about laws and burdens. In tribal times/societies, the eldars settled all matters according to their wisdom. Then came empires, and the rulers had more to handle than there was time for under the eldar system. Therefore, they made laws convenient to themselves. The Code of Hammurabi was an early version of such laws, including lists of crimes. It had “high” crimes, i.e. high on the list. This is stuff like treason, defrauding the state, rebellion, etc. “Low crimes” were stuff like stealing chickens and public nuisances that didn’t affect the mighty directly, but technically the city guards could deal with them if they wanted. A merchant could bribe the guards to deal with it, at least.
In between is stuff that really matters to people, but didn’t threaten the empire so much individually: murder, rape, cheating in business with private parties. Since these still didn’t always get enforced by the empire, a moral code evolved that the people were honor-bound to see these things got handled somehow.
By classical times (greco-roman/norse) there still wasn’t an effective civil police investigation system by modern standards. If someone murdered your brother, you were “bound by both gods and honor” to set his spirit free of this injustice by taking action yourself. Many believed the murdered spirit could not reach the afterlife until you did. You would declare vengeance-quest in some fashion/ceremony and go after the offender.
This was justified action under the law. You had a claim to it by honor. It freed the world of that evil. You were vindicated in your actions. It had to be done. It was “the country’s justice” in the hands of honorable citizens. In other words, the offender “had it coming” and you were just the “avenging hand of the gods.” You were acting as “Nemesis” as the greeks personified it. You were defending the righteousness of the law. This is vengeance... where the rulers could/did not act in time, the land itself rose up against crime.
These days most people put more trust in the official system and its constitutions, but still the ethic remains. The law needs supporting. When someone tries to create tyranny in a free state, the people must take action. In the USA, where no religion shall be established by the state, trying to institute such religion in state-funded schools is an attempt to make tyranny against the 1st Amendment. The state needed help defending itself against such politics
The people were honor-bound to act in defense of the law, to keep it free. It had to be done. Religious tyrants were trying to subvert the country, so they got a Flying Spaghetti Monster in return, in their face, maybe as a nemesis/totem to guard the law against such partisan attacks. This is justified. It is vindicated action. They had it coming. This is the Vengeance of the Land, and it has been... effective.
In case you didn't realize it, I DO have a sense of humor. How about you?
"I will not fear. Fear is the mind-killer... I will face my fear. I will let it pass over and through me, and when it has gone, only I will remain." --The Bene Gesserit
"Time is a spiral. Space is a curve. I know you get dizzy, but try not to lose your nerve." -- Neil Peart
"I'm not in the ship. I am the ship." -- River Tam
"The truth is simple. It's the lies that get complicated." -- me
"No matter where you go, there you are." --Buckaroo Banzai