Vlad's Dad -- a right tosser or what?

David Silberstein davids at kithrup.com
Tue Jan 14 12:55:49 PST 2003

On Mon, 13 Jan 2003, Ven wrote:

>All the evidence suggests that Vlad's father was
>a bit of a sad case. His bought place in the only
>Dragaeran house he could get into, his ignorance
>of what his son was going through, his rejection
>of all aspects of his own culture, even unto
>refusing the witchcraft by which either his son
>or his father could have gladly saved his life.
>All the evidence, of course, comes from Vlad.

A few years ago, I speculated that perhaps Vlad's
father had in fact fallen in love with a Dragaeran:


I think I was pondering the phenomenon of
xenophilia, in the sense of preferring some
culture over the one that you grew up in.  At
least one possible explanation for this effect
is that the person who feels it has fallen in
love with a member of that culture.

But that's hardly the only explanation.

>So, what if Taltos Pere has good reason for his
>actions, what could witchcraft do that would be
>worse than death?

His revulsion for witchcraft, at least, *might*
be because his ex-wife *might* have been a witch.

The evidence in this matter is sketchy in the
extreme - Vlad's memories are vague, and his
father both avoided discussing Vlad's mother, and
tended to change the details when he *did* mention
anything about her.

>  By his avoidance of his
>easterner heritage it would seem to have
>something to do with that. I've been sort of
>thinking about this for a while but some of the
>threads I've been reading here -- about
>taltos/damn what is the plural/ in particular
>have made me speculate. It was suggested that in
>order to come into their full power a taltos may
>not eat or drink, so, anyone who doesn't want to
>become  a taltos would want to avoid involuntary
>starvation, and it would make sense then to go to
>the Empire and run a restaurant wouldn't it?

Hmm.  As I understand it, Vlad's grandfather was
the one who came from the East to Dragaera.  On
the one hand, he's a witch himself.  And on the
other hand, he doesn't seem to have a problem
with making and serving food, eating it himself
and serving it to Vlad.

By the way, the thing about that taltos having
power by not eating is only one tradition.  SKZB
has used it in some of his other stories, but it
may not apply to all taltos that he writes about.
Unreliable writer that he is.

And I am not sure *why* Vlad's father would want
to prevent himself (& Vlad) from gaining the 
power of the taltos.

> You might want to keep your kid well fed too.
>I note that Vlad is not only food obsessed* but
>invariably has some bits of dried kethna or some
>cheese somewhere about his person.........
>Sorry I meant to say Vlad is a gourmand.

That he is.  :-)