Concerning Great Weapons & Baritt (no POTD spoilers)

Fri Mar 7 19:12:25 PST 2003

On Fri, 7 Mar 2003, David Silberstein wrote:

> [Afterthought]
> On Fri, 7 Mar 2003, David Silberstein wrote:
> >On Fri, 7 Mar 2003, Philip Hart wrote:
> >
> >> And isn't taking out the leading Dragon a job for the Jhereg's
> >> leading worker?  In the absence of Mario, would that be Istvaan?
> >> He's assigned to take out Vlad, perhaps the #1 priority of the
> >> House.  Note however that he isn't involved in _Jhereg_ when
> >> Mellar was #1
> >
> There are probably more factors involved in hiring a Jhereg assassin
> than we know.  Vlad was probably chosen to take out Mellar for various
> reasons, including his friendship with Morrolan, not because he was
> the "best".  And Vlad's assessment of Mario being the "best" may not
> be 100% accurate.  And Istvan may have simply been the one that
> accepted the contract on Vlad, after better assassins refused for
> various reasons.  And we don't really *know* who took out Baritt; it
> might have been Laris, or Laris might simply have been the agent that
> the SiG & StY used, and Mario *was* the one who took out Baritt.
> And note that Laris is now dead.

So to expand on my "thinking" leading up to the paragraph above, how many
high-profile workers are there in the Jhereg?  We don't have even a
guesstimate for the population of the Empire (do we?), but can there be
one million Jhereg?  Say 60% are in the Right Hand, 5% of that do work, 1%
of that are top-notch, that would be 300, and Vlad has gone through about
a dozen of those personally?  (I assert that Vlad has long been considered
highly elite - one of his jobs was to take out someone who had gone to the
Empire - and thus the workers sent after him in, well, most of the novels
would be elite.  Istvan, I assert, is elite because of Vlad's use of him
in _Phoenix_, Vlad's assessment of whoever it was Istvan took out at the
end of the novel, and his assignment in _Athyra_.)  And 10^6 Jhereg sounds
crazy - I would get maybe a billion Dragaerans if I say there are 90
Tecklas per noble and assume a high casualty rate for Jhereg relative to
Issola/Athyra/Iorich/...  Also there was a recent (in generational terms)
Dragon/Jhereg war, which presumably thinned out the ranks (plus the
plagues etc. associated with the Interregnum).  One could perhaps estimate
the population of Dragons from the non-conscript numbers in _Dragon_ -
maybe their casualty rate is comparable to Jhereg (hard to say).
Ballpark - there are about 50 elite assassins in Adrilahnka and we've seen
1/3-1/2 of them.