Half-breed citizenship

Fri Jun 20 09:39:34 PDT 2003

On Fri, 20 Jun 2003, Casey Rousseau wrote:

> Jag wrote:
> [snip]
> > be, or maybe the social structure was to new and delicate then to try to
> > figure out where to fit in such people.  Either way, I'm sure that the
> [snip]
> Consider for a moment a Dragon-Jhereg half-breed during a Phoenix
> Reign.  Should s/he be accorded the social standing of a Dragon (High)
> or a Jhereg (Low).  What about if it was during a Vallista reign?
> I wonder how much the "unacceptance of half-breeds" that we see in the
> books is a product of where we are in the Cycle (Phoenix reign
> throughout).  Since the only truly "open" Houses are Jhereg, which is at
> the bottom of the wheel, and Teckla, which is descending and has a
> _long_ time to wait for their next reign, it may be that half-breeds are
> simply being assigned the social status of members of these two houses.

On the one hand, I like your theory - on the other, I like three competing
ones: (1) a simple spell is available to prevent conception, so being a
half-breed means your folks were half-wits, esp. post- interregnum; and
(2) since each House has genes from different animals interbreeding is a
bit like bestiality.  The latter idea isn't consistent with the cross-
House courting we see in e.g. _TPG_ - but maybe that's just Paarfi being
naughty and showing incipient anti-House tendencies - I have trouble
believing that cross-House sex would be acceptable when cross-breeding
isn't (and in fact in _TPotD_ we get a hint that the former isn't couth
under normal circumstances.)  Speculating further, since Yendis can't be
identified as such, the masked scene in _TPG_ between Pel and a Dragon
might be an indication that (3) the social rule is related to what we'd
call racism - the Other doesn't look like you.  I'd thus bet that there
are a lot of Yendi genes loose in the other Houses and v.v.  This might
explain some of the disgust for Yendis (they're cuckoos, they're impure),
and provide a mechanism that keeps them indistinguishable...