David Silberstein davids at kithrup.com
Sat Apr 5 20:49:51 PST 2003

Whilst browsing the Cracks and Shards web pages, I noticed that
the esteemed Mr. Mandel suggests that a "noble's point" is just
a different name for a widow's peak.  Well, I have an embarrassing
confession to make: Until quite recently, I had no idea what a
widow's peak was.  The dictionary definition was no help.  But
I quickly decided that Google images might be able to show me
examples, and I was amazed.  "Ah!"  I said to myself.  "Is that all?
The hairline goes up, then down (in a point), then up again?  Well,
I suppose that *is* all."

However, now that I knew what it was, I started looking at foreheads
to see if people I saw had it.  I've noticed that some men have it
very prominently, and emphasize it with their hairstyles, especially
if they are actors or TV newscasters.  With others, I am less sure if
it is real or just a manipulation of hairstyling or of a balding

One thing I've noticed is that women don't tend to have it, or if they
do, they hide it well enough that I can't see it.

I imagine that our resident medical/biological experts could explain
learnedly about the widow's peak being a recessive or dominant trait,
and the genetic implications behind the fact that it shows up in all
Dragaerans except Teckla.

I also started looking for it in portraits of Dragaerans, since that
was kind of the whole point.  The covers of the Paarfian romances
do in fact show Khaavren & Piro having a clear noble's point,


but these otherwise excellent portraits do not (which make me wonder
if the artist does not know that a noble's point is, or perhaps
what a widow's peak is):


Anyway, now that I have been enlightened, I found myself wondering
if perhaps a sufficiently clever Teckla might move up a social notch
by having a hair-styling done to make it look like he had a noble's
point, or if perhaps a Teckla who was able to buy into the Jhereg
would do so.

There probably are Teckla-Jhereg halfbreeds who look like Teckla and
yet have noble's points.  The Jhereg don't care, after all if someone
is a halfbreed.  Or do they?  Do (Whatever)-Jhereg halfbreeds
automatically become part of House Jhereg, or do they have to buy
their way in like everyone else?

Hmm.  Do Easterners who buy in to the Jhereg get their hair styled
to make it look like they have a noble's point?  Vlad probably
wouldn't, at any rate.