How will House Phoenix arise from the ashes?

Davdi Silverrock davdisil at gmail.com
Mon Dec 12 17:56:21 PST 2005

On 11/12/05, Scott Schultz <scott at cjhunter.com> wrote:

> From a real-world genetic perspective there are plenty of latent Phoenix
> genes around. We don't know what happens to Phoenix children who are not
> privileged to have a phoenix fly overhead at their birth. Those people
> and/or their descendants are likely to still be around someplace, perhaps
> unaware of their parentage. The mixed stock of Greenaire and Elde probably
> also have some recessive Phoenix genes, waiting for that one in a gazillion
> chance to breed a true-blooded Phoenix complete with birth-herald.

I don't think the populations of Greenaere or Elde Island count,
because they seem to have rejected the Cycle.

However, do not forget that there is an entire House made up entirely
of crossbreeds, which House is in fact also ruled by the Cycle.


I've always been skeptical about the whole "phoenix flying over the
birth of a true Phoenix" business; it sounds too much like something
Vlad misunderstood.  Perhaps the reason he misunderstood is because
no-one wants to be blunt and explain that the reason that there are
(or rather, were) so few true Phoenix, is that Phoenix, being often
decadent, slept around with absolutely anybody, and didn't even bother
trying to prevent pregnancies, and therefore many of their poor
bastard crossbreed offspring had no other choice than to become
Jhereg.  But that also explains how the House could be reborn, and the
rather gnomic suggestions about what could speculatively be recessives
that the Lords of Judgement were mumbling about.  It might well prove
to be interesting that at some point that out of the corruption of the
Jhereg arises the Phoenix again.

Hm.  I think that's a rationalization worthy of Speculation:Phoenix.

> It's always possible that she's got some wizards working on the problem and
> we just haven't heard about it. However, it might also be that Sethra made a
> metaphysical error by attempting to protect and nurture the previous line of
> House Phoenix. The House might be unable to truly "rise from the ashes"
> until it has truly been consumed entirely in flames.

I think you're generalizing from your understanding of how the phoenix
of Greek legend worked, rather than how the phoenix of Dragaera works.
We don't have enough information about the latter.  Although that
should not stop you from speculating as pararectally as possible,
always keeping in mind that it is in fact pararectal.

> Assuming that Zerika DOES die childless, what happens to the assets and
> titles that belong to House Phoenix? Are they put in trust and managed by a
> steward appointed by Zerika? Are they appropriated by the Empress to
> dispose of she wishes?

Eh, give the problem to the Iorich to chew on for a while.  I'm
willing to bet that they would take so long to hash it out that the
House of the Phoenix would be reborn before they settle the matter.

> Of course, the death of Zerika might finally herald the true death of the
> House, thus triggering its ACTUAL rebirth,perhaps even on the same day. At
> the moment of Zerika's death, a phoenix appears above the Phoenix Wing. It's
> discovered that two women, descended from "unheralded" Phoenix ancestors,

That is to say, crossbreed bastards.

> have  simultaneously given birth; one boy, one girl. Perhaps a veritable
> "flock" of phoenices appear above Adrilankha as a dozen infants are born who
> all scan to be true-blooded Phoenix. The question of which should be Heir
> would be a tricky one with much intrigue based around the determination of
> the answer.

They could always query the Orb as to how House Phoenix *used* to do it.