How will House Phoenix arise from the ashes?

Mon Dec 19 09:12:52 PST 2005

Davdi Silverrock wrote:

 Each House has their own standards for behaviour
> > and someone (like, oh, say, Kragar) may get booted from their House
> > for violating those standards, and find the prospect of being a Jhereg
> > preferable to being a Teckla.
> I am inclined to doubt that there are such examples.  If someone is a
> full member of the House, then their genes should indicate that, and
> they ought not be expelled - if their behavior violates civil norms,
> then there ought to be civil punishments.  It's hard to imagine
> behavior that violates House norms, yet not civil norms.  Which is why
> Kragar being a crossbreed (or something else that doesn't fit into
> House genetic norms) is far more likely than him "merely" giving
> commands that no-one listened to (which isn't even incompetence, per
> se).

IIRC, when Vlad was killed in Yendi, he ended up giving a temporarily
fatal lesson to one of his henchmen when he came back to the office,
apparently because Kragar had let standards slip so badly while Vlad was
dead but getting better that said henchman made a really obviously
stupid mistake.  That kind of "poor order giving", ie, a command ability
to ruin his subordinate's knowledge of what the heck they're doing in
only a few days is not good, from a military perspective, although
possibly not from a civil one.  

Ie, it doesn't matter that Kragar is apparently a very good at making
his boss look good (even to the point of disobeying in order to save
said boss's ass - see the restaurant scene where Vlad would have been
assassinated if Kragar hadn't disobeyed), since in a military situation,
if the boss gets killed in battle the next guy in rank has to take over,
with rather bad results if he can't do the job.  Civil situations it
doesn't matter quite so much.  So maybe Kragar is full Dragon, but so
dangerous to a primarily military house like the Dragons (given that
he's good enough at getting things done to be promoted, but absolutely
horrible at being in charge), that he'd get kicked out?  

This assumes that the thing about Dragons wanting recognition for their
ability (by being promoted to leading as many as they prove worthy of),
is a strong trait, so that keeping a Dragon around to be useful, but
carefully unpromoted to keep him out of the chain of command, leads to a
very unhappy Dragon and a really nasty revenge on the ones who got
promoted over him without being better at the job.  

Alternatively, if Kragar's possible ability to ruin an army's
professionalism while in command led to a particularly humiliating and
multiply-fatal-to-favorite-scions-of-important-families defeat, internal
politics could lead to getting kicked out too.