How will House Phoenix arise from the ashes?

Peter H. Granzeau pgranzeau at cox.net
Wed Dec 21 08:51:26 PST 2005

You know, Kragar, as I remember, done TOLE Vlad why he was a Jhereg, 
not a Dragon, and it didn't involve a single instance of the word "perhaps".

At 04:14 AM 12/21/2005, Davdi Silverrock wrote:
>On 12/19/05, K Kuhn <kknolte at ecity.net> wrote:
> > Davdi Silverrock wrote:
> > >
> > > 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?
>I understand the point you're making, but I still see problems with
>it.  Consider:  promotions are gradual.  Putting Kragar in charge of a
>military group large enough to make a difference in a battle, while at
>the same time being aware of his... peculiar unnoticibility, means
>that whoever was in charge of field assignments was the one who made
>the mistake, not Kragar himself.  Also, consider this:  Before a group
>goes into battle, they train and practice maneuvers.  Again, ample
>opportunity to note that Kragar's group is Not Doing Well because his
>subordinates aren't paying attention to him.
> > 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.
>Again, we've seen Dragons who were not in fact ambitious for higher
>command, so I see problems with that.
> > 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.
> >
>Actually, I did just now think of another scenario.  Let's say that
>Kragar was at a rank that he was comfortable with, as an aide to some
>real officer, which put him in the chain of command, but no real
>prospects for advancement, nor really wanting any.  And perhaps this
>officer *used* Kragar (and his extreme sneakitude) in ways that
>Dragons would frown upon - that is, in sabotaging *fellow* officers,
>perhaps by intercepting intelligence and presenting it as being his
>(or her, Dragaerans being equal-opportunity) own, or messing with them
>in other petty ways to gya's own advancement, all-in-all being conduct
>unbecoming to an officer.  And perhaps this officer gets gyaself
>killed in battle, so Kragar's problems with being in command are
>brought to the fore as he has to handle things himself.  Hmm.  We
>might even posit that the officer was discovered, and the sabotage
>*was* considered as being over the line of treason, and the officer
>was executed.
>So, ordinarily, just being "not-listenable" wouldn't have gotten
>Kragar kicked out, but combine that with his role in the sabotage
>being discovered...  Perhaps Kragar was only spared death since he was
>obeying orders, but "should have known" that he should not have obeyed
>such orders.
>Perhaps there actually is some sort of clause or basis for ejection
>from the House for conduct unbecoming to a Dragon.
>Hmm.  Maybe.  Although that doesn't explain the sneakitude itself.
>Unless...  Unless perhaps the officer posited was responsible for that
>as well - perhaps a sorcerer or psychic specializing in creating
>stealth illusions?  And that explains Kragar's friendship with Daymar;
>no one was able to figure out how to undo the "stealth mode" besides
>the original officer, and Kragar became more and more desperate to
>find someone or something that would undo it (and obviously, failing,
>even with Daymar)?
>Shrug.  Perhaps I ought to add that to Speculation:Kragar as well...

Regards, Pete
pgranzeau at cox.net