How will House Phoenix arise from the ashes?

Mon Jan 2 05:06:04 PST 2006

Mark A. Mandel wrote:
> Not necessarily. I was thinking today about detective novel tropes. The
> hero(ine) has
>  - the sidekick,
>  - the friend on the force or elsewhere in power,
>  - and various other people with special knowledge or abilities to call
> on.
> Kragar is the sidekick, for as long as Vlad is a boss in the Organization,
> as well as having resources. I don't know that Vlad HAD the resources to
> look into K's past, before K was working for him. That's the kind of work
> that he DELEGATES to K.

Hm - has anyone on the list ever speculated that Kragar is House of the
Dragon's deep-cover agent, intended to keep an eye on the Jhereg?  We
know that there have been some Dragon-Jhereg wars in the past, where the
Jhereg gave a respectable account of themselves as far as assassinating
prominent Dragons go.   If you take the view that the Dragon's 'honor'
relies on going up against someone and winning [1], it would seem likely
that they like to know what they're up against before having to design
tactics to fight - and Kragar's peculiar talent at being overlooked
could be quite useful. [2]  Also, the Jhereg were founded by a Dragon,
and Draghaera is a world where tribal stereotypes are genetic, rather
than cultural - you're not going to find a straightforward Yendi, or a
Dzur who couldn't care less about his reputation, etc.  So
theoretically, Dragon and Jhereg goals shouldn't be that far apart,
although what is considered acceptable means would differ.  Like,
perhaps Dolivar's crime wasn't that he was sneaky, but that he used his
sneakiness to take advantage of people's weakness [3]. 

[1] Presumably there needs to be at least a chance that it's a fair
fight - Aliera gave Vlad the name of the Dragon who beat him up because
she knew that Vlad couldn't fight back.  OTOH, given the talk about
Aliera and Morrolan slaughtering Easterners who had no chance of hurting
them, their version of a fair fight might be along the lines of an
officer who thinks insurgents should form up in a nice exposed position
with machine guns so he can shoot them with air support, long-range
artillery, and tanks, otherwise they're not brave like he is. 

[2] For a completely off-the-wall speculation, what if the invisibility
is based on a link to the Orb, and the reason Vlad remembers Kragar
enough to think of him when he needs a right-hand man, is because he's
an Easterner and not that much of a sorceror?  Be interesting to know if
Kelly's Easterners don't have the problem noticing Kragar that
Draghaerans do.

[3] As an example of what I'm thinking, in Pratchett's "The Fifth
"...I didn't know we did this sort of thing!"
"You use spies all the time, dear,' said Sybil
"I do not!"
"Well, what about people like Foul Ole Ron and No Way Jose and Cumbling
"That is not spying, that is not spying!  That's just 'information
received'  We couldn't do the job if we didn't know what's happening on
the street!"  

So, House of the Dragon doesn't spy, they just want to know what's
happening elsewhere so they can do the job.  The House of the Jhereg
does spy and takes advantage of people's weaknesses  (all the stuff that
gets outlawed because people won't stop doing it themselves) to win. 
Ie, a Dragon wouldn't take advantage of a weakness for s'yang stones to
blackmail someone - a Jhereg (and by extension Dolivar) would if it's
the easiest way to do it.