Aug. 12th, 2009 07:26 am
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Lynn K. Hollander had a question about a passage from chapter one:

“Eugenia Kommene, Archon of House Kommene, had carried both of them and afterward declared herself done with childbirth. Eleutherios was Loukas's younger brother and only full sibling; ... Loukas's half-siblings had all been carried by Eugenia's wives, sired by her favorite brother ...“

Lynn wants to know:

Is 'her favorite brother' also Loukas's father? If not, how are Eugenia's wives' children his half siblings? If so, why isn't this incest?

They're technically not his half-siblings; they're his cousins. Edessans don't have a word for cousin, because there's only one branch of the family. All the children born to a House are the archon's, whether or not the archon had a direct, er, hand in their creation. Because Loukas and Eleutherios are the only children Eugenia bore herself, they are higher status than their siblings. They also happen to have the same father -- one of Eugenia's wives -- so they have the same advantages of blood. I used the half-siblings designation, because it seemed the closest approximation of their actual relationship.

With the above bit, I was mostly trying to underline that they're only real competition to inherit the House. I didn't mean to get into all the genealogy bit. Though I do have a family tree around here somewhere. I should put it up. It took me forever to do.


NB Edessans don't have the same incest taboos we do, though they would probably balk at brother-sister incest; more on the grounds that it's a waste of a potential alliance than any moral objection. And they don't have any idea that inbreeding is a bad thing. Mostly it's not a problem, but the upper class does have a higher rate of a few genetic diseases, including hemophilia and Klinefelter's syndrome.

Have a question? Or comment? Or complaint? You can comment anywhere on this blog or email me at rb.lurks at gmail.com.
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