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Marriage, Allegiance, and Gender Roles in the Realm

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  • #31
    Originally posted by TGUEIROS View Post

    I'm not really well versed (or versed at all) in DB history, did she actually give birth to every head of the Great Houses? I had an understanding that she took consorts and elevated their pre-existing families to Great House status, not just have her birth everyone... I dunno but I think you might be looking at this the wrong way.

    Either way, it is very easy to see how an isolated House would be crushed by other, inter-married allied Houses. Nobody would have any reason to help them, and all the reasons to loot them.
    The Houses founded by her consorts are still made up largely of the descendants of her and said consort. The Dynasty highly privileged familial descent from the Empress so the other Gens largely married-in centuries ago. At this point, everyone born a Dynast has a bloodlink to the Empress, but that was facilitated by tons of other bloodlines marrying into her lines (note that regardless of gender, a Dynast + Non-Dynast marriage results in the non-Dynast joining the Dynast’s House, name and all)


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    • #32
      Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post

      The Houses founded by her consorts are still made up largely of the descendants of her and said consort. The Dynasty highly privileged familial descent from the Empress so the other Gens largely married-in centuries ago. At this point, everyone born a Dynast has a bloodlink to the Empress, but that was facilitated by tons of other bloodlines marrying into her lines (note that regardless of gender, a Dynast + Non-Dynast marriage results in the non-Dynast joining the Dynast’s House, name and all)
      House Nellens are actually Dynasts by imperial fiat and adoption. They were a patrician clan related to Nellens, but not a House built from the children of his union with the Empress. Their children founded Houses Sesus and Ledaal instead.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by TGUEIROS View Post

        I'm not really well versed (or versed at all) in DB history, did she actually give birth to every head of the Great Houses? I had an understanding that she took consorts and elevated their pre-existing families to Great House status, not just have her birth everyone... I dunno but I think you might be looking at this the wrong way.

        Either way, it is very easy to see how an isolated House would be crushed by other, inter-married allied Houses. Nobody would have any reason to help them, and all the reasons to loot them.
        Tepet was her consort*. House Tepet included their kids, but also his brothers, sisters, cousins, etc. In fact, he was already heir to a Shogunate Kingdom, and she adopted his whole family into her dynasty.
        So you're right, that did sometimes happen, though most of them are just her kids.
        I have a feeling that House Nellens might have also included mortal relatives of Nellens (her only mortal consort*), but I'm not 100% sure of that. It might have been her mortal kids by him.

        I imagine that the oldest Houses probably included a lot more people who weren't related to her than the later Houses, since by that time the Dynasty was more established and already included a lot of Dragonblooded.
        Though saying this, I remember in 2nd ed V'neef was adopting a lot of outcastes into it to beef up their numbers. (Which could perhaps be used to explain Sesus Negezzer's time-travelling V'neef father.)


        *That's a question, since we mentioned polygamy. Did the Emperor have multiple husbands at the same time? They always use the term "consort" rather than "husband" which makes me wonder if they were more like concubines than husbands. I guess if you're Empress, you don't really have to follow social rules, you just make your own. But of course, it does fit with the Chinese aesthetic, where the Emperor could have loads of wives and concubines, but most people couldn't.


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        • #34
          Originally posted by Shinjo View Post

          House Nellens are actually Dynasts by imperial fiat and adoption. They were a patrician clan related to Nellens, but not a House built from the children of his union with the Empress. Their children founded Houses Sesus and Ledaal instead.
          I think some of them were Nellens' mortal kids. I don't remember if they were the Empress's mortal kids or not (ie if they were Sesus and Ledaal's siblings or half-siblings).

          Of course, it's possible that some of this will change this time. Tepet's backstory hasn't really changed per-se (he was always the Empress's consort, not her son), but it has got far more detailed.
          I'm looking forward to seeing more detailed explanations of the history of the other Houses, because some of them were extremely vague in 2nd ed.


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          • #35
            Originally posted by Shinjo View Post

            House Nellens are actually Dynasts by imperial fiat and adoption. They were a patrician clan related to Nellens, but not a House built from the children of his union with the Empress. Their children founded Houses Sesus and Ledaal instead.
            Would any Nellens by RY 768 not be descended from the Empress via their patrilineal links to other Houses?


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            • #36
              Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post

              Would any Nellens by RY 768 not be descended from the Empress via their patrilineal links to other Houses?
              The 3e timeline puts Nellens as the next-youngest Great House after V'neef (founded in RY 590), so there are probably a few.descendants of Nellens-patrician and Nellens-outcaste marriages who don't have a blood connection to the Empress. As a general rule, though, your point stands; centuries of intermarriage have given the overwhelming majority of Dynasts a blood connection to the Empress, with only a bare handful of exceptions.


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              • #37
                Oh, speaking of how various Houses were formed, I really hope that the write-up for House Ragara contains a reference to how the House was founded as a reward for Ragara's role in putting down an uprising by a House under the influence of a thinking automaton from the Shogunate (and largely from the appropriated assets of that House).


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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                  Oh, speaking of how various Houses were formed, I really hope that the write-up for House Ragara contains a reference to how the House was founded as a reward for Ragara's role in putting down an uprising by a House under the influence of a thinking automaton from the Shogunate (and largely from the appropriated assets of that House).
                  It's mentioned in the Realm timeline.


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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Eric Minton View Post
                    It's mentioned in the Realm timeline.
                    Clooose enough.


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                    • #40
                      Someone remind me, which Houses if any were founded by a child of the Empress and Tepet?

                      Also, do we know who V’neef’s father is?


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                      • #41
                        In my own games, there are Houses who trace their founder back to a historical figure unrelated to the Empress or to one of the First Age gens that once existed in the Realm before the rise of the Empress. These are all examples of Lesser Houses. The defining characteristic of the Great Houses is that the Empress recognized the House as such and provided it with political and social legitimacy, and the Empress pretty much only ever recognized how own descendents or those with a connection to her as such. So there are other Dragon Blooded families in the Realm, but they don't get that recognition and are generally politically inferior.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post
                          In my own games, there are Houses who trace their founder back to a historical figure unrelated to the Empress or to one of the First Age gens that once existed in the Realm before the rise of the Empress. These are all examples of Lesser Houses. The defining characteristic of the Great Houses is that the Empress recognized the House as such and provided it with political and social legitimacy, and the Empress pretty much only ever recognized how own descendents or those with a connection to her as such. So there are other Dragon Blooded families in the Realm, but they don't get that recognition and are generally politically inferior.
                          These exist in 3e as a subset of patrician families.

                          EDIT: To clarify, that's not a subset in the sense of being legally distinct or having separate nomenclature. It's just that some of the old Shogunate gentes survive as patrician families; it's like "old money" vs. "new money" families.
                          Last edited by Eric Minton; 10-09-2017, 02:44 PM.


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                          • #43
                            That's interesting. In 1st and 2nd edition the idea was that Patrician families were wealthy, primarily mortal families and didn't really possess much in the way of Dragon Blooded of their own. When a Dragon Blooded was born into a Patrician family, the family was quite eager to have the child marry into one of the Great houses.

                            In 3rd edition, do you think it would be possible to have Patrician families which have a comparatively substantial number of Dragon Blooded members? Maybe even where the family tends to be somewhat reluctant to send their child off to marry into one of the Empress' Houses, since they take pride in their own heritage which predates hers? Or are Patrician families still pretty much mostly mortal, so these Shogunate-era nostalgia families are mostly just mortals looking back on their old decaying Terrestrial nobility that no longer has any meaningful impact on their day to day lives?

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post
                              That's interesting. In 1st and 2nd edition the idea was that Patrician families were wealthy, primarily mortal families and didn't really possess much in the way of Dragon Blooded of their own. When a Dragon Blooded was born into a Patrician family, the family was quite eager to have the child marry into one of the Great houses.
                              Some patrician families trace back to the Blessed Isle's old Shogunate families. Some trace back to the start of the Realm, with the Empress elevating families that formed the backbone of the nascent Imperial Service. And some continue to be created when high-ranking mortal military officers are elevated to the patriciate, or when outcastes establish new households with peasant spouses.

                              When a patrician family has a Dragon-Blooded child, that child is either adopted into a Great House — which pays significant dividends, both from beneficial terms at the marriage table and by establishing familial bonds with the adoptive house — or is fostered by that Great House, which allows the child to remain in the patrician family, but at significant cost.

                              Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post
                              In 3rd edition, do you think it would be possible to have Patrician families which have a comparatively substantial number of Dragon Blooded members? Maybe even where the family tends to be somewhat reluctant to send their child off to marry into one of the Empress' Houses, since they take pride in their own heritage which predates hers? Or are Patrician families still pretty much mostly mortal, so these Shogunate-era nostalgia families are mostly just mortals looking back on their old decaying Terrestrial nobility that no longer has any meaningful impact on their day to day lives?
                              There are a few patrician families with significant numbers of Dragon-Blooded members, the result of centuries of carefully husbanding their fostered Dragon-Blooded scions rather than having those scions adopted by the Great Houses. Most patrician families are mostly mortal, though few of those families have any connection to the old Shogunate gentes.


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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Eric Minton View Post
                                Most patrician families are mostly mortal, though few of those families have any connection to the old Shogunate gentes.
                                ​{provocation of train of thought}

                                Idea.

                                ​One particular subject of fascination to me is how the descendants of prosperous families, even royalty, gradually fall from the lofty position of their sires. Not through a disaster befalling the family in general, but through the simple bad luck of distributed inheritances and a long slow drift from the centre. You're the fourth or fifth child of some aristocrat; you come late enough that there aren't any lands or titles for you to inherit, so you instead wind up as a regular knight, become a retainer to some other lord, keep hoping that war or tourneys will either net you a big payout or enough fame to win a marriage to an eligible heiress. Maybe you succeed to a degree, maybe you don't, but you ultimately don't have much to leave for your own children. They become knights as well, but the pickings are slimmer; between contests during times of peace, they basically live in poverty, even if they still have a few arms (increasingly poorly maintained) to their name. If they have any children, those will probably have basically nothing, entering society on the level of commoners; marrying or becoming villein-tenants or inhabitants of a town, possibly even seasonal labourers.

                                ​Did anybody else ever read any of the A Song of Ice and Fire material connecting the character of the eastern mercenary Big Benn Plumm to one of the actual Targaryens? I like that story.

                                ​My point with this preamble is the matter of how when this kind of thing happens with a descendant of a Dragon Blood, as it surely must, there can be a bit more to it then an interesting family history. It's been separated by several degrees, but you're still part of a line that inherits Exaltation.

                                ​It gave me this image of offices in the Realm, minor, often tedious, but with a measure of prestige to them, focused on tracing Exalted genealogies past the point where they disappear into people considered insignificant in the Realm. Both for purposes of having a running tally of people who might wind up as Outcastes, and lists of some people who might provide a bit of fresh blood if the makings of a new patrician house ever needs to be built from scratch.


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