Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Incest in Exalted

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Incest in Exalted

    Obviously player comfort comes first, but this is something I seriously began to wonder. Now real world comparison especially among nobility marrying say your cousin or uncle wasn't too odd. Either because of an idea of "pure blood" or just for the sake of politics this was not too odd. Cultures that practiced a dowry also did it to keep the money in the family. This did cause some issues due to inbreeding but, do people in Creation have that issue? I dont see any reason to believe genetic illness is even a thing. I also imagine high breeding dynasts would care quite alot about not watering down the bloodline.

    So with all this, would there really be any reason in Exalted for cultures to care about marrying within the family?

  • #2
    Yes - just because the people of Creation haven't figured out genetics doesn't mean that after thousands of years of civilizations people never puzzled out the relation between incest and problems with the resulting child.

    It's gonna be somewhat of a taboo, albeit not on the order of hunting your neighbors like animals and eating them.

    Also, there's quite a few good bloodlines of Dragon-Blooded - if they don't want to sully their line with mortal blood, that doesn't mean that they have to start marrying uncles to nieces or sister to brother.
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 02-24-2015, 11:42 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Like I've said elsewhere, logically you're going to get a certain level of incestual relationships among the Dragon-Blooded, especially the ones obsessed with maintaining the blood of the Dragons.

      Comment


      • #4
        Genetic disorders strike me as a pretty big thing to just assume away like that. What makes you think they wouldn't be a thing in Creation?


        The EX3 What We Know Wiki, courtesy of Marin and JMobius
        Nishkriya, the EX3 Freelancer Quotes Tracker, courtesy of Anathema and Moonwolf
        The White Wolf Forum Archive, courtesy of The Dark Wizard and Sanctaphrax (see its Patreon)
        Arrghus: There's also the Shepherd of the North Star, busily guiding the one thing in all the heavens that doesn't move.

        Comment


        • #5
          If we're just talking about Dynasts, consider that there are more factors to a dynastic marriage than bloodlines. Marriages used to cement an alliance with, acquire property from, or assert dominance over another family are more common than matchmaking based on the likelihood of producing more dragonblooded kids, I expect, especially in 3E since Breeding isn't mechanically meaningful anymore.

          As for other families, I would expect that incest is no more common than it was for most bronze-age cultures - which is to say, highly variable based on class and region.
          Last edited by semicasual; 02-25-2015, 12:06 AM.


          On the frontier of the Wild South, there's only one woman with the grit to take on its most dangerous outlaws and bring them Back Alive, or Maybe Dead.

          Avatar by K.S. Brenowitz

          Comment


          • #6
            Well, at least it isn't clogging up a perfectly good, unrelated thread.

            Okay. I figure it goes like this.

            Regular people might consistently wed their fourth cousins out of necessity, because travel to another village to find a wife is difficult and expensive and a serious undertaking (this was one of the problems that improvements in travel technology is thought to have alleviated). Generally leads to bad juju, which is why the constant raiding and upheavals and migrations that happen to the common folk of Creation are a good thing in the long term.

            A stable polity like the Realm where upheavals and migrations are rare, travel is restricted and peasants are tied to the land is going to have a lot of this, and will wind up with serious genetic problems unless there's something in place to compensate for it. Ironically, the widespread dispossession of Realm peasants and the Civil War might actually be the best thing to happen to them in a long time. You know. Genetically.

            Some people might practice forms of it because of their religion a la Pharaonic Egypt. Local gods might put it in tenets, ancestor spirits might do it for some reason or another (maybe once their specific blood gets thin enough in the veins of their descendents, their ghost-powers don't work well on them). Definitely leads to bad juju, and together with it being a sign of heretical practices, it will probably get Immaculate Monks knocking on/beating down your door.

            In the absence of a specific religious proscription, the Westermarck Effect and the taboo that basically the entirety of humanity seems to have picked up would work just fine in preventing this. The exception is, again, the Realm, where bloodlines reign supreme, everybody and their dog is like seventh cousins or something, power is stable and concentrated, and at least some subset of the kids are surrounded by tutors and nannies all day instead of with their peer group and parents. Once again ironically, the Realm Civil War might be the best thing possible by winnowing out the most decadent/inbred houses, reducing the funds available for latch-key parenting (Ejava notably was raised by her own mom), destroying the standard of blood that says "you must be this closely related to the Scarlet Empress to enter," and bringing in a metric asston of Dragon-Blooded mercenaries and adoptees from the Threshold.

            For smaller states it's not really a concern! It's mostly around the rise of the nation-state (think Renaissance days) when the whole "Kings are inbred fucks and the Chancellor runs the country" thing started to really take hold. Creation is set in the era where (if you're not magical Chinamerica) you carve out your kingdom through strength and there's not really much room for the Habsburgs in it. Nobility had a lot more churn in the days before the nation-state because being in charge of something generally meant fighting for it and very probably getting killed, and there didn't tend to be time to get the kind of screwed-up setup of quintuple-reciprocal multi-generational marriage-alliances that European royalty suffered from.
            Last edited by Guancyto; 02-25-2015, 12:27 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
              Yes - just because the people of Creation haven't figured out genetics doesn't mean that after thousands of years of civilizations people never puzzled out the relation between incest and problems with the resulting child.

              It's gonna be somewhat of a taboo, albeit not on the order of hunting your neighbors like animals and eating them.

              Also, there's quite a few good bloodlines of Dragon-Blooded - if they don't want to sully their line with mortal blood, that doesn't mean that they have to start marrying uncles to nieces or sister to brother.
              I said I wasn't certain inbreeding even exists in Exalted. If it does I assume incest would be taboo for the same reason it is in our society, because you naturally find people you are around alot growing up (ie close family) naturally unappealing and thus the thought of it squicks you. Thats partly why in the real world it took so long for us to notice inbreeding, it just didn't happen that often. Hence why no one figured out why European nobility was nuts.
              Originally posted by Gaius View Post
              Genetic disorders strike me as a pretty big thing to just assume away like that. What makes you think they wouldn't be a thing in Creation?
              I dont see why it would be. Other illnesses are the result of foreign essence disrupting your bodies essence. Nor does it make sense for the Primordials to program this issue into their prayer mills. If there are genetic disorders I figure it would be some sort of tainted aspect of your essence you simply pass on and not the result of defects caused by matched gene conflicts in an embryo. Of course I could be wrong, thats why I posted this. Just stating the reason for my doubts

              Comment


              • #8
                I think there are probably nations that practice it particularly in the royalty. It was relatively common in the Near East in Antiquity, and to a degree in Europe when every royal was everyone other royal's cousin, and in fantasy (I'm thinking of some nation from the Belgariad).

                I mean, typically it's going to be a thing that royalty does, either from notions of preserving a bloodline or for political alliance reasons.
                Last edited by Zelbinnean; 02-25-2015, 12:20 AM.


                "Chicanery-No: If a player uses this Charm in an abusive or exploitative manner, the ST may punch him right in the goddamn face." --TheDementedOne

                "Happiness is very brittle and short-lived in the Exalted community, because ressentiment is our cultural touchstone." --Gayo

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Guancyto View Post
                  Well, at least it isn't clogging up a perfectly good, unrelated thread.

                  Okay. I figure it goes like this.

                  Regular people might consistently wed their fourth cousins out of necessity, because travel to another village to find a wife is difficult and expensive and a serious undertaking (this was one of the problems that improvements in travel technology is thought to have alleviated). Generally leads to bad juju, which is why the constant raiding and upheavals and migrations that happen to the common folk of Creation are a good thing in the long term.
                  Than that wouldn't be an issue. Second cousins are as genetically diverse from you as any other random human (well of the same ethnic group). Thats why even in the US its perfectly legal to marry your second cousin. First cousins produce an increased risk but its not too significant unless done over multiple generations and even in the real world is not a universal taboo.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Aeroz View Post
                    I dont see why it would be. Other illnesses are the result of foreign essence disrupting your bodies essence. Nor does it make sense for the Primordials to program this issue into their prayer mills. If there are genetic disorders I figure it would be some sort of tainted aspect of your essence you simply pass on and not the result of defects caused by matched gene conflicts in an embryo. Of course I could be wrong, thats why I posted this. Just stating the reason for my doubts
                    You think everything that the titans put into humans was put there intentionally?

                    Shit, man, you have a much higher estimation of the love and care they might put into a species that was basically made to make fun of the guy they hated. I would personally expect a number of flaws in the design, in the same vein that the java applet you crank out in ten minutes probably has bugs in it.

                    Further, if genetic disorders aren't a thing in Creation, that means King Joeffrey can't exist and there's no reason to have any kind of taboo. It's a strange, strange decision about the setting, and worst of all it commits the cardinal sin of closing off a bunch of stories for no real benefit.

                    Originally posted by Aeroz View Post
                    Than that wouldn't be an issue. Second cousins are as genetically diverse from you as any other random human (well of the same ethnic group). Thats why even in the US its perfectly legal to marry your second cousin. First cousins produce an increased risk but its not too significant unless done over multiple generations and even in the real world is not a universal taboo.
                    It wouldn't be taboo (nobody but Realm genealogists probably even think of fourth cousins as a thing), but you think a population consistently breeding amongst itself is not going to have problems with genetic disorders?

                    I have so many Jews to introduce you to.
                    Last edited by Guancyto; 02-25-2015, 12:36 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Aeroz View Post
                      I said I wasn't certain inbreeding even exists in Exalted.
                      By all indications, it does, though.

                      Originally posted by Aeroz
                      I dont see why it would be. Other illnesses are the result of foreign essence disrupting your bodies essence.
                      Except when it isn't.

                      Nor does it make sense for the Primordials to program this issue into their prayer mills.
                      This assumes that one, the Primordials did this intentionally, two, that the Primordials made humans to provide prayer, and three, that the Primordials created humanity at all, none of which is gonna be set in stone in the coming edition!

                      Originally posted by Aeroz
                      If there are genetic disorders I figure it would be some sort of tainted aspect of your essence you simply pass on and not the result of defects caused by matched gene conflicts in an embryo.
                      Why can't it be both?

                      Of course I could be wrong, thats why I posted this. Just stating the reason for my doubts
                      On the one hand, Creation has ghosts and water elementals, there to give the setting a touch of the fantastic; on the other, Creation has cholera and septic wounds, to ground it in gritty reality. Negative traits being gained from inbreeding is in that second category.
                      Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 02-25-2015, 12:50 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I think a more relevant question is perhaps "Does exaltation purge you of any genetic disorders you are suffering because of incest?".

                        Considering that the Dragon-Blooded still exist in a reasonably sane state - and please, read the 100/9900 origin story of the Dragon-Blooded, think about the fact that Dragon-Blooded only bred with each other, and then consider just how much incest was likely going on - I think the answer is probably "yes", at least to some extent.

                        Also I think the Realm is more fun if you inject a lot of messy European monarchy flaws into it, especially with the huge emphasis on purity of bloodline the great houses have.


                        Murcushio: Sure, you avoid all that messy withdrawal, but you still need to stop doing heroin (for the purposes of this discussion your cousin is named Heroin).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Guancyto View Post


                          It wouldn't be taboo (nobody but Realm genealogists probably even think of fourth cousins as a thing), but you think a population consistently breeding amongst itself is not going to have problems with genetic disorders?

                          I have so many Jews to introduce you to.
                          yes, but at that point its not incest anymore, its just a small population pool. If you ran a DNA test on a fourth cousin they couldn't even confirm that you are related.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MaxAstro View Post
                            …please, read the 100/9900 origin story of the Dragon-Blooded…
                            Ugh, pretty sure that this particular bit of fecal matter isn't being continued either.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              And just to muddy the waters... Creation is a world where dinosaurs piss magical oil of olay and the Exalted can learn Charms that do things like double their lifespan or let them literally punch the disease out of people.

                              There's probably frighteningly effective medical treatments available for genetic disorders that are crippling or deadly here in the real world, is what I'm saying. Not all of them are going to be accessible, I imagine some people are fucked up to the point that you need either a Celestial Exalt with custom Medicine Charms or some kind of hyper-rare poultice made from honey produced by bees that have harvested healthiness from the dreams of flowers or some shit that the Guild charges you so much for, but they're almost certainly there. Your family has a history of heart disease and cancer? Tough shit here on Earth, but in Creation that can probably be fixed. You've been marrying your cousins for 300 years? Okay, the ongoing damage you've done can probably also be fixed, but it would be sort of like applying a Charm that instantly cleans up a heroin addict; sure, you avoid all that messy withdraw shit, but you still need to stop doing heroin. (For the purposes of this discussion your cousin is named Heroin.)


                              "SEX NOVA is the kind of person who, after being chosen as the divine champion of the god of heroes, decided to call himself SEX NOVA."

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X