Saturday, 20 December 2014

Family and relations

  • Family is everyone related through blood, and their spouses (grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles, siblings, nephews and nieces, children, grandchildren; but not cousins, or the own spouse's siblings). For longlived species, family trees can become insanely large; states with such populations feature laws that put a sensible stop to responsibility for family members.
  • Clan is the family plus all additional blood relations, and members of the household; relations by marriage, adopted children, and permanent guests.
  • A tribe is all clans related by blood or law, the families and clans of all own clan members and their households.
  • The people is all tribes that feel connected by culture, or are considered related by outsiders.

The importance of the communities differs. Settled nomads emphasize family and people, while travelling nomads consider the clan most important. In unsure times and regions every alliance is defended with teeth and claws, in safe times bonds are given up easier.
"I really don't see how I'm obliged to help the thrice-damned Redwater Walkers when we're only related by a distant cousin's adopted daughter's second husband. If we go on like that, I'd be related to half of Lozir, for crying out loud."
— Davoi, clan elder


It's unusual to leave orphans on the streets. Most often they will be adopted by parents of their own species, but that's not a law. Garren will also call their beja parents mother and father and not fuss.
Dwarves are relatively quickly in new homes, even if they need a lot of food, as the timespan they can stay alone at young age is less than half a year, and the damage is harder to heal. Raganaj are harder to house; their needs are great, their growth requires new clothes often, and they always bring a pet, even if only in teenage years. Elves are almost never taken up when the adoptive parents' relationship isn't perfectly fine, there's always the hint it might be a bastard, and their many peculiarities make elves hard to live with (elves are more prone to suffer from prejudice anyway than others).
Speaker children are never alone for long; their group will take them in, if no-one else will.
"Sewing new clothes for Samakadi always was like tentmaking, with her being my height at age six, and I haven't been able to carry her after her third birthday. But she is 'our' daughter, and I could not imagine my life without her."
— Ogrinae Kanraha, dwarf

Artists' notes
There are many fine details to living together that are fun to consider when creating a multi-species world. As there are very few cultures with few or only one species, I had to think about how people marry, how they handle children, if there are more halfbloods than truebloods, what society thinks of halfbreeds, and so on. The main thing though is, all parents love their children regardless of how they came by them, and raganaj parents will love their garren children just as much as their own blood, and this simple notion fixes most problems. Adding that racial prejudice is considered a mental illness, halfbloods may not be many (you'll probably marry so you can have children) but aren't outcasts either. Halfbloods will be detailed in their own article.

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