Pas-de-Dog 2 [10 Hivvem 4261]
We sat in the Gallery of a Thousand Shining Alarming Geometrical Solids, and our very sweet and innocent Cani maid brought a variety of vile and pungent delicacies of the sort that Cani enjoy, and discussed perversions. Mostly the Cani discussed perversions. I ate far too many cheese-and-offirrah tarts and sweet pickles.
Thestra and Anoof:Pleasantries about Clan Mnorryn goings-on, and assorted other Cani manner things, such as Cani do when they're trying to make friends with other Cani!"
Me:Idle and largely unvoiced speculation about which of us an ignorant but clever observer would deduce was an immortal with unlimited time, and which was a mortal with a finite lifespan and an immediate problem awaiting solution.
Thestra and Anoof:"I think we're boring Sythyry."
Me:"Oh! The Never! How could that be?"
Anoof:"Impossible, of course. Still, I do have a topic which, while less interesting than Mnorryn clan politics, you might decide to find something to say."
Thestra:"I might? Oh, I'd love to be helpful to a fellow Mnorryn. Especially one who looks kindly on Sythyry and Ghirbis."
Thestra:"I know Darkwad."
Which confirms certain wonderings I had about Darkwad and Ghirbis. Though the rumor around Across Saga is that Darkwad is more 'flexible' than 'traff' proper, and more 'hireable' than both of those put together. I suspect his grilled-vegetable business gives him a living wage, but barely, and that a bit of flexibility-for-hire makes up for it elsewise.
Anoof:"Darkwad. Of course."
Thestra:"What can I help with?" (wag, wag, wag. She looked downright eager.)
Anoof:Enziet, my latest fiancee, has this and that circumstance. She is mute; she is transaffectionate. She is mute because she is transaffectionate, in fact.
Me:"One of the lesser-known hazards of the lovestyle. Ilottat seemed quite immune to it."
Anoof:"Her previous love was a Gormoror. Her parents forbade her to speak with him again. So she swore that she wouldn't speak to anyone again. She got a spell to help with that, even."
Me:"Now tragically romantic!"
Anoof:"But she didn't tell that to us. She just pretended to be mute, as though from birth."
Me:"Why could such a little thing concern one's future husband?"
Anoof:"Sythyry? May I serve you another one of these delicious cheese-and-offirrah tarts, or perhaps some pickles?"
Which is to say, "shut up and let us talk." So I did. Anoof explained things in somewhat more detail, but you've seen that.
Thestra:"So, she was trying to be a good Gormoror, as well as a good Cani? Trying to be alarmingly honorable and brave and romantic and dramatic, as well as loyal and all?"
Anoof:"Well ... I suppose so, actually. "
Thestra:"And it sounds like her family bonds were twisted very tight at that point. As if they were a choke-collar to rule her against her will, rather than a racing harness so that many can run well together."
Anoof:"Her parents are a bit insistant on various things, to be sure. They hang the hopes of their village on her, and she is not naturally suited to help them. Unless, as Sythyry would probably say, she finds a rich Gormoror."
Thestra:"Well, an obedient child might simply obey. A child who plays Gormoror will take it as a challenge." She looked down. "A child who plays Sleeth might run away."
Anoof:"It's about being another species, is it?"
Thestra:"Nothing so insane. It's about being loyal to someone of another species, and taking that as your primary loyalty."
Anoof:"What would such a one do in a marriage?"
Thestra:"One -- that's me -- thought about it a long long time, and decided that I couldn't be properly loyal to some Cani spouses, not unless Denaist were brought into the marriage as well. We haven't yet found Cani willing to do that."
Anoof:"I should think it would be hard, or harder."
Thestra:"Well: hard or harder to find Cani that we'd actually want to marry, and who actually want to marry us. But that's not your problem with Enziet."
Anoof:"She's found us. As of two days ago we wanted to marry her."
And they talked and wagged and wagged and talked. I ate more cheese-and-offirrah tarts and sweet pickles. And stopped taking notes.
And the conclusion, which was obvious from the beginning: Being traff does not release one from being decent to the people one is obligated to. (Alas!) Enziet didn't exactly lie, but she was less than forthcoming, and Thestra wouldn't recommend marrying her.
Anoof:"So, even the transaffectionate think we shouldn't marry her."
Anoof:"Think we should marry Thestra?"
Me:"Well, best if you meet Denaist first. And can Cani actually marry a Sleeth?"
Anoof:"There is that. Pity."