Passengers and Crew [Vheshrame; 23 Trandary 4385]
I would expect it of the Orren.
We have any number of Orren around Castle Wrong. I cannot precisely take credit for it, and I have not at all taken advantage of it in many years, but we do have quite a few Orren here. It's not particularly a surprise that, say, Inconnu comes into the parlor while I'm meditating in the fire and asks to come with me. He is suddenly and deeply in love with Calla. Calla is a Herethroy co-lover who has lived in Castle Wrong for a decade. Calla is coming as the second cook, and the Herethroy cook since Herethroy can't eat meat and so we need a vegetarian cook too. Calla has been planning to come for well over a year.
Me:"Does Calla return your love?"
Inconnu:"Zie doesn't know yet."
Me:"That is not, initially, a very good basis for a relationship."
Inconnu:"I want to woo zir!"
Me:"You realize that you're going to change your mind in a few weeks?"
Inconnu:"That's not true! Jyondre and Yerenthax have been a couple for years! Are you saying I'm worse than Jyondre?"
Me:"Well ... it might not work out with Calla, and you might change your mind. And where will you be then?"
Inconnu:"It will! I won't! And ... um ... I'll be somewhere pretty exciting?"
Me:"Well, I did offer to pretty much anyone in Castle Wrong that they could come along, so you can. But we're leaving in four days. Can you be ready?"
Which is a silly question. Inconnu left his family home on three hours' notice, and has very little by way of possessions.
Inconnu:"Yay! Yay! Can I work in the kitchen?"
Me:"That's between you and the kitchen staff."
Anyways, that's not particularly surprising.
I didn't expect that Zascalle and Thiane would do the same thing. Though
Thiane:"Zascalle and I have talked it over, and we would like to come along on Strayway."
Me:"What about your children?"
Thiane (Cani woman) and Zascalle (Rassimel woman) have two young Rassimel boys, Feralan and Ochirion. They are actual honest-to-gods Rassimel, with no ritual magic involved in their conception. I believe that Este helped out with Feralan; I am not sure about Ochirion.
Thiane:"They will return from the voyage much better educated than they would be if they had stayed at home."
Zascalle:"And I will tutor them, and Quendry too."
Me:"Oh, dear. Quendry is coming?"
Thiane:"It is only natural that Quendry should come, since his mother Arfaen is."
Me:"She didn't mention that to me. The last I heard, Quendry was living with Arfaen's ex-family."
Arfaen divorced her Cani spouses a few years ago, but not before she had become Quendry's mother. Quendry mostly lives with his father and his dozen-or-so spouses, in a longhouse across town.
Thiane:"We just worked it all out with her. We're telling you now."
So I interrogated Arfaen. We had a two-hour conversation, with witnesses and other assorted evidence, but it amounts to this:
Me:"You're bringing Quendry?"
Arfaen:"I need to get him out of town! Away from his father! Quendry is never allowed to have affan in anything! Quendry must not be raised as the runt of the pack!"
Cani live in big families, which you can call packs if you like. Status is very important: at any given time, one Cani holds affan in each topic. The affan-cook is in charge of cooking; the affan-singer, in charge of singing. Cani children must be allowed to have affan in things now and then -- among other children at least -- or they grow up warped in mind and spirit.
Me:"Are the enough Cani coming on the trip for him?"
Arfaen:"Myself, Phaniet, and Thiane. All adults, but we know what to do. It will suffice, or at least, it will be better than back in the longhouse. I hope we get invited to stay with our clanmates on Srineia now and then, which will be better."
Me:"Right then. Is taking him along legal?"
Arfaen:"No. Will you help him?"
Me:"Yes, of course."
If I had any sense, none of these people would be on board. But then, if I had any sense, there would be no Castle Wrong in the first place.