Agrimony comes from a very old family, yet he is a very progressive Herethroy.
On second thought, I don't know what that means. His family is four years older than mine, to be sure. But, well, all Herethroy families are the same age, aren't they? The first Herethroy were all created at once, weren't they?
I suppose we don't know that for sure. They presumably were made conscious all at once -- the Zi Ri were, we know that because someone asked my grandparent (Verehinga, not Glikkonen. I do have four, even if people think only about one of them). But there's no reason why the first Herethroy couldn't have been made at forty-eight different times, and left sitting on Virid's shelves, and simply all started at once.
A Rassimel, at this point, ought to swirl off into a theoretical discussion of whether Virid actually has shelves for storing created but inactive people, or whether her convenient storage options might better be termed "drawers", or "root cellar", or "bean pods", or, perhaps, even "armoire". I'll leave that for Ghirbis to sing about, though.
In any case, Rhedwy's family is just as old as Agrimony's -- the Sleeth were created at the same time as the Herethroy -- and, since Sleeth do not live as long, there have been more generations behind Rhedwy than Agrimony.
Actually, "more generations" had best be considered "worse" rather than "better", or I'm entirely doomed. I have only four, even counting the long way.
Back to Agrimony
In any case, Agrimony's family has been important in Vheshrame for many generations. They're not exactly nobles, and they're not exactly not nobles. Some of them are important in the city guard, and some of them are legeriators, and some of them are administrators of various civic departments, and some of them attend upon the Duke or other important people in this or that function. Agrimony's mother is an esquire, a low and non-hereditary title that the Duke gave her last year as a reward for revealing that some his personal treasury's amber was creeping off to visit with some of his distant (and, since the discovery, very distant indeed) relatives.
(Another rambling aside: does this mean he's allowed to have the perquisites of an actual esquire himself? Or just his parents can do that? He doesn't seem to, in any case.)
But he is quite progressive. He says that all eight prime species ought to be socially equal, and that that the benign and friendly kinds of monsters, wherriwheffle and mherobump and taptet and such, ought to be as well.
Strenata knows him. They have had long quarrelsome arguments about fundamental morality and religion. He is also an ~athiest~, asserting that the gods are simply powerful beings who created the universe and us and who supply us with magic in exchange for cley and who create monsters to trouble us and all of that stuff. In particular he claims they have no particular position of moral or ethical supremacy. In especial particular he claims that their particular favor of the prime species means, simply, that seven very powerful universe-creating magic-supplying beings favor us (the other twelve gods are less particular) and doesn't signify anything more than that we have seven mighty but very unreliable allies.
In particular, he says there ought to be no difference between primes and non-primes.
"What about the practical differences?" asked Strenata. "Cyarr and scyanturge can hardly help attacking us constantly."
"A mere practicality, of no great concern for moral philosophy," said Agrimony.
Strenata is very emphatic on the difference between nonprimes and primes. She and her family have dealt with nonprimes in many various ways, often involving violence. Agrimony has barely been outside of the city walls a dozen times in his life -- not all Herethroy are content rustics -- and has never met anyone less prime than Rhedwy.
Back, again, to Agrimony
But I am not considering Agrimony as an adventuring companion, nor as a philosophical mentor. I am considering him as a roommate.
- He is tidy, but not dangerously so.
- He is respectable, but not dangerously so.
- He sings well. Most Herethroy do. This could be dangerous under the right circumstances.
- He actively wants to live with Dustweed. To prove a point of course. I imagine that he would live with Rhedwy if she were available.
- Ghirbis and Anoof already think well of him.
- Strenata generally likes him despite, or because of, various differences of opinion.
- When I met him he seemed a personable chap. (So did Dubaille, but Dubaille did not come so well-recommended by the trustworthy. Dubaille came respectable by Desparation, whom the ancient Calanchian structural artists represented as a smiling Khtsoyis offering a chalice of sweet wine and bearing a concealed club full of poisoned iron spikes.)
The Hard Part
Shall I veto Dustweed? Everyone else living there thinks well enough of zir. Ghirbis does not mind, but she is not local and never will be. The Cani do not fear rumors -- do they know not to fear? Do they simply control the river of rumors (represented by the ancient Calanchians as a confluence of a hundred streams running through mills, stables, tanneries, latrines, and all manner of such)?
I vetoed Iska. She is still lurking in my social set -- Yarwain is not having an affair with her, but did tell her before me of Thery's pregnancy.
And Dustweed is far, far more central in my set than Iska. And, unfortunately, far, far more central to the people I care about too. Unwise as that may be.