Non-Noble Zi Ri [27 Thory 4261]
Someone asked me, somehow, what non-noble Zi Ri were like.
I don't know.
So far as I know, there are no non-noble Zi Ri anymore.
Well, that's probably not true. Probably there's some twig of the World Tree where there aren't nobility, so of course no non-noble Zi Ri.
But we're pretty much all considered minor nobility without much question. I think I rank ... um ... as if I were the heir of a baron's title with no actual property going with it, or something like that. Nobody has any doubt that I'm Somebody, or at least related to Somebody, but I'm pretty ignorable for a Somebody.
(Actually, nobody in Vheshrame has any doubts I'm related to Hezimikkinen. Of course, they'd mostly assume I was related to zir even if I wasn't, since zie's the other Zi Ri in town.)
But that automatic title trick is not particularly about us at all. Anyone who's reasonably closely related to someone very important is treated as minor nobility. That only makes sense, after all -- and it's not really very different if your grandparent invented Enchantment, or if your grandmother just rules Pennypell. (I don't remember if the ruler of Pennypell is male, female, or co-lover, or old enough to have grandchildren. I picked Pennypell 'cause it's a real actual city but not the capitol of a city-state. And it has the most insane operas on the whole World Tree, not that that matters for this essay.) If you're close enough related to someone pretty important, then you're at least a little important.
And there are a fair number of important Zi Ri. Some of them are like Glikkonen: people who have been around since the beginning, and did all sorts of important scary major things, and are in all the books. But even the least of the Zi Ri born two thousand years ago (only half the age of the universe) are going to be pretty well-known by now, for whatever they do.
Tnirvakuovvka (the one of my grandparents who wasn't first-created), for example, is a bookseller, and never has been anything else I suspect. I don't know what it's like in the various monster-worlds, but here booksellers are just merchants. Except, of course, Tnirvakuovvka, as one of the few deathless booksellers ... and with enough magical force to protect some then-rare books against the Holocaust Wars, and even against beetles ... well, Tnirvakuovvka once in a while sells a book at auction for ten or eleven million lozens.
That sounds like at least as impressive as, oh, Yarwain's parents' great-baronship.
And zie's pretty much a typical two-thousand-year-old.
I suppose, somewhere, there might be a Zi Ri with grandparents as young as, say, six or seven hundred, who never did much of anything. On the whole, a generation of Zi Ri is about a thousand years, I suppose, so pretty much each young Zi Ri has grandparents at least as important as Tnirvakuovvka.
Actually, I think most young Zi Ri have a collection of grandparents pretty much like mine. I can give myself a few airs, since three of mine are first-generation, but I did look it up in one of the Zi Ri records (the one that doesn't include me) and, of the eight Zi Ri that it does list born in the last sixty years, one had one first-generation grandparent, five had two, and two had three.
I could be unfair and say that it's not about being Zi Ri, it's about being related to immortals. But just about all the other prime immortals are people who made their own immortality talismans (which is rather a hard enchantment), or who persuaded someone else to make one for them (which is a vastly harder enchantment). In the first case, they are enchanters of note for having the skill. In the second, they are able to extract a great deal of work from someone like Glikkonen, and anyone who can that (by buying it, or bullying, or any other means) is very, very impressive indeed.
I imagine that close relatives of non-Zi Ri immortals get a more impressive degree of automatic nobility than Zi Ri do. But, of course, you can't tell them by sight, and you can tell us.
So that's ... why I'm allowed in to Vheshrame Academy the easy way.
(And, to forstall the next question, the hard way to get in to Vheshrame Academy is to be frightfully intelligent, like Iska, may some calliopes or something devour her tail. The middle way is to be a protegee of someone important who pays your fees, like Thery somehow managed to stay. The quality of hard-way students is imposing; the quality of middle-way students is impressive; the lifestyle of easy-way students is delightful.)