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September 6, 2016


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September 6, 2016

There's something of an understated cultural rift regarding kinship that's contributing (though hardly causing) to the tension here. Back in the day of the Gene Lords, when everything outside of their carefully managed neo-feudal estates was falling apart, the vengee populations more or less abandoned the idea of blood kin. Family was who you said it was; naming someone your 'brother' or 'daughter' denoted how you felt about them, not necessarily any blood ties. Once they gained power and began building governments, they carried the attitudes into law, with adult adoption (and disinheritance) becoming both legally trivial and socially common. In the estates of the gene-modified, by contrast, blood was everything -- even more so after the Gene Lords fell and blue blood became something one could only inherit. The rift hasn't so much widened in the time since as become part of the background and, in the way of such things, developed blurry edges. The Empire falls largely on the chosen-family-side; Kieselburg's upper class falls on the blood-kin side, but Lowtown goes both ways; Zhu's home domain of Guiyang was more strongly blood-kin, but there's been a power shift in the past few decades that's put the chosen-family culture in a more prominent position.

For those of you in the DC area: the Small Press Expo is coming up on September 17th-18th, Spiderforest has a table again this year, and I will be there! As always, I have nothing to actually sell you save a few prints, but I love having people come by the table to say hi -- and this is a fantastic show, one I love going to as a fan as much as a creator. We'll be tables E12-13A. If you're free that weekend and nearby, do consider checking us out!