Through the Cracks Ch4 bit – Tolerance

Curiosity piqued, Kero walked and stretched, working out the kinks of a morning spent with too much information. Whatever the problem was, it’d be a change from trying to figure out just how paranoid they had to be about the Eastern Empire, the pirates on Lake Evendim, the barbarians moving in the North, the remnants of Urtho’s lab on the Dhorisha Plains, and who knew what other problems the universe might dream up in the next few weeks.

All of which will somehow, someway, end up being Valdemar’s problem, Kerowyn thought. Got to be the local religious tolerance. All those gods mucking about making Plans.

Plans which must have only gotten more complicated with the Yamato settling in these past two years. The Guard had already had to break up one scuffle between a few bow-carrying miko and local priests of the Sunlord. Evidently the Yamato had a sun goddess; the Lady of the Mirror, sister of their Lord of Storm. And some of her more stiff-necked followers were not at all amused by hearing the sun referred to as he.

Idiots. Damn good archers, though.

Eldan came into view at a fast walk, flipping through a volume three handspans’ tall and half that wide. “Here.”

Ink-strokes of hiragana, framing a shockingly bloody image. A white-haired Yamato swordsman leapt across the page, dressed in red, blade sheathed by his side as he tore apart a gigantic centipede with clawed hands.

Kero whistled. :A Changechild?:

“The inu-hanyou Inuyasha, defeating a centipede youkai,” Eldan explained, drawing her attention toward the pricked ears visible in white hair; ears as cute and enticing to the fingers as those of the brave, curl-tailed, thick-furred dogs Yamato called Shiba Inu.

And you don’t want us using Mindspeech, Kero realized. Why?

“Supposedly these are stories of the wild adventures he and his companions had – oh, about four centuries ago,” Eldan went on. “If he ever really existed. Which Sozen Michiko, the nice Kyotoko lady who sold me this book, implied he didn’t. After all, everyone in Valdemar knows Changechildren are vicious, murdering beasts; not human at all. Certainly not human enough to fall in love with not one, but two miko, and marry the one who lived after the quest was over.”

“Everyone in Valdemar is magic-paranoid,” Kerowyn grumbled. “Probably vicious, yes; but not all of them are. Doesn’t surprise me Nyara doesn’t always tell people what she used to be… you’re wearing a look, Eldan. I’m not sure I like it.” She glanced down at scuffed ground again, listened to the suspicious silence in her head where a certain horse-shaped troublemaker ought to be offering sarcastic comments. “No, I’m definitely sure I don’t like it.” Wait. Think about this. “Everyone in Valdemar, hmm?”

12 thoughts on “Through the Cracks Ch4 bit – Tolerance

  1. After all, everyone in Valdemar knows Changechildren are vicious, murdering beasts; not human at all.

    That’s because most of them are.

    Through youkai still aren’t human. They are people. But they aren’t human people.

    You’d think someone who is linked to a not-a-horse and knows about Gryphons and all the OTHER not-human sentients running around this planet would understand that people or person does not always mean human.

    Or are you lot implying that because they aren’t human, Companions and Gryphons and more aren’t people.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, but Companions and gryphons aren’t people-shaped. Therefore it’s actually easier to accept that something that doesn’t look human is still a person. Something that is person-shaped, mostly, but has a few different reflexes and cultural mores… that gets much, much trickier.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. True.

        Still something they need to get through their skulls.

        Because they might not be the only human-shaped non-humans in the world. And those might not be nearly as patient about this as the youkai and hanyou have been.

        Through if youkai are shape-shifters in this world too, that might be tricky to explain how sometimes they are human-shaped and sometimes they aren’t. Or maybe it would make it easier. People are confusing.

        Also, most youkai and hanyou would probably be rather insulted to be called human. Hanyou might be (at least) half-human but that doesn’t mean they think of themselves as human. Most of them don’t. Kenshin doesn’t think of himself as human.

        You can argue that many like Kenshin are humane . . .

        AND because if you are going to say “There is no one way,” then you actually have to mean it. Otherwise it’s just a nice sentiment that doesn’t actually mean anything. Not where and when it matters.

        But as you said earlier, that is easier to do when the stuff you are accepting doesn’t completely go against “The World According to X” in some fashion.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. And it’s canon that more then a few people refuse to believe that Companions are intelligent as people(Hulda being the main example, but it’s come up more then a few places, including in By the Sword.)

        And I believe it’s also canon that out of the species known to be a)intelligent and b)working with people, Valdemar currently hasn’t got open kyree or Hertasi. And the Gryphons are fairly proud of their mage origins.

        And it looked like Vanyel messed up again. Wow. (Also, given the snake/lizard associations, maybe it’s a good thing the Hertasi aren’t there, that might be something the Eddoko have an issue with.)

        Liked by 3 people

      3. …And now my brain sees a giant mage-crafted hertasi heading for Edo….

        Well, what kind of Japan analog would they be without a Godzilla?

        And what kind of world is this that it cannot understand what a Godzilla Threshold is?

        Okay, the lack of internet does limit one’s ability to have access to TVTropes . . . through the idea of Troper Herald is amusing.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Oh, it’s mentioned in one of the books that even some Valdemarans don’t accept that Companions are more then exceptionally clever horses. Don’t think that just because the law and culture supports tolerance that everyone gives it or gets it.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. The medieval Scholastics reasoned that any being with beyond-animal intelligence and a material body was a human, no matter what that body looked like, and therefore had a human soul.

    Michael Flynn’s novel Eifelheim explores what this might mean in practice, by having aliens land in a parish with a Scholastic priest.

    Liked by 2 people

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