OT: Son Of A Creature Man

on June 5, 2010 in Other Tales


“Goodbye, my love,” the man called from near the door of the big house. “I’m off to the cloud mines!”

He was a trim man in a blue-gray jump suit. Above his right eyebrow was an unusual mark, a shiny pink scar shaped like a forked branch or the letter Y turned on its side.

“Are you ever going to tire of that sad little jest?” his wife asked him, handing him his toolkit in a worn leather bag.

“It’s such a sad little jest, I’m afraid it would be very lonely without me,” he said. He accepted a kiss on the cheek, then turned and gave her one on the lips. “I love you, you know.”

“That much I do know,” she said. “Be careful up there, hey?”

“Aren’t I always?” he asked, and her eyes strayed up to the mark over his eye, but she said nothing.

“See you tonight, Danny,” she said.

“Tonight,” he repeated, and then he was gone.

The child had only been half-listening to this exchange from the living room as he worked on his tower of blocks. It was part of the routine of the day to him. The words weren’t always exactly the same, but they didn’t vary that much and the rhythm was always familiar. He pictured his mother’s eyes flicking upwards when she told his father to be careful. She never looked at the scar except when he was leaving for work, and she always looked at it then.

The sound of the door closing jarred the boy into a state of alertness to the world beyond his current creation, and he got up and wandered towards the kitchen, where his mother was now getting her own lunch packed up for the day.

“Mother?” he said.

“Yes, Aidan, honey?”

“Why does da have a scar on his eye?”

“Well… he got cut there, honey,” his mother said.

“But why didn’t it heal?”

When dealing with the questions of a small child, Dell Harris had learned to follow a few simple rules of thumb. The first was to never assume they wanted more than they were asking for. In her efforts to be modern and progressive and… above all… honest with her child, Dell had gone off on rambling monologues when he’d only been interested in the most immediate efficient causes for a shower of rain or two grown people holding hands.

There were times when his childhood curiosity ran deeper, though, and when that happened she tried to give him her full attention and answer as honestly as she could. She put her lunch preparations aside and knelt down level with her boy.

“It did,” she said. “That’s what happens sometimes when you let a bad cut heal on its own instead of getting it healed with magic. The body doesn’t always heal right by itself.”

“Why didn’t he get it healed?”

“Well… he said he wanted to keep it as a reminder,” Dell said. “He had a bad accident at work…”

“At the cloud mines?”

“Your father doesn’t actually work at cloud mines, Aidan,” Dell said. “That’s just his little joke.”

“I don’t get it.”

“Well, your father’s jokes aren’t necessarily very funny,” Dell said. “The sooner you learn that, the easier your life will be. Your father works at the…”

“He works at the docks,” Aidan said. “The sky docks, in the shipyards.”

“Yes, that’s right,” Dell said. “But he used to be an airshipman. His da was, too… that’s how he got started. He was riding the ships across the water, from Magisteria to here and back again, when he was a wee boy.”

“Like me?”

“A bit older than that, but not much,” Dell said. “His da worked below decks, keeping the levitators working. At first he just hung around, but your da, he had a knack for that.”

“What’s a levitator?”

“It’s the part of the airship that keeps it flying,” she said. “It’s… well, it’s a very complicated magical item. It takes a lot of strong magic to make something so big and heavy fly. The magic, it gets… well, temperamental. So they need people who are good at working big magic to travel on the airships, to make adjustments. That’s what your da did, and what his da did.”

“What’s he do now?”

“He still works on levitators when the ships come in… and before they go out… but he doesn’t travel with them any more,” Dell said. “He goes up with them sometimes, so he can see how they handle, but when the ship’s ready to leave he sends it on its way while he stays here.”

“So what happened?”

“You mean with the accident?” Dell said. The boy nodded. “Well, like I said, big magic can be tricky. A big boat’s not really supposed to fly, some would say, and elemental magic can become chaotic. The ship your da was on had a big glass orb as part of its levitator array, and it… well… exploded. Your da was hurt.”

“Was anybody else hurt?”

“A lot of people were killed,” Dell said. “Not everyone… half the crew made it to the lifeboats while your da held things together. When he couldn’t hold on any longer… the blast took off the back of the ship. He was thrown clear, but he had a chunk of glass in his face. Other injuries, too, but that was the worst one, and the one he insisted on keeping. He was in a lot of pain, too.”

“Because of the glass?”

“That, and because he fell almost two miles,” Dell said. “He had a feather necklace that would have slowed his fall, but he gave it to one of the stewards before he went down below.”

“Why?”

“Well, because he didn’t need it,” Dell said. “He knew the exploding levitator might have killed him, but a fall couldn’t.”

“Did he get in trouble?”

“For what, honey?”

“Letting the levitator explode,” Aidan said.

“No, he got a citation from the Unnameable One, after the inquest,” Dell said. “For trying to stop it.”

“What’s a… a citation?”

“It’s like a medal but on paper.”

“Can I see it?”

“I’m sure he’ll show it to you some day,” Dell said. “When he’s ready. When he thinks you’re ready. Some days I think he’s proud of what he did. Most days, though, when he thinks about it at all, he’s thinking about the people who didn’t make it. The people he couldn’t save. The people who couldn’t fall out of the sky and walk away.”

“Was he married to you then?”

“No, that was before I met him,” she said. “Just before. He came down in my family’s back pasture. I thought it was a piece of the ship that had come down… then I thought it was a dead man. He was so still and quiet… he’d passed out, I think mostly from the pain. Even if he could walk away from a fall like that, he still felt it.”

“Could I do that?”

“Well, I don’t know about that,” Dell said. “I think we should wait until you’re older before we try and find out.”

“I don’t think I’d want to fall miles,” Aidan said.

“I don’t imagine you would, either,” Dell said with a smile. “Hopefully you won’t ever have to.”

“Will I be good with levitators like da and his da?”

“Well… you might be,” Dell said. “But of course, you’d have to come by it differently than he did.”

“Because he’s not my father.”

“He’s your da, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise,” Dell said. “He was adopted, too, you know.”

“He was?”

“Oh, he was,” Dell said. “When his da was in the Magisterian air navy, a daughter of one of his mates had a baby she couldn’t raise. He took the boy on as his own and raised him with his wife. She died a few years later. Your da grew up on the ships after that, with no mother but dozens of uncles and a few aunts.”

“Did he know what da was? When he took him in?”

“No, no one did,” Dell said. “His grandmother tried to take him back when they found out, but your grandpa would have none of that. He knew who his boy was long before he knew what he was, and that counted for more.”

“Who was he?”

“His son,” she said. “And your da.”

“Is that why he wanted to adopt me?” Aidan asked. “Because he was adopted?”

“Well, after a fashion,” she said. “We always knew we wanted to have children. We talked about whether we wanted to adopt or not. Then you came along… and because someone had taken him in, not knowing and then not caring where he’d come from or who his father was, he wanted to do the same for you when he had the chance. Life isn’t easy for anyone, Aidan, but it doesn’t have to be as hard as some folks would make it for you.”

“Because of who my father is?”

“Do you know who your father is, Aidan?”

“Da said my father was half of a dragon,” Aidan said, and Dell had to suppress the urge to laugh. “Which half was he?” the boy asked, and she couldn’t help it. He didn’t seem to take it personally.

“Oh, his mother’s side, I think,” Dell said. “They said you have your father’s eyes. We’ll have to wait until you’re a little older to see what else you might have got from him.”

“Like what?”

“Well, your father was good with languages,” Dell said. “Really good. And he was strong, and he had a belly full of lightning, and sometimes he had wings.”

“So I’ll be able to fly?”

“You might,” Dell said. “No one can say.”

“I don’t look much like a dragon.”

“Neither did your father, the time I met him,” Dell said. “I expect his mother didn’t look like a dragon when she had him. She’d know magic to change herself, though… and that magic would have been passed to her son. He learned to change himself when he grew. You might do that, too, when you’re older.”

“Why when I’m older?”

“You’ll be more ready for it when you’re older,” she said. “Dragons come from a different time. They’re big, and powerful, and old. The world’s too small and you’re too young.”

“Did you marry da as soon as he woke up?”

She smiled.

“Almost, it seems like,” she said. “When he opened his eyes… and I stopped hollering… I was just so happy he was alive. I didn’t even know who he was. I just knew I’d been looking at a corpse and then I was looking at a man. It was almost enough to make me get religion.”

“What’s religion?”

“It’s what they sell you in temples,” she said.

“We don’t go to the temple.”

“Well, no, I got more than I needed of that growing up,” Dell said. “And your father… well, religion doesn’t agree with him, so we get by with what we can get at the grocer’s. Nourish the body, nourish the soul.”

“Did my father name me Aidan?”

“No, that was your da and me,” Dell said. “Aidan is the name his mother gave him, though everyone called him Dan. Growing up on airships… no one keeps their given name on a ship. It’s practically a law. Your grandpa, his name was Fulton, but everyone called him Half-Ton. Half-Ton Harris.”

“Was he big?”

“No, he was skinny. No one ever doubted your da was his son, even when they knew the whole story.”

“Did my da join the navy like him? Was he in the navy when he got the citation?”

“No, he’s never enlisted. His da kept him away, got himself out and settled over here as soon as your da turned. If someone like your da signs up for the military, they don’t end up servicing levitators.”

“What do they do?”

“Nasty things,” Dell said. “Ugly things. The sort of thing a good man… a man like your da or his da… couldn’t stomach.”

“Am I going to be a good man?”

“When you’re older, maybe,” Dell said. “If you’re willing to settle for that. There’s always another choice, of course.”

“What’s that?”

“You could be a great one.”


Discuss this story on the Livejournal community.


Tales of MU is now on Patreon! Help keep the story going!

Or if you particularly enjoyed this chapter, leave a tip!


Characters: , ,





135 Responses to “OT: Son Of A Creature Man”

  1. Wow, just wow.

    Current score: 0
    • Anthony says:

      …and so it begins. Thus are we introduced to Aidan, AKA Dan Harris, the Mary Sue that Amaranth only wishes she could be…

      Current score: 0
  2. Mikka says:

    Ooh I can’t wait to see more of what happened to him! A dragon, I wonder if they really think that, or just say it?

    Current score: 0
  3. Niall says:

    hmm very interesting! I’m a little confused as to Aiden’s relation to Mack, is he a half brother with the same father but a different mother? I didn’t think Mackenzie had any dragon relations. I hope other more fanatical readers will be able to pick this amazing little story apart and figure out its significances. I hope we’ll see more of him soon, and I’m really enjoying the recent focus on plot and character development.

    Current score: 0
    • Les says:

      “Did my father name me Aidan?”

      “No, that was your da and me,” Dell said. “Aidan is the name his mother gave him, though everyone called him Dan..”

      Didn’t catch this?

      Danny Harris, the man with the Y-shaped scar who fixes levitators, is AIDAN! Mack’s Older brother who got put-up for adoption. The little boy is a total non-relation to Mack, apparently a quarter-dragon who Danny/Aidan and his wife adopted and named after the name Danny’s mom originally gave him.

      Current score: 2
      • Ganryu says:

        I think the kid is also part demon and they just told him dragon, which would explain why Dell laughed when Little Aidan said it.

        Current score: 0
        • Abeo says:

          She laughed because he said “half of a dragon” rather than “half dragon”. It really does sound to me that he is quarter dragon, the wings and the lightning don’t match what we know of demons.

          Current score: 3
    • zeel says:

      It sounds like the boy in this story is not the same Aidan we were expecting. wrather, a boy adopted by THAT Aidan. read CAREFULLY and you will see that the man at the beginning Is named Aidan, and “Dan” is his nickname. the boy was named after Aidan aka Dan. Dan was adopted by an airman, he was the son of another airman’s daughter. and Mackenzie’s grandfather (As we know) was an airman.

      THUS: “Dan” is in fact Mackenzie’s brother, the boy is not. Dan is her full brother, both have the same mother and father. she is only related to the boy in a legal sense (her brothers adopted son). Dan is older than Mackenzie, but unless he is quite young in this story, then this is glimpse of the future.

      At least thats what i think im reading hear. . .

      Current score: 0
      • zeel says:

        Was my shift key broken? It’s like I forgot how capitalization works. . .

        Current score: 2
  4. Ruby says:

    Wow, I don’t even know where to begin. Part of me is thrilled to see Mack’s brother at last, at all. Part of me wishes we saw him as he is now, and not a flash back. Part of me loves everything here to lil bits.

    Current score: 0
    • Drudge says:

      It’s not a flash back. Dan is the Aiden we first heard of, but Dan was a nickname that stuck better. He’s claiming to be a fire aligned half dragon instead of a demon to avoid suspicion.

      Aiden jr. is a part something or other. He may actually BE half dragon, but he may be another half demon who hasn’t been told yet.

      Current score: 0
      • Lulu says:

        No, I’m pretty sure he’s living openly as a half-demon. I believe the part where they’re talking about the half-dragon, they’re talking about the little boy’s biological father.

        Current score: 0
        • Drudge says:

          Thats what they’re saying. They are however saying Dan is a half dragon, which casts suspicion on Aiden.

          Current score: 0
          • No, they’re not. The line that read “Da said he was half a dragon”, the “he” they’re talking about is Aidan’s biological father. I thought that would be clear since the lines before and after it are referring to his father, but since at least two people were confused by that I have edited the pronoun out of that line.

            Current score: 2
            • OhPun says:

              I think what is confusing people is that the line:

              “Neither did your father , the time I met him,” Dell said.

              ‘your father’ could refer to Dan or Aidan’s biological father.

              Current score: 0
            • Arakano says:

              No, she always refers to Aidan’s biological father as “your father”, and to Dan as “your Da”, I think.

              Current score: 0
  5. Mikka says:

    Niall– Aiden was born before Mack, but is a full brother. Mack’s grandma forced her mom to give the boy away… I’m not sure if the parents know that Aiden is a half demon, or perhaps good old Grandma lied so they would actually take him? That is the part I can not wait to find out.

    Current score: 0
    • Drudge says:

      She didn’t know. She probably didn’t put it together until Mack turned. At which point Dan was in a new home and had done so long ago. By that point she’d have been playing catchup when dealing with infernals, probably much to her chargrin..

      Current score: 0
      • Rey d`Tutto says:

        From the Story –>
        “Did he know what da was? When he took him in?”
        “No, no one did,” Dell said. “His grandmother tried to take him back when they found out, but your grandpa would have none of that.
        <– Emphasis mine.
        Brimstone tried to get him back once she found out (probably due to Mack's Change), but was unable to.

        Current score: 2
  6. zeel says:

    uuuuuummmmmmmmmmmm. . . what?

    this is confusing!

    Current score: 0
  7. Ness says:

    I must have missed something here. Where was the story about Mack having a half-brother?

    Current score: 0
    • Brenda says:

      Back a ways in the archive you will find a series of stories about Mackenzie’s mother, how she met Mack’s father, how she had an illegitimate son by him which was given up for adoption, etc…

      Current score: 0
    • jagroq says:

      I don’t believe them either I don’t remember anything about more Blase babies running around anywhere. When did we learn about him? I’m guessing its something that Mack’s dad let slip at some point but going through the archive I can’t find it?

      Current score: 0
      • Drudge says:

        In the last bit of Laurel Annes story Aidens birth is mentioned in passing, and Martha not knowing about his infernal father, not wanting the shame of a teenage mother, and sending Macks mom out of province and forcing adoption.

        Laurel Anne never told The Man about her first pregnancy and he never went into the minds of anyone involved as far as we know. He has no idea.

        Current score: 0
      • Laurie says:

        It’s a bonus story of “other tale” called Apples in Spring. It’s much easier to find if you go to the Tales of MU wiki and click “Chapters”.

        Current score: 0
        • Drudge says:

          Actually the mention of Aiden is in the three part “As I went by the river”.

          Current score: 2
          • Laurie says:

            . . . yeah I should have checked. *facepalm* Thank you Drudge!

            Current score: 0
  8. Marx says:

    so… Mack’s brother is the father in this story, and Mack’s Grandfather was in the magisterian air navy… And he got the wound above his eyebrow because of enchanted glass, and having it healed via arcane means probably was too expensive back then, too, and he never bothered to have the scar removed since then.

    Also, proof that Mack’s grandma was a bad influence on her – just look at Aidan, he’s of the same “evil” as Mack, but grew up to be a fine man, while Mack’s totally screwed up in so many different ways 😛
    Just kidding ^^ we haven’t had a look at Aidan’s “inner life” yet, so it would be premature of me to seriously claim something like that.

    Current score: 0
    • Reader says:

      Not quite i think, Aiden Sr., Mack’s brother, HIS ADOPTING father was in the air navy. Not Mack’s grandfather. And I think he left the scar for a reminder of the people he thinks he lost in the crash, I inferred he had the rest of him healed. See “Other injuries, too, but that was the worst one, and the one he insisted on keeping.”

      Current score: 1
      • Drudge says:

        I think the confusion comes from Laurel Anne’s mention of her dead father, who was ALSO in the air navy.

        Aidens not being Aidens and fathers not being fathers and grandfathers looking like other grandfathers. All of which has no direct affect on the plot at this time.

        Current score: 0
      • Marx says:

        When I said that Mack’s and Aiden’s grandfather was in the magisterian air navy, I referred to this part:
        “When his da was in the Magisterian air navy, a daughter of one of his mates had a baby she couldn’t raise. He took the boy on as his own and raised him with his wife. ”
        With the boy mentioned probably being Aidan Sr. …

        Current score: 0
        • Brenda says:

          I just went back to “Down to the River to Pray” and Laurel Ann tells The Man that her father’s an airman, so that fits.

          Current score: 0
  9. Brenda says:

    I didn’t click that Aidan “Senior” was Mack’s brother; I assumed it was a flashback. But I did figure out that he must be a half demon, because he could fall from an airship and not be injured, but still feel the pain… Lucky he didn’t land on anything magic!

    Current score: 0
  10. Jennifer says:

    Totally worth the wait! Wow wow wow. I wonder if Grandma Blaise ever tried to contact “Dan” after that first time (to see how obviously evil he became, of course). By my approximate math, Aidan should be 3 or 4 years older then Mackenzie, which in our present story time would make him 21 or 22. So, I guess this COULD conceivably be the present… but he FEELS quite a bit older in this story then that.

    Current score: 0
    • Anvildude says:

      Well, if he was basically raised in the Military, then he could easily have matured and gotten married a lot earlier. And I mean ‘matured’ in the mental and responsibility sense. I would definitely love to see the two meet.

      Current score: 0
      • firedragongt says:

        It clearly says he wasn’t in the military. Also, military is not a proper noun and does not need to be capitalized.

        Current score: 0
    • He (Aidan Sr) wasn’t in the military himself but his adoptive father (Fulton “Half-ton” Harris) was. Aidan Sr thus was exposed to and raised in a military environment and it shaped who he is. He would be considered a ‘military brat’ and it shows.

      “Research into military brats has consistently shown them to be better behaved than their civilian counterparts. Sociologist Phoebe Price posed three possible hypotheses as to why brats are better behaved: firstly, military parents have a lower threshold for misbehavior in their children; secondly, the mobility of teenagers might make them less likely to attract attention to themselves, as they want to fit in and are less secure with their surroundings; and thirdly, normative constraints are greater, with brats knowing that their behavior is under scrutiny and can affect the military member’s career.” (reference: wikipedia – so take with a grain of salt)

      “Brats are sometimes under constant pressure to conform to what military culture expects; this means they are sometimes seen as being more mature in their youth than their peers.”
      (reference: wikipedia)

      So, while Aidan Sr did not serve in the military he was raised in the environment and it shaped who he is. The characterization here is very good, especially when you compare Aidan Sr to other fictional (potential) military brats.

      Current score: 0
  11. Steph says:

    K..NONE of the relations clicked for me, mostly because I didn’t remember whatever referenced Mack having a brother. I knew I shouldn’t have stopped re-reading the archives when I did.

    I still thought it was a very nice little story and LOVED the ending lines. 🙂

    Current score: 0
  12. People who are confused by this story might want to refresh themselves:

    http://www.talesofmu.com/story/character/laurel-anne-blaise

    Current score: 1
  13. Lakanna says:

    Took a second read-through to see the small exchange:

    “Oh, he was,” Dell said. “When his da was in the Magisterian air navy, a daughter of one of his mates had a baby she couldn’t raise. He took the boy on as his own and raised him with his wife. She died a few years later. Your da grew up on the ships after that, with no mother but dozens of uncles and a few aunts.”

    “Did he know what da was? When he took him in?”

    “No, no one did,” Dell said. “His grandmother tried to take him back when they found out, but your grandpa would have none of that. He knew who his boy was long before he knew what he was, and that counted for more.”

    They know what Dan is. And nowhere does she explicitly try to say that he’s part dragon, although she does tell the child that HE is part dragon. She avoids mentioning anything about Dan’s heritage while being completely truthful about hiis background. When Martha found out Dan was half-demon, she tried to reclaim him but Old Aidan didn’t let her. Old Aidan knew either Martha or her husband and adopted Dan before Mack was born.

    Almost exactly what I never expected from Aidan: stable, with a family and a good career. Even a commendation for being a hero. I don’t imagine that his heritage is a secret (falling a few miles and walking away is something that people will notice) but he seems to have earned the respect of the humans he works with and lives with. It certainly gives some hope that Mack can indeed live a “normal” life if she so chooses.

    Current score: 0
    • JS says:

      Ah, thank you, I’d read the comment about Dan’s grandmother trying to “take him back” to mean “give him back”.

      Current score: 1
    • Brenda says:

      Dan’s father was named Fulton. Laurel Ann named Aidan (Dan) herself before he was given away.

      Current score: 0
    • on the who and what part I somewhat differ in my interpertation.

      “Did he know what da was? When he took him in?”

      “No, no one did,” Dell said. “His grandmother tried to take him back when they found out, but your grandpa would have none of that. He knew who his boy was long before he knew what he was, and that counted for more.”

      Sounds to me more like Dell’s saying “He took him for his son, and that was it, end of story.”

      He is his son, and that was all that mattered. What he is, as in his bloodline and origin and who he is are two different things. Finding out he was a demon blood didn’t undo everything about who he is, because of what he is.

      Real life for instance. If you adopted a baby, and that baby grew up to have a learning disability or a physical or mental handicap, would you love that child any less? Would you let that child be taken away just because they weren’t ‘perfect’? A quick google search will turn up information about a multitude of famous people who have had a disability of one sort or another. Didn’t and hasn’t stopped them from making an impact on the world, nor make them less of a person any more than Aidan is less of a person because of being a demon blood.

      Taking this all into account, I have to agree with Les that this has made that its fairly obvious that Grandma Blaise’s strict upbringing did more harm than it did good for Mack in her development. Brings one to wonder if Mack would have been better adjusted if her mother had been with her longer.

      Current score: 0
      • GB says:

        I think it was obvious that growing up with her grandmother had done a lot of harm since she first described her life there. Locked in a basement? Sleeping next to a tub full of acid every night and told it would be thrown on her? Her potential playmates caused pain every month and told that it was her fault? This was compounded even further by the first person to offer her true compassion and love was herself irrevocably altered during her own creation. Yeah, Grandma Blaise is a real work of art. Alexandra really succeeded in making a character you can sink your hate into. Makes me wonder what monkey wrench she has planned to make us sympathize with her later. Heck, I’m so late posting this it may have already happened.

        Current score: 0
  14. Lakanna says:

    And I need to read better. Dan’s adopted dad was Fulton, not another Aidan. Bah.

    Current score: 0
    • Kriss says:

      I do believe you you have the gist of it. But to look back at the start of your quote:
      ‘“Oh, he was,” Dell said. “When his da was in the Magisterian air navy, a daughter of one of his mates had a baby she couldn’t raise.’
      I had questions, but managed to answer them.
      Clearly the daughter is Laurel-Anne, and it isn’t that she couldn’t raise the baby, but that her mother made her get rid of it.
      as for the Injury, well, I think he kept it as a reminder to himself that he can be injured, despide the nature of his imperviousness

      Current score: 0
  15. miz*G says:

    Okay, after reading this chapter 4 times, here’s to set the record straight.
    Aidan (Mackenzie’s brother) is for sure the dad, who is definitely “out” (at least to his wife and likely his child from the way she phrases things) as half-demon. The child Aidan jr. is supposedly (and probably accurately) half-dragon. Mackenzies grandfather was for sure an airshipman as she tells Amaranth that towards the beginning of their relationship (within the first 75 chapters or so. Aidan was mentioned in the 3 part story about Laurel-Anne Blaise, and I seem to remember the Man implying that he does in fact know about him during the dream with the ants and corpses (right before the contaminated bubble bath incident). I would double check that before posting but my cell phone has an attrociously long load time and I’m not near a desktop so we’ll have to go with my (usually fantastic for trivia) memory.
    I think that covers all necessary clarification.

    Current score: 0
    • Derigel says:

      Aiden Jr. is a quarter dragon (his biological dad is “half a dragon”). Assuming, of course, that the other 3/4’s are human, or other non-dragon species. 🙂

      Current score: 0
    • Drudge says:

      Indeed, the wording was more or less “everyone and her brother is getting into enchantment”.

      I suspected something but that in particular didn’t click till just now.

      Current score: 0
    • Jack Wood says:

      Almost.
      Aidan Harris (junior, though Mackenzie’s brother seems to have taken Dan or Danny as his regular name) is a quarter dragon. His father is an unnamed half-dragon, and I don’t see any mention of why Aidan was given over to the Harris family.
      All the pronouns can make it pretty hard to follow.
      I also scanned that chapter, and don’t see any references that imply he knows about Aidan, but at the same time, I feel like I remember her saying that too.

      I feel the need to make a chart. 6_9

      Fulton Harris adopted the son, Aidan, (demonic heritage at this point was unknown) of Laurell-Anne Blaise, daughter of his airman (assumed air navy of the empire?) buddy, husband to Marth “Brimstone” Blaise.
      When the then Aidan (Mackenzie’s brother) turned, Fulton left the air service and settled “over here”. (I think the new continent. The geography of Mz Erin’s fascinating world is still a little opaque to me.)
      Aidan became a non-navy airshipman, and got the nickname Dan, which he seems to’ve taken as his own. The reserves of power he had from his heritage made him good at maintaining levitators. It’s not stated if his demon-blood was known at this point, though we assume at least some found out after he survived his fall. (I wonder if it’s a personal choice to not actually fly anymore, or if there’s some prejudice that keeps him away? Sounds like the first.)

      I wonder why Aidan’s biological father gave him up? It seems like he knew the Harisses at least a little. Dell talks about his abilities as if she knows him some. But she also says “the time I met him”, which also seems to imply just one meeting.

      Sorry to repeat all this, since a lot of other people are working through it on their own too.

      Thank you AE, for this great story. It’s almost a little too confusing, but it’s great to read a story that lets you work through some of the implications on your own.

      Current score: 0
      • Lulu says:

        I think something happened to Aiden Jr.’s dad. That was my interpretation. Making him an orphan.

        Current score: 0
      • I’ve wondered about that and my thought is that perhaps Aidan Sr was a ‘god’ father *without the god part) to Aidan Jr – I’d infer that Aidan Jr’s biological father might have worked on or piloted one of the airships, perhaps even been on the ship that had the explosion causing Mack’s brother’s scar. Being a fellow survivor they may have grown close.

        Knowing that there are dangers in airship travel Aidan Jr’s biological father might have asked his friend (Aidan Sr) to be a surrogate father if something should ever happen to him, knowing that Aidan Sr was also adopted and of mixed heritage so would be more understanding than most of the changes a growing boy such as his son might face and be better able to help him cope with those changes as well as any social stigma that might be directed his (Aidan Jr’s) way when that time came.

        Current score: 0
  16. P says:

    I really liked this story. I think everyone was expecting Mack’s brother to be the antichrist or something, and he turns out to be this well adjusted family man. That was sweet.

    Current score: 0
  17. Dan says:

    Aidan is in his early to mid twenties by now. Since he got an early start on the airfields, he’s had plenty of time since to marry and adopt a kid, even more time if this is set in the future.

    Current score: 0
  18. Les says:

    A thought that just occurred to me… this kinda pretty-much torpedoes the theory that Granma Blaise’s ‘Extreme Parenting’ techniques were absolutely necessary to prevent Mack from growing up into ‘OMG-MONSTER!’

    Current score: 0
    • Miraran says:

      Oh dear…

      Can i tell her? I’ll capture an illusion of her face for you all to watch later, but can i tell her? Pretty please?

      Current score: 0
      • The Other Leighton says:

        Yes. You can tell a completely fictional character something and then write all about her response and how badass you are.

        Then you can write to Luke Skywalker and tell him Darth Vader is his father…

        Current score: 0
  19. l0stZ says:

    I can’t tell how old Aidan should be currently except for just graduating college.
    This OT turned out quite the opposite of what I expected, a well adjusted, even a hero, husband with a loving wife and a nice child. I fell for the “Aidan Jr is Mack’s brother” herring until I read the comments and did some research myself. Brother Aidan was named by Mack’s mother after a character in a book, Danny’s grandmother tried to take him back, Danny also survived a ~2 mile fall (the worst injury being from enchanted glass). The pieces fit, Danny is probably Mack’s brother.

    I find it interesting that Aidan has followed his grandfather’s footsteps (as an airshipman) and that Mack is following her grandmother’s footsteps (as a semi-religious fighter).
    But the question I most have is: did Mack Daddy met with Aidan or not?
    Is Mack Daddy responsible for his ease in adjustment to human society?
    or is he ignoring him because Mack is “special”

    Current score: 0
    • Drudge says:

      He probably wasn’t aware of Aidan. There’s the implication he does know about Aidan to some extent but he was absent for the pregnancy and birth, and wasn’t informed by Laurel Anne. If he did find out he’d probably hit the same wall as Martha and be told to GTFO by Danny’s father.

      Current score: 0
      • Oni says:

        Do you *really* think that a non-specialist mortal would be able to tell Mack Daddy to GTFO?
        I’d think that there’s a great number of reasons as to why it doesn’t seem that Mack Daddy is involved with Aiden/Danny, but the largest factor is that he probably doesn’t know where to start looking.

        Current score: 0
        • Ever seen a dachshund get little dog syndrome and take down a rottweiler? I have. We had a dachshund when I was growing up, a family friend brought his rottweiler over one day and our little dog viewed the big bad rottie as a ‘threat to family’ went flying at a dead run at the rottie flipped onto her back the last of inches from the big dog, slid under him and bit him in the nuts. The rottie jumped back into the car through an open window and cowered. Any time after that when he was with his owner and they turned onto the road for our house the rottie would cower and whine in fear.

          I’d consider this a reasonable analogy for what would have happened if The Man had approached Half-Ton about Aidan Sr, with The Man being the rottie and Half-ton being the dachshund.

          Current score: 0
      • Rethic says:

        I think he knew about it because when she got pregnant he was mysteriously absent. I think that he probably watched Aidan grow up and saw that he was getting everything he needed just fine by his adoptive parents so he just let them handle it. He’s only really getting involved with Mack I thin because he thinks she’s making bad choices and he wants to make sure she doesn’t get herself killed or something.

        That all being said I find it surprising that nobody cares that Mack Daddy started screwing her mom when she was 12… seriously.

        Current score: 0
        • I agree, I think that is the case as well, the absenteeism before she realized the pregnancy herself is quite telling. I don’t quite get the ’12’ for Laural’s age though when he started screwing her, though he was getting her mind prepped for it that young. I’ve seen where she says she was 18 when she was pregnant with Mack. I’m hoping that makes it more likely that she was 16 when she had Aidan. Still disturbing but not right by any stretch.

          Current score: 0
  20. Zathras IX says:

    Who you are is more
    Important that what you are—
    As is what you’re not

    Current score: 0
  21. Niall says:

    yay! You all seem to have figure it out. I am glad he is such a level headed and caring father. He seems to be the first character we know, other than possibly Ian who doesn’t have some major issues. Of course, we don’t know him very well, and him being what he is may come with some hidden terrible secrets.

    Current score: 0
  22. Drudge says:

    I just realised Aiden Harris as a name may have some magical effects. Aiden more or less means “firey”, Mackenzie as a name also means “firey”.

    A while ago Mackenzie read a book saying if your name is meaningful and you associate yourself with that meaning in some way, it can have some interesting magical effects, such as a man named after a bear wearing a bearskin piece of clothing in the heat of combat transforming into an actual bear with no magical training.

    Now, Mack and Danny really don’t have that association, since they’ve been known by nicknames( “Kenzie”, “Danny”, “Mack”, “Dan”) for most of their life. Aiden Jr. has no nickname as of yet, and believes himself to be part dragon and maybe having wings.

    The popular MU image of demons, while incorrect, depicts them with wings. If Aiden Jr. is half fire demon like mack and Aiden, and things go right for him, he may wind up having an alternate form.

    Current score: 0
    • ayla says:

      How is the name “Mackenzie” related to fire? In this world, the name is from a surname, “Mac Kenzie”– or, according the behindthename.com, “from the Gaelic surname Mac Coinnich,” Son of Coinneach. Coinneach (often anglicized as “Kenneth”) comes from the word for “handsome.”

      … Hey, I just realized– keeping in the story’s convention of language equations, as celtic languages = fae languages, Mackenzie and her brother both have names with Fae roots! Hrm, a fraction of Fae blood might explain Laurel Ann’s telepathic ability, and maybe even her airman father’s affinity for airships… that is, of course, wild speculation and is probably not even remotely true. Still, interesting.

      Current score: 0
      • Drudge says:

        Accordin to tvTropes it means ‘fire born’. Given the story is big on ironic names(Stef’s family name is also a slang term for penis. Feejee refers to the feejee mermaid a hoax a conman said was a mermaid, and so on) it fits much better.

        Current score: 0
        • cnic says:

          The Proto-Celtic root for fire is aydu producing a’ed for Old Irish and aidd for Welsh- much closer to Aiden’s name. There are also Old Irish gorn and tene but those aren’t close in spelling either. Mu’cha’ means smoke which does have a m and a velar. There is the PC komdawto (firewood) which became Middle Irish connad and Cornish kunys which is a lot closer in some ways. Note bene- I used ‘ above to represent acute accents.

          Current score: 0
        • cnic says:

          I researched it more and CINÁED means born of fire which is often anglicized as Kenneth just as the COINNEACH element of Mackenzie is anglicized as Kenneth.

          Current score: 0
  23. erratio says:

    One thing I haven’t seen mentioned yet, is that part-demons are idiosyncratic with their feeding habits. It could well be that Aidan has much less trouble eating, and therefore had a lot less risk of going berserk. Although having said that I’m happy to subscribe to Steff/Amaranth/the Man’s theory that if Mack hadn’t been starved for most of her life she would be much less likely to go crazy in the first place.

    Current score: 0
    • Excellent point – After all, Bohd’s requirements are relatively innocent, being simply blonde human hair. So it seems that human in origin is the important about the source of the sustenance since in Other Tales – An infernal Interrogation we see this discussion describing non human sources as ‘junk food’ However, Bohd is only 1/16th demon blooded. The ‘innocence’ of what she needs for food, compared to what Mack needs has made me wonder if the degree of demon blood might factor into what the necessary food is. The more demon blood one has, the more gruesome the requirements perhaps? Hopefully not the case. Does anyone recall what the other references to other half-demon feeding habits are? What Mercy’s breeding stock eats for example.

      Current score: 0
      • Jennifer says:

        This was answered in the Q&A – “Brutus needs a liver at least every three months or so… he prefers it fresh, live when possible. Cassius eats eyes. I’m not sure yet what keeps my darling little Lulu II going, but she seems physically healthy so far. My newest Puppy, of course, needs a little drink of virgin blood about once a month… talk about low maintenance.”

        Current score: 0
        • thanks – thats been bugging me all day that I couldn’t remember where to find it. Kinda fits the thought I was having about the degree of demon blood having something to do with how gruesome the feeding is. Mack’s actually lucky in that if someone else procures her food, death isn’t as likely as it would be for whereas to feed Brutus, someone is going to die and to feed Cassius someone is likely to. Unless of course a talented healer is on hand. Not knowing what Lulu II needs at least leaves some wiggle room – I really hope my theory here is wrong.

          Current score: 0
  24. Anon says:

    Nice wordplay with the nicknames.
    Fulton Harris was so skinny he was a half-ton at best.
    Aiden is apparently pronounced similar to “Hey, Dan!”

    Current score: 0
    • Brenda says:

      It’s not Aiden, it’s Aidan. Not hard to shorten that to “Dan”.

      Current score: 0
  25. Dani says:

    I’d guess that people who didn’t know that Aiden was a half-demon figured it out when a terminal-velocity fall turned out to be non-terminal. Kids are accident-prone, so his foster-parents probably figured it out sooner. (If they didn’t, his emerging need to eat Wheatabix or something worse once a month might have been a give-away.) Certainly someone knew – or learned fairly quickly – that he had to have arcane healing rather than divine healing. One gathers that he’s a naturally-talented enchanter. Maybe it runs in the family.

    I’d like to see him and Mack meet in a non-crisis situation and have the meeting go well. Maybe after she’s smoothed a few more social rough edges.

    Current score: 0
    • Oni says:

      Personally, I hope to hell not. Does Aiden really deserve to have all that brought down on his happy family?

      Current score: 0
    • The odds, barring both having extreme self control and others present of a meeting like that going well are low. Both are learned and civilized which is points in favor of it going well but considering the instances we know of where Mercy’s males were left alone with a female and Mercy found the female shredded, as well as the hunger that both Lulu II and Mack have to devour one another upon meeting and smelling each other doesn’t bode well for any encounter between the siblings going well, even if they’ve recently fed, despite their civility.

      Current score: 0
  26. Am I the only one who caught that his citation was from “the Unnameable One” rather than the Magesterian Emperor?

    Current score: 0
    • The Other Leighton says:

      Yes.

      The rest of us are completely unable to read.

      Thank you for pointing this out.

      Current score: 0
      • moofable says:

        Please be nice to everyone. This is basically the only rule here.

        Current score: 0
  27. Kelsi says:

    I made a chart! I hope it helps.

    Grandma Blaise – Grandpa Blaise
    |
    Laurel Anne Blaise – The Man
    __________|__________
    | |
    Aidan “Dan” Harris Mackenzie Blaise

    Fulton Harris (friend of Grandpa Blaise)
    |
    Aidan “Dan” Harris(adopted) – Dell Harris
    |
    Aidan Harris Jr. (adopted)

    Current score: 0
  28. Kelsi says:

    Oh. Some of my spaces have gone missing. Let’s try that again.

    Grandma Blaise – Grandpa Blaise
                               |
               Laurel Anne Blaise – The Man
                        __________|__________
                       |                                         |
               Aidan “Dan” Harris      Mackenzie Blaise

    Fulton Harris (friend of Grandpa Blaise)
                                   |
       Aidan “Dan” Harris(adopted) – Dell Harris
                                                       |
                                   Aidan Harris Jr. (adopted)

    Current score: 0
  29. W6BXQ, John says:

    A very interesting story and comments. I was adopted as a baby and never knew my biological parents. My adopted mother was my Mother and I have had a good life so far (almost 66 years),

    Current score: 0
  30. childe says:

    isnt it possible that he didnt heal the head wound becaude the healing magic would be a giveaway to his demonblood? if the head wound was the worst of his injuries, but he left it to heal naturally, and all other wounds were insignificant to that one?

    Current score: 0
    • Jennifer says:

      I think the fact that he survived falling two miles is a pretty big give away here. My interpretation was that other people know he isn’t fully human, but don’t care because they knew his adopted father was a good man, knew this kid as he was raised on the ships, and grew to trust him over the years, despite his mixed heritage.

      Current score: 0
    • Rethic says:

      See I don’t think he actually HAD other real physical injuries. From Mack we know that only magic can injure them. The magical peice of glass did just that, but falling from the air 2 miles would not injure him at all, only hurt. I think the other injuries she’s talking about are to his pride, ego, manliness, ect. So then he never would have used arcane healing or otherwise beause the only physical injury he had he let heal naturally. Just a theory.

      “Other injuries, too, but that was the worst one, and the one he insisted on keeping. He was in a lot of pain, too.”

      Current score: 0
      • rikkan says:

        its possible his not flying anymore is a cover, for all anyone knows he still had a feather amulet when he hit the ground

        Current score: 0
      • Bilbo says:

        “falling from the air 2 miles would not injure him at all, only hurt.”

        Unless he landed point-first on top of a church steeple (or equivalent).

        Ouch.

        Current score: 0
  31. Elxir says:

    Definitely an interesting look into the inner workings of the story so far. I will have to re-read the archives and find the info I seem to be missing and piece this all together a bit better, when I’m not half asleep. Love the story, as always.

    Elxir Breauer, at your service…

    Current score: 0
  32. Arakano says:

    One little thought: I know it is far-fetched, but what if that accident leading to the levitator exploding was caused by Aiden sen./”Dan” losing control over his demon side by neglecting to feed? He might have gone a bit “demon-crazed”, causing instabilities, then recovered by feeding and frantically tried to prevent a desaster – but he was not able to save everyone. That might very well explain why he chose to keep the scar as a reminder. Also, it would give the whole story a somewhat darker tint.
    But that’s just my 2c, this theory may very well be baseless.

    Current score: 0
    • Brenda says:

      Even if he didn’t, when people found out about his surviving the fall, they may have figured out what he was and started speculating that “The Demon Did It!”

      If he did, that would definitely explain why he doesn’t fly anymore, just works on grounded airships.

      Current score: 0
      • erianaiel says:

        The story actually is a bit contradictory on this point. Dell Harris tells her son at one point that Dan’s (adoptive) father got out of the navy as soon as he found out what his son really was. But Dan is also maintaining levitators on airships long after that would have happened.

        Of course it may simply be a case of signing up with a commercial airship company and doing much the same work.

        The reason given for leaving the navy was that people like Dan Harris would not be used to maintain levitators but for much darker purposes. He would be impervious to normal damage, would be able to throw around fire that can not easily be healed by normal divine magic and apparently has a considerable talent for enchanting (same as Mackenzie) and being a demonblood nobody would be overly bothered if they were killed in the line of duty. Somebody like that would be put in the special forces right away, likely even in the clandestine ops (like e.g. assassinations). The kind of team that got Mercy, Callahan and their little band sent on a suicide mission behind enemy lines.

        Eri

        Current score: 0
  33. Hauke says:

    Fun fact:
    “Da said he was half of a dragon,” Aidan said, and Dell had to suppress the urge to laugh. “Which half was he?” the boy asked, and she couldn’t help it. He didn’t seem to take it personally. “Oh, his mother’s side, I think,”
    meaning: Martha (Brimstone) Blaize is referred to as a dragon. Not as a literal one, but for her behavior.

    Current score: 0
    • Adandara says:

      Nope, “he was half of a dragon” refers to Aidan Jr.’s birth father here, who has nothing to do with Martha. It’s complicated. 🙂

      Current score: 0
      • Hauke says:

        I think I have to explain it a little more something.
        Martha and Dan are no dragonbloods (at least it is not mentioned or suggested)
        But Dell was asked by Aidan which Part of his dad “Dan” is Dragon.
        She answered “Oh, his mother’s side, I think,” meaning the mother’s side of Dan’s heritage.
        It’s not mentioned that there was any contact between Anne Laurel an the Harris, but it definitely said that Martha tried to get Dan back. And we know how sensitive she handles such things.
        So it thought it was save to assume that Dell meant “There is no dragonblood in your dad’s (Dan’s) heritage, but your great-grandma is mean like one”

        Current score: 0
        • Um How About No says:

          Except they’re not talking about Dan there, they’re talking about Aidan’s father. You don’t inherit eyes (or anything else) from an adoptive parent.

          Current score: 0
          • Hauke says:

            I’m sorry, but I think are wrong.
            “Da said he was half of a dragon,” Aidan said, and Dell had to suppress the urge to laugh. “Which half was he?” the boy asked, and she couldn’t help it. He didn’t seem to take it personally. “Oh, his mother’s side, I think,”
            This indicates clearly that Dell is talking with Aidan about Dan’s heritage.

            If they would talk about Aidan Heritage,it would be:
            “Oh, YOUR mother’s side, I think,”

            But your are right, normally you don’t inherit bodily attributes an adoptive parent. At least not here in this universe. But having your father’s eyes could be a figure of speech or a pure coincidence.

            Current score: 0
            • The way it sounds however is that they were refering to Aidan Jr’s biological father who was a half dragon and as to which side of his parentage was the dragon side. The way the conversation reads “Da” is Aidan Sr and father is used for Aidan Jr’s biological father. The part that is confusing most people with the relationships is the way the topic jumps from his biological father to Dell and Aidan Sr. Yet this sort of jump is quite normal for a precocious young child.

              Current score: 0
            • Um How About No says:

              No, she wouldn’t have said “your mother’s side” if she were talking about how Aidan’s biological father got HIS dragonblood, she would have said “his mother’s side”, the same way she would have if she were talking Dan Harris, who we know is not a half dragon.

              For your interpretation to work, you have to completely ignore everything that’s said right before (where they’re talking about who Aidan’s father, not his “da” Dan but his biological father is) and everything that comes after, and even when you do that it still doesn’t make much sense.

              I suppose if a later story reveals that little Aidan is definitely a quarter-dragon you’ll chalk it up to coincidence.

              Current score: 0
            • You might have an easier time interpreting the story if you realize that “father” and “da” are being used to refer to two separate people.

              I don’t normally comment on interpretations, but I find myself rather chagrined to think that someone would think I wrote Dell saying that whole thing about lightning and wings and all as part of an extended metaphor to dig on a woman her adopted son is never going to meet, rather than a serious conversation about his heritage.

              Current score: 0
            • Hauke says:

              Ok.
              I’m sorry for misunderstanding.
              In my defense: English is not my native language.
              In the translation it would clearly apply to Laurel Anne’s family.
              So, I hope my error is understandable.
              But still, describing Martha as dragon is apt.

              Current score: 0
    • Shaun O'Braun says:

      That’s a good catch, Hauke.

      Les says, “A thought that just occurred to me… this kinda pretty-much torpedoes the theory that Granma Blaise’s ‘Extreme Parenting’ techniques were absolutely necessary to prevent Mack from growing up into ‘OMG-MONSTER!’”
      Or were they necessary for a female half-demon? Mack has speculated previously that female half-demons are different from male, that they excite people in different ways, etc.

      Current score: 0
    • erianaiel says:

      Actually, that would be Mackenzie’s mother who was promoted to being a dragon, if I understand correctly who is who in this story. Dan (Aidan sr) is Mackenzie’s full brother (if this is indeed the same person as the story hints at) not her father.

      The timeline seems to be: Mackenzie’s mother turns up pregnant and unmarried, much to the horror of her Paladin mother. She is forced to give up the child and one of her father’s friends in the imperial airforce adopts the little boy. Later the boy who now calls himself Dan Harris (but would have been Aiden Blaise if his mother could have kept him) falls out of an exploding airship and walks away from the impact site (and considering he knew he could give away the feather fall amulet already knew of his demonic heritage). He married Dell, the girl who picked him up from the ground, and together they adopted a boy whom they called Aidan. Apparently Aidan’s biological father was a half dragon.

      Of course others have been saying the same thing, but this seems to be the most logical interpretation of the story. Which of course in the way of (story) magic just will have to reach out and slap us with alternative interpretations the way really big magic is prone to do 🙂

      Eri

      Current score: 0
  34. Roadbug says:

    I wonder… mebe Dan ain’t Macks brother… Mebe little Aidan is?

    Current score: 0
    • Drudge says:

      No, this takes place in the modern day and everything lines up much better.

      Current score: 0
  35. The Other Leighton says:

    The bit that doesn’t sit right with me is this:

    “Did he get in trouble?”

    “For what, honey?”

    “Letting the levitator explode,” Aidan said.

    “No, he got a citation from the Unnameable One, after the inquest,” Dell said. “For trying to stop it.”

    Isn’t the unnameable one vanquished by this point in the story? When was the unnameable one cast out from the current Empire? How does that impact timelines?

    Current score: 0
    • Oni says:

      I’ve got a few comments about this, but so much is unknown about the UE and the empire’s timeline in general that it’s all pretty much speculation.

      Current score: 0
      • Rin says:

        I think it’s actually fairly simple in this case. We know that the Unnameable One was defeated by Magisterion and a new empire was founded on former colonized territory, much like the Americas. It is in this empire that Mack and the others live. Overseas however, the old empire (analogous to Great Britain) still persist and is still being ruled by the Unnameable One. That would imply that Aidan aka Dan lived in the old empire and worked for its air fleet, which seems to be confirmed in this passage:

        “Yes, that’s right,” Dell said. “But he used to be an airshipman. His da was, too… that’s how he got started. He was riding the ships across the water, from Magisteria to here and back again, when he was a wee boy.”

        Current score: 0
        • The Other Leighton says:

          Hmmm, good point Rin. It’s just all somewhat confusing.

          If Dan is indeed Aidan, then he’s have been born in Magisteria, given to a member of the Magisterion Air Navy (or just normal Navy?), brought up on airships, but then when one blew up over UE-land he landed in someone’s field and then just decided to stay living there? If you’re an American citizen and your plane crashes in Britain, you don’t just become a resident there. I mean, yeah marrying a British citizen would certainly make it easier to stay there, but we’ve got good political ties with Britain. Do we know anything about the political ties between Magisteria and the UE-land?

          Also, I may be misremembering this, but didn’t Lord Kheris vanquish to Unnameable One or was that some other bit of mythology? For some reason I’m thinking that Kheris is the patron saint or deity or whatever of Magisteria, but I could be wrong.

          Finally, was the Unnameable One human? For some reason I thought that his empire wasn’t a human empire, but I could of course be wrong. I can’t find a whole lot of information about the Unnameable One from just quick glances back through the previous chapters.

          Current score: 0
          • Sorry for the long post (not that my others are all that short) but I wanted to make some references and quotes to go with this to save on people having to dig and search for what I’m referencing in the chapters.

            My understanding has always been that the title “the Unnameable One” is simply applied to the Emperor and that the Empire is human ruled. The history classes imply that the primary race of the Empire is human, re: human invasion of goblin/hobgoblin lands and the misunderstandings that occurred there during the “dwarf and goblin wars” Although elves were known in the Old Empire before the colonization period.

            In MoreMU Chapter 84Grappling With IssuesJaime’s investigation into the stag bracelet leads to our getting the following tidbit of information: “elves didn’t cross the ocean more often than they had to. Before human innovation, ocean travel had been viewed as unacceptably risky compared to just staying on dry land.” – Thus, in the OE, elves were known. Which is interesting in that we find that there is anti-elvish discrimination mentioned in another chapter.

            Chapter 246:Passing the Time is another history class and Professor Hart points out “As an interesting side note to the rest of you, this anti-elven sentiment persisted long after the time period with which our class is concerned. Elves were frequently discriminated against in hiring, out of a perception that they had unfair advantages and that allowing them to take a job removed it from the marketplace indefinitely.” While at the same time also bringing up that “whatever advantages elven blood could have given to Lord Marthen, (OE) it would have been a disastrous political liability.” This implies of course that while elves may have been known in the Old Empire, that they were not part of the ruling body, further giving weight to the idea that the Unnameable one was a human.

            In Chapter 435; Model Behavior We see Professor Hart explaining a pre-Republican battle where the invaders are human and the indigenous people are goblins. “Imperial forces were completely unprepared for the scope of the threat, as they had all but exterminated the goblins in that region less than one generation ago… one human generation. Here again you see the human inexperience with goblinoids rearing its face.”

            The quote from that chapter indicates that the OE was at the least unfamiliar with goblins, if not with the majority of the other races in the colonies.

            Later in Chapter 348:A Prehistory of Violence We see him point out that orc’s are also a relative unknown to the colonists. ““There were some missteps in this campaign. The range of races we call ‘goblinoids’ were unknown in the old lands. Imperial Command based its policy on dealing with the goblins on its experience with orcs, assuming the newly discovered creatures to simply be a new variety of orc.”

            Chapter 156:The Rights of Man The date is 7th Militia 312… Astera 7th, -9 ME, by our current calendar. The ship Tradewinds has just anchored in Phale Harbor. On board are two men who will become very important for all those living in the Western Provinces: Adon Magnus, called Magisterion, and Phillip Bell, called Phillip Bell.” “the latter was the nephew of a remote cousin of the Unnamable(sic) Emperor” While the degrees of separation allow some room for mixed heritage on the part of the Unnameable Emperor, it shows that the Unnameable Emperor is at the least partially human.

            So, summation – unless more info is provided it is very safe to assume that the Unnamed Emperor and the Old Empire is human in origin.

            Current score: 0
            • and what I forgot to add in my post last night. The “Unnameable Emperor” is likely one of three things. It could be just a title bestowed on successive emperors to lend to the mystique of the Emperor. Or it is a Magisterian habit to further the division from the old empire. But, considering that ‘names have power’ and knowing a persons name, especially the Emperor’s, could give someone with sufficient talent and expertise a way to connect to the Emperor via magic, the likeliest reason the Emperor is Unnameable is his own protection from magic.

              Current score: 0
            • The Other Leighton says:

              So the UE was human. Thanks for clearing that up.

              If I’m getting my history straight, the humans as part of the OE came to the land that is now Magisteria, cleared out the goblinoids and then set up shop. At some later point, there was a rebellion against the OE and Magisteria was formed as an independent human republic?

              Your point about the power of names is definitely valid. I guess I was thinking “Unnameable” in the sense of a Voldemort-type villain or whatever, but unnameable to keep people from knowing his/her name also makes sense.

              We can only hope we eventually get answers to these questions… and that it doesn’t take another year and a half to get them. 😉

              Current score: 0
            • Larry says:

              Wasn’t the unnameable one the guy who picked the wrong fight with the orcs, resulting in a devistating defeat for humans? If I remember correctly, his name can not be used because he is so hated for this blunder.

              This does throw a wrench into the timeline.

              Current score: 0
            • Larry, actually I think you might be thinking of General Clayborn in chapter 435 Model Behavior with the pre-Revolution event “The Battle of Seven Hills” The misunderstanding of goblins was based on the unfamiliarity with multiple different races and the colonists thinking they were just a different type of orc – chapter 348 A prehistory of violence again, as well as the unfamiliarity with goblin reproduction, referenced in chapter 435.

              Alternatively perhaps you’re thinking of the clash that the Imperial Command in Ravenport had with the goblins there, where they’d based their tactics with the goblins on their knowledge of the orcs. There however we see not a battle but attempts at negotiation.

              Again, from chapter 348: “The orcs were known to have a sharply defined division of labor among the sexes. The men are warriors and hunters, but the women are in charge of domestic affairs. That’s not just an atrocious pun… women make all the important decisions at the family level since they remained with the camp while the men are away, and political power for each village is vested in its oldest citizens, most of whom are female.

              “The goblins kept their women at home while the men fought, but that’s where the similarities to orcs ends. They were territorial and entrenched, rather than nomadic. Goblin women held little power. They certainly didn’t live to be respected elders very often. Before modern healing magic became commonly available to them, carrying a litter of little goblins to term carried a fifty percent mortality rate. The rate for the infants’ first year of life was close to eighty or ninety. The only old goblin women were old maids.”

              Further in the blundering of the legions in the Ravenport region included paying attention to the goblinoid women, who are at that time considered almost like property to the male goblinoids, and also “If hobgoblins were present, the envoys deferred to them as they would have to an unusually big and strong orc warrior, not realizing the low position hobgoblins occupied in goblin society” further “They assumed bonds of tribal loyalty existed that went beyond the immediate family groups. If they saw similar markings outside two villages, they thought that meant that they were affiliated… never dreaming that the goblins had a written script.”

              Its easy enough to get confused with all this being that most of the history class chapters are spaced fairly far apart. If you like though I think I’ve gotten most of them linked in one of my earlier posts in this side branch of discussion, having dug up most of them to make my references by doing a search for Hart in the side search.

              Current score: 0
            • Larry says:

              No, 7 hills wound up being a victory and strengthening Clayborne’s reputation.

              The conflict I am thinking of was the that the Emperor ordered the slaughter of Orc women and children in their camps. The male Orcs then took revenge, captured the imperial capital, and decimated the human population. The Emperor’s name was thereafter considered cursed, hence the Unnamable One.

              Current score: 0
            • seems there isn’t a reply link for your response to my previous post. I’ve been hunting all over and can’t seem to find the chapter that massacre is mentioned in. I’d love to refresh my memory if you happen to find it please let me know.

              The only mentions of orcs besides the misunderstandings regarding goblins are where they’re mentioned as being from the old world, and having worked as mercenaries on the side of the OE and the propaganda campaign that in some cases expressed that ““The orcs’ commanders were marching them into massacres because they were compensated with gold for every soldier they lost,”” (chapter 189) Other than that I don’t recall anything mentioned about battles.

              Current score: 0
            • I think in terms of the particular emperor at the time of the revolt of the colonies the title of ‘Unnameable One’ might have been used in Magisteria in a Voldemort style way after the division as well, although in that respect, if someone had known his name I’d imagine that word would have spread and as a disrespect to the emperor it would have been used rather than unspoken. Conjecture though – only AE would know for sure until she illuminates us in that regard.

              As for the new Republic being ‘human’ not so. It was more a Republic that sought to embrace, to a degree the non humanoids as well primarily this was based on greed, in that they wished to continue trade with the dwarves and granting non humans rights similar to those the humans had in order facilitated that.

              As for clearing out the goblinoids, not so much. They -tried- but failed due to the nature of goblinoid reproduction. Instead there ended up being treaties and such, with many different of the non human races of the colonies and in the case of goblinoids I’d gotten the impression that they were treated somewhat like Native Americans have been, lands taken via the treaties, since most of the time conflicts weren’t working in the favor of humans.

              I believe most of those treaties came about during the revolution since once the Magisterians had become fed up with being treated like non-humanoids, ie not being given the same basic rights they had in the homeland, they became more sympathetic with the non humans of the colonies. Their revolt led them to have a common enemy and treaties formulated during that time might have had some nasty small print that after the revolution would have left goblinoids and other non humans in a sticky situation where they might not have realized what they were signing away at the time. Again, in terms of what the treaties were, mostly this is conjecture, although its stated in chapter 156 that the non humanoids would have certain rights recognized that the empire had denied them, although it wasn’t principle, but necessity that fueled the change. Essentially ‘human rights’ became ‘universal rights’.

              If we make the OE an analogy to Great Britian (which isn’t much of a stretch really) Mentioning Ravenport being a penal colony would make that area Australia in all but a geographical sense for the analogy, being that it is part of the colony provinces though far to the south of the parts which see most discussion. Because of the unrest in that region, 3 legions were permanently stationed there and this kept them from being involved in the revolutionary fire in the north. The two regions revolted for different but similar reasons. The north for denial of ‘human rights’ the south for ‘being treated worse than before’ after proving their loyalty to the Unnameable One’ – this turn of events was fueled by Rufus Vale’s greed and his desire to save his own skin making him decide to turn patriot and lend support to the north’s revolution. Prior to that rise of patriotism on the governor’s part, the Unnamed One had ignored(for the most part) the situation in the south since he’d decided that the north’s revolt was more important. When the Imperial Command made conditions worse on the penal colonists rather than keeping them at the least the same, unrest stirred and to keep the peace the 3 Legions were stationed in the south thus splitting the front and allowing for the success of the revolution. Because the Magisterians made treaties with the non humanoids, dwarves and elves primarily – and with that in mind were interested in continuing the good will with dwarves in particular after the war, they, as I mentioned before, out of necessity took a mindset in the new Republic of ‘universal’ over ‘human’ rights in the interest of trade(greed).

              We could even further take these analogies into present day Magisteria being akin to the early days of the civil rights movement in the United States. This is shown infact by the mindset of Mack and a few others on campus amongst the non humanoids in particular. We have the segregation on the campus, and the sit-in in Chapter 183: Mobbed Up after the incident with Mack in the healing center and the screwed up teleportation. Added with this we also have the whole Miss vs Ms. being used for non human names vs humans, yet another form of seperation of the races.

              It is interesting to note the similarities and brings one to wonder what further instances may even come up.

              Current score: 0
  36. Dave says:

    Why does surviving a fall prove Dan (Aidan Snr) is a half-demon? We know he is, but to those who don’t there could have been several other explanations. For one, people may have thought he had a spare feather. For another, he has strong magic for levitation; people may have thought he could apply it to himself to break his fall. Dell must have guessed he was something special, from how quickly he recovered from apparently fatal injuries, but I doubt other people knew about that.

    As to why he won’t have the scar healed, I’m sure he still feels guilty for not saving EVERYONE, despite the citation recognising how much he DID do. Perhaps he blames himself for the globe exploding. I think that’s also why he won’t fly with passengers any more. He doesn’t want to risk being involved in any more deaths. Whether he was in part to blame (per Arakano’s thory), or just the one who was there when it happened, we’ll probably never know. What we CAN deduce – as I think we all have – is that he is a moral being with integrity. He appears to have GOOD alignment – as does Mackenzie, if she’d believe it! (Though I think she has a stong element of chaotic too 🙂

    Current score: 0
    • Drudge says:

      Because we know he’s a half demon from previous chapters. He isn’t some grand new character or anything. We know Mackenzie’s demon father was also his father, we know Mackenzie’s subtle artist mother was his mother as well. These are hard and fast facts.

      Current score: 0
      • Dave says:

        Yes I know WE know; the point I was making is that his surviving the fall does not automatically mean other people in the MUniverse would know.

        Current score: 0
  37. Junstoppable says:

    While everyone is yammering about the whole “who is aidan, what’s goin’ on” bit, I’d like to point out that this is the coolest title yet. Heh. Son of a creature man.

    Ms Erin, you are awesome.

    Current score: 0
    • Tomas says:

      I have only just realised what the title is based on.
      I quite like it too.

      Current score: 0
  38. Malarky says:

    A fantastic chapter and a lot of answers. Though one question sticks out in my mind. What did she mean by:

    “And your father… well, religion doesn’t agree with him, so we get by with what we can get at the grocer’s. Nourish the body, nourish the soul.”

    On the first read through, I thought this was just a random shot at religion. But when I think about it, this line is showing about how they honor the act of feeding on humans.

    I don’t know if I should be disturbed by this line, but I find it to be very soothing. It seems to me that this is the major reason why Danny boy turned out so much more at peace than Mack. Rather than condemning the act of feeding, it held as a ritual to keep his soul pure. Given Mack’s reaction to being on the verge of starvation, this makes perfect sense.

    Current score: 0
    • The Other Leighton says:

      That may be a bit of a stretch…

      The “get at the grocer’s” phrase is just an old timey quip about religion that I’m pretty sure I’ve heard elsewhere before.

      Current score: 0
    • Calia says:

      Yeah, I don’t think this is necessarily what was meant. I took it more to mean: Since divinity/religion/praying is actually detrimental to Aiden Sr (like Khersis burning Mack’s tongue), they get their “spiritual fulfillment” by more natural means; taking care of oneself and living by the golden rule, essentially.

      Of course, taking care of oneself would include respect to Aiden Sr’s eating requirements, but I highly doubt that they “honor” it as such. More like someone who has lactose intolerance would make sure to not drink milk, Aiden Sr is simply making sure he’s healthy.

      Current score: 0
  39. Brenda says:

    I don’t see how it is honoring feeding on humans.

    Current score: 0
    • Oni says:

      Danny, for all we know, might only have to feed on fingernail clippings. If anything, the “get at the grocer’s” phrase would lead me to think that his dietary requirements are considered “it is what it is” by them. Maybe his requirements aren’t too bad, or maybe the folks who know him figure there’s no point arguing over the situation.

      Current score: 0
  40. Riin says:

    Seems more like they prefer to lead a holistic, fulfilling life than one lead by strict religion. They believe keeping your soul healthy is as easy as your body – through simple maintenance, perhaps seeing good deeds and morals like a nice, home-cooked healthy meal.

    Current score: 0
  41. Anders says:

    This story gave MUCH to talk about 😛
    Wonder when the stories will be organized in chapters, like the first 5…

    Current score: 0
  42. Dani says:

    Could Aiden’s grandmother be Zanita? (I may be reading more into the lightning reference than the coincidence of her being blue merits.)

    Current score: 0
  43. Kriss says:

    Just remember, to anyone that didn’t see it. The only one who could ever teach me, was the ‘Son of a creature man’

    Current score: 0
  44. Sea says:

    The slightly confusing part is that “your father” occasionally refers to da instead of biological father. See quip about religion and “your father’s jokes aren’t always funny” and cloud mines comment.

    Current score: 0