In Which Mackenzie Misses The Obvious
Because enduring a conversation about dragons apparently wasn’t enough, the first question was about another race with a taste for sentient flesh that I’d had too many close encounters with over the course of my academic career to date.
“So… that thing of separate halves,” a student asked. “How does that apply to someone like a mermaid?”
“You mean, is their top half legally human and their bottom half legally fish?” Hart said, to scattered bits of laughter. “They’re not actually talking about that kind of halves.”
“No,” the guy said. “They can change forms, from, you know, mermaid to something more human-looking.”
“I know merfolk can split their tails into legs, but that’s not quite as drastic as a werewolf, or a half-dragon,” Hart said. “I don’t see that the decree would apply. She’d still clearly be a mermaid, in either form.”
“I have a friend who dated a mermaid for part of last year,” he said, “and he said that she could… make her scales go away, and then she looked pretty much like a human. So, legally, would she be a human?”
“Okay. I did not actually know that,” Hart said. “But the specific thing about Separate Halves… you have to remember that it was originally applied to werewolves. And Thylean bear-skin adepts, but I swear I’m trying not to steer the conversation around to them. A werewolf does not adopt the appearance of a human. A werewolf in its… his.. werewolves in their human form are human. That’s the point of the decree. There are these dwarves who can turn their hands into axes and hammers and picks and things…”
“Bonesmiths, I believe you mean,” Hall supplied.
“Yes. Dwarven bonesmiths,” Hart said. “The law doesn’t need a Decree of Separate Halves to treat a bonesmith as a dwarf, whether he’s got a hand for a hand or an axe for a hand. I don’t know what actually goes on with a mermaid’s physical form when she goes from having a tail to having legs, but I suspect it’s got more in common with a bonesmith than a werewolf.”
“Just so,” Hall said. “Indeed, there are rumors that the bodies of merfolk are more protean than most land-dwellers would imagine. It is well-known that many tribes of shore-dwelling merfolk, colloquially known as ‘sirens’, can transfigure their upper limbs into wings… why should not their cousins in the deep be able to assume a flipper-like configuration? And yet the sirens remain just as human… which is to say, not at all… when they show traits of mammals, reptiles, and birds.”
“Good question, though,” Hart said to the guy who’d asked. “We’re dealing with a big topic and so a lot of concepts we only passed over with a glance, but this is a long period so there’s no reason we can’t stop and amplify something if it wasn’t clear.”
“I have a question for Professor… uh… Hall, I think?” a girl said. She was looking at him, but a little uncertainly… I supposed that if I didn’t have prior experience with one of them, I might have found it hard to keep track of which was which after the brief introduction at the beginning of the class.
Hall looked at Hart.
“I believe that in the interest of fostering discussion and lessening confusion, we can do away with a degree of formality,” he said. “I have no objection to being addressed by my given name, by anyone who feels comfortable doing so.”
“If you can stand to be called ‘Fenwick’, I guess I don’t mind being Aaron,” Hart said.
“Okay, Professor Fenwick, then,” the girl said. “How exactly did dragons change during the Fall? You said they became mortal, but what did that actually entail in terms of their abilities?”
“Oh, yes,” Fenwick said. “Well, just as what seems to be a relatively simple idea like ‘shapeshifting’ can actually cover a variety of concepts, so, too, does one like ‘mortality’. Dragons have always been prone to aging and to death, though there’s little in the way of proof that great and greater dragons will ever die of old age. When one speaks of ‘mortals’ in relation to dragons, one is usually referring to the so-called created kinds, the order of creation that humans and elves and dwarves belongs to… the sorts of beings sometimes erroneously and prejudicially referred to as ‘humanoids’.
“During the Fall, every intelligent dragon within the sphere of the world was transformed into the form of a so-called humanoid, and the less intelligent dragons became a variety of hunting beasts. It is from the latter category that the world’s population of chimerae descended, as they followed their new instincts and mated with natural beasts of their newly assumed kind.”
“As far as their abilities are concerned,” Hart said… and to me, he was still Hart, “the intelligent dragons didn’t lose any of their accumulated knowledge or magical power. They couldn’t fly by flapping the wings they’d lost, or breathe plumes of fire or lightning. To what extent they retained their less physical abilities is hard to judge. They weren’t in any hurry to advertise the extent of their power loss.”
“There are stories about the trapped dragons displaying draconic-level feats of strength,” Fenwick said. “But this could easily have been magic or trickery… as Aaron suggested, the de-scaled wyrms had a powerful motivation to keep up the appearance of power and strength traditionally associated with them.”
“Or it could just be stories,” Hart added.
“True enough,” Fenwick said. “Does anyone have another question?”
There was no immediate response. A few people looked at each other. I imagined there were questions on the tips of people’s tongues, but we weren’t quite into the flow of things yet. Despite my discomfort with the topics at hand, I did have a desire to know more… it just wasn’t coalescing into specific questions. I wanted to know more about such things as the Pelorians and their brief empire, and their absorption into the armies of the old empire.
“Well, if no one else has an immediate question coming to mind,” Fenwick said, “then I’d like to further the discussion by expanding on another point I found interesting, the Decree of Separate Halves. I’d be surprised if this decree… it’s a Metric one, I gather from the time frame, but it’s part of our common law, I suppose?” Hart nodded, and Fenwick continued. “Yes, well. As a sidenote, I’d be very surprised if this Decree has ever been applied to a full-blooded dragon who assumed a human form through whatever means. Do you know anything about that, Aaron?”
“To my knowledge, it hasn’t,” Hart said. “Though I’ve never looked into it. Anyway, your half-dragon has two natural forms that aren’t just different races, they’re different kinds of creatures. Orders?” He looked at Fenwick for confirmation, who nodded. “I don’t think that last part matters. If there were such a thing as a were-elf, who was human most of the time and elf some of the time, Separate Halves would still apply. The key is that they’re different kinds of creatures, or beings, or people. Like the werewolf, the half-dragon really is human and really is dragon. Does that make sense?”
Around the room there were some scattered nods.
“I guess what I would like to know,” one guy asked, “is how does the law decide if it applies?”
“Well, that’s really a question for lawyers,” Hart said. “I assume they look at past precedents, and if the question arises for a new type of creature someone has to make a determination of what’s actually going on. In all honesty, it doesn’t get invoked very often. It’s more important for purposes of the historical context of how we came to our current understanding of equality under the law. Nowadays… well, last year, there was an unfortunate incident on campus involving a young lady from a kingdom in the Khazarus who was killed on campus. It was put down to a monster attack, eventually, but it was initially being investigated as a murder.”
I wondered at Hart’s choice of words, when he said that Leda’s death was “put down to” a monster attack… in his history classes, he’d displayed a tendency to acerbically repeat the official line on some of the more controversial aspects of the Imperium’s history while making it clear to most of the class what he thought of it.
I doubted he knew or suspected the exact truth, but it didn’t seem beyond reason that he might not trust the official outcome of the investigation.
“Now, this young lady… like many people from that part of the world… was a shapeshifter,” Hart continued. “She could move between the forms of a swan and a human. Would she have been covered by the Decree of Separate Halves? Probably. But the question of whether or not she ‘counts’ as human never came up, because under the current law a swan-person is supposed to be the same as a human-person.”
“Um, Aaron… I have a question that’s not really directly related to half-dragons,” a girl said. “But it does relate to something you said.”
“Go for it,” Hart said. “Like Professor Hall said, let’s keep things ‘organic’.”
“Okay,” she said. “Well, the thing is… I was wondering where werewolves come from?”
“If you mean, were they created in a similar way to half-dragons, I think we can probably say no,” Hart said, to more laughter. “But other than that, I really don’t know. Fenwick?”
“There are stories, of course,” Fenwick said. “Old stories, and not very pleasant ones. Persons afflicted with lycanthropy are recognized as persons these days, and are not punished for their condition, but simply held responsible for the consequences of failing to control it… but once upon a time, they were seen as a thing of nightmares. Those stories that spoke of a specific origin for them inevitably put it down to a curse or hex. But I believe that the truth is contained in a story that’s not about werewolves in particular.
“In the beginning, the goblins say, there were the Old Ones… sleeping titans, gods of chaos and primal power. And one of the old gods, a figure identified as The Claw That Corrupts, also known as the Father of Beasts and Mother of Madness, is said in some tales to have shaped beasts into the forms of mortals, or to have created a plague that would infect mortals with the forms of beasts. The story varies with the telling… and with the translation… but either way we read it, it seems clear that goblinkind attribute the creation of werewolves and similar creatures to their dark god.”
“All earlier kidding aside,” Hart said, “I think we do have to take these theological stories with a grain of salt. They seem less likely to be contemporary accounts that were handed down and more likely to be retrospectively trying to put together pieces from before any race has any credible knowledge.”
“True, perhaps,” Fenwick said. “We find more conflicts… or competition, if you will… among the various accounts of creation and origin told by varying peoples. In some cases we may be able to approach the truth by looking at the commonalities between them. In other cases we’re left with irreconcilable conflicts. The interesting thing here, though, is that there are no conflicting accounts. No other story takes credit or assigns blame for lycanthropy and related plagues.”
“That’s not definitive,” Hart said.
“But it’s suggestive,” Fenwick said. “Now, I should stress that the story involving The Claw That Corrupts refers only to true werecreatures who are distinct from those who can take on the shape of animals in other ways… such as Professor Hart’s beloved berserkers, or members of certain druidic sects. Sadly it is not at all uncommon for a human who happens to take the form of a wolf to be mistaken for a werewolf. True werebeasts can pass their condition on through a bite, have some degree of a lack of control over their shapeshifting, and assume the form of ‘dire’ creatures rather than natural ones.”
“On the subject of shapeshifting…” another student said. “I wonder about half-dragon shapeshifting. How does it work?”
“Well, now,” Professor Fenwick said, “I believe that Professor Hart has touched on an important truth when he said that a half-dragon truly is both dragon and person. A half-dragon has two natural forms. Whichever form one is born in, the other form will want to assert itself. Even those whose draconic parents have no natural shapeshifting talent may spontaneously shapeshift as they mature. As for the actual mechanism? It’s best to think of it as one life, one mind, occupying two different bodies.”
“So, does the other body exist in some kind of extraplanar space when it’s not being used?” the student asked.
“Oh, heavens, no,” the loremaster said. “Nothing like that. Nor can a half-dragon survive the death of ‘one’ body. The two bodies are one, in the manner of the dualistic or trinitarian gods that were in greater favor some millennia ago, or in the Universal conception of the relationship between Khersis Dei the god and Lord Khersis the man. Definitely two separate bodies. Definitely one unified one. It’s a difficult idea to grasp from within the framework that we exist in, I admit.”
Yeah, that idea seemed to take some getting around for a lot of the students. I dealt with it by accepting that I didn’t understand it, but I’d had some practice… my grandmother had been a staunch member of the Universal Temple of Khersis.
“So… would a half-dragon born to a dragon mother be born in dragon form?” was the next question.
“If the mother resumes her dragon form and lays an egg, then yes,” Fenwick said. “That has been known to happen. If she carried the pregnancy to term in the form of a human or elf, the offspring would be the same as a half-dragon born to a human or elven mother and a dragon father. The stories are not quite unanimous on this point, but it seems that some half-dragons who are ‘born dragons’ may be accepted by their kin as full dragons, though of a lesser caliber than their parents. At the very least they seem to have the option of ‘passing’ for a dragon.”
“So is that where lesser dragons come from?” another student asked.
“That seems unlikely,” Fenwick said. “Dragons of lesser ranks have always been more common than those of greater ranks, and one of the traits that distinguishes the greater ones is that shapeshifting abilities are more common among them. But the ranks of common dragons have certainly been bolstered by mixing with mortals… any non-great dragon who can assume a mortal form without powerful and difficult magic likely has a parent or ancestor of that mortal race.”
“If dragons don’t approve of hybrids, why do some of them mate with mortals in the first place?”
“Well,” Fenwick said, “while we don’t have anything like a census, it seems that more half-dragons were born during the era of the Fall than any time before or since… from that, we can infer that the intelligent dragons were also prey to their new bodies’ instincts.”
“But what about the ones born before and after? Why would there be any?”
“Well, there’s a danger in thinking of dragons as a monolith,” Fenwick said. He chuckled. “Though the resemblance can be uncanny, depending on the type of dragon and the angle from which it is viewed in repose… no, in all seriousness, to understand how this can be you must only think of any activity that your own society can be said to disapprove of, and then count all the examples of that activity you have witnessed, heard about, or performed in your own lifetime.”
“How exactly do we get the views of dragon society about that kind of thing?” another student asked.
“That’s an excellent question,” Fenwick said. “The thing is, ‘dragon society’ is perhaps something of a contradiction in terms. Even the most sociable dragon is a fairly solitary creature. Dragons covet the approval of other dragons, but they don’t tend to seek it… that is to say, dragons do as they please, but when they do something they think would garner the envy of their peers they crow about it. Thus, the culture of dragon consists largely of boasts… the written form of High Draconic, from which our own alphabet descends, was invented solely to disseminate news of grandiose claims and great feats farther and faster.”
“On the subject of grandiose claims, I think you might be overstepping a bit,” Hart said. “Dragons are some of the best record-keepers in the world. They’re basically nature’s accountants.”
“If you use a somewhat expansive definition of ‘nature’, perhaps,” Fenwick said.
“Okay, whatever,” Hart said. “My point is that records taken from dragon hoards… and, in some cases, copied by scribes who paid an exorbitant price for the privilege… give us accounts of things like the geography, weather, and population of their dragon hunting territories in minute detail. They don’t always mark time on a scale that’s convenient for building a timeline, and sometimes there are large gaps where the dragon might have been sleeping or absent, but dragons use their script for their own convenience often enough that it seems questionable that they invented language just to trade boasts.”
“Ah,” Fenwick said, “but before your well-heeled scribes took an interest, how often did these dragons share their records? Dragons do not, as a rule, think of posterity. They can plan for the long term… for extremely long terms… but in general, their viewpoint is on the here and now. The treasures they store aren’t being stored for future use, they’re being stored for the present and every present that follows. Likewise, the records are for the dragon’s own benefit. The practice of record-keeping may have arisen in isolation, that I’ll grant, but a shared language?”
“They could have brought it with them,” Hart said.
“From across the void?” Fenwick said. “It’s possible, assuming that dragons weren’t native to our sphere, but we’re still stuck with the same basic problem: why would a shared language have arisen if it wasn’t being used to communicate? Unless draconic nature was once fundamentally different, it seems likely to me that their script was created for boasting, not for bookkeeping.”
It seemed that Hart couldn’t find anything to fault in that logic.
“You see,” Fenwick said, with a hint of triumph twinkling in his eye, “we keepers of lore do not ‘uncritically’ pile up stories. It takes a degree of discernment to untangle the disparate threads of many knotty traditions and weave them together into a useful tapestry of knowledge.”
“Point to lore,” Hart said. He looked around the circle for a distraction, but no one was volunteering a question. His gaze fell on a girl. “You look like you’ve had something on your mind for a while now.”
“Um, yeah,” she said. “When we were talking about all the people with dragon blood born during the Fall. The ones who didn’t shapeshift… which I guess was all of them, during the Fall… but what distinguishes them, if they don’t show draconic appearances?”
“Well in some cases… particularly during the Fall… the draconic parent was known,” Fenwick said. “In later cases it was often only rumored, or inferred when those traits that will not be suppressed began to manifest themselves.”
“Here’s where we get into the area of history vs. lore again,” Hart said. “There’s not a lot of actual evidence for a lot of the so-called ‘dragonblooded heroes’. In the earlier Age of Heroes… also known as the Classical Age of Heroes… we saw this with figures who performed great feats and achieved far-reaching fame being acclaimed as descendants of various gods. The thing is that in most cases nobody had any idea about this lofty parentage when those heroes were alive. Is it possible that some heroic figures had divine blood that it took centuries for sharp-eyed storytellers to recognize? Sure. But I think in most cases, claiming divine blood or dragon blood is like claiming distant kinship to a king or emperor… it’s hard to prove anything either way, so it’s an easy way of puffing up one’s hereditary credentials.”
There was a possibility I hadn’t considered, regarding the question of Puddy’s ancestry… it was possible that she herself wasn’t making up the claim about having dragon blood but that it was still a lie all the same. Puddy’s family, the La Belles, seemed to be a Family with a capital F, the sort of people who didn’t just have ancestors but a lineage. But it also seemed they’d only risen to prominence a few centuries ago… might they not have concocted an illustrious and powerful ancestor further back to help cement their position?
The only problem with this theory was that they didn’t seem keen to advertise the mixing that had gone on inside their family. From Puddy’s account, they were still hushing up a dwarven ancestress even though having a small measure of dwarf blood had become slightly fashionable with the elevation of Magisterion XIII.
“Professor Hart?” I said.
“Yes?” he said.
“Given the Decree of Separate Halves, and the fact that dragon blood doesn’t really ‘mix’ with human blood the way elven and dwarven blood do… well, I don’t know if this is actually a history question, but I was wondering if it seems possible that a human family that would be loathe to admit to non-human blood might ‘puff itself up’ with dragon blood, as you put it,” I said. “Since it wouldn’t be seen to diminish their humanity.”
From the slim smile hiding within his bushy beard, I kind of suspected that he knew exactly what I was getting at. I didn’t know if he’d ever had a run-in with Puddy, but he’d butted heads with at least one of her innumerable cousins.
“Yes, it’s possible,” he said. “I won’t name names, but at least one of the first families of Prax is almost as infamous for its dubious claim of a dragon ancestor as they are for hushing up their dwarven blood.”
Well, that was one mystery solved, more or less. As Hart himself would say, it wasn’t definitive… but it did give something of an explanation.
I’d done my best to stop caring about Puddy over the course of the last year. Switching dorms meant that we were no longer living on top of each other, no longer moving in the same sphere. Still, it was hard to ignore an anomaly and there was much that was anomalous about Puddy Banks-La Belle.
There was a little voice in the back of my head that said that the rumored dragon blood might be more than a rumor, if Hall was right and dragon blood carried the potential for heroic feats. That would explain how Puddy was able to display such incredible strength intermittently… I’d assumed it had something to do with the chain of faerie gifts that seemed responsible for the La Belles’ elevation to the position of a “first family of Prax”, but there was no way to know for sure.
“So, if dragon blood doesn’t exactly mix,” I said, directing my attention to Fenwick, “then as it gets ‘bred out’ over the generations… would the recipients basically have lower potential for displays of the same levels of strength and power of their ‘purer’ ancestors?”
“In essence, yes,” Fenwick said. “The whole thing seems to get unpredictable over successive generations, but one way to look at it is that someone seven generations removed from a full-blooded dragon does not have one one-hundred-and-twenty-eighth of a dragon inside himself, but has a one in one-hundred-and-twenty-eight chance of manifesting some aspect of full dragonhood. That’s an oversimplification, obviously, but it conveys the general idea.”
“Still,” Hart added, “there’s are many other ways to come by the ‘greatness’ that gets chalked up to something like dragon blood. Durkon’s Hammer applies.”
“I believe applying Durkon’s Hammer would leave one to conclude that someone who displays strength or will or magical puissance equal to a dragon is most likely, in some measure, a dragon,” Fenwick said.
“Here’s the thing,” Hart said. “This whole idea of heroic traits coming from ‘hidden’ dragon blood comes in part from the notion that not all dragons are natural shapeshifters, right? But the other part is that dragon side is too strong to be denied.”
“Yes, hence the manifestation in great feats,” Fenwick said.
“But why in so many individuals is it just in great feats?” Hart said. “In every case where there is provable ancestry from dragons, it manifest physically. The most striking example is the Pelorians. Here we have part-humans, part-dragons who look for all the world like humanoid dragons. When the proportion of dragon blood is smaller, we get humans with dragon eyes, or with scaly-textured skins, or with claws or wings or horns.”
“Well, such accessories could be one way that the dragon blood shows itself,” Fenwick said. “That doesn’t mean that it’s the only one.”
“No, but I’m not aware of a documented case with a provable lineage to a dragon that doesn’t carry such markers,” Hart said.
“As you might say: that’s not definitive,” Fenwick said.
Even though Fenwick Hall had showed Hart up a bit on the matter of the draconic script, I was inclined to believe that Hart was on more solid footing here. Given the inherent power of dragons, it was natural that important and powerful people might claim a connection to them, or would have such a connection ascribed to them by those who came after… but given that power, it was hard to imagine it would be content to lie dormant and wait until a burst of epic heroism was needed. It seemed more likely that the blood would show itself somehow.
I kind of distracted for a while with the thought of Puddy and her obnoxious relatives all giving themselves away with scales or horns or something, and so I missed when the discussion first turned to a topic I’d been curious about. When my attention came back to the class, I noticed that Hart had stepped outside the circle and dragged a portable whiteboard over towards the edge of it. He was scrawling a very rough map on it.
“Okay,” he said, drawing a wavy mostly vertical line. “This is the east coast of Magisteria and the Westering Lands. Then across the ocean we have the Mother Isles… the Mother Isle itself, home of the Mother City, here kind of center-ish. Their empire became very spread out in the centuries after the Fall, but before that and increasingly today it was mostly concentrated in the islands and the areas of the mainland nearest to them to the east.”
He sketched that coast line even more vaguely than he had the Magisterian one.
“There’s a bunch of stuff in between, of course, but I’m not showing it. The first Pelorians, on the other hand, were born here… ish,” he said, sketching a bunch of little pointy peaks to the east of the coast. “About nine hundred miles inland, in the land-locked region of Pelorus, also called the Giant’s Fist because it’s where the great mountain chains get all bunched up. This whole area was rife with dragons of different colors, so it had always been contested territory.”
He sketched a bunch of dragons flying around the mountain, though they might as well have been a swarm of bats… or Ms and Ws.
“When the Fall came,” he continued, “all of a sudden they had other things on their mind… or at least, they had less ability to fight over huge swaths of land. So for seven hundred years, in this one region, there was something like a dragon society. And while there was a lot of mating among the trapped dragons themselves, some of them bred with actual mortals, and some of them bred with the offspring from those liaisons. So by the time the Fall ended, there was a whole population of thousands of people with more dragon blood than human.
“The ones who were mostly descended from greater dragons basically became dragons… a little more mortal in their sympathies, maybe, but basically dragons. But common dragons have always been more common than great ones, so a lot of them didn’t have any ability to shapeshift… and that draconic blood outed itself in a big way. Technically, anybody who’s from the Pelorus might be called a Pelorian… but no one actually identified as Pelorian before the Fall. It was contested territory in more ways than one, since it borders on practically everything that was considered important in continental life. The Fall created the first society that identified itself as ‘Pelorus-ian’, and today draconic humanoids are called Pelorians, even if their ancestors came from somewhere else entirely.
“Now, the Giant’s Fist was important to all the more easterly continental powers, and those in the Nigh-East and the Khazarus,” Hart continued. “But to the emperor on the throne in the Mother City, it might as well have been the ass-end of nowhere. It was only because the Pelorians began expanding west after the fall at the same time that the human empire was making serious inroads east, that they came into contact. If there hadn’t been hundreds of miles of land and then a bit of ocean between the two seats of power, we’d all be speaking Pelorian Draconic right now. The empire couldn’t field a force that could match the Pelorian foot soldiers, and they couldn’t defend any of the cities they held against aerial strikes powered by dragons.
“What we see in the Pelorian/Mother Isles conflict is an example of conquest through diplomacy. The old empire never stood and fought, after their initial engagements. They just made it very costly for the Pelorians to expand to the west. They torched cities, they blighted fields, they destroyed and trapped bridges and warded mountain passes. At the same time they made overtures to the ruling council in Pelorus. The Pelorians had power and they amassed wealth, but they didn’t have what we might call ‘the good life’. Remember, before the Fall, the ancestors of the Pelorians had been dragons squabbling over mountain fastnesses and people living in terror of the dragons. The Mother City had spent those same ages perfecting what we call the ‘Metropolitan way of life’… a way of life that was appealing to the powers-that-be in Pelorus. The fact that several Fallen dragons had sought protection by attaching themselves to the human empire helped, as they were able to speak glowingly about the comforts and conveniences of civilization found in the isles.
“Eventually, the two powers came to an accord. The Pelorian elite was welcomed into the Isles as if they were returning heroes rather than enemies. The Pelorian and human armies merged together and resumed conquering the space between them, from down here to the shore of the Ardan to the south,” he said, drawing the elongated arched coastline of that sea, “and to the north right up to the traditional boundaries of the Thyleans, who we aren’t talking about today, but who proved conquest-resistant.”
“Very rousingly told,” Fenwick said.
“Oh, sorry,” Hart said. “I guess I slipped into lecture mode.”
“It’s alright,” Fenwick said. “Early days, still… but I believe we should be wrapping this up.”
“Oh, right,” Hart said. “We still need to pick out a topic for Thursday.”
“Excellent,” Fenwick said. “Also, it’s a little late, but next time let’s get things started by having everyone introduce themselves. That might help foster discussion, as well as allowing us to take a proper roll. I know at least one student I expected is missing.”
“Not a bad idea,” Hart said. “So, class… what grabs your interest? It can spring from something we discussed here… or something we didn’t discuss, like, say, Thylean explorers.”
Boom! You know the drill by now… throw out requests/ideas for next class. After I pick it and before Thursday’s class I’ll make a separate discussion post for questions.