Seanan McGuire (seanan_mcguire) wrote,
Seanan McGuire

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Questions and answers, #2: Do you have a flag?

As stated in this post, I am answering ten questions about Toby's world in preparation for the release of A Red-Rose Chain. Please note that these are questions about the world, not questions about individual people, things which have not yet happened in the series, or what is coming up in the books. I am still taking questions in the comments on the original post.

Our second question comes from rymenhild, who asks...

"How did the divisions of kingdoms and territories come about?"

Hooray, land ownership!

As has been stated several times, the fae are highly territorial. It's not necessarily a choice: they become uncomfortable when over-crowded, and while they enjoy the company of their "own kind," it's oddly enough the presence of that "own kind" that will trigger the territorial urge for most fae. (I say "most" because there are virtually no universal generalizations in Faerie. Cu Sidhe don't become uncomfortable when there are more of them. In fact, Cu Sidhe would like it if there were millions of them. Cait Sidhe don't become territorial until there are multiple potential Kings or Queens in a single Court, and even then, their tolerance is higher than that of, say, the Daoine Sidhe, who view a local population of two hundred as unbearably huge.) There are biological reasons for this! Which we will not go into here. So.

Fae territory #1 has been established for a thousand years, and is getting quite full. A group of young nobles, guessing that their parents are not planning to die or step aside any time soon, decides to go off and seek their fortune. Because the Tobyverse fae inhabit a space that is unique in their world, they do not need to worry about someone else owning the land they, er, land on: the Summerlands there will be open, and the humans are a minor distraction at best. They declare themselves the Kingdom of #2.

Someone is now King. Probably either the person who gave up the highest title to come on this little errand (and thus provided most of the supplies), or the person who's best at doing poisonings. The others look around the Kingdom, carve off bits to be Duchies or Marches or whatnot, and settle down. Depending on how big a Kingdom they were able to claim, there will be a certain amount of "open" land. Because, see, the starting size of a Kingdom is determined by your ambition, but the starting size of a Duchy or March is determined by how much land you think you can hold.

(Some fae, even when present at the birth of a Kingdom, will elect for a County or Barony, taking another layer of bureaucracy in exchange for knowing that someone else's army will keep them safe, or that they won't need as much of a standing army.)

The new King/Queen can then make gifts of open parcels of land, along with the corresponding titles, to anyone who does the Kingdom a service. Gradually, this will whittle away at the open land, especially since it's best, due to that whole "territorial" thing again, to leave open space between Duchies/Marches/etc. whenever possible. Having a mile or so of unincorporated space does wonders at cutting down your intra-Kingdom wars.

The hierarchy goes High Kingdom (Ireland, North America, South America, etc.), Kingdom (The Mists, Silences, Angels), Duchy/March, County, Barony, Homestead.
Tags: a few facts, a red-rose chain, toby daye
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