in the Shadow of Greatness


December 11, 2003

Family, Perception and Age

The Family of which all others are but shadows. Dysfunctional? What family isn't?

Social dynamics are related to age perceptions.

Benedict is practically timeless. With Oberon dead and Dworkin nothing like a paternal figure, it is Benedict that any royal might think of as the male authority figure. Benedict's approval is without price. His consideration, his time, his ear is valued to a different standard. Benedict is hardly ever around.

In certain situations, one can almost hear, "wait until Benedict finds out about this, you won't be able to sit down for a month."

Corwin is the next oldest. He appears but rarely or not at all in the Eternal City. He is just beginning to get screen time in Argent Rose. Yet, he really isn't paternal at all. Probably by the GM's design more than anything, Corwin is a poem of paradox. In Amber, he just isn't around. He is more like a wicked uncle than a true authority figure. Sometimes he can seem very immature and unaware of it.

Fiona is the next oldest. She is treated as if she were older than any other royal. Fiona will tell you that you are wasting her time. She sounds old. She acts old. Her comments remind you at many turns that you are quite wet behind the ears. She demands a sharper dialogue, and is precise but seldom mean.

She scares off other royals. She refuses Trump contacts (because she knows who is calling and can decide that it isn't important to talk to them.) Rather than being a bitch—Fiona is the matriarch. Sometimes she takes that all too seriously. But she does enforce a higher level of performance, even from her sibs.

Bleys is next. Sharp. Playful. Quite busy with his own projects. Friendly. Personable. A good fellow to test a plan with. Experienced. Wicked in his humors. Bleys is the Elder that is most sticky with the death of Caine. He is often accessible. He is more like a wicked uncle than a true authority figure. Sometimes he can seem very immature and aware of it. He will wink at you and suddenly you are part of the inner circle. He can make you forget his age.

Llewella next. Cool. Passionate. Secretive. Giving. The Rebman princess is a paradox that every royal has to solve for themselves. She seems old, yes, but you can also still find a sad girl in intimate talk with her. She openly despised her father. She doesn't easily make friends. Her regard is timeless as the sea.

Julian. Diligence. Expectations. Authority. Like Fiona, Julian will tell you that you are acting the idiot. What's more, he has the track record of performance. He doesn't make mistakes. Or none that you can see. Unlike Fiona, Julian is in Amber a lot, close to the throne, at hand for the King's need. His kids are high performers. His support makes a strong case. He carries his age like armor.

Gerard. Charisma. Safety. Playful. The uncle that is a favorite with everyone. Even Fiona doesn't stay cross with him. He has been called the only decent man in the family. It's not true, but Gerard carries his age and expertise beneath a veneer of comraderie that can be hard to penetrate. There is a bit of mystery to him, even as he seems as open as a book. The people love him.

Florimel. Charisma. Charity. Advice. Ccompassion. The aunt that can do no wrong—except that she rarely gets credit for it. Age seems unable to keep purchase with her. This aunt will give you the blouse off her back, or the name of a better tailor. The nobles love her. Florimel manages to do things that always seem well thought out or full of grace. Even foolish things.

Random. Punk. Reprobate. Sly. There remains a youthful streak to him, that slowly seems to be burning out on the seat of the throne. He is not always 'the King' and enjoys that with a few people. Age seems to be overtaking him. Random has sidestepped the issue of commanding his older sibs by making many 'sticky' relationships with his sibs offspring.

That's working well. Once again, Random makes canny moves that don't involve confrontations.

Filed under : Amber, Muse at 11.12.2003