[LMB] upon rereading TSK:B, pt 7

quietann quietann at gmail.com
Wed Mar 14 17:30:32 GMT 2007

On 3/13/07, Harimad <harimad2001 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Now that I slowed down to notice more of what I read I'm in a
> position to ask: How long do Lakewalkers live?!?

I think Dag makes an internal reference to a grandfather who lived to be
126, and this being a quite normal lifespan for a Lakewalker.  It is an
internal reference because he's sure that Fawn's family won't believe that
Lakewalkers regularly live to well over 100 years.

There are a lot of hint about age that I missed the first couple
> times around.  I don't remember seeing the issue mentioned on the
> list, either.
> 1) Dag tells Fawn that his sharing knives came from a war 20 years
> ago.
> 2) Some time later Mari says Dag's wife died in that war and Dag took
> it badly.
> 3) At some point Dag, thinking about someone else's craziness,
> thought to himself that his dark time had come when he was 20 and not
> 35.

So Dag's crazy time was when he was 35, right?  He does also make reference
to Lakewalker youth regularly going a bit crazy when they are in their early
20s, because of sex and relationships and all that regular normal stuff.

> Which got me thinking.  How long do Lakewalkers live?  (Barring
> accident and war dead.)  How long do farmers live?  I have the idea
> that their lifespans aren't nearly as long, with Fawn's parents being
> middle-aged and her grandparents (who might be 70-75 if they were
> alive) being old.  Why the difference in lifespan?  Does this hark
> back to the sorcerer days?  Were all the old-time city folk
> long-lived?  Was it breeding or magic or something else?

Hm.  Going way into the realm of speculation, perhaps *exposure to malices*
actually lengthens life, if the malice doesn't kill one first.  And it seems
to me that malices are... radioactive??? so even Lakewalkers who aren't
exposed to them directly would pick up some radiation from their patroller
compatriots.  It also seems that suicide is fairly common amongst
Lakewalkers who are badly injured, which must just burn Dag up sometimes,
since he was not allowed that option.  (OTOH, he could at any time just go
off himself, but he's got such a good record killing malices, and he's
devoted to the cause.  Of course if exposure to malices lengthens life, he's
bound to live for about 200 years by now!)

If Lakewalkers do have such long lifespans, what influence does that
> have on Lakewalker culture?  Are Lakewalkers adults for a long time
> or is adolescence extended?  Saun seems to be early 20s and an adult,
> albeit a very junior one.  Is childbearing delayed, as it has become
> for many in the US?  Are there a lot of cross-generational
> friendships and relationships?

To me it looks like childbearing is somewhat delayed, and because of the
link between a woman's fertile period and her observable ground, Lakewalkers
have a lot of control over when they have children.  My guess is that Dag
and Kauneo were on the verge of starting a baby when Kauneo was killed,
given some of Mari's pointed comments to Dag about his lack of children.
But of course when there are a lot of malices around, there is incentive for
a woman to delay taking herself out of the Patroller pool.  And there also
seems to be some tension over whether women should be patrollers at all; Dag
says they should, but others seem to be concerned about declining birth
rates because of women delaying children.

The late teen/early 20s Lakewalkers seem almost like apprentices to me.
Remember even in the US, most soldiers, the ones who actually go into duty,
are similarly young, and traditionally a stint in the military has been seen
as a way to put maturity on a young person.  My guess is that young
Lakewalkers do so much patrolling for similar reasons.

Both Farmers and Lakewalkers have extremely communal societies, which I
think is the source of some of the tension around Dag's "position."  He is
serving the cause very well in some ways, but that's keeping him from
serving it in other ways.  If there's anything genetic to patrolling
ability, the Lakewalkers need Dag's children -- his full-blooded Lakewalker

I am eager to see more in TSK:L about how these issues work out.
quietann at gmail.com

aka "The Accidental Jewess"

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