[LMB] A relayed question from the Russian fandom; royals gossip

Lois McMaster Bujold lbujold at myinfmail.com
Sat Aug 25 23:05:39 BST 2012

[LMB] SP: a relayed CVA question from the Russian fandom
Tel teldreaming at gmail.com
Sat Aug 25 19:16:09 BST 2012

LMB:  This is no longer contains references to CVA, so I have removed 
the spoiler tags and spaces.  Do please relay the answer...

Jetta also had this question:

"Xav Vorbarra is declared here as Yuri's younger brother.
I see some collision here.
1) During the Mad Yuri's War Xav was a grandfather already, and his
elder grandsons were teens. So he was at his mid-fifties at last,
wasn't he? Therefore Yuri would be about sixty or more, if he was the
big brother.

LMB:  That is just about right, yes.

2) At the same time Yuri's full sister became an Empress and gave
birth to baby Serg; furthermore the main reason of her marriage was
her ability to do that. But the latest certain age of woman's natural
fertility in a backward society is about forty-five, and this
estimation is rather optimistic.
How could be such an age difference between brother and sister?"

I think there'd have to be some pretty short Xav descendant generation
times in there myself. Thoughts?


LMB:  Insofar as I ever worked out the details, some of them 

This is where Xav being not legitimate, but legitimated, comes in.

Yuri was born first, to Dorca's first wife/empress, who by the way was a 
Vorrutyer of some high rank/standing.  Dorca later took up a 
long-running affair with some (unnamed, sorry) other Vor lady of high 
blood -- such high-born openly held concubines are not unusual in royal 
histories.  It is unknown if she was married to anyone else as well, 
though this is not ruled out.  (Royal mistresses in some Old Earth cases 
were sometimes socially _required_ to be married.)

Xav was born to this mistress/concubine some undefined number of years 
later.  Dorca's marriage to Empress #1 continued after Xav's birth.  The 
unnamed full sister of Yuri's was born last of the three.   (There may 
or may not have been other siblings in both maternal lines, who did not 
survive into my story (the Cetas probably accounted for some), or had no 
offspring.  Or got waxed in Yuri's later bloodbaths.  Or, if female, 
vanished safely into other Houses by marriage.)

In due course, Empress #1 passed away of natural causes.  After a 
sufficient interval, Dorca was then free to wed his long-standing Vor 
concubine (who must have been quite something), and legitimated any and 
all children they had by then.  An adult or near-adult Xav might well 
have attended his parents' wedding.

The last Dorca/Vorrutyer princess daughter was therefore probably in her 
forties when she wed usurper Ezar (as was Ezar, for that matter), 
accounting for there only being the one subsequent child, Serg.  It is 
not known, but is possible, that she had a prior marriage before this, 
that ended in the death of the spouse and perhaps offspring -- causes 
left to the imagination along with the principals.  It is probable that 
she had a high-stress life, in any case, atop whatever inherent 
tendencies to metal illness she possessed, and cracked up over time.  
She was in any case quietly round-the-twist and then deceased well 
before the time of _Shards of Honor_.

If Empress #1 was quite young when she married Dorca and had Yuri, there 
could well have been 20 or even almost as much as 30 years between Yuri 
and his youngest sister.

Hope this helps...

Ta, L.

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