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Old May 7 2014, 03:14 PM   #1
Kim
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Default Fax and Gemma

I've gone back three pages and didn't see anything regarding this. If the point has been discussed before, I apologize in advance. Please feel free to lock this thread if it's a repeat.

Given that:
Gemma was Fax's legal wife.
Gemma was from Crom and Fax was from High Reaches.
Fax probably killed the Bloodline of every Hold he conquered, likely leaving Gemma the last of her Line.
Fax kept Gemma constantly pregnant in hopes of killing her in childbirth.

It stands to reason that they had numerous children older than Jaxom, including sons. One of those sons would surely inherit High Reaches and a good argument could be made for another to inherit Crom. Is it possible that though Fax failed in his goal of ruling numerous holds he did succeed in insuring that his Line would hold power? Thoughts?
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Old May 7 2014, 08:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: Fax and Gemma

I don't think he ever thought much about succession, other than how he could use it to take control. He wasn't concerned with what he would leave behind.
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Old May 7 2014, 10:06 PM   #3
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Default Re: Fax and Gemma

Oh, I'm sure he didn't think that far ahead. The result would be inadvertent at best. Still, do you think the scenario could be possible?
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Old May 7 2014, 10:39 PM   #4
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Default Re: Fax and Gemma

Other then Jaxom not much has been said about any other children fax had as far as I know.
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Old May 8 2014, 05:47 AM   #5
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Default Re: Fax and Gemma

I just read Dragonquest today, and there's a lot of talk about how the Conclave has to basically ratify a new Lord. So I get the impression it's not as straight forward as "eldest son gets the Hold". The Conclave might have been able to accept Jaxom due to Lytol being the man who raised him, but other offspring, raised under less clear circumstances where someone might be honing ideas of Pern-wide conquest in the child, might be much less favorable.
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Old May 8 2014, 07:16 AM   #6
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Default Re: Fax and Gemma

I wonder whether Toric might be a fax by-blow?
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Old May 8 2014, 10:07 AM   #7
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Default Re: Fax and Gemma

Mawra, that might not mean much, given that Anne left a lot of backstory blank. I'm pretty sure that F'lar had other children besides F'lessan but he's the only one ever mentioned. Throw in the fact that family was iffy on Pern, with some siblings close and others barely acknowledging each other.

D.M. That's a good point. Still, I'd think that the other Lords would want to keep the Lines alive, so the various sons would at least be considered, don't you think? Depending on the number of sons, one or two might have been considered acceptable, and the Weyrs would not allow another Fax. Just as a guess, how OLD was Gemma when she died? How many times might she have been pregnant?

P'ter Interesting thought. Certainly his personality was much like Fax's.
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Old May 8 2014, 03:17 PM   #8
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Default Re: Fax and Gemma

Quote:
Originally Posted by P'ter View Post
I wonder whether Toric might be a fax by-blow?
I don't think Fax was that well travelled - Toric came from a small island holding off the coast of Ista.
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Old May 8 2014, 03:56 PM   #9
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Default Re: Fax and Gemma

I believe that the only hold that Fax came by legally was Crom, and his marriage to Gemma. Fax then killed Gemma's family, and then took direct control over Crom, IIRC.

The legal High Reaches Lord Holder was the only son left alive after Fax killed the rest of his bloodline there - Bargen, who hid out in High Reaches Weyr until he gained enough men & political backing to take back HR legally. (Master Harper of Pern).

While Fax might've had other children by ladies other than Gemma, none of them were legitimate as far as Lord Holder or bloodline material.

I'm not positive on this - but I believe that Jaxom was Gemma's only living child.
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Old May 8 2014, 05:26 PM   #10
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Default Re: Fax and Gemma

Eh, I just realized if by some weird chance Toric was Fax's son, Sharra darn well better be his HALF sister or Jaxom would be in an awkward position. It's good that Fax didn't get down that way...

I'll need to go reread MHoP. I was going by Jaxom saying Fax was from High Reaches. I took that to mean Fax was the legal lord there. That still leaves Crom as a possibility and I find it hard to believe that ALL of Gemma's other children died, unless it's specifically mentioned somewhere.
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Old May 8 2014, 06:49 PM   #11
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Default Re: Fax and Gemma

Fax may just have had mostly daughters, who wouldn't normally have been considered for Lordship unless they were the last of the bloodline. And Fax had declared Gemma's heir, if it lived and was a son, as heir to Ruatha.

Fax was related to the old Lord of High Reaches (a nephew, I think), and had a minor hold of his own before he started killing off his cousins and neighbours for their holds.

After the duel, F'lar said Fax's holds (apart from Ruatha) would probably revert to the original bloodlines. Gemma had been a relative of the Ruatha line before her marriage. Aramina's family were more closely related than Jaxom, but they'd left the area for their own safety, and he was well established as Lord before they surfaced again.
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Old May 8 2014, 10:02 PM   #12
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Default Re: Fax and Gemma

So since Gemma was the last of her Line, her son OR daughter could inherit. Which still means that one of Fax's children by her could Hold Crom.
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Old May 9 2014, 01:24 AM   #13
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Default Re: Fax and Gemma

Pern's pretty patriarchal, especially in those early days of DF. I doubt they'd pick a woman if there was a male heir available.
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Old May 9 2014, 01:54 AM   #14
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Default Re: Fax and Gemma

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eriflor View Post
Fax may just have had mostly daughters, who wouldn't normally have been considered for Lordship unless they were the last of the bloodline. And Fax had declared Gemma's heir, if it lived and was a son, as heir to Ruatha. <snip> Gemma visited Ruatha in her youth, Dragonsflight

Fax was related to the old Lord of High Reaches (a nephew, I think), and had a minor hold of his own before he started killing off his cousins and neighbours for their holds.

After the duel, F'lar said Fax's holds (apart from Ruatha) would probably revert to the original bloodlines. Gemma had been a relative of the Ruatha line before her marriage. Aramina's family were more closely related than Jaxom, but they'd left the area for their own safety, and he was well established as Lord before they surfaced again.
Nip says he has a list, of were the others were in The MasterHarper of Pern.
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Old May 9 2014, 02:08 AM   #15
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Default Re: Fax and Gemma

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brenda View Post
Pern's pretty patriarchal, especially in those early days of DF. I doubt they'd pick a woman if there was a male heir available.
Yeah, I know. F'lar was a good example all by himself, and I remember a passage where Jaxom saw some gold and bronze dragons and he was thinking that the golds made a nice backdrop for the magnificent males. I almost puked at that one.

A list, hmmm? It would be interesting to read it.
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Old May 9 2014, 01:17 PM   #16
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Default Re: Fax and Gemma

Meron didn't have any claim to Nabol at all. When the Lord Holders tried to attack Benden Weyr (in DragonFlight), he's described as "this sharp-faced ex-Warder with no Blood at all" (Larad's thinking).

He held Nabol Hold for Fax, as Warder, and probably had enough guards to hang onto it after Fax's death. If the Hold was producing well and there were no surviving male heirs, there'd be no point in ousting him. Or maybe like Fax he'd married the last surviving female of the Blood.

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Old May 10 2014, 11:33 AM   #17
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Default Re: Fax and Gemma

Gemma's child, male or female, would at least have a claim to Crom. Even a girl could Hold, though her husband would probably end up running things.

For me, I really feel that Fax's children are as much his victims as Lessa or Gemma. I guess I just want a happy ending for at least one of them.
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Old May 10 2014, 10:52 PM   #18
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Default Re: Fax and Gemma

Re: Toric - I'm pretty sure he's not at all related to Fax. The start of Renegades has a bit about him speaking to his father I think.
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Old May 10 2014, 11:58 PM   #19
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Default Re: Fax and Gemma

Right. Toric storms out of his home at High Palisades Hold, a smaller Hold near Ista, at the beginning of Renegades. No indication whatsoever that he's related to Fax.
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Old Jul 25 2016, 07:44 PM   #20
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Default Re: Fax and Gemma

I think that Fax and Gemma are deeply in love with each other. She insists on getting pregnant to provide him with an heir, even though it endangers her life. He, despite his reputation, does NOT bed other women, and calls Gemma "the mother of my heirs" even though there are none.

When the duel is about to happen in Ruatha as a result of Lessa's prodding, Gemma starts labour and grabs Fax. Fax's anger from Lessa's manipulation disappears and is replaced with concern for his life mate. If he had not cared for her, Gemma's act would not have removed his anger. Fax seems almost uncaring when Lessa announces Jaxom's birth (even though she did not know it was a fact), but lashed out when she sotto voce told him Gemma was dead. That was unacceptable to him and he lashed out at Lessa in his grief. [ETA: I got this wrong, another lady's maid announced the death, and was struck down before Lessa came in. However, Lessa announced Jaxom's birth with hatred plain in her voice, and probably a psychic blast at Fax, so a combination of grief, despair, anger and hate lead to him striking her.]

Regarding Crom Hold: According to rumour, Fax was trying to kill Gemma in childbirth because he needed the support of her family. The same family that he had wiped out to gain control of Crom . . . ?

The scenario has Crom leaving his Hold in the hands of Fax's men while visiting Fax and Gemma, and Fax treacherously killed them. An alternative could be that Crom was facing an uprising among his holders, and he got Fax to set up a meeting between the leaders and himself. Claiming 'weak forces', he gets Fax to garrison his Hold; in fact, he plans to ambush and kill the ringleaders (much like Edward with Scots rebels), but the ringleaders counter-ambush and the family is wiped out in the ensuing fight. Fax is appalled, but he becomes Holder at the insistence of the holders, who only want him as a figurehead while their Council actually rules. His marriage to Gemma gives this situation legitimacy and forestalls any attempt by other Lord Holders to parachute one of their heirs in (backed by force).

Last edited by Kennet; Jul 27 2016 at 03:17 PM. Reason: corrected sequence of events
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Old Jul 25 2016, 09:01 PM   #21
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Default Re: Fax and Gemma

Wow! That's quite a series of ideas, Kennet.
Do we KNOW there are no other heirs? Just "the mother of my heirs" does not necessarily mean that there are so far, none. Surely, if Gemma had not produced at least one healthy son, why continue knowing it was endangering her health.
I've always thought Jaxom arrived rather quickly, for an early birth.
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Old Jul 26 2016, 04:52 PM   #22
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Default Re: Fax and Gemma

The movie "Rashomon", directed by Akira Kurosawa, shows the different ways that people relate the truth. Each of the three main participants told versions which flattered themselves, while at the same time telling the truth. When you see the actual events, none of them come out of it well. If I was teaching a writing course, that movie would be a required watch, if not part of the course itself.

I have also heard a saying that "A villain is only a hero that fails", and have tried to look at Fax in that light. He must have a compelling vision for Pern to attract followers. Yes, some will be bullies and tyrants, but there will be others who are loyal because they share his beliefs.

Fax and Gemma may have had other children, as I seem to remember Nip mentioning that he has no male heirs. Girls, apparently, are not heirs in patriarchal Pern. That might be one of the things Fax is trying to change.

The trigger for this, I think, was the exchange in DF when the Search reaches Ruatha. Fax says "There was . . . resistance." F'lar responds by saying the Ruathans were foolish, and Fax almost draws on him. Why? F'lar was not insulting Fax, he was insulting the Ruathans. If the resistance was due to a misunderstanding, then many brave men died needlessly, and Fax continues to honour the courage of the Ruathans even though they fought against him.
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Old Jul 26 2016, 05:58 PM   #23
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Default Re: Fax and Gemma

You present a compelling argument Kennet.
I feel you should be working in the legal profession!!!!!

wish I was a good debtor - I'd like to examine your excellent phrase"
"A villain is only a hero that fails" !!!!
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Old Jul 26 2016, 10:32 PM   #24
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Default Re: Fax and Gemma

The Warder of Crom was Nessel was not he blood related to Fax or Gemma ?
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Old Jul 27 2016, 02:59 PM   #25
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Default Re: Fax and Gemma

I don't recall who the Warder in Crom was, but you may be right as the only Hold that seemed to upset people after Fax's death was Nabol. Meron was not 'of the Blood'.

Fax, like Napoleon, probably had several of his followers rise to positions of power because they had merit. The Blood(i.e. Hold nobility) would not like that.
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