Jul 18, 2018 10:30 AM
One Curious Kobold
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"I'm curious," she says, "but I'm not sure where to start asking things. Hmm - how long do eggs stay eggs before they hatch?"

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Around... sixty-five or seventy-five days, maybe? They're laid a little while into winter, usually right around the time it starts really getting cold, and hatch just before spring.

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"With all the eggs being picked up by whoever wants them I wonder - do you keep track of who's related beyond that or are families entirely about who takes whose egg?"

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Individuals who've laid eggs often keep track of the eggs and resulting kids even if they aren't raising them themselves, and that extra attention means it's a little more likely for the kid to pick that adult to adopt if they don't get along with their first parent, but there's nothing formal in most cases. The exception is chiefs' eggs - chiefs very rarely raise children at all, but it's traditional for them to leave the tribe to one of their descendants when they retire, so there's some extra attention and rules about that.

(Her egg is not a chief's egg - her tribe's chief didn't have an egg, this year, but even if they had she wouldn't've taken it, even if it was the only option. She herself being chief's-kin and a speaker was enough of a fiasco; intentionally interfering with the succession like that is a political morass she has no interest whatsoever in wading into.)
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"We have rules a little like that. The country is ruled by a king and his family can't intermarry with primes too closely. ...Marrying is forming a couple that you plan to stick with forever and telling everybody you know."

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Huh.

Kobolds don't have any rules about who can partner with who, but it is a different situation here.
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"Married people usually share all their stuff. The rule is to keep the king from getting too much stuff."

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...very different, yes. That wouldn't come up at all among kobolds except in the case of someone changing tribes for a partnership, and even then someone taking a bunch of stuff to their new tribe would hardly make a difference in the face of the usual sorts of stuff-reallocation that happen at meetups.

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"And it keeps things equal between the primes, at least mostly, because usually none of us are close family with the king and that means he doesn't listen to us different amounts for that reason. It's more complicated than that, but that's the idea."

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Mmhmm.

Kobolds are pretty good about that sort of thing - part of it is that chief's kin are specifically raised to be fair and not play favorites, and part of it is that a chief being blatantly unfair to someone is liable to get the whole tribe upset with them (and kobold chiefs are definitely not exempt from being punished, in that sort of case or in general), and part of it is that if there's a more subtle problem, the affected person can almost always find a different tribe to move to at the next meetup.
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"How often do kobolds change tribes?"

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Not very; most kobolds prefer to stick with one tribe, so generally they either stay with the tribe they grew up in or switch once or a few times in their teens and early twenties and then settle down - the latter is a little more common for people with special skills; for example, her group has fewer Speakers than tribes right now, so someone from a tribe with one who learned to Speak would find the tribes without one very interested in having them move there.

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"Does it ever happen that no tribe wants a particular kobold?"

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Rarely, yeah. Most tribes are pretty relaxed about who can join, and if someone tries to switch tribes and can't find one that will take them they can almost always go back to their original tribe, but rarely someone will do something to upset their tribe enough that the tribe wants them gone but not enough that they're quite willing to kick them out to die, and if someone in that situation can't find a new tribe at the next meetup...

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Yeah.

That really is rare, though. It's happened ... twice, she thinks, in her lifetime? And sometimes there's nothing else to do, if someone is causing bad enough problems and nothing else has worked.
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"I'm not judging you guys. Humans are probably worse at that."

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....yeah, that wouldn't surprise her, given what she knows so far.

Tragic regardless, though.

(Hugs time? Hugs time.)
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Hug.

They do try, anyway. And most of the time they can make it work. Given the rough times they went through a few decades back, they seem to be doing pretty well, really - balancing the needs of a bunch of people with trauma issues isn't trivial.

...she'd rather not get into that, though. Does Kiri have any other questions?
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...Well, if she'd rather not get into that -

"Do kobolds tend to invent new things, or copy them from other kinds of people?"
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Not either of those, often. They do all right with what they have, though. (She would rather they weren't reliant on theft to get anything made of metal, but that's enough of a cultural thing that she doesn't expect knowing how to make metal things to help much in practice.)

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"How about art? Besides dancing, I know you dance."

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They do art, yup! She paints, actually.... one sec, where's the last place she saw that one...

One large twineportal later, she presents Kiri with a deer antler painted with an abstract design in shades of red and grey.
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"Ooh, that's pretty!"

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