They appear to be a cross between a dog, a fox and a ferret. Lightweight (5-8 lbs) and agile, they have long semi-prehensile tails. Their fur is 3-4" long in many different colorations: white to silvers to charcoals to black, as well as creams to tans to golds to browns and rusts, and anything in between, solid or mottled. Selective breeding of the colorations has not proven possible, so as you are never sure what you are going to get in any given litter.
Mammalian in nature, the gestation period is approximately 2 months, with their eyes open at birth; they are also able to walk at birth. Litters average 3-5 kits. Lifespan appears to average 30-35 years, with most choosing caretakers between 3 and 6 months of age; they are full grown by 9 months.
Fairly empathic and smart, they sense can sense their caretakers' moods and react accordingly. Playful when the caretaker is happy; quiet and soothing when à needs help relaxing. Petting one's fadog results in lower blood pressure and easing of other stress related ailments, making them very popular companions for people of many walks of life. They are also frequently brought into medical or trauma situations to help patients relax and calm down enough to be able to receive treatment.
At times fadogs will temporarily change caretakers, but usually only in cases of extreme trauma on the part of the new person and only until they are better,then returning to their original caretaker. (Karla Newsome, Jessie Brown)
It is an honor either to be offered such fealty or to have it accepted. The one giving fealty (thakur-na) becomes, to the best of his ability, an extension of the one accepting it (thakur). The only acceptable reasons for disobeying a thakur's will are to preserve his honor or his life, with the thakur's honor taking precedence. This relationship is most obvious to non- Sandemans in the custom that any children a 'na fathers are considered the thakur's, and their use of the familiar mode of High War Speech.
The 'na has his right cheek tattooed with a mark of his thakur's choice. Although in theory, since a 'na does swear absolute obedience and perfect fidelity, there is no need to acknowledge even the greatest of such service, the Sandemans are realists; if a 'na gives greater service or does a deed more heroic than may be reasonably expected, his thakur will have the tattoo circled and allow his 'na to use his name hyphenated with the 'na's own. If the 'na outlives his thakur, his tattoo is barred with black to show honorable completion of service; if it works out the other way, his thakur will see to honorable burial, if possible at one of their clanhomes.
Although those are by far the commonest ways of ending the relationship, two others are possible. If the 'na commits a serious offense, the thakur may dismiss him by telling him something like, "Leave me; I no longer need you." The real meaning is "You have dishonored me"; the 'na is expected to atone by a painful death at either his own or his clan-chief's hands. The other, since Dana DruAlanna's case in 2624, is for the thakur to dismiss without offense, in which case the 'na's tattoo is barred with black and service is honorably terminated for both parties.
No. systems: 174 Sector: Phoenix with 3 inhabited planets: 7 Ruled by: with 2 inhabited planets: 8 with 1 inhabited planet: 22
Arms: On a counter-ermine field, a gold star of four large and eight small points, charged with a red circle on which is a silver wolf's head.
21 Sectors, consisting of two to eight Subsectors apiece 106 Subsectors, averaging 53 inhabited planets in 36 systems 1,431 multi-inhabited-planet systems 2,388 single-inhabited-planet systems 5,596 inhabited planets
Fiefs cannot be combined. If the heir to a fief marries a ruling noble, à forfeits all claim to the fief à was to inherit, and the next oldest child becomes heir. If one heir or ruling noble marries another, the Sovereign decides which forfeits à's fief (usually the lower-ranking, if they are of different levels) and who is to succeed (usually the next oldest child).
When working under an assumed identity, a field agent will use whatever means are available and most effective for getting the information a needs or otherwise accomplishing à's mission. While this is recognized as necessary under such circumstances, it is not something the Empire takes pride in or wishes publicized. It is also unfortunate that at times former field agents revert to this end-over-means philosophy, though if they have left the Service, there is seldom any harm done, and very little the Empire can do unless the person has broken a law as well.
Ruled by: von Wien family, since 2222 No. systems: 472 Subsectors: 5 Inhabited planets: 285 A. Oberon D. Xanth B. Titania E. Arden C. Avalon
No. systems: 90 Sector: Aries with 3 inhabited planets: 7 Ruled by: with 2 inhabited planets: 9 with 1 inhabited planet: 21
No. systems: 97 Sector: Virgo with 3 inhabited planets: 4 Ruled by: with 2 inhabited planets: 8 with 1 inhabited planet: 31
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