Selkirk Family Reproduction Tradition / Ritual in Vazdimet | World Anvil

Selkirk Family Reproduction

The Selkirk Family has developed an unquestionable reputation as the best TAGs in the Sparnell Confederation, using their mastery of Necromancy to Phase behind enemy lines, directing a Tactical Assault Group of dead souls to wreak havoc until their own eventual death - only to resurrect and do it all again another day.   But this reputation has come at a terrible cost. Family members are born and bred for the role, training to suppress their emotions even as the Family limits their birthrate to a single child per decade - or longer - in an effort to guarantee the Family's future. In this way they hope to defend themselves and the entire Confederation from the repercussions of another devastating Civil War.

History

Too many Selkirk TAGs in circulation tended to make Fleet Command nervous as to the security of their own power. After a rather unfortunate misunderstanding led to a civil war between Admirals, with many Selkirks dying on all three sides, the Family had taken to sterilizing their males across each resurrection unless selected as biological parent to the next decreed birth. Due to the many deaths of a TAG, and the subsequent inability to carry a child full term without assistance from the Selkirk's personal genetics and cloning facilities, female fertility was typically ignored. But if one were careful in their missions, surviving until the universe saw fit to gift a soul...
  In order to maintain their feared reputation as the premier source of TAGs within the Sparnell Confederation, the Selkirk Family now maintains tight control over their genetics. This was not always the case. Prior to the Confederation Civil War from 1997 to 2002 EVT, Selkirks were free to make their own parenting choices, with all new children welcomed into the Family with open arms.  

Confederation Civil War

All that changed when the Family found their members fighting on all three fronts of the War. Formerly staunch Family allies cut ties with all but their personal Selkirk TAGs, forcing Family members to sever their own ties and fight their relatives, or tarnish the Family name by turning on their superiors. While all Families faced these choices to a certain extent, the Selkirks' status as the best-trained weapons in the entire Confederation ensured their future as a Family would live or die by their personal choices.   In the end they chose Family name over family members, remaining true to their vows of obedience to their superiors even as the Family continued to cause the most havoc to both the Confederation and each other. In the end it was Valcore Sil who brokered the peace through superior cunning and force, her TAG Selkirk Tallinah unquestionably at her side.  

Silent Family Founding

As Valcore Sil made sweeping changes across the Confederation, the Selkirk Family quietly instituted changes of their own, splitting their Family in two. Those without a natural skill in Necromancy, and those wishing to surrender their roles as TAG, were segregated into a newly-formed Family and tasked with the maintenance of Selkirk's reconstruction clone facilities.   This Silent Family would hide behind the Selkirk Family name, serving their needs as the Selkirks saw to theirs in return. In public they would pretend to be disowned, hired to fulfill menial tasks throughout the Selkirk Estate, their members Claimed by Sparnell Central Intelligence immediately upon their SAF Conscription.  

Selkirk Family Reorganization

The remainder of the Selkirk Family would continue their work as TAGs, but with major changes. To limit access to Selkirk TAGs, thus limiting the faction's ability to rely on the Selkirks as the only weapon in case of another civil war, they would carefully manage their birth rates. Male Selkirks would be sterilized until permitted to have offspring; females would be provided with alchemical options to suppress and even temporarily eliminate their own reproductive cycles.   Because the limited numbers meant all Selkirks would now be active-duty TAGs, viable pregnancies would be transferred to a specially-developed section of the Family's cloning tanks, complete with the capabilities to accelerate or decelerate development as determined by the Family's needs to replenish their own numbers. Children would be groomed from birth for their role, and taught the necessary skills to suppress their own emotions, thus never calling into question their loyalty or dedication to the job.   In this way, the horrors of the past would never be permitted a repeat.

Execution

Tallinah nodded, closing her eyes to channel her Necromancy and bend the space between Yarva and the Selkirk Family's private cloning facility. Spotting the growing tank allocated to her assigned future offspring, she carefully plucked the growing baby and placenta from the womb, depositing both in the tank.   The technicians lept into action, beginning the delicate process of connecting the baby – her baby – to the machinery that would foster growth and development until the child no longer required assistance. Tallinah watched for a moment before releasing her hold on the folds of space.   "It's done, then."
  Family members are informed when it is their turn to submit offspring to the reproductive tanks, allowing them the opportunity to pass their genetics to the next generation. While each member is permitted to refuse, too many refusals over the duration of their life will result in growing pressure from the Family Chair, particularly if the member in question is well-renowned. The Selkirk's lower quantity of members already limits their access to new genetics, while their requirements for ruthlessness and perfection result in a higher percentage of disowned than any other Family. All remaining members are expected to contribute to the Family's continued existence.  

Choosing a Partner

Because the Family forbids personal attachments outside of one's own Tactical Assault Group, reproductive partners are chosen based upon their genetics and magical strengths. The Family Chair will often make their own selections among willing participants, with only minor input from the Selkirk. While all children are deemed property of the Selkirk Family, most other Families consider it a matter of prestige to contribute genetic material to a future TAG, and so while distrust of the Selkirks still runs high, so does their list of volunteers.  

Waiting for a Soul

It typically takes two to six months after conception for a soul to appear, at which point the pregnancy is considered viable. Non-Selkirk mothers will spend this time with the Silent Family, their every need cared for throughout the duration of their stay. Selkirk mothers are expected to continue to perform their basic duties during this time, with the Selkirk Family making arrangements with other admirals to borrow a substitute TAG for the more dangerous missions.   Once a soul is detected, either a necromantic surgeon or the TAG herself will extract the child, depositing them in one of the birthing tanks. Medical services are also available to help the mother's recovery from their pregnancy, rivaling that of the majority of the Confederation courtesy of the Selkirk's personal resources and serving as a major draw for outsiders. Surrogate mothers emerge from their time on the Selkirk Estate in better health than when they arrived, and the Silents have developed a reputation of surprising hospitality.
Admiral Valcore was silent for a moment before motioning for Tallinah to rise. "I received a communication from your Family. It seems congratulations are in order. I was unaware of your aspirations of motherhood."   "An obligation to Family. Nothing more."   "I see," Valcore answered thoughtfully, still rolling the crystal. "And I trust this won't interfere with your responsibilities?"   "No, Ma'am." It would be an adjustment, the Family expecting parents to spend at least an hour a day with their biological offspring, but she'd manage. The near-instantaneous travel of a fully fledged necromancer would certainly help.   Valcore slipped the data crystal into her pocket as she stood. "Then I'll give you the rest of the day to yourself, to spend as you see fit. But first, visit your Family. They wish to speak about your pending child. I assume you want to accelerate his growth."   "The opposite, actually," Tallinah admitted. "I have provided a child, as requested, but I wish more time to prepare myself."   "Good. Tell them that. You have my personal support."
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Free Short Story: Mercy

Free Short Story



All they have is time.
 
Killing her would solve most of his problems.
 
But it wouldn’t solve any of the problems that mattered. That was the trouble with immortality, after all. With an eternity before him, everything else became inconsequential.
 
Everything but her.




 


Cover image: Planet Moon Solar by LoganArt

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