There’s a trans-cultural tradition from the ancient and not-so-ancient world of securing contracts and peace agreements with hostage exchange. (You know, like Theon Greyjoy.) Turning over a one of your children to a former adversary is supposed to guarantee you think twice before breaking the deal, and that child grows up immersed in the culture of said adversary, making it more likely they understand their ways and less likely they turn against them in adulthood.
Imagine you’re that kid. A superfluous male child, one of six or seven siblings. And you’re turned over to your merchant family’s professional rivals. Your family’s agreed to Not To Do Whatever, and seal the deal with your life. You’ll grown up in the merchant houses dotted along the trade routes claimed by The Rivals, and learn accounting, haggling, where to buy the best rock salt and spider silk blankets …stuff that matters to a merchant. Good deal.
Except your family does The Rivals dirty, one day. And The Rivals don’t appreciate that. So, they load you on a caravan, take you out to the badlands, and sell you.
To monsters. Fucking monsters. A whole bunch of them. A whole nomadic tribe of hairy, horned, hooved, slit-pupil monsters.
You figure they’ll probably eat you or sacrifice you to their Strange And Terrible God or whatever, but they don’t. Instead, they put you to work. You cook, you clean, you do the laundry. You’re a slave. Sucks. And it stays pretty suck, for maybe 7 or 8 years.
But one of the monsters- it takes you a while to figure out it’s a lady monster- is kinder than the others. She treats you well, feeds you, makes conversation, is good to you in little ways that matter. Takes a bit of a shine to you. Okay, more than a bit. When you’re 15, you knock her up.
Trust me, she’s just as surprised as you are. She’s the monster equivalent of 47 or so, she thought she was beyond this. Also, SHE IS A MONSTER AND YOU ARE A HUMAN.
But turns out, knocking up one of the matriarchs (did I mention she’s a matriarch?) is pretty good for your social standing. You were never an American South, whippings-and-leg-irons sort of slave, but your life definitely wasn’t your own. Now, suddenly? A lot fewer monsters are entirely comfortable with telling you what to do all day. I guess this means you’re free? The monsters aren’t slave-takers by tradition, so your liberation is informal and uncontested. COOL. You could probably leave.
You’ve got a kid on the way. And who would you go home to? The family that never had a place for you to begin with, gave you away, and then sold you out, content to risk your literal death? (They probably think you ARE dead. The monsters don’t have a great reputation.) And while you’ve been serving monsters, you’ve become pretty attached to monster religion. And you want to go to monster heaven. You leave, and that’s out the door.
So you stay with the monsters. And you raise your kid. And once in awhile, you get to see your monster girlfriend. (sorta-girlfriend, anyway.)
I wanna make a comic about that guy. Maybe one day.
This kind of shit is why I hang out with Spike at cons. This kind of conversation just happens at least once a day.