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matt writes...

i have a question about gargoyle customs. you've said that Opheila is Gabriel's second in command and for a time, Demona was Goliath's second, is it common among gargs to choose their mate as second? if so, isn't that unfair to the other gargs hoping to become second, or am i thinking too much like a human?

Greg responds...

You're generally thinking too much like a human.

The bigger issue over time is age. A second should be in a position to be groomed to take over for his leader, either in case of an emergency (as when Brooklyn took over for Goliath during the World Tour) or in the case of succession, as when the older Hudson stepped down in favor of the younger Goliath.

Had things gone differently at Wyvern, eventually either Demona would have stepped down to allow a new second to be chosen from the younger generation (most likely Brooklyn) OR Goliath would have stepped aside to allow Demona to lead and chose a new younger Second (again, most likely Brooklyn).

It's largely a meritocracy otherwise. Hudson chose Goliath as his second based on a myriad of positive qualities but primarily integrity, intelligence, natural leadership abilities and a genuine ferocity in battle.

Goliath in turn selected Demona for the same qualities. *He was just mistaken about the integrity.*

As for Avalon, the situation is a bit different, as all the gargs there are of the same generation. Originally Gabriel was chosen as leader and one of his many rookery-siblings Angela was chosen as his second. When Angela left, Gabriel did select his mate as his second, at least for the time being. But you can bet Ophelia was qualified -- look how she performed even when wounded in Avalon Part Three -- or he would not have chosen her. Does nepotism play a part. Possibly. But I'd think that the qualities necessary would have to be even more obvious to avoid charges of nepotism.

In London, Una is the leader of the clan. Her second, whom we have not yet met, is of a younger generation and generally runs things at their more rural (or at least suburban) estate.

In Japan, Kai was the leader. Yama, of a younger generation, was his second. After Yama's banishment, Yama's mate Sora was probably chosen as Second (though don't hold me to that). Again Sora's chosen for her attributes and (relative) youth. Someday -- short of a catastrophe taking place -- she will lead the clan in Kai's place.

In Guatemala, Zafiro is the leader. His second is not his mate Obsidiana, but Turquesa, Jade's mate. They are all of the same generation, but they are also the only gargs alive down there at the moment. (Not counting the eggs.)

Response recorded on February 07, 2001