Full Version: Chalced *spoilers likely
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I was wondering if Chalced might have been ruled by 'bad' dragons and their Elderlings before the cataclysm, and if in particular they had a large number of females, (to explain their contempt for women).

It's just in of the books, I think possibly the last book in the RWC, it's explained that there were wars between dragons from different territories for Silver. And it was implied that dragons more savage beings if they did not drink Silver.
So if a dragon had little or no access to Silver, perhaps they were cruel and perhaps they created cruel Elderlings.

Icefyre certainly has the ability to be cruel and merciless. Spit too - he became much more eloquent and intelligent when he'd had just a sip of Silver.

Just speculating! Smiling
It's a very interesting idea, though I seem to recall that somewhere Chalced is mentioned as 'having always hunted dragons'. Anyone else remember this?

To be honest, I'm not sure if you can make a connection between Chalced's appalling views on woman, and less intelligent, more beast-like dragons.

In our own society, religion is often blamed for the repression of woman but in fact it is a much older idea. Amongst other factors, it was the discovery of fatherhood that first started it.
In forager times, woman were regarded as being a part of the divinity of nature, more specifically the fertile aspect of nature (hence the venus statues). Men had no idea they, too, played a part in making babies and when this idea was slowly accepted in early agricultural times, it came with an enormous backlash against woman. There were other aspects in play, but in the end divinity was taken away from nature and woman, and given instead to a male god who sat above nature. The main religions of our time, Catholicism, Islam and Judaism, adopted this idea at the core of their teachings. So religion didn't create female oppression, but it certainly helped to spread the idea, made it worse, and carried it through to our days.

Compare this now with Chalced, where woman are regarded as little more then tradable wombs-on-legs that do your housework, much like in Catholic history and extreme Islam today. I don't see how dragons could have caused this idea, not even if a religion was founded around them. Dragons who were after the Silver could have wanted human help, and they could have created Elderlings to do so, but then they would have created a warrior culture. And while one aspect of warrior-culture is certainly the focus on men, it isn't necessarily to the detriment of female status - think of Sparta, where woman were expected to be as strong as their men.

I think you can more link female suppression in Chalced to the fact that they are also a slave nation. Anyone who has to harden their hearts enough to keep slaves, would also harden it towards other easy targets in your own society.

Another aspect that is interesting, is that these views are so narrowly contained to the borders of Chalced. The Six Duchies society and culture are in complete opposition to Chalced. In Bingtown, woman are also regarded as less, but this is apparently a quite new idea that blew over from Jamillia. I'm guessing Jamillia and Chalced have more of a shared history, and more trade and interaction between the two nations, then the Six Duchies and Chalced. But even in Jamillia, woman have a better status then men.
There is a nice bit of information about past Chalced in the 15th chapter of City of Dragons. When Ellik is talking to the Duke of Chalced about Chassim's poetry.
I tend to agree with the comment above. If we are to believe Chassim, I don't know, maybe she is lying, but I don't think so. Then there was a time when women had power and respect in Chalced, and the oppression of women grew through political and social problems, maybe because of the constantly civil wars there? I think it has nothing to do with elderlings and dragons.