‘Anyway,’ said Garovel, ‘the point I was trying to make was that the Sandlord’s divine ability used to be even more important than it is nowadays. It was how Sandlord families distinguished themselves from the “common folk,” as it were. It was a really crazy time, actually. A poor family could, literally, be propelled into the upper class overnight if one of their bloodline manifested the ability.’
‘Naturally, this created all sorts of chaos. Fraudsters and the like tried to capitalize, if only to flee the country with a handful of riches. It didn’t usually work out well for them. We’re talkin’ public executions with barely even a trial. Beheadings, torture, tying people to a post until the sun cooked them to death. The Sandlords’ displeasure with such criminals became pretty well known, even in distant countries.’
Hector didn’t have a hard time believing that.
‘So of course, the Sandlords became very suspicious of others and, well, elitist. Even more than they already were, that is. When everyone considers your bloodline “divine,” I imagine it’s pretty difficult not to get at least a little full of yourself. And it just grew worse over time. The Sandlords became more and more isolated from society.’
‘Which is where incest factors in?’ Hector guessed.
‘Basically, yeah. Trying to keep their precious bloodlines as “pure” as possible.’
‘There was about a 150-year time period where incest was commonly practiced among the Sandlords, and at its peak, some Hahls were so paranoid that they wouldn’t even allow marriage with any of the other Hahls. They would actually force siblings or first cousins to marry, and it would be treated like a status symbol.’
‘I’m guessing all this didn’t end very well.’