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* MyRuleFuIsStrongerThanYours: The Forbidden Tower operates on a mixture of this and simple AppealToForce, with an additional dose of making it up as they go along. For example, they override the laws against unregulated matrix use when Damon declares himself a Keeper (who is expressly allowed to make the rules for his own Tower, even if all the conventional towers obey Arilinn's laws), enforce that by challenging Arilinn to a WizardDuel TrialByCombat under centuries-old rules, and prevent Callista from being forced into being separated from Andrew afterward by getting her pregnant (since a woman can't be unwillingly separated from the father of her child).

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* MyRuleFuIsStrongerThanYours: The Forbidden Tower operates on a mixture of this and simple AppealToForce, with an additional dose of making it up as they go along. For example, they override the laws against unregulated matrix use when Damon declares himself a Keeper (who is expressly allowed to make the rules for his own Tower, even if all the conventional towers obey Arilinn's laws), enforce that by challenging Arilinn to a WizardDuel TrialByCombat under centuries-old rules, and prevent Callista from being forced into being separated from Andrew afterward by getting her pregnant (since a woman can't be unwillingly separated from the father of her child). This is also deconstructed in ''The Bloody Sun'', since while the Forbidden Tower's actions were ultimately proven legal, religious fanatics with a penchant for [[BurnTheWitch burning witches]] aren't concerned with the specifics of the law.


* AltarDiplomacy: In ''The Winds of Darkover'', Brynat Scarface, who has captured Storn Castle, solidifies his claim to Storn by forcing the elder Storn daughter to marry him.

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* AltarDiplomacy: In ''The Winds of Darkover'', Brynat Scarface, who has captured Storn Castle, solidifies his claim to Storn by forcing the elder Storn daughter to marry him. In ''Stormqueen!'', there is an attempt to resolve a SuccessionCrisis for Aldaran by having the two claimants -- Lord Aldaran's illegitimate daughter and his nephew -- marry. The attempt fails when the would-be groom tries to rape his fiancee, and her ''laran'' instinctively kills him.

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* AltarDiplomacy: In ''The Winds of Darkover'', Brynat Scarface, who has captured Storn Castle, solidifies his claim to Storn by forcing the elder Storn daughter to marry him.

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* ScienceFantasy: Is ''laran'' sorcery, or just matrix mechanics? Well, objectively it's the latter, but it's [[ClarkesThirdLaw sufficiently advanced]] to most people that it's the former. Many of the novels show ''laran'' in a mystical and spiritual light even as Tower workers discuss their jobs in technical terminology. And then the LostTechnology of the Sharra Matrix, and its counterpart the Sword of Aldones, are both portrayed as manifest deities rather than simply ancient machines gone haywire.

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* MageTower: ''Laran'' workers segregate themselves from the public in the Towers.


* AppealToForce: In theory, this is the rule for the Towers. A Keeper of a Tower sets its laws as he or she sees fit, and a new Tower can be created only by the consent of the other Towers or by defeating any Tower who wants to challenge it. In the modern age, all Towers are at peace and obey the laws of Arilinn Tower, but the rule is still there, which allows Damon Ridenow to create the Forbidden Tower.

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* AppealToForce: In theory, this is the rule for the Towers. A Keeper of a Tower sets its laws as he or she sees fit, and a new Tower can be created only by the consent of the other Towers Towers, or by defeating any Tower who wants to challenge it.it in a WizardDuel. In the modern age, all Towers are at peace and obey the laws of Arilinn Tower, but the rule is still there, which allows Damon Ridenow to create the Forbidden Tower.

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* AppealToForce: In theory, this is the rule for the Towers. A Keeper of a Tower sets its laws as he or she sees fit, and a new Tower can be created only by the consent of the other Towers or by defeating any Tower who wants to challenge it. In the modern age, all Towers are at peace and obey the laws of Arilinn Tower, but the rule is still there, which allows Damon Ridenow to create the Forbidden Tower.

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* RegentForLife: To the extent that anyone rules Darkover, it's not the Elhalyn kings, but the Hastur hereditary regents.

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* NomDeMom: On taking oath, a Renunciate forsakes the surname of father or husband, instead using her mother's given name as a surname of sorts; e.g., Magda Lorne becomes Margali ''n'ha'' Ysabet (Magda, daughter of Elizabeth).

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* ExtraDigits: The ''chieri'' and some humans descended from them have six digits (five fingers plus a thumb) on their hands.


* {{Patronymic}}: Children take the last name of the higher ranked parent.
** The Renunciates use matronymics, with members identfying themselves as so-and-so daughter of (''n'ha'') mother's name. For example, Kindra n'ha Mhari, Jaelle n'ha Melora, Margali n'ha Ysabet, Camilla n'ha Kyria.

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* TheMagicGoesAway: After the Ages of Chaos end, due to the Compact and the increasing superstition toward matrix technology, the technological knowledge of ''laran'' takes a few steps backwards. Furthermore, with the end of the SuperBreedingProgram and the uniform adoption of Arilinn Tower's laws (which keep the most powerful ''laran'' users out of the marriage pool), the power of ''laran'' declines, and many Gifts either are forgotten (such as the nature of the Hastur Gift) or go extinct (like the Rockraven Gift).

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* LongLived: The Hasturs often live well over a hundred years.

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** The Hastur Gift is a downplayed example. If it's not used, it grants [[LongLived well over a century of life]]. However, using the living matrix involves CastFromLifespan, and Regis Hastur's extensive use of the power caused him to die in his fifties.


* HeroicBastard: Danilo Syrtis-Ardais is a subversion. Not of the heroic part (he's definitely that) but he's not actually Dyan Ardais' son (Dyan is as gay as it gets). He's declared Dyan's ''nedestro'' son because he has the appropriate Gift, which is good enough to make him a potential heir to Ardais domain.

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* HeroicBastard: Danilo Syrtis-Ardais is a subversion. Not of the heroic part (he's definitely that) but he's not actually Dyan Ardais' son (Dyan son: Dyan is as gay as it gets).gets. He's declared Dyan's ''nedestro'' son because he has the appropriate Gift, which is good enough to make him a potential heir to Ardais domain.

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