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* MalignedMixedMarriage: Inter-House marriages (although not flings) are generally looked down upon. However, children born during the Interregnum have much less of an issue with it, which is why Piro (Tiassa) and Ibronka (Dzur) are totally blindsided by their parents' anger. While eventually [[spoiler: Khaavren]] reconciles with them, [[spoiler: Princess Sennya]] remains estranged for centuries, and it's left ambiguous as to whether [[spoiler: she and Ibronka]] ever forgive each other.
** Zerika IV and her Easterner lover Brimfrod/Lazslo, while not actually married as such, suffer from this. Grita leaks knowledge of their relationship to the Lyorn Heir, who [[spoiler: promptly withdraws his support]]. However, after the war, it's not such a problem because everyone who knows a) doesn't care, or b) does care, but refuses to insult their lawful Empress.

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* MalignedMixedMarriage: MalignedMixedMarriage:
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Inter-House marriages (although not flings) are is generally looked down upon. However, children born during about as repulsive to Dragaerans as incest is in real life. Dragaerans aren't able to explain why it's so anathema to them. They just ''feel'' the Interregnum have wrongness. It's the result of Jenoine tinkering with Dragaerans as part of their mysterious experiment. During the Interregnum, the taboo was much less of an issue with it, which is why Piro (Tiassa) and Ibronka (Dzur) are totally blindsided by their parents' anger. While eventually [[spoiler: Khaavren]] reconciles with them, [[spoiler: Princess Sennya]] remains estranged for centuries, pronounced, and it's left ambiguous as possible for mixed Dragaeran couples born after the Disaster to whether [[spoiler: she and Ibronka]] ever forgive each other.hook up without understanding what all the fuss is about.
** Zerika IV and her Easterner lover Brimfrod/Lazslo, while not actually married as such, suffer from this. Grita leaks knowledge of their relationship to the Lyorn Heir, who [[spoiler: promptly withdraws his support]]. However, after the war, it's not such a problem because everyone who knows a) either doesn't care, care or b) does care, but refuses to insult their lawful Empress.


** All the chapter titles in ''Vallista'' are [[IncrediblyLamePun incredibly lame puns]] riffing on the titles of classic gothic stories, such as [[Literature/TheTurnOfTheScrew The Turn of Disacru]] and [[Literature/TheMysteriesOfUdolpho The Miseries of Odelpho]].

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** All the chapter titles in ''Vallista'' are [[IncrediblyLamePun incredibly lame puns]] {{pun}}s riffing on the titles of classic gothic stories, such as [[Literature/TheTurnOfTheScrew The Turn of Disacru]] and [[Literature/TheMysteriesOfUdolpho The Miseries of Odelpho]].


** In Yendi, Sethra's punishment of Sethra The Younger is based on 17[[superscript:4]]

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** In Yendi, Sethra's punishment of Sethra The Younger is based on 17[[superscript:4]]17[[superscript:4]].


** There's a [[https://web.archive.org/web/20130512063458/http://www.speakeasy.org/~mamandel/Cracks-and-Shards/jokes.html fan page on these]], from Creator/AbbottAndCostello to {{Hamlet}}, with a [[http://www.speakeasy.org/~mamandel/Cracks-and-Shards/GratefulDead.html separate page]] for Music/TheGratefulDead.

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** There's a [[https://web.archive.org/web/20130512063458/http://www.speakeasy.org/~mamandel/Cracks-and-Shards/jokes.html fan page on these]], from Creator/AbbottAndCostello to {{Hamlet}}, ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'', with a [[http://www.speakeasy.org/~mamandel/Cracks-and-Shards/GratefulDead.html separate page]] for Music/TheGratefulDead.


* FauxInterracialRelationship. In the prequel novel ''Five Hundred Years After''. Khaavren, the main protagonist has a MeetCute with his future wife Dara, and bewails the fact that while he loves her, their relationship won't work because she is of a different House (basically a race) than he is. She then reveals that while [[CultureEqualsCostume she dresses like a member of one House,]] she actually belongs to the same House as him, she just likes the other colors better. [[DeliberateValuesDissonance The fictional narrator then comments how great it was that this impediment was cleared up.]]

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* FauxInterracialRelationship. In the prequel novel ''Five Hundred Years After''. Khaavren, the main protagonist has a MeetCute with his future wife Dara, Daro, and bewails the fact that while he loves her, their relationship won't work because she is of a different House (basically a race) than he is. She then reveals that while [[CultureEqualsCostume she dresses like a member of one House,]] she actually belongs to the same House as him, she just likes the other colors better. [[DeliberateValuesDissonance The fictional narrator then comments how great it was that this impediment was cleared up.]]

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* HypercompetentSidekick: Paarfi makes something of a RunningGag of how Clari is more capable than her nominal superiors, out-classing Ibronka in preparation, getting directions, finding places to stay, and even charming higher-ranking soldiers.

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* AbilityMixing: Vlad Taltos dabbles in combining Eastern magic with Dragaeran sorcery and [[PsychicPowers psionics]]. He once invokes a SympatheticMagic principle of witchcraft to let a Psychic trace someone's mind through an object they used to own; later, he kludges all three disciplines together to [[spoiler:eavesdrop on {{Telepathy}}]], a feat previously thought to be impossible.

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** All the chapter titles in ''Vallista'' are [[IncrediblyLamePun incredibly lame puns]] riffing on the titles of classic gothic stories, such as [[Literature/TheTurnOfTheScrew The Turn of Disacru]] and [[Literature/TheMysteriesOfUdolpho The Miseries of Odelpho]].

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* AllForNothing: In ''Yendi'', it's revealed that [[spoiler: Norathar is and always has been the Dragon Heir]], which was not changed by the titular Yendi's plotting. That means [[spoiler: Adron ''wasn't'', and therefore could never have won his civil war.]]

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** In ''Brokedown Palace'', the names of Vili's pet norska translate as "Mother", "Father", "Brother", "Sister", and "Baby". Awwww...


* Catch22Dilemma: Inevitable with the way the Cycle works. When the Cycle turns, the heir of the next House must take power. How do you know when the Cycle has turned? Well, when the heir of the next House takes power. Invoked by Adron in ''Five Hundred Years After'', when he grimly points out that he'll only know he can win at the point he's already won.

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* Catch22Dilemma: Inevitable with the way the Cycle works.works (given where it's kept, you can hardly pop over to check on it). When the Cycle turns, the heir of the next House must take power. How do you know when the Cycle has turned? Well, when the heir of the next House takes power. Invoked by Adron in ''Five Hundred Years After'', when he grimly points out that he'll only know he can win at the point he's already won.

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* SensoryTentacles: Dragons have sensory tendrils on their cheeks and chin that detect psychic energies.


* WorldOfSymbolism: Subverted in ''Brokedown Palace'', which Brust had ''meant'' to write as a socialist political allegory. WordOfGod is that he had to change gears when the characters stubbornly insisted on acting like ''people'' rather than symbols.

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* WorldOfSymbolism: Subverted in ''Brokedown Palace'', which Brust had ''meant'' to write as a socialist political allegory. WordOfGod is that he had to change gears when the characters stubbornly insisted on acting like ''people'' rather than symbols.


* PlaygroundSong: "Dung-Foot Peasant", a Teckla children's ditty, provides epigraphs for ''Athyra''. It's mentioned that the song has evolved, adding new verses and forgetting others, between Savn's early childhood and his sister's.

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* PlaygroundSong: "Dung-Foot Peasant", a Teckla children's ditty, ditty in this vein, provides epigraphs for ''Athyra''. It's mentioned that the song has evolved, adding new verses and forgetting others, between Savn's early childhood and his sister's.

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