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Thorn Explains: Leachtric

Thorn Explains: Leachtric published on 24 Comments on Thorn Explains: Leachtric

First in-strip reference to reincarnation!

Remembering past lives is a rare but real phenomenon in-universe. The people who can do it are called “long-runners”, and their social and legal status is…complicated. You’ve met one of them already — anybody care to guess who?


Leif: Who’s this “Leachtric” person, anyway?

Thorn: A central figure in Ceannic history!

You already know about Rhódon, right? In Sønheic she’s known as Rózsa . . .

Leif: Semi-mythical hero of your national epic? Inventor of the heartsword?

Thorn: That’s her!

Rhódon (traditional artistic depiction)
Rhódon (probably more historically accurate)

Thorn: Ceannis was a monarchy until a few centuries ago. The throne was mostly hereditary . . . except we had this rule, if you were found to be the reincarnation of Rhódon, you got to take it over.

Leif: Wait, how could they be sure? Wouldn’t every con artist on the continent pretend to remember their past life as —

Thorn: It’s not based on memory! It’s based on heartswords. A soul that’s been reincarnated will draw the same sword as the last go-around — whether they remember that life or not.

Leachtric drew the heartsword forged by Rhódon’s soul . . . and didn’t want to be Queen. For years, she kept the whole thing a secret.

When she finally stepped up, it was because the king had made a series of disastrous decisions. The public was pretty desperate for a new ruler.

But instead of doing a straightforward takeover, Leachtric announced that it was high time for the nation to be run by elected representatives, and would anyone like to help her work out a Constitution?

So they did! And hammered out a lot of the rough bits while she served as our first President.

For more details, see the musical.

Leif: Cool! Have there been any incarnations of Rózsa since?

Thorn: Not as far as the public knows! I like to think that’s a good sign. If we needed her, she’d come back. Since she hasn’t, we must be doing okay.

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Birch is the long-runner, isn’t he? I think it was in a tumblrpost… or i dreamed it.

I am a bit confused by the Sónheic name, because so far they seem to be of Scandanavian influence (being blond and white) while Rózsa is a Hungarian name (meaning “rose”). Hungary has no real relation to Scandanavian countries, except a tentative one to Finland. Is that a deliberate or accident of research?

Modern Sønska names are primarily Swedish/Norwegian, but very old Sønska names are Hungarian.

In-universe, the languages are related, but I’m not going full Tolkien and coming up with entire conlangs, or trying to translate them in a way that captures all the nuances and relationships. I just want readers to be able to go “okay, Rózsa isn’t a Ceannic name, but it doesn’t sound like it belongs to the same group as most of the Sønska name we know.”

I’m fine if the disparity is deliberate. Or you just care about it looking at how familiar the letters look.

The thing is about Hungarian is that it is nowhere near related (and sounds very different) to Swedish (the “zs” is actually its own sound, we use two letters). Hungarian is very different from other European languages (language tree here: yes, we are own little stump). But its fine if you don’t want to dvelwe that deeply into it.

I like how the traditional artist’s depiction is like, 25/40% Rose Quartz.

I wonder if she had a team, and if they were Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl. (And if her next incarnation was Steven?)

Erin already has been working on fitting L&T characters into a Steven Universe AU! Please let Leachtric and Friends/Team be one of the next ones!

On the one hand, Rhódon would be a natural Rose Quartz. On the other, given her importance and how everyone else defers to her, she makes a lot of sense as a Diamond.

She’s had multiple incarnations — I guess those would have to be regenerations? So I’d want a gem variety that plausibly goes from all-pink to all-green, and ideally other colors as well….

Decisions, decisions!

I think using Gem regeneration as reincarnation would kind of kill the idea of Leachtric keeping it secret- I can’t see a hugely important figure like Rhódon not being carefully tended to if she got poofed (and therefore carefully observed when she reformed).
I like the idea of using the same mechanic as the L&T universe- once in a long while you get a Gem who manifests the exact same weapon as another one, and that’s seen as a significant relationship (regardless of other factors). That way Rhódon could be a Pink Diamond and Leachtric could be a Rose Quartz.

Also yes, I want to learn more about Leachtric’s supporting cast. Plus now I’m curious about other times Rhódon has actually returned to the throne.

Is it Agent D?

No, he would have a heartsword identical to the one depicted instead of an axe.

1) She’s a she, not a he.
2) That only proves that she’s not the reincarnation of Rhódon, not whether she remembers being the reincarnation of someone else.
3) Rhódon isn’t a long-runner — her reincarnations don’t remember being her. They only figure it out if/when they draw the sword.

My guess is President Romarin, because you hinted that there was a plot-related reason for her Bunny-Ears Lawyer behavior, in addition to it just being fun. I figure that remembering past lives would give you a few quirks while also providing benefits in terms of experience and understanding.

Then again, maybe her brain is addled from having her memories of a certain person constantly erased. I hope that’s not the case, though.

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