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Question: Vinegar v. Honey: How to Acquire a Kept


August 9, 2016 by Lyn

Is it possible to put someone under a geas and make them say they’re yours to make them your Kept?

Rafe answers, smirking grimly: Ask Eris.

Eris answers: Ah, hrrm, I’m not sure why someone would think I’d know anything about that at all.

Rafe interjects gently: Eris.

Eris sighs: All right. I suppose I would be the one to ask, wouldn’t I?

The thing is, you can do it. It’s not even hard – please don’t tell Mark or Kylie I said that – but it’s not, if you have a decent control over intinn and something like tempero, though qorawiyay would probably work too. So if you’re skilled in the Words that let you into someone’s Mind and let you Control it – or Shape it – you can make them do pretty much anything they can do. And intinn and tempero are two of my best Words.

So I could have, say, walked up to Mark and Ky on their first day here, and, bang pow, before they knew what was going on, I could have Owned them. If I was really careful about it, it would have been months, if not years, before they knew what was going on. After all, Rafe and I are the ones that told them all about Ownership, and all the rest of that.

Overlooking for a moment how horribly unethical that is, how shitty and mean it is – because my father named me for a goddess of strife for a reason, didn’t he? – it would have been a pretty bad idea, for more than one reason.

One: The people you Own can get you in a lot of trouble, more if they’re there unwillingly, and probably a whole lot if they’re Kept unknowingly. I got Shad in asstons of trouble, and he beat me bloody every time I did. I’m not enough of a sadist to punish my Kept like that – not many people are, I think – and I’d spend all my time putting out fires. Not a lot of fun.

Two: Eventually they find out. And, really, you go from someone who doesn’t understand why they’re acting the way they do to someone who does – and they’re likely going to be pissed about it. Sure, you can wipe the memory from their mind, but we’re back to putting out fires all the time, and I really think if you take too much out of someone’s mind, you end up with Swiss Cheese. Not good for anything except drooling. Ew.

That might be an ethics issue, or it might be a general humanity – if you’ll pardon the term – issue. It’s certainly a responsibility thing. Just because Shad thought the way to deal with me was to turn me into meatloaf when I pissed him off, doesn’t mean it’s the right way to treat your Kept. Turning them into Swiss Cheese to keep them from getting angry at you? Also wrong.

Okay, so I do have a few morals. So what?

Rafe interjects: We love you anyway.

Eris continues: Thank you. I think. So. Eventually, they are going to figure out what you did to them. So your only choices are to never let them go, and hope you can keep their mischief under control, or to run like hell once you let them go. Addergoole doesn’t really give you the first option – all of that sort of thing breaks when you graduate. Let me tell you, if I get my hands on Shadrach, what he did to me is going to seem like a mercy compared to what I will do to him.


So you can’t hold on to them forever, so your only option is to hope you’re faster than them. That seems like a risky gamble to me.

Besides, having a Kept is hard work. Easier to just have a boyfriend. Or a girlfriend. Or both.


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