Standard Year 1118
In which the twins enquire into the sustenance of Jethri’s kin group.
This is a useful trick for an SF writer to know: when a character compares her culture’s customs to those of another culture unfamiliar to her, both cultures are illuminated for the reader.
What’s also illuminated for the reader in this case is some of the lingering questions regarding Jethri’s cousins, like why some of them don’t seem to be attached to any particular parent. (For that matter, it answers the same question regarding the twins.)
If I’m getting this right, Jethri’s two siblings are both children of his mother, but neither of them are children of his father; he’s the only Gobelyn who is Arin’s son. (Which, apart from anything else, answers another lingering question I had, regarding Seeli and Grig.)
The game of piket is interesting. I’m pretty sure it was first mentioned (in publication order) in one of the two prequels that are most often compared to Regency romances, and the name is reminscent of the game piquet which is often played in your actual Regency romance. (It can’t be precisely the same game, though, if all three of them propose to play at once; piquet is set up for only two players at a time.)
And then we get the tale about using Old Tech to remain youthful, which apart from the purpose it serves in this chapter is another instance of the trick of slipping an idea into the reader’s head a while before it becomes important.