BUT AMELIA WHERE IS THE--oh, never mind, here's
Part 1 and the index.
The guy who informed Arie that she doesn't swear was ¾ wrong. He was
all the way wrong about ladies having no need for some good cuss words. Everybody
stubs their toes, after all. But his assertion that all fairies are female is subject to variable levels of truth. Woodfairies have a complicated life cycle, but the upshot is that they grow on trees. As such, they have no reproductive organs and are not male or female (or, given how their chromosomes work, they could be considered both). However, as they have high voices, delicate features, slim bodies, a love of frilly dresses and sparkles, and names that sound like they were chosen out of a Bath & Body Works catalog (Terwu'arie literally means "Shadowrose"), humans and other such species generally automatically assume they are female. As such, the common speech refers to them using female-gendered terminology. Following convention, I am using it that way here.
In contrast, dwarves do
come with the more recognizable binary reproductive systems. But aside from the primary sex characteristics, dwarves have no visible sexual dimorphism. All dwarves, male and female, have blocky builds, big muscles, and swathes of face and chest hair. And as the gender-free Dwarvish language offers no clues, and nosy questions about their reproductive systems mostly just annoy them, figuring out a dwarf's sex is only possible after the third date (or, for more traditional dwarves, after the wedding).
Fortunately for speakers of languages where gender is a required bit of coding, dwarves also don't seem to give two shits about how other species perceive them. They are perfectly content to all be referred to as "he" in the common speech, and where nouns come in masculine/feminine pairs, they always go with masculine. I'm using that convention here. To be honest, I have no idea what sex either Orlof or Hruldar might be. They refer to each other as 'husband,' but they could just as easily one male and one female, or two females, as two males. It doesn't actually matter, but it's an interesting bit of trivia.
In completely unrelated annotation, the thing Orlof refers to as an "oven" is actually a cast-iron Dutch oven set over a large earthenware brazier. For some reason, I feel it is important that you know this.
---( Heavyweight Knitting Champion )
Nextward to Part 9