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House Kardashian is a large clan in westeros that is made up of different clans, each further broken down into different families. Members of this house have genes which allows them to access Mana through rituals, creating magical effects. These rituals are complex and time consuming, requiring access to different materials. Girls have the ability to utilize magic and become witches. Boys cannot access magic due to an ancient curse, and take up other roles in society.

As only girls are able to use magic, they are raised by their mothers and their relatives. They are considered part of that lineage, and are the rightful heirs to that lineage and family name. Any males that are born are sent to live in creches, growing up in groups of men and raised communally. For this reason, they are referred to as "sons of society" and considered as belonging to the house itself rather than a particular family. However, I want lineage to still play some social relevance in male identity, even though they have no legitimate heirs.

How can I make this work?

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    $\begingroup$ as reverse political marriage maybe ? they need male to get pregnant right? $\endgroup$ – Li Jun Dec 2 at 14:05
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    $\begingroup$ Since when did lack of legally recognized legitimacy stop fathers from helping their sons and providing a career path? History is replete with successful bastards. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Dec 2 at 14:39
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    $\begingroup$ Are children of the same mother recognized as being related? If so, you can have a matrilineal society, in which a man's heirs are the children of his sisters. $\endgroup$ – Patricia Shanahan Dec 2 at 16:06
  • $\begingroup$ In this matriarchal society, is marriage still a thing? $\endgroup$ – Alexander Dec 2 at 16:55
  • $\begingroup$ Possibly irrelevant, but: an actual curse, or just that one of the necessary recessive genes is carried on the 23rd chromosome pair, so males (XY) cannot get 2 copies, but females (XX) can? $\endgroup$ – Chronocidal Dec 3 at 15:37
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Members of this house have genes which allows them to access Mana through rituals, creating magical effects.

Well now. You'll want to be slightly cautious there, because genetics is complicated, but it sounds like there's a good chance that the daughters (or more remote female descendants) of those men could also carry those magical genes. If the family's magical genetic inheritance is considered valuable (and it seems a little odd that it would not) then breeding outwith the house risks other clans and houses gaining those powers, too.

If the genes are recessive then if you wanted to have children bearing the magical genes, then both you and your partner must be carriers, too. The men of the house then become valuable because of the children they might father.

If the genes are recessive then not keeping track of the boys' parentage is risky because what you don't want is a lot of inbreeding. You can partially ameliorate this by have a tradition of marrying out of their clan but still within the House, limiting the scope of inbreeding problems.

Bringing in fresh blood from outside the House risks diluting the magical genes and rendering a family or clan powerless. That would probably be unwelcome, regardless of the benefits of outbreeding, even assuming the people involved understand genetics to that extent. There's some stuff in Charles Stross' Merchant Princes series on a gene-linked magical trait that has these issues that might be of interest to you.

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    $\begingroup$ All of this plus: being a male from a family/clan with 'high mana genes' means suddenly all the powerful witches become pretty interested in you. Men carrying good magic genes can use these for bragging rights &/ political marriages (though those might be arranged by sisters/mothers?) $\endgroup$ – Nicolai Dec 2 at 17:23
  • $\begingroup$ Furthermore, having good genes for general health would still make a man better to bed 'er. $\endgroup$ – Monty Harder Dec 2 at 23:59
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Genetics

It's a really, really bad idea to make babies with your sister. Two or three generations of that and you have very serious genetic issues. You want to make sure no "accidents" happen.

Furthermore, throughout history wealthy and powerful people have encouraged their heirs to marry within other wealthy and powerful families. There are political and social reasons for this, but also genetic. Preserving blood lines, keeping genetic traits, etc. So males born within these lineages would need to be identified to ensure the purity of that lineage.

And males not from powerful lineages would still need to be (roughly) tracked to make sure mistakes like this don't happen.

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    $\begingroup$ How do you explain the longevity of various ancient Egyptian dynasties? $\endgroup$ – Patricia Shanahan Dec 2 at 16:05
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    $\begingroup$ @PatriciaShanahan: Through midwives saying "oops, stillborn" about the most obvious defects. The less obvious ones live on, and the dynasty goes on while suffering under the rule of less than fit rulers. That, and the occasional woman who breaks the rules and has sex with someone other than her husband, thus accidentally supplying some "fresh blood" in a line gone sour through inbreeding. $\endgroup$ – JRE Dec 2 at 16:15
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    $\begingroup$ It depends on the exact genetics, but incest doesn't immediately cause problems to show up, even in a couple of generations. As for the Egyptians, that seems to be mostly a Late Period/New Kingdom thing. And for the 18th Dynasty in particular, they were mostly half-siblings. $\endgroup$ – pboss3010 Dec 2 at 16:19
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    $\begingroup$ "It's a really, really bad idea to make babies with your sister" - tell that to Targaryens :) $\endgroup$ – Alexander Dec 2 at 16:57
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Part of what makes parents successful and famous is the success and fame of their children. Although men aren't magic-users, they can still be successful at some other skill or art, and thus worth claiming as part of one's heritage. Although of course they aren't really part of "the family", a matriarch trying to one-up another would be happy to have a card like "and furthermore my daughter bore so-and-so the master swordsmith" (or painter or explorer or whatever it is they do) to play.

This could potentially create some intrigue; if sons are only "claimed" (or publicly claimed) if they seem like they'll be noteworthy in some way, there may be some behind-the-scenes bargaining or maneuvering to try to claim a particularly talented boy as one's own. If it's important enough, it might be worth buying off other potential claimants - or killing them.

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These rituals are complex and time consuming, requiring access to different materials.

It sure looks like they will need someone to fetch those materials while the top brass studies the intrincacies and details of complicated magic shenanigans.

Males could be seen as "Children of the Clan". It does not seem like magic can solve any problem on any timescale so males could occupy all the other necessary positions to make the system work. After all, someone has to clean the cesspits, train the horses, guard the walls, count the taxes and manage what amounts to be a complicated collection of materials that could benefit from an underlying infrastructure to be successfully maintained and to grow. Males could occupy such positions.

Even if there are other non-magical families of peasants to do the dirtier work, it is still beneficial to have a pool of skilled intermediaries in various levels of the hierarchy oiling the wheels towards your interests. Sharing a clan bond with the top females in a clan might be enough to inspire loyalty, especially if each clan educates their male younglings by their own standards, without outside interference of other clans.

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Pedigree.

Look at the way the lineages of show dogs and racehorses are meticulously tracked and documented. A stud that produces a winning offspring will be valuable and sought after. Since magical ability seems to be highly valued in this culture, fathering a particularly powerful witch would likely be a point of pride among men. Linking oneself to a powerful lineage would provide status and advantages. So, the commodity that men pass down to their sons is reputation, rather than any material belongings.

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