I have a lot of ground to cover with this and it'll delve into some pretty deep and introspective topics. Just a heads-up as to be forewarned is to have four arms, or something along those lines.
I came from a broken home—as I understand many will have, that's not exactly an uncommon occurrence these days—but my partner didn't and this has given me something of a unique perspective. There is, in my opinion, a certain toxicity to biological parenthood. My partner was adopted by her grandparents and raised by them which allowed her to come into her own person without the presence of toxic expectations. With biological parenthood there's almost always the expectation of what the parent believes the child should be, the ideal of perfection that the child can only fall from. Our schooling has the same problem that there's the ideal of the perfect grade which one can only fall from, rather than having a grade one builds up to via contribution.
This is an innately human problem. It's something that I can perhaps only see outside of to a degree thanks to my autism, it's also something that really adds to the alien nature of the charr as a culture and promotes their difference from the familiar comforts of humanity. I think that being taken out of one's comfort zone is important, I like to challenge myself. However, I've recently learned that neurotypical brains will take such a challenge as being similar to a physical attack, the same regeion of the brain lights up when someone is being physically attacked or having their ideologies challenged. That's unfortunate. As such I do wonder if I'll see a degree of agressive backlash to my meanderings as it challenges a very innate, hardcoded ideology. It challenges the value of biological parenthood.
Let's say that a child is taken from their biological parents and is being raised by a team of trained child rearers. These child rearers are taught to have the perspective that building up is more important than having any preconceived ideals, so instead of having any expectations of what they believe the child should be they should encourage the child to explore their own identity and individuality to discover their own talents. This is a far less toxic, less stressful environment for the child as the child isn't faced with those ideals of perfection that're so very commonplace in biological parenthood. They're building up instead of falling down from a pedestal of perfection. If you're beginning from a place of perfection then you can only fall, after all. However, if you're building up then the only ceiling is your own potential.
This team of carers is then coupled with teams of teachers who encourage youth to discover what their interests are and to pursue them, providing them with the means of doing so. Early on, these children are organised into classes which will help them further discover this truth of their very selves. As they approach tweens and the early teenage years, they'll begin to really pin down what it is they want to do with their life and they can be organised into other groups who're like-minded. It may seem strange to think of the charr as having warbands of chefs, warbands of artists, and warbands of engineers but we've learned that this is how it works for them. This is because "war" has an unusual meaning to the charr.
The only time the charr have really warred for conequest was when the Flame legion enslaved the other three legions to do their bidding. At this time, the Flame legion were trying to survive by mimicking and aping what they'd seen teh humans do. Their perspective was that if the humans are so successful then they should do what the humans do. When in Rome, yes? If the humans have gods, the charr shall have gods. If the humans are misogynistic, the charr shall be misogynistic. If the humans are obsessed with conquest, then the charr shall be obsessed with conquest. Admittedly, the charr were never very good at conquest. Their conquests lead to more examples of humans killing humans than charr killing humans. Adelbern's Forefire, Orr's vizier sinking Orr, you know what I mean. Even the Searing didn't actually kill anyone. The charr aren't good at conquest because that isn't their nature.
What, then, does war mean to a charr?
To a charr, war is preventative. War is the idea that the world is a hostile, terrible, toxic place that's out to kill you and in order to protect that which you value you must militarise. The war for the charr is the war to protect, always to protect. It's the war to protect their cubs, their cutlure, their land, or whatever else they deem it necessary to protect. You can see this protective culture even amongst the Olmakhan who value the Commander based upon how the Commander is with their cubs (you know what I'm talking about). The Olmakhan often yammer on about protecting this or protecting that because it's so hardwired into the charr psyche. The charr exist to protect. In order to protect you'd need something to protect. You'll also need support to help those who protect. That's how charr society is structured.
Conversely, this is why Smodur's efforts to create an alliance between as many races as possible was a very, very clever idea. If everyone is allied with the charr, then everyone is protected by the charr. This means that everyone can feel comforted by the presence of the charr and the charr won't have reason to fear them. The Vigil is an extension of this desire to protect, too. You can hear it in Almorra Soulkeeper's speeches, but most importantly the belief that "Some must fight, so that all may be free."
Similarly, the charr would have a vested interest in protecting their cubs. The purpose of a fahrar is to protect their cubs from bad parenting and to ensure that whatever the cubs want to do they can flourish and have the chance to do that. If a group of charr decide to be chefs, then you can have a warband of chefs because this warband then supports the protectors, just as it gives the protectors something worthwhile to then protect. Everything contributes to this cycle of protecting and protected. If a warband happens to be of sculptors, they may then create grand sculptures of past charr heroes. The charr will then want to protect these sculptures and the sculptors who created them, we can see evidence of this within the charr lands as well.
It excites me because it's very similar to notions I've had about the erroneous nature of parenthood and schooling where I believe we should begin at the bottom and build up. Otherwise all a young person can do is fall from grace. They can only fall from grace with their parents, they can only fall from grace with their schooling. It's a very human perspective, a very neurotypical perspective, to want to be perfect and to expect perfection from others. However, you're not protecting the interests of the youth if you're forcing your own ideals of perfection upon them, are you? This is where a lot of toxicity with parenthood derives from, because parents don't protect the children but only their own selfish ideas. It's a very self-interested, selifsh perspective. That's just self-protection at the cost of all else. It's that in particular that seems to be antithetical to charr culture.
The charr place an importance on the selfless nature of protection. If a warband sacrifices their lives to protect others then that's a truly heroic thing to do. Just as if the Vigil were to do this, that's a heroic thing to do. It's the truth of being a protector, if you're truly a protector then you're selfless. You have to be. You can't ever consider protecting yourself in this equation, instead you're protecting everything and everyone else. As much as will allow you to do so. The only threat comes from that which would threaten that which you protect, thus the politics of the charr are focused around trying to deal with potential threats to that which is protected. This is also where some potential charr toxicity can come from as we see with Bangar. Though I feel there's more to Bangar than meets the eye. I can smell misdirection.
Bangar's trying to pull the wool over Jormag's eyes to protect his charr. I'd bet my hat on it. It's a very nice hat. I like it.
Anyway, that's about all I have to say really. I like the concept of fahrars because they're based around the concept of building each person up rather than putting them on a pedestal of perfection only to break them down. It's incredibly toxic for biological parents to see their newborn child as perfect, as that child can only ever disappoint them. This inevitably leads to broken homes.
I think there's a lot that could be taken from charr culture to fix our problems with parenthood in contemporary real world human culture, as we do have a parenthood crisis currently with there being far too many broken homes.
I hope this won't get deleted as this is a very personal topic for me and I wanted to talk about it. I understand why it can be a controversial topic and I understand that I will receive some backlash for talking about it. It's unfortunate that feeling attacked will often come before and impede self-awareness as my intention isn't to attack anyone but rather to acknowledge a very real problem and to be fascinated by how the fiction of another world seems to have already solved it. Fascination and curiosity is all it is. I definitely think the charr are onto something. What's happening with Rytlock and his son right now is extremely interesting because it raises the question of whether Rytlock's son would truly be better off or not to have known his biological father. I'd be more inclined to say no.