In Nívet Territory, where the housholdings originated, the early Tecton was founded as an organization or alliance of householdings for the purpose of presenting a united front to the Nívet government dominated by juncts.
Eventually, this policy of unification of householdings resulted in the winning of a representative on the Nívet councils and a real voice in the Nívet Territory government. This made Klyd Farrisís coup possible - and the founding of the modern Tecton proceeded from that, together with the uniting of Nívet Territory and Gulf Territory and the Gen lands between under the authority of the Tecton Controllers.
The success of unification is inarguable. One of the articles of unification concerns the way new housholdings may choose their heraldic colors. The early Tecton reserved the color white (the pure, dazzling, stark white) to be added to a householdingís colors on the crest and garments of the Sectuib. At the same time, they designated stark black to be added to the crest and garments of any Farris (Channel, renSime, or Companion). They forbade any Tecton member householding from choosing either pure white or unrelieved black as one of their designated colors.
There are several reasons for this most of them obvious. Black became a warning flag that the bearer could not be treated as roughly as others - but also that the bearer could be relied upon in an emergency to perform beyond all reasonable expectations. No same person, from that day on, ever chose to wear either the Farris Name, or the Farris color, black, unless they were capable of Farris level performance and willing to accept Farris restrictions. None but a Farris is so capable or accepting.
From that date, all those bearing Farris genetic patterns adopted the Farris surname in self-defense. Those who formerly had been named Farris hastily dropped that name in favor of any other.
Later, manufactured products began carrying black bands or other devices on their labels to indicate they were hypo-allergenic to (most) Farrises. The modern Tecton uses the black flash across the front of a Farris chart as a medic-alert. Treatment that can save a Farrisís life might well be murder on a non-Farris - and vice-versa. None of the later-formed householdings would ever incorporate any shade of black into their heraldry (unless every member were Farris, and there is not likely to be any such household) because they would not expose their members to such dangers.
Householdings founded outside Nívet Territory or before the early Tecton spread to other Territories may have had black as one of their colors. Usually they changed their colors upon joining the Tecton. In cases where they refused to change, special dispensations may have been issued, but after a few years of tragedies and annoyances caused by people misreading their designations, members would vote to drop the black in favor of something else.
Householdings joining after such a history had been experienced by former black-bearing householdings would heed the warning in those stories. There is no necessity here of going into the gory details.
The result is that by the time of Orim Farris, or about the year 70 of the Tecton calendar, no householding known to Tecton bore black or white as one of its colors.
Black has been discussed in some detail. White was avoided for essentially the same reasons - who would want to be expected to perform as the best channel or a house without, in fact, being such a channel? And what Gen would care to answer the curious challenge twenty times a day because he was wearing a color he could not possibly be entitled to?
(From Householding Board of Governors, Office of the Controller, Council Plaza, Tecton Building, Gulf Territory, Document No. 137450, no date)
This article also appears in A COMPANION IN ZEOR # 6 (1980).
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