When two Myldorangi wish to live together and create a family they take part in a Ceremony of Joining-for-Life before the Lore Masters of their Houses, their wider families and communities. Being long-lived the Myldorangi have a long period of child-bearing but their women can control their reproductive system, and they do not have large families. Two children are the norm, and only occasionally three. Twins are exceptionally rare – only fifteen pairs are recorded in their histories.
They space their children carefully, generally not having a second or third child until the previous one is settled at one of the Guild Halls of Training. Thus every child should have ten years of undivided attention and care both as a Childling and while, as Younglings, they are discovering what their True name means for their growing identity. If they are the younger child they will, in addition, have the care of their elder sibling whenever they are at home. It was highly significant that the twins Kearimo and Arashimo were not able to have this time of individuation!
A deep sense of stability and security is most important to a Myldoran, and has shaped their culture and how they develop relationships. Not having siblings who are close in age young Myldorangi grow particularly close to their friends, and some may have a heartfriend of their own gender with whom they share everything that’s important to them. As in the case of Bruathimo and Poelimo, a heartfriendship most often begins while they are still Childlings, though Younglings are also known to bond. For a heartfriendship to begin between Scholars, as Thialimo and Driathimo’s did, is unusual, and may cause comment as well as proving less easy to maintain.
Scholars begin to take a more particular interest in each other at the ages of thirteen or fourteen, and from the age of sixteen physical intimacy is permitted, either with the opposite gender or their own – though promiscuity is severely discouraged. This intimacy is known as ‘joining’, and those involved as ‘companions’, but it isn’t the full commitment they will make as adults when they Join-for-Life.
Once they reach the rank of Masters or Mistresses heartfriends may choose to live together and make this their sole deep relationship. Indeed, apart from the relationship with their parents and wider family, they may remain committed to this purely Platonic heartfriendship all their lives. On the other hand, if they have already joined, they may decide once they reach the age of thirty to make a formal Joining-for-Life.
If they have no heartfriend, Myldorangi of that age generally Join-for-Life with someone of the same or opposite gender. If they do have a heartfriend they may both choose to Join-for-Life with someone of the opposite gender, and Mingure and Ankure did. (It is very rare for one heartfriend to do this, and the other not.)
Under certain circumstances an adult Myldoran who is a ‘solitary’ may be ‘adopted’ into a family, as long as there is no danger of disturbing that family’s stability. They will be invited to take part in a Joining-of-Hearts-for-Life by the parent of the same gender if he or she has no brothers or sisters to be put out of their proper place by their arrival. The new family member becomes a Brother or Sister-of-the-Heart, and is called a Father or Mother, Adimo or Amure-of-the-Heart to the children. No physical intimacy is involved with any member of the family – it is what it’s called, purely a Joining-of-Hearts in a formal arrangement requiring a public commitment to be made before a Lore Master and witnesses. This then gives the ‘solitary’ a new sense of belonging and stability from which they can live and work.