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A theory explaining why females of the House of Irenaeus tended to die young, by elf standards.

The legend has it that the Inner Fire was a gift from the goddess Fuma to Irenaeus, and was the source of the powerful magicks that drove that skunk to conquer in Her name. Among other things, it gave those of his line certain immunities and affinities relating to heat. For example, King Adler Sartoriusson is seen at the end of "The Thin Line" reviving himself with water drawn from a hot spring; in addition, the relative ease with which Adler Gawainsson could eat horseradish compared to his brother Estmere Gawainsson is an important clue in The Ballad of Adler Young as to their relative magickal ability.

However, it is noteworthy that the records show few, if any, females in the line of Irenaeus' descendants. The only female discussed in The Winterbough Saga is Stella Sartoriussdottir, the younger sister of King Adler and of Marshal Roland Sartoriusson. Stella is presented as very intelligent, but also very frail, and she is said to have died young, during her father's reign.