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"There was the famous case of one of the Counts Vortala, back in the Time of Isolation, who had fallen out with his son. Young Lord Vortala had allied with his father-in-law in the Zidiarch Trade War. Vortala disinherited his son and somehow managed to maneuver a rump session of the counts into approving his horse, Midnight, as his heir. Claimed the horse was just as bright and had never betrayed him."
―Mark learns Vortala Family history[src]

The Vortalas (vohr-TAA-luh) were a High Vor family on Barrayar, with a District Count and highly placed relatives in the Barrayaran government.

"Vortala can be more obnoxious without actually swearing than any man I know."
―Aral, on Prime Minister Vortala[src]

The most famous recent member of the Vortala family was simultaneously Count Vortala and Prime Minister of Barrayar for Ezar Vorbarra and Aral Vorkosigan (on behalf of Gregor Vorbarra). A political progressive, he created a political party (the Progressive Party) that sought the modernization of Barrayaran society[1][2].

He did not, however, seek to bring non-Vor into his party; rather, he recruited solely among "the people who matter"[2].

In his later years, he seldom attended sessions of the Council of Counts[3]

He had at least two sons; the older, who became Count sometime during Miles' adulthood, served on Barrayar's Imperial Lands Distribution Committee, which apportioned lands on the South Continent for development[4]. A younger son, called Lord Vortala the Younger, was a Colonel in ImpSec who took on the duty of managing security for Gregor's Imperial Wedding to Laisa Toscane[5].

The famous tale of how the fifth Count Vortala tried to set up his horse as his heir in the Council of Counts actually served as something of a precedent for later cases of Count's Choice before Count's Blood in the naming of heirs to the Council[6][7].

Notes and references[]

  1. Shards of Honor chapter 9
  2. 2.0 2.1 Barrayar chapter 1
  3. The Warrior's Apprentice chapter 21
  4. Memory chapter 9
  5. A Civil Campaign chapter 2,Epilogue
  6. Mirror Dance chapter 14
  7. A Civil Campaign chapters 2,6,14