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AMRT Chapter 43: The Only Reasonable Thing to Do

 
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2004 10:36 pm    Post subject: AMRT Chapter 43: The Only Reasonable Thing to Do Reply with quote

Quote:
The light was extraordinary, as life-giving as sunshine. While she was able to breathe, she was content to simply lie where she was and accept the glow of her escape.

Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile

Geraden and Barsonage are both nearly delerious with joy at Teresa's escape from the clutches of the evil Eremis. Cool

Quote:
Then she returned his hug, gasping in his ear, clasping him almost savagely because she was still full of impossible translations and promises of murder. After her encounter with Master Eremis, Geraden was so dear to her that she held him as if her heart depended on it.

Geraden. Help me.

He was going to rape me. Just for the fun of it. And to hurt you.

Geraden.

I am going to kill him.


Havelock, in a moment of lucidity, remarks that what Teresa had just done in escaping shows why Eremis has taken such actions against her...and Barsonage says that what she did is proof that Images are real, as King Joyse has always said...

But then Teresa remembers --- Nyle. Held prisoner, and horribly abused. Sad She and Geraden turn to the image in the mirror she used for her escape, but as they watch, it shifts back to its original focus, a desert scene. And Teresa, though she tries, cannot change it back in her panic and doubt... Sad

She asks how she was able to translate herself out of the Image, and she is told that the Adept did the translation. She shifted the mirror, but Havelock translated her out...and that they were all very lucky that the Adept was able to react in a reasonable way and able to perform the translation! Shocked

And another surprise for Teresa -- Barsonage tells her that Geraden has shown himself to have the powers of an Adept! In shifting a curved glass in his ability to impose an Image there, such as the Image of Esmerel he placed into a glass while searching for Teresa, he has shown great power. Smile

They decide they must take action. Leaving Havelock behind, Barsonage, Geraden, and Teresa journey through a crowded and frightened Orison to find out who is in charage since Joyse left...and they are very relieved to find out that it is the Tor, along with Norge, the new Castellan, and that an alliance has been offered to Prince Kragen! Very Happy

However, when they get to the King's apartments they find a debate raging between the Tor (who is obviously in physical discomfort and pain) and Kragen. Kragen wants to be able to bring his men into the safety of Orison, and the Tor is refusing him unless he turns his troops over to control of Mordant. It is an impasse...

Into this argument, Geraden and Teresa burst, and tell them all that it is time to march!!!! Cool Teresa explains Joyse's plans to all assembled, though her news seems to nearly kill the Tor.

Quote:
"...I have pawned all that I am for him. I have made myself contemptable for the belief that my King would at last prove worthy of service."


Quote:
The explanation Master Quillon had given her wasn't good enough to justify the cost King Joyse had exacted from men like Castellan Lebbick or the Tor, from his daughters, from Geraden and everyone else who loved him...For the time being she supported the King, not because she approved of what he had done, but because he had left her no alternative. "All of this time he's been working to save Mordant."


Geraden and Teresa call for a march on Esmerel. The others from Mordant agree, especially when they find out that Nyle is being held there...but Kragen thinks that it is a trap, and that the forces should stay in safety in Orison and let their enemies come to them...

Teresa points out that with Imagery, Orison is also a trap, and that Eremis and his allies can bring anything from avalanches to monsters down upon them at any time! Shocked

Barsonage says that the Congery is ready to battle against the evil Imagers, and that they can also supply the marching armies. Smile

Nonetheless, Kragen says that he cannot join in a march or an alliance -- if it were to fail, all of Alend's army will be destroyed, and the nation left defenseless against Cadwal. Sad

The Tor orders that Kragen be gently returned to his father -- and then orders the army to make ready to march in the morning! When Artagel objects, and say that Kragen might stop them, the Tor says that he trusts that Kragen will not -- that he knows where they are going and what they are doing, and he will not stop or hinder them.


Quote:
"Thank you my Lord Tor. " He spoke softly; yet his voice carried a hint of trumpets. "Rely on my respect. If my father's friends were as honorable as King Joyse's, Alend would have no need of Contenders to win the Seat."


The poor Tor, whom has been in obvious pain all through the meeting, crumples as Kragen leaves... Sad Sad Sad Sad
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2004 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great job, duchess! Very Happy

One of the cool things about this chapter is how SRD maintains consistency of his characters. Just because Terisa has been rescued from Eremis's clutches, just because everybody's finally on the same page as far as knowing what the hell's going on goes, doesn't mean that they all automatically get along. It doesn't mean they trust each other. They have generations of mistrust, fear, and hatred to get over, and it would be too happily-ever-after if they all suddenly started getting along.

It's also a great chapter because of the opportunity it gives for seeing the Tor at work. Until very recently, he's been a terribly pathetic figure--so pathetic he was almost laughable (at least to people like Eremis). We watch him overcoming his earlier weakness--which you might say was caused by damage to his spirit (as well as too much wine)--and now we watch him fighting this physical weakness. It just tears the heart. You can only hope that the Tor will be okay.....
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2004 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

good dissecting... (hi, newbie, here)
I love Mordant's Need. It is such an easy read with great story and character. Having said that, in my opinion, this is the chapter where it started to lose its grip for me. I thought the claustrophobic and insanely tense atmosphere in the castle, which built up through the first book and part way in to the second, was fantastic! I was sorry to leave it. Having said that, it was one of those rare moments in SRD writing (such as the end of Wounded Land) where there is a moment of relief and joy. Still, I would have liked it more had Teresa stays in the castle longer to combat the insane happenings there.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Usivius wrote:
I thought the claustrophobic and insanely tense atmosphere in the castle, which built up through the first book and part way in to the second, was fantastic! I was sorry to leave it.


Welcome, Usivius! Always glad to have folks chime in.

This is an interesting point, and something that has come up at other points in the dissection--when Terisa finally escapes from Orison at the beginning of AMRT, it's such a huge moment. Finding herself outside is like an entirely new sort of freedom. What I like about this chapter is that all the other times she's gone "outside" Orison, it's been in reaction to a specific set of events--following Nyle, escaping from Master Gilbur, and so on. But in this chapter, she's proactive--she doesn't want Orison's defenders to sit around waiting for the other shoe to drop, she wants to go out there and snatch it from whoever's waiting to let it go. This is the first time going outside is an actual decision on her part. So in that sense, it really reflects her character development as much as it moves the plot forward.

She starts as a prisoner in a tower at the very beginning (before she even comes to Mordant); then as she begins to make choices and take action she gains the freedom of the Castle; as her choices take effect, she makes it outside the castle, but as a hunted person; and finally, once she realizes which side she's on, her decisions lead her to (almost) real freedom--the proactive march on Eremis & Co. In between she gets thrown in dungeons, chained to walls, and all sorts of horrible things, but each time she escapes she's stronger. In this chapter, it's as though she's finally come to a place inside herself where she's strong enough to do something instead of just think about it.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2004 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indeed, Terisa has come a long, long way from the girl who sat in her tower, staring into mirrors to see if she would fade away.

If you have ever read Marion Zimmer Bradley's Mists of Avalon there is a similar moment with Guenevere, who began as a character who is pretty much afraid of her own shadow, and who gradually grows into a very strong woman. And the moment you realize it is this:
Spoiler:
As a child, as she was when the book first began, she is afraid to go outdoors. By the end, she loves to be outside, under the sky, and this is told in a wonderful little passage.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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"Who is in command?" Master Barsonage demanded of the guards. "Where is King Joyse?"

The answer was, Pissed if I know. Or the equivalent.

"Where did you get your orders?" asked Geraden.

That was easier. Norge. Castellan Lebbick's second.

For the moment, the fact that Norge was actually only one of the Castellan's seconds-in-command seemed unimportant. The point was that power still existed in Orison. It was being held together by someone from whom the guards were willing to take orders. Someone with enough credibility to be obeyed during an emergency.

Norge himself? What gave him precedence over other captains? Who gave him precedence?

A Master of the Congery? Impossible. Never in the mediator's absence.

One of King Joyse's counselors? One of Orison's lords? Unlikely.

Prince Kragen himself? Inconceivable.

Artagel?

Was the situation so bad that no one could be found to take charge except Geraden's independent-minded and slightly crippled brother?

Terisa wanted to run. She would have if Geraden hadn't held her back. As she and her companions left the castle's lower levels, however, Orison's mood improved. Here the halls were under better control; less frightened by the possibility of an attack by Imagery. Soon a guard appeared who saluted the mediator. "Master Barsonage," he panted. Apparently, he had come running from the Imager's quarters. "Geraden. The lady Terisa?" He knew enough about the day's events to be surprised. "You're wanted in the King's rooms."

The King's rooms? Terisa and Geraden and Master Barsonage stopped in their tracks.

"The audience hall is no longer safe," explained the guard.

"Who wants us?" demanded Barsonage instantly.

Breathing hard, the guard replied, "My lord Tor. He says he's taken command. In the King's absence. He and Norge. Norge is the new Castellan."

The Tor. Terisa felt a surge of energy. Bless that old man!

"What about Prince Kragen?" she asked.

The guard hesitated as if he were unsure of how much he should say. After a moment, however, he answered, "It's just a rumor. I was told my lord Tor offered him an alliance."

Geraden let out a fierce cheer.
Together, he and Terisa started into a run.

Master Barsonage took time to pursue the question. "What was the Prince's reply?"

The guard said, "I don't know."
Barsonage did his best to catch up with Terisa and Geraden.

In the King's tower, more guards joined them, escorted them upward. Guards swept the king's doors open; Terisa, Geraden, and the mediator went in. For the sake of dignity--not to mention caution--they slowed their pace as they entered.

The King's formal apartment was just the way she remembered it--richly appointed, paneled blonde, carpeted in blue and red. She hardly noticed the furnishings, however. Although there were only eight or ten men--most of them captains--in the room, it seemed crowded; too full of anxiety and passion, conflict.

Before the door closed, she heard Prince Kragen's voice blare like a trumpet, "I will not do it!"

Her chest tightened. She found suddenly that she was breathing harder than she realized. The Prince's shout seemed to throb around her, and the hope she had for an alliance began to curdle.

On one side of Prince Kragen stood Artagel, close enough to react to what the Prince did, far enough away to dissociate himself from the Alend Contender. On the other side was a captain Terisa didn't know. Norge?

All three of them had their backs to the doors. Each in his separate way, they confronted the chair where King Joyse used to sit when he played hop-board.

There sat the Tor, slumping over his great belly as if he were barely able to keep himself from oozing out of the position he had assumed.

"The alternatives you propose," the old lord was saying as if he were in a kind of pain which had nothing to do with Prince Kragen, "are intolerable." He had a hand over his face. "I will not permit you to occupy Orison, making us little more than a hostage population. I do not call that an alliance."

"And I do not call it an alliance to wait outside in danger while you sit here in safety," retorted the Prince hotly. "If--no, when High King Festten marches against us--we will be helpless while you remain secure, watching the outcome. We must be allowed to enter Orison. I will not remain where I am, waiting for King Joyse to return--if he ever does return--and tell me his pleasure--if his pleasure involves anything more productive than a game of hop-board."

The Tor didn't look strong enough to raise his head. "I understand your dilemma, my lord Prince. Of course I do. But you cannot believe Orison's people--or Orison's defenders--will sit quietly on their hams while Alend takes power over them. I have already said I will open the gates to you if you--"

"No!" Prince Kragen barked. "Do you take me for a fool? I have no intention of making Orison's people hostage. I will grant them precisely as much freedom and respect as the necessary crowding of so many bodies permits. But I will not submit my forces to your authority."

Orison's captains muttered restively. Some of them were viscerally incensed at the idea of an alliance with Alend. And some of them had noticed Geraden and Master Barsonage--had noticed Terisa--

"My lords!" Geraden cut in sharply. His voice carried potential authority across the room; and a thrill prickled suddenly down Terisa's back. "There's no need to argue about waiting. We're done waiting. It's time to march!"

The Tor snatched his hand down from his face, peered bleary pain and desire at Terisa and Geraden. Artagel wheeled with joy catching fire across his features. Norge turned more cautiously; but Prince Kragen spun like Artagel, his swarthy face congested with conflicting needs.

"Terisa! My lady!" Artagel crowed. "Geraden! By the stars, you did it!" As if he had never been injured in his life, he caught Geraden in an exuberant bearhug, lifted him off his feet, then dropped him to snatch up Terisa's hand and kiss it hugely. "Everytime I see you, you're even more wonderful!"

She wanted to hug him, but she was distracted; there were too many other things going on. The captains were shouting encouragement to each other, or demanding silence. And the Tor had risen to his feet. Unsteadily, almost inaudibly, he murmured her name, Geraden's. "You are indeed wondrous." He spoke huskily, as if he were dragging his voice along the bottom of a cave. "There must be hope for us after all, if such blows can be struck against our enemies."

Prince Kragen was right behind Artagel; he grabbed Geraden by the shoulders when Artagel dropped him. "How did you do it?" the Prince demanded. "How did you rescue her? What has changed? Where is King Joyse? Did you say march?"

Somehow, Norge made himself heard through the hubbub. His laconic tone sounded so incongruous that it had to be heeded.
"You got away, my lady. What did you learn from him?"
"What did you do to him?"

In the stark silence which followed, a moment passed before she understood the point of his question.

With her chin jutting unconsciously, she met the hot and eager and worried stares of the men around her. "I didn't do anything to him." I didn't kill him. I didn't even hurt him. "But I learned enough."

Too quickly for anyone to interrupt her, she added, "Before Gilbur killed him, I had a long talk with Master Quillon. He told me what King Joyse has been doing all this time. Why he's been acting like such a passive fool. What he wanted to accomplish. Geraden is right. It's time to march."


The seeming contradiction of Norge's flat, barely-awake-sounding voice being the one Terisa hears through all the cacophony of questions is amusing to me. By speaking in a calmer fashion that the other speakers in the room, he makes himself heard.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 12:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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In a dull rumble, the Tor asked, "What do you advise, my lord Prince?"

"Fight for Orison as long as you can," replied the Prince. "Then join me across the Pestil. Bring the Fayle and the Termigan--bring the Armigite, if you can bear him--and add your forces to mine. With the Alend Lieges behind us, we will make Eremis and Festten pay dearly for every foot of ground they take."

To himself, the Tor make a muttering noise, as if he were considering the idea. But before Terisa could panic--before Geraden could intervene--he heaved himself to his feet.

He tottered. Afraid he might fall, she reached out to support him. What was left of his hair straggled with sweat; his skin had a gray underhue, as if his heart pumped ashes rather than blood; his eyes were glazed, nearly opaque.

Nevertheless he spoke as if no one could doubt that he would be obeyed.

"Castellan Norge, do you hear me?"

"I hear you, my lord Tor." Norge sounded vaguely somnolent: detached; impervious to argument.

"Escort my lord Prince out of Orison. I want him returned safely to his father. Safely and politely. Do you hear me?"

"I hear you, my lord Tor."

"We march against Esmerel at dawn. Be ready. Confer with the Congery on the matter of supplies."

Master Barsonage nodded assent.

"Yes, my lord Tor." This time, there was a small bite in Norge's tone, a touch of grim happiness.

Prince Kragen threw up his hands.


Thankfully, the Tor rejects the Prince's well-intended advice, as it would have left them all sitting ducks for further attacks of Imagery in Orison. And the Prince's advice is just too defensive to be a long-term winning strategy.
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