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TMOHD Chapter 23: Anticipating Disaster

 
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2004 5:47 pm    Post subject: TMOHD Chapter 23: Anticipating Disaster Reply with quote

So here we are. Out of the cold and back in Orison. Heading into the homestretch to finish The Mirror of Her Dreams with chapter 23, Anticipating Disaster:

Recap: After chasing Nyle, spying on Prince Kragen and battling a firecat and strange furred creatures from another world. Terisa and Geraden are back in Orison. The Castellan is fuming, Argus is dead, Nyle is locked up and Lebbick's men are following Kragen into Armigrite and the creatures south. Geraden has spoken to the wounded Artagel and Terisa has witnessed Adept Havelock fry the one creature they brought back. A busy day, to say the least, so busy, in fact, it causes Terisa to pass out.

As Terisa comes to she finds herself back in the "Peacock Room" with Saddith and Geraden looking over her in concern. They help her up and Geraden tells her a physican and himself brought her here and that he has been waiting all this time for her to awaken with Saddith, who has been telling him 'the story of her life", until just now. Hazy and reeking from her exploits Terisa asks him why Havelock killed the red furred thing. Geraden says,

Quote:
"He's crazy. Even if we knew why he does anything, it wouldn't make sense."

"I can explain it," said Saddith in a teasing tone. "If the rumors are true the Adept has not had a woman since he returned from Cadwal." With her elbow she nudged Geraden's ribs. "All men become madmen if they do not bed women often enough."

For no very clear reason Geraden was blushing.


They wonder about those creatures and why Vagel or High King Festen haven't created an army out of them and leave it that. Possibly issues of language or control, or possibly they are just amok. After what Havelock has done there's no way to know.

Saddith goes off after bathwater and food and teases the two that she'll return so quickly they won't have time for sex. When she leaves Geraden becomes fumblefoot again and appears on the verge of tears. Concerned and then suspicious Terisa wonders what he and Saddith had really been up to while she slept. Geraden confesses that Saddith had been propositioning him since her regular partner has been away for awhile.

"She said I was safe because my heart was set on you."

And that she would teach Geraden the art of lovemaking for Terisa's benefit. But Geraden is turned off and can't stand her attitude.

"There's more to love than getting your itches scratched."

Then he becomes angry as he remembers Terisa talking to Saddith a few days before and asking her about Master Eremis. He's been thinking about it for awhile and it has become stranger to him as he asks Terisa what Saddith could possibly know about Eremis. Terisa wakes up, slightly to the Saddith-Eremis connection in regards to Saddith's failed seduction of Geraden,

Quote:
"She's having an affair with him. She tells me about it." She would never be able to admit that she had seen Master Eremis and Saddith together.

"I think she believes if she sleeps with enough men she'll end up queen of Mordant."


Geraden seems to accept this but, feeling guilty about the entire stituation and perhaps sensing that events are pulling him and Terisa apart, asks her leave by saying that he's heard that Artagel had a relapse and he needs to check in on him. Terisa senses his distress and begs him to stay. She asks him what the matter is and he immediately blames himself for everything that's happened. That Elega is the real problem and Nyle posed no serious threat, Argus needn't have died and that if he hadn't botched the translation the champion and Myste would still be in Orison and Terisa wouldn't have needed to be caught up in all this. And if Myste was still here she would have talked Elega out of such folly.

Terisa attempts to soothe him saying he isn't responsible for Nyle or Elega's actions. Geraden innocence and everything he loved is being stripped away from him. He even conjectures that if things had gone the way he stated above that even the wall wouldn't have been breached and that Elega, once betrothed to him, needn't ever think of betraying Mordant.

"Artagel is right. This is going to kill my father."

Geraden is crying and says even Artagel believes these events are his fault. Deep emotion shocks Terisa out of herself and she shakes him.

Quote:
"You aren't wrong. I don't know how or why--or how. But you aren't wrong."

"Do you remember the augury? Do you remember seeing riders?" Three riders. Driving their mounts forward, straight out of the glass, driving hard, so that the strain of in the shoulders of their horses was as plain as the hate in the keen edges of their upraised swords. "I saw them-- I dreamed them before I ever saw the augury. Before I had ever met you. I had a dream that was exactly the same as the one Image in the augury."

Searching his face, she saw surprise and bafflement dawn into joy. "So their is a reason," he breathed in wonder. "I didn't go wrong. You are the champion."


Terisa can't explain how or why but Geraden bursts with such happiness that he takes Terisa in an ardent embrace and they kiss.

The next day Castellan Lebbick takes in more troops and deploys the guard about Orison. The real treat of attack drives the denizens of the Demense into the castle and the work on the wall continues. The men Lebbick sent to track Prince Kragen return emptyhanded and those he sent after the creatures fail to return, at all. Dealing with chaos and overcrowding Lebbick takes precautions to ferret out any Alend spies and then seeks additional aid from Master Barsonage. Barsonage regretfully informs him that since the Congery has been disbanded no unified defense of Orison can be expected from them.

The Tor attempts to talk to sense into King Joyse but gets nothing but a wince from him when Elega is mentioned. Locating Elega in the twenty-five miles of hidden passageways has proven fruitless. Terisa and Geraden puzzle over exactly what it is that Elega could do to promise Prince Kragen she'll break the siege and deliver Orison to him.

Overcrowding continues and the hope of snow doesn't appear. The ideal of more furred creatures, in fact a possible army of them, besets Lebbick as the Tor hounds him over Orisons supplies and defenses. Lebbick is rebuffed by Joyse re: any actual help from the Congery though the king appoints Master Quillon as the new mediator. Alend is still on the verge of attack, but why aren't they worried about the Congery? Margonal doesn't know they've been disbanded, in fact Elega doesn't know either. Geraden and Terisa surmise that they may not be worried because Elega has a plan that will render the Masters useless. But what?

The next day is bleak and overcrowding and fear is beginning to overtake Orison. No return by Lebbick's men chasing Geraden's attackers has the Tor ready to charbroil the Amigrite, but that night two survivors of that squadron return saying a number of the same creatures ambushed them south of the Broadwine in Tor.

The next morning dangerously beautiful Spring weather arrives, along with reports that the Alend army is already in the Demense-ten thousand men strong "and enough war engines to take Orison apart stone by stone" many of the engines are Armigrite in design. Orison will be under siege within twentyfour hours. If that isn't enough, at sunset around onehundred of the Perdon's dead and dying appear at the gates.

"Cadwal is marching," muttered Geraden grimly. "The Perdon isn't going to come to our rescue. He's already at war."

If they can't stop Elega they are beyond hope.

That night over a barely touched dinner Geraden and Terisa start brainstorming. Does Elega have acid that neutralizes glass? She can't break every mirror in Orison, can she? Terisa begins to see the man Geraden is becoming. She fumes at Joyse, the Masters, Lebbick, Nyle and Artagel and doesn't believe all this is Geraden's responsibility, in fact, she doesn't understand why Elega should be theirs. And then it comes to her: "Water". Orison was built on a spring but the main supply of water is held in a large reservior in the upper reaches of the castle. That water is now the main source of life for the majority of the overpacked populus. There is no guard on the reservior and Terisa assumes Elega may posion it. Even if people aren't killed they might be so sick that Alend can overtake Orison in a matter of hours.

After deciding that no one would believe their idea, they decide to take matters into their own hands. By stopping Elega any and all suspicion of Terisa's goal to secretly destroy Mordant would end. In the cold night air they steal up to the reservior. Creeping along in the dark and ducking behind the huge timbers that form the protective roof they surmise that Elega has to act tonight in order the render the morning guard helpless. There could be any number of passageways Elega could appear from. With nowhere, really, to hide, they position themselves between two timbers at the center of the large, deep, pool. They wait, and wait, and while waiting they formulate a plan of action where Terisa will gain Elega's attention as Geraden sneaks up on her from behind.

Finally a light appears, it is Elega-Geraden goes in one direction, Terisa in the other. Elega disappears and Terisa fears she may fall into the reservior. Elega reappears carrying a heavy sack, she places it down and vanishes again. Terisa tries to gain ground as Elega comes into view with a second sack. Terisa begins to run and Elega shouts,

Quote:
"Terisa stop!"

Terisa jerked to a halt.

"Come no closer!" the lady warned. "You cannot prevent me from flinging my sack into the water. That is not the best way to distribute powder--but it will suffice." In this light, with such extremity in her eyes, her beauty was astonishing. She looked as certian as a queen. "And one sack will suffice, though I have brought two for safety. Do not interfere with me."

"Elega--" Terisa had to gasp hard to clear her throat, unlock her chest. "Don't do this. It's crazy. You're--"

"Who is with you?" demanded Elega.

"You're going to kill thousand of people. Some of them are your friends. Alot of them know and respect you."

"Terisa! Who is with you? Answer me!"

"You're going to kill your father."


As Elega threatens to swing the sack out into the water Terisa halts her by attempting to convince her she is alone. Who would believe her suspicions? Not even Geraden. Elega is the King's daughter after all. (but where is Geraden?) Elega feels that if she does this there will be little death, only sickness, and little minimal loss of life during an invasion and that once Alend has Orison it will be defended. All of a sudden Geraden jumps out of nowhere, but trips on a timber and crashes head first on to the stone floor. Terisa faces down Elega and tries to fill her approach to the pool.

"My lady Terisa, I am sorry that I did not persuade you to join me. I believed you when you said you were alone. Clearly you are a better player of this game than I realized"

Geraden tries to stumble to his feet and convince her this is all wrong and that by capturing Nyle a difference has been made. And that despite what she says she's not doing this for Mordant but for Alend,

Quote:
"Or you're doing it for Prince Kragen, which comes to the same thing. When you're done we'll all be ruled by the Alend Monarch. Then it won't be you who decides what happens to your dreams It won't even be your personal Prince. It'll be Margonal. Once Orison falls, you won't be anybody expect the oldest daughter of the Alend Monarch's worst enemy.

"Give it up before you get hurt."

As if she were in pain, Elega lowered her gaze. "Perhaps you are right," she murmered. "You have caught me. I was a fool to believe the word of an Alend." Her grip on the sack shifted.

Terisa shouted a warning--too late, as usual--as the lady flung her sack over Geraden's head.


Both Terisa and Geraden leap for the sack and Geraden deflects it before they collide together. The sack lands on the rim of the pool, breaks open and a "strange green powder" empties into the water. Elega vanishes.


Last edited by danlo on Fri Apr 02, 2004 4:40 am; edited 5 times in total
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2004 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great dissection! Very Happy Nearly as good as this pie I had the other day...

I truly came to hate Elega in this chapter. I mean she's such a bitch... I mean if I was in Mordant and not male; I'd smack her face off. Razz

Quote:
"She said I was safe because my heart was set on you."

"There's more to love than getting your itches scratched."


awwwww... That is so sweet. Group Hug


Quote:
And that she would teach Geraden the art of lovemaking for Terisa's benefit.


How very giving of Saddith Wink
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2004 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Geraden is a great guy not to take Saddith up on her offer. Cool Very Happy

Yes, its quite easy to dislike Elega in this chapter, isn't it? But in Donaldson's works, things (and characters) can sometimes be a lot more than they appear to be. Wink
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2004 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the best lines in this book:

Quote:
"There's more to love than getting your itches scratched."


Really, an axiom we could all live by....... Wink

nice job Danlo. This is really a great chapter - it really sets up some good intrigue for things to come.

I don't know if I don't like Elega, just don't like her actions.
She really felt she was acting in the best interest of Mordant & the King.
With her being the eldest child of the King, she felt a great responsibility to do whatever she could to ensure (in her view, at least) security for Mordant.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2004 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not fond of Elega at all in these chapters but the one who really chaffes me is the dang Armigrite-what a coward, what a weasel-helping the Margonal build the bulk of his war-engines! Rolling Eyes I'm with the Tor: charbroil his weinne-butt! Cussing

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2004 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've always sort of wondered about Saddith's motivation about sexually approaching Geraden in this chapter...
Did she actually want him?
Was she trying to cause a rift between Terisa and Geraden?
If so, was it because Eremis wanted a rift between them?
Was she trying to hurt Terisa, as a woman who was more attractive then she was, and therefore a potential threat?
Or was she just teasing Geraden, and not serious about having sex with him at all?
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

danlo wrote:
I'm not fond of Elega at all in these chapters but the one who really chaffes me is the dang Armigrite-what a coward, what a weasel-helping the Margonal build the bulk of his war-engines! Rolling Eyes I'm with the Tor: charbroil his weinne-butt! Cussing


I know! I mean he's like Godsen out of the Gap Confused I want to kill him Cool

duchess of malfi wrote:
I've always sort of wondered about Saddith's motivation about sexually approaching Geraden in this chapter...
Did she actually want him?
Was she trying to cause a rift between Terisa and Geraden?
If so, was it because Eremis wanted a rift between them?
Was she trying to hurt Terisa, as a woman who was more attractive then she was, and therefore a potential threat?
Or was she just teasing Geraden, and not serious about having sex with him at all?


Excellent post Duchess! And some great questions. I think another option might be was that she didn't dislike him... I mean she said in a earlier chapter: "He's a good boy my lady. With many attractive qualties." hmmm... Maybe she was just horny. Confused
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 2:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In The Mirror Of Her Dreams Chapter 23 was wrote:
She [Terisa] coughed at a throat full of gluey cotton. "How long have I been out?"

"Long enough." [This is Geraden answering.]

Saddith gave a light laugh. "My lady, the Apt is sotted with you. Every moment that your eyes are not open for him is 'long enough' to fill him with alarm. You have had a much-needed rest. When you have had food and"--she wrinkled her nose--" a bath, you will feel well enough to be amused by his concern."

Terisa smelled the faint rotten scent. It seemed to be in her hair. And in--Her coat was draped over the back of another chair, but she was still wearing her clothes under the blankets. The smell was in her shirt and pants as well. When she lifted the covers, it wafted delicately into her face.

She pushed the blankets away and let Saddith and Geraden steady her in a sitting position on the edge of the bed. A bright fire crackled in her hearth, and the creature had burned--

"What happened?"she asked.

Geraden's smile twisted. "Not much. You passed out. Adept Havelock left. The Castellan swore at everybody. One of the physicians and I brought you here. He said you were going to be all right, but I didn't believe him." He looked away. "Saddith has been telling me her life story to keep me from screaming while you slept."

"Why did--?" Terisa ran her fingers into her hair, then grimaced at the odor which clung to them. She had to breathe deeply to make her head stop spinning. "Why did Adept Havelock kill that poor--?"

At that, Geraden's expression turned harsh. "He's crazy. Even if we knew why he does anything, it wouldn't make sense."

"I can explain it," said Saddith in a teasing tone. "If the rumors are true, the Adept has not had a woman since he returned from Cadwal." With her elbow, she nudged Geraden's ribs. "All men become madmen if they do not bed women often enough."

For no very clear reason, Geraden appeared to be blushing.

Terisa had to get the creature's immolation out of her mind. She had to get the stink out of her clothes and hair. Ignoring Saddith, she said to Geraden, "I don't understand. Why didn't those Imagers who worked with Vagel translate the army he wanted? What research did they have to do?"

Promptly, as if he were relieved by her question, he answered, "I don't have any way of knowing, of course--but I'm pretty sure I can guess. We've talked about language." He watched Terisa's face intently. "When the arch-Imager's cabal came up with an Image of what looked to them like the ideal warrior, they had no way of knowing whether they would be able to talk to him. They didn't believe the question of language would be resolved by the translation itself. That's what they needed to research."

He snorted a sour laugh. "It's funny, in a way. Either High King Festten or the arch-Imager could have an entire army of those creatures, if they had just believed the same thing King Joyse believes. They might have been able to beat him.

"Now we'll never know the answer," he concluded bitterly.

Terisa nodded, letting Geraden push back the memories she wanted to escape from. For her part, however, Saddith didn't appear particularly pleased by this turn of the conversation. As soon as Geraden stopped, she said, "My lady, I have no food or bathwater ready for you. I did not know when you would awaken. But both can be provided almost immediately. With your permission, I will go to bring what you need."

"Thanks." As usual, Terisa's eyes were drawn to Saddith's open blouse and bursting breasts. She made an effort to raise her head so that she felt less like she was talking to Saddith's chest. "I would like that."

In response, Saddith swung a saucy gaze at Geraden. "Be warned," she said slyly. "I will be back too soon for what you desire. Even the hottest youth must have a certain amount of time."

Laughing, she left the rooms.

Terisa eased herself experimentally to her feet.

In a hurry to steady her, Geraden jerked forward. Unfortunately, he missed his balance and nearly fell onto the bed. Terisa found herself holding him up rather than being supported.

Swearing at himself, he pulled away. Apparently he had lost his balance in more ways than one. Now he looked like he was on the verge of tears.

Geraden? What's the matter? She wasn't sure of what she was seeing. Or she wasn't sure of herself. She wasn't in particularly good shape. In fact, she felt lousy. Where was the Geraden who always took care of her as if she were the most important person in his life?

Inanely, she said the first words she could think of that had nothing to do with what she felt. "I thought I saw you blush. What were you and she really doing while I was asleep?"

He stiffened. Retreating to his chair allowed him to turn his face away from her for a moment. When he sat down, his features were set into hard lines, as if he were angry. Nevrtheless she knew he wasn't angry. His eyes were hot with grief.

"I don't understand that woman," he muttered without meeting her gaze. "I mean, I understand. I'm not as ignorant as she thinks. It just doesn't make sense to me." He scowled at the vista of his confusion. "While you were asleep, she wasn't telling me her life story. She was trying to persuade me to bed her right here on the floor."

For some reason, Terisa didn't find this amusing. All at once, the muscles around her heart felt tight.


If Saddith and Geraden had had a carnal liason, I feel pretty sure that Terisa would be angry about it, but also realize she feels both love and lust for Geraden, and would try to get him to be her Significant Other. (Of course, as Ducchess of Malfi pointed out on this thread years ago, Geraden isn't the type to go for someone as brazen as Saddith, but I'm playing a "what-if" game, here.)

Terisa would find that she wanted Geraden very badly as a lover and friend if she felt she was facing the prospect of losing Geraden to Saddith. Terisa would just HAVE to have him, and even if she and Geraden would be clumsy as to how they got together as dedicated lovers (due to their relative inexperience), it would happen.
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