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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2016 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cord Hurn wrote:
Quote:
"Oh, Nyle," she whispered in relief and quick nausea, "I'm so sorry. What have they done to you?"

"Same thing they're going to do to you." His bitterness was worse than anger; he had gone too far beyond hope. "A kind of rape. I'm just lucky Eremis still wants me alive. Gilbur likes what they call 'male meat', but he has a tendency to kill his toys, so Eremis makes him leave me alone. Most of the time.

"They need me to make sure Geraden doesn't do something unpredictable. Or King Joyse either, for that matter."

Oh, Nyle.

She couldn't stay on her feet. Nausea crowded all the relief out of her. Without thinking, she retreated to the bed, sat down again. For some reason, she wasn't trembling anymore. But she was going to be so sick-- If she let go, she was going to puke her heart out.

"It's the same reason they've got you." Now that Nyle had begun to talk, he seemed intent on continuing. "Only the details are different. We're hostages. And bait. We're here to make sure Geraden and King Joyse do what Eremis wants.

"I actually thought somebody would try to rescue me." His tone made her want to throw up. Gilbur liked male meat. "But I was wrong. Maybe they'll forget about you, too. That's your only hope now--that Eremis made a mistake bringing you here."

Fighting down bile, she forced herself to say, "Nobody in Orison knew you needed rescuing. Don't you know what they did? They killed that physician, Underwell. They let monsters eat his face"--don't think about it, don't think about it--"they dressed him up to look like you. Everybody thought yu were dead." Because it had to be said, she concluded, "They thought Geraden killed you. You accomplished that, anyway."

"I know all that." Nyle coughed thinly, as if he were too weak and beaten to curse. "They sent Gart and a couple of his Apts into the room to knock the guards and Underwell out. So there wouldn't be any noise. They translated me here. Then they sent some of their creatures to feed on the bodies. They told me all about it.

"Do you think that's what I wanted? Do you think I had a choice?"

No. It was cruel to accuse him, cruel, he had been Eremis' prisoner and Gilbur's for a long time now, and the decisions he had made which had put him here had all been based on King Joyse's policy of foolish passivity, it wasn't fair to include him in her anger. Nevertheless she said, "Everybody had a choice."

She had a choice, didn't she? She was chained to the wall in the dark, and Eremis intended to use her for his pleasure until her spirit broke, and there was no way she could possibly be rescued, and she still had a choice. Only dead people didn't make choices.


That last part seems a familiar theme in SRD works: despair can't take hold as long as the trying continues. However, Nyle isn't allowed to try anything as a chained prisoner, so Terisa's response to Nyle here seems to be unfair, so far.


This passage is interesting. If we were one of these two could we say what Terisa is saying here? Or would we be Nyle? You have to admit, what Terisa says is pure nonsense. Only heroines in stories could escape this hell. Terisa is the heroine of this tale and she has magical powers besides. But Nyle isn't. Instead, Nyle is a realist. He doesn't accept that he's living in a sort of fairy tale. It must be hard being a realist surrounded by legends like Joyce and his daughters, his father, Artagel and even irrepressible Geraden and Terisa.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

shadowbinding shoe wrote:
This passage is interesting. If we were one of these two could we say what Terisa is saying here? Or would we be Nyle? You have to admit, what Terisa says is pure nonsense. Only heroines in stories could escape this hell. Terisa is the heroine of this tale and she has magical powers besides. But Nyle isn't. Instead, Nyle is a realist. He doesn't accept that he's living in a sort of fairy tale. It must be hard being a realist surrounded by legends like Joyce and his daughters, his father, Artagel and even irrepressible Geraden and Terisa.


I have to admit, shadowbinding shoe, that I would be Nyle, bitter and defeated in such a situation, and used to seeing no way out. This defeated attitude would be partly the result of habitually being such a mortal among demigods (even if two of those "demigods", those champions, happen to be his brothers) and a mortal easily dismissed (by Joyse) or manipulated (by other characters as varied as Elega, Kragen, and Eremis), at that. And of course, with the repeated rape and other abuse, I would likely be pessimistic, where the most I could hope for was that death could happen for me soon. Very bleak stuff. Nyle has had to give up on hope at this point.

And yes, as you say, I have to admit also that what Terisa says here is nonsense. I comprehend that she's scared of what Eremis is planning to do to her as soon as he finishes his report to High King Festten, and she's trying to distract herself from that. I also understand that Terisa feels ashamed for ever doubting Geraden and trusting Eremis, and so she will automatically defend Geraden and deflect blame from him when Nyle states he hasn't had a choice since Geraden knocked him out. But Nyle is right; he hasn't had any real choice since then. Crying or Very sad Yes, he's a realist.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

By the way, who is oldest and who is youngest among those three? Is it Nyle, then Terisa and finally Geraden?
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We don't see Nyle again until the fight between Gart and Artagel gets to the point where Artagel's defeat looks certain.

In Chapter 51 of A Man Rides Through was wrote:
What a way to die. No, worse than that: what a way to be beaten. Artagel was a fighter; he had lived most of his life in the vicinity of death. For him, it was at once so familiar and so unimaginable that he couldn't be afraid of it. But to be beaten like this, utterly, miserably--

Oh, Geraden, forgive me.

If only, he thought dumbly, if only he hadn't been hurt the last time. If only he hadn't spent so much time in bed.

Terisa, forgive me.

But it was stupid to wish for things like that. Foolish regret: a waste of time and energy and life. Gart had beaten him the last time, too. And the time before that.

I will regret nothing.

He retreated down the passage, past more doors than he could count; stumbling barely on his feet. By bare will, he kept his sword up for Gart to play with.

If anybody thinks he can do better than this, let him try.

That was enough. As unsteady as a drunk, he stopped; he locked both hands around his wet swordhilt.

I will regret nothing.

Almost retching for air, he jerked forward and did his absolute best to split Gart's head open.

Negligently, Gart blocked the blow.

Artagel's eyes were full of blood: he couldn't see what happened. But he knew from the sound, the familiar echoing clang after his swing, and from the sudden shift of balance, that he had broken his sword.

One jagged half remained in his fists; the other rang away across the floor, singing metallically of failure.

"Now," Gart breathed like silk. "Now, you fool."

Involuntarily, Artagel went down on knee, as if he couldn't stay on his feet without an intact weapon.

The High King's Monomach raised his sword. Between streaks of Artagel's blood, the steel gleamed.

For some reason, a door behind Gart opened.

Nyle came into the passage.

He looked like Artagel felt: abused to the bone; exhausted beyond bearing. But he held the chains of his manacles clenched in his fists, and he swung the heavy rings on the end of the chains at Gart's head.

The instincts which had made Gart the High King's Monomach saved him. Warned by some visceral intuition, some impalpable tremor in the air, he wrenched himself aside and started turning.

The rings missed his head, came down on his left shoulder.

They hit him hard enough to strike that arm away from his sword. But he did most of his fighting one-handed anyway, despite his weapon's weight. While his left arm fell numb--maybe broken--his right was already in motion, bringing his blade around to sever Nyle's neck.

Nyle!

In that moment, a piece of time as quick and eternal as a translation, Artagel brought up the last strength from the bottom of his heart and lunged forward.

With his whole body, he drove his broken sword through the armhole of Gart's armor.

Then he and Nyle collapsed on Gart's corpse as if they had become kindred spirits at last.

He had the peculiar conviction that he needed to prevent Gart from risingup after death and shedding more blood. A long time seemed to pass before he recovered enough sanity to wonder whether Nyle was alive.


YES! Nyle gets to make a difference at last! Cool


Last edited by Cord Hurn on Sat Dec 31, 2016 2:55 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

shadowbinding shoe wrote:
By the way, who is oldest and who is youngest among those three? Is it Nyle, then Terisa and finally Geraden?


To the best of my memory, I think Nyle is around 26 or 27 years old, Geraden is 25 years old, and Terisa is 19 years old.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nyle gets to make a positive difference yet another time in the story, helping to save Geraden after Gilbur's defeat.

Quote:
The wolves would have killed Geraden then. He was too shaken to defend himself, too deeply shocked. Artagel and Nyle arrived in time to save him, however. Artagel was exhausted, of course, hardly able to lift his arms; but he had Gart's sword, and it seemed to give himstrength. And Nyle swung his chains crazily, which made one or two of the wolves hesitate, giving Artagel the opportunity to dispatch them.

The three brothers hugged each other long and hard before they went to look for Terisa.


I think Nyle is willing to do such reckless things like crazily swinging his chains as targets such as Gart's head and the big wolves because he's been given a chance he'd never thought he would ever have again: to fight for the people that he loves.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cord Hurn wrote:
shadowbinding shoe wrote:
By the way, who is oldest and who is youngest among those three? Is it Nyle, then Terisa and finally Geraden?


To the best of my memory, I think Nyle is around 26 or 27 years old, Geraden is 25 years old, and Terisa is 19 years old.


Really?! Terisa is that young? I was sure she was at least 23, more like 25. The way she's stuck in her 'meaningless' life in that skyscraper apartment it felt like years, not months. And her beauty is always described as womanly, not girly, in Mordant. Her cynicism might have added to this feeling but are you sure she's only 19?
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 4:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

shadowbinding shoe wrote:
Cord Hurn wrote:
shadowbinding shoe wrote:
By the way, who is oldest and who is youngest among those three? Is it Nyle, then Terisa and finally Geraden?


To the best of my memory, I think Nyle is around 26 or 27 years old, Geraden is 25 years old, and Terisa is 19 years old.


Really?! Terisa is that young? I was sure she was at least 23, more like 25. The way she's stuck in her 'meaningless' life in that skyscraper apartment it felt like years, not months. And her beauty is always described as womanly, not girly, in Mordant. Her cynicism might have added to this feeling but are you sure she's only 19?


I am not absolutely certain, and will have to do more research into this. As far as Geraden being 25 years old, I have these two passages for evidence:

In Chapter 4 of The Mirror Of Her Dreams was wrote:
Terisa considered him for a moment. "But you're still not going to answer my questions." Thanks to her years of training, her tone betrayed almost no bitterness.

With a wince, he replied, "No, I can't. You heard him. I think he's wrong, but that doesn't make any difference. I've been trying to become a Master since I was fifteen. I can't give it up." Again he said, "I'm sorry."


Later in this same chapter, after Geraden has introduced Terisa to Joyse and explained he didn't tell the Masters about Terisa's mirrors, we get another clue as to Geraden's age.

Quote:
Geraden made an effort to look at the King squarely; but his discomfiture was too strong for him.

"Did you tell the Masters that she may be a Master herself?"

The Apt swallowed thickly, "No."

"Ah," King Joyse said mildly. "That explains it, then. Of course they let her go, thinking her to be just another one of your mishaps. But why didn't you tell them?"

A slow flush spread over Geraden's face. Muscles knotted in his forehead. His embarrassment was so acute that it nearly brought tears to Terisa's eyes. But he clamped his jaws shut and didn't answer.

"My boy, that may have been foolish." The King's hand still held Geraden's shoulder; his expression was kind. "You've been trying for--what is it now? ten years?--to become an Imager, a member of the Congery. How can you hope to succeed, if you risk angering the very men who control the knowledge, skill, and position that you crave?"


So, Geraden began as an Apt at age 15, and has been trying to become an Imager for 10 years. Geraden is 25 years old. Concerning Terisa's age, I haven't found any definitive evidence yet for why I think she's 19 years old. I have found this passage in TMOHD's chapter 1, however:

Quote:
He wasn't reflected in the mirror: he was in the mirror. He was behind her startled image--and moving forward as if he were floundering through a torrent.

He was a young man, perhaps only a few years older than she was, and he wore a large brown jerkin, brown pants, and leather boots. His face was attractive, though his expression was foolish with surprise and hope.


Geraden at 25 years old is perhaps only a few years older than Terisa. This doesn't prove that she is 19 years old, but she certainly can't be as old as 25. Hopefully, I can find more proof for my belief that she's 19 sometime soon.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Concerning the age of this thread's subject, I haven't found anything that says what Nyle's exact age is. I simply have found this from TMOHD chapter 19, in a passage that I have quoted earlier in this thread:

Quote:
Unabashedly curious, Terisa studied Nyle. She would have known him as Geraden's brother anywhere. He had Geraden's hair and coloring, Geraden's build, only an inch less than Geraden's height.
It was clear that he took no joy in meeting Geraden.

Stiffly, he bowed to the two women. "My lady Elega." He and Elega didn't And he would have had Geraden's face, if his features hadn't been set for brooding instead of openheartedness. He looked like a disconcerted version of his younger brother, a man whose basically serious nature had curdled.
look at each other. "My lady Terisa. I'm glad to meet you"--Terisa heard no pleasure in his voice--"even though my brother hasn't bothered to introduce us."


Geraden is Nyle's younger brother, so I figure Nyle is 26 years old at the youngest.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Chapter 52 of A Man Rides Through was wrote:
Then Geraden and Artagel and Nyle entered the room.

Despite their obvious exhaustion, they had all come to fight for her. Artagel held his sword poised; Nyle swung his chains; Geraden's face was full of threats. They all came forward to fling themselves at Master Eremis. But when they saw that he wasn't moving, that he couldn't move, and she was unharmed, Geraden gave a shout of joy, Artagel blinked in happy astonishment, and Nyle dropped his chains.

Oh, Geraden. Oh, love. Mute with relief and constricted weeping, she hugged him and hugged him while Artagle thumped her back boisterously and Nyle shed quiet tears of his own.


Everything that happens now is just too good to be true for Nyle; to be rescued and having his brothers safe is more than he could have hoped for in all the time he was a tormented prisoner. That is why he sheds quiet tears in this scene, I think.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
None of them asked any questions. They were all happy to wait a while to find out what happened.

On the other hand, after a moment they all found themselves looking at the mirror.

Its focus had to be adjusted before they could see King Joyse. He had ridden so far down the valley, was so heavily engaged among the Cadwals, that he was momentarily out of view. When they located him, however, they saw at once that he might win this battle.

His forces and the High King's still seemed roughly equal in numbers. But the Termigan and his men continued to block the left side of the valley; the soldiers Prince Kragen had left in place sealed the right side. As a result, High King Festten wasn't receiving any reinforcements.

He needed reinforcements. The Cadwals simply weren't fighting as well or as hard as their opponents. King Joyse and the Prince attacked them from two sides, and the Termigan cut at their rear, and the rampart wall and the slug-beast's corpse hemmed them in: they had no room to maneuver, no avenue of escape. And the men of Alend and Mordant fought as if they couldn't be beaten.

At the sight, Artagel's face shone, and Geraden cheered, "Look at him! Didn't I tell you he was worth serving?" He had apparently forgotten that Nyle might have a different reaction. "Didn't I?"

Terisa still needed to weep. At the same time, a fierce exultation rose in her. She had to struggle to make her throat work. "Something I want to do."

Unable to explain, she waved Geraden and Artagel and Nyle back from the mirror. She moved it so that Master Eremis no longer blocked her way. Nearly in tears, nearly crowing, she adjusted the focus of the Image up to the rampart, to the last catapult.

The engine was ready to throw--and both King Joyse and Prince Kragen appeared to be within range.

Striking her only blow of the battle, Terisa translated a strut out of the catapult's frame. The timber was under such pressure that it came through the glass like a shot and slammed against the far wall.

Without the strut, the engine wrenched itself apart.

This time, both Geraden and Artagel cheered. Some of the men in the valley looked like they might be cheering.

That helped; but she still couldn't unknot her grief and joy. If she remained where she was, with Master Eremis like that in front of her, she might begin sobbing wildly.

"Let's go," she said.

Artagel nodded at once and turned to support Nyle. But Geraden looked at the erect Imager, and at the cloak on the floor, as if he were embarrassed by pity.

"Shouldn't we cover him?"

Terisa shook her head. "Leave him alone. He's probably happy that way."

In surprise and relief, Geraden gave a shout of laughter.

Artagel laughed, too, a loud, long hoot of mirth. Even Nyle managed a wan smile.

Suddenly, the knot in Terisa loosened, and she started laughing as well.

Happy that way. Ready and capable and full of himself until he died. Giggling and chuckling, she and the Domne's sons laughed all the way back to the Image-room.

In the center of the damaged ring of mirrors, they found Adept Havelock. He sat on the bare stone as if he had appeared there by translation. His eyes were strangely focused, and his face wore lines of sorrow; he looked like a man who had lost an old friend.

His arms held the arch-Imager.

Vagel had what looked like a tree limb driven through his belly. He was covered in blood, obviously dead.

Havelock was singing to him softly.

"I understand," the mad, old Imager crooned as if he were comforting a child. "I understand everything. Everything."

Terisa felt a renewed desire to weep, but it didn't last long.

The flat glass showed King Joyse surging through the press of Cadwals toward High King Festten. He wasn't using his sword anymore: he didn't seem to need it. His charge alone was enough to make the Cadwals give ground. They were being routed.

The destruction of the last catapult had struck them like an announcement from the stronghold that Master Eremis and Master Gilbur and the arch-Imager Vagel were defeated. And the forces of Mordant and Alend gave the Cadwals no space or time in which to rally. The High King appeared to be screaming furiously, but he couldn't make the wall of men around him hold.

"He's going to do it," Artagel breathed happily. "He's going to beat Festten."

"With Prince Kragen," Terisa said for Nyle's benefit, pointing out the alliance between Mordant and Alend. "They're doing it together."

Nyle stared as if he couldn't believe his eyes.


Seems like now everything is just too good to be true for Nyle. I like Terisa for pointing out to Nyle that his belief in Alend had not been in vain. I feel she is being very compassionate and considerate to Nyle for demonstrating this! Hug
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shadowbinding shoe wrote:
Cord Hurn wrote:
shadowbinding shoe wrote:
By the way, who is oldest and who is youngest among those three? Is it Nyle, then Terisa and finally Geraden?


To the best of my memory, I think Nyle is around 26 or 27 years old, Geraden is 25 years old, and Terisa is 19 years old.


Really?! Terisa is that young? I was sure she was at least 23, more like 25. The way she's stuck in her 'meaningless' life in that skyscraper apartment it felt like years, not months. And her beauty is always described as womanly, not girly, in Mordant. Her cynicism might have added to this feeling but are you sure she's only 19?



I have just begun a re-read of Mordant's Need, shadowbinding shoe, and I see that I must change my mind about Terisa being 19 years old in the story:

In Chapter 1 of The Mirror Of Her Dreams was wrote:
But she didn't. In the dream, a small vexed frown pinched her forehead as she regarded her passivity. It was the story of her life, that mute nothingness--the only quality she could ascribe to her uncertain existence. How could she act? Action was for those who didn't seriously doubt their own presence in the world. During the more than twenty years of her life, her opportunities for action had been so few that she typically hadn't recognized them until they were past. She didn't know how to make her limbs carry her toward the rider.


"More than twenty years" could mean twenty years and several weeks , or mean she's 21, 22, or even 23 years old (but probably not older, if she notes that Geraden appears a few years older than her, and we know that Geraden is 25).
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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can accept Terisa as a 22-23 year old. 19 year old Terisa caused a mental dissonance for me. Thank you for all the quote searching, Cord Hurn. Do you have a photographic (or at least reference-book like) memory?
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I always though of her as early to mid 20's.

--A
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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shadowbinding shoe wrote:
I can accept Terisa as a 22-23 year old. 19 year old Terisa caused a mental dissonance for me. Thank you for all the quote searching, Cord Hurn. Do you have a photographic (or at least reference-book like) memory?


You're welcome for the quotes, shadowbinding shoe! Liking SRD's writings like I do, I feel it makes reading a thread more enjoyable to add quotes from his works. I don't think I have a photographic memory, but my memory works fairly well, I like to think. But I've also read MN several times (four or five times, I think).
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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
Yeah, I always though of her as early to mid 20's.

--A


Turns out you were correct. I'm not sure how I incorrectly pictured Terisa as only 19 years old, but perhaps I interpreted the passage saying that Geraden looked "several years older" than Terisa too liberally.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought I had used up all the quotes relating to Nyle, then I found this passage which sheds more light on Nyle's motivations.

In The Mirror Of Her Dreams Chapter 20 was wrote:
Geraden returned to spend the evening with her. They were together when a guard brought a message from Argus and Ribuld.

It was cryptic:

"Got Nyle. See Artagel." So Terisa and Geraden went to see Artagel.

He was half sitting up in bed, with several pillows propped behind his back, and he looked clearer and cooler of eye, less feverish. His smile was distant and a little sad, rather than fierce. "He came to visit me," he explained. "They picked him up when he left."

"I don't understand," muttered Geraden. "He's been hiding out for days. Why did he suddenly decide to visit you?"

Artagel tried to shrug; the movement hurt his torso. "If you don't understand, don't expect me to figure it out." He wasn't being sarcastic. "I don't understand him any better than I understand you."

Geraden ignored that remark. "What did he want to talk with you about? What did he say?"

The memory emphasized Artagel's unaccustomed sadness. In a thin voice, he said, "He didn't look glad to see me. I suppose that's because I'm hurt. But he's seen me hurt before. At least I'm not dead. If he was worried about me, wouldn't he be glad to see I'm getting better?

"Anyway, he asked me if there was any news from Houseldon. But he's been there more recently than I have. He asked me"--Artagel's eyes avoided Geraden's--"when you were going to stop embarrassing the family here and go back home where you belong. I didn't try to answer that."

Geraden held himself still.

"Then he asked me what would happen to Orison in a siege, now that we've got that breach. The last time I saw it, the wall Lebbick is building wasn't very impressive. He asked me if we had any defense left. He asked me how long I thought it would be before King Joyse got us into a war with somebody. But he wasn't listening to the answers.

"Then--" Artagel stared at the ceiling while the lines in his face got deeper, cut by what he remembered. "Then he told me how much he admired me. I was his hero--I was always his hero. The first thing he could remember about his own life was wanting to be like me. But he just didn't have the balance, or the reflexes. And his muscles refused to develop the right kind of strength for a longsword.

"And everybody in the family seemed to be content with him the way he was, when the way he was wasn't what he wanted. Having his parent and his brothers content with him did nothing except make his heart ache. Nobody expected him to be good at anything. They were proud of me. And they were ambitious for you. They wanted you to marry Elega and become a great Imager. But nobody wanted anything from him. Or for him."

Swallowing hard, Artagel stopped.

"Is that it?" asked Geraden quietly. "He didn't say anything else?"

"I told you," Artagel snarled. "Don't expect me to explain it." But his anger wasn't aimed at Geraden. "The best I could think of was to ask him how he managed to admire me, when I didn't even have a home of my own or a woman who could put up with me, not to mention children, and I was lying here with a stupid hole in my ribs after the High KIng's Monomach had already beaten me twice."

Geraden put a hand on his brother's shoulder. "Don't worry about it. There was nothing you could have said that would have made a difference. He's already committed." His tone was more reassuring than his expression. "He was just trying to apologize."

"Apologize? For what?"

"For choosing the other side." Geraden sounded like he understood perfectly. "If everything he and Elega and Prince Kragen are planning works out--and you and I don't turn our backs on King Joyse--he might end up being responsible for our deaths." A note of grimness came into his voice. "That's why we have to stop him. He'll hardly be able to stand the rest of his life if he has both of us on his conscience. On top of everything else."

Terisa watched the two brothers study each other. Finally, Artagel managed a crooked smile. "Well, I'm not going to be much help. That physician swore he'll have me clubbed if I try to get out of bed too soon. But there probably isn't a guard in Orison who doesn't know Ribuld and Argus are trying to do you a favor for me. You should be able to get all the support you need."

Somehow, Geraden chuckled. "I would rather have you. But I suppose I ought to be satisfied with one or two thousand of Castellan Lebbick's best men." Then he sighed. "I hope he doesn't keep us waiting much longer. I want to know what's going on."

Terisa felt the same way.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And everybody in the family seemed to be content with him the way he was, when the way he was wasn't what he wanted. Having his parent and his brothers content with him did nothing except make his heart ache. Nobody expected him to be good at anything. They were proud of me. And they were ambitious for you. They wanted you to marry Elega and become a great Imager. But nobody wanted anything from him. Or for him.

This does make it logical for Nyle to work for Margonal in the end, because Margonal expects great things from him, whereas Nyle's family have never been able to expect much from him.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought I'd provide some quotes detailing Nyle's moment of treason.

In A Man Rides Through Chapter 21 was wrote:
"Nyle," the Prince said.

Geraden's brother returned the greeting. "My lord Prince,"

Terisa could hear then perfectly. It was astonishing how well the cold and the ravine wall brought the sound up to her.

"I hope you were not kept waiting long."

"Just long enough to build a fire."

Like his mom, Prince Kragen was wrapped in a white robe, with boots of white fur on his feet and a white fur cap on his head, using the winter itself for concealment. At first glance, Nyle's black-brown garb, his half-cloak and leggings, looked like a bad choice by comparison. But his clothes were indistinguishable from the colors of the driftwood in the ravine, the dark trunks of the trees. If he stood still, no one would see him.

"What news do you have of Orison?"

"What news do you have of Alend, my lord Prince?"

A fringe of black hair showed around the rim of Prince Kragen's cap, hair as black as his eyes. He studied Nyle for a moment, then turned to his men and gave them a gesture that set them in motion. Two of them went in opposite directions to keep watch up and down the ravine. The third began to unpack bundles tied to the back of his saddle.

A bit sadly, Prince Kragen commented, "You still do not really trust me, do you, Nyle?"

"Yes and no, my lord Prince." Nyle's voice emerged from a clenched throat. "I'm committed to you. But we're traditional enemies. That's hard to forget."

At Terisa's side, Geraden picked up a handful of snow and rubbed it across his face to cool a reckless inner fire.

"I understand," replied the Prince evenly. "But I am more at risk here. You can ride back to Orison and resume your life. As soon as we separate, you are innocent. If I am caught, Castellan Lebbick might have me executed before anybody can explain to him that killing foreign princes is rarely wise.

"What news do you have of Orison?"

Argus turned away. Ribuld hissed at him for silence; he ignored the warning and began to pick his way back down the slope. Fortunately, the wall cut off the noise he made.

Grudgingly, Nyle answered, "Elega is in trouble."

Prince Kragen flashed a glance. "What trouble?"

"For some reason--I don't know how--that woman Terisa of Morgan decided you and Elega are plotting against the King. She convinced my brother Geraden. And he convinced the Tor.

"I told you the Tor has set himself up as some kind of chancellor. He issues orders as if he has the King's authority behind him, and no one questions him. It might be true. After all, he is the Tor--the lord who gave King Joyse his start."

"He is also," the Prince put in, "a drunken fool."

"He is. That's probably why he believed Geraden. There aren't many people left who can muster that much optimism."

Geraden heard this with a grimace that reminded Terisa of Artagel's fighting grin.

"And what trouble has this drunken fool caused for the lady Elega?" pursued Prince Kragen.

"He told her he knows what she's doing. Then he went off on a long lecture about the loyalty children owe their parents." Nyle shrugged. "She says it wasn't much. She gave him a piece of her mind and left him looking--she says he looked cowed. And she says he won't be able to interfere with her part of your plan. I'm not so sure. All he has to do is drop a few hints to Lebbick, and she won't be able to take a step without half the guards in Orison watching her."

"I see." Prince Kragen thought for a moment. "I regret she is at hazard. But she has assured me many times that her role is secure--and she is a woman who conveys convictions." In a decisive tone, he concluded, "We must trust that she will do what she has said."

Nyle's voice sounded like he had both fists knotted around it. "I'm still waiting to hear exactly what that is."

The Prince stiffened. With misleading casualness, he said, "My lord Prince."

"My lord Prince."

Prince Kragen's nod advised, Remember it. His mouth commented, "The lady Elega's safety and success depend upon secrecy."

Then maybe you'll tell me the news of Alend. My lord Prince." Nyle's anger was controlled, but unmistakable. "Maybe you'll tell me why we had to meet today. Not sooner. Not later. All I've had so far are assurances and rhetoric. Maybe you'll tell me what's going on."

Geraden bobbed his head in approval. "Good," he breathed. "Make him tell you what's going on."

Ribuld glowered at the Apt for speaking.


It can be seen here that even though Nyle has many self-justifications for what he is doing, he has a bunch of qualms about what he is doing as well: plotting against his King.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
"In a moment." Prince Kragen's composure was equal to the occasion. "I will answer a number of your questions in a moment. First, however, I prefer to tell you what I want you to do."

Nyle still had his back to the eavesdroppers: Terisa couldn't see his face. But his shoulders hunched as though he were strangling things inside himself.

"I asked you to meet me here on this particular day," the Prince said steadily, "and I asked you to be prepared to leave Orison, because I want you to ride to Perdon. I want you to find the Perdon and offer him the kingship of Mordant."

Breathing too loudly, Argus came back up the hill carrying his pouch of brandy. His companions paid no attention to him. At Prince Kragen's announcement, Geraden's whole body twitched. Terisa stared. At least temporarily, even Ribuld was too interested in what he heard to be interrupted by liquor.

Nyle's surprise showed in the way he stood. "Why?"

"Why the Perdon?" Prince Kragen his a trace of amusement under his black mustache. "Why the kingship? Or why you?"

Nyle seemed unable to do anything except nod.

"The Perdon is my only reasonable choice. You see, I profited from my meeting with the lords, although it did not have the outcome I desired. The Fayle is too old--and too loyal. The Tor has become a drunken fool. The Domne would refuse. The Armigite--Prince Kragen snorted. "As for the Termigan, he is too far away. Also he is concerned only for the fate of his own Care.

"The Perdon must be offered the kingship to prove our good faith."

Furiously, Geraden whispered, "Not to mention the fact that the Perdon is the only lord with an army close enough to threaten you, my lord Prince."

"Despite what King Joyse and Castellan Lebbick believe," Prince Kragen continued reasonably, "it has never been the Alend Monarch's intention to conquer Mordant for himself. His first priority--his only overriding commitment--is to fill the vacuum of power in Mordant so that the Congery of Imagers will not fall into the hands of Cadwal. To accomplish that, we will conquer Mordant because we have no alternative. What else can we do? The King insulted my mission. The lords refused the union Master Eremis and I offered them.

"But we will not take Mordant for ourselves if the Perdon can be persuaded to be King. That will be your job. He might not listen to such a proposal from me. We aare traditional enemies, as you have said. But a son of the Domne--a lifelong friend of the lady Elega--may perhaps persuade him. For the food of all who oppose Festten and Cadwal.

"Will you do it, Nyle?"

Nyle was silent for a long time. When he spoke, he sounded both astonished and relieved.

"Yes." In spite of its softness, the word came out with too much steam, as if it were exploding from inside him. "Yes, my lord Prince. I'll do it."

Geraden covered his head with his hands, inadvertently smearing snow into his hair.

"Good." Prince Kragen stepped closer to the fire to warm his hands. "Then you will need to know 'what's going on', in order to convey that information to the Perdon."

Argus put his brandy pouch down in front of Terisa. Noticing it, she realized that she was miserably cold. With a shiver, she loosened the neck of the pouch and raised it to her mouth. Like her cheeks, her lips were too numb to know what they were doing, but her tongue verified that the brandy was going into her mouth rather than down her chin. It tasted like badly perfumed tarnish remover, but it did what it was supposed to do: it raised the temperature of her blood several degrees.

She poassed the pouch to Geraden.

Down in the ravine, Prince Kragen crooked a finger at the bodyguard who had unpacked the bundles. The man came to him and handed him a stylus and a small writing tablet. Standing by the fire, Prince Kragen began to write. His fingers held the stylus as though they knew nothing about swords and had never helped save Terisa's life.

"Is that a message to the Perdon, my lord Prince?" Nyle's tone suggested impatience.

The Prince shook his head. "To my father. The Alend Monarch needs to know that you have agreed to approach the Perdon for us."

"What will he do?"

"What he is already doing." Prince Kragen's mind was on his message. "In the bazaar of Orison during the first morning of the thaw, you brought me the lady Elega's word that she had learned a way to fulfill her part of our plans. You noticed, I think, that I was pleased by this news.

"I was pleased because much hinges on her role. While you and I spoke together--while we chose the day and place for this meeting--my father and his armies were already crossing the Pestil into Armigite."


If Nyle ever had a moment to doubt the wisdom of his decision to betray the King, this was that moment. And he shows his doubt in a manner angry enough to almost get himself killed. More about this in the next quote I'll use...
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