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Quiss and the other innocents of Mordant
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Cord Hurn
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While the inhabitants of the Care of Fayle are not as fully-realized in their characterization as the people of Domne, I'd like to include a few quotes about them in this thread as well, which I hope to be able to do next week.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe you should change the title.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking of family moments I also liked the scene where Elega faints in panic when she believes her lover would not help but behave like the hardhearted Alends of old.

Not the same but it showed she does love her family deeply beneath all the intrigue and self serving attitude.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shadowbinding shoe wrote:
Speaking of family moments I also liked the scene where Elega faints in panic when she believes her lover would not help but behave like the hardhearted Alends of old.

Not the same but it showed she does love her family deeply beneath all the intrigue and self serving attitude.


Yes, Elega is an interesting and somewhat complex character. I'm considering contributing more posts and quotes about Elega and her sisters in duchess of malfi's "Mordant's Princesses" thread sometime in the not-too-distant future. That's a thread that I'd like to see revived, for sure!
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shadowbinding shoe wrote:
Maybe you should change the title.



Oh, I'm not sure about that. I entitled the thread, "Quiss and the other innocents of Mordant" rather than calling it "Quiss and the other innocents of Domne", so I'm sure the Fayle and his people are included in the title's meaning. Smile
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Chapter 36 of A Man Rides Through was wrote:
The day began well. The air was clear and crisp, and the horses moved easily along the increasingly traveled paths. And before noon she and Geraden came upon a village that had nothing wrong with it.

Nothing, that is, except anxiety. When the people of the village heard what Terisa and Geraden had found in Aperyte, they muttered nervously and scanned the woods around their homes and began to talk about leaving.

"Ghouls," a woman pronounced, confirming Terisa's guess. "Don't know what else to call them. Never seen one--but the lord sent men to warn us. Attack at dusk or dawn. Little critters, almost like children. Green and smelly.

"Eat every kind of flesh. That's what the lord's men said."

Geraden scowled as if he were in pain. "That's why the gate was closed," he muttered. "The horses never got out. They were eaten right there in the corral."

Terisa was thinking, They're the ones who did. They escaped into their huts and somehow sealed the doors. And then they were incinerated in their own homes.

Eremis.

She was beginning to understand whey King Joyse had fought for twenty years to strip Alend and Cadwal of Imagers and create the Congery. He wanted to prevent creatures like ghouls from being translated into the world.

Through a haze of nausea and anger, she asked one of the villagers, "What're you going to do?"

"What the lord's men told us." came the reply. "If we heard any rumor of ghouls around here, saw any sign. Get to Romish as fast as we can."

"Good," said Geraden fiercely.

He and Terisa rode on.


Even with simple passages such as this one, Stephen R. Donaldson increased my concern for the people of Mordant, people just trying to get on with their lives, and increased my contempt for the villainous Imagers that were causing all the suffering.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shadowbinding shoe wrote:
I know this is an 'olden days' story but I can't picture the Domne as a person who beats his children even if its the norm in his culture. He'd scold them and look disappointed, but that's about it. Between Tholden and Quiss, Quiss if anyone would take the role of taskmistress and punish the children. Just look at how his boys turned out. He let each follow his own dream



Avatar wrote:
Hmmm, I dunno...I can see him laying on the rod when they were kids out of a perceived duty to raise them properly. He probably would have hated doing it, but chances are he did it anyway, at least a bit...



You both make some thoughtful points. I think I could see the Domne spanking his children to teach them when they've done wrong, but I don't see him enjoying doing it, or ever being excessively forceful about it. This is one of those subjects for which there seems to be no definitive proof one way or the other in the text, so it would be hard to post a "wrong" answer.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
He [the Fayle] dismounted carefully and gave her an old man's brittle bow. "My lady Terisa," he said in a voice like dry leaves, "you astonish me. When last we met, I believed that Master Eremis was the source of my surprise, but now I can see that I was mistaken. The surprise is in you.

"This trap was set for ghouls, my lady. It was never my intention to ensnare you--to endanger you."

"Of course not, my lord Fayle." She didn't know what kind of bow to give him. Fortunately, he didn't seem to expect one. "We were just--" She caught herself, made an effort to take one thing at a time. "My lord, this is Geraden."

The Fayle looked at Geraden. "Son of the Domne," he murmured. "Translator of the lady Terisa of Morgan. A prominent figure in the Congery's augury of Mordant's need." Again, he bowed. "You are welcome in the Care of Fayle."

Geraden returned the bow. Terisa wondered whether he--whether she herself--would still be welcome if the lord knew of their talents; but she wasn't given a chance to explore the issue. Without pausing, the Fayle went on, "I must get out of this smoke. Our camp is a mile from here. There we can offer you hot food and a safe bed. If you will consent to accompany me, we will hear your story in better comfort.

"In the morning, the villagers will return to cleanse their homes, and we will ride to attempt this tactic again elsewhere. You will be welcome to accompany us then, also, if you wish."

"Thanks, my lord," Geraden answered promptly. "We'll be glad to go with you--at least for tonight. We've got a lot to tell you."

"I am sure you do," said the Fayle. "Perhaps you will be able to tell me whether Master Eremis is honest--whether I was wrong to betray his intentions to Castellan Lebbick.

"Come."

As if all his joints ached, he climbed back onto his horse.

All his joints probably did ache. Terisa would have thought that he was too old for ambushes and battles. Privately, she wondered what drove him to it.

She also wondered how much it would be safe to tell him. She and Geraden had come close to disaster by telling the Termigan too much.

Before she had time to wonder what had become of the roan gelding, one of the Fayle's men returned it to her; he had found it in the woods. Soon she and Geraden were riding among the Fayle's companions toward his camp.

After the turmoil and fright of the battle, the ride seemed reassuring and peaceful, too brief. In a short time, she found herself dismounted before a bright fire near the center of a clearing. Around here were servants and supply wains, bedrolls set out on the ground, more men, extra horses; a few of Naybel's people had come to hear what had happened to their village. A steward brought a flagon of heated wine for the Fayle, then hurried away to get more for the lord's unexpected guests. The way the men looked at her reminded Terisa that she hadn't had a decent bath for days. Her hair probably looked like a rat's nest, and her clothes were filthy. Unfortunately, there was nothing she could do about those things at the moment. Instead, she attempted to ignore the stares of the Fayle's men.

A campstool was brought for the lord, and he seated himself near the fire as if he were chilled. Almost at once, more stools appeared for Terisa and Geraden. They sat down, accepted warm flagons of wine. Terisa took a sip, then forgot her self-consciousness--forgot that at least thirty people were watching her--long enough to give a grateful sigh. The wine was full of cinnamon and oranges, a blissful antidote for the smell of ghouls. If she had enough to drink, she might be able to get that reek completely out of her mind.

She wanted to spend a while savoring the sensation that she was safe.

But Geraden was already eager to talk. "My lord Fayle," he said before she was ready, "we've come a long way to tell you Master Eremis isn't honest. He's the one who translates these ghouls into your Care--he and Master Gilbur, and probably the arch-Imager Vagel.

"We came to tell you King Joyse needs help. If he doesn't get it, Master Eremis may destroy him."

By force of habit, the Fayle sat upright on his stool. His eyes were keenly blue; his gaze was precise. Looking at him, Terisa was struck by the odd thought that he would never have been able to do what King Joyse had done--make himself appear weak and foolish for years. No one who met the Fayle's gaze would doubt that he knew what he was doing.

"It is comforting to know," he muttered dryly, "that Master Eremis deserved to be thwarted. We will discuss that further. Nevertheless his dishonesty does little to explain how you came to fall into a trap which I had set for ghouls."

"Actually, it explains a lot, my lord," countered Geraden. "The rest is just details." For reasons Terisa understood perfectly, he was being cautious. "We rode here from Sternwall. The Termigan wasn't especially glad to see us.

"Like yours, his Care is being badly hurt by one of Eremis' translations. We told him the same thing I just told you. King Joyse needs help. He didn't seem to care about that. I think we were lucky he let us leave.

"My lord, I don't want that to happen again. The lady Terisa and I are going to fight for the King. Even if we have to do it, alone, we're going to do it. If you stand in our way, we'll have to fight you, too.

"I'd rather cut off my hands."

All the men around the camp were listening. Some of them pretended to be busy with their weapons or their bedding, but they were listening. A focused hush covered everything except the snorts and rustling of the horses.

The Fayle gazed at Geraden steadily. "You must have told him something he especially did not wish to hear."

Geraden nodded.

"What was it?" asked the Fayle. "What could you have said to him that would make a loyal and trustworthy ally of the King suspicious of you?"

Geraden referred the question to Terisa.

Simply because the lord's eyes were so blue, so exact, she assented to the risk.

"We told him the truth," Geraden answered the Fayle. "We've both become Imagers. Terisa is an arch-Imager. The ghouls have started getting worse, haven't they? Just recently?"

It was the lord's turn to nod.

"That's because of us. Eremis knew we were coming here. Or he figured it out. We were at Houseldon first. Then we were in Sternwall. Where else would we be going?

"He wants to kill us before we find a way to hurt him."

"And have you found a way?" the Fayle inquired dryly.

"We've been trying. That's why we went to Sternwall--why we came here. We've been trying to gather support for the King." Geraden took a deep breath. "And if we can't do that, we want to find somebody who can help me make a mirror."

"You have no glass?" The Fayle's gaze was sharp.

Geraden straightened his shoulders, and Terisa thought she heard a distant echo of strength in his voice, a strange menace. "My lord," he said, "a number of things would be different if we had as much as one small mirror between us. For one, we would have helped you fight those ghouls." He was speaking through his teeth. "That's what our talents are good for."

After a moment, however, the menace faded from his tone. "Unfortunately, we're helpless. So far."

The Fayle considered Geraden and Terisa for a while. He turned away to request food and more wine. Then he commented, "Perhaps you should tell me your story now. While we eat."

Geraden glanced at Terisa again. She nodded without hesitation. She was remembering the way the old lord had left the meeting Master Eremis had arranged between the lords and Prince Kragen. Queen Madin is a formidable woman, he had explained in an apologetic and even vaguely foolish tone. Whatever choice I make here, I must justify to her. His peaked shoulders and elongated head should have made him look silly as he walked out on Eremis' plotting. And yet he hadn't looked silly at all. His clear loyalty had made him admirable.

Under the circumstances, she didn't know what to expect from the Fayle. She was willing to trust him anyway.


For me as a reader, I find that SRD makes a strong case for my caring about what happens to the Fayle and his people with this sentence: His clear loyalty had made him admirable. Especially when by this point in the story I have the knowledge that King Joyse truly cares what is happening to his people and it's clear just how vile is the plotting of Eremis and his allies.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cord Hurn wrote:
This is one of those subjects for which there seems to be no definitive proof one way or the other in the text, so it would be hard to post a "wrong" answer.


I find I need to amend this statement. Certainly it would be grossly inaccurate for someone to describe the Domne as cruel or brutal, so that would indeed be a "wrong" answer. But I can't find anything in the Mordant's Need story that promotes a definitively "right" answer about whether the Domne employed corporal punishment on his children--that's what I meant to say.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cord Hurn wrote:
shadowbinding shoe wrote:
Speaking of family moments I also liked the scene where Elega faints in panic when she believes her lover would not help but behave like the hardhearted Alends of old.

Not the same but it showed she does love her family deeply beneath all the intrigue and self serving attitude.


Yes, Elega is an interesting and somewhat complex character. I'm considering contributing more posts and quotes about Elega and her sisters in duchess of malfi's "Mordant's Princesses" thread sometime in the not-too-distant future. That's a thread that I'd like to see revived, for sure!


That would be interesting. Thumbs Up
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me Fayle, it's people and it's Lord (and of course Queen Madin and her daughter) were the heart of Mordant, the embodiment of what this nation and its people were. Orison was too political and we never really see the rest of Demesne, Domne - too idealized, Termigan -barren with ineffective fanaticism. Their nemesis was likewise the most horrid of all the translations. It's the only place where we meet the 'common people' in truth. Everywhere else, it's the nobility, soldiers, merchants and servants of the powerful we interact with. In Fayle, we visit the villages.

It was indicative how Joyce abandoned all his facades and plans, not for Myste, Elega, Lebbick or Tor, but for Fayle's Madin and Torrent.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

shadowbinding shoe wrote:
For me Fayle, it's people and it's Lord (and of course Queen Madin and her daughter) were the heart of Mordant, the embodiment of what this nation and its people were. Orison was too political and we never really see the rest of Demesne, Domne - too idealized, Termigan -barren with ineffective fanaticism. Their nemesis was likewise the most horrid of all the translations. It's the only place where we meet the 'common people' in truth. Everywhere else, it's the nobility, soldiers, merchants and servants of the powerful we interact with. In Fayle, we visit the villages.

It was indicative how Joyce abandoned all his facades and plans, not for Myste, Elega, Lebbick or Tor, but for Fayle's Madin and Torrent.


All of these points are quite valid, shadowbinding shoe! The Care of Fayle is indeed the heart and soul of King Joyses's reformist mode of rule, the rule that was supposed to keep Imagery in check through the creation of the Congery. And Fayle is where we meet the ordinary people, and see a lord risking his health to protect them. It's emotionally compelling to me, and I am able to care about them. And, as you say, the Care of Fayle has two people in it so precious to King Joyse that he will abandon all his plans if they are threatened.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 4:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This part of the encounter with the Fayle in his Care comes after Terisa has signaled to Geraden that she thinks the Fayle is trustworthy enough to tell him what they basically know about what is happening in Mordant and with themselves.

In Chapter 36 of A Man Ride Through was wrote:
Apparently, Geraden felt the same. As soon as the decision to speak freely had been taken, he began to relax.

He didn't try to include everything, however. He still wanted an answer from the Fayle. So he only described the broad outlines of what he and Terisa had learned, what they had done. The Fayle flinched at the news of what had happened to Houseldon, what was happening to Sternwall; but Geraden kept on talking. Whenever the lord stopped him with a question, however, he replied in more detail.

Most of the men were listening openly now. A few of them fingered their weapons in anger or fear. But because their attention wasn't on Terisa she was able to ignore them.

While Geraden and the lord spoke, she drank her wine, ate the food placed in front of her, and did a little calculating backward. That brought her to the unexpected realization that thirteen days had passed, thirteen, since her translation from Orison. In thirteen days, anything could have happened, anything at all. Prince Kragen could have taken the castle--and the Congery. High King Festten could have taken the castle and the Congery and Prince Kragen. On the other hand, Castellan Lebbick could hae stuck a quiet knife in Master Eremis' back.

"The problem is," she put in when Geraden paused, "we've been away from Orison too long." Abruptly, she became the focus of attention. Swallowing a rush of self-consciousness, she forced herself to say, "Thirteen days for me. Fourteen for him.

"We don't have any way of knowing what's happened in the meantime."

"So perhaps," the Fayle murmured slowly, "this strange policy of the King's has already come to the crisis. Perhaps he is already victorious. Or perhaps he has already been defeated or killed."

"We can't know," she agreed. "All we have to go on is that when we left Orison Eremis was still working hard to look innocent. He's still afraid we can hurt him somehow." She shrugged. "It isn't much. Bust as long as he's afraid of us, we have something to hope for."

"That's something else we might be able to do if we had a mirror," Geraden added. "Get an Image of Orison. See what's going on."

The Fayle faced Geraden acutely. He looked at Terisa, searched her. After a moment, he spread his hands. The gesture was small, but it seemed full of resignation.

"I have no glass, and no way to make it. I have no Imagers--what use do I have for mirrors? Every product or tool of Imagery which has ever been found in the Care of Fayle I have given to King Joyse and Adept Havelock."

By degree, his gaze drifted away toward the fire. "Without Imagery, my Care is helpless against these ghouls. You have been away from Orison for thirteen or fourteen days. I have not seen Romish since the day I returned from Master Eremis' meeting. I have been in the saddle, in the villages of my Care--fighting--"

Terisa had never heard him sound so old.

"I cannot win this struggle. In the end, I must fail." He wasn't looking at his men. His men didn't look at him. None of them contradicted him. "You saw that I have failed Aperyte. It is only one among many villages dead, gutted--

"These ghouls are too many. I have hardly enough trained horsemen for four bands such as this one. I must fail."

"Then, my lord." Geraden said softly, formally hinting at authority, "fight another way. Gather your men. Strike at Eremis in Esmerel. While any hope at all remains."

The old lord studied the heart of the fire. His erect posture didn't shift, didn't sag; but his hands hung between his knees as if they were useless. After a while, he whispered, "No."

"My lord--" Geraden began.

"No, " breathed the Fayle. "Joyse is my King-- and the husband of my daughter. I love him. I do not understand this policy. I do not like it Yet I love him.

"But he has never,"--one hand came up into a fist, fell again--"in all his years of warfare against Cadwal and Alend and Imagery, he has never asked a lord for aid when that lord's Care was under attack. He came to me, freed my people. He did not ask me fror my help until my Care was safe.

"He will not ask me now. He has no wish to break my heart."

Geraden tried again. "My lord--"

"No." The Fayle didn't sound angry: he sounded sad. "Today we saved Naybel. You were witness. Tomorrow, or in five days--or in fifty days"--now both hands were fists, beating the rhythm of his words against each other--"we will spring another trap, and it will succeed. People will live who would die if I left them to the mercy of these ghouls.

"Do you hear me, Geraden? Did your father ride away from his Care? Did the Termigan?

"I will not leave my people to die undefended."

"I understand, my lord." Geraden's voice was as soft and sad as the lord's, but there was no bitterness in it. "It doesn't matter how desperate King Joyse is. He wouldn't want you to abandon your own Care. He didn't create Mordant or the Congery because he was desperate. He created them because he believes the same things you do."

The Fayle stared into the fire, nodded several times. In a voice like a winter breeze, he sighed, "Thank you."

Geraden hesitated momentarily, then ventured to say, "Unfortunately, that doesn't change our problem. Is there anything you can do to help Terisa and me?"

With a shift of his head, the lord brought his blue gaze to Geraden's face. For an instant, Terisa thought he was angry. Then, however, she saw a suggestion of a smile touch his old mouth. "That is true, Geraden," he said. "My stubbornness does nothing to change your problem. You and the lady Terisa are Imagers, and the evil of Imagery must be met and answered by Imagers. That is your "Care," in a manner of speaking.

"I will give you supplies. If you need it, I will give you a map. And I will give you two men to ride with you as far as you choose--to Orison, even to Esmerel. They will be useless against Images, but they will know how to use their swords to guard your backs and clear you road."

Before Geraden could reply, Terisa asked, "Can they take us to the Queen?"

Geraden was surprised: apparently, he hadn't given much thought to Queen Madin. The Fayle raised an eyebrow; but this time his smile was plain. "A good thought, my lady." he murmured. "It would have come to me in a moment. My men can certainly take you to the Queen. She has a clear right to know what her husband has been doing. After all, she has been deeply hurt by his policy. And it is possible that she may want to do something about it."

In response, Terisa swallowed hard and said, "Thanks. I appreciate that" The force of her relief took her aback. She had known that she wanted to meet the Queen, but she hadn't realized before just how terrible she would feel if she and Geraden came all this way and then left without taking the time to share what they knew with King Joyse's wife.

Geraden stared at her, but he didn't argue; he didn't say, That's a delay we don't need, a day we could spend better on the road to Orison. Luckily, his instinct to trust her was still intact. After a moment, he let the matter drop and concentrated on eating his supper.


I find the Fayle the more admirable for having such discipline in making a tough decision that he doesn't let it show in any way except through his hand gestures just how frustrated he really is. He simply can't leave without a greater number of his people dying than would be the case if he and his fighting force stays. And I like how Terisa and Geraden continue to find ways to make their journey across Mordant worthwhile by disseminating important information if nothing else. The Fayle's appearance of bravery is increased by how none of his men contradicted him when he described the hopelessness of their heroism.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a moment of interest to me occurring right after several childlike ghouls have been dispatched, one destroyed by Geraden via sword, and the Fayle hasn't yet ridden up to meet them. It has been an emotionally painful and physically nauseating experience for our two heroes.

Quote:
After a minute or two, she became aware that Geraden still had his arms around her. Like her, he had taken a faceful of smoke; like her, he appeared to be weeping. The light of burning children reflected in his eyes.

She hugged him, held him; clung to him. She didn't know how much more she could bear.

Trying to recover his composure, he muttered, "I'm never going to tell Quiss about this. Never as long as I live."


What I have been wondering is, does Geraden say this because he would feel deep shame for having killed atackers that resembled children, or he fears Quiss would be much too hurt by his telling the tale, and perhaps not forgive him? Maybe both are true.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After Shadowbinding Shoe reminded me of Minick and his unnamed wife by mentioning they could be the Best Parents of the Mordant's Need story, I decided that a couple of quotes concerning Minick (wise in his own way but still an innocent of Mordant) would be appropriate for this thread.

In Chapter 33 of A Man Rides Through was wrote:
He was brown: that was her first impression. Years of outdoor labor had left his skin the same deep color as his leather jerkin and breeches. His hair was the color of the new mud on his old boots. And his eyes were nearly the same hue as his skin and clothes; they seemed to get lost in his general brownness. In fact, most the details of his face and expression were blurred. Behind the brown, he looked like a cross between a turnip and a fence post.

But then he smiled--shyly, almost deferentially--and his smile pulled his features into definition. Immediately, it became obvious that he was one of Geraden's brothers.

He glanced at the Domne, saw that his father was asleep. Gesturing for silence, he put a hand on Terisa's arm and drew her outside. As soon as they reached the porch, however, he let go of her as if he felt his touch was presumptuous and had only risked it to avoid disturbing the Domne. He even backed a step or two away from her. "Hello, Terisa," he said earnestly, without quite eeting her eyes. "I'm Minick. Geraden sent me to get you."

"Hello, Minick," she replied. "I'm glad to meet you."

As if she had surprised him, he asked, "You are?"

She nodded. "I'm glad to meet Geraden's family. I'm glad to be in Houseldon--in the Care of Domne." This was so true that she didn't know how to explain it. "I've wanted to meet all of you for a long time."

Minick seemed to recognize the inadequacy behind her words. "Well, I'm glad to meet you, too. I wasn't sure before. I don't like it when Geraden's unhappy. But now I am."

He baffled her a bit. "What makes you sure?"

He indicated the house with a lift of one shoulder. "You were in the room with the Domne," he explained, "and now he's taking a nap. He trusts you. So you must be all right. You aren't the reason Geraden's unhappy."

Minick's confidence was so unjustified that Terisa felt compelled to say, "It's probably more complicated than that. Sometimes I think I am the reason he's unhappy--sort of. I have a lot to do with a lot of things that hurt him."

"No." Minick shook his head mildly. "It isn't complicated. You're like him. He always thinks things are complicated. But they aren't. Important things are simple. He needs somebody to love him. That's simple. So now I can be glad to meet you, when I wasn't sure before."

Unexpectedly, she found herself relaxing. "I guess you're right." A world of difficulties apparently evaporated when Minick touched them. "I hadn't thought of it that way.

"Let's go see Geraden."

"Oh, no." Minick became suddenly serious. "That isn't what he wants. He's too busy." For a second, the brown man almost shuddered. "When he gets like this, he yells at people a lot. He thinks they're fast. He's fast, and he thinks they are. too. But they aren't fast. They're just farmers and shepherds. They're like me. They like having things explained to them."

The thought of Geraden ranting with impatience was so incongruous that Terisa nearly laughed aloud. At the same time, it gave her a pang. Poor man, he must be out of his mind. Deliberately, she controlled herself. "I don't understand. I thought you said he sent you to get me."

Minick nodded. "He did. I thought he was just making an excuse to send me away. But since you're glad to be here I guess I was wrong.

"He sent me to show you around. The Domne can't walk very far, Tholden is too busy, and Quiss prefers to stay at home with Ruesha. Geraden said, 'She likes tours. She might like a tour of Houseldon.' So I came to get you."

Terisa accepted the suggestion, despite the vexed spirit in which Geraden had probably made it. She understood how he felt. And she wanted to see more of Houseldon. She suspected--in an entirely uncritical way--that there wasn't a great deal to see. On the other hand, if Master Eremis launched an attack soon, she might need to know everything she could learn about the Domne's seat.

Giving Minick a smile which would have astonished Reverend Thatcher--or her father--she went with him to explore Houseldon.


Behind the brown, he looked like a cross between a turnip and a fence post. Surely I can't be the only reader who has trouble visualizing this description of Minick! Laughing

"Oh, no." Minick became suddenly serious. "That isn't what he wants. He's too busy." For a second, the brown man almost shuddered. "When he gets like this, he yells at people a lot. He thinks they're fast. He's fast, and he thinks they are. too. But they aren't fast. They're just farmers and shepherds. They're like me. They like having things explained to them." Again, we are reminded how hard it is for the ordinary people to prepare for an attack by Imagery.
Shocked

On the other hand, if Master Eremis launched an attack soon, she might need to know everything she could learn about the Domne's seat. Terisa has become a very practical thinker by this point in the story.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Minick, the studious craft master and the unintentional healer:

Quote:
In fact, there was more to see in Houseldon than she had expected.

At any rate, Minick thought there was a great deal to see. And he liked to see it all thoroughly, with an attention to detail which was both loving and analytical. For instance, Houseldon contained no less than three livery stables, to accommodate the numbers of people who came here from all over the Care, as well as from other regions of Mordant. Each of these was exactly what it claimed to be: a place where horses were left and cared for while their masters transacted business, visited relatives, appealed for justice, pursued crafts or apprenticeships. Yet to Minick each was worth looking at closely; each had virtues and drawbacks which required evaluation; each prospered or declined according to factors which he took pains to understand.

And he was a motherlode of information. He knew exactly where all the drainage pipes had been laid, and when, and how many square yards of leachfield they required. He knew who had first conceived the idea of trussing the eaves-thatch of the roofs with thatparticular kind of binding, and why it was superior to the way eaves-thatch used to be trussed. He knew where Houseldon's supplies of tallow came from, and how long they would last in an emergency. And he knew every child he saw by name, parentage, and predilection for mischief.

In a short time, Terisa realized that she had only two choices. She could cut off the tour now, before he drove her to distraction. Or she could relax and let him do whatever he wanted. With him there wasn't any middle ground.

Well, that fit, she mused. In their separate ways, Geraden, Artagel, and Nyle were all intolerant of middle ground. Wester was said to be a fanatic about wool. Stead couldn't keep his hands off women. Geraden had called Tholden a compulsive fertilizer. The Domne himself had given up on middle ground when he first met King Joyse. Why should Minick be any different?

Just for a minute, she considered stopping him--telling him that she had had enough, going her own way. But then she noticed that in his company she did very little except smile; he filled her alternately with amusement and affection. He was perfectly capable of distinguishing precisely between good workmanship and bad, sensible husbandry and careless, forethought and its absence; but he liked everybody around him; he loved the details he expounded for her. The more he talked, the more gentle and companionable he seemed. And the more she listened, the more she could feel her tensions and fears going to sleep.

Instead of stopping, she relaxed and let him give her the whole tour.

As a result, the day seemed to evaporate the way complexities did when he analyzed them. He began showing her around a little before noon--and then the shadows were slanting toward late afternoon, and her legs hurt gently with so much walking and standing, and her boots had rubbed a sore place onto one of her toes, and her heart was full of rest for the first time since she could remember. Minick wasn't just amusing, likable, and meticulous: he was a healer. Somewhere in Houseldon, she knew, preparations were being made for battle--but they didn't come near him; he seemed to carry peace with him wherever he went. Now, she thought, all she needed was one really good night's sleep, and then she would be ready to start thinking again.

So when he brought her back to the Domne's house and started to say good-bye, she didn't want him to leave. "Where are you going?" she asked to forestall him.

This time his grin was shy in a new way, self-conscious about things which hadn't come up before. "I like to go home before supper," he murmured, "and play with the children for a while. It gives their mother a chance to cook. And it uses up some of their energy so they go to bed more easily."

The thought of this earnest brown man playing with his children delighted her--and reminded her that during the whole afternoon he hadn't said anything personal about himself or his life. Maybe he would have considered it presumptuous to talk about himself. Impulsively, because he had done her so much good and hadn't asked her for anything, she leaned forward and thanked him with a quick kiss.

His eyes widened; he stared at her for a moment. Then he ducked his head as if he were blushing.

"I think I'm not going to tell my wife you did that," he said softly. "She might not be pleased." It was obvious that he was enormously pleased. "I like her to be pleased. She's the only other woman who's ever been so patient with me.

"Good-bye, Terisa."

After he left, she went up the steps, across the porch, and into the bustle of Quiss' cooking. Her cheeks ached from smiling so much. Clearly those muscles needed the exercise.


And he liked to see it all thoroughly, with an attention to detail which was both loving and analytical...But then she noticed that in his company she did very little except smile; he filled her alternately with amusement and affection...The thought of this earnest brown man playing with his children delighted her--and reminded her that during the whole afternoon he hadn't said anything personal about himself or his life. Maybe he would have considered it presumptuous to talk about himself.

In yet another passage we see the value of Mordant of King Joyse's desire to see it continue at peace from war and evil Imagery. Minick cares about all the things that can make for a quality life, he and his wife, and they represent a loving community that merits safety. I think all this writing about traveling around Mordant was a good idea; when we come back to Orison to resume the palace intrigue, the struggle to protect Mordant means so much more to us than when Terisa and Geraden were last in Orison.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The Domne and the Fayle came next, old friends pleased in each other's company. But of Geraden's family no else had made the trip to Orison: Tholden was consumed with the task of laying out and constructing a new Houseldon; Wester didn't enjoy travel; Minick couldn't leave his shy wife; Stead couldn't spare the time from his other pursuits. No one had accompanied the Domne except Quiss. Forthright and irrefusable as always, she had claimed that he couldn't hope to make the journey without someone to take care of him. Upon arriving in Orison, however, she had made it clear that her real reason for coming was to see Terisa and Geraden again, and to hear about everything they had done, and to give them the benefit of her advice.

The Domne himself didn't seem to feel compelled to give anyone advice. On the other hand, he was so happy and proud that he made Geraden's face shine and gave Terisa the glad impression that the whole family was present in the old lord's person.


I'm glad that SRD remembered to include what was happening with other members of Geraden's family, and that he thought to include Quiss and the Domne in the book's final scene. This gives the Mordant's Need story even more emotional "closure", and I think it a very nice touch.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cord Hurn wrote:
There is a moment of interest to me occurring right after several childlike ghouls have been dispatched, one destroyed by Geraden via sword, and the Fayle hasn't yet ridden up to meet them. It has been an emotionally painful and physically nauseating experience for our two heroes.

Quote:
After a minute or two, she became aware that Geraden still had his arms around her. Like her, he had taken a faceful of smoke; like her, he appeared to be weeping. The light of burning children reflected in his eyes.

She hugged him, held him; clung to him. She didn't know how much more she could bear.

Trying to recover his composure, he muttered, "I'm never going to tell Quiss about this. Never as long as I live."


What I have been wondering is, does Geraden say this because he would feel deep shame for having killed atackers that resembled children, or he fears Quiss would be much too hurt by his telling the tale, and perhaps not forgive him? Maybe both are true.


This is often an attitude among soldiers. They won't tell the people at home of the horrors of war lest its ugliness desecrate the peaceful life. Killing smiling child-like creatures, what could be more horrific?
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Being killed by small child-like creatures? Very Happy

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shadowbinding shoe wrote:
Cord Hurn wrote:
There is a moment of interest to me occurring right after several childlike ghouls have been dispatched, one destroyed by Geraden via sword, and the Fayle hasn't yet ridden up to meet them. It has been an emotionally painful and physically nauseating experience for our two heroes.

Quote:
After a minute or two, she became aware that Geraden still had his arms around her. Like her, he had taken a faceful of smoke; like her, he appeared to be weeping. The light of burning children reflected in his eyes.

She hugged him, held him; clung to him. She didn't know how much more she could bear.

Trying to recover his composure, he muttered, "I'm never going to tell Quiss about this. Never as long as I live."


What I have been wondering is, does Geraden say this because he would feel deep shame for having killed atackers that resembled children, or he fears Quiss would be much too hurt by his telling the tale, and perhaps not forgive him? Maybe both are true.


This is often an attitude among soldiers. They won't tell the people at home of the horrors of war lest its ugliness desecrate the peaceful life. Killing smiling child-like creatures, what could be more horrific?


Good point!
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