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Mordant's Princesses
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Which is your favorite princess?
Elega
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Torrent
10%
 10%  [ 3 ]
Myste
89%
 89%  [ 25 ]
Total Votes : 28

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree. And do not think she is at all a bad person.

I used to have a colleague a little like Elega .. she wasnt a princess per se lol 😂 but she had a rather stuck up way of speaking and not one to measure her words. A lot of people, including my son who came to visit me at work one day thought she was a right royal bitch. However, as I got to know her I realised that she didnt intend to be bitchy at all .. she was just an efficient communicator lol 😂 .. She didnt mince her words, and some times that came across as abrupt and confrontational.

She wasnt brilliant with people lol .. but as a legal specialist she was. She was very good at drafting, understood the nuances and the level of detailed required to get a Bill through. She was brilliant at what she did.

I worked out how best to interact with her and we became friends. 🤷‍♀️

We dont all do things the same .. and thats not always undesirable.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed, Sky! I currently have a co-worker who is much like Elega: our computer programming specialist for our forest district, where I serve as one of the biologists. She comes across as blunt and crabby, but when you get to know her you realize that she seriously thinks about a lot of people's situations both on and off the job, and frequently surprises us all with her spontaneous acts of thoughtfulness and caring. She'd likely make a good character in a story. Reading Mr. Green
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, Geraden has revealed to Elaga and Kragen that men dressed as Alend soldiers were seen abducting Queen Madin.

Quote:
Prince Kragen was so startled that he sprang to his feet and barked, "You lie!" before he could stop himself.

Terisa studied the three of them. "No." It was wonderful how clearly she could speak, despite the weight in her head. "He's not lying. We were there. That's why we want to go into Orison. That's what we want to tell King Joyse. Your men kidnapped Queen Madin."

From Terisa's perspective, the lady Elega went up like a candleflame. Without moving, she seemed to burst into passion; it swept through her toward the ceiling, hot enough to scorch. Confronting the Prince as if Terisa and Geraden were forgotten, she whispered like a cry, "What have you done?"

Kragen's ace twisted; his teeth showed under his moustache. "They lie. I tell you, it is a lie."

She didn't flicker. "Geraden has never told a lie in his life--never one of such hurt. What have you done?"

"Nothing!" he shouted at her, trying to drive back her fury. "Geraden does not lie? Perhaps not. I do not lift my hand against lonely and harmless women! Never in my life."

Perhaps she didn't hear him: perhaps she couldn't. Her hands clenched into fists against her cheeks; blazing, she lifted her voice into a wail.

"Where is my mother? What have you done to my mother?"

In that outcry, she burned up too brightly to sustain herself. She was too vulnerable: her strength failed, and she fainted. Delicately, like heated wax, she slumped toward the floor.

Geraden caught her.


This is Elega in a way that we've never seen her before, both powerful and fragile.

I hereby dedicate this post to shadowbindingshoe, who many months ago in the Quiss thread suggested that I post about Elega's reaction to the new of her mother's kidnapping. It is accomplished.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Holding her in his arms, he [Geraden] faced the Prince. Now he was the one breathing hard, panting for air as if he had caught fire from her. Her distress made him savage, heedless. Prince Kragen came to him in dismay, tried to take her from him. He wrenched her away as if he didn't care that the Prince could have him killed.

"There are only two possibilities. My lord Prince. Isn't that right? Either you did it. So you're going to tie me and Terisa up and start torturing us. Or it was done to you. So you're going to let us go see the King.

"Which is it?"

But Prince Kragen wasn't listening. "Release her, Geraden," he murmured, almost pleading. "She is only your friend. I love her. If all of Cadwal and the wide sea itself come between us, I will wed her before I die. Give her to me."

He held out his arms.

Terisa saw Geraden burning the way Elega had burned; she saw him on the verge of hurling something he wouldn't be able to retract into the teeth of the Prince's regret. Fortunately, she was already on her feet, pulled erect by his fury. Otherwise she couldn't have reached him in time. She put a hand on his shoulder, then slipped her arm around his neck and hugged him.

"I believe him," she said softly. "You called him an honorable enemy. He wouldn't do something like that. And if he did, he would have done it long ago.

"He's going to let us into Orison."

She felt Geraden's muscles pull tight, as rigid as Elega's cry.

After a moment, she felt them relax.

Gently, he shifted Elega into Prince Kragen's embrace.

At once, Kragen sank to the floor, holding Elega close while he checked her pulse and respiration, made her comfortable. He bowed his head over her, ignoring Terisa and Geaden.

They stood near him and waited. The sides of the fore-tent were lined with servants and soldiers, summoned by the lady Elega's wail. They had no instructions, however, and didn't move.

Then Elega's eyes fluttered open. When she saw where she was, a slight smile curved her mouth. Gently, as if she didn't want to hurt him, she put up her hand to touch the Prince's cheek.

He let out a stiff sigh and raised his head.

His voice had to struggle out of his chest. "Why am I going to let you into Orison?"

Constricted with emotion, Geraden rasped, "Because if the men who took Queen Madin were Cadwals or mercenaries disguised as Alends, the attack is aimed at you as well as King Joyse. Part of the point is to keep anybody from trusting you. And part of it is to keep you and King Joyse from trusting each other, from forming an alliance.

"You're being manipulated. By High King Festten. And the traitors. And the only way you can save yourself is to let us talk to the King."

"And if I do not let them into Orison"--the Prince was speaking to Elega--"you will believe that I am responsible for your mother's abduction."

Elega didn't nod or shake her head. The small smile stayed on her lips; her hand cupped Kragen's cheek. "You want an alliance, my lord. You have always wanted an alliance, not this misconceived and aimless siege. Perhaps that is possible now. Perhaps it would be worth the attempt."


Elega's reaction here is wise and skillful. Rather than verbally confirm the Prince's statement directly, which might make him feel manipulated by her, and thus further suspicious of her, she reminds him of his original desire, and lets him know she regrets talking him into going forward with the siege.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Prince Kragen made a harsh noise like an attempted laugh. "The last time I proposed that, he humiliated me. He went to considerable lengths to humiliate me."

"He didn't--" Terisa began. Her legs were unsteady, however, and she had to support herself on Geraden's shoulder. For a moment, she forgot what she was saying.

Then she remembered.

"He was testing you. He thought you were his enemy. He didn't know who the traitor was. He didn't know what alliances had already been made. Now we can tell him."

Prince Kragen's head turned; his eyes held an obsidian smolder which would have frightened her if she had been able to concentrate on it. Softly, he commended, "Tell me."

Geraden took a deep breath, straightened his back. "I'll tell you this much, my lord. The traitor is Master Eremis. We can guess how he does the translations that let him attack anywhere in Mordant--that let him and Gart and Master Gilbur move through flat glass without losing their minds. And we know where his power is located, where he keeps his mirrors."

With an intensity Terisa didn't quite understand, Prince Kragen demanded, "Where is that?"

When Geraden had described Esmerel and its location, the Prince lowered his head.

"My lady," he asked Elega, "can you stand?"

She nodded.

A flick of his fingers brought two servants forward. They eased the lady out of his arms, assisted her to her feet. At once, Prince Kragen surged upright. He kept his face averted, so that Terisa and Geraden couldn't see his expression. Under his breath, he murmured, "I must speak to the Alend Monarch."

Without offering an explanation or waiting for an answer, he entered the darkness of the main tent and closed the flap behind him.

While Geraden and Elega studied each other with uncertainty and some embarrassment, Terisa went to refill her goblet.


For once, we have a scene with Elega in it where she is not the one taking an action, but rather just wondering what action will be taken. Being under suspicion for helping Myste escape the camp has changed her noticeably.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
She [Terisa] was stretched out on the floor, sound asleep and snoring gently, when the Alend Contender returned.

In a subtle way, his manner had changed. He looked less angry, less sick to the teeth with frustration; the prospect of immediate battle or danger came as a palpable relief to him. Despite his efforts to sound neutral, his voice was several shades lighter as he announced, "The Alend Monarch has decided that you will be allowed to enter Orison tomorrow morning."

When he said that, Elega's face shone at him.

Geraden let the air out of his tight chest with a burst like a laugh. "Thanks, my lord Prince. I'm glad we were right about you. And I'm glad you don't hold a grudge against me for stopping Nyle." He glanced affectionately at Terisa. "She'll be glad, too--when she wakes up."

The Prince nodded brusquely and continued, "I will accompany you, both to demonstrate my good faith and to pursue the Alend Monarch's desire for an alliance."

"Good idea," Geraden remarked.

"The lady Elega will remain here to ensure that King Joyse does not abuse my good faith."

Elega dropped her eyes, but didn't try to argue.


A quick swing in moods for Elega, here: hope that an alliance could be at hand, taken aback that there is still distrust of her and her family. And perhaps she hoped to be of use in persuading her father.

[Edited to correct a typo.]
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We don't see Elega again in the story until the audience the Tor, Terisa, and Geraden have with the Alend Monarch.

In Chapter 45 of A Man Rides Through was wrote:
The audience was over.

The Tor braced a heavy hand on Geraden's shoulder and started toward the tentflaps.

Terisa turned the other way so she could take a closer look at the person sitting behind her.

The flare of light as the tentflaps were opened confused her vision momentarily, made her squint, filled the corners of the tent with darkness. Before the soldier at the exit ushered her outward, however, she saw the mute figure in the chair clearly enough to recognize her.

The lady Elega.

At the last moment, Elega met Terisa's gaze deliberately and smiled.

Then Terisa found herself blinking in the cold sunshine outside the tent. The Tor and Geraden were already moving toward the horses.


Elega's frusted state appears to be over. At last, events are moving in a direction of which she approves.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Elega in the end proves to be quite instrumental in persuading her father to agree to an alliance.

In chapter 47 of A Man Rides Through was wrote:
"Margonal is crafty," commented King Joyse with deceptive nonchalance, "and apparently he has grown in courage. Well, now you are here, my lord Prince. What have you learned?"

Prince Kragen allowed himself a noncommittal shrug. "I have learned that we are indeed trapped. All our heads are on the cutting-block, and Alend will stand or fall with Mordant, regardless of my instructions."

"I think not," King Joyse retorted with the air of a man pouncing. "I think you will turn against us at the last and join Cadwal, to preserve your father's true cowardice."

At that, Kragen's head jerked back; a flush of fury darkened his cheeks; he closed his fist on his swordhilt.

In response, both Ribuld and Norge braced themselves to draw their blades. The cloaked figure against the tent wall started forward, then retreated. Geraden edged closer to Terisa, moving to protect her from the danger of swords.

No, she thought urgently, you don't understand, Prince Kragen is here with us, with us.

The Tor repeated hoarsely, "He is honorable. Honorable."

"My lord King," the Prince said between his teeth, "because you are the King, and because I have been told at length why I must trust you, I will assume you have reason to accuse me of such a betrayal."

"I have reason," snapped King Joyse. "During my absence, I saved Queen Madin from her abductors. It will not surprise you to hear that when at last I found her she was across the Pestil. Her abductors were Alends, and she was being taken by the most direct route toward Scarab."

Prince Kragen's mouth tightened under his moustache. His dark eyes burned with old enmity, with decades of violence, generations of bloodshed. He looked willing to gut King Joyse on the spot.

Yet he contained his outrage. And he didn't draw his sword. "And you persist," he demanded, "in the mad belief that I am capable of such a vile act?"

"No!" Terisa protested. "Eremis did it. He told me so." What was the matter with King Joyse? How could he suddenly be so wrong-headed? "It's just a trick to keep you and the Prince from joining forces."

Before she could go on King Joyse pointed a forbidding finger at her. "That proves nothing." The command in his stance forced her to be still. "Master Eremis has a pact with Cadwal. Why not with Alend?"

"Because," the cloaked figure cried, "he is honorable!"

"You do not trust him." Elega swept the hood back from her head as she advanced, and her vivid eyes flashed in the lantern-light. "Is the Tor wrong? Are Terisa and Geraden?" She called every gaze to herself, a cynosure of indignation and passion. Bright as a flame, she challenged her father. "He held Orison in the palm of his siege for days and days. He could have taken you apart stone from stone. Yet he withheld. Does that mean nothing to you? He allowed you time to prove yourself. And you dare accuse him of dishonor? You dare that to my face?"

King Joyse looked at her as if he were stunned.

"No, Father!" she raged. "The only dishonor in this tent is yours! It was you who refused to support the Perdon, you who humiliated Prince Kragen in the hall of audiences, you who allowed Terisa's attacker to roam Orison freely, you drove Myste away. You have no right to doubt the Prince. There is no alliance between Alend and Mordant because no one is able to trust you!"

Emotions throbbed under the King's old skin: outrage; alarm; disbelief. And vindication? She carries my pride with her wherever she goes.For a moment, no one moved; he didn't move. Elega met his stare as if she were prepared to outface the world.

All at once, King Joyse burst out laughing.

"Oh, very well, my lord Prince," he chortled while the people around him stared. "You are honest, and your father is honest, and I must apologize. If I do not, she will take the skin from my bones."

Geraden's mouth hung open. Prince Kragen clenched his jaws as if he didn't dare speak.

"It was not wise to bring her with you," King Joyse went on, "a woman in battle, a useful hostage if Eremis should capture her. But it was honest. If you intended treachery, you would have left her with Margonal. And she would not love you if you had such treachery in you. I know that about her.

"My lord Prince, please accept my regrets--and also my thanks. If we can be saved, it will be because of your courage, as well as your honor."

As King Joyse spoke, the excitement came back to Prince Kragen, the strange new eagerness which had led him into risks no Alend had ever hazarded before. His mouth twisted up the tips of his moustache. Slowly, he produced a smile to match Joyse's humor.

"Why do you think the decision was mine? Have you ever been able to tell her what to do?"

In response, the King laughed again; kindly, happily. He grinned like a new day. "Tell her what to do? Me?" Elega glared at him in confusion, but he didn't stop. "I am only her father. Tell her what to do? Most of the time, I am hardly allowed to make suggestions."

Then he sobered. "One thing, however, I will tell you, my lord Prince. Heed me well. While this war lasts, you will obey my orders." Now his tone admitted no argument: his command was as clear as a shout. "If we do not work together, we are doomed."

Prince Kragen only hesitated for a moment; then, still grinning, he nodded once, briefly.

Still ignoring the surprise and consternation and hope around him, King Joyse turned to Elega.

"As for you, my daughter," he said gladly, "you are pride and joy to me." Taking her hands, he raised them to his mouth and kissed them. "No one could have done better. The Queen herself could not have done better. Alone and without power or position, you have made an alliance where none existed.

"Oh, you please me!" Abruptly, he swept his gaze around the tent, swung his arms expansively. "You all please me! If we cannot save our world now, it will be because I have failed you, not because any one of you has failed Mordant. You have all given me better than I deserve."

In sheer joy, he kept on laughing; and after a moment Geraden joined him. Then surprising even himself, Prince Kragen began to chuckle. Elega's smile grew softer and easier as it spread.

Master Barsonage shook his head, laughing as well. Terisa squeezed her eyes hard to keep herself from weeping foolishly; didn't start to laugh until she realized that the Tor was snoring as if nothing had happened.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An optimistic attitude that I do not usually associate with Elega appears when she discusses their chances of success against their foes with Terisa and Geraden. One way I can account for this open positivity from her is that she is more pleased by her father's acceptance of Kragen than she can ever fully express.

In Chapter 47 of A Man Rides Through was wrote:
"And there are other hopes," the lady Elega commented. While darkness still filled the valley, her indoor beauty clung to her, and in the lantern-light her eyes seemed luminous with knowledge. "The world is full of strange things, which our enemies do not understand. Master Eremis comprehends only fear and power. He is blinded by his contempt. He does not grasp how far valor may go against him."

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A description of Elega's thoughts while watching the Battle of Esmerel gives further explanation of Elega's open optimism, even while revealing that optimism is diluted by fear.

In Chapter49 of A Man Rides Through was wrote:
Pride and panic: vindication and alarm. Suddenly, as much "out of nowhere" as if translation were involved, the King had proved himself. He had made real the interpretations of himself which until now had been only ideas--concepts put forward by people like Terisa and Geraden for reasons of their own. He had shown that he merited the risks she had taken in his name, arguing for him against reason common sense; he had justified the forbearance she had won from Prince Kragen and the Alend Monarch. In the privacy of her own thoughts, she understood why he had found it necessary to use her like a hop-board piece in his plans, rather than to hazard the truth with her. She wasproud of him, there beside his standard, blue eyes blazing; as ready as a hawk to strike or defend.

She was proud of him--and afraid that she had failed him.

In a sense, she was playing his own game against him. At her urging, Prince Kragen and the Alend Monarch hadmade decisions concerning this war on the basis of knowledge and speculation which they hadn't shared with any representative of Orison.

Her purpose--as distinct from Kragen's or Margonal's--had been twofold: to make the forces of Alend wait, withhold their siege, long enough for King Joyse's plans to ripen; and o put pressure on the King pressure which would force him to accept an alliance with Alend. By keeping secrets from her father, she reinforced Prince Kragen's position.

Now, today, here, what she had done came to the test. She would be right, as the Prince deserved--if for no other reason than because he had trusted her. Or she would be wrong.

Mordant itself might stand or fall on the outcome.

She could choose to keep her eyes away from Prince Kragen, away from the riders boiling into the valley on the left; but she couldn't choose to ignore her fear. The more pride she felt in King Joyse and the Prince, the more she dreaded the possibility that she had helped bring them both to ruin.

Maybe that was why she looked her worst in sunlight. The sun couldn't expose her secrets, of course; but it seemed to lay bare the fact that she had them.


I have wondered why SRD often took the time to describe how artificial light favors Elega while sunlight favors Myste. Now, I think I can see why: Myste may have kept her intentions with the champion secret from everybody but Terisa, but in general she has been open about what she believes; Elega has often operated in secret and relied on subterfuge to achieve the ends she deems necessary. As artificial light is more covert than sunlight, so Elega has been more covert than Myste.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing that IS covert about Myste is that she was counting on her meeting with Elega to reduce the aggressiveness of Alend toward Orison and her father--something she never came out and said to Elega.

Quote:
Watching her sister and her father, Elega's only regret was that she had never been able to smile the way they did, with that clarity, as if they were able to go through life with their innocence intact.

"Dear child," King Joyse murmured thickly, "my Myste, I'm so glad--Havelock told me to trust you, but I couldn't help being afraid. My little girl, in such danger--I wanted you to be safe. And yet I needed you to do what you did." He tightened his embrace momentarily, then released it and stepped back. "Your mother would break my pate if she knew how I risked you."

"Father," Myste replied like the sun, "all children must be risked. Mother knows that. How else are we to discover ourselves?"

If anything, her smile became warmer, cleaner, as she turned toward Elega.

Elega wanted to say, You have saved us--meant to say, Oh, Myste, you have saved us--but her throat closed suddenly, and her vision ran with tears. Myste's smile still had the power to make everything worthwhile.

Myste came to stand close to her. They didn't embrace: the way they felt was too private for the occasion. Nevertheless Myste said softly, "You did it. Everything I wanted--everything I couldn't say. I'm so proud of you."

Elega looked up at Prince Kragen, still on his horse, and held his gaze happily while Myste went to hug both Terisa and Geraden, then moved back to King Joyse.


All the same, the metaphor of the sun continues to be applied to Myste, as in this passage.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a little more concerning Myste and Elega in the 49th chapter of A Man Rides Through, so I'll continue adding a few more quotes to this thread.

Quote:
But Elega wasn't thinking about destruction at the moment. She was marveling at her sister, who had somehow become a force to be reckoned with in the struggle between kingdoms. Like Torrent, she had found a way to make a difference.

Elega was keenly proud of her.

"Did you really threaten your sister?" King Joyse asked as soon as everyone was settled. "Did you really threaten to unleash Darsint against the whole Alend army?"

The light of lanterns dimmed Myste's beauty. Inside the tent, she seemed less sure of herself, more easily embarrassed. A bit shamefacedly, she answered, "I fear so. I made an effort to be careful--to say less than I meant, rather than more. But I am certain Elega understood me."

Happily, Elega nodded. "I was glad of it, however--when I recovered from the shock. I needed as many arguments as possible to set before the Alend Monarch."

No doubt about it: Myste was definitely blushing. "Still I am relieved you did not put me to the test. My threats became hollow almost at once. As soon as we parted--as soon as you helped me from the Alend camp--Darsint and I left. We were not there to take any action against you."

"No?" Elega was surprised. "I would have sworn you were watching everything I did for days afterward."

"Where did you go?" Geraden put in. Like Terisa, he appeared to have some special reason to be pleased by Myste's presence. Perhaps it was because he loved families. Not for the first time, Elega noticed that he had changed enormously. The sense of ability in him was unmistakable. In retrospect, she was ashamed that she had ever treated him with scorn.

Myste glanced a bit awkwardly at her father. "Elega told me what I needed to know," she said slowly. "When I heard the High King was marching, not to Orison, but into the Care of Tor, I felt that my way became clear. Darsint and I went to help the Perdon, if we could."

The Perdon, who fought a suicidal battle against the forces of Cadwal because his King had abandoned him.

"'I have always believed that problems should be solved by those who see them,'" Terisa said, quoting softly. Her eyes shone as if she, too, were, proud of Myste.


Here, Elega soars higher in my estimation, because she sees how unfairly she treated a good soul like Geraden. Her increase in empathy and appreciation for Geraden has the effect of me feeling more positively towards her.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
King Joyse didn't react to the implications of what Myste and Terisa said, however. He only smiled at them, and at Elega, basking in their company. "That was well done, Myste," he murmured. "Go on."

His attitude relieved Myste. "There is little to tell, really," she said more easily. "We travelled as best we could, but the High King's army was between us and the Perdon. We were saving Darsint's fire, since we knew it would soon be depleted, so instead of attacking High King Festten from the rear we attempted to pass around him to the fore. By the time we succeeded, the Perdon had already been trapped and killed.

"That was a hard time for us. Seeing my distress"--her eyes were wide with fondness--"Darsint wanted to assail the Cadwals, to hurt them as much as he could alone." Darsint nodded. "But I felt certain that his force must not be wasted, and I required him to withhold. Together, we waited and watched, gathering as much knowledge of the High King's movements as we could without betraying our presence.

"When your army came, we were once again on the wrong side, unable to reach you directly. This time, however, our position was fortuitous. Circling the High King's forces, first to the south, then to the west, we encountered the Termigan and his men.

"Without him, we would not have been able to join you, except by a ruinous expenditure of Darsint's fire."



So, the only thing that Myste has done that she has really doubted herself about was the threat of Darsint firing upon the Alend army. Her father's approving attitude seems to have removed the last bit of self-doubt she has had about her actions.
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