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AMRT Chapter 36: Gathering support

 
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dANdeLION
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2004 1:42 am    Post subject: AMRT Chapter 36: Gathering support Reply with quote

This chapter starts with Teresa and Geraden hurrying towards the Care of Fayle, having just left Strernwall, in the Care of Termigan. Geraden believes that Eremis’ plans are not yet fully developed, so he is in a hurry to gather support for King Joyse.

Unfortunately, the way is slow. On the second day of riding, they have to leave the road and ride through hilly terrain in order to go towards the Care of Fayle. After three more days, the terrain changes, and they see more trees, signifying that they are approaching the forests of Fayle.

Just as they reach the border, they see smoke in the sky ahead of them. Geraden references his map; he believes the smoke is coming from a village named Aperyte. They go towards the town to investigate. What they find seems strange, at least to Geraden. The corral has been recently abandoned, and yet the gate has been tied shut. They dismount to investigate the matter further. Aperyte is a small village consisting of maybe a dozen huts. Still, it is odd to find nobody there; just a thin smoke rising from somewhere in between the huts. Teresa guesses that the Fayle has ordered the village evacuated, and Geraden hopes this is true. Unfortunately, as they move near three burning huts at the north end of the village, they see that not everybody escaped.


Quote:
All three (huts) were full of corpses.
Teresa gagged when she saw the stumps of charred arms and legs, the lumps of heads protruding from the ash. “Is that all of them?” she choked thickly. “All of them?”
“No.” Geraden was having trouble breathing. “Probably just a few families. The whole village wouldn’t fit. These are the ones who didn’t get away.”
Inspired by nausea - and by the strange scent on the breeze, which didn’t have anything to do with burned wattle and charred bodies - Teresa muttered, “Or they’re the ones who did.”
He gave her a look like a whiplash.
She heard a faint, rustling noise - bare feet scuttling across the dirt. She looked around; her peripheral vision seemed to catch a glimpse of something as it slipped into the evening shadows. Then it was gone. She couldn’t be sure that she had actually seen anything.
Yet a chill went down her back as she remembered what Master Eremis had told the lords of the Cares. All Mordant is already assailed. Strange wolves have slaughtered the Tor’s son. Devouring lizards swarm the storehouses of the Demesne. Pits of fire appear in the ground of Termigan.
But that wasn’t all. Now she remembered it precisely.
Ghouls harry the villages of Fayle.
“Geraden-“ She was barely able to clear her throat. “Let’s get out of here.”


They do escape without incident, though Teresa has a hard time sleeping tonight. Morning comes and soon they find another village. Fortunately, this village has remained unharmed, though they are quite afraid of the ghouls. One villager describes them:

Quote:
”Ghouls,” a woman pronounced, confirming Teresa’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, like children. Green and smelly.”
“Eat every kind of flesh. Don’t even leave the grease and bones. That’s what the lord’s men said.”
(Teresa) was beginning to understand why King Joyce 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 are 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 Teresa rode on.


Later in the day, Geraden consults his map again, and sees that they ought to reach the village of Naybel just around sunset. Hurrying to warn Naybel of the ghouls, they do reach it at sunset, to find it is empty as Aperyte was. Just as they decide to hurry up and leave, the horses get spooked, and bolt for the center of the village. To their surprise, they find several armed men hiding there. Fayle’s men. They had stumbled upon a trap set by the Fayle, and soon found themselves fighting with them against a horde of ghouls. Just when it seems they will lose the fight, The Fayle himself leads a mounted army in to destroy the ghouls. Once the battle is over, the Fayle comes to talk with Teresa and Geraden.

Quote:
”My lady Teresa,” 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 see that I was mistaken. The surprise is in you.
“The trap was set for ghouls, my lady. It was never my intention to ensnare you – to endanger you.”


The Fayle decides to return to his camp before hearing what Geraden and Teresa have to tell him. Once there, Geraden tells about Eremis’ treachery, and the need to aid Orison. He explains the ghoul attacks were getting worse because Eremis is trying to kill them, because he knows Geraden is an Imager, and Teresa is an arch-Imager. Fortunately, the Fayle takes this news better than the Termagen did. But, when asked to ride to Esmerel to attack Eremis, the Fayle refuses. Though he knows it is only a matter of time until the ghouls destroy his care, the Fayle is determined to defend it as long as he can, and firmly believes that King Joyse would agree. So, Geraden asks if the Fayle can help them in their mission. The Fayle agrees to:

Quote:
“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 Imagers, but they will know how to use their swords to guard your backs and clear your road.”
Before Geraden could reply, Teresa 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.”


Later that night, Teresa explains her decide to meet the Queen to Geraden.

Quote:
”I think –“ Teresa held her breath, then forged ahead. “I think there’s more to King Joyse’s plans than Master Quillon told us. I think his daughters are important – I think his whole family is important somehow. I think he wanted to throw Elega and Prince Kragen together. I think he wanted Myste to go after the champion.”
“You think he wanted us to go talk to Queen Madin and Torrent? Isn’t that a little farfetched? After all, he didn’t know either one of us had any talent. There was no way he could have predicted we would ever be here.”
That was true. And it made everything more dangerous. Nevertheless, Teresa persisted. “I think,” she said, “I want to go talk to Queen Madin and Torrent. Just in case.” After a moment, she added, “He had reason to think we might have talent.”


The next morning they are on their way to the Vale House, and reach it by dusk. The Queen comes out to meet them, and invites Teresa and Geraden in. They follow together, and before long the three of them are standing in front of a fireplace. Teresa finally gets a good look at Queen Madin, and she is surprised that Madin does not look Like Elega or Myste.

Quote:
What kept Teresa on her feet, however, wasn’t the Queen’s appearance, but rather her bearing; she stood the way a queen should stand, as if not just her authority but her wise use of it as well came to her so naturally that both were beyond question. She was the Fayle’s daughter in more ways than one; she even conveyed a suggestion of the same sorrow which harried the old lord. Nevertheless, perhaps because her frame was more solidly constructed than his, she projected more personality, more of both the ability and the willingness to make other people do what she wanted.


As Madin and Geraden talk, Torrent enters the room.

Quote:
Torrent’s carriage and downcast eyes and demure gown conveyed two impressions almost simultaneously: first, she was so shy that she made Myste and Elega seem as extroverted as mountebanks; and second, despite her shyness, she was nearly the image of her mother. She could have been Queen Madin’s shadow: they were as alike as reflections of each other. Only her mother’s decisiveness was missing, her mother’s assurance.


They all sit and Teresa and Geraden begins to tell the story of how they got here, and about King Joyse’s purpose behind his seeming madness. Of course, Madin and Torrent have a hard time accepting that her husband drove her away so his enemies would believe him weak, and attack before they were ready. But, finally they are convinced. Before they continue, however, Queen Madin ushers them off to bathe before they reconvene for dinner. Then she tells Torrent to come with her to prepare. Geraden asks Madin what she is going to do.

Quote:
”Do, Geraden? My husband and my home are besieged. One of my daughters has allied herself with Alends. Another – if she still lives – is embarked on a mad quest after a champion from another world. I will not be left out of such events. I am going to Orison.
“I intend to be there in three days.”
She left the room with Torrent nearly gasping in her wake.
For a long moment, Teresa and Geraden stood where they were as if they expected the ceiling to collapse on them. Then she took hold of herself, made an effort to shake the surprise out of her head. To break the shock, she murmured, “Well, al least she’s going to let us have time for a bath and some food”.
He snorted. “I should have guessed something like this would happen. I’ve known her long enough.
“The truth is” – he shrugged rather helplessly – “I’ve always liked her.”


They continue their tale during dinner. The tale brings opposing reactions from Queen Madin and Torrent; the latter is entirely captured, while the former is so busy focusing on other things that it seems she isn’t paying attention at all. Soon the Queen abruptly ends the dinner, and leaves with Torrent.

In the morning, everybody is busy preparing to leave. Just as all is ready, Torrent runs inside to grab one more item. Unfortunately, exactly one moment later, Teresa feels a familiar thing:

Quote:
And a touch of cold as thin as a feather and as sharp as steel slid stright through the center of her abdomen.
Geraden!” she shouted, almost wailed because her desperation was so sudden. “There’s a translation coming!”


Teresa and Geraden immediately grab Madin and get her off the porch. Just in time, too. Because now a rock slide appears out of thin air and crashes down on Vale house. The house buckles and begins to collapse. Queen Madin, screaming “Torrent!” tries to go in the house to rescue her daughter. Geraden and Teresa hold her back, but then a spooked horse knocks the three of them over. The rockfall, not limiting itself to the house, kills some horses, the groom, and one of the Fayle’s men. The other man has been incapacitated by a wound to his shoulder. Then, things get worse. Half a dozen men on horseback rush in and grab the Queen. Teresa somehow avoids being trampled, and looks up in time to see the men are dressed just like Prince Kragen’s men. She begins to wonder just how many of Mordant's enemies have conspired against them.

Geraden starts to calm the horses down, and did not see what happened to the Queen. Somehow, Torrent survived unharmed, and was standing amid the devastated porch, screaming “Mother!” Teresa tells them that the Queen has been kidnapped. Geraden and Torrent stare at her in shock as she explains:

Quote:
”Soldiers came. Alend soldiers. They took her. That’s why this happened. So they would have a chance to take her.”


Geraden understands why the Queen was captured; King Joyse would surrender all of Mordant to get her back. Torrent blames herself, even though the only thing she could have done differently is get herself killed. Teresa surveys the damage done to the party; it is not a pretty sight.

Quote:
Swallowing nausea, Teresa whipped herself back to face Torrent. “None of us could have saved her,” she repeated hoarsely.
“Then” – Torrent’s voice shook wildly, but she drew herself up as if she had become a different woman – “we must rescue her.”


Against Teresa’s better judgement, Torrent and Geraden decide that Torrent will follow the Queen and her kidnappers, leaving a trail that will be easy to follow. The wounded man will ride to nearby Romish, to get his wounds tended, and to tell the men of Romish to follow the trail Torrent will leave for them. Geraden and Teresa will hurry to Orison to warn the King. Torrent mounts her horse and begins to leave.

Quote:
Teresa would have tried to stop her, but Geraden’s acquiescence held her. “Geraden –“ she murmured, pleading with him. “Geraden –“
“Teresa,” he replied, so full of certainty that she couldn’t argue with him, “she’s right. I’ve got the strongest feeling she’s right.”
“Farewell, Geraden,” Torrent broke in. “Farewell, my lady Teresa. Save the King.
“Do that, and together we will rescue Queen Madin.”

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2004 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Though I haven't read AMRT in quite a while I have to say that you've done a fine job breaking down this chapter. After reading through your comments I am inspired to re read Mordan'ts Need in its entirety. Well done, dAN.
Now where did I put those darn books? Hmmm.....
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2004 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great dissection, dAN! Very Happy

Since this is really the only time we get to see Torrent, what do people think of her? I know it may already have been discussed in the "favorite princess" poll, but since this is Torrent's shining moment, maybe we can just talk about her.

Here's what we know: middle child, extremely shy, still loves her dolls, looks more like her mother than either of her sisters do, likes hearing exciting stories, and is quite brave. What must it have been like growing up sandwiched between Elega and Myste? Big honking spoiler question--don't read this if you haven't finished the books! Spoiler:
What do we see here that leads her to be named Joyse's heir?"

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Last edited by Myste on Fri Sep 24, 2004 2:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2004 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The "ghouls" seriously weird me out more than any other creature of Imagery in both books! I'll definately be back to talk about this chapter-man does the action pick up here and carry on to the end of the book! The Perdon rocks! Like the action it appears that every chapter in AMRT gets progressively harder to dissect, but you've done a most excellent job dAN!!!
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2004 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, this chapter could easily have been two chapters, one on the Fayle/ghouls, and the other on Madin/Torrent. I focused more on the latter because this is the first time we meet them. I probably like Torrent more than her sisters, because while they all are very brave women, Torrent completely changed to be the woman the situation required, while the other two just did what was in their nature to do.



And, she's still single. Twisted Evil
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Tell me if she laughs or cries
Blow away dandelion


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a fate I don't deserve.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2004 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You did a great job, dAN!!! Very Happy

Torrent is very cool. Smile For a shy and sheltered girl, she shows a great deal of courage AND adaptability.

Spoiler:
Both courage and adaptability -- rising to the occasion to meet great challenges -- are traits I would certainly want in a leader. Smile

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