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AMRT Chapter 28: A Day of Trouble

 
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danlo
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2004 6:17 pm    Post subject: AMRT Chapter 28: A Day of Trouble Reply with quote

(Sorry I've dragged this out, I've had to deal with some personal issues and a painfully healing hamstring. Which frequently denies me my favorite activity in the world: sitting on my butt! Razz)

Chapter 28, off the top of my head:
We've been having some rather interesting discussions about Adept Havelock's sanity in the Mordant's Need Discussion forum and this particular chapter is a fascinating study of that subject. Another poignant topic in the MN forum deals with the stark juxtaposition of being cooped up inside Orison vs being outside. The beginning of AMRT is set outside, for a change, and is seen from two, refreshingly, different points of view; Chapter 27 from Prince Kragen's and A Day of Trouble seen through the eyes of the seething and highly troubled Castellan Lebbick, who now holds Terisa at his mercy in the dungeons.

Indeed, the three major players in Chapter 28 are Lebbick, Master Eremis (who seems to have a pat answer for everything) and the "semi-sane" Havelock toiling on the parapets to twart Kragen's catapults with an unknown mirror that translates dog sized brown clouds that drop boulders on the, now attacking, Alend army.

I don't know if any questions regarding the exact level of Havelock's sanity are answered here but it's very intriguing to watch him singlehandely exact the might of the Congery in the destruction of three major Alend siege engines. It's also very shocking, in a way, to see him outside finally. I don't know about you but for me the inside-Havelock was a dusty drooling castle rat mess. With the outside-Havelock I see a semi-messianistic John Malkovich-spurned to action-as if everything that he (may have) plotted with Joyse is dependant on his present efforts. Flapping about like a demented bird, white tuffs of hair sticking out at crazy angles, cackling with Master Quillion and in the end questioning Lebbick's sanity, of all things! While Eremis looks on, highly amused, of course...his face vividly described as, "Eager as an axe." (what a line!)

Chapter 28, in more detail:
Having to attend to the defense of Orison the next morning Lebbick finds himself upon the ramparts of the northwest wall of Orison with three Imagers; Havelock stuggling with his lunacy, as his curious mirror destroys two huge Alend catapults attempting to breach the curtian-wall of the Champion's huge hole in the castle, Quillion, now head of the Congery, who (at great personal risk) had just returned from Kragen and Elena to warn them of such actions and plant doubt in the Prince's mind and Master Eremis who Lebbick cannot afford to leave alone.

I mentioned in dAN's final chapter discussion of The Mirror of Her Dreams that it ends, almost, exactly the same way that (Donaldson's) Lord Foul's Bane begins with these famous three words, "You are Mine!". Well that's Castellan Lebbick speaking and you might think it's all over for Lady Terisa of Morgan, at this point, but to quote another famous SRD tag-line, "...it's not that easy."

Gripping her brutally and throwing her on the cot in the cell Lebbick threatens to do the most umimaginable things to Terisa unless she gives him straight answers and admits to conspiring to kill Nyle. Everything has gone wrong since the day she appeared in Orison! She has to have some strange power over Geraden to make him commits such acts. But that doesn't explain enough. How did that "fumblefoot" Apt get away with setting everything up with Gilbur and get Gart and Cadwal to work with him without anyone noticing before "this woman" came along? It doesn't really make sense, but it has to! Lebbick saw Geraden kill Nyle before Nyle could implicate him! How could a son of the Domne do such a thing? Yet it was done and this woman was to blame.

Recalling what happened the night before Castellan Lebbick stands at the parapet looking at Havelock, Quillion and Eremis. Even though Havelock labors "heroically" to place dread in Kragen's army it means nothing to him as the Adept's near brushes with lunacy remind him of King Joyse's senility and how Mordant arrived at this situation. And Quillion innocently standing there who "accidently" tripped him and let Geraden escape into the mirror that "that woman" must have sorcered. And, finally, there's Eremis that smug "dogswater" fop and ladies man who, through Terisa's contineuos lies and flights of fancy about, has somehow raised redflags in his mind.

Quote:
Still smiling through his teeth, he demanded, "How?"

"I don't know." Babbling. "Somehow. To get rid of Geraden. Geraden is the only one who doesn't trust him." Terrified. "Eremis and Gilbur are working together. And Vagel. he lied to the Congery." Trying to distract him. "Eremis brought Nyle to the meeting of the congery. He said Nyle would prove Geraden is a traitor, but it was a lie. They set this up together. They planned it." trying to create the illusion that she made sense. "it's a fake. they staged it. they must have."

Deak to the illogic of her own defense, she insisted, "Nyle is still alive."

Watching her the Castellan wanted to crow for joy. "No woman." His jaws throbbed with the effort of not sinking his teeth into her. "Tell me how. How did he escape?"

Finally she caught hold of herself, closed her mouth on her panic. Shadows flickered in and out of her eyes; she looked as desirable as an immolation.

"He's no Imager," Lebbick went on. "And there isn't any he could have left those rooms except by Imagery. So you did it. You translated him somewhere.

"Where is he woman? I want him."

She stared at him. her dismay seemed to become a kind of calm; she was less frantic simply because she was so afraid. "You've gone crazy," she whispered. "You've snapped, it's been to much for you."


Somehow Terisa must have a point-besides Lebbick's seriously repressed sexuality and what he really wants and means to do to her-he has been stretched to his very limits by events even outside her involvement: Joyse's inactions and severe taxations of his duties, a collusion of the Lord's of the Cares with Eremis somehow a part of, inexplicaple attempts on Terisa's life by Gart, Elega's treachery, attacks of Imagery, the overcrowding of Orison and the safety of it's inhabitants and the (then) impending attack by those Alend dogs who savaged his wife and made him watch, so long ago.

Indeed the Castellan is driven to the point of no return and is about to totally allow his rage to run loose on and over Terisa when the Tor appears at the cell's entrance threatening to have Lebbick put to death if he strikes her again,

Quote:
"Then," he shot back, "you will be especially responsible for crimes you commit yourself. What if she is innocent?'

"'Innocent'?"

Lebbick was ashamed to hear himself cry out the word like a man who was about to start weeping. With a savage effort, he regained control of himself.

"'Innocent"?" he repeated more steadily. "You weren't there my lord. You didn't see Geraden kill his brother. I caught her helping him escape--helping a murderer escape, my lord Tor. You have strange ideas of innocence."

"And your ideas of quilt have cost you your reason, Castellan."


The Tor leads Lebbick off to the King to settle the matter of how Terisa should be dealt with. Joyse is in his quarters with Quillion and Havelock looking as old, decripit and senile as ever. Joyse intimates that he has plans for the Alends on the morrow and inexplicibly strikes the Tor calling him an "interfering old sot" that he will have nothing more to do with. And, unbelievably, allows Lebbick to go ahead and "push" Terisa with the barest of disclaimers-that he must be responsible for his every action. But as he turns to go the stunned Tor advises Lebbick that if he makes one wrong move he will have to answer to him-despite what the King says.

Remembering his other duties Lebbick recalls one of Terisa's "lies" and wonders if, indeed, Nyle may still be alive...and goes off to find Eremis. On his way to the section of Orison where the Masters have there rooms he encounters Eremis who, as if expecting this, informs him that Nyle is, actually, alive! Covering his deep seated hatred of the Master the Castellan accompanies him to his chambers. Along the way Eremis informs him that Geraden had botched the job and missed Nyle's heart and that the physican Underwell and two of Lebbick's guard were attending him at this moment.

Finding two more of his guards outside Eremis' door Lebbick is suaded to be content with these arrangements and decides to attend to his duties while dragging Eremis along for questioning. Basically he poses the same questions he posed at the Congery's meeting earlier that night. (many of the same doubts we've discussed above) Things don't add up. How was it that Eremis was the only one who knew where Terisa was each time Gart had attacked? What about the insects that tryed to kill Geraden and what about all this song and dance about the clumsy Apt being a mastermind. So why was Eremis blaming him when "that woman" had to be behind it? Was Eremis witholding the truth? The Castellan continues drilling him as he attends the disgrutled and thirsty citizens of Orison. Still Eremis betrays nothing...

Quote:
Perhaps that was why Castellan Lebbick couldn't think of a good retort when Eremis goaded him about his loyalty to the King , on the ramparts of Orison after Adept Havelock demonstrated his effectiveness of his defense against catapults. The Master betrayed nothing. We might have decide to defend Mordant ourselves, rather than waiting politely for our beloved King to fall off the precarious perch of his reason. Some reply was essential: Lebbick knew that. But he couldn't seem to pull his yearning spirit this far away from the dungeon. Without paying much attention to what he said, he muttered, "Prove it. Get me water."


After a heated altercation with Havelock near the end of intial defense the next day, when the Adept prods Lebbick about his wife and finally smashes a last seige-engine, Lebbick leaves with Eremis to check on Nyle's status. Tempted to finish his work on Terisa he decides against it wishing to rid himself of the leering Master first. When they arrive they find Nyle and the two guards dead with no sign of Underwell at all! So Underwell must have slaughtered them all and left by a mirror, as the outside guards not only heard nothing but say no one ever left the room. No, this was beyond a human massacre and Lebbick accuses Eremis of setting the whole thing up and translating vile creates of Imagery.

Eremis denies any association by pointing out that he has spent the entire day with the Castellan. Still, Lebbick retorts that he could have had cohorts, such as Gilbur and Gart involved. Eremis counters by saying what purpose does it serve for me to kill Nyle when he was there at the meeting to clear me?' They go round and round with Eremis pointing out other facts that make no sense, but not enough to convince Lebbick. Finally the Master says, "I am not a traitor. I serve Mordant and Orison. I am not to blame for Nyle's death." To which Lebbick says "Prove it." Eremis then tells him that he will do just that, that he is in possession of a mirror that has a image of constant rainfall and can replenish Orison's resevior with it.

Now Lebbick has no choice but to go along with him, if, indeed, he can do what he promises. Ripped in half between the dungeon and the castle's desperate need for water he's not thinking anywhere as clearly as he needs to and avoids poking more holes in Eremis' arguement or even considering Underwell's possible location. He doesn't even go back to reexamine Nyle. Instead he sends Eremis off to give his proposal to the King and has his men clear away the bodies as he beats his head against the wall and actually entertians the prospect that a crazed Geraden may have returned to finish his work.

The next morning Lebbick orders the water system flushed, much to the dismay of the citizens, and Eremis and two Apts begin the translation. Having finished his duties, assessing the uselessness of Havelock's present condition and the state of the seige he goes up to the resevior to witness the work. It appears to be succeeding, but it also appears Eremis was right and that filling the entire pool might take a number of days. In fact, it seems to be very strenous work as Eremis is wielding a large, heavy, mirror and constantly breaking into a cold sweat. Great just great! This is all Lebbick needs-not only is he trying to solve the pressures of his duties he's still going mad by being stuck in the middle and having to figure out who's responsible for these deeper plots-and here is one of his prime suspects perfoming a, possibly, heroic action! "The Master was beating him..." by being forced to used the Imager's talent to alleviate conditions and gain strenght against Kragen's armies-after all this-Eremis could end up 'The Saviour of Orison'.

Prehaps Havelock had a point by smearing his blood on Lebbick's face, during their altercation the day before, and saying, "And you have lost your mind!" After all it wasn't just Terisa and the Tor who questioned his sanity, Eremis, himself, had dropped his own subtle bomb on him, even before Havelock tore into him, when he said to Master Qullion, 'regarding Havelock',
Quote:
"we are well and truly fortunate that only one of the King's friends has lost his mind."


That afternoon the Alends try a new tactic by bringing a catapult to bear on Orison's gates and Kragen's men attempt to storm the walls. Havelock is roused, as Lebbick's archers rout the attack, and struggles to destroy yet another machine making the Alends think twice about doing anything futher. That rote little job out of the way (the highly unbalanced) Lebbick seriously begins to consider how exactly he will "push" our Ms Morgan...


Last edited by danlo on Tue Jul 20, 2004 10:50 pm; edited 4 times in total
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duchess of malfi
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2004 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Danlo, you did such a good job with this chapter I seriously wonder how in the world I can follow you! Shocked Shocked Shocked

I have to get ready for work now, so only have time for one quick comment (I will be back with more comments later ) ----

I LOVE THE TOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2004 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love/hate these chapters, where things really get heartbreaking...

The Tor is such an amazing figure, all flesh and wine and grief and obstinacy--and I can't stand the way he's treated. I just want to feed him a couple of ducklings and get him a bottle of Rostrum wine and a couple of Cadwal dancing girls or something, and just let him enjoy being retired.

And Lebbick, who's been discussed elsewhere--this chapter really shows how far down the road he's gone toward total loss of control over himself, and the pyschological depths Joyse's weakness has sunk him in. We actually get to see the disintegration of his sanity occur right in front of us.

What strikes me is that Lebbick is really one of SRD's great characters: as a narrative device, Lebbick shows us what King Joyse wants his people to see. Through Lebbick, we understand the fear, confusion, and betrayal that most of Joyse's loyal retainers must feel. But apart from his usefulness as a tool for the story, SRD makes him a fully-formed character in his own right, with his own story for why Joyse's madness hits him so hard, for why his reactions to Terisa are so conflicted between rage, fear, and desire.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2004 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good Post Cool Smile
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 1:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This chapter has the Tor at his most admirable, and the King at his most shocking.

Quote:
When Lebbick demanded an audience, the King answered in his nightshirt.

Instead of admitting the Castellan and the Tor to his presence, he opened the door of his formal rooms and stood there between the guards, blinking his watery old eyes at the lamplight as if he had become timid--as if he feared he might not be safe in his own castle in the middle of the night. He hadn't been asleep: he had come to the door too promptly for that. And he neglected or forgot to close it behind him. The Castellan saw that King Joyse already had company.

Two men sat in front of his hearth, looking over their shoulders toward the door.

Adept Havelock. Of course. And Master Quillon, the recently designated mediator of the Congery.

Master Quillon, who had accidentally contrived to help Geraden escape by tripping Lebbick. Master Quillon, who had mistakenly given that woman time to help Geraden by sending the guards away from the rooms where the mirrors were kept.

The Castellan ground curses between his teeth.

King Joyse gaped at Castellan Lebbick and then the Tor with a foolish expression on his face. His beard was tangled in all directions; his white hair jutted wildly around the rim of his tattered and lumpy nightcap--a cap, Lebbick happened to know, which Queen Madin had given him nearly twenty years ago. His hands were swollen with arthritis, and his back stooped for the same reason. The result was that he looked small and a little silly, too much reduced in physical and mental stature to be a credible ruler for his people.

And yet the Castellan loved him. Looking at him now, Lebbick found that what he missed most wasn't Joyse's former leadership--or his former trust. It was the Queen: blunt, beautiful, pragmatic Madin. She had done everything in her power to keep King Joyse from becoming so much less than he was. She wouldn't have let anybody see him in this condition.

That recognition surprised Castellan Lebbick out of the fierce speech he was primed to make. Instead of spitting his bitter demands in Joyse's face, he muttered almost gently, "Forgive the intrusion, my lord King. Couldn't you sleep?"

"No," King Joyse assented in a vague tone. "I meant what I told you to tell Kragen. I want to use the Congery. But I didn't know how. It was keeping me awake. So I sent for Quillon." As if he believed this to be the reason Castellan Lebbick had come to see him, he asked distractedly, "If you were them, what would you do tomorrow?"

Involuntarily, Lebbick exchanged a glance of incomprehension with the Tor. "'Them', my lord King? The Masters?"

"The Alends," King Joyse explained without impatience. "Prince Kragen. What's he going to do tomorrow?"

That question didn't require thought. "Catapults. He'll try to break down the curtain-wall."

King Joyse nodded. "That's what I thought." He seemed too sleepy to concentrate well. "Quillon and Havelock are going to do something about it." As an afterthought, he added, "They'll need advice. And you need to know what they're doing. Meet Quillon at dawn.

"Good night."

He turned back toward his rooms.

"My lord King." It was the Tor who spoke.

The King raised his eyebrows tiredly. "Was there something else?"

"Yes," the Tor said sharply before Castellan Lebbick could break in. "Yes, my lord King. Lebbick has put the lady Terisa of Morgan in the dungeon. He struck her. He means to question her with pain. And he may"--the Tor looked at Lebbick and fought to contain his anger--"may have other intentions as well.

"He must be stopped."

The Castellan started to protest, then caught himself. To his astonishment, King Joyse was glaring at the Tor as if the old lord had begun to stink in some way.

"What difference does it make to you, my lord Tor?" retorted the King. "Nyle was killed. Maybe you didn't realize that. The son of the Domne, my lord Tor--the son of a friend." He spoke as if he had forgotten why the old lord had come to Orison in the first place. "Lebbick is just doing his job."

In response, the Tor's expression turned to nausea; his mouth opened and closed stupidly. He was so appalled that a moment passed before he was able to breathe; then he said as if he were suppressing an attack of apoplexy, "Do I understand you, my lord King?" His lips stretched tight, baring his wine-stained teeth. "Does Castellan Lebbick have your permission to torture and rape the lady Terisa of Morgan?"

A muscle in King Joyse's cheek twitched. Suddenly, his eyes were no longer watery: they flashed blue fire. "That's enough!" Echoes of the man he used to be rang off the walls as he articulated distinctly, "You fat, old, useless sot, you've interfered with me enough. I'm sick of your self-righteousness. I'm sick of being judged. Castellan Lebbick has my permission to do his job."

Behind his constant scowl. inside his clenched heart, Lebbick felt like cheering.

The Tor's face swelled purple; his eyes bulged. His fists came up trembling, as if he were in the throes of a seizure--as if he had finally been provoked to strike his King. When he lowered them again, the act cost him a supreme effort. As the blood left his face, his skin became waxen.

"I do not believe you. You are my King. My friend." His voice rattled in his throat; his gaze was no longer focused on anything. "I, too, have lost a son. I will not believe you.

"Be warned, Castellan. You will suffer for it if you believe him."

His flesh seemed to slump on his bones as he moved away and went slowly down the stairs, carrying himself as if his years had caught up with him without warning and made him frail.

Softly, so that he wouldn't betray his jubilation, Castellan Lebbick murmured, "My lord King."

At once, King Joyse turned on him. The King's blue eyes continued to burn, but now they were unexpectedly rimmed with red. "That woman must be pushed," he rasped under his breath. "She must be made to declare herself." Then he thrust a crooked finger into Lebbick's face and snarled, "Be ready to answer for everything you do."

Without allowing Lebbick time to reply, he reentered his rooms and slammed the door.



It's hard to know what to think of King Joyse at this point! But I knew from here on out that the Tor was my favorite character.
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