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AMRT Chapter 29: Terisa has Visitors

 
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2004 6:06 pm    Post subject: AMRT Chapter 29: Terisa has Visitors Reply with quote

Terisa is in her cell, still reeling from the latest blow she has received from the Castellan.

Quote:
But the Castellan didn't listen to her. He took hold of her shoulders and kissed her like a blow. Then he did hit her; she staggered against the wall and fell. It was the second time he had hit her. The first time, she had been full of audacity. She had told him that his wife would have been ashamed of him. She could almost have foreseen that he would hit her. But this time she was begging. Please don't do this to me. And he hit her anyway. Like her father, he didn't stop.


Terisa desperately wants to be able to fade away before the Castellan returns to break her. She wants to return to the childhood self-defense mechanism that allowed her to survive the abuse she received from her parents. But to her dismay, she has lost this ability, for here in Mordant she has become to much of a real person to be able to fade away like she used to...

And she finally realizes that the reason she cannot fade is her attachment to Geraden. For the first time in her life, someone means so much to her that she cannot bear fading away. She also feels that she has failed him, and the combination of fear of the Castellan, fear for Geraden, and shame for having failed Geraden has her in an emotional upheavel. Terisa has learned how to love for the first time in her life, and it is this knowledge that makes her "real".

She is sitting on the floor of her cell, propped up against the wall, where she landed from the Castellan's blow, when the Tor comes for a visit. He pleads with her to reveal where Geraden has gone. He tells her that the King has given the Castellan permission to do anything to her that he wishes, and that the King doesn't understand that the Castellan has been pushed too far and is now mad. He points out to Terisa that Orison is under siege, and that Geraden is safe from any pursuit. The Tor tells her that once Joyse understands what the Castellan will do to Terisa , with the King's permission, he will be horribly harmed, and may perhaps lose what little is left of himself.

And Terisa, with her new strength from her love for Geraden, refuses.

Her next visitor is Artagel. He has also come to her cell to find out where Geraden has gone. He wishes to find Geraden so he can kill him. Sad And he tells Terisa that she must be evil in some way, the cause of Geraden's murder of Nyle.

Terisa sends him away, without telling him anything about Geraden's whereabouts.

Her third visitor is Lebbick.
Quote:
"And King Joyse wants me to hurt you. He wants me to find out who you are - what you are."
A suggestion of yearning came into Lebbick's voice, a hint of wistfullness. "Sometimes - a long time ago - he used to let me get even with his enemies. Sometimes. Men like that garrison commander - But he's never given me permission to hurt someone like you."


To try to save herself, Terisa agrees to tell him anything he wishes to know, with the exception of where Geraden is. And she does, telling him the answers to all of the questions he has been asking all along, about the assasination attempts on herself and why Gilbur and Eremis think Geraden is such a threat:
Quote:
"They want Geraden dead or ruined because he really is an Imager - a kind of Imager no one has ever seen before."


Terisa suggests that the dead, faceless man is really the physician rather than Nyle. She tells the Castellan to make Artagel look at the dead body very closely to see whether or not it is really Nyle's.

Lebbick leaves, with another of his threats.

Quote:
""While I'm gone, remember something. Even if that is Underwell's corpse, it doesn't prove Nyle is alive. It doesn't prove anything about Geraden or Eremis. All it proves is that some shit-lover is still plotting something. If you want me to arrest the whore-bait "hero of Orison", don't show me Underwell is dead. Show me Nyle is alive."

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2004 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great read, Dutchess. You got it down to the important parts, and unlike me, kept your dissection to under a half-hour read;-) I really hate what comes next (in the book), but I guess it has to happen......
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2004 6:42 pm    Post subject: Re: AMRT Chapter 29: Terisa has Visitors Reply with quote

Great dissection, duchess! There's just one thing I'm not sure about:

duchess of malfi wrote:
Terisa has learned how to love for the first time in her life, and it is this knowledge that makes her "real".


This is one of the central themes of the book--of all SRD's books, really: What makes us real? And I'm not sure that it's as simple as just learning how to love. I think love is a huge part of it, but I'm not sure that it's the only thing. In order to love at all, she'd have to feel real enough to have feelings that mattered. It's true that Geraden was the first one to care one way or another how she felt, but then, Eremis did too, in his own way (or at least made her "feel" like he did).

I think what made Terisa "real" was that she was finally taking action; she was choosing sides, sorting out her priorities, and trying to get things done. Was she doing it all for Geraden's sake? I'm not sure. He helped her decide which side to be on, but if it'd just been love that made her real, she

Spoiler:
could have waited for him with the Domne in the Closed Fist after Houseldon burned down. Instead, she stuck by him, went with him when he went to rally the Cares, in the hopes that she would be able to use her power to help King Joyse win.


I like this chapter a lot because in it, Terisa moves beyond action and into conviction. She's taken action, she's made up her own mind, and now she has to have the strength, the faith in her own reality, to stand by her convictions. I think you're absolutely right that Terisa's finally too real to escape by fading, duchess--I just think there's more to her reality than her love for Geraden. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2004 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And yet it still all stems from Geraden, Myste. Her ability to act comes from the realisation that she cares for Geraden, the realisation which told her she was on his side no matter what. That was the conviction which allowed her to act.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2004 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do see your point, Murrin, but I'm not entirely convinced. What about her choice not to betray Havelock and Quillon after they gave her the lowdown on what was going on in Mordant? That was before she had any reason to be loyal to Geraden, before she was convinced one way or another about her reality on the New York side of the mirror. She didn't tell either Geraden OR Eremis about Havelock and Quillon right away--that was a choice she made for herself, and IMO that's when she started getting a grip on her own reality, whether she was convinced of it herself yet or not.

In no way am I trying to belittle Geraden's importance in her finally figuring herself out--Terisa became who she was because of him. But it wasn't love alone that made her "real." What made her real was making choices and decisions even before she had any clear conception of what "love" is.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Atragel's behavior in this chapter may be the most disappointing I've seen from him. And yet, conversely (or is it, inversely?), Terisa's behavior here is the most admirable I've seen from her yet, as she won't be lured away from loyalty to Geraden.

In A Man Rides Through Chapter 29 was wrote:
She couldn't lift the whole weight of Mordant's need by herself. She was hardly able to lift her head off the lumpy pallet which served as her mattress. The Tor had seen Nyle's body. Geraden's brother was unquestionably dead.

Why should she bother to eat? What was the point?

Maybe if she got hungry enough, she would regain the ability to let go of her own existence.

She tried to sleep--tried to relax so that the tension and reality would flow out of her muscles--but another set of boots stumbled toward her down the corridor. Just one: someone was coming in her direction alone. A slow, limping stride, hesitant or frail. She didn't want to know who it was. She didn't want to be distracted.

For the first time, he called her by her name.

"Terisa."

It wasn't a good omen.

Startled, she raised her head and saw Geraden's brother at the door of her cell.

"Artagel?"

He wore a nightshirt and breeches--clothes which seemed to increase his family resemblance to Greaden and Nyle because they weren't right for a swordsman. His dress and his way of standing as if someone had just stuck a knife in his side made it clear that he was still supposed to be in bed. He had been too weak yesterday--was it really only yesterday?--to support Geraden in front of the Congery. Obviously, he was too weak to walk around in the dungeon alone today.

Yet he was here.

It was definitely not a good omen that he had called her Terisa.

Forgetting her own lack of strength, she swung her legs off the cot and went toward him. "Oh, Artagel, I'm so glad to see you, I'm in so much trouble, I need you, I need a friend, Artagel, they think Geraden killed Nyle, they--"

His pallor stopped her. The sweat of strain on his forehead and the tremor of pain in his mouth stopped her. His eyes were glazed, as if he were about to lose consciousness. Gart, the High King's Monomach, had wounded him severely, and he drove himself into relapses by struggling out of bed when he should have been resting. The fact that Gart had beaten him; Nyle's treasonous alliance with Prince Kragen and the lady Elega; the accusations against Geraden; things like that tormented the Domne's most famous son, goading him to fight his weakness--and his recovery.

"Artagel," she groaned, "you shouldn't be here. You should be in bed. You're making yourself sick again."

"No." The word came out like a gurgle. With one arm, he clamped his other hand against his side. "No." Because he was too sick to remain standing without help, he leaned on the door, pressing his forehead against the bars. The dullness in his eyes made him look like he was going blind. "This is your doing."

She halted: pain went through her like a burn. "Artage?" There were, after all, more kinds of pain in the world than she would ever have guessed. Except for Geraden, Artagel was the best friend she had. She would have trusted him without question. "You don't mean that." He thought she was responsible? "You can't."

"I didn't mean to say it." He was having trouble with his respiration. His breath seemed to struggle past an obstruction in his chest. "That isn't why I'm here. Lebbick is going to take care of you. I just want to know where Geraden is.

"I'm going to hunt him down and cut his heart out."

Suddenly, she was filled with a desire to wail or weep. It would have done her good to cry out. But this was too important. Somehow, she kept her cry down. Panting because the cell was too small and if she didn't get more air soon she was going to fail, she protested, "No. Eremis did this. It's a trick. I tell you, it's a trick. The Tor says he's seen the body, and Nyle is really dead, but I don't believe it. Geraden didn't have anything to do with this."

"Ah!" Artagel gasped as if he were hurt and furious. "Don't lie to me. Don't lie to me anymore." Now his eyes were clear and hot, bright with passion or fever. "I've seen the body myself."

And while she reeled inside herself, he continued, "After Geraden stabbed him, he was still alive. That much is true Eremis rushed him to his own rooms and got a physician for him. That was his only chance to stay alive. Eremis got him that chance. Then Eremis put guards on him--inside the room and outside the door. In case Geraden tried again.

"It didn't work." Artagel's forehead seemed to bulge between the bars; he might have been trying to break his skull. "Lebbick found them. The guards were killed. Some kind of beast fed off them. Geraden must have translated something into the room--something they couldn't fight.

"Nyle was killed. It chewed his face off."

Just for a second, that image struck her so horribly that she wailed. Oh, Nyle! Oh, my God. Visceral revulsion churned inside her, and her hands leaped to cover her mouth. Geraden, no!

She should have gone with him. To prevent all this.

But then she saw iron and anguish, and Geraden came back to her. She knew him. And she loved him. Terisa, I did not kill my brother. Without warning, she was asngry. Years of outrage which she had stored away in the secret places of her heart abruptly sprang out, touching her with fire.

"Say that again," she breathed, panted. "Go on. Say it."

Artagel was beyond the reach of surprise. Baring his teeth in a sanarl, he repeated, "Nyle was killed. The beast chewed his face off."

"And you believe Geraden did that?" She lashed her protest at him. "Are you out of your mind? Has everybody in this whole place gone crazy?"

He blinked dumbly; for one brief moment, he seemed to regard her in a different light. Almost at once, however, his own horror returned. His legs were failing. Slowly, he began to slip down the bars.

"I saw his body. I held it. I've still got his blood on my clothes."

That was true. Her lamp was bright enough to reveal the dried stains on his nightshirt.

"I don't care." She was too angry to imagine what the experience had been like for him--to hold his own brother's outraged corpse in his arms and have no way to bring the body back to life. "Geraden is your brother. You've known him all his life. You know him better than that."

Artagel continued slipping. His side hurt too much: apparently, he couldn't use his hands. She reached through the bars and grabbed his nightshirt to support him somehow; but he was too heavy for her. Finally he bent his legs and caught his weight on his knees. "I tell you I've seen his body."

He pulled her down with him until she was on her knees as well. Raging into his face, she gasped, "I don't care. Geraden didn't do it."

"And I tell you I've seen his body." In spite of weakness and fever, Artagel met her with the unflinching passion which had twice led him to hurl himself against the High King's Monomach. "You deny it, but it isn't going to go away. An Imager did it. Translation is the only way a beast could get into that room and out again. But it wasn't Eremis. He was with Lebbick the whole time.

"Right now, he's up in the reservoir translating a new water supply. He's the only reason we've got any hope at all. I took Geraden's side against him"--Artagel's voice seemed to be thick with blood--"and I was wrong. He's saving us./

"Geaden killed Nyle. I'm going to track him down whether you tell me where he is or not. The only difference it's going to make is time."

"And then you're going to cut his heart out." Terisa couldn't bear any more. He made her want to shriek. With an effort of will, she let go of his shirt, drew back from him. "Get out of here," she muttered. "I don't want to hear this." The image of what had happened to Nyle sucked at her concentration. She thrust it away with both hands. "Just get out of here."

Then the sight of him--fierce and in pain on his knees against her bars--touched her, and she relented a little. "You really ought to be in bed. You aren't going to be hunting anybody for a while. If the Castellan doesn't tear it out of me--and if he lets me live--I promise I'll tell you everything I can when You're will enough to do something about it."

He didn't raise his head for a long time. When he finally looked up, the light had gone out of his gaze.

Torturously, like an old man whose joints had begun to betray him, he pulled himself up the bars, regained his feet. "I always trusted him," he murmured as if he were alone, deaf and blind to her presence. "More than Nyle or any of the others. He was so clumsy and decent. And smarter than I am. I can't figure it out.

"You came along, and I thought that was good because it gave him something to fight for. It gave him a reason to stop letting those Masters humiliate him. So then he kills Nyle, kills"--Artagel shuddered, his eyes focused on nothing--"and you're the only explanation I can think of, you must be evil in some terrible way I don't understand, but you want me to go on trusting him. I can't figure it out.

"I saw his body." Like an old man, he turned from the door and began shuffling down the corridor. "I picked it up and held it." Brushing at the dried stains on his nightshirt, he passed beyond Terisa's range of vision. His boots scuffed along the floor until she couldn't hear them anymore.


Even when angry, hurt, and disappointed by Artagel's accusation, Terisa takes pity on him. Despite this strained scene, Artagel really is one of her best friends in Mordant, when it comes down to it.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nicely summarised Cord .... Big Grin

Yes Artegel is more than a good friend by now .. its always satisfying isnt it to see fealty in motion?
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skyweir wrote:
Nicely summarised Cord .... Big Grin

Yes Artegel is more than a good friend by now .. its always satisfying isnt it to see fealty in motion?


It is indeed, Skyweir! Artagel's come through for Terisa when it counted. And here Terisa is coming through for Geraden when no one else appears to believe in him, anymore.
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