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AMRT: Chapter 38: Conflict at the Gates

 
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2004 5:43 am    Post subject: AMRT: Chapter 38: Conflict at the Gates Reply with quote

We rejoin Geraden and Terisa, as they are riding from Romish in Fayle to Orison. Terisa is worried sick about Torrent, and her lone pursuit of the Queen and her abductors. She and Geraden will be taking the road through Armigite, the most direct way to get to Orison. It is the same road that Kragen and his Alend army used,and Geraden is worried both about Alends and about possible spies sent out by the Armigite.

Terisa and Geraden are trying to figure out what has happened, and why the Alends kidnapped the Queen, and whether Orison is under siege. And if Kragen has betrayed Elega, for why would Elega have ever permitted the kidnapping of her mother??? They decide to try to be taken to the Princess before the Prince finds out that they have arrived...

A nice description of some of the geography of Mordant follows:

Quote:
They rode out of the last hills of Fayle onto one of Armigite's many fertile flatlands at what felt like a breakneck pace. Leaving the woods behind increased Terisa's anxiety: Armigite appeared to be almost unnaturally open, as if everything that moved through it were somehow exposed. Perhaps that was why the Armigite had become what he was: perhaps his personality had been distorted by the pressure of being so exposed. But actually there were quite a few trees around, even in lowlands which had obviously been under cultivation before Kragen and his army had crossed the Pestil. Concealment was sparse, but shade was available. Partly for that reason, and partly because of the soil's richness, the flats of Armigite bore no resemblance to the arid spaces of Termigan.


Despite Geraden having never travelled through that part of Mordant before, they make good time. Terisa is brooding, however.

Quote:
Torrent had touched her unexpectantly, made her aware of her own inadequacies. In their seperate ways, each of the King's daughters had daunted her. They had inherited more courage than she seemed to possess.


Yes -- Elega, Torrent, and Myste are quite a threesome, aren't they? Very Happy

She is also worried that Eremis had seen them when he had translated the avalanche to Vale House. Geraden reassures her on this score, though, pointing out that if Eremis had seen them, he could have easily sent Gart after them. Surprised The two of them talk about the mechanics of such a translation, agreeing that two mirrors would have to be used. And that someone would have to very careful translating a natural disaster like an avalanche. A flat mirror would have to be tranlated into the curved mirror, and all the Master would be able to see of the flat mirror would be its back...

While Kragen still sieges Orison, Geraden and Terisa travel onwards. They skirt around the city of Batten and have to cross the Alend supply lines. They also run across some very skanky looking mercenaries, but get away from them without being seen. Smile

Quote:
...she was suprised at herself. Without warning, she was filled with a sense of how strange her circumstances were. Wasn't she Terisa Morgan, the passive girl who had typed sad letters for Reverend Thatcher until she had lost faith in him and in his mission? Wasn't she the lonely woman who had decorated her apartment in mirrors because she didn't know any other way to prove she existed? So what was she doing here? - surrounded, as Geraden observed, by enemies; struggling across country on horseback in a nearly crazy effort to warn King Joyse that his wife had been abducted; so angry at Master Eremis that she couldn't think about it without trembling. What was she doing?

"So am I," she murmured; but Geraden had been teasing her, and she was serious. The night on all sides felt at once vast and subtle, too big to be faced, too cunning to be escaped. And the stars - She knew in her bones that the city where her apartment was had nowhere near this many stars watching it. "Right now it seems like there isn't another place in the universe farther awayfrom where I used to live than this."

"Are you afraid?" heasked gently. "We still have a long way to go."

He wasn't talking about the distance to Orison.

"That's the funny part," she mused. "When I stop and take my pulse, I get the impression I've never been so scared in all my life. But when I htink about where I came from" - my apartment, my job, my parents - "I think I've never been so brave."

After awhile, he said, "It makes an amazing difference when you have good, clear reasons for what you are doing. I think I used to have so many accidents because I was confused. In conflict with myself."


I think that passage shows how very far both Geraden and Terisa have come since the beginning of the story. Very Happy Cool

We then join Kragen, as he batters the gates of Orison at night. He is worried because the last messengers of the Perdon had arrived. He sent them away before beginning a battle to the death against High King Festten somewhere in Tor...the High King's actions make no sense to Kragen, so he is afraid. Why would the High King march more than 20,000 men to a bleak area of Tor, away from any major cities, just to camp??? Kragen is beginning to become desperate to win the siege...

A heavy rain begins to fall, making both defense and attack of Orison impossible...and makes concealment for Terisa and Geraden much easier in their travels...when the rain ends, Kragen renews his assault upon the gates. Lebbick thinks that the gates will fall in one more day...

But Terisa and Geraden arrive at Orison that same afternoon. They demand that the first Alends they meet take them to Elega. The Alends deliver them to Elega and Kragen, and quite a bit of mutual distrust occurs. Wink Eventually the twosome do tell Elega what happened to her mother, and a wonderful scene happens, with Elega's passionate love for her mother burning forth, and Kragen's passionate love for Elega also exploding outward. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

Terisa is the peacemaker in the scene. She convines Geraden that Kragen is telling the truth when he denies Alend involvement in the Queen's abduction. And she says that Kragen will let them into Orison to prove that. Very Happy

Terisa explains to Kragen that, on his diplomatic mission to Orison, Joyse had been testing him. That Joyse had been trying to figure out who the traitors were. She says that she and Geraden now know who they are, and they tell Kragen both their identity, and where they keep their mirrors.

Kragen goes off to talk to his father, and when he returns he says that Geraden and Terisa can go into Orison in the morning -- with Kragen himself, but that Elega will remain safely behind in camp. Kragen then orders the assault on the gates to be withdrawn. Cool

Kragen is cool. Cool

Quote:
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 iteself come between us, I will wed her before I die. Give her to me."


Isn't that romantic?
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2004 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great dissection, duchess!

I think my favorite thing about this chapter is the discussion Geraden and Terisa have with Kragen...Terisa gets drunk, and says more than she had planned--(I don't have the book in front of me)

Quote:
"Do you know what you're doing?" Geraden looked worried. "You look like you've had too much drink."


And Terisa starts playing the question game with Kragen, and wags her finger at him...

It's funny, and tense, and it all works out right in the end. A great scene!
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