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Just how COOL is Artagel?---spoilers
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 3:57 pm    Post subject: Just how COOL is Artagel?---spoilers Reply with quote

I just looked around the Forum and said to myself, 'how can we even exist here w/o an Artagel appreciation thread?'. **shakes head for not starting one earlier** I don't care what any one else says-I don't know how anyone who reads these books doesn't come away with the feeling that ol Artagel was the coolest of the cool. Now Darsint and Havelock: pretty darn cool...The Termigan and the Tor Spoiler:
very cool heroes
...but Artagel can't be beat. Cool Just can't...
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Lebbick was more of a hero than anyone else in the book. He carried on doing a job he didn't have to do even after everyone stopped trusting him. He carried on working for Joyse even after he abandoned him. His faithfulness and obligation to duty were amazing, and he served Mordant until he died. Nobody else was put under so much pressure, and I don't think anyone else could have handled it as admirably as Lebbick did.

Sure, Artagel was cool, and he did a good job; but everyone expected him to do a good job.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, the Tor is the greatest hero in Mordant, in my eyes -- but Artagel is very cool.

Whenever I read a chapter with Artagel in it, I start thinking about swashbuckling heros in old stories -- like the Three Musketeers. Cool His name even reminds me D'Artagnan. Smile
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's an old post of mine from the "Meanings of the Names of the Characters" thread re: Artagel:

Quote:
Hey, everybody, I think I've found Artagel!!

The Faerie Queene, Edmund Spenser

Book III, Canto 3
Quote:
The Redcrosse knight to Britomart
describeth Artegall:
The wondrous myrrhour, by which she
in loue with him did fall.

[explains what happens in the Canto--the Knight of the Redcrosse describes Sir Artegall to Lady Britomart, who fell in love with the latter after seeing him in her father's magic mirror]

Quote:

Ne soothlich is it easie for to read,
Where now on earth, or how he may be found;
For he ne wonneth in one certaine stead,
But restlesse walketh all the world around,
Ay doing things, that to his fame redound,
Defending Ladies cause, and Orphans right,
Where so he heares, that any doth confound
Them comfortlesse, through tyranny or might:
So is his soueraine honour raisde to heauens hight.


[He's always wandering around defending women and children, but he never knows where's he's going to hang his hat, and he travels the world to do it all, and it's all just 'cause he's an honorable guy.]

Basically, it comes down to the fact that Sir Artegall is a big toughie, a real knight errant type, and it takes Britomart, a warrior-maid, to tame him.


Artagel is total swoon-time material. Geraden's a sweetie, Eremis is hypnotically sensual (rather vampirish though), but Artagel is Prime, Grade-A, Numero Uno Superstar as I'm concerned. An awesome swordsman, spy, and what have you; friendly and kind and capable of complete cold-bloodedness. Loyal and true. Not nearly as stupid as he thinks he is. I have a HUGE crush on him. Swoon
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2004 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What does Darsint think about that? Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked

(sorry, couldn't resist Laughing Laughing )
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2004 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Artagel is, without doubt, damned cool. But I have to agree with Nathan in a way. Lebbick had none of his advantges. In fact, Artagel couldn't help being cool. It was practically inevitable, a result of being a son of the Domme, of the way he (and his whole family) were raised.

As Duchess says, he's the arch-typical swashbuckler. And, IIRC, there are no surprises about him. He does what he has to, what he says he will, and that's that.

Although perhaps torn by his brothers betrayal, he still holds faith. His love has never been held up to question. He could never be any other way, and as a result, although his character is great, it doesn't raise any fundamental dichotomies, as Lebbick's does.

--Avatar
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2004 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

duchess of malfi wrote:
What does Darsint think about that? Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked

(sorry, couldn't resist Laughing Laughing )


Ha! duchess! LOL

He gets kind of cranky, and grumbles about that "gods-rotting swordsman" a lot....but for the most part he's okay with it! LOL Very Happy Very Happy
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2004 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I love the conversation that Atagel has with Gart as he's fighting him at the end of AMRT and I need to post it here eventually, *hint, hint*, but it's snowing today so my students are bouncing off the walls and I have to skim most of White Gold Wielder (even before the last chapter) just to start to be ready for my Dissecting "2nd Chrons Wrap-up" Faint
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2004 5:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am a big Artagel fan. Love the way he talks. Hearts

Very cool dude. Mr. Green
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2004 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
Although perhaps torn by his brothers betrayal, he still holds faith. His love has never been held up to question. He could never be any other way, and as a result, although his character is great, it doesn't raise any fundamental dichotomies, as Lebbick's does.


It's true that he's not a terribly complex character, but he admits it himself throughout the story--how great is that? And, although he's certainly the archetypal Knight Errant, he's not a stereotypical knight errant. He's got too much of a sense of humor, too much simple love for his brothers--love, rather than loyalty or honor--and too much modesty to be just a stock character.

I think that's just one of the great things about MN in general. It's a fairy tale, yes, and the archetypes are all there--damsel in distress, young man on a coming-of-age journey, the old wizard, the great and powerful enemy, etc.--and those archetypes are crystal clear to the eye. And yet, SRD somehow manages to make a classic fairy tale story into something a lot more interesting--it's not just the invention of Imagery, or the creation of a truly superb villain--it's a je ne sais quoi, and indescribable (at least by me) something that endows the story with a certain level of gravitas that other grown-up fairy tales often lack.

Oh, and did I mention that Artagel's just a flat-out-hunka-hunka-burnin-luv? Laughing
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2004 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Myste"]
Avatar wrote:
Oh, and did I mention that Artagel's just a flat-out-hunka-hunka-burnin-luv? Laughing


Amen, sister. Cool
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2004 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

*delurks*

Artagel...

ROCKS.

And I love him.

Period.

*relurks*

~Foamy~
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2004 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Artagel was one of my favourites. He is a relatively straightforward character, although SRD hints at hidden depths in his relationship with Lebbick and Artagel's actions following his demise.

I also related to Artagel's struggles with self-doubt after his defeats at the hands of Gart, and I really liked the way he keeps "all of the blades that have ever failed him". So much so that I've started doing so myself, although at the rate I break swords I'll probably run out of room before too long.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Artagel's an admirable character, all right, being brave and decent and loyal. He's badly hurt when he thinks Geraden killed Nyle, and he doesn't like what happened to Lebbick. But he does what must be done, such as apologizing to Prince Kragen when the Tor needs him to do so. Not a complex character, but surely likeable.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nav failed to mention above that a foil is probably rather less sturdy than Artagel's sword... Very Happy

(I wonder where Nav is these days...)

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
Nav failed to mention above that a foil is probably rather less sturdy than Artagel's sword... Very Happy

(I wonder where Nav is these days...)

--A



It sure would be nice if he came back around here, Avatar! I've enjoyed reading his posts.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmph. Traitor. Abandoner. Laughing

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The first appearance of Artagel in the story (as "the man in gray") certainly gives him a heroic status, when he's keeping Terisa and the Prince from being killed by matching himself against an opponent with more skill.

In Chapter 12 of The Mirror Of Her Dreams was wrote:
The man in gray moved with such speed that it was difficult to realize how graceful he was, difficult to follow the way his sword swept and cut as if it were avid in his hands. He and his opponent wove gloom and echoes and hot sparks around each other. In the space between one heartbeat and the next, he blocked his opponent's blade, then dropped one fist from his swordhilt and struck a backhand blow that staggered the man in black.

Smoothly, almost contemptuously, Terisa's attacker brushed aside the onslaught that followed. He gripped her defender's blade with one gloved hand long enough to chop his elbow down on the man in gray's neck.

The man in gray staggered to the floor. He caught himself on one knee, countered a brutal assault, regained his feet. He was still smiling, still smiling. But his opponent had single-handedly beaten Argus and Ribuld. Sweat ran from his face. The lanterns showed a glare of desperation in his eyes.

Shouts rang along the corridor. He made the mistake of glancing to see what they meant.

His opponent responded with a belly-thrust so swift it couldn't be parried.

He parried it. The convulsive effort cost him his balance, however. Although he stopped the next blow with his blade, it was so powerful that it knocked him on his back.

For a fraction of a second, he was as helpless as Terisa.

Then Prince Kragen sprang into the struggle, whirling his bloody blade.

The Perdon was only half a step behind him.

The man in black flung a look of yellow hate at Terisa.

An instant later, he leaped back. His hands and sword made a strange gesture.

Without warning, he disappeared. Before the echoes of combat died, he was gone from the passage as completely as if he had never been there.

The Perdon gaped. Prince Kragen dropped his sword in stunned surprise. The man in gray regained his feet, hunting the air as though he thought he might hear or smell some sign of his opponent.

Shivering, Terisa got her arms under her and pushed her chest off the floor.

The Prince was breathing in hard gasps, near exhaustion, but he went to look at his men. When he saw that one of them had been beheaded, he clenched his fists over his heart, and his face twisted into a snarl. "They were my friends," he rasped. "I was in your debt, my lady. But now I think I have made repayment."

The Perdon spat, "Pigswill!" He wasn't talking to Prince Kragen. "Who were they? How could they know we would be here?"

Braced on her hands and knees, Terisa watched her rescuer wipe his sword and sheath it, then kneel in front of her to help her to her feet. He had a nice smile--he was trying to reassure her--and his face was strong. It reminded her of someone. Nevertheless his eyes were clouded with trouble.

"My lady, I am Artagel. One of Geraden's numerous brothers. He asked me to watch over you. I haven't done very well.

"Apparently"--he grimaced--"someone really wants you killed."

The smell of blood on her clothes was so strong that she simply couldn't help fainting.


Artagel is described as graceful, smiling, and swift in reaction, and his contest with the man in black in described in poetic manner: "He and his opponent wove gloom and echoes and hot sparks around each other." He fits the label of "swashbuckler" by any measure of which I am aware.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This next quote occurs after Artagel has identified the dead Cadwals as Apts of the High King's Monomach Gart, and Prince Kragen and the Perdon make a hasty exit to avoid being seen there by Lebbick's men and opening themselves to accusations of treachery for being there because of the meeting of the lords of the Cares, with Eremis, Gilbur, and Kragen.

In Chapter 13 of The Mirror Of Her Dreams was wrote:
Terisa looked at Artagel and saw that the gleam was back in his eyes; he was smiling again. In reply to her gaze, he bowed humorously. "For my part, my lady, I haven't got anything worth hiding. Whatever happens, all Orison will assume I had something to do with this many dead bodies. I'm afraid I have that kind of reputation--I don't know why. In any case, I have a better opinion of Lebbick than most people do. But there's no reason why you should have to spend the rest of the night listening to him sneer at you." He gestured down the passage. "Shall we go?"

Again, she said, "Thanks." She wished he would take her arm; she needed the support. "I don't think I can face him. He doesn't like me."

"Nonsense." As if guided by inspiration, he slipped his arm through hers and braced it companionably. He tone jollied her along. "You don't know him as well as I do. Our good Castellan only insults the people he likes. And if he likes you a lot, he becomes positively scathing. His wife--rest her soul--was the only person in Orison who was ever able to get civility as well as affection out of him."

Together, they moved through the gloom toward the next lantern.

Almost at once, they heard running feet.

He was undismayed. Still grinning, he drew her into a side passge and along a different route back toward the inhabited levels of the castle. With apparent ease, he avoided encountering the guards. In a shorter time than she was expecting, he brought her to the tower where her rooms were.


Artagel gives Terisa his arm when needed, keeps a lighthearted disposition showing, and deftly ducks into alleyways to avoid notice by the guards. All of this gives him an unruffled and gallant air, making it easy to find him impressive, even though his character is relatively simple, and even though his opponent is clearly better at fighting.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Continuing in the same chapter, immediately following the last quote:
Quote:
By then she had recovered at least some grasp on the situation. Artagel had saved her life. Because Geraden had asked him to keep an eye on her. Now he was taking her away from a session with the grim Castellan, in which she would have had to lie and lie and lie to protect Master Eremis, Prince Kragen, and the lords of the Cares. She should have started thinking about gratitude some time ago.

Off the top of her head, she couldn't imagine many ways to thank Artagel effectively. At least one small one was clear to her, however. So far, they had been fortunate: they hadn't been seen closely enough to expose the mess that blood and dirty water had made of her clothes. But to reach her rooms she would have to pass within arm's reach of the guards outside her door--

At the foot of the stairway, she stopped and disengaged her arm. A bit awkwardly--she wasn't accustomed to making decisions in this way, with a tall, strong, man smiling at her quizzically--she explained, "I can go alone from here. We've been lucky so far. I don't think you want to be seen with me."

He cocked an amused eyebrow. "I don't, my lady?" The events of the evening hadn't seriously ruffled his self-confidence. "Well, I admit you aren't as clean as you should be. But I don't choose my friends on the basis of accidents like that." He chuckled. "If I did, poor Geraden would be at the bottom of my list."

His smile was disarming, but she persisted. "That's not what I meant. The guards are going to notice"--she twisted her mouth in disgust--"the way I look. And someone is going to realize that a woman covered in blood must have something to do with all those dead men. If you're seen with me, you'll be implicated.

"I know you aren't worried about that. But you should be. How are you going to explain it to the Castellan?"

He was unpersuaded. Lebbick didn't worry him. And she couldn't ask him to lie, either for herself or for Master Eremis. So she shifted to a different argument. "Do you know what he did to Geraden the last time he caught him trying to give me independent protection?"

At that, Artagel frowned thoughtfully. "You have a point, my lady. He tried to explain why he doesn't trust the guards, but I didn't understand all of it. It had something to do with the orders King Joyse gave the Castellan? Or the way he interprets those orders?" He shrugged. "Geraden has always had a subtler mind than I do. Is it true that the guards don't even ask where you're going when you leave your rooms?"

Terisa felt a new touch of panic. So she wasn't imagining it: the guards did treat Geraden differently than the other people who came for her. She nodded mutely.

"That doesn't make sense," Artagel commented. Then he shook his frown away. "But I'm sure it will eventually. That's Geraden's only fault. I mean, aside from clumsiness. He's too impatient. Things always make sense eventually, if you don't think about them too hard."

Smiling again, he added, "But you're right. I don't want to get him in any more trouble. I'll leave you here." For a moment, his expression grew sober. "I'm still going to keep an eye on you. I take him seriously when he's that worried. And this time he has good reason. The High King's Monomach is training his Apts better than he used to. If you need me, I'll usually be somewhere nearby."

He put on a jaunty grin. With a graceful and humorous bow, he saluted her. "Rest well, my lady." Then he strode away.


No, Artagel's not the type to think things through very deeply. This may be an advantage for him as a fighter, where he relies on instinct, training, and intuition, and doesn't get paralyzed or distracted by mysteries and puzzles.
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