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Author Topic: Duncan's training  (Read 7623 times)

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Offline revanne

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Duncan's training
« on: March 09, 2015, 04:46:20 pm »
Does anyone know where Duncan did his theological training? Was there anywhere other than Arx Fidei where Priests could be trained at the time of his ordination?
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Offline Evie

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Re: Duncan's training
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2015, 04:58:24 pm »
I seem to recall something about him going to the University of Grecotha, though I can't remember where I got that from. The Codex, maybe? Or maybe the short story about his wedding to Maryse, in one of the flashbacks? (That is, that might have been where he was studying prior to meeting Maryse, and if so, it would be logical for him to return there after her death, once he was more certain about his vocation.) Or would that education just have been prep work for a seminary that would more fully prepare him for ordination?
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Re: Duncan's training
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2015, 05:00:51 pm »
Hang on...who officiated at his ordination?  Was that Alexander Darby?  If so, where was Darby assigned at the time?  That might be in the Codex, and might provide a clue or three. I'll also try to remember the Deryni Adventures roleplaying game sourcebook when I get home.  It tends to have more general information rather than anything that specific, but it might at least mention which seminaries were in existence during Kelson's era.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2015, 05:07:23 pm by Evie »
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Re: Duncan's training
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2015, 09:33:31 pm »
OK, I've gone mining the timeline at the back of the Codex, and it yields some interesting stuff.  It does not define exactly where Duncan went to seminary, only where, when, and by whom he ends up being ordained. (I still have the University of Grecotha niggling at the back of my mind for some reason, though, even though it turns out he was ordained in Rhemuth. Does anyone have a copy of the Deryni Archives book on hand to check the story "Deo Volente" to see if it mentions where Duncan was studying and considering his vocation before he married Maryse?)

However, notice this progression of events from the timeline:

April 14, 1104--Fr Alexander Darby becomes pastor of St Mark's Parish Church near Valoret

August 1, 1104 -- Jorian is ordained at Arx Fidei Seminary (near Valoret)

Sept 1--Jorian tried and condemned to death

Nov 10--Jass MacArdry born. (Has absolutely no bearing on the rest of this; I just threw that in as Annie-bait in case she happens upon this thread. ;) )

Nov. 11 --Jorian martyred on Martinmas

Feb 2, 1105 (Candlemas)--Denis Arilan ordained (presumably also at Arx Fidei?) Note: Coincidentally, this also happens to be Duncan's 13th birthday.

April 12, 1107--Fr Alexander Darby is elected an itinerant bishop of Gwynedd

March 25, 1107--Duncan secretly marries Maryse. (BTW, isn't this Lady's Day, aka the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin?)

March 28, 1108--Duncan learns of Maryse's death and resumes his studies towards the priesthood.

May 10, 1108--Bishop Darby is elected Archbishop of Rhemuth. (I find it interesting that he goes from being an itinerant bishop with no see to an Archbishop in the space of a year. Talk about lightning fast career advancement!)

And now here is where it gets even more interesting....

March 16, 1112--The Codex says, "Father Denis Arilan, anticipating Duncan McLain's ordination, has himself transferred to Rhemuth to facilitate it." (The timeline entry also adds "Humanum amara est, humanum autem ignoscere est." I wonder if that quote was picked at random or for a specific reason?  It translates something like "It is human to love, and also human to forgive," at least according to the website I just looked it up on. Hints of some backstory between Duncan and Denis, or does the quote simply refer to Duncan finally putting to rest any lingering anger/bitterness/trust issues towards God over Maryse's death and wholeheartedly committing himself to his vocation? And why does Denis take such a special interest in Duncan? Has he figured out that Duncan is Deryni, and is simply pretending not to know in HD? Or does he at least suspect, even if he doesn't have those suspicions confirmed until HD? How has Duncan even come to Denis's notice in the first place?  This would seem to imply Duncan perhaps ending up at Arx Fidei, even if he might have started his studies elsewhere. In addition to the Arx Fidei Seminary near Valoret, I think the original motherhouse was a short distance outside of Rhemuth, and may also be functioning as a seminary in King Brion's time. Is Denis on the Camberian Council by this point--which seems likely, since his brother Jamyl died in 1107, which would leave the CC with a seat to fill, and they already know and trust the Arilans--and is this how he might know of Alaric's and Duncan's Deryni lineage even before the events of DC and HD? At least he'd definitely have known that Alaric was Deryni, so he may well suspect Duncan might be at least of partial Deryni lineage simply because of the familial associations, even if he was never aware that Vera and Alyce were twins. Also, I'd love to know where Denis is transferring from.  Valoret, perhaps? Lots to ponder from that simple timeline entry.  ;D )

April 10, 1113--Duncan and his friend Hugh de Berry are ordained in Saint George's Cathedral, Rhemuth, by Alexander Darby, Archbishop of Rhemuth, "under the watchful eye of Father Denis Arilan." Also, "Duncan is assigned to a parish church at Culdi near his family's estate, while Hugh is assigned to be a personal secretary to Bishop Corrigan.  (I'm sure Duncan did not envy Hugh one bit!) Was Duncan's assignment mere happenstance, or some additional string-pulling by Denis on Duncan's behalf, to keep the fledgling priest from coming to the notice of his anti-Deryni superiors until he was better prepared to mingle in those circles with his guard fully up?)

And yes, I know that you are writing a Duncan's Ordination story, but the interesting connection between Duncan and Denis continues further:

September 12, 1114--Duncan is sent to the University of Grecotha for two years' further study.  (Ah, maybe that's what I was remembering!)

December 22, 1114--Oliver DeNore dies, an early Christmas present to all Deryni in Gwynedd.  ;)

January 31, 1115--Vera McLain dies, putting an end to Duncan's and Alaric's only source of Deryni training. (This was written before KK introduced Sir Se as another potential source of training, at least for Alaric, but since Alaric doesn't seem all that much better trained than Duncan by the events of DR, my guess is that Sir Se is dead by this time also. Evie cries forever.... )

March 18, 1115--Denis becomes Confessor to King Brion and is promoted to Monsignor.

May 4, 1116--now that Duncan has had time to season a little bit, Monsignor Denis Arilan brings Father Duncan McLain to Rhemuth as his secretary and assistant.  Again, we see that special interest in Duncan. Seems like young Father Nivard was hardly Denis's first Deryni protege, he was simply the first to know that's what he actually was to Denis! I wonder why Denis felt he could trust Nivard with his secret, but not Duncan?  Perhaps he kept his own Deryni heritage a secret from Duncan because he didn't trust that Duncan would keep the knowledge secret from his cousin Alaric, and he didn't trust Alaric? (Or it needn't even have been a question of not trusting Alaric. Alaric was openly known to be Deryni. If Alaric knew Denis was Deryni, and Alaric were to fall prey to some Deryni-hater, Denis's secret could be discovered. Can't really blame Denis from wanting to keep his Deryni lineage secret from an openly known Deryni. Poor guy probably still had PTSD nightmares about Jorian's execution!)

Oct. 21, 1116--Thomas Cardiel becomes Bishop of Dhassa.

Feb 3, 1117--Archbishop Darby dies, a belated birthday present for Duncan. Although he's replaced by Corrigan, which isn't much of an improvement.

December 1, 1117--Fr Duncan becomes Confessor and Chaplain to young Prince Kelson.

January 6, 1118--Fr. Duncan is promoted to Monsignor. Not surprising, now that he's entered Royal circles, but our young laddie is definitely on the fast track now.

May 22, 1118--And Denis is not too far behind. Monsignor Denis becomes Auxiliary Bishop of Rhemuth and is appointed to Brion's High Council. IIRC, at this point Denis is now Gwynedd's youngest bishop, which he will remain until Duncan becomes a bishop a few years later.

1 Nov. 1120--King Brion Haldane dies. If Denis is still his confessor at that point, he's obviously no longer needed in Rhemuth in that capacity. Does he remain in Rhemuth until he is elected Bishop of Dhassa nearly two years later, though, or is there some unspecified point during which he is transferred to Dhassa to serve under Bishop Cardiel? The entry and timeline don't say, but for some reason I've always assumed that Denis actually had a personal room (with a Transfer Portal, no less)--and therefore a priestly role--in Dhassa by the events of HD, and that he wasn't just visiting his ally Bishop Cardiel.  Am I misremembering?

14 Nov. 1120--Kelson's Coronation.

1121--Cardiel and Denis Arilan are together in Dhassa for the events of HD. On June 19, Denis reveals to Cardiel that he is Deryni.  This implies an extremely high level of trust (especially coming from Denis!), so I am inclined to think that Denis was transferred to Dhassa not very long after Brion's death, if not shortly before. That would give him at least two years to form a close friendship with Cardiel and build that level of trust between them before he "outs" himself to a man who, however tentatively friendly-seeming to the Deryni cause at this stage, is in a position to kill him really dead if he has a bad reaction to finding out his confrere is a Deryni Bishop! Denis takes such a monumental risk here, I can't imagine him revealing his true nature to Cardiel unless he'd had enough time to forge the level of friendship with him that would allow him to quite literally trust Cardiel with his life. Perhaps he's known Cardiel for years before this, but even so, I would imagine that level of trust would require very frequent interaction to grow, not just the occasional letter or visit between distant cities. The only window in the timeline where I can imagine the growth of this relationship taking place would be in this time period between Brion's death and the summer of 1121, unless they were also assigned to work together at some point before Denis requested his transfer to Rhemuth to watch over Duncan shortly before Duncan's ordination. The timeline doesn't actually say where Denis requested to be transferred from in 1112, after all, just that he wanted to be transferred to Rhemuth to watch over Duncan. Did he originally start out serving alongside with or under Cardiel's supervision during those years between his own ordination in 1105 and his request to be transferred to Rhemuth in 1112? And was Cardiel the Bishop who made that transfer possible? Questions, questions....

Jan.13-14, 1122--Denis is elected Bishop of Dhassa. Cardiel becomes Archbishop of Rhemuth.

Skip ahead to:
March 4 (Ash Wednesday), 1125--Alaric scolds Duncan for publicly revealing himself to be Deryni at Dhugal's knighting, and reveals that this rash action--made by Duncan without consulting either Arilan or Cardiel first--may have put other Deryni priests at risk whom Denis has been carefully safeguarding through the ordination process and mentoring. Later (on March 25, 1125, which happens coincidentally to have been Duncan's wedding anniversary, and therefore a horrible date to have him rushing off to Coroth to inform Alaric of his own son's possible death...talk about stirring up old grief along with fresh new ones!), Duncan meets Father John Nivard for the first time, and discovers that Nivard is one of the young Deryni priests that Denis has been mentoring. But certainly not the first such young Deryni priest, because that distinction almost certainly belonged to himself, had he but realized it at the time!

To sum up, Duncan and Alaric certainly have good reason to find Denis Arilan maddening at times, but I am beginning to strongly suspect that Duncan would not have gotten very far in his vocation if Denis Arilan hadn't been available "for such a time as this" to help smooth his way, for which they should both be very grateful. If only they had known....  :) (And as for Denis' own ordination, I'm personally inclined to think that his escape from discovery by way of merasha-laced wine was genuinely a miracle, or at least if it wasn't directly Divine intervention, it was at least some manner of Camber-created intervention. But I'm sure others have alternate explanations for Denis's escape from his friend Jorian's fate.)

There, have I given you at least a full year's worth of story ideas?   ;D








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Offline drakensis

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Re: Duncan's training
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2015, 03:12:17 am »

Quote
Now, Morgan wouldn't have been around much at that time but Hudriod remained Bishop of Coroth until his death in 1116 or 1117, shortly after Thomas became Bishop of Dhassa. It's certainly plausible Thomas remained in Coroth for much of that time.

So here we have Arilan as a close friend to a potentially rather cosmopolitan churchman, highly placed in the home of Alaric Morgan, potentially known to the notorious Deryni Duke for six or seven years? Methinks Arilan cultivated that connection very deliberately - and may have been very pleased it broadened into a genuine friendship.

I can see this, at least if it's Cardiel you are referring to as being highly placed in Alaric's home (or at least his home city, since I doubt he'd have been residing at Coroth Castle, but probably in the vicinity of the Cathedral instead) and known by him for several years prior to the schism.  But if you meant that Arilan had transferred there to become better acquainted with Alaric, then he would have been keeping an extremely low profile to the point of that "acquaintance" being very one-sided, since in HD Alaric tells Duncan and Kelson that he has only spoken to Denis Arilan once, so even though he is hoping that Arilan will give him and Duncan a fair hearing, he doesn't know him well enough to be sure.  Duncan expresses more certainty, having worked closely with Arilan before, as he reminds Alaric and Kelson. It's not impossible, and it certainly would explain how he got to know Cardiel so well (1105 to 1112 is certainly a reasonable span of time in which to grow a very tight friendship), but keeping an eye on the young Deryni Duke while simultaneously trying to stay under Alaric's "radar," so to speak, would take a lot of finesse.  Then again, if anyone is capable of that level of subterfuge, it would be Denis Arilan.  Sneaky git.  I keep finding reasons to like him more and more despite himself.  :D
« Last Edit: March 10, 2015, 10:47:50 am by Evie »

Offline Evie

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Re: Duncan's training
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2015, 09:58:30 am »
On the other matter you raise, it seems likely to me that Arilan would have remained in Rhemuth after Brion's death. As auxiliary bishop to an aged Patrick Corrigan and a member of the royal council (and one who supported Morgan against Jehana at the infamous meeting the day of Kelson's 14th birthday) his position was far too valuable - both to the young King and as the Camberian Council's eyes and ears at Court - for him to have taken duties elsewhere.

All good points, though I do think that even if he was not officially transferred to Dhassa, by the time of the Church schism he had definitely moved there from Rhemuth to support Bishop Cardiel and the others who opposed the Interdict of Corwyn. He was there at least long enough to have been given rooms of his own (perhaps in the Bishop's palace?), since when Cardiel went to look for him in the chapel and didn't find him there (Denis having used its Transfer Portal shortly before that to meet with the Camberian Council), Cardiel simply assumed that Denis had gone to his chambers to meditate instead.  This was before Cardiel knew that Denis was Deryni or about the existence of Transfer Portals, so the chambers he assumed Denis had retreated to would have been somewhere in Dhassa.  So to me that implies that he was there at least on a semi-permanent basis by that point, perhaps only recently and due to the schism, but long enough to have established some sort of residency there nonetheless.
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Offline Evie

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Re: Duncan's training
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2015, 10:48:54 am »

Quote
Now, Morgan wouldn't have been around much at that time but Hudriod remained Bishop of Coroth until his death in 1116 or 1117, shortly after Thomas became Bishop of Dhassa. It's certainly plausible Thomas remained in Coroth for much of that time.

So here we have Arilan as a close friend to a potentially rather cosmopolitan churchman, highly placed in the home of Alaric Morgan, potentially known to the notorious Deryni Duke for six or seven years? Methinks Arilan cultivated that connection very deliberately - and may have been very pleased it broadened into a genuine friendship.

I can see this, at least if it's Cardiel you are referring to as being highly placed in Alaric's home (or at least his home city, since I doubt he'd have been residing at Coroth Castle, but probably in the vicinity of the Cathedral instead) and known by him for several years prior to the schism.  But if you meant that Arilan had transferred there to become better acquainted with Alaric, then he would have been keeping an extremely low profile to the point of that "acquaintance" being very one-sided, since in HD Alaric tells Duncan and Kelson that he has only spoken to Denis Arilan once, so even though he is hoping that Arilan will give him and Duncan a fair hearing, he doesn't know him well enough to be sure.  Duncan expresses more certainty, having worked closely with Arilan before, as he reminds Alaric and Kelson. It's not impossible, and it certainly would explain how he got to know Cardiel so well (1105 to 1112 is certainly a reasonable span of time in which to grow a very tight friendship), but keeping an eye on the young Deryni Duke while simultaneously trying to stay under Alaric's "radar," so to speak, would take a lot of finesse.  Then again, if anyone is capable of that level of subterfuge, it would be Denis Arilan.  Sneaky git.  I keep finding reasons to like him more and more despite himself.  :D
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Offline revanne

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Re: Duncan's training
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2015, 04:17:58 am »
With thanks to you both - more than enough food for thought for several fanfics. Am due to retire in 13 years time so should be no problem.
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And all the men and women merely players;
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Offline drakensis

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Re: Duncan's training
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2015, 04:43:18 am »
Evie? Why do you appear to have edited my post (#4) and replaced it with a copy of your post (#6)? Do we have a forum fault?

And yes, I was referring to Thomas Cardiel being highly placed in Coroth and Arilan potentially monitoring Alaric through Cardiel.

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Re: Duncan's training
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2015, 06:51:52 am »
Evie? Why do you appear to have edited my post (#4) and replaced it with a copy of your post (#6)? Do we have a forum fault?

Wait... what? !   :o. Um, I have no idea! *scrolls down to look* As I recall, I was quoting a sentence or two from your post so I could reference it in my reply, but I have no idea why my text replaced yours rather than just adding the quoted material to a separate post. I do recall having some connection issues at the time and having to hit send multiple times (with no response), hit the back and forward arrows, and try again before I got it to go through. Maybe I somehow botched things up in the process, or maybe it was a forum glitch in addition to the sending problem. No clue. But I'm sorry; I certainly didn't mean to edit your post, especially since it was such a lovely, "meaty" one full of interesting possibilities to consider.  :-[
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Re: Duncan's training
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2015, 07:18:06 am »
OK, going back over my timeline, I see a few minor corrections to make now that I'm in the middle of reading HD again, focusing especially on the bits with Arilan in them. It's confirmed he already knows for certain that Duncan is Deryni (well, duh, this story follows the events in DC, so what was I thinking?), although he claims not to have known that Duncan was Deryni until the events at St. Torin's. (My spell checker tried to turn that into St. Tuition. I have a son at uni; we could do with a patron saint of tuition!  ;) ) Of course, he may be lying, especially if he doesn't wish Duncan to know he's taken a special interest in him. Or he may have merely suspected Duncan was Deryni, but Duncan's actions at St.Torin's later confirmed it. A third option might be that he really didn't know at all, but that he took such a special interest because Duncan, as Alaric's cousin and known to have a good relationship with him, could be groomed to rise to a powerful enough position in the Church to make a formidable ally when the time came to try to change the Church's official position against Deryni. Who knows what is going on inside that secretive head of his?

Fascinating. ...   :)
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Re: Duncan's training
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2015, 11:22:22 am »
Picking up a few of the threads:

I suspect that Alexander Darby progresses so fast because of his anti Deryni stance - his De Natura Deryniorum is required reading for all Ordinands. De Nore and Loris would have definitely wanted to encourage such a "right-thinking" priest.

March 25th is indeed Lady Day.

Whatever he claimed in HD I cannot believe that Denis Arilan did not know that Duncan was Deryni. I'm sure he would have made it his business to screen Ordinands in order to protect any who were Deryni, seeing it as part of the purpose as to why he had been miraculously spared. In fairness to him, given how angry and suspicious Duncan and Alaric were, he was probably right in being very careful how much he revealed. I'm coming to sympathsize with the man:<( .




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They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts."
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Re: Duncan's training
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2015, 01:05:33 pm »
Yeah, aside from being a bit wary of Arilan given how much bearing his and Cardiel's decisions would have on their eventual fates, Duncan and Alaric seemed to have got on with him just fine under the circumstances,  until the moment Arilan revealed he was Deryni. Duncan's little blow- up at him in that scene kind of takes me by surprise--I mean, what was Arilan supposed to have done? Greeted him from the outset with "Hi, welcome to the Church, my name's Denis and I'm Deryni"? Even after the years they worked closely together, Arilan really had no way of knowing how much information he could trust Duncan with. He may have correctly gauged that Duncan would not have willingly betrayed another Deryni, and hoped that he would have welcomed having another Deryni ally besides Alaric, but how much training did Duncan have to withstand questioning under merasha? Arilan wouldn't have known that. Would Duncan have greeted the news with a calm "Good to know," or start agitating immediately for Arilan (a bishop, but still the most junior and least powerful bishop) to risk blowing his cover and start directly opposing his anti - Deryni senior bishops, thus endangering Arilan's years of careful foundation laying before it was time for Arilan to act more directly in relative safety and a better chance of a good outcome for his efforts? Plus, Duncan hits Arilan straight in the center of that burden of guilt that Arilan had already confessed to Cardiel earlier in the story. That, combined with Arilan's quick temper (a fault the young bishop is quite aware of and had also confessed to his friend earlier), got his relationship with Duncan and Alaric as fellow Deryni off to a really rocky start. It's one of the few moments in the story arc when I just want to reach into the page, snatch Duncan out by the front of his cassock, and tell him, "Buddy, I love you, but we've gotta talk. NOW." :)

I have to think that Duncan's reaction at that moment was the result of profound surprise, shock, and adrenaline over how close things had come to going all pear- shaped for him and Alaric in the cathedral minutes earlier. He may have already been on the verge of fight or flight mode, and then Arilan's revelation was that final straw that set him off. If like to think that if Arilan had revealed himself as Deryni under calmer circumstances, Duncan at least would have had a better reaction to it. (Alaric's reaction seems more stunned shock than anything else, so that might not have changed as much, although Alaric also seems to feel strangely betrayed by Arilan. Maybe for the same reasons as Duncan; maybe he also feels Arilan should be "doing something," unaware that he's been working toward the long - term goal of societal change all along?) I think whenever we see Arilan with Cardiel, whom he trusts and who trusts him completely, we see the truest picture of the man. Whenever we see him with Duncan or Alaric, on the other hand, we see them all acting on the basis of wary doubts and suspicions that all come back to this pivotal moment when Arilan reveals his secret to them, unwittingly at the worst possible moment and-- thanks to his old nemesis, his own temper-- not in the best possible way, and their reactions to him and his to Duncan's reaction has permanently colored their interactions (and therefore many readers' reactions to him from here on out, given our propensity to identify with and root for our heroes at all times while forgetting that sometimes they aren't perfect either).
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Offline Jerusha

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Re: Duncan's training
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2015, 02:40:03 pm »
Sorry if this is a little off-topic, but friction between Morgan and Arilan is almost inevitable.  They are opposite sides of the same coin – two powerful, successful Deryni in spite of the Statues of Ramos.  On one side, you have Denis Arilan, secretly successful in surviving his ordination and rising to the rank of Bishop, but also well trained and part of the Camberian Council elite.  On the other side you have Morgan, a known half-breed Deryni surviving openly to be a powerful Duke and King’s Champion, with little formal magical training and generally disparaged by the Council, yet possessing the long-lost power to heal.  Both have a very strong sense of purpose and no lack of ego.  Yet Morgan is intimidated by Arilan.  He doesn’t know just how powerful Arilan really is.  That has to grate on his ego, and I suspect Arilan is happy to keep it that way.

I am reminded of Morgan reaching across to grab Arilan by the throat in tQfSC when he finds out Arilan still has the merasha-tainted wine used on King Brion.  Arilan challenges him to go ahead and try.  I wonder if Duncan was holding his breath at that moment. 
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Offline Evie

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Re: Duncan's training
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2015, 03:50:54 pm »
I agree about all of those factors being a continuing source of friction between those two characters, Jerusha.


I am reminded of Morgan reaching across to grab Arilan by the throat in tQfSC when he finds out Arilan still has the merasha-tainted wine used on King Brion.  Arilan challenges him to go ahead and try.  I wonder if Duncan was holding his breath at that moment. 


Dunno about Duncan, but I sure was! ;D

I think that scene highlights something very important but possibly mostly overlooked about a difference between Morgan and Arilan. Both men can be hot-headed, but whereas Arilan is more of a long-term plotter and planner by nature, Morgan is more of a short-term and immediate action-oriented thinker. And Morgan being more of a quick-acting, shorter-range thinker is not in the least surprising when you stop to think that living in the spotlight as a known Deryni in a hostile world as he does, he had no guarantees of living past the next 3 hours at any point in his life, much less the next 3 years.  His personality developed at least in part according to the situation he grew up in. Arilan at least had the luxury of knowing that if he didn't screw things up too badly and reveal his secret too soon, he had as much likelihood of surviving for a few more years as the next man. Not to say that Arilan can't make plans on the fly, or that Morgan is incapable of planning ahead, because both men are capable of operating in their less preferred styles, but they have strongly defined and often incompatible personality traits.

Case in point here. I think Arilan's love for Brion was quite strong (and his reaction to Kelson's supposed death in QFSC shows that he is clearly just as attached to Brion's son, if not more so), even if he lacks the same intensity of emotional bond with either Haldane that Alaric has. But if the poisoned wine had fallen into Alaric's hands from the very outset, I can't imagine him keeping it for years in hopes that it might someday serve a greater, more redeeming use. I think he would either have destroyed the flask immediately in a fit of enraged grief, thus ensuring it could never be used to harm anyone else, or else he might have have held on to it just long enough to see if it might somehow be of use in avenging Brion's death (a short-term goal), but I think he would have been rid of the thing as early as possible. It is too potent a reminder of Brion's death, and he wouldn't have been able to bear looking at it.

Arilan, on the other hand, I think is the sort of man who would have kept the flask not simply out of the hope that it might come in handy someday, but also for the very reason that it is such a powerful reminder of how the King he loved and served met his end. I don't know if KK had already conceived at least some sketchy ideas of Seisyll (the elder) and Jamyl Arilan by the time she got around to writing HD, or if they were thought up after the fact, but at least as the story arc stands now, the Arilans seem to have had as much of a legacy of faithfulness to the Haldanes as the Morgans, in their own way.  (Yes, they have also had some division of that loyalty with their oaths to the Camberian Council, but even on the Council they tend to try to sway the Council's thinking in favor of protecting the Haldanes when they can, and when Arilan believed Kelson to be dead, he had to choose between his duty to the Haldanes and his duty to report immediately to the Council, and he chose his duty to the Haldanes first.) So why would he want to keep such a painful reminder?  I think it's partly because every time he saw that flask, he'd be reminded of what he'd consider his failure to adequately protect Brion. He could have warned Brion about what merasha could do to him, could have protected him in the same way that he is trying to protect his son now by giving him a diluted dose so he'd have the experience to know how to fight the effects as well as anyone is able to if it were ever used against him, but he didn't. It was a possibility that did not occur to him until it was too late, and I think he would feel that oversight keenly. I think it would also fuel his anger, in this case not just against anti-Deryni sentiment, but against anyone who would threaten the lives of the Haldane Kings he loves. I think he kept that flask in reserve partly in case it might someday be used against Kelson's enemies (revenge perhaps not being the most priestly of motives, but Arilan has been known to be more pragmatic than priestly in his thinking on occasion), but primarily so that he could serve the son in a way that he had failed the father. Only, in all of his thinking and planning, I think he failed to take into account how Alaric was likely to react or--far worse, as far as Arilan is concerned, since by now he's got to be used to being on the wrong foot pretty much any time Alaric is involved--Kelson's emotional reaction to his use of that particular flask of merasha-laden wine. He's so focused on the long term plan that he's lost sight completely of the likely short-term reaction to that plan. I suspect the poor guy is at his best when he's more focused on intellectual, orderly pursuits than when he has to deal with people and their messy, unpredictable (to him) emotions. :) And he is so used to stuffing his feelings away and channeling them into his plots and plans that he sometimes forgets that other people don't tend to do that, and are much more "What you see is what you get," which causes him to misstep and further alienate them.
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