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Author Topic: The Miracles of Saint Jorian the Martyr -- Chapter 1  (Read 7817 times)

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Offline DesertRose

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Re: The Miracles of Saint Jorian the Martyr -- Chapter 1
« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2015, 01:15:39 pm »
Thank you, Laurna!  :)

ETA:  revanne and I are working in conjunction a good bit lately.  Her story in progress is going to include elements from this one, and if I say any more, I'll give away spoilers.  :D
« Last Edit: March 25, 2015, 02:27:15 pm by DesertRose »

Offline Duncan McLain

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Re: The Miracles of Saint Jorian the Martyr -- Chapter 1
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2015, 09:04:34 am »
Nicely done!  And it's always fun to see Denis thrown a bit off-kilter....   ;D
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Offline DesertRose

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Re: The Miracles of Saint Jorian the Martyr -- Chapter 1
« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2015, 09:57:27 am »
Thank you, my lord bishop.  :)

Offline revanne

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Re: The Miracles of Saint Jorian the Martyr -- Chapter 1
« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2015, 11:11:05 am »
I loved seeing another side of Denis, gentle and kindly even before he knows John is Deryni. We so often see him at points of conflict or when he is pushed onto the defensive and so comes across as arrogant this is the pastor able to emerge..
"All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts."
As You Like It.

Offline DesertRose

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Re: The Miracles of Saint Jorian the Martyr -- Chapter 1
« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2015, 11:48:42 am »
Denis can be a bit high-handed at times (c.f. the time he read Duncan the Riot Act over publicly revealing himself to be Deryni at Dhugal's knighting), yes, but very rarely is anyone single-faceted.  :)  I found him rather arrogant in my initial reading of the Kelson-era books, but the older I get, the more sympathy I have for him.  (I was somewhere in my twenties when I first read KK, and I'm now just shy of forty.)

Of course, I re-read "The Priesting of Arilan" before and in the process of writing this story, because I needed to know what Jorian had been like in life and because I needed to revisit Denis' temperament and behavior.  That scared kid learned well to hide his fear and charge forward despite it, and I think that left a mark on his behavior later in life.  I think the reason he went off on Duncan so hard at the aforementioned point after Dhugal's knighting was repressed (justified) fear.  Duncan could have screwed up all manner of things for a lot of people by doing what he did, and Denis knew all too well the potential consequences.  But that same fear that generated Denis' explosion at Duncan is another face of the gentleness and kindness he shows John.  By the time he goes off on Duncan, Denis has been walking a life-and-death tightrope for a good number of years, and that will wear on a person's nerves.  :)

I'll quit pontificating on Denis now.  He (and his motivations) figure largely in the rest of this story.  :)

Offline revanne

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Re: The Miracles of Saint Jorian the Martyr -- Chapter 1
« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2015, 12:49:09 pm »
The first time I read Denis's dressing down of Duncan I was so mortified because of course it is POV Duncan ( who is anyway "Our Duncan") and to some extent Dhugal. Now I want to slap Kelson for the whole thing , have a quiet, though stern word with his majesty, for setting the whole thing up in such an exhibitionist way with no thought for any of the consequences. As you say Denis had been walking a tightrope and it could all have still gone terribly wrong. Fancy having to deal with both Loris and Vivienne, anyone?
"All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts."
As You Like It.

Offline Evie

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Re: The Miracles of Saint Jorian the Martyr -- Chapter 1
« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2015, 01:14:38 pm »
Well, Kelson definitely set up the impromptu knighting of Duncan, but did Duncan actually confide in him about his plan to reveal his Deryni identity when he knighted Dhugal?  If so, that would have been an equally unplanned conference just prior to the fact (immediately prior, as Duncan had no idea he was even going to be knighted!), I imagine, more of a brief accord reached primarily by eye contact and a swift rapport as Duncan got ready to give the accolade to his son, leaving Kelson little time to think through the potential consequences. I need to re-read those books again, as it's been some time, but am I misremembering the scene? I got the impression it was a rather spontaneous decision, and that was part of the problem, since it was far too important a decision for either of them to have made at a moment's impulse, without thinking the matter completely through.
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Offline Laurna

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Re: The Miracles of Saint Jorian the Martyr -- Chapter 1
« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2015, 01:49:29 pm »
Dhugal is fairly new to the idea of being Deryni and he really has no idea what the consequence could be for being found out. Duncan too, in a more subtle fashion, has been protected all his life from the severest consequences of being Deryni. His mother protected him, Alaric protected him, and then Denis protected him by getting him past what would have brought him to Jorian's fate. All the while Duncan only had second hand stories of what could happen. Denis knows first hand what can happen. And even Alaric knows first hand because he has seen it, and had people hate him all his life for who he is.
Kelson had been on the throne only 4 years by Dhugal's knighting. That really isn't very much time for the change in attitude of the people after 200 years of fear and hate. So on this I will agree with Denis's dressing down of Duncan. It was gallant of Duncan and Dhugal, but fool hardy.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2015, 01:54:18 pm by Laurna »

Offline DesertRose

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Re: The Miracles of Saint Jorian the Martyr -- Chapter 1
« Reply #23 on: March 26, 2015, 01:54:54 pm »
Kelson was certainly a bit heedless in that scene, but in Kelson's defense, he was only, what, seventeen?  Eighteen?  (Something like that.)  Kelson had to grow up fast and in the public eye, but he's still a kid at this point, so a certain heedlessness (or at least lack of forethought) is somewhat forgivable.  But Kelson is a Deryni king of a land very divided on the matter of Deryni at this point in the story, and it's his job to know better.  I just find it hard to assign to a seventeen-year-old (regardless of rank and position in life) quite the level of culpability that I assign to a thirty-something, for example. 

Duncan, on the other hand, much as I love him too, is in my mind a bit more culpable because he's significantly older at that point in the story.  (I can't remember Duncan's exact age at this point, but old enough to know better certainly applies.)  A lot of Denis' point in the reading of the Riot Act is that Denis expected Duncan to give a little more forethought to his actions.

As to Kelson knowing what Duncan was about to do with regard to revealing himself publicly to be Deryni, I'd have to go re-read the scene.  If Kelson knew beforehand, it was immediately beforehand, as Evie pointed out, and Kelson may not have had time (leaving aside inclination for the moment) to think it through and stop Duncan from doing something ultimately a bit irresponsible at best.

And I said above, I have more sympathy by far for Denis now that I'm in early middle age than I did in my own heedless youth (or young adulthood anyway).

Offline revanne

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Re: The Miracles of Saint Jorian the Martyr -- Chapter 1
« Reply #24 on: March 26, 2015, 02:03:47 pm »
If I remember rightly Duncan sends his intention immediately prior to the knighting so there is no time for anyone to think anything through. I can't remember the wording but I have been left with the impression that Kelson (and Morgan) give their enthusiastic approval. My objection to Kelson's behaviour is that Duncan is deliberately trying to keep a low profile, not to draw attention to the unusual situation of a Bishop with a son and Kelson orders him to the dais. Ok from there they are all flying by the seats of their pants but if someone who has at least two tricky bits of history to negotiate - a son whose legitimacy has only just been declared (but I bet that didn't stop the rumours), and his half suspected but carefully unacknowledged and unchallenged Deryni identity - is trying very sensibly to keep a low profile maybe it's sensible to let him. I guess Kelson is just on a high and wants to affirm his affection for both Dhugal and Duncan and Lord knows he has had few enough occasions to wholeheartedly celebrate but my sympathies are now with Arilan.

Maybe it's just because I am getting older and grumpier ;D
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And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts."
As You Like It.

Offline DesertRose

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Re: The Miracles of Saint Jorian the Martyr -- Chapter 1
« Reply #25 on: March 26, 2015, 02:14:01 pm »
...my sympathies are now with Arilan.

Maybe it's just because I am getting older and grumpier ;D

If you're getting older and grumpier, so am I.  :D

Offline Elkhound

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Re: The Miracles of Saint Jorian the Martyr -- Chapter 1
« Reply #26 on: March 26, 2015, 02:44:06 pm »
And I am definitely at the curmudgeon stage. 

Offline Jerusha

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Re: The Miracles of Saint Jorian the Martyr -- Chapter 1
« Reply #27 on: March 26, 2015, 07:12:35 pm »
Then I am now venerable - Bede there, done that.  :)

For all it could have gone terribly bad, perhaps Duncan's revelation pushed the question of Deryni priests to the point it could now be dealt with.  I was never in agreement with Denis's plan to ordain Deryni priests secretly for the long term - to get a few in to pave the way, fine.  But at some point you have to quit living the lie or you perpetuate the problem.  At this point we know Deryni can be knights and kings for humans and Deryni.  Perhaps it was the right time to push it one step further to the priesthood.

Though I can't blame Denis for being a angry - he is not the type to not want to control the situation, and this time he couldn't.
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Offline Evie

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Re: The Miracles of Saint Jorian the Martyr -- Chapter 1
« Reply #28 on: March 26, 2015, 07:57:14 pm »
Dhugal is fairly new to the idea of being Deryni and he really has no idea what the consequence could be for being found out.

While I wouldn't go quite this far (even if Dhugal had ever been that naive, I'm pretty sure having to rescue his Deryni father from a burning stake just months earlier would have cured any such ignorance!), it's certainly true that Dhugal was primarily raised in the Borders, and his view of Deryni would have been shaped accordingly. Even with his page years spent in King Brion's court, Dhugal is through and through a Border lad, and the novels state several times, IIRC, that the virulent anti-Deryni sentiment of the lowlands didn't fully catch on in the Borders, with its easy acceptance of such things as dowsing, village "wise women," and the Second Sight.  Deryni powers wouldn't have seen as all that different by comparison. So while there might still have been a bit of apprehension towards Deryni based on the rumors spread about them (especially any of lowland origin and fostered by the anti-Deryni sentiment of various churchmen), Borderers were probably apt to take a kinder, or at least a less antagonistic, view of a Deryni minding his own business and not using his powers against them than they would of some meddling, arrogant Lowlander like Conall.   ;D
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Offline DesertRose

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Re: The Miracles of Saint Jorian the Martyr -- Chapter 1
« Reply #29 on: March 26, 2015, 08:06:27 pm »
Yes, Venerable Jerusha, I think it was a good thing in the long run, but I still don't blame Denis for losing his cool, even if poor Duncan bore the brunt of the Arilan temper.  :)

And yes, Denis can be a bit of a control freak, as we say in modern parlance.

However, in defense of Denis' loss of temper at Duncan, Denis, in the moment, was not thinking of what good could be done in the long run; he was, I think, thinking of the damage Duncan could have done not only to Duncan himself, but to Denis, John Nivard, and the other nameless young Deryni priests Denis had been mentoring along all these years.  Denis was afraid of a lot of truly fearsome, horrible things--not to insult Bishop Arilan's courage, because on one of my many re-reads of "The Priesting of Arilan" during the composition of "Miracles," I think one of the bravest acts I've ever read was Denis going through with his ordination.  I've seen courage defined as not the absence of fear but action in the face of fear.  He went forward in the face of very justified fear.  Knowing all too well what would happen to him with the merasha-tainted wine, he gave it up to God and took that sip out of the Chalice in full comprehension of what he was doing and all possible consequences.  It's not battlefield glory, but that's courage.

Can you tell I've come to a great fondness for Denis Arilan?  :)

 

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