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Author Topic: Brion's Haldane Empowerment  (Read 1646 times)

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Offline Lochiel

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Brion's Haldane Empowerment
« on: August 10, 2018, 02:49:56 pm »
I just finished reading the King's Deryni (2nd time). Page 480 it seems that Alaric's instruction's to empower Brion by King Donal were set by the silver bracelet of Brion's? Talk about last minute, why didn't the usually very savvy Donal empower him earlier and a safer & surer way like the crowning? 
"And as they tread the ruined Isle,
Where rest, at length,
the lord and slave,
They'll wondering ask, how hands so vile,
Could conquer hearts so brave?"
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Offline Evie

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Re: Brion's Haldane Empowerment
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2018, 03:33:43 pm »
I just finished reading the King's Deryni (2nd time). Page 480 it seems that Alaric's instruction's to empower Brion by King Donal were set by the silver bracelet of Brion's? Talk about last minute, why didn't the usually very savvy Donal empower him earlier and a safer & surer way like the crowning?

If I remember the timing in question correctly, I don't think Donal had figured in the possibility of Alyce suddenly dying of childbirth complications long before Alaric was of an age to be trained properly, and he (fortunately) didn't make the assumption that he would be able to get around to instructing Alaric later in more leisurely fashion, which turned out to be a good thing given that Donal himself died shortly thereafter.  Or do you mean, why didn't Donal empower Brion himself?  I think that goes back to the belief that two Haldanes couldn't bear the Haldane power at the same time, so Donal would need to be dead before the Haldane power could pass to Brion (or so Donal would have believed).
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Offline Laurna

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Re: Brion's Haldane Empowerment
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2018, 02:00:15 pm »
For reference The Kings of Gwynedd:
Cinhil (904-917)--
Alroy, son (917-921)--Javan, brother (921-922)--Rhys Michael, brother (922-929)--
Owain, son (928-948) -- Uthyr, brother (948-980)--
Nygel, son (980-983)-- Jasher, brother (983-985)-- Cluim, brother (985-994)--
Urien, son (994-1025)--
Cinhil II, son (1025)-- Malcolm, brother (1025-1074)--
Donal, son (1074-1095)--
Brion, son (1095-1120)--
Kelson son (1120-)

I think what you are asking is why was not the Potential set in Brion when he was young. In this way he could gain his powers at his crowning. Which is how it was set up to be in the beginning with Cinhil I and his three young sons.

Take note that the youngest of Cinhil's three sons, King Rhys Michael, empowered the Haldane Lion broach to activate the Potential when it pierced the skin of a Haldane, replacing the ritual that Camber had set up for that. Thus the necessity for a full ritual was reduced to a more manageable ritual by only one Deryni.  Four may still be used to call the quarters.  But as we see in TBP, Lady Rhysel succeeded on her own to empower Owain and presumably the unborn Prince Uthyr as well.

Between Cinhil I and Donal you can blame three events for the information of setting the potential in a child to be changed and lost.
1) 948 when plague and attacks from Torenth decimate the original CC members. The knowledge may or may not have passed down to the new CC. Owain died in 948 as well. It was fortunate that Uthyr's Potential was already set before he was even born.
2) The battles of Rangarth, years 983-985. By the end of this war only the third son of King Uthyr is the survivor. I speculate that none of Uthyr's sons had their Potential set as children; that each son in turn gained his powers at his crowning. Either by the CC or by some other loyal Deryni. I support the theory that the Cynfyns of Lendour have their hand in the setting the  powers of both King Jasher and King Cluim. This is why the Earldom of Lendour is supported as the only Deryni family still in position of nobility. Also take note that it is only after Rangarth that the Duchy of Corwyn is added to the Kingdom. The dukes of Corwyn remain outsiders in the eyes of Gwynedd's nobility until the battle of Killingford where it is hoped they prove their loyalties to the crown.

Which leads us to the third event of lost information and the most critical. 3) the Battle of Killingford. In this battle, Gwynedd loses King Urien and the Royal Prince Cinhil Aymeric. Prince Malcolm, at the age of 16, becomes the king. His is the sixth son of King Urien. His other elder brothers had passed away in the few years leading up to 1025. I don't think anyone expected to lose Prince Cinhil in that battle, for indeed he died the week after the battle was over. Truth to tell, no one expected to lose nearly all of the male nobility of Gwynedd in that battle, including many of the Cynfyn family. 

I look forward to see how our beloved KK puts forth this tale. The court intrigue should be delicious.

So back to your original Question. Why did Donal not set the Potential in his son before he died and why did he put the information in the bracelet? I say it is because the setting of the potential in a son was lost by the time of Malcolm. No king had set the potential in their sons for generations, the strength within the Lion Broach made it unnecessarily. Therefor, a Haldane king would have to entrust a Deryni to hold the information for him  to complete the ritual when the time was right, that time would be the crowing of a new king. By 1095, when Brion was crowned there were no "Loyal" Deryni of sufficient age to perform the ritual. Donal did not trust the CC. He had just murdered it's top member, Lord Seif MacAthan. Most of the Cynfyn line had just passed away. First we lose the loyal Keryell Cynfyn and then his son Lord Ahern Cynfyn de Corwyn. Ahern was being groomed to be the King's Deryni, until he was lost to appendicitis, very sadly. And then Ahern's sister, Alice was in line to preform the ritual. And then Lastly her four year old son, Alaric, became the last Deryni standing.

When Brion became King. Alaric was four. The Haldane Powers had to wait until Alaric grew up. Even at twelve years old he was very young to perform the magic that was necessary. Alaric proved to be up to the challenge.

Sorry, if you didn't know it already, I am a Gwynedd history buff.

Offline DesertRose

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Re: Brion's Haldane Empowerment
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2018, 02:51:43 pm »
Laurna, you'd make one heck of an historian (with real-world history; you're already an amazing historian in the Deryni-verse)!  ;)
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Offline revanne

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Re: Brion's Haldane Empowerment
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2018, 04:13:54 pm »
Laurna, you'd make one heck of an historian (with real-world history; you're already an amazing historian in the Deryni-verse)!  ;)
Agrred. Your command of detail always awes me.
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    let the wicked perish before God.
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Offline whitelaughter

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Re: Brion's Haldane Empowerment
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2018, 07:14:59 pm »
Weren't Kelson's cousin's abilities activated by a single Deryni? (Granted a full member of the CC).

Of course, in addition to the two centuries of the Haldane legacy, he might have had access to whatever tricks had been developed in Torenth.

I wonder if Wencit included a 'shut down' in the rituals for Bran Coris etc? He'd have to know about the ability to turn off the Deryni abilities developed by Rhys Thurin (although obviously couldn't use it being a Healer technique) and would have no reason to trust a proven traitor, so it would be well worth his time to develop an 'off switch' for recruited Haldanes.

Offline drakensis

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Re: Brion's Haldane Empowerment
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2018, 01:04:04 am »
The actual understanding seems to have ebbed and waned - the original empowerments required considerable effort by a number of accomplished Deryni which simply wasn't feasible by the time Rhys Michael's potential (set as a child) was activated.

Fortunately - as we see after the first written empowerment, Kelson's - the Haldanes don't need to rely on others for training: the knowledge is there for them and within hours of being empowered they can match Deryni who are not only powerful but immensely well trained and experienced. (Charissa had been a prodigy among Deryni, notably accomplished even as a child, and would have had the best tutors in Torenth).

Here's where I get speculative: it seems to me that for Camber and his peers magic was very much a science. He and Evaine study past Deryni's codified work and reproduce it. They observe, they test to define it with rules and procedures and experiment to see if they can use those results to accomplish new goals.

For the Haldane Kings it seems more of an art. They have the same basic tools but employ it in a way that appears to be divinely inspired (given the religious aspects of the empowerment).

Neither approach is necessarily better and a Haldane who receives a formal education can enjoy the benefits of both, able to find solutions outside the established framework of Deryni magic - such as improvising the rituals in each generation - while also being able to attempt the more complex magics that build on a greater understanding of what it is they're doing.

As a result I suspect each empowerment since 917 has been unique because it was re-invented each time by each king passing it on to his heir(s).

Offline Shiral

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Re: Brion's Haldane Empowerment
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2018, 01:54:12 am »
The actual understanding seems to have ebbed and waned - the original empowerments required considerable effort by a number of accomplished Deryni which simply wasn't feasible by the time Rhys Michael's potential (set as a child) was activated.

Fortunately - as we see after the first written empowerment, Kelson's - the Haldanes don't need to rely on others for training: the knowledge is there for them and within hours of being empowered they can match Deryni who are not only powerful but immensely well trained and experienced. (Charissa had been a prodigy among Deryni, notably accomplished even as a child, and would have had the best tutors in Torenth).

Here's where I get speculative: it seems to me that for Camber and his peers magic was very much a science. He and Evaine study past Deryni's codified work and reproduce it. They observe, they test to define it with rules and procedures and experiment to see if they can use those results to accomplish new goals.

For the Haldane Kings it seems more of an art. They have the same basic tools but employ it in a way that appears to be divinely inspired (given the religious aspects of the empowerment).

Neither approach is necessarily better and a Haldane who receives a formal education can enjoy the benefits of both, able to find solutions outside the established framework of Deryni magic - such as improvising the rituals in each generation - while also being able to attempt the more complex magics that build on a greater understanding of what it is they're doing.

As a result I suspect each empowerment since 917 has been unique because it was re-invented each time by each king passing it on to his heir(s).

I don't have my copy of DR with me, but I remember Kelson being surprised that HIS ritual was not the same as his father's had been. Duncan tells him that each King decides on a different ritual, as this thought to be a guard against usurption.   And most of the Haldane power rituals we've seen HAVE been subtly different in form, even though they all had the same objective of passing the Haldane Power to the next heir, even if years pass between the initial steps and a later ritual as the new King or incipient King assumes  the complete powers.

Since KK used much of the material in her earlier story, Swords Against the Marluk in The King's Deryni, I think it's partially a function of her having fleshed out her universe more in the later books. Since Swords Against the Marluk was a popular story at the time of it's publication, I assume she recycled it for this latest novel to forestall the question  "But why is Brion's  power ritual in this book different from the earlier version?"
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Offline Lochiel

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Re: Brion's Haldane Empowerment
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2018, 07:25:03 pm »
I want to thank everyone for their contribution to my question. IMO I tend to agree with Laurna's thinking on that. I believe the Cynfyns have played a large role in assisting the Haldane's clandestinely
in arcane matters, and remaining outside the influence of the CC.   Can't wait for the new book.
"And as they tread the ruined Isle,
Where rest, at length,
the lord and slave,
They'll wondering ask, how hands so vile,
Could conquer hearts so brave?"
Thomas Moore

 

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