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Author Topic: The Demoiselle and Derry Chapter 7  (Read 14798 times)

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Offline Alkari

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The Demoiselle and Derry Chapter 7
« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2010, 12:10:01 am »
Actually, I don't think it is quite as simple as that to install Transfer Portals.  It's a lot more than just "gather a few Deryni friends, have a party and install a Portal".   The process seems to require a great deal of power (look at how many were required for Arilan's portal in HD) plus skill, and also the knowledge of 'how' to construct a Portal.   Most Deryni probably wouldn't have either the knowledge or skills to do it.

« Last Edit: August 12, 2010, 12:48:18 am by Alkari »

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The Demoiselle and Derry Chapter 7
« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2010, 10:09:06 am »
Well, true, but presumably if she had friends skilled enough to install one in Chervignon in the first place, they wouldn't have suddenly lost that knowledge if Alaric were to call upon them to install one in Coroth as well.  The real question would be, would Alaric be willing to have them do so, considering anyone with the skills necessary to create a TP in Coroth would also, after the fact, be completely familiar with its coordinates and presumably able to pop in and out at will?  (Unless, of course, he sets up further protections around it.)  He'd probably want to delegate the task to someone who both has the skill and who he trusts completely, which may or may not be the same circle of friends Constanza called upon when she built the one in Chervignon.

I don't think the knowledge is as specialized as, say, healing though.  I.E., there's no evidence from the books that one has to be genetically "hardwired" to be able to express that trait, so any Deryni who has enough formal training would probably be taught the skill at some point.  Otherwise it would have died out long since, and it's doubtful there'd have ever been many residential Transfer Portals such as the ones in Tre-Arilan or the MacRories' residences, yet Deryni Magic mentions private residences of Deryni as being logical places to find Transfer Portals, whether active or inactive due to having been forgotten and/or unused.  There could well be Transfer Portals in other Deryni homes throughout Gwynedd, including in Corwyn itself if it's served as a refuge for Deryni families over the years.  If so, it's doubtful they'd go around publicizing the fact.  If you were a member of a persecuted and technically illegal population, would you officially register your secret Transfer Portal, even to a Duke who is one of your own kind?  What he doesn't know about can't get you or him into trouble with the Deryni-hunting Church of Gwynedd.   :D   Plus, they've probably been set ablaze or otherwise ruined or disabled through disuse throughout the years of Deryni persecution, as families with the trait were discovered, burned at the stake, and their properties either burned, torn down, or given to human families.  Plus, a TP is useless unless you know another location to TP to, so even a Deryni family in hiding might have their TP go inactive because they don't have a clue who the other Deryni families are, much less what their TP coordinates are.  Sir Stefan could well have such a TP somewhere on the grounds of Kestrel Mote, and even be vaguely awere of where it is ("Oh yeah, that strange cobblestone in the barn that tingles!"), but unless he was ever shown how to use it or where it could take him, he might as well not have one at all.  Would a man as paranoid of being found out as Sir Ranulf was have taught his family how to use a Transfer Portal if he knew of one at his manor? Doubtful.  Or at best, he'd have shown them only so they could use it escape Kestrel Mote at dire need, showing them whatever other secret TP location his own father may have passed down to him for such a contingency, but forbidden them to use it otherwise.

So would it take skill and training to build one?  Sure, and granted, that's a bit hard to find west of Coroth due to Deryni having to live underground for two centuries.  Is it a nearly lost art, or one so rare only a handful of Deryni could do it?  I really don't see evidence for that in the books.  We only know of a handful of specific locations, but that's because those are the only ones that were relevant to the story KK was telling, not because those are the only locations that exist, or because of a limited number of Deryni capable of building them.  Even someone like Sofiana probably knows only a handful of TP locations at best, since people would tend to keep such information secret from all but their closest friends.  (Would you want just anyone being able to pop into your house at any time?  Heck, as much as I love my family, I still wouldn't want even my own mom to be able to just pop into my house without notice except in case of dire emergency!  What if the house was a wreck?  If I was in the shower?  If the DH and I were having an intimate moment mere meters away?   :D

From Arilan's working in HD, it appears the main factors involved in building one would be the knowledge of how to create the Portal plus having enough assistance to draw upon (preferably Deryni) for the massive amounts of energy needed for the working.  Oh, and it needs to be set in rock or earth of some sort, not just on any surface.  A plank floor wouldn't do.  But Arilan built one in a battlefield pavilion on bare ground, with assistance from people who didn't have previous knowledge of how to build one themselves.  He wasn't born with that knowledge; someone would've trained him.  And presumably whoever trained him also trained others.  I imagine it would be considered fairly standard, if a bit advanced, training for a formally trained Deryni (i.e, not something a Deryni child or even possibly an adolescent would know, but definitely something Alyce would've gotten around to teaching her son eventually, or found someone else to teach him, if she'd survived to his adulthood), but there's certainly no dearth of trained Deryni in the lands east of Gwynedd where they've not been torched on a regular basis for two centuries.
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Offline Elkhound

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The Demoiselle and Derry Chapter 7
« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2010, 11:19:29 am »
But Celsie has her own domain to manage.  The impression I get was that they were not that far apart, but they weren't exactly next door either.
Not sure what you're getting at here, Elkhound.

There are so many stories of domains put into the charge of a steward with the Lord or Lady absent, and the steward either running it into the ground or getting to think that he wants it for himself, and taking steps towards that end.  Although I like the Celsie/Derry pairing, I am nervous about her jumping into marriage before getting her domain firmly under her thumb.  She's been an absentee or part-time lady for so long, I'd much rather that the staff and the residents get the idea that Her Ladyship is very much in residency and very much in charge, and very, very competent, and quite capable of dealing with anyone who is getting too big for his britches so that when she does finally marry and move to her husband's domain her new steward won't get any bright ideas.  Indeed, although I like the Derry/Celsie pairing on a personal level, the more I think about it from a political and economic point of view I'd be a lot happier seeing her paired with a younger son or even a bastard (in the technical sense; it is possible for someone to be a bastard and a perfectly nice person), who can be only her consort, so she won't have divided responsibilities.

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The Demoiselle and Derry Chapter 7
« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2010, 01:06:54 pm »
"Unto Archbishops Cardiel and Bradene doth Celeste de Chervignon O'Flynn, Countess of Derry and Lady of Chervignon, send respectful greetings.  Pray, Your Eminences, grant me a writ of divorcement or annulment of my marriage vows on the grounds of mild inconvenience...."   Nope, not seeing it happening.   :D

OK, taking a look at the two woefully inadequate maps of the area to be found in the Codex, combined with the much prettier but somewhat contradictory (to the Codex) map to be found at http://www.mackenzieshaven.com/Images/RPGs/Gwynedd-Deryni/gwynedd.jpg (only a few key locations show up in both places, and the freaking rivers don't match up!!!!, but the online map matches my vague memories of the old book maps better), it would appear that the Earldom of Derry is located in the mountain range just north of Coroth.  The southernmost part of that range, even, since if one were to draw a line straight across from some key cities like Dhassa or Valoret, it's south of both of those.  Close to Jennan Vale or Kingslake, perhaps, but south of Medras.  And that makes sense, since I imagine part of Alaric's reason for choosing Derry as his lieutenant would be that it would be relatively convenient for him to be in Coroth frequently, and to be able to do so without neglecting his own lands.

Now, I picture Chervignon to be just west of that area, in that plains area to the north-northwest of Coroth.  And not all that far out either--in Celsie's intro story, she was able to ride to Coroth in a bit over an hour, though granted she was riding for her life the entire way, as fast as her horse could carry her without having a coronary.  But even so, my guess is that this places Chervignon somewhere in the lowlands area near or in Jennan Vale.  (Probably a good thing no one was aware of her Deryni origins yet when Warin de Gray was stirring up trouble!)

So what this means, in practical terms, is that even riding at a leisurely pace, Celsie's commute between Derry and Chervignon is probably no greater than my daily commute to my office (45 minutes each way).  But let's stretch that to an hour or even an hour and a half, since Derry is in mountain country.  Even so, she'd be able to be "in residence" at Chervignon quite regularly, perhaps even starting out with 3 days in Chervignon to every 4 days in Derry, until she was entirely certain that her household staff was completely familiar with her and loyal.  And if she had any reason to suspect them at all, it's quite easy to pop by and check at random moments.  Especially if, as Gyrfalcon mentioned, she ends up installing a Transfer Portal at Derry as well.  In that case, the 40 min to 1.5 hour "commute" suddenly becomes more like 15 seconds.  I want to meet the steward who would get away with much with a manorial Lady only 15 seconds away at any time!  The only reason her former steward got away with as much as he did for two years was that 1) Alaric was across the kingdom for much of that time, and 2) Alaric had no reason to assume the man wasn't as honest as his father who had held the job before him, and 3) he was skilled enough at cooking the books that someone who wasn't on the manor regularly wouldn't spot the discrepencies.  Celsie would, at worst, be by Chervignon at least weekly while in residence at Derry, would also spend some time with her new husband in residence at Chervignon, and as for the occasional trip to Coroth or Rhemuth--well, if she can't trust her steward and household for those absences, she can't trust them for any, and Derry would have exactly the same potential problem with his own.  That's why, when they replaced her staff, they took the proper care in the first place!
« Last Edit: August 12, 2010, 01:35:19 pm by Evie »
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Offline Elkhound

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The Demoiselle and Derry Chapter 7
« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2010, 02:07:03 pm »
Well, you seem to have worked it out.  And as was pointed out if she were to get a portal installed at Derry, it would make things even easier.  And the fact that the staff knows that she can truth-read will probably keep them from getting into any jiggery-pokery.

Offline Elkhound

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« Reply #20 on: August 12, 2010, 02:15:37 pm »
From Arilan's working in HD, it appears the main factors involved in building one would be the knowledge of how to create the Portal plus having enough assistance to draw upon (preferably Deryni) for the massive amounts of energy needed for the working.  Oh, and it needs to be set in rock or earth of some sort, not just on any surface.  A plank floor wouldn't do.  But Arilan built one in a battlefield pavilion on bare ground, with assistance from people who didn't have previous knowledge of how to build one themselves.  He wasn't born with that knowledge; someone would've trained him.  And presumably whoever trained him also trained others.  I imagine it would be considered fairly standard, if a bit advanced, training for a formally trained Deryni (i.e, not something a Deryni child or even possibly an adolescent would know, but definitely something Alyce would've gotten around to teaching her son eventually, or found someone else to teach him, if she'd survived to his adulthood), but there's certainly no dearth of trained Deryni in the lands east of Gwynedd where they've not been torched on a regular basis for two centuries.

In one of the books, someone is asked if someone else could construct a portal on his own, and the answer was, "Nay, few could."  Which implies that some can.  And when Arilan made the portal, the rest of the team seemed mostly to be sources of energy rather than actually having to do much of anything; and he was able to use at least one human (Warin) as a power source.  So if Celsie knows how, all she needs is a sufficiently large number of Deryni (with perhaps a human or two as makeweight).   And who knows?  There might be a portal at Coroth or Derry already.  For Coroth, considering that the Ducal family is Deryni, almost certainly--although its location seems to have been forgotten.  How long has Sean's family been holding Derry?  Were the previous holders Deyrni?

Offline Evie

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The Demoiselle and Derry Chapter 7
« Reply #21 on: August 12, 2010, 02:42:47 pm »
From the Codex, it would appear that Derry has been in human hands (the O'Flynn family) since the year 953, and the founder of the line was Lord Flynn Fitz-Arthur Quinnell, the second son of an earlier Duke of Cassan.  We already know that the Dukes of Cassan, up until Duncan, that is, were human as well.  And this would presumably be a different branch of the same Quinnells that the Mearan Royal House sprang up from, I would think...more humans.  Not a Deryni in the lot, at any rate, so I think we can safely assume there won't already be a TP in Derry when Celsie moves in.  Of course, now that the new Countess is bringing Deryni blood into the Derry line, the heirs will be Deryni as well.  All the more reason to install a TP at Derry at some point, even if not immediately.

I doubt Celsie would be one of those few able to install one single-handedly.  She's better trained than a great many Gwynedd-born Deryni now, but I'm not certain she's necessarily more powerful as a result of that.  I suspect there's a difference between simple knowledge/training and innate potential of power, and it could be that the few who could install one single-handedly would be those rare individuals who are both super-gifted from birth with Deryni powers and well-trained in their use.  But it's possible she might have either learned how to build one in Andelon, or at least learned how from observing what Constanza did (or whoever did the primary working) when her Portal in Chervignon was built, so she might be able to build another in Derry given enough volunteers to lend help and energies.  Even if she can't, though, she knows people who could.  The only downside I'm seeing might be Celsie's reluctance to ask her husband's former Bird of Paradise for any favors.   :D  ("Stanzi, could you help install another TP at Derry that you'd know the coordinates to, so you could at least theoretically pop in and visit me and your ex-lover at any time?"  Awkward.)
« Last Edit: August 12, 2010, 02:44:50 pm by Evie »
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Offline Elkhound

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The Demoiselle and Derry Chapter 7
« Reply #22 on: August 12, 2010, 03:22:13 pm »
 Of course, now that the new Countess is bringing Deryni blood into the Derry line, the heirs will be Deryni as well.  All the more reason to install a TP at Derry at some point, even if not immediately.

Assuming that Derry & Celsie have children; Derry's hardly been chaste, and he hasn't sired any bastards (that we know of) so he may be firing blanks. 

Offline Evie

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The Demoiselle and Derry Chapter 7
« Reply #23 on: August 12, 2010, 03:35:41 pm »
There were ways, even in the Middle Ages, of preventing conception.  As I recall from my tour of Warwick Castle (I think it was Warwick, anyway?), one of the more frequently discovered items in archeological dredging of the old moat was evidence of "sausage-casing" condoms.  There were also abortifacient herbs in use, some of which were more reliable than others.  Siphium is one such herb probably driven to extinction by mass marketing among women using it for contraceptive purposes, either to prevent or terminate pregnancy, and--unlike similar herbs--it probably wouldn't have gone extinct if it weren't actually effective.  The practice, though not officially condoned by the Church, was also somewhat less frowned upon because of the widespread belief that human life began at quickening rather than conception, so if you took certain tisanes months before you could feel movement, many people didn't consider that to be a true abortion. 

Of course, Derry wouldn't have much control over the female end of things, but in addition to the herbs, there were wine and vinegar soaked sponges used as a barrier method of contraception, not to mention the even older method of, shall we say, leaving a mess for the laundress to take care of later.  None of these methods are anywhere near as foolproof as abstinence, of course (which is why Derry frets, in Celsie's intro story, when he hears that Richenda is wanting to speak with him urgently about some matter involving perfidy and an innocent maiden, that maybe his precautions weren't quite enough), so there's a chance Derry has a by-blow or two here and there around Gwynedd.  Then again, with rare exceptions like Constanza (who was barren, or she'd never have risked an affair with Derry), most of his lights-of-love have been innkeepers' widows and other commoners, and if they're known lightskirts, paternity would be difficult to prove even if he had fathered any children by them.  And he might never know about them.
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Offline Alkari

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« Reply #24 on: August 12, 2010, 03:53:08 pm »
In terms of the training and knowledge for portal construction, I don't think it is something that is necessarily part of all formal training, even pretty advanced training.  Richenda we know has considerable skills and knowledge - even the snooty Arilan respects her! and allows her to take charge of the workings for Nigel's empowerment - and she presumably doesn't have that knowledge yet.

Also, in KKB Arilan refers to 'persuading the Council' to let him install a portal in Coroth. I think that perhaps the knowledge of portal construction was very, very tightly controlled, maybe largely via the CC itself, and was not something that was part of most Deryni's formal training.   Yes, someone like Stanzi is trained, but Richenda is at least as well trained, if not better - and she apparently doesn't have that knowledge.  After all, she's had one good opportunity to construct a Portal if she did - after Kelric's birth, she had plenty of Deryni in Coroth (herself and Alaric, Duncan, Kelson and Dhugal, plus Derry to draw on for power if needed).  So I feel rather uncomfortable with the idea that portals are just somehow being constructed willy nilly around the place - "have a BBQ this Saturday, gather a couple of Deryni mates and put in a portal while you're waiting for the steaks to cook"  ;)

Don't forget it's also probably a combination of actual knowledge of 'how' to do it, plus the sheer skill and ability to marshal and control all the energies of people you are drawing on, without overdoing it and killing your willing partners.  That is definitely a matter for very well-trained Deryni: obviously Denis has that ability, but it would not be an everyday matter.

No, we don't know all the portals that may be around, but just having a private portal somewhere is not the same as actually being able to make one.  There may be plenty of Deryni who have or know of existing portals, and be able to use them, but don't actually have any idea about making them or even closing them.  They seem to be more common in Torenth, but until the end of KKB there isn't exactly even a hint of a warm and cosy relationship with the Deryni there  :D
  
« Last Edit: August 12, 2010, 03:59:07 pm by Alkari »

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« Reply #25 on: August 12, 2010, 04:10:59 pm »
Also, in KKB Arilan refers to 'persuading the Council' to let him install a portal in Coroth. I think that perhaps the knowledge of portal construction was very, very tightly controlled, maybe largely via the CC itself, and was not something that was part of most Deryni's formal training.  

*dies*

Yes, I can just imagine Arilan's thoughts.  "Hm.  Alaric Morgan--the wild card Deryni whom the CC has had major problems accepting pretty much since his birth--really should have a Transfer Portal.  Kelson would really like that.   Unfortunately Morgan doesn't have the knowledge to make one...but I do!  I'd be glad to help him build one--after all, the CC will have no problem with me aiding and abetting Morgan's already considerable influence over the Haldane line!  Since they'll have no problem with this, there's no need for me to even bring the matter up in Council, because after all, it's much easier to get forgiveness than permission...."

Not very Denis-like, I'm afraid.

So yes, if even considering the idea, he'd want to bring the matter up in CC first.  And knowing the CC as he does, he'd realize this would take a lot of persuasiveness on his part.  That doesn't necessarily mean they'd have to be consulted and persuaded each and every time someone wanted to build a Transfer Portal, but in the case of Alaric Morgan, Bad Half-Breed Boy Wonder of Coroth, having one at his disposal--boy, howdy, you bet they'd want to have a say in that!   :D
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« Reply #26 on: August 12, 2010, 04:13:16 pm »
Also, your idea of Celsie somehow 'learning' from watching Stanzi do it - um, Morgan, Duncan and Kelson were in that construction process in HD, and they didn't just gather the knowledge from being part of the process with Denis.  So I don't think it is something that is just 'picked up' or is given out lightly.





 
« Last Edit: August 12, 2010, 04:26:54 pm by Alkari »

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« Reply #27 on: August 12, 2010, 04:26:14 pm »
Also, your idea of Celsie somehow 'learning' from watching Stanzi do it - um, Morgan, Duncan and Kelson were in that construction process in HD, and they didn't just gather the knowledge from being part of the process with Denis.  So I don't think it is something that is just 'picked up' or is given out lightly.

Well, I doubt Denis would have been deliberately using it as a "teachable moment" either, and walking them step by step through the process, given what I said earlier about him being unlikely to teach them such skills without the CC's approval, given their distrust of Morgan & Duncan at that point.  If anything, he'd be more likely to deliberately shield what he was doing from them as much as he could while still drawing on their assistance. After all, he's taking a huge enough risk simply breaking the CC's rules to bring them to the Council Chamber, when that's strictly forbidden!  Add teaching them a skill that could possibly be misused by "rogue" Deryni?  Hardly!
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« Reply #28 on: August 12, 2010, 04:27:03 pm »
Just checked Deryni Magic, and it says: "Given the technical skill and energy output required to construct a Transfer Portal, we can surmise that Portals were probably never really numerous, even at the height of Deryni ascendancy."

So that adds to my concerns about having portals 'just constructed by a few friends' in Chervignon and Derry.

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« Reply #29 on: August 12, 2010, 04:32:44 pm »
Just checked Deryni Magic, and it says: "Given the technical skill and energy output required to construct a Transfer Portal, we can surmise that Portals were probably never really numerous, even at the height of Deryni ascendancy."

So that adds to my concerns about having portals 'just constructed by a few friends' in Chervignon and Derry.

And as Arilan aptly demonstrated on the battlefield, a "few friends" who can provide the energy output, plus just one Deryni with the necessary technical skill, is enough to get the job done.  Again, who's to say that whoever trained Arilan didn't also train Constanza?  Or at least train someone else Constanza knows and could persuade into helping?  Such a person would be more likely to be found in Andelon's Court than in Gwynedd after all.  Unless Arilan is the only guy in all the Eleven Kingdoms who knows how to make them anymore, and he's refusing to pass on the knowledge (or having to run and beg for permission each time), chances are that at least one other person has the technical skill to do the job...and Celsie would only need one such person.  Plus, of course, the volunteers for the energy bank.
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Re: Happy birthday, Laurna! by Shiral
[November 17, 2017, 07:49:06 pm]

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