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Author Topic: Saint Camber's Tiger Chapter 3  (Read 5590 times)

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Offline Alkari

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Saint Camber's Tiger Chapter 3
« on: June 18, 2010, 12:38:20 am »
Previous chapter here - http://www.rhemuthcastle.com/index.php?topic=576.msg1630#msg1630
____


Coroth Castle, early evening.

The meeting with Coroth’s mayor and a number of harbourside landowners had obviously gone on longer than expected, and Alaric had only just returned by the time Richenda left the nursery.   She met him on the stairs leading to their quarters, but said little until he had shed his damp cloak and changed his boots, and stood warming himself in front of the fire.  It had obviously been a trying afternoon.

“The children are in bed, but I think they are still hoping for a story from their Papa,” she said softly.

Alaric nodded.  “Sorry I’m so late – old Thomas Nettleship was at his most difficult best.”

“And?”

“The Duke of Corwyn has now acquired the land between Mallory’s wharf and the high street.  At a suitably outrageous price, considering the state of the buildings after that fire last summer. I doubt that most will be sound after this winter's storms.”

“Ah.”  Richenda nodded. “Meaning the Duke will now reach an agreement with Masters Bentink and Whitson to enlarge the market square and build a new wharf with better warehouses and larger shops.”

Alaric chuckled.  “Thomas wouldn’t sell the land to either of his rivals, and refused to allow the Merchants Guild to acquire it either.  It seems he is still feuding with Isaiah Dawkins over something or other.   So I made him an offer, to which he naturally added a few other expenses.  I’m surprised he didn’t see the advantages of what the Guild was proposing, but I’m not unhappy with the way things turned out. ”

“Particularly as His Grace stands to make a sizable profit once the new facilities are established.”   Richenda smiled: her husband’s business sense had initially surprised her, until she became more familiar with the affairs of Corwyn and Coroth’s role as a port and trading centre.  

“I have a growing family to support, you know.”  He winked.

“And two of them are waiting for a story,” she reminded him.  “Kelric wants the one about the one-armed knight and the red dragon.”  She paused.  “Alaric – Tiger was hurt in a fight today, and…”

“Is he all right?  He’s not badly hurt, is he?  Do I need to heal him?”   Alaric turned to her in genuine concern.   For all that the kitten was Briony’s pet, it had somehow managed to purr its way into her father's affections, and more than once Richenda had found it perched beside Alaric as he sat working, occasionally pouncing on a stray tally figure or reaching out a dainty paw to help him with the paperwork. Tiger had even attended a council meeting last week: to the amusement of all concerned, he’d followed Alaric into the room, leapt onto the table, wound himself gently between several inkstands and then settled happily on a large leather-bound volume to Alaric’s left.  A squire had hastily come forward and offered to remove the kitten, but the duke shook his head.  “Even a playful kitten might occasionally need some respite from my daughter,” he’d laughed. "I warrant he will find our meeting somewhat less exciting."   Richenda had later teased her husband about what this may have done to his formal ducal image.

“He’s fine now.  He made an excellent recovery. Only - “ Richenda hesitated.  “Briony will probably want to tell you what happened.  She and Kelric explained it to me, and I’ve seen her memories.  But I think you should see and hear for yourself.”

He stared at her.  “Why?  What’s the matter?  Briony wasn’t hurt, was she?”

“No, no dear,” Richenda assured him hastily, touching her fingers to his lips and sending him reassurance.  “But she’ll be very upset if you don’t go and kiss them good-night.”  Her shields were unreadable as she pushed him towards the door, so Alaric departed.  

Richenda stood for a while staring into the fire, then roused herself and summoned a squire.  Her compliments to Lord Hamilton, but would he preside in the Great Hall tonight, as the Duke and Duchess would be dining in their quarters this evening.  

_____

 

Next chapter:
http://www.rhemuthcastle.com/index.php?topic=641.msg3505#new


« Last Edit: January 16, 2011, 02:11:30 am by Alkari »

Offline Evie

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Saint Camber's Tiger Chapter 3
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2010, 09:02:27 am »
I love the glimpse into Alaric's keen business acumen!   :D

I don't know how in the world I managed to miss it during my first read-through of the books years ago, but somehow back then I entirely missed the fact that Coroth was an entire city and not just the castle itself and the castle grounds.  But this time around it dawned on me, "Well, duh! of course there's a port city!", and I find myself wanting to explore it. 
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

Offline Elkhound

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Saint Camber's Tiger Chapter 3
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2010, 02:31:35 pm »
I really want to see Morgan's reaction to learning that he has sired a Healer.  And a female one at that.

Interesting that you chose a cat as her first patient.  KK had a cat as Rhys' first patient also, in the short story "Catalyst".  (Pun intended.)

Offline Alkari

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Saint Camber's Tiger Chapter 3
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2010, 05:11:50 pm »
I was mindful of "Catalyst" as well.  But also, a cat is a 'cuddlier' pet for a little girl - she will stroke and cuddle it, plus as a cat it is much more likely to sleep inside even when it is grown, on (or probably in !) her bed.  I suspect that if / when the children get a puppy, it would be a reasonably large breed, and also expected to sleep in the kennels, or at least in the Great Hall with other dogs, rather than in chambers. 

Offline AnnieUK

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Saint Camber's Tiger Chapter 3
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2010, 05:36:19 pm »
I noticed the link with Catalyst too, but that's ok, there will be animals around them and I can see Briony healing a kitten.  I like that Alaric is turning into a cat person, and given that the last couple of evenings my old girl has curled up on my Codex I can see it falling asleep on a book.

I am rereading CM and Alaric has been given a puppy which I'm pretty sure sleeps on his bed.  Kenneth and Alyce were obviously quite indulgent parents! :)

I'm waiting for it to register with Alaric that he might be able to heal horses.  The Knighting of Derry would have been a whole different story if he'd known he could heal Derry's horse rather than just horse whispering it.   

Offline Alkari

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Saint Camber's Tiger Chapter 3
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2010, 06:26:55 pm »
I had thought about horses too, but we know that healing takes considerable power, especially for more complex injuries.   So I think that Alaric, Duncan and Dhugal would tend to reserve their skills for humans, even though we know that Dhugal is known to have a way with animals.  And at present, I think they would limit the use of their skills on humans too - I don't see Alaric racing out to heal every last training injury in his castle, for example!  Same with Dhugal.   But if the injury was to a much-loved pet, such as Tiger, or to some very special animal, yes, I can see them trying to heal it.  Hence Alaric's concern about Tiger, though much of that was also based on his concern about Briony's feelings.

Although I am sure Dhugal and Alaric are genuine lovers of animals, in those days animals were expected to work for their living and there was a far more practical attitude to them, so that true pets were the exception rather than the rule.  A hound puppy of some variety is fine - it is a practical gift and can be used for hunting as well as being a pet.  And unlike some cat owners these days, no one in Coroth Castle would run shrieking in horror if Tiger caught his share of rats or mice and ate them, or else presented them lovingly to one of his favourite family members.  In fact, he'd be expected to catch his share of the critters!  This attitude means that animals were put down if badly injured, and we see various references to this throughout the books, although in exceptional circumstances a much loved dog, horse or cat that had been injured would be allowed to limp around and live out its days quietly.

The other thing is, it would be very difficult to justify regular use of the healing powers on animals, when so many humans could benefit, unless such use was for Healer training purposes.  The healing power is still so very rare that it would not be 'wasted' in this way.  Many years later, when Healers are more common, I could certainly see some of them helping with animals, the same way as our vets, but again I suspect that these would be rare, and possibly only attached to wealthier households or communities.

« Last Edit: June 18, 2010, 08:54:00 pm by Alkari »

Offline Elkhound

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Saint Camber's Tiger Chapter 3
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2010, 08:21:10 pm »
Some people with healing gifts might find that they have a greater affinity with animals than humans.  I don't think that they would be forced to only or chiefly Heal humans.

Offline Alkari

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Saint Camber's Tiger Chapter 3
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2010, 08:50:23 pm »
That's very true Elkhound and like you I am sure no Healer would have been forced to Heal humans rather than animals. 

But despite the fact that in our society today we spend billions on our pets, the attitude to animals was somewhat different in medieval times.  I look back on some of my 'older' (early 20th century) books on veterinary guides for horse owners, and the emphasis even as recently as then was on making the horse useful for 'work' in some way, whether it be general riding, hunting, carriage harness or pulling a plough.  Sometimes, the ultimate remedy for ailments that we would now consider treating (albeit long and often expensively) was to put the animal down. 

I see that in The Knighting of Derry, where Morgan has a far more realistic attitude to the stallion's injury.  And if anyone would have the money and stable-room to afford treatment for such a good horse, it would be a Duke.  But he was right: even today a very severe tendon injury like that may result in an animal that is unable to be ridden, or only ridden lightly.  The horses in his stables would need to be sound working horses of all types, and apart from a very few animals (such as a child's pony or a valiant warhorse) there would be little room for sentiment or just keeping something that still had to be fed and watered regardless.   Even Derry knew the risks and understood that he could be throwing good money after bad in trying to save the stallion.


Offline DesertRose

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Saint Camber's Tiger Chapter 3
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2010, 08:52:48 pm »
And Derry was trying to save the stallion for breeding, not for purely sentimental reasons.
"If having a soul means being able to feel love, loyalty, and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans."

James Herriot (James Alfred "Alfie" Wight), when a human client asked him if animals have souls.  (I don't remember in which book the story originally appeared.)

Offline AnnieUK

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Saint Camber's Tiger Chapter 3
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2010, 04:40:51 am »
Regarding training injuries, unless very severe I'd imagine they would have been left to heal and any scars left to serve as a reminder that on the battlefield that would have been game over.  I'm mindful of my daughter's karate lessons where the sensei was very unsympathetic to any child that took a hit and would just say "where was your defence?".  They soon learned that crying at him didn't work and took the knocks and learned from them. 

From the sounds of that horse I'm willing to be Alaric would have healed it though, if he knew he could.  Though possibly *after* negotiating the knock-down price rather than before!

Offline Elkhound

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Saint Camber's Tiger Chapter 3
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2010, 03:56:33 pm »
I'm mindful of my daughter's karate lessons where the sensei was very unsympathetic to any child that took a hit and would just say "where was your defence?".  They soon learned that crying at him didn't work and took the knocks and learned from them. 

I like your daughter's teacher.  What stile?  Shotokan? Kempo? TKD?

Offline AnnieUK

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Saint Camber's Tiger Chapter 3
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2010, 04:15:33 pm »
It was tora kai, which I believe is a variety/offshoot of shotokan.

Offline Elkhound

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Saint Camber's Tiger Chapter 3
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2010, 12:07:00 pm »
It was tora kai, which I believe is a variety/offshoot of shotokan.

A most respectable style.

Offline Elkhound

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Saint Camber's Tiger Chapter 3
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2010, 09:07:30 pm »
I noticed the link with Catalyst too, but that's ok, there will be animals around them and I can see Briony healing a kitten.  I like that Alaric is turning into a cat person, and given that the last couple of evenings my old girl has curled up on my Codex I can see it falling asleep on a book.

You mean a cat purrr-son, don't you?

Offline Alkari

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Saint Camber's Tiger Chapter 3
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2010, 09:18:17 pm »
You are purrfectly right of course!   

I *think* I read in one of the Chats that KK has confirmed Alaric likes cats.   And if I can purr-suade my Muse to speak to me again, I can finish the last chapter on this.   I seem to have lost Alaric somewhere on the stairs returning from the children's nursery ...

 

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