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Author Topic: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Twelve  (Read 4794 times)

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Offline Evie

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Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Twelve
« on: January 27, 2012, 09:26:48 am »
   Chapter Twelve

   St. Hilary's Basilica
   October 4, 1136

   
   Ĉdwige mentally rehearsed her story as she awaited her turn to enter the small chamber where Father Shandon usually chose to hear confessions.  She had awakened earlier than usual and dressed quickly, skipping her usual breakfast in order to get there earlier than anyone else, or so she'd hoped, but apparently someone had still managed to get there before her, so now she waited, growing more anxious with every passing moment.

   She wasn't sure why she was so nervous.  After all, priests had heard everything before, hadn't they?  And her Papa’s chaplain Father Lars had assured her that they might be strict and stern, but this was only out of care and concern for a sinner's soul, and that once she'd confessed her sins, she'd be granted absolution, no matter what she'd done, and be restored to God's grace.   And the most important part—to Ĉdwige's mind, at least—was that anything she said in Confession would remain completely secret, for if a priest were to violate the holy seal of the confessional, he would be immediately excommunicate, or at the very least sent into monastic life and never permitted to hear confessions again.  So it all seemed simple enough, really.  Still, she felt ready to bolt back out the door.  What if Father Lars had lied or oversimplified what he’d said about absolution and the confessional seal, or even if he was simply mistaken?  What if assurance of Heaven weren't really so simple?  

   It wasn't as if Ĉdwige felt like she really was in need of forgiveness.  And Father Lars had always made a big deal about needing to be truly repentant before seeking reconciliation with God.  Ĉdwige couldn't think of anything she'd ever done that she felt truly penitent for.  Well, all right, there was that one time a few years back when her tiring maid had ruined a brand new gown and Ĉdwige had shoved her in a fit of pique.  She'd not noticed how close the tiresome little slut had been standing to the top of the stairs, so it was hardly her fault that the girl stumbled down a full flight of steps and broke her leg, but Ĉdwige had been sorry for it afterward.  Not because she'd been in the wrong—she hadn't been, of course—but still, she'd lost the services of that wench, and it had been such a bother to train up another one to replace her.  And the new maid was even worse than the original.  Yes, Ĉdwige was truly sorry that she'd let her temper get the best of her on that occasion.  But she'd been cleansed of that mistake long ago, and her conscience had been clear afterward.  Well, until she'd had to deal with her stupid husband, at least.

   Still, the Church was picky about such things as killing.  Even if it needed doing, they required penances afterward, unless an absolution had been secured beforehand, like bishops were apt to give before knights and men-at-arms marched off into battle.  And what was she supposed to have done, asked her husband's chaplain if he might please to absolve her before she sent the old codger on to his eternal bliss?  Knowing Gilrae, he'd be too busy doing his seventy virgins in the afterlife to even notice his wife hadn't accompanied him on the journey.  Or was that the Moorish Paradise?  Ĉdwige wasn't sure.  Truth be told, she'd only paid attention to Father Lars's catechisms when she'd absolutely had to.  If God truly knew and loved her as Father Lars claimed He did, then He’d know that she couldn’t stand it when people started nattering on about boring stuff.  And if He’d made her that way, then it really couldn’t be her fault if she had trouble paying attention, now could it?

   Ĉdwige peeked up from where she was pretending to pray at the altar rail, but the door to Father Shandon’s small chamber was still closed.  She bowed her head again.  Should she go ahead and confess what she’d done in the parklands with Sivney while she was at it?  She hadn’t actually done the full marital chore with him, after all, she’d only let him think she was going to give in, but had stopped him before he’d gotten quite that far.  Stopping him had been difficult—by that point, she’d not really wanted to stop either, but as Papa often told her, good things were worth waiting for.  Normally Ĉdwige couldn’t see the point of that tiresome old saying, but this time she figured it was more applicable.  After all, if she gave Sivney what he wanted too quickly, he might stop being so eager for her.  And at the moment, he was the better of her two prospects, since she’d not seen Earl Brendan yet since his return to Court.  So she needed to secure a betrothal from Sivney at the very least before she gave in fully to those desires, difficult though that might be, for that brief romp in the sheltered little grove had been simply amazing.  Maybe she should drop the idea of pursuing Brendan altogether and just make sure of Sivney instead?  No, she really liked the idea of being a Countess.  Still, maybe there was some way she could end up with both.   Not married to both, obviously, but what if she could end up as Countess of Marley, but still enjoy the occasional dalliance with Sivney?  He’d probably be agreeable to the notion, randy as he was.  She couldn’t imagine any reason why he wouldn’t be.

   The door opened, and Ĉdwige guiltily tucked that thought away behind ironclad shields.  Father Shandon was mere human, thank Jesú, which was why she’d picked him to confess to, so he’d not read her mind, but he might be good at figuring out people’s thoughts from their facial expressions.  Some people were, even if they weren’t Deryni.    Sister Therese left the room.  Ĉdwige wondered what she’d had to confess.  Did nuns ever sin?  It must have been something quite improper if she’d gotten up so early to confess it, or was Sister Therese just one of those annoying people who preferred rising very early in the morning before the rest of the world was fully awake?  Perhaps that’s how she’d managed to beat Ĉdwige here.  The thought of Sister Therese doing anything even remotely sinful enough to warrant having to scurry downstairs and make her confession at first light made Ĉdwige have to stifle a giggle.

   The young widow crossed herself and rose from the altar rail.  She could do this; she’d certainly practiced it often enough in her mind already.  All she had to do was tell Father Shandon what she had done, making sure he understood it all from her point of view, of course, so he’d understand why it had been necessary, and he’d absolve her.  Then, once everything had been made right and she needn’t worry about the fires of Hell anymore, she’d simply blur his memories of the confession so that he couldn’t tell anyone else what she’d told him even if he wanted to.   He’d not even remember she was here.  Yes, Father Lars had assured her that the confessional seal was inviolate, but Ĉdwige certainly wasn’t going to take any silly chances.  After all, if word got out that she’d helped her first husband die a little sooner than expected, she might have trouble securing a second husband.  And that would be a shame, now that she knew that the marital chore, if done right, was actually rather delightful.

   She walked into the room and shut the door behind her, taking a deep breath as the latch clicked into place.  To the priest kneeling at the prie-dieu, his bowed head facing away from her, she whispered, “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.  It has been….”  She thought back quickly, counting the months.  “Nine months since my last confession.”

   The priest rose, turning to greet her with a warm and reassuring smile.  Ĉdwige froze, startled.  Instead of the man she’d expected to see, she was facing Father John Nivard.

#

   The young woman before him blanched, her eyes darting towards the closed door.  Father John was puzzled.  He had no idea what had frightened her, unless…might she be terrified of Deryni and therefore alarmed to see him here this morning in place of Father Shandon?  No, that hardly made sense; if that were the case, she’d not have come to St. Hilary’s Basilica, the very center of Saint Camber’s Schola, to make her confession!

   It took him a moment to recognize her face, and then he was certain he’d been mistaken in his initial assumption.  No, this was one of the young Camberian scholars, so she was almost certainly Deryni herself.  He gestured towards a nearby bench.  “I’m very sorry, I never meant to startle you,” he murmured, attempting to comfort her.  “Father Shandon was taken ill this morning, so I offered to take his place this morning.  You’re one of the scholars here, aren’t you?”

   She nodded, the color starting to return to her face, although a tentative probe from him encountered diamond-hard shields.  "Yes, Father."  The young woman glanced at the bench he indicated, but made no move to sit.  "Is Father Shandon very sick?"

   "Not dangerously so," John answered, "but he'll likely be under the weather for several days.  He has a touch of the sweating sickness, I believe, but not a bad case.  Sister Therese expects him to make a full recovery, but probably not for at least a week."

   "Oh.  Then…."  The young woman looked puzzled.  "I thought she was here for confession also?"

   Well, that too, John thought, although he answered the question with nothing more than a noncommittal smile.  He touched his fingertips lightly to the purple stole he wore.  "Is that why you've come?"  He moved to the bench, taking a seat at one end of it before looking back up at her.  "I don't bite, daughter.  At least not very hard.  If you're afraid I'll give you a stricter penance than Father Shandon would, I doubt you need worry on that score."  He chuckled.  "After nearly a dozen years in the priesthood, I'm pretty unshockable."

   She studied him, sky-blue eyes wary, then seemed to come to a decision.  "That's good, Father.  Because there is something I need to get off my chest…."

#

   Father John sat in stunned silence after listening to the young woman's confession, unable at first to think clearly enough to come up with an appropriate response, much less a suitable penance for her actions.  Complicating the issue was his strong suspicion that, despite her willingness to confess the deed, she appeared to have little true penitence or remorse for what she'd done.  She appeared to believe that her actions were somehow justified, and if that were the case, absolution and reconciliation would be impossible unless the young widow first came to understand the severity of what she'd done and became truly repentant.

   He took a deep breath, centering himself and getting a grip on the emotions roiling beneath the calm face he presented to the lady.  "I see.  So now you are seeking absolution for your husband's murder?"

   She looked slightly annoyed.  "Well, I wouldn't call it murder, exactly.  He was dying, after all, just not nearly fast enough."

   "Ah."  What could he possibly say to that?  "But you did help him along?"

   The young widow shrugged.  "Only a little."  She looked at him defensively.  "But if he's in Heaven now, he ought to be grateful, oughtn't he?  It's not like he was going to get better, so at least he's in a better place now.  If you look at it that way, I really did him a favor."

   "But that wasn't your decision to make, it was God's," John tried to explain, wondering if the girl was genuinely mad or simply lacking a conscience.  She seemed, in her own way, entirely rational.  After a moment's reflection, John actually found that thought more frightening than the thought he might be dealing with a lunatic.

   "Well, then God should have got on with it quicker," she said, her voice tinged with asperity.  "So, am I absolved now, or do you have to say the Latin stuff first?"

   Father John knew now what he needed to do, knew also that the lady would most likely be unwilling, but there was no other recourse.  He hoped she was unarmed under those widow's weeds.

   "I'm afraid I can only absolve you from this sin if you are truly repentant, and so far your words and actions haven't shown me that you are.  But if you will openly confess what you have done to your husband's overlord, or to the King, then I will give you absolution."

   She gaped at him for a long moment, looking as stunned as he'd felt earlier.  "Are you mad?" she finally shrieked.  "Have you no idea what they would do to me?"

   He did.  John gave her a sad smile as he nodded.  "I'm afraid temporal crimes come with temporal consequences just as sins against God come with spiritual ones.  And what you've done happens to be both.  But no matter what secular judgment might come against you—and by confessing your deeds and throwing yourself at your lord's mercy or on the Crown's, at least you stand some chance of obtaining leniency—your soul would be cleansed of the taint of your actions.  You need not fear death then…."

   "Bloody hell I needn't!  I don't want to die, you idiot!   I came here because I want to go to Heaven someday, not now!"

   Wouldn't the executioner be doing you a favor, sending you on to eternal bliss earlier than originally scheduled?  I'd think you would be grateful,
John mused briefly, then felt a pang of remorse for the sarcastic thought.  He was here to offer her the way back to God, not to judge her, difficult though it was for him not to do so after what she'd shared.

   The young woman started towards the door, but paused, whirling to face him again.  "You're not going to tell the King, are you?  This was a confession, and you're a priest!"  Her eyes blazed angry fire at him.

   He shook his head.  "I will tell no one.  The seal of the confessional covers all sins equally, and I'm bound by my vows.  But for the sake of your soul, I strongly urge you to tell him."

   She looked angry enough to launch herself at him, but she restricted her assault to mere words, flinging them in his face.  "No bloody way!  I hope you rot, Father Nivard," she yelled at him as she turned the door latch.  "I'll see you defrocked and stripped of your priesthood if it's the last thing I ever do!"

   The furious widow threw open the door, finding herself face to face with a shocked-looking maiden.  Father John recognized the younger lass immediately.  She was Briony Morgan.

#

   "Ĉdwige!  Ĉdwige, wait!"  Briony ran after her friend as the older girl fled from the Basilica.  Her earlier intention to make her weekly confession was completely forgotten in her shock.  She caught up with Ĉdwige in the courtyard, catching her by the arm and drawing her aside to the shelter of the cloistered walk, staring at her wild-eyed friend in concern.  "What's wrong?  And why are you so angry with Father Nivard?"

   Ĉdwige gathered her composure, dabbing away tears of rage and struggling to catch her breath.  "It's nothing," she muttered.  "Don't worry about it, Briony."

   The young lady-in-waiting shook her head, looking resolute.  "It's not 'nothing,' Ĉdwige, or you wouldn't be so furious.  And frightened too, I'll warrant.  I can feel your emotions without even half trying."

   Ĉdwige gave her a startled look, tightening her shields immediately as she glanced around the courtyard furtively.  "I don't want to talk about it," she whispered.

   Briony looked around the courtyard.  "You're right, this isn't the place," she whispered back.  "But you need to tell someone.  If you're so upset that you've threatened to see Father Nivard stripped of his priesthood, then whatever he said or did back there must have been horrible!  Maybe you should talk to Bishop Duncan…."

   “No!”  Ĉdwige fought down her panic, grabbing her friend by the sleeve and dragging her deeper into the shadows of the cloistered walkway, not that the bright daylight around them offered much in the way of concealment.  You don’t understand, I can’t, she Mind-Spoke.

   Why not?
Briony reasoned. He’s the Rector!  If there’s a problem with Father Nivard, he needs to know about it.

   The only problem with Father Nivard, Ĉdwige thought sourly, was that he was an unmitigated ass, but she could hardly tell Bishop McLain that, unfortunately!  She shook her head at Briony. I know Bishop McLain is a good man, but Father Nivard is his friend.  The Bishop wouldn’t believe me if I told him.  Told him what?  Ĉdwige knew she’d have to come up with some explanation for her strong words against Father Nivard, but what could she tell Briony?  She could hardly tell her the truth, after all, for Briony was far too much of an innocent to ever see Sir Gilrae’s death as Ĉdwige did—Ĉdwige instinctively knew that much—but on the other hand she needed to be told something plausible, something that would explain why Ĉdwige didn’t wish any complaint against Father Nivard to go any further up the Church hierarchy, despite her threats against him.

   On the other hand, what if she said nothing overt against the priest, simply answered Briony’s questions in such a way that the younger girl would leap to conclusions that, however logical, were not the actual truth Ĉdwige wished to hide?  Yes, that might work.  She’d have to lay the groundwork carefully, but once she did, surely Briony would understand her wish to let the matter drop.

   Ĉdwige shuddered delicately, hugging herself as if to fend off a chill, although the morning was relatively warm and growing steadily warmer as the sun continued to rise overhead.  She chose her statements carefully, in case Briony felt a need to question the truth behind them and began to Truth-Read what she was sharing.  Could Mind-Speech even be Truth-Read in the same way regular speech could?  She wasn’t sure, but certainly didn’t wish to find out the hard way! I should have sought out some other confessor this morning instead.  None of this would have happened.  

   What did happen? Briony asked, confused.

   Oh Jesú, I can’t bring myself to talk about it, Ĉdwige Mind-Spoke.  Father Nivard asked me to…to do unspeakable things!  I really couldn’t bring myself to tell you.
 She lowered her eyes, blinking away tears as if mortified to share even that much with her dear friend.  

   Briony stared at her, shocked.  You mean…Father Nivard…surely he didn’t proposition you?!

   Ĉdwige swallowed a sob.  He said he wouldn’t grant me absolution for my sins unless I did a certain thing he wanted me to do…something simply awful, Briony!  There was no way I could possibly bring myself to do it, even if he were to promise me absolution for all of my sins hereafter!  But if I can’t bring myself to tell even you what he asked me to do, how could I possibly tell anyone else?

   Briony straightened bravely, her pale face grimly resolute.  She hugged her friend. I understand completely.  Don’t worry, dear, I’ll take care of it for you!  She turned and walked swiftly towards the Rector’s office, leaving Ĉdwige staring after her in stunned dismay for a few moments until her body caught up with her thoughts.  She sprinted after Briony, catching her just short of re-entering the Basilica.

   No, wait, you can't tell the Rector!  Please, Briony; I trusted you! Ĉdwige's eyes pleaded with Briony as she fought down a surge of fear. I thought you'd understand!  If you tell, then there'll be questions, and possibly even an Archbishop's Tribunal, and I'd...I'd be called upon to testify...and oh God, I couldn't bear facing Father Nivard again, not around all those men, all asking me such...such personal questions! Just the thought of such a thing happening brought a very real flare of panic welling up in Ĉdwige, for if the matter escalated that far out of hand, there would almost certainly be some Truth-Reading involved in determining the truth or falsity of the accusation, and Ĉdwige knew she could hardly hope to continue phrasing her statements carefully enough to evade discovery for very long.  Sooner or later her manipulation of the truth would be discovered, and then they might want to know why she had made such accusations against Father Nivard in the first place.  

   Briony took her hands, her eyes filled with compassion.  No, of course you'd not want to be subjected to all that!  You've endured far too much already.  But that's why I mean to go to Bishop Duncan myself, you see?  So that you needn't go through all of that.  The Rector is my cousin; he'll at least hear me out, even if he has trouble believing anything bad about Father Nivard.  I won't tell him that you're the one who told me about what Father Nivard did, but Ĉdwige, if he's done it to you, he may well have abused his priestly authority with other ladies as well, and he'll never stop as long as everyone is too fearful to report what's going on.  And even if you are the first woman he's tried this with, he needs to be stopped.  Please, Ĉdwige, let me help you.

   Ĉdwige bowed her head, carefully considering the matter.  Yes, that might well work after all!  Father Nivard could still be ruined, or at least highly compromised, in the eyes of his superiors without any finger of blame pointing out to her, for she had no doubt that Briony would keep her word concerning protecting her identity.  Even once it became apparent to all that her charges against him were false, as Ĉdwige supposed was almost bound to happen eventually, if no one knew who had made the original accusation, they wouldn't be any closer to knowing why she'd done it, and they couldn't question her about her motives if they didn't know who she was.  And Father Nivard couldn't very well tell them, now could he?  Not without violating his priestly seal.  If the Church's stupid rules really meant so much to him, then let him live up to them and see how damned awkward that was!  Yes, she could have her revenge on Father Nivard after all, without having to do a single thing that might draw unwanted attention to herself.

   Ĉdwige sniffled delicately, dabbing at her eyes.  All right, Briony, if that's what you think is best.  But please don't tell Bishop McLain who told you about Father Nivard's perfidy.  I'm trusting you.

   Briony gave her friend a tender kiss on the cheek. I know.  And I won't let you down.


Chapter Thirteen:  http://www.rhemuthcastle.com/index.php?topic=825.0
« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 09:47:31 am by Evie »
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Offline Jerusha

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Twelve
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2012, 10:09:29 am »
Wow Evie - you must be really enjoying writing this. That was a masterpiece!

Poor Father John; he does not deserve to have to defend himself against Ĉdwige's twisted deception.  And to use Briony as the instrument of its deliverance!  Oh, I just want to strangle Ĉdwige!

*Takes deep breath to calm down.*
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Offline AnnieUK

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Twelve
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2012, 11:09:00 am »
"So, am I absolved now, or do you have to say the Latin stuff first?"

*snorts*

She really is so very perfectly obnoxious, isn't she?

Offline Evie

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Twelve
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2012, 12:35:42 pm »
Yeah, Ĉdwige is a real piece of work, huh?   :D  Most of my characters have, at some time or another, made me wonder, "Did you really just say/do that?!"  But when I'm writing Ĉdwige, the jaw-dropping tends to be quite literal.   ;D

And you can all blame Alkari for this subplot.  As I vaguely recall, she mentioned something in passing a while back that made Ĉdwige perk up inside my head and say, "I would so do something like that, only I'd do it this way!"   ;D
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Offline Alkari

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Twelve
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2012, 01:35:19 pm »
Excellent couple of scenes.   Yes, Ĉdwige is certanly turning out to be "a real piece of work" - poor Father John, and poor Briony.     :(

Quote
Ĉdwige couldn't think of anything she'd ever done that she felt truly penitent for.
No - and it doesn't sound as though she's going to change.  Total mastery of self-justification and self-centredness.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2012, 01:41:54 pm by Alkari »

Offline Evie

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Twelve
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2012, 02:24:35 pm »
She's turned self-absorption into an art form.   ;D
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Offline AnnieUK

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Twelve
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2012, 02:41:55 pm »
Isn't it just as well we're not like our characters, or you'd be a self-absorbed, flirtatious murderess and I'd be a total spanner.

Offline Evie

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Twelve
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2012, 03:26:05 pm »
ROFL!!!  Too true!   ;D

The only one of my characters who is very much like me is Sophie, really.  And maybe I'm just a tiny bit like Avisa as well...at least that "not too grown up to enjoy being an overgrown kid" side of her.   :D
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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Twelve
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2012, 05:01:23 pm »
Isn't it just as well we're not like our characters, or you'd be a self-absorbed, flirtatious murderess and I'd be a total spanner.

I'd be a three-year-old!

On the other hand, think of all the fun I could have with no responsibilities.

And maybe I could finally get a pony.  ;D
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Offline derynifanatic64

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Twelve
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2012, 06:40:47 pm »
Not only am I concerned about what's going to happen to John, I am even more concerned about that poor unborn child.  It's mother is going to be the worst mother in the history of motherhood.  We need to contact Gwynedd's Department of Children and Families to get that child away from its mother as soon as it is born.
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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Twelve
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2012, 12:03:09 am »
She's turned self-absorption into an art form.   ;D

She's pretty close to a sociopath, isn't she?

But I stand by my statement on the Other Thread that she doesn't have much actual malice.  She doesn't particularly hate Fr. John as a person; she just sees him as an obstacle between herself and something she wants.  Unlike the character in the Other Story who really hates Jon as a person.  Do you see the distinction?
« Last Edit: January 28, 2012, 12:06:31 am by Elkhound »

Offline Alkari

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Twelve
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2012, 01:20:39 am »
I think you are pretty right in your assessment Elkhound.  Fr John is merely an obstacle in Aedwige's way, and it seemed to be much the same with her husband Gilrae.  In his case, it was far more that she didn't want to get married then, and certainly not to a randy old man who was not in the best of health and who lived on an out-of-the-way estate.  

However, going back a few chapters, there seems to be some pretty strong mutual dislike between Aedwige and Cass.   :)   I suspect that could very easily develop into actual hatred, especially if Cass ever happened to thwart Aedwige, whether or not intentionally.   At the moment it's mostly been a lot of hissing and spitting with verbal claws out, and probably a few other minor incidents as well.  But I could see it going further.

PS:  Speaking of hissing and spitting, I watched The Women again this afternoon - Joan Crawford and Rosalind Russell certainly know all about female cattiness, with a little help from Norma Shearer and Mary Boland!   :D  

Quote
 Isn't it just as well we're not like our characters, or you'd be a self-absorbed, flirtatious murderess and I'd be a total spanner.
And here was I thinking that Evie's real persona was a cross between Sir Sextus and Jass.    :D   Oh well, I suppose she could be one of those people with multiple personalities ...
« Last Edit: January 28, 2012, 01:26:52 am by Alkari »

Offline Evie

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Twelve
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2012, 01:35:33 am »
She's turned self-absorption into an art form.   ;D

She's pretty close to a sociopath, isn't she?

Yes.  Not the more obvious sort of sociopath that Walter was, but she's got the same lack of conscience. On the rare occasions when she feels any sort of regret for her actions, it's due to them having caused some unwanted consequence for her, not due to genuine remorse.  She might not be the sort who's likely to turn into the "Black Widow" archetype and just wantonly kill off people who stand in the way of what she wants...but then again, if she stops short of murdering anyone else but Sir Gilrae, it won't be due to thinking that murder is wrong, but due to deciding that it's not in her self-interests to take such a risky action and double her chances of getting caught.  Her one redeeming quality I can think of at the moment is that she's capable of feeling some degree of affection (for Briony and Sister Helena, at least, and she has feelings of attraction towards both Brendan and Sivney, if no understanding of genuine love), though even that is quite shallow, and the objects of her affection are no more immune to her manipulations than anyone else, as you've seen in this chapter.  And even that affection is somewhat self-serving; it's quite likely that if Briony weren't a Duke's daughter in the Queen's household, and if Sister Helena wasn't a magistra teaching her much-desired Deryni skills, Ĉdwige 's feelings towards them would wane (if they'd ever grown in the first place) because they wouldn't be so useful to her.  Her affection is more like the fondness one might feel for a favorite possession rather than the sort of emotional bond most people would feel towards a cherished friend.

Quote
But I stand by my statement on the Other Thread that she doesn't have much actual malice.  She doesn't particularly hate Fr. John as a person; she just sees him as an obstacle between herself and something she wants.  Unlike the character in the Other Story who really hates Jon as a person.  Do you see the distinction?

I don't know...I would think that when Fr. John became an obstacle to her plans, not to mention (in her mind, at least) a threat to her life, her plotting went from being objective and merely goal-centered to becoming a very personal vendetta against the man.  If she weren't feeling vengeful, she'd not have planted the idea in Briony's mind that Fr. John had abused his office.  She'd have just tried to extricate herself from Briony's well-meant interference as neatly as possible and then gone on to find some other, more malleable priest to give her what she wanted, even if it meant having to take control over his mind to make him say the "Latin stuff."  If she's making the extra effort to get back at Fr. John for denying her what she wanted from him, it's become a personal quest for revenge...and therefore, IMO, malicious.
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Offline Evie

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Twelve
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2012, 01:42:28 am »

Quote
 Isn't it just as well we're not like our characters, or you'd be a self-absorbed, flirtatious murderess and I'd be a total spanner.

And here was I thinking that Evie's real persona was a cross between Sir Sextus and Jass.    :D   Oh well, I suppose she could be one of those people with multiple personalities ...

ROFL!  So...um...you think I'm an oversexed pizza fiend?  Or maybe just a wastrel with a charming Border accent?  Not to mention that Sir Sextus and Sir Jass are both quite strenuously protesting any idea of "crossing" them with each other to produce...well, ANYTHING!!!   Sheesh, woman, how much wine have you had tonight?!  ;D
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

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Offline Shiral

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Twelve
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2012, 02:25:38 am »
Yeah, Ĉdwige is a real piece of work, huh?   :D  Most of my characters have, at some time or another, made me wonder, "Did you really just say/do that?!"  But when I'm writing Ĉdwige, the jaw-dropping tends to be quite literal.   ;D

And you can all blame Alkari for this subplot.  As I vaguely recall, she mentioned something in passing a while back that made Ĉdwige perk up inside my head and say, "I would so do something like that, only I'd do it this way!"   ;D

She is quite the piece of work, but something tells me she's gravely underestimated Bishop Duncan.  :P He would certainly talk to Father Nivard, but his knowledge of the  younger priest would  cause him to severely doubt Aedwige's charges against him. And Nivard could easily bare his soul to Duncan without betraying the confessional in such a way that Duncan would know he was telling the truth about everything else that happened between himself and Aedwige.   I have a feeling Duncan would do his best to set Briony straight also. "Now my dear, I know you're upset, but let's think about this a little more carefully.  You know that Father Nivard is the King's Chaplain. He could not hold such a position of trust if he'd ever given your godfather a moment's doubt about his character, could he? Between Lady Aedwige and the King, who would you trust more?" etc etc.

Melissa
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