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Author Topic: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Thirteen  (Read 3905 times)

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Offline Evie

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Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Thirteen
« on: February 03, 2012, 09:46:55 am »
Chapter Thirteen

   Saint Hilary's Basilica, Rector's study
   October 4, 1136—morning


   Briony Morgan peeked into the open door of Duncan McLain's study, but he was not there.  Instead, Brother Everard was present, tending to the hearth and making the room ready for the Bishop's eventual arrival.  She bit her lip, feeling uncertain.  What she had to share was for the Bishop's ears only, but perhaps the Schola's scribe might know when he'd be in.

   "Do you know where the Rector is this morning, Brother?" she asked.

   "Aye, my lady, he's down at the Cathedral on church business.  And after that, he said he'd be going into town for a short bit.  I expect we'll see him back here no earlier than noon."

   "Oh."  Briony felt somewhat deflated.  She could hardly go scurrying around the City in hopes of encountering Uncle Duncan; it would be best just to wait for his return, difficult as that was.  She briefly considered going to Queen Araxie with what she'd learned, but no, this seemed like an internal matter for the Church to handle, and Uncle Duncan would hardly thank her if she were indiscreet enough to go babbling to the Queen without coming to him first, no matter how much she felt she might burst if she didn't tell someone about what she'd learned from Ædwige at just that moment.  "Well…I suppose I could come back in a bit," she told Brother Everard.

   "I'm sure he'll be glad to see his favorite Lady-in-Waiting once he returns," the scribe assured her.

   Briony ventured a smile.  "Then he'll have to wait a bit longer," she joked, "for Mama won't be in Rhemuth until closer to Christmas."

#

   City of Rhemuth
   October 4—late morning


   Duncan McLain strolled through Merchants Row on his way back to the Castle, rather than sticking to the more direct route along the King's Way.  The more northerly route was not all that far out of the way, and traveled in more or less the same direction, but as the street's name implied, he'd pass many a merchant's shop on his way back to the Castle grounds, and perhaps one might contain the present he sought.  At the moment, he was stuck for inspiration, and he wished he could have thought of some pretext for bringing Helena with him, although the Archbishop might have wondered at the sudden inclusion of a third party at what was meant to be a private meeting, and it would hardly make sense for him to go straight back to the Castle to fetch her now when they'd just have to return to this area of town again.

   No, if he were being honest with himself, he'd have to admit that he didn't really need Helena along just to help him choose John's gift.  He'd managed to pick out presents well enough on his own for years.  It was just…that shopping trip back in February when the two of them had picked out a birthday present for Sophie had been more fun in Helena's company.  Duncan enjoyed the feeling that he got when he found just the right gift for someone, but as for the hours or even days of shopping and searching that often preceded those special finds, those were normally much more tedious.  He vastly preferred to have some idea of what he was looking for already, so he could just head for the right shop, or at least the right area of the city to find one, and be in and out in a matter of minutes.

   This was not one of those times, though, and Duncan perused the open shop windows with an uninspired eye.  What would be a suitable present for the twelfth anniversary of his friend's ordination to the priesthood?  His original impulse had been to buy John a book, but as much as John loved new acquisitions for the Royal Library, he had little space in his small bedchamber for a personal library, so he preferred to keep only a few volumes on a shelf next to his bed.  So that was out.

   His eye fell on the open shop window displaying the wares of a metal worker, a caster of bronze.  The artisan was extremely skilled at his craft, and Duncan lifted one intricately designed pendant off its display shelf to give it a closer inspection in the sunlight.  The light glinted warmly off the dark polished metal, creating attractive lights and shadows.  The delicate flower depicted by the cast metal was a better suited piece of jewelry for a lady than for a priest, though, and John wasn't much given to wearing jewelry in any case, save for his pectoral cross and a simple gold ring on his left hand to symbolize his marriage to the Church.

   Duncan put the pendant back down on the shelf, next to a beautiful mirror case that looked suitable for Helena.  He sternly reminded himself that he wasn't here to buy anything for her today, although he'd definitely keep the shop's location in mind for another occasion, and started to move on, when a round object hanging on a wall inside the shop caught his eye.  

   He beckoned to the shopkeeper, who noticed what his prospective customer was interested in and took it down from the wall, bringing it over to the window for Duncan to look over in better light.  Duncan took the small disk, turning it over briefly to see the small recessed area in the back of it that would allow it to be hung from a nail or small peg, although he noted that the rest of the object was perfectly flat in back, and could therefore also be displayed on a tabletop or low shelf if one chose to leave it lying flat.  Something wall-mounted would take up less space in a small chamber, though, so it was nice to have both options available.  It was a good sized plaque, nearly as wide across as the span of his open hand, though perhaps just under half an inch thick.  Its size gave it some weight, but not so much that Duncan worried about it being too heavy to be supported by a single nail.  He turned it back upright to examine the design of the casting.

   The cast design was of an intricate labyrinth, its winding path leading inward in eleven circuits from the bottom edge of the disk, meandering through four quadrants to a six-petaled rose in the center of the cross formed by the sides of each quadrant.  The symbolism of the labyrinth would make a fitting present for a priest, Duncan thought, reflecting as it did the experience of pilgrimage, life's journey, discovery, wholeness, renewal, and the inner spiritual journey.  For a Deryni priest, it was even more appropriate, for the labyrinth was often used as a staring pattern to aid in grounding and centering.

   Duncan traced the circuitous path with a fingertip, allowing his mind to drift into light trance as his questing finger traveled towards the center of the labyrinth then back out again, emerging at the same spot where it had entered.  He smiled up at the craftsman then, who gave him an understanding grin of his own.

   "Mesmerizing little pattern, aye?  Were ye wantin' it for yerself?"

   The bishop shook his head.  "I might consider getting myself one someday, but no, this would be for a friend.  A priest about to celebrate the anniversary of his ordination."  He sent a tentative mental probe towards the shopkeeper, and was not surprised to meet with shields, although not very tightly sealed ones.  His smile widened.  "A Deryni priest, as it happens."

   The man's brows rose.  "Aye?  Not too common, those.  Not yet at any rate."  He found a scrap of soft leather to wrap the plaque in, binding the wrapping with a length of cord.  "I normally sell these for a royal, but for a Deryni priest, I'll let it go for a vice-royal."

   The bishop counted out the coins, not bothering to haggle over the price, for he recognized that he was already being offered quite the bargain for the piece.  With a nod, the merchant pocketed the payment, handing over the gift in exchange.  Duncan tucked it into his pouch and continued down to Market Square and beyond there to the Castle.

#

   Rhemuth Castle, Earl of Marley's chamber
   October 4—late morning


   "Why so gloomy looking?"  Brendan chucked his little sister under the chin in an effort to get her to look up at him, hopefully with a smile.  "And why aren't you with the Queen's ladies?"

   Briony glanced up at him from her perch at the foot of his bed.  "I was supposed to have a class this morning, but I stopped by the Basilica to see if Father Shandon could hear my confession first, or at least I was planning to…."  Tears welled up in her eyes.  "But then I…found out about something else instead, and I was going to tell Uncle Duncan, but he wasn't there, and…oh, I don't know what to do!"

   Brendan put down the knife he was sharpening, studying his sister with a puzzled frown.  "Could you start closer to the beginning?  Because you've lost me.  What's got you so upset?"  His lips quirked in a suppressed grin.  "Surely you've not become such a grave sinner since last evening's Vespers, or whenever it was you last bothered a priest with your misdemeanors, that you're in agonies over missing Father Shandon this morning?"

   His sister lobbed a cushion at him.  "Oh, do be serious, Brendan!"

   Brendan dodged the cushion easily.  "Father, bless me, for I have sinned," he teased in a singsong voice.  "It has been twelve hours since my last Confession.  Since then, I've rolled my eyes behind Lady Emilia's back twice, botched my embroidery, and I became quite cross with my dear brother Brendan.  Oh, what penance must I do for flinging pillows at his charming head?"

   Outraged blue-gray eyes blazed angrily at him.  "This is not funny!"  She sent a memory from earlier that morning slamming through their mental link—the memory of a raised voice overheard through a closed door, a female voice just muffled enough by the thick wooden door that he couldn't readily identify it, although loud enough that the threatening words were easily enough understood.  Brendan gave Briony an alarmed look as she broke off the link, becoming more subdued as he absorbed what she had shared with him.

   "I'm sorry, sweeting.  I was only trying to lighten your mood, but you're right, that does sound serious.  Have you any idea who she is, and why she threatened Father Shandon?"

   "Father Nivard, actually; Father Shandon's taken ill.  And yes, I do know who she is, but I can't tell you.  I can't even tell Uncle Duncan who she is—I gave her my word—but she had good reason for being angry."  Briony's fingers plucked at her brother's blanket in agitation.  "She said that Father Nivard…that she'd gone to him for Confession, but he told her he'd only absolve her if…if she did certain things."  Briony turned scarlet.  "Wrong things, Brendan.  Things so humiliating, she couldn't even bring herself to tell me the details.  She didn't even want me telling Uncle Duncan at first, but I finally got her to see that he's got to be stopped or he might try the same thing with other ladies as well."

   Brendan stared at his sister, incredulous.  "Wait.  You're telling me that Father Nivard propositioned her?  John Nivard?"

   She nodded, looking miserable, her tears brimming over.  "I know, I didn't want to believe it either!  I know Papa and Mama quite like him, and he's always seemed so nice.  But Brendan, if only you'd seen her!  She was clearly terrified of him, not to mention outraged.  I could feel the emotions pouring off her; there's no way she was lying!"  She clasped her hands tightly in her lap, staring at them.  "Do you think maybe…maybe he was never meant to be a priest at all, but maybe his family forced him into it?  Or something; I don't know!"  

   Brendan considered what he knew about the priest,  which—he suddenly realized—wasn't all that much, at least not on a very personal level.  Oh, certainly he'd known Father Nivard for years; having spent so much time in Rhemuth's Court, it would have been hard for him not to have had at least a nodding acquaintance with the man who was both the Royal Chaplain and the Royal Librarian.  But they were hardly intimates, after all.  Nivard was closer to his parents' age than his own.  Brendan certainly didn't share the level of friendship with the priest that might lead to the sharing of confidences.  Certainly he had, on occasion, sought out Father Nivard if he had a question regarding some spiritual matter, or less frequently, if he felt the need to seek out a confessor here at Court, although generally he preferred to wait until he was back in either Coroth or Marley to seek out the chaplains who knew him best.  But he didn't really know the priest, at least not in the same way that he knew Payne Haldane or the other close friends he had grown up with.  Was Father Nivard capable of such a deep violation of his vows and the King's trust?  Brendan certainly wouldn't have thought so, but then again, how could anyone be sure?  Nivard was a man, after all, and Brendan knew full well how powerful certain urges could become.  Perhaps vows made in his youth had proven too difficult for him to keep once he'd reached full maturity?  Other priests had taken mistresses in secret, to be sure.  Brendan could almost sympathize with Father Nivard, even if he couldn't approve of his choice, if that had been what Briony had discovered about him.  But there was a difference between a consenting relationship, or even a seduction, and the misuse of his priestly office to coerce carnal acts from an unwilling woman, if in fact that's what Nivard had tried to do.

   "Should I warn the Queen?" Briony asked him.  "He's the King's Chaplain, after all; I'm sure King Kelson would want to know…."

   Brendan shook his head.  "No, not yet.  Yes, you're right, the King will need to know about this, but it's properly a matter for the Church to handle, and you did the right thing by going to Uncle Duncan first.  He should be back at the Basilica soon.  Duncan will know the proper procedure for investigating such charges.  After all, if there's any chance that Father Nivard is innocent, we wouldn't want to damage his reputation irreparably by spreading unproven allegations about him too early.  And if he's not—well, in that case the Archbishop will have had time to gather the evidence the Church needs to support the charges against Nivard when they inform the King of their need to replace his chosen Chaplain."  

#

   St. Hilary's Basilica—Rector's study
   October 4—afternoon


   Duncan McLain stared at his young cousin in shock.  "Briony, you realize that's a very serious charge you're making?  Are you absolutely certain that your source of information is reliable?"

   The maiden nodded vehemently.  "Yes, Uncle Duncan, absolutely.  Not only can't I imagine any reason why she would lie to me, especially about something like this, I overheard her reaction before she even knew I was around, and I could feel her anger and shock afterward.  She was so outraged, everything she felt was leaking through her shields at first until she regained control over her emotions.  She couldn't have faked those reactions, I'm certain of it."

   Duncan rubbed absently at his forehead to dispel the headache that was threatening.  "It would really help if I could speak to her myself.  I know you told her that you wouldn't disclose her identity, but maybe you could talk her into coming to me herself?  If she's worried that she won't get a fair hearing…."

   Briony shook her head.  "It's not that…well, not just that, at any rate.  Not only is she angry and scared, she's also embarrassed and humiliated.   Just imagine what it must be like from her standpoint, after all!  If you were a vulnerable young woman, would you want to have to tell a man about…well…the sorts of things Father Nivard asked her to do?"  She dropped her gaze, her cheeks blooming crimson.  "It would be like having to live through that mortifying experience all over again.  And what if the Archbishop wasn't willing to take your word for what happened, and wanted to speak with her directly as well?  How often would she have to repeat that awful story?"  The girl shrugged helplessly.  "See, that's why she wanted me to just let the matter drop, but if no one does anything about it, won't Father Nivard just keep doing the same thing to others?  We can't let him do that!"

   "If he's done anything of the sort at all, sweeting," Duncan said, holding up a hand to still her protest before it began.  "I'm not saying your friend is lying, just that nothing has been proven one way or the other.  There could be some other reason for your friend's reaction besides what might seem to be the most obvious assumption, after all.  Perhaps there was simply some sort of misunderstanding rather than a deliberate insult or attempt to abuse his position…."  He broke off at Briony's skeptical look.  "I'm just saying we need to investigate all possibilities."

   "And then what, Uncle Duncan?"

   "Then we'll take whatever steps prove to be necessary."

   Her blue-gray eyes met his in challenge.  "And if you can't prove he did it, but you can't prove he didn't either, then what?  Does he just go back to his usual duties, where he can try to coerce some other lady once things die down?"

   "If he's guilty, Briony.  But no, if he's not absolutely cleared of these allegations, then we'd have to figure out some other, more suitable responsibilities for him.  But don't forget, heart, we do have some advantages when it comes to getting to the heart of the matter.  John Nivard, despite his training, can't resist a Truth-Reading any more than you or I can, and he'd be well aware that refusing to answer the charges would be tantamount to an admission of guilt.  And while your friend might not be willing to disclose her identity so we can Truth-Read her side of the story, it would be extremely helpful if you would allow me to Truth-Read your account of what you actually heard and saw, and even more helpful if you'd be willing to let me Mind-See your memories from this morning."

   She frowned.  "But can I do that without showing you who my friend is?"

   "Yes.  Just filter that portion of the memory.  It's done similarly to blurring a memory, except the alteration is only in the perception of the receiver.  Your own memory of the event won't be altered. Has Magistra Rothana taught you how to do that yet?"

   Briony shook her head, looking uncertain.  "I can blur a memory, but I've not tried filtering one."

   "Let me show you how, then."  Duncan selected a brief memory of her playing with Brendan and Kelric as much younger children, filtering it in such a way that all Briony saw was two unidentified boys playing with an equally unknown girl.  After a moment, something in the memory seemed to shift focus, and she could see their appearances clearly.  As the brief link between them broke, she looked up at him in surprise.

   "I think I see how that works."  She attempted to do the same thing, using an innocuous memory of her own for her first try.  She was mostly successful at her attempt.  Duncan's mind-touch directed her control of the memory, showing her how to fine-tune how much she was sharing.  After a few more practice sharings, her cousin nodded.

   "All right, you've done quite well.  Now, can you show me what happened this morning, leaving out nothing of what you saw and heard aside from anything that might identify your friend?"

   The events of that morning began to flow into Duncan's mind, nearly every word and sight left intact aside from his inability to focus on who it was she was speaking with.  Form and voice were obscured as if by a fog more psychic than visual or aural, although the raw emotions of those minutes came through clearly.  His heart sank.  He had hoped that whatever Briony had overheard and witnessed might be less damning when looked at from his different perspective, but no, it was clear to him now that further investigation would be needed.  If John were somehow innocent of these charges, then he would realize that cooperating with an investigation—and not offering any resistance to a tribunal's Truth-Reading—would clear him, although that in itself would raise even more questions about his accuser's intent.  And if he were actually guilty—Duncan prayed fervently that his friend wasn't guilty, but he'd been a priest too long to believe that any person was incorruptible—then a thorough investigation ought to reveal that as well.

   He needed to speak to Thomas Cardiel right away.  John would need to be relieved of his current duties immediately—not due to a presumption of guilt necessarily, but as much to protect him if the charges ended up being false as to protect others if they ended up being true.

   A happier memory from the morning flitted through his mind—the labyrinth plaque he had purchased for John's ordination gift, and his own happy anticipation of presenting it to him in a few days.  Duncan closed his eyes, stifling an oath more scatological than priestly as the heavy burden he'd just been handed settled upon his reluctant shoulders.  God grant that he might still be able to give his friend that present and celebrate his dozen years of priesthood on that anniversary date.

   Denis Arilan would need to be told, Duncan realized.  As both a Bishop and a Deryni, he'd be a logical choice to participate in the Archbishop's tribunal.  But he'd been John's first mentor, and Duncan was not simply John's superior in the Church, he was a close personal friend.  Either bishop could perform the Truth-Reading, but to verify that the Reading was unbiased, they would need another Deryni observer.  Someone in the Church, for in a matter this sensitive, the Archbishop would hardly want to invite outside scrutiny.  But what Deryni might they find in the Church who could be guaranteed to be wholly objective in his witness?

   Duncan couldn't come up with a name, but Thomas would know.  Or perhaps Kelson might.  Kelson would need to know why the Church was suddenly recalling his chaplain from duty in any case.

   "Thank you, Briony."  Duncan rose, offering Alaric's daughter a hand up from her bench.  "Please excuse me now; I need to return to the Cathedral to consult with the Archbishop just as soon as I can locate someone to take care of a few matters here, and you need to speak with Princess Rothana about rescheduling the lesson you missed with her this morning."

   Briony looked relieved.  "You're going to see Archbishop Cardiel?  You do believe my friend, then?"

   Duncan sighed.  "I don't know yet, poppet.  But I believe you."


Chapter Fourteen:  http://www.rhemuthcastle.com/index.php?topic=828.0
« Last Edit: February 10, 2012, 09:08:07 am by Evie »
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Offline Jerusha

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Thirteen
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2012, 12:19:57 pm »
If only Bishop Duncan could skip all the protocols and go straight to Father John and find out the truth immediately.  Drat, drat, drat!

Brendan is perceptive, though.  Perhaps he will clue in that it might be a bit odd for a young woman to run out of the confessional screaming threats at the priest and then not want to talk about it for fear of embarrassment.
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

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Offline Evie

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Thirteen
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2012, 12:39:26 pm »
Perhaps.  Although to put it in the proper order, what originally happened was that Ædwige yelled (at the time, empty) threats at the priest, yanked the door open, noticed poor Briony standing there in shock (having overheard the raised voice through the closed door), and then had to quickly concoct some cover story to explain what Briony had overheard without giving the actual truth of the matter away.  And, in doing so, quite happily discovered that she could make good on her threats against John after all, without having to do anything that would point the finger of suspicion back on herself once it's determined that the story she told was, while wholly factual, also deliberately misleading.  After all, she never actually said that John had propositioned her...is it her fault if Briony jumped to entirely the wrong assumptions?  And she did ask Briony several times not to pass the story on, but the girl absolutely insisted, and who is poor Lady Ædwige to tell a Duke's daughter what to do?...   ;)  ;D

But don't worry; John will get his chance to speak for himself in the next chapter.  As much as his vows will allow him to, at least....   :D
« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 12:42:15 pm by Evie »
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

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Offline AnnieUK

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Thirteen
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2012, 12:42:46 pm »
Poor Briony. In the throes of righteous indignation and throwing herself headlong at entirely the wrong conclusion.

Did like Brendan's mock confession!

Offline Evie

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Thirteen
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2012, 02:31:49 pm »
She's definitely not a passive sort.  Though one would hardly expect passivity from Alaric's and Richenda's daughter!   :D
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Offline Alkari

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Thirteen
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2012, 03:25:53 pm »
She's definitely not a passive sort.  Though one would hardly expect passivity from Alaric's and Richenda's daughter!   :D
No, and she certainly stood up for her 'friend'.  IF Aedwige's tale had been true, then Briony did absolutely the right thing.    Of course, it's difficult to see what other conclusion she could have reached in relation to Aedwige's reaction to Fr John and her hurried 'explanation'.   Briony's not been so sheltered that she would not have heard stories of priests abusing their positions, or rumours of nuns having babies years after they'd taken their vows.   I don't think anyone would have immediately leapt to the idea of:  "Fr John's just asked me to go to the King and confess to murdering my husband and he won't grant me absolution until I do that and show I am repentant.  And I'm not going to do that because then they'll execute me!"  :D

But I would certainly NOT want to be Aedwige on the receiving end of Briony's anger when she eventually finds out that she has been lied to and 'used'.  

Quote
Brendan is perceptive, though.  Perhaps he will clue in that it might be a bit odd for a young woman to run out of the confessional screaming threats at the priest and then not want to talk about it for fear of embarrassment.
No he wouldn't.  Even today, there are many rape victims who don't want to report the crime, who are embarrassed and mortified, somehow blame themself, etc, especially where they actually know their assailant.  And if it is difficult for rape victims to go through the court process today, no matter how much support and counselling the system may give them, then imagine how hard it would be for a woman in those times.   Women were alas, all too often seen as the 'seductress' and were blamed for somehow 'luring' a poor priest into breaking his vows.    Brendan's reaction is actually very enlightened, and his advice is mature and sensible.  
« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 03:39:36 pm by Alkari »

Offline Elkhound

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Thirteen
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2012, 03:53:52 pm »
Quote
But I would certainly NOT want to be Aedwige on the receiving end of Briony's anger when she eventually finds out that she has been lied to and 'used'.

Perhaps we will find out if Deryni powers can be used to turn a person into a frog.  Or perhaps a newt, as long as she gets better.


Offline Alkari

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Thirteen
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2012, 04:35:26 pm »
Well, I don't know about frogs or newts, but as this is an Evie story, I'm quite sure she has a most "suitable" fate worked out for sweet little Aedwige ;)


Offline Elkhound

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Thirteen
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2012, 05:40:31 pm »
Well, I don't know about frogs or newts, but as this is an Evie story, I'm quite sure she has a most "suitable" fate worked out for sweet little Aedwige ;)

Are there any 'blockers' in the Kelson era?  Having Aedwige's powers permanently blocked would be a good start.

(Nobody picked up on the "Monty Python" allusion?)

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Thirteen
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2012, 05:46:23 pm »
I picked up on it, Elkhound.   :D

And as for blockers, that's hard to say.  If any of the canonical Healers can do that, no one has discovered that yet, and in 1136 Gwynedd, I'd think they'd be looking harder for "unblockers" than "blockers."

Fortunately, there are certain medications that can have similar effects, IIRC.  Not saying that's the route I'm planning to take (and not saying it's not, either!...read this as an utter refusal to either confirm or deny  :D ), but just that there are other drugs in addition to merasha that can have some effect on Deryni powers. 
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Offline Alkari

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Thirteen
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2012, 06:02:51 pm »
Adding to what Evie said ...

Blocking was a special sub-set of the Healing powers, and of course those were believed lost in the western kingdoms until Alaric rediscovered them.  We only know of three Healers by KKB (Alaric, Duncan and Dhugal), and they are just exploring and developing their skills by trial and error.  If the existence of the Healing powers themselves was initially doubted by most Deryni, including the highly trained Camberian Council, then I'd say it was extremely likely there was no knowledge that blocking was even possible.  

Even at the height of Deryni powers and influence, Healers were not numerous.   Rhys Thuryn only discovered the blocking ability completely by accident in Camber the Heretic, when it was eventually used to protect Deryni, and only a very few Healers ever had that ability and were trained in it.   Given the dispersion of Deryni and the persecutions, it's unlikely the power would have been described in any standard Healing texts.   Unless the few current Torenthi Healers somehow know of the existence of the blocking power, and have the skills to show how it's done, then that may be another aspect that will take many years to discover.  

ETA:  Besides, Aedwige did not use her Deryni powers to kill Gilrae - she simply poisoned him.  And the knowledge of that poison was every day human knowledge, taught as part of the learning regarding herbs and 'simples'.    Aedwige has committed cold-blooded murder, and the penalty for that is more than mere blocking of her Deryni powers.  The axe or the hangman's noose would be expected. :D
 
« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 06:12:29 pm by Alkari »

Offline Evie

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Thirteen
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2012, 07:31:56 pm »
It's true she didn't commit a "Deryni" crime, but the ability to keep her from using her powers would still be handy.  Remember, Conall was drugged until his execution to keep him from trying any more nasty stunts after the Duel Arcane, and the very first thing all of our heroes' enemies do is usually disrupt their senses with merasha, then do whatever other vile acts they've got planned.  After all, you can't have your prisoner able to simply pick a lock with her powers and walk away!  :D
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Offline Elkhound

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Thirteen
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2012, 09:38:02 pm »
That she killed her husband may not be proved to the satisfaction of the secular law.  But bearing false witness against Fr. John and (mis)using her Deryni powers to reinforce it can be; hence, having her powers blocked or inhibited and lifetime confinement in a convent in somewhere so remote that the they keep 'possums for yard dogs (if they have 'possums in Gwynned)--as we say here in WV--with her child made a Royal Ward is the punishment I'm thinking of. 

Offline Alkari

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Thirteen
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2012, 09:49:18 pm »
Aedwige is not yet fully trained.  She is certainly not trained to the equivalent of Conall's powers.   If Kelson and co cannot by this stage keep Aedwige confined without blocking her powers or knocking her out with merasha for the rest of her life ...!

There was no suggestion that Morag was dosed with merasha when she was imprisoned in Rhemuth and then Coroth in TKJ and QFSC, and Codex says she remained in Coroth for another year :).  And I hardly think dear Aedwige is in Morag's class where training is concerned! Don't forget that they can construct trap transfer portals, so I'd say they could manage to confine her ladyship quite adequately :D

Besides, who is to say she won't be found guilty? 


« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 09:55:54 pm by Alkari »

Offline Evie

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Thirteen
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2012, 11:36:03 pm »
Aedwige is not yet fully trained.  She is certainly not trained to the equivalent of Conall's powers.   If Kelson and co cannot by this stage keep Aedwige confined without blocking her powers or knocking her out with merasha for the rest of her life ...!

There was no suggestion that Morag was dosed with merasha when she was imprisoned in Rhemuth and then Coroth in TKJ and QFSC, and Codex says she remained in Coroth for another year :).  And I hardly think dear Aedwige is in Morag's class where training is concerned! Don't forget that they can construct trap transfer portals, so I'd say they could manage to confine her ladyship quite adequately :D

Besides, who is to say she won't be found guilty? 

Who's to say that merasha or blocking powers are the only ways to keep a Deryni prisoner from having full use of her powers, though?  True, it's unlikely Richenda used merasha on Morag, especially for a full year (imagine what a mental case Morag would have been after a full month on merasha, much less an entire year!), but that's not to say that she didn't find some other way to keep Morag from having full use of her powers during that time.  After all, Richenda would have wanted to sleep, go to the garderobe, and fulfill other life functions during that time; she could ill afford to sit there and watch her prisoner 24/7!  Therefore something had to have been in place to keep Morag from picking locks, controlling guards, and doing other sneaky Deryni stuff while Richenda was otherwise occupied.  Yes, some sort of entrapment spell is one possibility, but that doesn't mean there can't be others.  Wards and spells tend to wear off after a while and have to be refreshed, so there was probably some sort of "back up method" to help prevent Morag from using those moments to escape.  The pouch Tiercel had carried a variety of drugs, some of which were not as strong as merasha, but which would still have a deleterious effect on a Deryni's ability to focus and therefore function at full capacity.  And while there could be a "changing of the Deryni guard" on a Deryni prisoner if one didn't wish to use either trap spells or medications, that's an awfully inefficient use of Deryni manpower.  I'm sure after a few days, AEdwige's Deryni guards would all be longing to go back to their normal lives rather than having to take shifts keeping an eye on the pestersome little wench.

Besides which, given the nature of her crimes, "the rest of her life" may not end up being all that long, depending on what sort of evidence against her turns up once everyone realizes she's not exactly the poster girl for sweetness and light.  Murder tended to get a bit more than incarceration in a cushy convent, back in the day, and knowing AEdwige, that plus trying to get John defrocked aren't likely to be the last of her crimes before all of this is over....   :D  Even if the sentence ends up leaning towards leniency for some reason, I'd imagine she'd be looking at life in a dungeon at best.  An extremely secure dungeon.  Hm, I wonder if Rhemuth Castle has an oubliette?   ;D
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