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Author Topic: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Fourteen  (Read 5184 times)

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Offline Evie

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Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Fourteen
« on: February 10, 2012, 09:07:26 am »
   Chapter Fourteen

   St. George's Cathedral, Rhemuth
   October 11, 1136


   Father John Nivard sat nervously in an antechamber at the Archbishop's Palace, anxiously awaiting Archbishop Cardiel's messenger's return.  He had been housed at one of the guest apartments at the Cathedral over the past week, ever since Bishop Duncan had informed him that he was being temporarily reassigned to assisting the episcopate's archivist at the Cathedral in his duties.  Father John strongly suspected that there was more to the sudden reassignment than met the eye—he had caught a glimpse of the King's face after the Archbishop's brief conference with him earlier that same morning, and Thomas Cardiel's glance in his direction as he left had seemed unusually shuttered—but when he'd questioned his friend about the unexpected transfer, Duncan had remained abnormally tight shielded, and had simply answered that he was not at liberty to explain just yet, but that he would do so just as soon as he might be permitted.  John had not seen Duncan since that day, though, and he was growing more unsettled with each passing day.  He was not sure whether to be more encouraged or worried by the brief look of sympathy he'd glimpsed in his friend's expression during that last meeting.

   And then the summons had arrived this morning, brought by Cardiel's messenger, who had escorted him here to this antechamber within Archbishop's Palace, even though the guest apartment where he had been staying was hardly more than fifty paces away from where he sat waiting now.  He had the distinct impression that he was under some sort of discreet surveillance, although why Cardiel or anyone else might think he needed to be placed under guard, he had no idea.  Surely they couldn't believe he would be a danger to anyone?!  Or…perhaps he might be in danger from someone else?  Was that it?  But if so, why hadn't anyone simply told him?

   He had no idea what all of this was about, but his gut told him it was somehow connected with the threat that young widow had made against him just over a week previously.  Had she followed through on her words?  Was that what all of this was about?  John felt a sudden chill go down his spine.  He hoped not.  Not because he had done anything wrong that morning, but because his private conversation with that young lady had been protected by the seal of the confessional.  There was no telling what she might have said or done to place his career in jeopardy, if indeed she'd said or done anything, but even if she had, he'd have to be careful not to say or do anything that would in any way betray the confidences she had shared with him.  No matter how much every fiber of his being screamed to reveal her secrets, for he felt tainted just by the knowledge of the crime she had committed, it would be a sin just as great for him to violate his vows by disclosing her confession to others, or even by saying or doing anything that might lead to others guessing what her confession had been.  That was for her to disclose, not for him, which was why he had urged her to turn herself in to the authorities in the first place.  He could not do so—not to secular authorities, and not even to priestly ones—or his own soul's salvation would be forfeit for violating one of the most sacrosanct of priestly vows.

#

   Bishop Duncan stood as two nuns garbed in the habits of the Sisters of Saint Dymphna were escorted into the room.  The elder of the two looked vaguely familiar, although Duncan could not figure out why at first.  

   Both nuns curtsied before Archbishop Cardiel in turn, kissing his ring, although neither woman dropped to one knee before him, for their convent was under Archbishop Bradene's jurisdiction rather than Cardiel's.  As they straightened, the Archbishop introduced the new arrivals to his auxiliary bishop.  "Duncan, I don't believe you've met our guests from Grecotha yet." Indicating the elder nun first, he added, "This is Sister Silke, and her traveling companion is Sister Lucy.  Sisters, this is my auxiliary bishop, Duncan McLain."  Turning back to Duncan, he explained, "Archbishop Bradene sent Sister Silke in response to my request for an impartial witness to today's proceedings."

   The elder nun smiled at both men, a faint glint of amusement in her gray eyes.  "Actually, if it please Your Excellency, I believe Archbishop Bradene meant for Sister Lucy to participate in the inquiry.  I'm only along to serve as her chaperone, and also because it's been many a long year since I've had a chance to visit my former home."  Her smile broadened.  "I'm afraid I can't Truth-Read, even though I am a Haldane.  My sister will serve your purposes far better than I could."

   Duncan gave the nun who'd just spoken a closer study.  This was the former Princess Silke, Prince Nigel's last remaining sister?  No wonder she'd seemed so familiar!  He murmured a polite greeting, then turned his attention to the other religious.  The younger nun looked barely old enough to have taken final vows.  She peered up at him, moss-green eyes assessing him over a faint sprinkling of freckles on an slightly upturned nose, her curious expression suddenly reminding him of his grandson.  He stifled an unexpected urge to laugh.

   "I see," Cardiel said, looking slightly nonplussed at the reversal of his assumption.  "Well, in any case, welcome to Rhemuth, both of you.  You've met Bishop Denis Arilan already; he's the one who brought you through our Portal from Grecotha this morning.  He's just finishing up a quick matter of Royal business, but he should be returning here shortly, and we'll begin once he gets settled in.  Sister Silke, you are welcome to remain as an additional witness to the inquiry, although of course any and all matters under discussion today are not to leave these chambers.  Or if you'd prefer leave to visit your family instead while we conduct our investigation, I can arrange for an escort to the Castle for you.  Sister Lucy will be free to join you once we are finished with the day's business.  I believe Archbishop Bradene has given you both a week's dispensation to leave your cloister?"

   "He has, Your Excellency.  And thank you, I would very much appreciate the escort to the Castle.  It has been many years since I've had the opportunity to visit my family.  I trust someone will be available to escort Sister Lucy back to me later as well?"

   "It would be my pleasure to do so," Duncan assured her.  "I'll be heading back in that direction myself afterward, so I'll see her safely back through the City."

#

   Father John thought he caught a glimpse of Bishop Arilan’s brisk stride past the doorway of the antechamber where he waited, though he wasn’t sure.  Arilan was occasionally called to Rhemuth on Royal or Church business, so it would hardly be a great surprise to find him this far out from Dhassa.  He felt somewhat reassured at the thought that his former mentor might be nearby.      

   After a short while, the Archbishop's messenger returned to escort Father John into the Archbishop's presence.  He followed the man into a larger chamber, where he saw Thomas Cardiel standing at the other side of a table, flanked by Bishops Arilan and McLain on one side and by an unknown nun on his other side.   Her habit didn't look like that of one of the local orders.  John had only seen one of that particular style and color once before, although he couldn't place when or where at that moment.  She wasn't from a convent in or near Dhassa either, then, he surmised, having lived there for a few years before his transfer to Rhemuth.  Had she come from Valoret or perhaps Grecotha?  Or maybe she was from one of the more isolated convents?

   There was a lone seat on his side of the chamber, facing the others.  He moved toward it uncertainly, remaining standing.

   “Good afternoon, Father Nivard,” the Archbishop said, his voice too neutral for John to detect any trace of either hidden approval or censure.  “I apologize for keeping you waiting.  I imagine you probably have some questions about my purpose in summoning you here today, or for that matter, about your sudden transfer from the Royal Chaplaincy?”  Cardiel’s tone made this more of a statement than a question.

   “I do, Your Excellency,” John replied, his anxiety beginning to rise again.

   “Please have a seat,” the Archbishop invited, settling into his own chair as he spoke.  The others followed suit as well.  John took his own seat, exerting control over his emotions and schooling himself to calmness.

   “Have you any idea at all why you’ve been called here today?” the Archbishop asked.

   The priest thought back on his speculations in the antechamber earlier in the day.  “I’m…not sure, Your Excellency.”

   One of Cardiel’s snowy white eyebrows rose.  “Then you have at least some inkling?”

   John bit his lip, giving the matter more careful consideration.  At last, he shook his head.  “No, not really.  I’d really like to understand why, though.”

   Watching the young priest carefully, Cardiel clasped his hands, allowing them to rest gently atop a document on the table before him, and stated, voice still carefully neutral, “There has been a charge brought against you claiming that you have abused your priestly office.  More specifically, the charge states that you violated the Sacrament of Reconciliation by attempting to coerce or solicit favors from a young woman who had sought you out to request absolution.”

   The blood drained from Father Nivard’s face, and for a few moments he forgot to breathe.  “No, that’s not true!” he finally burst out.  “At least…I wasn’t seeking favors….”  Sudden color rushed back into his cheeks, turning them scarlet.  “Not in the way I think you mean, certainly!”  As he spoke, his mental shields detected the simultaneous touch of three other Deryni minds—two quite familiar, one not at all.  He realized that they were Truth-Reading him, and he fought down the instinctive impulse to resist their mental probes, knowing it would be in his best interests to allow them to Read the truth of his innocence.

   Cardiel gave a quick glance towards the bishops seated beside him.  Arilan gave a slow nod, as if in affirmation of something.  The archbishop then turned to the young nun, who frowned thoughtfully, looking less certain.  “You appear to need more clarification, Sister Lucy,” he observed.  “Would you prefer to rephrase the question for Father Nivard?”

   “I would, Your Excellency.  Thank you.”  She turned her direct gaze onto John, her eyes seeming to stare directly into his soul.  “Father Nivard, do you mean that you’ve never used your priestly office to solicit or coerce sexual favors from a confessant?  Or simply that the favors you attempted to procure were of some sort other than of a carnal nature?”

   He gaped at the nun.  She seemed barely into young womanhood; of all the people gathered before him, he’d have least expected such directness from her!  Not even a hint of maidenly discomfiture colored her cheeks as she asked the question, although the same couldn’t be said for himself.  Belatedly realizing she was still waiting for his answer, he regathered his wits enough to blurt out, “I’d never violate my vows in either of those ways; I’m a priest!

   “I understand that, Father Nivard.  And so was the man who sired me, for that matter.”  At his shocked look, she nodded.  “Not all priests honor their vows; surely you’re not such an innocent that you don’t know that much, even if, as you claim, you’ve never broken yours.”  She turned to Archbishop Cardiel.  “My mother was Deryni.  When her confessor learned her secret, he used that knowledge to force her into submitting to his advances by threatening to betray her secret to his friend the Primate of Valoret and All Gwynedd, who at that time was Edmund Loris.  Archbishop Bradene thought my background might make me a good devil’s advocate in this case, given that, unlike my episcopal brothers present, I not only have no prior friendship with the accused, I’m also less likely to be biased in favor of leniency should he prove guilty of the charges against him.”  Her lips turned up slightly at the corners.  “Father Nivard is telling the truth, though.  So far, at least.”

   Duncan gave the accused priest an encouraging smile.  “Father Nivard, can you shed any light on what might have led to such charges being brought against you?”

   Hope flared briefly in John’s soul, quickly extinguished as he considered the ramifications of answering the question honestly.  “I…can’t say, my lord.”

   The auxiliary bishop looked briefly confused, expecting a more straightforward answer, but before he could rephrase the question, Bishop Arilan nodded with a knowing look in his eyes.  “You can’t say because you have no idea why such charges might have been brought against you, or is just that you can’t say because to explain in any more detail might violate the seal of the confessional?”

   John gave the Archbishop a look of mute appeal, hoping for guidance.  Cardiel gave him a faint smile.  “You’re allowed to answer that much at least.  I’m sure you can manage to find some way to tell us what we need to know without going into any details that would betray the confessional seal.”

   He responded with a relieved smile of his own.  “It’s the latter, Bishop Arilan.”  He considered his next words very carefully.  “I do have some idea why…why someone might have felt upset or angry enough with me to level such accusations, but…due to the circumstances, I’m not free to divulge exactly what might have set her off.  I can assure you, though, that I asked for nothing from her that was in any way immoral or improper, nor did I in any way overstep the bounds of my priestly office.  I simply made her absolution conditional on her demonstrating true repentance by making proper amends for her sin. ”  He stole a glance at the young nun, who gave him a wry smile in return before turning to Cardiel.

   “His answer is true, or at least he believes it to be true, which is probably the same thing unless you have any cause to believe him subject to delusions.  I don’t suppose it would be allowable to ask him who might have made the original accusation against him?”
 
   Cardiel shook his head decisively.  John stifled his surprise; he had assumed, since there’d been charges brought forward, that the Archbishop would certainly have known who his accuser was already, but apparently that wasn’t the case.  The Archbishop explained, "The protections of the confessional seal extend beyond merely keeping silent about what a confessant has shared in strict confidence.  A priest is not permitted to reveal--whether by speech or even by his actions--anything that he’s learned from a confession.  To use an example that seminarians are often posed with when learning about ethics, let’s imagine that a deacon has just confessed to his priest that he has been stealing money from the church’s strongbox, to which only he and that priest have a key.  Obviously the priest is not allowed to tell anyone about the deacon’s sin; that much about the seal of the confessional is widely known to all.  What is less known, however, is that the priest may not even act in such a way that might betray the confessant’s actions to others.  So in this particular example, the priest cannot simply take away the key, especially if others are aware that his deacon has been given such trust in the past, nor can he replace the strongbox with a different one, lest someone else wonder why and his speculation on the matter cast suspicion on the deacon.  The reason for such stringency is that the Church—and its priests by extension—must create absolutely no cause for any sinner, no matter how serious his sins might be, to fear seeking reconciliation with God because others might discover what he has done.  Justice is God’s province, should He choose to exact judgment, whether spiritual or temporal, for a person's sins, but as the sacramental means by which His gift of absolution may be administered to all who repent of their wrongdoing, a priest’s words and actions must be driven by grace and mercy.

   “So, applying that reasoning to the matter before us today, we have to be careful about speculation in regards to either who Father Nivard’s accuser might be, or why she might have raised such charges against him, lest we misjudge the confessant based on our own suppositions rather than on any proven facts.  And of course Father Nivard can’t disclose her identity; to do so would immediately let us know that, whatever she might have confessed to him, it was quite likely the sort of sin that carries a severe penance.”  Cardiel gave a wry smile.  “After all, it’s unlikely she’d have sought to damage his reputation over a few Paternosters or a brief fast and an admonition to go and sin no more.”  He glanced at John, adding, “But even that much information is more than Father Nivard ought to reveal, so please don’t confirm or deny if my speculation is correct.”  Turning back to Sister Lucy, the Archbishop concluded, “Suffice it to say, unless the confessant herself decides to come forward and reveal herself, or unless her friend who brought the matter to Bishop Duncan’s attention has a change of heart and decides to reveal who confided in her, discovering the woman’s identity, much less her motivation, would be difficult.”

   Duncan shook his head.  “I doubt very much that her friend will choose to tell us.  She was quite adamant about wanting to protect the confessant.”  He paused a moment, lost in thought.  “Even though the accusations against Father Nivard aren’t publicly known, she would have noticed his absence from Court this week, and would likely have guessed the reason for it, and anyone else who might have been given cause to suspect why he’s been called away from his regular duties might also surmise that resuming those duties means he’s been formally cleared of the charges.  So do we return him to the King’s chaplaincy and acknowledge, however tacitly, that we’ve found him innocent?  Or should we keep him away a bit longer, or even indefinitely, to preserve the ambiguity of the situation?”

   Bishop Arilan pursed his lips in thought.  “You’re concerned the confessant—or perhaps her friend—might seek some more direct means of retaliation against Father Nivard, and that he ought to be kept from Court a bit longer for his own protection?”

   Duncan shrugged.  “I know that her friend has no personal animosity towards Father Nivard—it was her concern for the confessant which made her come forward with what she believed to be a true account of Father Nivard’s actions towards the confessant—but for that confessant to know what her friend’s assumption was and not correct her misunderstanding, to my mind that indicates intentional malice towards Father Nivard.”  He glanced at Cardiel.  “Which, going back to the earlier discussion about priestly ethics, is also a speculative assumption on my part, though I hope you’ll allow it’s informed speculation based on evidence I’ve witnessed at least second-hand.”

   The Archbishop nodded in confirmation.  “What Bishop McLain means,” he explained for Sister Lucy’s and Bishop Arilan’s benefit, “is that the friend who informed him of the charges did so by means of…what’s it called again?  Mind-Sharing?”

   “A filtered Sharing, leaving out all identifying details, yes, but I witnessed the memory of that conversation through the informant’s eyes and ears, and it’s my opinion that she was deliberately misled.  Almost anyone seeing and hearing what she had would have come to the same erroneous conclusion.  The confessant was aware her friend had reached this conclusion, but did not take the opportunity to set her straight.”

   “You raise a good point.  If we return Father Nivard to his regular duties immediately, that might leave him open to some more direct assault on his character, or possibly even on his person.”  Cardiel considered the matter, looking lost in thought.

   “I’d be glad to make a place for Father Nivard in Dhassa,” Bishop Arilan said.  “We’ve worked closely together before, after all, and he’s already familiar with the Holy City.”

     “I’m half tempted to send him back to Dhassa with you, Bishop Arilan, especially if there’s little chance of discovering some resolution to this problem soon, but on the other hand, I’m loathe to deprive the King of his chosen confessor on the basis of an angry confessant’s spiteful innuendos, and I doubt King Kelson is going to want to have to go through a Portal to Dhassa every time he decides to avail himself of Father John’s services.”  Cardiel pondered John over steepled fingers and sighed.  “I suppose, since the charges aren’t public knowledge and hopefully won’t become so, I can find you a position here in some discreet corner of the Cathedral where you’ll stay safely out of sight and hopefully out of mind for the time being, but where the King can call on you more conveniently if he has need.”

#

   Auxiliary Bishop’s Tower, Saint George’s Cathedral
   City of Rhemuth
   October 12, 1136


   It was not the sort of ordination anniversary celebration that John Nivard might have hoped for, secreted away within the Archbishop’s Palace as he was, but he was grateful nonetheless.  Bishop Duncan had graciously allowed John the use of his apartments in the Auxiliary Bishop's tower of the Archbishop's Palace for the duration of his stay, as Duncan rarely spent the night there himself, preferring to spend his evenings on the Basilica grounds where he could keep a closer eye on what what happening at the Schola.

   The guest list was quite limited, of course, as there was little sense in trying to hide John in the middle of Rhemuth if it were to become common knowledge that he was still there, but his closest friends had somehow managed to throw together a small party nonetheless.  Denis Arilan had stopped by earlier in the evening with some libations—not Dhassa wine, thank God!—in an effort to make the festivities a little more merry, and to John’s surprise Sister Helena had been escorted up as well, accompanied by Lady Sophie and bringing up between them a large hamper that had turned out to contain an assortment of delicacies smuggled out of the Castle kitchens, supplied by Queen Araxie, who had sent her regrets along with the King’s, as they would be unable to attend.  The note brought a smile to John’s face; no, he supposed any attempt by King Kelson to sneak out of his own Castle and attend an impromptu party at the Cathedral would be noted by curious eyes and turned into something resembling more of a state occasion than a mere outing.  Poor Kelson; in some ways, he was just as much a captive of his position as John was of his at the moment!

   The door opened again, and one of the Cathedral guards entered the chamber to announce the arrival of a "Sister Lucy."  John didn't recognize the name, but evidently Denis did, as the bishop nodded his assent to allow the nun in.  To his surprise, the woman who entered was the young religious who had been part of the tribunal of inquiry he'd faced the day before.  She held out a small fabric-wrapped item, smiling shyly as she handed it to him.  "I heard that today is your ordination anniversary.  I'm very sorry to have met you under such unfortunate circumstances. I know the questions I put to you yesterday must have seemed harsh, but they were necessary, and I'm very glad you passed the Truth-Reading."  She clasped her hands in front of her, looking more awkward and anxious than formidable now that she stood before him, her diminutive height only adding to her appearance of childlikeness.

   "No offense taken, Sister Lucy.  I understand that you were only doing the job  Archbishop Bradene sent you to do."  He gestured towards the table of food and wine and the small knot of friends gathered nearby.  "Would you care to join us?"

   She glanced a trifle wistfully at the gathering, but shook her head.  "Thank you, but I can't.  Sister Silke is waiting for me.  We have a long list of items we've promised to shop for here in Rhemuth to take back to the Sisters of Saint Dymphna."   She laughed, suddenly looking much more like one of the Schola's carefree young scholars than the stern-faced inquisitor he'd faced the afternoon before.  "And it's been ever so long since I've been allowed out of the convent to enjoy a proper shopping spree, so I'd best enjoy it while I can!"  Sister Lucy bowed her farewell and turned to leave.  John watched as the guard ushered her back out, then turned his attention to the tiny bundle in his hand, his fingers tugging the cloth wrapping free of its ribbon. He smiled.  Nestled within the soft folds was a small olivewood carving of a dove bearing an olive branch.  

   
Chapter Fifteen: http://www.rhemuthcastle.com/index.php?topic=834.0   
   
   
« Last Edit: February 17, 2012, 08:49:56 am by Evie »
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Offline Jerusha

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Fourteen
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2012, 09:43:33 am »
Well done.  I'm so glad Father John's innocence is known, at least by those who matter most.  :)

It would not surprise me if Bishop Duncan starts to worry a bit about Briony's safety around whatever friend is capable of such malicious intent.
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Offline Elkhound

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Fourteen
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2012, 04:17:58 pm »
It would not surprise me if Bishop Duncan starts to worry a bit about Briony's safety around whatever friend is capable of such malicious intent.

Briony is capable, I am sure, of taking care of herself.  I'm sure her father has taught--or had her taught--both mundane & arcane self-defense skills.

Little Miss Thing is going to slip up, though, and reveal herself.

Offline Evie

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Fourteen
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2012, 05:20:15 pm »
You're right, Briony is a pretty well trained kid for her age, although Ćdwige is further along in her training, so Duncan could have some cause for concern about her physical or psychic safety.  However, like any 13 year old, she's also at a pretty emotionally vulnerable stage of life, and while Ćdwige may or may not be a physical threat to her, I think it's a pretty safe bet to assume that Briony isn't going to come out of this relationship emotionally unscathed.  Granted, she has enough of a loving support system to bounce back pretty quickly, but still, being thirteen is difficult enough without discovering one of your close friends happens to be a vengeful murderess who has been using you both to further her own personal ambitions and to try to camouflage her wrong actions.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2012, 05:24:23 pm by Evie »
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Offline derynifanatic64

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Fourteen
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2012, 07:04:46 pm »
If only there was some exception for cases like murder to make it OK to break the seal of the confessional.  Oh well.  Maybe someone could plant a rumor that Aedwige's husband's death is being investigated again.  That would make Aedwige very nervous.

It was great to see to see Sister Silke.  I bet Nigel was thrilled to see his sister again.
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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Fourteen
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2012, 07:08:57 pm »
Glad to see that poor Father John has now passed the Truth-Reading test, and that Duncan and Cardiel now know 'something' is up and can start asking their own questions.  

I doubt that Briony is in any physical danger - don't think even Aedwige is desperate/stupid enough to take direct action against Alaric Morgan's daughter, especially as she's also the king's god-daughter!   Even though Briony hasn't told Duncan 'who' accused Fr John, Aedwige would know that a convenient 'accident' to Briony would certainly cause her dear Uncle Duncan to start asking a lot of questions  :D

But Briony will certainly be very vulnerable emotionally.  Alas though, for someone of her rank and status, it is the sort of painful Life Lesson she will need to learn sooner or later, as there will always be people who will seek to become her 'friends' or otherwise use her to advance themselves.

« Last Edit: February 10, 2012, 07:20:59 pm by Alkari »

Offline Elkhound

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Fourteen
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2012, 08:35:00 pm »
You're right, Briony is a pretty well trained kid for her age, although Ćdwige is further along in her training, so Duncan could have some cause for concern about her physical or psychic safety.  However, like any 13 year old, she's also at a pretty emotionally vulnerable stage of life, and while Ćdwige may or may not be a physical threat to her, I think it's a pretty safe bet to assume that Briony isn't going to come out of this relationship emotionally unscathed.  Granted, she has enough of a loving support system to bounce back pretty quickly, but still, being thirteen is difficult enough without discovering one of your close friends happens to be a vengeful murderess who has been using you both to further her own personal ambitions and to try to camouflage her wrong actions.

If, given her status, she hasn't learned at her age that people would use her to get what they want because of her position, then her parents haven't done their job.  Also, back then people didn't live much past 40, so 13 was a lot older than it is now.

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Fourteen
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2012, 09:42:06 pm »
Oh, I'm quite sure that her parents would have done their best to prepare her, but there is a huge difference between knowing about something in your head and actually experiencing it and having to deal with the emotions for the first time.  Any parent can tell you that no matter how much you want to prepare your children for the struggles they will face in life as they grow up, those lessons don't fully hit home until the child is faced with those things personally.
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Offline Alkari

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Fourteen
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2012, 09:56:25 pm »
Quote
If, given her status, she hasn't learned at her age that people would use her to get what they want because of her position, then her parents haven't done their job.  
 Adding to Evie's comment - I am quite sure she does know about it, and would normally be alert to the possibility of people brown-nosing or seeking favours and advancement.   But that in no way lessens the hurt of actually experiencing it, and finding out the painful reality of being 'used' by someone, especially in a case such as this where Aedwige has (so far!) deceived people much older and wiser than Briony.  

Briony has shown herself to be a loyal friend ready to stand up for someone whom she believed to have been wronged, which is an admirable quality - and one that would be expected of a child of Alaric and Richenda.   But Aedwige really is a nasty piece of work, and has used Briony not just to advance her own interests, but also to hurt and take 'revenge' on John Nivard.    I doubt that any parental lessons in 'being prepared' because of her rank and status would have canvassed the possibility of dealing with a vicious little revenge-seeking murderess!  

You'd hope that Briony will always be loving and loyal, so perhaps the lesson she needs to take from this is that sometimes, it's a good idea to ask a few more questions and get a more facts before leaping straight in to defend someone, even a good friend.   

« Last Edit: February 10, 2012, 10:07:09 pm by Alkari »

Offline Elkhound

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Fourteen
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2012, 10:12:31 pm »
Are we going to see a good, old-fashioned catfight?

Offline Alkari

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Fourteen
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2012, 10:57:16 pm »
Are we going to see a good, old-fashioned catfight?
This is an EVIE fic - I am sure she has something "interesting" in store for dear Aedwige!  :D   

Offline Elkhound

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Fourteen
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2012, 03:27:15 pm »
Who will be on the Jury of Matrons looking into the matter?  Richenda is out, as mother of one of the chief witnesses.  The highest ranking Deryni woman at court is Her Highness the Queen Mother Jehanna, but she has next to no training; however, if the other members of the panel are skilled enough, her rank may outweigh that factor.  Who else?

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Fourteen
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2012, 03:53:48 pm »
I think Rothana would be a good choice.  She has roomed with Aedwige, but is not a close personal friend.

And of course, there is always Cass...   ;D
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Offline Elkhound

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Fourteen
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2012, 08:59:35 pm »
I think Rothana would be a good choice.  She has roomed with Aedwige, but is not a close personal friend.

And of course, there is always Cass...   ;D

OK, Rothana and Jehanna--we need at least four more for a Jury of Six, or ten for a Jury of Twelve.  Let's say four we know already and six OC's for makeweights.  We have to be sure that when Aedwige sees them coming for her she's going to soil herself, and by the time they get finished with her she will be reduced to a sobbing lump of well-tenderized long pork, or even a red smear on the cobblestones.

Jehanna has had next to no training, but the few times she's actually used her powers it was because of an actual or percieved threat to Kelson.  And even untrained, she was able to hold off Charissa--one of the most powerful Deryni sorceresses alive at the time--for several minutes with that sort of motivation.  Pointing out to her that an attack on the Royal Confessor was, in effect, an attack on Kelson would give her more than enough motivation to lay aside whatever qualms she has about using her Deryni abilities; particularly if she doesn't have to do much, just feed power to the others.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2012, 09:07:51 pm by Elkhound »

Offline Alkari

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Fourteen
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2012, 10:21:42 pm »
A "jury of matrons"?   Dream on, Elkhound!  :D     1. Would any trial of Aedwige even have a jury (Tolliver's court in "Trial" where Ferris was accused of rape and murder did not have a jury) , and 2.  I very much doubt that women would be able to sit on a jury at all in those days.   Women didn't get an established right to sit on juries until the 20th century - first they had to get the right to vote, after which came the battle for jury service  (Wyoming granted the right in 1870 but it was quickly taken away, and not fully established in all US states until the 1950's.   First 'mixed' criminal jury in England was in 1921.)  

Aedwige is a nasty little murderess of low rank, and I hardly think Kelson would need to get in any high ranking women such as Araxie, Rothana, Richenda, Meraude or Jehana to assist him in any way.   It is his court chaplain and secretary who was wrongly accused, and one of his barons who has been murdered.   If he wants to bother with a truly independent Deryni to Truth Read the little darling, I am quite sure he can find someone.  Dhugal would probably do very nicely, as he's not been directly involved, and probably barely even knows Aedwige by sight.    :)
« Last Edit: February 11, 2012, 11:01:28 pm by Alkari »

 

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