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Offline Evie

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Balance of Power--Chapter Ten
« on: September 22, 2015, 10:25:36 pm »
Previous chapter:  http://www.rhemuthcastle.com/index.php/topic,1579.0.html


Chapter Ten


Late afternoon
Tre-Arilan
Just west of Rhemuth
December 18, 2021


“Good afternoon, Carbury.” Father Devlin handed his car keys over to the butler before bending to retrieve his suitcase from the passenger seat.

“You’ll not be needing that, Father,” Carbury informed him. “At least not at present. Shall I unlock your boot and shift your case into the back for you?”

Devlin straightened and turned to face the butler with a confused frown. “Sorry?”

“His Lordship shall explain. I believe he and Her Majesty are awaiting your arrival in the parlor, along with Healer O’Flynn. If you please, Father, just let yourself in while I finish gathering Her Majesty’s belongings. Mr. Carlisle is bringing the other car around. ”

“All right.” With a final puzzled look over his shoulder at Lord Arilan’s retreating butler, the priest did as instructed. Following the sound of voices emanating from the parlor, he entered the room to discover James sitting in his favorite chair, flanked by two women Devlin could not remember meeting before. One, an exotic brunette who appeared to have come from Nur Hallaj or some similar clime, appeared to be making a serious study of James’s upturned features, while nearby an angelic-looking young woman with an unruly mop of blonde ringlets giggled as she watched them. Something about the feminine laughter sounded oddly familiar. Father Devlin took a tentative step into the room, looking around for Her Majesty and the Healer.

The blonde noticed his entrance and turned sparkling blue eyes and a bright smile in his direction. “Oh, good! Father Devlin is here.”

Devlin paused once more, casting about frantically for some glimmer of memory to surface. Granted, since Suzanne’s death he had hardly been in the habit of seeking out the company of beautiful women, yet he was fairly sure if he’d ever met this particular one before, he would have remembered. He’d been grieving, yes, but not entirely comatose. Then again, James had always had a short attention span where women were concerned, and if she’d been introduced as one of his endless string of girlfriends, Devlin might not have concerned himself with paying more than a polite amount of attention at the time. Still, if the lady who’d greeted him was one of James’s transient love interests, then she still appeared to be on amazingly good terms with him, which seemed remarkable considering that the lord of the manor currently had his entire attention focused on the other strikingly attractive female in the room. Dev really wasn’t sure what to make of the scene before him.

A split second later, the mystery was solved. The exotic brunette’s features blossomed into a mischievous grin as she traced a circle in the air above James’ upturned face, accompanying the gesture with a quietly spoken spell. Their host’s features shifted, his tanned olive complexion turning paler and liberally freckled. Slightly protuberant green eyes widened above a hint of an overbite, giving James a boyishly earnest expression quite at odds with his customary suave sophistication. As he turned to meet Father Devlin’s gaze, Dev could see that the illusory face staring back at him had ears that stuck out under his shock of straw-colored hair. The priest’s lips twitched as he struggled not to laugh. He glanced over at the brunette, who was presumably Healer O’Flynn.  O’Flynn looked all innocence, while the blonde--could that really be The Queen?--looked away quickly, biting her lip and apparently sharing Devlin’s losing battle to maintain a decorous composure.

“You are very talented,” said Her Majesty to Healer O’Flynn once she was able to speak with a normal voice again.

“So what do I look like?” James asked, glancing around in hopes of catching sight of himself in a reflective surface.

“Hang on,” O’Flynn said, catching hold of his chin and turning him up to face her again. “Let me tweak you just a bit more.” She whistled a cheery tune while adding a bit more of an upward tilt to James’s nose. Glancing up at Devlin again, she added, “I think the new look suits Lord Arilan, don’t you?”

“Absolutely,” said Devlin. “Quite wholesome.”

“And what exactly does ‘wholesome’ me look like?” James repeated, perhaps sensing from his friend’s reaction that something was up, for a glimmer of suspicion had entered his eyes.

Dev smiled at the two lovely ladies before turning his attention back to James. “Like the luckiest man in all Gwynedd, apparently. So, what’s the occasion?”

“We’re heading up to Eirian House tonight, Father,” Sophia informed him. “In your car, if that’s all right. And incognito, which means that you’re next.” She smiled sweetly and gestured to an empty chair.

It was now Father Devlin’s turn to feel a qualm of trepidation as, across from him, Lord Arilan favored him with a knowing smirk.


Late afternoon
Peter Astari’s personal penthouse suite
Royal Astari Hotel
City of Rhemuth
December 18, 2021


Maureen took a sip of her smoked darja tea as she finished filling Peter in on what she’d learned earlier that morning. “So my best guess is that the O’Malley boy--if the lad I’ve been dreaming about is the O’Malley boy--is somewhere in Iomaire.”

“Interesting.” Peter took a sip of his stout. “So now it’s off to Iomaire to follow the trail?”

“Well, that might be a little more difficult. I don’t know anyone in Iomaire or the surrounding area. Alicia’s got her property up in Marbury, of course, but she’s in Rhemuth more often than not now that Karim has sweet-talked her into moving in with him during her work week. And the only Public Portal for miles in that area is the one the Saint Camber’s Tour pilgrims use, so between the pilgrims and the other tourists, I imagine it’s difficult to find a car for hire in the area. I suppose I’ll just have to trust the professionals to find him; either that or take a train to Marbury and hire a car once I’m there.”

“Or you could simply take advantage of the fact that I own a hotel in Marbury and a ski lodge on the Eastmarch side of the Rheljan range, and I’m pretty sure I can spare you a car from my personal fleet. You only need to ask.”

“Well . . . that’s awfully generous of you, but . . . .”

“Oh, spare me the blushes, sweet; I’m hardly going to take advantage of your concern for a missing child in order to have my wicked way with you. I swear, for a woman who was married for over two decades, you’re astonishingly innocent.” He grinned. “The ski lodge is closer to Iomaire, but of course Marbury’s PD is the one handling the case at the moment, at least unless they’ve turned up some actual physical evidence that the boy’s in Iomaire. So shall we spend the weekend in Marbury, then? In separate beds, if I need to spell it out before you explode from embarrassed speculation?”

Maureen gave a mortified laugh. “You must think I’m hopelessly old-fashioned.”

He smiled, standing to take her empty cup and saucer. Bending to kiss her brow, he said, “A bit, yes. But also hopelessly charming. And believe me, if I must choose between extremes, I’d rather have you old-fashioned than profligate in your favors like my former wife. Which, as you might expect, is why Vanessa is no longer my wife.”

She watched him carry the dishes to the hotel dumbwaiter, wondering how her previously quite comfortable friendship with Peter had managed to evolve into this somewhat awkward yet also--if she dare be fully honest with herself--rather exciting new stage of . . . what could she call it, actually? They weren’t exactly dating, not formally, although there was no doubt of Peter’s interest in a romantic relationship, and lately she’d been surprised and a bit dismayed to find herself reacting like some giddy young school girl in the throes of her first crush whenever he was around. She hoped she shielded it well, but at times like this, she wasn’t entirely sure. Was ‘courtship’ too old-fashioned a word to use for this tentative dance they seemed to be engaged in these days?

“Peter . . . ?”

He returned to the seating area, this time sitting next to her rather than in his usual chair. “Yes?”

“Do you know how to dowse? For a person, I mean?”

Whatever he’d expected her to say, clearly that must not have been it. He stared at her for a moment, amusement creasing the corners of his eyes, before he laughed. “No, my one-track-minded darling, I do not, although I know the theory behind it. We can try our hand at it when we get to Iomaire, or perhaps if we can’t figure out how to get accurate results, we can check in with someone there who can. When do you want to go up? I expect you’ll want a chance to pack a bag first; we may need to be gone for several days.”

“I wouldn’t be pulling you away from important business here, would I? If I would be, you could just get me to that end of the Kingdom and I’ll be fine from there.”

Peter’s expression sobered. “No, there’s really nothing I need do from here that I couldn’t handle from any of my other bases of operation. With the Castle district closed off completely and only emergency traffic and local residents allowed to enter the City at the moment, while some displaced locals have no outside friends or relatives to go to, this hotel has become less of a business and more of an emergency shelter at present. We’ll consider this week of lost holiday season revenue my year’s worth of charitable giving, shall we? I was thinking of getting away for the weekend anyway, more for a sanity break than anything else.” He smiled. “Of course, if I could get away with my favorite lady, that would make my short holiday all the more enjoyable.”

“Even if it’s spent being dragged all over the plains country looking for a needle in a haystack? That’s surely not the relaxing weekend you had envisioned!”

“Maybe not, but at least with you there, it’s certain not to be a boring one.”


Early evening
En route to Eirian House
December 18, 2021


Father Devlin couldn’t help but smile at the almost giddy excitement radiating from the young Queen seated beside him as he navigated the country lanes between Tre-Arilan and Eirian House, the Haldane summer house several miles north of the City of Rhemuth. After several minutes of consultation with Her Majesty’s junior armsman, Michael Prior, as well as Lord Arilan’s almost frighteningly competent majordomo Carbury, the men had worked out what looked to be the safest route to take between those two points, skirting just beyond the outlying edges of the City proper. Although their route, and indeed even their destination, did not take them very far afield from the Castle where the Queen had spent most of her life, one might have almost thought she was encountering an entirely new continent.

She turned towards him as they crested a small hill, pushing an errant curl away from her face as she smiled. (Seeing a diminutive curly-haired blonde seated where his mind argued that a raven-haired Haldane Queen ought to be was still a shock to his system!) “What village is that in the distance?” Her Majesty asked him, pointing downhill about a mile ahead.

“That’s Downton, I believe, Ma’am.” He glanced up at the rearview mirror to catch a glimpse of the back seat passengers engaged in a quiet conversation behind them.  “James?”

“Hm?” Appearing to replay the half-heard exchange in the front seat in his mind, he belatedly replied, “Ah, yes, that’s Downton, Ma’am.”

Father Devlin reduced speed as he approached the edge of the village, checking his mirror and noting that Michael, following a discreet distance behind them, was doing the same. Healer O’Flynn, checking her new appearance out in the same mirror, grinned at him. He was amused to see she had changed her eye color for the third time since they’d left Tre-Arilan. “You know, someday you’re going to cast that spell all wrong and you’ll end up stuck with whatever you get, right?” he joked.

Heather laughed. “Not a chance! Besides, I’d forgotten how fun this is. When I was back in high school, I used to change my hair and eye color just about weekly.”

James shook his head. “That wasn’t against school policy?”

“No, at least as long as I didn’t turn up with non-natural hair colors, so I had to save the wilder shades for summer hols.” She favored her seatmate with a mischievous smile. “Although the time when I showed up for class completely shape-shifted, that was! Or at least it was once they got done writing up a policy for it by the next day. Looking back, I can see why--too much chance of using that trick to pass oneself off as someone else and get up to no good. At the time I thought it was just a lot of fuss over nothing.”

“You know, that pretty much makes you the ideal woman, doesn’t it? Just think, I could have a different beauty in my arms every night and never feel a moment’s guilt because you’d all be the same wom--Ow!” James leaned away from Heather’s playful punch, rubbing his arm. “Whatever happened to ‘First, do no harm’?”

“Shall I just leave the cad in Downton and pick him back up on the return trip, Heather?” Devlin asked, shooting James a reproving look in the mirror.

“You could, but that would be less fun for me,” Heather said. “I’m rather enjoying getting to smack a lord around.”

“It sounds like a useful trick to know,” Sophia said, sounding a tad wistful before her mind caught up with the conversation and she hastily clarified, “Shape-shifting and appearance altering, I meant, not smacking lords around, though at times that’s rather tempting too!” She giggled. “There are certainly times I’ve wished I could pass myself off as someone else. Is that the sort of thing I might be able to learn someday, or is it the kind of magic only full Deryni can manage?”

“You could probably learn it,” James assured her. “In fact, it may eventually come to you even more quickly and naturally than it would to a full Deryni. That’s one of the more unusual advantages to the Haldane gift; you needn’t go through the years of training that most of us have had to undergo in order to access your talents properly.”

Sophia shook her head, looking thoughtful. “It seems so odd to me that Mother never chose to do much at all with her Haldane potential, given the clear benefits I’d have thought she’d have seen in doing so. In her meetings with you, Lord Arilan, did she ever happen to indicate why?”

“No, Ma’am, I haven’t a clue. I’ve wondered about that myself, frankly. The late King your grandfather didn’t show that same reticence, from what I can remember of him, although of course I wasn’t in government service yet when he died.”

“I should hope not. You’d have been, what, ten at the time?” Heather asked. “You’re not that much of a prodigy, I trust.”

“Not quite that much,” James assured her.

They had reached the edge of the village. Devlin slowed the car to an even more sedate pace as they passed the small assortment of shops and pubs lining the main road through the tiny town. Although they were far enough outside of Rhemuth for this small community to have retained more of a traditional character, here and there a fast food restaurant sign showed evidence of the encroachment of modern life.

Sophia leaned forward in her seat, pointing to one such sign. “Father Devlin, is that a Gold Lion?”

Devlin glanced at the iconic sign up ahead. “Yes, Ma’am.”

“Oh, could we stop! I’ve not had a Lion Burger in ages!” She grinned, looking like a small child on Christmas morning. “And you know, Father, it’s my Gold Lion they’ve named it for, isn’t it? So we really ought to stop in so I can show my appreciation.”

He laughed. “Can’t really argue with that logic, I suppose.” The backwards glance in the mirror again. “James?”

Arilan shrugged. “I’d rather not stop and go inside, but I suppose we could use the drive-through.”

“Oh yes!” If anything, Sophia looked even more enthused about that idea.

Suppressing a chuckle, Devlin turned off the main road and into the restaurant’s driveway.


Early evening
The Adams’ flat
City of Rhemuth
December 18, 2021


Jen looked out the window at the distant crowd of people gathered around the Cathedral. “The crowd has thinned a bit out there, but it’s still a zoo.” Turning back towards Eilonwy, she added, “Have you heard the Archbishop has set a date for the memorial service?”

“Yes,” Eilonwy murmured absently as she scrolled down a webpage. “Just before New Year, isn’t it? December 31st?” She looked up. “Now let’s just hope Sophia will be allowed to attend.”

“Why wouldn’t she be?” Jen asked, surprised by the notion of Sophia being barred from her own family’s memorial service.

“Well, consider for a moment that you’re one of her armsmen, or whoever is safeguarding her at the moment. She told Mum that she hasn’t been Empowered yet, and that she doesn’t even know where the royal regalia is, much less if the items are still intact. Would you let her go into the Cathedral amongst all those gathered mourners, not knowing if one of them might secretly be an assassin out to finish the job instead?” Eilonwy pushed a lock of hair back as she considered the security nightmare. “Yes, I know the Cathedral would get a thorough check before then, and I know they wouldn’t let just anyone in on the actual day, and certainly not without a careful search. But what if someone who passes a weapons search decides to challenge her to a Duel Arcane once she’s there and vulnerable?” She shook her head. “No, she’s got to be Empowered, and soon. So we need to find that regalia, if it’s there to be found at all, and we need to do it before the Royal Family’s funeral service.”

“All right.” Jen joined her friend on the bed to peer over her shoulder at the laptop screen. “You know, even if we can’t find the original regalia, that’s not an insurmountable obstacle. Haldanes have been Empowered before even without the three traditional insignia being on hand. For instance, when Kelson the Great was missing and presumed dead, he was wearing the Eye of Rom at the time, so Prince Conall was given a substitute earring instead. Granted, it would be a good thing if we could find the traditional insignia, given their historical significance if nothing else.”

“Yes.” Eilonwy pointed out several photos of the late Queen she had pulled up in an image search. “Well, one thing gives me hope that perhaps at least one of the three elements isn’t irretrievably lost. Do you see the Eye of Rom in any of these close-ups?”

“Hm. No, now that you mention it, Her late Majesty didn’t seem given to wearing earrings at all, other than the pearls in these three photos where she’s dressed in formal wear.” Jen pointed out the pictures in question.

“So it’s not likely she was wearing it at the time of the bombing. But what does the Eye of Rom even look like?” Eilonwy asked. “I know it’s an earring, of course, but I’m not sure I’ve ever actually seen the thing except in history book illustrations or as a sketch in one of Da’s history notebooks. Certainly our late Queen wasn’t in the habit of wearing it daily like her medieval forebears did, or even some more recent ones.” She did another web search, this time turning up several images of the historical artifact.

Several were artistic representations or old black and white photographs, and neither woman turned more than a cursory glance towards those. A few showed the regalia worn by the late Queen’s father, Nigel III. The colors in these older photos were sometimes faded with age, but both women studied the images closely nonetheless. “He was rather dashing, wasn’t he?” Jen remarked. “Even in his later years, he was very handsome.”

“Yes, though apparently half the ladies of the Court thought so as well, to his Queen’s dismay,” Eilonwy said. “Sophia said he was a doting grandfather, but as a husband he left rather a lot to be desired, as she discovered later in life when she got old enough to understand Court gossip.”

“Oh dear, not good.” She clicked on the next thumbnail image, which opened a larger version showing the Eye of Rom in a display case. “Now this is promising. I wonder where this was taken--Rhemuth Castle’s Keep, perhaps, or do you suppose maybe Valoret? If it’s in Valoret, that would mean it’s in safe hands.  I’m sure Sophia would have no trouble getting it back for a weekend.”

Eilonwy frowned as she tried to zoom in on the small sign affixed to the case. “I don’t think so. I’ve been to both places dozens of times and don’t recall ever seeing that display.” The engraving on the enlarged sign was blurry but somewhat legible. “No, I think they must have been sent off for repairs.. See at the bottom? It looks like it says the original regalia were sent off to Valoret for restoration, which means this display must have been in the Rhemuth Keep at one time, even though I’m quite certain it’s not been there any of the times when I’ve visited. I wonder if the items ever got sent back there or if they’re still somewhere in Valoret? Or would they have been stored away some other place for safekeeping?”

“Someplace safer than the Royal Palaces? Where might that be?” Jen asked.

“Well, until a few days ago, I’d have said no place could be more secure than Rhemuth Keep.” Eilonwy clicked back to the original page of image search results, then zoomed in on one of Queen Araxelle’s Coronation pictures. “All right, now here’s Her late Majesty wearing her full kit! Let’s have a look, shall we?”

They both bent over the laptop screen for a closer view. “Why yes, I do believe it’s all there! The Crimson Lion--that’s the brooch, isn’t it?--The Eye of Rom, and there’s a side view of the Ring of Fire at least.”

Jen didn’t react, just stared quizzically at the photo for a moment. Eilonwy turned to her. “What is it?”

“Could you zoom in a bit?”

Eilonwy complied. “Why, what are you looking at?”

Jen looked decidedly worried. “I’m not sure yet. Could you go back to those photos of King Nigel one more time?”

“Sure . . . .” Eilonwy opened another window, then copied and pasted the URL of Araxelle’s photograph into the address field, arranging the two windows so that the images of the late King and his daughter could be viewed side by side. “What are you seeing, Jen? Use your words.”

Jen bit her lip, pointing out the earring in the largest of the late King’s photos first. “It may just be a trick of the light, or a camera flash, but see how the Eye of Rom almost seems to glow from within in this photograph? And in his other photos as well, although the effect is clearest in this one.”

“Yes.” Eilonwy took a closer look at Araxelle’s photo, comparing the two. “Hm. It doesn’t seem to be glowing in this one, though you’re right, maybe that’s just due to the lighting conditions.” At Jen’s continued look of disquiet, she added, “Why, is that significant?”

“I . . . don’t know. I really wish Sir Will were still here.” Jen touched her fingertips to her lips, her thoughts whirling furiously. “Eilonwy, Queen Araxelle would have been Empowered before her Coronation, would she not?”

“Oh, almost certainly! She would have had over a year to prepare, after all, especially since Nigel’s death wasn’t unexpected. They don’t throw together Coronations in mere days after the previous sovereign’s death anymore like they did back in the Middle Ages. Pomp and ceremony has been lifted to a fine art in modern Gwynedd. There’s an immense amount of planning that goes behind that sort of thing now.”

“Yes, that’s what I thought.” Jen forced her gaze away from Araxelle’s Coronation portrait, turning to look directly at Eilonwy. “Loni, you might think I’ve gone utterly mad, but I’m not sure your late Queen ever actually was Empowered. Not properly, at least.”




Next chapter:  http://www.rhemuthcastle.com/index.php/topic,1585.0.html
« Last Edit: September 27, 2015, 09:40:09 pm by Evie »
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Offline drakensis

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Re: Balance of Power--Chapter Ten
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2015, 12:57:47 am »
...well that muddles the tracks a bit.

Offline NavaWazr

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Re: Balance of Power--Chapter Ten
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2015, 01:46:56 am »
Happy to see the post. Worried about the burger drive through. If the late Queen was not empowered, then why not and who stopped it? Did the conspiracy against the Haldanes begin much earlier? (going back to the theory of love gone awry). I love that the Eye of Rom glows, that the power is visible through the pictures. Thanks for writing and posting!
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Offline Demercia

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Re: Balance of Power--Chapter Ten
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2015, 02:02:08 am »
Yes, I can imagine that HM's armsman in the following car is saying something he wouldn't want to repeat verbatim to the queen.  I'm worried about that regalia too, did someone make some very clever copies?
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Offline Laurna

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Re: Balance of Power--Chapter Ten
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2015, 04:16:17 am »
hmm, I do not like this choice to go to the drive through, I really hope nothing goes wrong at that point.

As to the Queen's Empowerment?  That was a concern of mine from the very beginning.  Modern age women have become men's equals. Which I uphold in all social ways. But still we are different in our genetic DNA. There is that old theory that the Haldane potential is passed down only on the "Y" gene. This is not proven and some say may have been disproven by the Great King Kelson's bride, Queen Araxie I.  Still, the thousand year old question lingers. For Sophia's case, I do very much hope the old genetic theory is just that, 'Old and out-of-date' and will be proven wrong.

That was a fun chapter, but it has put me a little on edge.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2015, 11:40:09 am by Laurna »

Offline Evie

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Re: Balance of Power--Chapter Ten
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2015, 08:12:38 am »
...well that muddles the tracks a bit.

Oh, they'll get muddled further, never fear.   ;D

Happy to see the post. Worried about the burger drive through. If the late Queen was not empowered, then why not and who stopped it? Did the conspiracy against the Haldanes begin much earlier? (going back to the theory of love gone awry). I love that the Eye of Rom glows, that the power is visible through the pictures. Thanks for writing and posting!

The canon mentions that the Eye of Rom glows when it is first activated, but is a bit foggier (or at least my memory is) as to whether or not it continues to retain that inner light.  For the purposes of my story, I am positing that once it is magically charged by the Haldane, it continues to have a faint glow that is at least visible to Deryni, if not to everyone. It's faint enough that it could be mistaken for a trick of the light, yet detectable enough to show up in photography.

Yes, I can imagine that HM's armsman in the following car is saying something he wouldn't want to repeat verbatim to the queen.  I'm worried about that regalia too, did someone make some very clever copies?

Possibly. Or possibly not.  *maddening smile*

Yes, I imagine HM's Armsman is uttering some blistering, unrepeatable language right now, no matter how cleverly camouflaged his charge and her driver and companions are at the moment. He's thinking they could have at least made room for him in that car!  (Though given the size of Dev's car, probably only if someone sat in his lap.)

hmm, I do not like this choice to go to the drive through, I really hope nothing goes wrong at that point.

As to the Queen's Empowerment?  That was a concern of mine from the very beginning.  Modern age women have become men's equals. Which I uphold in all social ways. But still we are different in our genetic DNA. There is that old theory that the Haldane potential is passed down only on the "Y" gene. This is not proven and some say may have been disproven by the Great King Kelson's bride, Queen Araxie I.  Still, the thousand year old question lingers. For Sophie's case, I do very much hope the old genetic theory is just that, 'Old and out-of-date' and will be proven wrong.

That was a fun chapter, but it has put me a little on edge.

Yeah, I struggled with that old theory myself, and whether or not to go along with it or decide that new discoveries had been made along the way to nullify the old theory. There could be other complicating factors as well.  Without giving any major revelations away, I'll mention a few things about 21st Century Gwynedd:

1. This is a near future story (the date is 2021), and . . .
2. The tech/societal achievements of the Deryni world in canon has tended to be a little ahead of our curve here on Medieval Earth, so I am assuming they continued on that slightly-advanced track compared to our own world.  This would include scientific technologies that are as-yet only dreamed of in today's world (or that we are just now beginning to develop) already being a given in theirs. This will become more apparent in just a chapter or two.

So have fun speculating!   ;D
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Offline Shiral

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Re: Balance of Power--Chapter Ten
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2015, 11:24:08 am »
Hopefully nothing worse will happen to disguised Queen Sophia than a bit of artery clogging.  (If the Golden Lion's food is anything like the Golden Arches on Earth.) But you know, when characters take it in their heads  to do something impulsive, it's almost always a bad idea. But facing the Queenship and all the responsibilities that await her at a very young age three days after losing her whole family, I suppose I can't blame her for the impulse. Nothing SHOULD go wrong when she's in a non-descript car looking nothing like her usual self, but she's in Evie's hands, after all. I'm sure her body guards are swearing to themselves in the car behind. =o)

Hmmmm....Fake Haldane regalia? Or did Queen Araxelle's empowering somehow misfire? Or did she chicken out, for some reason?  Or did she go through the whole ritual thinking it would work but it failed because she didn't have the real  regalia available to her.

Tsk, sounds like King Nigel didn't live up to the example of his many times removed great Uncle Nigel....

Melissa
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Offline Jerusha

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Re: Balance of Power--Chapter Ten
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2015, 11:44:08 am »
As Father Devlin turned into the Gold Lion driveway, I rather desperately wanted to run after the car yelling, "STOP!  DON'T DO IT! Evie never takes an accidental turn in a story!"  ;D

2021 Gwynedd may have more modern technology, but Lady Maureen is going to try to dowse for the missing boy.  Maybe some geo-phys (yes, I watch Time Team) would be more helpful?
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Offline Evie

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Re: Balance of Power--Chapter Ten
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2015, 12:35:34 pm »
Hopefully nothing worse will happen to disguised Queen Sophia than a bit of artery clogging.  (If the Golden Lion's food is anything like the Golden Arches on Earth.) But you know, when characters take it in their heads  to do something impulsive, it's almost always a bad idea. But facing the Queenship and all the responsibilities that await her at a very young age three days after losing her whole family, I suppose I can't blame her for the impulse. Nothing SHOULD go wrong when she's in a non-descript car looking nothing like her usual self, but she's in Evie's hands, after all. I'm sure her body guards are swearing to themselves in the car behind. =o)

Hmmmm....Fake Haldane regalia? Or did Queen Araxelle's empowering somehow misfire? Or did she chicken out, for some reason?  Or did she go through the whole ritual thinking it would work but it failed because she didn't have the real  regalia available to her.

Tsk, sounds like King Nigel didn't live up to the example of his many times removed great Uncle Nigel....

Melissa

Interesting speculations, and at least one of them is correct.  Only time will reveal which one.  And yes, Nigel III was not a whole lot like the Nigel of Kelson's day, aside from being a very good looking man with a fully functional sex drive.  (At least one can infer that about the original Nigel based on the size of his ever-growing family in canon. ;D)

As Father Devlin turned into the Gold Lion driveway, I rather desperately wanted to run after the car yelling, "STOP!  DON'T DO IT! Evie never takes an accidental turn in a story!"  ;D

2021 Gwynedd may have more modern technology, but Lady Maureen is going to try to dowse for the missing boy.  Maybe some geo-phys (yes, I watch Time Team) would be more helpful?

LOL! I love it when everyone goes all paranoid the moment my characters do anything the least bit out of the ordinary in a story! I'm not that diabolical, am I? ;)

I've not seen Time Team, so I don't know what geo-phys is, but keep in mind we're talking about a very little boy and a very big Kingdom (several hundred miles across), assuming he's even within Gwynedd's borders and not somewhere outside them, so even with the best of technology to work with, I'm sure they'd want to narrow down the field a bit. At least to within a few miles would certainly help! Gwynedd has a LOT of ground to cover, and unfortunately he doesn't have a GPS tracker subcutaneously implanted to help searchers find him.


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Offline Jerusha

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Re: Balance of Power--Chapter Ten
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2015, 03:04:24 pm »
Time Team is a show in the UK that does archaeology digs, mostly concerning medieval subjects (which is why I'm addicted.)   They have a geophysics group that is able to create images of what might be buried beneath the surface (not sure of the exact technology, maybe magnetic resonance or something).   I was just thinking that could be handy for Lady Maureen.

On the other hand, I'm not sure I would pass on the opportunity to share the dowsing with Peter Astari.   ;)
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: Balance of Power--Chapter Ten
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2015, 03:55:48 pm »
That sounds like a show I'd like too. I wonder if I might find episodes of it on YouTube?

Yes, I can see how that sort of tech would be helpful if the range of focus were narrowed down to, say, a large field. It might be a bit much to ask for a kingdom-sized scan though. They'd see every single buried box and coffin in Gwynedd, not to mention any other odd things that might be out there. (Not that that's necessarily a bad thing. Buried Michaeline treasure, maybe? But investigating every hidden object in Gwynedd or even in one region of the kingdom before the kid dies might be a problem.)

But yes, Maureen wouldn't mind a bit of travel with Peter at her side, as long as he behaves. But maybe not too much. She doesn't want him indifferent to her, after all,  just gentlemanly. ;)
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
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Offline Marko

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Re: Balance of Power--Chapter Ten
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2015, 07:26:51 pm »
A village named Downton?  Does it have an abbey?

Offline Evie

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Re: Balance of Power--Chapter Ten
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2015, 08:42:05 pm »
A village named Downton?  Does it have an abbey?

LOL! If it does, I doubt anyone's done a TV show about it. ;)
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Offline Evie

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Re: Balance of Power--Chapter Ten
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2015, 11:38:35 am »
Time Team is a show in the UK that does archaeology digs, mostly concerning medieval subjects (which is why I'm addicted.)   They have a geophysics group that is able to create images of what might be buried beneath the surface (not sure of the exact technology, maybe magnetic resonance or something). 

Have discovered full episodes of Time Team on YouTube, so am watching Season I, Ep. I on TV right now. If I end up glued to the TV all weekend, I'm blaming you, Jerusha!  ;)
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
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Offline Jerusha

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Re: Balance of Power--Chapter Ten
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2015, 03:43:15 pm »
I accept full responsibility for your actions. 😀
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

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