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Author Topic: Offensive Deryni Powers  (Read 2426 times)

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Offline JediMatt1000

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Offensive Deryni Powers
« on: January 01, 2019, 12:56:45 am »
I'm a little more than halfway through The Heirs of St. Camber book 1 and I still haven't really come across any of the powerful Deryni powers that could be used in an attacking manner or fashion. There was one character that I vaguely remember was accompanying Queron somewhere where he was mentioning how he could use his Deryni powers or a spell of some sorts to blast someone away or destroy them. Aside from possibly giving their victim a harmful or psyche destroying illusion of sorts; how else could a Deryni use their powers offensively?

And I think I might be reading the books out of order. I read the Deryni chronicles originally them jumped to the St. Camber trilogy and have been enraptured by these characters thus far.

I don't really understand where the anti-Deryni sentiment is coming from with the regents and I know I wouldn't want any premature spoilers; but do the Deryni ever get justice or retribution for what they have been subjected to? Much of what I am reading from what the regents have done just makes me beyond angry and sick. I know and realize the reality of their Christian vocations and the fact that vegeance is God's; but if these people are as powerful as I believe them to be; instead of finding ways to remove their powers; they shouldn't be depriving themselves of methods to defend themselves. The regents have succumbed to paranoia that is highly misplaced.

Anyhow, Happy New Year everybody!
Matt

Offline Bynw

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Re: Offensive Deryni Powers
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2019, 07:06:45 am »
You should have seen the Sword Spells already used by several Deryni. The original Alister used it right before his death, we didnt see it but we saw the outcome of the event. Jedediah when protecting Camber/Alister before their deaths at the hands of the regents.

Offline Kareina

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Re: Offensive Deryni Powers
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2019, 07:59:32 am »
There is one book called Deryni Magic that is just a scholarly look at the various sorts of spells and abilities they have, backed up with quotes from the books that already existed when she wrote it. It has been years since I looked at my copy (and, since it isn't a story, I only read it once), but it may have information that you would find useful in answering your question.
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Offline whitelaughter

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Re: Offensive Deryni Powers
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2019, 10:25:28 am »
I don't really understand where the anti-Deryni sentiment is coming from with the regents

Cinhil makes them regents as recompense for what they've suffered under the Festillic rulers, so that's going to be loss of lands and relatives. Given the kick off for the Camber trilogy is the execution of 50 humans for the death of 1 Deryni, the tyranny must have been pretty brutal. That's similar to what the Normans did after conquering England, so the humans would have the same mindset as Robin Hood....but with no King Richard until Cinhil. (Check that, the independent king who swears to Cinhil at the start of St Camber would probably have been a rallying point for human rebels, whether he wanted to be or not).

But the simple fact is that people who can read minds and corrupt memories are going to be feared, and with good reason; most Deryni powers are by default bad news. Healing is the obvious exception, but Healers are rare. The Deryni are well set up to engage in nearly any crime, but will find few legitimate uses for their abilities; travel and pain relief are about it.

Offline Bynw

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Re: Offensive Deryni Powers
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2019, 10:37:54 am »
The regents have good reason to be anti-Deryni. The Deryni swept in with Festil the First and killed the Haldane King and family. (So he thought.) He setup his Deryni soldiers as nobles replacing older Human nobles. Only the church was really safe. Some Human nobles remained in power as well of course.

So 80 years pass where Humans have been treated poorly by various Festilic kings. Some were good men of course but others were not. The last Festilic king was not a good man. 50 humans executed because of 1 minor Deryni Lordling got himself killed (he was dirt bag and deserved it). That's a heafty price to pay though.

Plus the Great Tarrif was under the last Festilic King as well. Lots of abuse of power. Not to mention the ability to read minds and control others. The loss of free will.

So the Haldane line is restored, by the Deryni but that's overlooked, as the regents are out for revenge from grevences both real and imagined. And the Deryni are the easiest target for it.

Offline Evie

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Re: Offensive Deryni Powers
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2019, 12:42:47 pm »
I'm a little more than halfway through The Heirs of St. Camber book 1 and I still haven't really come across any of the powerful Deryni powers that could be used in an attacking manner or fashion. There was one character that I vaguely remember was accompanying Queron somewhere where he was mentioning how he could use his Deryni powers or a spell of some sorts to blast someone away or destroy them. Aside from possibly giving their victim a harmful or psyche destroying illusion of sorts; how else could a Deryni use their powers offensively?

In the Histories of King Kelson trilogy, we also see Deryni powers used to guide an arrow to the target with extreme accuracy (think "Robin Hood splitting the first arrow in the bull's eye" level of accuracy), and also to deflect incoming arrows. But one reason Deryni powers are not usually used in combat outside of a Duel Arcane is that it takes a great deal of focus and concentration to call upon such powers, which is not really very feasible in a full-on melee.  That is actually one of the limitations of Deryni power, as KK mentions in one of the books (I think TKJ, since that is where we see the Mearan battle scenes). Even when a particular character is using his powers to deflect arrows during a battle in TKJ (not sure if you have read that book or not yet, so I won't go into specifics), he is left vulnerable because of his need to focus nearly all his attention on that usage, so others have to protect him while that is going on because otherwise he can't really pay attention to what he needs to do and manage to fight off anyone attacking him at the same time. That levels the playing field between regular humans and Deryni a bit and keeps Deryni from being too superpowered despite their definite advantage.

Quote

And I think I might be reading the books out of order. I read the Deryni chronicles originally them jumped to the St. Camber trilogy and have been enraptured by these characters thus far.

Sounds like you are definitely reading them outside of internal chronological order, though possibly not out of publication order. Personally, I read nearly all of the Kelson era books first (the Deryni Chronicles trilogy and the first two books of the Histories of King Kelson trilogy, since QFSC hadn't come out yet), then read all of the Camber and Post-Camber books, by which time QFSC had come out in hardback, so I went back and finished that Kelson-era book.  After QFSC is a three-year gap that picks back up with KKB, which is the final book (chronologically) in the series.  There is also a Childe Morgan trilogy that was written last, but it fills in the years from shortly before Alaric Morgan's birth to just after Kelson's birth.
Quote
I don't really understand where the anti-Deryni sentiment is coming from with the regents and I know I wouldn't want any premature spoilers; but do the Deryni ever get justice or retribution for what they have been subjected to? Much of what I am reading from what the regents have done just makes me beyond angry and sick. I know and realize the reality of their Christian vocations and the fact that vegeance is God's; but if these people are as powerful as I believe them to be; instead of finding ways to remove their powers; they shouldn't be depriving themselves of methods to defend themselves. The regents have succumbed to paranoia that is highly misplaced.

Anyhow, Happy New Year everybody!
Matt

Happy New Year!  I think others have pretty much expanded on this already, but yes, it was a powerful combo of people fearing powers they don't have, don't understand, and resent others having; plus also having to live with several generations of seeing that power misused and abused by the Powers That Be who had usurped the throne from the rightful Haldane rulers; wanting revenge for those years of being treated like second-class subjects; associating Deryni powers with foreign tyranny; and not being able to distinguish (or in some cases just being unwilling to do so) between Wrongful Use of Deryni Power = Evil vs. Simply Possessing Deryni Power = Inherently Evil.
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Offline revanne

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Re: Offensive Deryni Powers
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2019, 10:57:57 am »
Just to add to what others have said.

As far as the regents are concerned I think it is a combination of greed, power seeking and a desire for revenge mixed in with a genuine fear.

Cinhil distrusts and fears both Deryni and his own powers. I can't remember the details and my copies of the early books have disappeared but I seem to remember that Cinhil kills an already subdued assilant in anger and never quite recovers from what he has done or the ease with which he did it. As far as the general human population is concerned, added to the history of Deryni tyranny already cited, I think that the King's example would have gone a fair way in setting the tone of general suspicion and hostility to Deryni.

And the fear of mind control is understandably very great - Imre's forced taking over of the innocent Michaeline (Humphrey?) and using him to poison Cinhil's first born baby would have been a story which lost nothing in the telling. When Jesse first meets Charlan in KJY he quite deliberately folds his hands behind his back which suggests that there is a fear amongst even quite well-disposed humans of what a Deryni's touch can do.

So fear mixed in with jealousy. Somewhere - and again I can't remember precisely where but I think towards the end of St Camber - Niallan is innocently trying to argue for the goodness of Deryni powers, saying that they give a closer connection to the divine. Alister/Camber realises that this is not helping but simply giving another reason for resentment, especially for human clergy.

The big question for me is why don't the Deryni fight back more?

 I can think of a number of possibilities. In a sense in this situation Deryni powers are the weapon you can't use - if they fight back using their powers then human suspicion will have been shown to be justified. Some Deryni of course do and the young Deryni who patrol the roads and attack humans only succeed in making things worse. This is the point that Revan makes to Queron when he knocks him out to prevent Queron blasting into smoking smithereens those torturing and killing the servants of St Camber at Dolban.

The Gwyneddian Deryni we see in the early books driving the story line (obviously excluding Imre and his ilk) are honourable and seeking mostly to be righteous and I don't think that we should overlook the genuine fear of divine judgement or perhaps even a sense that the fate that overtakes them is punishment for Deryni wrongdoing. I think that this is particularly true of Joram (I would love to finish writing about him, but don't hold your breath until I can retire) who I think has a great sense of guilt about his and his father's actions. I think the early mishandling of Cinhil perhaps makes the Deryni around him less willing to appear to be pushy in later years, allowing for him to be manipulated by the future regents.
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Offline DesertRose

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Re: Offensive Deryni Powers
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2019, 11:22:21 am »
Just to add to what others have said.

As far as the regents are concerned I think it is a combination of greed, power seeking and a desire for revenge mixed in with a genuine fear.

Cinhil distrusts and fears both Deryni and his own powers. I can't remember the details and my copies of the early books have disappeared but I seem to remember that Cinhil kills an already subdued assilant in anger and never quite recovers from what he has done or the ease with which he did it. As far as the general human population is concerned, added to the history of Deryni tyranny already cited, I think that the King's example would have gone a fair way in setting the tone of general suspicion and hostility to Deryni.

And the fear of mind control is understandably very great - Imre's forced taking over of the innocent Michaeline (Humphrey?) and using him to poison Cinhil's first born baby would have been a story which lost nothing in the telling. When Jesse first meets Charlan in KJY he quite deliberately folds his hands behind his back which suggests that there is a fear amongst even quite well-disposed humans of what a Deryni's touch can do.

So fear mixed in with jealousy. Somewhere - and again I can't remember precisely where but I think towards the end of St Camber - Niallan is innocently trying to argue for the goodness of Deryni powers, saying that they give a closer connection to the divine. Alister/Camber realises that this is not helping but simply giving another reason for resentment, especially for human clergy.

The big question for me is why don't the Deryni fight back more?

 I can think of a number of possibilities. In a sense in this situation Deryni powers are the weapon you can't use - if they fight back using their powers then human suspicion will have been shown to be justified. Some Deryni of course do and the young Deryni who patrol the roads and attack humans only succeed in making things worse. This is the point that Revan makes to Queron when he knocks him out to prevent Queron blasting into smoking smithereens those torturing and killing the servants of St Camber at Dolban.

The Gwyneddian Deryni we see in the early books driving the story line (obviously excluding Imre and his ilk) are honourable and seeking mostly to be righteous and I don't think that we should overlook the genuine fear of divine judgement or perhaps even a sense that the fate that overtakes them is punishment for Deryni wrongdoing. I think that this is particularly true of Joram (I would love to finish writing about him, but don't hold your breath until I can retire) who I think has a great sense of guilt about his and his father's actions. I think the early mishandling of Cinhil perhaps makes the Deryni around him less willing to appear to be pushy in later years, allowing for him to be manipulated by the future regents.

Re: The Deryni fighting back once the wind of backlash was blowing, I think by the time they (by which I mean Camber et. al.) realized what was happening, it was already too late to stop it or even to mitigate it much.  And as far as using their powers, I think they were in a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation; for one thing, the Deryni were fairly seriously outnumbered by non-Deryni, and sure, people have won battles and wars when they were at a severe disadvantage by the numbers, but generally speaking, if you're outnumbered, you're in a world of trouble.

For another, as @revanne pointed out, if they used their powers even in self-defense, the Regents and their allies would see that use of power as justification for the purge/backlash.  Since at least some of the Regents seemed to believe quite earnestly that Deryni powers were ipso facto evil (although others were clearly jumping on a plausible justification for violent revenge), it wouldn't take much of a mental jump to arrive at "even if [Deryni] was trying not to die, they shouldn't have used their evil powers!"  (See Jehana for an example of these ideas; until she meets Barrett, she spends several books [in the background of other events] flagellating herself for having used her "evil" powers to save her son from death at the hands of Charissa.)

As far as Cinhil goes, I think he is probably the most prominent example of Camber thinking he could do more than he actually could.  Camber thought that Cinhil, even though he was not educated to rule and even though they had to prepare him for the fight and the throne in a very short span of time, would be a better ruler than Imre, and he probably wasn't wrong about that.  However, a gentler hand with Cinhil's conscience earlier in the Restoration effort might have yielded a Cinhil who wasn't so torn up with his own guilt (over a number of things, his priestly calling and his powers being the two main sources of conscience-wracking) that he wasn't able to see through the men who became Regents, and the whole mess of the Council of Ramos and all that followed might not have happened at all.

But there I go, thinking I can see how things would work out, a la Camber himself.  :P
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Offline drakensis

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Re: Offensive Deryni Powers
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2019, 01:34:30 am »
(Check that, the independent king who swears to Cinhil at the start of St Camber would probably have been a rallying point for human rebels, whether he wanted to be or not).
Eastmarch might not have wanted conflict with Deryni, but the period of the Festillic Interregum would have been a time when they were forced into that since they were surrounded by kingdoms led by predatory Deryni rulers.

Torenth had already been to their east and in 755 had stripped the eastern half of Marley (the northern half of Eastmarch) away. The Festillic coup of 822 not only put Festil I to their west but in 823 Festil seized the neighbouring county of Southmarch, becoming their southern neighbour (Culdi was carved out of these conquered lands to reward one of Festil's supporters) and conquered the principality of Kheldour to the north of Eastmarch, granting it to his younger brother.

It's no surprise Earl Sighere took the chance to strike back when the Festils were out, only that he was so immediately successful in conquering Kheldour. He had obvious common cause with Cinhil and it's likely the Eastmarch lords had feared and hated Deryni for decades, knowing it was only a matter of time until the allied realms around them attacked them.

It's very unlikely that the northern lords descended from Sighere had any issue with the Regents' actions against the Deryni at first, the divide came because the Regents were intent on holding all the power at court and ruthlessly purged all rivals, creating an enmity that eventually led to their downfall.

Offline whitelaughter

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Re: Offensive Deryni Powers
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2019, 12:11:40 am »
yeah, I think that's a pretty good sum up drakensis.

 


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