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Colin of Fianna - Traitor?

Started by Imladris, June 03, 2008, 09:35:20 PM

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Imladris

I just finished reading the revised editions of Deryni Rising/ Checkmate. (read the originals in '75) and it brought to mind a question I recalled from the Codex. And that was it describes in the codex (both versions) that Colin was in on the conspiracy with Charissa and Ian to kill Brion.  It was my impression 33 years ago, and last week - that he was an innocent dupe.  What do the rest of you  (Katherine?) think.

Imladris  aka Rhys of the Green Mantle.

Braniana

I had always assumed Colin was an unwitting participant in the death of Brion.  It had been a while since I'd read that one, so I had to go back and check.  Codex 2 does say in Colin's entry that he was a conspirator.  Deryni Rising (original and author's cut) both have Colin getting his wine flask from an unknown lady, a flask from which both he and Brion drink.  In Ian Howell's forest meeting with Charissa, he is charged with keeping Colin away from Brion during the 'attack' just in case he does have Deryni blood, and Ian says he's been cultivating Colin.  In QfSC, Denis has the flask, which he 'retrieved' from Colin after Brion's death.  He knew Brion had injested merasha and had seen him drinking with Colin.  Arilan tells Nigel, Alaric, Duncan, Kelson, and Dhugal what he'd learned and that Colin told him where the flask had come from, though "he never remembered that part of our conversation" (implying Arilan used his powers to make Colin forget). Does beg the question of why Arilan felt Colin needed to forget.

My thoughts: Colin came from a wine-making family, and would be expected to carry quality product with him, which he would certainly share with the King if asked to.  Since Charissa wasn't ready to reveal herself (or her agent Ian) yet, she needed a subtle way to provide the merasha to make Brion vulnerable.  I assume she was the 'mystery lady' who gave Colin the flask.  His conversation with Brion doesn't make me think that he was trying to hide anything, or be anything other than courteous to his king. I had always assumed that Colin was just an innocent dupe, the means to the desired end.  But it is suspicious that Charissa and Ian would go to such lengths to keep Colin away from Brion when the heart-stopping spell was to be used.  If he was merely being used, why would they care about keeping him alive?  Unless it would have made Alaric suspect conventionally poisoned wine, rather than magic and Charissa?  But then Charissa's agents ended up killing Colin a few days later in the ambush near Valoret, so does it matter?  It could be that when the Codex says Colin was a conspirator, it simply means that he was used by the conspirators, rather than being an active participant; but if so, then why doesn't it say that?

Probably a whole lot of rambling, but I guess in the end I'll still choose to believe that Colin was innocent of active, intentional involvement in Brion's death.  And the whole issue of "Brother Theo" saying Colin was a conspirator could be just an accident.  After all, the good brother has made mistakes before. ;)

Shiral

I don't think Colin was a traitor, either. Simply a naiive young man. Maybe a borderline wino, since Brion makes a crack about him "drinking up all the best wine as usual."  But it seems in their short exchange that there was friendliness between Brion and Colin that was more than just a courtier's dutiful courtesy to his king, even if Colin wasn't necessarily a close friend. But I sincerely doubt he ever meant Brion harm. Colin accepts that the King is teasing him and teases him in return about flattering him just to get more Fianna wine. I'm sure no one dared tease  Brion unless he himself permitted it. And being teased by the King might be enough to terrify certain people, wondering what he meant by it.

I would surmise that Colin was not on the Privy Council, and perhaps knew nothing about Charissa other than what was generally known--that she was the Marluk's daughter. I've always thought she was the woman who gave Colin the wine, too probably amid a lot of flirting to make the encounter seem so harmles he wouldn't question it. Unless of course, she gave him some alternative memories of the real encounter and a post-hypnotic suggestion to make sure he drank the wine during the hunt so that Brion would notice.

Melissa
You can have a sound mind in a healthy body--Or you can be a nanonovelist!

Imladris

Was always my take as well. Colin duped by a beautiful Mystery Woman.

Imladris

derynifanatic64

Unless evidence to the contrary ever surfaces, it should be considered a safe bet that Colin was an innocent dupe of Charissa and Ian.  His death in the ambush a few days later could have been an innocent consequence of battle or a deliberate act to keep Alaric from ever finding out the truth of Brian's death.
We will never forget the events of 9-11!!  USA!! USA!!

BalanceTheEnergies

The application of the "traitor" label could have been in hindsight, more an opinion of other people rather than based on any evidence. If it became known that Brion was drugged that day, Colin might get tarred with the conspiracy brush regardless of his actual part in the matter. It's also true the Codex was "written" by a Brother Theophilus, who could have his own opinion on the issue.

derynifanatic64

I also wonder exactly how Arilan got his hands on the flask in the first place.  If the flask still exists, I wonder if there are any psychic impressions on it from Charissa.
We will never forget the events of 9-11!!  USA!! USA!!

whitelaughter

Quote from: Braniana on June 07, 2008, 09:14:28 AM
it is suspicious that Charissa and Ian would go to such lengths to keep Colin away from Brion when the heart-stopping spell was to be used.  If he was merely being used, why would they care about keeping him alive?
I have always assumed that they were worried that if he was Deryni that he would show symptoms of merasha poisoning...and so alert Brion to the threat.

tmcd

In searching for something else, I stumbled over this artifact from older days.

I was forced, forced I tell you, to reread the operative sections of Deryni Rising.

"I would surmise that Colin was not on the Privy Council". In Morgan's trial, there was one vacancy mentioned, stated to be due to Lord Ralson's death. (Kelson filled it with Sean Lord Derry at the end.) I am a bit puzzled, though. Jehana's vote counted to make it 6-5; Sean made it 6-6. I doubt very much that Jehana was on the Council while Brion was alive, though, because Brion wasn't that kind of stupid. And the writ ended Jehana Regina et Domini Consilium, not just the Council of which she was a member.

Since there were normally 12 on the Council, who had had the 12th seat that Jehana filled?

The vote, BTW:

Yes: Bran Coris, Ian of Eastmarch, Rogier, Ewan, Corrigan, then Jehana

No: Nigel, Arilan, Jared, Kevin, Derry (sitting in for Alaric but disallowed) but then Alaric, then Derry

It was stated in another book that the Archbishop of Valoret had a seat ex officio on any royal council. Loris was certainly there in the room. But he didn't vote. Did Jehana take his seat? That seems uncharacteristic for proud Loris, or for any man of that sort of culture to give way to a woman.

tmcd

Oh, and I reread the Candor Rhea scene. I agree with Braniana in what it said.

Evie

QuoteSince there were normally 12 on the Council, who had had the 12th seat that Jehana filled?

Brion. The King is sovereign over his Council. Upon his death, if the new king is a minor, the regent (Jehana) takes that position until the heir is a legal adult, which fortunately in Kelson's case happened during the fateful Council meeting. At that point, Kelson becomes sovereign, though it's possible he was still legally bound to recognize his former regent's vote, but at that moment of coming into his majority he could also add his own.
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

Shiral

#11
Quote from: tmcd on June 17, 2022, 05:12:01 AMIn searching for something else, I stumbled over this artifact from older days.

I was forced, forced I tell you, to reread the operative sections of Deryni Rising.

"I would surmise that Colin was not on the Privy Council". In Morgan's trial, there was one vacancy mentioned, stated to be due to Lord Ralson's death. (Kelson filled it with Sean Lord Derry at the end.) I am a bit puzzled, though. Jehana's vote counted to make it 6-5; Sean made it 6-6. I doubt very much that Jehana was on the Council while Brion was alive, though, because Brion wasn't that kind of stupid. 

Actually, she was. She was the consort. If you re-read the part where Nigel and Jehana come in  (it comes before the rest of the council scene and before Alaric and Kelson are talking in the garden,) she remembers a time when she came into the Council Chambers with Brion, and remembers another incident in which Brion nails a writ to the Council table with his dagger and then persuades his council that whatever it was was not a wise piece of legislation.  I therefore surmise that she was a member of the Council. I assume that Araxie, as the Queen Consort, will also have a place on Kelson's Privy Council having to do with her rank.
 
Furthermore, while Brion and Jehana most definitely disagreed about Morgan, we should not assume they disagreed about EVERYTHING concerning the running of the Kingdom. Brion may actually have appreciated her insight on matters that didn't pertain to either Deryni Magic or how that clashed with her religious faith.

I think the discrepancy about Loris' vote was due to Katherine writing her first novel in this universe, and not having all the details worked out in her head, yet. And both Nigel and Alaric would know EXACTLY who the Primate of Gwynedd was, given that as Dukes they are members of the Privy Council and know that the Archbishop of Valoret also had a seat on the Privy Council by right.

Melissa
You can have a sound mind in a healthy body--Or you can be a nanonovelist!

tmcd

Quote from: Evie on June 17, 2022, 06:45:11 AM
QuoteSince there were normally 12 on the Council, who had had the 12th seat that Jehana filled?

Brion.

I don't think so. Kelson spoke of a vacancy due to Ralson and filled it with Sean. The final vote was 6-6, and then Kelson spoke to break the tie. If the king were the 12th, there wouldn't have been Sean's vacancy.  Alternately,

QuoteActually, she [Jehana] was. She was the consort.

In medieval kingdoms, usually being Queen and a penny got you a loaf of bread, and on occasion the darkest suspicions of historians and the populace. As I recall, the queen of England was luckier than some in getting a slice of judicial fines, but I can't find the details.

But of course Gwynedd is not our universe's medieval kingdom. (And if I remember right that Duncan whips out a telescope at one point, "medieval" is debatable.)

In Deryni Rising, chapter 3, Morgan remarks on "allowing a young and sometimes fidgeting Crown Prince to sit at his father's side in the Council chambers", but that didn't give him a vote or make him a member. I had assumed that Jehana was ex officio presiding officer if she wanted to be, taking the place of the king, not a member of the Council per se.

QuoteI think the discrepancy about Loris' vote was due to Katherine writing her first novel in this universe

No, no, that's no fun at all! I'd much rather come up with an implausible in-universe explanation!


tmcd

And more necroposting:

I brought up Fianna and Colin again in the KK Zoom chat, 3 March 2024. There was discussion in Discord afterwards. About the innocence or guilt of Colin, I wrote:

I just remembered something. The Quest for Saint Camber, ch. 2. Arilan said,

"If you recall, Nigel, it was I who first told you that Colin said he'd gotten it from a mysterious lady." ...

 "I knew, the moment I reached Brion's side and saw that he was dying, that he'd gotten merasha in him from somewhere---and I'd seen him drinking with Colin only minutes before.

"So I waylaid Colin in the courtyard after we got back ... and I relieved him of the flask---which was, indeed, the source of the merasha. He never remembered that part of our conversation, of course. I left it to the rest of you to draw the correct conclusion that Charissa had been the giver of the deadly gift ..."

If Arilan was willing to wipe part of Colin's memory of the conversation, and apparently confirmed the 'mysterious lady' part, I think it very likely that he slipped pointed questions in there about whether Colin knew about it. After all, if Arilan took a whiff of the wine and smelled merasha, Colin would be the prime suspect, and I expect and hope [Arilan] would have ruled that out before getting to who gave it to him.