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Generosity: Chapter One

Started by revanne, May 26, 2017, 06:01:14 AM

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Link to Prologue

Kilshane Manor, May 1135.

The honour of Baron Jatham of Kilshane lay not just in the manor of Kilshane but also in the many outlying holdings, all of which had come to him along with the revived title to the Barony of Kilshane as a personal wedding gift from the King himself. As he was thus known to have royal favour, many of the local knightly families, with limited prospects for their younger sons and a eye to the main chance, were keen for those sons to act as pages and squires in the baronial household. Jatham's entourage was therefore somewhat bigger than might have been expected for a remote barony between coast and highlands.

The spirit of competition between the young men was keen, and in recent weeks, one youth in particular amongst the squires had begun to stand apart from his peers. Tall and wiry, Andrew McGregor was not so much possessed of bodily strength as of coordination of hand and eye and in especial a seemingly unerring knack of hitting the quintain at just the right point to avoid a fall. The same could not be said of his fellows, whether from a failure to aim straight or a lack of precise control of their mounts. Either way,  the results of their failure were predictable and there was many a bruised backside, though never, it seemed, for Andrew.

The warmth of the spring sunshine on this day in early May had brought many of the household out to watch the young men at their drill, and many eyes had been upon Andrew as once again he seemed to have mastered the skill which somehow or other appeared to elude the others. Smiling modestly, he had allowed himself to accept plaudits from his fellows and from the pages and stable hands who had taken a moment from their duties to watch. The shy smiles of the maids drew a self- conscious blush in return, and it was clear that this was a young man rightly pleased with life and with himself.

Having been thus delayed, by the time Andrew arrived at the stables the other squires had already left. Busy watering his horse, and wrapped in self-satisfaction, he did not notice a figure enter and with a silent and imperious gesture order the stable hands to leave.

So he had no warning when he was roughly seized, his arms pinned together behind his back, and he was flung face down across a bale of hay. A heavy hand yanked his tunic up above his waist and the same hand then began to slap him hard and fast across the rump. Too shocked at first to cry out, and then prevented from doing so by the hay against his mouth, he was unable to stop tears of pain and shame from streaming down his face. As abruptly as the blows had started, they stopped. He was dragged back onto his feet and shaken until his teeth rattled.

"You bluidy little fool! What the hell did ye think ye were doing out there?"

"Oh Jesus, no!" he thought. He knew that voice with its cultured accent showing border roots in time of stress or anger. Using his sleeve to mop his face, he dared to look up, and saw a pair of amber eyes blazing naked fury at him. "Sweet saints preserve me!".

Too dizzy to bow, he blurted, "Your Grace!".

"You ought to be on your knees thanking God I'm no' here as "His Grace, the Duke" but as your clan chief. If you were up before my ducal court, for all you're a year shy of being a man, there would be hell to pay, for all of us. As it is, just be grateful that all I've done is lesson you as I'll lesson any of my own sons, if they try any such damn fool stunts. D'ye not ken why your father was knighted? For helping to save his Duke, my father, from being burnt as a Deryni! People were burnt for less than you did out there and there are still those who would be only too happy to see Deryni burn again. D'ye really want to be one of their victims?"

To his shame, Andrew found that not only could he not reply, but he was beginning to shake as the pain began to throb; from that and sheer terror at the wrath he had unleashed in one who had absolute power over him and his future. He hung his head and once again was unable to stop the tears from falling. What could he say in his defence? He was a bluidy fool. Jesu, what would happen to him now? At best sent home in disgrace to face his father's anger, his mother's tears and his brothers' contempt. His family had hoped that the opportunity to be Baron Jatham's squire would bring him to the attention of Duke Dhugal. A thrashing from the Duke's own hands was hardly what they had had in mind.

"Your Grace", he began, only to be stopped as a hand lifted his chin so that he was forced again to look into those eyes – eyes that held him with such a compulsion that he felt momentarily disorientated. It only added to his confusion that instead of blazing anger, he now saw understanding.

"Laddie, I told ye I'm no' here as the Duke but as your chief. And as yer chief I've skelped ye as ye deserve but that's over and done with now. Come on now, wash your face in yon trough."

Bemused by the gentleness that was as sudden as the wrath, Andrew obeyed and numbly took the piece of linen that Dhugal offered him to wipe his face.

Dhugal took a long breath. He did not remember ever having been quite so daft, but still, looking at the sorry figure before him, he could see the young border lad that he himself had been. Slipping past the shields of the untrained boy had been easy, and his anger, already past its high point, had been somewhat assuaged by what he had read. Youthful arrogance, of course, and a pride at putting one over his fellows, but a quick intelligence and more important, a fierce loyalty and no malice. It was Jatham's call but, as for him, if they could avoid overly shaming the lad, so much the better. And his Deryni tricks had very definitely best not come to light.

"You're in no state to listen to anything I might want to say to you, that'll do for the morrow. Get yourself up into the hay loft and sleep. There's clean water here and plenty of hay for warmth, and it'll not do you any harm to miss a meal. I could never eat after a beating, and I'd guess you can't either. Tomorrow, if anyone asks where you've been, you can tell them that His Grace sent you on a message and you took a fall, landing hard on your backside. You'll get a ribbing for poor horsemanship, but I reckon you deserve that."

Terrified that the unexpected kindness would destroy what precious little hold on any dignity he had left, and feeling nauseated  now from the sting of the blows, Andrew managed a clumsy bow, and receiving a nod of permission, turned to go. Then he turned back and blurted out, "But Baron Jatham, my lord, will I have to confess to him?"

"You'll need to ask pardon of him, aye, and learn the meaning of respect." Anger flared again briefly in Dhugal's voice but, seeing the wretched figure before him flinch, he took a grip of himself. "Just because he's no Deryni doesn't mean he's blind or stupid. His suspicions are the reason I'm here, you young fool!"

But the epithet was spoken kindly, and Dhugal gently took him by the shoulders and turned him towards the ladder up to the hay loft. "Now go and sleep (and though Andrew did not guess it, the touch conveyed enough of a compulsion to ensure that he shortly would), and try not to fret. The worst is over. I'll make sure that you're in no trouble for being missed tonight."

Dhugal stood and watched until Andrew's heels had disappeared from sight, then turning to the trough of fresh water, splashed some over his face. He was not entirely sure whether he had resolved a problem or created a worse one, but he must at least do what he could to prevent Andrew from becoming a laughing stock. Thankfully there were only two stable hands still at work in the yard, and it was an easy task to implant a memory of a limping Andrew bringing his horse back late in the evening, with a tale of a fall and an undelivered message.

Later the same evening, Kilshane Manor.

Dressed in McLain tartan, the philabeg donned with the ease of early practice, Dhugal sat relaxed and at his ease, at table with his old friend, Jatham - Baron Kilshane since his wedding to Princess Janniver – enjoying the simple pleasures of border hospitality. Jatham had grown into his baronial dignity and was clearly loved by his people, and not just for his understanding of local ways. His honesty and justice had won him friends, and the gentle and gracious Janniver was simply adored.

Janniver was heavy with child to add to the three already in the nursery. The two boys, Aldus and Jacobus, at five and two, were as homely as their father, but with their mother's shy charm, while Jacynith at four was the image of her mother in miniature. Many children might be proof of nothing more than fertility, but Janniver radiated joy and peace. Dhugal prayed that Jatham's love and gentleness might finally have exorcised the horror of her ravishment by Ithel, that act of brutality which had turned the princess's life so much off course. For all that he had paid for his crimes, his neck summarily twisted during the Mearan war like any common felon, the thought of Ithel still turned Dhugal's belly sour, but he resolutely put any thought of the Mearan rebel out of his mind. Janniver did not deserve that the sight of her should invoke his memory. Looking at her, Dhugal could wholeheartedly accept his father's belief in the reality of redemption here on earth, for all that his own faith was usually more complicated.

The meal ended, Janniver withdrew early, leaving the two men to reminisce about their younger days at Kelson's Court, but it was only once that they were in the privacy of Jatham's office that their talk turned to Andrew. Dhugal ran his hands through his hair,

"Och, he deserved all I gave him, and more, but I admit I lost my temper with the lad. The young fool seemed to have no idea that he was quite literally playing with fire. All I could see when I laid into him was my father tied to that damned stake with the flames already scorching his flesh and Loris, damn him to the lowest pit of hell, exulting that we were too late to save him. Andrew's own father won his knighthood for fighting through to help save his duke, as my father was then, and not to save his own skin neither. He was safe enough with his Deryni identity hidden under our border acceptance of Second Sight. And yon blethering idiot plays mind games with horses, and slipping a suggestion or two into the heads o' the other lads, and thinks no-one will notice."

"Well, I doubt he knows how close I have been to the king and that I can recognise the signs of a Deryni at work. I'm just the boring laird to him, who disappears to do uninteresting things in the royal chancery from time to time. For obvious reasons Janniver prefers to live quietly here."

Welcoming a chance to break the tension, Dhugal met the other's gaze and snorted, "Maybe not that quietly, the rate the bairns are comin'!"

"And how many are gracing the ducal nursery, my lord?" said Jatham with a grin, although he coloured as he returned the gibe.

Not expecting, or waiting, for a reply, his tone sobered as he asked, "But what happens to young Andrew now? I take it that you're not wanting his mind games to be made public."

"Of a surety I don't. Relations between Deryni and human are good enough, especially here in the borders, but my father and Bishop Arilan have told me of a few incidents where hatred has been stirred up, usually by a renegade priest. A family were burned out down Nyford way only a month or so ago. As a duke of the realm, and one of His Majesty's privy councillors, I certainly don't want to be forced to take official notice of a Deryni abusing his powers, in however trivial a way."

Dhugal stood and stretched, making to wave Jatham back down as he too pushed back his chair. "I'm not your liege lord in here! I keep telling you, and live in hopes you'll listen."

"Aye, that you do." Ignoring Dhugal's grunt as he noted that for all Jatham's easy response he had failed to commit himself to laying protocol aside, Jatham continued, "but there's something in that wall kist that I hope will lay claim to your allegiance as well as mine."

So speaking, Jatham took a small brass key from his belt and went to a wooden cupboard set into the angle of the inner walls. Unlocking the door, he reached in and took out a sealed flagon and two   drinking horns nestling in their brass stands. Breaking the wax seal on the neck of the flagon, he poured an amber liquid into each of the vessels and handed one to Dhugal with a courtly flourish.

"You'll know well that the land round here is too poor for wheat but will bear oats and barley. Enough to fend off hunger in all but the very worst of years, with what the fishing boats bring in too, but it's a precarious living for my folk. With a little help from His Excellency, your father, I've been experimenting with distilling down the local barley brew. It's a bit fiery and not as smooth yet as I had hoped, but still worth drinking. It'll be better yet in five years' time, when I hope we can begin to trade with it. Most of it is stored in sealed oak casks and some will evaporate, of course; Bishop Duncan told me that they call that the angels' share. I hope it's not too presumptuous of me to claim my share too."

The liquid was fiery alright and caught the back of the throat as it went down, but it left a warm glow. Dhugal raised his drinking horn again in approval.  "Slainte var! Uisghe Beathe, they call this over by Transha, 'the water of life'. Well, good luck to you," he added. "You're doing well by your people and look to be doing better still in the future. Give me a flagon or two each time I come this way, and I might forget to mention your increased prosperity to the duchy chancellor."

"Drink enough, and it will wipe your memory as clean as any Deryni spell!"

Jatham had spoken without any malice; Dhugal's Deryni identity held no fears for him, but his jest brought them back to the matter which had brought Dhugal, at Jatham's request, to Kilshane.

"Aye, Deryni spells...and yon Andrew."

Dhugal moved to the fire which had been kindled earlier against the evening chill, for all that it was May.

"Unless you're no longer willing to have him here, I'd rather he were not sent packing back home. His family have been fiercely loyal since they came up from the Connait in my great-grandsire's time. I think that they took refuge there in old Earl Gregory's time. He was the last Deryni Earl of Ebor who had the sense to see the way the wind was blowing and bought himself an estate in Trevalga. Saved many Deryni folk that way, though that's by the by. Andrew's forebears took the name McGregor out of loyalty; loyalty is in the family blood. Andrew's grandfather died with Duke Jared and, as you know, his father was honoured for defending mine.

"Aye," broke in Jatham, "Andrew's the middle son; his older brother is named Kevin and the younger is Duncan. His father is Jared; the loyalty is plain enough to see."

Dhugal grimaced. "You take my point then. For me to send the lad home in disgrace would break his father's heart, and God knows how he would make Andrew pay. God willing, the hiding I gave him today will be enough to lesson him, and the shame of being thrashed like an errant child, rather than the braw man he likes to think he is, will stay with him long after his bum has stopped smarting."

Jatham made a show of holding his drinking horn up in the firelight, unwilling to voice disagreement with reasoning which showed Dhugal as the astute and compassionate lord to his people that he was.

"You're not convinced? If you have any doubts, you'd best voice them. It's you he has offended, and it's your judgement that I'll bide by."

"All you say is true. I don't want the lad publicly shamed, and I certainly don't want to see resentment against Deryni stirred up, but that doesn't solve the problem." Jatham sighed. "It's not the first issue we've had with him, to be honest. Although it's the first where I've suspected he's begun to use his Deryni powers. He questions too much, wants to know the whys and wherefores of everything, and has driven my Master of Arms to distraction, and more than once to violence. Ethan is a good, able, loyal man, but he's not the brightest of souls and doesn't take kindly to being tied up in mental knots by a mouthy young lout. Janniver and I, we've wondered...."

Here, Jatham stopped. For all that he trusted Dhugal and knew their friendship to be genuine on both sides, yet he was conscious of the real difference between them, even if the duke was gracious enough to set it aside in their dealings other than on formal occasions. The difference stemmed not from Dhugal's Deryni heritage but from his exalted rank. His years at court had taught Jatham to be comfortable around the high nobility, but they had also left him with a horror of being presumptuous.

Dhugal waited for the other to continue, trying not to give any hint of impatience. It didn't take Deryni senses to know what was hampering Jatham. As the son of a simple knight who had served as a royal page and then squire, Jatham would have had protocol drummed, and most probably beaten, into him from the earliest age. Once Dhugal had become Jatham's feudal superior, it had taken months for Jatham to drop any honorific even in private; the use of his given name had taken even longer. The king still had failed to win that particular battle, and Dhugal thought Kelson's chances were slight. Indeed, so certain was he that Jatham would never call his sovereign Kelson, that Dhugal stood to pay a royal forfeit of a fine signet ring, made out of gold from a mountain stream up in the far reaches of Cassan, should the hallowed syllables ever pass Jatham's lips.

Handing his drinking horn with an abrupt gesture to Jatham - "Spill that and I'll ha'e yer guts!" - and deliberately broadening his speech into the border dialect of his youth, he drew the chairs near to the fire, pushed a now bemused Jatham into a seat, regained possession of his drinking horn and sat himself down.

"Och, all I am is a jumped-up border laddie who's grown ma heid tae big for ma bonnet. Spill what yer thinking and fer Guid's sake let's be done!"

Recognising that behind the foolery Dhugal was in earnest and that he would not get to his bed until he had fully shared his thoughts, Jatham took a long slow drink from the vessel in his hand and began. "It was Janniver's thought, though I think she is right in this, as she is in most things. I daresay you know that she and Rothana correspond as often as time and distance allow." Dhugal nodded in affirmation, but said nothing for fear of breaking the still hesitant flow of words.

Jatham, however, had already paused as though coming to a decision before continuing, "I think that it would be best if I were to read to you what Rothana has to say about the Schola in her last letter. Janniver will not yet have retired; if I may leave you for a moment, I'll ask her to find the letter for me." Dhugal nodded his agreement and Jatham left the room to go in search of his wife.

Left alone, Dhugal reflected again on the grace and generosity of the pair whose hospitality he was enjoying and Jatham's genuine concern for the troubling lad with the potential to cause so much grief for his household. There were many in his position who would have sent such a one packing with little concern for his reception at home or his future. Such concern deserved equal consideration from his overlord, and surely there were further ways that he could suggest to Jatham to improve the prosperity of his estate. Maybe to build up a manorial herd of the sturdy Highland cattle, in addition to the scattered beasts in the holdings of the more able or lucky peasants; or perhaps even to introduce some of the new breed of sheep whose soft fleeces Nigel was telling him were proving so profitable in the downlands of Carthmoor,  though the weather down there in the south was much milder and the grass so much lusher. And as for Jatham himself, well, Kelson had his own ideas with which Dhugal heartily concurred. His musings were interrupted when Jatham returned with a piece of parchment in his hand.

"You'll forgive me if I don't give you the letter to read; in any case I daresay that you already know more than you care to about the irritations that afflict a breeding woman. Janniver must have sought Rothana's advice last time she wrote." Jatham was scanning the parchment as he spoke, and his private smile made Dhugal wonder just what Rothana had written. Finally he looked back at Dhugal, with just a hint of embarrassment in his gaze, before beginning to read aloud:

"Bishop Duncan and I are more than pleased with the development of the Schola and I dare to suggest that we are meeting the hopes and expectations of His Majesty. However, there is surely more that we could be doing. Just as we did not suspect that a community such as the Servants could have preserved the memory of the Blessed Camber through all the years of persecution, so the good Bishop and I are beginning to wonder how much else has managed to survive in families who, having kept their identities hidden, are only now beginning to remember what they truly are. And they will have neither the learning nor the experience to train their children. His Majesty has been generous in some individual cases, as indeed has His Excellency, though he tries hard to ensure that none know of it, but it would be good to extend our training to such as these."

"And you're thinking?" prompted Dhugal, wanting to be sure that he fully understood what was being suggested.

"It sounds presumptuous, I know, which is why I hesitated to bring it up, but if what Rothana writes is something that could truly be put into practice, then surely that sorry young man nursing his aching backside in the hayloft is just the sort of youngster she and His Excellency are thinking about. And I'll wager that she is right, and there are others beginning to dare to use their powers without the training to know what they are really about."

"You could be right at that," Dhugal spoke slowly at first, for the idea was new to him, but then with increased conviction, for indeed there was a deal of sense to it. "I can see how it might help to resolve a number of issues. I can't say that I've talked that much to me Da about the Schola, we're  usually too busy catching up on family and duchy news."

Catching sight of Jatham's attempt to hide a wince, Dhugal spread his hands in a conciliatory gesture. "Peace. I'll stop teasing but can we agree on 'my father' and 'Bishop Duncan'? No more 'me Da' from me, and no more 'His Excellency" from you, at least between the two of us. I'll speak to him tomorrow if I can reach him." He was absently fingering his St Camber medal as he spoke and added, "It would be easier to reach him while he's asleep. It's after Compline now, but I don't want him rousing in a panic imagining something is wrong with Mirjana or one of the bairns."

Jatham sighed with relief. "Thank you, Dhugal. I confess to being out of my depth. And I'm grateful, too, that you've not dismissed the idea of the Schola for the likes of Andrew out of hand."

"Nae worries. It's good to see how you are faring, and even better that it's more than well for the both of you. I'll make sure the King knows how justified is his trust in you, and don't be shaking your head at me. As for the Schola, well, that's up to others, but given Rothana's thoughts -well, let's  just say that I doubt she would have expressed them so clearly even to Janniver unless she and Bishop Duncan had at least discussed the matter in general terms with his Majesty. And for all I was so angry, I can understand why the lad wants to try his powers".
"As can I," Jatham agreed. "Even if he weren't Deryni he'd be the brightest of the lads here by far. Father Malcolm says if he showed the slightest hint of a vocation, he'd be suggesting the priesthood."

"Jesu,  no! From what I saw of him out there, and, aye, read inside that muddled up head of his, it'd be like sending a hornet into a dovecot! No, best be where his powers and that canny imagination can be guided by those who he won't try to outwit. I'd sooner not speak to Bishop Duncan about Andrew, though, unless there is a good chance Sir Jared will give his wholehearted consent."

Jatham's smile was as nearly cynical as Dhugal had ever seen from him, "Turn down the chance of having a son as close as that to the heart of Rhemuth, with the Schola enjoying royal patronage? No, I think there'll be no worries there. Though of course Andrew is the second son. I doubt there is much money to spare with three lads to help on their way."

Jatham hesitated, then decided that Dhugal's patience might be tried beyond endurance if he havered again. "A thought has come to me as we've been talking. I'll need to speak to Janniver, but I'd value your judgement".

"I'd've thought that was why I was here," Dhugal muttered but nodded. "Fair enough, you've my attention for as long as you need. On condition, mind, that you spare me more of what the angels have left; aye, and when you do finally find your bed be sure you tell that bonny wife of yours that it's not me leading you into corrupt court ways and keeping you up till all hours."

Obedient at least to the first of these injunctions, Jatham poured a generous measure into Dhugal's drinking horn, and then busied himself tending to the fire. Only once he was sure that the newly added pine logs had begun to flame, filling the room with the scent of resin, did he again seat himself. Dhugal gained the impression that what Jatham was about to say was in some way painful for him, but being glad of the renewed warmth inside and out, he waited patiently enough for the other to speak.

"You're in His Majesty's close counsel, you'll know no doubt that he would not allow the matter of Janniver's dowry to drop. Neither of us wanted him to pursue it - God knows he's been more than generous to us in all the ways he could - but he insisted that it was a matter of plain justice, and painful though that was for Janniver, I cannot but honour him for it. What pressure was applied I'm grateful not to know, but eventually at least some of the dowry that would have gone to Colman was sent by Janniver's father to the royal treasury in Rhemuth, and that's where it remains."

"Aye, I knew that, and I can see that she would not want reminding how those who should have avenged her, if they could not protect, chose instead to cast her off. Ma Guid, if anyone were to do that to a lass o' mine,  it'd not be her I'd be blamin'."

Jatham nodded, not trusting himself to speak for a moment, then he smiled albeit a little crookedly. "God love her, she says that her life with me is more blessed than the life she thought to have as a princess. She will not have me touch tainted gold,  not even for the bairns. But neither will the King touch what he says does not belong to him. And so the matter has rested. But maybe honour would be satisfied if the money could be used to support the proper training of such as Andrew. Those who are beginning to recognise their heritage and feel it safe, for the first time in centuries, to use the powers that God gave them but whose families cannot fully help them understand those powers nor use them rightly."

"But, you're neither of you Deryni."

"No, and it was no Deryni who ravaged an innocent girl on the way to her wedding! But it was a Deryni who blocked the worst of her memories, and healed the hurts to her body, and it was a Deryni who brought the scum who did it to justice. And the same Deryni gave her to me and made it possible for me to give her something of the life she deserves. No, you'll hear nothing against Deryni from either me or my lady. I would not offer this without her consent, but I make no doubt that she will give it wholeheartedly."

Dhugal had never seen such anger in the normally composed Jatham, but who was to blame him? "You speak to her tomorrow, and if you are still sure, I will mention it to my father as soon as I can contact him. I cannot imagine that he will refuse, and the King may well see as you do: that this is an honourable use of tainted money."

So speaking, Dhugal stood and stretched. "But now, I'm away to my bed, and in the morning I'll be having a few words with young Andrew. There's nothing certain to tell him yet, and I'm minded to make him sweat a bit, but I will let him know that he doesn't need to fear being sent home in disgrace. If I'm any judge though, he'll be singing very small for the next few months at least. Your master of arms will begin to believe in miracles."

Link to next chapter: http://www.rhemuthcastle.com/index.php/topic,2055.0.html

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
(Psalm 46 v1)


I so enjoyed this, revanne!  It was like visiting with old friends, touching on the past and catching up with the present.

An interesting and valid idea you have presented.  As some of the stigma of being Deryni lessens, it would indeed be tempting to experiment with emerging powers to see what they can do.  What teenage boy wouldn't!
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

 -- Old English Litany


And an older generation so used to hiding who they are that they cannot or will not give guidance. "Just don't!" doubtless worked well enough when the penalty for being caught was painful death but I can't somehow see it restraining most teenage boys in the changed climate.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
(Psalm 46 v1)


I love all the detail provided of this day in Kilshane. Seeing what has come of Baron Jatham and Janniver is wonderful. Jatham is a wise man and deserves his chief's respect.  I wonder if Dhugal will ever lose that signet ring in his bet with Kelson, His Majesty. LOL

Good to see that Sir MacGregor's down from Travelga earned his way. And easy to see that his middle son would discover his own ways of winning at competition. I agree the schola will be good for him. They will have, I am sure,  strict taskmasters for handling such competitive youths.  Very, very, generous of the baron to offer the money to pay the boy's way. Kelson, His Majesty, I am sure, will find a way to recompense that generosity in turn.

Keep writing Revanne.
May your horses have wings and fly!


Fascinating. It is an  issue that had not been thought of sufficiently  until they faced a deryni teenager starting to use his powers without adequate training or knowledge of the possible consequences (scary thought). Teenagers can be scary  enough even when they're not deryni. I hàve a teenage grandson so I know how often they do things without really thinking them through. Sounds  like Rothanna has the right idea. They need to find a way to identify them and see that they get proper training in the responsible use of their powers, something more useful than winning at Quintain. Loved this and especially hearing more about Jatham and Janniver. I have to say Dhugal took me by surprise.  Keep writing. Waiting anxiously  for the next chapter.
"Thanks be to God there are still, as there always have been and always will be, more good men than evil in this world, and their cause will prevail." Brother Cadfael's Penance


Wonder what Kelson has in mind for Jatham. Great  story!
"Thanks be to God there are still, as there always have been and always will be, more good men than evil in this world, and their cause will prevail." Brother Cadfael's Penance


Thank you for your comments and glad you are enjoying the story. My own teenage boy is thirty next week (how did that happen!) but I know all too well the need to argue every point and push the boundaries.

Dhugal took Andrew by surprise,  too. ;-) Dhugal is furious with Andrew, partly because Jatham is being disrespected , but also because Dhugal can identify with Andrew and is frightened for him, like a parent who punishes a child who runs into the road.

Kelson has already said in one of KK's books what he intends for Jatham but, as Jatham has forgotten, it will have to wait for the epilogue in three weeks' time to be revealed.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
(Psalm 46 v1)


Great story revanne - and I am looking forward to reading the remaining chapters. I do remember what Kelson said he planned for Jatham (re-read book recently) so am smiling here thinking about the epilogue :) One day my world may slow down enough for me to write fanfic again - I hope. Not ventured much into KK's world but certainly have a few ideas running around


Good to hear from you Gilreth. The ideas running around in my head are like mice! - they are always especially active when I am supposed to be doing something else.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
(Psalm 46 v1)