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Generosity: Chapter Three

Started by revanne, June 09, 2017, 01:45:34 PM

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The King's private apartments
Rhemuth Castle, early July.

The King glanced with some irritation around the room. Richenda, Dhugal and Archbishop Thomas Cardiel were engaging in desultory conversation, but it was clear that they, too, were beginning to be uncomfortable.

"Remind me to ask Liam what the penalty is in Torenth for keeping one's sovereign waiting."

"Duncan and Rothana have probably found some old manuscript to pore over and are in a world of their own," said Richenda soothingly, "although it's unlike Jatham to be anything but punctilious in his attendance.'

"Or Denis either," put in Thomas.

Kelson's look changed from irritation to something akin to embarrassment. "He's not privy to this conversation, and I'll be grateful if you don't mention it to him."

"Of course, Sire, but this not being Torenth, I'll be bold enough to ask why."

Kelson smiled at the human prelate who had done more than any other non-Deryni to secure his throne. As he was thinking how best to explain without creating a conflict of loyalties for Thomas, an angry voice burst into his mind.

Because he'd go running to that blessed council of his, and they'd want to demand that students produce some sort of proof of pedigree, if I know them!

Good to know my champion still has his champion, but leave this to me, Richenda.

My apologies, Sire.

No need. As Thomas so rightly implied, I do encourage those I trust to speak their minds. As it happens, I entirely agree with you. That's why I've kept Denis at arm's length from the Schola, despite his objections. But I can scarcely let Thomas in on all that.

Hoping that Thomas had not assumed offence from his hesitation, Kelson began what explanation he felt able to  give. "I don't for one moment doubt Denis's personal loyalty to me, but he has other associations...." His voice trailed off as at last the door reopened and Duncan entered, bowing courteously to the company in general and more deeply to the King. Even before he spoke, it was clear from his sombre expression that something was wrong.

"My apologies for my tardiness, Sire, but there is something that you all should know before Jatham arrives. Rothana wanted to confirm with him, in private, that Janniver was entirely happy with what was going to be discussed here this morning." Forestalling the angry interruptions he could see forming on the lips of Dhugal and Kelson, he quickly interjected, "Yes, I know none of us would have proceeded if we thought there was the slightest doubt of her full agreement, but Rothana still feels a need to protect Janniver, having been unable to protect her in the past. I think we would all grant her that right in the circumstances."

Duncan crossed to the seat indicated by the King and sat down with a muttered "Thank you," before continuing. "Jatham doesn't readily trust others with his woes, but both he and Janniver confide in Rothana. It seems that Janniver was brought to bed early of a stillborn daughter just over a month ago, and Jatham nearly lost her too."

The eyes of both Dhugal and Richenda were clouded with sorrow  for Janniver and with their own remembered pain, but Kelson burst out almost angrily, "So why is he here, messing about with writs in my chancery? Does he think so little of me, that he believes I would expect that of him?"

With the privilege of many years' friendship, Duncan reached across and laid his hand on the King's arm. "Of course not.  But there is comfort in doing what has to be done. And likewise he requests that we continue with today's discussion."

"Aye," broke in Dhugal, "this matter of Janniver's dowry has lain heavy on them both. No blame to you, Kelson, but the sooner they can forget the betrayal it represents, the happier the both of them will be."

Listen to what I just said, will ye, my brother. No blame to you! In any of it. Jatham and Janniver hold nothing but gratitude and honour for you in all that has happened.

His thought brushing against Kelson's rigidly closed shields, Dhugal sent him a look which said, "And don't be slamming your shields down on me either, brother!" But he forbore from further comment.

Wisely moving away from a topic which still bothered him on a number of levels, Kelson at last felt that he could voice a valid response for Thomas. Turning towards the Archbishop, he continued, "To answer your question, Denis has responsibilities in the Deryni world which might make it difficult for him on occasion in regard to the Schola. I can't go into further detail, but please trust me on this."

In answer to what was almost a plea, Thomas simply nodded, and Kelson continued knowing he was on safer ground with his next point. "While there are good reasons why his family's Deryni heritage has not been openly acknowledged, it cannot be hidden for ever. If Janniver's dowry is to be used to support Deryni students,  then I want the purse strings to be in human hands, and that you means you, Thomas, and whoever else you deem appropriate, as long as they are fully human. We are still feeling our way here and resentment is always at the door."

"Alaric and I have thought on that too," added Richenda, "but perhaps we should wait for Rothana and Jatham before going any further."

At that point a rather flustered, though immaculate, page opened the door and ushered in Rothana and Jatham. In normal circumstances Jatham found it all but impossible to refrain from checking that those who now waited on the King's needs were doing their job as well as he would have done, and though he kept any judgement he made to himself, those concerned were all too aware of his scrutiny. On this occasion, though, Jatham was too discomforted by his awareness that his King, his Duke, a Duchess, a Bishop and an Archbishop had been waiting on him to even register the page's presence.  He bowed deeply, forming the words of apology in his mind, but even before he had  time to properly straighten, he was thrown off course by Kelson rising from his chair and coming to clasp his hands.

"Duncan has just told me and I'm so sorry for your loss. Please tell me that Janniver has recovered, for you to even think of leaving her."

The words were blunt, even brusque. This was no carefully phrased, gracious enquiry from king to subject but real concern from one man to another: heartfelt concern born both of the years spent together as young men and even more of the fear which haunted them,as husbands and fathers, of the all-too-real dangers of childbirth.

"Thank you, Sire, yes. Or leastways well enough to have told me I have responsibilities elsewhere than at her side."

For once Jatham was forgetful of rank and spoke to the King as to a friend. "The babe came too early, for no reason that any could give. The birth was long and hard"--his mouth twisted at the remembrance of the heart-rending cries that had gone through him like a knife--"and Janniver lost too much blood. When she fell ill of the milk fever, I thought I was about to lose her. It's only thanks to God and his saints that I still have her." Jatham took a deep breath to regain his composure, then added, "The other bairns are a comfort to us both. And she is comforted, too, as I am, that the wee lass drew breath long enough for the midwife to make her a Christian soul." Jatham crossed himself, followed reverently by the others present.

Duncan, with his years of priestly experience, wondered to himself if indeed the babe had ever breathed, but he was grateful for the compassion of midwives who, surely with reason,  presumed on the mercy of God and gave the only comfort that there was to be had. Briefly catching Thomas Cardiel's eye, he knew they shared the same thought, but both prelates were more than happy to make the gesture which commended Janniver's babe to God's eternal keeping.

"Amen, to that, " Kelson said with feeling for, unknown but to a very few, Araxie was breeding again, then in a determined voice he added, "We don't need to discuss Janniver's dowry today or anytime soon, if you would prefer not. And I'd be happier still if you would allow Dhugal to take you back through to Cassan and I could know that you were on your way home to your lady."

Jatham  shook his head and managed a weak smile. "Far be it from me to naysay my King, but with the number of disputed claims being referred to the chancery, now that Deryni can legally claim title to land and attainders are being challenged, you need someone with a head for detail. At least, so my lady says."

Dhugal had been lost in painful memories of the loss of his beloved Catriona in childbirth, overlaid with the poignant thought of Janniver radiant as he had last seen her, but he roused himself now to glare fiercely at his friend, angry that he had not been forewarned, though he could understand the reticence which was reluctant to speak of grief.

"Aye, well, the kingdom'll no' go to rack an' ruin because you're no' here ta oversee it. But it's a good notion of yours about the dowry, so let's get that settled. Some good news to take back to Janniver, when you come through to Cassan with me."

"So be it." Kelson spoke quietly but with just a hint of a warning to Dhugal in his grey eyes. "Then I concur that this matter should be settled now. We" --his glance took in Rothana and Duncan-- "are much beholden to you and Janniver for your generosity. I would have preferred that the monies be administered by you and your heirs, but don't  even think of apologising. In your place, I would not touch it either."

Seeing his own disdain for anything touched by Janniver's father, mirrored in the royal face, Jatham visibly relaxed and made no further attempt to justify his stance, seeing that none was necessary.

"But that does leave us with a problem, so as I forewarned you, I have invited those whose interest  and experience might offer a way forward. I'm forgiven for my presumption, I trust?"

Jatham suspected that he was being gently and affectionately teased but merely nodded by way of reply.

"Thomas has agreed that the monies should be administered by himself, and his successors, as Archbishop of Rhemuth, and any others that are deemed suitable, though for the foreseeable future, at least, all involved should be human. It will cause some concern, I fear, that money that by right belongs to a human should be used for the benefit of Deryni; hopefully such provision will help to alleviate this concern."

Richenda and Thomas had been speaking quietly together,  and Richenda now leaned forward and caught the King's eye.

"By your leave, Sire, Uncle Thomas and I may have found a way of resolving several problems at once. Alaric and I have discussed for some time the need to protect against human resentment as Deryni regain an open place in the life of the Kingdom." She appeared to withdraw into her own thoughts for a moment before continuing. "Some years ago we learnt something of the history of Alaric's ancestors, hidden away in Cynfyn Castle away up in the Lendours. It made painful reading for the most part, so much fear and suspicion allowed to breed through ignorance and lack of proper understanding. Alaric and I propose to settle an amount equal to Janniver's dowry to provide for human students at the university in Grecotha."

As Richenda finished speaking, Thomas added his own thoughts. "And it seems sensible, therefore, that I should work closely on this with the Bishop of Grecotha, Bishop Hugh de Berry. He's a good man who was one of the first to openly lay his fear of Deryni aside. Duncan and he go back a long way."

At Thomas's words, the King remembered a rain-soaked night and the man who had risked his own life to bring news of the treason planned by the late and unlamented Archbishop Loris. He was nodding his acceptance when Duncan spoke.

"He's always been a good friend, even when I could see I scared  him." He laughed ruefully. "He never knew it, but he all but stopped my heart for me, the day before my ordination, when I thought he had somehow figured out that I was Deryni --that's a story for another time. But yes, a good man with a strong sense of what is right and the courage to see it through. And a concern for learning, which is why he has been sent to Grecotha."

Thomas smiled at his Assistant Bishop, grateful that the fear-filled days that his words evoked were in the past. "Having your consent,  Sire, I'm sure Hugh would be willing, keen even to be part of this. He's already told me of something similar that the university has in place which could make a good model. The income from a number of manors has been gifted to the university to provide a living for Masters of Arts, with some set aside for scholarships, and I'm sure that Alaric could do something similar." Looking somewhat hesitantly between Kelson and Jatham, he added, 'I'm not sure how that would work with Janniver's dowry, though, if you are hoping for there to be a regular income."

"I must ask again for your forbearance." Kelson looked directly at Jatham, who knew that this time he was not being teased. He started to demur but was interrupted. "I know that you trust me to act honourably, but it matters to me, as your friend, that you consider me to have done rightly in this. A large part of Janniver's dowry lay in the income from a number of manors in her father's gift. I was not willing to continue the regular contact that would entail, so I took it upon myself to negotiate a single payment in gold to settle all. I have to confess I did not foresee the need for a regular income."

You know the old saying, "He who sups with the devil must use a long spoon." I hope you had one to hand when dealing with Janniver's father.

Not very charitable from a Bishop, Duncan. But definitely true in this case.

"It is because we trust you as a friend that Janniver and I have set aside all rights in this matter. It is for you to do as you see fit." Then quite unwittingly echoing Duncan, Jatham added, "I'm simply grateful not to have had any dealings with Janniver's father. I trust you used a long spoon."

"It seems that we're agreed on our assessment of the fellow! I can assure you I had careful enquiries made as to the actual revenues due, somewhat different from the figures first cited, I might add.  So then, I propose that in return for transferring the gold received into the royal accounts, I will have the revenues of two comparable royal manors in the Duchy of Haldane transferred to the use of the Schola for the purposes agreed, under the control of the Archbishop of Rhemuth and to be known as the Kilshane Bequest."

Kelson swept those present with a glance, half expecting Jatham to cavil at the last point, but in fact the latter was smiling approval, for he had a genuine admiration for Kelson's grasp of administrative detail.

"Sadly, Jatham, I will have to get someone else to draw up the necessary writs,  much as I know you would love to get your teeth into the legal details. I do realise how difficult this has been for you and Janniver, even before your current sorrow, and once again our thanks for your grace and generosity." The nods around the room absolved  Kelson from any suspicion  of lapsing into the royal first person plural.

"It now remains to find appropriate  recipients of your bounty - speaking of which, how is the cause of all this?" Duncan turned to Jatham as he spoke, and was rewarded with latter's first broad smile of the day.

"Meek as a lamb. Ethan, my Master of Arms,  whom Andrew plagued the life out of, came to me and asked, 'd'ye no' think that yon laddie is sickenin' wi' somethin'?' I said that I thought his dressing down by the Duke had quashed him. Ethan's opinion of His Grace of Cassan has risen mightily. 'Mayhap his Grace would come and put the fear o' God in the other young divils?' I think he'd be even better pleased if he knew the whole truth of it."

Dhugal coloured as his father grinned wickedly.

"That's our answer then, send Dhugal out to find who needs the daylights beaten out of them, and there are our students."

"I thought confession was the end of it," muttered Dhugal, not much placated when Richenda patted his arm in mock sympathy, using the gesture as a chance to send, You'd  think the damned Camberian Council would be interested in the training of Deryni, if it wasn't so bloody secretive with its head up its own arse and obsessed with who's mated with whom.

Dhugal was grateful that he had already coloured up. That he managed not to choke was a miracle, though hardly one for the Church to celebrate.

Richenda! Where did you learn to use such language? No, forget that. You're married to Alaric.

Sean has helped.

D'ye no' think I'm embarrassed enough awready? Hush now.

Thankfully for Dhugal's peace of mind, the conversation in the room had moved on and Thomas was speaking.

"If the Church was more trusted amongst Deryni, then I would say parish clergy would be the ones to be on the look out for eagles amongst their chickens, but we have long forfeited that trust and rightly so"

"Not all have, and it may be one way forward," Duncan said thoughtfully. "I've made it my business over the last few years to find out which clergy are particularly sympathetic to Deryni. There are more than you might think -- decent men sickened by some of the methods used by Loris and Gorony." He shuddered in remembered horror.  "I would be happy to make a few discreet enquiries in the appropriate quarters,  although I would be clear that it is under your authority, my Lord Archbishop."

Duncan thought he caught the Archbishop mutter something which might have been "Domine, non sum dignus," but he could not be sure, and he would not presume to enter the thoughts of one who was both superior and friend. Why such a good man would doubt his own worthiness, Duncan could not imagine but that was between him and his confessor. Meanwhile, out loud, Thomas was saying, "If His Majesty is in agreement, then most certainly."

"That's agreed, then, although I think it would be good to involve Archbishop Bradene at some level, not least because he's another that can't keep his nose out of an old book given half a chance. We've made a start, so let's seal our agreement in some good wine. I had wine and goblets brought in earlier, since with such a gathering I felt sure we would reach agreement.  Not like some meetings we have to endure, eh Dhugal?"

Dhugal grinned, "Aye well, father and Jatham have been working on something a wee bit stronger than wine that will drown your sorrows. I've commanded some from Jatham as my feudal due, but I'm sure he'll give you a fair price."

Kelson looked at Jatham with a lift of the eyebrow and then the slightest suspicion of a wink before replying to Dhugal. "But with you being fully cognizant of your own duty to your Prince,  I am equally sure that I will not need to trouble my privy purse."

Kelson rose, gesturing that everyone else should remain seated, went across to a small table on the other side of the room, and began to pour the wine. Addressing no-one in particular, he observed, "I could, and probably should, summon a page to do this. Young Colin, who you met out there, could certainly do with the practice, but that would deprive me of the pleasure of serving my friends. And the poor lad is not ready for the ordeal of serving 'His Majesty' under Jatham's eagle eye."

He turned towards Jatham, who had been unable to watch what his King was doing without coming to help, and added. "Even ushering you through the door terrified him, as you probably noticed. It would help of course, if Nigel didn't hold you up as the ideal of royal service which all should strive to attain. I don't disillusion him."

Taking the two full goblets of wine which Kelson was holding out to him, Jatham was the recipient of an unabashed and distinctly unregal grin. Somewhat to his own surprise, he found himself looking his monarch full in the eyes and grinning in return.

When they had all received their wine, Kelson gestured to Jatham to regain his seat but himself remained standing. "It is my honour and privilege to offer a toast: to the future of the Schola and its students, and to those who will study at Grecotha."  They rose, raised their glasses and drank. Kelson, suspecting what would follow, tried to catch Jatham's eye, but the latter seemed uncharacteristically  oblivious. "The King,"  Jatham offered as expected, and the toast was echoed with enthusiasm. Successful in his own attempt to catch Kelson's eye, Jatham felt brave enough to hold his sovereign's gaze and smile.

The king remained relaxed and conversational, but he made no move to regain his seat nor did he invite the others to do so. After a few minutes, and seeing that Dhugal was, as planned, deep in conversation with Jatham, Kelson sent to Duncan and Richenda.

I have something further to discuss with Dhugal and Jatham, so when  you  are  ready ...

Richenda took the hint and turned, smiling, to her uncle with a meaningful glance toward the door. He courteously offered her his arm and, as they made their reverences and left he murmured, "Useful having a silent means of communication, it's rather more tactful than 'Go, it is finished'".

Meanwhile Duncan caught Rothana's eye and sent, We are dismissed, before saying out loud,

"We must be going to see what mayhem our current students are creating. My respects, Sire, and to you, Jatham and your lady." As he spoke, he and Rothana bowed themselves out and made their way back to the Schola.

You were very quiet, Rothana.

There seemed little point in speaking when all that was necessary had already been said. A good outcome, though, and one that I hope will hearten Janniver. You were pleased too, I trust.

Indeed, yes. I wonder just who the good Lord will send our way?

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


Excellent chapter, but poor Janniver (and Jatham, who probably worried himself sick over her!).

The idea of bringing in Cardiel to administer Janniver's dowry for the benefit of Schola students is just brilliant!  Love it!  He's both human and has a well-earned reputation for integrity, which makes him just about the perfect choice.
"If having a soul means being able to feel love, loyalty, and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans."

James Herriot (James Alfred "Alfie" Wight), when a human client asked him if animals have souls.  (I don't remember in which book the story originally appeared.)


Great chapter. However, I actually feel sorry for Denis. His problems  were not all of his own making. I think that if the council doesn't mend it's ways it is in danger of becoming irrelevant  to the lives of the Deryni . I would think with Azim and Sofiana as members and the passing of some of the old guard  change would be possible. It would be an interesting story to have a meeting of the Council and Kelson, Duncan Alaric , Dhugal and others to iron out their differences. Meanwhile, I love this story. Should Dhugal be sent around to deal with the young "divils".
"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


Excellent chapter.   Nice to see that Derry has been able to expand Richenda's vocabulary. 😃
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

 -- Old English Litany


This is exactly the sort of thing poor Tiercel would have been enthused about.

Unfortunately, right now there don't seem to be some young and enthusiastic members of the council, the sort of people who see the impossible as merely very difficult and thereby might make it possible. Instead there's a preponderance of old and cautious conservatives. Both are needed, of course, but the balance has swung a bit too far. Understandable but it's poor timing for them.


Fun chapter watching Kelson be at ease with those close to him while deciding what is best to be done. I like that Richenda and Alaric will be matching the scholarships for humans to go to the University of Grecotha. I am a strong believer in education even in these medieval times. Perhaps Kelson can move his kingdom in the a mini Renaissance ahead of its time.

As for Richenda's colorful mind speech? It makes me wonder if nurse Evie was away on vacation, the tots and babes were giving mamma a hard time in the morning, and Derry was not much help, while Alaric was away on some business. LOL.

Love Duncan smiling at Dhugal's discomfort over how he handled the situation with Andrew, and Dhugal muttering, "I thought confession was the end of it," Proves that it is hard to resist a good teasing when you are with family and very, very close friends.

Hope Dhugal sees Jatham all the way home, safe, to be back at Jenniver's side as quickly as possible.
May your horses have wings and fly!


I too have sympathy for Denis who has had such a difficult tightrope to walk., and to a degree still has.

I think one of the problems for the Camberian Council is that, founded as it was in a time of attempted genocide, with the original members having to take oaths of utter secrecy,  it has no understanding of itself that is not cloaked in mystery.. So, yes, a meeting would be helpful and sensible, but I cannot see how it would happen while the council still operates out of persecution mode,  focused on preserving a remnant for better times but struggling  to recognise such times when they come.

I think Richenda is deeply angry on Alaric's behalf who was offered no support  by the council in the years when he was the only known Deryni at court, scorned as a half-breed but thrown to the wolves in being adjudged capable of facing a magical challenge I can see that as she gets to know Denis she will understand something of his dilemma but as far as the rest of this unknown councI'll are concerned she is in full mama tiger mode. If she could put faces to names it would be different but assuming secrecy is maintained then she will have no idea that the council now includes Azim and Sofiana.

Cardiel is one of my favourite characters, doing what he believes to be right even though he does not really stand to gain personally.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
(Psalm 46 v1)


I did wonder why Alaric was not  part of this meeting. He has helped Deryni  students in the past (Simon Markham). I know Riichenda was there but I missed him.
"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


In my mind because having started badly he wants Richenda to have all the responsibility she can and if he is there she is overshadowed. He trusts her utterly, besides which he is quite happy to acknowledge that she is more learned than him. And better at administrative detail.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
(Psalm 46 v1)


Quote from: revanne on June 10, 2017, 05:26:33 AM
I think Richenda is deeply angry on Alaric's behalf who was offered no support  by the council in the years when he was the only known Deryni at court, scorned as a half-breed but thrown to the wolves in being adjudged capable of facing a magical challenge I can see that as she gets to know Denis she will understand something of his dilemma but as far as the rest of this unknown councI'll are concerned she is in full mama tiger mode. If she could put faces to names it would be different but assuming secrecy is maintained then she will have no idea that the council now includes Azim and Sofiana.

I agree with this section particularly.  The Council of Kelson's day has not exactly covered itself in glory where Alaric and Duncan are concerned, and outraged protectiveness of them from their loved ones towards the Council is an understandable response, but if Richenda knew that Azim and Sofiana are now Council members, she might relax the mama tiger reaction a bit, since she knows and trusts them both.  Denis has proven himself trustworthy in Richenda's book, at least to a degree, but Azim and Sofiana are both kin to Richenda, so she would probably trust them more than she would Denis, just on the basis of having known them longer and being related to them and Azim having trained Richenda in the use of her Deryni abilities.
"If having a soul means being able to feel love, loyalty, and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans."

James Herriot (James Alfred "Alfie" Wight), when a human client asked him if animals have souls.  (I don't remember in which book the story originally appeared.)


Given that Richenda is related to both Azim and Sofiana, I wonder if someday she might not be invited to join the Council herself, maybe not in any immediate future, but in some more distant one after the older members of the CC have died or needed to resign due to declining health. I can see her torn between still nurturing some hard feelings on Alaric's behalf, yet also recognizing the invitation as an opportunity to make a difference and prevent what happened to Duncan and Alaric from happening to other young "half-breeds" in future. Not that I don't think the CC will come a long way in their thinking in the next few decades even without her input, as the Schola begins to produce talented, well-trained Deryni even among those of mixed heritage.
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

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


I had forgotten that Richenda would not have known about Azim and Sophiana being current members of the CC. That is a shame, for as you all have said, she would have trusted the group more with future dealings rather than hold a deep grudge over past dealings with half/breeds such as her husband and her first son. I don't blame her for her "full mamma tiger mode."

I had been thinking along the lines that Rothana would have been the next best choice to get younger blood into the members of the CC. She certainly has gained much wisdom in her young years.
May your horses have wings and fly!


I think there would be two ways the CC could go.

One would be to open up a little,  relax some of the secrecy gradually and include new members. In this case I was thinking of Rothana, as she has the links with the Servants of Saint Camber, which would feed another strand of tradition in. Assuming that Richenda comes to know that Sofiana and Azim are members of the CC then I think that she would over time recognise that the Council had changed.

The bigger story arc which I am writing at the moment, of which Generosity is the first part, assumes that they go the other way, there is still secrecy and tension and the Council is resisting change. At any rate that was in the story outline but it might change!

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


One needs a bit of adversity or an antagonist to make a good story.  The CC fills the antagonist role very well.  While Denis has mellowed a bit, I tend to enjoy the sparks that fly between him and Morgan from time to time.
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

 -- Old English Litany


I could see the CC mellowing as older members  are replaced. I think Barrett  might retire after he marries Jehana and is having a daughter. Laran might be the only one of the old guard left. I really like the idea of Rothana becoming a member. Also there is the possibility of Matyas or Kelson (if they can make peace with him). Temuraz is still out there  for conflict. Lots of possibilities. Can't wait to see where you go with this storyline. Really enjoy your writing😊
"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