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Stefan Coram

Started by Lochiel, September 09, 2017, 12:15:52 PM

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Lochiel

I just finished rereading High Deryni for who knows perhaps the tenth time?
The things that Stefan Coram does is truly incredible in terms of his Deryni abilities. I believe that he may even be on a par with Camber himself!
He must have done what Camber did to Allister Cullen (without help as well) and read Rhydon's memories as or after he died, and assumed his identity, and was able to fool everyone including Wencit who himself is a very well accomplished Deryni.
How about some of his visitations that he performed to Alaric & Duncan?  They never figured out how he was able to appear and disappear and even use wards to confine them without their knowledge.
I believe it was DR who has speculated that Stefan must have had access to the "lost" writings and knowledge of Orin & Jodotha and studied them deeply and had the ability & skill to implement them.  Which would account for his abilities. How he had knowledge of them and not anyone else is also of interest.
"And as they tread the ruined Isle,
Where rest, at length,
the lord and slave,
They'll wondering ask, how hands so vile,
Could conquer hearts so brave?"
Thomas Moore

Bynw

Susie would really love this post. Stefan was her absolute favorite to speculate about. She would be writing a book reply to this I'm sure. So we will have to think about it some and write more on her behalf here. Something worthy of our dearly departed Mistress of Complications.
President pro tempore of The Worlds of Katherine Kurtz Fan Club
IRC Administrator of #Deryni_Destinations
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Administrator https://www.rhemuthcastle.com

whitelaughter

#2
Given that he was a member of the Council before absorbing the memories of Wencit's chief thug, this isn't that surprising.
Deryni knowledge would have split, with one strand focused around the Council and the other strand focused around the royal court of Torenth; Coram would have been the only person in the 11 kingdoms to have access to both traditions.
Also, since they started out together, it's likely that the two traditions covered gaps in each other's knowledge, allowing him to work out how to do rituals beyond either tradition because each side had lost different prerequisite pieces of knowledge.

[edit] And of course, since he was taking the image of Camber, and we know from the canonization of Camber that these images cannot be faked...he may have found Camber's body and read all of Camber's memories/skills.

Laurna

Quote from: whitelaughter on September 10, 2017, 09:01:49 AM

[edit] And of course, since he was taking the image of Camber, and we know from the canonization of Camber that these images cannot be faked...he may have found Camber's body and read all of Camber's memories/skills.

Ooohhhh! Intriguing!  If he did find the body, I rather hope he did not disturb it, in that I would hate to see the body passed to dust they way Orin and Jodotha did when Joram touched the shiral netting over them.

In the Codex, Stefan Coram is said to be born in Torenth. No one knows his lineage for sure. It says he is either the son of a tanner named Leszek, or he is the son of Khoram Ptolemaevich. I know that a few of Camber's descendants have disappeared into Torenth, so I would have a strong suspicion that Coram could be a missing descendant. Especially given that he was pale haired with pale blue-grey eyes. If he is a descendant and he did find Camber's resting place, then there may indeed have been an Active exchange of information between the ghostly saint and the living man.  ;)
May your horses have wings and fly!

Lochiel

#4
So than Stefan must have known about Camber assuming Allister Cullen's identity (and memories/knowledge)?  And he kept most of what he found out and used from the CC? Like I had speculated on another thread that Stefan & to some extent Jamyl Arilan were working outside the CC.  Again Stefan Coram is a Deryni of the first magnitude.  Wish we knew more about him.

Ohh that certainly is a very very interesting line of speculation Laurna. Camber communicating and sharing knowledge with Stefan, who could even be a descendant of Camber!  I like your line of thought
"And as they tread the ruined Isle,
Where rest, at length,
the lord and slave,
They'll wondering ask, how hands so vile,
Could conquer hearts so brave?"
Thomas Moore

drakensis

I hadn't noticed Stefan was from Torenth.

He'd also have had access to Rhydon's library, since he took over his life, and Rhydon was from Coldoire in Eastmarch, so he could have had books going back to the Deryni princes of Kheldour (since Eastmarch was where their last descendant ended up).

revanne

I'm going to be a bit left-field on this discussion.

Maybe Stefan Coram had some help from St Camber himself. The saint seems to be particularly concerned with ensuring Kelson's survival, and there are hints of miraculous intervention far back in the story, notably in the priesting of Arilan which enables him to be safely ordained, and thence Duncan. Duncan's role as Kelson's confessor is pivotal in allowing the latter to be empowered in time to meet Clarissa, although again he needs supernatural intervention as well. So I'm wondering if Camber isn't busy safely ensuring another thread in the story too. I also find it hard to believe that Stefan Coram could have got away with impersonating our peripatetic saint without at least his tacit consent, and maybe his active help?
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
(Psalm 46 v1)

Laurna

Revanne, it had not occurred to me before this conversation, but I am beginning to agree with you. Camber may very well have been assisting Coram with all that was required to assimilate  Rhydon's memories (Remember, even Camber had Jarom, Evaine and Rhys to help with that) and to impersonate himself.  And like Drakensis said, Rhydon may have had some knowledge of the old ways, himself, that were added to Stefan Coram's  Mastery of the arts.
May your horses have wings and fly!

DesertRose

I also don't think revanne's suggestion is out of left field at all.  That actually seems quite reasonable, given Camber's behavior in mortal life and after.  :D
"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.)

whitelaughter

[nods] I hadn't been thinking of Camber as an active participant in this, but IIRC the description during Evaine's death is that he'd be able to operate in both worlds; so yes, rather than just getting a mindream from Camber's body, Stefan could literally have had the aid of a patron saint.
This makes a lot of sense as Camber had a solid understanding of healing, which Stefan would not have had; Camber actually assisted healers in life, so would have been ideal for guiding Morgan and Duncan when they first discovered their abilities. *Knowing* isn't the same; the inability of non-healers to see what was being done would have made it harder for Stefan to have guided them, even with Camber's memories.

revanne

#10
I hadn't thought of this this way at all until I started reading this thread, but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense to me.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
(Psalm 46 v1)

Lochiel

I never dreamed this conversation has taken the turns it has. I am astonished at the possibilities.
Thank you all for the great ideas.  I am all the more intrigued with Stefan Coram!

Bynw, I recently read some of Susie's Zipper Sister articles. They were well written and I really enjoyed them.  I would have enjoyed her input on this subject (as well as many others).
So sorry she left us.
"And as they tread the ruined Isle,
Where rest, at length,
the lord and slave,
They'll wondering ask, how hands so vile,
Could conquer hearts so brave?"
Thomas Moore

whitelaughter

If you want intriguing possibilities, consider that Camber's body has been around for centuries; yes, there can be heroes being guided by Camber's advice - but a villain who has mindreamed the body can just as easily use the knowledge and power of this most powerful of Deryni.
It would be possible for two Deryni to be engaged in a war against each other, each with the aid of Camber - and asking their resource "what would you be telling my opponent?'

Lochiel

#13
Stefan having access to the Protocals of Orin, & Camber is mind boggling.
I had always thought the title "High Deryni" was about the existence of the CC, but I've come to the conclusion its really Stefan Coram who High Deryni is named for as his supreme sacrifice & abilities is truly "High Deryni".  Kelson would never have survived without Stefan's assistance (St Camber's as well)
"And as they tread the ruined Isle,
Where rest, at length,
the lord and slave,
They'll wondering ask, how hands so vile,
Could conquer hearts so brave?"
Thomas Moore

Lochiel

When Stefan appears in his servant of St Camber disguise to the imprisoned Derry, I thought that was a tremendous risk for our High Deryni.  But I always wondered why pg 246 HD" Then the man was backing toward the door, staring at him strangely". Was it the St Camber medallion Derry was wearing? 
And I wonder why he couldn't somehow warn them about the ring that Derry was wearing which was being used as a survelliance monitor by Wencit.
"And as they tread the ruined Isle,
Where rest, at length,
the lord and slave,
They'll wondering ask, how hands so vile,
Could conquer hearts so brave?"
Thomas Moore