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Alaric and Women part 2

Started by Bynw, July 04, 2019, 05:05:54 PM

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Bynw

Quote from: Wren on July 02, 2019, 07:54:15 PM
Obviously he was not celibate from age 11 to age 30( when he met Richenda)

This really isn't impossible to believe. Alaric could have very well been celibate for 19 years. All of his energy being spent on keeping himself alive and out of harms way by the enemies of Gwynedd while in the service of two Haldane Kings. And of course the enemies of the Deryni within Gwynedd that would love to see Morgan hang for any crimes, real or imagined.

Even if a Lady of court was willing to overlook high Deryni heritage, her family may not be so willing. An affair with a lady of court would be just the thing that the anti-Deryni priests of the time, like Archbishop Loris, would need to have charges against an evil Deryni heretic.

Now of course Alaric could have had encounters with peasant women, like Prince Conall's woman Vanissa. And her mind could have been controlled not to speak of the encounters. But this would be totally out of the character that we know of Alaric Morgan. So I think it is quite possible he wasn't envolved with anyone during that time period.
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DesertRose

It's not impossible to believe that Alaric was celibate in those years, but I don't really believe it, given Alaric's conversation with Kelson on the eve of Kelson's ill-fated wedding to Sidana.  That's just not the advice of a man who has had exactly one tryst in his entire life.  He's obviously not regaling Kelson with an exhaustive detail of his own personal history, but he just doesn't come off as inexperienced in the bedroom.

I do agree that it would be wildly out of character for Alaric to have had a sexual relationship (even a single night) with a woman and then to have controlled her mind so that she couldn't speak of it (or wouldn't remember it at all).  I actually think it's even less likely that he'd have done so with a peasant-class woman than with a wealthier/nobler lady, because that would have been taking unfair advantage not only of his Deryni powers but also of his social class and wealth.  In addition to going against Alaric's personal moral code (and that's no small consideration), it could be even more ammunition for Loris and his ilk:  "Look at the evil Deryni--he uses his title and wealth and his satanic powers to molest peasant women!"

I also agree that he had rather a lot going on in the years between his liaison with the Bremagni lady and his marriage to Richenda, but I still lean towards thinking that he had a mistress at some point, some sympathetic, discreet lady with her own life, who also shared certain elements of his life.
"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.)

DesertRose

I got to thinking about the conversation @DerynifanK mentioned in the other thread:

Quote from: DerynifanK on July 03, 2019, 04:20:18 PM
I remember a conversation Meraude had with Richenda where she noted how many women would be willing to overlook concerns about his Deryni heritage in the interests of becoming duchess of a very rich duchy.  I think he would suspect women of being more interested in his money and position than for himself. That would surely be off putting. And she said that he had been in and out of "love" half a dozen times over the years she had known him but he had not been serious about any of them until Richenda. She also said that he had not had a string of affairs or mistresses nor had she ever heard a whisper of scandal about that aspect of his life. I think Richenda had the advantage of also being Deryni so they could know and share their inner feeling and thoughts which made it easy for them to be close.

While I don't dispute Meraude's account, I also tend to think that the relationships she observed were romantic but not sexual.  He may very well have paid court to a number of ladies without being particularly serious about the relationships, at least not in the sense of intending to marry the ladies.  (And there is the non-trivial possibility that at least a few of the fathers/adult-male-relatives of the court ladies with whom he was in love raised all the hell and cut the relationships short before they ever got to the point of discussing marriage.)

I've been kicking this around in my head a lot (the general topic is relevant to my SCA persona, LOL), and marriage as a social institution was a much more practical arrangement in medieval Europe (or a fictional analogue thereof) than now.  Even if you weren't wealthy/noble, your parents or guardians would have some (sometimes total) say-so in your choice of spouse, and unless you were literally royal (and sometimes then, too), you'd likely get a chance to get to know each other before the betrothal.

But marriage wasn't the grand romantic spectacle it has become in more recent decades/centuries; you would generally marry someone suitable with little to no regard of romantic love; if love bloomed, great, but if not, you still had to function together as a unit (part of the reason that the older family members who did a lot of the arranging of marriages might give the prospective spouses some time to get acquainted; it's hard to work well with someone you don't know).

In the aristocracy, there would be the concern of having a son to inherit the title(s) and lands, and even in the merchant class, there were concerns of inheriting family assets (a shop and its equipment, actual money, maybe even land).  But love didn't really have much weight in the consideration.
"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.)

Laurna

#3
Alaric knew first hand that if he had a too-close relationship with any potential young lady at court that it would lead to scandal and most likely he would be force into a marriage that he might not be ready for.  He was the first hand witness of Princess Xenia (Brion's sister) and Sigismund Graf von Golzcow. That sordid affair was a harsh lesson for everyone.  Therefore, I doubt he would have had more than a platonic relationship with any potential bride until he was absolutely certain that she was the women he would want to be his wife.
All this does not necessarily mean celibacy. It just means that the one or two women he choose in his earlier years would have been older(meaning older than16-20years)and would have had no delusions about becoming Corwyn's duchess. Also I do not see Alaric enticing a servant girl. His moral compass is far higher than that.
May your horses have wings and fly!

Shiral

Interesting thread, here! Okay, Alaric Morgan a celibate between age 11 and 29? Ummmm, can't see it happening. 
I get that as a Duke and being very deeply loyal and at both Brion's and Kelson's service, THEIR safety, their well-being and that of the Kingdom would be very much his top priority.

After seeing what happened to Xenia, he definitely would not want to be responsible for dragging some young woman into a scandal involving himself. Especially not when it could involve angry fathers and brothers, creating a feud at court (which his king would NOT thank him for),and possibly deeply unwanted scrutiny from the church. In equal part, Alaric could not have been happy in a marriage if he'd felt entrapped or tricked into it, for whatever reason. There may indeed have been plenty of young women who caught his eye over the years, but knew that he did not want to spend the rest of his life with her.  I'm pretty sure Alaric would have some very definite criteria about the future Duchess of Corwyn, and whether he could make a life with her, and she could make a life with him. And he would not be rushed into any decision that momentous.

   One thing that I think is possible is that when Alaric did indulge in intimacy, while he would not protect himself by altering a woman's memory, he might do it to protect her. If she were a commoner and it became known she had spent a night with the Duke of Corwyn, that might have put her in danger, not least from the church. It might have been a very subtle thing, just enough so that she didn't realize "Oh wow, I slept with Alaric Morgan!"while remembering that she'd had a very pleasant encounter.

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

Laurna

While reading the King's Deryni, I got the impression that Alaric had come to like Brion's sister, Princess Silk. I think they we within a year or so age difference. I rather thought that Queen Richildis would not have been opposed to this match, if her daughter had fallen in love with Alaric. Alaric was a squire to the queen and her family for a few years, and I believe there was respect set between them.  At the time Alaric and Silk were too young for those considerations, I believe that if Princess Xenia had not been so poorly abused and if she had not died in childbirth, then perhaps Silk would have stayed at court long enough to form a relationship with Alaric. Instead after the trauma of losing her sister, she opted for the nunnery and training as an infirmarian. This change might have set the young Alaric back and he might have then compared the other young girls at court to Silk and have found them not quit at the same level of intellect and charisma as the princess had been.
May your horses have wings and fly!

Wren

I think I started the original post about Alaric and women. I agree with many of the things other posters have postulated, but I don't think Alaric was celibate. In The Bishops Heir, Alaric tells Kelson, " It isn't that hard to fall in love. i've Done it dozens of times."

That makes me wonder about his definition of fall in love and who he fell in love with prior to Richenda. And how did Richenda turn out different than the other women he " fell in love" with.


revanne

I don't think Alaric was celibate, it would have been unlikely for a young medieval nobleman but I can't envisage him having an affair with any woman of status unless perhaps a very discreet widow. There are hints that he and Derry had some interesting escapades in their younger days, probably not in their own identities, and I am sure that they gave a tavern wench or two a good time with no ill feelings left behind.

I can image the conversation with Duncan when Alaric comes to confession :
Duncan : " You're taking a risk if you are discovered"
Alaric: "Im taking a risk!"

The difference with Richenda, I think, is that though there is a strong physical attraction it is more than that. Although he gets things wrong, he genuinely respects her. He would have asked for her help with Sidana if she hadn't suggested it, giving Morag into her keeping is no sinecure and here is plenty of evidence that he encourages her intellectual and arcane development.


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

HoundMistress

Alaric lets her be the full, intellectual woman she is. Bran kept her squashed into his view of women. And because Alaric encourages and helps her, the king gains another shrewd, astute counselor who betters his kingdom.
Judy Ward
You can buy a pretty good dog with money but you can't buy the wag of its tail.

DerynifanK

Quote from: judywward on July 07, 2019, 10:03:29 AM
Alaric lets her be the full, intellectual woman she is. Bran kept her squashed into his view of women. And because Alaric encourages and helps her, the king gains another shrewd, astute counselor who betters his kingdom.

I think that when Alaric talks about falling in love being easy and he had done of dozens of times, he was not referring to anything like the deep feeling he had for Richenda. I am sure that there were attractive young ladies who were not afraid of a Deryni and who did not experience violent objection from family who attracted his interest. And Meraude did say that Alaric on his best court behavior was pretty irresistible. But I see these as flirtations, not serious courting for purposes of marriage. He said he had not found a woman whom he wanted to marry until Richenda. Some of these ladies may even have become his friends, but no serious contenders for the role of Duchess.  However, he was very chivalrous where women were concerned and I am sure he would avoid any possibility of compromising a lady's reputation. And I agree that after what happened to Xenia, he would be doubly careful in his interactions with young ladies. So I agree that any sexual encounters he had during those years would not have been with eligible young ladies of the court, but with women of a different station who were willing. I don't think he would ever force any woman. Remeber his reaction  to Ithel's rape of Janniver. I can see him making sure that the woman could not speak of it, for her own protection as well as his.
"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

Kareina

It wouldn't surprise me at all if Alaric was celibate for most, if not all, of the time between that first encounter and marrying.  Yes, he said that he had fallen in love dozens of times, but falling in love does not necessarily mean that the love was expressed in a sexual manner.  It doesn't even mean that he ever told the ladies he fell in love with that he had.  Perhaps he did, perhaps he didn't.
--Kareina

DesertRose

Quote from: Shiral on July 06, 2019, 12:46:06 AM
   One thing that I think is possible is that when Alaric did indulge in intimacy, while he would not protect himself by altering a woman's memory, he might do it to protect her. If she were a commoner and it became known she had spent a night with the Duke of Corwyn, that might have put her in danger, not least from the church. It might have been a very subtle thing, just enough so that she didn't realize "Oh wow, I slept with Alaric Morgan!"while remembering that she'd had a very pleasant encounter.

Melissa

That's a believable possibility, and depending on the woman, he might even tell her what he was doing and why, and make sure it was okay with her that he altered her memory.  Like the way a lot of people will say, "Oh, yeah, makes sense!" when someone else tells them they're not sharing certain information with the "makes sense" person for that person's own safety.

I think there's a situation of the latter sort between Jamyl and Denis at one point in "The Priesting of Arilan," wherein Jamyl won't tell Denis what is in the works to ensure that Denis is ordained, because what Denis doesn't know, he can't be forced to tell, and Denis isn't super happy about it but he understands and even agrees with his brother's reasoning in the abstract even though in his own head, he'd really like to know.
"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.)

alanc709

Didn't Alaric lose his virginity to a young Bremagni lady of the court on Brion's trip to meet king Meyrick's daughters? I seem to recall that from "The King's Deryni".

Wren

Yes he lost his virginity at a frightfully young age. I forget how young, like 12 or something.