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Morgan living openly as Deryni

Started by Wren, February 06, 2021, 09:41:56 PM

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In rereading the original trilogy, I found several references to Morgan's " decision to live openly as a Deryni". But after reading the Childe de Morgan books, I am not sure It was a choice Morgan originally  made. It seems that the decision was made for him as he was practically conceived to be Brion's  Deryni. It seems almost from the time he was born, every one knew he was Deryni in service to the king. He had a target on his back since birth, which was why there was such concern about " getting him grown."

I suppose it's true that Morgan could later have decided not to use his powers, and thus live less openly.  But it seems, Even before he started to openly use his powers, he was known by almost everyone to be Deryni.

So I found the continued reference to Morgan's decision to live as openly Deryni to be perplexing. Being known as Deryni was never his decision.

It seems like Bronwyn had powers but hadn't used them much. Maybe she wanted to live less openly Deryni?


I agree with you that the choice was not really Alaric's to make. Alaric's mother was a known Deryni to most of the important members at court. Alice's brother, lord Ahern, and Father, Earl Keryell, were King Donal's court Deryni as they were one of the families that had not gone into hiding centuries before and had long earned the protection of the crown. The family was loyal to the crown, as was proven by the incident in Meara that mortally wounded her father and disabled her brother.  I agree that Alice did not have a choice of hiding her son's Deryni traits from the crown.

However, because Alaric's father, Kenneth Morgan, is human and not Deryni, I think that Alaric did have a choice to pretend he had less powers than he is truly capable of, and I believe that this is what he does. What he and his cousin learn from aunt Vera and Sir Si, he and Duncan both hide. Duncan hides his learning completely.  Alaric uses Truth reading and Truth Say when necessary, but I am sure he hides advance learning, such as telekinesis, ritual magic, and the evil ability of mind control (which I don't recall Alaric ever using.) At the battle with the Murlock, he does perform ritual magic for his king, and Brion's men are witness. This takes his choice to hide his Deryniness impossible, everyone will know of it and the queen will cause huge trouble for him because of it. Nevertheless, I do think that Alaric does hide much of his higher abilities from everyone but Duncan and his close trusted friend Derry.

The CC, who are very watchful, have no true idea that Alaric has full Deryni talents and it takes them months to figure out that he is a Healer. They see him as a half-breed with limited potential. Most certainly, in no way, is Alaric their equals. I do suspect that at the start of Deryni Rising the CC were starting to get more curious about Alaric's abilities. I believe Stefan Coram was the source of the large shiral crystal that Alaric had purchased from the Hort of Orsal, the one in his Green Tower. Coram was using the shiral crystal to spy on Alaric and that is how Coram learned of the conversation between Alaric and Duncan that night in Deryni Checkmate. In time it would be Denis Arilan who finally sees Duncan and Alaric for their true potential.
May your horses have wings and fly!


I think the meta explanation for "Morgan's choice to live openly as Deryni" is that KK was still getting to know the Eleven Kingdoms when she wrote the original trilogy, but there is a certain daring tendency in Morgan's temperament: e.g. dressing all in black in the Chronicles of the Deryni and early in the Histories of King Kelson. 

And perhaps that behavior is a direct consequence of him not really having been given the choice to live openly as Deryni; his sentiment seems to be, "If people are going to talk trash about me, I'll give them something to talk about."

As to Bronwyn, probably what Laurna said about Kenneth being human might have allowed Bronwyn to live a little farther under the radar than her brother, and she may not have received the same training in the use of her powers as Alaric did either.  Education of any sort was generally less available to medieval (or fantasy-medieval) women as to men; Lady Evaine is a notable exception.  And we know so little about Bronwyn, so she may have been more powerful and more highly trained than we see.

I can't picture Alyce allowing her daughter not to get as much education as she could, and even though Alyce doesn't survive Bronwyn's birth for long, her sister Vera trained Alaric and Duncan, so why would Bronwyn not have been allowed to sit in with her brother and cousin?

It is a mystery.

But yes, I concur that Alaric didn't really choose much of anything about his open Deryni life except for his choice in the battle with the Marluk, and even that wasn't really much of a choice: save the king you were trained from birth to protect, or keep the true extent of your power secret?  For a man as principled as Alaric, that's a no-brainer.  :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.)