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Richenda and Morgan and Derry

Started by Wren, March 13, 2021, 08:11:49 PM

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I have wondered, as I have read and re- read and re-re- read the Histories books, about Derry and his history with Richenda. One of her first encounters with him is when he appears with Bran and steals Brendan. She apparently forgave him for that, since he was under Wencit's control at that time, but I wonder if it affected how she interacted with him later.

I recall ( unless I am mixing the books with fanfiction) that he went to Marley after Bran's death to help with a regency council there. So, immediately after he does a horrible thing, whether under his control or not, she has to spend time with him and trust him.

Later, after Alaric deposits Richenda at Coroth after their marriage, Derry stays there to assist. Since Alaric did not make Richenda his regent, she has literally no authority. Anything she wanted to do she had to run through Derry who would present it to the castle staff. He has, in effect, power over her, since she has none. She seems to have put the past behind her and seems to trust him, and he seems to be her confidante.
He is likely the only one at Coroth who knew she was Deryni. ( Maybe Randolph or Hillary knew, but I bet it was just Derry. So they became good friends.

Derry mentioned to Alaric in The Bishops Heir that he has spent far more time recently with Morgan's wife than Morgan had. And Derry is closer to her age than Morgan is. I wonder if some of the mistrust that Coroth staff had for her might also have been exacerbated by rumors of her and Derry.
We know rumor and innuendo were  rampant in medieval castles and it would likely be so in a quasi medieval world. Were there rumors about Richenda and Derry since they were together so much in Alaric's absence?  Did that help fuel the fires for not accepting Richenda?

After the children are born, Derry becomes a sort of babysitter for them, as well as lieutenant in Coroth. Morgan had considerable trust in him to leave his family's safety in Derry's hands, yet we know the controls Wencit had put in Derry were still at least partially active in KKB.

Just some thoughts I have had about the Derry/ Richenda interactions and trust level there.


I too remember wondering about Derry and Richenda's working relationships as we see them in the Kelson Trilogy's. Especially when Derry says he has seen Richenda far more than Alaric has; that statement kind of makes you wonder. But then you think about the actual personalities of the people involved and you know the relations between Richenda, Alaric, and Derry are purely as they are given to us by KK. No underscore tones are implied by the author.

I have a few reasons to make this assumption.
First, Alaric is a formidable duke and Deryni. Nobody would mess with his wife. Derry is one of the few people who knows Alaric's easy going temperament and this is what makes him all the more loyal to his grace.  Richenda is formidable too, especially when it comes to her family. With her Deryni talents, she wouldn't put her trust in someone like Derry unless she was very sure of him.  Both she and Alaric would know false loyalties when they heard it. Neither of them would put their trust in Derry unless he had earned it. I believe that Derry did earn their trust, many times over.

I think the most compelling reason for Derry to have the authority he is given, is because he is a very capable and genuinely good man. He had been Alaric's friend and confidant for years before the Wincint affair and therefore he would have already known Coroth castle inside and out. After Wincint, Alaric did everything he could to boast Derry's confidence. This further endears Derry to the Morgan family. I feel that Derry put all his abilities into putting Marley to rights after Bran's treason.  Richenda learned to appreciate his honesty and unobtrusive stewardship.

Fanfiction has played a lot with Derry giving him a few vices,  but in KK's books he is simply a good friend and loyal steward. That is why KKB took everyone by surprise. But even then, no one put the blame on him, because the knew the unswerving loyalty of the man.
May your horses have wings and fly!



Yes I agree that there are no undertones implied by the author.

But I do wonder if there were rumors in Coroth and that was part of their distrust of Richenda, because The men might have believed there was something going on.
. I am surprised neither Alaric or Richenda had any clue that Derry was being controlled by  Torenthis even as KKB. Richenda with her training should have noticed. Or Alaric, who had been his lord for years.

I am also curious if anyone at Coroth, at least Morgan's staff, knew Richenda was Deryni. Derry was likely the only one as that information was probably best kept secret.


So glad you brought this up. I've often thought about the nature of their relationship as well and its rough start.

From Richenda's viewpoint, she entrusted her son to Morgan's aide, who promptly turned around and kidnapped him and forcibly kept her from killing her soon-to-be-late husband. While I am sure Alaric explained how it wasn't Derry's fault, she probably had a difficult time believing this emotionally. Fortunately, her Deryniness allowed her and Alaric to communicate emotions, and I expect that helped her get over her distrust.

And speaking of her trying to kill Bran, more than one soldier witnessed that happening, so there would have been a devil of a time trying to keep her Deryni background hushed up. You know the rumors had to circulate.

Derry's viewpoint is a little different. He's had his memories blurred, so he's not quite sure what's going on, and when he's around Richenda, he's probably got this vague sense of guilt and he may or may not know why. I'd love to read a story about the two of them figuring out their relationship with her maybe not quite trusting him at first and him not quite feeling comfortable around her at first. Because the end result of their relationship sure seemed to work well.

And speaking of soldiers' gossip, those same soldiers who saw her try to kill Bran also saw Derry fighting with her and then fighting them, so you know she wasn't the only one they talked about. Despite reassurances that he was not responsible, I'll bet he heard whispers behind his back and mutters of "treason" for years afterward. Alaric putting him in charge (more or less) in Coroth meant that he trusted Derry implicitly, and that others should as well. At that point, I expect he would have done anything for any member of the Morgan family. Including beat the crap out of anyone who said anything about a "traitor's wife."


Thinking about Wencit's control over Derry, Alaric did a reading of Derry after he was rescued and removed as much of the taint as he could find. I got the impression that after Wencit's death it was in abbeyance for many years, until KKB. No one else seemed to know about it until Morag discovered the ring and figured out what it was for.  She then had it copied and reestablished the trigger. Poor Derry, no wonder he was so magic averse when you consider what was done to him. But IIRC Richenda treated him like a younger brother and Alaric certainly trusted him. That probably didn't totally stop the rumors. Does anything ever accomplish that. His role is the family certainly seems like a loved younger brother and favorite uncle and I agree, he would have done anything for ALARIC'S family.
"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