• Welcome to The Worlds of Katherine Kurtz.


Latest Shout



June 05, 2024, 06:47:48 PM
the latest Zoom recording has been added to the Zoom archives
  • Total Posts: 27,940
  • Total Topics: 2,748
  • Online today: 44
  • Online ever: 930
  • (January 20, 2020, 11:58:07 AM)
Users Online
Users: 0
Guests: 20
Total: 20
Facebook External hit (6)
Welcome to The Worlds of Katherine Kurtz. Please login.

June 19, 2024, 07:24:53 PM

Login with username, password and session length

Morgan and Arilan

Started by Wren, February 11, 2023, 04:25:32 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


I have always been fascinated at the relationship/ power dynamic between Morgan and Arilan. Yes, they are adversarial, have completely different motives and methods, and I know Morgan distrusts Arilan completely, and rightfully so.
But I would have loved to have Morgan and Arilan locked in a room that even Deryni magic couldn't release them from, until they had ironed out differences, or at least gotten a better understanding of each other.

Morgan views Arilan as almost a traitor for his loyalty to the Camberian Council, Even over his loyalty to Kelson. He also detests that Arilan persecuted members of the clergy for being Deryni, including Duncan, while hiding his own Deryni heritage.

For someone as loyal and brave as Morgan, Arilan would be viewed as cowardly.
Arilan sees Morgan as an untrained, half breed upstart who is close to and unflinchingly loyal to the crown, but an anathema to the Set ways if the Deryni.

Both Morgan and Arilan have control issues, and neither would ant the other having the upper hand in any way. Although Arilan is full Deryni and supposedly highly trained, and theoretically more powerful than Morgan, I think Arilan feels threatened by Morgan. Not just because Brion, then Kelson trust him implicitly, but because Morgan had to learn and develop his own powers, including the ability to heal. I believe in some ways Morgan May be more powerful than Arilan, despite being only half Deryni, and not formally trained.
Then there is Arilan's membership in the Council, which refuses to recognize Morgan or Duncan despite the fact that their abilities, including healing, surpass what would be expected of half breed Deryni.

The antipathy, and almost open hostility they displayed towards each other at times seems to have evolved into a reluctant comraderie, although I doubt Morgan will ever fully trust Arilan and vice versa.


Interesting, but Arilan did not persecute members of the clergy for being Deryni. In fact, he worked to protect them and to increase the number of Deryi clergy. Morgan and Duncan blamed Arilan for allowing the continued persecution of Deryni in Gwynedd without trying to do anything. They felt he should have acted sooner although he was the only Deryni priest/bishop in 200  years and he never completely forgave himself for not doing more or sooner. It is very hard to act alone. If he had tried, there is every possibility that he would have been discovered and lost any possibility of helping his people. Although they would never become close friends I think they did come to an understanding and work as allies later.
"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


I think the Codex also at least hints that Denis was responsible for making Duncan's ordination possible, although Duncan himself was unaware of that. But that makes sense, assuming Denis knew that Duncan was Deryni at the time. Denis watched his best friend get burned at the stake for being a Deryni who dared to try to get ordained into the priesthood. He only narrowly (and possibly through divine intervention, or at least his story can be read that way) managed to escape the merasha-trap to be ordained himself. So if he did know or suspect ahead of time that Duncan was Deryni, he would have done what he could to eliminate that threat for Duncan, if there was any way to do so without revealing his own secret. And it's very clear that he did the same thing for John Nivard and several other younger (though unnamed in canon) priests who came along in the years after Duncan was ordained. Denis Arilan was taking a longer view than Morgan and Duncan, though. He was a half generation older, had survived some of the worst years of persecution under De Nore, and knew how much was at stake not just for himself and his family but for others as well if he (and the other Arilans) were discovered to be Deryni, so that made him a lot more risk-averse than Alaric, whose Deryni heritage had been known since he was born and couldn't be concealed even if he'd wanted to hide it, so he had less to lose by taking risks.
"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 think Arilan resents Morgan for failing to understand the tightrope he has had to walk and in the period in which we first meet them he is increasingly anxious about Morgan's influence on Duncan. I'm sure that their relationship mellowed in time though I doubt Morgan ever fully forgave Arilan for the humiliation of Dhassa.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
(Psalm 46 v1)


I think you have a good point, Revanne. In truth, both Morgan and Arilan each have  valid reasons if not to resent each other, then at least find the other irritating. Arilan, for all the reasons you've stated. As Bishop of Dhassa in Kelson's reign with two Archbishops who are reasonable and intelligent men, Arilan's current position in the church seems fairly secure. But he has an exceedingly good reason to know the history of the Church and Deryni has been far more hostile for most of his life. He probably sleeps a lot better at night than he did as a young priest, but caution is inbred in him, even as he is making full but discreet use of his opportunities to ordain new young Deryni priests. Alaric, he knows, was well, if not completely protected by the Haldanes, but probably thinks he's incautious, and very likely thought the younger Morgan too hot headed to realize how precarious his position in Gwynedd really was.

Morgan, for his part, had to negotiate a pretty inhospitable court most of his life. Yes, he has more freedom (not least as a secular lord rather than a priest), but that "more" is probably very relative. For his part, he knows that Gwynedd's clergy would have loved to find some--any--excuse to burn him at the stake, and that he could go only SO far under Brion's protection. He and Arilan both want to make Gwynedd safer for Deryni, but after successfully reaching the age of 30, Alaric probably feels Arilan is way too uptight, even given they've both had to tread with care in their respective lives. And he resents suddenly having someone on his back, reining him in as if he were still under age.
You can have a sound mind in a healthy body--Or you can be a nanonovelist!


Morgan and Arilan have just enough difference in age, generational mindset and being in different positions(not just societal),that their personal animosity/respect is all too much not to be expected. Add to that the exposed/goading to hidden/hiding aspect, plus the added personal experiences of both in relationship to that difference and not just because of being deryni


It that love hate they have going which makes for perfect situations that neither can truly fathom.

Morgan's way of thinking it in my opinion is b&w. Now if Morgan had to actually walk in Arilan's shoes, he would definitely have a different perspective....


Same could be said for Arilan to walk in Morgan's.


I think that at least one part of the issue is that Arilan, having hidden his Deryni status, was not facing the sort of petty sniping Morgan dealt with as a matter of course. Arilan was faced with an all or nothing situation - if his secret was revealed, he and his family were doomed. Morgan was free to fight back, albeit with sharp tongue and discreet tricks - he could vent. But for Arilan, Deryni have to band together in secret and division is deeply dangerous.

And unfortunately, when Arilan takes the Camberian Council position of 'you're not really Deryni but we're in charge of you anyway' what Morgan feels is that he's dealing with another priest condemning him for things he can't control, and responds with verbal jabs and polite defiance - which in turn hits all Arilan's buttons for 'rogue deryni who must be reined in for the good of all'.

I'm not saying this is their intellectual position, but I think it's their emotional one.


I think a major problem with them is lack of communication. Neither one fully  understands the experiences or position of the other. In effect, Arilan comes from a different era than Morgan, much closer to the harrowing and the hunting down and destroying of Deryni. I'm not sure when they finally determined that Deryniness is all or nothing, either you are or you are not and it is not determined by the number of Deryni ancestors you have. I also think that seeing the burning of Jorian affected Morgan porfoundly, he could not understand why, once he discovered Arilan was Deryni, he did nothing to intervene. There was a wide gap there that took many years to span.             
"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


Jorian's burning was a pivotal event for both of them, since Denis was in the seminary class right behind Jorian's, so there was a very real fear that he would also be discovered and suffer the same fate. Jorian's death shook up Alaric because, while I think he had seen the aftermath of Deryni burnings before then, that was the first burning he'd been forced to watch. But in Denis' case, it was more personal, not just because he also had been forced to watch it, but also because Jorian was his friend.
"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!


Yet Morgan had to deal with his Deryniness constantly without benefit of being hidden, family and religious connections. Always in the open, constantly being taunted to his face and behind his back, in danger always because of being known. Not to mention his mother and that heritage. He was never a child because of Brion's father for starters and his grooming him for a certain role. Also Arilan snobbiness towards Duncan and him, simply because he was "merely" half deryni. Personally I think if it came down to a duel arcane, my money would be on Morgan because of all that.


I agree that their issues go beyind generational ones. I dislike Arilan because he is so judgmental of Morgan. It's not like Morgan was out flaunting his powers, using them carelessly. But Morgan had a target on his back even before his birth. Everyone knew what he was, and either sniped at him, or condemned him, or outright tried to burn him. Arilan acts like Morgan ran around doing magic out in the open on a whim. Morgan never had the option to be secretive like Arilan did.

 I do think Morgan was circumspect in the use of his magic, using it only when there was no choice, like helping Brion defeat the Marluk. Morgan always tried to be as discreet as he could be, given the task that he was literally conceived to do- protect Brion and Arilan was judging him for doing what he was destined to do.

I also think that Arilan's attitude toward Morgan was personally poor, even beyond the dictates of the Camberian Council. Arilan felt himself better than Alaric because he was full Deryni and Alaric was only a " half breed." He condemned Alaric for something over which Alaric had no control.

 I felt like Arilan, who is a clergyman, should have had the empathy to realize how difficult it was for Morgan to even survive, let alone do what he did for Brion and Gwynedd. Arilan never said. " hey I don't agree with how openly you have used your powers. But I understand the difficulties you have overcome and the excellent job you have done for Gwynedd despite those difficulties." Clergy are supposed to have some degree of compassion and empathy. Duncan certainly does. ARilan does not. He supports the Camberian Council's position that Alaric is somehow required to obey the CC even though they refuse to recognize or sanction him and Duncan.
Also, Morgan has the gift of healing- something thought to be lost to Deryni for generations. The CC should be embracing that.

Arilan and the CC also seem resentful that Morgan is so skilled at magic, despite having very little training, and no formal training. I think they feel threatened by that.

I agree that  the execution of Jorian deeply affected Morgan his entire  life. He never actually spoke to anyone about his feelings about seeing one of his own kind burned at the stake, but it had to have profoundly affected  him,  especially at such a young age. He just buried it deep and never even had a chance to try to process it ( if one can even begin to process something that horrific.)  It reminded him that there were so many people who wanted him to be burned. I know Arilan was friends with Jorian, and that made the burning even worse for him. But all the more reason for Arilan to have been sympathetic to Morgan in Dhassa. Morgan had barely escaped being burned at the stake himself just as Jorian had been. One would expect a clergyman who was also Deryni and who had witnessed such a horrific travesty would be even slightly sympathetic to Morgan, who barley escaped the same fate. Instead, he is pompous, and humiliates Morgan, acting as though he is a parent scolding Morgan the wayward child.

I also think Arilan resents how close Morgan is to Duncan, and how Arilan seems to feel that Morgan has corrupted Duncan and put him in danger as well. Let's face it- even if Morgan had tried to keep Duncan out of the dangerous use of Magic, Duncan would still dive right in.

Arilan, I think, is also somewhat resentful of the bond between Morgan and Kelson, and the unwavering love and trust between them. And I think That is why he encourages the CC to court Kelson, even though he too is only half Deryni.

Morgan seems to resent Arilan for his split loyalties. Morgan's point of view is black and white. He is loyal to Kelson and the crown of Gwynedd. Full stop. He was even loyal to Connall after they thought Kelson was dead and Connal became king. Morgan was willing to serve Conall, whom he didn't like, because he was king. Right up until they discovered Connall was a traitor. Loyalty to Gwynedd.  End of story.
I think Morgan resents Arilan often seeming to put the needs and dictates of the CC over the needs of Gwynedd. I think he will never totally trust Arilan because he will never know if Arilan's motive is to help the Council at the expense of the throne of Gwynedd.

I apologize to any Arilan fans, but as you can see, he is one of my least favorite characters for how badly he treats Morgan.


I think that both of them had much to overcome and it was part of their upbringing. Arilan was literally raised in fear of being discovered and if he was discovered he would be executed and never be able to help his people at all. And though I am often angry with Arilan, even then i can see why he feels that he has do things a certain way. He had to kill a man at age 12 during an attack on Brion before he was crowned. And he had to navigate a hostile clergy. Alaric had to face difficulties too but he had some advantages: he had the protection of the king, in his time there was a shift in the attitude of the church and quite a few of the most rabid anti-deryni clergy were gone. I think that much of what we see is a focus on survival which was a fact of life for both..
"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


I like and understand where Arilan is coming from, BUT I understand Morgan's view also. Still ultimately in my "humble" opinion, Arilan has the stick too far up his ass towards Morgan