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Deryni hunting and baptismal records

Started by whitelaughter, April 29, 2023, 06:42:05 AM

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whitelaughter

Quote from: DoctorM on June 27, 2023, 09:47:35 AMThis relates to another issue that catches my eye. The non-Deryni population of Gwynedd c. 1120 views Deryni with suspicion, but by that point were there still sporadic violent outbreaks against Deryni?  As a Deryni craftsman c. 1120, would you be able to join a guild? Would a merchant house think that it might be useful to have a Deryni marriage kinsman? Would a Deryni with some medical knowledge or the hint of Healer's abilities try to up-market his fees by hinting at "special" knowledge, or would he hide anything and put his successes down to luck? Would villagers or urban smallfolk be more hostile to Deryni? What are the social barriers-- spoken or unspoken --for Deryni by King Brion's day? 
Given the small numbers of Deryni, I would think that for every actual Deryni offering these services, there'd be a dozen con merchants fleecing the gullible with bogus 'magic'.

DoctorM

Quote from: whitelaughter on June 27, 2023, 09:08:21 PM
Quote from: DoctorM on June 27, 2023, 09:47:35 AMThis relates to another issue that catches my eye. The non-Deryni population of Gwynedd c. 1120 views Deryni with suspicion, but by that point were there still sporadic violent outbreaks against Deryni?  As a Deryni craftsman c. 1120, would you be able to join a guild? Would a merchant house think that it might be useful to have a Deryni marriage kinsman? Would a Deryni with some medical knowledge or the hint of Healer's abilities try to up-market his fees by hinting at "special" knowledge, or would he hide anything and put his successes down to luck? Would villagers or urban smallfolk be more hostile to Deryni? What are the social barriers-- spoken or unspoken --for Deryni by King Brion's day? 
Given the small numbers of Deryni, I would think that for every actual Deryni offering these services, there'd be a dozen con merchants fleecing the gullible with bogus 'magic'.

I love that idea-- faux-Deryni conning the gullible! Yes!

Evie

Kelson's coronation was in November of 1120, IIRC, and at that time it was not yet safe to be a known Deryni, much less one who openly uses his powers. Known Deryni were not permitted to own land according to the Statutes of Ramos, though either that statute was relaxed over the centuries or there were a few exceptions made, given that Alaric, as a Duke, clearly owns land. However, it's quite possible that such exceptions are very rare, and would require one to be in royal favor in order to have some protection from the statute being enforced. I would think similar oppressive laws and regulations would be in place to prevent known Deryni from gaining any positions of power in the guilds, if they were even permitted to join the guilds at all. And yes, we know that there were still violent outbreaks against Deryni, given Loris' antipathy towards that race, although perhaps he was a little less violent than DeNore was in that regard. Deryni powers seem to be slightly more accepted in the Borders, possibly because they were regarded (at least by some) to be akin to other, more commonly accepted, abilities such as dowsing and Second Sight, but there are other areas, particularly in the lowland areas such as Nyford, where Deryni burnings were still taking place at least as recently as during Brion's reign. (Not that Brion himself would have supported such activities, but no king can have his eyes everywhere at once, and he was constantly playing a careful balancing game over the issue with the Church, as did Donal before him.) This was the Gwynedd that Kelson inherited as a barely 14-year-old upon his father's sudden death in 1120, so no, I can't imagine that conditions improved for Deryni overnight.

Brion himself seems to have been quite accepting of Deryni, even before the activation of his own powers, since he had no qualms about befriending Alaric. But any progress that he might have wished to make in the state of Deryni/human relations had to be done very carefully, because he had to walk that tightrope between doing what he felt was right towards the Deryni race and appeasing the clergy who at best thought Deryni might be able to achieve salvation if they never used their powers, or at worst, thought Deryni were the very spawns of Satan and utterly irredeemable.

Keep in mind that Alaric witnessed a Deryni burning (Jorian's) and the aftermath of attacks on Deryni villagers at various times during his childhood and adolescence, and he is only about 15 years older than Kelson. So these sorts of events were almost certainly still taking place, even if only in the parts of the Kingdom where Brion was unable to exert much direct control, in 1120 when his son acceded to the throne.

Now granted, due to the chain of events we read in Kelson's trilogies, the Deryni race was in a less precarious position in Gwynedd's society by 1130, which is when the Codex Derynianus ends. However, this is in large part because he (not to mention Alaric and Duncan) had managed to make a sound case before the Church that Deryni powers aren't evil in and of themselves, and that benevolent use of such powers is possible. This resulted in some change in Church doctrine over the issue, and as the Church learned to accept Deryni (even though in some cases, perhaps only very grudgingly), society's acceptance of them was more likely to change over time also. Kelson's determination to overturn the Statutes of Ramos would help ensure the end of officially sanctioned persecution of Deryni. But ten years is not a whole lot of time for such widespread social change to occur and to stick, so I think the lessening of hostility we see by 1130 is just the beginning of a trend that hopefully continues beyond that point. In the meantime, I suspect there are still a few holdouts who still cling to the older beliefs about Deryni, and acts of hostility and violence that occasionally still happen in the further reaches of the realm where the perpetrators might think the King won't notice (or will only notice too late) and where they feel safer from the King's reforms.
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

Laurna

#18
The novel In the King's service, shows us that the Lady Jessamy and her brother, Morian, were known Deryni to the King. As were the Cynfyn family(Keryell, Alice and siblings.) Donal may have known of other Deryni families in his kingdom, most likely through Jessamy's information of some of the members of the Cambarian Council(the MacAthans, the Arilans, the de Courcys and the MacGregors.) Though I suspect Donal would not have known about the Arilans and likely most others.  It is more likely that all other Deryni families were living in hiding and keeping the family secrete close to their chest. If they trained their children, it was under very strict supervision.  We see Donal using Jessamy and her brother Morian for his own gains. That is likely the price of survival as a Deryni in an all human kingdom.

Therefore, I highly doubt there were any lower class Deryni, not protected by the crown, living as Deryni. If any of them was unlucky enough to reveal his/her identity in public, then their normal life was forfeit. If not outright killed, they would be hounded and shunned into either poverty or leaving their homes, or they would have been coerced into service by high ranking human lords in trade for their family's protection. We see a lot of human lords holding families as hostages to get the Deryni to do tasks they might other wise not do.

Until Kelson became King being Deryni was simply out of favor, I suspect it would take decades of good Deyni to change the mindset of Gwynedd Society.

Now I am thinking of an analogy- one of the CC's job is to act like "Men in Black", control and mitigate any Deryni outbreaks, with memory wipes and to relocate families that get into trouble.
May your horses have wings and fly!

Evie

#19
One of the main reasons Kelson's reforms are as successful as they have been a mere decade into his reign was that, unlike previous kings, he was finally able to get the Church leaders to understand that it was only certain uses of Deryni power that were evil, not the Deryni (or their inherent abilities) themselves, and that Deryni powers were just like any other type of power or gift--something that could be used either to the benefit of mankind or to its detriment. He was also able to convince them that it was a natural talent, not something bestowed by evil spirits. 

So why was this so important? Because a lot of the hatred and fear in society towards Deryni didn't stem simply because of what they were capable of doing (which, as we mentioned earlier, is quite enough to stir up a great deal of distrust due to simple survival instinct), but also because the humans had been told all of their lives that Deryni magic was bestowed on them by evil, demonic powers, and that there was no such thing as benevolent uses of that power. Any seemingly good use of such powers was merely illusory, a trick to get humans to be more trusting of them. Because the Church believed this, that's what they taught to the common folk, and therefore the common folk had every reason to believe the same. Once enough leaders in the Church of Gwynedd came to understand that they were mistaken about how Deryni powers worked, and that it was just an innate gift that could be trained, but that the gift itself wasn't good or evil, just particular uses of that gift, then there was a huge paradigm shift in how Deryni powers were perceived. Would there still be wariness of Deryni?  Almost certainly.  I mean, I would absolutely be wary of anybody who had Deryni powers, if I were to meet one in our world, until I knew for sure they were the sort of person I could trust not to misuse them. I don't imagine medieval folk would be any different. "Ah well, the Church says they were wrong and Deryni aren't demon spawn, so I'm going to be 100% trusting of them from henceforth even though I know full well they are able to manipulate minds." Nope, ain't happening.  ;D  But even so, "OK, so we were wrong, and Deryni aren't inherently evil, and this particular Deryni has never done anything to make me think he is untrustworthy, so maybe I should give him a chance, even though I am still very leery of unknown Deryni in general" is amazing progress, given that Kelson has only been on the throne for ten years and has caused that much of a paradigm shift in those whose opinions are capable of influencing the rest of society's mindset towards Deryni.
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

tmcd

#20
Quote from: Evie on June 28, 2023, 09:09:08 AMunlike previous kings, he was finally able to get the Church leaders to understand that it was only certain uses of Deryni power that were evil

Well, that and enforcing on recalcitrant Church leaders "Congratulations on being accepted into a monastic order that has a strict vow of silence. Please leave your crozier, mitre, and pallium at the door, there's a good lad". Or a convenient heart attack (T/o/l/l/i/v/e/r/ sorry, Corrigan). Deryni progress occurs one tomb at a time.

Shiral

Quote from: tmcd on June 28, 2023, 05:11:06 PM
Quote from: Evie on June 28, 2023, 09:09:08 AMunlike previous kings, he was finally able to get the Church leaders to understand that it was only certain uses of Deryni power that were evil

Well, that and enforcing on recalcitrant Church leaders "Congratulations on being accepted into a monastic order that has a strict vow of silence. Please leave your crozier, mitre, and pallium at the door, there's a good lad". Or a convenient heart attack (Tolliver). Deryni progress occurs one tomb at a time.

It was actually Corrigan who died of a heart attack. Tolliver is fortunately still alive and bishop of Coroth! But yes, getting rid of both Loris and Corrigan helped Kelson a lot, AND it improved the church by getting Bradene and Cardiel as the Archbishops of Valoret and Rhemuth.
Melissa
You can have a sound mind in a healthy body--Or you can be a nanonovelist!

DesertRose

Quote from: Evie on June 22, 2023, 08:20:55 PM
Quote from: tmcd on June 22, 2023, 06:39:26 PMTraining blocks? That's canon? Huh!

Yup! They are mentioned in the Childe Morgan series, to prevent Deryni children from accidentally using their powers in dangerous ways, not to mention to help keep their Deryni heritage secret from others, since a young child just coming into their powers might not know any better than to do something like practice starting fires where a Deryni hater might spot them. IIRC, Lady Jessamy also probed Alyce's mind under the guise of adjusting her training controls or something. Though it's been a while since I read that series, so I might be misremembering that part. I also can't remember for certain, but I think some training controls were established in Alaric and Duncan during their Naming ritual.

It's also mentioned in the end of Camber's trilogy and the beginning of the Heirs trilogy, vis-a-vis Tieg and his blocking of Evaine and not being able to unblock her.  Good idea to place a training block in his mind for everyone else's safety, to be removed as he matured into adult self-control.
"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

Quote from: Shiral on June 28, 2023, 07:33:04 PM
Quote from: tmcd on June 28, 2023, 05:11:06 PM
Quote from: Evie on June 28, 2023, 09:09:08 AMunlike previous kings, he was finally able to get the Church leaders to understand that it was only certain uses of Deryni power that were evil
Deryni progress occurs one tomb at a time.
It was actually Corrigan who died of a heart attack.

"We know the Deryni aren't evil because everyone who thinks they are has died of conditions that we know can be inflicted by Deryni magic."
Hmmm.....