[LMB] COC: Chapter 28
beatrice_otter at haugensgalleri.com
Fri Sep 18 16:06:04 BST 2015
On 9/17/2015 8:54 PM, Margaret Devere wrote:
> Iselle announces that she and Bergon will walk to the cathedral barefoot as
> a gesture of thanks. (Q3)
> Q3: Two questions:
> - Where does this come from? We haven't seen pilgrims yet, and AFAIK we
> haven't seen this kind of pious act. Why would the gods appreciate somebody
> walking barefoot? I understand that it's uncomfortable and mildly risky. Why
> do people think that hurting themselves intentionally is gratifying to the
Beatrice Otter: Shoes are status symbols. The richer you are, the nicer
your shoes, and the poorest couldn't afford them and would wrap rags
round their feet in cold weather instead. The medium-poor would only
wear shoes when they had to, to save wear and tear on them. The rich,
on the other hand, would have a variety of rich materials put on their
shoes as a sign that they had the money to do it and didn't need to do
any hard labor that might damage such excess.
By going barefoot, Iselle and Bergon show their humility, that they are
willing to put off (a portion of) their finery and riches before the
gods. It's a symbolic gesture that everyone will get, yet one that
doesn't require them to, say, put off the /rest/ of their finery. So
they get /both/ rich clothes/status symbols there, /and/ the credit for
humility and modesty for going shoeless. Very good political theater.
What I can't tell you is whether or not the gods care one way or
another. It may well be a case where people assume the gods care about
the same things people do.
> - Is this a little domineering with respect to Bergon? Thank goodness it
> doesn't set his back up. I hope Iselle will learn to be a little more
> observant of Bergon's equal status. We know that she means to -- but she
> needs a little practice.
Beatrice Otter: Why would it be domineering? I'm not getting why you
would think so. He has as much to be thankful for as she does; if the
various miracles hadn't happened, he would be just as screwed over as
she would, now that he has married into the curse and is married in
politically. Instead, the civil war is averted (and he knows first-hand
how horrible /those/ are) and he is royse-consort /now/ instead of
having to wait a few years as he would originally have assumed. That's
a lot to give thanks for.
Oh. Rereading the passage, do you read the words "Iselle announced" to
mean that she was announcing /to Bergon/ that that's what they were
going to do? Because she's not talking to Bergon, she's talking to Caz,
and Bergon takes it without a raised eyebrow, already fully onboard with
it. It reads to me like Iselle is announcing their joint plans. Which
is perfectly logical and reasonable, as she is now Royina and Bergon is
her Royse-Consort. (In Chalion. They have to wait for the Fox to die
for the situation to be reversed, and then only in Ibra.)
> Sara says that Archdivine Mendenal is willing to swear to the time of
> Orico's death. (Q4)
> Q4: Has Archdivine Mendenal taken sides before, or resisted dy Jironal? He
> knows from Umegat that something is going on with Caz, but why would he
> assume that dy Jironal is to be thwarted? Or is he willing to go along with
> what Sara wants here? In general, I would assume that administrators would
> uphold order and proper procedures.
Beatrice Otter: In every case I know of where religious orders have
hierarchy that interacts with the high political leadership, you get at
least some playing of politics, sometimes even for the perceived good of
the gods. Check out Roman and Byzantine records sometime, or the ways
the Archbishop of Canterbury has affected/been affected by English
history over the generations. Mendenal is an administrator, and his job
is to uphold /the Temple's/ order and proper procedures. He's had a
front-row seat for what dy Jironal and his brother have /done/ to the
Order of the Son and Daughter. And from a political point of view, he's
got enough of an inside look to see that dy Jironal is effectively
attempting a coup. He's trying to arrange things so that /he/--and not
Iselle, the rightful Heiress--rules Chalion. I mean, technically he
would be ruling in her name, but that would just be a polite fig leaf.
Let's look at the consequences of this taking sides
1) it strengthens Iselle's position, which makes it likelier dy Jironal
will /not/ be able to claim the power he is trying to usurp. In this
case, order and proper procedures are preserved on a larger scale.
2) by strengthening Iselle it /also/ ups the chances that the Order of
the Son will get out from under dy Jironal's thumb. Granted, he didn't
treat it like his brother treated the Daughter's Order, but you have to
assume Mendenal knew of the corruption--and that Martou accepted his
brother's corruption--and you have to assume that Martou was using the
Son's Order in favor of his politics, which is NOT what they are for.
Getting rid of him is good for the Temple. Therefore, if Mendenal has
such a perfect opportunity to do so, one can argue that it is his
gods-given responsibility to do so.
4) Mendenal knows that Caz is the saint sent to break the curse, and
therefore presumably acting under the Daughter's orders, and therefore
it is Mendenal's highest job and calling to support his actions in
support of Iselle. If dy Jironal is attacking Caz, he is hindering the
gods' own plans, and must be stopped. This is likely the first time
that Mendenal has had an opportunity to support Iselle (and therefore
Caz) in a manner large enough that we can see the consequences directly
from where Our Heroes are.
3) if dy Jironal wins, he would probably replace Mendenal (possibly
killing him). Bad news, especially as it means he would be replaced
with one of dy Jironal's kin. But the longer dy Jironal remains in
power, the more likely it is that he'll be replaced with one of dy
Jironal's kin /anyway/. Not much to lose.
> Caz and Sara compare notes on the fate of various souls. Orico was taken up
> by the Bastard, Martou by the Father. Dondo went to the Bastard's Hell. (Q5)
> Q5: How is the Bastard's Hell different from being taken up by the Bastard?
> I'm sure this has been discussed, but apparently there are three fates:
> - Being taken up by one of the gods
> - Dwindling into nothingness
> - The Bastard's Hell
> We seem to have evidence of the first two, but the third shows up only as a
> figure of speech or in Caz's thoughts. Am I missing something in CoC? What
> does PoS add to our understanding?
Beatrice Otter: In PoS, the Bastard's Hell is that roiling pit of chaos
the demons come from and (through Ista) go back to. There is nothing
there but elemental chaos. Joen goes there because she will not let go
of her demon, and she will not let Ista save her. So she goes from
will-not to the place of be-not.
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