[LMB] The Assassins of Thasalon - Chapter 2

Gwynne Powell gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Mon Jul 19 17:39:06 BST 2021

Des was able to sense that the attacking demon was a ferret, or a
weasel. (What is it with Lois, and ferrets or weasels? There's the
ferret with a demon in PoS, there the constant references to weaselry
connected to ImpSec and Miles.)

Then a very unsettling line: 'Pen,' said Des slowly, 'I don't think that
was her first demon.'

Pen is suitably unsettled, and wonders what the god would feel about
'such a wasteful scheme'. Pen sees demons as a useful resource  (if not
quite a blessing.)

One of my favourite characters - Learned Dubro - turns up. With his
doggy-demon (that's bouncing around with doggy excitement - a
dog-demon could be quite tiring after a while.) Maska shrinks when
close to Des, but not longer cringes, whines and tries to run away -
it's taken two years to get that far. So demons really don't like being
too close together (although, again, Des is a pretty scary demon.)

Pen brings Dubro up to date, gives him a fast lesson in deflective magic,
then leaves him to guard the Duke.

They've found a palace maid, coshed and stripped - that happened
after Adelis went in to see the duke, so someone was working fast.
Wonder if they had a different Plan A.

Pen and Adelis get back to Pen's place, to his great relief. Everyone
there is ok. Adelis is stashed in his room, Nikys and Idrene are brought
up to date. Guards around the house; Adelis is bait in a sorceress-trap.

It's good that, as Pen points out to himself, both women are/were
army widows. They deal with things quickly and in a practical way.
And they're just about the only people who can boss Adelis around,
to make him rest for a while.

I love it that Pen is so much in love with Nikys. He's just so happy to
be with her. And there's another little Nikys/Pen on the way!

During the explanations, Des mentions that they should have aimed
for the heart, not the brain - Adelis's father died of a heart attack, so
it would be an easy explanation. Adelis nods at that. Pen is reminded
that Adelis calls Des his demon-in-law (I LOVE that!)

There's pros and cons to going to Thasalon; Adelis has a job with the
Duke, he's well set up here. But Cedonia is home... and he'd like to
give proper thanks for the way he was treated there. Jurgo would
be happy to have good relations with the next Cedonian rulers, it'd
make Orbas a lot safer... there's so many pros and cons. Pen's family,
who are also Adelis's family - will still be in Orbas. Hostages. And Lady
Tanar is another factor to draw Adelis back home. We've seen how
happy Pen is, but Adelis and his lady are far apart. A strong factor
to draw him back.

Oh yes, Adelis will go. Now... will Pen go with him? But they have
a sorceress to catch.

General Gria comes calling. Adelis gives his uniform cloak to Pen's
daughter to play with, and keep - the decision's been made. They'll
travel by boat - takes a bit longer than overland, but has the power
of surprise.

A lot of political wrangling here, plans being made, waiting for the
sorceress to try again.

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