[LMB] The Assassins of Thasalon - Chapter 5

Gwynne Powell gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Sat Jul 24 13:39:58 BST 2021



Three days later... that poor woman was in that terrible dungeon for so
long, waiting to be executed and in agony about her son... an unimpressive
villager turns up at Pen's door. Typical Cedonian looks, skinny, about
thirty, average village-workman type clothes, nothing special, except for
striking greenish-hazel eyes.

Oh, yes, and he's a saint.

Blessed Iroki. And I'll say here, he is another one of my favourite characters.
There's layers to him, he's deceptively simple and open.

Pen was expecting an answer from the chapterhouse at Dogrita.
Instructions to bring the prisoner to the saint. Instead the saint has
come to him - on orders, apparently, from the Bastard.

Pen is actually rather matter-of-fact about the saint (Des is cringing
away, but that's a lot less terrified than she used to be; she's got
stronger over time.)

Pen brings Iroki up to speed on events, and Nikys points out that
Methani's plot offends all five gods. The man's thorough, you
have to give him that. (And it apparently never occurred to him
that he was offending any gods with what he was doing - this was
the way he'd operated for so long.)

Pen muses that the gods can only act in the world through the
ones who serve them. And that so many people can convince
themselves that whatever they want is what the gods want - and
that sums up Methani. But it's a scary warning, too, for everyone.

It turns out that Iroki doesn't usually travel; all the other demons
have been brought to him (even the bear - and wouldn't that have
been a fun trip for some lucky Temple dedicats.) But Iroki was given
a message in a dream to go to Pen. Plus 'Pack light for a long
journey.'  The Bastard doesn't give too many details in his instructions.

Pen's already one step ahead; Dogrita to Vilnoc isn't that long a
journey....

Ok, simple plan: the saint gets rid of the demon, then they hand
the woman over to the justice system. (Or the legal system, at least.)

We find that Iroki has been a Saint for a few years. He's a fisherman.
Not very worldly. His idea of bliss is to sit on a river bank and fish - and
not to catch too many.

There were a series of small, slightly unsettling events - he attracted
a lot of fish, he healed a few animals - and then the Temple pounced
and identified him as a Saint (I wonder if they were expecting a
hedge-sorcerer?) They tried to train him in the temple, but he escaped
back to his riverbank.  So now he gets to remove demons a few times
a year, they pay him a stipend, and he fishes. 'The laziest man in Pef.'
And he chats with his god sometimes.

Iroki is friendly towards Alixtra. She's quiet and accepting. And then
the Bastard turns up....

Everyone's a bit stunned, Pen remembers that last time this happened,
"...Congratulations, you're a sorceress."



More information about the Lois-Bujold mailing list