[LMB] Paladin discussion questions no 2

John Lennard john.c.lennard at gmail.com
Wed May 9 22:26:42 BST 2012

John Lennard wrote:

> And while Lois was kind enough to give us a vignette of
> Ista's and Illvin's seaside home, with dy Cabon and others
> being happily harried around them, there's an awful lot in
> motion at the end of the book, which in this sense doesn't
> end so much as cease narrating, or, cinematically, let events
> and characters alike roll on out-of-frame.

Did I miss something?  I don't recall this vignette...


John: Posted to the list on 12 Mar 2011 as part of the thread on q. 6, and
pasted below.

LMB:  Socially speaking, yes, Dowager Royina Ista and her Seneschal
would be within spec to marry, in due course.

Theologically speaking, they run into interesting times, as Ista is a
known Saint of the Bastard, and Illvin His sworn lay dedicat.  And they
both have a much more, er, _personal_ relationship with their chosen god
than most folks.  And a national -- well, realm, the concept of
nationhood is still on the horizon at this point -- realm Temple with a
highly experienced and wary attitude towards its saints.

I rather think that yes, Ista and Illvin would have a little girl or
two, and no, they would not marry, standing pat on the grounds that it
would be an insult to both their callings and to their mutual chosen
god.  In Whose immanent and always-present reality they have _no_
doubts.  It would be a conscious decision, possibly thrashed out with
the local or national Temple authorities and learned theologians,
panicked to be put on the spot.  (And, gingerly, possibly some
prayers.)  The girl/s would be dedicated to the god, much as Illvin was
in early life.  And the whole menage would roll on according to its own
rules.  There certainly would be street or back-hall gossip, but the
attitude of the Temple, and of anyone who had to do with them during the
Jokona/Visping campaign, would be more or less, "Yes, ma'am, yes, sir!
What do you need next?"

I have had a lot of mental images of them ending up post-war in a
spacious villa on the south coast, high above the sea in that luscious
Mediterranean clime, adjacent to a small town, with Ista no longer
making house calls, but having her patients brought to her.  Dy Cabon,
fatter than ever, their household chaplain.  Foix and Liss in and out,
possibly delivering people and creatures to be de-demoned.  But since a
sunlit, deliriously happy ending does not a novel make, they would
likely have to be background characters in someone else's story.  I have
an idea whose, but the notions have gone no farther than that.

And a number of thoughtful people in Cardegoss would be privately glad
that Ista's menage is so far away...

Ser dy Arbos, gray at the temples, would look handsome and very
dignified in all these clean white half-Chalionese, half-Roknari styles,
but then, Illvin looks good in anything.  Or nothing.  Ista would be a
much shorter, slightly more frazzled and plumper version of same, and
one might be inclined to discount her a bit, till she caught you in her
direct gaze... the Galadrielight would be nothing on it.

In real life, in medieval and Renaissance Spain, I read of quite a
number of instances of assorted high noblewomen who popped bastards,
sometimes repeatedly, variously dealt with and not always harshly.  Ista
and Illvin's situation would be far more open, on account of the
theological issues.

A point is passing, brought up in another post -- the Temples in this
world are organized realm-by-realm, and run themselves by "national"
conclaves, each with local flavors and customs, much as we saw in brief
with the Daughter's military order in _The Curse of Chalion_.  Not as
much politicking as the elections of popes, but elections of Archdivines
provide plenty of such scope on a smaller scale.

Supra-national Temple conclaves would be a rarity, but they do all stay
in touch with one another.

Should in future people sail across the seas and discover new
continents, the same five gods would be found to be worshiped there,
again with different local customs, languages, emphases, etc.  Because
the gods of this world are as real as gravity and as universal as death.

Ta, L.

John Lennard, MA DPhil. (Oxon.), MA (WU)

General editor, Humanities-E-Books Genre Fiction Sightlines and Monographs

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