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Jan 25, 2021 5:44 AM
velgarth bell and leareth become very upset
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:Your condolences are accepted: He lifts his head, blue eyes boring into her. The emotions in the Mindspeech overtones are difficult to interpret; there's some sort of pain there, maybe regret, but it's not very human-shaped. :What is it that you wished to discuss now, exactly?: 

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"A few things. One is that I don't think that - unless something changes pretty dramatically - it would be a good idea for you to Choose again. I think it'd wind up either going the same way, or - picking someone who is not in fact equipped to serve as King's Own in the current climate."

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:Hmm. Why do you think that?: 

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"I think Dara was a really good pick. She was smart, she paid attention to things, she thought clearly and calmly about stuff. And it was exactly those good qualities which led to your fight, as I understand it. You could probably find someone who was - passive, indifferent, but they wouldn't be good at the job. You could probably find someone who would just agree with you about the topic of gods, but they'd wind up - given how things are going now - at odds with their King, who seems to have taken my point on the subject even if Sondra hasn't undergone an Amshalan-style change yet, and that would also make them worse at the job. You could find someone great - presumably not as good as Dara, because ultimately given a free hand you went for Dara and not whoever would be your second choice now, but someone who was still pretty great - and sooner or later someone who is pretty great is going to notice that the gods are not behaving in a consistent and moral fashion, and they will wind up in a disagreement with you on it, and you aren't as far as I know put together out of the right parts to bend on that no matter how logical the argument. At least you aren't now."

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Long pause. 

:What logical argument am I failing to bend for?: Rolan asks, with unease but also something approaching genuine curiosity. 

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"The clearest one is - without several blatant divine interventions, I wouldn't be here. It required my lifebond, Vanyel's dreams, and Amshalan's Call. If you think all the gods are working together, and that you should do what they want, then it follows that Companions should not be mind-controlled to that very effect any more, because that's so inevitably a consequence of my being here. I think maybe revising how you work on the fly is expensive or something? Or that the gods are not in agreement. But I don't think it can possibly be that they're all on the same side and that side is pro-Companions-can't-think-any-which-way-about-gods."

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:I can think about gods: Rolan sends, slowly. :I can follow all of the things you said. It seems very wrong to try to change how my mind works because of it. It also feels deeply wrong to, well, scheme to fight the gods. I can acknowledge that some of their management choices are suboptimal: 

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"Well, that's more encouraging than the model I had of you before, I guess. I don't actually know the details of the contents of your fight with Dara, you understand, I've been working off guesses based on hearsay about you, this is why I thought we ought to actually talk."

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:She kept saying that maybe we ought to free the Tayledras, even though I told her this was not the Heralds' job at all, leaving aside the fact that they seem perfectly happy with the arrangement. It was very frustrating. And then she would not stop insisting that she wanted me to convey messages, which is not what I am for, and - I was annoyed - I suppose we both exchanged some harsh words and then I - it was as though I suddenly was not in control anymore: 

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"Well. What are you for?"

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:Protecting Valdemar: The answer comes instantly. 

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"In what form, by what means -"

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Rolan is silent for long enough that it’s unclear he’s going to answer at all.

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:Is this normal?: Belrun asks Amshalan.

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:No?: Amshalan seems more confused than concerned.

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Belrun scoots a little bit back from Rolan. It's not that she actually thinks he's going to suddenly kick her but she'd like to have the reaction time to Fetch his legs out from under him if he does.

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Finally, Rolan shakes himself. :Well, it varies. Allying with foreign dark mages is not generally included though:

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:Why?:

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Rolan thinks for a while. 

:Most powerful foreign mages would not have Valdemar’s best interests at heart. I have no reason to think Leareth is different, there: 

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"What are Valdemar's best interests, in your understanding?"

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Another long pause to think. :Continued stable leadership, peace, prosperity, our citizens respecting our laws...: 

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"I can tell you that Leareth is not actually angling at instability, warfare, deprivation, or lawlessness, even if the most obvious way of achieving his ends would tend to have some of those as a side effect - I'm here specifically hoping to reduce the side effects."

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:Reducing side effects still does not exactly put Valdemar in a better position than Leareth leaving us alone: 

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"On what time scale?"

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Piercing look. :Is there a time scale on which you think it would result in a better rather than worse position for Valdemar, specifically?:

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