Scout’s Progress – Chapter 2

In which Anne seeks the delm’s instruction.

And this chapter re-introduces some of the familiar faces from Local Custom, along with two new complications:

First, Daav is going to be married, an event he’s been putting off for years and would have continued to put off if he had his preference. (I wonder if it makes sense to say that the delm has put his foot down, when it’s Daav’s foot. One thing I’ve noticed about Daav: the flipside of him preferring not to invoke the Delm when some other way to handle the situation exists is that when the Delm does put in an appearance he tends to be extremely strict, and perhaps even more so with Daav than with anyone else.)

Second, Anne discovers what has been hinted a few times but not explicitly stated until now: that Korval considers itself still bound by the contract that made Cantra and her heirs responsible for the safety of the passengers they brought to Liad. I don’t think anything much comes of it in this novel, apart from it further underlining the gap between a certain impoverished scholar and the man who might loosely be described as “the king of the world”, but it will be important later.

Along with Anne’s discovery, this chapter gives us another vague estimate of how long it’s been since Liad was settled. Anne, this time with a more solid knowledge of Korval’s history under her belt, calls it a thousand years, which Daav says is “near enough”.

6 thoughts on “Scout’s Progress – Chapter 2

  1. Ed8r

    Since I had already read I dare before this novel, I was glad to see at least *some* acknowledgment of the oddity of the contract still standing after so many generations. I would have expected it to be a constant political debate, possibly deferred over and over again, perhaps by generous amounts of financial investment from Korval.

  2. Paul A. Post author

    Is there anything to debate? Once Korval says to the Council, “Can you end the contract, please?” and the Council says, “As far as we’re concerned the contract ended centuries ago, and no, we’re not going to make a declaration of an obvious fact just to flatter your fancy”, there’s not really anywhere for the conversation to go.

  3. Ed8r

    Yes, but if Korval assumes the contract is still in force, surely over the past 1,000 years there would have been something(s) to bring it to the Council’s attention, which would also bring it under discussion/?

  4. Othin

    Wasn’t there a Call for Captains Justice around 1061? (Timeline has it at ch. 2 Souts Progress) So some 300 years before someone even called for it – and must have thought the contract still necessary.

  5. Skip

    Yes. Something like that, Othin.

    When I read this book I somehow didn’t realize the significance of this little interchange. Stupid council.

  6. Ed8r

    This chapter also includes some further description of the Korval ring. I was interested to learn that it covers Daav’s third finger “from knuckle to knuckle,” which would be quite hefty to wear, even when the Delm makes only a short appearance.

    Daav’s citing of the call upon Captain’s Justice 300 years previously specifically refers to “the second copy of the contract,” making it clear that the Council of Clans would have had an opportunity to amend this aspect of the contract if they had wanted to address it.

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