Mouse and Dragon – Chapter 36

In which Korval welcomes Nova yos’Galan.

There are some lovely little character details in this chapter; nearly everybody who appears gets at least one.

There’s also one big thing, the demonstration of Pat Rin’s ability to influence dice, which is particularly striking because, as far as I can remember, it’s not so much as hinted at anywhere else in the series. Of course, the series is still growing, and Pat Rin hasn’t appeared for more than a cameo in anything written since Mouse and Dragon, so perhaps this will be followed up some time in future; I look forward to that with interest. I also look forward with interest to re-reading his appearances that were written before this, to see if there were hints I didn’t pick up on or events that might now be seen in a different light. In particular, on thinking back over the scenes I can remember of Pat Rin as an adult, I seemed to find something which I look forward to seeing verified: that for all the time Pat Rin spends gaming, it’s rarely or even never in games that involve him handling dice. In the light of this scene it might be that he actively avoids games where his knack would give him a unique advantage, which actually fits with my understanding of his character.


Tomorrow is the short story “Guaranteed Delivery”, because chronological order, with Mouse and Dragon resuming the day after.

6 thoughts on “Mouse and Dragon – Chapter 36

  1. Libertariansoldier

    No, he gambles with dice at the gold level in I Dare. Also in I Dare, Ms Audrey identifies him as a “boxman”, i.e. A gambler who plays with dice, as opposed to, I suppose, a card sharp.

  2. Sami S.

    I also recall a comment by… I believe it was Shan, in Conflict of Honors, who says something along the lines of “if Pat Rin didn’t play the dice with suspiciously consistent luck, live within his quartershare he could not”.

  3. Paul A. Post author

    “Why, if he didn’t play the wheel with suspiciously consistent luck, he’d have no money at all to call his own, and live within his quarter-share he could not.”

    But I’m pretty sure that really is just luck, because this chapter shows that he can’t influence the dice if he’s not touching them, and they don’t let the punters touch the roulette wheel. (Unless Liadens play roulette differently, of course. We don’t know that they don’t; we see a roulette wheel in operation in “Pilot of Korval”, but that’s in a Terran-run casino. But I don’t think they do; things like the layout of the wheel might be subject to the whims of tradition, but not letting the punters touch it is just common sense even if they don’t have supernatural gifts.)

  4. Sami S.

    Huh, I definitely misremembered that particular quote. That definitely throws the question of whether Pat Rin maintained his particular talent past childhood wide open again for me. I do like your thought, that he refrains from playing dice except in the more extreme need in order to avoid exploiting his unfair (or maybe, considering Luken’s favored saying, dishonest) advantage.

  5. Ed8r

    Of course now we can add the short story “Heirloom” to our glimpses of Pat Rin’s luck. Again in that story, he is not dicing but playing piket.

  6. Paul A. Post author

    Checking in during another re-read, I don’t think we’ve had any elaboration yet regarding Pat Rin’s gift specifically, but we have had a few stories exploring the concept of “a Healer talent that encompasses manipulating chance”.

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