Due Diligence – Chapter 4

In which Fer Gun pen’Uldra gets married.

And so here is the context for the things that had puzzled me about Chi’s behaviour.

Kareen — whom I confess I had forgotten about — is old enough now that it is clear she will never be a pilot, and thus will never be delm. This will be Chi’s second attempt at obtaining a pilot child to be her heir, and this time it has to work, hence the neglect of usual channels and emphasis on finding a line with a high probability of producing a pilot. (A third attempt is unlikely to be possible. Chi is already not young, and will not be any younger in a dozen years when it becomes clear whether the second attempt has worked. Also it’s suggested that finding itself without a nadelm after the first failure puts Korval at a disadvantage, and the second failure might place it beyond recovery.)

Chi’s reflection on what will ensue if this attempt does fail is affecting, and makes me glad that I already know that it won’t.

Bal Dyn ter’Meulen is a new name, but not a new character: we have seen him before (or after) in his melant’i as Guayar and as Clonak’s father. It’s helpful to have a name for him other than “Delm Guayar”, since it’s clear that in this story that honour has not yet fallen to him. (As for the latter honour, it remains to be seen — a thought which prompts the amusing but admittedly unlikely speculation that this might yet turn out to be also the story of how Clonak’s parents met.)

What will become of Petrella’s conversation with Editor as’Barta I am not yet sure, but I feel certain there will be something. I’m amused by her defence of Fer Gun against as’Barta’s spite, since I suspect the statement “That has not been my experience of the pilot” to be one of those technical truths: for all that has been mentioned, she has not yet met the pilot, and if so may make the same assertion in response to any remark about his character.

Regarding the Divers Trade Association, which Fer Gun’s grandfather was a commissioner of, I was briefly puzzled before realizing that it’s probably an association interested in diverse lines of trade rather than one only dealing with people who dive. (“They’re only for divers, like it says. Probably so they can recover from all them alarums.”) I wonder if it’s related the trade association Jethri’s father was a commissioner of.

I don’t know if Master Gardener Byneta is the same gardener who is occasionally mentioned without being named in the later novels, but I suspect not, given that she’s already old enough here to think of Chi as still a child.

8 thoughts on “Due Diligence – Chapter 4

  1. Jami

    Having read Daughter of Dragons, I was able to view Kareen through wiser eyes. I’d guess she’s about 11 now, and 12 when Daav is born. (But I found a conflicting line from another story, on their relative ages). Anyhow…poor girl has some cause for her spite — assuming she’s got a whole boatload of inner turmoil.

  2. Othin

    We finally meet Lord ter’Meulen. Comparing him and his sister Lady yo’Lanna and exploring their relationship they work seamlessly together. We get a hint that Lord ter’Meulen is a bit older than Lady yo’Lanna and maybe even a pilot since he says regarding a festival-get:
    “The least attractive solution, though it may yet be brought to the board, should Korval wish to fill the nurseries against need.” – That is assuming that pilot references are only made by pilots and not used in the general language. It would certainly fit with his son being a scout.

    We may also safely assume that Lord ter’Meulen won’t have been a possible contract spouse for Delm Korval – that creating a too strong alliance which would have offended to many other Clans.

    Lord ter’Meulen reminds us also that Liadens use language as a weapon and gives us examples for circumstances in which to use those weapons and in which to withhold them.

    Preparing the joined living quarters with Fer Gun, Chi, conscious of the difference upbringing and social standing, shows diligence and thoughtfulness; looking out for the pilots needs and ensuring not to hurt feelings while he is in her care. (Keeping everything as modest, plain and comfortable for him as possible with only the minimum of necessary elegance and style.)

    Ok, Chi acknowledges that Fer Gun had had a relumma of Lady yo’Lanna’s care. That seems more appropriate than just a 12 day, so I think chapter 3 to be about 13 days after Fer Gun met Chi while chapter 4 would then be about 84 days after chapter 3. Does this seem likely?

    On a side note – This kind of consideration for someone seems to be lacking in Kareen – at least until several decades later when she faces off the DOI, thus killing her friend and admitting the nativity of her believes. (A Dragons Daughter). Actually the displacement as Nadelm, her envy and her strong belief in status and in modern times of peace and prosperity seem to be at the core of Kareen and her bitterness, only being reinforced by her mothers and cousins death, isolating her even more form her clan, fulling her drive to escape in her social studies. It is as if where other yos’Phelium cave at Liaden intrigue and social restrictions of Code and popper behavior, she sees mastering propriety and Code as armament and weapon that will keep hurt form her. – Oh I have to admit – Kareen is one of my favorite characters – and I do believe in Chi’s vision of her worth for the Clan.

    @ Editor as’Barta
    To me that little skirmish exemplifies the social strain Korval is under and how Petrella protects her Clan. It also exemplifies how Korval makes this signing as public as possible and ensures that the story Korval wants gets told.

    @ Divers Trade Association
    I wouldn’t be surprised if this association had anything to do with Jerthy, maybe also with Carresens and DeNobli families and Tradedesk. I really like to get this story.

    I absolutely loved the scene with the Tree – another of my favorite characters. Seeing how this went and comparing it to Daav’s near contract to Samiv tel’Izak Clan Bindan in Scouts Progress one can only be glad that Fer Gun was far more to the Trees taste than Chi expected. Comparing the Tree to the aphrodisiac blossoms used in Liaden bed-chambers we all know the Tree wins. And yep, the Tree had its roots or better its pods into the making of this child and thus making certain that it would be a pilot. That puts the question of how much the Tree had liked Kareen’s father and if Chi might have gotten her first child without the approval of the Tree. Or if the tree had been experimenting with Kareen and if she became what the tree intended.

  3. Jami

    By the way, this chapter contains some inconsistent info on when Fer Gun’s Grandfather died. First, it strongly implies that he died when Fer Gun was only a toddler (see excerpt below). But then, within the next page or two, we read that Grandfather taught Fer Gun life lessons about withholding judgment until enough info / data is collected to make a tapestry. Later still, we hear that his grandfather told him about the family jewelry.

    “the success of the Divers Trade Association made its members targets of pirates and other unsavory persons. Captain pen’Uldra lost his ships, his lifemate, and his children. With the one grandchild remaining to him not yet a Standard old, he sought refuge with his cousins in Clan Telrune, the better to hide the child from those who would murder him for his birthright. Captain pen’Uldra died very soon after going to ground on Echieta, and the child, now yos’Phelium’s spouse, was raised by Telrune.”

  4. Jami

    When you read further into the novelette, you might see more conflicting info on how long ago grandfather died, and how old Fer Gun was when he died. It’s confusing to me.

  5. Othin

    I believe those apparent inconsistencies have a lot to do with perspective, aka who is speaking at a moment and to whom. Middle-aged Petrella taking to the gazette editor might even see an advantage in stilling that the grandfather died not long after seeking refuge at Telrune, thus emphasizing the tragedy, while in fact this “not long after” might be several years. Fer Gun would certainly call the amount of time till his grandfather’s death differently, in no small part because he still is so young.

    I believe also that the authors deliberately didn’t name a specific date or time, but left that detail unclear on purpose.

  6. Jami

    Hmmm. Maybe. Except that Petrella wasn’t just spinning out the story, she was sending the citations to the editor, so she could read the history for herself. Thus, knowing her milanti, I’d guess she would not tell the editor a gross exaggeration of the facts.

  7. Othin

    “It likes to meet people. There are not mot many new faces come to speak with it in the Tree Court and it does not itself, you know, travel very well” Chi’s joke when wishing to introduce Fer Gun to the Tree, strikes a chord. – For the Tree just loves – to travel.

    Also about meeting new people – If the Tree and Korval really wished it they could get crowds to meet the Tree. But a mysterious Tree with rumored power that no one really believes in is so much more practical and far easier kept safe too. Also something to consider. We only know that the Tree meets those of Korval, and at least some of their spouses, but I never heard of one of Korvals employees or staff communing with it. Although I don’t doubt that the Tree would get rid of anyone within Jelaza Kazone’s household that it doesn’t approve of.

    Also Korvals troubles of finding spouses and whether they approve of them would be so much easier, if the introduction to the Tree happened as 1st step, before any negotiating. – But then there’d be so much less trouble and heartache.

  8. Ed8r

    @Othin: The Tree may love to travel, but we can all agree with Chi that “it does not itself travel very well,” which I took to mean that it cannot travel by itself, without outside help. Of course, with what we know now, the Tree was probably preparing itself to be uprooted even then.

    I really enjoyed the entire sequence of Chi having the wisdom to see how nervous and uptight Fer Gun was feeling, and thinking it would be more relaxing to take him out for a walk. It was a surprise to me, her introducing him to the Tree, and we saw something different than other scenes with pods provided. This time, they each identified one segment of their own pod as belonging to the other person. This drew them together, yes, but what else was the Tree doing? It’s almost as if Fer Gun will now be a closer part of Korval than he would be by the mere legal instrument of his contract and even closer than simply having a whole pod given to him?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *