Accepting the Lance – Chapter 31

Blair Road

In which the entire Council of Bosses meets to discuss the situation.

Most of the bosses we’ve already met get at least a word in at this meeting. Bosses Marriott, Engles and Torin make their first appearances here, though all have been mentioned before.

Marriot and Engle were mentioned in Necessity’s Child during Syl Vor’s geography lessons. Boss Marriot’s turf contains the scrap yard where Rys’s brothers like to go scavenging, which is perhaps ironic given the distrusting attitude toward technology he displays here. Boss Engle is one of the four bosses, along with Conrad, Kalhoon, and Schroeder, whose territories surround the consolidated school. Boss Torin is mentioned in “Block Party”; Jax Ton’s employer is in Torin’s territory.

Boss Vine’s right that “Boss Surebleak” is unlikely to take them up on their offer, but it has to be made. It’s what they’d do if somebody had appealed to them in good faith, and it’s in their interests to allow Boss Surebleak the option of deciding to deal in good faith. And, like was said earlier, part of the purpose of the Council of Bosses is to show people that meeting peacefully to talk things over can be done and can get results.

13 thoughts on “Accepting the Lance – Chapter 31

  1. Ed8r

    Paul and Ohtin, I know you both are better able to explicate some of the dating and time references the authors have assigned to this universe. I wonder . . . how are you at geography? I ask because I’d love to see a rough map of this port and city, including the Port Road at least as far out as Jelaza Kazone and/or as far as Shan’s island.

    Related to that thought, I wonder whether the authors are working from a map they’ve roughed out?

  2. Ed8r

    Right, but Yulie is closer to town than Jelaza Kazone, which filled in the huge deep pit that previously had been “the end of the world” past Yulie’s place. Since Melina Sherton had been talking about opening the road for trade all the way to the ocean, it made me wonder whether it might go to the shore in a location where there was a harbor for boat travel to the island.

  3. Skip

    Yes, I agree. Perfectly correct. But Korval and Shaper live close enough for an easy stroll so they could live almost across the “Port Road” from one another. I always figured the ocean went from JK to …. somewhere at the edges of the city. But nothing in text says so, except Shan building on an island and DAVE’S UP EARLY mentions an archipelago.

  4. Paul A. Post author

    Yulie’s land and Korval’s are right next to each other, and share a border; the last little bit of the Port Road passes through Yulie’s land before it ends at what was the quarry and is now Jelaza Kazone.

    The road to the ocean that Melina Sherton talks about in I Dare is not a physical extension of the Port Road; she talks about it as extending the idea of the Port Road, as being a road that trade can safely pass up and down, but it’s a different road.

    I’ve always got the impression that Surebleak City and Jelaza Kazone are a fair way inland, but I don’t have any positive evidence for that.

  5. Ed8r

    Paul, I agree about them being inland, and I wasn’t picturing the ocean as being “just over the next hill”; however, because Melina would suggest even the idea of extending the road (and I did have the impression she meant an extension of the existing road) would indicate that the ocean might be close enough to do so/? I need to search out that piece of text and see if it still gives me that impression.

  6. Paul A. Post author

    The comment about being inland was directed more at Skip’s most recent comment.

    This is what Boss Sherton says in I Dare:
    “I decided that it’s OK for the Road to go to the Port and to the country. Sleet, I started in trying to figure out how we could have more of them–a safe-road out to the coast and back! Another one up into the hills and back!”

    That “more of them” makes it sound to me like she’s thinking of a separate road, and possibly one that doesn’t even exist yet.

  7. Skip

    But the ocean is unlikely to be more than an hour away, because Shan is building trealla Fantrol on an island that previously belonged to Yulie and was originally intended for food production. See Daav’s Up Early, Dragon in Exile, Neogenesis. And Yulie calls his area “the world’s end” or something similar in Moon on the Hills . That smacks of ocean to me.
    We also know it takes an hour by taxi to get from port to JK.

  8. Paul A. Post author

    It’s stated explicitly in “Moon on the Hills” that ‘World’s End’ is the cliff on the edge of Yulie’s property that’s also the edge of the big hole in the ground left by the mining operation (the big hole that is now full of Jelaza Kazone).

  9. Ed8r

    Paul, thank you for quoting Melina’s comment above. Yes, now that I see it again, her use of “more of them” does imply she’s thinking of more roads, not merely an extension of their current Port Road.

    Skip, it is the very fact that the island was owned by Yulie Shaper AND that it had been planned for more agricultural production (presumably in underground growing rooms) that made me think it must also be relatively close. Ha…of course, Yulie Shaper seems to own the whole world, as left to his grandparents when the mining company abandoned Surebleak.

  10. Skip

    Yes, me, too Ed8r.
    Paul, I’d forgotten. All I remembered was the picturesque phrase. Memory is a slippery slope!

  11. Skip

    Regarding Surebleak climate, swamps, rivers, sea coast:

    From SKYBLAZE: “ The weather had been unrelenting, windy and cold, for the past seven-day now, and the forecast for the morrow was much the same. The night winds would move over the seacoast, pushing moisture into the swamp-regions, where it would gather energy from the barely frozen rivers, then push to and over the bowl of the city as the winds changed.”

  12. Ed8r

    Hmmm…that adds to the impression that the distance to the seacoast is reachable by road even by Surebleak standards, assuming they have the technology and manpower available (which they do?).

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