In which yo’Lanna achieves a crush and Surebleak achieves a coup.
After Val Con commenting at the first inspection that the decor in the entrance hall was unsubtle but mendable, I was looking forward to seeing what had been done with it, but the narration skips past it and straight to the ballroom. Then again, perhaps Lady yo’Lanna hasn’t had time to do anything interesting with it yet.
According to her letter, Lady yo’Lanna brought with her three adult relatives and two children. Two of the adults appear in this chapter: Ken Rik, who used to be the cargo master on Dutiful Passage (so it’s not surprising to find him among those who have followed Korval to Surebleak), and Lan Lee, whom we have not met before. The children might be Maelin and Wal Ter, who Syl Vor recalls in Necessity’s Child having been close with before the clan left Liad; Maelin in particular is Ken Rik’s granddaughter. Ken Rik has another granddaughter, Karea, who was mentioned in Carpe Diem; she’d be old enough now to be counted as an adult, so perhaps she’s the third.
I haven’t managed to pin the identity of the large man in Bedel garb who speaks up in favour of Memit and Yulie’s hitching. My guess would be Udari, as the brother who is closest to Yulie, but looking back I haven’t found any descriptions of his size.
The Rating Board’s decision to bump Surebleak all the way up to Sector Port, All Services was foreshadowed way back in Chapter 6, when Val Con told Theo that there were many reasons for the board to find in Surebleak’s favor and specifically mentioned a lack of full-service ports in the sector.
The bit where it goes “with regret” doesn’t entirely fit the general tone of the message, and suggests that somebody at TerraTrade has yen for drama or a lamentable sense of humour (or succumbed to a moment of spite).