Speaking of Vlad and Kiera

Fri Feb 21 13:32:52 PST 2003

On Fri, Feb 21, 2003 at 03:06:31PM -0600, Dr. Elmo wrote:
 [[ responding to my comments about Sethra manipulating Vlad ]]

> Well, it wasn't Sethra who beat Vlad up every day of his youth and taught 
> him to hate elves.  Kiera may have gotten him the job in the Jhereg, but 
> Vlad took it for the chance to beat up Dragaerans.
> And regardless of to what extent Sethra has made Vlad who he is, the reason 
> she's not malevolent or villainous in having done so is that she's made it 
> worth Vlad's while all the way.  Vlad's gotten wealth, professional 
> success, material resources, and powerful allies from his use by Sethra, as 
> well as having his curiosity satisfied, which is not an insignificant 
> motivation, and he hasn't had to compromise what he considers important for 
> these gains.
> In fact, Sethra looks remarkably like an awfully good friend.

I see what you're driving at, but must respectfully disagree.  We
*know* that Sethra/Kiera is specificly training Vlad for some
yet-to-be-revealed role.  In the process, she took a motherless
Easterner with ownership of an ongoing business and turned him into
a thief, a thug, and a cold-blooded multiple murderer.  Granted
Vlad didn't love the resturaunt business, but there are other
alternatives to it than the one she pushed Vlad into.

And Vlad has already figured out that what he became is not
particularly good for him.  Yeah, he had success as a mobster, but
it turned him into something that drove off the woman he loves.  In
order to stop being what he was, he willingly put his neck into a
noose that it remains in to this very day.  I believe he now *hates*
what Sethra manipulated him into being.  I believe that he'd give
up "wealth, professional success, material resources, and powerful
allies" at the drop of a hat if he could live quietly with Cawti.
Unfortunately, the price of repudiating the former has made the
latter almost impossible.

But of course, that's all just my opinion about an uncompleted set
of stories.  Until it all comes out in the end, I think we're going
to have to agree to disagree.

But (hey Brust, wake up -- I want you to make a note of this
one) I'm willing to bet one beer that by the end of Vlads life,
Sethra (as she is dying or returning to the rock of Dzur Mountain
or assuming a long-delayed godhood or just standing over his grave)
turns to Vlad and apologizes to Vlad for using him as she has.  But
she'll also be pretty clear that given the needs that drove her,
she would do it again.

Damn, how many years before we get to the end of this series, anyway?
I hope you're taking good care of yourself, Steve.