Who's the Best? (was: Concerning Great Weapons ...)

Sat Mar 8 17:38:27 PST 2003

On Sat, 8 Mar 2003 Gaertk at aol.com wrote:

> David Silberstein <davids at kithrup.com> writes:
> > not because he was the "best".  And Vlad's assessment of
> > Mario being the "best" may not be 100% accurate.  And
> > Istvan may have simply been the one that accepted the
> > contract on Vlad, after better assassins refused for
> > various reasons.
> I don't think that's how its working in Vlad's case.  I think
> its a matter of the Council giving lots of money to whoever
> shows up with Vlad's head.  Istvan saw an opportunity, and
> took it.  Ditto for Stony (unless you want to name him one of
> the best).

According to several books (well, _Jhereg_ and _Yendi_ at least)
it's the way of things that one assassin is assigned per job.
I think this was presented as a measure to avoid interference.
(Which wouldn't necessarily be at issue here, admittedly.)
And perhaps this indicates Dragaeran patience relative to Easterners.

Now that I think of it, it's rather odd that Loraan and Istvan
would work together - did L call up the Jhereg and ask for help?
Seems unlikely.

> Vlad himself probably isn't even in the top rank (though he
> may deserve it).  IIRC, we're told that the Sword and the
> Dagger weren't the best, and they were too expensive for
> Vlad, indicating that his fees are much lower.

AFB but I think tSaD are referred to as among the most feared
workers in the House.  Maybe Vlad can't afford himself - as
is discussed in _Teckla_, he's not in it for the money.
(Aside - there's a sly moment in _Orca_ where Kiera says she
forgot how rich Vlad is - referring to the price on Mellar's
head, I imagine - but isn't he actually not that well off,
having used the bulk of the money [50k/65k] to buy South
Adrilahnka?)  Anyway, see elsewhere in the thread for evidence
that Vlad is in fact front-line.