Book of Athyra

David Silberstein davids at kithrup.com
Sat May 3 13:50:10 PDT 2003

On Sat, 3 May 2003, Thomas FURNITURE ARTIST wrote:

>I seem to recall there's been some debate about how Vlad lost the
>little finger on (as I recall) his left hand; in Athyra he describes
>the open-handed parry, in Orca he states that it was a heavy weight. 
>I think, in grand Brustian manner, (if it wasn't a word before, it is
>now!!) that both are the truth.  To Savn, Vlad tells the literal
>truth, that it was done via a mostly-successful open-handed sword
>parry; to Kiera, he tells the metaphorical truth, that it was due to
>a 'heavy weight', i.e. the burden of trying to keep himself alive. 
>As we've been able to tell, Vlad can talk that way to Kiera; Savn, on
>the other hand, is a bit young for Vlad's usual conversational style,
>and I'm pretty certain Vlad recognized that fact. 

On the other hand, it could be that Vlad wanted to lie less to a
friend (so gave a more general response), and was willing to lie more
a stranger, especially one he wanted to impress.  :-) 

Very Minor Spoiler for "Issola": The story he tells Lady Teldra about
the finger is that a sorceror tried to eviscirate him from across the
room, and presumably missed (and doesn't give any more detail than
that).  It has a greater probability of being true than what he told
Savn, I think. 

Another possibility is that they're *all* true, to some extent - a
heavy weight crushes his little finger, which makes him clumsy enough
that the open-hand parry, occuring fairly shortly thereafter, severs a
large chunk of the finger, and finally, the sorceror's spell destroys
the last bit.

It might make for an engaging story, how seventeen different mishaps
occur to him, one after the other, damaging and taking off little 
bits of his little finger, where the final outcome is of course no
finger at all.

    "I stared at my bandaged hand.  If I were superstitious, I might
     suppose that fate or the gods were trying to tell me something.

     I thought of giving the gods - or fate - a somewhat different
     finger, but decided against it on the grounds that they might
     indeed take offense, and /that/ finger as well."

I wonder if Dragaeran medical sorcery includes regeneration?  I would
think it would have to, given some of the damage we've seen dealt out
to bodies which were then healed and resurrected.