the honing of Vlad (was Re: How much does Vlad *really* know about Kragar?)

Mon Jan 9 10:32:16 PST 2006

> Thinking primarily of Verra here, will Vlad truly remain her 
> "tool", or 
> will his plans come to be more important than hers? 

*opinion alert!*

I think it's going a bit too far to say that Verra considers Vlad to be a
"tool". I don't think he's a "tool" to her any more than Sticks or Glowbug
would be a "tool" to Vlad. His relationship to Verra is not to far different
from his relationship to Sethra, actually, except that Sethra has claim to a
fair amount of friendship that Verra does not. 

The Lords of Judgement are a puzzle. None of them appear to be omniscient
nor omnipresent, so the Dragaeran view of them may actually be more correct
than the Eastern view. Most of them don't even know what phase the cycle is
in without looking at it (though that may be an effect of the way time flows
or doesn't flow  in the Halls). 

Verra has said that she interferes in Vlad's life in order to "make him
useful". She has certainly intervened in his favor and she's certainly been
involved in putting him into situations where his skills were up to the task
at hand. However, she's never left him without a choice. She's never said
"you'll go do this thing and you'll smile while you do it". Faced with the
unexpected prospect of an "employee" carrying a potentially lethal artifact,
she didn't take it or force him to give it up or punish him or destroy him.
She's even taken a certain amount of lip from him (up to a point). Of
course, that's just the kind of god she is. She doesn't thrive on formality
like some others might. 

In any case, I don't think Vlad is being "honed" for any particular purpose,
at least not by Verra. She has a "personal" relationship with Vlad because
chance or destiny have brought him into her circle of influence. Devera
likes him. Her daughter likes him. Her "priest", Morollan, likes him. He's
handy for jobs that her other "tools" couldn't neccesarily do. She has some
affection for Easterners anyway, and I like to think that Noish-pa was
probably a "devout" follower for however you measure "devout" in Fenario, so
she might already have favored his family in some respect or other.
(Sethra's affection for Vlad might be a strike against him considering how
Verra appears to feel about Sethra.)

The problem with the "tool" line of thought is that Verra herself doesn't
know what she's doing half the time. As Vlad discovers, the Gods are no
better informed on many things than the mortal denizens of the world are.
(See once again the references to the state of the cycle.) To be a "tool",
Verra would have to have a plan and I don't think any of the Lords of
Judgement have a plan. They have so far been purely reactive. The one case
of Verra implementing a plan in _Phoenix_ went awry rather quickly...