the honing of Vlad (Some Issola spoilers)

Jon_Lincicum at stream.com Jon_Lincicum at stream.com
Mon Jan 9 10:45:54 PST 2006

"Scott Schultz" <scott at cjhunter.com> 
Sent by: dragaera-bounces at dragaera.info
01/09/06 10:32 AM

"'Dragaera List'" <dragaera at dragaera.info>

RE: the honing of Vlad (was Re: How much does Vlad *really*     know about 

>> 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 
>would be a "tool" to Vlad. His relationship to Verra is not to far 
>from his relationship to Sethra, actually, except that Sethra has claim 
to a
>fair amount of friendship that Verra does not. 

You see, this is why I put "tool" in quotes... ;-)

I just recently re-read /Issola/, and it's interesting to re-visit the 
part with Vlad/Teldra talking to Verra in her halls.

"I refuse to allow you to be a useless boil on the hindquarters of the 
world." (or some such.)

But there's also Sethra's comments at the end of the second chapter about 
how Vlad has always been "Happier being just used as a tool, and not given 
explanations, no matter how much you ask for them." That seems pretty 
appropriate to this discussion.

>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 
>than the Eastern view. Most of them don't even know what phase the cycle 
>in without looking at it (though that may be an effect of the way time 
>or doesn't flow  in the Halls). 

"More" correct perhaps. Verra has a good bit in /Taltos/ where she tries 
to describe the difference between the Eastern view and the Dragaeran view 
of the gods. The "I was never human, but if I had been, I wouldn't be 
know..." speech.

>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 
>involved in putting him into situations where his skills were up to the 
>at hand. However, she's never left him without a choice. She's never said

It seems (to me) that in sending him back to face the Jenoine in /Issola/ 
she doesn't give him much of a choice, but I'd be interested in hearing 
you elaborate on your point, here.

>probably a "devout" follower for however you measure "devout" in Fenario, 
>she might already have favored his family in some respect or other.
>(Sethra's affection for Vlad might be a strike against him considering 
>Verra appears to feel about Sethra.)

I think Verra/Sethra's disdain for each other comes across as a bit more 
of a friendly rivalry. Certainly, Verra is willing to work with her (re: 
the last attack by the Jenoine on the Lesser Sea) when the need arises. 
Verra may just be bitter because Sethra snubbed her when Sethra was 
offered godhood.

>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 
>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 
>of Verra implementing a plan in _Phoenix_ went awry rather quickly...

I don't know if we really have enough information to go on here. 

Certainly, Verra is not "all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful" in the 
sense of the god figures of this world usually are. But lack of 
Omnipotence and Omnicscience doesn't mean that she's just totally making 
it up as she goes along. That's Vlad's specialty, after all.

I guess you'd have to ask Trout.