Opening Section of Goldmage Ch 9

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Opening Section of Goldmage Ch 9

Postby Alicorn » Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:45 am

Subject to change before official publication or possibly relocation to a different chapter. This is the italicized flashback introductory part.

It was still a little jarring, less than a week into the new class cycle, to let her own students go, step out of the role of their teacher, and then immediately attend her own small tutoring sessions on politics. One moment "But Tse!" and "I have a question!" and "I have to pee!" were all addressed to Meea. The next moment someone else was in charge. (And everyone in the politics class knew better than to arrive with a full bladder.)

This tutor, unusually, wasn't a mage, but one of the Temple-Guild's customers - one of her pa's clients, trading his services as a teacher for part of what he owed to visit Tsarian. Whether this was due to financial burden or just because he liked teaching, Meea was unsure. "Hello, Tseca," she said. She was the first one there.

"Hello, Meea. How's your father?"

"He's over his cold. He'll be so happy to see you after class."

Tseca smiled, just a little farway for a moment. Then another student arrived, and Tseca greeted him, too, and so on until all five of them in this group were there.

Once they were all seated - Meea and another goldmage, two greens, and a blue - Tseca opened with: "Can someone tell us the ranks of nobility?"

The blue volunteered first. "The king, regnant; the queen, consort; the princess, heiress apparent; the Archdukes and Archduchesses; the Counts and Countesses; the Lords and Ladies. As yourself, Lord Feric." (Meea made a face at the formality. He'd offered his first name to everyone, not just his redmage's daughter, but no one else had picked it up.)

"And - someone else, please - what does their status allow them to do, in general terms?"

A greenmage spoke. "Briefly? You could order us to do anything that wasn't against the law and as long as nobody who outranks you appeared to belay it we'd have to do it."

"Technically, yes. And why doesn't this happen all the time?"

"In general, or here?" asked the same green.

"Let's start with here."

"Because if you start ordering
us to do anything we really don't like, we can defect and attack you and you can't do anything about it and you'd probably regret it. I'll stop short of giving details."

"And I thank you for it. Though I hope you know that isn't the only reason I don't attempt to abuse my lordship," said Tseca with a small smile and a glance at Meea. "But mages, while loyal to Cefax and the nobility that governs it, are overwhelmingly powerful."

"I couldn't do much," pointed out the blue.

"Well, not to me in particular, since I assure you I'm impossible to blackmail, but you're dangerous in your own right to some. Reds and whites less so. Golds most of all." He glanced at Meea and her colleague; Meea met his gaze with perfect calm. She had no quarrel with her political betters.

The other green said, "And for everybody else - we work for money, and someone could pay the Temple-Guild not to help you."

"That hasn't happened often, but it
has happened - a group of commoners can raise enough money to cut off a noble from mage services. Since it is of course much less expensive to hire you not to work, and for good reason. The other reason nobles don't tend to bully non-mage commoners is that we have our upper echelons too. They don't work so directly. The Count of Mixan, for instance, can't directly command me to make my son marry his daughter no matter how much he'd like to. Who knows what he can do if he doesn't like how I'm handling myself?"

Meea answered this one. "Challenge you to a duel," she said wryly. It had kept bothering Pa till it was settled; the daughter in question was his client, too.

"Right. Which he has done, with his firstborn as champion, and I won, and that was that. This is not something that happens to commoners - most particularly not mages. But another noble could call me to personal account over any misdeeds, unless the king himself intervened."

"Is the only point of having different ranks of nobles the rule where you can only challenge downwards?" asked the bluemage.

"Higher-ranking nobles also rule larger territories and tend to be more closely related to and more involved with advising the royal family," said Tseca, "and have more involvement with politics overseas, which we'll begin to discuss the next time we meet. An Archduke or an Archduchess can even, with the support of enough key players, potentially override an order from the king, in the sense that the king can rule only with the support of those under him."

"But," said the other goldmage, "that would be a dangerous move, wouldn't it? Challenging the king."

"Often. But it's likewise a bit dangerous for royalty to contradict an Archduke," Tseca replied.
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Re: Opening Section of Goldmage Ch 9

Postby Shoal » Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:17 am

yay! squee! i like it!

but do they really not bother the commoners or do they just think they do not?
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Re: Opening Section of Goldmage Ch 9

Postby Alicorn » Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:18 am

There's commoner-bothering going on; Lord Feric is just describing some of the factors that keep it relatively in check.
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Re: Opening Section of Goldmage Ch 9

Postby Kappa » Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:31 am

"commoner-bothering" <3 <3 <3
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Re: Opening Section of Goldmage Ch 9

Postby cbhacking » Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:41 am

Liiiike. I feel like I've probably never mentioned this to you before, but I *love* the worldbuilding at the start of every chapter. I feel like it may be unconventional, but that can be a very good thing. The pacing of the "reveals" in Goldmage has, thus far, kept me quite happy. The world unfolds delightfully, even though (when I first read it) I was initially rather confused about most of the mage colors.

Also, this chapter sounds like it's get politcs-y. Which I'm looking forward to! Actually, I'd be looking forward to it under almost any topic. Yay Goldmage!
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