A Robin Hobb Rereading Series: Entry 194: Ship of Destiny, Chapter 15

Read the previous entry in the series here.
Read the next entry in the series here.

The following chapter, “Serpent Ship,” opens with the white serpent–who insists on being called Carrion–accosting Maulkin and the other serpents in his tangle. Carrion tries to get himself killed, repeatedly, and Sessurea is only barely discouraged from obliging him by Maulkin noting the scent of She Who Remembers in the water. They proceed towards the smell, finding sound that echoes it and rushing off to heed the call to recall.

Bulb GIFs | Tenor
Not unlike this, no.
Image taken from Tenor.com, used for commentary.

She Who Remembers frets briefly as she rushes to meet the serpents, Bolt lagging behind. Maulkin greets her, and the two enter a communion that gives Maulkin back his full memory, and the memories spread to the other serpents. From the deck of the Vivacia, Kennit watches in amazement as the serpents churn and commune, and Bolt reiterates her demand to him, to which he agrees readily.

Elsewhere aboard the ship, Etta presses Wintrow as the young man considers his place and purpose. He voices his uncertainty to her, and she prods him to learn more–navigation, for one, and a return to his priesthood. They converse about the matter, and both realize that both have placed their faith in Kennit and not themselves–and that it should be in the latter. He slips into a strange meditation as he considers her words, and she quietly departs.

In the water, She Who Remembers considers Bolt and Wintrow with some confusion and trepidation. Maulkin joins her and notes his own suspicions, and they observe as Wintrow confronts the ship. It assails him, but the violence against him only spills his blood upon her wizardwood planks, where it soaks in and enhances the intertwined connection he has perceived within him and among them.

Once again, I find myself reading with affect as I read the passage wherein Wintrow considers that he cannot return to the priesthood that he had thought once and for years was his calling. I am in a similar place, having been obliged to exit the ivory tower in whose basements I long labored, hoping for a chance for a room of my own within it. I do well enough in my life outside it, of course, and I recognize that it has no real place for me within, but I still labored long to dwell within it, and that work cannot be undertaken without it doing much to the worker’s heart, in turn. I have not plied such waves as Hobb relates Wintrow has, nor are my scars as deep or extensive, but my currents have carried me far away, and my skin is far from smooth anymore, and I know not how to chart a course back to were I was before.

Can you spare a dime?

A Robin Hobb Rereading Series: Entry 193: Ship of Destiny, Chapter 14

Read the previous entry in the series here.
Read the next entry in the series here.

The next chapter, “Divvytown,” begins with Brashen considering the approach to the titular settlement from the deck of the Paragon, musing over changes to the place since he was there previously. He confers with Althea on the matter, and they determine to proceed with the sunrise. The ship puts in, surprising them all with knowledge of the local waters, and, when Brashen asks, the ship agrees to guide them into Divvytown on the spot. As the ship does so, the Paragon considers the approach and is startled by Amber waxing poetic on their progress through the night. The ship reflects with some trepidation on Amber’s words and considers those exchanged between Brashen and Lavoy to the aft.

How much of this can go around?
Image from Texas A&M University, which makes it a government document and therefore, if I understand correctly, public domain.

The Paragon puts in stealthily at Divvytown, and Brashen summons Althea to him after sending the rest of the crew, save a small watch, below deck. They confer, more about their romance than about the work at hand, as they survey the town and plot their landing party. Amber and Clef are excluded, as are Lavoy and Artu; Jek and a handful of others are to be brought along, and Lop left with orders to get Clef ashore if there’s trouble. The landing proceeds, with Brashen issuing and affirming orders to his selected crew, adopting a braggadocio act when confronted by local authorities appointed during the town’s reconstruction; he successfully plies the locals as Althea turns over what they learn in her head and reluctantly reassesses the possible situation with the Vivacia–as well as Kennit. The news from Bingtown takes her aback, as well.

After the local authorities approve of them, Brashen has his landing party disperse to gather information and gives orders to take on provisions. He also confers with Althea as the two of them surveil the town’s streets together. She is taken by the image of what could be that she sees reflected in windowglass as they do. And as she learns of her brother-in-law’s fate, she sorrows for the crew lost and for her sister–but not for the man, himself.

At the dock, Paragon muses over the oddities of time and his blood-borne connection to Kennit until disturbed by a gig from the town, one person aboard which identifies the ship as having been Igrot’s. The assertion upsets the ship, and the noise of the upset reaches Brashen and Althea in the town. They hasten towards the ship and are greeted by Clef, Jek, and all but two of the other landing party members; they return to the ship, where Lavoy confronts Brashen and assails him before leaping overboard–and a number of crew join him as the Paragon flees Divvytown under full sail.

This is not the first chapter of a Liveship Traders book to be titled “Divvytown.” The one that is, here, and the changes from the earliest appearance to the present chapter are marked. Kennit has clearly made an impact upon the place, and, as Althea is reluctantly obliged to consider, not all of it is for ill. Indeed, much of it is for good, in itself. That does not elide the ill Kennit has done and is yet doing–the chapter presents itself as contemporaneous with the trip to take Wintrow to Others Island, giving a sense of how the component parts of the novel fit together–and it is good to remember that it is too much to expect that the extraordinary will only be so in one direction. Then again, working to erect what amounts to a nation demands a certain degree of hubris; there are presumption and arrogance inherent in the notion that one person’s ideas are good enough to rule others by. Too, it is long known that a certain ruthless pragmatism is required in a great many endeavors.

I am reminded, however, that manure is often used to fertilize, and plants that bear good fruit grow well from having shit at their roots.

Your help to keep this site going would still be welcome.

A Rumination on a Missed Opportunity in the Classroom

I spent quite a while teaching, as I have noted in this webspace and elsewhere, and no small amount of that teaching was in a class I was never actually trained to teach: Technical Writing. I had no coursework in it as an undergrad or as a graduate student, but got thrust into it while I was completing my doctoral work. Coming up to speed teaching it took a little bit of doing, and, in retrospect, I have pity for those poor students who first suffered through my learning how to teach a course for which I had no preparation; I apologize to you for my inadequacies, whether or not you are reading this.

Yeah, this kind of thing.
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

As is often the case when something new emerges, I fell back on what I knew to start teaching the course–in this case, roleplaying game materials. I’d done it at other times, as I’ve attested, and, at some points (for example), I used RPG materials in classroom exercises in my technical writing classes–usually as examples of layout and ease-of-use, maybe for interrogation of audience–as in my more “normal” English (i.e., composition, literature) classes. Things may not have always gone over well–some sets of students took better to “nerd” pursuits than others–but they always got across the points I meant to make, and they provided concrete examples to help my students understand what to do and what not to do, both of which are important in fostering learning. So that much was successful in my teaching, and I should be pleased to have had that much success, at least.

But as I have been thinking on the matter, for reasons I’ll not get into here, I have realized I missed out on what would have been one hell of an opportunity to work with the technical writing classes (even if it is something I would’ve gotten…spoken to…about–but I got…spoken to…several times as it was; I might have had a bit more fun with it). I could have had my students design games or gaming modules and playtest them for each other, which would have offered them no small amount of practice in parsing directions, writing directions, testing those directions out, and working through the other kinds of work they were asked to do by curricular dicta.

A fairly common set of assignments in technical writing classes–both from my experience and from the reading I did years ago to try to support my suddenly emerging experience–includes a set of instructions, a project proposal, and a project report. Sandwiched between the latter two would (ideally–but how often we fall short of ideals!) be the execution of the project proposed. To my mind, the instructions could be that project, with the proposal outlining what is to be given instructions and how and the report being made from attempts to execute those instructions. And if those instructions happened to be a RPG or a module for an existing one…

Data rolls natural 20 : combinedgifs
As the saying goes, “trust Data, not Lore.”
Gif from Reddit.com, here, and used for commentary.

The way I’m envisioning it (from the vantage of it having been a while since I’ve had to write a syllabus from scratch–though I’ve done such things several times), students would be asked to complete major assignments as noted above: project proposal, instruction set, and project report. For the proposal, they would have to note whether they would develop a new RPG or a module for an existing RPG (the latter being more likely, the more so for a more compressed class). The instructions would be the actual gameplay; while I follow Mackay in calling RPGs an art, I acknowledge the necessity of rules in them–and what are rules but instruction sets? The report would, as gestured towards, detail play; it would note what led to the proposed project, give a description of the project and the playtest, and discuss results–what went well, what went poorly, and why. Formatting and usage concerns would be assessed as might be expected, with differences chiefly between the instruction set and the other documents; concerns of audience would necessitate dramatically different presentation there. Students would have experience with producing writing to order in genres not necessarily familiar to them, something common to people who try to make their living writing–and I am often told that making classroom activities mimetic of real-life practice is a good thing. Students of such a mind would have a portfolio object. And I might have both samples for future use (always helpful when teaching) and grist for the mill of my own gaming.

Such is not likely to be, of course. I am doubtful that I will be at the front of a technical writing classroom again, after all, or really any. But that does not mean I do not dream–and that working more on developing such a course is not without merit. It might help me get more of the kind of work I still like to do…

Care to put some money towards curriculum development?

A Robin Hobb Rereading Series: Entry 192: Ship of Destiny, Chapter 13

Read the previous entry in the series here.
Read the next entry in the series here.

A content warning is likely in order.

The chapter that follows, “Surviving,” begins with Keffria and Selden talking on the deck of the Kendry as the liveship approaches Bingtown. The harbor is desolated, the ruined hulks of ships visible in the water and the lingering damage to the town visible, as well. Keffira frets for her family, the fates of most of whom are uncertain to her.

The Constitution of the United States | National Archives
This seems to be evoked…
Image from the US National Archives, which I’m pretty sure makes it public domain.

Reyn and Jani are also aboard the Kendry, and they confer about their own mission to beseech aid as they approach the injured town. Trehaug is in dire economic straits, the earthquake having rendered the retrieval of Elderling artifacts impossible, and the extinction of the Rain Wild Traders looms. Keffria invites the Khupruses to lodge with her, which offer they accept, and Grag Tenira arrives to spirit the group away under cover–and to the waiting Ronica.

Aboard the Chalcedean ship, the Satrap whines; at Kekki’s insistence, Malta offers some gentle advice and comfort, musing on their unpleasant situation and tending to the Companion as best she can. The value of Kekki’s advice is made clear as Malta rehearses an assault upon her. The Satrap continues to treat her as a servant, and Malta is accosted again; she falls, opening a wound she has been considering for some time. As she makes to bind it, she realizes that Kekki has died as the Chalcedeans hail another ship.

In Bingtown, Serilla takes lunch and considers her worsening situation. Roed Caern grows increasingly cruel and paranoid as many sets of machinations unfold; she wonders how to place herself among them in the wake of a message from Mingsley. She also considers Ronica, musing on the older woman’s wisdom.

Grag and Reyn confer as the latter makes ready to join a gathering. They exchange tidings, including Reyn’s certainty that Malta is dead. Similarly, Ronica affirms herself to Keffria and reminds her that she, not Ronica, is the Vestrit Trader. And at the gathering, Keffria takes her rightful place, despite her pain and loss. News is exchanged and counsel taken for how to proceed; the potential for a break from Jamaillia and a new system of rule for Bingtown is discussed, and Reyn, at Selden’s prompting, begins to explicate some of the longer history of Bingtown and the Rain Wilds.

I am again taken by the similarity between events unfolding in Bingtown and what I remember being taught and reading later about concerns surrounding the Revolutionary War. (I am aware that what I was taught was markedly jingoistic in addition to being simplified for consumption by children. The latter is excusable, even perhaps necessary; the former is not. And, recall, I grew up in small-town Texas–for good and ill.) I’ve noted that in other work–and I’ll get to that work, worry not–Hobb makes much use of early US history to inform her fictional milieu; I haven’t done the reading to the extent that I should (yet) to confirm it, but it does not stretch credulity to think that Hobb is doing much the same thing in the Liveship Traders novels that she does in the Soldier Son series. And she seems to be offering some corrections, being explicit in the incorporation of women in the proposed renewed Bingtown as equals–formally and legally, not just conventionally–and noting usefully that “A manner of speaking becomes a manner of thinking.”

Indeed, that comment is more true than many people want to believe. I don’t necessarily fully subscribe to Sapir-Whorf, but it is an idea that merits more thought than most afford it.

I can always use your support.

A Robin Hobb Rereading Series: Entry 191: Ship of Destiny, Chapter 12

Read the previous entry in the series here.
Read the next entry in the series here.

A content warning may well be in order.

The succeeding chapter, “Alliances,” begins with Brashen conferring with the Paragon, trying to elicit some reaction from the figurehead as the sentence of isolation relaxes. The ship tries to wound the captain with words, but fails; Brashen’s melancholy has already cut him. They reach an uneasy detente of sorts, though it seems to satisfy neither ship nor captain.

storm GIF
Not a welcoming thing, no.
Image taken from Giphy.com, used for commentary.

Elsewhere, Tintaglia soars about the waves, considering her situation, the need to find the last young of her species, and the changes to the geography from what she recalls in her ancestral memories. She muses with disgust on humanity before encountering a serpent that has gone almost completely feral, trapped in a backwater and raging at her as she tries to aid it. Her efforts are of no avail, and she performs a final mercy on the serpent, tasting the lingering despair of his existence as she does so. Departing, she begins to consider how humanity might be brought to the dragons’ aid.

Aboard the Paragon, Lavoy reports to Brashen. The captain issues a series of directives to the mate, most of which are not to the latter’s liking. After dismissing Lavoy, Brashen considers the coming conflict with Althea with trepidation and longing.

For her part, Althea manages her watch and muses on her situation with Brashen. She muses over the crew assigned to her, assessing their strengths and weaknesses evenly, and Brashen informs her of the imminent rescinding of the isolation order for the Paragon. Althea accepts the order and considers its likely impact on the sullen Amber before her thoughts turn toward the Vivacia and the plan to retake her. When Brashen issues his orders, including the change in watch-crews, Althea seethes but holds her peace; she seethes more when, as she comes off watch, Clef conveys a summons to the captain’s quarters.

Althea reports as ordered, and Brashen invites her to voice her complaints to him. After a bit of prodding, she does so, somewhat vehemently. Her complaint–that he had shamed her by ordering her back from battle–provokes an unexpected apology that shifts into an anguished declaration of love from Brashen. That, in turn, moves into an assignation that leaves Althea feeling nearly fulfilled.

On the foredeck, Amber confers with the ship, trying to explain the finality of death. The ship is aware of and confused by what Brashen and Althea do in the captain’s cabin, however, and is distracted from the conversation thereby.

I am aware that, as a reader, I am supposed to be in favor of Althea and Brashen re/beginning a romantic relationship. Certainly, the novels have thrust the two of them together repeatedly and given them opportunities to fall in and out and in again. But I cannot help but read the encounter between them in the current chapter as some combination of contrived–it’s a novel; of course it is–and harassive. Brashen is the captain of the Paragon; Althea is second mate and therefore under his direct command as an officer in the ship’s complement. She is not in a position to be able to refuse his advances, really, and a diminished capacity to refuse them necessarily makes for questions about their acceptance. Certainly, were I to act so in my leadership role, I would (potentially) provoke harassment proceedings; the lack of an analogous legal recourse within the milieu of the novel does not mean the act is less–questionable? Reprehensible? Illicit? Immoral? Wrong? I am not sure what word applies here, really, but I am sure that the passage in question is…uncomfortable reading, even for me. How it would strike people more directly touched by such acts in their own lives, I am not sure I am equipped to consider.

Care to lend a hand?

At the Riverside

The flow between the shaggy sides is slow and sweet
As many have known who have ventured therein
And many small things swim in it
Where Lupe feasts before she is taken in turn
And I incline to linger here
Where I went in such days of my youth as I ever had
And which are now gone away
As I wonder if I soon will be
But there are other rivers in which to play
Other waters into which I can sink–
And I do sink
No preservation sufficing for my life
But I can stand to die a little
Now and again
Perhaps I will enjoy their waters more
But I should not scruple to taste them at least once

What did you think I meant?
Image is William Farr’s on Wikipedia, used under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license for commentary.

Would you be so kind as to support my continued writing endeavors?

A Robin Hobb Rereading Series: Entry 190: Ship of Destiny, Chapter 11

Read the previous entry in the series here.
Read the next entry in the series here.

The chapter that follows, “Bodies and Souls,” begins with Wintrow considering his convalescence as he hobbles across the deck of the Vivacia towards the figurehead. There, he confers with the ship, confronting the dragon-personality that has ascended to the fore, and a tense exchange between the two ensues. Wintrow realizes his mind and heart are divided, and he he skeptical of the dragon’s desire to have him leave the ship. Etta joins the conversation, but matters do not ease, despite the dragon-personality’s flattering. She seeks to confront the dragon-personality in her turn, and Wintrow is dismissed–with a clear warning.

Not the best soundtrack for the chapter, I admit, though I have enjoyed listening to it over the years…
Image from the group’s website, used for commentary.

After Wintrow retires from the foredeck, the dragon and Etta have their talk; Etta knows the personality she faces is not that the ship had had. The dragon-personality names itself Bolt to her, explaining it and remarking that she will not share her true name. As Etta considers, Bolt urges her to remove her wizardwood charm and take control of her reproductive rights, noting the effective inability of males–dragon or human–to properly regard them. Etta complies, and Bolt eats the charm, rendering the decision irreversible.

The serpent Shreever considers the increasingly large group of serpents that has gathered around Maulkin. Sessurea joins her briefly before scenting something and thrashing about to uncover the form of a fallen dragon, one of many in a place that once stood above the waves but has sunk beneath them. Maulkin seeks to rally the serpents once again, but is challenged by a white serpent who reports having conferred with and fled from She Who Remembers; Mauklin subdues the challenger and commands that he take them back to She Who Remembers.

Kennit regards himself and his situation as he makes to confer with Bolt again. Etta reports some of what she has learned to him, and Kennit is skeptical of her changed attitude–and that of his crew–as he strides to the foredeck to speak with the ship. After an enigmatic conversation, Kennit agrees to the terms Bolt has laid out for him; she will permit herself to be sailed by him and will help him to pirate well, and she will receive her due in return. At her urging, Kennit calls on Wintrow and appears to heal his scars; the act fatigues both of them greatly, and when Kennit wakes later, he marvels to find himself happy–and more to find Bolt singing to serpents that rise from the sea.

Bolt’s comments–and how helpful to have a name!–to Etta regarding childbearing are telling, I think. Certainly, “debates” in the United States regarding reproductive rights and choices were ongoing as the novel was brought to publication (the scare quotes are because there should not be a debate; medical decisions are the patient’s to make, or the proxy assigned by the patient, period), and putting comments affirming reproductive rights in the mouth of an antagonistic character–not an antagonist as such, but certainly not a friend–puts the novel in an ambiguous position among them. Bolt, after all, is in some opposition to characters the reader is encouraged to support, but those characters are not necessarily “good,” not necessarily to be emulated; it defies an easy assignment of support or denial of the position. At the same time, Bolt argues against the particular form of contraception and prophylactic Etta employs; again, the commentary is made ambiguous by being placed in the mouth of a morally ambivalent character–and one that decidedly hails from an older time (as well as another species). And there is the problem of the comments essentializing women to their reproductive capabilities–perhaps less overt an issue as the novel reached publication but certainly one that demands attention for a later rereading.

I could still use, and will continue to appreciate, your kind contributions.

A Robin Hobb Rereading Series: Entry 189: Ship of Destiny, Chapter 10

Read the previous entry in the series here.
Read the next entry in the series here.

The next chapter, “Truces,” begins with Ronica musing lightly on her improved methods of skulking and spying on Serilla in what had been Restart’s home. The legal proceedings against the estate are settled, although Ronica wonders if coercion or bribery by Roed Caern is behind their end. Ronica overhears news of the Satrap’s escape from captivity in Trehaug–and that Malta is implicated in a conspiracy to effect that escape. She also overhears the evolving machinations of both Caern and Serilla, and she swiftly moves to retrieve Rache and make to flee.

Mad ship
Whereabouts they are on this map is unclear…
Image taken from the publisher’s site, used for commentary.

As her conversation with Caern is interrupted by coffee service, Serilla considers her situation and the tensions in her uneasy alliance with him. Among others, she recognizes him as a threat not unlike the Satrap aboard the Chalcedean ship, an experience from which she has not recovered. She also believes she notes Ronica’s eavesdropping and is convinced she has given her a tacit warning. As conversation continues, Caern continues to rail against the Vestrits, even as Serilla is not convinced that they are traitors to Bingtown; as he rails, her perception of his threat grows, and she almost reflexively gives in to his demand for Ronica’s location, that he might seize her. She laments her action, unhelpfully.

Ronica and Rache, however, are striking out across the less-kept areas around Bingtown to try to get to a section of the city where Caern will have less sway and power. Rache notes that the difficult passage was the best route to take and attests to the many shantytowns that have sprung up in the area, refuges for the Tattooed who could not escape the city as a whole. Ronica is again taken by the numbers of people trafficked into Bingtown as she and Rache reach their destination: Sparse Kelter‘s home. They are welcomed and fed and lay out their situation, which is dire and threatens all the populations of Bingtown.

Caern comes across in the present chapter as the kind of figure–present in the United States in abundance as the novel was brought to publication, and unfortunately increasingly vociferous and violent since–who longs for a return to an idealized past that never was. “Send them back” is his battle-cry, “they can never really be like us” is his mantra, and they are all too familiar from the real world, and just as heartless and ultimately short-sighted in it as in the novel. That Serilla recognizes his folly and the threat it presents is a point in her favor, but it does not outweigh her reliance upon that folly to secure her own position; she is complicit, more than many, in its peril, something that many others would do well to note in their own lives and in a world that still too much devalues the lives of those who look different and who do not come from inherited positions of power within social structures designed to reaffirm and reassert that power, both with physical violence and with other forms of coercion.

Any chance of sending some help my way?

A Rumination on My Hometown

I have had occasion, recently as at other times, to think over my life in Kerrville. I’ve noted elsewhere that that life began in 1988, when my parents relocated from the northwest corner of Louisiana to the Hill Country town, following family events I’ll not get into here. From that point–which was the middle of my Kindergarten year–on, I attended the local public schools, graduating from high school in 2000 and keeping Kerrville as my permanent residence until I moved to Brooklyn, NY, to be with the woman I loved and whom I would marry. And, after my professional life went…otherwise than I would have preferred, we–my wife, our daughter, and I–moved to Kerrville again, living there with the exception of a brief span since 2016.

Kerrville TX - Official Website | Official Website
It’s a nice place, really, even if there are problems.
Image is from the city’s website, which I’m pretty sure makes it public domain.

Growing up in the town when I did and as the kind of kid I was–a bookish little shit, prone to outbursts that landed me in trouble (as they ought to have, really)–I did not like it much. I tried, while I was an undergraduate at UTSA, not to come back often; it didn’t work, and after two years of living on the campus, I moved back into my parents’ house, where I stayed until I went off to graduate school at ULL. While I was there, I came back for many holidays and the occasional hurricane-prompted evacuation–I started grad school the August that Katrina hit, after which, I took such warnings seriously–and when I did, I stayed at home. Much the same was true after I moved to Brooklyn, and it stayed true when I lived in Oklahoma. I thought I did not belong in the town, thought it was all too happy to return that regard.

When I moved back, bringing my family with me, I was therefore somewhat ill at ease. It was a defeat, after all, a running home with my tail between my legs, and one I recognize now (too late to do any good) that I earned through being scornful of where I was before. I still feel some of that, of course; there are people in town who won’t shake my hand, still, and walking through places where I was an asshole reminds me more than my brain already does that I was an asshole. And my habituated curmudgeonliness still pushes me to be home rather than to be out, something that reads better after the novel coronavirus than before but which is still problematic; I still do less than I should to appreciate where I am.

Because, while there are problems with my Hill Country hometown (many, yes, but that’s true everywhere), there are also a lot of good things about it. As I was reminded during Uri, there are many people here who are willing and happy to help complete strangers with no compensation (although the offer of that compensation is obligatory; you always have to ask how much you owe). There’s a lot of good food to eat, and there’s a lot of pretty in town and a short drive away from it. And, for better or worse, it’s home; I grew up here, my family is here, I know its streets and surroundings and people (even if they don’t always like me). It makes sense, and there’s little enough in the world that does. And that’s something.

Once again, your kind support is greatly appreciated.

A Robin Hobb Rereading Series: Entry 188: Ship of Destiny, Chapter 9

Read the previous entry in the series here.
Read the next entry in the series here.

The next chapter, “Battle,” begins with Althea fretting about the performance of the crew of the Paragon in battle drills. She ascends the rigging to join Amber on watch, conferring with her regarding her condition and recent events. Both of them voice distrust of Lavoy before their conversation is interrupted by the approach of pirates. Chaos ensues as the crew of the Paragon shambles towards readiness, Brashen having to direct crew that should already have known what they were about and noting Lavoy moving with a hand-picked force of his own.

Work in progress - UItimate Admiral: Age of Sail - Page 5 - General  discussions - Game-Labs Forum
Yo, ho, ho!
Image taken from Game-Labs, used for commentary.

The pirates begin to board, and battle is joined. The crew of the Paragon is able to repel the boarded, if with difficulty and the direct involvement of the liveship. In the wake of the fight, only one captive remains after Lavoy’s work; he is questioned on the foredeck, where the ship finds his answers upsetting and unsatisfying; the Paragon seizes upon the chained captive, pulling information from him before breaking his body and tossing it into the sea. Lavoy, who had been inveigling the ship for some time, feigns surprise and shock at the event; he is not believed as Brashen tries to reassert calm and control over the crew.

After, Brashen considers his injuries and the straitened situation in which he finds himself, caught by what he believes his duties as captain are. The ship muses similarly, if more sullenly amid contemplation of the spilled blood and course for Divvytown and Kennit to which Brashen has turned his attention.

I find myself once again reading with affect, with understanding coming from my own time and current circumstances, and as my eyes take in Lavoy’s protests that what the ship has done is not his fault–after he had spend long cultivating the ship and a select group of the crew–I cannot help but picture him with oranged skin and a poorly-done comb-over. I know, of course, that that’s not the specific comment being made in the chapter, but I also know that one of the things that makes a work of written art a better one is that it will take additional interpretations–the kind of thing described as “speaking to other times” when I was going through school. (Is that enough reason to keep using the phrasing? Maybe not. Hell, I’m not even sure the folks reading this have that frame of reference–which might be such a reason. Maybe.) So I (again?) think it’s not a bad thing that I read the chapter affectively. The emotional involvement’s what drives the initial interrogation, after all…

I can still, of course, use your help.