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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Time Spiral - Chapter 9

Time for some lessons for Radha and Teferi both.

Time Spiral - Chapter 9

A thousand feet above the tallest mountain, Radha gets clear view of the entire southern half of Keld. When asked if she'd like to see the real Keldons below, she expresses no interest and wants to head straight to the necropolis .

The Keldon Necropolis was a massive mausoleum-fortress that had been carved into the heart of a mountain. It was both a war memorial and soldier's cemetery, but at the height of Keldon prominence ti had also been a meeting hall for the ruling council. Far below the great hall and the meeting chambers was  complicated network of tunnels and tombs that once held the remains of every great Keldon warlord.

There's something Teferi wants to show her at the base, but Radha knows what's she's looking for. A specific tomb closer to the top. Yet Teferi insists, and he floats them on down. On the way the wizard lectures her about the history of the place, but all Radha notices are the people who have made home in what is supposed to be an honored resting place for the dead. He insists that those are her fellow Keldons, however with one glance she rejects them outright as warriors that even Llanach wouldn't accept into his ranks.

Teferi tries to introduce her to the vaults of Keld and stress to her the importance of knowing Keld's past if she wants to be its future, but when he turns around she's gone. She wants to find that tomb, and he's wasting her time so she leaves without him.

He decides he has to let her find what she wants and follows. The excitement on her face makes it clear she's close to whatever it is she's looking for. The label on the tomb she finally stops at is labeled as Astor Doyn, known as the Upstart, Bearer of Three Blades, Steward of the northern Wastes, and the Butcher of Bogarden. He's also Radha's grandfather.

His body isn't in the tomb, but she wasn't expecting that. All the stories said he sailed away on the airship Golden Argosy after his role fighting side by side with the elven protector Eladamri during the Phyrexian Invasion and he never returned. The tomb was made in his honor without his body, but what she does find are two long and heavy daggers.

Radha carefully examines the blades, the totems as she calls them, and compares their weight to her own blades. She raises her arms above her head with the new blades in hand and and calls forth her fire. A bright yellow-orange flame bounces back and forth between the blades. She lowers her arms and let's the flame caress her face and her whole body ignites.

Her abilities with mana are still changing, and in ways he can't understand, but he will. He's learning so much more than he ever could by studying Skyshroud alone.

The fire extinguishes, and with acquisition of the blades no longer dominating her thoughts, she tells Teferi she's ready to go see whatever it is he wants to show her. Back down they go, to a sealed vault that Teferi magically cuts his way into. He pulls out a massive book. The Book of Keld.

Radha isn't particularly impressed, and when he asks if her she's ready to take on the responsibility that some of the most honored Keldons have taken on before her, she tells him no. She has no interest.

Teferi asks permission if he can read it, and an instant later he tells her that every word is not committed to his memory.

"For example, I can tick off the names of every warlord, every doyen, every Keeper of the Book. I know by heart all twelve stanzas of the Argivian epic 'The Beast of Keld.' Want to hear it?"


"Not even the censored bits?"


"Come on! There are three stanzas that were deemed too crude and upsetting for the general populace. Never published in the New Argive, and then lost until right now, this very second. Don't you want to hear them?" He winked. "You'll like the rhyme the author made for "esophagus," I guarantee it."

(Oh boy. I know Teferi is over a thousand years old and Radha has lived only a fraction of a fraction of his total life span, but Jhoira really needs to hurry up and really school him on how to not treat other people like ignorant children. This is the mighty court wizard that controlled the fate of nations through subtle manipulation? )

That of course doesn't work. Astor's blades are only the only history she needs. All she wants to do is see the mountain of Keld.

Teferi think to himself that at least he's gleaned some important information from the book about Keld and the location where Skyshroud is inserted, information that should help him with the return of Shiv.

* * *

Keeping it PG-13

I know these books are meant to be PG-13 if not PG. But... *shakes head*... The gravity of the situation is something that Teferi is taking seriously right? Radha is someone he really wants to bring to his side right? So... is he acting out of incompetence here or has he already forgotten how important this whole situation is?

This world Teferi has returned to is dark and bleak, and I understand why an author would want to include moments of humor, and especially want to include situational humor, but that little bit at the end really did not work for me.

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