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Isabeau's Journal

 November, 12 2005

OK, folks-this is the general forum now for questions that don't seem to fit in any of the other threads. I'm going to sort some of the earlier posts into the appropriate forums, but it might take a while, so bear with me. I'll delete the ones that have already been reposted by their authors.

dpetrash wrote-OK, back to actual questions about your stories! I finally got to read Noble Jewel for a second time and true to form, I noticed many more things about it that went right over my head the first time. And generated questions and comments, of course....

1. (Ch. 2) I really, really like Cuilast. Typical of your secondary folk, he has been fleshed out beautifully. Will we see a lot more of him in the future? Anyone (besides Imrahil) who is not afraid to tweak Andra has my undying respect. Favorite lines: “Your stepfather was in error,“ the healer declared, his voice positively chirpy. “I have not known bastardy, either as a condition of birth or description of temperament, to be an impediment to membership or advancement in the Swan Knights.” “Very funny, Cuilast!” the captain growled.

I'm rather fond of that little exchange myself! And yes, you will see more of the healer along the way. As Tolkien himself says, Aragorn has a lot more fighting to do, and the Swan Knights, as well as the Rohirrim, will be along for the ride. So a surgeon will definitely be needed.

2. (Ch. 2) A little before that, Cuilast has asked Andrahar to stay with Brand, and that he needed Liahan to help him with the injured Swan Knight because “He’s more than half a healer himself, you know.” Andrahar: “Yes, Liahan does a great many things well,” came the dry response.

What does that mean? Andrahar’s obviously making an oblique reference to something, but I can’t figure out what it is.

Liahan tends to be pretty good at whatever he turns his hand to, that's all. Though Andra might indeed be thinking of Aragorn's assessment of Liahan's ability with the sword.

3. (Ch. 3) Peloren’s acknowledgement of Andrahar mourning Boromir, some comments that Cuilast makes, Esteven’s discretion in “Discovery” – how many people actually know that Boromir was Andrahar’s lover? Some things seem to indicate that there’s at least suspicion among the Knights, but then again can be read as merely acknowledging that Boromir was his one-time pupil and friend.

Can I get back to you on that one? (frantically trying to pry nuzgul off leg)

3. (Ch. 4) Does Brand actually get to use Andrahar’s prized soap in his bath??? This could be his most valuable inheritance from Andrahar.

I think that Cuilast probably provided something with a bit more of a antibacterial quality for that bath. Though in the future Brand will undoubtedly have access to The Soap, if only so Imrahil will be annoyed....

4. (Ch. 5) “Left with time on his hands, Andrahar invoked a privilege of his that he rarely used, and set an esquire who had displeased him the day before to cleaning his tack, and grooming the remount he was riding.”

Um, is this anyone we know? :P

Possibly. Haven't decided yet, but it's a good possibility!

5. (Ch. 5) Just a comment: That whole passage, where Brand is saying goodbye to his family and gives Jacyn “studied insolence” at the end, and Andrahar finally feels hope and joy – still incredibly moving. I love how you set that up and portrayed everyone.

Thank you!

6. (Ch. 6) Do you have more history on Liahan (another favorite minor character)? He’s scattered throughout several of your stories but not much is revealed except his excellent character and seemingly gentle manner for a warrior. Why is he fostered to Dol Amroth? Related: Are any of our other “known Knights” married with kids? Or is it typical for the Knights to be bachelors?

I'm working on that. All I have right now is that Liahan's father is from one of Dol Amroth's really old noble families-his ancestor served Imrazor. He has four sons, an unusual display of Numenorean fertility and Liahan's the youngest. The inheritance is going to be minimal if it's split up so many ways, so Imrahil offered to foster Liahan with an eye toward giving him a career in the Swan Knights. He's landless, so he needs a good job.

Peloren is married with kids, as is Esteven. Liahan is going to get married after the Ring War-he's betrothed. There are a few bachelors in the Swan Knights, but most of them are family men, and the bachelors tend to be the younger fellows-except, of course, for Andrahar.

Needless to say, I was very happy to have so much of Noble Jewel from Andrahar’s perspective. It really opened up a window into what a great man he is, despite his rough childhood, and beautifully showed his humanity and compassion - though well disguised to the outside world! As with all yours and Altariel’s stories that have Heth “hidden” in the background, I am impatiently waiting for Silver Swan to catch up so I can get her perspective on events!

So am I! Poor Una-she's got at least one story she can't post because it's full of spoilers. Probably figures she won't live that long at this point...


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