Saturday, 17 November 2012

Change But Not All At Once

In The Dog And The Wolf (London, 1989) by Poul and Karen Anderson, worldviews change but gradually, sometimes imperceptibly, as they do in real life. Nemeta, who had been the last worshiper of the Three of Ys, became a Christian but then Dahut, agent of the Three, killed Nemeta's husband, Evirion, as she had already killed another woman, Tera's, husband, Maeloch.

Knowing that this is forbidden to Christians but doing it anyway, Nemeta joins with Tera to invoke "'...the old Gods...Cernunnos, Epona, Teutatis...,'" curse the Three and summon "...the Old Folk from their dolmens." (pp. 486-487) Receiving intelligence on Dahut from Cernunnos, Nemeta relays it to Bishop Corentinus who, in turn, speaks to Dahut's father, Gratillonius.

Gratillonius, converted but not yet baptized, therefore not ringing any alarm bells in Dahut's preternatural sensory apparatus, is able to lure Dahut into the open where Corentinus, emerging from concealment, can exorcise her. Thus, an extraordinary heathen-baptised-unbaptised-episcopal alliance neutralizes the last expression of the power of the Three. (This is at last the end of the Three that I had been looking for when rereading the tetralogy.)

As I am sure any Bishop would tell us, they would not be able to do it that way these days.    

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