Tuesday, 28 October 2014

The Man Who Counts, Chapter X

Nicholas van Rijn's machinations are endless. We already knew that he had engineered a civil war between Grand Admiral Syranax and Chief Executive Officer Delp, realizing that Delp would lose, merely to give himself cover to release a prisoner who would return with help. But, before that, he had given Delp's wife, Rodonis, the means to poison Syranax. Rodonis not only poisons the Admiral but also threatens Syranax's heir, T'heonax, with the all too plausible accusation that he had poisoned his father, thus blackmailing T'heonax to release the condemned Delp, who would otherwise have become a wing-clipped slave. Thus, divisive conflict continues in the Fleet long after van Rijn's departure.

Fleet religion

(i) "...primitive bloody sacrifices to Aeak'ha-in-the-Deeps..."
-Poul Anderson, The Van Rijn Method (New York, 2009), p. 403.

(ii) Worship of the two Moons, She Who Waits and He Who Pursues, seen as marrying when their paths cross.

(iii) "...an educated person knew there was only the Lodestar..." (ibid.), who has "...holy books..." (p. 404) and whose Leader in Sacrifice and Oracle is the Admiral - aristocracy and priesthood combined.


  1. Hi, Paul!

    Quite true, what you said about how Rodonis blackmailed T'heonax into releasing her husband Delp, when SHE had been the one who poisoned the old Admiral, not T'heonax!

    But T'heonax tried to neutralize the political threat Delp posed to him by forcing the Chief Executive Officer to swear an intensely personal but humiliating oath of loyalty to the new Admiral (albeit in private, with only one witness). So, T'heonax was not entirely a fool!


  2. Sean,
    You are getting ahead of me there. I am still plodding my way through chapter by chapter, between other activities.