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Friday, November 24th, 2023

Penric's Progress

Categories: [ Books/World of the 5 Gods ]

Penric's Demon

Penric is the youngest son of a minor noble in the Weald. One the morning of his arranged wedding, he crosses path with an old woman just as she dies of a heart attack. The woman is a sorceress hosting a demon and the latter jumps to Penric. As demons are normally given only to people who have been prepared for many years to receive one and dominate it, Penric is considered as potentially dangerous. The wedding is cancelled and Penric is taken by the local religious authority to the house of the Bastard's Order in Martensbridge where the scholars should know what to do. On the way there, Penric discovers little by little that the demon can talk through his mouth and decides to name it Desdemona. Desdemona is 200 years old and contains the knowledge of the twelve women who have previously hosted her. Over time, her knowledge of different languages percolate into Penric's mind, allowing him to read many books in the library of the Bastard's Order's house. Desdemona also teaches Penric rudiments of sorcery like killing fleas or lighting a candle at a distance. In Martensbridge, Penric bunks with the younger brother of the local lord. One evening, the latter invites him to dinner in his castle. The two brothers want to kill Penric in order to force Desdemona to jump to one of them, but the demon detects the drugged wine and gives Penric enough extra power so that he can fight them, escape and walk back to the house. He is then presented to a Saint who has the power to extract demons, but the Saint declares that his god does not want the demon. He apparently has plans for Penric.

Penric and the Shaman

Working for the princess-archdivine of Martensbridge, Penric is associated to Locator Oswyl, an investigator of the Father's Order in Easthome. Their task is to find Inglis, a shaman suspected of having murdered his teacher, Tollin and who recently fled from the city. After a chase through the countryside, they arrive in a mountain region where they learn about shamanism, which consists in “breeding” the soul of an animal through the lives of many animals in order to produce a Great Beast whose soul can be received by a human, becoming a shaman. Penric and Oswyl learn that a recent landslide has killed Scuolla, the local shaman, and that they urgently need to find another shaman to help Scuolla's soul moving forward and prevent it from becoming a ghost. They finally find Inglis, but the latter has lost his shamanic abilities due to what he has done. Oswyl also explains that Tollin had an accident during training and was dying, so Oswyl used the knife to anchor his soul until it can be given to a new shaman. Penric spends some time restoring Oswyl's confidence. Eventually the shaman is able to perform the rites on Scuolla's soul. Some time after being back in Martensbridge, Penric receives a letter from Inglis explaining that he was not found guilty of murder and only put on probation and fined.

Penric's Fox

Penric accompanies the princess-archdivine on a journey to Easthome. There he spends some time with Inglis. One day, Oswyl asks Inglis and Penric to help him investigate the murder of a sorceress and if possible recover her demon. The demon seems to have jumped to a passing fox. The investigation leads them to Wegae kin Pikepool, the local baron, more of a bookworm than a warrior, and who has inherited the estate after his uncle escaped trial for having murdered his wife. With the help of local shamans they manage to detect the missing demons and find the fox (actually a female with cubs). They also discover that Baron Wegae's gardener has been trapping foxes without killing them, and that a mysterious man seems to hide nearby. The man happens to be Wegaes's uncle who has come back to take revenge on the demon, whom he blames for having told the authorities, throuhg the sorceress who hosted it, that he killed his wife. The culprit is finally brought to justice, the vixen and her cubs are taken in the shamans' menagerie until the cubs can become independent and the demon can be extracted from the fox by a Saint of the Bastard. Penric negotiates with his employer a year of leave so that he can study with the shamans before being sent elsewhere to study medicine.

[ Posted on November 24th, 2023 at 18:32 | no comment | ]