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Stormlight Archive: The Regency Romance

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I hate beards: I was glad to see fashion among the Alethi seems to go clean shaven. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. Over here, fashion wants it guys now have beards, such as big, fat beards. They all look as if they walk straight out of the wood: the only thing missing is the dead beaver and the arrow sash. Why? WHY? Now even my husband wants a beard.......  :o

 

Elhokar is not ugly! You missed that? Ah. Adolin says in his POV women he trusts have told him they found Elhokar quite handsome, not that he would be able to judge such thing, but he has it on good authority. It is also highlighted Gavilar was the handsome one as nobody ever called Dalinar handsome, even in his youth. Gavilar it seems, had the bearing of a king and Elhokar has it as well: he just lacks the capacity and the personality. 

 

There has to be a reason Dalinar transfers so much of his affection to Elhokar: he reminds him of Gavilar, physically.

 

And Dalinar is not handsome... It isn't just he is old (he isn't THAT old, 50 is not exactly old age) or scarred, he did not inherit pleasant facial features. It is why it is heavily assumed Adolin takes after his mother and not his father....

 

Oh you are going to love this... It isn't present day half-baked Dalinar we are getting, but young half-naked Dalinar  :o And NAvani is spying or something. I am not quite sure. As for their present day relationship, it has been hinted it was more than platonic... Pattern did spy on them, says they hold themselves close and started making weird noise not long after....  :o I nearly choked on my coffee when I read this one  :ph34r: Oh Brandon... did you really made the allusion they might be you know doing THE thing? :ph34r:

 

Hey, my man used to be bladder shy: it is a real issue  -_- His armorers are helping him put on his Plate, but he isn't naked when they do so: he wears his ugly patted uniform. As for wiping his butt, I think he has no choices here.... I just try to imagine the scene where Dalinar calmly explains to his young too-fashionable teenage son the grim truth of warfare and how he has to leave such consideration back home  :ph34r:

 

As for taking a shower with Kaladin, while I am all for comparing anatomy :ph34r: , I do not dance on this side of the fence. I prefer my ships to remain canonically plausible, but I mean, if they are just bathing, then I guess no harm is truly done.  

 

 

 

Has there been any other appearance RAFO other than Renarin's eye colour?  I can't remember.  But most of the time they are small enough questions that they do get an answer, and you could probably get away with asking add-on questions.

 

If you go in clown costume, wear face paint so no one can see your own face!!!   There's no reason to get embarrassed when no one will ever know it's you.  That's why people are so mean on the internet, anonymity can justify lots of weird and crazy things.  Asking about "other hair" is relatively harmless in comparison. :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r:

 

Why so much beard hate? :ph34r:  Sometimes it's fitting for some people - how would a villain twirl his mustache or stroke his goatee when he ties a girl to the traintracks if he had no facial hair?  If you can grow a full beard and put in the effort to keep it neat and trimmed there's nothing wrong with looking like a lumberjack.  When your husband wears a flannel shirt and a hat with earflaps, you will agree with him that beards look good!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:  And I know Elhokar is handsome while Dalinar is not.  It's just that my mind is biased and I imagine people I don't like uglier than they are.  Whenever there are bossy cheerleader characters in high school novels I always imagine them ugly even though they're described as hot.  WHY.  :blink:  :blink:  :unsure: 

 

 

 

"He held her at this point, and whispered some things I did not hear.  From there, they got very close and made some interesting noises.

Chapter 75, "True Glory"

 

The whole conversation happened while Shallan was in the bathtub.  I think it's still ambiguous that Dalinar and Navani were doing THE thing :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r:  Shallan was probably bathing for 20-30 minutes and Dalinar seems like too proper of a guy to want to get things done and finished that quickly.  :ph34r:   :ph34r:  I read it and thought "OMG ARE THEY???  COULD THEY BE????" and assumed it was just making out.  Because they walk in to see her like 5 minutes later fully dressed and Shallan doesn't notice that they look rumpled or anything.  :ph34r:  I thought Dalinar would take his time to do it proper if you know what I mean, so randomly in the middle of the day fully clothed is out of character and only fitting for peasants and teenage newlyweds. :ph34r:  

 

How does buttwiping in Shardplate work? :lol: :lol: :lol:   Do the armourers have to undo the Shardbearer's pants and pull it down for him?  I would think that the padded pants have the fly at the front for #1 and have a buttoned bumflap for #2.  Imagine young Adolin getting fitted for his padded uniform at age 16 and asking Zahel what the back flap is for.  :lol::ph34r::P  

 

COMPARING ANATOMY OMG SHALLAN WOULD HAVE A HEART ATTACK.   If Adolin asked Kaladin for his advice on how to be "less shy with girls", Kaladin would use bridgemen showers to teach him to be body positive and non-awkward about getting undressed because he is a tough love kinda guy.  :ph34r:  Kaladin feels nothing about stripping to his loincloth so I'm surprised there aren't more shirtless scenes.  :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r: 

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Has there been any other appearance RAFO other than Renarin's eye colour?  I can't remember.  But most of the time they are small enough questions that they do get an answer, and you could probably get away with asking add-on questions. :ph34r:

 

I has been asked before and the answer has been: "It has not been decided yet." So huh, for some reasons, Brandon's team are unsure which eye color young Renarin should be. Typically, I picture them as... blue like his father and his brother.

 

 

If you go in clown costume, wear face paint so no one can see your own face!!!   There's no reason to get embarrassed when no one will ever know it's you.  That's why people are so mean on the internet, anonymity can justify lots of weird and crazy things.  Asking about "other hair" is relatively harmless in comparison. :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r:

 

They will know... I have just disclosed on a public forum I possess such a costume. I will be automatically recognize and my aura of mystery will be forever gone  :ph34r:

 

 

Why so much beard hate? :ph34r:  Sometimes it's fitting for some people - how would a villain twirl his mustache or stroke his goatee when he ties a girl to the traintracks if he had no facial hair?  If you can grow a full beard and put in the effort to keep it neat and trimmed there's nothing wrong with looking like a lumberjack.  When your husband wears a flannel shirt and a hat with earflaps, you will agree with him that beards look good!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:  And I know Elhokar is handsome while Dalinar is not.  It's just that my mind is biased and I imagine people I don't like uglier than they are.  Whenever there are bossy cheerleader characters in high school novels I always imagine them ugly even though they're described as hot.  WHY.  :blink:  :blink:  :unsure:

 

I just prefer clean shaven face... which leads me to say I have asked my Asian sister-in-law about Asian and... hair...   :ph34r:  :ph34r:  :ph34r: Alethi are based on Asians right? Well she confirms most Asian are practically hair-less  :ph34r: She even says many have a hard time growing a beard  :o I wonder what it says about Kaladin who seems rather hairy based on description.... Anyway. I have thus decided Alethi aren't hairy people  -_- because  -_-

 

I have threaten to filled in a divorce if he ever grows a beard  :ph34r: No seriously, he dropped the idea when he realized half of it would be grey  :ph34r:

 

I have the opposite bias: I tend to picture character I like as handsome  :ph34r: and mean cheerleaders are always pretty and blond and dumb. You can't reinvent every single trope  -_-

 

 

The whole conversation happened while Shallan was in the bathtub.  I think it's still ambiguous that Dalinar and Navani were doing THE thing :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r:  Shallan was probably bathing for 20-30 minutes and Dalinar seems like too proper of a guy to want to get things done and finished that quickly.  :ph34r:   :ph34r:  I read it and thought "OMG ARE THEY???  COULD THEY BE????" and assumed it was just making out.  Because they walk in to see her like 5 minutes later fully dressed and Shallan doesn't notice that they look rumpled or anything.  :ph34r:  I thought Dalinar would take his time to do it proper if you know what I mean, so randomly in the middle of the day fully clothed is out of character and only fitting for peasants and teenage newlyweds. :ph34r:

 

Huh well 20-30 minutes is about what it takes unless you want to go through the whole candles and endless stroking kind of thing which tends to be... huh long in the context of every day life. They are busy people, so huh, 20-30 minutes that's about right. It's pretty average. No need for rumble clothes either... it's plenty long enough to get out of them and back into them. 

 

Newlyweds are those who would technically spend much more time at it... being all newlywed and everything...

 

Anyway, holding close and making interesting noise did strike me as IT, as close to writing as Brandon is likely to get, but it definitely was it.

 

Also, Dalinar and Navani are grown-ups, not teenagers: they were shaking it since Day 1. There is no point in waiting for the "right moment" when you are passed a certain age, you just get down with it, so I assume this is exactly what they did. The whole "making it special" typically is a thing for the very young or the very extremely romantic which neither strike me as. 

 

 

How does buttwiping in Shardplate work? :lol: :lol: :lol:   Do the armourers have to undo the Shardbearer's pants and pull it down for him?  I would think that the padded pants have the fly at the front for #1 and have a buttoned bumflap for #2.  Imagine young Adolin getting fitted for his padded uniform at age 16 and asking Zahel what the back flap is for.  :lol::ph34r::P

 

OMG, buttoned bumflap  :o  :o  :o  Alright. That's it. You have created a new personal imagery  :o  :ph34r: Poor young Adolin... so fashionable and so clean being told about such truth... Now, I want to read this scene so badly  :ph34r:

 

 

COMPARING ANATOMY OMG SHALLAN WOULD HAVE A HEART ATTACK.   If Adolin asked Kaladin for his advice on how to be "less shy with girls", Kaladin would use bridgemen showers to teach him to be body positive and non-awkward about getting undressed because he is a tough love kinda guy.  :ph34r:  Kaladin feels nothing about stripping to his loincloth so I'm surprised there aren't more shirtless scenes.  :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r:

 

I once wrote a silly short fic where Shallan did just that: it was a take on "What if SA has been written by a dystopian teen author.". I think her sketch pad would suddenly be filled with something else than moss........ I wonder if Adolin even acknowledged the fact he actually is shy: he seems so oblivious as to all that's happening in his courtships. I wish Brandon would explore what is truly going on there... *Sigh*

 

Kaladin is a darkeyes soldier who likely got to stripe in his loincloth on a regular basis while being both a soldier and a slave while Adolin is a pampered prince who never got to show any skin other than his face and hands outside of his private luxurious bath room. The only woman who saw him naked must have been his mother when he was still young enough for her to supervise his bath: meaning less that 6 years old.

 

Darkeyes are probably less set on propriety than lighteyes.

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The Stormlight Archives Regency Romance

PART EIGHT

 

 

 

 

The carriage took to the metalled road with a frustratingly cautious pace.  Visibility in the fog was limited; Shallan supposed that the driver had been given a charge to be judicious with the horses – it would not do for one to stumble on rain-loosened gravel; the injury of a beast would have resulted in the passengers’ being obliged to wait for a replacement, or walk the dirty weather themselves.  

 

Shallan sat on one padded bench inside the carriage, Kaladin next to her.  Adolin was opposite her, his dripping umbrella leaning against the door; his overcoat with its fur collar was carelessly thrown over a large rectangular briefs satchel.   The air within the carriage, with the three of them inside, had grown still and uncomfortably warm.   Adolin had left the coachman’s window behind his head slightly ajar, but their carriage's slow pace meant no breeze stirred the fug of humidity that their dampness had slowly become.  The benefit of a closed coach like this was that there were no leaking spots common in folding-top Landaus, but as Shallan found now, the closeness was approaching sweltering warmth.

 

Each passenger had brought their own diversion for the journey.   Kaladin had in his hands a thin booklet with a simple cover; The Forceps written across the front.  The interior consisted of the dense double columns of text common to those small publications whose operating costs were priced by the page.  Adolin had a larger album of some sort; in contrast, his had an elaborately detailed letterhead of vines and curlicues on the cover, and, from what Shallan could see, engraved fashion plate illustrations with annotations and price lists.   He sprawled with his back to the door and his feet in the shared aisle of leg-space; perhaps it was something men did when limited space caused their touching knee to knee to become a distinct and fearful possibility.

 

Shallan’s own satchel was in her lap; she had pulled out her sketchbook and her wooden pencil box with its sliding lid and useful compartments.   She flicked through the sketchbook, looking for the point where old drawings ended and the fresh paper started.

 

“Is that a picture of me?”

 

Shallan jumped.

 

Kaladin’s eyes were on the sketchbook on her lap.   Shallan found a clean page and smoothed it down.  She had flipped through so quickly, how could he have seen what she’d drawn beyond a blur of grey and brown – let alone identify her drawing as his own portrait?  She took a breath to compose herself. 

 

“No, of course not,” she said coolly.  “Why would I have a picture of you?”

 

“That is a question you ought to be asking yourself,” he remarked.   He turned back to his periodical.  “My hair doesn’t look like that, you know - you should have made it more curled.  And why didn’t you fill in the irises?  It looks somewhat ghoulish without them.”

 

That storming man.

 

Yes, it was true she had drawn a picture of him, she could admit that to herself willingly, if perhaps not eagerly – but she had sketched portraits of Adolin and Jasnah and even herself at one point.  Was it so strange that she had added him to her collection of Memories?   It could be counted irregular that she had spent more time on his picture than the others – but Kaladin possessed a darker complexion than the others, so she had shaded it in; naturally shading the hair followed, and of course, if one coloured the hair, one daren’t forget the rather prominent eyebrows that lent so much unpleasantness to his countenance. 

 

She was disinclined to argue with him; she was all too aware that they were both of similar temperament when it came to what could only be civilly described as passionate discourse: neither would concede ground, neither would let the other eventually triumph for the sake of superficial cordiality.   It would not do to quarrel with him, at least not here, where the Duke was undoubtedly listening. 

 

So she said: “I am afraid your eyes mistake you, sir.”

 

They were not particularly gracious words articulated in gracious tones, but she had no gracious sentiments to spare for Kaladin.  He could pick up the dispute and look disagreeably aggressive in front of Adolin – which was not what one did in mixed company, not when she and Adolin were involved in some sort of – embryonic, as yet – understanding.   Adolin might have been compelled to respond in regards to her honour.  In any sort of conventional situation, any conventional man would not have contemplated such conduct, and never with any woman so closely associated with his patron-employer.  But the rules of social decorum did not seem to apply to Kaladin for whatever reason; she could only rely on his friendship with Adolin to hold his opposition in check. 

 

Kaladin made an exasperated grunting sound.  Or was it indifferent?  Or sullen?  The man could probably tell a story with his grunts, if only there could be found a single person who cared a whit to listen.

 

That the exchange involved behaviour she would consider deplorable and manipulative under most circumstances was slightly appalling; she supposed Jasnah, were she here, would have been appreciative.  It made her feel a somewhat disconcerting sense of malicious glee.  She had had power over someone briefly: it was a second-hand power derived from someone else, not hers by her own right – but could one grow so used to it over time they would no longer see the wrong of it?  Was that what Jasnah had been privileged with, and exposed to, her whole life, as the daughter and sister of Kings?  It would explain a great many things.

 

She picked up her pencil and started sketching.  And because she was feeling frivolous and aware that Kaladin had been looking at her drawings and was probably eyeing her surreptitiously right now, she almost wanted to dare him to keep looking.  So in her current contrary mood, she drew a picture of Adolin in highland dress and wearing the McValam tartan. 

 

They rode in silence for fifteen more minutes, and then the carriage slowed, and there was a tap on the roof.   Adolin sat up; he had been resting his head against the inside of the door and the back of his hair stood up in an oddly endearing blond tuft.  

 

“It’s the church – it’s on the edge of the village, so your stop came first.  Shall I walk you out?” he offered.

 

“No thank you, it’s quite all right – you must be expected in the village and the rain has delayed you already – I could not delay you further,” Shallan said.

 

“Let them wait: am I not a Duke?  And you have no umbrella; – I insist, please, there would be no greater pleasure.” 

 

Then he smiled.  It was a beautiful smile, energetic and almost infectious, and in the dreary greyness of the day and the troubled greyness of her recent thoughts, Shallan was reminded that there were people who weren’t all like Jasnah or Kaladin: people who made her uncomfortably aware that there were parts of her that could never, ever be acknowledged as a credit to her character.   Adolin was different.  And the smile in front of her was much better in person than the drawn Adolin in her sketchbook; her drawing did not at all do him proper justice.  She must remember what it looked like, or else try to see it again…

 

“Then if you insist, I thank you, truly.”

 

The carriage door was opened; Adolin stepped out first, opening the umbrella.  Shallan pulled her tartan over her shoulders, then took his arm; he led her up the path to the front door of the church.   When they arrived and stood under the dripping veranda of the entryway, he paused.

 

“I know Kaladin and you find it hard to see eye to eye on things,” he began.

 

“We see eye to neck, if you hadn’t noticed.   When I see him, I want to embrace him … by the throat,” remarked Shallan.

 

Adolin chuckled as he shook out his umbrella.   “He is not a bad person, not really.  He just finds it difficult to trust new people, I think.  When I first met him, he was curt with me for some time.”

 

“What happened to change that?”

 

“He saved my life.  And the life of my father.  Eventually my brother’s too.  I was – I am – grateful and indebted to him, and I tried to show him, in what little way I could.  Who would have thought that a Duke could have a debt he considers impossible to repay,” said Adolin, thoughtful.

 

Shallan frowned for a moment, then laughed.  “So must I save his life to win his approval?  And here I thought you were courting me, rather than I courting him!”

 

Adolin grinned and ducked his head bashfully; the tuft of hair still stuck out from the back and he hadn’t noticed.   “Am I courting you now?  Not just friendly acquaintances?”

 

“Why not?  Yes!  Just don’t tell Jasnah or she will have the wedding planned for the end of the month.  From introduction to courting in a single day; Jasnah would predict nothing less than our being settled with a babe on the way by the end of the year,” said Shallan.

 

This last comment made Adolin flush; he looked away in embarrassment, a dazed smile on his face.  Shallan had never considered her own red-faced blushing as attractive in the least; in Adolin it was charmingly delightful.  Shallan was tempted to say deliberately outrageous things as often as possible, now that she saw it provoked such a darling response.   But then, regrettably, the conversation would never get anywhere.   Perhaps, though, it was not such a bad thing.

 

She patted him on the arm.  “Don’t worry, I won’t provoke Kaladin unnecessarily.   He seems to easily manage producing ire in plenty, without my intervention.”

 

Adolin cleared his throat, then said, “I would very much like to see all of us amiably acquainted, if not friends.   It would elevate my spirits a great deal if that were to be so.”

 

Shallan looked up at him, her hand still on his arm.  “I will try to be civil.  For you.  Now, mustn’t you get back to the carriage?”

 

His head jerked back to look at the carriage.  The curtain over the window twitched, then lay still. 

 

“That is all I ask, thank you.  I will send the carriage to drive you to the village for luncheon; just wait here when you have finished your devotions and the coachman will see you from the road.”

 

He took her right hand, then kissed the back of it.  This time it was not the air he kissed; his lips gently brushed her flesh, warm on her rain-chilled skin. 

 

“Good day, Shallan,” said he; he withdrew and then the umbrella was struck open and he was off down the road; there came a crack of the driver’s whip and a whinny of horses and soon the carriage was crunching over the gravel to Courtlea proper, leaving Shallan standing on the doorstep of the village church. 

 

It suddenly occurred to her: of all the instances where a woman could be left abandoned and staring apprehensively at the threshold to a church, this would probably be the least exciting.  

 

She grasped the iron ring on the door, swung it open, and stepped inside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author’s Notes:

I tried to keep Shallan on-character in terms of PoV internal monologuing and dialogue.  Please let me know if you thought it was off or weird in any place.  I don’t like reading AU fics where people who are supposed to be on-character go OOC either.   In this story, Shallan’s dialogue is supposed to be the happy, peppy girl that people expect to see.  The internal PoV bits are supposed to show that she’s young and naïve, but still has dark bits that she knows about, but doesn’t want to inspect too deeply.  She’s not a bad person, but certain situations or persons have the potential to push her into bad or questionable things. 

 

Subtext:

  • Kaladin is reading the AU version of the medical journal The Lancet.  I used a parody because Issue 1 of The Lancet didn’t come out until the 1820’s.  Adolin is reading a clothing pattern catalogue. 
  • The portrait of Kaladin is from the earlier post Shallan’s Sketchbook #3.
  • “We see eye to neck” – reference to Kaladin and Shallan’s height difference.
  • “He saved my life” – happened while the Kholin regiments and Kaladin were in Ireland for the Vengeance Pact war
  • Adolin is as blushy and awkward around forward girls as he is in the real SA.  I write him as “pure” and inexperienced in that way if you know what I mean.
  • Yes, Kaladin was watching from the window.
  • “Instances where a woman could be left abandoned” – is this foreshadowing being left on the altar?  Who knows.
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The Stormlight Archives Regency Romance

SHALLAN'S SKETCHBOOK

PAGE 6

 

 

 

 

WHGK0Kk.jpg

 

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I just prefer clean shaven face... which leads me to say I have asked my Asian sister-in-law about Asian and... hair...   :ph34r:  :ph34r:  :ph34r: Alethi are based on Asians right? Well she confirms most Asian are practically hair-less  :ph34r: She even says many have a hard time growing a beard  :o I wonder what it says about Kaladin who seems rather hairy based on description.... Anyway. I have thus decided Alethi aren't hairy people  -_- because  -_-I have threaten to filled in a divorce if he ever grows a beard  :ph34r: No seriously, he dropped the idea when he realized half of it would be grey  :ph34r:

I have the opposite bias: I tend to picture character I like as handsome  :ph34r: and mean cheerleaders are always pretty and blond and dumb. You can't reinvent every single trope  -_-

 

Huh well 20-30 minutes is about what it takes unless you want to go through the whole candles and endless stroking kind of thing which tends to be... huh long in the context of every day life. They are busy people, so huh, 20-30 minutes that's about right. It's pretty average. No need for rumble clothes either... it's plenty long enough to get out of them and back into them. 

Newlyweds are those who would technically spend much more time at it... being all newlywed and everything...

Anyway, holding close and making interesting noise did strike me as IT, as close to writing as Brandon is likely to get, but it definitely was it.

Also, Dalinar and Navani are grown-ups, not teenagers: they were shaking it since Day 1. There is no point in waiting for the "right moment" when you are passed a certain age, you just get down with it, so I assume this is exactly what they did. The whole "making it special" typically is a thing for the very young or the very extremely romantic which neither strike me as. 

 

OMG, buttoned bumflap  :o  :o  :o  Alright. That's it. You have created a new personal imagery  :o  :ph34r: Poor young Adolin... so fashionable and so clean being told about such truth... Now, I want to read this scene so badly  :ph34r:

 

I once wrote a silly short fic where Shallan did just that: it was a take on "What if SA has been written by a dystopian teen author.". I think her sketch pad would suddenly be filled with something else than moss........ I wonder if Adolin even acknowledged the fact he actually is shy: he seems so oblivious as to all that's happening in his courtships. I wish Brandon would explore what is truly going on there... *Sigh*

 

Kaladin is a darkeyes soldier who likely got to stripe in his loincloth on a regular basis while being both a soldier and a slave while Adolin is a pampered prince who never got to show any skin other than his face and hands outside of his private luxurious bath room. The only woman who saw him naked must have been his mother when he was still young enough for her to supervise his bath: meaning less that 6 years old.

 

Darkeyes are probably less set on propriety than lighteyes.

 

 

Renarin's eyes are either blue or yellow, or if grandparents' genetics matter, green.  Is it really such RAFO material?  I'm leaning towards blue or green; if it were yellow I think it would be noticeable enough that Kaladin would mention it, because I think Laral had yellow eyes too.

 

No one will make the connection between you and the crazy clown lady.  :ph34r:  There are only a handful of people following this thread so you should be fine as long as you don't post it elsewhere.  Maybe I just want to see a random clown in the background of Brandon signing photos....

 

Well, yeah, most East Asians don't grow as much hair as white people.  It's rare to see an East Asian guy who can grow a full beard at 20; most can only grow a small mustache and a soul patch by then.  Brandon was inspired by Chinese and Korean history, Dalinar was inspired by a Mongolian, and the rest of the Alethi are supposed to look Polynesian.   They still grow armpit and leg hair, but arm hair and chest hair is thin and fine or non-existent.  But they still have "other hair". :ph34r:   Kal is pretty hairy if he can grow a beard at 18.  He's too dark to be East Asian, and when I looked at the "Stormlight movie casting" thread and everyone seems to want Indians to play him.

 

When you subtract the time to take off and put on clothes, then they only have a 15 minute time slot.   Yeah, I know it's possible to finish up in that amount of time, but there's barely time to "compose yourself" so you don't come out of the room breathless and red-faced smelling shamefully sweaty.  And  Shallan was using Navani's bathroom.  The risk of daytime canoodling is having to go through the rest of the day feeling sticky if you didn't have a chance to clean up. :ph34r: :ph34r:   But who knows.  Maybe by the time you're 50 years old nothing bothers you anymore. 

 

Can you imagine that Zahel's Lesson #38 on how to use Shardplate is on how to "take care of your business on the battlefield"?  If he made Renarin eat a proper sit-down dinner in Shardplate, then Adolin was probably told to go behind the training field and practice being able to do #1 in Plate without hurting himself. :lol::o:P  The armourers would take care of #2 because he can't reach it himself, but I'm not sure if they'd want to go that far to help him for a #1, which probably happens twice as frequently.   :ph34r:  :ph34r:  :ph34r:  :ph34r:  :ph34r:  :ph34r:  :ph34r: 

 

I read that story you wrote. :ph34r: 

And I couldn't decide which team to be on. :ph34r: :ph34r:   Shirtless bridge brothers. :wub: :wub: :wub:

I think Adolin doesn't know he's shy because he doesn't know any other way to be.  Alethi people are reserved in public, so Adolin's no-touchy is normal and so he think he's normal.  But they do their dirty in private, like Dalinar and Navani, and Adolin has never gotten that far to find out.   Simple explanation. :)

 

Adolin's tailor has probably seem him in his undies.  That reminds me - I have never done a clothing design on Alethi underwear, maybe someone has to ask Brandon or Ben about it. :lol:  Do lighteyes wear loincloths or do they have nicer undies, like silk shorts with a drawstring waist or folded fabric banana hammocks like the traditional samurai/sumo wrestler ones?  Do they wear singlets/tank tops under their white dress shirts to protect it against sweat in a time where most people only own 3 shirts and no washing machine?  

 

ALETHI UNDERWEAR FASHION FOLIO

WHERE ARE YOU :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r:

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Renarin's eyes are either blue or yellow, or if grandparents' genetics matter, green.  Is it really such RAFO material?  I'm leaning towards blue or green; if it were yellow I think it would be noticeable enough that Kaladin would mention it, because I think Laral had yellow eyes too.

 

It isn't so much he said it was a RAFO, it was more an instance of "I have not decided yet". My understanding is it isn't relevant whatsoever, but since he has not make his choice yet, he'd rather not state some random eye color. So either they are blue like Adolin and Dalinar or yellow like Gavilar and Elhokar or whatever eye color their mother had providing it isn't blue.

 

There are times when Brandon answers in such way for plot related elements which some fans may be curious about, but he hasn't given enough thought about to give an actual answer. So it isn't a real RAFO, so to speak.

 

 

No one will make the connection between you and the crazy clown lady.  :ph34r:  There are only a handful of people following this thread so you should be fine as long as you don't post it elsewhere.  Maybe I just want to see a random clown in the background of Brandon signing photos....

 

Are you sure only a handful of viewers are reading this thread? You've got quite a few upvotes in this... This being said, I'd like to point out "clown" certainly wasn't my first choice, but when I volunteer to be the parent helper at the kiddies Halloween party, I had not realized the adult women costume department store was all about the s-words.... 

 

Sxxx-nurse, sxxx-police women, sxxx-super-hero.... I mean... If I were to save the world, a buttom length mini skirt would hardly be my first choice  :rolleyes: I thus had to settle myself with something more "appropriate" and since they were out of pumpkin costumes  :ph34r: I was left with clown................

 

A random clown in Brandon's background would be......  EPIC  :ph34r:

 

 

Well, yeah, most East Asians don't grow as much hair as white people.  It's rare to see an East Asian guy who can grow a full beard at 20; most can only grow a small mustache and a soul patch by then.  Brandon was inspired by Chinese and Korean history, Dalinar was inspired by a Mongolian, and the rest of the Alethi are supposed to look Polynesian.   They still grow armpit and leg hair, but arm hair and chest hair is thin and fine or non-existent.  But they still have "other hair". :ph34r:   Kal is pretty hairy if he can grow a beard at 18.  He's too dark to be East Asian, and when I looked at the "Stormlight movie casting" thread and everyone seems to want Indians to play him.

 

Well Brandon said Alethi weren't a clear ethnicity on Earth, so they aren't exactly Asian. They are something else and it appears they can grow beards before the age of 20, as shown by Kaladin's example which I think is a good one as the book also emphasis the fact the darkeyed had purer blood and resembled more the "Alethi ideal" than most lighteyed who are heavily mixed.

 

He never said they were Polynesian, he said they were nothing distinct, but a various mix of Asian, Hawaiian, Polynesian and Native was close to it without being exactly it. 

 

Why do you say Kaladin is too dark to be East Asian? You mean skin tone? Correct me if I am wrong, but Kaladin is not described as dark skinned, but tanned which basically encompass pretty much every single ethnicity on Earth. I personally do not like the Indian representation (it looks horribly wrong with Adolin for instance, I basically strongly dislike every single choices made for him with this particular canon). Last I check the movie casting thread failed to find one actor I would find convincing for Adolin, I am much less critic for Kaladin, but he can't be Indian while everyone else isn't. I have my personal take on the Alethi and I am satisfied by it. It respects the guidelines given through the canon which are tanned skin and almond eyes.

 

 

 

When you subtract the time to take off and put on clothes, then they only have a 15 minute time slot.   Yeah, I know it's possible to finish up in that amount of time, but there's barely time to "compose yourself" so you don't come out of the room breathless and red-faced smelling shamefully sweaty.  And  Shallan was using Navani's bathroom.  The risk of daytime canoodling is having to go through the rest of the day feeling sticky if you didn't have a chance to clean up.  :ph34r:  :ph34r:   But who knows.  Maybe by the time you're 50 years old nothing bothers you anymore. 

 

 

It doesn't take 15 minutes to remove clothes and to put them back on and even then... 15 minutes is huh actually plenty long enough... as for "composing oneself" there are... huh stuff for that which actually existed in Antiquity, so huh I think it is pretty safe to assume they had ample time to pick wildflowers while Shallan took her bath. Also, I have a hard time figuring out how you could get sweaty and short breath after 15 minutes... must have been a pretty intense 15 minutes.

 

I am sure there was another bathroom for Navani to "freshen up"  -_-

 

 

Can you imagine that Zahel's Lesson #38 on how to use Shardplate is on how to "take care of your business on the battlefield"?  If he made Renarin eat a proper sit-down dinner in Shardplate, then Adolin was probably told to go behind the training field and practice being able to do #1 in Plate without hurting himself. :lol::o:P  The armourers would take care of #2 because he can't reach it himself, but I'm not sure if they'd want to go that far to help him for a #1, which probably happens twice as frequently.   :ph34r:  :ph34r:  :ph34r:  :ph34r:  :ph34r:  :ph34r:  :ph34r:

 

Zahel let it slip Adolin was not a very good student: too stubborn and refusing to be taught, so I imagine his lessons were somewhat a bit more painful than Renarin's who does as he is told without any argumentation. Whatever it is Zahel saw fit to teach, we can be sure the lesson had to be hard wired into Adolin's head... Somehow, I have always pictured Zahel needing to throw his pupil in the mud dozen of times in order to get him to respond positively to a given lesson.

 

So number 1...  Dunno how he managed to teach him that  :ph34r:  :ph34r:  :ph34r:

 

 

And I couldn't decide which team to be on.  :ph34r:  :ph34r:   Shirtless bridge brothers.  :wub:  :wub:  :wub:

 

I knew people would love the shirtless brothers  :ph34r: It was supposed to be a parody of Twilight where Shallan plays insipid Bella, unable to choose in between her two men. 

 

 

I think Adolin doesn't know he's shy because he doesn't know any other way to be.  Alethi people are reserved in public, so Adolin's no-touchy is normal and so he think he's normal.  But they do their dirty in private, like Dalinar and Navani, and Adolin has never gotten that far to find out.   Simple explanation. :)

 

Possible. Adolin acknowledges he has trouble opening up to people, but he doesn't linked to being shy which is, I think, only part of the reason. As for intimacy, considering his "education" was likely non-existent in the matter, it isn't surprising he isn't comfortable with the idea. Besides, being intimate implies opening up which he has issues with... Ah I hope Brandon will tackle this.

 

 

Adolin's tailor has probably seem him in his undies.  That reminds me - I have never done a clothing design on Alethi underwear, maybe someone has to ask Brandon or Ben about it. :lol:  Do lighteyes wear loincloths or do they have nicer undies, like silk shorts with a drawstring waist or folded fabric banana hammocks like the traditional samurai/sumo wrestler ones?  Do they wear singlets/tank tops under their white dress shirts to protect it against sweat in a time where most people only own 3 shirts and no washing machine?  

 

ALETHI UNDERWEAR FASHION FOLIO

WHERE ARE YOU :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r:

 

You don't need to undress for a tailor to measure you.... I think... 

 

As for Alethi's underwear, I had given this particular subject some thought  :ph34r:  :ph34r:  :ph34r: In one short fic I wrote, I had Shallan snooping into Adolin's underwear drawers: all silk boxer-like underwear because reasons  :ph34r: I had also wondered what men wore to go to sleep... Nightgowns are terribly non sexy (so no except for Dalinar :ph34r: ), boxers aren't enough clothes (no way Adolin sleeps half naked  :ph34r:), so pajamas?  Somehow, Adolin's would have stripes on it.... because  :ph34r:

 

We certainly need more info as to underwear and night wear  -_-

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The Stormlight Archives Regency Romance

PART NINE

 

 

 

 

 

 

The interior of the church was dim and cool, and surprisingly dry.  The door entered into a vestibule with rush mats on the floors for visitors to wipe their feet; by the right-hand wall there was a cloakroom area with coat hooks in rows by the wall, an umbrella stand, and a metal boot grate.  There were old-fashioned iron torch sconces set into the stone of the wall, but no torches; polished tin chimney lamps hung from them by their handles to give off a steady yellow light.

 

There was a second door that opened into the nave.  Shallan drew the fold of tartan off her head respectfully as she stepped into the main body of the church – it arched overhead in a row of pointed vaults; she almost felt as if she had been swallowed by a great beast of monstrous proportions: the grey-white stone eerily resembled the curving parallels of the whales’ ribs that she had seen displayed at Middlefests in her youth. 

 

She walked hesitantly through the empty church, passing rows of pews.  She was nervous, unprepared to explain away her presence if confronted, and her mind jittered into tangents.  Whales’ ribs … she had used whale oil to fill the lamps of home when she sketched at night.  It had a strange and unpleasant smell compared to the more neutral naphtha that the Kholins used, but it was much cheaper: whaling was good business in Scotland; many a Scottish man who found that a living could not be earned by the plough took to the sea in hard times … Jushu had once almost been crimped by a crooked boarding master after a number of imprudent wagers…

 

She had reached the end of the church.  There was an altar ahead, a towering window of stained glass set in a leaden frame lay behind it; she presumed that when an Ardent led the village prayers, the window would illuminate him with Almighty’s Grace and Light.  The window depicted the Almighty in His aspect of benevolence; His hands were open in a pose of benediction. 

 

There was a small door by the side of the altar: this must be where the Ardents entered and exited for the service, and led to the private wing containing their personal cells and communal refectory.    She pulled the ring handle on the door.  It was not locked.  Well, the Ardents lived on the patronage of the Duke, and she, with her attachments to both Jasnah and Adolin, could be arguably recognised as a Kholin by association.  So it was not so odd for her to poke around this church, when she might very well become its lady benefactress one day.

 

With this thought in mind, she straightened her shoulders as she had been taught from the many painful lessons of Madame Tyn’s, and strode through, head held high. 

 

Project confidence.

 

If this will be yours one day, you must act like it is already.  And when it is truly yours, then they will never be able to take it away.

 

The inner corridor was silent; she heard the shushing movement of slippered feet somewhere in the distance but this hallway was empty.   There were two doors at the end of the hallway.  One was sturdy with iron crossbars over the wood and a rush mat on the floor in front; the other was of simple wood with a brass nameplate.

 

The door opened, and a young man with the shaved head and square beard of the Ardentry stepped out.  He stopped short at seeing Shallan, whose red hair made unruly by the damp marked her as definitely not a Sister of any Order. 

 

“Miss,” he said firmly but politely, “Requests for Elevations and personal guidance should be made through the office around the side.   This area is for staff only.  There is the exit if you are lost.”  He gestured pointedly to the crossbarred door on the left.

 

“I am come from the House – a personal guest, if you will,” said Shallan, with as much cold authority as she could muster.  She was trying to imagine Jasnah in her place – Jasnah would not meekly go where she was told if she wanted otherwise.  “I do not seek personal guidance.  I seek legal counsel, of a private nature.”

 

The Ardent looked her up and down.  He was tall, with blue eyes and a straight nose set on an evenly-featured face.   Shallan had always thought that it was men and women with no other recourse who took to the Order; all one had to do was read from a book once a week in front of an audience and listen to prayers now and then, and one was guaranteed food and lodging by a patron for the rest of their life.   It was not a life of luxury – unless one managed to find the rare and sought-after patron who was pious, wealthy, and generous.   But it was a life better than others if one could not plough soil or waves; Shallan had seen a number of returned soldiers and cripples among the Ardentry back home.

 

This Ardent glanced at her blue silk dress, slightly rain-spotted, with its whimsically patterned silk-floss embroidery; the hem of her lower petticoats thankfully covered her walking boots.  He took in her straight-backed posture and the hands she had clasped demurely in front of her: they were soft and pale hands, freckled over the back, but lacking the imperfections of red blotchy chapping and healed burn scars of any woman who had ever in her life washed laundry or cooked a meal.

 

He seemed to accept her word - or was not inclined to quarrel - for he knocked on the door with the nameplate.  Two sharp raps were followed by his saying loudly:  “Brother Kadash, there’s a Lady from the House to see you.”

 

After a minute, she heard a scraping sound from behind the door, then it opened, and a stern looking man with a shaved head peeped out.

 

“What’s this about a Lady?”

 

Shallan gave a shallow curtsey of respect.  Ardents were not formally on the social ranking at all; you were supposed to ignore their past status and treat them as equals, as they were the Almighty’s secular representatives, and the Almighty was beyond such mundanities.  But this man was the head Ardent: he held second-hand power, but plenty of it – and it paid to be cautious with those who could make much trouble even if they could not directly touch you.

 

“There is a legal matter I should like to discuss in private,” she said, looking him in the eye.  Eye contact was important.  She did not glance to the side to observe the younger Ardent’s reaction.

 

“Then come in, please, Miss,” said Brother Kadash.

 

He opened the door for her, waved his hand at the seat in front of his desk, and the door was closed.  She closed her eyes and exhaled deeply.  Jasnah analysed situations and deduced the best plan; Madame Tyn relied on variety – she had a catalogue of responses prepared for anything.  Shallan had always wanted to emulate both but had the skills and experience of neither.  She would have to think quickly, then.  Her eyes opened as Brother Kadash found his seat and placed his hands, fingers twined lattice-like, on the desk.

 

“You wanted to speak of matters legal and private?” he asked.

 

“Yes.  Um,” said Shallan, thinking furiously.  “I am Scottish, you see, and I have pledged my allegiance to a Clan Chief – ah, Duke, I think, in Anglethi equivalence.”

 

“…And?”  Brother Kadash smiled benignly.  “If you are looking for an expert in Scottish law, perhaps an Anglethi village church will be less useful to you than a hired solicitor in the City.  If you come from the House, you will of course have the means available to do so.”

 

Shallan reddened – he was subtly implying that she wasting his time – and tried to control the trembling of her shaking hands; she straightened the drape of the tartan shawl on her shoulders.  “I was rather inquiring how an allegiance to one Duke would stand in the event of a marriage to another.   One surely cannot have two lords and two House loyalties, can they?”

 

“Ah,” said Kadash with a knowing smile.  “A Lady from the House indeed, then.  To answer your question: allegiances are divided and defined during the writing of the marriage contract.  Usually one person – in most cases, the bride – relinquishes her loyalties and joins her husband’s House.  But in the case where the partners are both high in precedence in their respective Houses, there may be an exception made for a dual allegiance - for the purpose of a military alliance or a claim on the union’s children in favour of either House upon their majority.  But that is for high-profile marriages worked out on a case-by-case basis by the Ardents in the City court – not my jurisdiction at all.  Did that answer your question, my lady?”

 

… Joins her husband’s house…

She pulled the tartan closer, twisting the ends of it in her lap.  She felt anxious now; she could not name the exact reason for it, but her breath felt like it was drawn spiralling downwards with leaden unease.  The tartan smelled faintly of lavender … Malise, her step-mother...

 

“How can a marriage contract be broken?” she suddenly asked.  She regretted the question almost immediately: it was too private – one should only ask such from their own privately hired solicitor, preferably a retainer who was sworn to their confidence – and never an Ardent who was beholden to his own patron.

 

“Marriage contracts were not made to be broken.”  His reply was firm and neutral; she could not tell if he disapproved or not.

 

“Exceptions can always be found,” said Shallan.  She kept her own voice suitably indifferent.

 

“For high-profile marriages, there is usually leverage enough to include specific terms that would nullify a contract if they are not fulfilled.   We do not approve of secular considerations in nullifying marriage, but,” he sniffed, “the Ardentry must be pragmatic.  Annulments can be granted upon proof of treason, barrenness, infidelity, or inability to provide minimum maintenance.  But only if the original contract stipulated a ‘good conduct’ clause.  Will that be all, my lady?”

 

Treason, she thought.  Oh, Malise, we were too late for you…

 

“There is one other thing,” Shallan said.  The whole reason for the visit, which she had forgotten about until now.  “When was this church built?  I know many churches were built from the stones of more primitive temples of worship, either on the same site or moved to be closer to a village.  Was it the case for this one?”

 

Brother Kadash’s twined fingers untwined themselves, his fingers tapped the desktop in surprise.  “That is a somewhat unexpected deviation, my lady.”

 

“Cultural and historic matters interest me.  I wholeheartedly support the preservation of sites of … local importance.”  She met his eyes and inclined her head in a meaningful way. 

 

“Ah, yes,” said Brother Kadash, and a genuine smile flitted across his face.  “Such matters deserve attention.  Ahem.  Of course.   This church was built when Nodadon II … or was it IV?  I am not quite sure actually – built Kholinar Court as a country hunting lodge away from the City.  The village was established to support the House and grounds, so it was decided that there must be a church for the use of the villagers and the House residents.  That is why we are on the very edge of Courtlea.”

 

“So there was no original pre-Vorin temple?”  She hoped she did not appear too insistent.  Jasnah had told her to conduct inquiries without raising interest; the organisations who had assassinated her father the King were likely interested in the same information.

 

Brother Kadash frowned.   “Not this site, no.  This church was built new as the House was.  It is definitely a Vorin church by its architecture – no re-dedicated temples would be fit for a King, you see.  But…”

 

“…Yes?”

 

“There may have been some primitive structures in the area, used before and during the construction of the House – when this area was just woodland with isolated crofts.   In fact, their location may be reported in maps from a survey fifty years ago.  We haven’t any newer surveys than that, I’m afraid: the woodlands around the House estates are a game park reserved for the Duke’s disposal.  The current Duke is not interested in hunting and the previous one was always too busy for such diversions.”

 

“Those maps would be wonderfully useful,” Shallan said, delighted.   “Would it be possible to borrow a copy of the surveys?  They will be returned in a timely manner, I promise – I will have a copy made immediately.”

 

“It would please me to treat a generous lady such as yourself with generosity, my lady,” said Kadash.  His eyebrows drew up and down suggestively.

 

Blessed Heralds, he lays it on thick, thought Shallan.  “Such generosity will not go forgotten.”

 

“Then I shall send a Brother to fetch them for you.  Just a moment,” he said, as he stood and tugged at a rope to the right of his desk.  It bounced up and down on a pulley system built into wall for a few moments, then stilled.  A minute later, there was a knock at the door.  Kadash went to open it; Shallan heard a whispered conversation and then there were retreating footsteps.  He returned to his desk and sat down.

 

“You and our good Duke, then…?” said Brother Kadash, casting for a response to fill the silence.

 

A light-handed interrogation, then; Shallan was used to this sort of “conversation” from Jasnah, who was always eager for information but never liked to look less than informed.

 

“We have an … understanding.  No contracts have been drawn as yet, hence the questions.   Thank you for that, it may prove invaluable,” said Shallan, smiling at him and tucking of stray strand of hair behind her hear.  “I am a personal guest at the House currently; if there are any more papers you find relevant to my line of investigation, they would be greatly appreciated if sent on.”

 

Kadash looked amused.  “A personal guest, hah, the others never got that far–“

 

There came a knock, and the door opened.  The young Ardent again, with a thick envelope closed with strings tucked under one arm.  He looked at Brother Kadash and then at Shallan, and his eyes narrowed.

 

“I have the maps,” said the Ardent.  He approached the desk and offered them to Brother Kadash.

 

“For the lady, Kabsal,” directed Kadash.

 

The young Ardent looked at Shallan, and hesitated.  She thought he was going to run; she had seen fear and hesitation like that in a young man’s eyes before, once…

 

He offered the maps to Shallan; she took them before he could change his mind.  She stood.

 

“Thank you, Brother Kadash, Brother Kabsal.  You have been most helpful today; I am pleased to make your acquaintance, truly.  These maps will be returned safe and sound, have no worry.”  Shallan nodded to them, and slipped the envelope into her satchel, doing up the side buckle.  It barely fit.  “A church is the centre of the village … well, not this village, perhaps – but a fine one like this ought not be neglected.  Good day, gentlemen, I must take my leave.”

 

She curtsied, they inclined their heads respectfully to her – Ardents were not expected to bow in court fashion.  Kabsal held the door open and followed her into the hallway. 

 

“You must go around the side entrance to the office when you call on Brother Kadash, Lady,” he said, as he opened the door leading to the nave. “Those found wandering where they are unwanted are … unwelcome.”

 

“Thank you.  I shall make a note of it,” Shallan replied noncommittally.  She stepped through, and the door closed behind her with a heavy thunk.  She thought she heard the grating sound of bolts sliding home.  What a strange man – it was almost like he did not want her to have the maps, and was irritated that she had managed to get them.

 

The nave of the church was still empty.  It was too large to be lit by chimney lamps except when an Ardent was leading the weekly prayer – when the Family was represented and the village was in attendance.  There were two lamps on either side of the altar.  Most of the light came from the stained glass window: soft and grey light that was diffused by the soft grey rainclouds outside, then filtered through the window design; it was fashioned of alternating panes of clear and opaque glass. 

 

She stepped up to the altar and inspected the base of the window:  the very bottom frame of it started at head height, and there was an inscription carved in an antiquated script into the row of stones below – it was hard to read and half of it had been eroded into illegibility. 

 

“Perpetual … something… Tanavast bestowed Jezerezeh with his … honour and wisdom?  Dignity and gravity combined something something Stormfather; may the light of his grace stand solid against the … something,” she read.   She pulled out her sketchbook and wrote it down, then sat down on the front pew closest to the altar; she opened her pencil box and started copying the design of the window.  To see the top of it, she had to crane her head so far that the back of it touched the backrest of the pew.

 

It was peaceful in the church, silent and still with the occasional hush-hushing of draughts along the rows of half-lit pews.   The high arched vaults of the stone beast’s stomach did not seem so oppressive now to Shallan, whose mood had vastly improved after completing her task with triumph.   She sketched peacefully, relaxing into a pleasant art-induced reverie while she shaped and shaded the many stained glass panels in white chalk and grey charcoal.  All alone – just her and the Almighty in an empty hall that seemed now a great protector rather than monster:  it held her safe against the cold rain and cold people of the outside world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author’s Notes:

This is exposition and no romance.  Sorry guys.  I felt like the research needed to mean something if Shallan wanted to be anything more than a generic female romance protag.

  • The history of whaling in Scotland is pretty period accurate here.  Sailing was a tough job and sailors often jumped ship when they hit port.  For ships to have enough men to sail and whale, there were people who would kidnap, or "press gang" men into service. Once they beat you up and stole your clothes and wallet, and you woke up on a ship, there was no proof that you had rich parents.  I thought it was a realistic way to explain a noble boy being enslaved.
  • “Any woman who had ever in her life washed laundry or cooked a meal.” – working women washed with lye soap and used metal boxes with fire inside to cook their food.   By the time a woman reached marriage age, you could probably tell what class she was just by looking at her skin.
  • Ardents in the real SA wrote and approved betrothal and marriage contracts.  However, in this AU, secular lawyers also exist.  Vorin churches look like Gothic churches to fit the setting. 
  • Shallan is too nearsighted to realise that a proof of treason would have saved Malise but ruined the Davar children.  The Loch Davar estate would have gone to Elhokar as forfeit.    It is possible that Malise knew and refused to turn in Lin Davar funding rebels for this reason.
  • Shallan will tolerate Adolin’s wandering eye just in case she needs to use “infidelity” as a reason to annul a marriage. 
  • Yes, Kabsal is interested in the information that Shallan is after.  He is not very nice on first impression, because in this AU Shallan is too interested in Adolin for a hot priest to attract her.   And really, why make it a love square when Kaladin has already taken the role of "boy with secrets".
Edited by sheep
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The Stormlight Archives Regency Romance

SHALLAN'S SKETCHBOOK

PAGE 7

 

 

 

 

XvVLLoL.jpg

 

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It isn't so much he said it was a RAFO, it was more an instance of "I have not decided yet". My understanding is it isn't relevant whatsoever, but since he has not make his choice yet, he'd rather not state some random eye color. So either they are blue like Adolin and Dalinar or yellow like Gavilar and Elhokar or whatever eye color their mother had providing it isn't blue.

 

Gavilar and Elhokar have green eyes, and Iriali have yellow eyes and metallic hair.  

I think the Iriali also painted their skin in strange designs. 

 

If Dalinar had a painted portrait of him and Shshshshsh, would his mind blank out her face? 

 

 

 

 

Are you sure only a handful of viewers are reading this thread? You've got quite a few upvotes in this... This being said, I'd like to point out "clown" certainly wasn't my first choice, but when I volunteer to be the parent helper at the kiddies Halloween party, I had not realized the adult women costume department store was all about the s-words.... 

Sxxx-nurse, sxxx-police women, sxxx-super-hero.... I mean... If I were to save the world, a buttom length mini skirt would hardly be my first choice  :rolleyes: I thus had to settle myself with something more "appropriate" and since they were out of pumpkin costumes  :ph34r: I was left with clown................

A random clown in Brandon's background would be......  EPIC  :ph34r:

 

I think it's just the same 3 or 4 people who followed the thread who read this.  Most sensible people who see posts with walls of :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r: are smart enough to skip them, because they're not story. :ph34r: 

 

Minimal clothing means less chafing. :lol:  The last time I went to a costume/party supplies shop....I think the women's section was 80% questionably family friendly costumes.  Then 15% ugly frumpy costumes, like "vampire queen" or "evil witch" which were ugly mop wigs and "one size fits most" dresses that looked like polyester sacks with elasticated waists.  The last 5% were decent costumes like basic pirate vest and props, or '50s poodle skirt girl.  They were usually out of stock.

 

Next time, plan months ahead?  When I go to renfaires, I wear a traditional Ukrainian folk peasant costume that took me several months of crawling eBay and Etsy to find.  If Brandon came to my city, I would wear it and he would probably think I tried and failed doing a Terris costume. :lol:

 

 

 

Why do you say Kaladin is too dark to be East Asian? You mean skin tone? Correct me if I am wrong, but Kaladin is not described as dark skinned, but tanned which basically encompass pretty much every single ethnicity on Earth. I personally do not like the Indian representation (it looks horribly wrong with Adolin for instance, I basically strongly dislike every single choices made for him with this particular canon). Last I check the movie casting thread failed to find one actor I would find convincing for Adolin, I am much less critic for Kaladin, but he can't be Indian while everyone else isn't. I have my personal take on the Alethi and I am satisfied by it. It respects the guidelines given through the canon which are tanned skin and almond eyes.
 
Is Kaladin "tan" or "tanned"?  Tanned would imply he has a natural skintone that would be lighter if he stayed indoors.   Too bad that the best way to see what a man's natural skintone is usually by looking around  his "other" areas. :ph34r: :ph34r:
 
Many East Asians (Chinese, Korean, Japanese) can be pretty pale.  If I got paint chips and compared skintones, an East Asian would probably be as light as, say, someone from Switzerland.  In painting, the amount of lightness, or amount of reflected white relative to black is called "value", which would be similar.  But the "hue", or where a colour is on the colour wheel, would be different.  East Asians are golden-yellowish while white people are pink.   Unless you are counting minority Chinese ethnicities from southern China or the Mongolian border, I think Kaladin would be too dark for East Asian.  I draw him as closer to Vietnamese/Filipino. 
 
Who did you picture for Adolin?
On my first reading, before I looked up WoBs that said Alethi had Asian-like eyes, I pictured these actors:
And yes I know now they are way too white.
 

Ben McKenzie from The OC (2003)
1BEFsDZ.jpg
 
 
and Max Riemelt from Napola (2004).  He still looks good after being beaten up.
VKMrvil.gif
 
 
They are both way way too old now.

 
 

It doesn't take 15 minutes to remove clothes and to put them back on and even then... 15 minutes is huh actually plenty long enough... as for "composing oneself" there are... huh stuff for that which actually existed in Antiquity, so huh I think it is pretty safe to assume they had ample time to pick wildflowers while Shallan took her bath. Also, I have a hard time figuring out how you could get sweaty and short breath after 15 minutes... must have been a pretty intense 15 minutes.

I am sure there was another bathroom for Navani to "freshen up"  -_-

 

You can get sweaty in 5 minutes if you only took off your pants while keeping your shirt and coat on. :ph34r: :ph34r:  And if you are trying to get it done in under 10 minutes, getting out of breath is normal.  I still think it's ambiguous if they just had a touchy feely make-out sess or not.

 

But I don't doubt they did take care of business off-screen earlier in the book.  Navani tells Dalinar "I need you" in an earlier chapter and then later on brags to Adolin about seducing him.  What else can seduction mean???

 

 

 

 

Zahel let it slip Adolin was not a very good student: too stubborn and refusing to be taught, so I imagine his lessons were somewhat a bit more painful than Renarin's who does as he is told without any argumentation. Whatever it is Zahel saw fit to teach, we can be sure the lesson had to be hard wired into Adolin's head... Somehow, I have always pictured Zahel needing to throw his pupil in the mud dozen of times in order to get him to respond positively to a given lesson.

So number 1...  Dunno how he managed to teach him that  :ph34r:  :ph34r:  :ph34r:

 

Well, all Adolin has to do is go out to a battle and since he doesn't know how to take care of business himself, the first time he needs to #1 during a time-out, his armourers have to unzip him.  He either lets another man pull his undies down or he pees himself.  Zahel is the kind of guy who would let a stubborn student try and fail and give up before they come to him and beg his forgiveness.  Like Kaladin knocking on his door at night after he fought Szeth.    He doesn't throw kids into the mud, he waits and watches while kids fall into the mud themselves.

 
 

 

You don't need to undress for a tailor to measure you.... I think...

As for Alethi's underwear, I had given this particular subject some thought  :ph34r:  :ph34r:  :ph34r: In one short fic I wrote, I had Shallan snooping into Adolin's underwear drawers: all silk boxer-like underwear because reasons  :ph34r: I had also wondered what men wore to go to sleep... Nightgowns are terribly non sexy (so no except for Dalinar :ph34r: ), boxers aren't enough clothes (no way Adolin sleeps half naked  :ph34r:), so pajamas?  Somehow, Adolin's would have stripes on it.... because  :ph34r:

We certainly need more info as to underwear and night wear  -_-

 

It depends on what you are being measured for.  If it's an item of clothing that is directly on your skin, like a dress shirt or dress, you need to strip to your undies (or bra for women).  Pants are easier since they're just tubes, but if you want them very tight, like riding pants, you still have to strip.   Once a tailor has your measurements, he can use them for all your made-to-measure clothes unless you are growing taller or working out a lot.  But if you want alterations of existing clothes, you have to strip again so the tailor can pin and mark for new seams. 

 

I doubt Adolin the fashionista settles for military-issue one sizes fits most.  :ph34r:  :ph34r:  And I am surprised that Kaladin's uniform fits and isn't too short in the sleeves/wrist because he is taller than average.  Maybe he just doesn't notice/care.

 

...for reasons?  What is Shallan even doing in Adolin's room? 

 

I imagined that they had army uniform pyjamas that looked like the Bananas in Pyjamas, white with stripes in Kholin blue.  Since they are modern and stuff, and nightgowns are considered old-fashioned in-universe.   But Bridge Four sleeps in just the pants or the shirt with their loincloths underneath because pyjamas feel weird and fancy for slaves.  Adolin's PJ's have a Kholin glyphpair shield on the front pocket and there's a matching Kholin blue dressing robe. 

 

If only Szeth could have busted through the wall while everyone was asleep, and then we'd have Kaladin in uniform fighting in trident position with nightgown Dalinar and dressing robe Adolin.  :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r:

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it paid to be cautious with those who could make much trouble even if they could not directly touch you.

The tone of Part Nine took a darker shift.  :(

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The tone of Part Nine took a darker shift.  :(

 

 

Trust me, Part 10 (already written) is way way darker. :lol:

I felt bad writing it.

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Gavilar and Elhokar have green eyes, and Iriali have yellow eyes and metallic hair.  

I think the Iriali also painted their skin in strange designs. 

 

If Dalinar had a painted portrait of him and Shshshshsh, would his mind blank out her face? 

 

Oh sorry. I mixed the false yellow and the green... As far as I know, Shshshsh hasn't been confirmed as Iriali: neither Adolin nor Renarin are described as having metallic hair. Adolin's hair are golden blond, not metallic... 

 

Yes. It would  :(

 

 

I think it's just the same 3 or 4 people who followed the thread who read this.  Most sensible people who see posts with walls of :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r: are smart enough to skip them, because they're not story. :ph34r:

 

Minimal clothing means less chafing. :lol:  The last time I went to a costume/party supplies shop....I think the women's section was 80% questionably family friendly costumes.  Then 15% ugly frumpy costumes, like "vampire queen" or "evil witch" which were ugly mop wigs and "one size fits most" dresses that looked like polyester sacks with elasticated waists.  The last 5% were decent costumes like basic pirate vest and props, or '50s poodle skirt girl.  They were usually out of stock.

 

Next time, plan months ahead?  When I go to renfaires, I wear a traditional Ukrainian folk peasant costume that took me several months of crawling eBay and Etsy to find.  If Brandon came to my city, I would wear it and he would probably think I tried and failed doing a Terris costume. :lol:

 

Bah, I think most people are used to my antics  :ph34r:

 

They had vampire, witches and pirate.... Sxxx-vampire, sxxx-witches and sxxx-pirate  :rolleyes: Seriously, I thought I had step into the wrong boutique  :ph34r:  :ph34r:  :ph34r: How hard is it to manufacture cute family-friendly adult costume which do not show either butt or cleavage?

 

I really wanted the pumpkin costume  :( or the awesome pirate costume with a sword  :ph34r: but not one where I can't kneel without showing huh some body parts best left covered when dealing with little kids.

 

You could present yourself: "Hi, I made a Sazed costume... What do you think?" And he'll look embarrassed because 1) it is ugly :ph34r: and 2) he doesn't want to break a fan's heart so 3) he'll probably congratulate you on your effort  :ph34r:  :ph34r:  :ph34r:  

 

 

Is Kaladin "tan" or "tanned"?  Tanned would imply he has a natural skintone that would be lighter if he stayed indoors.   Too bad that the best way to see what a man's natural skintone is usually by looking around  his "other" areas. :ph34r: :ph34r:

 
Many East Asians (Chinese, Korean, Japanese) can be pretty pale.  If I got paint chips and compared skintones, an East Asian would probably be as light as, say, someone from Switzerland.  In painting, the amount of lightness, or amount of reflected white relative to black is called "value", which would be similar.  But the "hue", or where a colour is on the colour wheel, would be different.  East Asians are golden-yellowish while white people are pink.   Unless you are counting minority Chinese ethnicities from southern China or the Mongolian border, I think Kaladin would be too dark for East Asian.  I draw him as closer to Vietnamese/Filipino. 

 

Huh... I am not sure if it was "tan" or "tanned". My understanding is "tan" as Alethi are darker than typical white people. You are right about the skin color composition: white people and Asian people skin, even when equally light never arbor the exact same color. Typical white people, such as British, are more pinkish. My take are Alethi skin color is more yellowish than pinkish as you find when you move more towards the East. Though Brandon did also say Native was a good choice and they would be more reddish... it's hard to tell... my grand-mother was Native and quite frankly my family would pass as "white" except for the ability to get quite dark if forgotten under the sun (which is hard to achieve when you live up North) and the fact mosquitoes hate us -_-  

 

It is true my Chinese colleague is among the palest individual in our office  :ph34r: She is practically white, not as white skin, but as the color white  :ph34r: So yes, I'd agree that's way too pale for Kaladin  :lol: I tend to see him as darker than that, he's definitely not white... It's hard to tell, do we have a chart for skin colors? I'd be easier.

 

Filipino aren't overly dark either... There is one Filipino family at my children's day care... He isn't very dark: it must be the weather  :ph34r: His daughters are so adorable, I agree they would fit the Alethi model: the eyes and the skin color  :wub:  :wub:

 

 

Who did you picture for Adolin?

 

Something more like this? I think it is the best picture I have found... He's a bit too pale. He needs a better tan than that. The actor on the picture is about Adolin's age at the time of the picture, but he doesn't work anymore. He has grown really in a way I don't quite picture Adolin anymore.
 
I have spent quite a deal of time googling pictures for actors... It's really hard to find one with exactly what I had in mind. 

 

Alexander-Ludwig-shirtless-3.jpg

 

 

You can get sweaty in 5 minutes if you only took off your pants while keeping your shirt and coat on. :ph34r: :ph34r:  And if you are trying to get it done in under 10 minutes, getting out of breath is normal.  I still think it's ambiguous if they just had a touchy feely make-out sess or not.

 

But I don't doubt they did take care of business off-screen earlier in the book.  Navani tells Dalinar "I need you" in an earlier chapter and then later on brags to Adolin about seducing him.  What else can seduction mean???

 

I'd say that, in my personal experience, it takes more than that to get sweaty or to get sweaty at all, but experiences may vary. I don't think it ambiguous: I read as they did it. Doesn't make sense if they didn't.

 

Navani doesn't exactly brag, Adolin asks her in an adorable awkward way how she and her father and he blushes endlessly when she tries to actually tell him. Adorable. I love this scene  :wub: and most of Navani/Adolin scenes  :wub: At their age, I'd say seduction does imply intimacy: they aren't children anymore  -_-

 

Well, all Adolin has to do is go out to a battle and since he doesn't know how to take care of business himself, the first time he needs to #1 during a time-out, his armourers have to unzip him.  He either lets another man pull his undies down or he pees himself.  Zahel is the kind of guy who would let a stubborn student try and fail and give up before they come to him and beg his forgiveness.  Like Kaladin knocking on his door at night after he fought Szeth.    He doesn't throw kids into the mud, he waits and watches while kids fall into the mud themselves.

 

Fair point. I always wanted to read the Zahel training Adolin scenes. I wish Brandon would find a way to include on, somewhere into the story.

 

 

It depends on what you are being measured for.  If it's an item of clothing that is directly on your skin, like a dress shirt or dress, you need to strip to your undies (or bra for women).  Pants are easier since they're just tubes, but if you want them very tight, like riding pants, you still have to strip.   Once a tailor has your measurements, he can use them for all your made-to-measure clothes unless you are growing taller or working out a lot.  But if you want alterations of existing clothes, you have to strip again so the tailor can pin and mark for new seams. 

 

I doubt Adolin the fashionista settles for military-issue one sizes fits most.  :ph34r:  :ph34r:  And I am surprised that Kaladin's uniform fits and isn't too short in the sleeves/wrist because he is taller than average.  Maybe he just doesn't notice/care.

 

I absolutely do not remember what I was wearing when they made the measurements for my wedding dress which has to be the only instance where I saw a tailor... Kholin armies pants are straight but not tight. I would also think Adolin is done growing up and I don't think he is working out enough to actually grow bigger: he does way too much cardio for that.

 

Adolinn obviously has every single uniform he owns tailored to fit him and yes, Kaladin probably does not care if his uniform is a misfit  :ph34r: It still is better than the bridgemen uniform  :ph34r:

 

 

...for reasons?  What is Shallan even doing in Adolin's room? 

 

Because on the morning after murdering Sadeas, Adolin is having a very very bad day. He misses on his date with Shallan and he makes a fuss over the crime scene  :ph34r: Shallan hears about it and tries to visit him to his rooms only to find him gone, so she snoops around  :ph34r:  :ph34r:  :ph34r:

 

Nothing happens except Adolin getting even more stressed then he already is over the idea of a woman being in his room  :ph34r:

 

 

I imagined that they had army uniform pyjamas that looked like the Bananas in Pyjamas, white with stripes in Kholin blue.  Since they are modern and stuff, and nightgowns are considered old-fashioned in-universe.   But Bridge Four sleeps in just the pants or the shirt with their loincloths underneath because pyjamas feel weird and fancy for slaves.  Adolin's PJ's have a Kholin glyphpair shield on the front pocket and there's a matching Kholin blue dressing robe. 

 

If only Szeth could have busted through the wall while everyone was asleep, and then we'd have Kaladin in uniform fighting in trident position with nightgown Dalinar and dressing robe Adolin.  :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r:

 

Oh I had thought of that as well... poor Adolin not only has to wear his uniform at all time, he has to sleep in an army regulated pajama... I had thought of the blue dressing robe staple with a huge Kholin glyphair much to Adolin's extreme annoyance. 

 

Adolin's pajamas totally has Kholin blue stripes... which is the only item issued by the Kholin army he does NOT complain about  :ph34r:  :ph34r:  :ph34r:

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The Stormlight Archives Regency Romance

PART TEN

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shallan was filling in the last details of her drawing now; she roughly sketched the stones that bordered the lead frame which held the glass panes of the window.   Shading now.  She turned to her pencil box, picking through the double layered compartment for the string wrapped lead-clay pencil stick, when she saw that she was not as alone as she had thought.   There was a person in the back, sitting on the pew three rows away from the door. 

 

She did not turn her head around; staring was unseemly and perhaps it was merely some village man who wanted a spot of quiet out of the rain.  She dug through the wooden pencil box, sifting through nubs of chalk that really ought to be thrown out once they had become too small to comfortably hold; she peeked sideways through a veil of hair.  It was a man: he was sitting; he was head and shoulders above the end of the backrest.   Was that –? 

 

The man had hair that hung loose to his shoulders – not tied in a tail.  An umbrella leaned against the bench seat of the pew, its handle presented vertically.  A man with an umbrella would not need to enter a church to avoid being rain-soaked. 

 

Of course it was Kaladin.  

 

There were, and there would always be people in the world who appeared when you least expected them.  They were such people as an inquisitive widowed neighbour who would mysteriously happen to be in the area when she saw a stranger’s coach in your drive, or a delivery boy from the village who brought up a side of ham that had been forgotten from the butcher’s cart earlier that morning.   There would also be those persons whose appearance and presence you least wanted, and would go to some trouble to avoid.    On very rare occasions, there would be an intersection of the groups; one was usually lucky enough to encounter only one or two such people in his or her lifetime. 

 

Kaladin, naturally, found his way with unsurprising ease into that lattermost category – to Shallan’s dismay.

 

She finished her drawing and closed the sketchbook with a snap.  The chalks went back into the box, the lid was slid into its groove and the band around it was secured.  Both the box and the book were stuffed into the satchel atop the envelope of maps.  Shallan rose.

 

Kaladin did not raise his bowed head until Shallan’s shadow fell over him.   He sighed a great heaving sigh of long sufferance and opened his eyes. 

 

“What are you doing here?” Shallan demanded.

 

“I came for presumably the same reason why you are here.  To pray,” he said.  He straightened from his bowed posture, then leaned back against the pew; he lay his arm against the top of the backrest and cocked his head.   His eyes swept across her impudently, almost as if he were daring her to contradict him.

 

“What have you to pray for, pray tell?”

 

“Why should I not be allowed to pray?”

 

“If you do indeed have a soul – its existence is quite contrary to my expectations, of course – I am absolutely certain that the Almighty will be hard-pressed to find it, let alone want it.  If it can be found at all.”

 

Kaladin’s dark brows drew together, his lips pressed together thinly.  “My soul’s existence is irrelevant; I am here to pray for my brother’s.”

 

“The Almighty,” Shallan said, “is not a relay service for those too frugal to hire a courier.  You ought to inform him to pray for his own.”

 

He stared into her eyes.  They were not angry eyes, as Shallan had thought when she had seen them for the first time.  They contained emotion that did not show on his face, but it was not anger – it was something else, darker than that.  Perhaps there was a jaded spirit in there that had once been broken into pieces, then reformed out of sheer dogged spite and the single-minded regret of leaving affairs unfinished.  That was not impossible: Shallan had seen shades of this in the looking glass before.  She was not afraid of it.  She did not look away.  He was not her father.

 

“The Almighty is the only messenger I have.  My brother is dead.”

 

There was a silence.  It was an awkward, desperate silence, and Shallan’s immediate instinct was to draw on levity, which she ignored with some difficulty.  Because in that slow and spreading silence, she recognised something in him that was bitterly familiar to her, and for this one odd moment, she felt a pang of … empathy.   The last time she had found in other persons such mutual sentiment was the day she had left Loch Davar. 

 

“I...,” she said slowly, not wanting to get it wrong.  How was it that she could easily find words to say when her intention was to say something that meant nothing, and yet now she struggled for words to describe something that was plain and unadorned truth?  “I am sorry.  Truly.  If it means anything, I wanted to pray for my own brother; he has been missing and presumed dead for near two years now.”

 

“It doesn’t,” said Kaladin shortly.  “Are you quite finished here?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“I am to collect you for the village, then.  The carriage is waiting.”

 

He rose to his feet and picked up his umbrella.  He towered over her, a little more than a full head taller, and Shallan could see a few stray unshaven hairs on the underside of his jaw.  He left the nave, his legs taking long strides that Shallan could not match.  He did not wait for her.  Upon Shallan’s reaching the vestibule, she saw the front door of the church swing shut.  Kaladin, that insufferable creature, had not waited to hold the door open as any gentleman ought.  He had not even offered to share the umbrella. 

 

Storming Kaladin, storming Jasnah…

 

Grumbling, Shallan pulled the tartan shawl up over her shoulders and draped it over her head as a makeshift hood.   Wearing one’s tartan shawl or kilt over the head was a highland tradition, and had been common until umbrellas had stopped being rare.  A tartan kept one warm in wet winters – the thick wool held heat marvellously when one layered their clothing just so – but it did not do much, unfortunately, against the prospect of getting wet.  She held the pouch of the satchel in her arms and wrapped the ends of tartan around it.  Then she pulled the door open with a heave and stepped into the damp and misted air of Courtlea.

 

It was past noon, she thought, scanning the sky.  It was still raining; water trickled off the eaves of the veranda and puddled into the smallest dips in the path, turning shallow ruts into glassy lines of reflected grey-white.   It would have been more beautiful, thought Shallan, through a window. 

 

The blue-painted carriage was ten yards away, the matched pair jerking at the reins in their impatience to return to their stable.  She took a deep breath, exhaled loudly, and ran for it.  It was a good idea that she had worn her heavy walking boots.   She had tried to skirt the deepest puddles, but the ground was wet and sometimes a puddle was better trod through – better than attempting a running start on a muddy path in order to leap it: she would rather not slip in the mud in front of Kaladin, nor would it do to have Adolin see her covered head to toe in mud for luncheon.

 

She made it to the carriage; she scrabbled at the door for a second; her clumsy wool wrapped fingers found the handle and pulled the door open.  She threw herself into the seat and, reaching out, slammed the door closed.  The carriage started moving immediately.

 

Shallan sighed in relief and realised she was sharing the same padded seat as Kaladin.  In fact, she had thrown herself in so vigorously that she was now pressed against him; he was studying the roof above his head with the strained tolerance of silent aggravation.  

 

She cleared her throat and untucked her shawl with cold fingers.  The satchel was safe and dry now; she slid to the opposite end of the seat and placed the satchel between them to prevent any more accidental contact.  That was when she noticed the smell.

 

It was a smell that wafted upwards.  She hadn’t noticed it when the door had been opened; now it was closed and there was nowhere for it to go in the closed cabin.  It spread through the carriage with distressing familiarity – she thought she knew what it was, to her great consternation.

 

“What is that Heralds-cursed smell?” she asked.  She needed to be certain.

 

“Ether,” replied Kaladin after a while.  “I bought a few bottles in the village; it makes a useful analgesic.”

 

“The vapours are awfully strong – my nostrils are being singed just breathing it.”                

 

“The stoppers are poorly moulded.  I plan to decant them into better bottles when we return to the House.”

 

“Of course.”

 

Shallan turned away to the window.  The glass was starting to fog with the warmth of their breath; water condensed in beaded droplets on the edges of the window frame.  She drew a hand across the glass and saw misted fields and paddock and the occasional building; trees in the near distance were wreathed in white.   Well, it did not seem likely she would find much worthwhile conversation with Kaladin, and the view from the window was of no particular interest.  She unbuckled the strap on her satchel and with some difficulty, tugged out her sketchbook.  It was packed tightly in with the thick envelope she had gotten from Brother Kadash earlier; she had considered getting a larger bag whilst in Kharbranth with Jasnah, but there was only so large one could go before a bag became uncomfortably unwieldy – it rather negated the convenience of being able to carry more in the first place.

 

The carriage, as it was during the ride from the House, was becoming warm now; it was drying the damp tartan across her shoulders, but that was making the uncomfortable humidity worse.   Shallan opened the sketchbook and read through her notes.  She had copied the wall inscription under the stained glass window, and written her thoughts about it.  Who was the Stormfather?  She had seen it written in some books of folk legends and collected bards’ tales; Jasnah had gathered sources from a variety of examples of pre-Vorin cultural history; she thought it relevant for their research.

 

But, now, for some reason, her mind was moving more sluggishly than normal.  Thoughts seemed to flow from one to the next like treacle, when normally links of association flashed by at an instant for her; it was most perplexing.  Why was it happening?

 

Wait…

It was the ether.

 

Shallan knew that smell, the singeing nostrils, and the hairs inside feeling as if they were shriveling up like the earthworms and snails Balat played with in the garden when he thought they weren’t looking.

 

She closed her eyes, breathing and remembering.

 

Ether was originally something privileged young men used for amusement in their parlours – the ether brought on peculiar trances and dreams to some, on some others it brought simple unconsciousness.  What it had in common for everyone who used it was that it took people away from who they were.  It was amusing for these dandies to watch each other in turn take a light dosage and lapse into making a series of bizarre faces; sometimes they spoke in tongues.   That was probably where Jushu had found out about it.   Eventually, the production of it became more efficient and the prices for ether fell – now those of lower class and lesser means could afford to experiment with it, and they did so.    Larger doses of inhaled vapours were found to make the dreaming unconsciousness last longer; as did drinking the distilled liquid.

 

The first time Jushu had bought ether for himself, he hid it from them and used it in his own room, alone.  That was not what one did:  even the carefree dandies were not so careless as to frolic alone.   Jushu did not show up for dinner that evening – Father had sent a maid to knock on his door but he did not come down.  They had dinner without him.  Shallan had gone up to his room afterwards, and found that the door handle would not turn: he had placed a chair under it to hold it closed, and there was no response from inside to her crying and beating her fists and begging him to open it and to come out.  She had called for Wikim, who removed the door hinges and together they found him dreaming those unnatural ether dreams on the floor, a blanket over his head.  Under the blanket they found a dampened kerchief pressed over his nose and mouth, from which arose that recognisable burning scent of ether fumes.

 

They were holding his hands when he awoke.  She had asked him why he did it and he told them that was what people did when they found their lives painfully tiresome.  Shallan understood; she understood all too well, and she had made Jushu promise never to do it alone, and never outside the safety of the house.  Over the following months, Balat had taken Jushu up on his offer to drift with him; they did it together a few times, and with Wikim once.  Shallan had refused each time.  Jushu stopped offering.

 

So it was always Shallan who sat on the chair by the bed; Jushu had stopped using it to prop the door closed.   Shallan was the one who set and watched the hourglass and changed the kerchiefs from the high starting dosage to induce immediate sleep, to progressively smaller doses of ether mixed with water to draw out the dreams and wake him gradually.  Once she had learned how the doses worked, and Jushu trusted the surety of her hands to measure it right each time, she began lowering the doses without telling him, and reading to him while he was in drift.

 

She supposed it worked; he asked for ether less frequently and asked to be read to more.  But the smell of ether was something she would never forget.

 

…It reminded her of home.  Was that so terrible to admit?

 

It was a comfort to her, a perverse comfort to be sure, but when she placed the kerchief over Jushu’s nose, or Balat’s, she was bringing them a temporary peace.  It was the short-lived satisfaction of worrying an itching scab and risking a scar, but Shallan had very little with which to help her dear brothers; ether was one of the few things that took them away from who and where they were, without hurting anyone in the process.   It brought no happiness – but it could at least manage gratification.

 

Her thoughts slowed.  If it had been treacle before, now it was … frozen treacle?  She could not think of any droll metaphor at the moment, how very unusual.  Was this what ether drifting felt like?

 

The sketchbook fell out of her hands.  Her body felt monumentally heavy – as if fatigue were weighing down flesh and bone alike, fatigue reaching down to her very soul; it took more effort than she could summon to twitch a finger.  She leaned back and back and back.  There was warmth; she felt the scratch of wool against her face; she pressed against it.  It was wool, wool like a tartan, beautiful beautiful tartans – green and yellow and white and black – McValam tartans all in a row … a row of tartans like the day her father married Malise and they thought she could replace Mother in his mind and make him all better, and everything would return to how it used to be.

 

And he did get better, and Malise had a baby, and Shallan had a wonderful baby sister with blue eyes and red hair and a pretty toothless smile, and a wonderful family who loved her as they loved each other…

 

 

 

 

***

 

 

 

 

The carriage door opened; cold damp air swept the ether vapours out of the warm closeness of the cabin’s interior.   But Shallan still had ether vapours inside of her, where they couldn’t be reached – where she didn’t want them to be reached; she was still clinging, shamefully and desperately, clinging to the drift.

 

“–Shallan, Kal, there you are!  I am perfectly famished; one might reasonably think it would take less than forty-nine years to sign a forty-nine year contract, but it was a close thing–“

 

Shallan opened her eyes at the beautiful voice of the beautiful young man whose hair looked like a bee’s bottom – yes, that’s what it looked like – who stood at the open door.  

 

She, through bleary eyes, saw Kaladin with her sketchbook guiltily open in his lap, open to her – lovingly detailed, she could say it now without second thought, how very strange – portrait of him.    She found that she was pressed against him, slumped on the cushioned seat too, but mostly against him.  She was leaning heavily on his shoulder, her face on the wool of his coat.   There was a line of wet drool down the coat’s shoulder and drool growing cool on her cheek.   

 

The beautiful Duke said, smiling:  “My heavens – it looks like you two have had rather an eventful morning!”  His eyes darted from Kaladin to her and back.

 

Kaladin cleared his throat and slowly closed the sketchbook.  He put it down on the empty seat opposite him.

 

“Shallan here had promised earlier to show me her etchings,” he said.  “Shallan?”

 

“Nuuuuuughhh,” was all she could say.  That was witty and clever, wasn’t it?   She nuzzled his shoulder.  It hardly mattered that she was smearing drool over her face and his coat.   

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                              

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author's Notes:

Whew, that chapter was pretty dark.   I'm pretty curious to know if you got the sads or cried at any point.   I was testing to see how dysfunctional I could make the Davars while still keeping them kinda sympathetic.  Let me know how it worked. 

This is where my prepared scripts end.   IS THIS THE END FOR REALS?  Or do I just wing it from here, lol.

 

Backstory: (since it will never be explained directly)

Tien and Heleran both died in Ireland.  Heleran was part of a guerilla group that set mines and blew things up. Tien lied about his age to enlist and when Kaladin found out he sent letters to the army but they replied with canned "There's nothing we can do" responses.  Kaladin joined as a medic as soon as he finished school in Kharbranth and looked for Tien, who had travelled to a different town to sign under a fake name. Tien's noob unit was sent as cannon fodder to recon a dangerzone area and he was killed because the officers didn't want to waste trained veterans as mine scouters.  Kaladin went crazy for a while afterwards and became a guerilla hunter volunteering on risky missions, where he eventually killed Heleran and saved the Kholins.

 

Ether was discovered in the late 1700's and was used for surgery in the 1800's, and then people found out how useful it was at making you feel weird when you breathed a little of it at a time, or drank it.  In the 1830's "ether frolic" parties were popular.  In this AU, I refer to gentlemen using low doses for party entertainment as a "frolic", like people do with helium balloons today.  People using higher doses I call "drifting" in this story. 

Shallan drifts on ether but Kaladin doesn't.  She is smaller physically, and closer to the floor - the bottles were stored under the seat.  Kaladin is used to the vapours and Shallan hasn't had anything to do with it for at least a year.  When she was pouring for Jushu she made sure that everything was well-ventilated so she had no idea why it was happening in the carriage.  She was breathing in the smell and thought that everything would be fine since she didn't have a rag on her nose ... anyways, don't try it at home, kids.

Did Kaladin know what would happen beforehand?  He probably considered it, but cared more about getting some painkillers than Shallan's welfare.  And yes, he looked at the other pictures and read the notes in her sketchbook.

 

"Show me her etchings" - 1890's line originally, but it works here.  It originally referred to a man inviting a woman to listen to his gramophone, look at his Japanese calligraphy, or view his etchings, or watch his Netflix.   Kaladin likes to snark too.

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The Stormlight Archives Regency Romance

SHALLAN'S SKETCHBOOK

PAGE 8

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Stormlight Archives Regency Romance

SHALLAN'S SKETCHBOOK

PAGE 9
 

 

 

 

 

erCoijO.jpg
 

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Oh sorry. I mixed the false yellow and the green... As far as I know, Shshshsh hasn't been confirmed as Iriali: neither Adolin nor Renarin are described as having metallic hair. Adolin's hair are golden blond, not metallic... 

 

Yes. It would  :(

 

No one knows if she is from Iri or Rira.  I don't even know what the difference is.  Are they the same ethnic group in countries that broke up from a single silver kingdom?

I was thinking of ways to include a drawing of Shshshsh while still following the curse of the Nightwatcher.   Looks like it has to be silhouette only, or if I'm feeling cheeky, from behind or an angle where the face is out of view or in shadow.

 

 

 

How hard is it to manufacture cute family-friendly adult costume which do not show either butt or cleavage?

 

The problem is that people who don't want to show off butt or cleavage are not the type of people who go to dress up parties on Halloween.  They tend to stay at home on Halloween and shake their heads in disapproval when they hear car alarms going off in the distance. :(

 

If you want a modest costume, you have to be creative and make it yourself, or pay $$$ to buy from a specialty costumer.  You can make a costume of a sandwich using sheets of foamboard painted white and hung on straps over your shoulders.  Or you can order a Queen Guinevere costume from a LARPing site for $500.  There is just not much market for boring costumes when many women look forward to wearing revealing costumes in public.

 

 

 

 

So yes, I'd agree that's way too pale for Kaladin  :lol: I tend to see him as darker than that, he's definitely not white... It's hard to tell, do we have a chart for skin colors? I'd be easier.

 

This is kind of random, but how about using a makeup brand's foundation chart for skin colours?  They use very poetic sounding names for their colours and brands are never consistent with each other with what they name "light"/"medium"/"tan"/"deep"/"dark"...

 

ihqIzCO.png

 

I would put Kaladin at Bare Caramel or Honey.

Filipino skin colour can be as variable as Alethi, so it's a pretty good analogy.  Many upper class Filipinos are mixed with Spanish blood, from when Spain was their colonial ruler, and also Chinese blood from the Chinese merchants and bureaucrats in the old days.  Filipinos, like the ones in TV dramas, can have pale Eurasian or Chinese looks, or they can look almost like the natives in South America.

 

I always thought Adolin was the cute, clean-cut, "boy next door" type of handsome rather than the pretty model handsomeness of Alexander Ludwig.  Adolin is the boy next door and Kaladin is the emo skater boy.  :ph34r: :ph34r:  :ph34r: 

 

With the power of Google images stock photos and the magic of Photoshop, I bring you young Adolin!!!

(I couldn't find many good stock photos that also happened to be watermark free, so here is what I imagine to be kid Adolin at 16.

etwBTRt.jpg

You can't find such a mix of ethnic traits + handsome in one person unless you are compounding chromium or have a really good plastic surgeon.  Blond hair and blue eyes with Asian-like eyes can be found in Russia or northern Finland but they are way paler than Canadians.

 

 

 

 

Navani doesn't exactly brag, Adolin asks her in an adorable awkward way how she and her father and he blushes endlessly when she tries to actually tell him. Adorable. I love this scene  :wub: and most of Navani/Adolin scenes  :wub: At their age, I'd say seduction does imply intimacy: they aren't children anymore  -_-

 

It kinda came off as bragging when I read it.

 

"Encourage him?" Navani said.  "I did more than that, child.  I practically had to seduce the man.  Your father is certainly stubborn."

If she's not bragging, she's still knowingly flaunting the Codes by hooking up with her brother in law.

But yeah it does make it unambiguous that they have done the dirty off-screen.

 

Adolin just wants a mum. :(  I don't think anyone but Dalinar knows about the curse so it's weird to him that no one ever talks about Shshshsh, like she never even existed.  Maybe he talks to Renarin about her.

 

 

 

 

Adolinn obviously has every single uniform he owns tailored to fit him and yes, Kaladin probably does not care if his uniform is a misfit  :ph34r: It still is better than the bridgemen uniform  :ph34r:

 

For wedding dresses or any dresses with flared hips, they usually don't make you take off your pants, just your top.  Strapless dresses tend to need perfect fitting to stay on, and since people are planning to wear bras under their dresses, they measure the bust-line over the bra.  If there is a sample gown, then you may not need to strip to undies, because they'll just use the sample size as reference and mark from there.  And of course, anything with a laced up back means it's adjustable, so perfect fit doesn't have to matter that much.

I had a few things made to measure and got stuff tailored for the handful of black tie events I've attended so seeing how it's done is always interesting. 

 

Shallan might prefer the bridgeman uniform over the current Bridge Four one.  :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r: She draws the shirtless sailors on the ship.  The bridgemen wear shorts and vests which is way more skin than proper Vorins show.  I got excited when I remembered the sketch page with the forehead tattoos, then I went back and saw it was Nazh who drew it instead of Shallan.  :angry::ph34r:

 

Would Shallan really snoop in Adolin's room?  He doesn't do sneaky things like Amaram so there's no justification other than nosiness.  Would she take a pair of his undies because he has 40 of them and he wouldn't miss one if it disappeared? :lol: :lol: :lol:   In anime, there is a type of female perv character who gets nosebleeds when something she sees something sexy.

 

 

 

 

Oh I had thought of that as well... poor Adolin not only has to wear his uniform at all time, he has to sleep in an army regulated pajama... I had thought of the blue dressing robe staple with a huge Kholin glyphair much to Adolin's extreme annoyance. 

Adolin's pajamas totally has Kholin blue stripes... which is the only item issued by the Kholin army he does NOT complain about  :ph34r:  :ph34r:  :ph34r:

 

I do not like huge Kholin glyphpairs which are canonically described to be on the front and back of Kholin army officer coat.   It's so...vulgar, blahhhh.  Like gigantic annoying brand logos on modern Earth sports team jerseys.  The team colours should be enough to identify which team you are on, so Kholin blue should be enough to identify a Kholin soldier.  That is probably why fan-artists rarely draw the glyphpairs.  I only put it on the back of the waistcoat, which is covered up.

 

Earth armies in WWI had uniform pyjamas, it's part of having a modern military, instead of soldiers having to buy their own uniforms or not wearing uniforms at all.  And Dalinar's Codes say that a soldier has to be prepared at all times, so he has to be ready to jump into action even while he's asleep. 

 

Adolin's PJ's are probably nicer fabric than the common soldiers who get theirs made from Soulcast cotton-equivalent. :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r:

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No one knows if she is from Iri or Rira.  I don't even know what the difference is.  Are they the same ethnic group in countries that broke up from a single silver kingdom?

I was thinking of ways to include a drawing of Shshshsh while still following the curse of the Nightwatcher.   Looks like it has to be silhouette only, or if I'm feeling cheeky, from behind or an angle where the face is out of view or in shadow.

 

Neither do I  :ph34r: I am unsure. I never really look into those matters. I figured it would be explained in book 3. I'd love to see a portray of Shshshshsh.

 

 

The problem is that people who don't want to show off butt or cleavage are not the type of people who go to dress up parties on Halloween.  They tend to stay at home on Halloween and shake their heads in disapproval when they hear car alarms going off in the distance.  :(

 

If you want a modest costume, you have to be creative and make it yourself, or pay $$$ to buy from a specialty costumer.  You can make a costume of a sandwich using sheets of foamboard painted white and hung on straps over your shoulders.  Or you can order a Queen Guinevere costume from a LARPing site for $500.  There is just not much market for boring costumes when many women look forward to wearing revealing costumes in public.

 

Considering the number of parents who pass Halloween costumes, I'd say there is a market, but it is true they are mostly trying to sell to party-goers.

 

As for being creative, well, huh, I'm not  :ph34r: nor do I have 500$ to splurge on a thing I'll wear only a few times... So huh I am a slave to whatever stores have to offer  -_- Maybe I'll get lucky next year and find something actually cute.

 

 

This is kind of random, but how about using a makeup brand's foundation chart for skin colours?  They use very poetic sounding names for their colours and brands are never consistent with each other with what they name "light"/"medium"/"tan"/"deep"/"dark"...

 

Oh brilliant  :lol: Even if it is make-up... People would freak if you would post that into the other threads  :ph34r: Foundation? 

 

I think Alethi would be, for the most part, under the "tan" line though arguably some of the "medium" tone look darker than some of the "tan" lines.... I agree about Kaladin being either "bare caramel" or "bare honey" though I prefer "bare honey". Where would you place Adolin and Shallan?

 

 

Filipino skin colour can be as variable as Alethi, so it's a pretty good analogy.  Many upper class Filipinos are mixed with Spanish blood, from when Spain was their colonial ruler, and also Chinese blood from the Chinese merchants and bureaucrats in the old days.  Filipinos, like the ones in TV dramas, can have pale Eurasian or Chinese looks, or they can look almost like the natives in South America.

 

Ah so my Filipino family is likely mixed with Spanish blood as they aren't very dark, different, but not dark. I mean, the skin tone is a bit different, but I wouldn't call it "tan" or anything.

 

 

I always thought Adolin was the cute, clean-cut, "boy next door" type of handsome rather than the pretty model handsomeness of Alexander Ludwig.  Adolin is the boy next door and Kaladin is the emo skater boy.  :ph34r: :ph34r:  :ph34r:

 

With the power of Google images stock photos and the magic of Photoshop, I bring you young Adolin!!!

(I couldn't find many good stock photos that also happened to be watermark free, so here is what I imagine to be kid Adolin at 16.

 

Well, a lot of emphasis is put on Adolin being handsome, so I kind of imagine him as boy's band heartthrob meets the school's quarter back  :ph34r:  The pic isn't exactly right, in my mind, but it is the closest I could find. I don't think Ludwig work anymore for Adolin, not the way he aged and he is way too white skinned, but that pic is more or less what I envision, but real Adolin would need to have a playfulness you don't get in it. Laughing eyes and perhaps a rounder face to go with it. It's kinda of hard.

 

I am not sure I like young Adolin... He looks... Weird? Is that possible?  :ph34r: And ridiculously young. Is the guy on the picture 16? If so wow... you are young at 16. I forgot  :ph34r:

 

As for Kaladin... hmmm... rock star meets athlete of the year? Something more edgy, darker, less well kept, grave, but not swooning. The kind of guys girls are actually scared of  :ph34r:

 

 

It kinda came off as bragging when I read it.

If she's not bragging, she's still knowingly flaunting the Codes by hooking up with her brother in law.

But yeah it does make it unambiguous that they have done the dirty off-screen.

 

Adolin just wants a mum.  :(  I don't think anyone but Dalinar knows about the curse so it's weird to him that no one ever talks about Shshshsh, like she never even existed.  Maybe he talks to Renarin about her.

 

Yeah.... Adolin misses his mother and wishes for Navani to take over. I think he unconsciously misses someone who loves him unconditionally without putting extraordinary expectations on him. In other words, he has a need for affection which isn't fulfilled with Dalinar.........

 

I think the boys are going to find out their father's curse/boon in the next book... Adolin is the one who won't react well while Renarin is the one who had figured it out a long time ago.

 

 

For wedding dresses or any dresses with flared hips, they usually don't make you take off your pants, just your top.  Strapless dresses tend to need perfect fitting to stay on, and since people are planning to wear bras under their dresses, they measure the bust-line over the bra.  If there is a sample gown, then you may not need to strip to undies, because they'll just use the sample size as reference and mark from there.  And of course, anything with a laced up back means it's adjustable, so perfect fit doesn't have to matter that much.

I had a few things made to measure and got stuff tailored for the handful of black tie events I've attended so seeing how it's done is always interesting. 

 

Shallan might prefer the bridgeman uniform over the current Bridge Four one.  :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r: She draws the shirtless sailors on the ship.  The bridgemen wear shorts and vests which is way more skin than proper Vorins show.  I got excited when I remembered the sketch page with the forehead tattoos, then I went back and saw it was Nazh who drew it instead of Shallan.  :angry::ph34r:

 

I sincerely don't remember how much I had to strip to do the fitting on this dress......... I definitely had the bra on and yes, it was a strapless. I never tailor anything, I just buy out of the rack and usually it fits.

 

Who wouldn't prefer the bridgemen former uniform???  :ph34r:  :ph34r:  :ph34r:  :ph34r: Shallan has a thing for shirtless men, so I wonder how long it is going to take for her to coax Adolin out of his  :ph34r: providing Brandon is going with this ship that is. Everyone say Kaladin is mysterious, I have to disagree: Kaladin has nothing left to hide, we practically saw him naked, but Adolin..... is a real mystery  :P

 

 

Would Shallan really snoop in Adolin's room?  He doesn't do sneaky things like Amaram so there's no justification other than nosiness.  Would she take a pair of his undies because he has 40 of them and he wouldn't miss one if it disappeared? :lol: :lol: :lol:   In anime, there is a type of female perv character who gets nosebleeds when something she sees something sexy.

 

Her curious side got the best of her... She blushes when she opens this specific drawer, but she still looks into it... not too hardly because Adolin is very neat. Every single thing is well placed. Orderly. And yeah, he had about 40 of those and countless of clothes, as expected  :ph34r:

 

I thought the scene was actually funny, but I am not a particularly good writer.

 

 

I do not like huge Kholin glyphpairs which are canonically described to be on the front and back of Kholin army officer coat.   It's so...vulgar, blahhhh.  Like gigantic annoying brand logos on modern Earth sports team jerseys.  The team colours should be enough to identify which team you are on, so Kholin blue should be enough to identify a Kholin soldier.  That is probably why fan-artists rarely draw the glyphpairs.  I only put it on the back of the waistcoat, which is covered up.

 

Earth armies in WWI had uniform pyjamas, it's part of having a modern military, instead of soldiers having to buy their own uniforms or not wearing uniforms at all.  And Dalinar's Codes say that a soldier has to be prepared at all times, so he has to be ready to jump into action even while he's asleep. 

 

Adolin's PJ's are probably nicer fabric than the common soldiers who get theirs made from Soulcast cotton-equivalent. :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r:

 

I wouldn't imagine myself walking around with such a large visible sign on my coat... Poor Adolin. 

 

Uniform pyjamas.......  :o  :o  :o It is worst than I thought. So Dalinar forces Adolin to respect his code even when he is sleeping  :o  :o  :o I agree with Brandon here, Dalinar is too hard on Adolin  -_-

 

I assume they are in whatever is the equivalent of silk....... or fancy fabric... with nice buttons as who wants to sleep with ugly ones?  :ph34r:

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The Stormlight Archives Regency Romance

PART ELEVEN

 

 

 

 

 

Shallan was delirious when Adolin carried her into the screened off private dining alcoves of The Sign of the White Boar.  She vaguely remembered being held, limbs sprawling awkwardly, in his arms – she felt immensely heavy, yet somehow simultaneously wrung out and empty.   Adolin bore her weight with ease; impressions of her surroundings flashed by disjointedly, one after the other: smooth skin against smooth skin, her cheek against his neck, cologne that smelled of orange pith mixed with the Kharbranth spice markets, red hair against striped blond.  Soft and indistinct they were, these blurred combinations of colour and sound; the dullness of sensation was as if she were face-down in the bathtub screaming and screaming in a way that could not be heard.

                                 

Her weary mind feebly tried to understand, to analyse, to conclude, but such exertion was beyond her; it was as if her mind and her body were now divorced from each other, and both of them were completely removed of her.  So she rested her head on Adolin’s shoulder and watched with a queer sense of complete apathy as a scene unfolded in the inn. 

 

The scrape of chairs as the guests and patrons stood for the Duke as he burst through the door, only to see that he held a swooning lady in his arms.  The Duke’s physician, calling for blankets and warmed bricks and hot tea.  The noise and bustle of a busy establishment drawn to sudden stillness and then returning to action with twice the volume.  Shallan watched; she would have felt bemused if she could feel anything more than indifference. 

 

The warmth of the Duke’s body was all too quickly withdrawn; she was settled, lolling, on a chair and folding screens were dragged all around.  Her tartan was placed on her lap; a man’s overcoat was draped over her shoulders.   She watched everything, was impassive to everything.  Until Kaladin waved a small phial filled with white crystals under her nose.  It burned worse than ether vapours.

 

Oh.  Ether vapours. 

 

White crystals - spirits of hartshorn.  The leaden fatigue in her limbs remained, but she regained awareness and clarity.  She could understand speech now, instead of seeing moving mouths and hearing syllables: now she could link them together and comprehend their meaning. 

 

“Shallan?  Miss Davar?” she heard.  Kaladin was in the chair in front of her, looking at her face.  He had one scarred hand on her wrist, feeling for her pulse.  The other held the phial of smelling salts. 

 

“Oh.  It’s you,” said Shallan.  It seemed appropriate.  “You could have asked to see my sketches.”

 

He dropped her hand.  He seemed about to say something nasty, but then thought better of it; he relaxed and leaned back in his chair.

 

“You would have refused,” he replied, simply.

 

“You … are right”, said Shallan finally.  She couldn’t think of anything better to say.  The disinterested lethargy was retreating to the edges – she was functional now, if rather sluggish in her cognitive reflexes.

 

“I endeavour to make it a habit."  Kaladin hadn’t lost anything of his penchant for sarcasm, even if she had.

 

“Why did you do it, then?”

 

“It is rare to encounter a person who possesses such skill and eye.  Every man can destroy, most can reproduce, but the ability to create beauty is rare.”  He paused for a moment, then looked away.  “You drew my portrait: seeing it reminded me of an artist who took my likeness … three or four years ago.”

 

It was a long speech for a usually taciturn man.  It seemed this subject held great significance to him - perhaps she could tease it out of him.

 

“Did you knock him senseless too?”  Or not.

 

Kaladin did not smile.  “He was my brother.”

 

“The question still stands … well, it would if it could.”

 

He looked down at his hands.  There were white traces of scars running down the wrist and into the sleeve, and shiny pale lines in stripes across his palm.  His hands could not be called slender or delicate - they were, after all, the hands of a working man - but they were long-fingered with neatly trimmed nails; there was a surety and confidence to the way he used them to measure her pulse or dig through his kit bag.   His movements were economical and measured; she could discern no trembling or hesitation in them - or him.

 

“Of course not,” said Kaladin at last.  “He was a woodcarver, a sculptor.  When he carved miniatures of my face with frightfully cheery grins onto my bedposts one morning, I admit that such a thought crossed my mind.”

 

The line of his lips, usually set sternly, seemed less grim for a moment.  There was no smile, of course: there never was, but Kaladin now almost seemed wistful - as if underneath the ill-humoured disposition there was buried someone who remembered, very faintly, a time long ago when he had no burdens but his own.  It was far from gaiety, no, that could not have been - could never have been - expected.  It was just the merest of indications that Kaladin could be something other than perpetually unpleasant. 

 

Shallan was quiet.  She found herself thinking that Kaladin did not have an annoying voice; he possessed a deep voice and with his accent marking him as one properly educated, he would not have been so irritating on first impression had he managed to speak without impudent cheek or presumptuous disrespect.  She would have liked to listen to him reading aloud – they would have to be another’s words, of course - thankfully.  She did not speculate how Adolin’s voice sounded when he read; she could not begin to imagine Adolin reading aloud.

 

Adolin.

 

“The incident,” she spoke, trying to find the words.  Thoughts, disoriented from the swooning episode, were tumbling back into place haphazardly.   She recognised only some of them.  “Does Adolin think it was an accident?”

 

“An unfortunate one, but yes.”  Kaladin had returned to his usual tone – it sounded like derision hidden - not entirely successfully - behind impassive professionalism.

 

“What if he were to be informed that it may been … otherwise?”

 

“Blackmail, Miss Davar?  How very charming – you do move fast.  What do you want?  My support in pressing your suit?”  He seemed amused at the prospect.

 

“No.  You’re a doctor.”

 

“…The last I checked.” 

 

“You are familiar with the arithmetic progressionals for ether dosing, then?” asked Shallan.  This was a risk here: she was venturing into dangerous territory.  She was counting on his being a true medical professional in his role of physician – the occupation required that practitioners be willing and capable of holding confidences as a necessary part of their duties. 

 

The progressionals were a series of mathematical calculations that factored in a user’s size and density – measured through displacement in a bathtub – along with the length of time they wanted to drift, the temperature and humidity of the room, and the purity of their distilled ether.  There was a minimum to induce unconsciousness, and then a series of stable or descending concentrations to either extend the drift-time or awaken the user.  The safest and most reliable way to successfully drift ether was with these calculations: the frolicking dandies had usually hired someone for the numbers whilst the lower classes had gone without.  Shallan had been the one to calculate and prepare for her brothers.  They could not have done the same for her.

 

“The formulae?” said Kaladin, taken aback.  Unexpected emotion flickered briefly across his face. “How would a lady … Are you implying–”

 

“Be my watcher.”

 

A driftwatcher was the informal title of the person who measured and poured the ether, applied and changed the cloths, and watched the drifter while he dreamt.  It was a title that conveyed great trust and intimacy; it was as intimate as the connection between a patient and his personal physician or principal and his bodyguard.   A watcher was expected to prevent others from taking advantage of his charge the drifter whilst insensible; there had been legal disputes in the past when wills or contracts had been altered in the delirium of waking-drift.

 

“No.”

 

“But–”

 

“There are oaths I must adhere to.  Ether does not mark the body, but using it – in that way – marks the spirit.  I will not knowingly do harm – even to someone as insufferable as you.  I believe that harm to the spirit is just as damaging as harm to the flesh,” said Kaladin, his voice flat and toneless.

 

It was a refusal, pure and simple. He disapproved, of the use, if not her desperate urgency for it.  It still felt like a blow to Shallan, heavy with ringing finality.  She tried for another angle.  Kaladin did not respond well to brazen lies, she’d discovered, to her embarrassment.  The whole episode in the carriage was an unwanted reminder of that.  She did know from that instance with the aluminium forks that speaking disconcerting truths could unbalance him.

 

“You cannot mark a spirit which carries all the marks that could possibly be borne,” she said.   She could scarcely forget that her outwards appearance was none too pristine either:  her hair had been a mess since the morning, and her skirts were spattered with mud that had now dried and crusted. 

 

“Ether drifting,” said Kaladin, “is still the most wretched and reprehensible of vices.  Why do you want it?  What did you see?”

 

“I … had a family.”

 

“Everyone has a–”

 

“A family in which all the children were loved.”

 

Kaladin paused for a moment; he bit back what he was preparing to say.  Then he said: “The Duke will be all the family you need, Miss Davar.” 

 

He did not meet her eyes.  She thought she saw pity in him.  Was he ashamed to see her descend to this state?  He had, no doubt, thought her just another pretty thing to hang on the Duke’s arm, for as long as she was still pretty enough to catch his eye.   Now, perhaps, he finally saw the wretch in her that he recognised in himself. 

 

Her face was flushed – from shame or anger or something else, it was impossible for her to guess.  She still felt the sting from his refusal; she wanted comfort, but she was so very very far from home and Malise was dead, and Mother was dead, and Father was dead, and the sensible part of her mind was unresponsive – it might as well have been dead too.  All she had here was Kaladin and he had no kindness in him to spare – least of all for her – and she found that she could not be kind to him now.

 

“As he is for you?  Is it enough?” she spat.  She felt dark triumph, which was immediately followed by regret.  Too far.  She wanted to use truth to unbalance him, not drive him away completely.

 

“I …” he began.  Then he rose to his feet.  “We will continue this later.”

 

The screen by the door had been slid back.  Adolin stood in the doorway, holding a tray with a tea service; there were three cups and three saucers.  There was a serving woman in an apron pushing a trolley to their alcove; she unloaded a large pie with flaking shortcrust, a wooden platter of sliced tenderloin that dripped pinkly in the middle, mustards and pickles and cheeses, a basket of sliced bread, and a large earthenware flagon sloshing with ale.  The bottom level had their table settings.  Adolin set down the tea tray.  He nodded to the serving woman, who wiped her hands on her apron in acknowledgment and bustled away.  Kaladin glanced around their alcove, met Adolin’s eyes and stepped away.  He slid the screen closed.

 

Heralds,” remarked Adolin, turning over two teacups and pouring.  “Can the two of you be left alone without re-enacting the plot of some absurd serial?”

 

Shallan ran a hand over her face; it felt uncomfortably warm and there were wet spots in the corner of her eyes.  Perhaps it was the pickled onions.  Could pickled onions even draw tears?  She did not know.  But she was aware that she looked terrible, and felt terrible; she had said things that she wished she hadn’t, and shown too much of herself when she had been told – and knew for herself – that one must act a certain fashion if one wanted to attract the gentlemen.  It wasn’t honest, but when were gentlemen attracted to honesty?  They thought they were, but it wasn't true: the very existence of cosmetics and elaborate corsetry was proof to the otherwise.

 

She forced a smile.  “I sincerely doubt it, sir.  Perhaps our chaperon needs to be chaperoned.”

 

Adolin returned her smile, and took a sip of his tea.  “It seems our Shallan has returned to herself.  Are you feeling better?”

 

“Yes, I’m not going to vomit on you.  You can come closer; I promise I shan’t ruin your clothes with drool,” she said.  Well, if she had given Kaladin reason to revise his impression of her from title-hunting foreigner to manic ether-wretch, there was no reason to treat Adolin similarly.  He did not seem a bad man; his presence encouraged her to exaggerate the light-hearted side of her character to the point where she felt she was entirely light-hearted.  Perhaps he lacked Kaladin’s acuity, but he was good-humoured through and through, and one need not play verbal racquets to enjoy his company.

 

“I wouldn’t mind if you did.”  He waved a hand in her direction; she looked down and realised that she had his fur-collared overcoat on her shoulders.  “It’s only clothes, after all.”

 

’Only clothes’?” Shallan said, with a genuine smile.  “The Kholinar Duelling Club would revoke your membership immediately if they heard that.”

 

Adolin laughed – that delightful hearty guffaw – and slid to the edge of his seat; he took her hand.  “I think you’re more important, Shallan.  Even if you don’t think it’s true.”

 

This was why she liked Adolin.  He said things he felt, and they were things he truly meant.   She mused on the possibility that he found her joking honesty equally attractive, even if he could not whole-heartedly approve of her reliance on sarcasm.

 

“Hah, they were right,” she laughed.  She tilted her head – something she had practiced in the mirror to Jasnah’s tutelage.  “You do know how to flatter a girl.”

 

“’They’?  What do ‘They’ presume to know about me?”

 

“They say you don’t embrace girls unless you really like them, and…”

 

“…And?”

 

“And you reserve your kisses for the girls that you are truly fond of.”

 

“Well, whomever ‘They’ happen to be, they seem to know me awfully well.  There are – were – very few for whom I reserve my kisses.”

 

“Those lucky girls,” remarked Shallan dryly.  She picked up her teacup and took a sip.  “I am certain they are much to be envied.”

 

“I – Damnation! – I am fond of you.  There.  Does it satisfy you, woman?”

 

“Not quite,” said Shallan.  She was smiling, and her ears were going red.  But she liked Adolin; she liked how the red of her ears matched the flush appearing on his cheeks, how he bit his lip and looked down even as he attempted to counterfeit the suave ladies’ gentleman she saw that he could never have been. 

 

“Ah,” he said, after a while.  He took a deep breath.  “I see.  Uh…”

 

“Are you going to tell me that I have nice hair?” 

 

“I was going to ask if, um.  If it was all right with you, and I don’t mean to be too bold or anything...”

 

“I shall close my eyes if it helps,” said Shallan, and did so.  She felt something in her chest twine itself in and out of her ribs with sheer gleeful exultation.  No cagéd doves, yet.  But there was some other creature inside her that stole her breath away and made her forget she even needed to breathe. 

 

She sensed Adolin draw close to her, felt the slight stir of his exhalation against her lashes, and the warmth of his body.  She kept her hands in her lap, over the tartan.  She didn’t want to scare him away prematurely.   There was the lightest brush against the side of her mouth, where it met her cheek, then it was gone.  She waited.  Nothing else happened.  She opened her eyes.  Adolin was back in his seat, dipping a biscuit into his tea.

 

Was that it?  Was that all?!  This “first kiss” wasn’t worth writing home about, let alone telling Jasnah!

 

“If that was fondness, sir,” said Shallan, with an exasperated sigh, “I would hate to see affection.”

 

Adolin looked up; the biscuit was in the air, en route to his mouth.  “Are you mocking my, ah, technique?”

 

Shallan reddened, and, gathering her courage, swept a lock of hair behind her ear.  “No.  I mean, yes.  Just close your eyes, please.”

 

She didn’t wait to see if he did.  She got to her feet, rather wobbly; the tartan dropped to the floor.  When she stumbled over to Adolin’s chair and all but fell into his lap, the biscuit dropped also.  She threw one arm over his shoulder, and drew the other hand through his hair.  It was as soft and fluffy as she’d imagined – though never expected.   Then she kissed him.  It was gentle and soft at first, all hesitant bumping noses, but she then pressed against him, wanting more.  She wanted comfort, she wanted contact, and she took it from him all at once.  It was the kiss she had wanted as her first kiss, and not some half-hearted peck of the type one shared as a child with the hall boy or scullery maid when no-one was looking.  

 

He returned her kiss with passion, and she felt the coolness of his hand against her burning cheek, and felt the smooth slide of his seal ring’s golden band, and the roughened skin of his callused palm catching on the unruly hair curling against her temple.   She pulled away from him, finally – all too soon.  He took a deep breath and his eyes opened.  There was a smile on his face; it matched her own, just like the flushed cheeks she supposed the both of them sported.  She became aware that it was not as comfortable as she had once thought, to sit on a man’s lap – she hadn’t thought knees would be quite so bony – and adjusted her position.

 

At that, Adolin suddenly gave a strained cough and cleared his throat.   He turned his head away; he did not look at her face, but pulled her close and lay his head against her shoulder with his ear on her collarbone.

 

“I heard someone once say that ten heartbeats of a beating heart is all it takes to form a bond between two,” he said, softly.  He was silent; they both were, for ten heartbeats, and then ten more.  “Perhaps it’s not such a silly idea.”

 

Shallan sighed, then gingerly got to her feet.  Her legs were wobblier than before; she staggered back to her chair and sat down heavily.   Adolin’s stomach grumbled with hunger. 

 

They both laughed rather loudly, and suddenly that single perfect moment was over.   She did not regret that it was over, nor that it hadn't lasted forever.  But something was different between them now; there was still a tension between them, a humming expectation that did not want to go unanswered.  It was a different sort to the anxious hesitation that had been between them at the start of the pavilion luncheon.    This sensation was strange in its raw newness, and Shallan had never felt it before, nor had Jasnah ever mentioned anything close to it – but it was not at all unpleasant. 

 

“Should we invite Kaladin back for lunch?” she asked.

 

“That would be a good idea.  Um.  Excuse me,” said Adolin.  He stood, adjusted his neckcloth which had been pulled askew – it didn’t help – and tugged down his waistcoat.  He slid back the screen, and stepped out. 

 

Shallan took the opportunity neaten her own appearance.

 

A minute later, Adolin returned, Kaladin following.  Kaladin plucked a bread roll from the basket on the trolley, and bit into it, eyes darting from her still rumpled appearance to the tartan on the floor.  Shallan flushed, then bent over and picked it up. 

 

“Oh–!” she exclaimed.  “Watch your step!  There’s a soggy biscuit on the floor.”

 

Kaladin gagged, then coughed.  A piece of half-chewed bread flew out of his mouth and landed next to the aforementioned biscuit.

 

 

***

 

 

They had their long-delayed luncheon.  It was what the proprietor of the White Boar would have called a huntsman’s lunch, or a ploughman’s, or the name of some other charmingly rustic occupation; whatever would have enchanted the romantic rural sensibilities of the inn’s patrons, who were mostly middle class Courtlea townsfolk rather than genuine labourers.  The only thing the meal had in common with a real farmer’s meal, thought Shallan, as she spooned mustard next to her venison and mushrooms, was that they both contained copious amounts of bread and meat.   She did not think it likely that a farmer’s noon meal had more than one type of bread and one type of meat. 

 

She and Adolin – what was the situation with their … understanding, now?  They were courting, yes, more than assuredly so.  She had not expected that she would be so taken with him:  Jasnah had given her a brief description of her cousin’s character during their journey, and Jasnah was rarely very complimentary on the subject of men’s characters – at least those men who were currently alive and breathing.  Jasnah had not mentioned the glowing red eyes or black blood of storybook monsters – she had rather more tact than that – but Shallan had been expecting the worst.  And what she had gotten was, well, Adolin. 

 

Their table conversation passed by her; Kaladin kept turning the subject to one of military matters with which she was unfamiliar with – he mentioned the names of people she did not know, and locations she had never visited; he lacked the grace to introduce either of them to her knowledge.  She would have felt more excluded had Adolin not occasionally paused to inquire about her opinion; they exchanged shy glances and tentative smiles over the ale flagon, and she could feel his foot tap against hers under the table now and again.  It was almost like a second, unspoken conversation hidden under the first, to which Kaladin – to her great satisfaction – was not privy.   It was entirely possible that he noticed hints of it, but Shallan found she could not care.

 

Luncheon drew to a close; Adolin was the first to rise.  His napkin was deposited on his plate; he took a last swig of ale.

 

“Shall we return, then?   Unless there was something anyone needed from the village while we’re still here … ?  No?  Kal, could you escort Shallan to the carriage?  I should settle the bill with the innkeeper,” he said, plucking at the buttons of his waistcoat.  He had eaten quite a lot, Shallan observed.  He always seemed to eat quite a lot during his meals, and then when the next mealtime rolled around, he ate quite a lot then, too. 

 

Shallan gathered her tartan, and on second thought, folded Adolin’s overcoat over her arm.  Kaladin rose from the table without a word, slid back the screen of their dining alcove, and made his way to the door, stepping pointedly around the abandoned biscuit on the floor.  She hurried after him, maladroit limbs still weakly soft from the earlier … incident. 

 

“Doctor!” she called, as he pulled open the door.  “Kaladin!”                                                                                       

 

He did not hold it open, and it swung back into her face until she caught up the knob and pressed after him.  There was an inner door and an outer door, to retain heat during winter.  Such a style of building was common in the north; she had expected that it would be rarer here in southern Anglekar, but an inn or tavern with guests entering and leaving regularly would need more than one door if it aimed to conserve coal and firewood.  Shallan seized Kaladin’s elbow when he had paused to unlatch the outer door.

 

He did not turn around.  “I have considered your … proposal.”

 

“And?”

 

“You were someone’s watcher once.”

 

“The formulae?  Of course.  Three someones.”

 

“If I were to refuse you,” he said in a low voice that could not be overheard, “you have knowledge enough to seek the drift on your own.” 

 

He did not push her arm away, and he had slowed his pace slightly – she was grateful for that.  The rain had ceased for now, but the cobbled stable yard was shiny with rain water; it was littered with slick patches of horse doings churned into mud by moving carriage wheels and stepping feet.   There was a queer tone in his voice.  This subject seemed to draw forth memories; his last comment gave the impression that he’d had prior encounters with drifting or driftwatching. 

 

Shallan took a risk.  “Whose watcher were you?”

 

She thought she had missed the mark, but she felt the arm of his that she held twitch and pull away almost imperceptibly.  He did not, however, pull away – nor did he shove her away or throw her to the ground as she was almost afraid that he might.  So, she had struck the mark in this.

 

“That’s none of your concern, Miss Davar,” he finally said.  “Past experience has taught me that an immediate refusal does nothing to deter the determined.  Ask in a week’s time.  Perhaps by then, the Duke’s regrettable … attachment will be enough for you to reconsider.”

 

“The Duke is a good man, but he cannot give me my family.”

 

“He can save them from the workhouse.  Do not abandon good sense in favour of false illusions.”  There was coldness in his voice – no judgment, but no empathy either.  It is for your own good were the unspoken words he likely wanted to say, but everyone knew such words did nothing to discourage improper behaviours.  

 

Shallan was silent as the coachman was summoned and their carriage brought around to the front of The Sign of the White Boar.  The workhouse, she thought.  He knows the details of my current predicament; he knows about my family.  How much does he know about me?  Does he know about – about Father?  No – no one could know about Father.  They had … taken steps to make sure, double-sure of it.  It had been six months since she had left Loch Davar to seek Jasnah Kholin: not one of her brothers would have let the information leave the estate; she had given Wikim the pages of charted progressionals she’d calculated for Jushu - he could watch and ensure that Jushu stayed at home instead of going out; no one would have heard his drift-waking rambles…

 

It had all seemed like a game – acting the Lady Shallan to Jasnah’s Countess – sunning in Kharbranth’s best hotels like dandies on their Grand Tour – meeting Adolin and living in his palace where the rooms were painted and named with different shades of blue.  But it wasn’t a game, was it? – it was all for her family, for the house on Loch Davar that she had called home. 

 

Had called home.  Was it still her home?  It was a prison.

 

The consequences of her actions were falling into place now, one by one.  She had not really considered them; the endgame had always been in the fuzzy distance; she’d waved over them with a cursory ‘Jasnah will take care of things as she always does’.  But success in saving her brothers – success that seemed all too possible now: that would mean she could never be anything more than a guest – an honoured one, of course – to her childhood home. 

 

She found she was gripping Kaladin’s arm very tightly as the coachman aligned the carriage and unfolded the steps.  He did not pull away or complain.   She took a deep breath and closed her eyes and leaned against him, her head resting against his shoulder.  She did not want him to see her crying.   He had already caught her at a disadvantage twice today.

 

“You sound just like Jasnah,” Shallan managed to choke out into the lengthening silence.  There was a curious panicked sob to the end of that; she was afraid – afraid – and those yearning doves tucked beneath her ribs cringed inside her.  

 

“Miss Davar,” he said, in a surprisingly gentle tone.  It did not sound like him; she was so used his being sarcastic or derisive.  “You do know how to flatter a man.”  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author's Notes:

If I'm going to wing it from here, why not crank up the drama and have the obligatory make out scene everyone has been waiting for since chapter one?  Why not throw in the love triangle that everyone hates to love and loves to hate? 

In this AU, Shallan is not a lightweaver and she doesn't need her soul to be reforged for anything; she also has no spren guidance. Her character development is something she has to find on her own, not because she needs to level up her oaths.  This may make it look like she is more messed up than SA canon.

Anglekar is the name of the country south of Scotland.  It's pronounced closer to "Anglican" than "angle car".

There is some good old fashioned (but still anachronistic) British boarding school humour in this chapter. :-D

 

Subtext:

"He seemed about to say something nasty" - Kaladin feels guilty about the whole incident, and is willing to let some of Shallan's rudeness slide.

"They could not have done the same for her." - Shallan wanted to when Jushu offered, but she didn't because she is the one who has to look after others.  Remember the scene in Part 3 when she is weirded out by a maid dressing her?  This is a sign that she may not like Kaladin, but she is starting to trust him.

"There are oaths I must adhere to." - the Hippocratic Oaths.  Kaladin thinks oaths and promises are important and lying is bad.  But in his mind he thinks "As long as it is right" when he says them.

“Can the two of you be left alone without re-enacting the plot of some absurd serial?” - refers to serialised novels (middle class version of penny dreadfuls) that were common in the era.  Also meta joke hahahhahahha.

"It wasn’t honest, but when were gentlemen attracted to honesty?" - hint hint, Kaladin is attracted to honesty.

"hall boy or scullery maid" - historical detail: the lowest ranking and usually youngest servants in a big house. 

“Whose watcher were you?” - SPOILERS, well not really, since it will never be revealed in-story: it's Renarin.  Kaladin used it to treat the seizures and then Renarin got messed up after it just like Shallan.  Shallan is still messed up all the way through this whole episode - she has impaired inhibitions and is not her normal self. 

“You do know how to flatter a man.”  - ironic echo: compare to Shallan's conversation with Adolin.  Kaladin was close by the whole time, since he's a bodyguard.  In this chapter, he stops hating Shallan so much when he sees she's not just a pretty doll, since she's just as messed up as him.  He sees something of Renarin and Tien in her, but is also impressed that she was driftwatcher for three people.  He's disgusted and flattered at the same time that she wants him to be her watcher.  He has a bunch of mixed up feelings about her now.  Shallan still thinks he hates or pities her.

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The Stormlight Archives Regency Romance

SHALLAN'S SKETCHBOOK

PAGE 10

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I'm back and caught up on this thread. (My wife had a baby last week, so I've not been doing much besides that.)

Also I feel like I'm not meeting my :ph34r: quota. Is there a minimum ninja requirement for comments in this thread?

For the record, I thought there was no ambiguity about Dalinar and Navani being fully intimate.

So much has been happening! That last sketch page with the boar--such evocative red blotches! It is really making me think. In the canon Stormlight, that would be a scene from Kal's backstory, but in this AU Shallan drew it. Is this an event from her time at Loch Davar? Is this a story she heard from the Duke? Or (gasp) from the Doctor? I'm excited to find out.

I also really like what you've done with the ether drifting. It fits, both the time period and the characters. (And I'm trying to figure out if it will figure into the whole Visions from the Almighty thing--can't decide if I think it should or not.)

 

I think it's a waste if you have a character who can draw, but you don't include drawings. [...]A character just feels more than two-dimensional when you mix media and show that they have legitimate skills, not just informed ones.


Agreed. The problem is that many authors (such as myself) don't have the legitimate skills to show off as a character's work. I am impressed that you have the artistic ability to include the sketchbook pages. Thanks for sharing your talents!

 

Well, critique is good for self-improvement. And I want to get better at writing.


I think my first set of reactions should be what I thought of your Author's Notes. Maybe it will be helpful to see which things I clued into on my own and which I needed some authorial nudging to catch. Some of the backstory you reveal is (as I'm sure you know) the type that I would expect to be disclosed in-text in a longer work, but is good to share in this sort of short "excerpt." Here are my thoughts, spoilered for length.


Part I


Author's Notes:
The last time I wrote short stories or fanfiction was 4 or 5 years ago, so I'm a little rusty with my prose. For stylistic influences in this work, though I'm copying the writing style of classic period romances in general (not the modern paperback bodice-rippers), I would name Charlotte Bronte as the main inspiration to fit with the thread topic. Of course there's some Austen in there as well, mixed with more modern authors for the dialogue lines because I feel using old-style for that sounds too stiff and lacks emotional impact. I agree with the decision to modernize dialogue. I've gotten enough critiques of stilted, unnatural dialogue in my own writing to be aware of the burden it adds for the reader.

A few hundred years ago, barbers and surgeons were the same thing. Physicians diagnosed illnesses, but it was barber-surgeons who did the actual surgery and amputations. I had forgotten this. Thanks for the reminder. That whole "I'm no surgeon" exchange had me a bit confused, since we had just established him as a doctor.Their razors could cut skin and give a close shave. Shallan is joking Kaladin on his unfashionable and messy hair. A bailiff in medieval times collected taxes as part of their job. I also referenced the scene in the hallway of Elhokar's palace when Shallan meets Kaladin for the second time in Words of Radiance.

If you're wondering why I made Shallan Scottish, I immediately saw the logic of making her Scottish. Great decision. it's a reference to the post from a similar thread here, and since all those classic romances took place in England, I tried to make a weird fusion for humourous reasons.



Part II


Author's Notes:
I've been trying to keep the character personalities "on canon" while also making sure they meld with the alternate universe 1800's England-ish setting. This is the part that keeps confusing me a bit with the worldbuilding. I went in expecting a direct port of England, which it sometimes what it feels like, but the references to Heralds, Almighty, and bog monsters keep me guessing as to how much supernatural is present and how much of the Roshar ecology to imagine. I like it, and I suspect that future chapters will clarify things some, but I admit to being confused. Alternate universe would probably be the best way to describe it. The classism may seem weird to you but some things I think are best kept realistic to retain the flavour of the Regency era.

Some backstory for you: in this universe, the Anglethi united Ireland (Irenatan?) into one Kingdom. They did not like it, and King Gavilar I was assassinated by rebels. Okay, this makes sense. On my first time through I thought you had said that Gavilar survived, but I guess I was mistaken. My later confusion on this point is apparently my own fault. There was a Vengeance Pact, etc etc. Kaladin studied to become a physician in Kharbranth. Tien was a carpenter's apprentice at home and when the war happened, he volunteered out of patriotism. Lirin already had his prized surgeon son by then so didn't do a good job of stopping him. Kaladin joined the army as a combat medic when he found out, but Tien still died. Tien has to die in every universe, like Batman's parents.


Part III

Author's Notes:
Backstory in context - though you probably have already guessed at some of it, Prince Dalinar is fighting a war against the marshpeople in Ireland. There are rebels, rebel sympathisers, and anti-Anglethi factions, all very mysterious, and Laird Davar and Helaran Davar were part of them. Laird Davar caused the family's bankruptcy lending money to the wrong group, and Helaran ran away from home for ideological reasons. Aside from the war in Ireland, I missed most of this. Thank you for the explanation. (Not sure if it is necessary or not, except to make sense of the thoughts in part 8 about treason and "We were too late for Marise.")

Kaladin has not had good experiences with red-haired foreigners and suspects most of them are spies or terrorists. However, the Scots/Vedens have been part of the Anglethi Kingdom for hundreds of years and although they aren't Anglethi, they are still loyal subjects in the eyes of the ruling class.

Part IV

Authors Notes:
This is the scene that I wish had been the first chapter of WoR. Jasnah proves she has a heart! A shrivelled, dusty heart with a few dings in it, but it’s still there and she wants to protect Shallan while still using her at the same time. I liked it!
I write Shallan as snarky but not non-stop puns because 1) it doesn’t fit the genre 2) I am not funny 3) I found it kind of annoying after a while. I also don’t write Kaladin as the 100% angry jerk some people expect him to be, because here his character has already developed since he became friends with Adolin earlier than the original timeline. He has already figured out that not all noblemen are trash and to replay an AU version of the notoriously polarising WoR Prison Scene would be make me go blaaarrgghhh. YMMV, etc.

The subtext:

  • The Davar kids traded the aluminium necklace for oats. Oatmeal now gives Shallan homesickness. She would probably throw up if she had to eat plain oats boiled in water again, but it’s still nostalgia. Got the traded for food and homesickness from oats part, but not the connection of trading necklace for oats specifically.
  • Jasnah is sour about Amaram, who is Viscount Meridas in this universe. She is obliquely referring to him (“even if society judges him to be a good one and a smart match”) while Shallan thinks she is talking about Adolin. Thought it was someone specific, but wasn't sure if Meridas was in this AU so didn't specifically guess him. And saucy details: a Countess (female Earl) can refuse a suit from a Viscount without scandal, and as a landowning peer cannot be easily married off to a foreigner by the King as a Princess might. I know entailment and inheritance didn’t work that way historically, so I will wave my hands and say that because Elhokar is King and Jasnah is the older daughter, Gavilar indulged her and made sure she was provided with an income, especially since they started liking each other more before his death. Nice details, didn't gather them from the text, but probably aren't important to know.

Part V

Author's Notes:
The exercise they are doing is the traditional British stick fighting sport, singlesticks. It is used as practice for swordfighting, because I thought that foil fencing was too "continental" for Adolin and too fancy for Kaladin. Makes sense. I didn't think much about it, but I definitely approve of your decision to go with singlesticks. The tent that was being set up is a changing room, in case you were wondering. Did not figure that out. And yes, in this universe, Kaladin is aware of what colour Adolin's "other hair" is.

I'm only writing from Shallan's perspective because romance novels are mostly all written from the girl's PoV. Yeah, at first I kept wanting to see someone else's PoV, but the single perspective is more in the spirit of the genre. And I think she's the only one I can write while keeping consistently on-character. Post feedback if you like - I haven't done fiction writing in years and keeping to the Bronte/Regency tone is a real struggle. If you're reading closely, you can tell when I'm lapsing in and out of it, ugh. Maybe later. For now I'm paying more attention to plot and character.
We are nearing the end of my plot skeleton and drafted notes, sadly.

Part VI

Author’s Notes:
Any resemblance to the scenes in WoR where Shallan and Adolin met for the first and second times is not accidental.

  • Adolin has a personal seal because spanreeds don't exist and people still write letters.
  • Kaladin’s box had a gun in it. He doesn’t put it on at the table not because he doesn’t want to be rude and frighten the ladies, but because he is sneaky and doesn’t want Shallan to know he has one. He is a part-time bodyguard which is why he gets invited to things even though people don’t want him to be there. Nice touch. I was wondering what was in the box, but didn't guess correctly.
  • Every Regency romance has to have baseless assumptions and conclusions being drawn out of nowhere for drama reasons, when they could have easily been cleared up just by characters talking to each other. Naturally :-)
  • I can’t write funny so I wrote cringe comedy. If you felt second-hand shame on Shallan’s behalf while reading this chapter, I did it right.
  • The original Anglo-Saxons came from Angeln, which is somewhere around modern Denmark/Northern Germany

The subtext:
Kaladin thinks Shallan is high-handed and he’s right. She snarks on the divine right of kings, but is elitist and very socially conscious and isn’t really aware of it. She forgets that there are servants around when they’re right in the room, which is why she says things that could be construed as treason. I caught this, but not consciously. It was helpful to have it pointed out overtly, but the sense of it definitely came through in the text.
The East Continent is Europe. Adolin’s mother in this universe is ethnically German and probably Prussian. Adolin doesn’t speak German; he doesn’t even like reading Anglish.
“Wealth speaks a language” - Shallan is trying to tell Kaladin that she’s a gold digger, not a spy. I missed the for-Kaladin subtext of the message, though the content came through.
Medieval medicine is weird. They used to think things that were shaped like noses could cure sneezing, and that sacred body parts like saints' knucklebones were miracle cures. Magical holy clysters for cholera is Shallan referencing this.Hilarious!
Kaladin gets the joke faster than Adolin. “Neither suitable nor capable” is Jasnah commenting that Kaladin can’t produce an heir, and that Adolin should be looking for a companion who can. Everyone snarks better than Adolin. I didn't figure out the Kaladin jab. I thought it was something about Kaladin's unfitness in comparison to Adolin, not in comparison to Shallan, so I confused myself thinking about it.

I’m nearing the end of how far I’ve plotted. I have enough notes and drafts to write one more chapter before I run out of material. I never thought I’d properly write out the story so I never thought of an ending apart from the obligatory “they do”.

Part VII

Author's Notes:
This was a filler chapter, in case you hadn't noticed. Didn't notice. I dumped background information from my notes to stretch out the content for another chapter or two.

The subtext:

  • "And that is why neither of you are wed" - Jasnah is commenting that Adolin, as a typical bachelor doesn't know how women and clothing work. And also that Shallan is so naive about men that she doesn't know about lying to get what she wants. Got the "Shallan is naïve" piece, not the "Adolin doesn't get women" piece. I was thinking more along the lines of "Adolin doesn't understand scheming".
  • "Imagining him by her bedside" - this is a reference to plots of doctor romance novels, which weren't invented at this time, because doctors and lawyers and anyone who worked for a living were considered unfortunately middle class.
  • How can the Cosmere exist on Earth when WoB says it doesn't? Well, word of Sheep says it does in this story!!!
  • Shallan likes the rain. Foggy days and grey skies make her think of princess castles, make her creative and remind her of home. Like it.
  • Shallan's boots - the maid thinks they're labourers boots, and they are. Jane Austen's heroines wore light boots made from cotton or the skin of baby goats and cows, which were fine for walking on sunny days but too fragile for off-roading on rainy ones. Like it.
  • Shallan likes Adolin OMG DOES HE LIKE HER BACK????


Part VIII

Author’s Notes:
I tried to keep Shallan on-character in terms of PoV internal monologuing and dialogue. Please let me know if you thought it was off or weird in any place. I don’t like reading AU fics where people who are supposed to be on-character go OOC either. In this story, Shallan’s dialogue is supposed to be the happy, peppy girl that people expect to see. The internal PoV bits are supposed to show that she’s young and naïve, but still has dark bits that she knows about, but doesn’t want to inspect too deeply. She’s not a bad person, but certain situations or persons have the potential to push her into bad or questionable things.

Subtext:

  • Kaladin is reading the AU version of the medical journal The Lancet. I used a parody because Issue 1 of The Lancet didn’t come out until the 1820’s. Adolin is reading a clothing pattern catalogue. Like it! Caught the Lancet reference, but that may just be because I'm in the biomedical field.
  • The portrait of Kaladin is from the earlier post Shallan’s Sketchbook #3.
  • “We see eye to neck” – reference to Kaladin and Shallan’s height difference. Got it.
  • “He saved my life” – happened while the Kholin regiments and Kaladin were in Ireland for the Vengeance Pact war This part made me super curious. Did he save their lives as a soldier? As a bodyguard? As a doctor? As all three on separate occasions? You definitely got the story hooks into me here.
  • Adolin is as blushy and awkward around forward girls as he is in the real SA. I write him as “pure” and inexperienced in that way if you know what I mean.
  • Yes, Kaladin was watching from the window.Yup. Seemed obvious.
  • “Instances where a woman could be left abandoned” – is this foreshadowing being left on the altar? Who knows. :-)


Part IX

Author’s Notes:
This is exposition and no romance. Sorry guys. I felt like the research needed to mean something if Shallan wanted to be anything more than a generic female romance protag. Good choice. I thought it helped to give her an additional goal.

  • The history of whaling in Scotland is pretty period accurate here. Sailing was a tough job and sailors often jumped ship when they hit port. For ships to have enough men to sail and whale, there were people who would kidnap, or "press gang" men into service. Once they beat you up and stole your clothes and wallet, and you woke up on a ship, there was no proof that you had rich parents. I thought it was a realistic way to explain a noble boy being enslaved.Liked it. It fits.
  • “Any woman who had ever in her life washed laundry or cooked a meal.” – working women washed with lye soap and used metal boxes with fire inside to cook their food. By the time a woman reached marriage age, you could probably tell what class she was just by looking at her skin. Yup. Though the "ever in her life" came off as more elitist than simply classist, seeming to emphasize the "not even once" part of things. Not sure if this was intentional.
  • Ardents in the real SA wrote and approved betrothal and marriage contracts. However, in this AU, secular lawyers also exist. Vorin churches look like Gothic churches to fit the setting.
  • Shallan is too nearsighted to realise that a proof of treason would have saved Malise but ruined the Davar children. The Loch Davar estate would have gone to Elhokar as forfeit. It is possible that Malise knew and refused to turn in Lin Davar funding rebels for this reason. I'm also too shortsighted apparently, because I only barely figured out where Shallan was going with this. I doubt either part of it needs to be explained at this point, but the Davar backstory is still quite vague.
  • Shallan will tolerate Adolin’s wandering eye just in case she needs to use “infidelity” as a reason to annul a marriage. Totally missed this part, since I was busy paying attention to the treason bit. If this is important you may want to point it up a bit or do a call back later.
  • Yes, Kabsal is interested in the information that Shallan is after. He is not very nice on first impression, because in this AU Shallan is too interested in Adolin for a hot priest to attract her. And really, why make it a love square when Kaladin has already taken the role of "boy with secrets". Good choice. I definitely got a creepy vibe from our little Ghostblood.


Part X

Author's Notes:
Whew, that chapter was pretty dark. I'm pretty curious to know if you got the sads or cried at any point. I was testing to see how dysfunctional I could make the Davars while still keeping them kinda sympathetic. Let me know how it worked. Got the sads when she talked about watching her drifting brothers. Totally sympathetic.
This is where my prepared scripts end. IS THIS THE END FOR REALS? Or do I just wing it from here, lol. Not the end! Wing it! Wing it!

Backstory: (since it will never be explained directly)
Tien and Heleran both died in Ireland. Heleran was part of a guerilla group that set mines and blew things up. Tien lied about his age to enlist and when Kaladin found out he sent letters to the army but they replied with canned "There's nothing we can do" responses. Kaladin joined as a medic as soon as he finished school in Kharbranth and looked for Tien, who had travelled to a different town to sign under a fake name. Tien's noob unit was sent as cannon fodder to recon a dangerzone area and he was killed because the officers didn't want to waste trained veterans as mine scouters. Kaladin went crazy for a while afterwards and became a guerilla hunter volunteering on risky missions, where he eventually killed Heleran and saved the Kholins. Hmm, sounds like a soldiery life saving rather than doctory?...

Ether was discovered in the late 1700's and was used for surgery in the 1800's, and then people found out how useful it was at making you feel weird when you breathed a little of it at a time, or drank it. In the 1830's "ether frolic" parties were popular. In this AU, I refer to gentlemen using low doses for party entertainment as a "frolic", like people do with helium balloons today. People using higher doses I call "drifting" in this story.
Shallan drifts on ether but Kaladin doesn't. She is smaller physically, and closer to the floor - the bottles were stored under the seat. Kaladin is used to the vapours and Shallan hasn't had anything to do with it for at least a year. When she was pouring for Jushu she made sure that everything was well-ventilated so she had no idea why it was happening in the carriage. She was breathing in the smell and thought that everything would be fine since she didn't have a rag on her nose ... anyways, don't try it at home, kids.
Did Kaladin know what would happen beforehand? He probably considered it, but cared more about getting some painkillers than Shallan's welfare. And yes, he looked at the other pictures and read the notes in her sketchbook. Oh. I assumed Kaladin had totally premeditated this. I was fully expecting him to go through her satchel and find the maps, fueling more suspicions of evil spying.

"Show me her etchings" - 1890's line originally, but it works here. It originally referred to a man inviting a woman to listen to his gramophone, look at his Japanese calligraphy, or view his etchings, or watch his Netflix. Kaladin likes to snark too.Ha ha! I wondered if there was a double entendre there, but didn't think Kaladin would be the one to suggest something untoward. I was expecting him to be in deflection mode, with his employer's lady friend insensate on his shoulder.


Part XI

Author's Notes:
If I'm going to wing it from here, why not crank up the drama and have the obligatory make out scene everyone has been waiting for since chapter one? Why not throw in the love triangle that everyone hates to love and loves to hate? Yay! Although I'm not really getting a love triangle vibe. I suspect that's because I don't subscribe to the Shalladin ship, and I'm not looking for it, but I really only see budding curiosity and respect with Kaladin, not attraction. (Which is great by me. Who needs a triangle? But if you are trying for one, you haven't sold me on that leg of it.)
In this AU, Shallan is not a lightweaver and she doesn't need her soul to be reforged for anything; she also has no spren guidance. Her character development is something she has to find on her own, not because she needs to level up her oaths. This may make it look like she is more messed up than SA canon. I like that decision. Hooray for people dealing with their own issues. She doesn't seem more messed up to me yet.
Anglekar is the name of the country south of Scotland. It's pronounced closer to "Anglican" than "angle car".
There is some good old fashioned (but still anachronistic) British boarding school humour in this chapter. :-D

Subtext:
"He seemed about to say something nasty" - Kaladin feels guilty about the whole incident, and is willing to let some of Shallan's rudeness slide.
"They could not have done the same for her." - Shallan wanted to when Jushu offered, but she didn't because she is the one who has to look after others. Remember the scene in Part 3 when she is weirded out by a maid dressing her? This is a sign that she may not like Kaladin, but she is starting to trust him. Gotcha. I was surprised by that trust so fast, but we jumped to the kissing already, so might as well move along here too.
"There are oaths I must adhere to." - the Hippocratic Oaths. Yup. Kaladin thinks oaths and promises are important and lying is bad. But in his mind he thinks "As long as it is right" when he says them.
“Can the two of you be left alone without re-enacting the plot of some absurd serial?” - refers to serialised novels (middle class version of penny dreadfuls) that were common in the era. Also meta joke hahahhahahha.Great lampshading. :-)
"It wasn’t honest, but when were gentlemen attracted to honesty?" - hint hint, Kaladin is attracted to honesty. And probably Adolin is too, right? Or at least to genuineness, which isn't quite the same thing but still related.
"hall boy or scullery maid" - historical detail: the lowest ranking and usually youngest servants in a big house.
“Whose watcher were you?” - SPOILERS, well not really, since it will never be revealed in-story: Never Revealed?! Why? Give us some Renarin, please! it's Renarin. Kaladin used it to treat the seizures and then Renarin got messed up after it just like Shallan. Shallan is still messed up all the way through this whole episode - she has impaired inhibitions and is not her normal self.
“You do know how to flatter a man.” - ironic echo: compare to Shallan's conversation with Adolin. That's what I thought, but I was wondering what Kal's opinion of Jasnah is. How ironic is he being here? I can guess, but I'm not sure. Does he have a particular dislike for her, or is she just one of many in his people-hating? Kaladin was close by the whole time, since he's a bodyguard. In this chapter, he stops hating Shallan so much when he sees she's not just a pretty doll, since she's just as messed up as him. He sees something of Renarin and Tien in her, but is also impressed that she was driftwatcher for three people. He's disgusted and flattered at the same time that she wants him to be her watcher. He has a bunch of mixed up feelings about her now. Shallan still thinks he hates or pities her.

Edited by ccstat
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I'm back and caught up on this thread. (My wife had a baby last week, so I've not been doing much besides that.)

 

Oh congratulations! May I ask if you now have a son or a daughter?

 

 

Also I feel like I'm not meeting my :ph34r: quota. Is there a minimum ninja requirement for comments in this thread?

For the record, I thought there was no ambiguity about Dalinar and Navani being fully intimate.

 

I'd say you need to have at least one  :ph34r: per paragraph to call it worthy  :ph34r:  :ph34r:  :ph34r: I have had half a mind to ask the admin to add a new functionality to the forum: top posters and top reputations are over-rated, I say we have a top  :ph34r: use. Now this is a category I am sure to ace  :ph34r:

 

Ah so other people read the intimate conversation which was rather hard to keep PG. I too am quite sure Dalinar and Navani are busy in the field, at their age, no points into not being  :P

 

As for generic comments on the fic, I too would like to find out in which circumstances did Kaladin saved Adolin, Dalinar and Renarin's life. I am also keen to find out what Kaladin thinks of Shallan exactly... Opportunist? Gold digger? Is he seeing to his friend's interest considering Adolin is pretty much useless in this department?

 

Speaking of which, I adored the first kiss scene: it totally fits with the existing characters personality which I think you developed well. There is nothing I hate more than reading a fic which portrayed Adolin as a forward entirely secure guy who initiates intimacy. It is so OOC it typically tempers or nullify any enjoyment I would have had if not for it. The book has left ample clues as to Adolin being everything but secure. In fact, I'd argue he is secure, as long as he has clear orders to follow, as long as he is exactly what is expected of him and as long as he knows precisely what to expect, but as soon as he steers away from these, he is downright insecure. Relationships is the only department where his father has given him complete freedom which is a severe clash with everything else. Dalinar is hard on Adolin, given him strict rules to obey, not letting him any latitude (which is the opposite of Renarin who is entirely free to choose whatever it is he wants, but keeps focusing on the one thing he cannot do due to his illness), but when it comes to relationships, he suddenly leaves him on his own, free to take his own decisions. Hence, he can't. It is too scary. He misses guidelines, so he sabotages everything out of fear he may not live up to his "reputation", out of fear he may actually screw it up by his own fault... In other words, book Adolin can't take decisions for himself. It is why he is relieved to have his aunt take his love life into her hands by engaging him to Jasnah's ward: finally someone is taking this decision for him. 

 

So I like the fact you kept this part of Adolin's character intact: the insecurity and the inexperience. Most writers tend to completely ignore it, preferring to write him as a Casanova womanizer who likely shire bastard babies all across Roshar  :ph34r: when the truth is he is an insecure young man with a reputation ten times bigger than his real experience who can't take a decision for himself for fear of making a mistake and for fear of falling. What if he is not good enough? 

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The Stormlight Archives Regency Romance

PART TWELVE

 

 

 

 

 

Shallan only became truly aware of her state of disorientation once the carriage had started moving.  It had occurred to her that her earlier behaviour – and improper was the most delicate way to describe it – was not normal for her; if it was her, it was the very worst part of her: the part she hid away from sight and pretended didn’t exist.  Even now she knew she was still addled; she knew enough to recognise impropriety if it happened, but not quite enough to prevent it before it did.

 

She sat next to Adolin on the upholstered bench seat this time, with Kaladin sitting opposite.  The crate of ether bottles had been tied to the back of the carriage, on the folding step that footmen used on sunny day driving.   Part of her still yearned for the mindless comfort of the drift – that part of her that had been raised out of its dormancy by nostalgia and now squatted malevolently in her mind, polluting it with unwanted thoughts of home.

 

She could not even draw.  She had tried, but her hands trembled holding the pencil – to Kaladin’s curious gaze – and she had roughly scratched out a sketch of a white boar.  Her fingers lacked precision; there was a pronounced disconnect behind the swirling pictures in her mind and control over her limbs.  She was suddenly reminded of the last hard winter in Loch Davar.  They could not afford as much wood or coal that year, and had been rationing their fuel, supplemented with chunks of peat collected from the estate grounds by her brothers.  The Davars had spent most of their evenings in one small parlour with the windows covered in tartan lap rugs, but still it was bitterly cold.  Trying to draw through the numbing paralysis of cold-stiffened fingers had felt much the same way – but in this case it was her own body betraying her.

 

She snapped the sketchbook shut and pulled her tartan over her head; she closed her eyes, wearying of homesickness.   Fatigue and the slowly swaying carriage lulled her into the greyness of half-sleep.

 

“Are you returning to the front with the Prince?” she heard dully.  She did not bother to divine the meaning of the words; she heard them without focus or consideration.

 

“No.  At least not when he does.”

 

“I thought giving Renarin his new position meant you could stop watching over his shoulder.”

 

“It’s not Renarin; there’s something else Father told me at the Ministry, before I left the City.” – a grunt – “He wants me to stay in case we have to split the Home Regiments on short notice.  The King couldn’t – wouldn’t – do it so I must stay.”

 

“Blasted Heralds, it’s not the indentured uprising business is it?  That is nothing but fearmongering nonsense.”

 

“No.  Something from the south, the Continent.  Father says he had new information – apparently it’s so secretive he can’t tell me how he got it – that something’s going on with their new government, worse than their ideological demagoguery…”

 

There followed a flood of esoteric information that Shallan did not particularly care about; she drifted into a refreshing true sleep that perhaps was not as comforting as ether-sleep – but it did allow one to arise fully functional, even if one did not want to.

 

 

***

 

 

There was a tap on her shoulder and the tartan over her head was tugged down.   The carriage was slowing; they were approaching the final curve of the drive to Kholinar Court.  Shallan opened her eyes.  Adolin was in front of her, his face not far from her own.  She had slept through the drive back from the village, and although she still felt the dull tinge of weariness gathered in the edges of her mind, she felt she was much more herself.  

 

“Are you all right, Shallan?  Can you walk up, or would it be best if I carried you in?” he asked, looking at her with concern.  The carriage crunched to a halt; Kaladin opened the door and stepped out.  It had stopped raining, but the clouds above still lingered with ominous darkness; the decorative hedges and topiary glistened and dripped.

 

“You do know that carrying a woman over the threshold of your house means something, don’t you?” remarked Kaladin.  “Kholinar Court may be less than a day’s ride from the City but country beliefs still hold their sway here.”

 

Adolin stepped out of the carriage, then turned to unfold the steps.  “Ah, well, I can summon the butler for a bath chair; I think we still have an old one somewhere…”

 

Shallan caught the strap of her satchel, and slid to the door.  Adolin’s overcoat was draped over her shoulders; she pulled it around herself and took Adolin’s guiding arm.  “I can walk,” she said.  “There, see!  And Doctor, when I lived in the Scottish countryside, there was a tradition that a man who caught an unwed woman alone in an undignified situation was obliged to marry her.”  She gripped Adolin’s arm tightly; there was still a trembling unsteadiness to her limbs.  He smiled down at her affectionately – was that an unsteady trembling she felt in her breast?

 

“A cursed fate indeed,” returned Kaladin.  “And if he refused?”

 

“Then I suppose he was never a man at all.”  Her thoughts must be clearer now, if she could find sarcastic things to say automatically and instinctively. 

 

“How very barbaric, these Scottish customs.  You must thank the Heralds every day that you are now in civilised lands.”

 

“These lands are civilised, yes; the people are, admittedly, somewhat lacking.”

 

“Your words – they wound us! – both Adolin and myself.”

 

“Well,” said Shallan, “are you still a doctor since the last time you checked?  I trust you can manage your own wounds.  And Adolin:  if being uncivilised meant he could eat his meals without having to change his clothes, he would embrace it with all eagerness.”

 

Adolin chuckled, and said, “Of course I would!  How does it make any sense that dining whites must be worn to dine?”

 

Kaladin’s eyebrows drew together.  He looked at Shallan, then at Adolin, and shook his head.  “And you’re agreeing with this Scottish frog?  Here I thought that we menfolk were meant to stand together in solidarity.  That being the sole purpose of gentlemen’s clubs and, presumably, the Admiralty.”

 

“That only works when there are no women present,” Shallan answered.  “Send some skirts into a gentlemen’s club and see how it unfolds.  You may be due for a disappointment.”

 

“Feminine tyranny is not such a bad thing, Kal,” Adolin said.  They had reached the portico of the House and he was now holding the front door open for Shallan.  “There are things women can teach us ignorant men, you know.”

 

“You are lovesick.”

 

“That sounds awfully like a diagnosis, Doctor,” noted Shallan.  “So what, dare I ask, is the cure?”

 

“Well, there is one very old, and shall we say –“ Kaladin paused, “– traditional – method of curing lovesickness in foolish young men.”

 

“And what is it?”

 

“Marriage.”

 

Adolin burst into loud laughter at this, wiping his eyes.  “Sickness or cure – I do not think I should mind having either.”

 

“Bah!”  Kaladin threw his arms in the air and stalked off. 

 

Shallan now found herself in the foyer with Adolin.  She released his arm, and dragged the overcoat off her shoulders.  It was very heavy, with fine wool woven thickly – imported, she assumed, since the local wools she was used to itched, and were better suited for carpets or rugs than clothing; there was a jaunty bright blue silk lining on the interior. 

 

“Ah–,” she said, holding it out to him.  “Your coat, before I forget.  I must thank you for that – wonderful – luncheon.  And I should apologise for the inconvenience the, um … incident … caused for you.”

 

“It was not such an inconvenience that I could not be secretly pleased if it happened again.”

 

Shallan reddened.  She could feel it; her ears went warm first, and then colour would spread across her cheeks and meet at her nose.  She almost regretted that the indifference of emotion in the waking-drift had now left her; if he had said that to her earlier, she doubted she would make such a show of herself as she was sure she was making now. 

 

She looked down at her muddied underskirts peeping out from the hem of her dress.  Then she looked up at Adolin’s good-humoured smile, and his blue eyes which were an ordinary, mundane shade of blue.  But they looked at her with a gentle fondness – and that was when she slowly came to realise that, in all her life, such sentiments from another could be considered neither ordinary nor mundane.  

 

“If it happened again, I should find myself pleased also.  But I am afraid I wouldn’t be able to keep it a secret,” she said softly.  They were bold words, intimate words of the like that she had never said to anyone before, and Adolin blushed at them.  His bashfulness was truly a delight.

 

He took her hand, then he leaned forward for a peck on the cheek.  Shallan turned her head at the last moment, and his lips brushed against hers very briefly.  He pulled back, face coloured to match hers.

 

He took a deep breath.  “Join us for dinner at eight, please, Shallan.”

 

“Of course.”

 

They stood in the foyer for a while – Shallan could not guess how much time had passed – with hands linked together; his thumb traced idle patterns over her knuckles.

 

Someone cleared his throat in the background; Adolin dropped her hands and straightened.   Shallan returned to herself.  There was a footman and a maidservant at the door, looking expectantly at them. 

 

“I shall look forward to seeing you then,” whispered Adolin, and then he was swept up by servants who took his coat and umbrella and ushered him away to be refreshed in his own quarters.

 

The maidservant led Shallan up the stairs to the bathing chamber.  She supposed there was a subtle criticism of her appearance in that, but she could not find it in herself to be anything more than appreciative.  She was undressed; her muddy clothes were taken away and replaced by a clean white shift and dressing robe; she soaked herself in the warm water until her fingers took on the appearance of walnut hulls. 

 

The embarrassing things that had happened to-day: the humiliating knowledge that this shameful vice of hers had been revealed to Kaladin, of all people.  She was ashamed of how she had presented herself, and ashamed still that everything she had told Kaladin had been – worst of all – completely true.  He must think her weak-minded now; she had admitted to indulging multiple others, and was now bent on indulging herself.  It must truly grate on him that such a wretch was attaching herself to his patron; he might one day find himself under her authority, second-hand though it might be. 

 

These unpleasant thoughts roiled through her mind as she sat in the lukewarm bath-water.  She lay back and let the water rise to her shoulders, then her throat, until it closed over her head.  Bubbles of air frothed to the surface; Shallan let them rise as the ceiling of the chamber wavered back and forth through the water, as if she were peering through a mystical veil to another world...   A thought occurred to her.  She sat up.

 

Why, by the Ten Heralds and the Ten Fools, did Kaladin’s opinion matter to her?

 

She did not want to puzzle out the answer.  Was she afraid of what she might conclude?  She pushed the thoughts away, but they still lingered while she put on the shift and tied the dressing robe around her waist.  She returned to her own bedchamber, contemplative and unresisting, as the maid settled her in front of the vanity, draped a towel over her shoulders, and began to tease at her hair with brushes and combs.  She did not tug at the hair, but used a scented oil to slowly work out the tangles.  It was relaxing to Shallan, who had not had a woman arrange her hair in years, and it drew a sense of easy contentedness over her.  Perhaps a lady’s maid had its benefits – she herself would have given up in impatience if the task had been assigned to her.

 

“Why is Doctor Kaladin such an insufferable creature?”  The words burst from her lips. 

 

There was a silence.  The maid’s hands stilled.  In the looking glass, Shallan saw her glance from side to side, as if she were searching for someone in the room that Shallan must have been addressing.   The room was empty but for the two of them.

 

“Doctor Kaladin is a real gentleman to us who stay downstairs,” she said shyly.  “Erm.  Begging your pardon.  My lady.”  She looked down at her hands, then Shallan’s face in the mirror, and continued dressing her hair.

 

“Really,” began Shallan.  “Kaladin and gentleman in the same sentence?  That, I cannot possibly imagine.”

 

The maid hesitated, then spoke again.  “He’s only s’posed to be physicking for His Lordship and the Family, but he comes down whenever one of us takes ill.  He goes round the village too, and never charges for the trouble.”

 

“That is … interesting.”

 

“He’s a very good sort,” said the maid, who seemed to be gathering her courage now that Shallan hadn’t reprimanded her: housemaids – which this one was, as there was no lady’s maid in the House – were ideally to be rarely seen and never heard.  “He takes care of those issues as well, without the lectures you get from the church medic in the village.”

 

Those issues?”

 

“Er, you know, my lady?”  The maid seemed rather sheepish now.  She could not meet Shallan’s eyes in the looking glass.

 

“Um.  Not really, I’m afraid.”

 

“Well, you being a Lady and all, you’ll be proper wed when time comes to worry about such things.   Us maids have to leave service if we were to be, ah, married.”

 

There was another silence while Shallan tried to figure out what had just transpired.  The only other woman Shallan had had conversations with in recent times was Jasnah, and Jasnah tended be so direct in her speech as to almost approach tactlessness.  But Jasnah possessed such poise and natural authority in her manner that if one felt affront in her company, one thought it was a fault in themselves rather than her.

 

The maid mistook the silence for something else.  “You needn’t worry so much, my lady.  His Lordship’s a kind and generous man; he’ll take good care of you like he makes sure to take care of all of us.”

 

“I don’t want to be taken care of,” said Shallan, rather shortly. 

 

“My lady, and I know it’s never my place to say – but it means a great deal for us below stairs to see he has taken a liking to you.  All of us look forward to a new Duchess in the House.”

 

“Why is that?”

 

“Well, this is speaking out of turn here, and I won’t say it’s my own opinion, but many people here and in Courtlea would much prefer His Lordship over his brother.  If something were to happen to him in war, it’d be best for all of us if he had an heir,” the maid replied, nervously.  She turned the hairbrush over in her hands.  It was silver with a design of blue enamelled forget-me-nots on the back, twining around a central monogram of ‘S.K.’.

 

So it seemed it wasn’t just Jasnah, or her brothers, who wanted her to secure an alliance.  But she had asked.   “Thank you for your honesty.”

 

“If there’s anything at all, my lady?” asked the maid.  She stood, finished brushing out Shallan’s hair, and slid the combs and brushes into a cloth roll that closed with a button and a loop of string.  The roll was placed into the side drawer of the vanity. 

 

It occurred to Shallan that she did not know the maid’s name.  She did not, in fact, know the names of any servant at the House, though by now she had come to recognise some of them, such as the butler or the first footman and to-day’s carriage driver, by their faces.  Although she had doubts she could manage it if they were not wearing their livery. 

 

“Please–,” she said cautiously, “–what is your name?  In case I need to send for you, of course.”

 

“Second chambermaid Finnie, my lady.”  The maid ducked into a respectful curtsey.  It was not very good; her elbows stuck out in an ungainly fashion.  She presumably had little contact with the Family in her regular duties – that would be the reserve of the upper household staff.

 

“Thank you, Finnie,” said Shallan, trying on Jasnah’s gracious tone that managed to tuck in a politely unsaid dismissal at the end.  Finnie left, and the door closed behind her.  Shallan was left staring at her reflection in the looking glass.  She looked tired and she felt tired, but there was work to be done.

 

Shallan spent the rest of the afternoon going over the maps taken from the church’s surveys, making two copies of each.  It was tedious, but she had such an exciting – if the word could be stretched so – morning; busywork like this was a relief in comparison.

 

The maps were a series of pages with rough outlines drawn on a grid, marking out the boundaries of the estate grounds.  There was one larger, polished looking map at the back of the envelope, depicting the shape of the whole of Kholinshire, with the City in the centre and all the various estates of the Family and the lower gentry circled in different colours.   The other maps were closer views of the Kholin estates.  Shallan noticed that there was no map for Jasnah’s house, Ivory Lane, and the lands that belonged to the Marquess Kholinshire, Adolin’s brother, were shown as just another part of the Kholinar Court ducal estate. 

 

She flicked through and found the maps for the ducal woodlands, the hunting preserve that Brother Kadash had mentioned that morning.  It was a forest, Kholinshire Forest, situated in between Kholinar Court and what would be the present-day Kholinshire Park.  These were the maps she wanted.

 

She copied them out painstakingly, using set squares and rulers to mark out the grids exactly, before tracing the contours of the land features.  Shallan was not certain that the measured distances would be correct – the maps of the forest were made by a groundskeeper and a huntmaster rather than a trained cartographer.  In any case, the regions of woodland would have moved on the edges as villagers cut the trees down as per their ancient citizens’ right to a certain amount of cordage every year.

 

One of the maps had the information she was looking for.  There was Kholinar Court in the top corner for reference; it was woodland to the south of the estate.  There was a dashed line through the forest, marked “Logging trail”, a creek running across, and near that a few clustered X marks with the label “ruins here, may seek shelter”.  So this is where the crofters or charcoal burners or hermits … or Heralds, whomever they were, lived in the years before the House had been built and the area around the City was all woodland. 

 

It was becoming harder to see now, and when Shallan looked up, she saw that the diffused grey sunlight had begun to fade into evening.  She rose from her seat and found the clockwork fire starter on the nightstand; she was fiddling with it, trying to light the glass chimney lamps on the walls, when there came a knock on the door.

 

“Come in!” she called, her back to the door still.

 

“My lady, it’s Finnie,” said a voice, and Shallan turned around.  The maid who had done her hair bobbed a curtsey, arms full of folded fabric.  “Lady Jasnah ordered the housekeeper – before she left – to have these pressed and set out for you, when you join His Lordship for formal dining.” 

 

The bundle of fabric was laid out on the bed, and the fire starter was taken from her hands.  The curtains were pulled closed – one could not undress at night with the lamps on, as the view might surely be seen from the drive – while Shallan picked up the blue silk dress and the matching white under-dress.   The under-dress was made from fine thin cotton, with lace at the neckline, wrists and hem.  It was not a little girl’s simple tatting that Shallan was capable of, but the complex and symmetrically detailed lacework that well-practiced grannies made when they sat by the fire and told their grand-daughters that such work could land them a good match.

 

“Lady Jasnah said she bought it in Kharbranth for you,” said Finnie, holding out the dress.  Of course, Jasnah:  Jasnah could still manage Shallan’s affairs even when she was absent; Shallan idly imagined that if Jasnah died, people would still be coming to her years later bearing messages that ordered her to do this or that.  She undid the tie of her dressing gown, stepped out of her shift, and allowed Finnie to dress her.

 

“How do I look?” asked Shallan, as Finnie tugged out the draping on the skirt’s back.

 

“You pull it off better than the other girls did, if you don’t mind me saying,” replied Finnie.  “They had themselves laced up tight in the front, to better catch His Lordship’s eye.  But you haven’t got much to lace there.”  She gestured at Shallan’s dress, which, though it did not show much, revealed more shoulder than chest. 

 

“Other girls?  How many other girls were there?”

 

“Er, I think the butler once mentioned he went through one a month when he was in the City, but when we had entertaining here, His Lordship’s dinner companions usually lasted one night before they left; they were never invited back.”

 

“Three days.  Ha, I must be setting a record here,” remarked Shallan.

 

“The men downstairs are running a book, but I wouldn’t know about it.”

 

The lamp by the vanity was lit, and Shallan’s hair was braided up and pinned into place.  One girl a month?  Girls who lasted one night?  Was this really Adolin, her Adolin?   Storms, she was calling him hers now?  What was coming over her?  Shallan wondered what she was doing so right that those nameless, countless other girls had gotten wrong.   She had not acted much differently than her normal self; she rebelled against Jasnah’s instructions and advice at almost every turn.  What she had presented to Adolin was the ideal of herself – the person she wanted to be, whom she could have been in actuality rather than act, if life had chosen a different path and the trail of death and destruction in her childhood had never started with her mother.

 

How much of this was dishonesty?  She mused on this – this act was part of her, she was perfectly comfortable with it because it was her – yet wasn’t truly her, at the very same time.  Kaladin, Heralds curse the man: he must have seen through it immediately.   Did every man and woman have different sides to them?  When Kaladin spoke of his dead brother, or helped unfortunate servants with their – mysterious – personal issues, was that his gentle side, the side that made chambermaids sigh over his gentlemanliness?  And possibly his deeply perceptive eyes, and his breadth of physique, and–

 

Ouch!” yelped Shallan.

 

And his ugly unpleasant eyebrows.  And one cannot forget his ugly unpleasant scowl.

 

“Begging your pardon, my lady.  Is that pin too tight?” said Finnie, timidly.

 

“No, it’s quite all right.  Please, just leave it out,” said Shallan.   “Is there anything else?”

 

“Erm.  No?  Unless you have any jewels I should help you with?”

 

“No, I don’t.  Thank you, Finnie.  Have a nice evening,” said Shallan, feeling irritable for unknown reason.  Perhaps it was being stuck by a pin.  Finnie seemed to perceive that Shallan didn’t want to be disturbed in this instance; she curtseyed and backed away and then left, taking Shallan’s worn shift with her.  Was it the pin?  Maybe it was not having any jewels – the Davar family had sold theirs long ago; even her brothers’ silver tartan brooches had been melted down and replaced with cheap pot-metal pins.

 

Shallan cleared up the pile of copied pages, and folded the maps.  It was always very strange how one could unfold a map in seconds, but refolding it so the creases lined up took minutes.  But it was finished, and Shallan slid them back into their envelope – and after looking around the room – she slipped them underneath the roll of brushes in the vanity’s drawer. 

                                                                                                                                       

It was half-past-seven when Shallan, growing restless in her room, wandered downstairs.  Footmen were lighting the lamps – bright naphtha chimney lamps in regular intervals down the halls, what extravagance! They were also refilling the reservoirs with oil and adjusting the light.  She was reminded of that late evening when she had found herself in these halls alone, when half the lamps were unlit and the other half lowered to an oil-conserving dimness.   She had not stopped to look around; she had not thought there was anything to see in her own frantic desperation to return to her own room.

 

But there was a long gallery here, well lit, with frame after frame of painted portraits and painted shields in an assortment of shapes and designs.  They were mostly all blue.  Cobalt, Shallan remembered, was the colour of Kholin blue - it was technically called azure to those who painted such shields.

 

The paintings at the beginning of the gallery were almost naïf in their technical simplicity; they were queerly flat and emotionless.  The backgrounds were beautifully detailed, with sunbeams bursting through clouds in a way that Shallan knew was supposed to represent the Almighty’s Grace and Light; it showed that the subjects were His chosen leaders of men.  There were quaint wooden houses in the background – this was presumably Kholinar before Kholinar was the City, or a city at all.

 

Subtlety was not to be found in the first half of the portrait gallery.  They mostly depicted men: men wearing armour, men bearing outrageously oversized swords – oh my, what could that possibly mean? – men holding scrolls, men with their hands possessively resting on model globes.  It was only when Shallan ventured into the second half did she see family paintings, of men with their wives, and sometimes with their pets and children.  The men from the first half did have horses, one had to admit, but Shallan counted them to be in the same category as the swords and armour. 

 

She liked these paintings more.  There was more emotion in them – they were records preserved of the people who lived in the House, she felt – rather than an allegorical representation of how much land and wealth and power a man had.   She knew such an indulgent opinion was a sign of the times and of her own position – art was a hobby to her, and not even her Calling.  The painters who made these pieces were workmen at their trade: no mere idle lady whiling away the interval between completing her feminine education and finding a husband.

 

She neared the end of the long gallery.  There were several empty frames; she went back to look at the last portraits.  They, she thought, were the most well-done in skill and subject matter; they best appealed to her modern sensibilities.    The very last was in an oval frame: it showed a dark-haired man in blue and a lady with braided blonde hair in a white dress.  The man had a dignified presence; he could be called handsome if one was partial to large noses and thick black eyebrows – and Shallan assuredly was not.

 

There was a voice behind her: “That’s my mother and father.”

 

Shallan turned.  It was Adolin, wearing his dining whites and looking perfectly comfortable in them.  His hair had been combed – not very neatly – off his forehead and his formal, courtly appearance made Shallan feel suddenly very anxious, even though she was dressed equally formally.

                                                                                      

“You don’t much resemble your father,” she said.

 

“Everyone tells me that I take after my mother more,” he replied, and now he was standing next to her in front of the oval gilt frame.

 

Shallan searched for something to say.  Talking about families … this was not an easy subject for her, and past experience had shown her that she could easily, unknowingly misstep.  “I don’t think I am much like my own mother.”

 

Adolin seemed to sense that this made her uncomfortable; he reached for levity.  “For the first few years of my life, I thought my mother’s name was ‘Grefina’.  Silly isn’t it? – it was what her lady’s maid and my nursemaids called her; she’d brought them with her when she married Father.”

 

“And it wasn’t her name?”

 

“No: it was her title, Gräfin.  Which was actually her father’s title, and now that I think of it, a bit disrespectful to those who care about such things – since Father made her a Duchess and that’s a higher rank.”

 

“Does this mean you might inherit lands on the Continent?  Or would you have mysterious distant cousins contacting you, promising to deed over the estate on the condition of your sending funds to retain a lawyer?”

 

Adolin chuckled at that, he glanced down at her and offered his arm.  “Actually, something like that has happened before.  Shall we go through to dinner, then?”

 

Shallan smiled and took his arm.  “I would be delighted.  And even more so if you tell me about those ‘cousins’ of yours.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author's Notes:

Shallan is going through some character development, and trying to figure out her feelings for the gentlemen.   Kaladin isn’t a cardboard monster now, is he?  The maid character (non-canon SA character) was added for exposition purposes and to show that Shallan is letting herself relax and accept her place in the house.   And now you see that when Shallan, Adolin and Kaladin are friendly, they have a pretty interesting and fun dynamic.

 

TELL ME HOW YOU LIKE THE SETUP FOR A TRIANGLE.  I think the chasm scene in WoR was pretty hamfisted, honestly.   If only Brandon Sanderson were a romance writer.

 

- "Renarin's new position" - Renarin is now a supply/logistics officer in this AU.   This happened because they put him in a benchwarmer combat unit first but he still almost got killed, and then Kaladin had to save him.

- "Something from the south" - something Jasnah is looking for, but Shallan doesn't recognise.

- "Bath chair" - old fashioned wheelchair, to be pushed by a servant or pulled by a pony.

- "Presumably the Admiralty" - Joke about the Navy having rum and the lash and one other thing. :)

- "Those issues" - Shallan is just as innocent as Adolin in some ways.  Historical detail: maids were expected to be maidens and low rank domestic servants had to quit to get married.  Same for having a child, which is what Finnie is trying to say.

- "Kind and generous man" - Finnie is trying to tell Shallan she shouldn't be scared on the wedding night, and Shallan thinks she's talking about gold digging.

- The silver hairbrush - was Adolin's mother's.  I have decided that forget-me-nots are her flower motif for humourous reasons.  The S stands for Shshshsh.

- The lace dress - historical detail: it's extremely expensive handmade bobbin lace, called "Brussels lace" in the real world.  The type on the dress is called "Duchess point" lace.  Adolin’s mother wears Duchess point lace on her dress in the portrait.  :-D

- "Laced up tight in the front" - yes, it's cleavage, which Shallan doesn't have.  But Adolin doesn't care.

- Shallan is a pretty judgy art critic.  She does not like the early paintings, and if she lived in a later period, she wouldn't like post-modernism. 

- "Outrageously oversized swords" - reference to Shardblades.

- “Thick black eyebrows” – reference to Kaladin.

- "Easily, unknowingly misstep" - reference to snarking on Kaladin praying for his dead brother.

- "Grefina" - comes from "Graf", equivalent to "Count".  As mentioned earlier, Adolin's mother was from the East Continent.  If calling a Duchess “Countess” is disrespectful, then Kaladin is disrespectful by calling Lady Shallan “Miss Davar”.  If it’s allowed by the other person, then it implies familiarity. 

- "Mysterious distant cousins" - The Nigerian Prince scam has a very very long history.

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The Stormlight Archives Regency Romance

SHALLAN'S SKETCHBOOK

PAGE 11

 

 

 

 

 

0lMixPB.jpg

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Neither do I  :ph34r: I am unsure. I never really look into those matters. I figured it would be explained in book 3. I'd love to see a portray of Shshshshsh.

:ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r:

 

 

 

 

As for being creative, well, huh, I'm not  :ph34r: nor do I have 500$ to splurge on a thing I'll wear only a few times... So huh I am a slave to whatever stores have to offer  -_- Maybe I'll get lucky next year and find something actually cute.

 

You have to shop early if you want to get something before it's sold out!!  Instead of the last 2 weeks before Halloween. 

Many cosplayers start 6 months before conventions...and often they are still working in a hotel room the night before, with hot glue guns and sewing kits.  You could even start now and order online if you know you're going to a party for sure.

 

 

I agree about Kaladin being either "bare caramel" or "bare honey" though I prefer "bare honey". Where would you place Adolin and Shallan?

 

Adolin - Bare buff?  Undertones are important for skin matching, not just lightness.  Yellow/warm undertones are common for Asians, and pink/neutral/cool undertones are the type white people have.  I have no idea!  It's so much easier for Kaladin because dark skin makes undertones less important.

Shallan - Bare natural.  No clue on this one either.  Vedens aren't "white people" but Shallan is compared to Shin people and her skin has to be light enough for it to freckle.  Otherwise it would just tan.

 

 

 

 

I am not sure I like young Adolin... He looks... Weird? Is that possible?  :ph34r: And ridiculously young. Is the guy on the picture 16? If so wow... you are young at 16. I forgot  :ph34r:

I think he's around 15.  He has skinny kid shoulders and neck and can't grow facial hair. :ph34r:

And yes, that is how a lot of kids look at that age.   If everyone thought he was ridiculously young looking, then it would be easier for him to win a Shardblade, wouldn't it?

 

There is no single actor who screams "THIS IS ADOLIN" out there.  Which is a shame, but then again SA will never be made into a live action movie in my lifetime.  If the face is the right shape, then sometimes the hair is wrong, and the eyes are usually too white.  I've seen cosplay SA pictures - they have to wear wigs and contacts and it looks good, but it's really obvious that it's fake.

 

In my modern AU version, I drew Kaladin as a skater.  With Syl painted on the deck of his skateboard. :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r:  Maybe he would be a rockstar or star athlete, but he doesn't like attention and fame that much.  He would prefer to skip the Prom and meet with his much older friends (who can't go to the Prom because they aren't students) to eat stew. :ph34r: 

 

 

 

I think the boys are going to find out their father's curse/boon in the next book... Adolin is the one who won't react well while Renarin is the one who had figured it out a long time ago.

Jeez, Adolin's home life is just kind of sad now.  It's not as bad as Shallan's, but it's equal and opposite to Kaladin's.  Lirin wanted Kaladin to be a surgeon, not a soldier.  Dalinar wants Adolin to be a soldier, not a duellist.  Why can't they show their love to their sons?????   Are they all Asian dads at heart????

 

And I think it's kind of selfish for Dalinar to mindwipe himself.  He's not the only one who misses her, and he had a life before he met Shshshsh.  She was the only mother Adolin and Renarin ever knew.  She died when Renarin was ~9 years old!!!  What the chull man.  Not cool.  :unsure:

 

 

 

 

Who wouldn't prefer the bridgemen former uniform???  :ph34r:  :ph34r:  :ph34r:  :ph34r: Shallan has a thing for shirtless men, so I wonder how long it is going to take for her to coax Adolin out of his  :ph34r: providing Brandon is going with this ship that is. Everyone say Kaladin is mysterious, I have to disagree: Kaladin has nothing left to hide, we practically saw him naked, but Adolin..... is a real mystery  :P

...The bridgemen, maybe?  I think only Lopen from Bridge Four likes it, and only because the vest had no sleeves that had to be pinned up without flapping around.  And you could put it on with one hand.  How does he do up those buttons on the new uniform? :ph34r:

 

I want to see Shallan ogling shirtless Adolin as well.  :ph34r:   But I think in-universe, he would be really really shy about, so it would have to have a good reason to justify.  Even if someone stabbed him in the chest, he would want Shallan to turn around when she tries to help.  But he would feel more comfortable shirtless with Kaladin more than Shallan. :ph34r: 

I wonder what Shallan would make of shirtless Kaladin.  He never even offered her his coat in the chasm scene, when she tore up her dress to bandage his leg. 

 

 

 

I wouldn't imagine myself walking around with such a large visible sign on my coat... Poor Adolin.

It paints a target on your back ... literally.

I thought that if all the Kholin officers really did have gigantic neon signs painted on their back, people from other armies would take advantage of it.  When you are drinking wine at a wine lounge on a balcony at the Outer Market and you see a Kholin officer walking by underneath, wouldn't you feel tempted to pour your glass or throw some rubbish at him?

 

Since no one likes Dalinar for being goody-goody and all in the beginning of WoK. 

That is one of many reasons why I don't like the glyphpair on coats.

 

 

I assume they are in whatever is the equivalent of silk....... or fancy fabric... with nice buttons as who wants to sleep with ugly ones?  :ph34r:

All the rich people wear silk in SA.  Do they even have silk moths?  Apparently they don't have bees, and beeswax comes from weevils.   Because you need flowers to feed bees, and Roshar plants are rockbuds.

 

Adolin has a lot of nice clothes that aren't uniform.  It's such a shame that no one will ever see them.  Maybe he tries on his fancy party clothes at night in front of the mirror, then sighs and puts them back because he will never be able to wear them.   :ph34r:   When I was in school, there were compulsory uniforms, and waiting for the weekend to wear non-uniform clothes was something I looked forward to.  But there are no weekends in the Shattered Plains.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sorry for late reply, was busy.  going to reply to other posts now. :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r:

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I'm back and caught up on this thread. (My wife had a baby last week, so I've not been doing much besides that.)

Also I feel like I'm not meeting my :ph34r: quota. Is there a minimum ninja requirement for comments in this thread?

For the record, I thought there was no ambiguity about Dalinar and Navani being fully intimate.

So much has been happening! That last sketch page with the boar--such evocative red blotches! It is really making me think. In the canon Stormlight, that would be a scene from Kal's backstory, but in this AU Shallan drew it. Is this an event from her time at Loch Davar? Is this a story she heard from the Duke? Or (gasp) from the Doctor? I'm excited to find out.

I also really like what you've done with the ether drifting. It fits, both the time period and the characters. (And I'm trying to figure out if it will figure into the whole Visions from the Almighty thing--can't decide if I think it should or not.)

Agreed. The problem is that many authors (such as myself) don't have the legitimate skills to show off as a character's work. I am impressed that you have the artistic ability to include the sketchbook pages. Thanks for sharing your talents!

I think my first set of reactions should be what I thought of your Author's Notes. Maybe it will be helpful to see which things I clued into on my own and which I needed some authorial nudging to catch. Some of the backstory you reveal is (as I'm sure you know) the type that I would expect to be disclosed in-text in a longer work, but is good to share in this sort of short "excerpt." Here are my thoughts, spoilered for length.

Wow, a super duper huge long post. Thanks heaps for writing this, it means a lot to know that people are not only reading, but thinking about what I write. :wub: And congrats on the baby. :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r: Celebratory ninja party! :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r:

Let's answer some questions now. It makes me feel weird there are no questions, because I know my writing isn't perfect and I'm not always clear explaining things, but when no one says anything, I can't pick out where I've been sloppy.

The boar - it's something from Shallan's post-hallucination mind. She sees soft impressions of things, the restaurant was called "The Sign of the White Boar" and combined with her fear and angst from ether-crashing, she is not in a healthy mental state when she drew it. Not everything she draws reflects real life 1:1, sometimes she draws from imagination or memory. See Sketchbook pages "AK+SD", "Loch Davar" and "Adolin McValam". Compare to other pieces and you see it is very rough and lacks polish.

Ether drifting - I thought there were pretty dark themes around it, and wanted to make a dark version of Stormlight. Since there is no Stormlight in this AU, and it was always described as comforting and addicting - Kaladin in the real SA stays up for a week at a time because he can't stop sucking it in. However, it's historically accurate for medicines with weird side effects to be abused relatively socially acceptably. In later times, laudanum/opium would be used, and even tobacco was thought to be "healthy" in the 1930's. Of course I'm taking artistic license with the effects for plot drama. Example being the the "drift", or hallucinations, which is a moderate amount inhaled, more than a "frolic" but less than surgical unconsciousness, and the following "waking-drift", or severely impaired judgment and inhibitions. OMG did I just invent a magic system on accident.

The art - I still consider myself more of an artist than a writer. The concept of SA as a romance novel came from some parody book covers I made (check my 17th Shard gallery by going to my profile sidebar thingy). I liked Shallan as a character because she was an artist, and I think it makes it a cool second layer of subtext. Remember in WoR when she did the sketches of Shardplate, and there was Adolin's face in the corner with "*sigh*" written next to it? The only bad thing is that I don't want to convert people to my physical image of the characters, but Shallan is such a visual person that she does draw faces.

And now clarifying things in author's notes:

Part II:

This is the part that keeps confusing me a bit with the worldbuilding. I went in expecting a direct port of England, which it sometimes what it feels like, but the references to Heralds, Almighty, and bog monsters keep me guessing as to how much supernatural is present and how much of the Roshar ecology to imagine. I like it, and I suspect that future chapters will clarify things some, but I admit to being confused.

When I started, I couldn't decide how much of England and Alethkar I wanted to keep. That is where "Anglekar" and "Anglethi" people came from - they're a weird fusion. Just like in the real SA, the time of Heralds and monsters was in the distant past and thought to be legends and stories for children. But honestly, romance novels are character driven, not setting driven, so it doesn't matter that much in the end. Hooking up with Mr Right is more important than saving the world. :ph34r:

Okay, this makes sense. On my first time through I thought you had said that Gavilar survived, but I guess I was mistaken. My later confusion on this point is apparently my own fault.

When I first wrote the concept out in "If other authors wrote the SA" thread, I wrote Adolin as the King's nephew, which implied he survived. :rolleyes: Retconned? The King in this story is Elhokar, just to confirm. That's why everyone thinks he's annoying, because he is pretty useless, and Gavilar would have won the war in a year if he was alive.

Part III:

Aside from the war in Ireland, I missed most of this. Thank you for the explanation. (Not sure if it is necessary or not, except to make sense of the thoughts in part 8 about treason and "We were too late for Marise.")

Ireland being forcibly united comes from IRL. The Acts of Union (1800) were supposed to make Ireland and Britain one kingdom. I have decided not to touch on British/Anglethi colonialism in this story, but the marshpeople being indentured is equivalent to fighting for gemhearts in the SA. The Dukes want labour not only for local mines, but also farming cash crops in plantations in overseas territories. That is why people don't like Dalinar, because he's too preachy.

Part IV:

Got the traded for food and homesickness from oats part, but not the connection of trading necklace for oats specifically.

Oats are traditional Scottish food for peasants. :lol:

Part V:

Makes sense. I didn't think much about it, but I definitely approve of your decision to go with singlesticks.

I thought about quarterstaff, which is another traditionally British weapon and would fit Kaladin. But I reconsidered because it wouldn't fit - Adolin wouldn't be interested in it because it's too peasant-y and old fashioned, and Kaladin in this AU became a doctor. And in the 1800's, guns have already been invented.

 

Yeah, at first I kept wanting to see someone else's PoV, but the single perspective is more in the spirit of the genre.

The more I write this story, the less I want to write from another PoV. Because part of the appeal of regency romance, and romance in general, is "Does he like me?" and if I wrote from a man's PoV, the tension just disappears. This is now a character driven story about Shallan's personal development. As mentioned earlier, I drew from Bronte and Austen, specifically Jane Eyre and Emma. Both are about strong female protags who can't catch the man until they deal with their own problems.

Part V:

I caught this, but not consciously. It was helpful to have it pointed out overtly, but the sense of it definitely came through in the text.

I leave little clues about her characterisation as high-handed all over the place.

The first sign is that Shallan doesn't describe servants or even mention them, unless they're directly interacting with her or someone in the room. The second is during the dinner in Part III when Kaladin thanks the servants but she and Jasnah ignore them. It is normal for the times, and weird for Kaladin to address the help, because they are supposed to be socially lower than him.

Part VI:

Got the "Shallan is naïve" piece, not the "Adolin doesn't get women" piece. I was thinking more along the lines of "Adolin doesn't understand scheming".

It's kind of both. Adolin doesn't know that normal women like lots of clothes (he's been in the army for most of his adult life, the women he's probably seen in Ireland were half undressed. :o ), and he also doesn't know when someone is trying to scheme around him.

Part VII:

This part made me super curious. Did he save their lives as a soldier? As a bodyguard? As a doctor? As all three on separate occasions? You definitely got the story hooks into me here.

All three on separate occasions? Why not all at once? :lol: :lol: :lol::ph34r:

It has something to do with hunting Helaran and his gang of no good troublemakers.

Part IX:

Though the "ever in her life" came off as more elitist than simply classist, seeming to emphasize the "not even once" part of things. Not sure if this was intentional.

Think of it this way: Shallan thinks her life of poverty in Scotland was maximum suckery, having to eat oats and sell their furniture. But then even when they were poor, she NEVER had to cook her own oats, or wash her own clothes. She's privileged, even though she thinks her life was bad. Shallan is an unreliable narrator, pretty much. What she sees around herself or how she sees other people is what she thinks is true, or what she understands. That's why I explain the subtext in the notes - Shallan doesn't get it in-universe.

Totally missed this part, since I was busy paying attention to the treason bit. If this is important you may want to point it up a bit or do a call back later.

This is going to brought up when Adolin next meets a girl that isn't Shallan but his own social equal. There haven't been any others yet, but there will be a call back. And jealousy. Maybe. :ph34r:

Part X:

Hmm, sounds like a soldiery life saving rather than doctory?...

Kaladin has hidden depths. :ph34r: That's why I wrote that scene in the church. He doesn't believe in the Almighty, and Shallan can figure that out, but he is praying and that is OOC to Shallan. Shallan sees only what she expects to see.

He can fight if he wants to, and that is why he is a part-time bodyguard.

Oh. I assumed Kaladin had totally premeditated this. I was fully expecting him to go through her satchel and find the maps, fueling more suspicions of evil spying.

His oaths, remember? He wouldn't let Shallan deliberately come to harm, but at this point, he doesn't know her and doesn't like her, so he is not above harm by neglect. And he didn't think it would be too much harm because he thought it would be low doses only, a frolic instead of a drift. He didn't do any calculations and forgot that she's a lot smaller than him. He also didn't know that she has the type of messed up personality who would easily get addicted. He went through her book because it was on the floor, but he's not bad enough to go through her bag.

Ha ha! I wondered if there was a double entendre there, but didn't think Kaladin would be the one to suggest something untoward. I was expecting him to be in deflection mode, with his employer's lady friend insensate on his shoulder.

It's a double entendre for readers only. :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r: The phrase wasn't invented yet IRL or in this AU. In any case, Adolin trusts Kaladin and Kaladin knows that; there was a reasonable explanation. That is why he is smiling and makes a joke about their "exciting morning" because he thinks it's kinda funny. But maybe he is jealous in the inside, we will never know because he's such a nice guy about it. :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r:

Part XI:

Although I'm not really getting a love triangle vibe. I suspect that's because I don't subscribe to the Shalladin ship, and I'm not looking for it, but I really only see budding curiosity and respect with Kaladin, not attraction.

It's less a triangle, more of a line. Shallan and Adolin like each other. Shallan doesn't "like like" Kaladin but sees him as more than a pair of angry eyebrows now. Kaladin thought Shallan was just another gold digger, but then he thought she was a spy, and now he is developing some grudging respect for her - because she has the addictive personality he previously saw in Renarin, but was watcher for three people without breaking. Shallan thinks Kaladin thinks she's a crazy addict, Kaladin thinks Shallan's new niceness is trying to suck up to him to make him her watcher. If only they talked to one another. :rolleyes: I'd say that Kaladin likes Shallan more than she likes him. She's still oblivious to her changing feelings.

 

She doesn't seem more messed up to me yet.

I thought ether abuse was pretty dark compared to her canon SA character. But when you put it from the perspective that ether is this AU's nonmagical Stormlight, yeah, it evens out. She still killed her parents: no spren to force her to remember and work through it though. Remember that scene when the boys are practicing singlesticks and Shallan gets scared when she sees people getting hit by sticks? Yeah. :( Balat is a cripple and that's why he drifts with Jushu.

I was surprised by that trust so fast, but we jumped to the kissing already, so might as well move along here too.

"The sensible part of her was unresponsive - it might as well have been dead too."

Shallan's in the waking-drift, or the crash. I mentioned the importance of watchers because they stop the drifter from making bad decisions like changing wills or contracts: they have impaired judgment and lowered inhibitions. What you see is still Shallan, but Shallan with less mental repression. She's jittery and desperate for more drifting. She is lonely and wants to be loved. Shallan doesn't know she is unconsciously repressing herself. :ph34r:

And probably Adolin is too, right? Or at least to genuineness, which isn't quite the same thing but still related.

Yes. But obviously Shallan and Jasnah don't see it that way, which is why I put Jasnah in the role of "Regency mother". The difference is that Adolin likes the nice and funny and caring side of Shallan, which is genuine and part of of her. Kaladin likes the dirty truths and broken pedestals, which is also a part of her. Oh, Shallan, she is so blind. :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Never Revealed?! Why? Give us some Renarin, please!

I thought about it, but Kaladin is the family doctor. He can't share private info. Adolin is vaguely aware that Renarin's addiction happened in the past, but doesn't know the details (that's why Adolin doesn't recognise the symptoms of waking-drift with Shallan's forwardness). Dalinar doesn't know at all. If Kaladin told Shallan or Adolin about Renarin directly, then he would also tell Adolin about Shallan's addictive personality, and I didn't want that to happen. Because drama. :ph34r:

Renarin isn't a triangle character, unfortunately. But he's better now.

 

That's what I thought, but I was wondering what Kal's opinion of Jasnah is. How ironic is he being here? I can guess, but I'm not sure. Does he have a particular dislike for her, or is she just one of many in his people-hating?

He is not "friends" with Jasnah but he respects her. Remember in Part 1, when Jasnah reads his references after seeing he studied in Kharbranth, starts treating him like a real person (compared to Shallan's treatment). She accepts that he is her intellectual equal, and that is what really matters to her, rather than rank - see Part 3, the dinner conversation. They don't agree on much but they can accept that each has a valid opinion. All Shallan sees is Kaladin saying peasant-y things.

Also backstory that won't get mentioned - Kaladin has met Amaram in the army before, and heard him badmouth Jasnah. He doesn't like Amaram for reasons involving Tien, and since everything Amaram said about Jasnah isn't true, he likes/respects her more. And they share similar beliefs about the social hierarchy, from opposite ends. Kaladin has been with the Kholins long enough to know that Jasnah could have been a princess instead of a countess, but she just wants to be a historian.

So Kaladin hates most people, but the Kholins are all right in general. He got over his hate of nobles/lighteyes much earlier in this AU, since he became a doctor instead of being conscripted.

Edited by sheep
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