I’m so excited to finally be exploring The Ravine! There’s actually quite a bit going on during our characters’ walk, so let’s unpack.
The way Satal responds to Terrin is incredibly harsh. I man, he is a man who put his entire life on the line to assist Walter and she strongly intimates he is unintelligent. How kind of her!
She quickly recovers, with a slight nudge from Walter, but this momentary flicker of annoyance reveals much about her character. She’s a politician, and lives in a world of double-dealing and barely checked corruption. As such, she simply cannot understand how everyone doesn’t understand the “game” she’s playing. Terrin, being from a relatively small town, certainly does not. To him the type of gamesmanship Satal is displaying is immoral and, really, it is.
This isn’t to say Satal is a terrible person, she isn’t. She’s just so enveloped in a system she can’t see its shortcomings. It takes a very special person, such as Senator Kaitlyn, to refuse to “play the game” and still manage to get anything done.
While this might be a dig at politicians, it also springs from my own life. I exist in two worlds, I pastor a congregation and work in IT. Both of these worlds tend to have an “insider mentality” which views the uninitiated with barely checked frustration 1. We live in a forest and can’t see the trees – though I hope the circles in which I run have a minimal amount of double-dealing and corruption. I’m also like Terrin, I find such things immoral and they confuse me 2.
Merkot has not taken over the guards in The Ravine, though he is close to attempting such an action. The guards who accompany the party are Satal’s most trusted officers, and it was only their presence which freed Satal to travel so far from the security of the Senate levels. She was in a hurry to return to the lifts because she left trusted guards there, holding an entire bank of public transport, until she returned. Had the Senate gotten wind of her actions they could have ordered the guards to release the lifts in the public interest, and she did not want to travel downward on foot.
Jeremy has, indeed, been in an elevator before – but never one like those in The Ravine. His people used a different word for the technology, which immediately marked him as an outsider to Satal.
Satal has a pathfinder ability which is rarely seen, or rarely used, in The Valleys. Her gaze is able cause others to defer to her presence. This leaves those affected more willing to accept her advice or ideas, and is partly why she has risen to power in the Senate. She can’t control people, and Senator Kaitlyn is even adept at harnessing Satal’s ability to strengthen 3 her resolve, but it does provide her the space to be the most noticeable voice in the room.
Jeremy not only deflects her ability, he pushes back and straightens himself as she presses down upon his will. In that moment she realized Jeremy was something different. When Walter nodded to her she concluded he could very well be something from the lost past – a Prismatic. How she uses this information is something we’ll have to discover.
- Ironically, of the two worlds, the “religious zeal” tends to be strongest with IT folks. Just ask them which text editor they run or assert that an operating system they despise works better for you. Heads explode. ↩
- I don’t have the energy to be like Walter or Kaitlyn, they amaze me. ↩
- It’s kind of like mental Judo. ↩