As I think I said when this episode was first released, or at least when I did the review of season one, A Prime’s Place doesn’t entirely fit with the rest of Blood Magic. Despite that, it is one of my favorite episodes. It’s short, it’s a very tight viewpoint, its heavy on character and short on plot. I knew going into my revisions that I wanted to make minimal changes to it, and I retained that conviction throughout my re-read.
As far as revisions go, I did make some, mostly to word-choice. I fleshed out a few descriptions, caught a few typos that slipped through before, and made a few sentences easier to read, and added a few references. One thing that I am pleased with is the addition of Doil’s fear of bandits, which I think will improve the context of an episode later in season one. Unfortunately, having so few revisions means that I don’t have a lot to say in this post.
Instead of belaboring further, I will simply encourage you to read A Prime’s Place. Even if you don’t read the rest of Blood Magic, this might be worth your time.
With careful, deliberate motions, Doil placed the cloth bookmark across his page, closed the book he had been reading, and placed it on the table beside the chair. He looked up at Kiluron, who was leaning against the cold, cloth-stuffed glass window, and had been until a moment ago staring out of it with clenched fists, despite the thick padding that blocked the glass. Now, he was regarding Doil with an expectation of an answer.
“What do you want me to say?” Doil asked. “I think that Prime Wezzix laid everything out rather clearly, and he certainly made his decision obvious. I can’t give you any neat little loophole in the wording to exploit this time.”
Kiluron smacked his fist against the stone wall, and winced, shaking out his hand. “Just say something! Tell me I’m not crazy for thinking that this is a stupid, selfish decision that completely undermines the entire point of my role as Sub-Prime.”
“’You’re not crazy for thinking that this is a stupid, selfish decision that completely undermines the entire point of your role as Sub-Prime,’” Doil recited.
Kiluron gave him a look that could have melted the ice rapidly accumulating outside as the storm raged. “Not funny.”
Doil gestured out the window at the snowstorm, barely visible where Kiluron had pushed some of the cloth insulation away. “You really want to be out in that? As Prime Wezzix said, it just doesn’t seem worth the risk.”
“Of course I don’t want to be out in that storm!” Kiluron stomped away from the window, only to stomp back again a moment later. “But that’s completely beside the point. It is my duty as Sub-Prime to accompany the soldiers on the winter supply runs to the outposts. Outpost Lu is right on the border with the Unclaimed Territories, and completely isolated from all of the major routes. It’s probably the most vulnerable outpost we have, and you’re telling me it’s not important for me to ensure those supplies get there on time?”
Doil sighed. “You know the supplies will get there if it’s at all possible. The soldiers will see to that. Your job was more a matter of morale and presence.”
“Which seems all the more important now that there’s an epic snowstorm raging across the country,” Kiluron snapped. “You think the soldiers manning the outposts are ever going to take me seriously, knowing that I decided to stay safe and warm in my castle while they were freezing half to death?”
“If they’re intelligent, they’ll recognize that it would be a foolish and unnecessary risk for the Sub-Prime to personally accompany a supply run in the middle of one of the most intense blizzards in memory,” Doil replied.
Kiluron shook his head. “You just don’t get it. That’s not how soldiers think.”
Doil held up his hands. “Even if that’s true, Prime Wezzix was clear, and his word is final. There’s no point in continuing to agonize over this.” He picked up his book. “If I may, my lord?”
“Bah. Fine, go.” Kiluron turned back towards the window. “Not like I’ll be needing you if I’m not going anywhere.”
Returning to his own chambers, Doil shivered in the corridors, which despite the servants’ best efforts were thoroughly chilled from the fierce cold and wind outside. It was a relief to climb into his bed, especially since he remembered to place the warming irons beneath the sheets while he was changing into his nightclothes. Although the wind howling outside was loud and somewhat torturous, there was a repetitive, trance-like quality to it, and there was something uniquely comforting about knowing that it was being kept safely away from him by large blocks of stone. He fell quickly asleep.
Click here to read the rest of Blood Magic S1:E6: A Prime’s Place (Revised Edition)
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