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Guard of Galavar:

The Captain-Lieutenant’s Relationships, Part 2

I'm still sore that I accidentally deleted this essay several weeks ago. Losing data, especially writing, is a real killjoy for me.

At any rate, let's do this again. This week we're looking at the remaining three relationships between Arderesh Valeran, Captain of the Guard of Galavar, and the five original Guards who served beneath him. In order of seniority, we've already looked at DeLatia and Silence. This week it's Zirin, Gregor, and Jemis.

Arderesh Valeran & Zirin Aloryane

I bet you've been wondering about this one! Zirin is perpetually in shadow, unseen. Dead before ATH begins, Zi's presence in the story can only be told through her legacy, and the weight of her absence.

When she was alive, she was the most closely-aligned of all the Guards with Resh's professional temperament and goals. A creature of order and law, she designed (or, rather, oversaw the design of) much of Sele's civic infrastructure, and thereby became responsible for adapting that infrastructure so that it could be brought to the whole world.

The two of them shared in common a responsibility for the "outcome" of Gala, and worked together extremely closely—the closest working relationship on the entire Guard. In fact Resh's primary office was just a few doors down from Zi's, on the same floor of Galadrim, to abet their frequent communications.

Aside from Resh, Zirin was the most diplomatic and politically adept of the Guards. They were the greatest of the Guards at high-level cooperation and collaboration, including with each other, and they got a lot done thanks to these talents. Not to say that other Guards didn't do this, but Resh and Zirin were the best at it, and it showed in Zirin's prolific but efficient administrations.

On a personal level, the two of them were birds of a feather and easy friends. They had compatible senses of humor, and shared an interest in the finer things. Something that made Zi special is that she absolutely loved high society parties, music, theater, gallery showings, and so on—but not for the status or jockeying. She genuinely loved the art and culture, and was something of a faerie in her capacity to inhabit these occasions with provocative and persuasive social masks. She was also a bit of a lush, and very much on the side of hedonism. Resh, without possessing such a personality, shared these interests, and they complemented each other nicely. They were always first on the list of invitees to each other's parties.

More fundamentally, this was the deepest of Resh's five friendships with the other Guards. They were very fond of each other.

Arderesh Valeran & Gregor

The relationship between Resh and Gregor was defined by its pragmatism. Gregor was something of a Spock: a logical, no-bullshit kind of person, who liked to do his work his own way. He was also one of those who preferred work itself to be his main source of stress relief and play. So Resh learned early on not to needlessly interject himself into Gregor's work—something that Gregor never tolerated in underlings, but which he had to indulge from the few people like Resh who outranked him.

For his part, Gregor highly respected Resh's insights, intelligence, and opinions, and frequently sought the Captain's advice. The two of them frequently discussed the matters of administrating Gala, and issues concerning the development and maintenance of Gala's physical infrastructure, talking for hours in the weeds of detail. Gregor had frequent need not only of Resh's advice, but of his powers of authority. Acting on behalf of both Galavar and the Guard as needed, Resh was able to properly authorize Gregor's work when it was possible to do so, thus avoiding bothering Galavar or the other Guards. This was crucial, as Gregor's work as president frequently intersected with the work of the other Guards in unforeseen ways. Resh was one of the few people who had his finger on virtually every pulse, and was able to prevent serious unintended conflicts from occurring.

Now, Gregor was hardly a grump, and it's not fair to say that he never did anything but work. While Gregor often did come across as impatient and unamused, he wasn't habitually a grumpy person, nor did he lack a sense of humor. On the contrary, Gregor had quite the playful side, albeit in his own, rather stolid manner. Resh was one of those around him who understood this and could work with it, which led Gregor to seek Resh out for recreational diversions like cards, drinks, sport (though Resh was nowhere near the athlete Gregor was) and spectatorship—of sports, concerts, and so on.

Gregor also had a delicate side. He loved gardening, was deeply invested in tea culture, and most of all loved woodworking, and Resh was a particularly natural partner for most of these kinds of activities. They would often spend hours together saying barely anything at all, just working in the garden.

Arderesh Valeran & Jemis Finick

As the Guard with the least amount of space overlapping on other Guards' Venn diagrams, Jemis was often perceived—rightly—as being off doing his own thing. He was exceptionally intelligent of course, but what set him apart from his peers in Gala, and ended up elevating him to the Guard of Galavar, was his outstanding numeneering savvy.

Jemis' imperative was simply to expand upon his collection of world knowledge regarding the nature and possibilities of the numen, and allow for this knowledge to be applied usefully thorough Gala by either collaborating on projects or, more often, documenting and teaching others. Jemis instructed all the most powerful numeneers in Gala, most notably Collandus, a heathodwarf who was sometimes known as "The Jemis of the Army."

However, his professional involvements with Arderesh were quite narrow and mainly administrative. Jemis' work was far beyond Resh's capabilities, so they had little technical collaboration, except insofar as Resh was a good source of help to Jemis in his work on documentation, and on getting his knowledge promulgated to the right people.

Jemis' personal involvement with Resh was also fairly limited, making this the weakest of Resh's five relationships with the original Guard. However, the two of them liked each other quite well and had no problems working together. When they did socialize, Jemis—with his jocular personality and sense of mischief and snark—could draw out the normally staid Resh's inner goof more prominently than most.

Trudging Along

I won't lie. This one was painful to write. It is extremely hard for me to rewrite something that has been lost. I didn't have any relish this time around, and it definitely shows when compared to Part 1. The original version of this was about 10 pages, but the new version is barely 3. Sigh...

However! Now it is written, and most of the most important stuff is here, so it'll be useful even if it is lacking in relish!

That's all for this week. Join me next week for a look at something out of character.

I would love your feedback on this article!

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O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!