I'm a bit undecided about this section. It seems a bit info-dumpy to me, but at the same time I'm reluctant to dump it for the following reasons: 1) It's the first time anyone really stops to think about what's going on 2) Heralda's thoughts in this scene form her motivation when she deals with Chouse later 3) Since she's on her own and won't be talking to anyone other than Chouse for most of the rest of the book, there doesn't seem to be a more natural way to insert it. What do you all think? # Heralda paced her cell slowly. She was in Chouse’s main base, she felt certain of it. Here,in the enemy camp and powerless to wreak any kind of damage against him. It was frustrating beyond words. She had tried to summon the earth song to tear down the walls around her, but some force blocked her own paltry magic. He had somehow blocked Chralos’ too, while being so far from the scene. Such power was indescribable. For the first time in her life she felt a genuine fear. Such an opponent was unassailable, for who could get anywhere near him? If his magic could take effect so far from his body, he could rain death down upon his enemies, destroy them all from afar. So why didn’t he? The thought smacked into her head like a brick. She stopped pacing and frowned in concentration. Now she was thinking about it, a lot of things just weren’t adding up. Chouse supposedly suffered from mage madness, yet showed real planning and strategy. Mad mages usually swept the land in a trail of destruction. They showed as much tactical sense as an enraged Carackh. They were usually stopped by a fellow mage, who would easily dispatch the rampaging wizard through the old adage of subtlety over brute force. Either that or they finally fell exhausted from overuse of their magic, easy prey to a knife between the ribs. She shuddered as the full implications hit her. Chouse was sane. This man who would scour them all from the land, who would mercilessly attack and kill indiscriminately… Was doing so while perfectly lucid. The thought made her blood boil. Mage madness did not take away from the impact of his crimes, but at least irrationality wasa rational explanation. This was just senseless slaughter. She took deep breaths, forced herself to calm down. They had all taken for granted that Chouse was a mad mage, who would create an army of creatures with which todestroy them. Everyone had rushed off from the Council with plans of action; no-one had truly stopped to think beyond the defence of their lands. She had to think now; she felt she was on the verge of an important discovery. She returned to the idea of motive, for there had to be one. She dismissed the notion just as quickly. As she was now, she had no means of determining what he stood to gain by this. She instead pondered his method. He could reportedly create an army of creatures, but she wondered how accurate that story was. Was that true? The evidence was apparent, for Chouse’s creatures were wholly unnatural. But now she subjected it to analysis, that didn’t seem to make sense either. She had fought his Wraith Riders, or Yigaara as Chralos called them. They had seemed competent fighters until the time had come to finish her off. They had wanted to play, to extend the execution as long as they could. Such cruelty could only be the product of a personality, and from what she knew of magical lore such creations had no personality. Could Chouse create things with a personality? What would be the point, if he only wanted to send them forth in battle? A personalityw ould lead to a fear of death; they would be inefficient for his purpose. Also, Ballan had killed another of his army with a knife across the throat. If he were creating them, why leave them vulnerable to such an obvious attack? Now she felt a thrill of excitement. She knew she was getting somewhere. Chouse was not mad, nor did he simply create the things that served him. This meant wherever he did get them from, there would only be a finite amount. However she had hit a brick wall. She still had more questions, but not enough information to reason out an answer. She had one more thing in her favour; at some point, Chouse would wish to interrogate her. Perhaps she could get him to let something slip.