Cristov Only too true, unfortunately. How might I be of service?
The Mage Sister I’m concerned about the mages' blog? The boys seem so contentious at times. They always end up arguing and bickering, and I’m concerned that having this outlet is causing ill will among them.
Cristov Well, I do agree that they could be better employed. However, to put your fears to rest, whether they have this outlet or not, their behavior doesn’t differ greatly from the norm, except that they are slightly more polite to each other here.
The Mage Sister Really?
Cristov The brawls I break up at the Keep! Contentious doesn’t begin to cover it. Why do you think I get so exasperated with them? It seems I can’t turn around without this bunch plotting against that lot, or making a game of punching each other till they’re bloody. ***sigh***
The Mage Sister Mercy! I had no idea.
Cristov Here, at least, they’re forced to talk to each other, instead of start landing punches, or lightning strikes in Nathan’s case. Such a hot head, that one!
The Mage Sister I’ve noticed. Although Arinda does seem to have had an influence on him.
Cristov That is true, and just between us, I’m immensely grateful to her for that. It’s a relief not to have to squelch him every other day. Good lad, but far too reactive for his own good.
The Mage Sister The others do tease him unmercifully, considering he really does seem to hate being king.
Cristov Also true, but it keeps him in his place, and with his personality, that’s important.
The Mage Sister He does seem somewhat, hmmmm, egocentric at times.
Cristov That? Oh, that’s the least of his annoying personality quirks. That’s just a temperamental reaction to the others’ baiting him, and they love it as much as he does. No, I refer to his evil temper. When he gets angry, BIG things happen. Storms are the least of the nonsense he works up.
The Mage Sister Interesting. Has he ever done any real damage?
Cristov I’ll just say he’s been known to throw some major tantrums with real consequences. Water under the bridge being what it is, I won’t go into more detail than that.
The Mage Sister Why is he so tempermental?
Cristov Nathan had a very difficult upbringing. His father was, frankly, an awful man, feared more than respected, and wasn’t opposed to beating his children savagely. I believe Nathan’s temper was more of a learned response to his environment.
The Mage Sister That’s very sad.
Cristov Well, yes, but also many, many years ago. He’s grown mage, and I’ve worked countless hours with him on controlling his rages. Arinda has done wonders for calming him down, and funnily enough, I see signs in her of the same sort of capabilities. Perhaps the girl is unconsciously teaching him more than I ever could about keeping his temper.
The Mage Sister I suppose that’s good. So you don’t think there’s anything to worry about, letting them loose on the board?
Cristov Not at all. By all means, let them argue and banter all they like. It might seem contrary but that is one way they express affection for each other.
The Mage Sister I don’t know. Sometimes he and Cullen seem so spiteful toward each other.
Cristov Cullen and Nathan are actually like brothers... almost inseparable. Cullen became court healer at a time in Nathan’s life when he most needed a friend. Cullen patched him up from his father’s rages innumerable times and stood up to him when he refused to let Nathan be treated. Cullen is also a bit of a hot head, only his temper manifests in a more... homicidal, criminal-element sort of way... downright creepy, really. Cullen, incidentally, had a similar relationship with his father, so no one could be more understanding. In any case, he became Nathan's close confidant. They appear antagonistic, but it is simply they way they communicate.
The Mage Sister I see. What about Simon? He and Nathan seem to outright hate each other.
Cristov That, I can do little about. Simon has never forgiven Nathan for taking Catherine away from him. I don’t truly understand the dynamics of twins, but Simon seems to regard her as his personal property – not in any inappropriate way, you understand. Still, he took it as a personal affront when Nathan and Catherine underwent the binding.
The Mage Sister Surely he understands that it wasn’t Nathan’s fault!
Cristov Of course he does. He’s just being petulant. He had his toy taken away, that’s all. Catherine intervenes when they get too aggressive, so I try to stay out of it as long as Simon isn’t setting off one of Nathan’s rages. For his part, Nathan seems to be of the opinion that Simon isn’t worth the consequences of losing his temper. Again, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. It is simply the dynamics of the Circle. We're a family, and family's scrap it out sometimes.
Besides, I’m keeping a close eye on them, and I won’t hesitate to find more productive occupation for them if I think they’re getting out of hand. Oh dear, is that the time? My apologies, but I must be off. I’m late for a Council meeting.
The Mage Sister Thank you for your time, Head Mage. You have set my mind at ease.
Nathan Does this mean we can talk now?
Cullen Great! I’ve been dying to pick a fight all day!
The Mage Sister Now don’t start!
Cristov Nathan! Council meeting! Now!
Cullen Aw man! I never get to have any fun!