One of the shortest, but most powerful, chapters in the book.
I added the ‘head arteth’ conflict (the idea of everyone rejecting the appointment) later in the revision process so that I could have one more thing to push Hrathen over the edge. My only worry about this scene is one of pacing–if I’ve done the novel right, then this will seem like a climax that has slowly been building for some time. If I’m off, then this chapter will seem out-of-nowhere, and lack power to the reader.
This is really where Hrathen’s chapters have been pushing. The questioning and self-doubt, the problems with Dilaf and conversion. . . . He’s pretty much been defeated at every turn. It was time for him to either crack, give up, or do something spectacular. In a way, he kind of does all three.
Yes, his drinking of the poison is supposed to be a zing. Theoretically, this will push you on into the next section of the book. The slower portions of the novel are beginning to wind down–from now on, the events start to move a little more quickly. Even still, this is probably one of the more slow-moving of my novels, which is part of its charm–as I noted in a different annotation.