There was an epic battle with my editor over some revision changes to this chapter. I though that the word to use for a place where someone stands to address a crowd was a “podium.” He said that was an adulteration of the language, and that the pure, classical word to use was “lectern.”
On a more serious note, this section contains some of the more lengthy additions to the rewrite. Elend’s speech, and the arguments against it, were all added in the very last draft. As I said before, the first draft had Elend giving a much different proposal, as the army hadn’t arrived yet.
This works TONS better. I worry that Elend comes off a little too strong–or, well, not weak enough–in this scene. I originally included it to show some of his faults as a leader. However, other readers have indicated that they thought he came off as too weak. Even if this is a book about Elend becoming a leader (or, at least, that’s a big chunk of the novel) he doesn’t have to quite as hopeless as I originally painted him.
So, perhaps we’ve got a good balance going on here.
Obligators. This is the first time you see them in the book. It isn’t the last time you’ll see them, but it’s nearly so. They just don’t have much of a part in the story now.
I toyed with making them villains in the novel, involving them a lot more in politics, but discarded that concept. I decided that 1) The Lord Ruler’s power was broken, and that fighting against remnants of it would be a little anti-climactic. 2) There just wasn’t any more space in the book for more villains.
The armies invading Luthadel, and their leaders, are bad enough. Part of my rational is that the warlords–not the priests–are going to be the real danger in this new world. The priests were a force for stability. Now that everything has been overthrown, they simply won’t have any power to be of a threat.
Though, I will note that a major force in the third book is, indeed, an obligator who has taken control of a section of the empire.