|Chapter 5: Dukkha|
"You know Lord Mhoram. You should have some idea of just how tough that man is. He's got backbone he hasn't even touched yet. Listen. He screams in his sleep. His dreams are that bad. I heard him once. He--I asked him the next morning what possessed him. In that quiet, kind voice of his, he told me that the Land would die if you didn't save it.
"Well, I don't believe that--Mhoram or no Mhoram. But he isn't the only one. High Lord Elena eats, drinks, and sleeps Unbeliever. Wild magic and white gold, Covenant Ringthane. Sometimes I think she's obsessed. She--"
But Covenant could not remain silent any longer. He could not stand to be held responsible for so much commitment. Roughly, he cut in, "Why?"
"I don't know. She doesn't even know you."
"No. I mean, why is she High Lord--instead of Mhoram?"
"What does it matter?" said Troy irritably. "The Council chose her. A couple of years ago--when Osondrea, the old High Lord, died. They put their minds together--you must have noticed when you were here before how the Lords can pool their thoughts, think together--and she was elected." As he spoke, the irritation faded from his tone. "They said she has some special quality, some inner mettle that makes her the best leader for this war. Maybe I don't know what they mean--but I know she's got something. She's impossible to refuse. I would fight with stew forks and soup spoons against Foul."