More paradoxes at work: Frigg is justly proud of her power and her skill in using it, but here she also shows a lot of healthy humility. She’s spent a lot more time telling these new disciples what she can’t do than what she can. Which makes them more inclined to follow her, not less. After Scarlett and Hestia, they’ve had enough of the controlling, my-word-is-law kind of leader.

This is also as close as we’re going to get to resolution of Frigg’s conflict with Fr’Nj: “Sometimes I get mad at people for the wrong reasons, or for no reason.” That could describe her tiffs with Syr’Nj, but those are generally brief and soon resolved, these days—as Frigg admitted once, there’s no one she admires more. But her dislike of Fr’Nj runs deeper. It has always been petty and unfair, and the original reason for it—sexual jealousy over Scipio—was never acknowledged and is now all but forgotten. Frigg still isn’t mature enough to admit this to Fr’Nj’s face. She may never get around to doing that. But conceding it in the middle of this bonding session with her sisters is easier. She carries the scars from the nuns’ attempts to reprogram her, and some of that will always be with her…by now, it’s a part of who she is.

(One small change I’d make: the “diplomatic” bit is a more natural reference to Syr’Nj than it is to Tamara. I think I had a bit where she started to say Syr’Nj and then changed it to Tamara? Can’t say what I was thinking, though. She’s long been able to admit that diplomacy has its place and that Syr’Nj is better at it.)

FB: All my church experiences were also followed by serving punch.