Tammy: Hm. I’m trying to think of ways that “object lesson” won’t sound like hubris, coming from a 15-year-old girl.
By viewing her through the lens of emotional instability, something of our time, we overlook something: Daine is not a girl of our time. Technically, she’s not entirely even a girl–she’s a demi-god. It’s like saying Hercules was emotionally unstable.
The Carthakis needed a lesson that would stick, not that Daine was thinking of that at the time. They had destroyed, either through participation or allowing it to go forward, thousands of lives in the Eastern lands as Ozorne and his agents and his mages freed the immortals and sent them to do their worst. They had done nothing while his navies ravaged the coasts of his neighbors, and turned a blind eye while he sold their stolen property in his markets. He had made his palace a showplace with the loot of his victims. It was a symbol of the wealth and power of Carthak, a power that its nobles thought could be wielded without punishment from anyone. Daine was simply the instrument of the gods, and she acted with a god’s rage. Her scope was made greater by the Graveyard Hag, but she wouldn’t have gotten very far if the other gods hadn’t agreed. And she was able to do all that damage because she was part god in the first place.
Gods aren’t very discriminating in their wrath. They’re clubs, not lasers. And a palace is the symbol of a nation’s power. Daine smashing it was like the gods saying to the entire empire, “There are powers greater than you, and this is a sampling of what they will put on you if you don’t start behaving yourselves.”
Of course they let her go with a slap on the wrist. They were afraid of what she might do if they kept her. This was the person who reminded them why it was bad to mess with the gods in the first place.
Maybe gods are emotionally unstable by human lights. I just wouldn’t want to be the one to try and put a god on medication and maybe hospitalize one for six weeks or so.