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TLD Epilogue: "The soul in which the flower grows"

 
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2015 5:58 pm    Post subject: TLD Epilogue: "The soul in which the flower grows" Reply with quote

In the Beginning

The epilogue seems to be part love letter to the fans, part tidy bow for some story arcs, part bow to the audience, part rainbow message to the re-creation of the Land. The title provides SRD’s answer to Wildwood’s question about truth and beauty passing utterly. It’s pretty wild that these words ring so true here at the end considering that they were written before the author ever had any intention or conception for writing the Second or Last Chronicles. So with that in mind, let me dig into the background of the title of this epilogue (all quotes in this section are from LFB chapter 'Mithil Stonedown'):


After being translated to the Land for the first time, Covenant scraped up his hands and bruised his legs while climbing down from Kevin’s Watch with Lena. She collected some hurtloam for him, and it healed his wounds. Of course, he is incredulous at this fact, cannot believe it. He then gobbles a bunch of treasure berries, and becomes immediately drowsy. According to Lena,

Quote:
The hurtloam does this, but I did not expect it. When the wounds are very deadly, hurtloam brings sleep to speed the healing. But cuts on the hands are not deadly. Do you have hurts that you did not show me?


He falls asleep and is later aroused by Lena singing the following song to him:

Quote:
Something there is in beauty
which grows in the soul of the beholder
like a flower:
fragile—
for many are the blights
which may waste
the beauty
or the beholder—
and imperishable—
for the beauty may die,
or the beholder may die,
or the world may die,
but the soul in which the flower grows
survives.



This is essentially a folk song written by a Stonedowner, more specifically a wedding song.

Quote:
He had an unexpected sense that this Land might offer him some spell with which he could conjure away his impotence, some rebirth to which he could cling even after he regained consciousness, after the Land and all its insane implications faded into the miasma of half-remembered dreams. Such hope did not require that the Land be real, physically actual and independent of his own unconscious, uncontrolled dream-weaving. No, leprosy was an incurable disease, and if he did not die from his accident, he would have to live with that fact. But a dream might heal other afflictions. It might.


Covenant and Lena set off towards Mithil Stonedown, and he continues to have tingling sensations in his extremities, which are coupled with his noticing Lena’s body in ways he did not before. His potency is awakening; hurtloam is healing his leprosy. Wending along the Mithil to the Stonedown,

Quote:
Covenant became slowly more conscious of the reassuring solidity of the Land. It was not an intangible dreamscape; it was concrete, susceptible to ascertainment. This was an illusion, of course—a trick of his wracked and smitten mind. But it was curiously comforting. It seemed to promise that he was not walking into horror, chaos—that this Land was coherent, manageable, that when he had mastered its laws, its peculiar facts, he would be able to travel unscathed the path of his dream, retain his grip on his sanity.


Although he does not seem to be completely aware of it at this time, the seed of Covenant’s Unbelief is planted and sown in this first experience of his in the Land. The paradox is born for him right at the very beginning, yet so is the experience of restoration, restitution. And it is his reaction to this restoration, something impossible to a leper, which leads to his Unbelief. His Unbelief was always a form of restraint.

I open this epilogue dissection with a look back at LFB because the very title of the epilogue begs us to reflect on it; Donaldson is inviting us to make a connection…


After the End

(All subsequent quotes are from TLD's epilogue)

So the world is destroyed; all life and time and law have been decimated and undone; and in the blink of an eye or the turn of a page, the Land is remade anew. Whoa, how did this happen? How did the three protagonists who were lifted by fire and rose to glory recreate creation? We do not know, Donaldson does not tell us, we are left to fill in that gap ourselves.

I know that I found the absence of any description of this process somewhat disappointing upon a first reading, but as time passed and it sank in, I came to understand a bit more, and I became more comfortable with this last dark being left for us to enlighten in our own imaginations. Many times in the Gradual Interview, SRD stated that he will not try to explain magic, or that he will only try to a certain extent (or something like that). I think the culmination of this whole story, this last dark, is his final example of this in the Chronicles.

The characters get to say a final hello and good-bye to us all—the ones that survived, at least. The ur-Mahrtiir remains, and he now has the perfected or transformed Demondim-spawn as helpers, a new band of Forestals. Stave becomes the Voice of the Masters, and he announces that they will become the new Lords of the Land. And with their collective memories that reach back in time for millennia, they’re pretty well suited for the task. Hell, they may be better suited for it than anyone else ever was. Jeremiah knows where Kevin’s Wards are—assuredly gained from moksha—and Stave is glad to accept the knowledge when their

Quote:
need for it is ripe.


And I love that Stave appoints Canrik to lead the first new Council of Lords. Stave says that Canrik

Quote:
is newly acquainted with uncertainty, and will gain much from an immersion in the necessary doubts of the Lords.


Very fascinating. It’s as if we’re being told that the formation of knowledge and lore requires doubt and uncertainty. I think I agree.

Branl’s decision I found very laudable. Instead of returning to Revelstone with his kinsmen, he chooses to return to Gravin Threndor to seek out the krill (first of the new Unfettered?). He expects to encounter the Cavewights in the process, and he hopes to be able to persuade them to no longer be violent and enemy-like. I bet he’ll succeed.

The Acolyte. This is confusing to me still. I get that the three new creators need time to recover, absorb and digest all that they’ve done and become. And I get that they may need guidance in the process. It even makes sense that an Insequent can be that very guide, so perhaps it’s just the name that throws me. An acolyte is an assistant, not necessarily a leader or teacher. If anyone can cast some light on this one, I’ll be grateful. The way this figure is described, she sounds like a conglomeration of several Insequent we’ve met in these Last Chronicles. Very mysterious…

And Infelice. My, how she and the Elohim’s tune has changed! She acknowledges and honors the deeds of Linden, Jeremiah and Covenant. She comforts Linden by saying that without her desecration the world could not have been remade. She now finds no fault in the beings from beyond Time. It seems that she finally understands the redemptive potential of inadequacy.

While Covenant’s choice for how to deal with Foul was foreseeable, I am not quite sure what to make of it. I sort of like his mundane explanation that despite/despair is necessary to make us stronger, to enable us to improve or to be/do better. I am also intensely interested in imagining how TC will continue to deal with keeping Foul contained. Is a dissolution possible? Will Covenant be forever going through an identity crisis? Will Foul find a way out? Will his love and hope…gone rancid transform back into love and hope? Is there yet to be redemption for the Creator’s curdled shadow? What are your thoughts?


Present from Origin

Quote:
“I can feel my fingers. They seem to have nerves again, what’s left of them. And the soles of my feet—They used to be numb. Now I know I’m standing on grass. I can almost feel individual blades.

I’ve always thought you [Linden] were beautiful, but I had no idea you’re so beautiful.”


Wow. Here at the end Covenant’s leprosy seems to be healed or healing, and he’s cool with it, accepting of it. Done with restraint, indeed. And this restoration of his is linked to his noticing the beauty of a woman, just like in LFB, only this time it’s his wife whom he loves rather than Lena whom he lusts. He’s come a long way.

It is my contention that TC’s memory of his first experience with hurtloam and treasure berries back in LFB served as the lodestone, the guiding compass for how to remake the world. The title of this epilogue has led me to draw this particular conclusion. Perhaps I am wrong, but the author has allowed and invited us to fill in this gap, and the concept of restoration/restitution that was so central in these Last Chronicles indeed does connect back to Covenant’s first experience in the Land. I will be glad to hear what others think about this, though.

Writing this dissection has proved to be more difficult than I thought. I have many more thoughts about the potential meaning of the titular quote from LFB, but I failed to capture them when they arose in my mind… And I've made no mention here of the wonderful use of language that Donaldson gives us in this epilogue. So wonderful to be able to amble through Andelain one last time...

It seems that the author is saying that it is Covenant’s soul in which the flower of the Land grows, yet he’s also saying that the beauty of the story lies in our perception of it, in our souls, in our decision of its reality or unreality: Truth in the eye of the beholder, and all that.

I also hear a final comment on paradox in the title, and in the poem/song that it’s a quote from. The flower metaphor of fragility and imperishability is an apparent contradiction—a paradox—yet it’s the very stuff that allows and enables beauty to exist or creation to be. And if “the soul in which the flower grows survives,” even in the face of the death of the beauty, the beholder or the world, then it seems the author may be saying that existence is subjective and dependent upon…fill in the blank…
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2015 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you so much for that excellent dissection, earthbrah! You have certainly closed out discussion of the Covenant books with heartfelt effort!

I thought it might be entertaining, considering we are reading about the ending and new beginning of the Earth, to go back to the account of how it all began.

In Lord Foul's Bane chapter 16 was wrote:
Covenant hung his head to avoid Mhoram's gaze, made sure his left hand was securely in his pocket. After a moment, he said distantly, "Tell me about the Creator."

"Ah," Mhoram sighed, "we do not know that a Creator lives. Our only lore of such a being comes from the most shadowy reaches of our oldest legends. We know the Despiser. But the Creator we do not know."

Then Covenant was vaguely startled to hear Lord Tamarantha cut in, "Of course we know. Ah, the folly of the young. Mhoram my son, you are not yet a prophet. You must learn that kind of courage." Slowly, she pulled her ancient limbs together and got to her feet, leaning on her staff for support. Her thin white hair hung in wisps about her face as she moved into the circle around the fire, muttering frailly, "Oracles and prophecy are incompatible. According to Kevin's Lore, only Heartthew the Lord-Fatherer was both seer and prophet. Lesser souls lose the paradox. Why, I do not know. But when Kevin Landwaster decided in his heart to invoke the Ritual of Desecration, he saved the Bloodguard and the Ranyhyn and the Giants because he was an oracle. And because he was no prophet he failed to see that Lord Foul would survive. A lesser man than Berek. Of course the Creator lives."

She looked over at Variol for confirmation, and he nodded, but Covenant could not tell whether he was approving or drowsing. But Tamarantha nodded in return as if Variol had supported her. Lifting her head to the night sky and the stars, she spoke in a voice fragile with age.

"Of course the Creator lives," she repeated. "How else? Opposites require each other. Otherwise the difference is lost, and only chaos remains. No, there can be no Despite without Creation. Better to ask how the Creator could have forgotten that when he made the Earth. For if he did not forget, then Creation and Despite existed together in his one being, and he did not know it.

"This the elder legends tell us: into the infinity before Time was made came the Creator like a worker into his workshop. And since it is the nature of creating to desire perfection, the Creator devoted all himself to the task. First he built the arch of Time, so that his creation would have a place in which to be--and for the keystone of that arch he forged the wild magic, so that Time would be able to resist chaos and endure. Then within the arch he formed the Earth. For ages he labored, formed and unformed, trialed and tested and rejected and trialed and tested again, so that when he was done his creation would have no cause to reproach him. And when the Earth was fair to his eye, he gave birth to the inhabitants of the Earth, beings to act out in their lives his reach for perfection--and he did not neglect to give them the means to strive for perfection themselves. When he was done, he was proud as only those who create can be.

"Alas, he did not understand Despite or had forgotten it. He undertook his task thinking that perfect labor was all that he required to create perfection. But when he was done, and his pride had tasted its first satisfaction, he looked closely at the Earth, thinking to gratify himself with the sight--and he was dismayed. For, behold! buried deep in the Earth were banes of destruction, powers virile enough to rip his masterwork into dust.

"Then he understood or remembered. Perhaps he found Despite itself beside him, misguiding his hand. Or perhaps he saw the harm in himself. It does not matter. He became outraged with grief and torn pride. In his fury he wrestled with Despite, either within him or without, and in his fury he cast the Despiser down, out of the infinity of the cosmos onto the Earth.

"Alas! thus the Despiser was emprisoned within Time. And thus the Creator's creation became the Despiser's world, to torment as he chose. For the very Law of Time, the principle of power which made the arch possible, worked to preserve Lord Foul, as we now call him. That Law requires that no act may be undone. Desecration may not be undone--defilement may not be recanted. It may be survived or healed, but not denied. Therefore Lord Foul has afflicted the Earth, and the Creator cannot stop him--for it was the Creator's act which placed Despite here.

"In sorrow and humility, the Creator saw what he had done. So that the plight of the Earth would not be utterly without hope, he sought to help his creation in indirect ways. He guided the Lord-Fatherer to the fashioning of the Staff of Law--a weapon against Despite. But the very Law of the Earth's creation permits nothing more. If the Creator were to silence Lord Foul, that act would destroy Time--and then the Despiser would be free in infinity again, free to make whatever befoulments he desired."

Tamarantha paused. She had told her tale simply, without towering rhetoric or agitation or any sign of passion beyond her agedness. But for a moment, her thin old voice convinced Covenant tat the universe was at stake--that his own struggle was only a microcosm of a far larger conflict. During that moment, he waited in suspense for what she would say next.

Shortly, she lowered her head and turned her wrinkled gaze full on him. Almost whispering, she said, "Thus we are come to the greatest test. The wild magic is here. With a word our world could be riven to the core. Do not mistake," she quavered. "If we cannot win this Unbeliever to our cause, then the Earth will end in rubble." But Covenant could not tell whether her voice shook because she was old, or because she was afraid.


Well, the Earth almost DID end in rubble, didn't it? And while Covenant has by now been won to the cause of preserving the Land's world for millennia, only now has he found a way to silence Despite in a way the Creator never could: by internalizing him and using the spirit of laughter to keep him quelled. TC may be warning his friends in this chapter of the possibility of the Despiser erupting from him unexpectedly, but the metaphor of the rainbow promises that Lord Foul will never be loosed upon the Earth again. This is very like the promise of God to Noah in Genesis that the world would never be destroyed by water again, and the rainbow presented as the guarantee.



[Typo edit]


earthbrah wrote:
So the world is destroyed; all life and time and law have been decimated and undone; and in the blink of an eye or the turn of a page, the Land is remade anew. Whoa, how did this happen? How did the three protagonists who were lifted by fire and rose to glory recreate creation? We do not know, Donaldson does not tell us, we are left to fill in that gap ourselves.


I would like to tackle this question in a future post.

earthbrah wrote:
And I love that Stave appoints Canrik to lead the first new Council of Lords. Stave says that Canrik


Quote:
is newly acquainted with uncertainty, and will gain much from an immersion in the necessary doubts of the Lords.


Very fascinating. It’s as if we’re being told that the formation of knowledge and lore requires doubt and uncertainty. I think I agree.


Certainly the biggest mistakes made by Kevin and Elena were based on their certainty that they knew how their deeds would work out. Such certainty has been a repeated failing of the Haruchai as well.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In The Last Dark part II chapter 12 was wrote:
Covenant tried to smile. "What are you talking about?" He spoke to Jeremiah, but he poured out his heart to Linden. "This is our chance. We can't stop what's happening, but that doesn't mean we can't try to save the Earth. I know that sounds impossible, but maybe it isn't. We don't have to create an entire reality from scratch. We just have to put the pieces of this one back together.

"If we follow the Worm--and if we pick up the pieces fast enough--and if we know where they belong--"

Perhaps the Arch and the world could be rebuilt from the fragments of their destruction.

"We have everything we need," he assured Jeremiah. "Two white gold wielders. The Staff of Law. Linden's health-sense. Your talent. Hell, we still have the krill. And I think--" His face twisted with pain and chagrin and hope. "I'm not sure, but I think I know everything Lord Foul knows."

The Despiser had striven for eons to escape his prison. His knowledge of the created world was both vast and intricate.

Jeremiah stood straighter. His hands tightened eagerly on the Staff. "I've learned a few things myself."

"And I've seen She Who Must Not Be Named without all of that agony and bitterness," offered Linden. "I know what She means."

In spite of its galls and strain, hers was the most beautiful face that Covenant had ever seen.

"We can do this," he said as if he were sure. "We can do it together."



So, HOW did they do it together? The following is a rough sketch, very speculative, but I thought I'd give it a try.


As they rose over Mount Thunder, Jeremiah applied the power of the Staff to extend protection to all of their friends within the mountain. Covenant and Linden were in a communion with him, perhaps courtesy of the krill, perhaps because they were touching, perhaps because the world's dissolution was negating all boundaries. Whatever the reason, they knew what Jeremiah was doing, and Covenant suggested without speech, Let's protect them further by sending them all to Andelain. Linden assented readily to this, and Jeremiah trusted them enough to apply his power along with their wild magic to accomplish the task. After that, they had no longer any time to think of their trusted companions, for the unraveling of the world's very fabric demanded all of their attention.

They turned their attention toward the massive debris pile of Melenkurion Skyweir to the southwest, along the way noticing the trail of ruin and the bodies of Haruchai and the people of the Land slain in the wake of the Worm's rush to feed on the lifeblood of the world. Linden cried out in grief and abhorrence for the destruction she had inadvertently caused, but there was no time to dwell on that, either.

Under the rubble of Skyweir, beneath the turbulent storm of power, they could at last see the Worm of the World's End writhing in ecstasy--in a manner not unlike how She Who Must Not Be Named writhed in anger as Linden and the Demondim-spawn were removing her victims. More than this, they could see shattering particles and multiplying fractures of existence emanating outward from the Worm all the way upward to the zenith of the firmament of the world, shaking the Arch itself.. And they could also seeing the Worm's destructive vibrations reaching down through all the Earth's foundations, threatening to demolish it all to chaos within another instant. In a flash of insight--for a momentary flash of inspiration was all the time she had to think--Linden sent a soothing missive of self-acceptance, of self-contentment, to the Worm to still the turbulent storms around it, and Jeremiah aided her by applying pressure from the magic of forbidding around the Worm's body. Though it still writhed, the storms around it ceased to exist, and at last the three beings from beyond Time could focus on the monumental task of re-creating the world.

By unspoken agreement, by a kind of all-encompassing osmosis, Covenant, Linden, and Jeremiah came to an agreement of what they would do. His millennia as part of the Arch of Time as well as his recent accumulation of Lord Foul's knowledge of the world's construction made Thomas Covenant the perfect choice to be the one to reach outward from the ground to the heavens to control the self-destructive vibrations that the Worm had thrust upon all of creation. In a similar manner, Linden was the perfect choice to control the material fracturing below the surface, the substance of bedrock and EarthBlood and life-affirming power threatening to transform itself into the violent energy of a caesure in another blink of her eyes. While Jeremiah controlled the Worm's boundary of atmospheric squalls, reducing them to mere gusts of steam, Linden held together the foundation of Creation, and found she could be precise enough to allow all the various banes originally placed within the Earth by the Despiser to dissolve into nonexistence. Covenant held together the world's substance from the surface to the Arch, and soon he was able to stabilize the entire circumference of the created world. All his memories of being part of the Arch were accessible to him now, and in particular he applied the Theomach's advice for preserving Time, applied it with all the passion and caring he could muster. The fractures started to disappear, the entire world started to cohere. And Linden Avery felt herself able to take the chaos of the world's dissolution into herself, and calm it and send its organized serenity outward--as she had once taken the corruption o the Sunbane into herself, and corrected it and sent its corrected Lawful power outward. The whole of creation soon stopped trying to wrench itself apart.

But it was not enough. More power and passion from the wild magic would constantly be needed to hold the world together; it would fly apart as soon as Covenant and Linden stopped concentrating. And this is where Jeremiah would be needed. He understood this, and started to apply the pressure to re-seal the world outward from the Worm's body. First he used his talent for construction to rebuild Melenkurion Skyweir. Then he sent his ability to marrowmeld the very bone of the world outward. The Westron Mountains were the next area to coalesce into stability, and somewhere within them the Haruchai women and men and children looked upward with a fierce gleam of satisfaction. Next the Chosen-son turned his attention to the Land itself, from the North Plains to the Grey Desert, from the Westron Mountains to the Sunbirth Sea, holding it all togethers with a fusion of love and assurance. He seemed to feel the enthusiastic knicker of approval from Khelen and the other Ranyhyn, and this empowered him further. He comprehended how to reform the Colossus of the Fall, and did so with the merest flicker of a thought, to compensate for the necessity of having to loose moksha Jehannum back upon the world. As he sealing power reached the Lower Land, he and Linden and Covenant felt beings of Earthpower disperse and go to the Skyweir and transport the Worm through a crack in existence eastward across the ocean. Now his mother, whose fate was writ in water, moved to aid Jeremiah in restiching the very fabric of the ocean, and Covenant reached northward to restore the arguleh and their icy land, and further northward yet to seal the skurj under a Durance that required no Elohim. Then Linden added her power to help reform the Home of the Giants, the lands of the Elohim and Brathair, and the dwelling place of ancient Vidik Amar. As a final touch, Covenant reached southward to the grasslands, jungles, and icelands far south of the Grey Desert to stabilize the lands and beings of the Land's continent.

Somewhere below the horizon, light and Earthpowerful energy were cohering into a bright ball, a phenomenon made possible because the Elohim were no longer distracted from their self-contemplation by fearing for their lives.

At last, the three of them touched down on the grass near the southwestern slopes of Thunder, and Covenant shared the thought of them all being cloaked in robes. The three of them held their communion for a moment longer, then let go of each other and opened their eyes.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's been a long journey for the spirit of Thomas Covenant, and I thought it might be interesting to contrast the attitude Covenant had during his early time in the Land with his attitude displayed in TLD's epilogue. The first quote is after Covenant has just seen a recital of "Lord Kevin's Lament". Hile Troy catches up to him, makes a few remarks about Kevin Landwaster and the Oath of Peace, then tackles the subject he really wants to broach with TC: the reasons why Covenant won't fight for the Land.

In The Illearth War Chapter 8 was wrote:
"Covenant," Troy continued as if he were still on the same subject, "I don't see why you aren't ecstatic about being here. How can the 'real' world be any more important than this?"

"It's the only world there is." Covenant climbed heavily to his feet. "Let's get out of here. This heat is making me giddy."

Moving slowly, they left the amphitheater. The air in Revelstone welcomed them back with its cool, dim pleasance, and Covenant breathed it deeply, trying to steady himself.

He wanted to get away from Troy, evade the questions he knew Troy would ask him. But the Warmark had a look of determination. After a few moments, he said, "Listen, Covenant. I'm trying to understand. Since the last time we talked, I've spent half my time trying. Somebody has got to have some idea what to expect from you. But I just don't see it. Back there, you're a leper. Isn't this better?"

Dully, answering as briefly as possible, Covenant said, "It isn't real. I don't believe it." Half to himself, he added, "Lepers who pay too much attention to their own dreams or whatever don't live very long."

"Jesus," Troy muttered. "You make it sound as if leprosy is all there is." He thought for a moment, then demanded, "How can you be so sure this isn't real?"

"Because life isn't like this. Lepers don't get well. People with no eyes don't suddenly start seeing. Such things don't happen. Somehow, we're being betrayed. Our own--our own needs for something that we don't have--are seducing us into this. It's crazy. Look at you. Come on--think about what happened to you. There you were, trapped between a nine-story building and a raging fire--blind and helpless and about to die. Is it so strange to think you cracked up?"

"That is," he went on mordantly, "assuming you exist at all. I've got an idea about you. I must've made you up subconsciously so that I would have someone to argue with. Someone to tell me I'm wrong."

"Damn it!" Troy cried. Turning swiftly, he snatched up Covenant's right hand and gripped it at eye level between them. With his head thrust defiantly forward, he said intensely, "Look at me. Feel my grip. I'm here. It's a fact. It's real."

For a moment, Covenant considered Troy's hand. Then he said, "I feel you. And I see you. I even hear you. But that only proves my point. I don't believe it. Now let go of me."

"Why?!"

Troy's sunglasses loomed at him darkly, but Covenant glared back into them until they turned away. Gradually, the Warmark released the pressure of his grip. Covenant yanked his hand away, and walked on with a quiver in his breathing. After a few strides, he said, "Because I can feel it. And I can't afford it. Now listen to me. Listen hard. I'm going to try to explain this so you can understand.

"Just forget that you know there's no possible way you could have come here. It's impossible--But just forget that for a while. Listen. I'm a leper. Leprosy is not a directly fatal disease, but it can kill indirectly. I can only--any leper can only stay alive by concentrating from getting hurt--and to take care of his hurts as soon as they happen. The one thing--Listen to me. The one thing no leper can afford is to let his mind wander. If he wants to stay alive. As soon as he stops concentrating, and starts thinking about how he's going to make a better life for himself, or starts dreaming about how his life was before he got sick, or about what he would do if he only got cured, or even if people simply stopped abhorring lepers"--he threw the words at Troy's head like chunks of stone--"then he is as good as dead.

"This--Land--is suicide to me. It's an escape, and I can't afford even thinking about escapes, much less actually falling into one. Maybe a blind man can stand the risk, but a leper can't. If I give in here, I won't last a month where it really counts. Because I'll have to go back. Am I getting through to you?"

"Yes," Troy said. "Yes. I'm not stupid. But think about it for a minute. If it should happen--if it should somehow be true that the Land is real--then you're denying your only hope. And that's--"

"I know."

"--that's not all. There's something you're not taking into account. The one thing that doesn't fit this delusion theory of yours is power--your power. White gold. Wild magic. That damn ring of yours changes everything. You're not a victim here. This isn't being done to you. You're responsible."

"No," Covenant groaned.

"Wait a minute! You can't just deny this. You're responsible for your dreams, Covenant. Just like anybody else."

No! Nobody can control dreams. Covenant tried to fill himself with icy confidence, but his heart was chilled by another cold entirely.

Troy pressed his argument. "There's been plenty of evidence that white gold is just exactly what the Lords say it is. How did the Fire-Lions of Mount Thunder get called down to save you? White gold, that's how. You've already got the key to the whole thing."

"No." Covenant struggled to give his refusal some force. "No, It isn't like that. What white gold does in the Land has nothing to do with me."

"Is that a fact?" Troy said sourly. "And since you don't have any power, no one can hold you to blame."

Troy's tone gave Covenant something on which to focus his anger. "That's right!" he flared. "Let me tell you something. The only person in life who's free at all, ever, is a person who's impotent. Like me. Or what do you think freedom is? Unlimited potential? Unrestricted possibilities? Hellfire! Impotence is freedom. When you're incapable of anything, no one can expect anything from you. Power has its own limits--even ultimate power. Only the impotent are free.

"No!" he snapped to stop Troy's protest. "I'll tell you something else. What you're really asking me to do is learn how to use this wild magic so I can go around butchering the poor, miserable creatures in Foul's army. Well, I'm not going to do it. I'm not going to do any more killing--and certainly not in the name of something that isn't even real!"

"Hooray," muttered Troy in tight sarcasm. "Sweet Jesus. Whatever happened to people who used to believe in things?"

"They got leprosy and died. Weren't you listening to that song?"



In The Last Dark epilogue was wrote:
"'Beings from beyond Time,'" murmured Linden.

"Indeed," the Elohim said again. "For that reason, if for no other, there can be no fault in you. You were chosen for your task. You did not seek it out. Nevertheless, you have found it in yourself to prevail."

Then she faced Covenant. "For your sake, Timewarden, I am grieved. You have elected to bear the lasting burden of this restoration. You have given the living Earth a gift which exacts anguish. The Despiser is not defeated. He strives within you. While you live, he must be defeated continuously. I have come to proffer my obeisant gratitude--and also to inquire how you contrive to endure your triumph. Your willingness defies my comprehension. I could more easily grasp the surrender of your spirit to the Arch of Time. Your acceptance now surpasses me."

Covenant grimaced. He almost smiled. "It's easier than it looks. Or it's harder. Or maybe it's just worth the effort." He ran his halfhand through his hair. "I don't know how else to explain it. Lord Foul makes us strong."

"Strong?" Jeremiah objected. "The Despiser? He would have slaughtered the whole world and laughed about it."

"Well, sure." Covenant shrugged. "But ask yourself why he's like that. Berek said it. 'Only the great of heart may despair greatly.' All that malice and contempt is just love and hope and eagerness gone rancid. He's the Creator's curdled shadow. He--" He grimaced again. "I'm not saying this right.

"He gives us the chance to do better."

Jeremiah and Infelice studied him, frowning.

"In any case," Covenant added, "Taking a stand against him is what makes us who we are." He looked more sharply at the Elohim. "When we don't, we aren't anything. We're just empty."

Uncharacteristically gracious, Infelice bowed. "A just charge, Timewarden. I perceive now that it is condign. I am content to acknowledge it.

"Contemplating the paradox of your folly and wisdom, I bid you joy."



In The Last Dark epilogue was wrote:
With an effort, Covenant set aside his aching. He reached out for Linden's hand, smiled at Jeremiah. "It isn't permanent," he said more cheerfully. "It can't be. Our old lives are finished." By degrees, his distress receded. "There's no going back. You can't get rid of us this easy."

Then a new mood came over him, one that he had not felt for a vey long time; and he found himself laughing as if he were a man for whom laughter came naturally.

Take that, he told his inner Despiser. And all this time, you thought I hated you.


And so, the last portrait we have of Thomas Covenant reveals a soul that will take on any burden necessary for the sake of the Land's world (and could there be any burden heavier than Lord Foul's spirit?) He recognizes the importance of taking a stand against LF to preserve what he really believes and values and loves. He's been a part of the Arch for so long that it's our "real world" that must seem like a dream to him. And he can laugh easily and heartily, and is confident that's part of the key to keeping the Despiser controlled. Compared to the way he was, I like this Thomas Covenant much better!!
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In The Last Dark epilogue was wrote:
"Mahrtiir?" Linden began. "Caerwood ur-Mahrtiir? You have no idea--Are these--?" Unable to complete a question, she said through her tears, "I am so glad to see you!"

"We are well met," mused the Forestal, "well met in all sooth, Ringthane, Linden Avery, friend. And well met also, Covenant Timewarden and young Jeremiah. Among unforeseen wonders, you are a particular delight. Though I sang against the Worm with every aspect of my given strength, I did not prevent the world's death. Nor could I evade it. Yet I am here. Indeed, all who clung to life at the moment of the Earth's extinction live still. While the restored Arch endures, you will be remembered and honored among all of the wide world's forests."

"But how did you get here?" asked Linden. "We left you--I don't even know how far we've come."

"Andelain is here," answered the ur-Mahrtiir. "Salva Gildenbourne is nigh. When the Worm had turned aside from my service to the fane, I wished to meet my passing among the trees and richness and innocence which I love. Therefore I sang to these woodlands, and was conveyed hither."

At once, he continued, "I will not linger. The sight of you suffices for me, Linden Ringthane. A task immense and needful awaits, and I am avid to begin while my powers freshen within me. Much of lands and peoples, of wood and mountains, has been laid waste, much that cannot be restored. Yet much remains. And there can be no true healing that does not commence with trees.

"I am become the Earth's Forestal."

"Alone?" Linden inquired like a plea. "Alone, Mahrtiir?"

Caerwood ur-Mahrtiir sang mirth. "Assuredly not, Linden Avery, friend. With me are these ur-viles and Waynhim, the last of their kind. Aye, they are Demondim-spawn, given life by lore rather than natural birth. But they are also High Lord Elena redeemed from torment. They are the Auriference and Emereau Vrai and Diassomer Mininderain and many other women. They are the dark yearning of merewives and the sunlit absorption of the Elohim. And now they are also Forestals.

"Encountering each other here, and filled with wonder that we had been spared, we spoke at length, these regal creatures and I. I proposed to them a new interpretation of their Weird, one suited to their perfected forms and exalted spirits--and they adjudged the meter and harmony and timbre of my music worthy. I will not labor for the Earth's renewal alone.

"In sooth," the ur-Mahrtiir admitted, "our task is too great for us. But we are not daunted. We will grow, Linden Avery." His singing rose until it shivered every leaf, flourished along every bough; and every creature sang with him. "We will grow."


Words just cannot express how satisfied I am with these character resolutions for Mahrtiir and the long-suffering Demondim-spawn. In an epilogue that has many satisfying moments for me, this part is the most satisfying of all!!!!! Hearts

(It's nice that we now have a Forestal with a gentle sense of humor, too.)
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
A moment later, jubilation and awe filled the air. Linden wept for gladness, and Jeremiah wavered between shouts and tears. Covenant spread his arms like a man who yearned to embrace everyone simultaneously, and his scarred forehead shone like incarnated starlight.

Then there were shouts and much laughter among the Giants, hugs and clasps and affectionate congratulations. As one, Stave, Branl, and the Masters did more than bow: they sank to one knee and lowered their heads in homage. Unable to contain himself, Manethrall Bhapa put his hands on Linden's waist and lifted her high until she begged him to put her down. With more restraint and sadness, Pahni offered her hopes for Linden's happiness, and for Covenant's.

Jeremiah joined the mirth and effusion of the Giants. Linden took the Ramen away from the others to make her peace with Pahni's bereavement, to speak of Caerwood ur-Mahrtiir, and to share her heart with friends who had been as faithful as Liand. For his part, Covenant spoke first with the Ironhand and Stoutgirth Anchormaster, while Stave, Branl, and Canrik attended him.


Well, this is my 2nd most favorite moment in the Epilogue, and a very close second it is! I took great pleasure in the Giants saying that the thanks were theirs to give. Joy is not only in the ears that hear and the mouth that speaks--it can also be within the eyes that read, which is the case for me upon re-reading this passage.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In The Last Dark epilogue was wrote:
Bluff Stoutgirth nodded his approval. But he smiled with difficulty, and his need for a caamora was plain. He was a sailor, not a warrior: his losses bore a different emotional weight than Coldspray's. Nevertheless he accepted them with a spirit slowly lifting.

Covenant had only one question for them: what now?

The Anchormaster answered without hesitation. "With the Giants at my command, I will return to Dire's Vessel. It is my hope that we will sail at once for our homeland. I pine for the Harborage of Home. I ache to learn the fate of our kindred. And I yearn for new ears to soften my sorrow with their joy."

Covenant understood. He had his own sorrows to assuage.


This crisis of re-making the world surely wasn't covered in Stoutgirth's job training, but he did an admirable job of holding himself together through the painful loss of Scatterwit and others under his command. It feels somehow incomplete that Bluff hasn't been granted relief from his sorrows at story's end, but I don't doubt that he will somehow receive a caamora shortly. I sometimes tend to forget that Bluff Stoutgirth doesn't get the final word on whether he can sail away or not; that decision is up to the Master of Dire's Vessel. I like that Stoutgirth has become attached enough to TC, LA, and Jer to protest their departure with the Acolyte.

He had his own sorrows to assuage. I think this sentence refers to Thomas Covenant grieving for the loss of his son Roger. It may also refer to the more general pain of carrying around Lord Foul, I suppose.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In The Last Dark epilogue was wrote:
Covenant understood. He had his own sorrows to assuage. "And you?" he asked of Coldspray.

Before she could reply, Stave spoke.

"With the Ironhand's consent, we will welcome her and her Swordmainnir to Revelstone. We have much for which we wish to atone. First among our faults, doubtless, is the ignorance which we have inflicted upon the folk of the Land. Yet more immediate to us here is the manner in which we have rebuffed the friendship and valor of the Giants. We hunger to make amends."

Covenant cocked an eyebrow at the outcast Master's use of we. But he did not interrupt.

"Also," Stave went on, "I would seek a boon of the Ironhand, and perhaps of her comrades also, a boon which pertains to Revelstone, and which Revelstone may sway her to grant."

Now both Coldspray and Stoutgirth stared at him, as surprised as Covenant.

Stave faced them with a smile: another surprise. "You crave explanations," Amusement sparkled in his eye. "Know, then, that I am Stave, by right of years and attainment the Voice of the Masters. I speak for these Haruchai assembled here, and also for those who have retained the benison of their lives elsewhere."

More gravely, he said, "Your example, Covenant Timewarden, and also that of Linden Avery the Chosen, and indeed of Jeremiah Chosen-son, have turned our thoughts to new paths. We have concluded that the Land has no need of Masters. Rather it will be better served by Lords. Therefore we wish to claim a different purpose. If you do not gainsay us, ur-Lord, we will form a new Council, emulating with our best strength the service begun by Berek Lord-Fatherer.

"And the boon which we will ask of the Ironhand is this, that she and her Swordmainnir join with us in that Council. By their kindness and merriment, we hope"--he smiled again--"to avoid the snares of our long past and severe judgments until the time when the folk of the Land discover a desire to stand among us."

Jeremiah had wandered closer while Stave spoke. Now the boy said, "I can tell you where to find Kevin's Wards.'

"And we will welcome that knowledge, Chosen-son, when our need for it is ripe."

Covenant shook his head, but not in disapproval. "I don't know what to say. It sounds practically ideal. But you'll have to give up your rejection of Earthpower. Or lore. You'll have to start from scratch."

"As we should, ur-Lord," Stave replied. "The Earth has been vouchsafed a new beginning. The Haruchai also must begin anew."

After a moment's thought, Covenant observed, "You'll need a High Lord. You, Stave?"

"I?" Stave countered. He seemed to hear a jest in Covenant's question. "No. I do not stand so high in my own estimation. And I do not doubt that he day will come when the Voice of the Masters must speak for the Haruchai rather than for the Land. The Council of Lords and the High Lord must regard wider concerns.

"I have named Canrik to lead he first Council. He is newly acquainted with uncertainty, and will gain much from an immersion in the necessary doubts of the Lords."

Canrik nodded, expressionless as any Master or Bloodguard.


earthbrah wrote:
And I love that Stave appoints Canrik to lead the first new Council of Lords. Stave says that Canrik


Quote:
is newly acquainted with uncertainty, and will gain much from an immersion in the necessary doubts of the Lords.


Very fascinating. It’s as if we’re being told that the formation of knowledge and lore requires doubt and uncertainty. I think I agree.



I agree too, earthbrah! Doubt, if not immobilizing the decision-making process, can lead to avoidance of mistakes (recall that Elena had no room for doubt in her mind before she drank the EarthBlood). This is an echo of the time near the end of White Gold Wielder when Covenant urges his companions to doubt before they all enter Mount Thunder, and Pitchwife breaks the flute and says, "Heed me well. I doubt."

Stave deserves his promotion, the Earth deserves a new Council. Does anybody doubt that the Giants will be a part of it?
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2015 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
"But Branl--?" Covenant asked. "Surely he's earned it?"

"I will not shoulder that burden," the Haruchai halfhand stated flatly. "Clyme's death mars my heart. I desire a different atonement. I will return to Gravin Threndor, seeking High Lord Loric's krill."

He held up his remaining hand to forstall objections. "Certainly the Cavewights will greet me with enmity. However, Corruption no longer goads them to madness. And they, too, must feel awe at their continuation in life. It is my hope, therefore, that soft words and a refusal to do harm will dissuade them from bloodshed. They are not mindless, ur-Lord. And I am not helpless in my own defense though I will cause no more hurt. Mayhap I will elude death until they perceive that we are no longer foes.

"Should I succeed, I will bear the krill to Revelstone. And should I fail--" Branl shrugged delicately. "I will die content in myself. I will not perish grieving."

Covenant thought of Cail, who had been rejected by his people, and had gone to find his fate alone. Branl was rejected only by himself. Still he would have to find peace on his own terms.


It's interesting to hear someone from the race of the Bloodguard say something in support of Cavewights ("they are not mindless"). And as with Cail, Covenant has the wisdom to let Branl make his own choice, and has learned not to waste time in protestations.

earthbrah wrote:
Branl’s decision I found very laudable. Instead of returning to Revelstone with his kinsmen, he chooses to return to Gravin Threndor to seek out the krill (first of the new Unfettered?). He expects to encounter the Cavewights in the process, and he hopes to be able to persuade them to no longer be violent and enemy-like. I bet he’ll succeed.


I get the feeling Branl will succeed as well, earthbrah.


[Edited for typo]


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

earthbrah wrote:
The Acolyte. This is confusing to me still. I get that the three new creators need time to recover, absorb and digest all that they’ve done and become. And I get that they may need guidance in the process. It even makes sense that an Insequent can be that very guide, so perhaps it’s just the name that throws me. An acolyte is an assistant, not necessarily a leader or teacher. If anyone can cast some light on this one, I’ll be grateful. The way this figure is described, she sounds like a conglomeration of several Insequent we’ve met in these Last Chronicles. Very mysterious…


Well, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of details to work with here, earthbrah, but I'm guessing that "the Acolyte" (if that is really this Insequent's name) helps them control their newfound powers from having unintended and perhaps even destructive consequences. An assistant with proper knowledge could conceivably do this, I think. From the text quoted below: And possibly a teacher, he mused ruefully. If so, one of the Insequent might serve. The Theomach had certainly guided Berek Halfhand well enough.
A teacher could be thought of as a special kind of assistant, in a manner of speaking. One that helps by supplying knowledge, rather than just supplying extra hands to complete a task.


In The Last Dark epilogue was wrote:
After a while, Linden came to join Covenant and Jeremiah. Resting one hand on her son's shoulder, she pointed into the west. "Who do you suppose that is?"

Looking there, Covenant saw a lone figure standing in sunlight at the rim of the hollow. A woman, he thought, although he could not be sure. The figure's head was wrapped in cerements like the Theomach's. Ribbands as garish as the Ardent's ornamented the figure's upper body, while from its waist hung a motley skirt as haphazard and arcane as the Mahdoubt's.

To Covenant's gaze, and Linden's, and Jeremiah's, the figure replied with a beckoning gesture.

At first, Covenant smiled. "It looks to me," he said wryly, "like the Insequent are finally giving credence of the idea of acolytes." He almost chuckled. "In fact, if I had to guess, I might say that's the Acolyte."

But then his eyes darkened, and for a moment he resembled a man who had never recovered from his oldest wounds.

"It's time. We have to go."

As he spoke, the figure drifted out of sight.

"Go?" Jeremiah protested at once. "Why? We just got here."

Linden studied her husband quizzically, but she did not contradict him.

"The Chosen-son speaks for me as well," began Rime Coldspray.

"And for me," put in Bluff Stoutgirth.

"We have sung no songs to honor you," Coldspray added. "We have not truly begun to voice our wonder and gratitude, our esteem deep as seas. We have not told you of our love. And we have heard neither Linden Giantfriend's tale nor Jeremiah Chosen-son's. In sooth, we are scarcely able to estimate your own.

"What compulsion requires you to depart, Timewarden?"

Covenant rubbed his glowing scar to disguise a clench of woe and regret. "Unearned knowledge," he answered brusquely. "Right now, we're too dangerous. Jeremiah and me. Maybe even Linden. Jeremiah needs time to figure out what he's going to do with everything he got from moksha. He has to learn what it all means and decide how he wants to use it. Linden freed She Who Must Not Be Named. She freed Elena"--his voice caught for a moment--"and who knows how many other lost souls. That must have been shattering. She hasn't had a chance to recover. And I'm carrying the Despiser around inside me. What he knows isn't a problem for me. I used to be part of the Arch of Time. But he's Lord Foul. If I let him, he might spit in your faces. Or he might find a way to use my ring. I hope I can persuade him to relax. Maybe I can even convince him to think of me as something more or better or at least kinder than his worst enemy.

"We all need time."

And possibly a teacher, he mused ruefully. If so, one of the Insequent might serve. The Theomach had certainly guided Berek Halfhand well enough.

Softly Rime Coldspray said, "Though you conceal it, your hurt is evident, Covenant Timewarden. None here would choose to deny you. Do not take it amiss when I confess that your departure will sadden us."


Though Rime Coldspray may feel she has not expressed the Giants' love for the three beings from beyond Time, she actually has in her statements here. But, I understand that she wishes to do so in the long, drawn-out Giantish way. It's nice that Bluff Stoutgirth wishes TC, LA, and Jer to remain with them longer, that he has already developed an affection for their company, though he's known them for only a very short time.

Though you conceal it, your hurt is evident, Covenant Timewarden. While this obviously refers to Covenant carrying LF inside of him, I like to feel it also refers to the hurt of losing Roger.

If the Insequent collectively think it's time for our three heroes to get more knowledge from them, and the appearance of "The Acolyte" strongly suggests this, they are very likely right. So, it seems obvious to me that the three beings from beyond Time must leave as soon as possible.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2015 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In The Last Dark epilogue was wrote:
Linden gave him a smile that sang in his heart; and Jeremiah nodded awkwardly, discomfited by recognitions for which he had not prepared himself. Together they walked away in the direction taken by the Insequent: the Unbeliever and his new wife and his obliquely adopted son.

And as they walked, spring rainclouds gathered to the southwest. In the distance, sudden showers streaked the air, falling like chrism to the reborn ground. Struck by sunlight, the showers returned a rainbow to the heavens: one bright instance of the world's inherent splendor.

When it faded, Covenant, Linden, and Jeremiah appeared to fade with it. But their silver lingered for a time, until the day moved on.


Jeremiah may be discomfited because he now recognizes the need for guidance by the Insequent, or by realizing the burden Covenant has been having to bear with Lord Foul inside. Or both. I'm just not sure.

Besides the rainbow imagery, with its Genesis-like promise of no new devastation by the Despiser, there is another sign that things will go right for the Earth from here on out. The rain is coming from the southwest, which Atiaran told Covenant in the LFB chapter "Jehannum" was normal for the Land in springtime. All will be well in the Land's world.

Speaking of Jehannum, Jeremiah can lock him up at any time he encounters the Raver, and I feel certain he will do so at the first opportunity.

I have no idea what is the significance of having silver linger when TC, LA, and Jer leave their friends, except that it may indicate they are now immortal beings.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2015 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Earlier in this thread, I wrote:
As they rose over Mount Thunder, Jeremiah applied the power of the Staff to extend protection to all of their friends within the mountain. Covenant and Linden were in a communion with him, perhaps courtesy of the krill, perhaps because they were touching, perhaps because the world's dissolution was negating all boundaries. Whatever the reason, they knew what Jeremiah was doing, and Covenant suggested without speech, Let's protect them further by sending them all to Andelain. Linden assented readily to this, and Jeremiah trusted them enough to apply his power along with their wild magic to accomplish the task. After that, they had no longer any time to think of their trusted companions, for the unraveling of the world's very fabric demanded all of their attention.

They turned their attention toward the massive debris pile of Melenkurion Skyweir to the southwest, along the way noticing the trail of ruin and the bodies of Haruchai and the people of the Land slain in the wake of the Worm's rush to feed on the lifeblood of the world. Linden cried out in grief and abhorrence for the destruction she had inadvertently caused, but there was no time to dwell on that, either.

Under the rubble of Skyweir, beneath the turbulent storm of power, they could at last see the Worm of the World's End writhing in ecstasy--in a manner not unlike how She Who Must Not Be Named writhed in anger as Linden and the Demondim-spawn were removing her victims. More than this, they could see shattering particles and multiplying fractures of existence emanating outward from the Worm all the way upward to the zenith of the firmament of the world, shaking the Arch itself.. And they could also seeing the Worm's destructive vibrations reaching down through all the Earth's foundations, threatening to demolish it all to chaos within another instant. In a flash of insight--for a momentary flash of inspiration was all the time she had to think--Linden sent a soothing missive of self-acceptance, of self-contentment, to the Worm to still the turbulent storms around it, and Jeremiah aided her by applying pressure from the magic of forbidding around the Worm's body. Though it still writhed, the storms around it ceased to exist, and at last the three beings from beyond Time could focus on the monumental task of re-creating the world.

By unspoken agreement, by a kind of all-encompassing osmosis, Covenant, Linden, and Jeremiah came to an agreement of what they would do. His millennia as part of the Arch of Time as well as his recent accumulation of Lord Foul's knowledge of the world's construction made Thomas Covenant the perfect choice to be the one to reach outward from the ground to the heavens to control the self-destructive vibrations that the Worm had thrust upon all of creation. In a similar manner, Linden was the perfect choice to control the material fracturing below the surface, the substance of bedrock and EarthBlood and life-affirming power threatening to transform itself into the violent energy of a caesure in another blink of her eyes. While Jeremiah controlled the Worm's boundary of atmospheric squalls, reducing them to mere gusts of steam, Linden held together the foundation of Creation, and found she could be precise enough to allow all the various banes originally placed within the Earth by the Despiser to dissolve into nonexistence. Covenant held together the world's substance from the surface to the Arch, and soon he was able to stabilize the entire circumference of the created world. All his memories of being part of the Arch were accessible to him now, and in particular he applied the Theomach's advice for preserving Time, applied it with all the passion and caring he could muster. The fractures started to disappear, the entire world started to cohere. And Linden Avery felt herself able to take the chaos of the world's dissolution into herself, and calm it and send its organized serenity outward--as she had once taken the corruption o the Sunbane into herself, and corrected it and sent its corrected Lawful power outward. The whole of creation soon stopped trying to wrench itself apart.

But it was not enough. More power and passion from the wild magic would constantly be needed to hold the world together; it would fly apart as soon as Covenant and Linden stopped concentrating. And this is where Jeremiah would be needed. He understood this, and started to apply the pressure to re-seal the world outward from the Worm's body. First he used his talent for construction to rebuild Melenkurion Skyweir. Then he sent his ability to marrowmeld the very bone of the world outward. The Westron Mountains were the next area to coalesce into stability, and somewhere within them the Haruchai women and men and children looked upward with a fierce gleam of satisfaction. Next the Chosen-son turned his attention to the Land itself, from the North Plains to the Grey Desert, from the Westron Mountains to the Sunbirth Sea, holding it all togethers with a fusion of love and assurance. He seemed to feel the enthusiastic knicker of approval from Khelen and the other Ranyhyn, and this empowered him further. He comprehended how to reform the Colossus of the Fall, and did so with the merest flicker of a thought, to compensate for the necessity of having to loose moksha Jehannum back upon the world. As he sealing power reached the Lower Land, he and Linden and Covenant felt beings of Earthpower disperse and go to the Skyweir and transport the Worm through a crack in existence eastward across the ocean. Now his mother, whose fate was writ in water, moved to aid Jeremiah in restiching the very fabric of the ocean, and Covenant reached northward to restore the arguleh and their icy land, and further northward yet to seal the skurj under a Durance that required no Elohim. Then Linden added her power to help reform the Home of the Giants, the lands of the Elohim and Brathair, and the dwelling place of ancient Vidik Amar. As a final touch, Covenant reached southward to the grasslands, jungles, and icelands far south of the Grey Desert to stabilize the lands and beings of the Land's continent.

Somewhere below the horizon, light and Earthpowerful energy were cohering into a bright ball, a phenomenon made possible because the Elohim were no longer distracted from their self-contemplation by fearing for their lives.

At last, the three of them touched down on the grass near the southwestern slopes of Thunder, and Covenant shared the thought of them all being cloaked in robes. The three of them held their communion for a moment longer, then let go of each other and opened their eyes.


Personally, I really don't think a transitional chapter about how the world is remade is necessary; all of the above can be inferred. But there were a number of complaints in The Last Dark sub-forum about the absence of any mechanistic description of how it could be done, so I just wanted to have fun imagining how it came about.

Suggestions for improving this description of the Earth's re-making are most welcome; I realize I'm not even close to being an SRD, and anybody that wants to paste and edit it should feel free to do so! Very Happy Indeed, it could be fun to see how differently people imagine the Land's Earth gets repaired! Shocked (I'm already seeing things that need to be changed, like the repetitiveness of "agreement" and "the three of them" should be eliminated, and some of SRD's sophisticated and obscure English words should be introduced. But note that I wrote this "off the top of my head" before my library time with the computer expired. In other words, it's just a first draft with typo corrections.)
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do I have any disappointments about this ending? Well, just one little complaint: it would have been nice to have some of the Dead, particularly Lord Mhoram, show up to congratulate our heroes and express their satisfaction at the outcome of the World's remaking. But I suppose that the Law of Death was restored when the world was remade, so they are in a separate realm now.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Earthbrah, you totally rocked that dissection. It was a worthy summation. Thank you.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2015 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

earthbrah wrote:
The epilogue seems to be part love letter to the fans, part tidy bow for some story arcs, part bow to the audience, part rainbow message to the re-creation of the Land. The title provides SRD’s answer to Wildwood’s question about truth and beauty passing utterly. It’s pretty wild that these words ring so true here at the end considering that they were written before the author ever had any intention or conception for writing the Second or Last Chronicles. So with that in mind, let me dig into the background of the title of this epilogue (all quotes in this section are from LFB chapter 'Mithil Stonedown'):


Just wanted to say, I really like how earthbrah started it all out by reminding us of the context of the title! It seems fitting to go back and explain where it came from before going forward with the final chapter! Well done once again, earthbrah! Thumbs Up
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