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The Illearth War: Chapters 9 & 10

 
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PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2003 9:17 pm    Post subject: The Illearth War: Chapters 9 & 10 Reply with quote

This first post will deal with chapter 9. I will in a very short time post chapter 10.

Chapter 9 - Glimmermere:

An impressive museum, a powerful painting, and one of the natural marvels of the Land. These are the highlights of the chapter titled Glimmermere.

The chapter begins with Covenant in an apprehensive mood over the encounter with Trell, nursing his sore ribs. He waits for the summons to the High Lord, and what he fears will be a bad encounter. Finally, Bannor sends word that the High Lord wishes to see him.

The way Bannor takes is unfamiliar to him. All Covenant knows is that he is going down deep into Revelstone, below where the Lords have their quarters. They arrive in a rough cut great hall. This hall is filled with marvelous artwork of all forms. Even the gruff Covenant is entranced by the sculptures and paintings that show a vast variety moods and subjects, both of the good in the Land and the bad. Bannor explains that this is the Hall of Gifts, and that the artworks displayed here are gifts from artists of the Land to the Lords. He further explains that the Lords do not keep the art for themselves, but place them here where all can see the works. Covenant believes he senses in Bannor’s explanations something of the deep feeling towards the Lords that made the Bloodguard take their vow, but he remains silent.

During his inspection, Covenant comes across the tapestry that he tried to destroy in his first visit to the Land. It depicts Berek – his despair on Mount Thunder and discovery of the Earthpower. Just the story that Covenant wants to be reminded of! He turns abruptly away, and finds the High Lord Elena walking towards him.

Elena is concerned that Covenant is hurt after his incident with Trell, but there is no reproach for him in her voice. She dismisses Bannor, saying that they are going to go upland. Elena then continues talking about the hall, and its use as a teaching place for the children of the Land, and how it can be hidden if Revelstone is overwhelmed. Elena then points out a work by one of the Lands great craftmasters, Ahanna daughter of Hanna.

Quote:
He followed and stopped with her in front of a large picture in an ebony frame. It was a dark work, but glowing bravely near its center was a figure that he recognized immediately: Lord Mhoram. The Lord stood alone in a hollow surrounded by black fiendish shapes which were about to fall on him like a flood, deluge him utterly. His only weapon was his staff, but he wielded it defiantly; and in his eyes was a hot, potent look of extremity and triumph, as if he discovered within himself some capacity for peril that made him unconquerable.

Elena said, “Ahanna names this painting ‘Lord Mhoram’s Victory’. She is a prophet, I think.”


The painting causes Elena to become pensive:
Quote:
“This picture disturbs me,” she said. “Where am I? If Mhoram is so sorely beset, why am I not at his side? How have I fallen, that he is so alone?” She brushed her fingertips over Mhoram’s lone, beleaguered, invincible stance. “It is in my heart that this war will go beyond me.”


Elena then states that it is time to go. They must go and meet an Unfettered One. Up they climb through the back of Revelstone, to the uplands behind that great place. Here the area is protected from invading armies by the cliffs to the east and south and mountains to the north. It is a place where Revelstone can keep and store a great supply of provisions if needed. It also contains one of the great wonders of the Land – Glimmermere.

Glimmermere is a great pool of crystal clear water – yet it is more than just water. Elena and Covenant arrive by the shore and must cleanse themselves in the water before they can meet the Unfettered One. The water is unlike anything Covenant has ever seen. When Elena dives in, he can’t see any of her under the water! Only the rocky bottom of the pool. Elena explains that the water here is like other water, only stronger – it has Earthpower in it and it doesn’t recognize their flesh. When he places his own hand in the water he can’t see anything of himself that is in the water! Diving into the tingling cold water heals his sore ribs immediately. He can also see, underwater, what he couldn’t see from above. He also finds that the pool is immeasurably deep, even at the shore. The rocks on the bottom are a trick of sight. It only seems shallow. They frolic playfully in the water but they can’t remain long, though they don’t need to. Glimmermere has cleansed them. They dry off in the verdant grass that surrounds the pool

The chapter ends with the arrival of the Unfettered One – the interpreter of dreams. Covenant is called away alone to meet with him. He pauses, before he follows, to lace up his boots, a symbol of the “real world”.
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PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2003 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chapter 10 -Seer and Oracle:

The action in this chapter takes place a day after the events in Glimmermere. Covenant has been told by the Unfettered One that he “dreams the truth” and that those who dream the truth are the true enemies of Despite. Another thing Covenant wants to hear.

Covenant seeks out Mhoram, finding him in his chambers. In the process, Covenant asks questions that cut to the heart of the problems that the Lords face in defending the Land. This is, arguably, the most significant conversation the two ever have. The answers he receives reveal a lot, both about the plight of the Lords and about Mhoram himself. Yet the questions help Mhoram, upon reflection over time, to refocus, offering insight into dangerous knowledge.

Here are the highlights of that conversation:

Mhoram talking about the Krill:
Quote:
“…if the Krill were free, it would not help us. It is a power altogether new to us. …”


About Amok, Mhoram speculates:
Quote:
“Perhaps the power here is so perilous that in unwise hands, or ignorant hands, it would do great harm. If that is true then Amok’s purpose is to warn us from any unready use of this power, and to guide our learning.”


Then a question that stuns Mhoram:
Quote:
…”Tell me this. What’s so special about Kevin’s Lore? Why are you so hot to follow it? If you need power, why don’t you go out and find it for yourselves, instead of wasting whole generations of perfectly decent people on a bunch of incomprehensible Wards?”


Mhoram gives the type of rambling answer that one gives when forced to explain something that is self-evident, at least to the point of view of the answerer. Mhoram, to boil everything down, answers that Kevin’s Lore is all the Lords have at this time.
Quote:
“…we might try to strive to master the Earthpower in our own way. But the risk forbids.”
Yet the seeds are planted to break Mhoram out of the mold cast by his training. To think “outside the box” in a way that will be necessary to solve the riddle of Kevin’s Lore.

Then a question about the Oath of Peace:
Quote:
“…How in the name of all the gods are you going to fight a war – a war, Mhoram, not just fencing around with a bunch of Cavewrights and Ur-Viles! – when everyone you’ve got who is old enough to hold a sword has sworn this Oath of Peace?”…

Mhoram answers, in effect, that the Oath defines who they are.

Mhoram then speculates about the Creator and Lord Foul, and his hope that the Creator was the one who chose Covenant to oppose Lord Foul since it wasn’t Lord Foul but Drool Rockworm who first summoned Covenant to the Land.

The chapter closes with a soldier summoning Mhoram. A messenger has arrived from the Plains of Ra. War is coming. But before the chapter ends, Covenant asks one final question:
Quote:
Covenant gripped the Lord’s gaze, and said, “Tell me something, Mhoram. How did you get away – when that Raver caught you – near Foul’s Creche?”

Mhoram answered with a conscious serenity, a refusal of dismay, which looked like in his gold-flecked eyes. “The Bloodguard with me were slain. But when samadhi raver touched me, he knew me as I knew him. He was daunted.”


Here then, for the first time, if it was not sensed already, is a true sense of Mhoram’s stature in the Land. If the number one servant of the enemy is daunted by Mhoram, (I count samadhi first among the three ravers because Foul seems to give him all the “plum” assignments – but we can argue that in another thread.) then here is a man who, despite the limitations of his lore, has the stature to be compared to the legendary Old Lords!
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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2003 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Damelon wrote:
Quote:
Covenant gripped the Lord's gaze, and said, "Tell me something, Mhoram. How did you get away - when that Raver caught you - near Foul's Creche?"

Mhoram answered with a conscious serenity, a refusal of dismay, which looked like danger in his gold-flecked eyes. "The Bloodguard with me were slain. But when samadhi raver touched me, he knew me as I knew him. He was daunted."


Here then, for the first time, if it was not sensed already, is a true sense of Mhoram's stature in the Land. If the number one servant of the enemy is daunted by Mhoram, (I count samadhi first among the three ravers because Foul seems to give him all the "plum" assignments - but we can argue that in another thread.) then here is a man who, despite the limitations of his lore, has the stature to be compared to the legendary Old Lords!
YES!! YES!! YES!! Oh damn I love it!! One of the greatest moments of my favorite character in TCTC. (OK, tied with Foamfollower Smile ) Even before he touched Mhoram, samadhi must have known how little of Kevin's Lore the New Lords knew. When he touched Mhoram, he didn't sense knowledge - he sensed a spirit that has no idea what it means to fail or quit!! A spirit that finds a way to succeed when there is no way!! Since it's coming up in several chapters, I won't quote how we see Mhoram display this on Kevin's Watch. But I can't wait until TPTP for this quick quote:
Quote:
"Triock, you're making a big mistake if you ever assume that Mhoram is helpless."

"The Unbeliever speaks truly," Foamfollower said. "The son of Variol is a man of many resources. Much that may appear impossible is possible for him."

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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2003 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Near the end of Lord Foul's Bane, Mhoram actually attacks Lord Foul with his Lordsfire. He is the only one of the New Lords and maybe even the Old Lords to do such a thing.
I have always believed that Foul feared him more than any other born in the Land.
When Mhoram was near Foul's Creche on his scouting trip, Foul could have sent out an army to grab him, but chose to send out some ur-viles with a Raver at their head. I believe that this was to specifically test Mhoram (if the Raver succeeded in taking him over, that would have been a nice bonus, too).
Foul must have been even more afraid of him after the Raver took Mhoram's measure.
And I believe that the Ravers hated him ever after that. Why else would they Spoiler:
name the leader of the Clave what they did? Those three held a grudge for millenia!

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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2003 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Truly prophetic indeed,
Quote:
“Ahanna names this painting ‘Lord Mhoram’s Victory’


I don't kno if my memory is faulty or not, but it seems 2 me u (mayb purposely) left out the naughty parts in Glimmermere. Must read b4 can comment. I agree w/Fist, stellar job and insights in Seer & Oracle!

It's apparent u've worked ur "Young at Heart" tail off on this Damelon...it is very much appreciated by all!! The true love of this material is lighting up the Watch! Very Happy
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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2003 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the best college professors I ever had would play a game with us with each work of literature we read for class. He would challenge us to come up with key short quotes that would sum up the message of the work, or would sum up a character in a few short words. Damelon has found one of those keys for the flavor of Mhoram.
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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2003 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

danlo wrote:
I don't kno if my memory is faulty or not, but it seems 2 me u (mayb purposely) left out the naughty parts in Glimmermere. Must read b4 can comment. I agree w/Fist, stellar job and insights in Seer & Oracle!


It's not really as racy, in Glimmermere as in later scenes, but perhaps I should have quoted these two paragraphs.

After swimming playfully in Glimmermere, pushing each other under water etc. the frolic ends with a kiss.

Quote:
Abruptly, all the air burst from his lungs as if she had kicked his sore ribs. He thrust away from her, scrambled back to the surface. Coughing and gasping, he thrashed over to the edge of the pool where he left his boots, and climbed out to collapse on the grass.

His chest hurt as though he had reinjured his ribs, but he knew he had not. The first touch of Glimmermere's waters had effaced his bruises, simply washed them away, and they did not ache now. This was another pain; in his exertions underwater he seemed to have wrenched his heart.


Later on is when the sparks really fly.

Thanks for the kind words. Embarassed Smile
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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2003 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Damelon wrote:


After swimming playfully in Glimmermere, pushing each other under water etc. the frolic ends with a kiss.



That's my favourite bit Wink Hee Hee!!!

Hug and Kiss
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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2003 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They are well deserved, Damelon! Smile
I feel sorry for whomever comes next after the great job done by you, Danlo, Fist & Faith, and Birdy. Shocked Shocked Shocked
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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2003 1:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, for my part, I'll have to give most of the credit to SRD. GILDEN-FIRE is a most extraordinary chapter!! I don't know about everyone else's experience, but I had read the 1st Chronicles, and at least part of the 2nd, before I heard of GILDEN-FIRE. When I read it, I could have passed out from joy! So different from anything else in any of the books, and chock-full of Haruchai info! It's darned difficult to do a bad job of dissecting this stuff!
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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2003 4:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well Duchess, looks like I'm next...

I'll try to keep up the stellar work that has been offered up so far...

I agree with most everyone else - here is where we see the beginning of Mhoram's rise to power & knowledge - now off to war!!

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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2003 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your right FnF. Given the material, its easy to put together a good summary. Smile

Earthblood - I know that you'll do a good job. Smile
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The brief conversation between the High Lord and the Unbeliever has always stayed with me for some reason. I guess it has stayed in my memory because Covenant briefly lets his guard down, however indirectly, to admit he is moved by the Land's plight. He clings to what he perceives as facts (facts reflecting his assertion that the "real world" is the only one that counts), though he is letting it slip that he wants to care about the Land. At least, that's what I've always felt about reading his "No, I hate them, they're all I've got" remark.

In The Illearth War chapter 9 was wrote:
He lay panting face down on the grass, and after a while, his breathing relaxed. He became aware of other sensations. The cold, tart touch of the water left his whole body excited; he felt cleaner than he had at any time since he had learned of his leprosy. The sun was warm on his back, and his fingertips tingled vividly. And his heart ached when Elena joined him on the grass.

He could feel her eyes on him before she asked quietly, "Are you happy in your world?"

Clenching himself, he rolled over, and found that she sat close to him, regarding him softly. Unable to resist the sensation, he touched a strand of her wet hair, rubbed it between his fingers. Then he lifted his gray, gaunt eyes to meet her gaze. The way he held himself made his voice unintentionally harsh. "Happiness has got nothing to do with it. I don't think about happiness. I think about staying alive."

"Could you be happy here?"

"That's not fair. What would you say if I asked you that?"

"I would say yes." But a moment later she saw what he meant, and drew herself up. "I would say that happiness lies in serving the Land. And I would say that there is no happiness in times of war."

He lay back on the grass so that he would not have to look at her. Bleakly, he murmured, "Where I come from, there is no 'Land.' Just 'ground.' Dead. And there's always war."

After a short pause, she said with a smile in her voice, "If I have heard rightly, it is talk such as this which makes Hiltmark Quaan angry with you."

"I can't help it. It's the simple fact."

"You have a great respect for facts."

He breathed carefully around his sore heart before answering. "No. I hate them. They're all I've got."

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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 1:25 pm    Post subject: The Illearth War: Chapters 9 & 10 Reply with quote

Cord Hurn wrote:
The brief conversation between the High Lord and the Unbeliever has always stayed with me for some reason. I guess it has stayed in my memory because Covenant briefly lets his guard down, however indirectly, to admit he is moved by the Land's plight. He clings to what he perceives as facts (facts reflecting his assertion that the "real world" is the only one that counts), though he is letting it slip that he wants to care about the Land. At least, that's what I've always felt about reading his "No, I hate them, they're all I've got" remark.

In The Illearth War chapter 9 was wrote:
He lay panting face down on the grass, and after a while, his breathing relaxed. He became aware of other sensations. The cold, tart touch of the water left his whole body excited; he felt cleaner than he had at any time since he had learned of his leprosy. The sun was warm on his back, and his fingertips tingled vividly. And his heart ached when Elena joined him on the grass.

He could feel her eyes on him before she asked quietly, "Are you happy in your world?"

Clenching himself, he rolled over, and found that she sat close to him, regarding him softly. Unable to resist the sensation, he touched a strand of her wet hair, rubbed it between his fingers. Then he lifted his gray, gaunt eyes to meet her gaze. The way he held himself made his voice unintentionally harsh. "Happiness has got nothing to do with it. I don't think about happiness. I think about staying alive."

"Could you be happy here?"

"That's not fair. What would you say if I asked you that?"

"I would say yes." But a moment later she saw what he meant, and drew herself up. "I would say that happiness lies in serving the Land. And I would say that there is no happiness in times of war."

He lay back on the grass so that he would not have to look at her. Bleakly, he murmured, "Where I come from, there is no 'Land.' Just 'ground.' Dead. And there's always war."

After a short pause, she said with a smile in her voice, "If I have heard rightly, it is talk such as this which makes Hiltmark Quaan angry with you."

"I can't help it. It's the simple fact."

"You have a great respect for facts."

He breathed carefully around his sore heart before answering. "No. I hate them. They're all I've got."


I love it when Covenant gives the Land's people a glimpse at his depiction of the 'real' world; he paints such a damning picture.

Apart from his two lengthier 'real-world' parables ('Culture Shock' and 'the Dancing Woman'), the First Chronicles are littered with Covenant's bitter comparisons of the Land's depth and grandeur to the brutally mundane 'real-world'; the people of the Land seem to be left with the impression that Covenant's world is a Hell.

I find a rare bit of humour in the way Elena responds to Covenant's typical petulance; it's part of what makes her such a charming character.
It's no surprise that she reports Quaan's inability to countenance Covnant's cynicism as making the Hiltmark 'angry'; the same stalwart has no problem buddying up with the far more idealistic, naive Hile Troy.
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 9:51 pm    Post subject: Re: The Illearth War: Chapters 9 & 10 Reply with quote

SleeplessOne wrote:
It's no surprise that she reports Quaan's inability to countenance Covnant's cynicism as making the Hiltmark 'angry'; the same stalwart has no problem buddying up with the far more idealistic, naive Hile Troy.


Interesting point, SleeplessOne! I think Quaan is a character who sees things in absolutes, things and causes are either "good" or "bad", "worthy" or "unworthy", so naturally he does not appreciate Thomas Covenant's description of the world in a less-becoming, less-appealing light, with suggestions of moral ambiguity. (I think Quaan has also never forgiven Covenant for his insensitive remark after the battle of Soaring Woodhelven that it was all "for a couple of corpses" when it was discovered that the Lords Tamarantha and Variol had died). Hile Troy readily views the Land as "good" and fighting its enemies as "good", so perhaps it's no mystery that Quaan bonds well with him, for along with their similarities in military background they share a similar moral philosophy. Everything for Quaan and Troy is clear-cut and unambiguous, "black or white". Neither one of them can really stand Covenant, and I think it's because of the difference they have with him on outlook.
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