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The Power That Preserves, Chapter 10: Pariah

 
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variol son
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2003 12:02 am    Post subject: The Power That Preserves, Chapter 10: Pariah Reply with quote

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! Eeek this is so late! im so sorry, family emergency stuff. anyway, on with the show. im gonna stick 2 the main things here, TC & lena, pietten, & then resolution of the bargain TC made with the ranyhyn. lets go........

Quote:
She sat slack against the wall as if she has decided to freeze to death rather than acknowledge the fact that the man she loved was a murderer.


Quote:
'I do not want your comfort, Unbeliever. You have not been her father. It is a father's place to love his daughter, and you did not love her. Do not mistake my frail grief - I will not forget what you have done.'


Quote:
...'I don't want you to forget.'...'I don't want anyone to forget.'


TC and Lena are alone in Foul's winter after the last Ramen covert has been betrayed. Sent fleeing by Bannor, they are lost and alone, and Lena has learned that TC had a hand in Elena's death. The exchanges between the two near the beginning of the chapter are short, but heartbreaking. It is as if Lena's illusions are finally breaking up, and the cold, harsh light of reality is beginning to invade. Then, when it looks like the two are going to do nothing more productive than freeze to death, Pietten shows up.

Quote:
'You would be dead five times if I had not chosen to watch over you.'


Pietten leads them through the winter, throwing taunts and insults the whole way, then when he finally stops, he reveals that it is he who has betrayed the Ranyhyn, although he believes he is saving them.

Quote:
'They were murdered by Ramen!'...'You feast on Ranyhyn flesh like jackals.'


Quote:
For a moment, Pietten's eyes lost their focus. Dimly, he murmered, 'I must take it to him. He will use it to save the Ranyhyn.'


And we get to see a hint of the madness that the ur-viles inflicted on him at Soaring Woodhelven.

Poetten then tells TC that Foamfollower is the last of the giants, and that the Ranyhyn cannot flee because of their promise to him.

Quote:
'I remember that the Ranyhyn reared to you. I remember that I strove to stop you. But you had already chosen to betray them. You bound them with promises - promises which you knew they could not break. Therefore the Ranyhyn cannot seek the safety of the mountains. They are shackled by commitments which you forced from them, you! You are the true butcher, Ringthane, I have lived my life for the chance to slay you.'


Quote:
'Are they dying because you made them promise to visit me each year?'


Quote:
'That's only part - Even if they went to the mountains, they could still reach you. I - I - ' his voice ached thickly - 'I made them promise to save me - if I ever called them. I did it for myself.'


This proves to be more than Lena can handle. She bolts, there is lots of general confusion, and eventually she falls to pietten.

Quote:
With one savage blow he stabbed her in the stomach, spiked her to the frozen earth.


As Pietten is about to kill TC, he summons a Ranyhyn, which Pietten accidently stabs. Frozen with the horror of what he has done, Pietten doesn't even react as TC puts to death the last member of Soaring Woodhelven. He then has his final moments with Lena...

Quote:
'Lena,' he panted. 'Lena.'

'I love you,' she replied in a voice wet with blood. 'I have not changed.'

'Lena.' He struggled to return her smile, but the attempt convulsed his face as if he were about to shriek.

Her hand reached towards him, touched his forehead as if to smooth away his scowl. 'Free the Ranyhyn,' she whispered.

The plea took her last strength. She died with blood streaming between her lips.


...and, remembering how he had just broken his promise not to kill anymore, a promise he happened to make after the battle of Soaring Woodhelven, TC fulfils his queen's dying wish.

Quote:
'Go on,' he insisted thickly. 'You're free. You've got to tell them. In the - in the name of Kelenbhrabanal, Father of Horses. Go.'


Quote:
For an instant, he thought he could see it silhouetted against the night, rearing. Then it was gone.


The first time, the Ranyhyn reared out of fear. Every other time was out of obligation. I always thought that this one last time, it might just be out of respect.

Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad

its a bit short i know, but i didnt have long & i discovered the chapter was a bit 2 emotional 2 do quickly. sorry again 4 the delay.

sum sui generis
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In the name of their ancient pride and humiliation, they had made commitments with no possible outcome except bereavement.

He knew only that they had never striven to reject the boundaries of themselves.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2003 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh sigh, such sadness and pain. I remember thinking..."she was just left there, Lena was just left there." Her life was such a tragedy. Sad So was Pietten's. And for that matter, Covenant's. But, what a tragic end for Lena.

And what a way for Covenant to finally find out about the Giants...

Quote:
"Do you think the Giant is here out of love? You are anile--sick with trust. Foamfollower is here because he betrayed his people. Every last Giant, every man, woman, and child of his kindred, lies dead and moldered in Seareach because he abandoned them! He fled rather then defend them! His very bones are made of treachery, and he is here because he can find no one else to betray. All his other companions are dead."

Foamfollower! Covenant cried in stricken silence. All dead? Foamfollower?


Sad

And he leaves Lena and Pietten behind in despair...

Quote:
He did not wait, did not rest. He was past taking any account of the cost of his actions. He caught up Pietten's spear and used it as a staff to hold himself erect. His ankle screamed at him as it dragged the ground, but he set his teeth and struggled away from the fire. As soon as he left the range of it's warmth, his wet clothing began to freeze.

He had no idea where he was headed, but he knew he had to go. On each breath that panted through his locked teeth, he whispered hate as if it were a question.


Your right VS...this chapter is full of grief Sad
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...for then I could fly away and be at rest. Sweet rest, Mom. We all love and miss you.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2003 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's certainly among my most hated deaths ever!! The first time I read it, I was in shock. I read it a few times, thinking, "What?!?!? I must have read that wrong!! Did he just stab her in the stomach????" What a horrifying moment!!!

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2003 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Covenant tried to interrupt, protest, but Pietten rushed on: "Do you think the Giant is here out of love? You are anile - sick with trust. Foamfollower is here because he has betrayed his people. Every last Giant, every man, woman, and child of his kindred, lies dead and moldered in Seareach because he abandoned them! He fled rather than defend them. His very bones are made of treachery, and he is here because he can find no one else to betray. All his other companions are dead."

Foamfollower! Covenant cried in stricken silence. All dead? Foamfollower!

<snip>

Bannor? he moaned. Foamfollower? A livid orange mist filled his sight like the radiance of brimstone. How could he have done so much harm? He had only wanted to survive - had only wanted to extract survival from the raw stuff of suicide and madness. The Giants! - lost like Elena. And now the Ranyhyn were being driven down the same bloody road. Foamfollower? Did I do this to you? He knew that he was defenseless, that he could have done nothing to ward off a spear thrust. But he was staring into the abyss of his own actions and could not look away.

"We're the same," he breathed withough knowing what he was saying. "Foul and I are the same."


Quote:
"All right," he muttered, speaking half to himself. "Go back. Go - tell all the others. Our bargain is over. No more bargains. No more -" The fire was falling into embers, and his voice faded as if he were losing strength along with it. Dark fog blew into him along the wind. But a moment later, he rallied. "No more bargains. Tell them."

The Ranyhyn stood as if it were unwilling to leave him.

"Go on," he insisted thickly. "You're free. You've got to tell them. In the - in the name of Kelenbhrabanal, Father of Horses. Go."

At the sound of that name, the Ranyhyn turned painfully and started to limp out of the hollow. When it reached the crest of the hill, it stopped and faced him once more. For an instant, he thought he could see it silhouetted against the night, rearing. Then it was gone.


------------------

What a way to find out about the Giants. Ouch. Crying or Very sad

~Foamy~
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2003 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Couldn't you all just see this coming? Covenant until he finally confronted Lord Foul seemed to have the anti-Midas touch. Nearly everything he had a hand in managed to blow up in his face and wreck the lives of the people around him. Lena and Pietten's fate were tragic but not suprising.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2003 2:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, not surprising clearfrontier. But, ah..sigh, it still hits you like a brick when you read it. Sad
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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

'You would be dead five times if I had not chosen to watch over you.'
It is horrible to hear anything like this...
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DaliMe wrote:
'You would be dead five times if I had not chosen to watch over you.'
It is horrible to hear anything like this...


surely!
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2016 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This chapter is surely bleak, with Lean being murdered and Pietten spellbound to betray the Ranyhyn he loves. Emotionally heartbreaking passages in this chapter, as others have noted.

This chapter also has interest to me because it ties into a question I asked Stephen R. Donaldson at the 2014 Ehohimfest, although when I asked the question I didn't know this chapter was part of the answer.

My question to SRD was: "In the Afterword to The Real Story, you wrote that a scene in The Power That Preserves was inspired by your seeing a can of disinfectant at the bathroom in a Circle K [a convenience store chain in the U.S.]; what scene was that?" SRD's first reaction was, "I said that? I don't recall!" I replied that, he did, it's written in his Afterword. Then I guessed a later scene in TPTP, and he corrected me by saying he saw the word "putrescence" on the back of the disinfectant can, and it inspired him to write this scene with Pietten and Covenant and Lena, where you can see that Pietten's devotion to the Ranyhyn has been putrefied and betrayed by what Lord Foul had the ur-viles do to him 47 years earlier. That is a connection between inspiration and the written result that I never would have made!

Quote:
With his left hand, Covenant held her behind him. "You betrayed those coverts--you betrayed them all. You're the only one who could have done it. You killed the sentries and showed those marauders how to get in. No wonder you stink of blood."

"It pleases me."

"You betrayed the Ranyhyn!" Covenant raged. "Injured Ranyhyn got slaughtered!"

At this, Pietten jerked forward, brandished his spear viciously. "Hold your tongue, Ringthane!" he snapped. "Do not question my faith. I have fought--I would slay any living creature that raised its hands against the Ranyhyn."

"Do you call that faith? There were injured Ranyhyn in that covert, and they were butchered!"

"They were murdered by Ramen!" Pietten retorted redly. "Vermin! They pretend service to the Ranyhyn, but they do not take the Ranyhyn to the safety of the south. I hold no fealty for them." Lena tried to leap at Pietten again, but Covenant restrained her. "They are like you--and that Giant--and the Bloodguard! Pah! You feast on Ranyhyn-flesh like jackals!"


What a sadly distorted perception of reality Pietten holds, eh? I could feel sorry for him if he wasn't such a stubborn arrogant jerk, and some of that may be his own fault, and not all Foul's doing.
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