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The Power That Preserves, Chap 19: Ridjeck Thome

 
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2003 4:00 pm    Post subject: The Power That Preserves, Chap 19: Ridjeck Thome Reply with quote

Since Earthfriend isn't around to post, Danlo did a little rearranging. I'm now doing the dissection for this chapter.

Quote:
He awoke with the acrid taste of brimstone in his mouth, and ashes in his heart. At first, he could not remember where he was; he could not identify the ruined ground on which he lay, or the rasp of sulfur in his throat, or the sunless sky; he could not recollect the cause of his loneliness. How could anyone be so alone and still go on breathing? But after a time he began to notice a smell of sweat and disease under the brimstone.
Sweat, he murmured. Leprosy. He remembered.

After the most arduous journey of his life, Thomas Covenant awoke alone in a living hell. The giant that had aided him must have perished in the Hotash Slay, sacrificing himself with the hope that Covenant will fulfill his mission.
Quote:
Foamfollower must haved saved him from the heat by exerting power through him, in the same way that the Giants propelled boats by exerting power throught Gildenlode rudders. He shook his head at Foamfollower's valor. He did not know how he could go on without the help of a friend.

Got to love those Giants! Smile
Covenant was both physically and mentally exhausted yet he knew his quest had not ended. Even more terrible than standing on Ridjeck Thome, was the thought of standing there alone.
Quote:
And he would have to do it as Bannor or Foamfollower would have done it--dispassionately and passionately, fighting and refusing to fight, both at once--because he had learned one more reason why he would have to seek out the Despiser. Surrounded in his mind by all his victims, he found that there was only one good answer still open to him.
That answer was a victory over Despite.

Only by defeating Lord Foul could he give meaning to all the lives which had been spent in his name, and at the same time preserve himself, the irremediable fact of who he was.

Thomas Covenant: Unbeliever. Leper.

Uncertain as to why he still remained in the land after Foamfollower's death, he steadied himself and continued the long march. Soon he spotted his destination and the perhaps the whole purpose of his first calling to the Land.
Quote:
But he gave little attention to the landscape. His eyes were drawn by the magnet of the Creche itself. He had guessed from what he had heard that most of Lord Foul's home lay underground, and now he saw that this must be true. The promontory rose to a high pile of rock at its tip, and there the Creche stood. Two matched towers, as tall and slender as minarets, rose several hundred feet in the air, and between them at ground level was the dark open hole of the single entrance.

After much belabored walking and climbing, Covenant reaches the ugly maw of Foul's abode.
The Unbeliever felt alone against all the evil, hate, and despite in the universe. He debated with himself as to what course of action to take but his hesitation cost him and he was captured...
Quote:
The hand did not uncover his mouth, but he was suddenly flipped onto his back.
He found himself looking up into the warm, clean face of Saltheart Foamfollower.
The Giant made a silencing gesture, then released him.
At once, Covenant flung his arms around Foamfollower's neck, hugged him, clung to his strong neck like a child. A joy like sunrise washed the darkness out of him, lifted him up into hope as if it were the pure, clear dawn of a new day.

This scene could nearly bring tears to your eyes as faith returned to both Covenant and the reader.
Foamfollower's giantish resistance to fire prevented his demise in the lavaflow. Something greater had occured in Hotash Slay.
Quote:
I [Foamfollower] am not althogether certain. My friend, I think you have not forgotten the Giantish caamora, the ritual fire of grief...
In addition--it will surprise you to hear that I believe your wild magic succored me in some degree. Before I threw you from my shoulders, I felt--some power sharing strength with me, just as I shared strength with you.

With a little planning the pair plot to ambush the guardian and enter the Creche. Foamfollower makes quick work of the monster. At Covenant's behest, the Giant does not kill the guardian. Foamfollower recommits himself to the protection and guidance of the Unbeliever and then they enter Ridjeck Thome. After careful searching, the pair reach the depths of Foul's Creche and a secret entrance foretold by the jheherrin.
Quote:
"There, " Foamfollower breathed softly, pointing at one of the entrances. " There is the the thronehall of Ridjeck Thome. There Soulcrusher holds the Illearth Stone."

Before the can escape, an ur-vile restrains seemingly surrendering Covenant to the surprise of Foamfollower.
Quote:
"Covenant!" he cried in protest.
Deliberately, Covenant's gaze flicked away from the Giant--bored intensely into him and then jumped away, pulling Foamfollower's eyes with it.
The Giant turned in spite of himself, and saw another Giant standing across the hall from him. The newcomer's fists were clenched on his hips, and he was one of the three brothers who had fallen victim to the Ravers. Like Elena, theis tormented soul had been resurrected to serve Soulcrusher.
Before Foamfollower could react, the door to the thronehall opened, then closed behind Covenant.

This poor Giant was a victim, first a slave to the Illearth Stone and a Raver but then a slave to the broken law of death. The fate of the Land is about to be decided....
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"Hither came Conan, the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet."

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2003 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shocked Superb! Thanks for subbing Kins! Salty RULES!!! Cool Cool Cool
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2003 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was a pretty brutal scene with Kinslaughterer! Sad He's like Elena at the Colossus, not possessed, but under Foul's control. We never get to see the triplets as glorious Giants! Sad Sad Sad Sad

And thanks for stepping in on short notice, KS! Smile
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2003 3:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

great job Kins!! Smile Smile

Bone chilling, that last part of the chapter...

Quote:
He pressed against the door to measure its strength, "Covenant," he said over his shoulder, "my friend, the end is near. Cling to your courage for one moment longer. I will break open this door. When I do, you must run at once into the thronehall. Go to the Stone--before any power intervenes." Still Covenant did not reply. "Unbeliever! We are at the end. Do not falter now."

In a ghastly voice, Covenant said, "You don't need to break it down."

Foamfollower whirled, springing away from the door.

The Unbeliever stood in the center of the hall. He was not alone.

An ur-vile loremaster stood before him, slavering from its gaping nostrils. In its hands, it held chains, shackles.

As Foamfollower watched in horror, it locked the shackles onto Covenant's wrists. Leading him by the chain, it took him to the door of the thronehall.

The Giant started toward his friend. But Covenant's terrible gaze stopped him. In the dark, starved bruises of Covenant's eyes, he read something he cold not answer. The Unbeliever was trying to tell him something, something for which he did not have words. Foamfollower had studied the injury which other ur-viles had done to Covenant, but he could not fathom t he depth of a misery which could make a man surrender to Demondim-spawn.

"Covenant!" he cried in protest.

Deliberately, Covenant's gaze flicked away from the Giant--bored intensely into him and then jumped away, pulling Foamfollower's eyes with it.

The Giant turned in spite of himself, and saw another Giant standing across the hall from him. The newcomer's fists were clenched on his hips, and he was grinning savagely. Foamfollower recognized him as one of the three brothers who had fallen victim to the Ravers. Like Elena, this tormented soul had been resurrected to serve Soulcrusher.

Before Foamfollower could react, the door to the thronehall opened, then closed behind Covenant.

At the same time, all the other doors leaped open, pouring stone-made monsters into the hall.


That "ghastly" voice made me shudder. Covenant's "dark starved eyes" made me wince. Kinslaughter's savage grin made me say "oh dear lord" right out loud. And then the door shut behind Covenant...

Chilling.
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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: Mon Oct 06, 2003 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very well done, Kins...
Yes, the ending of that chapter has ALWAYS given my cold chills, just as the return of Foamy always makes me cry like a baby. Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2003 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aww, you posted all the best quotes already! Laughing Oh, well, a little repetition never hurt anyone... Laughing

Quote:
He awoke with the acrid taste of brimstone in his mouth, and ashes in his heart. At first, he could not remember where he was; he could not identify the ruined ground on which he lay, or the rasp of sulfur in his throat, or the sunless sky; he could not recollect the cause of his loneliness. How could anyone be so alone and still go on breathing?


Quote:
He was helpless. His attacker could have broken his back with one swift wrench. But the hands only held him still - asserting their mastery over him, waiting for him to relax, submit.

With an effort, he forced his muscles to unclench.

The hand did not uncover his mouth, but he was suddenly flipped onto his back.

He found himself looking up into the warm, clean face of Saltheart Foamfollower.

The Giant made a silencing gesture, then released him.

At once, Covenant flung his arms around Foamfollower's neck, hugged him, clung to his strong neck like a child. A joy like sunrise washed the darkness out of him, lifted him up into hope as if it were the pure, clear dawn of a new day.

Foamfollower returned the embrace for a moment, then disentangled it and moved stealthily away. Covenant followed, though his eyes were so full of tears that he could hardly see where he was going. The Giant led him from the abutment to the far side of one of the towers. There they were hidden from the warder, and the rumble of the waves covered their voices. Grinning happily, Foamfollower whispered, "Please pardon me. I hope I have not harmed you. I have been watching for you, but did not see you. When you gained the parapet, I could not call without alerting that Foul-spawn. And I feared that in your surprise, you might betray your presence."

Covenant blinked back his tears. His voice shook with joy and relief as he said, "Pardon you? You scared me witless."

Foamfollower chuckled softly, hardly able to contain his own pleasure. "Ah, my friend, I am greatly glad to see you once again. I feared I had lost you in Hotash Slay - feared you had been taken prisoner - feared - ah! I had a host of fears."

"I thought you were dead." Covenant sobbed once, then caught hold of himself, steadied himself. Brusquely, he wiped his eyes so that he could look at the Giant.

Foamfollower appeared beautifully healthy. He was naked - he had lost his raiment in the fires of the Slay - and from head to foot his flesh was clean and well. The former extremity of his gaze had been replaced by something haler, something serene; his eyes gleamed with laughter out of their cavernous sockets. The alabaster strength of his limbs looked as solid as marble; and except for a few recent scrapes received while scrambling from Hotash Slay to the Creche, even his old battle-scars were gone, effaced by a fire which seemed to have refined him down to the marrow of his bones. Nothing about him showed that he had been through agony.

Yet Covenant received and impression of agony, of transcending pain which had fundamentally altered the Giant. Somehow in Hotash Slay, Foamfollower had carried his most terrible passions through to their apocalypse.

Covenant steadied himself with sea air, and repeated, "I thought you were dead."

The Giant's happiness did not falter. "As did I. This outcome is an amazement to me, just as it is to you. Stone and Sea! I would have sworn that I would die. Covenant, the Despiser can never triumph entirely over a world in which such things occur."


Quote:
He took a deep breath, cursed himself once more as if this were his last chance, and stepped out of his hiding place.

At once, he felt the warder's gaze spring at him, but he tried to ignore it, strove to pick his way up toward the cave with at least a semblance of nonchalance. Gripping his hands behind him, whistling tunelessly through his teeth, he walked forward as if he expected free admittance to Foul's Creche.

<snip>

Fighting cockiness, he strode up the apron until he was almost within sword reach of the warder. There he stopped, deliberately scrutinized the figure for a moment. When he had surveyed it from head to foot, he met its powerful gaze again, and said with all the insolence he could muster, "Don't tell Foul I'm here. I want to surprise him."


Quote:
"Foamfollower!" Covenant protested.

Foamfollower thrust himself up from the unconscious figure, faced Covenant with the sword clenched in one fist.

"Don't kill it."

Panting slightly at his exertion, the Giant said, "It will alert the Creche against us when it recovers." His expression was grim, but not savage.

"There's been enough killing," Covenant replied thickly. "I hate it."

For a moment, Foamfollower held Covenant's gaze. Then he threw back his head and began to laugh.

Covenant felt suddenly weak with gratitude. His knees almost buckled under him. "That's better," he mumbled in relief. Leaning against one wall of the entry, he rested while he treasured the Giant's mirth.


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

Yay! Foamfollower is back! Very Happy

I love the way Covenant greets him. He gives Foamfollower a big hug and starts crying from happiness! When else has he ever been that happy to see anyone? Laughing Very Happy

~Foamy~
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2003 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
"Covenant, the Despiser can never triumph entirely over a world in which such things occur."
What a great line!!!


Foamfollower1013 wrote:
I love the way Covenant greets him. He gives Foamfollower a big hug and starts crying from happiness! When else has he ever been that happy to see anyone? Laughing Very Happy
And who among us would not have done the same?? Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2003 3:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right! I cry from happiness just reading about it! Smile
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2016 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
One figure as tall as a Giant stood before the cave. It had three heads, three sets of eyes so that it could watch in all directions, three brawny legs forming a tripod to give it stability. Its three arms were poised in constant readiness. Each held a gleaming broadsword, each was protected with heavy leather bands. A long leather buckler girded its torso. At first, Covenant saw no movement to indicate that the figure was alive. But then it blinked, drew his attention to its fetid yellow eyes. They roamed the hilltop constantly, searching for foes. When they flicked across the gap through which he peered, he recoiled as if he had been discovered.

But if the figure saw him, it gave no sign. After a moment, he calmed his apprehension. The warder was not placed to watch any part of the promontory except the last approaches to the cave; virtually all his trek from Hotash Slay had been out of the figure's line of sight. So he was safe where he crouched. But if he wanted to enter Foul's Creche, he would have to pass that warder.

He had no idea how to do so. He could not fight the creature. He could not think of any way to trick it. And the longer he waited for some kind of inspiration, the larger his fear and weakness became.

Rather than remain where he was until he paralyzed himself, he squirmed on his belly up through the boulders to the fortification on one side of the entrance. Hiding behind the parapet almost directly below and behind the twin towers, he clenched himself to quiet his breathing, and tried to muster his courage for the only approach he could conceive--drop over the parapet into the entryway and try to outrun the warder. He was so close to the figure now that he felt sure it could smell his sweat, hear the reel of his dizziness and the labor of his heart.

Yet he could not move. He felt utterly exposed to the towers, though he was out of sight of the windows; yet he could not make himself move. He was afraid. Once he showed himself--once the warder saw him--Foul's Creche would be warned. All Foamfollower's effort and sacrifice, all the aid of the jheherrin, would be undone in an instant. He would be alone against the full defenses of Ridjeck Thome.

Damnation! he panted to himself. Come on, Covenant! You're a leper--you ought to be used to this by now.

Foul's Creche was a big place. If he could get past the warder, he might be able to avoid capture for a while, might even be able tofind the secret door of which the jheherrin had spoken. This if was no greater than any other. He was trapped between mortal inadequacy and irrefusable need; he had long ago lost the capacity to count costs, measure chances.

He braced his hands on the stone, breathed deeply for a moment.


I see this as more of the paradox of being the white gold bearer. Covenant is potentially very mighty with what he can do with the wild magic, if the songs and prophecies are correct, but he can do so little himself without someone like Foamfollwer to help him. Thank goodness we get Foamfollower back in this chapter! Smile
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2016 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cord Hurn wrote:
I see this as more of the paradox of being the white gold bearer. Covenant is potentially very mighty with what he can do with the wild magic, if the songs and prophecies are correct, but he can do so little himself without someone like Foamfollwer to help him. Thank goodness we get Foamfollower back in this chapter! Smile


What do you make of the name, Ridjeck Thome?

I find it interesting that the three-headed warder had three broadswords, and in Tarot the 3 of Swords is one of the most negative of the entire pack. It's meaning includes: mental illness, depression, rejection. Just like Covenant's potential. Leper Outcast Unclean! Is Ridjeck, rejection?
With the word 'thome' as an obsolete word for thumb, there's something quite odious about the notion of two towers looming over Covenant. Like salt rubbed into the wound of having only one thumb.

As you rightly state, without Foamfollower he was lost.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rune wrote:
What do you make of the name, Ridjeck Thome?


Rune, to my ears, "ridjeck" sounds a lot like "reject", as you have pointed out. And "thome" reminds me of the word "home". So, every time I've read the name, "Ridjeck Thome", it makes me think of how Lord Foul the Despiser is determined to reject the Earth as being his home. Instead, he sees it as his prison, and even the cold perfection of his domain serves as a rejection to the warm soothing vitality of the Land.

Of course, I cannot be sure of SRD's intentions when he came up with the name, but "Ridjeck Thome" certainly makes me feel like the Despiser is re-affirming his intention to reject the Earth as his home by naming his creation in that way. That's my best guess. Smile
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cord Hurn wrote:
Of course, I cannot be sure of SRD's intentions when he came up with the name, but "Ridjeck Thome" certainly makes me feel like the Despiser is re-affirming his intention to reject the Earth as his home by naming his creation in that way. That's my best guess. Smile


What impressed me was the idea of Ridjeck Thome set in the surroundings of utter devastation. Hotash Slay is almost Biblical, in an odd sort of way, resembling The Lake of Fire in Revelations.

It's entirely possible SRD'S intentions, as JRRT had shown in LOTR, what it would be like if the evil Lord really did have 'Victory' over the Land. But without the ring in his possession the world would remain an eternal hellish prison, not only for Lord Foul but for the rest of us too.

And still Thomas Covenant comes through for us. With the help of Foamfollower, of course. Very Happy
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