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TOT-Chapter 21: Mother's Child
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Seafoam Understone
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2004 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

duchess of malfi wrote:
I think part of what drove the Haruchai nuts about Linden is that they had seen her use remarkable power in TWL...in the healing of her leg, in the use of the voure...but they don't understand her darkness, her combination of lust and fear of power...they do not understand what the Raver and the Sunbane have done to her...

I think at this point in the story they have more faith in Linden's power than she does.

The fact that she will not/cannot use her power for healing others, especially Covenant, is another mark against her in their eyes. Sad


Duchess, I think you hit the nail on the head.. at least the one on my head anyway...
The Haruchai... living in a world where people have mysterious and wonderful powers... Linden who comes from a world (ours) where such places are only fantasies. I see how both are viewing the situation now.
They believe... because it's THEIR world. She is struggling to cope and go along and maintain to realities she is familiar with.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2004 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I gotta admit... I'm a little annoyed when she tell Thomas that the reason Kevin did the Ritual was because of the Bloodguard... Confused Mad
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2004 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well in a lot of ways she was right, but the Bloodguard aren't the ONLY reason Kevin initiated the Ritual. Foul had manipulated Kevin into doing so. Kevin could only see the forest for the trees and thus thought by doing the ROD he could eliminate a terrible threat to the Land and all that he loved. The Bloodguard was just one of those "favorite things".
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seafoam Understone wrote:
Well in a lot of ways she was right, but the Bloodguard aren't the ONLY reason Kevin initiated the Ritual. Foul had manipulated Kevin into doing so. Kevin could only see the forest for the trees and thus thought by doing the ROD he could eliminate a terrible threat to the Land and all that he loved. The Bloodguard was just one of those "favorite things".


But still... it's not their fault... It's both Fouls and Kevins fault... Fouls for forcing despair onto Kevin. And Kevins fault for letting despair take him.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think the Ritual was entirely the Haruchai's fault, but I think Linden has an excellent point. It really would be impossible to be worthy of the kind of service the Bloodguard offered Kevin. The Haruchai see everything in terms of absolutes--there is either success or failure. Mhoram points this out when he's looking at the marrowmeld sculpture of Bannor/Covenant in PTP; Linden points it out here. Over and over again we are reminded that for the Haruchai, pain is immaterial. Fear is immaterial. The only way they measure worth is by success or failure.

In order to be worthy of the Haruchai's service, Kevin had to believe that pain and fear were immaterial--even the Land's pain and fear. All that mattered was success or failure. And in his despair, he thought that the only way to succeed was the Ritual of Desecration. So he failed, and the Vow was corrupted.

It's also this absolutism that allows the Haruchai to judge Linden and find her wanting. She has consistently failed to use her power to help the quest, when her power was the only thing that could save them. The reasons--old pain, darkness of the soul, fear--are immaterial to the Haruchai. By their lights, she failed; and more than failed--she actually turned to Corruption. So according to their judgment, she deserves retribution. One thing about the Haruchai--they're consistent.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2004 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Myste wrote:
I don't think the Ritual was entirely the Haruchai's fault, but I think Linden has an excellent point. It really would be impossible to be worthy of the kind of service the Bloodguard offered Kevin. The Haruchai see everything in terms of absolutes--there is either success or failure. Mhoram points this out when he's looking at the marrowmeld sculpture of Bannor/Covenant in PTP; Linden points it out here. Over and over again we are reminded that for the Haruchai, pain is immaterial. Fear is immaterial. The only way they measure worth is by success or failure.

In order to be worthy of the Haruchai's service, Kevin had to believe that pain and fear were immaterial--even the Land's pain and fear. All that mattered was success or failure. And in his despair, he thought that the only way to succeed was the Ritual of Desecration. So he failed, and the Vow was corrupted.

It's also this absolutism that allows the Haruchai to judge Linden and find her wanting. She has consistently failed to use her power to help the quest, when her power was the only thing that could save them. The reasons--old pain, darkness of the soul, fear--are immaterial to the Haruchai. By their lights, she failed; and more than failed--she actually turned to Corruption. So according to their judgment, she deserves retribution. One thing about the Haruchai--they're consistent.


Spoiler:
Well the thing is the quest didn't fail. Sure Linden didn't do much to help save it but the quest continually found ways to save itself. Either by Covenant, the Haruchai or the Giants done something to help it along. Yeah, they got side-tracked and sorely wounded along the way... but isn't that the way of many quests that we read about? LOTR has examples a plenty about it.

I never said that the Haruchai were to blame for the ROD. Linden said that Kevin did it because he felt that nothing was worthy of their service. This is only partly true. Foul masterfully manipulated Kevin to believe all things were not worth preserving as long as evil was able to keep it's hand in it and corrupt that which was good and pure. So as it's been often said Kevin initiated the ROD along with Foul in hopes of destroying Foul.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2004 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seafoam Understone wrote:
Spoiler:
Well the thing is the quest didn't fail. Sure Linden didn't do much to help save it but the quest continually found ways to save itself. Either by Covenant, the Haruchai or the Giants done something to help it along. Yeah, they got side-tracked and sorely wounded along the way... but isn't that the way of many quests that we read about? LOTR has examples a plenty about it.

I never said that the Haruchai were to blame for the ROD. Linden said that Kevin did it because he felt that nothing was worthy of their service. This is only partly true. Foul masterfully manipulated Kevin to believe all things were not worth preserving as long as evil was able to keep it's hand in it and corrupt that which was good and pure. So as it's been often said Kevin initiated the ROD along with Foul in hopes of destroying Foul.


I don't think anyone's blaming the Haruchai for the RoD entirely, except maybe Linden, who is under considerable strain when she berates them for their unmeetable standards. And I don't think that they judged her for the (possible) failure of the quest; but they certainly judged her for her own personal failures.

Everyone knows that Kevin's despair was caused by Despite--and all the stuff that led to Despite. I guess what Linden's speech did for me wasboth to clarify and confuse the idea of the Haruchai's service. My previous post was a way of working through some those thoughts--I didn't mean to misunderstand you, Seafoam! Smile The idea of service, and of the fact that hope lies in that which is served rather than the servant (which Foamfollower & TC discuss), is fascinating, especially in terms of the Haruchai, who (I think) don't hope at all.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2004 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Linden does have a point about the sacrifice and unbelievably high standards the Bloodguard set for themselves-I'm sure there are many "mortals" who could have driven themselves mad with despair trying and failing to reach those. And, in a sense, feel very paled in comparison, at least.

I finally reread this chapter and it ripped my guts out. Jesus what a living hell her childhood was-but of course the Haruchai don't know this, and if they did probably wouldn't empathize.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2004 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

danlo wrote:
I finally reread this chapter and it ripped my guts out. Jesus what a living hell her childhood was-but of course the Haruchai don't know this, and if they did probably wouldn't empathize.


I agree totally. There's just no room for human frailty in the Haruchai world-view, no matter what the cause is. I want to think that TC Spoiler:
found the answer when in WGW he asked them to guard Revelstone itself, instead of coming with him to Mount Thunder--Revelstone being something that would always be worthy of the extremity of their service.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2004 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, Myste, Spoiler:
that's the only service they will ever have known through all their generations that can neither fail them nor be failed by them.

If you get me started on "Those Who Part," we'll be here all night!! It suffices [a favorite verb in Haruchai English] to say that I don't think "Redeem my people" was an arbitrary word choice. I kept forgetting, until this rereading of TOT, that the Haruchai needed redemption not only from the genocide of the Clave and the memory of Kevin but also from some of their own characteristics and choices as individuals and a people. Their virtues tend to get raised to the status of vices.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2004 3:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent posts Durris and Myste.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 4:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Durris wrote:
Though I admire Covenant's fidelity and mercy to Linden when he uses his power to demand that the Haruchai give up their retribution, I'm conflicted about the morality of this act. There was some justice to their case, though the proposed punishment was excessive. I'm not entirely comfortable with Covenant using the threat of wild magic to obtain their submission. To override a moral claim by ontological intimidation doesn't make the moral claim go away.


Ooh, what a touchy situation. The tension here is just crazy. The face-off between Covenant and Brinn had me conflicted, too. It kinda made me wince to see Covenant basically forcing the Haruchai to drop the issue of Linden. I wonder how much resentment the Haruchai felt at having their case dismissed like that by the ur-Lord.

On the other hand...the Haruchai lost a lot of sympathy from me when Brinn revealed what kind of retribution they wanted. The "proposed punishment was excessive"? Durris, that's what I call an understatement. I was shocked by the Haruchai's request. I never saw it coming. Which is worse: Linden's inner demons or the Haruchai's absolute disregard for mere human weakness? Call me nuts, but the Haruchai's view seems only a few degrees removed from the Despiser's own absolute contempt for human weakness.

Can you imagine Mhoram calling for retribution against Linden? The Oath of Peace can be a good thing after all. Atiaran denied herself revenge against Covenant, even though his crime against her daughter demanded it. Atiaran saw in the Unbeliever matters beyond her ken, so she withheld her hand.

The Haruchai see in the Chosen only "the hand of Corruption," and there is no room in their extreme judgment for any thought of error or uncertainty. They fail to see that the Chosen might be involved in things beyond their ken. Calling for Linden's death is fine and dandy, but without the Sun-Sage around, would the Haruchai be willing to take responsibility for the doom of the Earth? They wouldn't be able to fractionally shrug their way out of that.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Matrixman wrote:
The "proposed punishment was excessive"? Durris, that's what I call an understatement.


I slip into Haruchai patterns of English diction occasionally! Very Happy

Quote:
I was shocked by the Haruchai's request. I never saw it coming. Which is worse: Linden's inner demons or the Haruchai's absolute disregard for mere human weakness? Call me nuts, but the Haruchai's view seems only a few degrees removed from the Despiser's own absolute contempt for human weakness.


Exactly. Bannor saw this in "The Spoiled Plains":
Quote:
I am a Haruchai. We also are not immune. Corruption wears many faces. Blame is a more enticing face than many, but it is none the less a mask for the Despiser.

Unfortunately, Bannor's insight was too advanced, too different from his culture's world view, for his contemporaries and descendants. It wasn't assimilated by the Haruchai as a whole people for a LONG time afterward, until Spoiler:
"Those Who Part" brought them full circle.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Matrixman wrote:
The "proposed punishment was excessive"? Durris, that's what I call an understatement.


But was it? Would you have thought it excessive if she had succeeded? She attempted Ceers life. The only difference between attempted murder and murder is the fact that Cail stopped the thrust of the spear by kicking her. Sure she really didnt have control of what she was doing but the Haruchai dont know that and I dont think they would care if they did. They dont have any room for "grey" areas. Its black and white, good and bad.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, that's a good point, SoulBiter. In most situations, I guess the Haruchai's black and white view of things serves them well--they see through a lot of BS. But here, I think SRD is pointing out the dangers of that simplistic view, if I may put it that way.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I listened to this chapter recently, and was struck by a couple of things.

In The One Tree was wrote:
"I gave her what she wanted. God Himself couldn't do anything except let her suffer, but I gave her what she wanted.

"It was evil."

He started to protest as if he felt more grief than she had ever allowed herself. She cut him off.

"That's why I didn't want to believe in evil. I didn't want to have to look at myself that way. And I didn't want to know your secrets because I didn't want to tell you mine."

I think the clues were there in there in the earlier chapters in TWL. But here it is, in stark black and white. I didn't want to believe in evil. This explains why she was horrified by the hot knife that slew Nassic. This is why Gibbon Raver shook the foundations of her soul. Coming face to face with evil means admitting evil exists means admitting she is evil means facing what she was hiding from herself and hiding herself from all those years.

Also:
In The One Tree was wrote:
She had needed the power to take some kind of action, create some kind of defense; and because her conscious mind lacked the strength, the dark hunger she had inherited from her father's death had raised its head in her. You never loved me anyway. Swarming up from the floorboards of the attic, spewing like a hatred of all life from his stretched and gleeful mouth. His mouth, which should have been open in pain or love. Facing her mother, the blackness had leaped up like a visage of nightmare, had appeared full-formed, precise, and unquestionable not in her mind but rather in her hands, so that her body knew what she meant to do while her brain could only watch and wail, not prevent, control, or even choose.

The blackness is very real in Linden. It is her inner darkness, her inner Despiser. Her father gave it to her. And it kills.

Which I mention because it ties to this next bit:

In The One Tree was wrote:
"All my life" - her hands flinched - "I've had the darkness under control. One way or another. But I had to give that up, so I could get far enough inside you. I didn't have any left for Ceer."

This is something that I had not noted in my earlier reads through this chapter: That the blackness, the one that rose up and killed her mother, rose up again here. And tried to kill Ceer.

Because Linden had nothing left to hold it back. Abandoning herself entirely, she fell like a dying star into the blankness behind which the Elohim had hidden his soul. Linden gave up everything, and that included her ability to keep her blackness in check. And so it emerged.

What this means, to me, is that Linden wasn't trying to slay Ceer because she was dreaming or reliving a memory or otherwise deluded. No. Her lost control, and her memories of her mother, let loose the blackness within her. The evil in her. It came out, and it tried to kill.

Ceer was trying to rise, defend the group against the Hustin. And Linden perceived this as trying to die. Help me rise!

In The One Tree was wrote:
She heard him - and did not hear him. Let me die! She had heard that appeal before, heard it until it had taken command of her. It had become the voice of her private darkness, her intimate hunger. The stone around her was littered with fallen spears, some whole, some broken. Unconsciously, her hands found an iron-tipped section of wood as long as her forearm. When Gibbon-Raver had touched her, part of her had leaped up in recognition and lust: her benighted powerlessness had responded to power. And now that response came welling back from its fountainhead of violence. You never loved me anyway. Silence bereft her of the severe resolve which had kept that black greed under control. Power!

Silence bereft her of the severe resolve which had kept that black greed under control. She took the Elohim silence. And held nothing back. The control was gone. The black greed emerged.

Power! "The power to take some kind of action." The power to kill.

This, I think, explains a lot about Linden's responses in this chapter. She never tries to excuse her act against Ceer as a delusional response. She's a doctor, and she knows that is a perfectly valid excuse, but she doesn't go that way. Instead, she knows, as well as the Haruchai know, that she acted evilly.

No, instead she cries out that they cannot judge her. Not a defense of her action, but an accusation against her judgers.
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