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AMRT Chapter 37 - Poised for Victory

 
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2004 1:34 am    Post subject: AMRT Chapter 37 - Poised for Victory Reply with quote

We leave Terisa & Geraden and are brought back to the scene at Orison. Kragen maintains his siege, without risking further attack until he notices some sort of uprising inside the castle walls - surely a good sign that the inhabitants were starting to feel the pressure of the siege. Now he decided to renew his attack. He sends a battering ram to the wall & it is proptly doused with burning oil, forcing a withdrawl. Kragen decides to send as many 'sacrificial rams' to the wall -
Quote:
Well, the have to run out of oil sometime.


Meanwhile, inside the castle, there is certainly trouble brewing.

Saddith has been running rampant around the castle, stirring the pot of fear & discontent, focusing the people's ire on the Castellan. She shows everyone who can look the damage the Castellen did to her when he beat her.

In one of (IMHO) SRD's better pieces of writing, we witness the emotion of the mob rise to a fever pitch, expecting nothing less than Lebbick's blood & retribution for Saddith's hurts & their own position of being besieged, trapped in Orison.

All the while a 'tall man in a jet cloak' noted the developements, encouraging Saddith to continue her course. The mob is covienently directed to the laborium, where Saddith exposes herself for all to see.
Quote:
Lebbick did this! He did it to me!

The man in the cloak is pleased as she continues, until Lebbick himself arrives to believe it or not, apologize to Saddith & admonish the crowd.
Saddith, of course, will have none of an apology & screams for his blood
Quote:
The man in the jet cloak grinned with undisguised relish.

Hmmm..... I wonder who this guy might be........ Twisted Evil

Lebbick actually manages to catch the attention of the crowd long enough for Saddith to try to take measures into her own hand, only to be 'spitted' by Ribuld's longsword.
We have had many discussions regarding Saddith & her climb to 'prominence' in Orison. She was used to the utmost degree by a ruthless power-mad man, even to her death and it meant nothing to him. She 'made her bed' in the way she acted, but, no one deserves to be sacrificed in such a way. She ended up trying to out-smart Eremis, which was her downfall.
In the aftermath, the mob destroys several mirrors in the laborium before being driven back by Lebbick's guard.

The next day finds the ever arrogant Eremis (have I told you I really don't like this character?) finds himself gleefully engaging the ever drunken Tor in a one sided conversation, delighting in the state he finds the old Lord. Eremis, pokes a delightfully sarcastic question to the Tor:
Quote:
"What has King Joyse been doing?"

The response is one of the best one-liners in the book:
Quote:
"Practicing."

Practicing what you ask????? Hop board????
Not a chance - the Tor answers in the second best one-liner in the book:
Quote:
"Swordsmanship."

The Tor ambles off to find some more wine, leaving Eremis slightly surprised, but even moreso, delighted - this was going to be more fun than he thought.

Eremis can barely contain himself as he visits Barsonage and the Master praises him for his work in "saving" Orison by refilling the resevoir. He comes to the point of his visit - he wants to rejoin the Congery, but oddly, Barsonage goes on about he is too important to be called on like an Apt to meetings and they are only respecting his privacy during the difficult time. - What a load of sheep dung!!!

Barsonage goes on to explain that the Congery has reason to believe that Terisa is an Imager, which Eremis cannot accept, until Barsonage shares the fact that Lebbick told Artagel, in secret that Terisa and Gilbur did NOT leave the laborium together. Rather, Terisa had translated herself into one of the mirrors and Gilbur left via the corridor.. Eremis is a bit confounded - he knows someone has lied to him, but he can't be sure who.

In the end, he comes to the matter he wanted to discuss with Barsonage - how can one translate safely thru flat glass?
He suggests to Barsonage that perhaps a flat mirror could be translated into a curved mirror image, adjusting the flat image to fill the curved mirror and make two simultaneous translations, safely. This appears to make sense to Barsonage & in a flurry, Eremis has 'hooked the fish' on the idea and has accomplished his goal for coming - he has convinced Barsonage to work toward a goal he already knows is impossible - the trick was not in the translation - it was in the glass!!

We are left with the picture of the ever smug & conceited Eremis positively excited at the thought of the coming game.

Have I ever told you how much I don't like this character?????
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2004 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hate him, too. Doesn't SRD paint splendidly loathsome villains? Smile

I feel sorry for Saddith. She was trying to get ahead in the only way she knew how (it's not as if Mordant is crawling with opportunites or good careers for women to get ahead in life) and she was used to her death by a man who is ruthless, and yes -- power mad. Sad She didn't deserve to be beaten to the point of life-long deformity, and she didn't deserve to die. Sad No one deserves to be used like that.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2004 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, and Earthy -- I can't believe you got both this and a chapter up in Dissecting last night. You Rock

Did a great job with both, too. Very Happy Cool
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2004 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Duchess just had to butt in and doublepost like a big shot! Very Happy But it's true-when Darth went down in Dissecting the Land I PMed both of my reserves, then I realized that Earthy had a "Casting" to do as well and tryed to talk him out of it--but he said no--he could handle it.

Well he did a great job on both counts and is truly a testament to the Watch. I just reread the chapter and it's hard to interject anything in edgewise. Earthy truly covered the key points. To echo-yes this is a magnificient piece of writing and it only serves to boil your blood 100xs hotter re: Eremis


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2004 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I totally agree, duchess. About Earthblood's dissection, which is great, and about Saddith.

I don't particularly like Saddith, I think she's a scheming floozie who certainly deserved landing on her butt in a gutter somewhere for betraying Terisa. But I do feel sorry for her. She really ended up bearing the brunt of the Castellan's anger at Terisa.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't think Saddith deserved anything she got. Sad

I hate Eremis in this chapter. Every line I read, he seems on the verge of an orgasm when he think about himself and his "cunning plans". Idiot.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess what really bugs me about Saddith isn't her promiscuity--I mean, if you've got it, flaunt it. It's how she uses it. She uses sex as a tool to get men to raise her status in life. For her, sex is power. Everything she does, she does to increase her status--and no matter where you are, higher status means more power. So how does that make her different from Eremis, except in scale?

I'm not saying she deserved to mutilated--no one deserves that. And she didn't deserve to get impaled, either. Eremis is a hateful bastard. But I still think that in her own--much smaller--way, she's just as much of a user as Eremis is.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Myste wrote:
I guess what really bugs me about Saddith isn't her promiscuity--I mean, if you've got it, flaunt it. It's how she uses it. She uses sex as a tool to get men to raise her status in life. For her, sex is power. Everything she does, she does to increase her status--and no matter where you are, higher status means more power. So how does that make her different from Eremis, except in scale?


I think there were limits to what Saddith would do... I would never think she would murder for power... or anything like that.

yeah, flaunt it... you say... fair enough... but how else was she supposed to get power? She had no other way. So she used sex.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have any problem at all with her methods. How she went after power and status isn't the issue, as far as I'm concerned.

Look. To Saddith, Sex = Power. When Terisa asks Eremis why he's doing what he's doing, he tells her, "Because I can." Saddith uses her power the way she does, because she can.

I guess you could say that my problem lies with Ambition. Both Eremis and Saddith are ambitious; both of them use whatever power they have to realize those ambitions; and neither cares about who they hurt in order to do so. Ambition itself is not the problem. Ruthless, incompassionate ambition is.

Saddith screws over any number of people, betrays Terisa, and tries to seduce the Castellan (who everyone knows was on the brink of insanity and fiercely faithful to the memory of his wife), all because she wanted to get ahead. Wanting to get ahead is understandable, even laudable. Hurting other people to do so makes her very like Master Eremis.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And both reprehensible in my book.
I still feel sorry for Saddith - she was a little to smart for her own good.
She was dealing with a 'Master' in more ways than one - Eremis is the Master manipulator! Twisted Evil
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2004 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Myste wrote:
I don't have any problem at all with her methods. How she went after power and status isn't the issue, as far as I'm concerned.

Look. To Saddith, Sex = Power. When Terisa asks Eremis why he's doing what he's doing, he tells her, "Because I can." Saddith uses her power the way she does, because she can.

I guess you could say that my problem lies with Ambition. Both Eremis and Saddith are ambitious; both of them use whatever power they have to realize those ambitions; and neither cares about who they hurt in order to do so. Ambition itself is not the problem. Ruthless, incompassionate ambition is.

Saddith screws over any number of people, betrays Terisa, and tries to seduce the Castellan (who everyone knows was on the brink of insanity and fiercely faithful to the memory of his wife), all because she wanted to get ahead. Wanting to get ahead is understandable, even laudable. Hurting other people to do so makes her very like Master Eremis.


Erm... I'm actually forgetting.. how did she betray terisa? Confused

I don't think she did much wrong. Razz
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2004 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

She only took the job in the first place because Eremis told her to. And she told him about the secret passageway in Terisa's closet through which Gart attacked her.

Maybe Saddith didn't realize that Eremis was going to use the information to kill Terisa. But she was certainly smart enough to understand what she was doing to the Castellan when she went to his bed--and when she started the riot. She just didn't care. That's my problem with her.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The riot... of course she would do that... look at what he did to her!

And the betrayal... bah! Saddith never knew any of Eremis' plans.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darth Revan wrote:
The riot... of course she would do that... look at what he did to her!

And the betrayal... bah! Saddith never knew any of Eremis' plans.


Maybe not the details. But she was smart enough to know that she was being used. I mean, come on....imagine you're a kitchen maid in Orison, and suddenly this person gets translated into Mordant through Imagery. The guy you're sleeping with--a guy who happens to be a powerful Imager--says, "Hey, go be her maid. Observe her and tell me what you see. Do a good job, and I'll get you a better job than the one you have." Maybe she didn't know why he wanted her to spy on Terisa, but she knew what she was doing.

Then the same guy tells you, "Hey go seduce Lebbick," even though everyone in Orison knows that Lebbick is half-crazy, and that he's never gotten over his wife's death, and that something seriously weird is going on between him and Terisa. Maybe you don't know why your lover is telling you to do this, but common sense would dictate that it's probably not out of the goodness of his heart--even if Saddith doesn't know Eremis as well as we readers do. But she does it anyway, because if she can successfully seduce Lebbick, she might make him fall in love with her, and she could be Castellan's Lady; if he doesn't fall in love with her, at least she has done what her lover wanted, and will be rewarded accordingly.

I do believe that Saddith was horribly abused. I also believe that Eremis, without doubt, is one of the most wickedly manipulative villains in fantasy fiction. But Saddith is hardly innocent of wrongdoing, and I don't believe the "just following orders" excuse. I'll say it again--she didn't deserve the punishment she got (the descriptions just make me cringe), but I don't think she's blameless, either.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What really impresses me is how SRD manages an almost complete reversal of sympathies, so that we actually feel more for the abuser than the abused. Shows a deep insight into the complexities of human motivation.

To state it in another way: instead of "male aggressor v female victim", he presents us with "manipulative, mercenary woman, who tries to take advantage of a good man on the brink of insanity, due to his devotion to a leader who has seemingly betrayed him".
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Edge wrote:
What really impresses me is how SRD manages an almost complete reversal of sympathies, so that we actually feel more for the abuser than the abused. Shows a deep insight into the complexities of human motivation.

To state it in another way: instead of "male aggressor v female victim", he presents us with "manipulative, mercenary woman, who tries to take advantage of a good man on the brink of insanity, due to his devotion to a leader who has seemingly betrayed him".


Exactly! The best of his characters are the ones who inhabit the moral gray area, like Saddith and Lebbick, and TC and Linden. The ones who are not always good or nice, but who you can't just dismiss as evil, either. I think MN is different from the rest of his work because so many of the characters in it are much more clear-cut than in his other works--I mean, there's no question that Terisa & Geraden are the good guys, and that Eremis is Big Baddie Numero Uno. That's the way fairy tales work. But SRD gives the secondary characters more depth than supporting players usually get.

Saddith and Lebbick were both horrible people in their own ways. I think that in the course of the books, we see fewer redeeming features in Saddith than in Lebbick, but that may just be because she isn't as integral to the plot. I can't say whether or not she is more or less despicable than Lebbick, but I do think she's pretty awful.
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