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AMRT Chapter 40: The Lord of the Last Resort

 
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danlo
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2004 7:00 pm    Post subject: AMRT Chapter 40: The Lord of the Last Resort Reply with quote

Matrixman finished chapter 39's dissection this way:

Quote:
Eremis wants to kill Geraden right there and then, but something dangerous in Geraden's gaze makes him hesitate. The Master goes instead to grab his prize: Terisa. But out of nowhere the massive bulk of the Tor slams into Eremis, forcing him back. Gart then stuns the Tor with a kick and prepares to behead the old lord, while Gilbur knocks out another son of the Domne, Geraden.

But Gart is prevented from killing the Tor by Castellan Lebbick, who, broken bones and all, has somehow come up to the Monomach. Gart whirls, and stabs the Castellan right in his heart:

Quote:
"Bastard," he breathed between gouts of blood as if he were talking to someone else, not Gart at all. "Now I'm free. You can't hurt me anymore."

Slowly, as if performing at last the only graceful action of his life, he slid backward off Gart's sword.

In that way, Lebbick finished mourning for his wife.


The chapter ends with Eremis and his gang finally getting their hands on Terisa, and she can't break free of them. Eremis makes "a strange, familiar gesture," and then he, Terisa, Gart and Gilbur are translated out of the thronehall of Orison.


You'll notice I highlighted Gart's kicking of the Tor. Given the present circumstances there may be only one course of action left in chapter 40: The Lord of the Last Resort. King Joyse has disappeared, Terisa has been taken, Lebbick is dead and Prince Kragen is out cold. The Tor might be the only person who can take positive action on behalf of Orison (and, possibly, all of Mordant) at this point. But how can he? Gart's kick almost killed him. A severely injured, fat, wine-besotted, lord betrayed by his King can't possibly do a thing at this point...or can he?

All the King's conselors and almost all the Imagers have fled. Basonage has taken off with Geraden and the only Imager left is having his bones stripped by a demon fruit bat. Lebbick's second in command, Norge, is trying to pick up some of the pieces and working to restore what little order he can. But he is resolved to the fact the everyone will talk and panic and that the Alend seige will succeed, if it hasn't already. Norge works to round up the conselors and Imagers, makes sure that Kragen and Atagel are alive, sends a search party after the King and goes to help the Tor up.

The Tor is in terrible shape as he gets to his hands and knees he finds himself physically unable to avert his eyes form the Castellan's "ruined and happy face" Lebbick had, finally, been allowed to do something on behalf of his King and Orison and died fighting Gart in a release from frustration and Joyse's betrayal. Once the Tor's shock wears off he knows he'll be in more pain than he can imagine, only suprise and wine sustain him, perhaps Gart's boot had torn something vital inside him, perhaps it would be preferable to die.

Quote:
The alternatives were distinctly unpleasant.

Unfortunately, the expression on Lebbick's face wouldn't let him go. The first twinge of pain rumbled through his guts, and he nearly groaned aloud, Oh, Castellan. Mordant and Orison and you, he betrayed us all, abandoned us all--and you fought for him to the end. What did he ever do to deserve such service?

As soon as the Tor asked the question, however, he found he knew the answer. Despite his tears, he could see it in Lebbick's twisted face, his wounds and his blood. What King Joyse had done was to create something larger than any one man, something which deserved loyalty and service no matter how fallible and even treacherous the King himself proved to be.

Mordant. A buffer between the constant, bloody warring of Cadwal and Alend.

The Congery. An end to the ravages of Imagery when mirrors were used for nothing but power.


The Tor drags Norge down into his face to find the King has, indeed, vanished and, probably of his own accord.

"Help me up." The Tor made no effort to move, The pain squeezed his voice to a husk. "I will take his place"

The Tor works to convince Norge that he is the right choice at the right time. Argueing that he is Joyse's oldest friend and has served as advisor and chancellor--and, in fact, is the only lord present in Orison. Does Norge want Havelock? No, in order to avert chaos, the people need a voice they can trust, his. However, he knows that he must win the support of Norge and the King's guard in order to be accepted as leader. Norge has a hard time accepting this and would rather get the Tor to a physician.

Quote:
"Fool," the lord moaned. "You do not understand."......."Someone must take command. Orison has to be led. And I am here. Prince Kragen is here. For the first time, we know our enemies. We must not miss this opportunity."

"Opportunity?" Norge asked noncommittally.

Oh, for the strenght to scream! The Tor's stomach and throat seemed to be filling up with blood. "An alliance with Alend," he croaked out. "Against Cadwal. A chance to end this seige and fight."

The captian said nothing his reaction was unreadable.

"Norge." Peering though a blur of pain, the lord leaned closer to whisper straight into the captian's face. "If I can make an alliance with Prince Kragen, will you support me?"

Norge spent an astonishing amout of time lost in thought. He took forever to arrive at a decision. Or maybe he just seemed to take forever.

Then he said, "All right, my lord Tor," as if he had never hesitated in his life.


Artagel is still out cold, being flung halfway across the room by Gilbur, but Kragen begins to come to and gropes for his sword as Norge moves to kick it away. The Tor forbids him and lets the Prince have his fury. Both the Tor and Norge explain what has happened, that Artagel knocked him out, the King has fled, Gart attacked and that Eremis and Gilbur have stolen Terisa. All three cooberate the present evidence and Terisa and Geraden's warnings to Kragen and argree that the Masters set up Alend are working for Cadwal.

Artagel finally comes to, apologizes to the Prince and has his heart broken when he sees his friend, Lebbick, lying lifeless. He explains to Kragen that Joyse had the crazy notion of challenging the Prince to a duel and that he knocked him out to save Joyse from being killed. The Tor convinces Kragen that he and Norge are all the power left in Orison and that he needs to know what Terisa and Geraden have told him. Kragen is not easily swayed - but has second thoughts on acknowledging the Tor's leadership when he hears Norge command Artagel to follow the Tor's orders.

The Tor purposes the idea of an alliance to the Prince offering the aid of the Congery. Reports come back that chaos is ensuing and that no sign of the King has been found (and reports also state that Havelock's brown cloud of Imagery floated away from the castle, but did not harm the Alends). The Tor did not see Terisa taken away and was shocked when this information reached him. Everybody is shocked when Prince Kragen tells them that he knows the location of Cadwal's armies. The Tor suggests they go off to discuss matters further, where he might sit down (instead of dropping dead where he stands).


Last edited by danlo on Fri Nov 18, 2005 5:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
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duchess of malfi
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2004 3:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You did a great job, Danlo, especially considering that you were a last minute sub! Very Happy

Ah, the Tor. He is a great hero in my eyes, and a favorite of mine of ALL of Donaldson's characters. Smile Talk about ponying up to the plate! Cool
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2004 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for responding duchy! Now at least I can defend myself and work (with all of you) on "fleshing" (kind of a poor "Tor" joke, sorry!) out this chapter. Let me first say that I'm not really a sub since I was due to do the next chapter around this same time anyway. Now for those of you who are wondering why I'm defending myself-it's basically because I felt like I did a 'half-assed' job on this dissection and whined to some fellow moderators about it. I think I started out great and did justice to the 1st 3 pages then I kinda paraphrased and wrapped up the last 3 too quickly. Of course, my (lame) excuse would be: well I did it on purpose so that the participants in this read would correct me and fill things in.

There's not that much to correct--the key points at least, even tho they may not be exactly in order, are pretty much there. But I felt I didn't really convey the Tor's physical distress, the intracacies of how and why his "new" power should be recognized, the real meaning of Lebbick's sacrifice and (even tho we can infer) why the Congery plays such an important role in all this. I also wafered over Artagel--who, in a way, subtlely saves the day in all this: with his apology, charm, tact and obeyance of the Tor's orders. The Tor-Norge-Artagel connection is absolutely essential if Prince Kragen is going to even consider the mad idea of an alliance in the first place.

That's the beauty of SRD's writting and the madness of trying to analyse it. Even when you think it's cut and dried and only 6 pages (maybe 7 or 8 in a hardbound) he goes ahead and conveys very important information on which the whole nexus of the story hinges. I guess I feel a little bad because AMRT is such a well written book--and very cool in all sorts of neat ways. I'm actually going to start a topic on this in the Mordant Need discussion-I really think that the Mordant Need books are very unique, they really make your imagination work overtime especially as far as filling in what is omitted.

It's hard to explain this concept--perhaps I'll do a better job in the MN topic. But take for example the 'vagueness" of the geography, Mordant's world in general, what's going on in Alend, Cadwal etc...etc...So what I think I mean is this: Instead of SRD writting 6 books and doing all the work-he economizes, is vague in places, and makes us do the work. Many, sort of, agreed on my interpretation of Mordant on my map-but, on the other hand, probably everyone who reads these book is going to have their own, special, interpretation of the geography and "fill in" stuff.

The Mordant Need books are very unique and groundbreaking fantasy in their own right. I think their basic problem is that they came out to quickly after the Covenant books and got lost that massive shadow.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2004 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know that this will be off topic a bit, but, yes, I do think that they are great and unique fantasy in their own right -- and that they get left behind in the shadow of the Covenant books. Confused

Am I alone in getting even more irritated with Joyse at about this point in the story? Here he contributes to creating a huge, huge mess in Mordant -- and he betrays some very loyal people like Lebbick in doing so -- and then just takes off?

And lets a critically injured and very courageous old Lord try to recover something from his mess? Along with the Prince of what many would consider to be an ememy power and an untried new Castellan?

Does Joyse even realize that Lebbick died in his service? Does he even realize how seriously injured the Tor is? Or that Terisa has been carried off by some very evil people?

I realize that his wife is in danger -- but when one is a King, shouldn't your responsibility to your people come before personal considerations? Confused Isn't that theoretically the whole point in having a King? Confused That there will be someone who will look out for the best interests of the nation as a whole? Confused
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2004 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is it that Havelock says about why Joyse can't beat him at hop-board? I can't remember if he says it before or after this chapter, so I'll spoiler it (and paraphrase):

Spoiler:
Joyse tries to save his pieces.


Joyse has to go off to save his wife in order to be true to character. It's his tragic flaw, if you will--he's incapable of making a certain kind of sacrifice. (Though others, like poor Lebbick, come easier.)

I think this is one of the chapters where we see that as humble as Artagel is about not understanding much about what's going on, he understands the important things very well. No one else could have gotten Lebbick out of his roomback in "Frustrated States", and no one else (I agree with danlo) could have smoothed over his faux pas with the prince so well.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2004 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the situation weren't so grim, it would almost be a comedy with Norge and the Tor left holding the bag at the scene of the crime. We actually had a King a short time ago; now people are looking at each other wondering who's in charge.

Good point about Joyse, Myste. And personally, I tend to view Joyse with less harshness than most (?) readers. He has to do what he has to do. His strategy is extreme, but that's because Mordant's crisis is extreme. Mind you, I'm saying this from an omniscient reader's point of view. If I were a citizen of Orison at this point in the story, I would be just a little worried.

I don't think of Joyse as abandoning his people, so much as leaving to do what he has to do while trusting that his people will have the courage and strength to carry on without him.
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