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TLD Part I Chapter 3: Not Dead to Life and Use

 
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Frostheart Grueburn
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:57 am    Post subject: TLD Part I Chapter 3: Not Dead to Life and Use Reply with quote

Resurrected from an older post nobody wanted to discuss in spite of asking several times. If the same happens again, I’m not sure I have interest to continue these.


Quote:
Shudders the ash
Yggdrasill, standing there,
the old tree cries,
--
Jǫrmungandr writhes
in jǫtunn-fury;
the serpent churns the waves,
--
Sól is seen to blacken,
the earth sinks in the sea,
fall from the sky
the bright stars;
--
Then comes the dusky
dragon flying,
a gleaming serpent, up
from Niðafjǫll…*


Ragnarökkr has commenced as foretold in the pagan prophecies of old! The World Tree withers, the bright Worm thrashes in fury as it approaches the land over the broad meres; stars dwindle and the day duskens, the mighty giant-maidens from Jötunheimr proclaim the fates of men and gods, Þórr prepares for a last stand against the sinister serpent…

Wait, wait. Wait! Wrong corner of the multiverse! How did one thus err to roam upon the incorrect paths? Could the author have wallowed too much within the roiling melodies of Der Ring des Nibelungen and the gelid gloom of Norse legends while crafting his storyline, sucking in influences akin to a starving skeeter?

In any event...


The chapter begins where AATE left the reader stranded: Covenant and the two Humbled witnessing the onset of the Land's Götterdämmerung. The Worm, the cousin of the World Serpent introduced in the stanzas above, approaches the Land, munching on nearby Elohim treats on the way.

Quote:
Beyond him and against the cliffs on either side, wild seas thrashed in the aftermath of the tsunami. He heard their turmoil, a thunderous seethe and crash like the frantic labor of the ocean’s heart. But through the surly dusk of a dawnless day, he could hardly see the eruption and spray and retreat of the lashed waves. There was no sun. Distinct as murders, the stars were going out.


The leper messiah clings to life in a terrible state, wounded and teetering on the very edge of collapse after his turbulent encounter with his former mate. Caesures, lashes of wild magic, daring cinematic leaps over acid-weakened cliff edges lacking only the horse-drawn carriage and masked bandits...roving in obfuscated labyrinthian ravines and among coral growths sharper than a clone army of Edward Scissorhandses…. Heretofore he has survived quite an escapade, healing his fragmented mind along the way. However, his inner turmoil, the newfound unshattered understanding, but exacerbates the physical ailments. He feels the pain of Joan's death as if he had stabbed himself, while the ache for Linden's love and forgiveness has become unbearable. The trio lacks the company of the Ranyhyn and other possible modes of transportation, and Covenant deems that they can now but damn the Land, marooned from their erstwhile comrades as they stand or slump beyond the skest-riddled Shattered Hills. Loric's dagger lies as lightless as the insides of a bowling ball, and an equal gloom fills the broken idea bulbs above his head. And, if Linden ever sits accused of re-re-repeating her thoughts, so does he now.

Quote:
Oh, he needed Linden. He needed to make things right with her before the end.



Time limps on. The Humbled attempt to rouse the ur-lord, reminding him that the world would become wormfood in scant days, unless they reunite with their scattered companions and fight back. They also insist on summoning other Ranyhyn to replace Mhornym and Naybahn, and that Covenant should consent to riding.

He, however, disagrees. No more sundered oaths.

Quote:
Long ago, he had promised that he would do no more killing. Now he was forsworn, as he had been in so many other ways. Covenant meant to say, No. He meant to say, Never. He could not break more promises. But those words eluded him. Instead his knees folded, and he sank to the stone. Some other part of him croaked, “Here’s another fine mess you’ve gotten me into.”


At this, the stiff-necked sidekicks inhale a couple of bees up their noses. Granted, they have hazarded much in the Unbeliever's name, perchance justifying their anger to some degree.

Quote:
"Do you accuse us? These straits are not of our making.”

For a while, Covenant could not imagine what Clyme was talking about. Then he managed to say, “Oh, you.” He dismissed the notion. “I didn’t mean you.” Perhaps he should have laid the blame at the feet of the Creator; but he did not. “I meant Foamfollower. This is all his fault.

“If he hadn’t insisted on keeping me alive. Making impossible things possible. Laughing in the Despiser’s face. He was always the Pure One, even if he didn’t think so himself. None of us would be here without him.”


For a split second, he broods on the circular or looping quality of time, synonymizing it with a Möbius strip (Note to the author: those little dots on top of certain letters exist for a reason: They are not just fanciful decoration or flyspecks to be wiped away.) This oddball from the world of German mathematics entails a surface with only a single side, thus making it continuous.

Quote:
Every implication looped back on itself. Every if led to a then which in turn redefined the if.




Indeed, one could compile quite a lengthy list of causes and causalities concerning the characters' actions.

Meanwhile, incredulity fills the Haruchai.

Quote:
"Ur-Lord,” Branl said finally. “Your hurts undermine your thoughts. Saltheart Foamfollower cannot be held to account for Corruption’s deeds.”

Baffled by the simplification of such reasoning, Covenant tried to shake his head. [. . .] “That’s not the point.” The point was that the Haruchai had no sense of humor. “The point is, I’m not going to ride the Ranyhyn.” Foamfollower would not have known how to laugh if he had not been so open and honest in his grief. “I made a promise.”A vow. “Promises are important. You know that at least as well as I do.”


The author hides some deeper meanings into this trait and its consequences. The very least, the Land beneath the reign of jovial Masters would have resulted into something rather different. They might not have shunned the Giants who revel in mirth, and thus stories and knowledge would have spread... As an interesting diversion, Stave comprehends jokes in his own fashion, and behold, how he was treated akin to something noxious found underneath unscrubbed toenails.

Covenant reminds the Haruchai of the significance of promises as well, yet the reasoning in their response discords with the concept of equality as much as their warped doctrines of protecting the Land.

Quote:
We comprehend given oaths. Yet yours contradicts ours. If you do not ride, your death becomes certain. This we will not permit while choice remains to us.”


How splendid. One can perceive the importance of preserving Covenant's life, but the basic speculation that the oaths of others are less important by default than those of the Haruchai? Once again, this makes me wish the Swordmainnir would play some hockey with these obstinate flintskulls in order to knock some sense into them. With them as the hockey pucks.

Covenant does not relent, but demands to get the krill. This sparks a frown and the lifting of an eyebrow in the Haruchai, which in regular human terms would signify something as drastic as running up and down the side of the Eiffel tower wearing a neon yellow kangaroo suit and playing the Mission Impossible theme music with a tuba along the way. Still, they do not refuse.

The Unbeliever decides to forge his solemn assurance of not to ride the horses into something tangible, semi-divine with the aid of wild magic. In spite of all his self-doubt and bouts of remorse at the beginning of the chapter, he manages to assert that he is the white gold, something more than a weakling, wounded wretch groveling and gibbering beneath the death of the empyreans. He may not be the rightful wielder of Joan's ring, yet still possesses a claim of some sort to it by marriage. With this ring I bla bla blaa.

Quote:
As he struck, the scale of his need and the fundamental strictures of his nature brought forth a familiar blaze from the gem: familiar and absolute, as necessary as breath and blood. It shone into his eyes like the nova of a distant star. The power-whetted blade cut inward as though the stone were damp mud. [. . .] Blinking through dazzles, he squinted at Clyme and Branl. At first, they were bright with phosphorescence, as spectral as the Dead. Then they seemed to reacquire their mortality. [. . .] Together they confronted Covenant’s display of power as if they were prepared to decide the fate of worlds. As distinctly as he could, Covenant said, “I forbid you to put me on the back of a Ranyhyn. Find some other answer.”


Then, as Covenant believes he has spent the last fraying dregs of his strength, something peculiar befalls.

Quote:
A distant sensation of power seemed to call him back from the collapse craved by his ravaged body. Involuntarily he straightened his spine, sat more upright. Then he saw [the Humbled] recoil like men who had been slapped. He felt their surprise. Directly in front of him, the figure of a man stepped into the light as though he had been made manifest by wild magic and the eldritch puissance of Loric’s krill.


The visitation limned in power wears robes. Who is this mysterious figure? Some manifestation of the Creator? Covenant himself in another form from beyond time? An unsung Insequent? Lord Foul?

Quote:
Yet his features were familiar; so familiar that Covenant wondered why he could not identify them. A man like that--

After two heartbeats, or perhaps three, he noticed that Branl and Clyme were preparing to defend him. Or they were--Hellfire.--bowing. Bowing?


The reader surely is as astonished as Covenant himself to meet Brinn anew after all these millennia. And even more so, as the guardian of the One Tree utters,

Quote:
“My old friend.”


Brinn has never addressed Covenant thus before. Come to think of it, has any other Haruchai either? The guardianship has altered something in his inherent nature: the mask of dispassion has crumbled away, allowing him to display emotions. One has to wonder what has birthed such a development. Notwithstanding, as the Land rushes towards its doom, so also fray apart his strength and theurgies.

Quote:
“All things exist organically. This you know, Unbeliever. As one swells, another dwindles. As the Worm of death rises, the Tree of life declines."


And

Quote:
"I am made less by the deaths of stars and Elohim."


Do the Tree, the Worm, and those stars form some kind of reverse symbiosis with one another? It would appear that the Elohim function as one point of the existence triangle--When instances of Earthpower incarnate become consumed, does the general amount of this "natural force" outside the Worm relapse, thus rendering it unable to nurture the Tree? Questions, questions.

(Apart from the Norse mythology prelude, the serpent & holy tree theme does tear chunks of influence from both the biblical tales and Norse legends: In the latter, Nidhöggr the dragon (called ormur/orm/worm in the original sources) gnaws at the roots of Yggdrasill, the World Tree. One of its roots also sucks nourishment from Urðarbrunnr, The Well of Wyrds, associated with the jötunn Norns (three giantesses personifying the fates). A careful observer may recall the Weird/Würd/Wyrm/Worm analogy from the 2nd Chronicles. During Ragnarökkr, Yggdrasill will burn. Several times during AATE I kept thinking that Rime Coldspray's hird bore the fate of the Land in their arms in the form of their human passengers, while trotting hither and thither, escaping one peril after another. Some aspect of the Norns hidden therein, just as Longwrath mirrors Loke from several angles...indeed, one can presage parts of the narrative beforehand based on such parallels.

Spoiler:
Like the whole ending.
)

Brinn dedicated his life to protecting the mystical plant, yet possesses no wherewith to hunt down the serpent and thwack it into pulp. He reveals that the responsibility belongs to Covenant, Linden, and Jeremiah: a final affirmation that these three together form the core of defense against the cessation of time and life. However, a wee quoteling strikes as interesting:

Quote:
Together you must save or damn the Earth, as it was foretold in the time of the Old Lords.


I would recall that this prophecy shadowed only Covenant during the earlier eras. An upgrade?

Now, Brinn has come to grant the company some boons. Before healing Covenant, he addresses the haughty henchmen:

Quote:
“Haruchai, Masters, Humbled, I have come to reproach you.”


Branl and Clyme bristle with indignation, at least in the boiling recesses of their minds. As usual, for them, finding faults in their own actions becomes a task as impossible as locating a millimeter-long hay in a needlestack. Well...they do admit to suffering from the weakness of uncertainty, and that they have allowed the occasional mini-desecration in the name of the Unbeliever, yet...

Quote:
Brinn dismissed Branl’s protest with a soft snort. “Your valor is beyond aspersion,” [. . .] “Set aside your pride and hear me. “Doubtless others have spoken of arrogance. I do not. Rather the fault with which I charge you is simony.” [. . .] “You have grown ungenerous of spirit, demeaning what would else have been a proud heritage. You have withheld knowledge from the folk of the Land when knowledge might have nurtured strength. And you have withheld trust from Linden Avery the Chosen, setting yourselves in opposition to her efforts and sacrifices because you were unable to share her love and passion. These are the deeds of misers. They do not become you."


Then, the Guardian proceeds to remind the Humbled--humbled, indeed, what a perversion of their prideful arrogance--of their yoreday generosity and benevolence, their vow to serve Kevin, et cetera. Again, they respond with a retort as bull-brained as a stampede of bovines, deeming the ak-Haru's accusations unjust. Brinn is furious.

Quote:
“Are you truly so blind that you see no fault in naming yourselves ‘the Masters of the Land’?” His [Brinn's] voice had become a distant rattle of thunder. [. . .] “The Land is not a thing to be possessed as though it were a garment. It was not created for your use, that you might hazard it in a vain attempt to heal your ancient humiliation.”


This brings us back to the specific accusatory word, simony. An odd choice from the author, in my opinion, among Satansfist, christen, and other such terms belonging to the sphere of Semitic religions, not an alternate reality with its own gods. Then again, if the realm originally stemmed from Covenant's subconscious and then evolved into something independent thanks to the random quantum fluctuations of the multiverse, perhaps forgivable. Barring the peculiarity, in christian theology the particular offense denotes the trading of ecclesiastical preferments, id est, in less-Latinized lingo, sacraments and holy offices. Brinn incriminates the Masters for selling the Land and its heritage to corruption and decay in order to gain supremacy over it. They have not become 'holier' or mightier of heart through such vain self-aggrandizement. As with justifying the reasons for their mutilation, the duo name Brinn as one of their icons, allegedly pursuing his example, yet the guardian does not cherish that portion of his past.


Quote:
“I concede,” he answered, “that I trod your path when I forsook the Unbeliever’s service. What of it? Did Cail not return to speak of the Chosen’s salvific efforts at the Isle of the One Tree? And if you did not heed him, did you also fail to heed the First of the Search and Pitchwife when they described the forming of a new Staff of Law, and the unmaking of the Sunbane?"


Brinn's scope of knowledge extends to unfathomable depths and heights; does the haru-mindlink function across thousands of kilometers, or did the tree-warding post endow him with the ability to perceive the turns of tides in other realms? How else would he have known about the surviving Giants? Whatever the reasons behind his omniscience, he nonetheless continues,

Quote:
"Your restraint and your respect are as miserly as your deeds. Had you permitted them to do so, the Giants would have reminded you that open hands and open spirits were once valued among the Haruchai. Yet for many centuries you have offered the kindred of the Unhomed naught but unwelcome."


Grah, how these deluded bastards make the reader's blood boil.

Quote:
“Unwelcome, forsooth!” The ak-Haru’s indignation was a thunderclap. “For the Giants, of all the peoples of the Earth."


Indeed. Which, in a way, converges back to the Masters' incomprehension of humor. Ifs leading to other ifs, which in turn would redefine the original ifs... Now, do Clyme and Branl finally bend the knee and clutch at the robes of their idol in weepy remorse? Of course not: They conceive Brinn has arrived to renew their ancient humiliation from the times of the Insequent Vizard. Therefore, Brinn dismisses them as hopeless cases, and turns to his other tasks.

Do they stand beyond redemption, however? If the reader backtracks their steps to the end chapters of AATE, they may recall Covenant’s own disclosure while having a picnic with the spectres in Andelain:

Quote:
I’ve seen things some of you haven’t. Sure, the Haruchai serve Lord Foul. But they might surprise you. They might surprise him. If anything can sway them, the Ranyhyn can. Or the Ramen.


Hence, their fate remains gaping open…

Thereafter, Brinn reveals that Covenant must slay the raver turiya, lest it might possess the Lurker: a power surpassing even Sandgorgons and other puissant wossnames. Covenant considers the undertaking beyond bonkers: He should protect the more or less indirect creation of Foul? Then again, the Worm would soon gobble the earth, and his own sins against the Landkind have accumulated into a veritable Himalaya. Hence, no matter how deranged the idea and chaotic the events all about him, he feels he must somehow counter-balance his misdeeds. Moreover:

Quote:
If that monster challenged Linden, she would have to face it without Covenant or love.


Now, the prince unvaliant requires only a steed. Behold, a wild deus-ex-machina horse appears: Mishio Massima, the Ardent's legacy. SRD crams one of his famed, foreshadowing wordplays within his name: mishio sounds like missio (Latin) and the very cumbrous word maxima reverts back to maximum. Maximum Mission, Greatest Mission...the Ardent weighed about half a Giantess, so perhaps every quest was "maximal" to the poor nag. Now, however, it shall face the true end of everything beneath Covenant's arse: the Grandest Mission of them all, indeed.

Then, Brinn whistles for the Ranyhyn. Eventually, four appear: he heals the old destriers and shoos them off to a well-earned pension. May they find green fields abounding with amanibhavam and limber fillies to ogle.

The end of the world does not tarry. Every passing second is beyond precious:

Quote:
The stars appeared to draw closer. They seemed to cry out. Perhaps their wailing was underscored by [the Ranyhyn's] clatter of hooves, irregular and indefinite.


Do the Elohim at last feel true fear, and find it necessary to clump together? Do they now realize their own evanescence, that they do not represent utter perfection, and perhaps endeavor to absorb some strength from one another in a vain attempt of survival?

A partial answer breaks the surface of Covenant's roaming thoughts:

Quote:
Yet their proximity only accentuated the voids between them, the immeasurable gulfs of their isolation. Vaguely he wondered whether the Elohim felt the same loneliness. Perhaps that explained their prideful self-absorption, their insistence that they were complete in themselves, equal to all things. Perhaps their surquedry was nothing more than compensation for prolonged sterility and sorrow.


Now, however, time cries for action and heroic deeds. The Haruchai have attained new equines, and Covenant crouches ready for his restoration.

Quote:
Brinn’s smile was a confluence of hope and regret as he stepped past the krill to touch Covenant’s blamed forehead lightly with one finger. At the same time, he urged quietly, “Recall that the krill is capable of much. With use, it has become more than it was.”

His touch seemed to light a star in Covenant’s brain. Suddenly the dusk in all direction became a swirl of lights: the same swirl which had filled the Isle’s cavern long ago when Covenant had tried to claim a branch of the One Tree.


Covenant has transformed into a Ranyhyn with a Brinn-star on his forehead! Now he can keep his oath of not to straddle one!

Yet, in all seriousness, does Brinn channel a form of Earthpower here? How precisely do the Elohim link themselves to the Tree? Or, are those Brinn-stars Elohim emblems at all? And how has the krill become more potent with use? They do tell practice makes perfect, but that hackneyed figure of speech might pertain to daggers of another ilk. Then again, the readers cannot always ascertain themselves of SRD's symbolism, as according to some other description, this minisword "throbbed" as Covenant shoved it down his pants.

Covenant drifts off as a consequence of the remedy. Ere this occurs, one last, languid thought lingers in his mind...

Quote:
He needed to make things right with her. He needed to tell her that he loved her--and that he had killed Joan.



* * *


Interesting words:

Surquedry -- overweening pride

Parsimonius -- Excessively sparing or frugal

Actinic (of the krill's light) -- (of radiation) producing a photochemical effect (How can the krill's light induce chemical changes in something? Or does this relate to its scalding heat?)


*Völuspá quotes from [url=http://www.voluspa.org/voluspa.htm ]here[/url].


Last edited by Frostheart Grueburn on Sat Apr 26, 2014 8:45 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great job, Frostheart!

A couple of thoughts:

"Leper messiah" - I like that. We used to have an active member here, birdandbear, whose husband was also a member and went by that name. Plus, I like the Metallica reference.

"My old friend" - here, I think it's not only Brinn but the Theomach speaking. Remember the scene from Covenant's fractured memories, a conclave between Covenant, Mhoram, the Theomach et al?* There was more than 1 reason for the ak-haru to speak to Covenant with affection.

*In AATE.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you very much Frostheart. Quite the insight into your perspective of the work and thus you. That you know of Prince Valiant , whom hasn't been around for ages, for me any way, connected on several levels. Well done.

" Not Dead to Life and Use"..otherwise known as " Hope"..?; a fascinating chapter on how Thomas got his Hope back. I mean. it opens with TC having just murdered his ex-wife Joan, spiraling down to death with no apparent Hope to stop him. He is mentally as well as physically shredded. Only his need to set things right with Linden,( Love) keeps him breathing....A single act of murder has all the drama of a battle with ur-viles, kresh and skurj. Hes so far gone, he has lost track of Time.

Then the author introduces the Other Reality of Connectivity..yes, the Mobius Strip concept of all thing flow back on to themselves,,all things are connected. The original surrealists saw all humans being connected. The term " magnetic field lines " defined this extra reality beyond coincidence and even serendipity. Donaldson uses the Krill, as TC seals the deal on no horsing around, also acts as a lighthouse beacon for the at sea Brinn...Connectivity.

Brinn brings Hope along with the validation that the Worm is coming. Friendship is the first gift Brinn offers. Brinn reminds TC of Mishio Massima, 2nd gift and the 3rd gift of a deep healing sleep with the last of his energies, demonstrates Brinn to be quite the Wise Man.

On Mishio Massima.. ways back I took the Japanese understanding of Mishio and the Italian( latin) understanding of Massima,,and also mixed in the behavior of the animal,,and came up with..a powerful singular focused force..purpose. This uncomplicated, plain, yet capable force,,does two things..keeps up with the Ranyhyn with TC on his back, and, chomps grass. Oh, okay, its ugly too. As metaphor, simple forward life force seems applicable.

I like how Branl and Clyme offer a Richard M Nixon type of excuse to Brinn; " I was born in the house my father built". Brinn doesn't buy it and its looking like history hasn't bought Tricky Dick's opening line either. LC's as well as all of TCoTC, are also about not accepting fate, or pre- existing conditions. TLD is also about the mystery, unknown, of the future that disconnects from the past.

Yet,,from accusations of denying Hope, Brinn offers Hope to TC,,but creates a conflict. TC wants to get to Linden, versus The Land's need for TC. This time, the rattle snake and little girl is The Land. Hope in Contradiction. With one foot in the grave TC has difficulty parsing out what is going on. Nice other reality. Nice metaphor. Then Brinn heals and retires ( preserves, ) the heroic Ranyhyn,,again a demonstration of not accepting fate,,There IS this thing called Hope.

How cool is it that the author gives an encore performance of that antique, " surquedry" in connection to the Elohim? In this chapter Brinn gives TC Hope to keep moving forward. Nice contrast; the Elohim and Brinn. The Elohim, have they ever given anyone else Hope?,,and Brinn, who has sacrificed his whole life to a now drowned Tree, giving his Last, to the Ranyhyn and Thomas. What a difference in perspectives. What a great metaphor!

Also, the chapter ends with TC being carried off by the Stars , wondering what service, what boon is it that Brinn spoke of. I'm reminded of the first 3 Witches scene in MacBeth.

Thanks Frostheart. Your style is fun and infectious! You have created a dimension , an other reality, to the Work, and thus create Hope. That is suffice for me.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So much in this chapter...but what sticks out to me is “Here’s another fine mess you’ve gotten me into.”

SRD had to put a Laurel and Hardy catchphrase in Covenant's mouth? Really? While one has by now gotten used to the lines he gives Roger ("Sucker!") that breaks the otherwise consistent dialog style of the Chrons, having this non sequitur spoken by TC seemed to grate.

Any thoughts on why this was done?
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SD..Yes the L&H phrase is completely ..inexplicable..even to the point of being..incongruent. So I agree with your observation up to,,but not including, " non sequitor". As incongruent, inexplicable, the red flag catchphrase serves,,just as a red cape gets the bull's attention..this one gets our attention. It works. It worked for you and it works for me. We become just like Branl and Clyme..we experience the same as the two haruchai.".What The Heck!!!??. ".The author connects us to the haruchai, and to the floundering mental state of TC..Kinda like HAL singing Daisey in 2001..( phew, that simile actually caused a pressure wave thru my brain)..anyway,,the author uses the catchphrase to remind us of Foamfollower et al, from long times past..as are Laurel and Hardy.

What made L&H funny,,their brand of humor,,nothing going right,everything going wrong, ( not seeing the bucket he was about to put his foot in) kind of connects in this chapter. TC is changed from " not seeing" all the support and friends he has..to acknowledging yes, there are those who understand his plight and see things the same way, ,connectivity.

Yea,,it sticks out like a red thumb. But it serves a purpose imho. It put a huge question mark in the chapter ,,that the chapter eventually answered..mobius strip anybody?
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lurch wrote:
we experience the same as the two haruchai.

No, not quite the same experience. One huge difference between how Branl and Clyme hear this line and how we do is that they lack any knowledge of Laurel and Hardy. To them this comment is just out-of-left-field (were we speaking of another old-time comedy duo, that would have been a terrible pun. You know Why...) and an apparent accusation. Being from the same world as SRD and presumably TC, we get the reference that they do not.

Still, I will grant you that inexplicable and incongruent are the words I was probably reaching for when I wrote "non sequitor" late last night.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, the author plays with our sense of time and space in that comment....A L&H catchphrase is within the realm of the author,,but seems to be pushing it, to be within the realm of TC, even back on Haven Farm..time wise..I mean to say that L&H were of my Grand Fathers generation and parents generation. So,, showing up here in 2013,,yea..there just mite be some time stretching. The Space stretch is as you have pointed out..from the authors mind , outside of the The Land to TCs mind inside of the Land, to a wayback of the First Chronicles that the haruchai of today totally don't get...A&C would have had fun with that. Mel Brooks certainly had fun with it in Spaceballs.

Maybe thats the only purpose of the L&H catchphrase,,add some humor to a pretty grim situation..? In any case, it gets all involved, including Us..thinking, " What The Heck?"
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wonderful work, Frostheart! Once again, you do a masterful job in showing the link between the LC plot and the Norse legends, and I very much appreciate the education.

Frostheart wrote:
Now, the prince unvaliant requires only a steed. Behold, a wild deus-ex-machina horse appears: Mishio Massima, the Ardent's legacy. SRD crams one of his famed, foreshadowing wordplays within his name: mishio sounds like missio (Latin) and the very cumbrous word maxima reverts back to maximum. Maximum Mission, Greatest Mission...the Ardent weighed about half a Giantess, so perhaps every quest was "maximal" to the poor nag. Now, however, it shall face the true end of everything beneath Covenant's arse: the Grandest Mission of them all, indeed.


I like this very much, and feel it shows great insight into the equine's name.

I want to say also that Brinn's openess of emotion in this chapter was quite enjoyable, especially in how he showed appreciation of Covenant's feelings for the Humbled when Covenant himself was in so much physical and emotional pain.

Like Savor Dam, I had a problem with the Laurel and Hardy line appearing in this chapter. Didn't fit.


[Edited for typos]
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 1:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeaa, the didn't fit ...perhaps there is metaphoric value in that, " didn't fit"..The scene is as dark as,,inside of Frosty's bowling ball, TC is on his way out, one foot in the grave, Last Rites could be seen as TC 's right of refusal of the Ranyhym,,None of this is " fitting" and then TC lets loose with a blame, a blame it all on some one else from some other Time, and at that, blame it all on a " frame of mind" ,Foamfollowers perspective, that as TC says, made possible for impossible to happen..

Thats comedy. I don't care who you are, thats funny stuff...Think about it..Its another version of..the repeated motif of..the characters self referential as being characters..If things had gone differently, then this story or Tale would be a lot different..Its the character acknowledging itself...as a character in a story. Its funny, not quite as slap stick as Laurel and Hardy, but close. " another fine mess" like.." oh schitt,look what the author is making me go thru now..!! Foamfollower?..ha! ..like ,,after all the bezerk drama TC has been thru since LFB..ALL oF IT..reduced to...another fine mess..There is much Hope..in that L&H catchphrase.,,as the author puts it..Hope in Contradiction.. Yes it doesn't fit,,but the contradiction of it,,Does Fit in the upside down inside out exaggerated existence called " The Land."

Its fitting..Its kind of like a Rod Serling moment..with the classic intro line to " Twilight Zone"...." there is a place, between sight and sound,,etc..The author bumps the reader into that zone with that line..and even crazier, is the way it is communicated,," some other part of him croaked, " another fine mess.." Some Other Part Indeed....other realities, other possibilities..Hope.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks folks!

Laughing Regrettably I don't own a bowling ball, so perhaps as dark as a raven trapped into a tarpit on a snowless polar night?

I...missed the whole Ohukainen & Paksukainen joke, but googling helps. The last time I watched those films was sometime in my early teens, with English skills yet so basic I relied on subs. Then again, even after millennia spent as a demigodly Timewarden, TC still shares his origins with the world outside. If anyone of us stumbled into the Land, I'm sure we'd spent hours lamenting the loss of the Internet (or depending on our interests, insert random references to metal music into the conversation Wink) and elsewise refer to concepts incomprehensible to the local population. How well it fits...well, personally have no problems with it. OR it could be an allusion to humor being as alien to the Haruchai as some gimmick from Covenant's homeworld.

Mishio makes me smile; a very cartoonish figure, particularly in the next chapter where he sulks and canters as if "formed of sticks and rolling barrels".

Quote:
I'm reminded of the first 3 Witches scene in MacBeth.


Betimes tomatoes...what happened? Fantasy has overshadowed classic literature for years now, and I previously met Macbeth while watching some reruns of Gargoyles. Laughing (And apart from the Norse Norns influencing the whole three witches mythology, but that's a story for another day...)

Prince Valiant: mostly it's an expression used in a sarcastic manner in some movies/cartoons, but I have read some of those as a kid. They published a translated selection of the comics a few decades back, and some dog-eared copies sat in the local library.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's an excellent start to our dissection, Frostheart. I know that this chapter has been done before, but know that I didn't participate then. I waited for the book to be in my hands. And now I am [finally] here.

---

One important point in this chapter is brought up right away.

In The Last Dark was wrote:
He needed Linden. He did not know how to bear what he had become without her.

Covenant had been worried earlier, about fearing what he would become. "I’m afraid of what I’m becoming. Or what I might have to be. Now it seems that, whatever IT is, he has become IT.

Later in the chapter, almost like the other bookend, there is another clue.

In The Last Dark was wrote:
He needed to make things right with her. He needed to tell her that he loved her — and that he had killed Joan.

I think that what he had become is Joan's killer. This is a significant moment for Covenant, a moment where he transitions into something more ominous and less savory. Certainly he's not happy about it. And it's all tied up in his love for Linden. He doesn't know what it will do to her, or to his love for her.

In The Last Dark was wrote:
Joan’s end felt like a knife in his own chest. Killing her, he had wounded himself —

He had to slay Joan. But Joan was a victim, Foul's victim and, in his mind, Covenant's victim. A victim of his leprosy.

And he had loved her. Now he loves Linden. Can a man slay a woman he has loved, and still love another? Can she still love him?

Covenant considered this act, slaying Joan, his responsibility. He was responsible for Joan. He was responsible for seeing her death done. Why is it hard to meet one's responsibilities? Because of what one becomes in doing it.

---

Frostheart wrote:
The leper messiah clings to life in a terrible state,

Metallica may have sung about one, but they were only alluding to Ziggy Stardust.

---

Frostheart wrote:
Loric's dagger lies as lightless as the insides of a bowling ball,

This was actually mentioned in AATE, but it was easy to overlook. Stunned in the aftermath of delivering death, he was not aware that he had dropped the krill; or that Branl had retrieved it; or that the dagger’s gem was dark, deprived of wild magic and light.

Its not to heard to guess, but then later on Covenant tells us.

In The Last Dark was wrote:
“You know why the light went out. Joan was the only rightful white gold wielder here. The only one with a ring that belonged to her. The krill’s power died when she did."

This is pretty darn important - if you consider that Linden has a white gold ring! Linden had always worried that she was not the rightful WG wielder. And we had tended to chalk it up as insecurity and, yes, even weakness. But she was right, despite how much we wanted her to be wrong. She isn't a rightful weilder.

So much fear and doubt for so small a thing. We are left with the needful chore of understanding why. Why is Covenant not a rightful weilder. Nor Linden. It's important.

Covenant's not the rightful weilder. Despite that he IS the white gold. But he can still use it. He can slam that krill into the ground and light it up ... just like in the good old days of Mhoram and Elena and Hile Troy. And he can heal his mind.

In The Last Dark was wrote:
“I’m white gold.” How else had he been able to transmute Joan’s power, using it to heal his mind — and to refuse turiya Raver’s malice?

---

Frostheart wrote:
Behold, a wild deus-ex-machina horse appears: Mishio Massima, the Ardent's legacy.

Uttering that name rings of uttering "Nom", neh?

---

Frostheart wrote:
Yet, in all seriousness, does Brinn channel a form of Earthpower here?

I don't know, but it certainly reminds me of Caer-Caveral putting the map to the One Tree into Covenant's brain about five books ago. Again, like bookends, the end of the Quest for the One Tree mirrors it's beginning.

The krill plays into this as well. Brinn mentions it just as he provides his gift.

In The Last Dark was wrote:
Brinn’s smile was a confluence of hope and regret as he stepped past the krill to touch Covenant’s blamed forehead lightly with one finger.

At the same time, he urged quietly, “Recall that the krill is capable of much. With use, it has become more than it was.”

His touch seemed to light a star in Covenant’s brain.

Capable of much. More than it was. Certainly Brinn provides the knowledge of some new use for the krill.

---

Savor Dam wrote:
So much in this chapter...but what sticks out to me is “Here’s another fine mess you’ve gotten me into.”

Indeed. But this is one of those phrases that has entered into mainstream consciousness. I think we should take this, not as an allusion to comedians, but simply as a colloquialism from the real world.

---

simony - I recognize Frostheart's comments on being a bit jarring, but, like "christen", I think Donaldson is reaching beyond any Christian association for a deeper, original meaning.

I think Donaldson explains the meaning of simony in context ... ungenerous of spirit ... miserly. But I do not know the basis of this meaning. So I cannot substantiate this notion, really.

But consider parsimony - the quality or state of being stingy.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find of interest the juxtaposition of TC's utter acceptance of responsibility for what has become of Joan, and how he had to find a way to resolve it himself, versus the Masters' refusal to take responsibility when confronted by Brinn for their decision to harbor the truth about the Land. Brinn calls it shameful, but they are too stubborn to see it. They continue to resist, willing to defend their purpose to the uttermost end. They are called "Humbled", and yet are the exact opposite, whereas TC, the Indifferent, the Unbeliever, acts with the most humility and self sacrifice. Brinn's coming promises a boon, some (but not all) of which is revealed in this chapter. But, I would argue that this boon is perhaps meant for more than just TC and the quest. Brinn means to shake his people up, to snap them out of the misconceptions they have been mired in for millennia. Will any of it sink in?
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like your excellent observation Dondarion. That juxtaposition reflects back to chapter one's use of scale, it seems to me. TC's personal level of responsibility and the Humble's grandiose view of responsibility contrast into frustration when brought head to head. Chapter 4 gets to the bottom of these conflicting perspectives , in the most harshest terms. But here, its clear the personal level of responsibility for one's own actions and thoughts ,,leave TC with just the smallest iota of Hope,,which is all that it takes to turn everything around.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To anyone further interested in Norseisms: Spotify has the whole 15-hour Der Ring des Nibelungen clump available, search for Georg Solti’s conduction. English-German shareware librettos here, apparently translated by SRD’s twin brother. Eddaic literature here; Völuspá in the Poetic Edda seems like an alternate-universe summary of the Last Chronicles. Also note that the Ring Cycle is based on the Viking-age legend Völsunga saga.


Quote:
I think that what he had become is Joan's killer.


I deemed this would be the case ever since the end of AATE. One can never commit a (mercy-)killing without a certain eruption of trauma, unless the perpetrator is a quasi-Longwrath. In the worst case, I expected this undertaking to make him go cuckoo and burst into a full manifestation of Foul...clearly this extreme was never reached.

Quote:
Metallica may have sung about one, but they were only alluding to Ziggy Stardust.


I can always link a song where Johan mini-Honninscrave Hegg growls something about the World Serpent approaching the land over the waves. Razz Fits equally well.

Quote:
Uttering that name rings of uttering "Nom", neh?


Now wouldn’t it have radiated epicness if Covenant had ridden a Sandgorgon?

Quote:
simony - I recognize Frostheart's comments on being a bit jarring, but, like "christen", I think Donaldson is reaching beyond any Christian association for a deeper, original meaning.


Alright, I dug deeper into the fathomless abysses of Wikipedia and uprooted an older meaning to “christen”...Χριστός stands for “the anointed one”. STILL I find Coldspray’s expression “we christened the dromond Dire’s Vessel” inconsistent, since in this context it does signify named. Satansheart could also mean “Opposingheart” (don’t the Giants adore that suffix...), but simony…

Quote:
Simony is the act of selling church offices and roles. The practice is named after Simon Magus, who is described in the Acts of the Apostles 8:9–24 as having offered two disciples of Jesus, Peter and John, payment in exchange for their empowering him to impart the power of the Holy Spirit to anyone on whom he would place his hands.


The whole doctrine traces its ancestry back to the realm of christian theology; no “original” life outside that particular religion. This is my grievance.

(See, I can accept a Laurel & Hardy quote as it comes from the outworlder, but not the fantastic creatures utilizing concepts related to foreign gods. Wink Unless it indeed all stemmed from TC’s brainpan and evolved into a distinct world. What was he ere the leprosy, a trope author interested in christian theology and Norse myths? Razz)

Quote:
They continue to resist, willing to defend their purpose to the uttermost end. They are called "Humbled", and yet are the exact opposite, whereas TC, the Indifferent, the Unbeliever, acts with the most humility and self sacrifice.


I’m touching this topic in the analysis of the next chapter. But, agreed, it’s twisted.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The word "glaive" is from Old French. Hence, you could not have this word in a world that doesn't have a France in it.

The word "giant" derives from a Greek word for the sons of Gaia and Uranus. But in the Land, they would not have known Gaia and Uranus, and so they could not use that word.

Unless ... you allow for the fact that words evolve. They come to have meanings that stand on their own, without being closely tied to their origin. "Christen" is like that --- it has come to mean "give a name", outside of any Christian connotation.

I don't think anyone could speak English (or any language) in a way that is completely divorced from it's cultural and historical roots. Almost every word ties back to something.

So as long as Donaldson has the people of the Land using words that have their own meanings, outside of that context, I think there is no issue. The alternative is to use no language at all.

"simony" is an exception - it seems to have no meaning outside of the Christian tradition. That being said, I think Donaldson believes that there is such a meaning - miserliness and ungenerosness. Or that he has confused "simony" with "parsimony".
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing Yeah, suppose those are like "stoic" about which people argued some time back as well. Plus "elohim", "sheol"...äääh it's full of them, I give up. Wink
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found this when I was looking up something for the latest Raver thread. I think it pertains.

In the Gradual Interview, Stephen R Donaldson wrote:
Since your question is essentially identical to a subsequent one about my use of the word "christened" in "Fatal Revenant," I'm going to respond to both at once (with apologies to Mark E.).

I don't know why readers find this concept so difficult to grasp, despite my many efforts to explain it. But whether or not you choose to believe that the Land is "real" independent of Covenant's and Linden's perception of it, you simply have to accept the fact that I derived *all* of the original content of the Land (including its languages, characters, names, and magicks) from my understanding of Covenant's mind and experiences. To the best of my (admittedly flawed) abilities, I have striven mightily throughout "The Chronicles" to preserve the theoretical possibility that everything in the Land flows outward from the many layers of Covenant's consciousness--and later of Linden's. So words like "Satansfist" and "christened" (and moksha, turiya, and samadhi, and Sheol, Herem, and Jehannum, and others far too numerous to count) *fit* my intentions because they can be justified by Covenant's (and then Linden's) prior knowledge of such notions. By this standard, there is no substantive difference between a name like Satansfist and one like, say, Mhoram.

Readers clearly have strong--and divergent--opinions about the implications of what I'm doing. Which is all well and good, as far as it goes. But it has no real bearing on how *I* think about what I'm doing. *Thematically* the story has left the idea of "unbelief" behind; but that doesn't free me to change the rules I've established for myself in "The Chronicles".

(11/03/2008)
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So someone else had a problem with Coldspray’s language as well... Clearly should peruse the GI more often. Well, so as not to become a one-woman redundancy department of redundancy, what was written in the humor wiki about externalizations summarizes my own opinions about the Land’s nature. (Another editor added a few more observations and thoolahianisms afterwards. *still waves a sail-sized Linden’s Army flag* Beware of spoilers and recycled sword jokes.) I don't have a problem with the Land having originated from TC's frivolous hack-fantasy novel; on the contrary it might be interesting to see a timeline comparison between the events of the Earth and the outworlders' various grievances (Linden's black moods -- Sunbane, Joan's gaining of white gold -- Longwrath's madness, etc.)
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