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TLD Part II Chapter 11: Of My Deeper Purpose

 
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earthbrah
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2015 7:22 pm    Post subject: TLD Part II Chapter 11: Of My Deeper Purpose Reply with quote

The last we saw of Jeremiah was in ‘Parting Company’ when Covenant made the request for him to keep Foul busy while TC figured out what to do. In response, Jeremiah

Quote:
glared blackness. His breath came in ragged chunks, as if the labor of his heart did not leave room for his lungs. He swallowed as if his mouth and throat were full of blood.

"I can’t. Don’t you understand? He’s the Despiser. He can take me whenever he wants. I won’t be able to do anything."

"Oh, stop," Covenant snapped. He might have yelled, We’re out of time! "There’s always something you can do. You have talents. You have the Staff. And you know what possession is like.’ He broke me. I hate being used. ‘If nothing else, you can just hide. You can hide as long as you want” (p. 474).


'Of My Deeper Purpose' picks up just as Covenant and Branl leave, just as Jeremiah
Quote:
watched the silver of the krill fade like the last light in the world.


Once the light recedes, Jeremiah huddles in on himself in anger and grief. His self-doubt is causing him to wish he were back in the self-dug graves in his mind, hiding in his inner darkness, which just so happens to be matched by the setting of

Quote:
Mount Thunder’s stark midnight.


He’s despairing, alone and in the dark, feeling insurmountably burdened.

Quote:
"Stone and Sea!” the Ironhand panted. “Does the world end? Does time remain for the Timewarden to accomplish his purpose? Have we come so far at such cost, and arrived too late?”

“How should I know?” countered Jeremiah sourly. “I’ve never watched a world die before.” Then he rasped, “Of course we’re too late. That’s what all those Cavewights were for. Lord Foul sent them to slow us down.”

We were doomed, he added to himself, as soon as Mom and Covenant started thinking I could hold up my end.

But Canrik said like a reprimand, “He is the ur-Lord, the Unbeliever. Twice he has wrested life from the clutch of Corruption, for the Land if not for himself. We are Masters and have doubted much. Now we are done with uncertainty. While Branl remains able to speak to us, we will fear nothing.”


The certainty of the Haruchai plays as a nice foil to Jeremiah’s doubt. He equates his failure with his identity, with who he is. He can’t figure out how to use the Staff, and he reacts by saying:

Quote:
“But I can’t change what I am. It’s all just black.”


Like the Staff itself. Linden’s stony heart—her fury, fear and despair against Roger and the croyel at the Earthblood—caused the Staff to blacken. And Jeremiah is accepting that inheritance as his own, as who he is. But

Quote:
his efforts with the wood had not changed it. Instead it had stripped away his denials, his defenses.


Jeremiah is naked, in a way, at his most open and vulnerable. And after a brief attack by stone monsters (which we’ve never seen before, nor which have ever even been referenced in The Chronicles, to my knowledge), which Grueburn, Coldspray, Canrik and Samil have to fight off, Jeremiah gets possessed by moksha Jehannum, the same Raver who possessed Linden in WGW. But

Quote:
this act of possession was a gift, a benison, a benediction. It eased him like an act of grace.


All his fears and doubts from before have washed away in the release of choice, and thus Jeremiah

Quote:
was free at last of anything that resembled humanity.


The Raver continues to tell Jeremiah what he should think:

Quote:
Self-will only accrues fear. It achieves only pain. The highest glory is reached solely by the abdication of self.


Right? Jeremiah is succumbing to the Raver’s slippery words.

Part of Jeremiah’s experience of being possessed seems to be true peace, ease and release of worry; the other part seems to be true loss of self. (Wait, are those two the same thing…?) He tells moksha that even if he’s Foul’s tool, he’s useless because he can’t do anything—same thing he’s been telling Linden and Covenant. Only in this case, moksha Jehannum, ancient wraith and servant of the Despiser, offers to give him the knowledge he needs to use the Staff in order to serve Foul. The Raver tells Jeremiah that

Quote:
when it is made to serve your gifts—and when those gifts in turn serve the Despiser—it is potent to affect eternity, shaping order out of shapelessness.


Jeremiah likes this thought, and it seems to awaken a part of his self. He realizes that the Raver has not taken full control of him, that he can still have his own thoughts which the Raver cannot hear, that his freedom of choice is still intact.

Quote:
What Lord Foul wanted from him, he told himself secretly, was not something that could be compelled. Like wild magic, his talent could not be coerced beyond the small uses that the croyel had made of it. No matter how much he was whetted, he would not be able to exceed anything unless he agreed to it. At some point, the Despiser would need Jeremiah to serve him by choice.


Damnable Raver that he is, moksha does provide the service of reading Wildwood’s runes on the Staff.

Quote:
Bubbling with glee, moksha read the Staff. His magicks lit the abstruse symbols, not with fire or shining, but with a deeper black that scorned human notions of darkness. His disembodied finger traced the script as he interpreted it. Yet he did not explain it in words. Instead he gave Jeremiah images.


The images moksha gives Jeremiah are of Gallows Howe, of the wrath and grief of the trees, of how the Forestal was able to channel that force and emotion into forbidding. (And I wonder if the Raver, any Raver, is somehow specially suited to reading the runes carved by their ancient enemy…)

But Jeremiah—a secret Jeremiah that Jehannum is not privy to—also experiences the tree’s point of view of moksha’s hate; he gets a clear sense of what Linden has tasted at points along her path: that love is the foundation of the wrath of the trees, a wrath and grief born of an inability to restore that which was lost to them, the truth and beauty of the forest. That which appears evil… Even this smallest of glimpses of truth and beauty, in the last moments of existence, is seen through the memory of a Raver.

Quote:
Forbidding was Earthpower, of course; but it was Earthpower transformed by trees and their Forestal into an entirely different form of magic.


Jeremiah continues to both placate and lure moksha into giving away more gems of knowledge:

Quote:
a jeweled casket sunk deep into the mire of the Great Swamp, a tapestry sealed in a cavern lost among the snows of the Northron Climbs, a periapt as crowded with knowledge as a tome. Others were immeasurably ancient: the creation of the Forestals from the substance of an Elohim, the complex theurgies which had fashioned the Colossus of the Fall, the invocation of Fire-Lions.


Jeremiah absorbed them all into the fiber of his being, not unlike his reception of Anele’s gift of Earthpower. He’s being imbued with the knowledge needed to use his talents, and to use the Staff; moksha is inadvertently writing runes onto Jeremiah as he translates the ones on the Staff.

By dividing himself within himself, Jeremiah enables his mind to both accept what the Raver is telling him as well as draw his own, private conclusions about what he’s being shown. He is able to appear to moksha as authentically believing the perspective the Raver presents, while at the same time he is able to receive the knowledge from the Raver’s memories and make his own choices with what to do with it. And so when Jeremiah realizes that this Raver has some of his mom’s, some of Linden’s memories from when he possessed her back in WGW, he learns of Linden’s experiences with her own parents: being forced to watch her father bleed to death in his act of suicide, stuffing tissues in her mother’s mouth until she expires.

The turning point hits when one of the stone creatures, who have been destroying the Giants and Haruchai this whole time (they killed Samil), comes close to squashing Jeremiah.

Quote:
Inside Jeremiah, moksha Jehannum snarled an obscenity. Distracted, he snatched Jeremiah’s halfhand off the Staff of Law, drew a swift symbol in the air.

The creature began another step. Halfway through the motion, it suddenly collapsed into dust; a pile of remains stirred only by the tremors rising through the floor.

During that brief instant, Jeremiah took his chance…

In the space of a single heartbeat, he trapped moksha Jehannum inside himself…

Moksha howled horror at the ceiling. He thrashed and writhed, raked frantic claws across the barriers which Jeremiah raised against him, sank sharp teeth into the flesh of Jeremiah’s resolve. Wild and despairing, the Raver fought.

Yet Jeremiah refused the fight. He did not need to measure his strength against his foe. Instead he relied on knowledge which moksha did not share. Retracing his own past, he dissociated the Raver; committed Lord Foul’s servant to the graveyard where he himself had once lain, hidden and lost. Almost effortlessly, he dropped the Raver into the waiting earth.


Wow. I know that I was cheering for Jerry in this moment when I first read this. The kid finally grabbed hold of himself! Yes! And he permanently disposes of a Raver without having to kill it! Unbelievable!

Jeremiah then returns to external reality and easily destroys the last stone beast with one blast from the Staff. He then blasts both the Giants with

Quote:
violent healing, a ferocity of repair.


And then Coldspray, Grueburn, Canrik and Jeremiah all realize that the staff is no longer black. Even the Master shows surprise on his face.

Rid the Staff of Law of its lamentable blackness: check.

Quote:
The Staff felt like recognition in his hands. It sent out broad swaths of flame as kindly and soothing as sunshine. Its shaft shone with the cleanliness of healthy heartwood. Along its surface, Caerroil Wildwood’s runes remained, distinct as promises, but their meaning was no longer obscure. They were an offering and an appeal: they enabled and prayed.

To Jeremiah Chosen-son, the descendant of Sunder and Hollian in spirit if not in body, the Forestal’s script pleaded for restoration.


Thus ends the chapter. Thus culminates Jeremiah’s story arc; it’s the fulfillment of his inheritance. He is whole. What was his weakness (being possessed, hiding in graves within his own mind, dissociating) became his strength when applied in a specific way at a specific moment. Hope in contradiction.

This chapter also sort of ties up the character thread of the Ravers. Turiya was killed earlier by Branl and Clyme, samadhi was rent back in WGW (and perhaps taken care of once and for all by the Fire-Lions??). And now moksha is locked away, seemingly forever.

Rid the world of the Ravers: check.

And the last sentence of the chapter leads me to think that this final transformation of Jerry’s—perhaps only possible with the catalyst of moksha’s knowledge granted by direct infusion—is the completion of Anele’s story arc as well. Last hope of the Land, indeed. Perhaps whatever overwritten or residual part of Anele’s spirit that may have come across into Jeremiah back in AATE was, in this chapter, unlocked and necessary in order to return the Staff to cleanliness.

And retracing Anele’s birthright, the connection back to Caer Caveral is made. Only his death enabled Anele’s life; that, and the breaking of the Law of Life. Maybe Jeremiah has now enabled Law to be remade, rendered it remakable; or maybe he’s just enabled or empowered himself to remake it… So I might also say that this chapter brings Caer Caveral’s sacrifice full circle. And if that is permissible, then I might also proffer that this Staff of Law, made from the wild magically melded Findail and Vain, also finds its culmination in this chapter.

Or perhaps Jeremiah has remade the staff, not exactly “shaping order out of shapelessness,” but more re-ordering components or redistributing/redirecting the flow of essences of the Staff into a more integrated whole, a more direct flow, one attuned with its wielder. It’s as if Jeremiah completed the Staff when making it clean again, not unlike Covenant completing his resurrection when sealing the fissures in his mind. Son correcting/completing/perfecting(??) the instrument of Law his mom made with wild magic just like Covenant finalizing what Linden accomplished with both Law and wild magic together.

Or maybe successfully dissociating the last Raver from the world enabled the inherent Earthpower of the Staff to cleanse itself, allowed its in-built structural integrity to reassert itself, invited some wonder to be wrought for its redemption.

Lots of speculation in there, and for me, the many layers of things that fold over onto one another in this chapter sort of lure the mind in the direction of pondering. The chapter itself is a layer upon a layer, an overlap of time with the other two climaxes happening in the Lost Deep and the Heart of Thunder.


Sentences and Vocabulary

While this can surely be said about the entire Chronicles, I found that there were some powerful sentences in this chapter.

Quote:
The whole world did not contain enough power to prevent its own death.

Quote:
Covenant and Linden might as well have asked Jeremiah to remake the world.

Quote:
Towering plumes of dust and ruin cast a pall across the Land’s last dusk.

Quote:
I will trust that Linden Giantfriend and Covenant Timewarden will exceed every expectation, as they have done from the first.

Quote:
He was beginning to understand that there was more than one path to godhood.


Descriptions of Melenkurion Skyweir crumbling:
Quote:
In the distance, the implied roar and clatter as Melenkurion Skyweir collapsed shook the world.

Quote:
Far to the southwest, time was beginning to twist and flow. Mountains which had once leaned against Melenkurion Skyweir slumped as if they were melting. Confusion distorted the foothills. Trees which had died thousands of years ago in Garroting Deep flashed into existence and blurred away.


‘Actinic’ is used twice on one page (p. 496), once to describe the eerie blue light that is not discernible by health sense, and once to describe the eyes of the stone beasts. The word means anything that has to do with the chemical changes brought on by radiation, especially ultraviolet light, and I can’t quite grasp why this word works in this context…
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:54 am    Post subject: Re: TLD Part II Chapter 11: Of My Deeper Purpose Reply with quote

Thank you for that enjoyable synopsis, earthbrah! There is no doubt this is the best Jeremiah chapter in the book. Any chapter where a Raver gets slammed down is always a good chapter!

earthbrah wrote:
He’s despairing, alone and in the dark, feeling insurmountably burdened.

Quote:
"Stone and Sea!” the Ironhand panted. “Does the world end? Does time remain for the Timewarden to accomplish his purpose? Have we come so far at such cost, and arrived too late?”

“How should I know?” countered Jeremiah sourly. “I’ve never watched a world die before.” Then he rasped, “Of course we’re too late. That’s what all those Cavewights were for. Lord Foul sent them to slow us down.”

We were doomed, he added to himself, as soon as Mom and Covenant started thinking I could hold up my end.

But Canrik said like a reprimand, “He is the ur-Lord, the Unbeliever. Twice he has wrested life from the clutch of Corruption, for the Land if not for himself. We are Masters and have doubted much. Now we are done with uncertainty. While Branl remains able to speak to us, we will fear nothing.”


The certainty of the Haruchai plays as a nice foil to Jeremiah’s doubt. He equates his failure with his identity, with who he is.


You're right, earthbrah, this is a great contrast of views, with Jer hearing what he needed to hear. Nice to finally see the Masters throw all they've got into a worthy cause, at last! It's only taken them over thirty centuries.


earthbrah wrote:
Quote:
Self-will only accrues fear. It achieves only pain. The highest glory is reached solely by the abdication of self.


Right? Jeremiah is succumbing to the Raver’s slippery words.


Raver thinking is at heart rather fanatical, isn't it, even though cloaked in guise of reasonable thinking (when they're encountering host resistance, or fearing it occurring).


earthbrah wrote:
Quote:
What Lord Foul wanted from him, he told himself secretly, was not something that could be compelled. Like wild magic, his talent could not be coerced beyond the small uses that the croyel had made of it. No matter how much he was whetted, he would not be able to exceed anything unless he agreed to it. At some point, the Despiser would need Jeremiah to serve him by choice.


This is the moment that makes all the difference for Jeremiah. He realizes that he really can effect the outcome of this world's last crisis.


Earthbrah, I just wanted to call attention to a chapter quote you provided, specifically this part of it:

Quote:
a jeweled casket sunk deep into the mire of the Great Swamp, a tapestry sealed in a cavern lost among the snows of the Northron Climbs, a periapt as crowded with knowledge as a tome.


Repositories of lore we've not known about before. Very interesting!

earthbrah wrote:
And then Coldspray, Grueburn, Canrik and Jeremiah all realize that the staff is no longer black. Even the Master shows surprise on his face.

Rid the Staff of Law of its lamentable blackness: check.

Quote:
The Staff felt like recognition in his hands. It sent out broad swaths of flame as kindly and soothing as sunshine. Its shaft shone with the cleanliness of healthy heartwood. Along its surface, Caerroil Wildwood’s runes remained, distinct as promises, but their meaning was no longer obscure. They were an offering and an appeal: they enabled and prayed.

To Jeremiah Chosen-son, the descendant of Sunder and Hollian in spirit if not in body, the Forestal’s script pleaded for restoration.


Thus ends the chapter.



The blackness of the Staff's flames started when Linden tried to reach for Jeremiah's soul while facing resistance from the croyel, back in Part II of AATE. There must be some significance to Jeremiah throwing Jehannum into this old grave having the effect of banishing the blackness. It's all a metaphor, but I'm no interpreter or surrealist to decipher it, that's for sure.

Thanks again for the great lead-off, earthbrah! Very Happy
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

earthbrah wrote:
And after a brief attack by stone monsters (which we’ve never seen before, nor which have ever even been referenced in The Chronicles, to my knowledge)


We've seen them once before, in White Gold Wielder chapter 19 (the chapter entitled, "No Other Way"), when TC and LA are approached by two of these monsters, one controlled by turiya and one controlled by moksha. This is when they are nearing Kiril Threndor.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
What Lord Foul wanted from him, he told himself secretly, was not something that could be compelled. Like wild magic, his talent could not be coerced beyond the small uses that the croyel had made of it. No matter how much he was whetted, he would not be able to exceed anything unless he agreed to it. At some point, the Despiser would need Jeremiah to serve him by choice.


Cord Hurn wrote:
Quote:
This is the moment that makes all the difference for Jeremiah. He realizes that he really can effect the outcome of this world's last crisis.


This is the necessity of freedom come to fruition for the character of Jeremiah. Moksha cannot simply take full control of Jerry and use him like a tool because what Foul wants from him cannot be forced via possession. Foul still requires Jerry's voluntary cooperation in order for his "deeper purpose" to be fulfilled.

Foul has been basing his schemes on the corruptibility and/or manipulability of people for a long time, and he hasn't yet learned that this strategy is not working for him. His "deeper purpose" relied on Jeremiah, specifically on the kid's ability to fall into despair and base his actions on that state, on those internal conditions.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cord Hurn wrote:
Quote:
We've seen them once before, in White Gold Wielder chapter 19 (the chapter entitled, "No Other Way"), when TC and LA are approached by two of these monsters, one controlled by turiya and one controlled by moksha. This is when they are nearing Kiril Threndor.


Now that you mention it, I am having a vague recollection. I wonder if the word 'actinic' is used to describe a blue glow surrounding the stone beasts in WGW. This is making me wish I still had my copy of WGW...
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2015 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
He had absorbed astonishing kinds and qualities of lore from the Raver, more knowledge than he could have named. Forbidding was a part of it. An expression of Earthpower called a Word of Warning was a part. The wood-magicks of the lillianrill were a part, as were the elaborate healings which the Lords had once wrought in Trothgard, and the music with which Caerwood ur-Mahrtiir had invoked a bower among the wastes of the Lower Land. He knew how the great tree-city of Revelwood in the Valley of Two Rivers had been fashioned.

But that was not all: he had learned more. If he had been released, he could have devised a prison which would have snared moksha Jehannum until Time was extinguished. Given a few uninterupted days, he could have repairedthe damage that ancient violence had done to Mount Thunder's heart. With a few years and a Forestal's aid, he could have made a garden of the Lower Land.


This passage was cause for both hope and worry for me the first time I read it. Hope because the Land could finally be restored to the Creator's original intentions before Foul, er, fouled it up. Razz
Worry because I remembered the warning Pitchwife gave in Andelain about the perils of using unearned knowledge. (Could Jeremiah be said to have earned all this knowledge when he's basically tricking Jehannum into thinking he's accepting of Foul's plans?)
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2015 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

earthbrah wrote:
Foul has been basing his schemes on the corruptibility and/or manipulability of people for a long time, and he hasn't yet learned that this strategy is not working for him.


Seems to be Foul's greatest weakness, doesn't it earthbrah? LF can keep changing his strategies, but fails to change his underlying faulty assumptions of the Land's defenders. He doesn't understand alliances, he doesn't understand loyalties, he only understands manipulations and threats. He adapts his plans over time, but he just isn't adaptable ENOUGH!
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the Second Chronicles was written:
Quote:
Unearned knowledge is perilous. Only by the seeking and gaining of it may its uses be understood, its true worth measured. Unearned knowledge rules its wielder, to the cost of both.


This is the Pitchwife quote you were referring to, I believe.

Cord Hurn wrote:
Quote:
(Could Jeremiah be said to have earned all this knowledge when he's basically tricking Jehannum into thinking he's accepting of Foul's plans?)


You know, I wondered the same thing when I first read this; the same connection was made in my mind. And I decided that he had earned this knowledge, that the suffering he had already gone through in the graves of his own mind, and the Raver possession being the only way he is able to receive this knowledge…he's earned it. It still might be somewhat perilous for him to use it (at least for a while) since it's all sort of 'innate' now, that he knows the stuff without directly knowing it because it was infused within him rather than taught to him in any kind of conventional way. It's like he got the knowledge by osmosis.
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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2015 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

earthbrah wrote:
In the Second Chronicles was written:
Quote:
Unearned knowledge is perilous. Only by the seeking and gaining of it may its uses be understood, its true worth measured. Unearned knowledge rules its wielder, to the cost of both.


This is the Pitchwife quote you were referring to, I believe.


Well done, earthbrah! You're right, that's exactly it! Smile

earthbrah wrote:
Cord Hurn wrote:
Quote:
(Could Jeremiah be said to have earned all this knowledge when he's basically tricking Jehannum into thinking he's accepting of Foul's plans?)


You know, I wondered the same thing when I first read this; the same connection was made in my mind. And I decided that he had earned this knowledge, that the suffering he had already gone through in the graves of his own mind, and the Raver possession being the only way he is able to receive this knowledge…he's earned it. It still might be somewhat perilous for him to use it (at least for a while) since it's all sort of 'innate' now, that he knows the stuff without directly knowing it because it was infused within him rather than taught to him in any kind of conventional way. It's like he got the knowledge by osmosis.


Granted, it could well be argued that Jeremiah has suffered plenty in his life, enough to say he's earned whatever knowledge he gains.
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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2015 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
However, some of her own memories lived among the Raver's; and those wrung Jeremiah's heart. They erased his calmness, dismissed his given relief as if it were nothing more than a mirage. For the first time, he learned what his mother had suffered when she, too, had been just a kid.

Remembered by moksha, Jeremiah stood in the attic with her, watching her father bleed out of his cut wrists, and helpless to force the blood back into his veins. Already gashed and dying, that aggrieved man had locked her in with him so that she would not be able to go for help. In effect, he had compelled her to witness his surrender to self-pity: her father.

She had been only eight.

Mom. Jeremiah wanted to wail. Mom. But the Raver was not done.

Crowing, moksha remembered Linden's mother. At about Jeremiah's present age, she had been at her mother's bedside while her mother prayed for death. According to moksha, the woman's illness may not have been terminal. But Linden had heeded her mother's [pleading. Her mother had blamed her, Linden, for causing her husband's death; for making her life unsupportable. And Linden had been left alone to provide care. Wipe away sweat. Mop up dribbling mucus. Tend bedpans. So when Linden had exhausted her own misery, she had--

Jeremiah did not know how to bear it.

--taken wads of tissue and forced them down her mother's throat; forced more and more of them until her mother would never blame anyone else again.

The Raver reveled in those events. Moksha wanted Jeremiah to understand that his mother had always been a victim and a killer. The woman who had claimed to love him was as pitiful and weak as his natural mother. Linden's parents had made her who she was. She would never be anything more. Because of her--moksha Jehannum insisted on this as if the truth were beyond question--Jeremiah had always belonged to Lord Foul. From the first, he had been raised to serve Despite by women who had earned their own victimization.

The gift that Lord Foul offered now was more than mere peace, more than simple relief: it was transcendence. Jeremiah's submission would be rewarded with a place in eternity, a form of godhood in which his wounds and struggles would have no meaning. He would be free at last of his inherited unworth.

Moksha urged this vision of Jeremiah's future as if it were perfected delight. And Jeremiah heard the Raver. He recognized what the Raver wanted from him. But he was no longer listening. Within his secret silence, he cried out for the woman who had chosen to be his mother when no power in life could have required her to claim him.

Yes, he told Lord Foul's servant. Yes.



I wanted to quote this because this is in a way my favorite part of this chapter. Jehannum's attempt to convince Jeremiah that he must serve LF backfires big time, because Jer gets in deeper touch with his own empathy and learns further contempt for the Rave's scornfulness.

Quote:
Entirely dissociated from his real circumstance--entirely concealed from his possessor--he meant, Watch your back, you piece of shit. I'm coming for you.


Yeah, I like that the Raver's gleeful overconfidence and belittling nature becomes his undoing in this chapter. Mr. Green
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PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2015 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Gritting his teeth, Jeremiah rose up in power. A detonation like a thunderclap from one heel of the Staff tore the stone-thing apart. Rendered to powder, it fell.

The floor heaved. The ceiling shed more rocks. Cracks yawned open, grated shut. Here and there, wounds split the walls. Patches of gutrock oozed and ran as if their essences were being squeezed out of them.

"I'm sorry," Jeremiah panted: a faint echo of his friend's gasping. "I mean, I'm sorry that took so long. First I didn't know how to do it. Then I had to wait for a chance."

A chance which the Swordmainnir and Canrik had given him.

"Do not heed us," the Ironhand managed to say between broken breaths. "The Timewarden--The Worm--"

Jeremiah did not have time to think. Covenant needed him. Canrik was already waiting for him at the tunnel toward Kiril Threndor.

He took the time. "You're joking." His tone hinted at moksha's glee. He had enjoyed immuring the Raver. "I can't leave you like this. You don't look strong enough to stand.

"This is Mom's Staff. It doesn't really belong to me. But I know how to use it now."

Then he released a second blast of Earthpower.

This detonation was as fierce as the force which had destroyed the stone-thing; but it was an entirely different kind of theurgy, a more natural magic. It hurt Coldspray and Grueburn, but it did not damage them.


I had never been as proud of Jeremiah as at this moment! He is freed at last to express his gratitude towards his selfless friends, though he has yet to develop the subtle touch of healing people gracefully (and let's face it, he hasn't much time to learn in this moment of the world's crisis).

The Jeremiah who has answered his companions' requests with surliness, due to his harsh judgments of himself, is gone for good!
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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2015 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It took me a long time to get around to properly dissecting this chapter. I had only read it once before, and I think in my headlong rush to get to the end, I didn't absorb this chapter as well as I should. I recalled it being longer and more confusing; in actuality it's a shorter chapter and very concise. I remembered Jeremiah's climax being a bit obtuse; it actually flows very nicely from everything we've read up until now. So, anyway: I was daunted, and I waited until I had the personal time necessary to tackle a monster chapter. But in the end, I was tickled by a cute and furry one.

earthbrah has done a great job of bringing up all of the important points for us. What he has missed, our dedicated Cord has filled in. I had a lot of thoughts about this chapter, but most of them would only be repeats now. So if my contribution is brief, it is not from lack of admiration for the material.

First, I want to say that I enjoyed how Donaldson laid out the final three chapters. Linden's climax, then Jeremiah's, and then .... well, you can guess. Each given it's own due attention. I don't think that this is in order of importance. I think Donaldson's overriding concern is the order that plot points are revealed, and when we learn what we learn.

Lately, I have come to believe that the three protagonists are all in the Land together because each needs the others in order to reach their final state of "wholeness", or however you choose to describe the successful ends of their personal journeys. Each provides something for the others, each helps the others, each motivates the others. But, as these final three chapters bear out ... in the end, it is all up to themselves, alone. The others have assisted and contributed, but it is only assisting and contributing. In the end, Donaldson wants us to see that we take that big, final step ourselves. It is, in the end, a personal crisis. We cannot make it alone, but the change is in ourselves.

earthbrah wrote:
He’s despairing, alone and in the dark, feeling insurmountably burdened.

There is no doubt in my mind that Jeremiah's crisis is the same as Linden's and Covenant's, just in a different form. It is a crisis of power. Jeremiah feels impotent, that he has no power to effect anything. The Raver feeds him this belief. But he learns - as others before - that as long as you are yourself, you always have the power to choose how you face circumstances, to choose how you feel. And as long as you can choose, you can find power. In this, Jeremiah's climax fits into the entire Chronicles pantheon.

There are a number of parallels between Jeremiah in this chapter and Covenant's first confrontation with Foul in TPTP. The apparent helplessness. Friends in danger. Realization that free will cannot be taken from you, only seduced from you. From there, reaching out and finding power. Breaking the shackles. Defeating your captor, but not lured into killing him.

It's similar because they are both crises of power.

In The Final Dark was wrote:
Covenant and Linden might as well have asked Jeremiah to remake the world.

I really appreciated this line. Jeremiah is still in the throws of his impotent and helpless despair. But the way he describes it ... "might as well" tells us that this is a Donaldson simile, and as such it is complex and ironic. Jeremiah does need to remake his world - the internal world of his mind, the realm of his self-view. Covenant and Linden did tell him he needs to do that. So Jeremiah, here, is almost realizing that, but it seems so impossible at first that it seems like his parents must be asking for the impossible.

And of course, "remaking the world" has future connotations.

earthbrah wrote:
He realizes that the Raver has not taken full control of him, that he can still have his own thoughts which the Raver cannot hear, that his freedom of choice is still intact.

Just want to add: he learned how to do this from Kastenessen. When Kastenessen possessed him, he learned how to split off and hide a part of himself. Which in turn he learned by hiding in graves. So: he has found a way to turn a weakness into a strength. His earlier experiences have prepared him for this moment, because even bad things make us who we are. All common themes of the Chronicles.

earthbrah wrote:
Jeremiah absorbed them all into the fiber of his being, not unlike his reception of Anele’s gift of Earthpower. He’s being imbued with the knowledge needed to use his talents, and to use the Staff; moksha is inadvertently writing runes onto Jeremiah as he translates the ones on the Staff.

Again, this chapter is flashing us concepts that presage events to come. The concept of being able to absorb knowledge from those who contain you/are contained by you. This precidents important things to come. The next chapter will practically write itself!

earthbrah wrote:
(And I wonder if the Raver, any Raver, is somehow specially suited to reading the runes carved by their ancient enemy…)

Enemies learn to know each other intimately, don't they? I think that's all the explanation we need. The Ravers have fought the forestals so long that they understand the forestals power intimately.

Notice how the story teases us with the meaning of the runes. We learn that the Raver is reading them, but what he reads is not revealed to the reader. Until the end of the chapter: To Jeremiah Chosen-son, the descendant of Sunder and Hollian in spirit if not in body, the Forestal’s script pleaded for restoration.

This is of a piece, and not surprising. Linden had learned of Gallows Howe and Caer-Caveral: First came grief. Yes. It led inexorably to rage. But it did so only because a different need had been denied. Between the underlying loss and the accumulated gall lay a yearning of another kind altogether: a vast, sorrowing, stymied desire, not for revenge, but for restitution. The forests, and the emblem of Gallows Howe, would not have grown so dark if they had not first failed to reclaim what they had lost.

There is a whole side-thread right there - taking that clue and re-interpreting the meetings between Caer-Caveral and Linden in light of this knowledge.

earthbrah wrote:
So I might also say that this chapter brings Caer Caveral’s sacrifice full circle. And if that is permissible, then I might also proffer that this Staff of Law, made from the wild magically melded Findail and Vain, also finds its culmination in this chapter.

Yes. Brilliant. That's my previous thought, taken one step further.

Linden had failed in some way when her Staff was made without runes. When Caer-Caveral fixed that, she never understood what they meant. Jeremiah has shown that he may have been the true destined owner of the Staff all along. Perhaps the blackness, and then it's removal, signify this in some way. (Remember, the blackness began when Linden discovered Jeremiah's secret existence below his graves.)

Cord Hurn wrote:
There must be some significance to Jeremiah throwing Jehannum into this old grave having the effect of banishing the blackness.

That, too!

Cord Hurn wrote:
We've seen them once before, in White Gold Wielder chapter 19 (the chapter entitled, "No Other Way"), when TC and LA are approached by two of these monsters, one controlled by turiya and one controlled by moksha.

I am going to correct you here, for the public record, not to be antagonistic. The two monsters in White Gold Weilder were "creatures of scree and detritus", not boulders. They arose from a "a steep slope of shale, loam, and refuse". So similar, perhaps, but not quite the same.

What these new monsters do remind me of is the crabs from POTC3:



(If you haven't seen that movie, here's a clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGy-QISVhTE)

Cord Hurn wrote:
This passage was cause for both hope and worry for me the first time I read it. Hope because the Land could finally be restored to the Creator's original intentions before Foul, er, fouled it up.

More. It establishes the necessary capabilities which will be needed soon.

But consider the irony of the line I mentioned above, when contrasted with this passage: ... might as well have asked Jeremiah to remake the world.

Cord Hurn wrote:
Granted, it could well be argued that Jeremiah has suffered plenty in his life, enough to say he's earned whatever knowledge he gains.

I might suggest that the method this knowledge is gained doesn't only transfer the knowledge but also all the wisdom and experience of having gained the knowledge. It's a full mind-to-mind transfer, complete with insights and experiences.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
First, I want to say that I enjoyed how Donaldson laid out the final three chapters. Linden's climax, then Jeremiah's, and then .... well, you can guess. Each given it's own due attention. I don't think that this is in order of importance. I think Donaldson's overriding concern is the order that plot points are revealed, and when we learn what we learn.

Lately, I have come to believe that the three protagonists are all in the Land together because each needs the others in order to reach their final state of "wholeness", or however you choose to describe the successful ends of their personal journeys. Each provides something for the others, each helps the others, each motivates the others. But, as these final three chapters bear out ... in the end, it is all up to themselves, alone. The others have assisted and contributed, but it is only assisting and contributing. In the end, Donaldson wants us to see that we take that big, final step ourselves. It is, in the end, a personal crisis. We cannot make it alone, but the change is in ourselves.


Absolutely agree on all this, including your conclusion that this is all about a crisis of power. Good calls!

wayfriend wrote:
The others have assisted and contributed, but it is only assisting and contributing. In the end, Donaldson wants us to see that we take that big, final step ourselves. It is, in the end, a personal crisis. We cannot make it alone, but the change is in ourselves.


Profound, and something we all need to be reminded of, from time to time.

earthbrah wrote:
Now that you mention it, I am having a vague recollection. I wonder if the word 'actinic' is used to describe a blue glow surrounding the stone beasts in WGW. This is making me wish I still had my copy of WGW...


wayfriend wrote:
I am going to correct you here, for the public record, not to be antagonistic. The two monsters in White Gold Weilder were "creatures of scree and detritus", not boulders. They arose from a "a steep slope of shale, loam, and refuse". So similar, perhaps, but not quite the same.


Oh, I very much appreciate your participation in discussions like this, wayfriend, and don't see it as antagonistic at all. And I know I make mistakes; it happens. But, it just may be that SRD is describing different aspects of the same creatures. Guess I need to go to the relevant texts to see if this is the case:

In White Gold Wielder chapter 18 was wrote:
And the steep slope beside them arose as if she had called it to life.
Two of them: creatures of scree and detritus from the roots of the mountain. They were nearly as tall as Giants, but much broader. They looked strong enough to crush boulders in their massive arms. One of them struck Covenant a stone blow that scattered him to the floor. The other impelled Linden to the wall.


In White Gold Wielder chapter 19 was wrote:
Buried somewhere within herself, Joan had watched her own fury for Covenant's blood, for the taste of his pain. And now Linden looked out at him as if through moksha Jehannum's eyes, heard him with ears that belonged to the Raver. Lit only by the ghoulish emanations of the creatures, he stood in the bottom of the crevice like a man who had just been maimed.


In The Last Dark Part II Chapter 11 was wrote:
He and his companions were not alone in the cave.
With a ponderous ease that made him flinch, the boulders began to expand.
They unfolded like crouching behemoths: monsters of living rock that had concealed themselves by curling down until they resembled balls. Now they stood, pitching the Swordmainnir headlong. Jeremiah saw lumpen heads without necks, actinic eyes, massive arms and legs outlined like sketches in phosphorescent blue.


Boulders could be considered as detritus off of the rock of the much larger Mount Thunder, and boulders can be part of scree slopes, as well. Granted, the stone monsters in WGW aren't described as being "actinic". But in both books, you've got creatures of living rock that can conceal themselves before "coming to life" with a ghoulish glow. Could be the same, right? Confused Looks like the textual comparisons are proving to be inconclusive on this matter. I certainly see the similarity of these monsters to that crab in the movie clip (and thanks for the clip, because I never saw any of those movies).

wayfriend wrote:

Cord Hurn wrote:
Granted, it could well be argued that Jeremiah has suffered plenty in his life, enough to say he's earned whatever knowledge he gains.


I might suggest that the method this knowledge is gained doesn't only transfer the knowledge but also all the wisdom and experience of having gained the knowledge. It's a full mind-to-mind transfer, complete with insights and experiences.


I can buy this! Very Happy
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cord Hurn wrote:
wayfriend wrote:
The two monsters in White Gold Weilder were "creatures of scree and detritus", not boulders. They arose from a "a steep slope of shale, loam, and refuse". So similar, perhaps, but not quite the same.
But, it just may be that SRD is describing different aspects of the same creatures. ... Boulders could be considered as detritus off of the rock of the much larger Mount Thunder, and boulders can be part of scree slopes, as well. Granted, the stone monsters in WGW aren't described as being "actinic". But in both books, you've got creatures of living rock that can conceal themselves before "coming to life" with a ghoulish glow.

Yes, they seem similar in many respects. Little rocks vs Big Rocks.

The earlier monsters have always reminded me of the old classic D&D "shambling mounds", although those were creatures of "rotting vegetation" and not "scree and detritus".



The later monsters remind me of Gorignak from Galaxy Quest [clip]



Also, the earlier monsters seemed to have an all-over glow, while the later monsters only have glowing eyes.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No one has mentioned yet the parallels between Jeremiah's possession and Linden's.

Sure, it was the same exact Raver each time. But that's not what I mean.

Linden was possessed just before Covenant's confrontation with Foul. Jeremiah was possessed just before Covenant's confrontation with Foul.

In both cases, the Raver possesses them easily. Linden: It held possession of her as completely as if she had been born for its use. Jeremiah: and moksha Jehannum slipped into Jeremiah as easily as an indrawn breath.

Once captured, Jeremiah is lulled into the tranquility of inaction: nothing more can be demanded of him. Once captured, the Raver excoriated Linden with pain like the Sunbane, and then offered her the painlessness of surrender. In both cases, the Raver seduced them with an escape tailor-made to make use of their personal fears and weaknesses.

In both cases, the Raver tries to convince them that they are now bereft of choice. But they are not. Linden and Jeremiah both realize that, even powerless, they have choices they can make.

In both cases, the knowledge that they gain from their possessor helps them see a way to escape. Linden: She had become intimately familiar with her possessor. Jeremiah: He had absorbed astonishing kinds and quantities of lore from the Raver, more knowledge than he could have named.

In both cases, they awaited the right moment. And then struck.

For Jeremiah as with Linden, unexpected strength casts down the Raver. Pure, unadulterated will - backed by the confidence of newly found power - that cannot be matched. Defeat of the Raver is tantamount to becoming fully self-realized.

In both cases, the Raver was not slain.

Both Linden and Jeremiah emerge with more tasks to do before the end, but with a capability to achieve them which they had not had before. Which drifts into spoiler territory, so enough said.

Stupid Raver. Attempting to gain an advantage, it helped Linden and Jeremiah rather than crushed them.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These are indeed very strong parallels, wayfriend, and thank you for pointing them out! Shocked Big Grin

(As for the monsters: well, okay, maybe they're just closely related. But note that the TLD stone monsters aren't just described as having glowing eyes, but also limbs that are glowing. But anyway, I guess I need to leave these monsters behind and focus on weightier matters--like the next two chapters. Wink )
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cord Hurn wrote:
But anyway, I guess I need to leave these monsters behind and focus on weightier matters

Weightier. Heh.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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