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The Illearth War - Chapter 20
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2003 12:37 am    Post subject: The Illearth War - Chapter 20 Reply with quote

Now we go to Mhoram's perspective, and that alone would be uplifting if Mhoram's heart wasn't so heavy. Troy has told him his plan, and Mhoram is not sure if he can make it work.

Mhoram is not the only one showing strain from the ordeal. Most of the Warward has been saved, but the Vortex of Trepidation has taken its toll in other ways.
Quote:
Something in Lord Callindrill had been damaged by Fleshharrower's attack. The strain of combat against bitter ill had humiliated him in some way, taught him a deep distrust of himself. He had not been able to resist the fear. Now his clear soft eyes were clouded, pained. When he melded his thoughts with Lord Mhoram, he shared knowledge and concern, but not strength; he no longer believed in his strength.


What personal ordeal did Callindrill lose? I don't imagine it could have been worse than Troy's.

Amorine is walking around like one of the dead, and this appears to be the result of what has happened to Troy. Before Doriendor Corishev she was just about lost, being held up only by the faith Troy had shown in her. I wonder if she thinks she somehow failed him, or maybe if it had something to do with the way he shoved her aside when he was under the effects of the vortex. In any event, Troy's weakness has devestated her.

Now Quaan knows Troy's plan, and he's not happy with it (confirming Troy's choice not to tell anyone beforehand... it's interesting to note how often the theme of withholding information and one's self appears in the Chronicles). Quaan asks if Troy raves, and Troy responds in a way very similar to Covenant's "I'm a leper; don't touch me," by saying, "I'm blind. I can't help it."

Troy then speaks for Mhoram and voices his fears that he is Foul's tool. Troy then claims it is now up to Mhoram to save them. I love this bit.
Quote:
Quaan appeared torn between dismay for the Warward and concern for Troy. "Even a Lord may be defeated," he replied gruffly.
"I'm not talking about a Lord," Troy rasped. "I'm talking about Mhoram."


Mhoram has no answer for Troy's fears, saying if it is indeed Foul who had chosen Troy, then nothing can help. Despite what Mhoram may do, the success of this endeavor depends on Troy. He is unsure, but believes there is still hope.
Quote:
But Troy sat up by the embers of the campfire. As the Lord's eyes closed, Troy was still huddled toward the flames like a cold cipher seeking some kind of remission for its frigidity.


In the morning, Troy has apparently found the resolution in himself to face what has to be done once again. He decides to address the Warward. While they're getting into position around Mhoram at the edge of the wood, Callindrill expresses the faith he and the other Lords have in Mhoram, but when he leaves, Mhoram is still holding back tears. These aren't tears of fear, or self-pity, but of the pain of seeing so much lost, and as he's looking at what is left of the Warward,
Quote:
Mhoram could not hold back his tears. They ran down his jaw and spattered like warm pain on his hands where he held his staff.


Once everybody is in position, Troy delivers his speech. He tells them that they are not victims and that they're going to win. Then he tells them that they're going to go through Garroting Deep, a journey nobody has ever survived. The Warward is too weary to do much but sit and look horrified. He assures them that Mhoram can persuade Caerroil Wildwood, the Forestal of Garroting Deep, to let them pass.

Quote:
"Until he succeeds, the only thing we have to do is fight-keep him alive while he works. That's all. I know how tough it's going to be for you. I-I hear how tired you are. But you are warriors. You will find the strength. I believe it. Whatever happens, I'll be proud to fight with you. And I won't be afraid to lead you into Garroting Deep. You are the true preservers of the Land."

He stopped, waiting for some kind of answer.

The warriors gave no cheers or shouts or cries; the extravagant grip of their exhaustion kept them silent. But together they heaved themselves to their feet. Twelve thousand men and women stood to salute the Warmark.


Despite his faults, you really have to give it to someone who can inspire that kind of loyalty from the people of the Land.


Away from the Warward, Troy remarks that at the very least, they can't die before Fleshharrower's army enters the Deep, sacrificing their lives if they have to. Terrell is displeased with this idea.

Quote:
"That we will not permit," he said dispassionately. "It is suicide. We do not speak of the Warward. But we are the Bloodguard. We will not permit the Lords to enact their own death. We failed to prevent High Lord Kevin's self-destruction. We will not fail again."


At first, this would seem to run rather contradictory to Thomin's actions in chapter 18, but perhaps Thomin saw himself protecting Verement from Kevin's fate? Anyhow, Mhoram assures him that that time has not yet come. As the Warward prepares to face the raver's army, Mhoram faces Garroting Deep.

Here we get a glimpse of how deep Kevin's Lore, or at least Mhoram's imagination and inventiveness run. Mhoram tries everything from a ritual appeal to the woods, every Forestal name known to the Lords, chants, invocations, the summoning song, signs, arcane symbols, pentacles and circles on the grass with fire burning within them, eldrithc gestures, and labyrinthian chants. None of it worked. At last, there is only one thing Mhoram can do, and it's something that was so dangerous to perform it was forbidden. Mhoram sang the song of the Forestall of the One Forest. (I will not profane it by speaking it here)

A reply is heard, and Caerroil Wildwood walks toward Mhoram. Put simply, Caerroil Wildwood is one bad mofo. I apologize if I'm wrong, but not even the Elohim seem to elicit this much awe. The very gaze of the Forestal carries physical force. At first, Mhoram is too stunned to even answer him when he asks who dares taint his song. When Mhoram does answer and explains their plight, the Forestal gives Mhoram a very light-spoken command to be gone, and Mhoram staggers.

To Mhoram's claims of a Lord dedicated to the service of the Land and Forest, Wildwood answers, "I know nothing of Lords. They are nothing to me. But I know men, mortals. The Ritual of Desecration is not forgotten in the Deep." Finally, Mhoram says the magic word - "Raven (Raver)." Now he has the Forestal's attention and goes on to tell the history and current doings of Fleshharrower and how he now possesses the Illearth Stone, which Wildwood seems to almost scorn. Mhoram explains the plan, and Wildwood agrees to it... on one condition. There is a price to be paid for tainting the Forestal's song.

Quote:
The upsurge of Mhoram's hope suddenly gave way to fear, and he spun to try to stop Warmark Troy. But before he could shout a warning, Troy said fervidly, "Then I'll pay it! I'll pay anything. My army is being slaughtered."


Now I'm sure it's due in large part to Mhoram being a seer, but why exactly did he turn to Troy before he had even said anything. I think it's because of his earlier statement that the success of this battle depended on Troy, and as it appears to be a success, the price must also rest on Troy.

Wildwood accepts Troy's payment, and then Troy sounds the retreat. This is just in the nick of time, as Fleshharrower's army had just broken the ranks anyway. Callindrill sets off a lightning fire in the grass, and the Warward, now a little more than ten Eoward, rallies and retreats into Garroting Deep.

There's no way to truly put together what happens next. Basically, it's Caerroil Wildwood's forest, and he can do whatever he wants in it. The song guides Mhoram and the rest through the forest at a rate faster than a galloping Ranyhyn and the forest just swallows and destroys Fleshharrower's pursuing army. Really, I'm just tempted to quote the next several pages as it all deals with the nearly god-like power of the Forestal.

Eventually, the song fades out and Mhoram, Callindrill, Troy, Amorine, Hiltmark Quaan, and two Bloodguard arrive at a high, bald hill.
Quote:
The soil of the hill was completely lifeless, as if in past ages it had been drenched with too much death ever to bloom again ...

This was Gallows Howe, the ancient slaying place of the Forestall. Here, according to the legends of the Land, Caerroil Wildwood and his brethren had held their assizes in the long-past ages when the One Forest still struggled for survival. Here the Ravers who had come within the Forestall' grasp had been executed.


I really feel sorry for the people (surprising to think that it was that many) that ended up here before they figured out not to mess with the forests. I don't feel sorry for Moksha, hanging there all black and swollen... or at least the body of the Giant he had occupied. Wildwood admits the futility of it, but says it's still fun nonethelss. "I know that I cannot slay the spirit of a Raver. But it is a great satisfaction to kill the flesh. He is garroted" (emphasis mine). The Illearth Stone he simply destroyed (though pondering the metaphysics of how he could have isolated himself and the forest from it enough not to be corrupted... if such is possible... while still destroying it would be interesting).

To make it easier on the trees, the rest of the Warward has been taken to the north to wait for the rest, but there were still visitors yet to arrive. Coming down the Black River, away from violent eruptions from Skyweir, are two people in a boat. Of them Wildwood says, "...these two pass on sufferance. They have not spoken to me. I allow them because the light they bear presents no peril to the trees-and because they hold a power which I must respect. I am bound by the Law of creation."

Apparently Orcrest is cool with the Forestal, and if White Gold bothers him, he knows enough about it to respect it (now how does a Forestal, who has never spoken to a Lord, know of the White Gold? It has to go pretty deep into the core nature of the Forestal Spoiler:
Elohim?
or of the root of the very Land itself... graven into every rock. Not much of a mystery, but very interesting to consider... I also find myself drawing a blank as to how Bannor is using the Orcrest)

>
>>
>>>

Ok, hope that wasn't too bad. I have a pretty bad cold today, and the previous file I was working on won't open up today (at work). Please, feel free to comment on anything, especially if I left anything out.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2003 2:17 am    Post subject: Re: The Illearth War - Chapter 20 Reply with quote

Caer Sylvanus wrote:
As the Warward prepares to face the raver's army, Mhoram faces Garroting Deep.

Here we get a glimpse of how deep Kevin's Lore, or at least Mhoram's imagination and inventiveness run. Mhoram tries everything from a ritual appeal to the woods, every Forestal name known to the Lords...
Alas, I was dead, and could not answer. But in any event, I could not have answered in Garroting Deep without Caerroil Wildwood's permission. It was his Forest. Had I been alive, and he did not want to meet Lord Mhoram, he could have permitted me. But none of us acted in another's Forest without permission, and even visiting without the other's foreknowledge was not at all polite.

Caer Sylvanus wrote:
At last, there is only one thing Mhoram can do, and it's something that was so dangerous to perform it was forbidden. Mhoram sang the song of the Forestall of the One Forest. (I will not profane it by speaking it here)
I thank you for your respect.

Caer Sylvanus wrote:
A reply is heard, and Caerroil Wildwood walks toward Mhoram. Put simply, Caerroil Wildwood is one bad mofo. I apologize if I'm wrong, but not even the Elohim seem to elicit this much awe. The very gaze of the Forestal carries physical force. At first, Mhoram is too stunned to even answer him when he asks who dares taint his song. When Mhoram does answer and explains their plight, the Forestal gives Mhoram a very light-spoken command to be gone, and Mhoram staggers.
Very Happy Yes, he was an imposing figure. In fact, he fancied himself our leader. In truth, we were all equals. Still, none of us angered him when it could be avoided.

Caer Sylvanus wrote:
There's no way to truly put together what happens next. Basically, it's Caerroil Wildwood's forest, and he can do whatever he wants in it. The song guides Mhoram and the rest through the forest at a rate faster than a galloping Ranyhyn and the forest just swallows and destroys Fleshharrower's pursuing army. Really, I'm just tempted to quote the next several pages as it all deals with the nearly god-like power of the Forestal.
Very Happy I wish I could let you all feel what it is like to be a Forestal, if only for a moment. I get, as Fist and Faith would say, stoked when I am about to perform an act of great power.

Quote:
This was Gallows Howe, the ancient slaying place of the Forestals. Here, according to the legends of the Land, Caerroil Wildwood and his brethren had held their assizes in the long-past ages when the One Forest still struggled for survival. Here the Ravers who had come within the Forestals' grasp had been executed.
*sigh* Such good times!

Caer Sylvanus wrote:
The Illearth Stone he simply destroyed (though pondering the metaphysics of how he could have isolated himself and the forest from it enough not to be corrupted... if such is possible... while still destroying it would be interesting).
As you said, it is (was) Caerroil Wildwood's Forest. If he tells a tree to not become corrupted, the tree does not become corrupted. He merely reminds it of what it is. It was simply a matter of telling every tree, blade of grass, flower, and the rest, to not become corrupted.

Caer Sylvanus wrote:
To make it easier on the trees, the rest of the Warward has been taken to the north to wait for the rest, but there were still visitors yet to arrive. Coming down the Black River, away from violent eruptions from Skyweir, are two people in a boat. Of them Wildwood says, "...these two pass on sufferance. They have not spoken to me. I allow them because the light they bear presents no peril to the trees-and because they hold a power which I must respect. I am bound by the Law of creation."

Apparently Orcrest is cool with the Forestal, and if White Gold bothers him, he knows enough about it to respect it (now how does a Forestal, who has never spoken to a Lord, know of the White Gold? It has to go pretty deep into the core nature of the Forestal Spoiler:
Elohim?
or of the root of the very Land itself... graven into every rock. Not much of a mystery, but very interesting to consider...
As you say, wild magic is a part of everything. The Lords had heard of this connection, but the Forestaal feel it, though even we cannot utilize it. We could with the white gold, as could any thinking being, but Caerroil Wildwood was not fool enough.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2003 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wasn't to bad? That was awesome man! Awesome. Probably the most awesome and breathtaking chapter in the book: so much power so much sacrifice...whew!
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2003 3:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was great Syl. Garroting Deep is my favourite chapter in the book. I was in absolute awe at the power of a forestal....to be able to slay a Giant Raver like that and to dispose of a great evil such as the Illearth Stone without suffering any ill-effects was amazing.

And isn't the word garroted simply the best?
There is no more fitting punishment for a Raver than a good garroting. It sounds way more painful than a hanging. Smile
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2003 3:39 am    Post subject: Re: The Illearth War - Chapter 20 Reply with quote

I'm with danlo, awesome chapter, awesome job!! What an amazing chapter! Between Mhoram, Caerroil Wildwood, and Amok, it's no wonder TIW is one of my 6 favorite books in all of TCTC. (Well, 7 if you count G-F. Which I most certainly do, despite its size.)

Caer Sylvanus wrote:
Quote:
Something in Lord Callindrill had been damaged by Fleshharrower's attack. The strain of combat against bitter ill had humiliated him in some way, taught him a deep distrust of himself. He had not been able to resist the fear. Now his clear soft eyes were clouded, pained. When he melded his thoughts with Lord Mhoram, he shared knowledge and concern, but not strength; he no longer believed in his strength.
What personal ordeal did Callindrill lose? I don't imagine it could have been worse than Troy's.
Good question. Who knows what childhood trauma might have been brought up. Although maybe the same things were done to each, but, as with everything, different people react to Despite in different ways.

Quote:
Quaan appeared torn between dismay for the Warward and concern for Troy. "Even a Lord may be defeated," he replied gruffly.
"I'm not talking about a Lord," Troy rasped. "I'm talking about Mhoram."
Have I ever mentioned how much I love Mhoram?

Caer Sylvanus wrote:
Quote:
"That we will not permit," he said dispassionately. "It is suicide. We do not speak of the Warward. But we are the Bloodguard. We will not permit the Lords to enact their own death. We failed to prevent High Lord Kevin's self-destruction. We will not fail again."


At first, this would seem to run rather contradictory to Thomin's actions in chapter 18, but perhaps Thomin saw himself protecting Verement from Kevin's fate?
As I was saying in the dissection of chapter 18, I don't think any Bloodguard ever faced the choice that Thomin did. I can't imagine Foul or the Ravers ever had the power to force any of the Old Lords to betray themselves, and we hadn't heard of it happening to the New either. I think Thomin was the only Bloodguard to ever be shown in such a way that there are things more important than life.

Caer Sylvanus wrote:
Finally, Mhoram says the magic word - "Raven (Raver)."
Eh? Does your copy of the book say Raven?

Caer Sylvanus wrote:
Now I'm sure it's due in large part to Mhoram being a seer, but why exactly did he turn to Troy before he had even said anything. I think it's because of his earlier statement that the success of this battle depended on Troy, and as it appears to be a success, the price must also rest on Troy.
I never noticed that before. I was thinking that Mhoram heard Troy jump/approach when there was mention of "a small price," and Mhoram guessed why he was moving. But it doesn't mention Mhoram hearing any such movement, does it? Hmmm, Mhoram sure knows Troy's mind, doesn't he?!
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2003 8:13 am    Post subject: Re: The Illearth War - Chapter 20 Reply with quote

Fist wrote:

Caer Sylvanus wrote:
Finally, Mhoram says the magic word - "Raven (Raver)."
Eh? Does your copy of the book say Raven?


Y'know, I was wondering about that. All I have right now is my electronic file (haven't replaced the books I loaned out yet), and I was not sure if it was only a corrupted bit or not. I decided to go with it for two reasons. The first, because it showed up more than once and only with the word "Raver" all other Rs and characters being normal. The second, because it just sounded cool, and pondering the etymology of Raven (a very Forestal-like thing to call a Raver... a carrion-eater and stereotypical servant of darkness) turned to Raver seemed very interesting.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2003 11:27 pm    Post subject: Re: The Illearth War - Chapter 20 Reply with quote

Caer Sylvanus wrote:

Y'know, I was wondering about that. All I have right now is my electronic file (haven't replaced the books I loaned out yet), and I was not sure if it was only a corrupted bit or not.


Sorry Syl, this is a little off-topic but can you actually download an electronic copy of The Chron's? How cool!! Could you please point me in the right direction???
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2003 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got mine off of Kazaa, but you should find 7 files in your email.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2003 1:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smile Wow!!!! I didn't realise that each file would contain a whole book. That's really cool. Thanks so much Syl. Smile
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2003 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great job, Syl! Smile

Caer Caveral is truly "one bad mofo" Laughing He is such an elemental force, it's a wonder how the forests were so decimated in the first place.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2003 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great review, Caer!! Very Happy I like the way you point out the growing similarities between HT and TC, and the reliance on Mhoram when the chips are down. Mhoram rocks!
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2003 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Earthfriend (and everybody else for putting up with the delay Wink ). That was a point I really wanted to make more of, and wasn't sure if I emphasized it enough.

(and you can call me Syl, btw)
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2003 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, yous doesn't have to call him Caer.
His name is Caer Sylvanus
But you can call him Syl
Or you can call him Sylvanus
Or you can call him CS
Or you can call him SC
Or you...
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2003 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just don't call me late for dinner. Wink
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2003 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most excellent summation, Syl.

I don't believe that there is another character in fantasy fiction (that I've read ) where every word spoken is a sock in the gut like Caerroil Wildwood delivers. He speaks like he has Elohim over easy for breakfast.

About the Illearth stone
Quote:
"It was a great evil," the Forestal hummed severely. "I have destroyed it."

It gives me chills when I read that.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2003 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, the Forestaal are immensely powerful, aren't they? If only within the confines of their forests...i wonder why the Raver actually entered the forest?...perhaps Fleshharrower somehow forgot how powerfull they are, or how much they hate Ravers, or maybe he was just filled with bloodlust and blind to the danger he was in... Twisted Evil Question
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2003 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like that word blind, If u kno what I mean... Cool Hile Troy Wink
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2003 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was actually part of Troy's plan... to trick the Raver into thinking it would be safe to enter the Deep. If those guys can...

I guess Fleshharrower didn't have much sense... Earthsense, I mean. If you'd been killed by a certain being or group of beings, you'd think you'd stop and check things out before you went into their house... but then Caer Wildwood might have counted on that and turned the lights off, so to speak.
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-George Steiner
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2003 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the Illearth Stone was messing with his mind, as well.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2003 2:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a great point danlo! Very Happy Even Foul never dared to directly use the illearth stone, did he, always through a subordinate...yes, that makes perfet sense. Why else would he enter the Deep, except because he was drunk with the power of the Stone, and probably half-mad with it as well. (Assuming a Raver can ever be called 'sane'...)
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