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The Illearth War: Ch 24
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2003 10:46 am    Post subject: The Illearth War: Ch 24 Reply with quote

Chapter 24 Descent To Earthroot

With the revelation of the Power of Command, Covenant is left reeling for the implications of what he has forced the Bloodguard to do. On one had he has given Elena the opportunity she needs to save The Land and possibly defeat Foul. On the other hand he feels he has betrayed Elena and forced the Bloodguard to alter the nature of their service. He is feeling sick to his stomach and deservedly so….. His bargain seems to be weighing heavily on his conscience.

Elena on the other hand, cannot conceal her joy and is eager to continue on with the quest. She farewells the Ranyhyn and prepares to continue on with the rest of the journey on foot. Feeling the weight of his betrayal and that perhaps his secret bargain has not cost him enough, Covenant decides to shave off his beard, sacrificing the one single shred of proof he has to convince himself of the delusion of The Land.

With the shaving formalities over, the quest is recommenced and Amok proceeds to lead the company into Melenkurion Skyweir. The remainder of the chapter takes place deep within the massive twin-peaked mountain. Here we get a good look at its internal structure and get a sense of the ethereal qualities of the mountain where although the caverns, passageways, chambers, etc. all exist physically, their specific locations are hidden by the power of Kevin’s Lore. As we journey through Melenkurion Skyweir you can almost sense the heritage of the place ….you can practically hear the echoes of the Old Lords' footsteps accompanying the quest towards their ultimate goal.

After entering the mountain through the cleft of Rivenrock, the party journeys for a while along a narrow ledge until they come to Damelon’s Door. Damelon’s Door is a lore-made obstacle so created and placed to safeguard the Seventh Ward against accidental or unwanted discovery. Only those who have the knowledge can cause the door to be formed. Those not in possession of the proper lore “will wander forever lorn and pathless in the wilderness beyond. “

With Amok’s help the company pass through the portal and finds itself transported to a place completely removed physically from the cavern through which they had entered the mountain. They find themselves standing in The Audience Hall of Earthroot – a large cavern crowned by stalactites and dotted with stalagmites. This is a place of lingering power where time and distance seem to be measured differently.

Quote:

With an encompassing gesture, Amok said formally, "Behold the Audience Hall of Earthroot. Here in ages long forgotten the sunless lake would rise in season to meet those who sought its waters. Now, as the Earthpower fades from mortal knowledge, the Audience Hall is unwet. Yet it retains a power of mazement, to foil those who are unready in heart and mind. All who enter here without the proper unlocking of Damelon's Door will be forever lost to life and use and name."


Amok leads them across the hall, which eventually and unseemingly narrows, to a passageway. They, enter without real awareness of doing so, The Aisle of Approach – the path to Earthrootstair. Don’t you just love how SRD builds the tension by using all these delay tactics? Earthrootstair is a giant rocklit spiral staircase that winds itself down and opens out into a gigantic cavern – Earthroot.

As the company draws closer to its final destination, there seems to be an increase in urgency in Amok’s demeanor.
Quote:

…Amok began to move more swiftly, as if he were impatient, jealous of all delays which postponed the resolution of his existence.


Within the vast cavern of Earthroot resides the Sunless Lake, the “unheavened sap and nectar of great Melenkurion Skyweir, the sire of mountains." Now, one would think that this awe-inspiring setting would be the location of the Seventh Ward, but you'd be wrong. Amok informs them that in order to reach the location of the Seventh Ward, they must cross the Sunless Lake. The only way to do so is by way of an enchanted boat for “Earthroot is strong and stern. It will take no account of mortal flesh.” The echoes of their voices propel the boat. Covenant is loath to carry on any conversation for fear he may somehow give himself away. He places the burden with Elena who takes the opportunity to tell Covenant of the most life-altering event of her childhood – her participation in the secret ritual of the Ranyhyn, the horserite of Kelenbhrabanal .
Quote:

"Ur-Lord Thomas Covenant," she said, and the echoes spread about her like a skein of gleaming rocklight, interweaving the burnished water, "Unbeliever and white gold wielder, Ringthane-beloved - I must tell you of this. You have known Myrha. In her youth, she came to Lena my mother, according to the promise of the Ranyhyn. She carried me away to the great event of my girlhood. Thus you were the unknowing cause. Before this war reaches its end for good or ill, I must tell you what your promises have wrought."


You’ve got to wonder what qualities the young Elena had that would make a Ranyhyn want to offer itself to a child of such a tender age. Could they recognise Covenant’s seed in her? …What astounding animals!

The remainder of the chapter details how Elena was chosen as a child by Myrha the Ranyhyn who takes her to a hidden valley
Quote:

a grassy glen folded between sheer cliffs, with a rugged, spring-fed tam near its center. This small lake was mysterious, for its dark waters did not reflect the sunlight. And the valley itself was wondrous to behold, for it contained hundreds of Ranyhyn-hundreds of proud, glossy, starbrowed stallions and mares-gathered together for a rare and secret ritual of horses.
Here she was compelled by the Ranyhyn to sip from the mystical tarn, giving her the ability to commune with the Ranyhyn, to share in their ritual, to learn of the legend of the mighty Kelenbhrabanal Father of Horses and the sacrifice he made at the hands of Lord Foul, Fangthane the Render. It is through this ritual that her violent passion is honed.
Quote:

"Thus each generation of the Ranyhyn holds its horserite to preserve the tale of the Stallion-to hold pure in memory all their pride at his self-sacrifice, and all their grief at his death, and all their rage at the Despite which betrayed him. Thus they drink of the mind-uniting waters, and hammer out against the ground the extremity of their passion for one day and one night. And thus, when I had tasted the water of the tarn, I ran and wept and raged with them throughout the long exaltation of that night. Heart and mind and soul and all, I gave myself to a dream of Fangthane's death."


Could it be that Elena was put on her ultimately disastrous path from this very moment in time? Could she have somehow, by participating in this ritual, actually formed her own kind of Vow? Just a thought…you can shoot me down if you want. Smile
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2003 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No shooting down - just a very astute observation, Infelice, well done! Very Happy

Elena took the Vow of the Ranyhyn well before she took her Vow of Peace, hence her capacity for violence and desecration (shown throogh her love of Kevin). Also, where her power springs from.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2003 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can only praise Infelice, well done.

Elena's passion to destroy Foul, apparently derived from the Ranyhyn, was the source of her weakness. I say weakness because it left her vulnerable to Fangthane's masterful manipulations. Her idolization of Kevin wasn't helpful either. Triock did say that she not right from birth too.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2003 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
"Behold the Audience Hall of Earthroot. Here in ages long forgotten the sunless lake would rise in season to meet those who sought its waters. Now, as the Earthpower fades from mortal knowledge, the Audience Hall is unwet."
Fascinating passage!

1) The times from Berek to Kevin are not forgotten, so these "ages long forgotten" when mortals went there for its waters were even earlier. (Though the Old Lords could have gone also.) And these mortals knew about Earthpower!! Who were they? Nothing in Atiaran's story suggests that the people of Berek's civilization knew anything about the Earthpower before it spoke to Berek. Not as a whole, anyway. Could it be that some individuals felt some connection and wandered off to learn on their own? People who we might see as very similar to the Unfettered?

Or maybe there were "cults" of people, groups of druids, who tried to learn together. Would such people have been ridiculed, or even persecuted?

And there could certainly have been people who journeyed from other parts of the Earth. Yearly pilgrimages to the Earthroot? Or even small settlements somewhere near Skyweir?

I'm something of a loner myself, up here on Cold Mountain, so I like the Unfettered idea Smile

2) I can't believe people went there seasonally to use the Power of Command, so the waters of the Earthroot must be, or must have been, pretty special on their own. They were still powerful enough to be a danger to mortal flesh. I wonder for what purpose people sought it.


Thank you Infelice Very Happy
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2003 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very astute, Infelice! It doesn't matter how many times I read these books but I always find something new! I never before caught the part with Elena "taking a vow" with the Ranyhyn. Of course I had read that part before but never made that connection. It is wonderful sometimes to see these books through someone else's eyes, like I just did with Infelice. Thanks, girl!

Love the new avatar, btw!
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The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.

The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2003 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know Caamora, when reading TIW for the first time, it never really occurred to me either just how important the Ranyhyn ritual was in moulding Elena. It wasn't until this current reading, when I really had to get into the story, that it just sort bounced up and hit me straight between the eyes. No matter how many times you read these books, you always come away with something different each time. Smile
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2003 2:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As you two say. While reading your dissection, I realized just how often mind melds, telepathy, and possession happen in TCTC. The Haruchai, the New Lords, Elena with the Ranyhyn, the Ravers, Linden, the merewives, the Kemper's geas. Others? SRD seems quite impressed by this ability. I am too. Smile I started a thread a long time ago, naming melds from other stories, but hadn't even tried to cover the different types of telepathy in TCTC Embarassed
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2003 3:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Elohim. Smile And perhaps Findail and Vain?

I don't know whether you have read these books Fist, but Julian May's Galactic Milieu Trilogy and its prequel Intervention deals specifically with mind-melding and how humankind's next great evolutionary step will be the development of mind-powers. Absolutely fascinating books and its an absolutely fascinating subject. Smile
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2003 3:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I'd considered the Elohim. But you folk are so damned mysterious that I can't guess as to the nature of your mode of communication. Smile

AND I DON'T NEED ANY MORE BOOKS TO READ!!!!! Very Happy Actually, that sounds really cool! Thanks Smile
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2003 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great job Infelice! I also didn't grasp the importance of Elena's meld with the Ranyhyn the first couple of reads, but it really seems to be her 'achille's heel' - her rage (as she said 'shared their rage') against Fangthane is really her downfall in the end. Nothing short of destruction of Foul would suffice for her, which of course, we know is impossible to achieve....well almost impossible Wink

I'll get at the next two chaps shortly...

:earthy
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2003 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Earthy - I cannot wait to get to the next chapters! I have so many questions! Very Happy
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An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.

The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.

The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2003 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And the pressure's on!!! Smile

Regarding Elena's mind-meld with the Ranyhyn, I don't think it will spoil anything to say that I always liked her words just before sipping the EarthBlood in the next chapter:
Quote:
"Melenkurion abatha! Ward yourself well, Fangthane! I seek to destroy you!"
Fangthane
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2003 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will post tonite - RL is really cramping my KW input! Cussing Cussing
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2003 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who is RL?
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An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.

The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.

The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2003 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Real Life (Poor Earthblood has been deluded into believing that any aspect of existence is more "real" than KW! Smile )
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2003 5:32 am    Post subject: Re: The Illearth War: Ch 24 Reply with quote

Could you elaborate a little more for me please? Question
Infelice wrote:
Chapter 24 Descent To Earthroot

With the revelation of the Power of Command, Covenant is left reeling for the implications of what he has forced the Bloodguard to do. On one had he has given Elena the opportunity she needs to save The Land and possibly defeat Foul. On the other hand he feels he has betrayed Elena and forced the Bloodguard to alter the nature of their service. He is feeling sick to his stomach and deservedly so….. His bargain seems to be weighing heavily on his conscience.

Elena on the other hand, cannot conceal her joy and is eager to continue on with the quest. She farewells the Ranyhyn and prepares to continue on with the rest of the journey on foot. Feeling the weight of his betrayal and that perhaps his secret bargain has not cost him enough, Covenant decides to shave off his beard, sacrificing the one single shred of proof he has to convince himself of the delusion of The Land.

With the shaving formalities over, the quest is recommenced and Amok proceeds to lead the company into Melenkurion Skyweir. The remainder of the chapter takes place deep within the massive twin-peaked mountain. Here we get a good look at its internal structure and get a sense of the ethereal qualities of the mountain where although the caverns, passageways, chambers, etc. all exist physically, their specific locations are hidden by the power of Kevin’s Lore. As we journey through Melenkurion Skyweir you can almost sense the heritage of the place ….you can practically hear the echoes of the Old Lords' footsteps accompanying the quest towards their ultimate goal.

After entering the mountain through the cleft of Rivenrock, the party journeys for a while along a narrow ledge until they come to Damelon’s Door. Damelon’s Door is a lore-made obstacle so created and placed to safeguard the Seventh Ward against accidental or unwanted discovery. Only those who have the knowledge can cause the door to be formed. Those not in possession of the proper lore “will wander forever lorn and pathless in the wilderness beyond. “

With Amok’s help the company pass through the portal and finds itself transported to a place completely removed physically from the cavern through which they had entered the mountain. They find themselves standing in The Audience Hall of Earthroot – a large cavern crowned by stalactites and dotted with stalagmites. This is a place of lingering power where time and distance seem to be measured differently.

Quote:

With an encompassing gesture, Amok said formally, "Behold the Audience Hall of Earthroot. Here in ages long forgotten the sunless lake would rise in season to meet those who sought its waters. Now, as the Earthpower fades from mortal knowledge, the Audience Hall is unwet. Yet it retains a power of mazement, to foil those who are unready in heart and mind. All who enter here without the proper unlocking of Damelon's Door will be forever lost to life and use and name."


Amok leads them across the hall, which eventually and unseemingly narrows, to a passageway. They, enter without real awareness of doing so, The Aisle of Approach – the path to Earthrootstair. Don’t you just love how SRD builds the tension by using all these delay tactics? Earthrootstair is a giant rocklit spiral staircase that winds itself down and opens out into a gigantic cavern – Earthroot.

As the company draws closer to its final destination, there seems to be an increase in urgency in Amok’s demeanor.
Quote:

…Amok began to move more swiftly, as if he were impatient, jealous of all delays which postponed the resolution of his existence.


Within the vast cavern of Earthroot resides the Sunless Lake, the “unheavened sap and nectar of great Melenkurion Skyweir, the sire of mountains." Now, one would think that this awe-inspiring setting would be the location of the Seventh Ward, but you'd be wrong. Amok informs them that in order to reach the location of the Seventh Ward, they must cross the Sunless Lake. The only way to do so is by way of an enchanted boat for “Earthroot is strong and stern. It will take no account of mortal flesh.” The echoes of their voices propel the boat. Covenant is loath to carry on any conversation for fear he may somehow give himself away. He places the burden with Elena who takes the opportunity to tell Covenant of the most life-altering event of her childhood – her participation in the secret ritual of the Ranyhyn, the horserite of Kelenbhrabanal .
Quote:

"Ur-Lord Thomas Covenant," she said, and the echoes spread about her like a skein of gleaming rocklight, interweaving the burnished water, "Unbeliever and white gold wielder, Ringthane-beloved - I must tell you of this. You have known Myrha. In her youth, she came to Lena my mother, according to the promise of the Ranyhyn. She carried me away to the great event of my girlhood. Thus you were the unknowing cause. Before this war reaches its end for good or ill, I must tell you what your promises have wrought."


You’ve got to wonder what qualities the young Elena had that would make a Ranyhyn want to offer itself to a child of such a tender age. Could they recognise Covenant’s seed in her? …What astounding animals!

The remainder of the chapter details how Elena was chosen as a child by Myrha the Ranyhyn who takes her to a hidden valley
Quote:

a grassy glen folded between sheer cliffs, with a rugged, spring-fed tam near its center. This small lake was mysterious, for its dark waters did not reflect the sunlight. And the valley itself was wondrous to behold, for it contained hundreds of Ranyhyn-hundreds of proud, glossy, starbrowed stallions and mares-gathered together for a rare and secret ritual of horses.
Here she was compelled by the Ranyhyn to sip from the mystical tarn, giving her the ability to commune with the Ranyhyn, to share in their ritual, to learn of the legend of the mighty Kelenbhrabanal Father of Horses and the sacrifice he made at the hands of Lord Foul, Fangthane the Render. It is through this ritual that her violent passion is honed.
Quote:

"Thus each generation of the Ranyhyn holds its horserite to preserve the tale of the Stallion-to hold pure in memory all their pride at his self-sacrifice, and all their grief at his death, and all their rage at the Despite which betrayed him. Thus they drink of the mind-uniting waters, and hammer out against the ground the extremity of their passion for one day and one night. And thus, when I had tasted the water of the tarn, I ran and wept and raged with them throughout the long exaltation of that night. Heart and mind and soul and all, I gave myself to a dream of Fangthane's death."


Could it be that Elena was put on her ultimately disastrous path from this very moment in time? Could she have somehow, by participating in this ritual, actually formed her own kind of Vow? Just a thought…you can shoot me down if you want. Smile

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2003 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Biff, don't make me use my spank ray. Dissecting is for serious or mostly serious posts (yeah, it can get a little goofy, but it's usually in between points). Was there a specific point you wanted to make?
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did anyone else get a bad vibe off the story about Elena's participation in the Ranyhym's ceremony? It had sexual connotations. The little girl taken (against her will) to some remote tarn where a herd of vibrant horses gallop around enforcing their will on her. She loses her mental virginity here.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2015 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Infelice wrote:
Could it be that Elena was put on her ultimately disastrous path from this very moment in time? Could she have somehow, by participating in this ritual, actually formed her own kind of Vow?



Yesyesyesyes, YES! Soap Box Reluctant as I am to blame the Ranyhyn for anything, Elena may have been doomed from that moment on! Sad
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2015 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cord Hurn wrote:
Infelice wrote:
Could it be that Elena was put on her ultimately disastrous path from this very moment in time? Could she have somehow, by participating in this ritual, actually formed her own kind of Vow?



Yesyesyesyes, YES! Soap Box Reluctant as I am to blame the Ranyhyn for anything, Elena may have been doomed from that moment on! Sad


Spoiler:
The events of ROTE, specifically Linden's Horse-rite, confirmed this.

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