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The Illearth War - Chap 25 - The Seventh Ward
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Earthblood
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2003 2:15 am    Post subject: The Illearth War - Chap 25 - The Seventh Ward Reply with quote

I need to quote the last paragraphs from Descent to Earthroot first:

Quote:
Listening to her, clinging to her face with his eyes, Covenant felt himself knotted by the clench of unreasonable grief. She was the woman who had offered herself to him. He understood her passion now, understood the danger she was in. And her elsewhere glance was drawing into focus; already he could feel conflagrations blazing at the corners of her vision.

His dread of that focus gave him the impetus to speak. With his voice rent between fear and love, he wrenched out hoarsely, :What I don't understand is what Foul gets out of all this."


After their conversation about the 'communion' with the Ranyhyn, TC is starting to see the potential for disaster. Between her obvious hatred of Foul and her tendency toward eruptions of passion & emotion, he can see that she is on the verge of some sort of crisis. Couple that with the knowledge of Foul's history of manipulation, coersion & foresight, TC is really starting to question the usefullness of this quest for the Seventh Ward, as it relates to the Land's benefit.

He knows that Foul usually has a way of turning any seemingly positive & well intentioned act to his benefit. To TC, the release of Dukkha Waynhim was a calculated event, planned by Foul to put them right where they were, to use unknown & untested power, so he would not use the white gold.

Of course, HL Elena believes only that her actions will result in a positive end, for the Lords & the Land.

So finally we are brought to the Seventh Ward. Amok is no longer the free spirit, full of mystery & riddles.

Quote:
"Come High Lord," the youth said. "The Seventh Ward is nigh. I must bring my being to an end."


Quite a change from the riddling jokester, isn't it? I sort of felt a little sorry for him, knowing his long life is coming to an end, finally, although he knows that this is his purpose & he completes he task fully.

I always liked the image of the silent waterfll that SRD uses here - no sound, but powerful enough to almost flatten TC. "A cleansing performed as the last prerequsite of the Power of Command."

Throught the waterfall a straight and lightless tunnelleads them to the souce of the 'red as fresh blood' stream running down the center. TC looks at Elena:

Quote:
She looked like a priestess, an enactor of hallowed and effective rites, approaching the occult ground of her strength. The very gaps of her elsewhere gaze were crowded with exalted and savage possibilities.

TC can tell that this somehow is not going to go the way they hope, but cannot approach her - the earthpower is just to potent as they reach the 'spring of the red stream' - a black stone end-wall, the shimmered, giving the impression of a mirage.

I have this image clearly in my minds eye - I can see the heat-like ripples, like a blast furnace with no heat, a wall of power, a hurricane force emmenating from the solid rock, assaulting every cell of my being - challenging me to stand and be worthy.

Quote:
"Behold" Amok said quietly. "Behold the Blood of the Earth. Here I fullfill the purpose of my creation. I am the Seventh Ward of High Lord Kevin's Lore. The power to which I am the way and the door is here."

Amok is quickly running out of time to fullfill his purpose and he prepares Elena first with a small shot at her ("Where is the good of hearing, if it is not done wisely" - maybe he knows something we don't?) and finally with the full explaination of the power he reveals:

Quote:
"High Lord, behold the Blood of the Earth. This is the passionate and essential ichor of the mountain rock - the Earthpower which raises and holds peaks high. It bleeds here - perhaps because of the great weight of Melenkurion Skyweir squeezes it from the dense rock - or perhaps because the mountain is willing to lay bare it's heart's-blood for those who need and can find it. Whatever the cause, its result remains. Any soul who drinks of the Earthblood gains the Power of Command."


That is so cool!!!! What imagry!

He goes on to try to explain the hazards of the power of command, the chief one being - not being able to foresee the outcome of what is enacted(can anyone say Wounded Land?). All through this TC senses wrong in the air, which he can't quite pinpoint. Amok passes out of existence, but not before letting our hero know that the white gold cannot be commanded.
TC finally realizes that Elena is the source of the wrong he has been sensing & tries to stop her from sipping the Earthblood, but she will not let the opportunity pass - "I've got the staff of law Daddy-o - I'll kick Foul's a**!!!"

TC tries to explain how his whole plan has been about trying to get her or anyone else to have the reponsibility of saving the land - not him - so whatever the outcome of their actions, it would be someone elses fault, not his. But now he sees that this is what Foul wanted all along - anyone but TC to do something, because he is the only one Foul is scared of. Problem is, TC is more afraid of himself *hehe* than anything.
Leper! Outcast! Unclean!

Elena is now so power 'drunk' there is no stopping her:
Quote:
"Melenkurion abatha! Ward yourself well, Fangthane! I seek to destroy you!

As TC says:
Quote:
That's not a good answer! What happens to the Oath of Peace?

She sips of the Earthblood & swallows, becoming a 'conflagration' (I love that word) of power & flame and what is her choice to use the Power of Command for?????
She calls for dead Kevin.

Quote:
"Come! I have tasted the EarthBlood! You must obey my will. The walls of death do not prevail. Kevin son of Loric! Come!"


I'm with TC here NOOOOOOO!!!!!!! What are you thinking??????

She commands him to do battle with Foul & destroy him. What would make her think that just because she brings him back from the dead, he will be able to do what he couldn't do the first time? I've always found this a little foolish on her part. There seems like there has got to be a better way of beating him back - have all his forces destroyed, bury all the parts of the Illearth Stone in the deepest ocean - anything but direct battle with Foul. I guess knowing that the ritual of Destruction didn't actually destroy Foul, she figured the only answer was to try to destroy Foul himself.

Well, Kevin returns, mastered by the Illearth Stone and makes an attempt to squash Elena, who is frozen in unbelief of what she has done & the thought of the price the world will have to pay, but Morin steps in and is crumpled against the ceiling. Another Bloodguard accepts sure pain & death, like just a walk in the park.
Elena snaps out of it & springs into action against Kevin, and actually is holding her own, but soon Kevin opens a chasm in the rock and they both fall, fighting into the depths (sort of like a certain wizard I know fighting a certain Balrog...).

Bannor tries to get Covenant to use the white gold to save her, but the best he can come up with is to dive in after her.....
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2003 2:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great job, Earthblood. Smile
Quote:
Elena snaps out of it & springs into action against Kevin, and actually is holding her own, but soon Kevin opens a chasm in the rock and they both fall, fighting into the depths (sort of like a certain wizard I know fighting a certain Balrog...).


There were several instances in these chapters that conjured up images of LOTR. In fact from the time the High Lord's party entered Melenkurion Skyweir, I couldn't help comparing it to The Mines Of Moria from LOTR.
Elena and Gandalf both lead the way with an illuminated staff. Covenant and Frodo were both reluctant ring bearers. The two Bloodguard played similar roles to Aragorn and Boromir. Then there was the chasm scene.
Smile
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2003 2:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great read, Earthblood! Very Happy

I, too, remember sitting there thinking, 'come on Elena; the Bloodguard, Covenant, even Amok is warning you against this. Don't do it!'. Opposing Foul with force and hatred always leads to disaster... Sad
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2003 2:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also question what Elena was hoping to achieve by calling back Kevin and giving him that particular order. I have never understood why she thinks that his despair and defeat would have taught him wisdom and why he would have more power dead and unarmed than alive and armed with the Staff of Law. Confused
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2003 2:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sayin'!!! Such a loser!! Not that SRD did a bad job of creating a character, but that he did a great job of making bad character.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2003 2:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Superb anaylsis, Earthblood

There are some definite similarities here with LOTR.

There is one question I must ask.
Why did Kevin, who did not use the Power presumably because he knew the potential consequences still create a guide to it in Amok?
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2003 2:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got a feeling Elena's motivations are pretty well covered in a different thread: 'Dissecting Elena, Chpters 21/22'... Question

And you're spot on Kin; what did Kevin hope to achieve by creating Amok? And when Amok 'saw the Land's need', what good did he think the power of Command could do?
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2003 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps, KS, he felt they might develop some greater knowledge or understanding of Earthpower & that future generations would be capable of using it....

I'm falling asleep at they ketboard - I will post on Chap 26 later

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2003 3:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great job, Earthblood! Wink

Ok - here 'goes.

Kevin created Amok to be the end of his wards. When the new Lords had mastered each ward in turn it would open the door for the next ward. The way I'm sure he planned it was that, by the time the Lords discovered Amok, they would know how to use the knowledge wisely.

What Kevin did not account for was Thomas Covenant a.k.a. the white gold. It was the white gold which brought the Krill to life and that was Amoks signal to go to work. However, Kevin also made Amok independent enough to make his own choice as to whether he was needed or not. Remember when Amok first came to the Land, he thought he had erred. Then he looked at the danger in the Land and decided on his own to come to the aid of the Lords.

My questions are these:

Why did the Bloodguard not stop Elena? Granted, they are not all-knowing but it seems pretty common sense not to use lore that you don't understand - even after being warned by the person who brought you to it!

Why does Covenant blame himself for putting Elena here? Elena is a grown woman with great responsibility. She is free to make her own choices.
Quote:
Dizzily, he saw all the manifest ways in which he was responsible for Elena-all the ways in which he had caused her to be who and what and where she was. His duplicity was the cause-his violence, his futility, his need.
Now, I realize that TC was her father but he is not responsible for her having a mind of her own.

When Kevin appears,
Quote:
on his forehead was a bandage which seemed to cover some mortal wound.
What was this wound? Is it me or does anyone else see the same wound on Covenant from hitting his head on the coffee table when he was talking to Joan on the phone in the beginning of the book?
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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: Fri Jul 11, 2003 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I never caught that with the bandaged forehead before -- very interesting! Very Happy
Of course, Elena is an adult and capable of making her own decisions. And in the end he even begged her not to take her disastrous action, too. Is he feeling guilt over his manipulations? Guilt for showing her the way to the Ward through the Bloodguard? Guilt over the rape of her mother? Guilt for physically desiring his own daughter (though when push came to shove, he sexually rejected her)? Guilt for his bad bargain with sent the Ranyhan to Elena and her mother? A little bit of all that?
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2003 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mmm .. brilliant work earthy!! a pleasurable summation to read Wink lol .. certainly evidence of the phenomenol investment Wink

that is intriguing .. the bandage thing .. i dont recall that .. and isnt it funny that a deceased being would sport a bandaid?
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2003 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is interesting Caamora. Is that supposed to be a parrallel between Kevin & TC?
I do remember reading this time and catching that, sort of wondering where he would have a bandage from.....
I guess it's left over from battling Foul in the RoD?
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2003 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

caamora said:
Kevin created Amok to be the end of his wards. When the new Lords had mastered each ward in turn it would open the door for the next ward. The way I'm sure he planned it was that, by the time the Lords discovered Amok, they would know how to use the knowledge wisely.

That's it exactly...great job Earth! Very Happy
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2003 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

even though he lacked the wisdom himself Wink .. and was responsible for the compilation of all the wards .. strange isnt it?

and there was no guarrentee that the future Lords would discover his secreted lores in any particular order .. as it was their discovery was very haphazard ..

really kevin played with lore he didnt fully understand himself .. and that was even before the desecration .. which may be why ..

i dont see how he would imagine his lores would be discovered in order .. thus preparing the discovery of his appointed Amok guide dude .. and as in reality it just didnt turn out that way either ..

flawed .. his logic was flawed .. krazy kev ..
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2003 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice job, 'blood!
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2003 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fellow Mountain,

Sorry to be contrary, but you have it wrong. Kevin set it up so that mastering one Ward would reveal the location of the next. The final bit of mastering the 6th Ward would bring the krill to life, which signalled Amok. The problem is that the New Lords couldn't master even the 1st Ward, because their Oath of Peace made them blind, or numb, or whatever, to aspects of his Lore. So they never knew where to find the second, and just happened to stumble onto it in LFB.

But Kevin did not know how to use the Power of Command safely, and so he could not have assumed that learning all of his Wards would teach those who came after him how to either. He must have hoped that they would have learned other things besides his Wards - things that would help them use such a power.

btw, I very much like seeing Earthblood in possession of the 7th Ward doing the chapter titled The Seventh Ward! Very Happy
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2003 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sky, maybe Kevin did not use the Power of Command because he still had enough presence of mind to realize that his dispair would only induce him to make a bad judgement call. Granted, he did that anyway with the RoD, but at the time he made the decision, he seemed to think that it would destroy Foul. It wasn't until the last moment of his life did he realize his mistake.

I had never really considered why Kevin never used the Power of Command. Great discussion, guys! 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: Fri Jul 11, 2003 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is an interesting question:

The Ravers are/should be bound by law because they began as normal human brothers but didn't they or Foul effectively break the Law of Death by bringing their spirits back to inhabit another body?

It seems that Kevin hoped beyond hope that the New Lords could use the Power effectively. He wouldn't have created Amok until he had already made up his mind to perform the Ritual of Desecration. What did he hope the outcome would be?

In Elena's case, the Lords should really give psych tests to prospective High Lords

Inkblot #1 (Looks like a face)"what do you see?"

Elena: "Me destroying Fangthane!"

Inkblot #2 (Looks like a butterfly) "what do you see now"

Elena: "Me crushing Fangthane's very soul!"

Maybe you're not right for the job after all.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2003 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you're mis-remembering the Ravers Mhoram tells us:
Quote:
We knew that they were named Sheol, Jehannum, and Harem, and that they lived without bodies, feeding upon the souls of others. When the Despiser was powerful enough to give them strength, they enslaved creatures or people by entering into their bodies, subduing their wills, and using the captured flesh to enact their master's purposes. Disguised in forms not their own, they were well hidden, and so could gain trust among their foes.
And
Quote:
No, the Colossus of the Fall forbade another foe - three tree- and soil-hating brothers who were old in the Spoiled Plains before Lord Foul first cast his shadow there. They were triplets, the spawn of one birth from the womb of their long-forgotten mother, and their names were samadhi, moksha, and turiya..
No mention of humans there, and the bit about feeding off the souls of others before Foul enhanced them makes them out to be decidedly non-human.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2003 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah I suppose you're right. I thought the "feeding of the souls" was a metaphor for possession. However anything short of Foul himself would still be bound by the Law of Death right?
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