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Fatal Revenant: Part 1, Chapter 4, A Defense of Revelstone
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Relayer
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey all, late to the party, just getting caught up in the book...

stutty wrote:
Linden gets whiny and self-doubty here, a Linden feature I've never liked. But I have this to say, while she moans and questions, she does make a decision and pick a path.


I also look at this another way... that she's willing to question herself, rather than just simply blame Covenant for being a jerk, for pushing her away, etc. She's willing to examine her own perceptions rather than being arrogant as would the Masters (and others). It's like in a relationship where you could blame your partner for everything, or you could say "how am I contributing to the situation." Unfortunately, since she wants so desperately to be able to trust TC, as Wayfriend said, "Once confirmed, she uses this as an excuse to mistrust herself."

-------------

The "Covenant" who spoke to Mahrtiir and co. was "gentle and caring" as in the other times when he spoke to Linden while the TC who is here is such a jerk to Linden. This is such a contrast to me; why would he be tender to her every other time, yet such a pompous @$$ in person? She notices it but still seems to be held by the "glamour" of his actual presence; tries to understand if he can be in three places at once. She SO wants to believe him and Jeremiah that she's trying to invent reasons to be able to trust them.

-------------

Regarding "He": Wasn't it decided that Esmer was the one blocking Anele in Runes, before they got to the Verge? I suspect it may be him again here, although the comment "if I even say his name" throws me. Mostly, I suspect this is just a way SRD can keep the mystery going... Wink

-------------

I get the feeling that Anele is reflected because either

a) he's such a being of Earthpower, it's truly a part of his essence, much more so than a Lord who learns the lore. Anele contains Earthpower in him, in a way I don't think we've ever seen, likely from some effect of the breaking of the Law of Life and his 'resurrection.'

which leads to...

b) he may actually carry some element of Caer-Caveral, or at least of Forestal energy, which others have suggested before. That might be the source of the Earthpower that's seen within him, and would certainly explain why Glimmermere sees him. It would also explain things like "he is the hope of the Land."

Wayfriend wrote:
stutty wrote:

I'm conisdering an LA pin.

We'll get you.
One at a time, we'll get you.

Big Grin
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Stutty"]
lurch wrote:

I'm conisdering an LA pin.

stutt (formerly of THOOLAH)


If you convert, may the fleas of 1000 Coursers infest your underwear.

Wink
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Relayer wrote:
Regarding "He": Wasn't it decided that Esmer was the one blocking Anele in Runes, before they got to the Verge? I suspect it may be him again here, although the comment "if I even say his name" throws me. Mostly, I suspect this is just a way SRD can keep the mystery going... Wink

I can't put my finger on why don't think it's Esmer.

But something to note. Esmer didn't block Covenant. Esmer command Anele not to speak. And Anele wasn't even saying anything at the time. He subsequently slipped out that he'd try to speak of Kastenessen and the skurj. (He wasn't blocked very effectively). But this had nothing to do with Anele's possession.

Very shortly thereafter, Covenant is present in Anele, but he is pushed out by Kastenessen. Not Esmer. Although Esmer may have put him on to it. But this is so soon after the other incident that one would think that Esmer's command still is holding!!!

This was in response to something Covenant said. "Find me." Covenant didn't name Kastenessen or Esmer. So these fine fellows did not need any alert to block Covenant.

Just prior to that, Covenant spoke about "he". "He opposes me. Here, like this, he's stronger than I am." Occam's razor suggests that it is the same "he" that he mentions in this chapter.

So there is an apparent discrepency. Why does Covenant feel like its safer not to say His name, when neither Esmer or Kastenessen require the saying of their name to sense and block Covenant?

Maybe saying the name makes them notice faster? Or makes it more likely that they'll be noticed?

I hate explanations that rely on degrees of nuance. They never feel right.

I'm going to believe that "he" is not Esmer or Kastenessen. That Covenant has multiple foes, multiple beings able to stop him communicating through Anele. It seems like a better bet.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That makes sense, you remembered that part better than I did.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I checked my copy. Besides, you're probably right, and I'm overthinking it.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:

I'm going to believe that "he" is not Esmer or Kastenessen. That Covenant has multiple foes, multiple beings able to stop him communicating through Anele. It seems like a better bet.


I'm going with "he" being the Creator. I just think the idea of Covenant and the Creator having contrary purposes is too cool. I mean, how much bigger of an advesary can you have?

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think its more obvious than that. I think its Foul.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2016 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Finally, she shifted her gaze to Liand's, addressing him last because his uncomplicated concern and affection touched her pain directly.

"Liand, please don't ask me any questions." He also seemed privately uneasy, although he conveyed none of the Manethrall's eagerness--and little of Pahni's fear. "I'll tell you everything that happened. I'll tell you what I plan to do about it. But it will be easier for me if I can just talk. Questions make it harder for me to hold myself together."

Liand mustered a crooked smile. "As you wish. I am able to hold my peace, as you have seen. Yet allow me to say," he added with a touch of rueful humor, "that since my departure from Mithil Stonedown, no experience of peril and power, no discovery or exigency, has been as unexpected to me as this, that I must so often remain silent."


I see that Liand Fostil-son is capable of being funny at unexpected moments. And some of the fun for me of reading the Last Chronicles is seeing Liand barely able to hold back from babbling about his amazement at all he learns as his knowledge of life in the Land's world continues to be broadened.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2016 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Somehow, my understanding of what Stave had to sacrifice to be Linden's friend didn't feel complete until I read the following quote from this chapter:

Quote:
"What about you, Stave?" she asked. He had emerged from the Fall apparently unscathed. "What was it like for you?"

The Haruchai did not hesitate. "As the Manethrall has said, both the ur-viles and the Ranyhyn served us well. We rode upon a landscape of the purest freezing while our flesh was assailed as though by the na-Mhoram's Grim. Also there stood a woman among rocks, lashing out in anguish with wild magic. Toward her I was drawn to be consumed. However, turiya Herem held her. He is known to me, for no Haruchai has forgotten the touch of any Raver. Therefore I remained apart from her, seeking to refuse the doom which befell Korik, Sill, and Doar."

Remained apart--Linden thought wanly. Damn, he was strong. From birth, he had communicated mind to mind; and yet he retained more of himself in the Fall than anyone except Anele. Even she, with the strength of the ur-viles in her veins, had been swept into Joan's madness.

Stave's severance from his people must have hurt him more than Linden could imagine.


Already I feel I know enough about him at this point in the story to consider him my favorite Haruchai.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2016 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Still the loremaster extended its open palm; poised its blade to shed its own blood.

Trust yourself.

Until now, she had accomplished almost nothing that had not been made possible by the ur-viles--and the Waynhim.

Holding her breath, Linden opened her hand and proffered it to the loremaster.

Swift as a striking snake, as if it feared that she might change her mind, the creature flicked at her with its eldritch dagger, slicing a quick line of blood across the base of her thumb. Then the loremaster cut itself and reached out to clasp her hand so that its acrid blood mingled with hers.

Involuntarily all of her muscles clenched, anticipating a rush of strength and exaltation that would lift her entirely out of herself; elevate her doubts to certainty and power.

In the Verge of Wandering, the loremaster's ichor had changed her, transcending her sickness and dread; her sheer mortality. It transformed her again now--but in an entirely different way. The wedge in front of her, more than a hundred creatures all chanting together, had called a new lore to her aid; had given her a new power. Instead of strength like the charging of Ranyhyn, she felt an almost metaphysical alteration, at once keener and more subtle than simple health and force and possibility. The creatures had not made her any stronger; they had augmented her health-sense, increasing its range and discernment almost beyond comprehension.

Now she could have pierced the closed hearts of the Masters, if she had wished to do so. Hell, she could have possessed any one of them--Or she could have searched out the mysteries locked within the Demondim-spawn themselves. They had given her the power to lay bare the complex implications of their Weird. Or she might have been able to discern the causes of Covenant's strangeness, and Jeremiah's. Certainly she could have identified the nature of her son's unforeseen power--

But she found that she had no desire for any of those things; no desire and no time. The same given percipience which made them possible also made her aware that her enhancement would be ephemeral. She had perhaps a dozen heartbeats, at most two dozen, in which to exercise her whetted perceptions.

And she was already able to descry every single one of the Demondim far below her. The ur-viles and Waynhim had been formed by Demondim; they understood their makers. They had given her the capacity to penetrate all the defenses which the horde had raised against her.

That was enough. She did not need more.

With Stave and Liand beside her, she turned to face the cliff and the siege again. There she raised the Staff high in both hands, gripping her own blood and that of the loremaster to the surface of the incorruptible wood.

Now she beheld plainly all that was required of her. The opalescent surges and crosscurrents of the monster's subterfuge were clear, as etched and vivid as fine map-work. And they were transparent. Through them, disguised and concealed by them, she found the means by which the Demondim deployed the Illearth Stone. With all of her senses, she watched baleful green glints swirl and spit, many thousands of them, outlining precisely the mad hornet-storm of time that allowed the horde to exert the Stone's evil.

While her heart beat toward the instant when her transcendental percipience would fail, she reached through the veil of emerald to the horde's caesure.

It was as obvious to her now as the Fall which Esmer had summoned to the Verge of Wandering on her behalf; as unmistakable as the chaos which she herself had ripped in time. Fed by the insight, lore, and vitriol of the wedge at her back, her health-sense at last recognized the exact location and shape, as specific as a signature, of the monsters' Fall. Each piece of time that Joan shattered with wild magic had its own definitive angles, texture, composition; its own place in the wilderland of rubble at Joan's feet. With the telic power of the ur-viles and Waynhim in her veins, Linden was able to name unerringly the unique substance which Joan had destroyed to form this particular caesure.

When she was utterly certain of what she saw, she called forth a blaze as bright and cleansing as sunfire from the Staff. In an instant, she had surrounded herself with brilliance and flame, lighting the proud jut of Revelstone as if she had effaced the storm and the gloom, the shroud of rain; as if she had pierced with Earthpower and Law even the vile fug of Kevin's Dirt.

For perhaps as long as a heartbeat, she considered hurling her fire directly against the Illearth Stone. Through the open door of the Fall, she could have striven to excise the Stone's perversion at its source. Then she rejected the idea. If she failed--if she proved inadequate to that unfathomable contest--she would lose her ability to unmake the Fall. And if she did not fail, she would alter the Land's past so profoundly that the Arch of Time itself might break.

Instead, risking everything, she took a moment to search through the rampant insanity of the caesure for Joan, hoping somehow to soothe that tormented woman. In spite of the danger, she spent precious seconds seeking to send care and concern through the maelstrom created by Joan's pain.

Then she had to stop. She had no more time.

Relinquishing thoughts of Joan, Linden exerted all of her bestowed percipience to concentrate the energies of the Staff. And when she had summoned enough conflagration to reach the heavens, she sent a prodigious wall of fire crashing down like a tsunami on the horde's Fall.

That caesure was huge, even by the measure of the one which she had created. And it had been nurtured as well as controlled and directed with every resource of cunning and lore that the Demondim could command. It was defended now by the entire virulence and will of the monsters. The woman whom she had been before the loremaster had shared its blood with her would not have been able to overcome such opposition.

As the bestowed potency of her health-sense faltered and failed, however, she heard the horde's feigned confusion become a feral roar of rage; and she knew that she had succeeded
.


I do believe this is Linden Avery's best moment so far in the Last Chronicles. It is indeed a gutsy thing she does here, risking being exposed and counterattacked for the sake of eradicating the Illearth Stone's dire power from the Land's present. It's almost enough to make me abandon my OPAL neutrality and join Linden's Army, except I'm sure I can count on her to annoy me in some future passage. [Edit: I went for being in Linden's Army, after giving the matter more thought! Linden ]

It has been pointed out in this thread that this chapter has a lot more talk occurring than action. But the talk is illuminating, and the action makes me proud of Linden, her human friends who stand with her, and the Demondim-spawn that keep making the impossible possible. One of my favorite chapters in the Chronicles, this is. Reading Cool
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