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The meaning of The Last Dark
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SGuilfoyle1966
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 6:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Seven Words"]
TheWormoftheWorld'sEnd wrote:

The Arch apparently still holds, despite the devastation around Earthrootstair wrought by Linden which didn't exist in 1st Chronicles when Elena and TC went, so I don't see the Insequent using some lore to go back and "fix" things necessarily breaking the Arch.


It's been a while, but I don't think the damage done by Linden changed Earthrootstair into something different than in Covenant's journey there. I think it made it exactly like it was.
It split the mountain overhead. The mountain is split when Covenant gets theere.
Karen Lynn Fonstad's Atlas of the Land says something about the Lake of Earthblood being at a much higher level in ages past. It probably dropped because of the conflict.
I would like some specific elaboration on what you see as being different.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="SGuilfoyle1966"]
Seven Words wrote:
TheWormoftheWorld'sEnd wrote:

The Arch apparently still holds, despite the devastation around Earthrootstair wrought by Linden which didn't exist in 1st Chronicles when Elena and TC went, so I don't see the Insequent using some lore to go back and "fix" things necessarily breaking the Arch.


Just to clarify things a bit here: That's a Seven Words quote, even though it is tempting to claim it as my own. Smile

SGuilfoyle1966 wrote:
It's been a while, but I don't think the damage done by Linden changed Earthrootstair into something different than in Covenant's journey there. I think it made it exactly like it was.
It split the mountain overhead. The mountain is split when Covenant gets theere.
Karen Lynn Fonstad's Atlas of the Land says something about the Lake of Earthblood being at a much higher level in ages past. It probably dropped because of the conflict.
I would like some specific elaboration on what you see as being different.


So this doesn't mean that SRD has to go back and revise TIW?
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I remember the Atlas, which of course is descriptive but not definitive, there was a rent under Earthroot. But Elena's battle opened a new one, and that's the one that Covenant and Bannor escape through.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SGuilfoyle1966 wrote:
If I remember the Atlas, which of course is descriptive but not definitive, there was a rent under Earthroot. But Elena's battle opened a new one, and that's the one that Covenant and Bannor escape through.


I vaguely recall something in TIW about evidence of an ancient battle within the mountain.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At some point between the visit of Linden, Roger and Jerry in FR and the visit of TC, Elena, Amok and the Bloodguard in TIW, the Earthblood was approached (if not actually reached and tasted) at least one other time. We know this because Damelon's Door was put in place to prevent access. Given it's name, one would think that lore was emplaced by Damelon himself, but Amok (who we understand to be the sole key to that door) was created by Kevin as his Seventh Ward. Did both Damelon and his grandson Kevin make the trip to Skyweir? Together or separately? What happened on these journeys?

While SRD may well never tell these tales -- he repeatedly tells us that he only invents what he needs -- the possibilities are certainly intriguing...


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Savor Dam wrote:
At some point between the vist of Linden, Roger and Jerry in FR and the visit of TC, Elena, Amok and the Bloodguard in TIW, the Earthblood was approached (if not actually reached and tasted) at least one other time. We know this because Damelon's Door was put in place to prevent access. Given it's name, one would think that lore was emplaced by Damelon himself, but Amok (who we understand to be the sole key to that door) was created by Kevin as his Seventh Ward. Did both Damelon and his grandson Kevin make the trip to Skyweir? Together or separately? What happened on these journeys?

While SRD may well never tell these tales -- he repeatedly tells us that he only invents what he needs -- the possibilities are certainly intriguing...


There will be no prequels, that's true, but we do know from TIW that Kevin at least never traveled to the mountain.

Quote:
The Bloodguard cocked one eyebrow fractionally. "High Lord Kevin made no sojourns to Rivenrock or Melenkurion Skyweir."


And since Kevin never made the trip, Bannor noted that they were the first Bloodguard to stand upon Rivenrock.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 3:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Worm. Point taken.

Apparently Kevin made use of knowledge passed down either directly from grandfather Damelon or father Loric to create his Seventh Ward. He constructed the extensive protections Amok contained to make sure that those Amok guided were lore-wise enough to approach the Earthblood. They needed to be either in possession of the first six Wards or in possession of the white gold (we don't know how Kevin knew of it, but it clearly was a legend in the Land in the time of the New Lords...we may yet find out why) They also must know the name of the Power of the Seventh Ward. There may have been other tests he had; my recollection of the TIW text is not as extensive as some, so I'm sure we'll quickly hear what else Amok required.

Again, all this implies that Damelon at least, and maybe his son Loric, must have had knowledge of the path to the Earthblood and the Power to be had from a sip thereof. Otherwise, how could Kevin possess the knowledge of the Power and the risks it represented?

The tale of how they came by that wisdom! Oh, for a Giant to tell it and the time to hear it told...
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is some question about exactly how the old Lords came to know what this power represented.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I remember correctly, it wasn't so much that anybody _planned_ for the white gold to obviate the first wards... the white gold was just so powerful that it completely overwhelmed the safeguards and activated Amok.

Which also makes sense when you consider that the new lords took WAY too long to re-discover the old lore. If not for the oath of peace the new lords would (assumedly) have re-discovered all of the old lore and never needed an alternate way to access Amok via the white gold... why would Kevin have built in a back-door to the Earthblood when he spent so much time building the wards precisely to cultivate the new lords toward proper attainment of Amok and the Earthblood?
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I recall, Amok came because the Krill was activated...meaning the Lore had been achieved, but it wasn't activated by lore..it was by the white gold (which obviously transcends lore). But Amok, though created, had some free choice...he wasn't an automaton...if I remember, he couldn't let anyone in until the power was named, but he had leeway which he availed himself of because he had traveled the world and saw the dire peril it was in...allowing the hints that led to Bannor revealing his knowledge of the name of the power.
Kevin didn't so much "allow a back door" directly...but he needed Amok to be flexible enough to adapt to unforseeable circumstance, yet be strict enough to guard the lore. [for instance, he could have reasoned out a situation in which the krill fell into the hands of some lore-wise being that could activate it, yet meant only harm...he wouldn't want Amok letting them in, anymore than you would want to give me your social security number so I could get a new credit card....would you? Laughing ]
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seppi2112 wrote:
If I remember correctly, it wasn't so much that anybody _planned_ for the white gold to obviate the first wards... the white gold was just so powerful that it completely overwhelmed the safeguards and activated Amok.

Which also makes sense when you consider that the new lords took WAY too long to re-discover the old lore. If not for the oath of peace the new lords would (assumedly) have re-discovered all of the old lore and never needed an alternate way to access Amok via the white gold... why would Kevin have built in a back-door to the Earthblood when he spent so much time building the wards precisely to cultivate the new lords toward proper attainment of Amok and the Earthblood?


Just think of Amok as the bonus level at the end of a video game.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

More like the cheat that takes you to the end .
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 3:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr. Broken wrote:
More like the cheat that takes you to the end .


No, white gold was the cheat. Amok wasn't supposed to appear until after the Krill had been awakened which would supposedly happen after the mastery of the 6th Ward.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 5:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Video game bonus levels and back-door cheats are an interesting metaphor for these concepts...but it is easy to forget that such things -- so familiar to the current generation -- did not exist when SRD wrote The Illearth War and the rest of the First Chronicles. Pong was the pinnacle of the video game art then, and Donaldson may not even have been particularly congnizant of that now-primitive game.

I agree that the presence of the White Gold and Covenant's activation of Loric's Krill worked much like a cheat to trigger Amok's pre-conditions and open the way to powers the New Lords were ill-prepared to wield. Let's just not carry the metaphor too far.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 5:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Savor Dam wrote:
Video game bonus levels and back-door cheats are an interesting metaphor for these concepts...but it is easy to forget that such things -- so familiar to the current generation -- did not exist when SRD wrote The Illearth War and the rest of the First Chronicles. Pong was the pinnacle of the video game art then, and Donaldson may not even have been particularly congnizant of that now-primitive game.

I agree that the presence of the White Gold and Covenant's activation of Loric's Krill worked much like a cheat to trigger Amok's pre-conditions and open the way to powers the New Lords were ill-prepared to wield. Let's just not carry the metaphor too far.


Are you telling us that the Chrons were not actually written as a video game?
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe. In a world where (for example) the book versions of the Star Wars films are accepted as ancillary marketing for the films, putting the cart before the horse is not unheard-of. Still, I’m pretty confident that present company is not operating under that fallacy.

I agree that the video game metonymy is apt; the bonus attainments for reaching a certain level and the cheats to circumvent normal progress and leap to higher levels are a good description of how Amok worked and how the White Gold was an unplanned back door to Kevin’s intent.

What I don’t want to have happen isSpoiler:
have the events at the One Tree reduced to “Your princess is in another castle.”
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Savor Dam wrote:
Maybe. In a world where (for example) the book versions of the Star Wars films are accepted as ancillary marketing for the films, putting the cart before the horse is not unheard-of. Still, I’m pretty confident that present company is not operating under that fallacy.

I agree that the video game metonymy is apt; the bonus attainments for reaching a certain level and the cheats to circumvent normal progress and leap to higher levels are a good description of how Amok worked and how the White Gold was an unplanned back door to Kevin’s intent.


The game as it was being played by the new Lords was unwinnable. Their Oath obviated the quest for the Wards. Even the Second Ward was attained through cheating. The new Lords even admitted that the very first surpassed them. They are what we would call lamers, n00bs forever stuck on level one. They needed to cheat to win.

Savor Dam wrote:
What I don’t want to have happen isSpoiler:
have the events at the One Tree reduced to “Your princess is in another castle.”


SRD is not afraid to admit that much of what he writes amounts to tropes, and of course these are also employed in video games.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In White Gold Wielder, "Hold Possession," we get three interconnected phrases that match up in sequence with the (expected) title of the tenth Covenant novel. First, there's the thing about sending her mom into "the last dark." Then, while Covenant starts to surrender his ring to the Despiser, it reads, "Only his eyes showed no collapse. They burned like the final dark," and then something about a nighttime where the Sunbane doesn't exist. Shortly thereafter, when Linden is inside Covenant's Andelainian soul, she compares her darkness to his, where his is "the true midnight" (I think) and then something again about the Sunbane's metaphorical absence from that dimension.

The reference to Linden's mom's death makes the Last Dark sound like death. But "last" and "final" are more or less synonymous, so if Donaldson is using these peculiar turns of phrase to signify one concept, it can't be so easy. No doubt they're associated. But dying is just a process, it would seem, that takes a person into the Last Dark, not what that "true midnight" is in itself. —Inasmuch as, "Be true," is a moral commandment, and anyway given how the concept of true actions (so to speak) is the quintessential concept of ethics (which Donaldson evidently recognizes), this suggests that the Last Dark is a morally pure form of darkness.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mighara Sovmadhi wrote:
In White Gold Wielder, "Hold Possession," we get three interconnected phrases that match up in sequence with the (expected) title of the tenth Covenant novel. First, there's the thing about sending her mom into "the last dark." Then, while Covenant starts to surrender his ring to the Despiser, it reads, "Only his eyes showed no collapse. They burned like the final dark," and then something about a nighttime where the Sunbane doesn't exist. Shortly thereafter, when Linden is inside Covenant's Andelainian soul, she compares her darkness to his, where his is "the true midnight" (I think) and then something again about the Sunbane's metaphorical absence from that dimension.

The reference to Linden's mom's death makes the Last Dark sound like death. But "last" and "final" are more or less synonymous, so if Donaldson is using these peculiar turns of phrase to signify one concept, it can't be so easy. No doubt they're associated. But dying is just a process, it would seem, that takes a person into the Last Dark, not what that "true midnight" is in itself. —Inasmuch as, "Be true," is a moral commandment, and anyway given how the concept of true actions (so to speak) is the quintessential concept of ethics (which Donaldson evidently recognizes), this suggests that the Last Dark is a morally pure form of darkness.


I was following you until the last paragraph about morality. The title <i>The Last Dark</i> is meant to refer to a lot of things, but one possibility you didn't mention was the windy darkness between worlds. This darkness is also synonymous with death, the inevitable yet necessary conclusion of all life. It is necessary because death makes room for more life, the darkness is never permanent. The new earth LA creates will be a fusion of Law, Wild Magic, and her own love of life and existence.

The act of creation will serve as LA's atonement for her mother's death. Remember that LA's soul is centered around death and darkness, her father's by his own hand (which she believes she should have done something to prevent), and her mother's by LA's own hand. Death is LA's personal karma, no matter how hard she strives to prevent it, it always lies right around the corner.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome back, Worm; we've missed you during your hiatus.
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