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The Power that Preserves, Chapter 21: Leper's End
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2003 8:31 pm    Post subject: The Power that Preserves, Chapter 21: Leper's End Reply with quote

When I first decided to do this for Lord Foul I looked at the size of the last chapter and said, "It's so small, piece of cake!". Then SRD and TC said to the beggarman and me, "It's not that easy." Indeed, wrapping up a trilogy of this magnitude with the wild intricacies of Convenant's return to our world is, to say the least, daunting. Then throw in Mr. Donaldson's layering and deep meanings and BAMMM! Faint

Leper's End:
Alas dear Foamy! Within the echoes of beautiful Giantish laughter the Sunbirth Sea meets Hotash Slay and Ridjeck Thome crashes down on the Pure One. In a monsterous gout of steam and wild magic Thomas Covenant realizes it was Saltheart's choice alone to remain and is unable, at last, to add another major piece of quilt to his collection...

Quote:
**Yet something obdurate argued with him. That wasn't your fault, it said. You couldn't make his decisions for him. Beyond a certian point, this responsibility of yours is only a more complex form of suicide.
**He acknowledged the argument. He knew from experience that lepers were doomed as soon as they began to feel they were to blame for contracting leprosy, were responsible for being ill. Perhaps quilt and mortality, physical limitation, were the same thing in the end--facts of life, useless to protest.


Completely exhausted and obliterated Covenant lays in "a grave of oblivion" ready to die.

Quote:
**"Then take peace in your other innocence," said a voice out of the darkness. "You did not choose this task. You did not undertake it of your own free will. It was thrust upon you. Blame belongs to the chooser, and this choice was made by one who elected you without your knowledge or consent."


What is this other innocence the Creator speaks of? Without his consent Thomas Covenant is cast into the Land and in the end finally redeems it. But the Creator could not interfere, could not shape Covenant into his tool against his Enemy. Covenant has had to shape himself, albiet VERY unwillingly, and conquer his despair in order to discover his own freedom and independence and allegiance to confront and overcome despite.

There ensues a mindbending thesis on creationism and the emotion of despair that we can discuss endlessly, perhaps. Capped by such fantastic quotes as:

Quote:
"...It is the habit of despair which damns, not the despair itself. You were a man already acquainted with habit and despair--with the Law that both saves and damns. Your knowledge of your illness made you wise.",

"...You had already tasted the way in which a creator may be impotent to heal his own creation, It is ofttimes this impotence which teaches a creation to despair."
(and)
"God and creators are too powerful for despair."


I realize I'm greatly simplifying here, but the analysis of this short debate is, really, what the entire series is all about. I cannot do it alone, it could take the group many posts to dissect these matters to any justice. I am dying for your contributions, so forgive me if the rest of this rendering sounds oversimplified and trite--there is no way to make this short, but...

The Creator wishes to reward Covenant, somehow, for his efforts. It breaks my heart that his only request is to save Foamfollower, something the Creator is helpless to do. The Creator offers to let him live out a full and healthy life in the Land, which Covenant declines. He offers to teach him to remember his experiences in the Land as real, which he refuses on the grounds of insanity. Finally the Creator offers him life in his own world.

Apparently the parents of the snakebitten girl have realized the enormity of Thomas Covenant's unselfish rescue and have rushed him to the hospital. The doctors there are unaware of his allergic reaction to anti venom and he is on the brink of death. Covenant declines to die that way and the Creator restores him to life on our Earth. But before he returns the Creator shows him a celebration at Glimmermere where High Lord Mhoram praises him for saving the Land and casts the krill of Loric into the unreflecting waters while proclaiming,

Quote:
...from this day forth we will not devote ourselves to any Lore which precludes Peace. We will gain lore of our own--we will strive and quest and learn until we have found a lore in which the Oath of Peace and the preservation of the Land live together. Hear me, you people! We will serve Earthfriendship in a new way.


The rioting and routing of Foul's armies have shown the people of Revelstone that Foul has been defeated and the krill has told Mhoram that Covenant has left the Land. As if a miracle has occured on Easter, Thomas Covenant returns to our world.

I have to say I always share Mhoram's tears especially in the fact, that after the aborted summoning at the beginning of The Power That Preserves, he never gets the chance to see his dear friend again. And there's one little tidbit that really blows my mind, I noted it in my first reading twenty years ago and didn't in my second two years ago: The antivenom/aminabhavam connection! TC has to be eating the aminabhavam at the same time the anti venom is being administered to him in our world! The anti venom for rattlesnake bites comes from horse blood, heck the two words almost sound the same. And both are killing him! Amazing! I know you can carry this arguement futher...

Sorry if I left out key parts or didn't go into stuff deeper than you'd like--but, obviously, it's murder trying to keep the conculsion even this short. I have no doubt that you'll be able to aptly fill in my gaping holes!

Thomas Covenant: Unbeliever.

Thank you SRD! Hail Thank you! Hail White Gold


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2003 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, thank you SRD, for one amazing story!

And danlo, it's only fitting that you wrap up the last read lead, and do it in the same great style in which you started LFB.
Quote:
Covenant realizes it was Saltheart's choice alone to remain and is unable, at last, to add another major piece of guilt to his collection...
Well said! It is so good to finally see TC at least try to find some peace...
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2003 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bravo Danlo!! Smile Smile Smile Smile

It is fitting that you should end it! This has been so wonderful, I've loved being a part of the Dissecting Smile

And, you know what...I NEVER even thought about the antivenom/aminabhavam connection, and I've read these books at least 30 times over the past 20 years! Way cool!!!

I just love the conversation between the Creator and Covenant...

"You must have been sure of yourself..."

Quote:
"Sure? Ah, no. There was great hazard-risk for the world which I made-risk even for me. Had my enemy gained the white wild magic gold, he would have unloosed himself from the Earth-destroyed it so that he might hurl himself against me. No, Thomas Covenant. I risked my trust in you. My own hands were bound. I could not touch the Earth to defend it without thereby undoing what I meant to preserve. Only a free man could hope to stand against my enemy, hope to preserve the Earth."

Covenant heard sympathy, respect, even gratitude in the voice. But he was unconvinced. "I wasn't free. It wasn't my choice."

"Ah, but you were-free of my suasion, my power, my wish to make you my tool. Have I not said that the risk was great? Choiceless, you were given the power of choice. I elected you for the Land but did not compel you to serve my purpose in the Land. You were free to damn Land and Earth and Time and all, if you chose. Only through such a risk could I hope to preserve the rectitude of my creation."


I love that exchange. Speaks out so clearly that Covenant was definately free to save or damn the Land. The paradox of the white gold, of him.

Quote:
Covenant did not like to think that he had been so completely free to ruin the Land. He had come so close! For a while, he mused numbly to himself, measuring the Creator's risk. Then he asked, "What made you think I wouldn't just collapse-wouldn't give up in despair?"

The voice replied promptly. "Despair is an emotion like any other. It is the habit of despair which damns, not the despair itself. You were a man already acquainted with habit and despair-with the Law which both saves and damns. Your knowledge of your illness made you wise."


And I've always loved that. Despair or knowledge of it making one wise. The object of your despair making you weak or strong. You either give into it or you fight it. Covenant chose to fight. Smile

Quote:
..."You have not asked for this gift, but I give it to you whether or not you wish it. I did not ask your approval when I elected you for the Land, and do not ask now."

Before Covenant could protest, he sensed that the voice had left him. Once again, he was alone in the darkness. Oblivion swaddled him so comfortably that he almost regretted his decision to live. But then something around him or in him began to change, modulate. Without sight or hearing or touch, he became aware of sunlight, low voices, a soft warm breeze. He found himself looking down as if from a high hill at Glimmermere.

The pure waters of the lake reflected the heavens in deep burnished azure, and the breeze smelled gently of spring. The hills around Glimmer-mere showed the scars of Lord Foul's preternatural winter. But already grass had begun to sprout through the cold-seared ground, and a few tough spring flowers waved bravely in the air. The stretches of bare earth had lost their gray, frozen deadness. The healing of the Land had begun.

Hundreds of people were gathered around the lake. Almost immediately, Covenant made out High Lord Mhoram. He stood facing east across Glimmermere. He bore no staff. His hands were heavily bandaged. On his left were the Lords Trevor and Loerya, holding their daughters, and on his right was Lord Amatin. All of them seemed solemnly glad, but Mhoram's serene gaze outshone them, testified more eloquently than they could to the Land's victory.

Behind the Lords stood Warmark Quaan and Hearthrall Tohrm- Quaan with the Hafts of his Warward, and Tohrm with all the Hirebrands and Gravelingases of Lord's Keep. Covenant saw that Trell Atiaran-mate was not among them. He understood intuitively; Trell had carried his personal dilemma to its conclusion, and was either dead or gone. Again, the Unbeliever found that he could not argue away his guilt.

All around the lake beyond the Lords were Lorewardens and warriors. And behind them were the survivors of Revelstone-farmers, Cattleherds, horse-tenders, cooks, artisans, Craftmasters-children and parents, young and old-all the people who had endured. They did not seem many, but Covenant knew that they were enough; they would be able to commence the work of restoration.

As he watched, they drew close to Glimmermere and fell silent. High Lord Mhoram waited until they were all attentive, ready. Then he lifted up his voice.

"People of the Land," he said firmly, "we are gathered here in celebration of life. I have no long song to sing. I am weak yet, and none of us is strong. But we live. The Land has been preserved. The mad riot and rout of Lord Foul's army shows us that he has fallen. The fierce echo of battle within the krill of Loric shows us that the white gold has done combat with the Illearth Stone, and has emerged triumphant. That is cause enough for celebration. Enough? My friends, it will suffice for us and for our children, while the present age of the Land endures.

"In token of this, I have brought the krill to Glimmermere." Reaching painfully into his robe, he drew out the dagger. Its gem showed no light or life. "In it, we see that ur-Lord Thomas Covenant, Unbeliever and white gold wielder, has returned to his world, where a great hero was fashioned for our deliverance.

"Well, that is as it must be, though my heart regrets his passing. Yet let none fear that he is lost to us. Did not the old legends say that Berek Halfhand would come again? And was not that promise kept in the person of the Unbeliever? Such promises are not made in vain.

"My friends-people of the Land-Thomas Covenant once inquired of me why we so devote ourselves to the Lore of High Lord Kevin Landwaster. And now, in this war, we have learned the hazard of that Lore. Like the krill, it is a power of two edges, as apt for carnage as for preservation. Its use endangers our Oath of Peace.

"I am Mhoram son of Variol, High Lord by the choice of the Council. I declare that from this day forth we will not devote ourselves to any Lore which precludes Peace. We will gain lore of our own-we will strive and quest and learn until we have found a lore in which the Oath of Peace and the preservation of the Land live together. Hear me, you people! We will serve Earthfriendship in a new way."

As he finished, he lifted the krill and tossed it high into the air. It arced glinting through the sunlight, struck water in the center of Glimmermere. When it splashed the potent water, it flared once, sent a burn of white glory into the depths of the lake. Then it was gone forever.

High Lord Mhoram watched while the ripples faded. Then he made an exultant summoning gesture, and all the people around Glimmermere began to sing in celebration:

Hail, Unbeliever! Keeper and Covenant,
Unoathed truth and wicked's bane,
Ur-Lord Illender, Prover of Life:
Hail! Covenant!
Dour-handed wild magic wielder,
Ur-Earth white gold's servant and Lord-
Yours is the power that preserves.
Sing out, people of the Land --
Raise obeisance!
Hold honor and glory high to the end of days:
Keep clean the truth that was won!
Hail, Unbeliever!
Covenant!
Hail!

They raised their staffs and swords and hands to him, and his vision blurred with tears. Tears smeared Glimmermere out of focus until it became only a smudge of light before his face. He did not want to lose it. He tried to clear his sight, hoping that the lake was not gone.


Thomas Covenant: Unbeliever.

A miracle.

Despite the stiff pain in his lip, he smiled at the empty room. He felt the smile on his face, and was sure of it.

He smiled because he was alive.


Unbeliever! Illender! Prover of Life!
Yours is the Power that Perserves!!
Ur-Lord, Thomas Covenant!
HAIL!!!

Smile Smile
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~fly fly little wing, fly where only angels sing~

~this world was never meant for one as beautiful as you~

...for then I could fly away and be at rest. Sweet rest, Mom. We all love and miss you.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2003 9:59 pm    Post subject: Re: The Power that Preserves, Chapter 20: Leper's End Reply with quote

danlo wrote:
When I first decided to do this for Lord Foul I looked at the size of the last chapter and said, "It's so small, piece of cake!". Then SRD and TC said to the beggarman and me, "It's not that easy."
Indeed! No aspect of TCTC is easy, and I can't think of any aspect of being human that is either. (And wouldn't beggar/old beggar/beggarman be a cool nick or title??)

danlo wrote:
Quote:
**"Then take peace in your other innocence," said a voice out of the darkness. "You did not choose this task. You did not undertake it of your own free will. It was thrust upon you. Blame belongs to the chooser, and this choice was made by one who elected you without your knowledge or consent."
What is this other innocence the Creator speaks of?
I think he probably means what you just quoted - what Covenant had learned - that he was not to blame for being a leper.

Quote:
"...It is the habit of despair which damns, not the despair itself.
Fantastic thought!!

Quote:
"You had already tasted the way in which a creator may be impotent to heal his creation."
Reminds me of the discussions and quotes about the limits, and self-imposed/defined limits, of power.

Quote:
...from this day forth we will not devote ourselves to any Lore which precludes Peace. We will gain lore of our own--we will strive and quest and learn until we have found a lore in which the Oath of Peace and the preservation of the Land live together. Hear me, you people! We will serve Earthfriendship in a new way.
A Mhoram-moment that I applaud with FULL enthusiasm!! Very Happy Very Happy

danlo wrote:
As if a miracle has occured on Easter, Thomas Covenant returns to our world.
Heh. Nice analogy.

danlo wrote:
I have to say I always share Mhoram's tears especially in the fact, that after the aborted summoning at the beginning of The Power That Preserves, he never gets the chance to see his dear friend again.
Funny thing is, Covenant and Mhoram were not together for nearly as many pages throughout TCTC as we might think. Although, they did spend a ton of time together "offscreen" in LFB during all their travelling. But the time we see them together is extraordinary!!!!!!!!!

danlo wrote:
And there's one little tidbit that really blows my mind, I noted it in my first reading twenty years ago and didn't in my second two years ago: The antivenom/aminabhavam connection! TC has to be eating the aminabhavam at the same time the antivenom is being administered to him in our world! The antivenom for rattlesnake bites comes from horse blood, heck even the two words almost sound the same. And both are killing him! Amazing! I know you can carry this arguement futher...
THAT had never occurred to me!!! What an amazing thought!!!! Nice job!!

danlo wrote:
Thank you SRD! Hail Thank you! Hail White Gold
INDEED!!!!! We could never thank him enough!!!!

Here's another favorite moment of mine:
Quote:
Slowly, the voice breathed. "Do not be too quick to judge the makers of worlds. Will you ever write a story for which no character will have cause to reproach you?"

"I'll try," said Covenant. "I'll try."

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2003 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Furls! (and Dromond) Very Happy You've aptly filled in some gapping holes already, and I'm sure others will glady do the same. I had to do a double take when I put this part of the, above, quote in,

"It is oftimes this impotence which teaches a creation to despair."

Trell popped into my head, for some odd reason... Confused
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2003 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes yes yes!! Trell! Oh my goodness. Impotent to save Revelstone, the stone he loved. Impotent to heal his daughter, save his wife, save his granddaughter. He gave into his despair. As did Kevin. WHEW!! A grand form of impotence. I think Trell knew more of impotence than even Covenant did. At least Covenant still found it inside himself to at least keep trying, even tho he was beginning to sink down into his despair and guilt.
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...for then I could fly away and be at rest. Sweet rest, Mom. We all love and miss you.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2003 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know Fist I didn't realize you posted above me! Very Happy I agree with what you said about his "other innocence", but what is the first innocence? He never really did anything wrong in our reality before he was a leper, unless you count vainity, perhaps...Is he innocent to any degree in the Land, or just somewhat "equalized" or (and I'm uncomfortable with this word:) vindicated in any way? I really don't see how he is totally to blame for Elena's death...he may have come to an "amity" (is that the right word? or armistice) with Triock (or not) in the end...but what about Lena, Atiaran and Trell? Confused

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2003 2:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

danlo wrote:
You know Fist I didn't realize you posted above me! Very Happy
Same thing happened when I posted, and saw Fire right above me. Smile

danlo wrote:
I agree with what you said about his "other innocence", but what is the first innocence?
One innocence was that he was not to blame for having leprosy. The "other innocence" was that he did not choose the task; he did not undertake it of his own free will; it was thrust upon him.

danlo wrote:
Is he innocent to any degree in the Land, or just somewhat "equalized" or (and I'm uncomfortable with this word:) vindicated in any way? I really don't see how he is totally to blame for Elena's death.
Well, to play devil's advocate, look at the proverbial Chinese saying - Something about, if you save someone's life, you are responsible for them from then on. How much more responsible must you be if you actually created that life by raping someone? So maybe he's completely responsible for Elena's death. I'm not sure exactly how I feel about this line of thinking, but it did occur to me, so I figured I'd share it.

And yes, I think he was definitely innocent to some degree in the Land. Certainly if the Land is real. And even if it is his dream. Even though our dreams are obviously manufactured somewhere within us, most of the time, we don't have much control. Even when I am aware that I'm dreaming, my dream self has no awareness of most of the rest of the "world." And though I say to myself, "I know this is a dream. That means I can fly," I usually can't, or only just barely. Covenant's dream was much more than my typical dream, and I think he was helpless to a lot of it.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2003 2:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It occured to me that Covenant had a very paradoxical attitude toward his disease. Even though he was full of despair and loathing for himself he stubbornly cast it aside to continue his VSEs and his unbelief.
I guess he had the innocence of a world he never made.
Quote:
"...It is the habit of despair which damns, not the despair itself. You were a man already acquainted with habit and despair--with the Law that both saves and damns. Your knowledge of your illness made you wise.",

He was wise and he didn't even know it. But, I fear, it was a costly wisdom for Thomas Covenant. I suppose it was one of those "its not the reward but the challenge that makes the task worth doing" situations.
Ironic, that a healthy person would have probably failed...
You know, this Donaldson guy can write too...
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2003 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know, we all tend to gloss over the opening chapters of these books when we read or re-read them. The times before Covenant's summonings. I know I have been guilty of this. But, we really shouldn't, because it is in these chapters that we really get inside Covenant's head. We actually hear him speak of his guilt, his grief, his revulsion of himself. Important things happen in these chapters. Like, in LFB, we learn so much about him in just the first two. How blissful his life was before the onslaught of leprosy, his novel becoming a bestseller, the birth of his child (who he had no say in naming)...now, right there, we begin to see that things are not as perfect as they appear to be. Then leprosy, his amputations, Joan leaving, his time in the leprosarium, coming home to a town of people "whose names and houses and handclasps were known to him--he saw that they stepped aside, gave him plenty of room. Some of them looked as if they were holding their breath." Right there, on the very first page of chapter one, LFB, we see it.

What is he guilty of? Not a thing, being happy is not reproachable. Yet, for some reason he feels it is. He feels it's his fault he got leprosy, his fault he drove his family away, his fault the town hates him. And oh do they hate him. The "black charity", paying his bills for him, sending him groceries, all to keep him away.

Then, the beginning of the TIW. Someone burns down Joan's stables, (btw, anyone ever see that that could have been around the same time Atarian tried to summon him and got Troy instead? Covenant was dreaming about fire) but because he's a leper, an outcast, a subhuman, no one will do anything about it. What the hell has he done wrong??? Alot of people who read these books call Covenant a "whiner", well, I say this, wouldn't we all be? Okay, maybe he does deserve a bit of reproach now, because of what he did in the Land, raping Lena. He's carrying around that guilt. But that stupid Sheriff Lytton knows nothing about that!

Covenant needs people. Yet, going to town has infuriated his neighbors, they want him out. But, he needs people, needs to feel human. A perfectly understandable need. But, consciously, he knows he can't go back to town, so he goes in the other direction, hitches a ride with that trucker, who starts going on about how that "Thomas Covenant should leave decent folks alone and how he should go live will all the other lepers." They get to the club in the other town and Covenant admits to the trucker that he's the leper, the trucker doesn't believe him. He gives money to the beggar. Now, we come to the singer, who calls him "Berek", but it's not really "Berek" she's saying, it's "Berrett". Interesting. This freaks him out, of course, he stumbles and falls under the table. That stupid Sheriff Lytton shows then and orders him out. I despise Sheriff Lytton. "Let me out, I'll walk" "Alright, maybe he'll have an accident." GRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!! Cussing He walks home, the phone rings, it's Joan of course, he trips, hits his head and is summoned to the Land.

Now, this Berek/Berrett thing is very interesting. When he calls her at the beginning of TPTP she tells him that she said "Berrett", but she also tells him that he looks exactly like this person. I've often wondered what this could mean (knowing SRD, it has to mean something) But, we never find out in the 1st or 2nd Chrons. But, I still think it's important somehow.

Then, he also calls the Defense Department to find out about Hile Troy. Now, they tell him that they have never heard of Hile Troy. But, I don't believe this. We are talking about the Defense Department. They don't give out info to just anyone who calls. So, it really means nothing that they tell him this.

By now, Covenant is full of guilt. Not only did he rape Lena, but now he also feels responsible for the death of their daughter, the death of Atarian, and the deterioration of Trell. There is no innocence left in him. He's a fountain of guilt, grief, self-loathing. He stalks about like a madman, lurking on the edges of town, stumbles into that tent revival, gets thrown out. (Of course the preacher is talking about the "unclean lepers"). Goes home, and, Oh dear lord, bites into that razor blade!! Sweet mercy, every time I read that I just cringe. Sad But, then we come to it. His madness, stumbling thru the woods around Righter's Creek, seeing the little girl with the snake about to bite her. Refusing Mhoram's summons. Okay, here we find out that Covenant can refuse to cross over. Weak as he was, he could refuse. This seems to be another very important little fact we find out in these first few chapters of the 1st Chrons. Which leads to this:

Spoiler:
In order for Foul to get him and the white gold into the Land in TWL, Covenant had to actually surrender himself to Foul. I think Foul knew Covenant could refuse to allow himself to be taken. I know the other reason was because Foul thought once Covenant surrendered to him he would be his tool and would be compelled to give up the ring. But, I also think this was a reason too.


Anyway...I know I have been going off on a wild tangent here this morning. But, I got to thinking about all the opening chapters of the 1st Chrons and realized that we kind of tend to miss little things, because we are so anxious to get back to the Land.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2003 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another great thought, about the fire in the stables and Troy's summoning!! Wow!!

The whole "guilt about being sick" thing is, sadly, true for many people. SRD met enough lepers to have seen it in action. Guilt is a horribly common emotion, and easily exploited. People like Jim Jones have an amazing understanding of this. I often see others feeling guilty about things that they have no business feeling guilty about, but lack the understanding of how to control them, heart and soul, through it. Not that I'm complaining about this blind spot. Smile I'd rather try to make people see that they don't need to feel guilty so often.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2003 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I have to say I always share Mhoram's tears especially in the fact, that after the aborted summoning at the beginning of The Power That Preserves, he never gets the chance to see his dear friend again. And there's one little tidbit that really blows my mind, I noted it in my first reading twenty years ago and didn't in my second two years ago: The antivenom/aminabhavam connection! TC has to be eating the aminabhavam at the same time the antivenom is being administered to him in our world! The antivenom for rattlesnake bites comes from horse blood, heck the two words almost sound the same. And both are killing him! Amazing! I know you can carry this arguement futher...


That is an extraordinary thought!

Quote:
Then, the beginning of the TIW. Someone burns down Joan's stables, (btw, anyone ever see that that could have been around the same time Atarian tried to summon him and got Troy instead? Covenant was dreaming about fire


Another extraordinary thought!!

Thanks for sharing!
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2003 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The fire analogy is way cool Furls!!!

The Land has to be in an alternate universe right? I guess that's assuming a universal "God" is the creator and lifegiver of this one. The Creator talks about creators and Gods in this chapter, so there must be a difference. Do they somehow cooperate? Did the God of our world give the Creator temporary leave to appear to TC on our world? Spoiler:
and how would that God react to Foul in TWL??? Too busy or simply evil disquised??? Got under the radar??
Does the Creator need to plead his need?


Last edited by danlo on Wed Oct 22, 2003 12:09 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2003 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting point danlo. He also tells Covenant that he took "great risk" by talking to him that one time before his first summoning. I always took that to mean that he thought it risky because he didn't want to "shape" Covenant in any way. But, what if the meaning is two-fold? Maybe the risk was overstepping the bounds imposed by some God?

Foul always refers to the Creator as his enemy. But, what if both Foul and the Creator are children of the same God? Remember the story Foamfollower told, the one about the "myriad children trapped in the sky" because they went thru that hole in the rainbow? What if the Creator and Foul are two of those children?

heh, I'm rambling. I thought that interesting about a God and Creator tho. I always just took them to be one in the same. Ya got me thinking... Smile Smile
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2003 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This appears to be a very complex question. However, SRD always refers to the Creator as the Creator, not a god. The Creator never refers to himself directly as a god. When he talked to TC about being a creator (lower-case c) he was refering to him as a writer and a father. It seems we can't be absolutely sure, but there does seem to be a marked difference between a god and a Creator. How far is a Creator's span if one exists in the same universe as a god? Can they even co-exist in the same universe? It would seem a creator would have to be "separated" from a god...do creators get little limitated universes Spoiler:
(with funny planet forming worms in them Very Happy )
and gods get big infinite ones? This can, obviously, become a very heavy and controvesial discussion very quickly.

If I remember the story of the Wounded Rainbow correctly it was the Creator who watched his children dancing... so that might not work...Spoiler:
I always thought his children were the Elohim...
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, the myriad children were the creator's. I just re-read it Smile

I'm going to quote it because I think it is such a beautiful tale.

Quote:
"Ah, Stone and Sea! Do you know the old lore legend of the Wounded Rainbow, Thomas Covenant? It is said that in the dimmest past of the Earth, there were no stars in our sky. The heavens were a blankness which separated us from the eternal universe of the Creator. There he lived with his people and his myriad bright children, and they moved to the music of play and joy.

"Now, as the ages spired from forever to forever, the Creator was moved to make a new thing for the happy hearts of his children. He descended to the great forges and cauldrons of his power, and brewed and hammered and cast rare theurgies. And when he was done, he turned to the heavens, and threw his mystic creation to the sky -- and, behold! A rainbow spread its arms across the universe.

"For a moment, the Creator was glad. But then he looked closely at the rainbow -- and there, high in the shimmering span, he saw a wound, a breach in the beauty he had made. He did not know that his Enemy, the demon spirit of murk and mire that crawled through the bowels of even his universe, had seen him at work, and had cast spite into the mortar of his creating. So now, as the rainbow stood across the heavens, it was marred.

"In vexation, the Creator returned to his works, to find a cure for his creation. But while he labored, his children, his myriad bright children, found the rainbow, and were filled with rejoicing at its beauty. Together, they climbed into the heavens and scampered happily up the bow, dancing gay dances across its colors. High on the span, they discovered the wound. But they did not understand it. Chorusing joy, they danced through the wound, and found themselves in our sky. This new unlighted world only gladdened them the more, and they spun through the sky until it sparkled with the glee of play.

"When they tired of this sport, they sought to return to their universe of light. But their door was shut. For the Creator had discovered his Enemy's handiwork -- the cause of the wound -- and in his anger his mind had been clouded. Thoughtless, he had torn the rainbow from the heavens. Not until his anger was done did he realize that he had trapped his children in our sky. And there they remain, stars to guide the sojourners of our nights, until the Creator can rid his universe of his Enemy, and find a way to bring his children Home."


You know, the words "God" and "Creator" could mean the same thing in this case. It could be just something as simple as Donaldson not wanting to use the word "God". It is used alot in fantasy fiction, I've used it myself in mine. Maybe he just wanted a different word. Smile Foul is the "dark god" and the Creator is the "true, or the god of light". Classic fantasy weaving Smile Just like our own God, trapping Lucifer or Satan, if you will, in Hell. He is barred from Heaven, but not from our Earth. So it is with the Despiser. He can be defeated and diminished, but he can never truly die.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If that's the case then they really do have to exist seperately: Our "God" and the Creator. I always, sorta, thought of Foul as a demi-god not a full-fledged god-I guess cause it appears that the Creator is stronger than him. That Foul represents the Creator's dark side I have no problem with. In anycase-if Foul is ranked somewhere in the "god" category he is definately a stronger and different type of being than "Satan" (being a fallen angel not a god...)
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I always considered any Immortal, by this definition alone, a god.
Question I thought that's all it took, then how you acted determined what kind of god you were considered to be. I would view Foul as a god, the creator as a god, satan n n n n n n as a god. Smile
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2003 2:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We discussed this once on one thread or another. The only definition I could come up with for "god" that fit all gods from all religions and mythologies was something along the lines of: a being that is worshipped. They don't all create, they aren't all immortal, they don't all have any common characteristic that I'm aware of, other than the fact that someone or other worshipped each of them.

Maybe the Creator is worshipped by someone somewhere, whether on the Land's Earth or elsewhere, but won't claim godhood because he doesn't want worship.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2003 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

oh good point Fist! Your right about that, he doesn't want to be worshipped. Foul does tho.
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~this world was never meant for one as beautiful as you~

...for then I could fly away and be at rest. Sweet rest, Mom. We all love and miss you.

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