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The Ritual of Desecration
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Horrim Carabal
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:42 pm    Post subject: The Ritual of Desecration Reply with quote

Here are some points as to my beliefs about the nature of the RoD. Please correct me if wrong.

1) The Ritual of Desecration was a spell/rite/ceremony enacted by two beings. Kevin Landwaster and Lord Foul the Despiser*. Neither could have done it alone (Foul would have enacted the Ritual long before then, if it were possible). Only two beings with complete mastery of the Lore could have done it.

2) Kevin thought the Ritual would kill Foul. He knew the Land would be reduced/diminished/wrecked. He knew thousands upon thousands would die. He knew he himself would die. The only reason he decided to go through with it - the only reason that doesn't make Kevin an evil maniac - is that he thought Foul would die. Foul being diminished for thousands of years wouldn't have been enough reason to enact the Ritual.

3) No one was tricked into performing the Ritual. The only deception was caused by Kevin's incomplete mastery of the Lore. Or Kevin's incomplete knowlege of Foul. Kevin didn't understand that Earthpower wasn't the answer to Foul. He thought Desecration could end the Despiser. When he realized his error, he died screaming (I think the text mentions he knew his error just before he died).

4) The Ritual really hurt Foul. It wasn't a pleasant experience for him. He was reduced in power for thousands of years. Besides his defeats to Covenant, the Ritual was probably the biggest setback he ever experienced. Nevertheless, he loved it because of what it did to the Land.

5) Nothing about the Ritual is specific to Foul or Kevin. Any two masters of Earthpower and Lore could enact it (although the knowledge of how it works has probably been lost, thankfully).

*or Kevin and a-Jeroth, as Kevin probably knew him.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Didn't Trell try to enact the Ritual all by himself during TPTP?
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

^ True fact..

I believe Mhoram leans what it takes to enact the ritual of desecration.. i can't quite remember what he said but i believe he felt that it was more of a feeling or personal struggle that could enact it rather than great knowledge of earthpower.

Everything you've said makes almost perfect sense though..
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interestingly enough, Mhoram's understanding of what it takes to enact the ritual also gives him mental equipment to see that the Oath of Peace was preventing the link between passion and power in their lore. Thus we have 'Lord Mhoram's Victory'. So understanding Desecration was an obvious step to being able to overcome it. Kevin, instead, surrendered to his own despair, rather than finding another way - like Mhoram - to use it for other purposes.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

(The Ritual of) Desecration itself does not require more than one being with the passion and despair to carry it out; though the level and form of desecration is somewhat dependent upon the capability of the desecrator. There was a quote that "desecration requires no lore", though I don't remember exactly where it was.

Kevin enacted it with Foul because he believed that by his lore and Foul's power combined and turned in on itself, he could destroy Foul along with the rest of the land. He was wrong.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

IrrationalSanity wrote:
(The Ritual of) Desecration itself does not require more than one being with the passion and despair to carry it out; though the level and form of desecration is somewhat dependent upon the capability of the desecrator. There was a quote that "desecration requires no lore", though I don't remember exactly where it was.

Kevin enacted it with Foul because he believed that by his lore and Foul's power combined and turned in on itself, he could destroy Foul along with the rest of the land. He was wrong.


Also remember what Trell did in The Close in TPTP. That was described as the onset of a Ritual of Desecration that, if left unchecked, could do a terrible amount of Revelstone. Trell started that all by himself.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe that was my point upthread. Wink
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There could also be an implication that the breaking of the Law of Death made it easier for a single person to invoke the Ritual of Desecration.

I don't know the Ritual has the same effects no matter how it is invoked, but Kevin may have felt that he needed the scale of the desecration to be huge to destroy the Despiser.

u.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ussusimiel wrote:
There could also be an implication that the breaking of the Law of Death made it easier for a single person to invoke the Ritual of Desecration.

I don't know the Ritual has the same effects no matter how it is invoked, but Kevin may have felt that he needed the scale of the desecration to be huge to destroy the Despiser.

u.


Good point. Either that or Kevin needed Foul to be close, to make sure he couldn't escape the disaster radius.

But I always assumed the Ritual was something that two or more beings had to do together. If not, why didn't Foul do it himself?
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe in order to do it you had to love what you were doing it to.. or it wouldnt be a true desecration.. it would be joy. you need that feeling of utter despair and helplessness
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Horrim Carabal wrote:
But I always assumed the Ritual was something that two or more beings had to do together. If not, why didn't Foul do it himself?

I haven't thought about this before. A couple of reasons suggest themselves:
    - one is that Foul would have had to put up with being reduced after the Desecration. This does not fit with Foul's archetype because it would involve self-sacrifice.

    - the prospect of Kevin's despair added to the Desecration might have been such that it would no longer have been a self-sacrifice for Foul thus allowing him to enact the Ritual.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes. Foul, doesn't seem to actually DO to much. His modus seems to be to get people to do bad things to themselves, or to send his underlings out to do his bidding.

If his real desire was to inflict woe on the people of the Land, then he might have done a Desecration a week. But it seems like everything he did was part of a plan to free himself, and it served that end even if indirectly. At least, the wars during Mhoram's lifetime fit that mold, as did the Sunbane.

So I think he relished Kevin's desecration, but it didn't fit any plan he had going. I'd like to think that perhaps Kevin surprised him a bit in that he was knocked back for a millennium, and that he perhaps didn't think it would be that bad. Because he did seem a bit pissed about it.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kevin's reasoning never made much sense to me on this issue. So he has discovered that this Lord is actually a Really Bad Guy--though smart enough to fool the Council for a long time. What exactly did Kevin imagine Foul thought during this Ritual? He didn't tell him, "Hey Foul old buddy, I've got this great idea, let's perform a death ritual--I mean, a fun ritual together! It's totally not a Ritual of Desecration. You'll love it. Why did I send away all the good people of the Land, you ask? Vacation. Don't mind them. It's totally not suspicious that I've emptied the entire Land in order to make room for our Fun Ritual. What do you say?"

Did he actually think that Foul was tricked? This Lord who outsmarted him for so long? Did he even have a cover story? What did he tell Foul? How did he sell this idea?

Maybe my memory is just crap on this issue, but Kevin didn't seem too bright, to be such a powerful Lord.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good points, Zar. Perhaps Foul attacked Kevin at the Watch, and that was when Kevin began the Ritual. But I haven't thought a lot about it, and I don't have much of a memory of the discussion of what happened at that time.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
Kevin's reasoning never made much sense to me on this issue. So he has discovered that this Lord is actually a Really Bad Guy--though smart enough to fool the Council for a long time. What exactly did Kevin imagine Foul thought during this Ritual? He didn't tell him, "Hey Foul old buddy, I've got this great idea, let's perform a death ritual--I mean, a fun ritual together! It's totally not a Ritual of Desecration. You'll love it. Why did I send away all the good people of the Land, you ask? Vacation. Don't mind them. It's totally not suspicious that I've emptied the entire Land in order to make room for our Fun Ritual. What do you say?"

Did he actually think that Foul was tricked? This Lord who outsmarted him for so long? Did he even have a cover story? What did he tell Foul? How did he sell this idea?

Maybe my memory is just crap on this issue, but Kevin didn't seem too bright, to be such a powerful Lord.


I always assumed - and thought there was textual support for this idea (although I am not near my 1st Chrons right now to check) - that Foul revealed everything to Kevin before the Ritual. Kevin knew he had been tricked, knew that Foul was pure evil, and knew that all his armies and Lore couldn't hope to defeat Foul. Hence his despair.

I assumed that, in this state of despair, he brought out the only tool he thought might destroy Foul - the Ritual. He proposed it as a losing general often will propose something like that: "why don't we settle this one-on-one?" and Foul readily agreed.

Maybe Kevin thought Foul wasn't familiar with the particular magics of the Ritual. There is some support for this, because Spoiler:
in the Last Chrons, we learn that Foul journeyed the Earth, learning things from people like the Demimages. This implies he didn't already know everything about Lore
. Kevin may have gambled that Foul hadn't come across this particular piece of magic (the RoD).

How could he sell it to Foul? Maybe he tried this: "you're not going to rule this land! I'd rather destroy it than see you win!" Foul would understand this sort of thinking. Kevin may have bet that he would take the bait and assist Kevin in the Desecration.

Just guessing here.

In any case, Kevin was wrong, Foul knew the Ritual couldn't destroy him, and, in the end, the "joke" was on the High Lord.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kevin wasn't thinking clearly. That's kind of the point -- he was ruled by despair, and made bad choices.

After Foul was discovered, there was a period of open war. Among other things, Kurash Plenethor was laid waste.
In The Illearth War was wrote:
From the Fall of the River Landrider to Mount Thunder was open terrain along the great cliff of Landsdrop. The hordes issuing from Foul's Creche could ascend in scores of places to bring battle to the Upper Land. So it was that the first great battles in all the Land's wars against the Despiser occurred across this ravaged plain. Age after age, the defenders strove to halt Lord Foul at Landsdrop, and failed because they could not block all the ways up from the Spoiled Plains and Sarangrave Flat. Then Lord Foul's armies passed westward along the Mithil, and struck deep into the Center Plains. In the last war, before Kevin Landwaster had been finally driven to invoke the Ritual of Desecration, Lord Foul had crushed through the heart of the Center Plains, and had turned north to force the Lords to their final battle at Kurash Plenethor, now named Trothgard.

The war went badly for the Lords. It'd be fair to say that they lost it.

Kevin dared the Ritual because he had run out of options. Everything was about to be destroyed by Foul anyway. It was a plan made in despair.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And I could see Foul agreeing to participate, not because he relished desecration for its own sake (though he pretty much did), but because the level of power expended in such a desecration might just be enough to rouse the Worm and/or fracture the Arch of Time. It would be initiated by a free actor (not a Tool), thus he might thereby win his freedom.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did Keven and Foul enact the Ritual in Kiril Threndor? Do I remember that correctly?
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In The Illearth War was wrote:
For it was Kevin who had summoned Lord Foul to Kiril Threndor to utter the Ritual of Desecration. The legends said that when Kevin had seen that he could not defeat the Despiser, his heart had turned black with despair. He had loved the Land too intensely to let it fall to Lord Foul. And yet he had failed; he could not preserve it. Torn by his impossible dilemma, he had been driven to dare that Ritual. He had known that the unleashing of that fell power would destroy the Lords and all their works, and ravage the Land from end to end, make it barren for generations. He had known that he would die. But he had hoped that Lord Foul would also die, that when at last life returned to the Land it would be life free of Despite. He chose to take that risk rather than permit Lord Foul's victory. Thus he dared the Despiser to join him in Kiril Threndor. He and Lord Foul spoke the Ritual, and High Lord Kevin Landwaster destroyed the Land which he loved.

So that's how Kevin got Foul to join him: Triple Dog Dare.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

...
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