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The Bloodguard and the Unfettered

 
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peter
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 12:05 pm    Post subject: The Bloodguard and the Unfettered Reply with quote

On a re-read of 1C. I'm thinking more about the Bloodguard, the nature of their vow and the difference between them and the Haruchai we come to know later in the second series.

Granted the Bloodguard appeared earlier in the Chrons than their 'un-vow' bound fellow countrymen, so when SRD was writting he was probably not thinking in terms of in what way the Vow wrought changes upon them. Also, the Bloodguard, for all their importance in the first Chrons, are not as 'fleshed out' as charachters as their later bretherin [think Brinn and Cail etc - though I defy anyone not to see Bannor as sufficiently 'drawn']. But the fact remains - there is a small, but significant difference between the Bloodguard and the Haruchai as presented in the first and second Chrons, that goes beyond the loss of death, family and sleep imposed upon the Bloodguard by their vow. There is a reserved rectitude about the Bloodguard, in the way they deal with everyone [not just TC] that is beyond that of the unbound Haruchai.

It occured to me to consider this in a different way, and see the Bloodguard not so much 'bound' by their vow, as Unfettered by it. Almost as if, in swearing their Vow, they becams subject to a 'mass Unfettering' - the Way they having selected to follow, being that of unquestioning and absolute service to the Lords. This may just be playing with ideas, but does anyone else see a sort of correspondance between the Bloodguard and the Unfettered, the Vow and the Rite of Unfettering.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think of the Haruchai as Vow-seeking. They're eager to find someone and swear service to them, especially after the breaking of the Vow.

Certainly the Vow, or any subsequent small-v vow, is diametrically opposed to Unfettering: one is about worth through service, and the other is about worth through freedom-from-obligation. One bonds, one breaks bonds.

However, that some people find worth in service, and others in freedom from service, speaks to a wide world of personal choices. The Haruchai and the Unfettered are indeed the same in that their choices, albeit different, are what leads to personal fulfillment.

It is the nature of the Chronicles that, in the Land, power arises from making those kinds of choices. Being true to yourself is necessary for having the right kind of passion to bring out your magic.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok - could I say then that earth power *resonds* to the vow in the same way that it responds to Unfettering; ie there are consequenses [as you observe above] either way.

Interesting observation regarding the Haruchai 'need to Vow' Wayfriend - but is there not more to it than this. I had forgotten untill recently reading 'Gilden-Fire', but the Vow was preceeded by 'the Bond' [where Ho-aru and Nimishi set aside their tradidional rivalry and set out eastward to conquer 'by might of fist the forms of sustenance their home did not provide, so that their wives and children would live.'] They seem as a people to demand 'extremity' in whatever they do, be it service or fighting or whatever.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've written about the Haruchai needing to vow someone at length elsewhere, but it's full of Last Dark spoilers.

There are lot's of details that are different between the Unfettered and the Haruchai vow. For one, the Haruchai are inherently magical, whereas the Unfettered are not. But I think if you examine them thematically rather than factually, there's a lot to consider.

If power arises when one chooses a "means of articulation" that utilizes one's passion for effectiveness, then the Haruchai are harder to see in that light than the Unfettered, who clearly are similar to the Lords. The Unfettered see a personal lore which calls to them, and from this they become (in their unique way) powerful.

How so the Haruchai? Well, imagine if service itself was a "means of articulation" for someone. By pouring their passion for exemplary service into all that they do, they become, also, powerful. That the Land itself heard their Vow and endowed them with gifts is merely a detail; it's just the way that "service power" looks, just as the Rites of Unfettering is how "Unfettered power" looks.

What is common is that there is passion, and a means to transform that passion into power. And that the means is specific, personal, and all-important.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Without thrashing it to death Wayfriend can I just ask lastly how you see the nature of 'what is being served' fits into this. I seem to have a recollection that somewhere in the Chrons the idea is mooted that the value lies more in the purity of the service rather than what actually is being served [I could be imagining this however]. I mean, for the Bloodguard, how important, once they have elected to serve, is what they are actually serving. Does this 'need to Vow', once given utterence, then eschew all responsibility for the end to which that service may be put?
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm... without going into spoiler territory ... You will find if you look that the Haruchai vow service to those whom they feel they owe. They felt they owed Kevin for his generosity. They felt they owed Covenant for their release from the Clave, if not for his earlier defeat of Foul. In many ways, their service is something they feel that they owe. This is why they have such remorse when they fail in their service.

So the "nature of 'what is being serviced'" might be said to be something like that: it's someone to whom they feel indebted.

That's not to say, though, that the Haruchai would serve just anyone, regardless of character.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
Hmmm... without going into spoiler territory ... You will find if you look that the Haruchai vow service to those whom they feel they owe. They felt they owed Kevin for his generosity. They felt they owed Covenant for their release from the Clave, if not for his earlier defeat of Foul. In many ways, their service is something they feel that they owe. This is why they have such remorse when they fail in their service.

So the "nature of 'what is being serviced'" might be said to be something like that: it's someone to whom they feel indebted.

That's not to say, though, that the Haruchai would serve just anyone, regardless of character.
Essentially, they want to pay it forward. They are a severe people, but they are also very grateful.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rectitude is high on their list of attributes [and I think even higher in the Bloodguard than the H.] Thus they are bound to 'judge' very carefully before a commital of service. {Poor Linden felt the force of this judgement repeatedly!}
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....and the glory of the world becomes less than it was....
'Have we not served you well'
'Of course - you know you have.'
'Then let it end.'

We are the Bloodguard
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