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The Power that Preserves, Chapter 20: The Unbeliever
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Furls Fire
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2003 10:00 am    Post subject: The Power that Preserves, Chapter 20: The Unbeliever Reply with quote

The Power that Preserves, Chapter 20: The Unbeliever:
Quote:
”Attempt me then,” the dead giant went on. “Unleash the lust which fills you. Do you believe you can vindicate yourself against me? Are you so blind? Comrade! There is nothing that justifies you. If you shed blood enough to was the Land from east to west, you cannot wash out the ill of yourself. Imbecile! Anile fool! If the master did not control you, you would do his work for him so swiftly that he would be unable to take pleasure in it. Come then, comrade! Attempt me. I am slain already. How will you bring me to death again?”

“I will attempt it.” Foamfollower grated softly, “in my own way.” The specter’s unnecessary goading told him what he needed to know. The creatures could have slain him at any time—yet they waited while Kinslaughterer strove to provoke him. Therefore Soulcrusher still had something to gain from him; therefore Covenant was still alive, still unbeaten. Perhaps Lord Foul hoped to use Foamfollower himself against the Unbeliever.

But Foamfollower had survived the caamora of Hotash Slay. He poised himself, his whole body tensed. Yet when he sprang suddenly into motion, he did not attack Kinslaughterer. Straining mightily, thrusting with all the power of his legs, he launched himself at the guards before the door of the thronehall.

They ducked under the suddenness of his assault. He dove headlong over them, forearms braced, so that his entire force struck the doors.

They had not been made to withstand such an impact. With a sharp cry of splintering stone, they burst inward.

Foamfollower fell in a flurry of door shards, somersaulted, snapped to his feet in the thronehall of Ridjeck Thome.

The room was a wide round hall like the one he had just left, but it had fewer doors, and its ceiling was far higher, as if to accommodate the immense powers which occupied it. Opposite Foamfollower was the great throne itself. On a low mound against the far wall, old grisly rock had been upreared to form the Despiser's seat in the shape of jaws, raw hooked teeth bared to grip and tear. It and its base were the only things he had seen in Foul's Creche which were not perfectly carved, utterly polished. It appeared to have been irremediably crippled, grotesqued, by the age-long weight of Lord Foul's malice. It looked like a prophecy or foretaste of ultimate doom for all Ridjeck Thome's immaculate rock.

Set into the floor directly before it was the Illearth Stone.

The Stone was not as large as Foamfollower had expected it to be; it did not appear so big or heavy that he could not have lifted it in his arms. Yet its radiance staggered him like the blow of a prodigious fist. It was not extremely bright--its illumination in the thronehall was only a little stronger than the light elsewhere--but it blazed in its setting like an incarnation of absolute cold. It pulsed like a mad heart, sent out unfetterable gouts and flares of force, radiated violently its power for corruption. Foamfollower slammed into the glare and stopped as if he could already feel the gelid emerald turning his skin to ice.

He stared at the Stone for a moment, horrified by its strength. But then his staggered senses became aware of another might in the thronehall. This power seemed oddly subdued in comparison to the Stone. But it was only subtler, more insidious--not weaker. As Foamfollower turned toward it, he knew that it was the Stone's master.

Lord Foul.

He located the Despiser more by tactile impression than by sight. Lord Foul was essentially invisible, though he cast an impenetrable blankness in the air like the erect shadow of a man—a shadow of absence rather than presence which showed where he would have been if he had been physically corporeal—and around the shadow shown a penumbra of glistering green. From within it, he reeked of attar.

He stood to one side of the Stone, with his back to the door and the Giant. And before him, facing Foamfollower, was Thomas Covenant.


And so, my friends, we come to it at last. The confrontation between Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever and Lord Foul, the Despiser; between the White Gold and the Illearth Stone. All paths led here, to Foul’s Creche. Here the fate of the Land will be decided. It is not a battle of swords, however. But a battle of power. Wild magic against the power of despite, manifested in the Stone.

Thomas Covenant stands before Lord Foul still shackled when Foamfollower bursts into the thronehall. But neither Covenant or the Despiser seem to notice him. They are intent on each other. Foul then delivers a crushing blow to Covenant’s mouth, thus re-injuring him to his “before summoning” state. Foamfollower charges to his friend’s aid.

Quote:
Before he had taken two strides, an avalanche of creatures rushed through the shattered doorway and fell on him. They pounded him to the floor, pinned him under their weight, secured his limbs. He fought wildly, extravagantly, but his opponents were many and strong. They mastered him in a moment. They dragged him to the side wall and fettered him there with chains so massive that he could not break them. When the creatures left him, hurried out of the thronehall, he was helpless.


Foamfollower is placed in a position to watch the interchange between Covenant and Foul. The Unbeliever kneels on the floor, his shackled, bloodied hands over his face as his lip swells with poison, leprosy. He feels his disease taking root.

Quote:
But when he lowered his bloodied hands—when the swift poison of Foul’s touch made his lip blacken and swell so acutely that he could no longer bear to touch it—when he looked up again toward the Despiser, he was not abject. He was unbeaten.

Damn you, he muttered dimly. Damn you. It’s not that easy.

Deliberately, he closed his fingers of his halfhand around his ring.

The Despiser’s eyes raged at him, but Lord Foul controlled himself to say in a sneering, fatherly tone, “Come Unbeliever. Do not prolong this unpleasantness. You know that you cannot stand against me. In my own name I am wholly your superior. And I possess the Illearth Stone. I can blast the moon in it’s course, compel the oldest dead from their deep graves, spread ruin at my whim. Without effort I can tear every fiber of your being from its moor and scatter the wreck of your soul across the heavens.”

Then do it, Covenant muttered.

“Yet, I choose to forbear. I do not purpose harm against you. Only place your ring in my hand, and all your torment will be at an end. It is a small price to pay, Unbeliever.”

It’s not that easy.

“And I am not powerless to reward you. If you wish to share my rule over the Land, I will permit you. You will find I am not an uncongenial master. If you wish to preserve the life of your friend, Foamfollower, I will not demur—though he has offended me.” Foamfollower thrashed in his chains, struggled to protest, but he could not speak. “If you wish health, that also I can and will provide. Behold!”


The Despiser then proceeds to awash Covenant with health. Strength and feeling flood through him. His leprosy gone, his weakness gone, his hunger gone. Covenant refuses it, however.

Quote:
”Health isn’t my problem, you’re the one that teaches lepers to hate themselves.”


Foul laughs at this, begins to shower Covenant with ridicule, asks him why he is so “rife with folly". Covenant tells him that he loves the Land and loathes Foul. The Despiser does not think that is a good enough answer, asks him again.

Quote:
”Because I don’t believe it.”

“No?” the Despiser shouted with glee. “Still?” His laughter expressed perfect contempt. “Groveler, you are pathetic beyond price. Almost I am persuaded to keep you at my side. You would be a jester to lighten my burdens.” Still he catechized Covenant. “How is it possible that you can loathe or love where you do not believe?”

“Nevertheless.”

“How is it possible to disbelieve where you loathe and love?”

“Still.”

Lord Foul laughed again. “Do my ears betray me? Do you—after my Enemy has done all within his power to sway you—do you yet believe that this is a dream?”

“It isn’t real. But that doesn’t matter. That’s not important.”

“Then what is, groveler?”

“The Land. You.”

Once more, the Despiser laughed. But his mirth was short and vicious now; he sounded disturbed, as if there were something in Covenant which he could not understand. “The Land and Unbelief,” he jeered. “You poor, deranged soul! You cannot have both. They preclude each other.”


Covenant knows better, however. He knows that only by affirming both Land and Unbelief within himself, can he preserve them both. “The place where the parallel lines of his impossible dilemma met.” It’s the “eye of the paradox”. This was the reason the Land had happened to him. Yet, he doesn’t say this to Foul.

The Despiser then moves on to the question that was the seed of his forbearance for not ripping the ring from Covenant’s hand. Lord Foul feared that Covenant had somehow learned how to use the wild magic.

Quote:
”This wild magic is not part of your world. It violates your Unbelief. How can you use this power in which you do not believe?”


At first, Covenant considers lying, considers telling Foul that he has mastered the white gold. But he decides against that, he does not want his defense flawed by duplicity. He tells Foul the truth.

Quote:
”I don’t know how to use it.” His voice stumbled thickly past his swollen lip. “I don’t know how to call it up. But I know it is real in the Land, I know how to trigger it. I know how to bring this bloody icebox down around your ears.”

The Despiser did not hesitate, doubt. He seemed to expand in Covenant’s sight as he roared savagely, “You will trigger nothing! I have endured enough of your insolence. Do you say that you are a leper? I will show you leprosy!”


Power swells around Covenant then, Foul envelopes him in darkness and pain. Images bombard him. The Land, the people he loves, Joan, Roger all become leprous and diseased. Foul flings the horrors at him, pulls him down until he almost despairs.

Quote:
Foul! He screamed. Foul! You can’t do this!

“I will do it,” came the mocking reply. “I am doing it.”

Stop it!

“Give me the ring.”

Never!

“Then enjoy what you have brought to pass. Behold! I have given you companions. The solitary leper has remade the world in his own image, so that he will not be alone.”

I won’t let you!

The Despiser laughed sardonically. “You will aid me before you die.”

“Never! Damn you! Never!”
Fury exalted Covenant—fury as hot as magma. A rage for lepers carried him beyond all his limits. He took one last look at the victims thronging innumerably before him. Then he began to struggle for freedom like a newborn man fighting his way out of old skin.

He seemed to be standing in the nowhere nothingness of the abyss, but he knew that his physical body still knelt on the floor of the thronehall. With a savage effort of will, he disregarded all sensory impressions, all appearances that prevented him from perceiving where he was. Trembling, jerking awkwardly, he levered his gaunt frame to its feet. The eyes of his body were blind, still caught in Lord Foul’s control, but he grated fiercely, “I see you, Foul.” He did not need eyes. He could sense with the nerves of his stiff cheeks the emanations of power around him.

He took three lumbering, tottering steps, and felt Foul suddenly surge toward him, rush to stop him. Before the Despiser could reach him, he raised his hands and fell fists-first at the Illearth Stone.

The instant his wedding brand struck the Stone, a hurricane of might exploded in his hand. Gales of green and white fire blasted through the air, shattered it like a bayamo. The veil of Lord Foul’s assault was shredded in a moment and blown away. Covenant found himself lying on the floor with a tornado of power gyring upward from his Halfhand.

He heaved to his feet. With on flex of his arms, he freed his wrist as if the shackles were a skein of lies.


And so the battle begins. Unbelief against Despite—White Gold against the Illearth Stone—Thomas Covenant against Lord Foul.

The Despiser hurls him once more into the abyss of leprosy, forces Covenant to view images of the Land diseased by the Illearth Stone. But, the Unbeliever, remembering what Mhoram told him—you are the white gold—almost laughs at Lord Foul. The Stone can not corrupt him. He becomes wild magic, and to the Despiser he says. “You can’t stop me. You’ve broken too many Laws. And I’m outside the Law. It doesn’t control wild magic—it doesn’t control me. But it was the only thing that might have stopped me. You could have used it against me. Now it’s just me—it’s my will that makes the difference. I’m a leper, Foul. I can stand anything.”

The battle rages. Foul, in fury, hurls the power of the Stone at the Unbeliever, Covenant gets thrown back against the wall next to Foamfollower. Yet, Covenant’s will swells and he forces himself away from the wall, and he becomes equal to Foul’s attack. Power scales in fury throughout the thronehall. He succeeds in driving the Despiser away from the Stone, erupts a wall of wild magic between Foul and the Stone. He then surrounds the Despiser with wild magic, begins to penetrate his penumbra. Foul shrieks as his penumbra bursts into flames and shatters. Covenant bombards him with more power and the Despiser then begins to take form, becomes material, corporeal. When he is fully formed he goads Covenant—tells him to “make an end”

Quote:
But before he could respond, try to articulate the emotions and intuitions which Lord Foul’s words called up in him, a sudden clap of vehemence splintered the silence of the thronehall. A great invisible door opened in the air at his back; without warning, strong presences, furious and abhorring, stood behind him. The violence of their emanations almost broke his concentrated hold on Lord Foul.

He clenched his will, steadied himself to face a shock, and turned.

He found himself looking up at tall figures like the one he had seen in the cave of the Earthblood under Melenkurion Skyweir. They towered above him, grisly and puissant; he seemed to see them through the stone rather then within the chamber.

They were the specters of the dead Lords. He recognized Kevin Landwaster son of Loric. Beside Kevin stood two other livid men whom he knew instinctively to be Loric Vilesilencer and Damelon Giantfriend. There were Prothall, Osondrea, a score of men and women Covenant had never met, never heard named. With them was Elena daughter of Lena. And behind and above them all rose another figure, a dominating man with hot prophetic eyes and one halfhand: Berek Earthfriend, the Lord-Fatherer.

In one voice like a thunder of abomination—one voice of outrage that shook Covenant to the marrow of his bones—they cried, “Slay him! It is within your power. Do not heed his treacherous lies. In the name of all Earth and health, slay him!”


But Covenant does not.

Quote:
In a voice thick with grief, he answered the Lords, “I can’t kill him. He always survives when you try to kill him. He comes back stronger than ever the next time. Despite is like that. I can’t kill him.”

His reply stunned them. For a moment, they trembled with astonishment and dismay. Then Kevin asked in horror, “Will you let him live?”

Covenant could not respond directly, could not give a direct answer. But he clung to the strait path of his intuition. For the first time since his battle with the Despiser had begun, he turned to Saltheart Foamfollower.

The Giant stood chained to the wall, watching avidly everything that happened. The bloody flesh of his wrists and ankles showed how hard he had tried to break free, and his face looked as if it had been wrung dry by all the things he had been forced to behold. But he was essentially unharmed, essentially whole. Deep in his cavernous eyes, he seemed to understand Covenant’s dilemma. “You have done well, my dear friend,” he breathed when Covenant met his gaze. “I trust whatever choice your heart makes.”

“There is no choice about it,” Covenant panted, fighting to hold back his tears. “I’m not going to kill him. He’ll just come back. I don’t want that on my head. No, Foamfollower—my friend. It’s up to you now. You—and them.” He nodded toward the livid, spectral Lords. “Joy is in the ears that hear—remember? You told me that. I’ve got joy for you to hear. Listen to me. I’ve beaten the Despiser—this time. The Land is safe—for now. I swear it. Now I want—Foamfollower!” Involuntary tears blurred his sight. “I want you to laugh. Take joy in it. Bring some joy into this bloody hole. Laugh!” He swung back to shout at the Lords, “Do you hear me? Let Foul alone! Heal yourselves!”

For a long moment that almost broke his will, there was no sound in the thronehall. Lord Foul blazed contempt at his captor; the Lords stood aghast, uncomprehending; Foamfollower hung in his chains as if the burden were too great for him to bear.

“Help me!” Covenant cried.

Then slowly his plea made itself felt. Some prophecy in his words touched the hearts that heard him. With a terrible effort, Saltheart Foamfollower, the last of the Giants, began to laugh.


The specters of the Lords join him. It is low at first, but exalts thunderously around the thronehall, diminishes Lord Foul to nothing. As the laughter fades, so do the specters of the Lords. Covenant and Foamfollower are now alone.

Quote:
Covenant was weeping out of control now. The exhaustion of his ordeal had caught up with him. He felt too frail to lift his head, too weary to live any longer. Yet he had one more thing to do. He had promised that the Land would be safe. Now he had to ensure that safety.

“Foamfollower?” he wept. “My friend?” With his voice, he begged the Giant to understand him; he lacked the strength to articulate what he had to do.

“Do not fear for me,” Foamfollower replied. He sounded strangely proud, as if Covenant had honored him in some rare way. “Thomas Covenant, ur-Lord and Unbeliever, brave white gold wielder—I desire no other end. Do whatever you must, my friend. I am at Peace. I have beheld a marvelous story.”

Covenant nodded in the blindness of his tears. Foamfollower could make his own decisions. With a flick of an idea, he broke the Giant’s chains, so that Foamfollower could at least attempt to escape if he so chose. Then all Covenant’s awareness of his friend became ashes.


Thomas Covenant then shambles over to the Illearth Stone, kneels beside it, and wraps his arm around. Wild magic erupts anew and the Stone pulses in his arms. He embraces the Stone seeking to crush it with his power.

Quote:
The convulsion shook the Creche. Gaping cracks shot through the floors, sped up the walls, as if they were headlong in mad flight. The promontory itself began to quiver and groan. Muffled detonations sent great clouds of debris up through the cracks and crevices. Hotash Slay danced in rapid spouts. The towers leaned like willows in a bereaving wind.

With a blast that jolted the Sea, the whole center of the promontory exploded into the air. In a rain of boulders, Creche fragments as large as homes, villages, the wedge split open from tip to base. Accompanied by cataclysmic thunder, the rent halves toppled in ponderous, monumental agony away from each other into the Sea.

At once, ocean crashed into the gap from the east, and lava poured into it from the west. Their impact obscured in the steam and fiery sibilation the seething caldron of Ridjeck Thome’s collapse, the sky-shaking fury of sea and stone and fire—obscured everything except the power which blazed from the core of the destruction.

It was green-white—savage, wild—mounting hugely toward its apocalypse.

But the white dominated and prevailed.


And now, with tears in my eyes yet again, there is only one thing I have left to say—

Farewell, Saltheart Foamfollower!! Rockbrother and Giant!! “Joy is in the ears that hear.” Hail!!
_________________
And I believe in you
altho you never asked me too
I will remember you
and what life put you thru.


~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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danlo
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2003 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The stunning conculsion! Quite stunning Furls!! Shocked Shocked Very Happy Cool (I know you just "used" this to beat Fist for "longest post ever"!) Very Happy Truly, this should be as long and intense as possible as it puts the capper on one of the greatest trilogies ever written!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cool YESSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cool
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Furls Fire
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2003 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL!!! Hysterical

Hey, I TRIED to keep it short!! But this was such an AWESOME chapter, and AWESOME end to all three books...how could I???

I'm so glad it fell to me do to this one. It took me all morning!! I had to keep stopping to dry my eyes with kleenix Sad

Foamfollower...sigh...

“Thomas Covenant, ur-Lord and Unbeliever, brave white gold wielder—I desire no other end. Do whatever you must, my friend. I am at Peace. I have beheld a marvelous story.”

That gets me every time Sad
_________________
And I believe in you
altho you never asked me too
I will remember you
and what life put you thru.


~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: Mon Oct 06, 2003 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember when I first read this climactic chapter, finishing the first trilogy as I recovered from case of strep throat and near delirium! At the time I thought it had been a good but perhaps not great series, and like everyone else, was happy to see Foul go down. I also found the part where Foamfollower laughs in response to his impending death to be a great moment.

I was a bit disappointed though, to see the end come via violence. After all of the discussion about TC not killing, after reading about SRD's being a conscientious objector, the answer to Foul was still just power and violence. If Covenant had not been the stronger force, Foul would have presumably won. His ethics, what he had learned about violence and friendship, meant nothing. His White Gold trumped the green Illearth stone and that was it. (Of course realizing that the White Gold worked with the Illearth stone to increase its power).

How many sci-fi/fantasy sagas and movies end up like this in fist-a-cuffs? Remember when Kirk and Picard were fighting the evil dude to prevent the rocket launch that would blow up the planet (or was it the universe?). Cussing
If Kirk hadn't had a good right cross, deprived of his laser cannons, we'd all be in that twilight zone place!

Spoiler:
So, I think the ending of the first chronicles is best seen as a prelude to what is coming in the second. The second chronicles ends with him surrendering power, not using it,thus helping us see the importance of the first ending as a contrast (and as an ultimately less successful victory) to the second ending.


I once read how SRD had a sudden vision of the entire story of TC while listening to his Dad give a sermon in church one day. I wonder if that was just the first chronicles or both; I see the first chronicles as much more meaningful as a prelude to the deeper issues, and more profound answers , of the second.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2003 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually srtrout, Covenant did refrain from killing Foul. He knew he couldn't win that way. Yes, there was violence, but the way Foul met his end was extraordinary!! The laughter of the dead lords and Foamfollower diminishing him that way. What an awesome concept on SRD's part. Smile

I was actually very happy with then end. Except for the loss of Foamfollower.
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And I believe in you
altho you never asked me too
I will remember you
and what life put you thru.


~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: Mon Oct 06, 2003 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Furls Fire wrote:
Hey, I TRIED to keep it short!! But this was such an AWESOME chapter, and AWESOME end to all three books...how could I???
Right? Why bother if you're not gonna go all out!! Very Happy Like Tom Hanks said is A League of Their Own, Anything worth doing is worth doing right.

Furls Fire wrote:
I'm so glad it fell to me do to this one. It took me all morning!! I had to keep stopping to dry my eyes with kleenix Sad
Nice visual for us. Poor thing. Sad You and Foamy better not ever get in the same room - we'll all drown!

Furls Fire wrote:
Quote:
“Thomas Covenant, ur-Lord and Unbeliever, brave white gold wielder—I desire no other end. Do whatever you must, my friend. I am at Peace. I have beheld a marvelous story.”
That gets me every time Sad
Indeed. Foamfollower is beautiful beyond description right down to his very last words.

And I really like Foul's little speech. Enough to type it out. Smile
Quote:
When he was fully present, Lord Foul folded his arms on his chest and said harshly, "Now you do in truth see me, groveler." His tone gave no hint of fear or surrender. "Do you yet believe that you are my master? Fool! I grew beyond your petty wisdom or belief long before your world's babyhood. I tell you plainly, groveler - Despite such as mine is the only true fruit of experience and insight. In time you will not do otherwise than I have done. You will learn contempt for your fellow beings - for the small malices which they misname their loves and beliefs and hopes and loyalties. You will learn that it is easier to control them than to forbear - easier and better. You will not do otherwise. You will become a shadow of what I am - you will be a despiser without the courage to despise. Continue, groveler. Destroy my work if you must - slay me if you can - but make an end! I am weary of your shallow misperception."
*WHEW* His view of everything is certainly not my view, but he sure is absolute about it!


srtrout, I disagree entirely. In his rage, Covenant used the wild magic to fight off Foul's green blasts - then he seperated Foul from the Stone - then surrounded Foul with it, and used it to break through Foul's penumbra. And when Foul was completely exposed and helpless, Covenant did nothing to him. No killing, no blows, no violence. He said that's not the answer, and asked the others to heal themselves with laughter. "His ethics, what he had learned about violence and friendship, meant" everything! That's why he didn't resort to violence. Erecting a wall to prevent an enemy's bullets from hitting you is not violence, nor is taking their gun away.
_________________
We are not required to save the world. We are required to stand up as truly as we can for what we love. -SRD

All lies and jest
Still a man hears what he wants to hear
And disregards the rest
-Paul Simon


Last edited by Fist and Faith on Mon Oct 06, 2003 3:02 pm; edited 3 times in total
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2003 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smile Fist
_________________
And I believe in you
altho you never asked me too
I will remember you
and what life put you thru.


~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: Mon Oct 06, 2003 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oops, I forgot about this line:
Quote:
"Health isn’t my problem, you’re the one that teaches lepers to hate themselves."
What an awesome line! Reminds me of Conversations With God:
Quote:
Pain results from a judgment you have made about a thing. Remove the judgment and the pain disappears.
...
The true Master does not suffer in silence at all, but only appears to be suffering without complaint. The reason that the true Master does not complain is that the true Master is not suffering, but simply experiencing a set of circumstances that you would call insufferable.
Foul is the one who teaches that this and that are painful, and that they are reasons to hate others or ourselves.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2003 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome Fist. And so true. I don't believe Covenant would have hated himself so much after contracting leprosy if he wasn't loathed by others for it, and wasn't abandoned because of it. He would have learned to live with it and gone on. It was the hate of others that drove him to self-loathing. And Foul was a master at making everyone hate themselves. He fed their weaknesses and suffering back at them ten-fold.

In the end tho, at least this end. It was Covenant that turned the tables on him. Shoved what HE hated down his throat. The laughter, the joy..it was too much for Despite to bear. All the power of the Stone couldn't match the power of the Giant's joy. Smile
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2003 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love seeing from Foamfollower's point of view for a brief time at the beginning of this chapter... Cool

Quote:
But instead of moving him to obey, their vehemence washed away his fury, his power for battle. Violence drained out of him, giving place to sorrow for them - a sorrow so great that he could hardly contain it, hardly hold back his tears. They had earned obedience from him; they had a right to his rage. But their demand made his intuitions clear to him. He remembered Foamfollower's former lust for killing. He still had something to do, something which could not be done with rage. Anger was only good for fighting, for resistance. Now it could suborn the very thing he had striven to acheive.

In a voice thick with grief, he answered the Lords, "I can't kill him. He always survives when you try to kill him. He comes back stronger than ever the next time. Despite is like that. I can't kill him."


Quote:
The Giant stood chained to the wall, watching avidly everything that happened. The bloody flesh of his wrists and ankles showed how hard he had tried to break free, and his face looked as if it had been wrung dry by all the things he had been forced to behold. But he was essentially unharmed, essentially whole. Deep in his cavernous eyes, he seemed to understand Covenant's dilemma. "You have done well, my dear friend," he breathed when Covenant met his gaze. "I trust whatever choice your heart makes."

"There's no choice about it," Covenant panted, fighting to hold back his tears. "I'm not going to kill him. He'll just come back. I don't want that on my head. No, Foamfollower - my friend. It's up to you now. You - and them." He nodded toward the livid, spectral Lords. "Joy is in the ears that hear - remember? You told me that. I've got joy for you to hear. Listen to me. I've beaten the Despiser - this time. The Land is safe - for now. I swear it. Now I want - Foamfollower!" Involuntary tears blurred his sight. "I want you to laugh. Take joy in it. Bring some joy into this bloody hole. Laugh!" He swung back to shout at the Lords, "Do you hear me? Let Foul alone! Heal yourselves!"

For a long moment that almost broke his will, there was no sound in the thronehall. Lord Foul blazed contempt at his captor; the Lords stood aghast, uncomprehending; Foamfollower hung in his chains as if the burden were too great for him to bear.

"Help me!" Covenant cried.

Then slowly his plea made itself felt. Some prophecy in his words touched the hearts that heard him. With a terrible effort, Saltheart Foamfollower, the last of the Giants, began to laugh.

It was a gruesome sound at first; writhing in his fetters, Foamfollower spat out the laugh as if it were a curse. On that level, the Lords were able to share it. In low voices, they aimed bursts of contemptuous scorn, jeering hate, at the beaten Despiser. But as Foamfollower fought to laugh, his muscles loosened. The constriction of his throat and chest relaxed, allowing a pure wind of humor to blow the ashes of rage and pain from his lungs. Soon something like joy, something like real mirth, appeared in his voice.

The Lords responded. As it grew haler, Foamfollower's laugh became infectious; it drew the grim specters with it. They began to unclench their hate. Clean humor ran through them, gathering momentum as it passed. Foamfollower gained joy from them, and they began to taste his joy. In moments, all their contempt or scorn had fallen away. They were no longer laughing to express their outrage at Lord Foul; they were not laughing at him at all. To their own surprise, they were laughing for the pure joy of laughter, for the sheer satisfaction and emotional ebullience of mirth.


Quote:
Covenant was weeping out of control now. The exhaustion of his ordeal had caught up with him. He felt too frail to lift his head, too weary to live any longer. Yet he had one more thing to do. He had promised that the Land would be safe. Now he had to ensure its safety.

"Foamfollower?" he wept. "My friend?" With his voice, he begged the Giant to understand him; he lacked the strength to articulate what he had to do.

"Do not fear for me," Foamfollower replied. He sounded strangely proud, as if Covenant had honored him in some rare way. "Thomas Covenant, ur-Lord and Unbeliever, brave white gold wielder - I desire no other end. Do whatever you must, my friend. I am at Peace. I have beheld a marvelous story."


Quote:
At once, ocean crashed into the gap from the east, and lava poured into it from the west. Their impact obscured in steam and fiery sibilation the seething caldron of Ridjeck Thome's collapse, the sky-shaking fury of sea and stone and fire - obscured everything except the power which blazed from the core of the destruction.

It was green-white - savage, wild - mounting hugely toward its apocalypse.

But the white dominated and prevailed.


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

~Foamy~
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2003 2:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Totally awesome.
Great review Furl - a great ending to our dissection!
I agree, TC did everything BUT be violent - the twist of using laughter and love - the 2 things the Despiser truly... well... despised, was such an unexpected (for me) and heart touching ending, it brought a tear to my eye also. Bringing the story back full circle to TC & Foamfollower was brilliant IMO "Joy is in the ears that hear, remember?"
Another example of SRD's fine style.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2003 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So very true. He's a GOD!! Smile It would have been so easy for him to just have Covenant destroy Foul. I loved the ending. Smile
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2003 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

(Remember: this is not the absolute end: Lord Foul has promised to post Leper's End and wrap-up by this Sunday...)
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2003 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right!! Smile Smile
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2003 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have always found it interesting that Covenant, who had never sworn the Oath of Peace, followed it here in his confrontation with Lord Foul -- while some of the Lords he knew (such as High Lords Prothall and Osondrea) were the ones urging him to break it...
Also, I have had heard many times the theory that somehow Berek and Covenant are the same person...if so, they must have had different bodies, as nothing is mentioned of the two men looking at all alike in this scene...
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2003 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wow, good stuff! When I first read the series, I had thought "You can't just beat up the personification of hatred...what are you going to do, punch him in the face with wild magic?" The ending to the first chronicles is a major part of what sets SRD apart from other fantasy authors, the climactic battle is not finished with a mighty killing stroke, or the hero feeling sorry for the villain, or the villain feeling sorry for himself...this was pure genius, in my opinion.

and, you know...with the time stuff going on in the third chronicles, it's not entirely impossible for Covenant to be resurrected (what with the laws of life and death being broken and all) and then travel through time to become berek...So really, this scene with berek could simply be a future version of covenant who traveled into the past to defeat lavos...er...maybe not...Ok, a time traveling TC may not be the best of ideas.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2003 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice job, Furls Fire!

Everytime I read this chapter, I'm struck by how obvious it is that Foul will come back. I have the same thoughts at the end of WGW. I hope it will be different at the end of the Third Chronicles.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2003 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Silly Earthy - I meant no disrespect to "our" LF/LS - I just got so caught up in the end of....LF...that I called the dissection at an end.
Embarassed

I still think it's been awesome, even if it's not quite done.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2003 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a darn good thing you apologized to Lord Foul when you did! **visions of dukkha spring to mind** Shocked Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Something that I've always liked about this series that sets it apart from others is that Lord Foul is never a sniveling coward. Every other 'dark lord' that I've come across seems to have cowardice as a necesary character trait. Not Lord Foul, he may have been licked, but he wasn't begging for his life. It's nice to see a representation of evil that doesn't include the cowardice commentary.
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