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Testing for Lordship

 
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 2:42 pm    Post subject: Testing for Lordship Reply with quote

We know that all the New Lords have mastered the trials of both Sword and Staff at the Loresraat before they were able to assume the mantle of Lordship. Recall the scene at Revelwood in TIW where adepts of the Sword perform various martial and gymnastic feats for the entertainment of the company from Revelstone. From that statement, I think we can assume that the Warlore is fairly intensive and includes more than just hack, slash, stab and parry.

So: in order to become a Lord, one must not only master the Staff portion of Kev's Lore, but the Sword aspect as well. This means that at some point in their past training, all the new Lords we meet in LFB and TIW were out on the practice field doing basic and advanced martial training. I can see this skill in characters such as Prothall (quite hardy despite his age) and definitely Callindrill and Mhoram (he went one-on-one with samadhi twice, with both his staff and a certain short sword, after all).

By these standards, are we to assume that any Lord (aside from oldsters like Variol & Tamarantha) would be capable and competent to pick up a weapon of choice and use it as it with reasonable skill?

I have a real problem with this testing and mastery of both disciplines in Lord Amatin. She is described as frail and waif-like IIRC in TPtP. I just can't imagine her as the martial type at all. And Elena with a sword? She was hale enough, but it just doesn't fit for my image of her. Trevor neither, for that matter--he comes across as an unsure academic, to me.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good topic.

Elena herself spoke of Amatin.

In The Illearth War was wrote:
Elena concluded, "Beyond them is Lord Amatin daughter of Matin. Only a year ago she passed the tests of the Sword and Staff at the Loresraat, and joined the Council. Now her work is with the schools of Revelstone--the teaching of the children."

I think we have to surmise that some Lords may have passed the Sword training with a D and not an A. Or that they passed with a lot of extra help.

It would be in the character of the Lords to be a bit forgiving on the "scoring" if they recognize the worth of a person. Kind of like giving the starring quarterback an easy time in Advanced Algebra.

Also, "The Sword", I feel, encompasses more than sword-slinging. I think it's also about tactics and strategy and leadership in battle. An academically-inclined person might not be out of their depth in these things.

My take on this is that Amatin really can kick butt with a Sword. It's just not in her temperment to persue that aspect of her skills once she no longer needs to be tested.

And I could totally imagine Elena as accomplished with a Sword.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, "The Sword", I feel, encompasses more than sword-slinging. I think it's also about tactics and strategy and leadership in battle. An academically-inclined person might not be out of their depth in these things.
[/quote]

Totally agreed. It should go without saying that 'The Sword' encompasses the entirety of the Warlore. Tactics, strategy, logistics, etc. I can agree that Amatin could excel at that portion, even if she couldn't stand up to, say, Amorine in a physical duel.

Now I'm wondering what sort of powers the students who solely follow the Staff were capable of invoking. Apparently they were adept enough with various songs of power, lomiallar communication, and other feats. I seem to recall some lorewardens making a forbidding during the siege of Revelstone.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I could imagine that a Lord would need many skills to draw magic from a Staff, one of which might be to forgo the trials of soldiery and to turn instead to the proper use of the seven Words.

Someone like Baradakas for example, who being a Woodhelven Elder and able to draw magical power from a staff, might not know the deeper lore of the Land making his skills too limited for Lord's work.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The same thought has occurred to me in relation to Amatin.

A couple of possibilities suggest themselves.

One is that the older Lords recognised that Amatin's talents as a loremaster would be so valuable if she were a member of the Council that they encouraged her to undertake the necessary testing with the Sword as well as the Staff in the expectation (as others here have suggested) that if she achieved a bare pass with the Sword, responsibilities would be found for her that would make use of her abilities with the Staff and lore.

Another is that Amatin herself wanted to become a Lord and was prepared to make the effort to scrape through with the Sword (just as modern university and college students tackle subjects that they struggle with in order to achieve the degree they want).

A further consideration is that at certain times (including those covered by the First Chronicles) the Council of Lords had to make decisions about whether, where and how to wage war, and so it would have been considered prudent to ensure that all the Lords had sufficient training in military matters (including the risks and costs that would be borne by the warriors in the Warward as a result of the Council's decisions) to be able to contribute to wise decisions on such questions. We've seen more than enough examples of civilian politicians in our world making bad decisions to go to war against the advice of military professionals who understood the complexities and difficulties of particular situations and of war in general.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 3:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is another point worth making: can anyone think of a single scene in The First Chronicles in which any of the Lords actually fought with a conventional sword or other piece of conventional arms? I stand to be corrected but I think all of their fighting was done with their Staffs, except for Mhoram's use of the krill. Furthermore, the krill was basically useless as a conventional sword (remember that when Covenant first encounters it, its edges are blunt). It only becomes potent when activated by lore or awakened by wild magic or some other force.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Also, "The Sword", I feel, encompasses more than sword-slinging. I think it's also about tactics and strategy and leadership in battle. An academically-inclined person might not be out of their depth in these things.


Totally agree. I read it as "sword" being a general term for the martial arts.

"Staff" is a a general term, too, I think, because the adepts of stone-lore for the most part don't actually use them.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I imagine that some area of expertise would be needed for a Lord to sit on the Council. Something they might bring to the table, so to speak.

I'm guessing that Lord Prothall would be second-to-none in all matters concerning Mt.Thunder. It seems convenient that he was there on the mountain, at the Calling of the Fire Lions.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DrPaul wrote:
There is another point worth making: can anyone think of a single scene in The First Chronicles in which any of the Lords actually fought with a conventional sword or other piece of conventional arms? I stand to be corrected but I think all of their fighting was done with their Staffs, except for Mhoram's use of the krill. Furthermore, the krill was basically useless as a conventional sword (remember that when Covenant first encounters it, its edges are blunt). It only becomes potent when activated by lore or awakened by wild magic or some other force.


I believe you are correct, Dr. Paul. Except for Mhoram using the krill against Satansfist, we only see the Lords fighting with staffs.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:00 am    Post subject: Re: Testing for Lordship Reply with quote

Innominate Theurgist wrote:
By these standards, are we to assume that any Lord (aside from oldsters like Variol & Tamarantha) would be capable and competent to pick up a weapon of choice and use it as it with reasonable skill?


I think the key to this is Kevin. He was the one who had inherited the Staff of Law from his great-grandfather Berek Heartthew, and the Krill from his grandfather, Loric the Vile Silencer. I'm not sure what he had inherited from Damelon Giantfriend, unless it was mighty Revelstone itself? - (Door to the Land of the Giants).

The New Lords had to learn the "Way of the Staff" and the "Way of the Sword" because they chose to follow Kevin's Lore. It is of course unfortunate that the true nature of both Staff and Sword should be turned to the creation of armies and war.

But then, in a Land torn in two, it seems likely that High Lord Kevin Landwaster is really none other than Lord Foul himself.
I seem to remember something about the Despiser being able to gain access to the council of the old Lords by disguising himself in a shroud of goodness. (Didn't something similar happen to Berek's King and Queen!)
It seems possible that this was Kevin himself, little by little, going insane.
Perhaps it was like schizophrenia. An emergence of darkness brought about by narcissism.
In the Land these things would be the very stuff of despair and the rise of Lord Foul - Kevin's own reflection.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:03 am    Post subject: Re: Testing for Lordship Reply with quote

Rune wrote:
I seem to remember something about the Despiser being able to gain access to the council of the old Lords by disguising himself in a shroud of goodness. (Didn't something similar happen to Berek's King and Queen!)


What happened to Berek's King is that he was corrupted and co-opted by samadhi Sheol. In the First Chronicles it is suggested that samadhi actually possessed the King. HoweverSpoiler:
in Fatal Revenant Roger (impersonating Covenant) suggests that samadhi had to control the King by means other than direct possession to avoid provoking Caerroil Wildwood.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm pretty sure those Ravers are just a "pea in the cup trick" used by His Foulness to get, out and about, here and there, near and far.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rune wrote:
Someone like Baradakas for example, who being a Woodhelven Elder and able to draw magical power from a staff, might not know the deeper lore of the Land making his skills too limited for Lord's work.


We know that the lillianrill practiced and delved into areas differing from those of the Lords. For instance, Mhoram thinking that he has no lore to match Trell's 'rhadhamaerl might' when Trell wreaks havoc, hence Tohrm taking point, supported by Mhoram.

WE can infer from that that there are things which those dedicated to either the stone or wood-lore might do or be capable of that goes beyond any Lord's knowledge of those mysteries. Their powers seem more animistic than the followers of Kevin's Lore. Likewise, the Lords were capable of many things a hirebrand or gravelingas wouldn't be. I think it is all about specialization here. Obviously the Lords are all learned to some degree in the lore of wood and stone, but are likely initiates only.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
Good topic.

I think we have to surmise that some Lords may have passed the Sword training with a D and not an A. Or that they passed with a lot of extra help.

It would be in the character of the Lords to be a bit forgiving on the "scoring" if they recognize the worth of a person. Kind of like giving the starring quarterback an easy time in Advanced Algebra.


The Unfettered One that Triock sought out for the message to Revelstone states that he was 'given the Rites of Unfettering by Tamarantha when she was Staff-Elder'. Interesting. So, prior to Tam becoming a Lord, she was enough of an adept with the Staff-lore that she held the post later occupied by Asuraka. This means, of course, that she at some point underwent the Sword-training and passed well enough to become a full-fledged Lord.

Now I'm wondering what sorts of power the Staff-Elder and the Eldest of the Loresraat might wield. Their very titles imply that they have mastered at least one or another of the aspects of Kev's Lore.

That same Unfettered, when speaking of Tam, says "I--I have not forgotten her." He has already said he knows and cares little for the outside world's doings (hand of the Forest on him and all--he seems an early template for Anele), but he remembers her. Obviously, she was either very impressive, a babe, or both. Big Grin
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's an interesting find, I.T. I remember it now that you mention it, of course ... Smile

I presume "Staff Elder" is a title granted to the person most adept in the lore nominally under Staff rather than Sword. Based on what we know of the other Staff Elder we have met. Tamarantha must have waited a long time before becoming a Lord. In that time, I feel, there was no urgency to strengthening the Council.

Perhaps she and her son Mhoram became Lords at about the same time.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Innominate Theurgist wrote:
WE can infer from that that there are things which those dedicated to either the stone or wood-lore might do or be capable of that goes beyond any Lord's knowledge of those mysteries. Their powers seem more animistic than the followers of Kevin's Lore. Likewise, the Lords were capable of many things a hirebrand or gravelingas wouldn't be. I think it is all about specialization here. Obviously the Lords are all learned to some degree in the lore of wood and stone, but are likely initiates only.


I think it all comes back to healing, from the very beginning to the very end, where the wound to be treated is always despair. Whether it be in the heart of Lord, an Elder, or the very Land itself:

For we will not rest--
not turn aside,
lost faith,
or fail--
until the Gray flows Blue,
and Rill and Maerl are as new and clean
as ancient Llurallin.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rune wrote:
I think it all comes back to healing, from the very beginning to the very end, where the wound to be treated is always despair.


This does indeed seem to be a recurring them in Donaldson's works, Rune! We even see it in some of his short stories, like The Killing Stroke and What Makes Us Human.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The loresraat and the Warward would presumably consist of the specialists in the respective branches of lore. It is entirely conceivable that the Staff-elder could be more adept in Staff-lore alone than any of the Lords, just as Quaan was probably more adept in sword-lore alone. However the responsibilities of Lordship clearly required breadth in the range of one's abilities rather than great depth in just one discipline.
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