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Dumb and avoidable errors by Lord Foul and the Ravers
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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2016 12:17 am    Post subject: Dumb and avoidable errors by Lord Foul and the Ravers Reply with quote

I was looking at the Evil Overlord List yesterday.

http://legendspbem.angelfire.com/eviloverlordlist.html

It prompted me to try to think of dumb and avoidable errors that Lord Foul and/or his Ravers made that had significant consequences. Two stick out like a sore thumb from WGW.

1. Why would samadhi Sheol try to possess Honninsgrave rather than take any of a number of safer and more manageable options after Gibbon had been killed?

2. What was the point for Lord Foul of killing Covenant after he had already achieved the primary goal of Covenant surrendering his ring?

I'm sure there are others you can think of.

Mod edit to remove spoiler tags, as they're unnecessary in this forum. - Mgt.
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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2016 5:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, for the first, the Ravers had a good track record with Giants, albeit with the illearth stone involved. (Maybe he was overconfident?)

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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2016 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also bearing on the first point, while potentially a mistake from the Raver's perspective, this may have served Foul's longer game by gaining influence over Nom and other Sandgorgons. Will that have any implications? Guess that would be a Last Chrons RAFO.

~edited to remove spoiler tags per subsequent post by Av. Content left as-is. Razz
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Last edited by Savor Dam on Tue May 31, 2016 5:18 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 4:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guys, this is the entire chrons forum. You don't need spoiler tags. Everybody in here either knows the whole story, or is reading at their own peril. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good point, Av. I fixed the original post. SD, thanks for handling yours. Smile
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 4:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sheesh, you didn't have to change it...I was only saying... Very Happy

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

2. Foul wasn't going to kill Covenant after getting the ring. But Covenant taunted him.

White Gold Weilder wrote:
"Big deal. I could do the same thing - if I were as crazy as you." His certainty was unmatched. "It doesn't take power. Just delusion. You're out of your mind."

The Despiser swung toward Covenant.


1. I believe Sheol tried to possess Honninscrave because Honninscrave was there. Sheol didn't want to give up; in fact, he wanted to demonstrate that Honninscrave's attack, that killed Gibbon's body, was inconsequential.

However, another part of me thinks that Honninscrave had more to do with this than was stated. I think that somehow the Giant took Sheol into himself intentionally. The Raver would have been weakened by his host's death. Perhaps under that circumstance he could be taken in. Perhaps just being open to possession was enough to lure the wounded Raver in.

There are similarities to the way Clyme was possessed by turiya Raver. I think that they are similar, in that Clyme also achieved a possession that he desired.

That both of these foreshadow Foul's final defeat goes without saying.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
Sheesh, you didn't have to change it...I was only saying... Very Happy

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Figured I oughta do *some*thing around here occasionally. Wink
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2016 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
2. Foul wasn't going to kill Covenant after getting the ring. But Covenant taunted him.

White Gold Weilder wrote:
"Big deal. I could do the same thing - if I were as crazy as you." His certainty was unmatched. "It doesn't take power. Just delusion. You're out of your mind."

The Despiser swung toward Covenant.




Indeed. However gods and demiurges are supposed to display more composure and equanimity in the face of sledging. If Foul was a mortal human member of a soccer team who lost his cool and got himself red carded in the league final in response to a taunt from an opponent, and his team lost the final as a result, his coach, team management and supporters would have no hesitation in sacking him.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2016 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

aliantha wrote:

Figured I oughta do *some*thing around here occasionally. Wink


Fair enough. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2016 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DrPaul wrote:
Indeed. However gods and demiurges are supposed to display more composure and equanimity in the face of sledging. If Foul was a mortal human member of a soccer team who lost his cool and got himself red carded in the league final in response to a taunt from an opponent, and his team lost the final as a result, his coach, team management and supporters would have no hesitation in sacking him.

Indeed. Gods are always, in the end, quite human, aren't they?

If they weren't, then stories about them wouldn't tell us anything about us.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 5:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, they're thought up by humans, so it's hardly surprising... Very Happy

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Elsewhere, Wayfriend wrote:
In terms of the Mythic Mode, gods are beings of great power, vastly superior to ordinary humans. Their very actions shape the cosmos, and the fate of the world often rests upon the outcome of their struggles. In this way, they create the world in which we live. And, we can only hope, they recognize this, and feel a responsibility towards their creation.

But, because they are characters in stories told by humans, gods are always, ultimately, human at heart and human in mind. They are fallible; they have weaknesses; they react to feelings. Therefore, despite differences in stature, we can always relate to them. This is why epic stories of gods, overcoming or succumbing to their fallibilities and weaknesses, can teach inspire us and teach us. Their stature makes them epic; their humanity connects them to us. And so they help us participate in the shaping of our own world. That potential to change the world is fundamental to epic vision.

I wrote this about Covenant being a god, but it applies to Foul as well - he's an aspect of Covenant himself, therefore he is ultimately human at heart.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2016 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
Elsewhere, Wayfriend wrote:
In terms of the Mythic Mode, gods are beings of great power, vastly superior to ordinary humans. Their very actions shape the cosmos, and the fate of the world often rests upon the outcome of their struggles. In this way, they create the world in which we live. And, we can only hope, they recognize this, and feel a responsibility towards their creation.

But, because they are characters in stories told by humans, gods are always, ultimately, human at heart and human in mind. They are fallible; they have weaknesses; they react to feelings. Therefore, despite differences in stature, we can always relate to them. This is why epic stories of gods, overcoming or succumbing to their fallibilities and weaknesses, can teach inspire us and teach us. Their stature makes them epic; their humanity connects them to us. And so they help us participate in the shaping of our own world. That potential to change the world is fundamental to epic vision.

I wrote this about Covenant being a god, but it applies to Foul as well - he's an aspect of Covenant himself, therefore he is ultimately human at heart.


A person is judged by the friends he make, a parent by the children he rears, an artists by the works he make and a God... by his creations. If humans have foibles where did they come from? Just as the Gods reflects their mortal inventor (Unbeliever version) the mortals reflect their creators.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2016 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frankly I've always felt the terms assigned to beings with godlike powers to be a little off the mark. I do understand why, as has been mentioned earlier in this thread, but the mistakes, weaknesses and human qualities nullify the godhood of these characters to some degree. At least I think so. A being with godlike powers and godlike understanding would not make the kinds of mistakes that we would understand. Everything said character does would and should seem like an act so far above our perceptions that they would seem cold, heartless, unfeeling, alien and arrogant. Which would explain why most characters of this type are imbued with anthropomorphic traits. SRD understands this. The Elohim, until they too begin to behave with almost human fears and jealousies, begin as characters that are so self interested that they are unlikable. Truth be told they should be and then some. But that wouldn't make them interesting, just the opposite.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2016 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indeed. Donaldson had said early on that the Last Chronicles would explore Lord Foul's motivations.

Locus Online Interview wrote:
But because my priorities have shifted, in 'The Last Chronicles' I will probably spend more time than any reader has ever expected on the motivation of the bad guy. When I wrote Lord Foul's Bane, Lord Foul the Despiser was explicitly archetypal, a sort of undying and unmotivated force for darkness. But now I believe that he too has reasons for what he does, and, more than ever before, I care about what those reasons might be. For example, I'm aware now, as I was not 20 years ago, that what this being feels is despair. He wants to hurt so many other people because he needs an outlet for his pain. He has a story, and he deserves dignity. (September 2004)[link]

Later on, he seemed to recant this promise, saying something like what you said.

In the Gradual Interview, Stephen R Donaldson wrote:
Where Lord Foul is concerned, however, my aspirations don't involve making him seem "real" in the same sense that, say, Esmer (or even Kasreyn) is "real". I'm trying to do something much more complex: I'm trying to make him seem "real" as a being who transcends ordinary definitions of reality. This, unfortunately, is rather like bringing God Himself on stage and engaging Him in argument. The mere act of doing so is inherently reductive: it makes Him less, well, God-like. (Which at least in part explains my dislike for "Creator" questions.) So how, I keep asking myself, do I make an eternal concept believable "as a character" without simultaneously making him too small to be himself? Ow! Just thinking about it makes my brain hurt.

In any case, the question of Lord Foul's "integrity...as a character" is one that simply doesn't conform to the ordinary requirements of storytelling. <sigh> Maybe when I'm a God-like being myself, I'll be able to explain all this better.

(04/15/2009)
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm... that Locus Online quote offers up an idea, that perhaps when Donaldson abandoned his idea for exploring Foul's "reasons", he took some of those ideas about despair and pain and outlets and created She Who Must Not Be Named instead. He must have thought that making She "too small" was more acceptable.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:22 am    Post subject: Re: Dumb and avoidable errors by Lord Foul and the Ravers Reply with quote

DrPaul wrote:

2. What was the point for Lord Foul of killing Covenant after he had already achieved the primary goal of Covenant surrendering his ring?


He was angry and wanted to destroy Covenant. Remember he is the Despiser.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Foul's real mistake was agreeing to take part in the Ritual of Desecration. It set him back a thousand years and didn't really advance his goals much. Surely there could have been other ways to get Covenant and the White Gold to the Land.

He had certain victory over Kevin within his grasp, his forces were close to overrunning the entire Land, the Old Lords couldn't stop him, and he would have had centuries as the Master of the Land to devise ways to get the White Gold (or figure out some other way to break the Arch). Kevin couldn't utter the Ritual alone, he needed Foul's help.

The Desecration was needless in my opinion, but I would love to hear any counter-argument.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 2:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Horrim Carabal wrote:
Foul's real mistake was agreeing to take part in the Ritual of Desecration. It set him back a thousand years and didn't really advance his goals much. Surely there could have been other ways to get Covenant and the White Gold to the Land.

He had certain victory over Kevin within his grasp, his forces were close to overrunning the entire Land, the Old Lords couldn't stop him, and he would have had centuries as the Master of the Land to devise ways to get the White Gold (or figure out some other way to break the Arch). Kevin couldn't utter the Ritual alone, he needed Foul's help.

The Desecration was needless in my opinion, but I would love to hear any counter-argument.


This is an interesting question. Perhaps the answer can be found by reading Ch.1 of AATE where we learn that, for ages prior to his arrival in the Land, Lord Foul had been exploring the Earth and experimenting with different powers in order to try to find some tool that would serve his ultimate purposes. Even after entering the Land he tried different strategies at different times (which is, after all, why we have three Chronicles as well as the back story of the battles between Foul and the Old Lords).

On this basis we could conjecture that the RoD was another of Foul's experiments. He may, for example, have hoped that the puissance of the Ritual would awaken the Worm of the World's End.
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