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The Killing Stroke
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Dragonlily
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trying slipping into the new paradigm and then rereading it.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wayfriend wrote:
But ... But ... knowing these things doesn't make the story make sense!!!

Please help me connect the dots from "people attract into their lives what they choose to attract; by consciously understanding and taking control of their choices, they control their lives" to ... and that is why that happened in the Killing Stroke.

It cannot be done.


It only makes sense if you believe it. Very Happy

Spoiler:
There is a killing stroke in the sense that a blow is landed that can kill you. But by accepting it, by choosing it, the intent behind the stroke was no longer the champions. If an enemy has you at his mercy, and you suddenly turn the tables so that he is at yours, but then return his weapon and invite him to kill you, it is no longer his choice that you die. It is your own. The champion saw that he would not be killing the fighter of his own volition, but would by his act be an extension of the fighters own will.


Spoiler:
This is sorta the reasoning behind that GI comment about Lena's rape that caused a bit of debate.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very well put, Av. Smile
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haha, thanks DL. I'm still not sure though. Very Happy

See, I don't believe that "things happen for a reason." I don't believe that, for example, if you live a certain way it "mystically" attracts certain events other than the usual "cause and effect" type of thing.

Spoiler:
I do however believe in making choices...and that's what this is about. The fighter made a choice, and by so doing, robbed the champion of his intent...subverting it into his own intent.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

*bump* for Mhorram's Revenge. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Huh? Mhorram's (Mhoram's?) revenge?

EDIT-I think one of the problems wayfriend has is that the shin-te user accepting the blow saves his life. That is, that a sort of taking control of the situation causes the killing stroke guy (don't remember the special name for the technique) to accept that and not kill him.

I think that, at some point, you have to say "this is Donaldson" and that many of the characters are more concerned with the implications of what they do, rather than the basic result. It's been over a year since I read killing stroke, but my guess is that he decides to spare him because he recognizes that the 'bad guy' team is more enlightened or something along those lines than the people he's championing in the fight.

He probably didn't go there for the sole purpose of killing the wizard guy in the first place. Why he did, I'm not sure.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking for Wayfriend, I would say that his problem is that having a mental attitude can keep someone from physically harming you.

With respect to Avatars comments, which I understand as far as they go:
Spoiler:
How does making a choice prevent someone from making a choice? Guy A chooses to allow something; Guy B can choose to not do it because of some obscure principal, or Guy B can say WTF and do it anyway. And if Guy A doesn't choose to allow something, I don't see it preventing Guy B from doing it either.

At best, it soulds like one person talked the other person out of doing something, rather than prevented them physically from doing something. But if that is so, then the premise "There is no Killing Stroke" doesn't make sense in that light. It should be "There is no Killing Stroke amongst People who Only Will Kill when the Victim Doesn't Allows Themselves to Be Killed, Everyone Else (and Frankly That's Most Of Us) Can Stroke Away".
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No no no, Laughing I finally get where you're coming from. It doesn't keep him from harming you. Not at all. Never can or will. You're still harmed...hell, you're dead.

Spoiler:
By making it your choice, you don't stop the other guy from doing it. You just make him an instrument of your will. It only works if you accept you're going to die. The fact that the shin-te master was spared was pure luck. (Or the character of the champion.) That's all. He wasn't meant to live, or to prevent the killing stroke in any way. He was committing suicide, and the champion was his weapon. So he was killing himself. An indirect nod at the idea that you are responsible for what happens to you in some ways perhaps.


(Oh and Mhorram's Revenge was saying in another thread how much he liked this story.)

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I need revenge because people, inc. SRD, always leave the second "r" out of my name! Smile
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And Avatar is right about what the 'no killing stroke' means... Wink
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing Thanks. Of course, I don't think that what it means is the issue here so much as whether it makes sense or not. Wink

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Made sense to me.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, sure, but it's a rather...philosophical way of looking at it really, isn't it? The result is still effectively the same, so in a practical sense, the Shin-te are wrong.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

*bump* For Malik. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2008 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are lots of good responses here. Wayfriend raises valid questions, Avatar has insightful answers.

I think it can be simplified to: though you can't control everything that happens to you, you can control your reaction to them.

I don't want to turn this political, but I watched a special on the History Channel on 9/11 that had amateur video footage of the events. They showed the jumpers . . .

. . . the jumpers. People who chose their own ending, so that others wouldn't control that final moment for them. Wow. Choice exists until the end. No one can take it away from you. Even that racist Mel Gibson glimpsed the truth: they can never take our freedom.

That's why there is no killing stroke. Either you give up, or keep fighting. Even your death can be an act of defiance.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As long as you choose it. Very Happy

Good post. And as always, a great story. I think I need a re-read.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
As long as you choose it.

Good post. And as always, a great story. I think I need a re-read.


This thread started in 2004 - did you get around to the re-read? Wink

I've only read it once, and enjoyed it a lot, but was confused a bit by the end. This thread has shed some light on it - I think I understand now...

Time for a re-read....
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hahaha, think I read it at least twice since this thread started...my favourite SRD short story bar none.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, I'm determined to re-read it now. Time to put down Memories of Ice (just quietly, don't mention it to SE fans - heh, but I'm getting a bit bored by it - just can't feel anything for the characters.... but that's another topic...).

I'll come back later and read this thread again and try to enlighten myself more.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, I've re-read it now - a couple of times. And there are a few little issues that I'm still wondering about.

So, according to the story, there is no killing stroke, there is only choice, or despair. Despair is the Killing Stroke. When Isla, the mashu-te master called to the shin-te master that there is no killing stroke, only choice, or despair, he saw this in a new light.

Quote:
"Your skill surpasses mine", he told the nerishi-qa, echoing her certainty. "But your will does not. No man's choice exceed's another's. You cannot make me other than I am." Slowly he spread his arms wide, closing his eyes as he did so. "Here I stand," he said, "unguarded. Strike me, if that is your wish. Your blow is mine. The victory is mine. If I have chosen to die, you cannot kill me. Any blow of yours can only carry out my will. How then," he finished softly, "will you teach the shin-te that they are fools?"


Spoiler:
But then the nerishi-qa DOES strike an apparent "killing stroke" but it doesn't touch the shin-te warrior. Then the nerishi-qa declares defeat.


I know anything is possible in these stories, but how can that happen? How can

Spoiler:
a killing stroke be physically employed, with no effect?


I think it has been mentioned in this thread already - all the Fatal Arts have transcended their beliefs and limitations. The nahia have learned to believe that dangerous assumption have power, the mashu-te warrior will study shit-te, the shin-te believes that his is a false art...

The shin-te acknowledges that his is as false as any art. But Asper (nahia) says that it is also as "true" as any. So their lessons are that their arts need to be expanded beyond the limitations of their teachings. Right?

A final word regarding the Killing Stroke itself. The shin-te warrior explains that there is no killing stroke, only choice. The analogy of "a farmer vs. a master of the arts is an uneven contest" is used and the shin-te warrior says that the farmer must have caused a master to kill him, because if there was no reason, the master would have no honor. So in effect, the farmer chose his demise.

This doesn't translate to an innocent person being attacked by a vindictive (say) thief, or opportunist. So, I guess I'm saying that maybe there is no killing stroke in SRD's story, but that cannot be said for some other situations. Thoughts?
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