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The Illearth War: Chapters 5 & 6
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2003 9:38 pm    Post subject: The Illearth War: Chapters 5 & 6 Reply with quote

Thomas Covenant is back in the Land. Already the Land is working its miracle of healing on him.

Quote : "But already his senses seemed to be swinging into consonance with the Land. He could smell the crops in the fields east of him-they were nearly ready for harvesting- and see the inner ripeness of the distant trees."

Quite against his will, he cannot deny the Land. He maintains his pact with himself to keep moving forward. At that moment, Hile Troy comes to take him to see what the Lords are doing. TC knows that Troy is an adversary. However, outside the door stands Bannor, and TC pauses. It is at this point when TC has somewhat of a premonition about Bannor's knowledge - knowledge that Covenant had to tap.

Troy takes TC to the enclosure of Revelstone where the Lords attempt to free Dukka from the hold of the Illearth Stone. Troy blames Covenant for this action saying that the Lords have no other choice to try and help Dukka and that it will be his fault if they fail. One by one and using their blue Lord's fire, the Lords try to expell the hold of the Illearth Stone's power. The Lords fail and in the process, Dukka is dead.

Troy and Covenant go back to TC's chambers. Troy begins his tirade of Covenant asking the same questions that we, as readers, were asking TC: Why can't you enjoy it? Why can't you buy into the fantasy, if that is what it truly is? You have the strongest power in the Land, why don't you learn how to use it? Troy goes on to tell TC of his extensive military background. My question is this:

Spoiler:
If Troy never lost a wargame, as he says he never did, then why did he lose the Land's war?


He then goes on to tell TC how he got there. We all know the story. I wonder, however, if Atiaran intentionally started the fire. Did she mean to burn TC and kill him that way? Anyway, Elena was the Lord that came down from Revelstone when Troy came to the Land. There is another hint that SRD gives us.

Enough of that chapter, otherwise this post will last forever!

The High Lord is probably one of my favorite chapters in all of the books because of one thing: A line that Bannor says to Covenant. Covenant is summonded to the High Lord's private chambers. Bannor expresses to TC that this is a great honor.

Quote:
"In this place, " the Bloodguard explained, "the Lords set aside their burdens. Their staffs they leave here, and within these doors they rest, forgetting the cares of the Land. The High Lord honors you greatly in speaking to you here. Without staff or guard, she greets you as a friend in her sole private place. Ur-Lord, you are not a foe of the Land. But you give little respect. Respect this."

Even Bannor acknowledges that TC is not an enemy. However, he also will not allow TC to misbehave. I love that last line!

This chapter also gives us a view of Revelstone. SRD brings it to life again for us i.e., "The bright, pale-yellow light cam from this floor; the stone shone as if a piece of the sun had gone into its making." He can even sense the people behind the walls working away and living their lives in the "unimpeachable security" of Revelstone.

I am going on too long. I will try to cut it short.

We meet Elena. She tells him of the marrow-meld sculpture and how she learned it. She hints about her relation to him and yet cannot find the words. She offers him the krill which he violently refuses by inserting it into the stone table, where it magically comes to life (I never understood why SRD never let anyone use the krill! He brought it into the story but no one ever uses it!) Anyway, she begins to speak to Covenant about Mhoram's age and Quaan's age - and her own age. Trying desperately to tell TC who she is, she begins by telling of Troy's accidental summoning. She tells him that the student was really Atiaran and that she was trying for Covenant. She tells of Atiaran's fall from grace and then drops the bomb - Spoiler:
I am Elena daughter of Lena daughter of Atiaran Trell-Mate.
Sorry, I didn't mean to spoiler that!


Quote:
"For one more moment, he stood still, staring at the pattern woven into the shoulders of her shift. Then a flood of revelations crashed through him, and he understood. He stumbled, dropped into a chair as suddenly as if his spine had broken. His stomach churned, and he gagged, trying to heave up his emptiness."

Covenant is so disgusted with his actions toward Lena that it makes him vomit. And yet, Elena doesn't hate him - or does she. It seems to me that she does not forgive TC for what he did to Lena and yet, if he hadn't, Elena wouldn't be there! It is a double-edged sword (krill). Shocked Wink

Sorry! I got my quotes and spoilers mixed up! Embarassed
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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2003 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

caamora wrote:
Quote:
"Ur-Lord, you are not a foe of the Land. But you give little respect. Respect this."
I love that last line!
Me too! One of my favorite moments! As you say, Bannor knows that Covenant isn't an enemy. The Bloodguard certainly wouldn't allow anyone in there with the unarmed High Lord if they thought there was a chance he intended harm. Yet Bannor still thinks respect is deserved. Very interesting, coming from a Haruchai.
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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2003 4:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Outstanding job caamora! Reminds me part of my dreams about The Illearth War--(spoiler) While Covenant is incapacitated by the Unfettered One--Elena comes 2 the cave by means of a secret tunnel from Revelstone--and goes though immense psyhcological trauma about how disturbed and "out of this world" she is, saying "1/2 of of me feels "real" in relation 2 the Land the other 1/2 desperately needs 2 incorporate u and the world u come from.." Shocked of course nothing like this happens later in the book...just part of a series of "Illearth Land dreams" I had back in '81, '82...

If Atiarian saw Lena go mad and the child who was "not quite right in the head" perhaps u're right about the fire, mayb over time she totally lost it, the wraiths def didn't help...

So if u buy that theory--Troy, on the other end of the "reality" spectrum is such an interesting anomaly. Perhaps TC should even feel sorry 4 Troy's plight...but he doesn't...another paradox..."how can I not believe in the reality of the Land w/this guy around?..."he's a figment, no...ahh.." "mayb I'll only 1/2 believe in Troy's reality since it is separate from mine..." "Oh damm here's Elena again..."

Again I'm jumping 4ward a bit, but warming y'all up for Glimmermere and the next two chapters... Cool


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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2003 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find a number of things interesting in these chapters:

1. Hile Troy has been in the Land for 5 years - ebven in earth time, it should have been long enough for him to be dead...but he isn't.....there's a disconnect there

2. Nine Lords and the Staff of Law couldn't do battle against the influence of the Illearth Stone on Dukkha (not even the REAL stone). The ineffectual abilities of the Lords is actually aggravating.....
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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2003 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Meeting Troy and Elena are certainly traumatic characters for TC to meet. Troy, claiming to come from the "real world", challenges TC's notions of unbelief. Elena, daughter of Lena, the result of rape. If the Land is real then TC's action to Lena is real.
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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2003 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Caamora's question:Spoiler:
If Troy never lost a wargame, as he says he never did, then why did he lose the Land's war
?


there's the rub .. its one thing to play games and quite another to do it for real .. but you know .. I have my doubts about Troy's claims. I dont have any doubt that he was misummoned from our world .. but I do about his military expertise .. or rather his work in military intelligence ..

it reminds me of a joke about George Bush I heard sometime ago ..

Spoiler:
An aircraft is about to crash. There are 5 passengers aboard but only 4 parachutes .. I'm Shaquille O'Neil, the best NBA basketball player. The lakers need me. It would be unfair to them if I died. So he takes a parachute and jumps!

I'm Hilary Clinton .. I am the wife of an ex-president of the USA .. I am also the most dedicated woman in the world, a Senator in NY and America's potential President! She takes a chute and jumps!

I'm George W. Bush, the President of the United States Of America. I have a huge responsibility in world politics. And apart from that I am the most intelligent President in the history of our great nation and I have a responsibility to my people not to die. He takes a parachute and jumps.

The 4th passenger is the Pope .. he says to the 5th passenger a 10 year old boy. "I am already old. I have already lived my life as a good person and a priest. I will give you the last parachute.

the boy replied .. "No problem .. its ok Sir .. there is a parachute here for you .. America's most intelligent President .. has taken my school backpack!"


placed in spoiler mode so as not to offend Wink Wink .. its an oldie but a goodie Razz Wink Wink Wink

Spoiler:
So I have my doubts about Troys claim to fame .. particularly when he mobilised the Revelstone forces over such a great distance in such a short time and with insufficient supplies and little to no back up ..


As to Atiaran .. I doubt she desired to incinerate TC but misfired .. I believe she genuinely desired to summon him .. or at least that is what we are told .. she perceived the great need of the Land.

Quote:
But you give little respect. Respect this
I too love this line .. but not because it illustrates that TC is recognised as NOT the enemy .. but because Bannor acknowledges to his face that TC is not respectful .. and gives him a stern cautionary warning if you will ... 'RESPECT THIS' .. you mongrel .. nah the last part is mine .. cos TC was a bit of a mongrel throughout the first series .. so bloody rude and generally disrespectful .. but hey thats TC .. he still grows on ya Wink Wink

It would have been a great shock for TC to find he had a daughter!!! .. a fully growed one at that Wink Wink Wink .. I think he may have been sickened momentarily at his actions against Lena .. but I hazard a guess that his first impulse was the pure shock of the bomb landing!

'I am you're daughter'!!!!!! .. any man's fear .. to discover an impropriotous moment such as a once only go .. resulted in a pregnancy!! and in TC's case .. an adult daughter!
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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2003 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"So I have my doubts about Troys claim to fame .. particularly when he mobilised the Revelstone forces over such a great distance in such a short time and with insufficient supplies and little to no back up .. "

I just have to comment that, Skyweir. Smile

What else could he do? He had to get the Raver`s Army to Doom`s Gap (or whatever it was called) to defeat it, since the Warward was so small compared to the opposition. Else, he would have to take on the Raver and a couple of hundred thousand baddies in open terrain and such.

Also, there were no backup available. He needed every man he had in the field, and couldn`t spare anyone.

Can anyone tell me how you do that spoiler-thing?
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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2003 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vain wrote:
1. Hile Troy has been in the Land for 5 years - ebven in earth time, it should have been long enough for him to be dead...but he isn't.....there's a disconnect there


But he did die at the end - Caer Caveral sacrificed himself to save covenant, and so he (and thus Hile Troy) died. No matter how long they are in the Land, if they died in the real world, that's how they'll leave. Covenant died maybe a few seconds after the summoning in TWL, but they do not return until hours later - Covenant died in the real world before he died in the Land.[/quote]


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PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2003 3:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Loved the joke, Sky. I hadn't heard that one! Laughing

I love the way BAnnor treats TC in this chapter. The Haruchi are always assertive individuals, but in this case, Bannnor extends this assertiveness even further bybothering to take the time to illustrate to TC what is happening and making him understand what an honor this is and insisting that Covenant behave! I love it!
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PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2003 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vain wrote:
2. Nine Lords and the Staff of Law couldn't do battle against the influence of the Illearth Stone on Dukkha (not even the REAL stone). The ineffectual abilities of the Lords is actually aggravating.....


I do not know if the Lords ever had any chance of working against the whole stone itself. But I assume that the healing force of earthpower would have been able to heal him, eventually, had they had the power to summon it.
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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2003 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love the bit with the krill. It's a nice little nod to Arthurian legends. Can the True Born High Lord of the Land please pull the Sword from the Stone?
Spoiler:
and we all know who that will be Wink

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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2003 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dag - MGF covers some of the basic misgivings I have about Troy's military plan ..

our own Michael Giant-friend wrote:
So Hile Troy has this wonderful plan to save The Land. He'll rely upon a half-dozen or so Ramen Manethralls in the Lower Land (not very far from Foul's Creche) to give him warning, and then send the ENTIRE WARWARD marching the length and breadth of The Land to fight Foul's army.

Nice one Hile! Way to murder the Warward! IMHO, Troy should have been able to do much, much better. After all, he had five years in which to form a fighting force he could be proud of. He could have brought about a revolution in the way both the Warward and the Loreward were taught. I mean, think about it. If you lived in Mithil Stonedown and wanted to train in the Warward, you had to go all the way to Revelstone, 300 leagues away! And if you wanted to train in the Loreward, you had to go to Revelwood, still about 250 leagues away. No problem if you have a nice big car or if there is a direct rail-link, but walking all the way? That's bound to be a big turn-off.

Maybe I'm being overly simplistic, but there is an old saying: "He who waits for the sword to strike loses his head". Hile Troy waited far too long before moving the Warward. He ignored the prime rules of any long-range planning. Always plan for the worst possible outcome. Always have fall-back contingency plans. Have contingency plans for the contingency plans. And at the end of it, don't EVER think you have everything covered, because you won't.

Why didn't Troy ask Quaan and Amorine to choose, say, ten Eoman of warriors who were good teachers, add two or three Lorewardens to each Eoman, and send them throughout the land to train the people both in combat AND in Lore, IN THE VILLAGES WHERE THEY LIVED??? That way, they would at the very least have gained a vast reservoir of irregulars - sort of a National Guard or Territorial Army. Both the Warward and the Loreward would have been increased in strength, and you never know, they may have found a couple of extra Lords out there! Certainly, having the Loreward teaching in every Stonedown and Woodhelven would bring benefits - possibly the Loreward would have developed the Lillianrill communication rods long before Fleshharrower's army marched - this way, Troy would be able to deploy his troops in the field long before war arrived.

And Why oh Why keep the entire Warward at Revelstone?
Have the mounted Warward split in two - one group on the banks of the Soulsease just north of Andelain, the other on the banks of the Mithil to the south of Andelain. That way, the Ramen scouts only have to make it as far as Andelain before they run into the Warward, and the Mounted warward only has a few days ride to get into position.
The Footsoldiers could be in a more-or-less permanent camp just south of the confluence of the White and Gray rivers, about 50 leagues south of Revelstone. Whenever word reaches Revelstone, the High Lord's party could then ride out and reach the Footsoldiers after two days. They would then have 26 days to march 240 leagues, instead of 28 days to march 290.

Troy worked for the U.S. Department of Defense? Then why didn't he recognise the primary need of any army. Supply and Transport? In the entire 1st Chronicles, there was no mention of anyone using a cart or a wagon. Even a few hundred of these would have made the army's job a lot easier - carrying much larger supplies of food, water, hurtloam and rillinure, and towards the end carrying tired warriors. Maybe the people of the Land would consider a wagon to be demeaning to horses? Tough - walking 300 leagues in four weeks is demeaning to the Warward!



I think we often forget that Troy had 5 long years to plan for this encounter .. ok we'll say 6 months to adjust and be assigned as military tactician .. so 4.5 or so years to strategise and assign key military centres throughout the Land .. on supply lines even .. He had time to recruit an enviable army .. to train and equip them. As a strategist you'd think he would've deployed and delegated pivotal tasks in the establishment of the campaign. And yes why not utilise the diverse resources of the various races of the Land. They all shared an interest in defeating Foul.

He never seem quite ready .. even as the march got under way .. it was like .. we just dont know how we'll do it .. Rolling Eyes Confused .. way to begin a military campaign thats been in the making for some years prior. *shrug*

it could be the Troy had no experience in tactical planning .. and military deployment .. it would certainly seem that way Confused Shocked
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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2003 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skyweir wrote:
He never seem quite ready .. even as the march got under way .. it was like .. we just dont know how we'll do it .. Rolling Eyes Confused .. way to begin a military campaign thats been in the making for some years prior. *shrug*

it could be the Troy had no experience in tactical planning .. and military deployment .. it would certainly seem that way Confused Shocked


I believe, as MGF believes in your quote, and possibly even you although you seem a little unwilling to admit it, that Hile Troy was quite talentless as a strategist.

I could list a few things that even I thought was very badly handled although I am no expert in these matters. The primary one is the fact that he apparently has no idea what the land looks like. Sure he is blind, but he still should have scouted the areas of Dooms Retreat and Dorendor Corishev just in case. He should have stationed small troops from the Warward in the villages near landsdrop and along the routes where he expected the attack to come. He should have put down caches of food etc. along the way. He should have built fortifications (well more precisely the new lords should have done that) at landsdrop and wherever else they might come in handy for instance where he had planned to meet the army in the first place.

These are just some of the things I would have done, and I am not an expert in these matters at all.
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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2003 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have wondered exactly that point, Ryzel, especially considering that the man has obviously made at least one long trip in the Land Spoiler:
Didn't he ride a Ranyhyn? He must have made the long trip to the Plains of Ra.
So why didn't he scout out more of the Land?
To me he has always been one of those people who is "book-smart" but perhaps lacking in needed experience.
But I am certainly no military planner, so my two cents are probably fairly useless. twocents
I think Damelon is a history buff. Maybe he can shed some good light on tactics and what have you. Very Happy Someone go drag him in here! Twisted Evil
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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2003 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ryzel wrote:
you seem a little unwilling to admit it, that Hile Troy was quite talentless as a strategist
Shocked .. rofl ..
geez .. I am not sure how much more clearly I need to state my opinion regarding HT .. than to say I dont think he was what he represented himself as .. and if he was involved in a military intelligence think-tank .. perhaps it 'making the coffees' was his main responsibility Wink Wink Rolling Eyes
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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2003 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You could be right on the mark, Sky. Maybe Troy WAS seeing himself as he wanted to be. He'd been in the Land for what - 5 years? Maybe he bought into his delusions - the same thing that Covenant fights against so strongly. It is the exact thing that Covenant CANNOT do. If he does, he dies. Troy argues incessantly with TC on this very point - to relax and enjoy it. Be all that you can be, as it were. After all, Troy can now see in the Land, why not be the best military strategest in the real world.

Good point. I never looked at it that way.
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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2003 8:27 am    Post subject: time to defend my hero again! Reply with quote

The thing about HT is that he has an excellent ability to visualize: if you describe an area for him, he can see it in his mind. So why would he need to go scouting? As long as he can talk to someone who has been to a particular place, he can visualize it just as well as had he actually been to that place himself.

And Ryzel, please explain why he should have posted small units of the Warward in the villages? Try to imagine this scenario: you have like 100 soldiers in a village. Then the Giant`s Army of several hundred thousand creatures come marching along. I just don`t see the point of that. Smile

As for caches of food: didn`t he send Bloodguard out before the Warward so that they could make such caches? There isn`t much point in making such caches before the war actually begins. Food goes bad, you know.

Of course he was lacking in experience: he had never been in combat before. Hardly his fault. He was a tactician, not a warrior like Quaan. Quaan was very capable of commanding battles or skirmishes, but he couldn`t possibly have planned an entire war.

My point of view is that he did the best job he could do. If anyone else had been leading the Warward, the defeat would have come sooner and it would have been more devastating for the Land (ruined villages etc.).

So stop picking on him, folks! Smile
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PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2003 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't see if some1 already pointed this out but at the end of chapter 6 a very interesting fact concerning the "aging" process in the Land is raised in relation 2 Atirian's all-consuming despair that led 2 the fire and botched summoning...I wrote:

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If Atiarian saw Lena go mad and the child who was "not quite right in the head" perhaps u're right about the fire, mayb over time she totally lost it, the wraiths def didn't help...


The fact that Atirian has aged normally but Trell has not due 2 his connection w/Earthpower as a Gravelingas and became as old as his mother DEFINATELY helped send her over the edge! As her marraige and devotion 2 Trell was all she had left when she returned 2 Mithil from the Soulease.Shocked
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PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2003 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is getting late in the day here and I feel the need to post a post to contradict myself again... Very Happy

Anyway, Sky, your reply made me think that although Hile Troy might have been a member of a think-tank he certainly was not a member of a think-tank that worked with the kind of conflicts that he became involved with in the Land. Possibly he specialised in political subversion tactics which would not have worked very well against LF anyway.
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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2003 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would Atiaran have gone over the edge because of the fact that she aged while Trell did not, if that whole Covenant/Lena thing had happened? Would she have been strong enough for that? And BTW, she had studied a little at the Loresraat (albeit unsuccesfully)..didn`t this affect her at all when it comes to slowing the process of aging?
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