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WAS Kevin so wrong to enact the Ritual?
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indeed. As I said earlier in this thread, Kevin didn't have anyone to (for want of a more charitable way of putting it) take the responsibility off his hands. Mhoram was able to keep going - indeed, had to keep going - because he was relying on Covenant to sort everything out. Kevin didn't have that luxury.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mhoram hoped that Covenant would succeed; he didn't rely on it. Not trying to be nitty, but Mhoram almost certainly did not foist any responsibility onto Covenant. In fact, he went out of his way on several occassions to prove the opposite was true.

What made the difference between Kevin and Mhoram was that both of them knew that they were Hight Lord, leader of the Land's best, last defense, the buck stops with them --- but Mhoram knew he wasn't everything, and that the Land would exist without him, to contrive it's own defense another way, or not, while Kevin could not contemplate a Land that existed without him defending it, and would see the Land desecrated before he failed.

Covevant was only one possible alternative success. As Mhoram said, there were the Elohim, etc. Which was as true during Kevin's time.

Kevin had too much pride to have the battle pass beyond him.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

deer of the dawn wrote:
Because he believed in the White Gold Wielder. Kevin had no one else but himself.


Did he believe in Covenant? Or did he have faith that, whatever it was, wasn't the sum of life?

Covenant was a shallow vessel upon which to float.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

He believed Covenant would be true. He believed that the Creator had a purpose in sending him, and that sanctioned Mhoram's own actions as well, as long as he himself was true.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think by Lord Mhoram's Victory he had realized that it didn't matter if he was successful or not, just that he was true to himself. Like WF said, Kevin despaired because it was all about him and his failures.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

deer of the dawn wrote:
He believed Covenant would be true. He believed that the Creator had a purpose in sending him, and that sanctioned Mhoram's own actions as well, as long as he himself was true.


He didn't now there was a Creator. It was all about faith.

Kevin had faith too, so what was the difference? Kevin was a megalomaniac, as SRD has said.

He knows he was wrong, yet he still clings to his absolutism in death, thinking he can judge Covenant's actions. Come on.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exactly my point. Great men who lead either have to have something to believe in, or be megalomaniacs. Kevin had nothing to believe in- nothing to hope in to rescue him or the Land besides himself, so he had to be a megalomaniac- it was his last (albeit illusory) refuge from despair.

Quote:

He knows he was wrong


Did he? Or was it a matter of thinking their was no "right" option?
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow - cracking thread.

I know I'm coming late to this, but a couple of things:

The Old Lords were pretty much defeated utterly when Kevin enacted the RoD - its not clear that Foul was any stronger or weaker than in Mhoram's time, or that the Old Lords were stronger or weaker than the New (although I think they were stronger) - but there's a line somewhere in the 1st Chrons about how Kevin was undone by the fact that Foul had sat on the Council of Lords, and had been able to position himself perfectly before revealing himself. In the pure military terms of that war, the bad guys were already inside the walls by the time the good team realised they were in a fight.

Spoiler:
SRD has in subsequent works included comment designed to clarify that Kevin was not acting out of any noble hope or goal. Given this isn't the Last Chrons forum, I'll leave it at that, even with the spoiler tag on. I'm just hoping that when we meet Kevin in the Last Chrons it doesn't turn out that he was an unwitting puppet of some Insequent.


Kevin had other options, but his despair and wish for his own death blinded him to them. He never attempted to use the Power of Command from the Earthblood, with Amok only speculating that "perhaps he couldn't think of any Command to levy against the Despiser". Sure, maybe he knew that Command couldn't kill Foul, but why then did he honestly think that the RoD would? And if the RoD had, as some are suggesting, been intended solely to buy the Land time, why not instead try the power of Command to Command the Fire-Lions to destroy Ridjeck Thome and Foul's Armies, as Amok suggests to Elena. And there were probably other choices, but the point is, in my opinion, Kevin wanted to kill himself, but his ego wouldn't let him do it in a way that didn't involve some foolish vainglorious attempt at proving his was the hero he wanted to be, plus without taking what he loved with him.

As to why was Foul bothering with Kevin and the Old Lords, given they didn't have White Gold. Its only speculation, but there are several plausible, again in my opinion, reasons for him to do so. He may have thought Kevin might find a way to summon white gold. He may have thought the RoD would break the Arch. He might have thought driving Kevin to that point might make the Creator send Covenant or someone like him with White Gold. And finally, and this is my personal belief, I think he thought that if he ravaged the Earth and afflicted its people enough, eventually the Creator would despair/take pity and intervene directly to stop him, in the process freeing Foul from his prison. Like a madman torturing a prisoner to tempt the hero to come in after him.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="deer of the dawn"]Exactly my point. Great men who lead either have to have something to believe in, or be megalomaniacs. Kevin had nothing to believe in- nothing to hope in to rescue him or the Land besides himself, so he had to be a megalomaniac- it was his last (albeit illusory) refuge from despair.

I don't believe that for a second. You have to either believe in something else or be a megalomaniac? Really? Kevin had no proof of other powers, except, perhaps, Elohim, from the tales of the Giants and perhaps from great Grandpa Berek's tales of the Guardian of the One Tree. But he had no faith, either. Just a whole bunch of lore that gave him the ability to use the Earthpower to an extreme.

Do we even know WHY it is called the Ritual of Desecration? Anyone figured that out?

I have said in another thread, it is not the Ritual of Destruction. Why DESECRATION?

By eschewing the Staff of Law for this particular act, does that not give a clue.

The Earthpower exists to enliven the land and the entire Earth. The Desecration comes from Kevin using it to strike at the earth with, essentially, its own power. My guess, obviously. It also is in its effects. The Land was a wasteLand for generations. But I think it is just in the willingness to use the power of the earth against the earth itself.

Sworn to Earth service, what did he do? Strike against the earth.

If he had no major amount of power, and could only cause one pebble to melt, it's a desecration because of how what power is used. The power of the earth against itself.

But of course, he had too much lore and power for all that.

[quote]
He knows he was wrong
Did he? Or was it a matter of thinking their was no "right" option?[quote]
How do you know he thought he had no other options? It's just speculation on your part. I just don't get the desire to see Kevin as being a victim of anything other than his own vainglory.
I'm also a Star Wars fan, and it took a lot for me to stop buying the books, no matter how bad they all were. But there was a similar theme in all that, where people wanted to see the villains as "noble," even Darth Vader.
Thank God SRD won't fall into that trap.
We haven't got a clue what Kevin was thinking before the Ritual, but the ONLY clues we get are from the reactions of the characters who knew him, and the main character.
Elena once thought as you do. Covenant, an outraged Covenant, absolutely dismissed what she thought. And Covenant's thinking is confirmed, in part by Kevin himself, when he calls Elena a FOOL. Out of the mouths of babes, right?
Then Elena is able to hold her own against Dead Kevin.
Mhoram tells Covenant that Kevin isn't quite as powerful as Elena made him out to be in her imaginings.
Then again, Foamfollower, Dead Saltheart, says he didn't gain in death the vision he lacked in life.
The only person in the books who directly says anything like this is Elena.
And face it, she's a bit off. Marred by the fact of her birth though she knows it not.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 4:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent post, Bran Pendragon. Regarding Amok's comments to Elena, I thought the same: Commanding the Fire-Lions to destroy Ridjeck Thome and Foul's armies would seem a far more reasonable thing to do than to enact a Ritual of Desecration. But then, I've said that I don't think Kevin was thinking clearly towards the end. However, I do realize that it could be said he was indeed thinking clearly when he decided on the RoD -- but it was a clarity of thought founded on despair.

But really, I think both sides have presented their cases very well - and we've still managed (for the most part) to avoid acrimony. I think this has become one of my favorite TC threads. Deer of dawn, I just want to say, your succinct posts have made as good an impression on me as the lengthier ones here. Smile
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think there are two reasons that Kevin did not choose the Power of Command. One was, as mentioned, that a victory acheived in that manner would be only temporary. But do not forget, there is a also a curse attached to the Power that it rebounds against the one who invokes it. I think he knew full well that the end result might be worse, not better, for the Land.

Here are possibilities of Desecration ...

Simply, Kevin refused to lose.

He chose desecration because it offered a chance to win, and he discounted the cost, because that to him was better than losing. So he talked himself into Descrating the Land he swore to defend and protect and serve. He decided to destroy the people and the animals and the forests and the plains and the soil itself. He chose to do consciously what the backfiring Power of Command would have done accodently. He did everything that Lord Foul would have done himself - he became Despite. Because he lost sight of the cost, his eyes were only on somehow, someway, winning.

Also, remember that, while he might have postponed the day when Foul would again raise his head and threaten the Land -- buying time -- he also left the people of the Land weaker and half loreless when that day came.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
But do not forget, there is a also a curse attached to the Power that it rebounds against the one who invokes it. I think he knew full well that the end result might be worse, not better, for the Land.


In the books, Elena's command does rebound against her. Not because of a curse, but because Foul was able to defeat Kevin and, for giggles, he issued the same command to Kevin, in reverse.

I don't see that the power is cursed.

There as some speculation that Kevin couldn't think of a powerful enough command that wouldn't have repercussons beyond the simple command.

But cursed? Where exactly is that?

Quote:
He chose desecration because it offered a chance to win, and he discounted the cost, because that to him was better than losing. So he talked himself into Descrating the Land he swore to defend and protect and serve. He decided to destroy the people and the animals and the forests and the plains and the soil itself. He chose to do consciously what the backfiring Power of Command would have done accodently. He did everything that Lord Foul would have done himself - he became Despite. Because he lost sight of the cost, his eyes were only on somehow, someway, winning.

Also, remember that, while he might have postponed the day when Foul would again raise his head and threaten the Land -- buying time -- he also left the people of the Land weaker and half loreless when that day came.


Well, he didn't necessarily destroy the people. He did warn them to leave. I won't leave on his head any person who was warned and chose not to leave.

But nice point about leaving the survivors weakened an half loreless.

Remember that Kevin gets high marks from many for preparing the Seven Wards, because of what he was going to do. But think about CLOSELY for a second.

Kevin had his seven wards all set to go, in the hands of the Giants when they returned to the Land and found the people. But what was the other effect that the ROD had?

The people of the Land, ALWAYS shown to be above the board virtuous unless they have been marred by the Despiser (Kevin) or by Covenant (Lena, Elena, Atiaran, Trell, Triock). And even those who are so marred by Covenant mostly rise above that marring.

The people of the Land are so horrified by what Kevin did that they took an Oath of Peace so powerful (it is not said to invoke the Earthpower, yet it blinds them to Kevin's Lore.)

So the preparations Kevin made are, in the end, partially wasted. You can't even give him much credit for that "foresight." he wanted everyone after him to just pick up where he left off, as if what he did wasn't the horror, the abomination that it was.

The first victim of the Ritual, afterall, was Kevin himself, don't you think? He struck down that which he loved.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to agree that I don't think the Power of Command was at all cursed. Looking at what Amok says to Elena before she drinks shows that while the Power of Command may be predictable, it is not cursed.

Amok wrote:
"The first of these hazards - first, but perhaps not foremost - is the one great limit of the Power. It holds no sway over anything which is not a natural part of the Earth's creation. Thus it is not possible to Command the Despiser to cease his warring. It is not possible to Command his death. He lived before the arch of Time was forged - the power cannot compel him.

This alone might have given Kevin pause. Perhaps he did not drink of the Blood because he could not conceive how to levy any Command against the Despiser. But there is another and subtler hazard. Here any soul with the courage to drink may give a Command - but there are few who can foresee the outcome of what they have enacted. When such immeasurable force is unleashed upon the Earth, any accomplishment may recoil upon its accomplisher. If a drinker were to Command the destruction of the Illearth Stone, perhaps the Stone's evil would survive uncontained to blight the whole Land. Here the drinker who is not also a prophet risks self-betrayal. Here are possibilities for Desecration which even High Lord Kevin in his despair left slumbering and untouched.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SGuilfoyle1966 wrote:
wayfriend wrote:
But do not forget, there is a also a curse attached to the Power that it rebounds against the one who invokes it. I think he knew full well that the end result might be worse, not better, for the Land.


In the books, Elena's command does rebound against her. Not because of a curse, but because Foul was able to defeat Kevin and, for giggles, he issued the same command to Kevin, in reverse.

I don't see that the power is cursed.

No, no, no! It wasn't Kevin's mastery that was the recoil.

It was the breaking of the Law of Death! Which let Foul use Elena after she was destroyed, which allowed him to perfectly weild the Staff of Law in his defense. Which let Foul raise armies of the Dead to batter the gates. Etc. Etc. This was the true devestation that Elena's command unleashed.

Okay, "curse" is a word I use, not the text, granted. But the effect is the same: anyone who uses the Power, who cannot see all ends, will undoubtedly cause harm - it will "recoil". And no one can see all ends! Kevin was scared of this power for a reason. He chose the desecration he knew rather than the desecration he could not predict.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

variol son wrote:
I have to agree that I don't think the Power of Command was at all cursed. Looking at what Amok says to Elena before she drinks shows that while the Power of Command may be predictable, it is not cursed.
Amok wrote:
"The first of these hazards - first, but perhaps not foremost - is the one great limit of the Power. It holds no sway over anything which is not a natural part of the Earth's creation. Thus it is not possible to Command the Despiser to cease his warring. It is not possible to Command his death. He lived before the arch of Time was forged - the power cannot compel him.

This alone might have given Kevin pause. Perhaps he did not drink of the Blood because he could not conceive how to levy any Command against the Despiser. But there is another and subtler hazard. Here any soul with the courage to drink may give a Command - but there are few who can foresee the outcome of what they have enacted. When such immeasurable force is unleashed upon the Earth, any accomplishment may recoil upon its accomplisher. If a drinker were to Command the destruction of the Illearth Stone, perhaps the Stone's evil would survive uncontained to blight the whole Land. Here the drinker who is not also a prophet risks self-betrayal. Here are possibilities for Desecration which even High Lord Kevin in his despair left slumbering and untouched.

True enough, but bear in mind when quoting Amok that, having been created by Kevin, he might not know or understand any more than Kevin ever did.

SGuilfoyle1966 wrote:
In the books, Elena's command does rebound against her. Not because of a curse, but because Foul was able to defeat Kevin and, for giggles, he issued the same command to Kevin, in reverse.

I don't see that the power is cursed.

It's not cursed in the sense of having a curse placed upon it. It's cursed in the sense that using it will inevitably have unwanted side effects. The Power of Command essentially functions like the classic mischievous genie: it will do what you ask, but only and exactly what you ask. If you command the Fire Lions to descend from Mount Thunder and attack Foul's Creche, you might find they trot merrily over half a dozen Stowndowns and Woodhelvens on the way. If you command anything in the Land to act or move in a way that it wouldn't ordinarily, there are likely to be unpleasant repercussions. As Wayfriend said:

wayfriend wrote:
And no one can see all ends! Kevin was scared of this power for a reason. He chose the desecration he knew rather than the desecration he could not predict.

In this, at least, Kevin showed greater wisdom than those who came after him.

wayfriend wrote:
Simply, Kevin refused to lose.

He chose desecration because it offered a chance to win, and he discounted the cost, because that to him was better than losing.

Yes, he did, but where I seem to disagree with just about everyone else is in not seeing this as inherently wrong. Mhoram realised that his loyalty and service - his faithfulness to himself and to the Land - were more important than winning the fight. Based on the interviews, SRD clearly shares this view - and I'm not saying it's wrong. I'm just saying Kevin's view wasn't wrong either. Of the two, Mhoram and Kevin, one chooses purity of service over victory, even at the cost of everything in the Land; the other chooses victory or nothing, again even at the cost of everything in the Land. Both were willing to sacrifice the Land for a dearly held principle - they just differed on the principle itself.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CovenantJr wrote:
Of the two, Mhoram and Kevin, one chooses purity of service over victory, even at the cost of everything in the Land; the other chooses victory or nothing, again even at the cost of everything in the Land. Both were willing to sacrifice the Land for a dearly held principle - they just differed on the principle itself.

Well said! I think I understand your position better now.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can see what you're saying (Covenant Jr, that is), and you've explained your view beautifully there, but I don't agree, simply because I've never, even on my first read through of the 1st Chrons, understood that what Kevin did was really motivated by a desire to win. I don't accept that Kevin ever honestly, deep down, thought it would work.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
SGuilfoyle1966 wrote:
wayfriend wrote:
But do not forget, there is a also a curse attached to the Power that it rebounds against the one who invokes it. I think he knew full well that the end result might be worse, not better, for the Land.


In the books, Elena's command does rebound against her. Not because of a curse, but because Foul was able to defeat Kevin and, for giggles, he issued the same command to Kevin, in reverse.

I don't see that the power is cursed.

No, no, no! It wasn't Kevin's mastery that was the recoil.

It was the breaking of the Law of Death! Which let Foul use Elena after she was destroyed, which allowed him to perfectly weild the Staff of Law in his defense. Which let Foul raise armies of the Dead to batter the gates. Etc. Etc. This was the true devestation that Elena's command unleashed.

Okay, "curse" is a word I use, not the text, granted. But the effect is the same: anyone who uses the Power, who cannot see all ends, will undoubtedly cause harm - it will "recoil". And no one can see all ends! Kevin was scared of this power for a reason. He chose the desecration he knew rather than the desecration he could not predict.


I can't get exact quotes like some here do, but here's what I recall on recoil.

Elena commanded Kevin. He went to do her bidding, saying, "Fool." It was unFoulCommanded Kevin who called Elena a fool.

A few minutes later, Kev is back, and what happens.

He says Foul has mastered him (Amok did warn that Foul existed before the Arch and could not be mastered by a Command. How could any being Commanded by the power therefore master Foul?)

And Foul then got his kicks.

He has COMMANDED me to slay you, Kevin says.

Foul's plot, perhaps, was to get Elena to wield the staff for him. But the giggle of thing was immediately mastering Kevin with a more powerful Command and sending him back.

That was Newtonian in its recoil. Every Command has an opposite but equal Command?

The grand plot, which plays out like a curse, was to have Elena Foul-wife wielding the staff. But it's not a result of a curse. That's what I'm trying to say.
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SGuilfoyle1966
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 2:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CovenantJr wrote:
True enough, but bear in mind when quoting Amok that, having been created by Kevin, he might not know or understand any more than Kevin ever did.

SGuilfoyle1966 wrote:
In the books, Elena's command does rebound against her. Not because of a curse, but because Foul was able to defeat Kevin and, for giggles, he issued the same command to Kevin, in reverse.

I don't see that the power is cursed.

It's not cursed in the sense of having a curse placed upon it. It's cursed in the sense that using it will inevitably have unwanted side effects. The Power of Command essentially functions like the classic mischievous genie: it will do what you ask, but only and exactly what you ask. If you command the Fire Lions to descend from Mount Thunder and attack Foul's Creche, you might find they trot merrily over half a dozen Stowndowns and Woodhelvens on the way. If you command anything in the Land to act or move in a way that it wouldn't ordinarily, there are likely to be unpleasant repercussions. As Wayfriend said:



I don't, CovenantJr, see that it will INEVITABLY have unwanted side effects. Amok gave a warning that that was possible, and indeed, that is exactly what happened, to Elena. But Elena wasn't thinking of ANY potential side effects. She just "knew" Kevin would be more powerful in his anguish.

But hell, it's clear he was in anguish when he did this.

Also, what's this about not seeing the side effects as it relates to the Power.

Are we sure that Kevin couldn't think of a powerful enough Command? Perhaps he just wanted to do "the ritual," as stated because he wanted to commit suicide and couldn't do it just himself.

Because wasn't Kevin going hard about covering the possible side effects of his CHOSEN path? Creating Seven Wards? Sending the Giants to Sea? Sending the Haruchai, Ranyhyn, Ramen, Stonedowners and Woodhelvennin to the mountains and deserts to escape?

that wasn't a normal set your affairs in order. And he was seer, but not a prophet. But he didn't have the kind of courage yet to be both, to quote Tamarantha. lesser minds lose the distinction.

But Kevin didn't KNOW he wasn't both, like Great Grandpa Berek. He was so sure he had thought of everything. he created the wards, hid them away.

But he did not foresee that later generations would be SO horrified by what he would do that they would enact a soul-changing Oath that would blind them for a thousand years to at least half of those seven Wards.

Why create Seven Wards if you think they aren't going to be read? Perhaps only as a salve to his guilty conscience.

I see a lot of jumping through hoops to make what Kevin did seem less horrific than it actually is.

part of it I am guilty myself but will henceforth stop.

Let's stop saying Kevin "enacted the Ritual."

Let's ask THIS question instead --

Was Kevin so wrong to DESECRATE the Land?

does that not come out when you think of it as a rhetorical question?

Umm, no. He was, err, umm, right, to DESECRATE the Land.

As I've said before, other than calling it the Ritual, I don't think there's ANYTHING formal about doing it. I don't think it required specific chants or motions or gestures.

Firstly, there's no question that Trell had ANY access to the Lore that Kevin used to do it, yet Trell had begun a similar DESECRATION himself. He turned the power of stone against itself. He turned the power inherent in him against the thing remaining to him that he loved most.

OK. I'll calm down now.

I really do like your point about Amok being created by Kevin, therefore he cannot, at least inherently, have the knowledge and wisdom that Kevin lacked in life.

It would be nice to know if Kevin created all Seven Wards in the full throes of his despair? Or if his admitted oracle's power gave him a glimpse early on. I think it was the former, for reasons I won't elaborate on here.

Also, Amok lived a long time, and may have gained some insight into Kevin and that Kev lacked, as any child might.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mhoram was bound by the Oath of Peace. Even after he found that it was the oath that hindered the new Lords. It still prevailed to hold him back from unleashing descreation. Plus with the Krill showing that TC had return there was Hope. These lead him to Lord Mhoram's Victory.

Kevin didn't have that outlet of hope. He was the hope for the Land. All looked to him for salvation against Foul. But he didn't have the answer. His purpose was to try to get rid of Foul through the RoD. He was, by todays standard, frantic for a solution. Once you convince yourself that a quick or self though out solution be enacted, all other possibilities will not exist. You have become one path minded and it would have took the Elohim a direct confrontation to stop Kevin from the RoD.

But the Elohim were only around for their own self preservation and protection of the Arch. What Kevin did was not a threat to the Arch. So they let it happen.

Kevin's love of the Land caused him to be blinded where Mhoram could see other solutions.
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