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Do you think LORD FOUL was careless?
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At least it's been constructive... Razz Welcome back LF!!! Big Grin
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's another thought, besides the one about the ring.

Sometimes the strategy you choose is the build fast and rush strategy. Anyone who ever played Warcraft is aware of it. The theory is to create a big army fast, and then rush in before the defense is organized.

If it works, you win. If it doesn't work, you lose. It's a gamble.

This sounds like Foul's plan. Hordes of kresh and mutant humans. A timeframe that you need to win within.

Time would only favor the defenders of the Land. Time to master lore. Time to build defenses. Time to train more warriers.

Just for example, look at those communications rods. If Foul had waited a few more months before his assault, they could have been put to use to forewarn Revelstone of his invasion path, much faster than could a Ramen scout. Advantage goes to the Lords.

So Foul had a real issue with waiting too long, IMO.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with most if not all of the comments made in this discussion. I guess my wondering had to do with whether it was really necessary for Foul to spend his forces like a new Lottery winner in Vegas. I suppose as it turns out there was really no harm done. Foul didn't give a crap about the well being of his army so long as he had enough left over to continue with his plans. It all worked out the way he wanted with the exception of TC turning out to be his ultimate nemesis.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All things considered, I wouldn't be surprised that at 40 year mark Lord Foul had maxxed his food production capabilities while still having more than enough magical power and "raw materials" to make new soldiers. The Illearth Stone plays big part in this. It is an amazingly powerful tool, but it has the side effect of gradually killing all plant life in a wide radius around it. The unbroken Illearth Stone would have had vastly more powerful such an effect than the tiny fragment Stonemight Woodhelven had.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wayfriend wrote:
Here's another thought, besides the one about the ring.

Sometimes the strategy you choose is the build fast and rush strategy. Anyone who ever played Warcraft is aware of it. The theory is to create a big army fast, and then rush in before the defense is organized.

If it works, you win. If it doesn't work, you lose. It's a gamble.

This sounds like Foul's plan. Hordes of kresh and mutant humans. A timeframe that you need to win within.

Time would only favor the defenders of the Land. Time to master lore. Time to build defenses. Time to train more warriers.

Just for example, look at those communications rods. If Foul had waited a few more months before his assault, they could have been put to use to forewarn Revelstone of his invasion path, much faster than could a Ramen scout. Advantage goes to the Lords.

So Foul had a real issue with waiting too long, IMO.


But the trigger for the attack was when the lords called up Covenant wasn't it? To the day if I'm not mistaken. It's possible that Foul had some idea when this might be but it also suggests that Foul didn't really care about the prep time for The Lords and was just waiting for TC to arrive, be it sooner or later.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lord Foul's armies started marching when the Lords summoned Covenant. The Lords summoned Covenant when they heard what dukkha had to say. It is clear that dukkha got to Revelstone only because Lord Foul had explicitly let it go free. Essentially, dukkha was a very nasty sort of "postcard" from Lord Foul to Revelstone, and so the Lords summoned Covenant because of Foul's action. Lord Foul acted; the Lords reacted.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahh yes. The layered plot was far too intricate for me. Razz
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2007 3:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blindy Troy (was that his name?) thought that time favoured lord foul, and getting foul to attack earlier by summoning covenant would help the lords.
But he screwed up a bit, didn't he? haha
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2007 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smooth, Marvin.

As Nerdanel says, Foul marched when he was ready to march. When he was ready, he wanted Covenant to witness it. Hence the dukkhagram.

The interesting question is, what was his real strategy? He was seven years ahead of schedule. Did he think he would be victorious? Or did he know he would be defeated?

One thing is certain, is that he didn't overcommit. Seven years later, he had more than enough forces to win. This argues that the forces he mustered in TIL were expendable. Which argues that he might have known that they were not enough, or that somehow they would fail.

He had a rush strategy. But what was the goal? Covenant's general despair?

I think that his goal was to push the people of the Land, the Lords especially, into taking the kind of risks that would lead to self-destruction. Which is, ultimately, what happened to Elena. Did he know exactly what she would do? Maybe yes, maybe no, but he certainly knew that the consequences of extreme action which backfired or failed would only be to his benefit.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2007 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

His message to Covenant in LFB always suggested he knew that he would gain control of the dead. In the second chrons he knew Covenant would hand over the ring. I've been of the opinion for some time that Foul is in some way a Seer.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2007 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lord Foul had nine years left of his deadline, but considering that he would have had a lot of mopping to do even after he had beaten the Lords' main army, it makes sense for him to start in time. And well, if he were to beat the forces of goodness and light in 48 years instead of 49, all the better for him.

I think while Fleshharrowers army did destroy most of the Lords' army and Foul probably wasn't counting on it conquering everything by itself - Revelstone in particular probably would have proved too hard a nut to crack without reinforcements, and Revelwood's river defenses were still functional - I do think it performed below expectations. (I think Hile Troy and the specific description of his appearance in the illusion Foul showed Covenant is proof that Foul was annoyed by Hile Troy's mental capacity. I think Foul hadn't had a good opponent in a long while.) I think Foul probably wanted to devastate the Center Plains, thus causing an important blow to both the good guys' morals and food production capabilities while causing a refugee problem, but thanks to Hile Troy, the Center Plains stayed unravaged for seven years more.

I agree that Foul can know something of the future. I think he's one of the few characters in the books to be both seer and prophet. I think there are in the Land four characters total who are seers and prophets: Foul, Berek, Covenant, and Spoiler:
Anele.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2007 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am wary of creditting Foul with too much foresight.

If he was that good at seeing the future, then how did things like Gallows Howe happen? There are probably dozens of things during the Illearth War alone that you could point to and say, if Foul had foreseen it, it need not have happened.

And what you are left concluding is that all Foul's defeats were intentional because they served other ends. He lost some battles to win the war. Berhaps he even let Covenant defeat him twice because it somehow ultimately leads to his freedom.

But even the author doesn't credit Foul with that much prescience.

So I have come to conclude that some of Foul's predictions are dead-on because the author finds it makes poetic sense rather than logical sense.

And so I come back to: the invasion of the Illearth War was intended to weaken, and to provoke, and most especially to erode the Land's defenders' ability to build up. Foul would have taken a victory if it was handed to him, but he didn't expect it.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2007 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wayfriend wrote:
I think that his goal was to push the people of the Land, the Lords especially, into taking the kind of risks that would lead to self-destruction. Which is, ultimately, what happened to Elena. Did he know exactly what she would do? Maybe yes, maybe no, but he certainly knew that the consequences of extreme action which backfired or failed would only be to his benefit.

He also probably knew about Amok. Foul was in Kevin's inner circle; he may have even helped amass the Seven Wards. I'm not sure he could've known that Covenant would "light" the krill, which hence summoned Amok, but he may have seen the likelihood of it. (wasn't the krill found during the 40 years between LFB and TIW?) IIRC Amok said that even the Despiser would not dare to use the Power of Command... hence, Foul knew what it was, knew the probablilty of it going wrong, and knew that any human was likely to screw up.

Wayfriend wrote:
I am wary of creditting Foul with too much foresight.
If he was that good at seeing the future, then how did things like Gallows Howe happen?

I agree... Foul can see some things, but not everything. Or he sees but can't determine the meaning or import of what he sees.

However, I am of the opinion that even the Ravers are just pawns in Foul's game. Especially since he knows they aren't killed when their host dies. He doesn't care if they suffer; he counts on their depthless hatred to keep them serving him.

Spoiler:
I suspect that at some point in the 3rd Chrons, they will turn against Foul, too (or Foul will turn on them). Not that they'll become "good" like the ur-viles appear to have, but that they'll discover that they've been pawns or they won't survive the destruction of the world. Maybe Foul has made promises he doesn't intend to keep. Linden might have to side with Foul just to be able to stop the Ravers, or [shudder] allow herself to be possessed by a Raver to stop Foul. It would be like SRD to do this. Twisted Evil

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2007 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What exactly is the difference between a seer and a prophet, in the context of the Chronicles? I have some trouble understanding the distinction.

(Sorta like my confusion with the Law of Life/Law of Death...but never mind that...)
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2007 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's this:

a seer actually sees the future, in dreams, trances, or some other medium. They relate what they saw, or their interpretation.

a prophet relays future events second hand, ie conversing with a God, etc. They speak for someone else.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2007 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I'm not giving Foul too much credit in thinking he is a seer and a prophet. After all, Covenant is known to be the same thing, and from his POV we have seen how that doesn't mean anything approaching omniscience. Lord Foul probably has the experience to use his talents more effectively, but he still only knows bits and pieces.

For example, I think Lord Foul prophesied to Covenant in the beginnings of both LFB and TWL. Spoiler:
I think the vision Linden fell into in the beginning of Runes was an example of Foul being a seer.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply, iQ.

I was at work when I posted my question, so I didn't have the Chronicles at hand. Anway, this was the passage that I never quite got a handle on:

Quote:
"Oracles and prophecy are incompatible. According to Kevin's Lore, only Heartthew the Lord-Fatherer was both seer and prophet. Lesser souls lose the paradox. Why, I do not know. But when Kevin Landwaster decided in his heart to invoke the Ritual of Desecration, he saved the Bloodguard and the Ranyhyn and the Giants because he was an oracle. And because he was no prophet he failed to see that Lord Foul would survive. A lesser man than Berek."

That was part of a speech by Lord Tamarantha, from Lord Foul's Brain -- uh, Bane.

Lesser souls lose the paradox? Tamarantha's words leave me more confused than enlightened.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Donaldson explains the seer/oracle thing in the GI, on 03/21/05.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indeed. Since it was a bit of a pain to find it, I decided, having located it myself, that I might as well reproduce it here.

SRD wrote:
A "seer" is someone who can see/feel/intuit some aspects of the future--or of the possible futures. (I'm sometimes asked questions like: why didn't Mhoram know Covenant was coming to Revelstone? Well, a seer doesn't see "the future" that literally. A seer is more likely to feel that important events are gathering and something pivotal is about to happen; or, we're in a situation that's more dangerous than it appears to be, and we need to be extra careful.) An "oracle," on the other hand, is not concerned with "the future" per se. Rather an oracle sees/feels/intuits things like fate, doom, or destiny (of an individual; of a people; of a world). In some sense this naturally involves "the future," but the oracle's focus is on the inherent nature of the individual/people/world, and on the likely consequences of that nature. So in general--and putting it very crudely--seers tend to be vague, while oracles tend to be cryptic. <rueful smile> Helpful, no?
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks. Now I just have to decide for myself if it all makes sense. Razz
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