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Lord Mhoram and Satanfist
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:23 am    Post subject: Lord Mhoram and Satanfist Reply with quote

I've always wondered why Satanfist didn't, or couldn't, bring down the Stone on the back of Mhoram's neck when they were locked in combat.
There seems to be too long a moment as Mhoram strives to drive home the krill.

Is it possible the Giant struggled against samadhi's possession giving Mhoram those vital seconds he needed?

Or was it events at the Colossus that stayed the Giant Raver's killing stroke?

Could it be anatomical reasons? Was Satanfist unable to work the muscles of his arms because of krill's location in the chest?

Or could there be something else, wholey attributed to the genius of SRD's writing?
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
With all the rocky, Giantish strength of his frame, he began to squeeze.

It seems to me that Satansfist did contact Mhoram, it really doesn't say he didn't. Perhaps the better question would be "why couldn't Satansfist crush one tired, middle-aged Lord?"

I think for two reasons: firstly, the krill in his chest, firing all the power of Mhoram's Ritual of Desecration powered strength into him. The Stone was trying to stop that strength, which was probably preserving Mhoram.
Secondly, I think this all happened very quickly, not slow-motioned at all. Sure, it took seven paragraphs to tell it, but it was most likely over in a few seconds.

I don't discount Giantish resistance to the Raver:
Quote:
He saw dismay and hesitation clashing against the Raver's rage...

I have always taken this to be the possessed Giant delaying Satansfist for that second it took for Mhoram to strike. It seems a better story that way.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 3:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I read this part, I assumed that it was because the Giant was able to resist the raver.

Below: Second Chronicles Spoiler supporting the above statement. Don't read if you haven't read the Second Chronicles.
Spoiler:
This was confirmed for me, more or less, when Honninscrave helped Nom rend the raver in the Hall of Gifts in what I still believe was one of the most personal, harrowing moments in any piece of literature I've ever read[/i]


Also, Mhoram might be a tired, middle-aged man, but I think that the strength of his realization, paired with desperation and sheer human willpower (something that I always felt Donaldson was getting at in the stories, but could never really articulate: maybe being human isn't so bad, after all, while we remember what that humanity entails) makes him more equal match for the giant-raver.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 3:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Black Asgard wrote:
When I read this part, I assumed that it was because the Giant was able to resist the raver.

Below: Second Chronicles Spoiler supporting the above statement. Don't read if you haven't read the Second Chronicles.
This was confirmed for me, more or less, when Honninscrave helped Nom rend the raver in the Hall of Gifts in what I still believe was one of the most personal, harrowing moments in any piece of literature I've ever read[/i]

Also, Mhoram might be a tired, middle-aged man, but I think that the strength of his realization, paired with desperation and sheer human willpower (something that I always felt Donaldson was getting at in the stories, but could never really articulate: maybe being human isn't so bad, after all, while we remember what that humanity entails) makes him more equal match for the giant-raver.

I think you have a good point, there. Mhoram does validate humanity, especially when he chooses to share the secret of the ritual to the other Lords, and again when he decides to cast off the power of Kevin's lore. He decides that only by being human, realizing that he is giving away a great source of power, can they hope to remain true to their humanity.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know, in the TPTP it seems to indicate that the Giant's soul had long ago been crushed by the occupation of the Raver over a period of 8 years.

The way I read the final battle between Mhoram and the Raver, the hesitation on Satanfists part was fear, pure and simple. He had already touched Mhoram before and realized this wasn't an ordinary Lord. As for him not using the stone to crush Mhorams head, I don't think he could...the stone was stretched to the limit already just trying to keep him alive and block the flow of power from the Krill. And the stone failed, it simply wasn't strong enough to save him from Mhoram's unleashed strength.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kalkin wrote:
I think for two reasons: firstly, the krill in his chest, firing all the power of Mhoram's Ritual of Desecration powered strength into him.


I'd have to stop you right there. Mhoram wasn't powered by anything close to desecration. he unleashed his passion, but as the book said, he had learned that passion can be used for desecration, or it can be used to preserve. The full passion of Mhoram's love of the land was not a desecration at all.


Quote:
I don't discount Giantish resistance to the Raver:
Quote:
He saw dismay and hesitation clashing against the Raver's rage...

I have always taken this to be the possessed Giant delaying Satansfist for that second it took for Mhoram to strike. It seems a better story that way.


I don't discount it, but I don't put much stock in it. I think it had been what, 10 years since the Giant was possessed? More?

I think the dismay and the hesitation wsa because the Raver, overconfident throughout the battle, suddenly lost the support he had been getting from Elena Foul-wife. Dismay. And possibly the direction he had been getting. Hence, the hesitation.[/quote]
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 2:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SGuilfoyle1966 wrote:
Kalkin wrote:
I think for two reasons: firstly, the krill in his chest, firing all the power of Mhoram's Ritual of Desecration powered strength into him.


I'd have to stop you right there. Mhoram wasn't powered by anything close to desecration. he unleashed his passion, but as the book said, he had learned that passion can be used for desecration, or it can be used to preserve. The full passion of Mhoram's love of the land was not a desecration at all.


Quote:
I don't discount Giantish resistance to the Raver:
Quote:
He saw dismay and hesitation clashing against the Raver's rage...

I have always taken this to be the possessed Giant delaying Satansfist for that second it took for Mhoram to strike. It seems a better story that way.


I don't discount it, but I don't put much stock in it. I think it had been what, 10 years since the Giant was possessed? More?

I think the dismay and the hesitation wsa because the Raver, overconfident throughout the battle, suddenly lost the support he had been getting from Elena Foul-wife. Dismay. And possibly the direction he had been getting. Hence, the hesitation.

First, I don't think you take my meaning. Only by going all the way to the edge of Desecration could he find that power, and the reason he could stop it from going further was his love of the land. Mhoram understood the dicotomy, and the inherent danger is the reason he chose to back away from Kevin's Lore.
As for a Giant resisting the Raver, I don't think it was ten years. And Triock and Rue's two cords could resist Ravers, and I have to think that Giants could hold out much longer.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In trying to find a response to my own question I carefully read through the chapter Colossus. It describes the rock as, '...a high, monolithic fist of stone.' I'm sure we all agree that what happens at this location has tremendous consequences to what is happening on the battlefield outside Revelstone.
There are two characters that I can think of that are linked to the term, 'fist of stone'. One of course is Satanfist, and the other is Trell.

Is it possible that Trell helped Lord Mhoram?
I like the idea - even though the story does seem to go against this.

Consider...Trell getting up from his pallet in the infirmary, climbing through the Keep and into the Watchtower, taking a piece of Orcrest from his pocket and holding it up above his head, squeezes the Stone in his fist!

This isn't the first time I've found a wellspring of hope in Trell.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Except that such an act, if it happened, would have been the first step to his personal healing.

As he was absent from the 'service' at Glimmermere, IMHO he was unable to do anything that would help and/or heal the land, so he remained enclosed/protected/sheltered in the keep until he regained his composure
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trell being absent from Glimmermere is vague. What if Trell had been performing the rites of unfettering when he ripped apart the Counsel Hall <sp?> He would have left Revelstone a new man.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While I'd love to think that something nice would come in the end for Trell, I just don't think so. As violated as he was by Covenant's crimes, his own crimes would be far worse in context.

The best that could be hoped for would be years of therapy that would allow him to look himself in the mirror again.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to agree with the view that Trell met an unhappy end. It may sound like we're giving up on the poor guy, but after all, he was a broken man.

Krazy Kat wrote:
Consider...Trell getting up from his pallet in the infirmary, climbing through the Keep and into the Watchtower, taking a piece of Orcrest from his pocket and holding it up above his head, squeezes the Stone in his fist!

This isn't the first time I've found a wellspring of hope in Trell.

I think I'd be baffled by such a scene - no offense to you. If you were able to sense hope in Trell, that's great. But I'm just curious as to where you believe Trell would have gotten such hope from?

Meanwhile, on the question of Satansfist's hesitation: sorry, Rasput--er, Kalkin! But I had thought it was just the Raver feeling intimidated by Mhoram, as others said. I accepted that there was basically nothing left of the Giant within. Maybe the difference in viewpoints here depends on how we feel about the power of the Illearth Stone versus the inherent willpower of a Giant. For me, the point of the Stone is that it is the most corrupting object around. Its evil power is irresistible (for all intents and purposes). Worse for those three Giant brothers, didn't Foul himself master them with the Stone? If a mortal soul could survive that, then it weakens the stature of the Stone's power, not to mention Lord Foul's.

We don't really need spoiler tags about the 2nd Chronicles in this forum, do we? So regarding Black Asgard's point about Honninscrave - true, he held the Raver. But Honninscrave was a "free" Giant up to that point of contesting his will against the Raver's - he had not been mastered by something like the Illearth Stone.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Call me whatever you like, just don't call me late for dinner! Nah, we don't need spoilers here.

matrixman wrote:
Meanwhile, on the question of Satansfist's hesitation: sorry, Rasput--er, Kalkin! But I had thought it was just the Raver feeling intimidated by Mhoram, as others said. I accepted that there was basically nothing left of the Giant within. Maybe the difference in viewpoints here depends on how we feel about the power of the Illearth Stone versus the inherent willpower of a Giant. For me, the point of the Stone is that it is the most corrupting object around. Its evil power is irresistible (for all intents and purposes). Worse for those three Giant brothers, didn't Foul himself master them with the Stone? If a mortal soul could survive that, then it weakens the stature of the Stone's power, not to mention Lord Foul's.


While I do not believe there was much of a limit to the Stones power to corrupt, I have a couple of caveats to this: one, the nature of the Raver, and; two, the nature of Possession.

The Raver would probably not want to snuff out the existence of the Giant. Its nature would make it want to keep some portion of the Giant around so it could keep his suffering eternal. What fun would it be just have the body and not enjoy it? Foul and the Raver would also know the impact the possessed Giant would have on the Lords, and how much more fun was it to have them have to try to kill something they loved so much?

As for possession, I doubt the entire spirit of the possessed could be destroyed and still maintain life and Earthpower. Chosing Giants is not just the emotional impact, not just a big body. No, it's because they are full of Earthpower and, as such, capable of bearing the might of the shard of the Illearth Stone. I don't think the Raver is capable of providing the lifeforce necessary to contain all that Earthpower.

Mind you, the argument that it's the Raver hesitating is a good one. I just prefer mine.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

matrixman wrote:

I think I'd be baffled by such a scene - no offense to you. If you were able to sense hope in Trell, that's great. But I'm just curious as to where you believe Trell would have gotten such hope from?


I too would be baffled by this scene. However, if it were told through implication then I'd be inclined to take a closer look.
I think this curiousity I have all started when I read the bit where TC plunged the Krill into the stone table and Elena's statue of Myhra magically disappeared - through implication!

What takes place at the Colossus drives my imagination...the lightning bolts that destroyed the two Ravers, the crossed-lightning epaulettes on Triocks tunic, and Trell saving Mithil Stonedown from a drought by crushing a piece of the orcrest in his upraised fist, are a few of the things that make me look back to the Watchtower.

As to where Trell finds the hope to fight back, well, this will sound foolish but the hope comes from me and my belief in a very special kind of writer.

I'm pretty sure if I were to ask SRD about this in a GI question, he would likely reply with a big Question
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's only natural to want to root for Trell. I wish his family could have been spared the hell it went through because of Covenant.
You know, if a movie adaptation changed the story so that Trell could get back on his feet at the end, I don't think I'd have a problem cheering him on.
Even as I'm drowned out by the boos and hisses of Chronicles purists! Laughing I wouldn't mind as long as it was done well.
Kalkin wrote:

The Raver would probably not want to snuff out the existence of the Giant. Its nature would make it want to keep some portion of the Giant around so it could keep his suffering eternal. What fun would it be just have the body and not enjoy it? Foul and the Raver would also know the impact the possessed Giant would have on the Lords, and how much more fun was it to have them have to try to kill something they loved so much?

As for possession, I doubt the entire spirit of the possessed could be destroyed and still maintain life and Earthpower. Chosing Giants is not just the emotional impact, not just a big body. No, it's because they are full of Earthpower and, as such, capable of bearing the might of the shard of the Illearth Stone. I don't think the Raver is capable of providing the lifeforce necessary to contain all that Earthpower.

All very good points!
SRD still hasn't given us very much info about the Ravers, or about Lord Foul, to work with.
So I'm still grasping in the dark about their capabilities and limits.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

matrixman wrote:
It's only natural to want to root for Trell. I wish his family could have been spared the hell it went through because of Covenant.
You know, if a movie adaptation changed the story so that Trell could get back on his feet at the end, I don't think I'd have a problem cheering him on.
Even as I'm drowned out by the boos and hisses of Chronicles purists! Laughing I wouldn't mind as long as it was done well.


Point taken. I was way off the page - again Rolling Eyes .

Sometimes I feel like I'm trying to mentally juggle a chair, a chainsaw, and an orange, if you get what I mean. It's like I don't have the brain-power to add two and two, and end up tied in knots.

I'm only just beginning to see how Mhoram and Covenant reflect each other, and the ramifications are mindblowing.
For example, isn't it strange how Mhoram's fight with Satanfist is echoed in Covenant's fight with Peitten.
I'm sure Peitten was possessed by a Raver, as was Triock. But for now I can't make them add up.

A parallax!!! Hile Troy
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kalkin, I take it you were a Farscape fan. One of my favorite shows of all time. I hated it like frell when it went away. Anyway, my thoughts, as useless as they are, on this topic are that maybe the Krill's "cleanness" and power gave strength to the remaining vestiges of Giant left within, and that took some of the Raver's strength. Just postulating a possibility here.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rocksister wrote:
Krill's "cleanness"


This is interesting.

There is another scene in TPTP where the unfettered one in Morinmoss raised a knife to strike Covenant dead and the Wraiths of Andelain intervene.

I'd been thinking about TC fighting Peitten and how he broke his ankle and <shiver> I kept hearing the lomillialor rod snapping in two. I know this wasn't exactly how it happened in the story, it was just an inkling in the back of my mind.

That's all I got for now!

BTW, your thoughts are never useless and I always enjoy your postulating possibilities.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is this the part of Lord Mhoram's Victory that we're discussing here?

In The Power That Preserves was wrote:
Before Satansfist could defend himself, High Lord Mhoram sprang up and drove the krill deep into his bosom.

The Raver shrieked in agony. With Mhoram hanging from the blade in his chest, he flailed his arms as if he could not find anything to strike, anywhere to exert his colossal outrage. Then he dropped to his knees.

Mhoram planted his feet on the ground and braced himself to retain his grip on the krill. Through the focus of that blade, he drove all his might deeper and deeper toward the Giant-Raver's heart.

Yet samadhi did not die. Faced with death, he found a way to resist. Both his fists clenched the Stone only a foot above the back of Mhoram's neck. With all the rocky, Giantish strength of his frame, he began to squeeze.

Savage power steamed and pulsed like the beating of a heart of ice - a heart laboring convulsively, pounding and quivering to carry itself through a crisis. Mhoram felt the beats crash against the back of his spine. They kept Satansfist alive while they strove to quench the power which drove the krill.

I'm not seeing an issue with the Giant Raver hesitating here. He has one moment when he flails about in rage. But then he gets to it. Raver's are a bit impatient with failure. But he's probably flailing about mentally for the best way to meet Mhoram's attack.

When he decides what to do, he doesn't strike Mhoram with the Stone because he's doing something else instead. It's a radiation attack of some sort. Chosen, probably wisely, because it both limited the power of the krill as well as helped to keep the Raver alive. Striking Mhoram physically with the Stone just wasn't part of this tactic, it might even be detrimental to whatever kind of magic this is. It's a contest of raw power vs raw power, raw passion vs raw passion, raw will vs raw will. Very much like Hamako's battle with the arguleh. The beast did not attempt to topple him, bring him within reach of its limbs and maws. And he struck no blows. Their struggle was simple: fire against ice, white heat against white cold.... Motionless, they aimed what they had become at each other.

Fortunately, samadhi does not succeed. But it's not from hesitating, as I can see.
In The Power That Preserves was wrote:
But Mhoram endured the pain, did not let go; he leaned his weight on the blazing blade, ground it deeper and still deeper toward the essential cords of samadhi's life. Slowly, his flesh seemed to disappear, fade as if he were being translated by passion into a being of pure force, of unfettered spirit and indomitable will. The Stone hammered at his back like a mounting cataclysm, and Satansfist's chest heaved against his hands in great, ragged, bloody gasps.

Then the cords were cut.

samadhi just never anticipated Mhoram would have enough power to do him in. He assumed that he'd be like any other Lord, and that he'd be able to use this radiation magic to stop Mhoram long before Mhoram could do enough damage to kill him.

Perhaps if he had known that Mhoram had learned a knowledge of power recently, he might have chosen another tactic. Or maybe that was the best tactic that there was, and Mhoram surpassed it anyways.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
Is this the part of Lord Mhoram's Victory that we're discussing here?


Yes, it is. But I wanted to focus more on wether or not Mhoram was receiving some extra help.
I must stress that I've never intended to diminish Mhoram's actions, his heroism, or his deserved victory. But some abstract idea gave me a distinct impression that something else was happening just beyond the field of vision.

I've always assumed that if the outcome had gone the other way and Satanfist had killed Mhoram, then the Lord's fate would have been the same as Sparlimb Keelsetter.
The fact that Mhoram had drove a knife into his chest makes me think that the Giant had one clear intention, which was to kill Mhoram quickly before the said cords were cut. This has led me to think that Satanfist's hand was held firm by some force other than Mhoram's hold on the Krill.

The other Raver at Doom's Retreat does seem to contradict this line of thought. His intention for Verement seems to be something worse than death, although Thomin took action for him.
And yet, 'Lord Mhoram's Victory' has a differant set of circumstances

I can see from the quotes you've put above Wayfriend that any evidence of all this is quite hard to define.

One question springs to mind.
Why was Mhoram's hands so terribly burnt by Loric's Krill?
I'm sure the answer to this lies with the rhadhamearl.

I don't believe the High Lord had any real power left to him but his brute determination to end the war through direct combat - something that should have been impossible.

Which leads me back again to Trell and his mates...<sigh>, ah well!


Slightly edited an hour and half after post
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