Enter the Maze. . . .

originally posted by Brian K. Mulvey

Okay, I just read Arithon's first encounter in Kewar's.

Now, I was wondering why Arithon should be made to feel ashamed–as an adult in the NOW of being in the Tunnel–for something he did as a child. He was only 3 at the time, and at that time couldn't understand why not to retaliate against an aggressor. Why be mentally punished for something you did as a clueless kid? And we know that Arithon isn't the type of person to do something like that now (huck a rock at someone). So why beat him over the head (figure of speech) for a thing he likely already has the capacity to know? I read the passage a bunch, and almost removed this paragraph due to Mak's reaction and all, but we have Arithon begging, "No, please no," so I left it here. Maybe I interpretted it wrong or something, Janny's pretty advanced.

Also, I wonder about the portrayal of Jorey's mindset. I couldn't say for sure as I'm no psychologist, but if my mom would possibly waste and die from a fever, I wouldn't be tormenting Arithon about HIS mom, but consoling him, telling him I understood what he must be going through and that I hoped my mom didn't die as well. Doesn't seem like my fear would drive me to torment others. I don't know, maybe kids are wicked or something, but I wasn't.

Maybe Janny just did it the way she did for us to come to our own conclusions, like the one I came to? To offer a "lesson," perhaps? Or just to get us to think?

Now, question: Why doesn't Arithon just kill Lysaer to stop all the death and destruction? Lysaer is the driving force behind the alliance, and by killing him you end all that. One life to save many. You could say it's because of Arithon's conscience, but wouldn't that same conscience drive him to realize what I just said about one life to save many?


originally posted by Trys


To address the question in the last paragraph I'd suggest looking at the end of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan


The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few

vs. the completely changed attitude of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

The needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many.

Which is the more enlightened attitude?


originally posted by Brian K. Mulvey


Well, the needs of the one outweighing the many makes NO sense at all! So obviously I'll go with the 1st quote.

I would imagine you'd consider the 1st one as more enlightened, too, so are you agreeing that Arithon should dust off Lysaer to stop all the death-inducing feuding . . . or that maybe he should just commit suicide to end it all . . . or what exactly? Of course, he can't kill himself because he's bound by oath, so that leaves erasing Lysaer.

Please elaborate. :smiley:


originally posted by Trys


I was being deliberately obtuse with my post in the hopes of engendering some discussion as I think arguments can be made for both points of view.

OTOH, there is a very important reason why both brothers need to survive and why the Curse was laid on them in the first place. Together they are the only thing that could contain Desh-thiere. One of them alone can't do it. Given the statement in one of the books that everything ever contained in Rockfell Peak eventually escaped, I can't help but wonder if the Mistwraith isn't biding its time, waiting for the death of one of them before acting.


originally posted by Beth

I believe you have to relive every part of his life that he can remember to maintain integrity. In fact, this one might be the most important because it is the first. Of course now he won't throw a rock at someone because he had this expierence and learned from it. But 'EVERY' encounter is important in developing someone's character…if you are going to start anywhere…you have to start at the beginning. Thus why I think that scene needed to be included.

And if Arithon were to kill his own brother in cold blood, what lesson would be learned then? That is the whole point of the conflict. Lysaer is willing to do anything to kill Arithon and Arithon is going out of his way to avoid doing any harm to Lysear. (Reminds me of the final episode of Charmed. What harm has been done by a being of Good doing an unspeakable act of Evil.) Just because it might help in the short run doesn't mean in the long run it is good. That's why there is conflict. The Fellowship thinks in the long term - hundreds of years and people like Murril think in the short term - here and now.

As for Which is more enlightend the few or the many…I think they are two sides of a coin. On any given flip, either is correct. On a mass scale the needs of the many outway the needs of the few. However, within a small scale the needs of one may outway the many. Would you give up almost anything to save humankind? But wouldn't you also save the one if he was say the President of the United States. There is a whole group of people devoted to just that (ie, Secret Service).


originally posted by Brian K. Mulvey

Well, yes, and there I believe you've nailed it, Beth: the long term is most important. And I hadn't even considered the fact that the Mistwraith would then be in a great position.

Now, why can't the Sorcerers do away with the Mistwraith, being that they're so powerful? It's been a long time to remember a reason for that since I read Curse 10 years ago. Something to do with the Law of the Major Balance or some other such law or limitation?

Also, Beth, would you be able to answer the question I pose at the bottom of General Discussion, "A Request," by chance? If you can, great, if you want to or have the time.


originally posted by reverie

The Sorcerers can't destroy the Mistwraith because under the LOTM, they aren't allowed to use magic without free permission and the mistwraith wouldn't give them permission to destroy it.

originally posted by Trys

The Sorcerer's weren't able to identify what Desh-thiere was and couldn't Name it. Now knowing that it is not one but many, the Naming of all the parts is a very large scale job and their resources are, shall we say, strained at the moment.

Long term vs. short term, and does the means justify the end are certainly part and parcel of one vs many. In the case from Star Trek that I used, Spock freely chose to sacrifice himself for the good of the many. But when the time came to recover Spock, Kirk and others chose freely to endanger themselves for the good of the one. In both cases free will was exercised. If Arithon were to kill Lysaer he would be violating Lysaer's free will as well a the LotMB. When Arithon acted to unmake an arrow in CotM, he suffered great guilt over that action. Imagine what killing Lysaer would do to him.


originally posted by Brian K. Mulvey

So by imprisoning the Mistwraith (wouldn't it be "MistwraithS?") in Rockfell (did they get the Mistwraith's permission for THAT?), isn't its free will to move about where it wants being violated?

Or is it okay to imprison it for being a bad boy, just like it's okay to imprison a real prisoner for being bad?

And if the answer to the last sentence is "yes," that would mean the Sorcerers have the authority to punish when punishment is a just act, and if THAT'S the case, then why can't they just destroy it since the Mistwraith is, after all, being REALLY bad. . . .


originally posted by Blue

Bry, another way to look at the imprisonment, [not just good boy vs. bad boy] is that the Fellowship now knows that the Mistwraith is made up of the spirits of people who were killed and assimiliated by it, and "trapped in active consciousness, driven mad by unrequited hatred."

It might be looked upon as an act of mercy, that the F7 are [is?] locking up the Mistwraith so that they can find a cure and free all of those trapped spirits, and keep them/it from hurting others and it/themself in the process.

For example, a doctor might order someone who is extremely drunk or high on a dangerous illegal drug, such as Methamphetamines, locked in a padded cell until the effects wear off and the patient is no longer a threat to him/herself or the doctor and nurses, and the patient can be safely treated.

originally posted by Beth

Brian, I did add a short/bad summary of what happened at the middle/end of Curse to start the whole thing.

As for the Mistwraith, I think they are only holding it captive. They can't Name it so they can't free the souls. Since it is against the LoMB to unmake things, they can't get rid of it that way. I don't have a problem with the captive part since it is in the way of punishment. You have to have laws and punishment for breaking them. So the question is has the Mistwraith done something to necessitate being punished. Outside of stifling the sun what did it do before the brothers 'attacked' it?

My problem is what is the difference between the Fellowships powers and the Elemental powers of Arithon and Lysear. Since Light and Shadow can capture the Mistwraith that is what they used. But, it is Arithon's Masterbard gifts which I think can now be used to Name each entity and give it 'peace'. And why can the brothers do something that the Fellowship can't.


originally posted by Brian K. Mulvey


Ah, okay, you made the little light bulb go on inside my head, thanks. That makes perfect sense. You sure are sharp with these things.

And as far as your easy-to-miss question about are/is goes, since the F7 is a group, it is "singular." So it becomes, "that the F7 IS locking up the Mistwraith." If it was multiple fellowships, then it would be "are."


Thanks for the remind about not being allowed to unmake things. I had forgotten about that. I've read maybe 150 books since Mistwraith, but when you reminded me of that fact I was like, "Oh, that's right."

And stifling the sun is enough for being punished, certainly. When you cut off the sun like that, I'm pretty sure you cause the death of certain life.

Yeah, why can't the powerful Sorcerers do what the brothers can? Anybody? Janny?


Bry -

You Asked.

The powerful Sorcerers CAN.

originally posted by Brian K. Mulvey

Janny or anybody (actually, Janny will sit by and see if we figure it out on our own),

Oh boy, here we go, she's really done it: "The powerful Sorcerers CAN."

Now, I guess they can–as in they are capable–but they won't because they are not allowed to by the LoMB? So they had to influence the brothers to? But then wouldn't the bros be voilating LoMB, which in turn implicates the Sorcerers for their persuasion?

I know Janny knows her story is complex, but I wonder if she knew some aspects could seem so multi-dimensional when she wrote it, or if some of this just came about inadvertently, just a result of what is there. I wouldn't be surprised in the least, though, if the former were true.


"could seem so multi-dimensional?"

I must protest - and from the first word set to paper, at the very start.

The prologue did give fair warning this was not to be a linear story…

(oh, the evil wicked grin!)

Make sure you cast your inquiry far enough, deep enough, high enough, and wide enough…or Traitor's Knot will come along and bust your theory to little shredded bits.

(and the evil wicked grin gets wider still)

originally posted by Brian K. Mulvey

You know what? As I was writing my last post, I pulled out and read the prologue. Oh yessiree.

I wasn't claiming you didn't know EXACTLY what you were doing from the get-go. Oh no. I was merely wondering if you ever expected that certain discussions would come about as a result of what you were doing, that is, the directions that some of the conversations take here.

Most of my brainstorming to do with WoLaS are just musings, as above, with the Sorcerers/brothers/LoMB thing.

And the people here seem to be far sharper than I in picking up your nuances. When I started reading the series, I was just in it for face value, for an "action" read. Later it became apparent that I was in for something much deeper, and now I realize I have opened quite the can of worms. I will have to re-read the whole series to get a firm grip on everything, or at least re-read everything up to Peril's Gate.


originally posted by ika

Hi Janny and everyone!

Might I add, while searching "deep enough, high enough and wide enough", we'll all probably have our brain chew through our skulls at the end of it all (in a good way!) hehehe.


originally posted by Dancing Tofu

I confess to having a little trouble with the image of my brain chewing its way out through my skull in a good way. It just doesn't seem that scenario could end at all well…

originally posted by Arend

It's been a while since I thought about these things, but from my vague recollection, the sorcerors did fight tyhe Mistwraith alongside the High King(s), e.g. Traithe. I assume that the High King(s) requested the presence of the fellowship in this struggle and they could help because of that.

The F7 cannot interfere (in general) with free choice, except where it counters one of their more primal mandates, e.g. the one from the Drake's. I guess this would partially explain their non-action with regards to the Mistwraith. The Mistwraith came into being through the choices of humanity and the F7 are not the guardians of humanity.

I am unclear as to how or why the brothers started getting rid of the Mistwraith. Noblesse oblige, perhaps?

originally posted by skeoke

Janny -

I hesitate to actually ask, as I usually prefer to let my questions resolve themselves with patience, time and further reading. However, TK only raised more questions (understatement), and SF doesn't have a date yet, and patience is not one of my strongest virtues.

Does the second part of the maze in Kewar, the 5-sided room, 6-sided room etc., bear any resemblance in form or function to Davien's maze/key to the Fortress at Earle?

Was there another way out besides reducing creation to chaos? Because, if there was, Arithon is beginning to scare me.