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Lunakat

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #17   Mon Nov 28, 2016 4:51 pm

Redhead Ember wrote:
Miss Gillespie wrote:
Sidenote, why didn't Teir react to Ember's feral 'soul image' at all? No shock, no curiosity...

Ember and Teir were together for about 50 years before they recognized, plenty of time for him to get used to the idea of her having a wolf soul. Then when they finally recognized he was a bit pre-occupied to notice what her soul looked like.

Good point, Red! Plus Teir has always related well to animals. He may not have any problem with Ember being part wolf-- he may even prefer it.

LurkingCat wrote:

Well put, that is what I meant with "intrinsic loneliness". He has/had all this lovemates but I always got the feeling he tried to distract himself from something. When he slept with Timmain the panel says "And as simply as that an aching emptiness,at long last, is filled..." (btw, I really love that scene art wise).

Yes, Lurker-- I also liked the art in that scene. It was really pretty. And, like you,  I've always read Skywise as being a bit lonely. I think he works as a parallel to Rayek that way.

Actually... in almost every way. It's like they are the same-- but polar opposites at the same time. Bear with me... I'm gonna map this out.

Rayek and Skywise are both lonely children-- born into a time of some difficulty, and are the only kids in their respective tribes. Skywise has no parents and Rayek ends up willfully estranged from his. They both have independent, loner personalities, fail to relate to their tribes and engage in atypical behavior. Skywise obsesses over watching the stars-- and Rayek obsesses over developing his powers. Both, as children, engage in reckless activities (stealing and hunting).

The differences-- Rayek operates from a place of ego. He is proud of his powers. He feels stronger and better than the rest of his people. He is ashamed of his injury. He looks down on his parents and those like them. His sense of validation is based on external factors-- so he is constantly egocentric and insecure at the same time. Skywise... doesn't seem to care what the others think of him. He's just doing his own thing. The only person he seems to truly want to impress is Bearclaw ... although he gives up on that for the sake of Cutter (nstead of choosing the ring, which would have symbolized the external achievement Bearclaw asked of him, he chooses Cutter, that which is truly important). Meanwhile Rayek's sheer determination and dedication have earned him the attention of Savah- who will be his first mentor as he comes into his powers.

Similarities (again): Both end up adoring sidekicks to the main power couple-- Cutter and Leetah. Both Cutter and Leetah are born into times of prosperity and safety. Both are centers of attention in their tribes. Both are centrally important to their people. Both are a little naive and oblivious to bad things- but not afraid of harsh realities.

Rayek loves Leetah-- because she heals his external injury (his source of shame), and because her powers rival his. She is his savior and equal. Skywise loves Cutter because his is the close friend and family he's never had. Here, again, is where they differ-- Rayek wants to possess Leetah-- and Skywise wants to support and stand alongside of Cutter.

This, I think, goes back to Rayek's ego being his driving motivation. He is not able to connect with Leetah on an honest, internal level because he doesn't want to or try to. He only attempts to "have her" in the superficial, external sense. He doesn't seem interested in understanding how she feels-- just in trying to align their mutual desires. Her personal crisis-- which leads her to confront death-- only separates them more. As she becomes the full fledged healer she was destined to be, he finds himself standing out the outside, feeling she "has gone where he can't follow"-- she is basically now a stranger to him.

Contrast that with Skywise and Cutter. Their confrontation brings them closer together-- because it does result in a mutual internal connection and greater understanding. The crisis Cutter experiences that ushers him into become the chief he was meant to be (Madcoil) also helps to bond them closer. Rather than trying to tackle the monster himself, he invites the tribe to join him. And everyone respects his wishes. When pre-chief Cutter instructs Treestump, One Eye and Skywise to leave-- they do it. And when he calls them back they come. Together they participate in neutralizing the threat. But only because his tribe (including Skywise) are willing to take a back seat and respect his space and his wishes. Skywise never demands to be the most important person in Cutter's life. He just shares his ups and downs. And when Cutter finds a lifemate-- he supports him in pursuing her... even though he must know that will fundamentally change their relationship.

And so it follows. When Leetah and Cutter meet-- Rayek fights it to the bitter end... Skywise helps it along. Rayek is invited to consider the possibility of a three mating.. and finds it unthinkable. Skywise does not consider it or make assumptions either way- but he ends up there anyway. So here we see their two different approaches again-- Ego driven Rayek tries to force the situation, and loses everything. Skywise bends to the new reality and is incorporated.

Flash forward-- they all find the Palace. Both Skywise and Rayek are drawn to the Palace. Both want to master it. Rayek's approach is to lock himself in a room with Timmain and lock everyone else out. Skywise flat out leaves, because he can't stand to be alienated from Cutter and the rest of his people. He literally gives up the thing he wants most-- only to be given it, fully restored, later on. In contrast to Rayek, Skywise's approach to mastering the palace is all inclusive. He views it as being for everyone. Everyone is welcome-- and everyone is able to be it's master... to varying degrees. They are filling the same role in opposite ways.

Now apply those approaches to Winnowil vs Timmain. Winnowil and Timmain are polar opposites as well. They are literally black and white. Winnowil is driven by rage, frustration and revenge. Timmain is driven by a desire to protect and facilitate the elves collectively moving into the future together. Winnowil feels that only certain lives are valuable and is essentially a racist. She "denies others their choices except as they suit her." Timmain believes in inclusiveness, is so open to difference that she mates with a wolf to produce a hybrid offspring to save her people, and is all about allowing everyone choice and free will.

Both want to protect their people and help them survive. Winnowil's solution is to insulate pure elves in Blue Mountain or in the Palace and escape the world. Timmain's solution is to make her people and children stronger so that they can interact with and integrate into the world. She and Winnowil, like Skywise and Rayek, have similar goals-- but pursue them with opposing motivations. Winnowil wanted pure elves to escape the world. Timmain wants all elves to choose whether to remain and integrate into the WoTM or move forward to establish a new home in the stars. Her approach is about moving outward and adventure, not retreating.

So Skywise ends up in a relationship with Timmain-- one he doesn't force. He interacts with her for years, building a connection, and asks nothing but to receive her teaching. In the end, she bestows herself upon him and fulfills his deepest desires. He finds himself satisfied at the core of his being. Rayek... ends up with Winnowil. He spends all of five minutes with her before agreeing to help her take over the world. They mutually betray each other. He doesn't try to understand her pain or anger, or even her perspective-- which she tries only to manipulate him. In the end, he forces her inside of him- and exists in a state of perpetual frustration. She is imprisoned within him-- at his mercy, but denying him the thing he really wants-- her love. Because you cannot willfully take that from someone. The power of your ego cannot win you love.

Skywise and Rayek are now both facing their ultimate test. The one thing Skywise wants and is trying to force is for Cutter to join him in immortality. He doesn't know that the thing he wants is already his. All he has to do is stop fighting it. In order to gain Cutter forever, he must give up Cutter. He must accept Cutter's decision to remain mortal-- and then he will learn that Cutter and Timmain are one, and so he will never truly lose him. His test is to simply stop fighting, accept, and he will "receive what has always been [his]."

Rayek's big test is also to give up. He must give up Winnowil. Rayek must set aside his need to possess and relinquish Winnowil to the Palace. If he does so, he will regain everything he has lost. He will regain the Palace-- his place among his people-- the Palace itself-- and he may even have a chance of gaining Winnowil's love when she is healed. So far, he can't do it. Because to do it would mean giving up his own ego and relinquishing what control he has.

Skywise and Rayek are two sides of the same coin. They are the ego-- struggling to accept and lay itself aside

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #17   Mon Nov 28, 2016 5:04 pm

In a way-- I guess they could be said to be the ego vs the super-ego. Rayek is the ego, struggling to overcome itself, and Skywise is the super-ego struggling to shape itself.

Or perhaps it's all more in line with Winnicott's ideas about the true self vs the false self. If Cutter and Leetah represent the true self... Then Rayek is finding himself increasingly estranged from his true self-- the more he operates from within his ego. Skywise is very close to aligning fully with his true self-- but he must release the last vestiges of egotism to do it.

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #17   Mon Nov 28, 2016 5:10 pm

That's a great way of putting it.
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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #17   Mon Nov 28, 2016 5:14 pm

Thanks Red! Smile

I think this is why the love affair in the story, as the Pinis describe it, is between Skywise and Cutter. It's the love affair of the ego accepting the true self and aligning with the true self. It's everyone's internal love affair with oneself. Rayek's love affair with Leetah will always fail. His love with Winnowil (Leetah's dark sister- now a literal shadow) will always fail-- because he is the ego that cannot align with the true self. No matter how powerfully and heroically he tries to force that to happen.

It's a buddhist concept-- right? That you must give up your preconceptions to gain true understanding? That what you are searching for is right there with you, if you will just stop fighting it and accept?

(Okay- I'm done now..)

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #17   Mon Nov 28, 2016 5:30 pm

One last thing-- the ego has to feel lonely, initially-- because it is the mind estranged from itself. It is the conscious learning to conquer the unconscious. And it has to come out of a place of discomfort, because that is what inspires the journey toward self mastery.

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #17   Tue Nov 29, 2016 7:35 am

Actually, yesterday after I'd turned off my computer I realised that there's another parallel between Rayek and Skywise; the fact that they both had daughters - with Go-Back women - but for various reasons ended up not taking part in raising said daughters.

Take Skywise first; when he left the Palace, and therefore the Go-Backs, he probably knew that there was a chance he'd made one - or several - of the Go-Back women pregnant. However, he probably also knew that their way of doing things meant that the sire of a child rarely played a big role in the child's life, in fact most Go-Backs probably doesn't even know who their fathers are. So when he realised that he really couldn't stay in the Palace he didn't feel like he had to stay because he might be the sire of one - or more - of the upcoming Go-Back children, of course it probably also helped matters that it seems he wasn't really that ready to become a father anyway, but I think that even if he'd wanted to become a father more than anything he'd still have accepted the wishes of Yun's mother and not attempted to play a major role in his daughter's life.

Now, take Rayek; he clearly didn't accept Kahvi's wishes that he shouldn't play a role in their daughter's life, to the point where he even delayed his journey to Blue Mountain. And, most disturbingly - to me - is the fact that when he tried to stop Kahvi from going on that bear hunt his reasoning wasn't that he cared for Kahvi and didn't want her or her child to get hurt. No, his reasoning was simply "It might be mine."

Finally, so this doesn't become too much off-topic, let's fast-forward to the time of the Final Quest.
Skywise knows that he missed his change to raise his daughter, and while he maybe regrets it a little - see Full Circle and the scene of Korafay's birth in the Special - he doesn't really have any hang-ups about it, he knows and accept that he wasn't there for Yun, but that doesn't mean they can't be friends now.
Rayek on the other seems to think that he somehow has to play "daddy" to Venka, to the point where he actually tries to avenge her, despite the fact that it's quite likely the last thing she wants him to do.
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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #17   Tue Nov 29, 2016 9:00 am

I'd like to point out what Khavi's likely response would be to anyone telling her she shouldn't do something because she might get hurt.

I always took that bit as respect for her skills and such. If she weren't heavy with child, there'd be no reason to object. As it was, she was endangering more than herself. Aside from the baby, I can't imagine any of the Go-Backs would have stood idly by if Khavi had gone into labor and then been attacked by the bear she was tracking.

As for Skywise - what is this, kudos to a guy happy to be a dead-beat dad? I do get the overall point about his willingness to not force himself on someone but I don't buy it as evidence of his superiority to Rayek. (That may sound more inflammatory than I intend it but this whole train of thought has been comparing them and focusing on the ways that Skywise's approach is the better/healthier.) But look at it the other way; at the time, Skywise would have fled from anyone who did want a commitment. Remember his response to his three "playmates" in "The Heart's Way." When they teased him about Recognition, he just about headed for the hills.

Rayek does have things to learn about healthy relationships but at least he is willing and searches for it. I doubt that, without the events of "Troll Games and Soul Names," Skywise would let even Cutter be so close to him.
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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #17   Tue Nov 29, 2016 9:30 am

Of course Kahvi wouldn't have reacted by swooning at Rayek's feet if he'd simply expressed concern for her, but that's the point; Kahvi was always a very independent person and Rayek didn't accept that, the final "nail in the coffin" - so to speak - what made his actions really disturbing was the fact that his main focus was on the fact that it might have been - and was - his child. No, I don't think the other Go-Backs would have stood idly by if she'd gone into labour during that hunt, but maybe, just maybe, she knew that she wasn't going to drop the child that day. If she could simply decide to have a child first with Rayek and then with Windkin, who's to say she couldn't have known when her child would be born?

And no; Skywise isn't a "dead-beat dad". In order to be a dead-beat dad there really needs to be some expectations that you are gonna be a dad for your child, and the Go-Backs didn't seem to have such expectations, in fact - as I mentioned before - most of them probably don't even know who their fathers are. So, it's not kudos to him for being a "dead-beat-dad", it's kudos to him for accepting that what happened, happened, and not being angry and Yun's mother for not sending for him as soon as she realised that she was pregnant and the child might be his, it probably took some time before she realised at which point he was far away. In fact, it's possible nobody realised who Yun's sire was until after Skywise had been taken away in the Palace.

Rayek, on the other hand was - understandably - angry at Kahvi for lying to him, and especially during Dreamtime it makes perfect sense that he didn't consider it something of the past, because to him it wasn't. To him it had just been a few days; he'd literally just been told that this child he'd been waiting for for two years was dead, and not his anyway, and there she was; an adult, very much alive, and defintely his. Of course Kahvi was wrong in lying to him, but I can't help but wondering; would she have lied if she hadn't had - probably very good - reason to believe that he wasn't going to accept his wishes that he wanted to raise their daughter without him?

So, maybe it's not a question of Skywise being right, and Rayek being wrong, but rather a question about the communications between the "couples"*.
Skywise and Yun's mother were on the same page. He knew that she didn't want him to play a role in the life of any potential child the might have, and he accepted that partly because he - honestly - didn't feel like being a father. She knew - or at least suspected - that he wasn't ready to be a dad, and she was cool with that, because she really didn't want him to either way.
Kahvi and Rayek, on the other hand, defintely not on the same page!

And there's still the recent issue of Rayek somehow believing that he had to "avenge" Venka. Nevermind that

A: I'm pretty sure that's the last thing she wanted him to do.

B: It was kinda Rayek's fault she was injured in the first place.



* The word couple should - obviously - be understood very lightly here...
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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #17   Tue Nov 29, 2016 11:00 am

You make good points, Redhead Ember, but I can't accept the idea that what the mother wants totally trumps what the father wants. Not for no better reasoning than that she's the mother and he's not.

Getting back to the events of #17, I would say Cutter is more one-in-two than two-in-one. There were three wolves in that pit in the Frozen Mountains. We know what happened with Timmain and Warfrost. What if the third is Timmorn? I remember that one of the BoTC stories had Timmain helping Timmorn to become more wolf. What if that (or leaving him in the Troll Mountain) is the ancient wrong?
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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #17   Tue Nov 29, 2016 11:11 am

The one on the right? (I'm assuming the one on left is Warfrost?)

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #17   Tue Nov 29, 2016 11:38 am

Whichever one wasn't Timmain and wasn't Warfrost. I don't know more than that and don't have the time to read through book 4 to check what happened. If there are any hints, they pretty much have to be in the background.
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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #17   Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:40 pm

I looked through 19 and 20 and while there is some wolves in the background they're pretty anonymous.
Warfrost strikes me as the only one to have any reason to follow after the elves.
 
 
 Most likely Warfrost and Starjumper?
I think the 3rd wolf just...disappears.

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #17   Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:12 pm

So then it is possible that who we will be looking for in Two-Edge's vault is Timmorn. I could see it.
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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #17   Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:17 pm

How would he have survived there?

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #17   Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:25 pm

Maybe he got wrapstuffed by Petalwing. Or there were underground sources of water and rodents (like mice) to snack on. (We saw the elves and wolves survive on mice when Ember took the tribe out onto the plains.) Why he would still be there 10,000 years later I don't know, but going by the clues in the story, I think it's a possibility.
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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #17   Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:28 pm

Erh, I wouldn't be surprised.

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #17   Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:52 pm

As much as I would love to see Timmorn still alive, I don't feel it's going to happen. It would make perfect sense in terms of story - Timmorn and Two-Edge being very similar, with Cutter there to mitigate those differences. I think Timmorn is certainly the one who suffered the most directly as a result of being torn between 'star song' and 'world song' according to that issue (the comic itself, I mean). Timmain did seem to comfort him ultimately in making a choice but I don't know.... would it still be connected to a 'great wrong'? Certainly what Winnowill did to Two-Edge in terms of how she shattered him was wrong, but Timmain? She apparently can do no wrong at all in the story since she's like a goddess or whatever.
Now, I don't view her that way at all - I find her cryptic, vague statements fairly creepy, and in general just do not find her character particularly trustworthy, but I don't think she's 'meant' to be 'seen' that way (sorry, just my perception that I still see her that way regardless). I always feel she knows more than what she's telling and doles out info according to what she thinks is best... I don't necessarily find this approach always benevolent or wise.
I do not think Wendy will in any way tarnish Timmain's narrative by having her seem like she did anything wrong, I just can't see it happening. I'd love it though, for Timmain to be a flawed character ultimately who at times chose poorly and freely admitted it, saying she maybe didn't know what she was doing and had no idea it would bring about regrettable consequences.

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #17   Tue Nov 29, 2016 2:15 pm

Zadzi wrote:
I do not think Wendy will in any way tarnish Timmain's narrative by having her seem like she did anything wrong, I just can't see it happening. 

Don't worry, Zadzi, I'll do MORE than enough tarnishing to make up for it. Twisted Evil

Each time Timmain is elevated a little higher towards godhood, another Alternaverse revenge fic is born!
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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #17   Tue Nov 29, 2016 2:54 pm

Timmorn is half wolf. I seriously doubt he's alive. If it does turn out to be him-- I feel like that would be coming completely out of left field. Personally, I think the ancient wrong has to do with the trolls themselves-- but I guess we will see.

Speaking of things that aren't dead -- I'm glad I didn't kill this thread!

Red's observation about the two daughters is interesting as well. I don't think Skywise gets kudos for not being involved in his child's life. But I don't think he can really be criticised too much for that particular situation. He just didn't know. He didn't realise he had a daughter until he met her as an adult in the Palace. As for Rayek-- I thi k it's to his credit that he tried to form a connection with Venka and wanted to have a child so much. But-- it's not to his credit that he was so pushy with Kahvi. She didn't lie to him because that's how go backs do things. She couldn't stand his attempt to be controlling. He was policing her during the pregnancy. Her expression said that it wasn't just that one time with the bear hunt. They had a conflicted relationship-- and she didn't handle it well either. But she probably wouldn't have driven him off if he hadn't acted that way. Hey we're both flawed people.

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #17   Tue Nov 29, 2016 4:54 pm

wingthing wrote:
Zadzi wrote:
I do not think Wendy will in any way tarnish Timmain's narrative by having her seem like she did anything wrong, I just can't see it happening. 

Don't worry, Zadzi, I'll do MORE than enough tarnishing to make up for it. Twisted Evil

Each time Timmain is elevated a little higher towards godhood, another Alternaverse revenge fic is born!

Thank the gods for you, Wingthing!!!! Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #17   Tue Nov 29, 2016 5:17 pm

Oh no. Now I can't get the idea of them finding a couple of wrapstuffed High Ones in the chamber and the ancient wrong is them 1: Not dying or 2: suffering.

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #17   Tue Nov 29, 2016 6:10 pm

I think Timmon gave up being part elf and decided to become all wolf, so he shouldn't be alive any more.

The ancient wrong is Timmain and her taste for troll flesh. On what, do you think, did she feed on during her time in that pit? Who led those other wolves to consume troll flesh (and maybe even telepathically coerced the Go Backs to eat troll flesh)? Ever wondered why the trolls rebelled against the High Ones in the first place? They weren't there out of humanitarian reasons ("saving those poor creatures"), but as cattle. The main function of the preservers isn't to 'lock time away' but to preserve food. It is very easy to enter a deep state of concentration or meditation without the help of a preserver but it is impossible to keep food from spoiling otherwise.
This is also the reason why Timmain was chained in the troll caverns when Rayek tried to spirit her awys (KoTBW). It was to protect the trolls from Timmain hunting them not for them!

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #17   Tue Nov 29, 2016 7:01 pm

She probably fed on elves too , considering that pit was also there as a trap for elves, I remember. Perhaps Timmain snacked on some Go-Backs... snacked a little because she looked pretty starved. But she definitely ate something. I don't think the trolls left those wolves just to die if they wanted to keep that pit as a trap, they must've provided some 'fresh meat'...

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #17   Tue Nov 29, 2016 7:31 pm

So now Timmain may have Mad Troll (or Elf) Disease?
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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #17   Tue Nov 29, 2016 7:38 pm

That. Would. Be. AWESOME!
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