How does someone get a link to the Orb

Gaertk at aol.com Gaertk at aol.com
Tue Jun 24 18:31:26 PDT 2003

Philip Hart <philiph at SLAC.Stanford.EDU> writes:

> On Sun, 22 Jun 2003 Gaertk at aol.com wrote:
>> Philip Hart <philiph at SLAC.Stanford.EDU> writes:
>>> You've snipped the gist of my argument, which is that
>>> you've conflated "being chosen by the Orb" and "being
>>> Emperor".  You were arguing about the former and here 
>>> argue about the latter.
>> Sorry, I didn't read that part very closely.
>> However, I think you're misinterpretting that scene. 
>> Aerich and Adron are talking about how to tell if the 
>> Cycle has turned (since they can't see the big wheel 
>> themselves) and the only way they come up with for testing 
>> this is to try to kill the Emperor.
> You've got the wrong scene - I was referring to the end of 
> Chapter 34, where (as I quoted earlier) Adron says that his 
> anti-Emperor pro-Adron spell is fighting itself, leading to 
> a core dump of power. 

All this is based on the words of someone Paarfi couldn't 
interview, who didn't have the means or time to analyse the
situation, and who already convinced himself the Cycle had 
turned (which Paarfi himself doesn't agree with).

> A bit earlier, we see the Orb turn grey in mourning for 
> Tortaalik while "it interrogated the Cycle and searched, in 
> its own way, for the new Emperor." 

The first part of that quote sounds like evidence against
your "local choice" theory.  Or do you think the Orb, with
the memories of all the Emperors, needs to ask someone else
which House follows Phoenix?

> We then see it turn white.  Sethra immediately realizes 
> Adron is about to go boom - "she had but seconds to act". 
> So we have the Orb ask its boss what comes after Phoenix, 
> we see it find Adron, then we see it run into a null
> pointer - or anyway this is the simplest way to read the 
> evidence.

Isn't it simpler to say that Adron's spell got out of control
due to key wizards having been assassinated earlier (see
Aliera's explanation in _Jhereg_), and possibly complicated 
by a sudden lack of resistence from the Emperor?

[Orb vs Wheel - who's in charge?]

> In _Taltos_ Vlad reports in Chapter 16 that "Everyone I've 
> asked insists that this thing _is_ the Cycle in every 
> meaningful way, not merely its physical representation." 

This is right after he first meets M, A, and S and before 
he's comfortable asking them questions.  He doesn't have
good sources of info for this sort of thing at this point in

> In _TPotD_ there is no sense at the grand conclave that the 
> supposed destruction of the Orb has anything to do with
> the Cycle. 

Was that the first or second time we see the gods in that 

> The Orb, an artifact built by human hands, is to my mind
> obviously not capable of performing the God-like function 
> of the Cycle, arranging for the myriad coincidences needed 
> to force a complex society through its odd dance over and 
> over.  Nobody fantasizes about twisting the Orb around to 
> point to the next House; nobody studies Cycle construction.

So a great big wheel, sitting in a place even the gods don't
really understand the nature of, is more knowledgeable about
the state of the Empire than the artifact constantly floating
around the head of state, which also controls all sorcery
(and is somewhat involved in psychic communication), and has
the memories of all the previous rulers?

It is clear (see page 362 mmpb) that the Cycle turns *before* 
the Orb changes hands, it just isn't provable until then.