Cycle Turns (Was: Link to the Orb)

Thu Jun 26 01:12:15 PDT 2003

On Thu, 26 Jun 2003, Thomas FURNITURE ARTIST wrote:

> From: Philip Hart <philiph at SLAC.Stanford.EDU>
> > The fact is that Paarfi is our best (well, almost only) source of
> > info on these matters and one has to either accept it as an
> > internally-consistent and plausible description of events or choose
> > ignorance of this interesting period of history.
> But it is neither internally consistent nor plausible.  Though I don't
> have my books with me, the only thing we 'know' about when the Orb turns
> white is that Sethra Lavode knows she only has moments in which to act.

I think you have no reason to make the above assertions, especially given
the drift of your argument below.  Incidentally, I think it is is best to
have the Texts at hand in such discussions.

> Not that she knows Adron's spell is going awry.

ITYHNRTMTAA - she tells Aliera her father's about to explode, according to
Paarfi - and why wouldn't she know?  She is likely able to sample the
rising currents of Elder sorcery, she is (according to Paarfi) acquainted
with Adron's spell, and she's aware that Tortaalik is dead.  She also
knows (in all likelihood) more about the Orb than anyone alive or undead
at the time or probably ever.

> Not that she knows Adron's the Emperor.

(I'm going to omit a whole series of ITYHetcs following more or less every
sentence of yours below.)  Paarfi says she thought the Dragon Heir (if any
survived) would take the Orb.  Score one for Sethra being wrong.  But the
question at hand is not, Who's the Emperor? but Who's the Orb-Emperor? -
see my last five posts for a tedious reiteration of this point.

> Only that she knows she has only moments in which to act.

Says who?  Oh, Paarfi.

> Please note that Paarfi does a damn good job of buttering up Sethra in
> the paragraphs that follow this declaration.

Does he say anything not entirely consistent with the Sethra from the Vlad
novels?  I think not.

> Consider the FACTS WE KNOW.
> 1) Tortaalik, a Decaying Phoenix, was Emperor.

Says who?  Vlad and Paarfi.  For all Vlad knows, the Empire was founded a
few hundred years ago.  And clearly Paarfi is biased past trusting.

> 2) Mario Greymist, despite the Orb's protection, killed the reigning Emperor.

Or this is the result of a great ad campaign.  The only witnesses who (we
know) survived the event were Aliera and Sethra.  Perhaps Sethra decided
that Tortaalik was dangerously stupid to be Emperor and offed him with
Aliera's help, then made up Mario after the whole thing blew up in their
faces.  This is a fairly plausible and self-consistent theory, but since I
just made it up I'll favor Paarfi until we meet Mario.

> 5) Zerika, a Reborn Phoenix (or whatever the proper term is -- non-
> Decaying?) who was not born before Tortaalik's death, is the FIRST

Perhaps there was a whole series of Phoenix emperors ONE AFTER ANOTHER AS
each DIED of Plague and the Cycle said, oops, he's emperor, no, she's
emperor - perhaps Zerika in the womb was Emperor.

> These facts are indisputable.

Facts are tricky things (misquoting somebody).

> So what happened?  Or, more exactly, what MUST HAVE HAPPENED in order
> to bring these specific facts into existence?
> 1) The Cycle -could-not-have-turned-.  It was the Reign of the Phoenix,
> it IS the Reign of the Phoenix, thus the Cycle Did Not Turn.

The Cycle Could Have ratcheted BackWards for All we knOW.
The Cycle-could-have-turned-all-the-way-around, gotten dizzy,
and ended up anywhere.  The Cycle could have a separate neutral
gear we don't know about.  The Cycle could have turned, realized
its mistake, gone poof in a cloud of logic (misquoting Douglas Adams),
and been reformed in some odd state by universal fiat.

> 2) The Orb, interrogating the Cycle -- the Orb, after all, interrogates
> the Cycle to see of which House the next Emperor is a member -- begins
> looking for the Phoenix Heir.

According to Paarfi, the Orb started looking.  You've chosen for whatever
reason (not on the basis of any evidence I know of) to insist that the Orb
looked for a Phoenix.  Ok, I give up, I've written more than my share of
recent posts on this list.