[LMB] CoC: Chapter 26, Part the Last

Gwynne Powell gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Mon Sep 7 08:08:30 BST 2015

> From: Elizabeth Stowe estowe427 at gmail.com
> This particular year (as well as the events since Cazaril arrived at Valenda) has come full circle....

So much has happened in that year, full circle but not to the same place. Full spiral?

> Within this sacred moment, Cazaril lets go of rote words. 

Caz has never been much for prayer. Now he just talks to the gods, which is the
real thing, far more than rote words.

> Thoughts of failure occur to him first. Ista's and the loss of a generation. His failure will lead to the loss of the next generation for Iselle and Bergon: "They will be vastly unlucky in their children."

I wonder if dy Lutez had such a moment.

> Betriz's assertion comes to mind: "I'd storm heaven for you, if I knew where it was." 
> "He knew where it was. It was on the other side of every living person, every living creature, as close as the other side of a coin, the other side of a door. Every soul was a potential portal to the gods. What if we all opened up at once?" 
> "And if I can see souls sundered from their bodies, why can't I see them while they're still in their bodies?" Cazaril tries, but there is too much interference from matter. 
> He realizes, "If the gods saw people's souls and not their bodies, in mirror to the way people saw bodies but not souls, it might explain why the gods were so careless of such things as appearance, or other bodily functions. Such as pain? Was pain an illusion, from the gods' point of view? Perhaps heaven was not a place, but merely an angle of view, a vantage, a perspective."

Caz has come so far in thought and understanding. His ideas also explain
the way the gods behave towards humans, and their apparent lack of care
(such as the Saint of Rauma's fate.)

> This leads Cazaril to contemplate the curse and the Golden General. "And at the moment of death, we slide through altogether. Losing our anchor in matter, gaining . . . what? Death ripped a hole between the worlds.
> "And if one death ripped a little hole in the world, quickly healed, what would it take to rip a bigger hole? Not a mere postern gate to slip out of, but a whole breach,  mined and sapped, one that holy armies might pour in through?
> "If a god died, what kind of hole would it rip between earth and heaven? What was the Golden General's blessing-curse anyway, this exiled thing from the other side? What kind of portal had the Roknari genius opened for himself, what kind of channel had he been . . .?"

Good questions. Death makes a doorway between the worlds. The Gods
need a big doorway to remove the curse. Caz has to make that doorway.
This isn't a comforting thought - how do you die ENOUGH to make a really
big portal?

> He imagines running away and the torment of never knowing, second-guessing himself forever.
> Which brings Cazaril around to his inevitable decision. "Five gods, I am surely mad. I believe I would limp all the way to the Bastard's hell for that frightful curiosity's sake."

Sheer curiousity is like kindness - massively important, and greatly overlooked
when the flashier qualities are being discussed. 

> He must open himself completely, unknowing and without expectation. "Betriz had it exactly backward. It wasn't a case of storming heaven. It was a case of letting heaven storm you. Could an old siege-master learn to surrender, to open his gates?
> "Into your hands, oh lords of light, I commend my soul. Do you must to mend the world. I am at your service."

And there it is, the perfect prayer for a saint. Not passive, but at peace, open 
and accepting. 

> The light of the new day brings figures into color and Caz is aware of scents of flowers and Betriz's perfume. The holy ritual has concluded.
> "From somewhere in the palace, a man's bellow split the air, and was abruptly cut off. A woman shrieked."

Caz offered himself to the Gods. Sometimes prayer is answered really fast.

The moment we hear that scream is the companion moment to the one where
Caz sees the curse is still in effect. First we get 'wait, it's not finished after all'
and then we get 'oh, here it comes'. 


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