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The Talon House

dioscuri

ICARIAN
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Posts posted by dioscuri

  1. Early in part 2 of book 2 we are given a clue that there is another Agramon. Jamie finds that hidden file about Nic. As he's about to close it, he see's some information about another. It's toward the end of his first meeting with Giovanni, that he picks up on something from him. Later on, he gets a sample of Giovanni's blood and later gives it Stephan to be analyzed, which confirms who he is.

    Very nicely put! While the sample of Giovanni's blood does confirm who he is, all we are actually told (by Perkengius) is that he is a Royal Throne. We can guess from Jamie's reaction when he checks it against information he's stored from the 'net that he is much more than what Perkengius stated. Jamie never actually says anything at all about what he knows. All we have is his startled and happy reaction to whatever was actually revealed to him.

    Another of the author's (Jamie.wri) cagey slight of hand as a writer, implying something, but not actually saying it. We have no idea other than guesses at what Jamie found when he compared that data. Personally I think Giovanni was created from some of the original Agromon DNA, but its really only just a guess at this point.

    You see, we have been turned into not much better that poorly informed gossips exchanging guesses and using those guesses as real information, when we have no real basis for making that jump. These guesses are all lapses in logic.

    I've pointed that out before, but its in the information lost when that back-up failed.

    As to why Giovanni turned up at the Mondale Royal, its anyone's guess. It could be pure chance or it could be by design. Making a guess is throwing those loaded dice that have been put in play. The likelyhood that our strings are being pulled and we are being manipulated on a grand scale are very high indeed!

    Should he be another Agromon Icarian, he is surely not the warior that Nic is, he is as different as night and day to King Niklas!

    In other words, its anyone's guess at this point, until we have more information.

    cheers,

    dioscuri

  2. How Jonathan came into being, we may never know unless it comes in a future chapter.

    Of course, the identity of the Oracle was kept secret to protect him. Not even Hippolito knew it and imagine his surprise that there is now two Red and Blacks that are now the head of a House.

    I'm thinking more in the lines of partnerships formed by Icarians. In our society, we have couples who have been together for years and consider themselves partners. Some places now allow it legally. Remember, Jamie includes a lot of different issues in today's society into this story.

    I think this was engineered into them, besides what was already there. We know from the history lessons we've had that Agramos loved de Valen, but never acted upon it. We know that Edmond Croal created Jamie and Charlie, so whoever created Niklas von Agramon, also created Giovanni and Jamie is the only one who knows Giovanni really is. No one knows who sent him to the school to eventually meet up with Jamie.

    It is one of the Black brothers that delivers the tooth from the Agramos tomb directly to Croal. I doubt that he would have allowed anyone but himself to create the Icarian embryo that became Nicklas. We know that Giovanni is a Royal Throne. We also know that Jamie as you have said, would be the only one to know who Giovanni is.

    The only clue we have is that when Jamie saw the results of the DNA scan of Giovanni confirming he was a Royal Throne he gasped in surprise at something he saw. We also know that Jamie had seen and kept a copy of the DNA map of Nicklas (or perhaps it was of Agromos), but I am guessing that Jamie's reaction is because the DNA from Giovanni matches that of Agromos enough that he would be directly and closely related to Nicklas even though they are completely different personalities.

    I think from what we have seen so far Icarians are generally randy and promiscuous as well as generally friendly so all kinds of partnership up to a full bond is possible.

    We do? I think all we have is rumor and innuendo. We know that all the rumours about Jamie and his affairs are false, we also know that all the rumours about Nicklas are also false. That proves that there are some good gossip mongers in Kuronos. In Jamie's case it is the Impressario's office that encourages those rumours. In fact, aside from the comments made in the Bronze Interlude where the Ghadar are camped outside of the city in which Loran's army is ensconced, we have nothing. There, all we have is wolf whistles and comments on what might be fun. Assuming what you propose is like saying that the Americanized version of "Queer as Folk" is an accurate representation of how gay men acted in the 1980's, when I know that it isn't. Most of that series is about the myth of what gay society is like. Its to bad people actually believe it.

    We know something about relationships that were made then torn apart because the pair were separated when they were sent or bought by different Dukes or Barrons. That is part of the discussion with Trio Chrysialis about Christophe. All that talk is about trying to avoid disunion when a mated pair were forceably separated.

    The bond I think is something different, more on the level of a Vulcan (a la star trek) bond, a permanent mental joining where the participants can almost share one consciousness, sharing a soul or however you want to put it. It is the tearing of this bond that causes disunion and potential suicide. But as I said before, sufficient need or responsibility could overcome it to some extent.

    I think it ii is a better idea to look closer to home and closer to biology her on earth. Macaw s. for instance, mate for life. Some species of Geese also mate for life.

    As to origins, from all we have read so far we can fairly assume Croal created Niklas, Giovanni and probably Jonathan. Why? Because all of these have non-standard, or maybe special would be a better word, DNA. We also know that he created Charles because Charles was the first icarian.

    I think the Icarian project as conceived by Croal and Jonas of Amodon was a subversive project from the beginning. From Croal's point of view it was a way of making up for the creation of the Kalorians which ultimately became a slave race. The Empire is attempting to do the same with the Icarirans, However, because of Croal and Jonas belief in the concept of complexity, the Icarian race is quite unpredictable. Some things are sort of hard wired, not much though. Everything except resistance to disease and inteligence is left up to the roll of the dice. Even the creation of Charlie and Jamie from the same DNA, didn't make two of the same Icarians.

    Who smuggled these boys into their respective niches, Niklas the Gahdar, Giovanni service and expedition at the Mondele and Jonathan who knows where? My betting is on the Farzetti. Although they have little mention in Jamie.wri's work so far, it is obvious they played a very important role behind the scenes. In fact I would guess that they were Croal's principal conspirators, giving him tentacles into every level of the empire.

    Croal knew about other conspiritors, but only enough to get what he wanted done. The reason that any revolution in that Empire worked was because they didn't know about each other. If one failed, another one was there to fill in the gap somehow.Also, remember that the Kalorians are the slaves and the servants of the Empire, they are always there in the background and assumed to be invisible, which enables them to do things like move Castor around the Empire until he's working at the Mondale. So moving Gioivani in place in Expedition and Service would not be beyond the capability of the Kalorian conspiricy.

    Who ever from the Empire (like Savaron Loka), or even Hippolito, who attempted to interfere and control the Icarians was in for a big surprise. Genetically they are as surprising as any new species we might find here on earth.

    cheers,

    dioscuri

  3. We do know Charles had a mate at one point, but I think the big questions is, were they a mating pair? If they weren't, that could explain why he doesn't appear to suffer disunion. The rose bush in his garden was set up as memorial to his partner. What makes me think of this comes from one of the chapters after Christophe's death where Jamie finds out from one of the Trio that he loved Christophe and he refused to mate due to being in the chair.

    I do not believe that it is possible for an Icarian to mate and not be a mating pair. This is designed into them genetically and not the result of a legal agreement, so the existance of an Intention to Mate document may not force the mating, it could prevent one like the one between Hippolito and Jamie!

    Jonathan could be Charles brother biologically, or in an adopted from. Jonathan could also be from the experimentation that was done on vision which failed, but had an unusual side effect in which he was still able to see, just differently from everyone else. We've seen this demonstrated in Book 1 during Nic's birthday celebration.

    Perhaps Gold Glass was trying to enhance the Red and Blacks and Jonathan was the end result.

    If he is biologically Charles brother it is by design. Johnathan is most certainly NOT an experiment gone wrong, he was planned for by Jonas when he planned the Icarian project, since we know from his diaries the characteristics of the Oracle and that he would have a tattoo around his arm which could be revealed only in the presence of the true Wizard if Icarua, Johnathan has this tattoo, accidentally discovered one day when Jamie was with Johnathan and Luke in the Amber Palace, then shown to the Icrian Council of Noble Houses by Jamie when he appointed him Oracle. The tattoo doesn't appear because Jamie puts it there, it was designed into Johnathan by his creators.

    That he is Charles' brother may also be the reason why Charles is able to fight dis-union. Not only is Johnathan entrusted to his care but also Charles is to guide the new Icarian race after resurrection.

    It also seems that the Icarian rite of union is a well known secret. The core of the ceremony is in Chapter 37:

    The words of the gladiator were simple and direct: There you are, here I am. They were, in essence, the oath that formed the core of the Avionne mating ceremony. Spoken first by one half of the future whole, they were plain and unpretentious, yet they were the most powerfully intimate words any Avionne could say to another.

    "Taer tá mé, aer tá tú." Niklas gently repeated the short and simple phrase. But it was the look that he gave Jamie that spoke of the profound depth of trust and love that the phrase represented. Then the shyest of smiles came to the gladiator's face. The sight caused Jamie's hearts to pound excitedly.

    The response, to be spoken by the other half of the future whole, was equally simple and profound.

    Jamie's eyes sparkled and Nic, staring into them, felt as he were standing under a star-filled sky watching the most intense fusillade of fireworks he'd ever experienced. The amazing, breathtaking smile Jamie beamed back at him was the brightest thing Niklas had ever seen. It lit up Jamie's beautiful face and warmed Nic's heart. Reaching out, the prince's small, perfectly formed hand clasped that of the gladiator firmly. The tightness of Jamie's grip surprised Nic. It bespoke strength and conviction.

    "Synne flona te•torré." Jamie confidently replied. "We fly together.

    My guess is that this ceremony was known by many Icarians and likely Cody and Lance spoke these words to each other. It is also likely that Cody himself wrote them since he wrote all the other ceremonial scripts we have come across to date.

    Niklas and Jamie seem to know that they are supposed to be together because as Nicklas says to Julius " .... its like he fits exactly a part of me that is missing!". So ceremony or not, there is something about the biology of the two that belong together,

    cheers

    dioscuri

  4. The Red and Black that was in Edmond Croal's office that day was not Charles. Several minutes after the hov left Villa Mare Vista, and was well out of sight, was destroyed. We also changed time for a short period to find Charles signing the order, then switched back.

    I'm not sure we can surmise that the Icarian was not Charles. I'm not saying it was but just that since the hov is destroyed out of sight of anyone we know of who was watching, almost anything could have happened within even 3 minutes. Look how fast Renaud lands and restarts his hov while dropping off Jamie at the power generator! We also do not know if the Icarian in Croal's office was the pilot of the hov or if he had another person in the hov acting as pilot.

    All we know is that Jamie saw a Red & Black Icarian entering a hov, then the hov taking off immediately. The flight back to Kuronos would have taken over an hour which gives ample time for someone to have landed, gotten out of the hov, put the hov back into the air or changed hovs mid-trip. Conspiricy theory I know, but isn't this what the Empire is best at?

    This is one other incident that has Jamie.wri signature written all over it as a huge unsolvable puzzle designed to keep us wondering.

    cheers,

    dioscuri

  5. One of the things I've wondered about is, when did Jamie and Charles meet exactly. To my knowledge, they haven't met yet in the story and can only assume they will be meeting soon. We do know that Charles has known about Jamie for a very long time, but didn't know about Charlie.

    We do know Charles had a mate at one point, but I think the big questions is, were they a mating pair? If they weren't, that could explain why he doesn't appear to suffer disunion. The rose bush in his garden was set up as memorial to his partner. What makes me think of this comes from one of the chapters after Christophe's death where Jamie finds out from one of the Trio that he loved Christophe and he refused to mate due to being in the chair.

    I do not think an Icarian can have a mate without the bond. Its part of Icarian biology and created like that. So if Charles had a mate he suffered disunion. It is possible for the surviving partner to fight the madness and loneliness of disunion though it apparently doesn't happen very often. The surviving partner must have some overriding purpose with which to replace the mate. That's hard to do.

    Jonathan could be Charles brother biologically, or in an adopted from. Jonathan could also be from the experimentation that was done on vision which failed, but had an unusual side effect in which he was still able to see, just differently from everyone else. We've seen this demonstrated in Book 1 during Nic's birthday celebration.

    True enough, but what about the Empire's (and Gold Glass') demand that Icarians be as perfect as possible. There are, as far as we know, no other Icarians decanted with a disability the likes of what Johnathan has. Its also not unusual for someone born without one sense to have the other senses enhanced in some way to make up for it. Johnathan "sees" things using synesthesia. Synesthestesia is where one sense is observed using another sense. Some people actually see sound as having colour. That is synesthesia. Johnathon for instance sees Lon Nol (is he real or just an anagram?) with dark vapour could around or over him. His mind is creating an image to go with what he senses.

    Synesthesia comes up in the 19th century in the German Romantic movement in Literature. E.T.A. Hoffmann and Jean Paul (Pen name) spoke about it and it figures in music often from that century onward. "Behold! The Sea itself .... and on its limitless heaving breast ...." Walt Whitman; as used in Ralph Vaughan Williams "A Sea Symphony".

    The sea, of course does not have breasts and they do not heave like breasts do ... however, we understand what Whitman is getting at when he uses language as passionately descriptive as this example.

    Perhaps Gold Glass was trying to enhance the Red and Blacks and Jonathan was the end result.

    You would think they'd have learned their lesson when they produced something like Hippolito!

    cheers,

    dioscuri

  6. If Hippolitoi is the character we all love to hate ... why give him such an extensive thread? I know! I started it! However, there are so many other characters to talk about and none are more important and also enigmatic than Charles Roegier, ühn•ki'sh'onfenn of the Sh'ônfenn.

    I have to say that I am more than just a bit puzzled and confused at Jamie's reaction to Charles after he gets his memories back. I know that their relationship has been a rocky one from the beginning of Book One, but I would expect that given their personalities and personal interests.

    It seems to me that he is doing exactly as he has claimed to be doing from the beginning --- that is implementing Jonas' wishes about the new race as best as he can. Things have been completely unexpected since they awoke some 2560 years after entering stasis. From what we know of the times before stasis, things were several orders or magnitude more complex and with it, the political intrigue happening within the Empire.

    Charles is head of an organization which has obviously been twisted by the Empire to its own insane uses. Torture, murder, and intimidation were never part of Jonas or Croal's plans, yet Charles has found himself in the middle of the worst of the Empire.

    We also believe for some reason that he has lost a mate, which we know for an Icarian can mean insanity. Disunion usually but not always results in insanity and death. Charles still lives. Did he or did he not have a mate who died (or was murdered)?

    How did he manage to pick his way through the intrigues of the Empire seemingly unscathed? How could he have worked under Savaron Loka, kept true to his belief in Jonas' philosophy?

    If Johnathan is Charles' brother, where did the other half of the DNA to create Johnathan come from? Jamie and Charlie are brothers, they share most of their DNA in common, but not all, we know that Charlie has some DNA from the Ghroum that Jamie does not have --- hence Charlie's pointed ears. So you see where my questions about Charles relationship to Johnathan are coming from.

    I have no answers for these questions. The easiest of the questions above is how he dealt with Savaron Loka's agents within his organization --- with a blaster! But what is remarkable is how he actually seemed to keep a step ahead of Loka. (I'm also surprised that Arlot's handy mini-blaster didn't target Hippolito at one point!)

    So, here is an alternative to the Hippolito needle I attempted to thread. (Pardon the pun!)

    cheers,

    dioscuri

  7. ... I think Hippolito had some knowledge of the Orbs thru Loka. Just how much, we don't know. Loran certainly would have known about the germinus in the Golden Orb. Maybe Hippolito tried to get him to absorb it and Loran told him why he wouldn't. Thus a plan was hatched to get it to Jamie.

    The reason I think Hippolito's knowledge of the Orbs is limited is because of Loka's personality. Loka never ever gives out any information the results he has not calculated the outcome a million ways or more. Loka's world is one of control. If he should lust after the Emperor's crown and title, Hippolito will tag along just as he is supposed to --- that is believing that he actually has some importance. Loka does NOT want the crown now held by Niklas simply because in his scheme of things, the Icarians are mere puppets, deceived into thinking they have power. For Loka, the Icarians are the pretty window dressing as well as the fall guy(s) for what ever may go wrong.

    Loran, we are assured by numerous people has gone insane. He certainly has some mistaken beliefs. The first one is that he can actually hold the Kings crown and the Wizard's crown at the same time. I think there are some safeguards designed into the system which will prevent this from happening.

    How can Loran command his 60,000 absentee thrones? Cast your mind back to when Lance and Matthew were awakened. At that time he manages to abscond with the orb of the Hawk getting Matthew to snatch it. The question is asked just after how Loran could manage to appear seemingly out of thin air. The answer given is that he has absorbed the Orb of the Spider which gives the gift of Apparition! He can appear where ever he wishes to. He could appear in front of any number of 'toons of thrones and issue orders which almost certainly would trump those of Hippolito (who at this point has no crown at all! He is the magnificent Prince of Nothing). So, given even the sparse information we have at this point, the idea if Loran appearing, contacting and commanding those thrones Hippolito thinks he controls is not all that far fetched.

    Defining insanity is not all that easy when it comes right down to it. Insane people can appear to be as normal as any of us, what defines his insanity may be so subtle as to escape most people's attention. Hippolito seems to think that Loran has his moments of lucidity and those of exquisite insanity. Then again, I'd claim that if Loran is insane, so is Hippolito. Hippolito's descent into the abyss of insanity occurred in front of all the princes of the noble Icarian leaders when after loosing to Jamie he screams:

    "You stupid… stupid... boy," Hippolito ranted as he paced around the circle like a madman. "I'm smarter than him, I'm more handsome than him, I'm better than him in every way. I know the idiotic story. You chose him over me to be the King of Icaria because of a child's ball!"

    Hippolito was so agitated that spit flew from his mouth like a rabid animal as he ranted. He even looked like a mad dog ready to attack
    .

    This is the moment when questions of Hippolito's grasp of reality is laid out clearly for everyone to see. Hippolito's own self definition demands that he be the best, be better than someone (whoever it might be). The frightening thing is that this casts a shadow over the real person behind the ambition, the self-centered ego-centric, ladder climbing personality we see. I think what is really behind all of that might be more frightening than we can imagine and, in the end, be just as insane as Loran!

    cheers,

    dioscuri

  8. Yes, I would agree, this chapter did not advance the story very much.

    Obviously something goes wrong with the plan, of course, else Jamie and the Gahdar wouldn't have ended up at Rood.

    The fact that Jamie and the Ghadar end up at Rood as Entertainment Execution is a mere glitch in the master plan. The glitch is cleared up when the Empire is stupid enough to threaten Nicklas' life in front of his bonded mate thus incurring the wrath of an almost fully developed Imperial. This turns out (I gather ) to be an illustration of the craft of Croal and his deciples in creating Jamie, Niklas and the Ghadar! With a small earth quake, and some fire balls and perhaps some lightening, the plan gets back on track more or less.

    And what about the rest of the Icarians? In book 1 we have only encountered about 150 surviving, about a fifth of the Icarian population at the time. What happened to the Icarian populations in Eagles Rock and other places, what happened to the Gahdar nestlings?

    We don't know that there are any Ghadar nestlings. We don't know if that "experiment" was cancelled or if it continued. We await that answer to.

    150 surviving Icarians? No ... 51 Duets (the Ghadar) make 102 plus Nicklas is 103, then 1000 PAIRS of the Wizard's own protectorate which he awakened, then the Princes and Scribes of the Icarian Government and so forth, I think that makes in excess of 2200 Icarians. There are, as I believe is pointed out in several places, questions about what happened to the rest, but we have no information at all about those nor do we know what's on the other side of the barrier.

    If you notice that Taldor Valeron trades regularly with the farmers from the Green Valley (destroyed by Loran) and are well known by the keepers of the vineyards where the Ghadar are sequestered. This raises questions about the lineage of the farmers from the barrier all the way up to the North where Domain Carolus is. We also do not know who the Vache are either!

    Jamie's Plan is not a failure by any means, it just didn't go off exactly as planned. However, I think things were planned so that they would not go off as planned. This is complexity theory! So, we await 2 chapters and 4 Interludes as well as another book!

    cheers,

    dioscuri

  9. As to the current situation, as I see it, Hippolito has left Gude in his dust and the Abbot would love to and even may try something I doubt it would be successful, even against Hippolito.

    The dear Abbot is merely in shock -- temporarily. When have you ever seen him not plotting or planning some evil thing? His lust for power drives him, his self righteous religious indignation is actually for sale for the right price! Even as Hippolito snips the map and defines territory, the mere mention of slaves has the evil wheel turning in his mind! After all, what would a mere 60,000 more deaths mean to someone who has likely supervised the killing of many thousands of other humans during his pitiful life as a Holy Blood Sucker?

    I agree with your time-line for Hippolito's plots concerning Jamie, but I think he will still be around with his 60,000 thrones for a while yet. I suspect his plan is to get to the Circle of Ondra after Jamie or Loran has prevailed but before the winner can re-absorb the orbs. That would really be the only window of opportunity he would have to get rid of the only real danger as he would presumably see it, a fully empowered wizard. No doubt he doesn't realise that Jamie is already a full wizard, if that is, Jamie has got his full powers. If he has then having got his memories back he must know he is and that he is not in any danger from the 'worm'. But there again, why did he lose the tattoo that marks him as a wizard? It developed while he was at the Mondele but was gone when he came out of stasis.

    Jamie did not loose the tattoo he got when he reached puberty. The tattoo is intact even after stasus , what is being added are the icons or symbols for the individual Orbs.

    I think Hippolitos knowledge of the Orbs is rather limited. He has no idea of the subtleties of the Orbs themselves nor the powers they instill. Further, I think sending the Orb of the Lion to Jamie really was Loran's idea, not Hippolito (as tempting as that theory might be), it implies more understanding of the Orbs than I think Hippolito really posesses. Hippolito is really just your average snoopy house keeper with a vastly swollen head and delusions of grandeur encouraged by Savaron Loka for his own benefit.

    cheers,

    dioscuri

  10. I stand corrected. That's what I get for not doing the research, but then again, I was posting that from work so i didn't want to spend a whole lot of time on it. I did know when Miro presented the dagger to Nic.

    To be honest, I've never given much thought to Loka like that and not that I think about it, I can see him doing that. And as we all know, it still remains to be seen as to who survived if any of the humans.

    Its in one of the Interludes in the Second Book where Hippolito is getting ready for one of the Emperor's fancy dress balls where he flounces in from riding dropping his clothes on the floor as he strips, showers, the admires himself in the mirror. As he's dressing Loka asks what he's learned about "your dancer friend". Hippolito answers ... nothing new.

    Its at this point that Loka reveals what he's learned about Jamie's plans and changes to the stage for the Emperor's birthday party that he becomes aware that he's really missed the ball on Jamie. Loka also lets slip that Jamie, as an Imperial, is in line behind Loran as scribe for the Seraphic throne. At this point, Hippolito thinks about himself with a crown on his head. He thinks that it wouldn't take much for Alexander to have an accident which would almost automatically put Loran out of the running for Wizard and elevate Jamie to that position. It's at this point Hippolito begins plotting to kill Alexander and become betrothed to Jamie.

    They still do not know about the previous betrothal set up by Croal for Jamie and Nicklas. He is also unaware that Jamie and Nicklas have physically bonded. Hippolito plots without complete information on Jamie's status as bonded mate to Nicklas.

    Date all of Hippo's plots from here. This is when he starts trying to get under Jamie's skin and irritate him in an attempt to get him to give up information. He's also desperate for information to please his master, Savaron Loka. I don't think it even crosses Hippolito's mind that Loka and the Empire's plans might fail completely. He's sneaky alright, but not necessarily that smart!

    cheers,

    dioscuri

  11. We have yet another example of Hippolito's devious nature in Book 2, Interlude the Fifth, Iron. He takes advantage of Loran's condition and cons him out of 60,000 thrones.

    I'm sure Hippolito believes he's conned Loran out of those 60,000 thrones. However, remember that Loran has absorbed half o f the orbs and has gained considerable power. Once he realizes that the Pass of Tears if blocked by the Iron Regiment, and that most of his thousand thrones have been knocked off by the Kalorean Archers acting as snipers along the approaches to the pass, what is his reaction going to be? Miro and co. have already hit hard at the 20,000 thrones resident in the city they've destroyed, the little innocent looking kids have handily slain almost 400 of those thrones as they slept in the palace and Miro's Ghadar have easily taken care of 4 'toons of thrones .... the kill rate for Loran's thrones who are not even engaged in battle yet is rather high.

    Loran is quite capable off calling back the thrones or at least disrupting Hippolito's control over them as he realises that he's in more trouble than he thought. Hippolito has very likely underestimated Abbot Gude. The level of the Abbot's treachery nearly equals that of any in the old Empire. I wouldn't put it past Gude to slip into the Throne encampment and slaughter as many as they could at night.... or more easily, like he did with the previous Abbot, simply poison them.

    There are just to many surprises waiting for both Loran and Hippolito to predict what will actually happen.

    An aside here; Hippolito's name comes from the Greek word Hyppo which means horse. (Horses are not all that bright as intelligence in the animal kingdom goes) thus a Hippopotamus is literally a "River Horse". Just a few syllables separates Hippolito from that most rotund of African water dwelling mammals. That occurred to me as I was reading David MacLeod's "Knight Templar in Training". James, the stories hero stays at an in called the "River Horse Inn" --- not that I''m comparing Hippolito to a hippopotamus!

    cheers,

    dioscuri

  12. I think our biggest clue to the barrier came to us in Book 2, Part 1 - The Golden Orb, Chapter 4. Just after absorbing the golden orb, Jamie reconstructs the giant map table, including the missing piece, Altinestra (Icaria).

    "And here" I said quietly, "within the land of Taldor Valoren, is the mountain trail that leads to the pass and tunnel that will take us to Icaria. And it is there, just past the entrance of that tunnel, that we will find the circle of Ondra on the plain of Zarkistan, and the wall of protection surrounding the Kingdom of Altinestra that only the true wizard can open."

    Given the size of Altinestra, it would take quite a lot of power to generate a barrier of that size.

    TalonRider, you are absolutely right! And congratulations on being able to show how stepping back from a first reading, then looking at a single sentence again, can give so much added meaning!

    I had seen that Jamie standing there in the Council chambers and in essence giving a lecture on Altinestran history, but had not seen the full importance of the statement about only the true Wizard of Icaria being able to unlock and pass the wall of protection. It seems that there is some mechanism in place that will weed out pretenders to the roll of Wizard even before presenting at the Tower of Agramon in thee Circle of Ondra for the Ceremonial Inspection. For obvious reasons Loran cannot pass because he will arrive without a bonded mate. Jamie, however, even if he arrives by himself without Niklas actually present, will be recognized as Wizard because he has a bonded mate who can become King.

    Here is where Alexander himself may still play a roll, even after his death (physical death that is). In some way, Alexander may still be able to shape the future of Icaria! Likely his love for Loran will be the way in which he removes his mate from the competition for Wizard of Icaria. Alexander needs to be reunited with his bonded mate, as does Loran. Perhaps it is that Loran will not be able to resist Alexander's call to him.

    Oh my! here i go again, trying to second guess an author! Alexander cannot be happy to have had his life ended early by Hippolito. Alexander will want justice at least (and perhaps regenge as well) for his murder! Against the ghost of Alexander, Hippolito cannot prevail. You cannot kill a ghost!

    In any case, only a true Wizard can unlock Icaria. A true Wizard has a bonded mate who will be King. Can the end of this part of the story be this simple? It has been said that the simplest solution is always the best and/or correct one! I have experienced that principal at work many times myself. The simpler the solution the more elegant it is. The scientist Croal would appreciate the meaning of my last statement!

    The last piece of the puzzle is always the easiest to put in place!

    cheers, and light

    dioscuri

  13. Part of the fun for the reader is speculating on what is going to happen with the clues given. There are some things that we do know will happen, but we don't know when for sure or just how.

    IF the under ground machine is stasis unit, I can see one major problem. There's not enough Darroot Tea to go around. So any Icarian that goes into cold sleep will probably wind up loosing some of their memories. That would include the Trio if they survived.

    All we know is that Jamie and friends could not get their hands on any more Darroot tea. I would imagine there is actually more somewhere in the palace(s) or that those in official control may have access to, so I wouldn't count that possibility out.

    At any rate, Jamie has almost the same access to Trio Chrysalis minds as he did to Niklas or to Charlie, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that Jamie can restore their memories!

    So much for not speculating!

    cheers,

    dioscuri

  14. It seems the writing I seem to like, is writing in which the author really develops his all his characters not just the main protagonists.

    I couldn't agree more. The book I found with the most excellent characterisation was Frank Herbert's 'Dune'. That was the first book I read multiple times, and will read again, in fact, it is the only book where I literally turned from the last page and started again at the first page. And I enjoyed it even more the second time. If it hadn't been for one of my teachers giving it to me one day with an 'I think you would this' I might never have read it. He also leant me the 'Sot Weed Factor', another excellent book.

    Well, having helped take the forum completely off topic I had better go.

    But first as a little redress, I also agree Jamie.wri provides excellent characterisation, not quite the level Frank Herbert achieved with 'Dune', but then, Herbert himself rarely did so, only, I think, with 'The Dragon in the Sea', but it is a long time since I have read it and maybe I was thinking of 'The Eyes of Heisenberg'.

    The fly in the ointment here is that TSOI remains unfinished so we cannot compare the success or failure of jamie.wri. Jamie.wri's Ace is that he is a skilled (professional) technical writer. Of all writing skills, I think that is the most difficult one to master. One must be able to step away from the subject and see it as others would see it, assist them in understanding it in a way which assists them in using the description or set of instructions to get full value from what ever is being written about.

    In every chapter so far, Jamie.wri has shown his skill in this area of writing and it has given this complex work a kind of clarity which is difficult to manage. It took Tolkein a lifetime to almost accomplish. As we know, he left a large amount of work unfinished. That said, he did not even set out to write the Lord of the Rings, only to set out a history for the language he created in his role as Professor of Philology.

    Frank Herbert's Dune is another story. He lived not 200 miles from where I live in some of the wettest temperate rain forest in the world! Odd that he should write about a Desert planet. However, I digress, in fact, Dune was totally awe inspiring, I loved it as soon as I began reading it. However, the sequels to the first book never captured quite the magic the first book did. I can't say why because I could never finish reading them!

    I think we must wait for TSOI to be complete before we make any kind of comparisons. The only thing I can say is that anyone I've recommended TSOI to who've actually read it are as taken with it as I am.

    As I await the next installment of TSOI, I am reading about Dragons. There are none of those in TSOI that I know of, so no comparisons!

  15. SNIP.... You're going to hate me for this, but I'm going to change directions here. We know that Alexander was killed on the Battlecom and it could very well have been an accident. I don't think it was stated that Hippolito was present at the training camp in Piropolis on that day. We're assuming he was. We also know that at one point, Miro, hearing voices in one of the dressing area's, snuck in and listened in on a conversation about Alexanders death. When everyone left, he went in and took Alexanders knife that was laying there. He then gave it to Nic years later.

    Nah! No reason to hate you.

    Hippolito himself stated that he was there when Alexander was "killed".

    Book 1, Chapter 50 during the confrontation between Jamie and Hippolito:

    "Do they?" I shouted back. "And what about the death of King Alexander? … Also an accident?"

    "Yes, I was there when he was killed…"

    "Killed?"

    "Well… yes… killed, but it was an accident; it was during the testing of a new Battlecom model."

    Miro didn't say that he overheard voices or a conversation in the dressing area, just that when he heard of Alexanders death he snuck into the private quarters where Alexander changed, found the dagger and took it.

    From Book 2, Chapter 8 after the Gahdar ceremony in the forum before leaving for Wrenstatten.

    "This is the dagger of King Alexander," Miro said. "I was in the training hall the day he was killed. When I heard of his death, I snuck into the private quarters where he used to change, and it was there I came across this. I took it not as an act of thievery, but to keep it from the hands of those who would have dishonored it. I hid it in the barracks and never let anyone else see it.

    Ii is my opinion that it was Loka's hidden agenda and ambition to sit on the emperor's throne not Hippolito's. I think that Hippolito only aspired to sit on the Avionne throne and every step that he took to reach that goal, unbeknownst to him, furthered Loka's agenda. Consider, Loka was in charge and controlled all things Avionne which would have included the creation of the army of Thrones and he was also in charge of the preparations for the evacuation to Argon. Also, Charles said that the Thrones was supposed to be the kings army, although the emperor was under the illusion that it was his army to control.

    Now with all that in mind. Let's take Hippolito first. Remember in the emperor's box at Le Mondele, he imagined his self sitting on a similar seat not the emperor's seat and he thought he knew of a way to accomplish that goal. Of course, it was easy to get Loka to intercede with the emperor and get him elevated to a prince and then rule that he was to mate with Jamie, since that furthered his agenda. Voila! Instant king. Goal accomplished.

    Ah, Loka, the other snake in the brier patch. Loka has two options to achieve his goal of sitting on the emperors throne. 1) Because he was in charge of the preparations on Argon, he could have the emperor's cryo unit rigged so that it failed and the emperor wouldn't survive stasis. Then since he would have control of probably the only existing army through his protege the Avionne king all he would have to do is claim the throne as his. 2) His second option is the same with the exception that the emperor is left to survive stasis, but Loka would till control the army and could easily depose the emperor and claim the throne.

    That there would be a wizard who would be the final authority over the Avionnes is of no consequence, since both Hippolito and Loka, especially Hippolito, think that the Jamie as the wizard is nothing more than an empty headed dancer and easily controlled and manipulated. Although, there at the end, doubt's about who and what Jamie really is have been raised in Loka's mind by Jamie's preparations and performance in the Crystal Sphere.

    But then, none of the above has any significance or importance and is totally irrelevant to the story as it is unfolding.

    Of course that's because Loka miscalculates again, by thinking that there are only two Imperials. The mongoose that snags Loka's Cobra persona here is Charlie, who is said to be even more powerful that Jamie!

    A most interesting theory, however, I think that Jamie's part in the larger Plan (the one which no one knows the complete extent of yet), will derail the exogate transport to Argon just long enough that the rest of the Human population will be killed by the plague.

    Viral epidemics or pandemics in this case are extremely unpredictable. It could easily increase its rate of spread now that the Empire has ceased its attempts to contain it. Both the Empire's plan and the plan of those in opposition stand on the edge of a knife. I have a feeling that Jamie is the one who controls which way it falls since he has hijacked the huge generation station on the 10th Hill outside Kuronos and as well hijacked the gate transport system within the planet for his own uses.

    Jamie has commandeered all the systems the Emperor and his cadre need to get to Argon. Likely this is simply by chance and Jamie has not intentionally intended to thwart the Emperor's plan --- it is a fortunate side effect.

    If you noticed his thought when he set up his hack in that generator system, he recalls his father's comment about the power in the ocean at the Gates of Saphros being almost limitless. Croal refused or ignored Jamie's questions about what he meant. Here we have another of those unexplained mysteries. Just what ARE the Gates of Saphros? Are they just ancient statues? Ancient gates to a dead city or do they have some other power imbued in them. How are they a source of power?

    Jamie has tapped an almost unending source of power for the little bit of power he knows he needs. To what end will the rest of that power end up being put to?

    As usual, the plot thickens! We await Jaimie.wri. In the meantime I read about more Dragons ..... errr I guess there are no dragons in ISOI are there? Oh well, we have the Ghruom!

    cheers, and light -- the solstice nears.

    dioscuri

  16. At the risk of going off topic, I've worked with David on his 'Book of Hero's' series. At one point, he was offered and accepted Hosted Author status at Gay Authors. He eventually backed out of the offer due to health concerns.

    I was just re-rereading Translator II and came across the end notes where your name is mentioned as assisting with Translator III (which sadly doesn't exist at this point), I really did want to know more about Phillip and his relationship with that Dragon.

    It seems the writing I seem to like, is writing in which the author really develops his all his characters not just the main protagonists. Despite the story being an action thriller or a ultra-long sci-fi/Fantasy novel, these authors seem to be able to allow even the smallest and most inconsequential character to become real to the reader.

    In terms of TSOI, of course we are deeply involved with Jamie and Niklas, but I find that even characters like General Zakaria and Miro take on multi-dimensional characteristics, more usually found in characters who are of at least secondary importance. In both of the cases I've just mentioned, the author has given these characters depth and feeling which is unexpected. That's what separates the best authors from those who are almost but not quite there.

    In TSOI, I've mentioned two characters specifically, but there are many more who have taken on a life of their own and who's welfare we, the reader care about. Its also what makes the stories worth a second and third reading where others get only one.

    cheers,

    dioscuri

  17. Hhmmm, I hadn't thought of a giant status unit. Jamie has said we will find out in the interlude what that giant machine is underground.

    About the only thing we know about the barrier is that it's blocking the way to The Circle of Ondra and to the Tower of Argamon. And speaking of the tower, does anyone else think it odd that Ludiwic is the only person to mention the barrier and the tower? No one from the other kingdoms has said anything. It's almost like no one has ever thought about trying to find a way across the mountains.

    The focus of Part 4 is going to be on Jamie and Loran, and getting to the Circle.

    Thanks for the tip re the machine, that it is big, important, probably crucial to the story and obviously very powerful but no other knowledge has irritated me since I first read it.

    The other kingdoms are aware of the barrier and told Jamie et al that it extended all the way around and even encompassed part of the sea. Many attempts were made to breach it but none were successful and eventually any interest among the ruling classes waned and it passed out of general knowledge.

    Remember that the planet was reduced to an iron age level after the Fall and the Church kept them there, not to mention that any form of travel was difficult at best, you couldn't rely on inns and villages to provision you off of the established intercity routes.

    Ludwig and his people are aware of it because they can actually see it, if the weather is right, as they leave the Pass of Tears.

    We stand on the edge of a knife, or rather the point of the knife and the story can fall any number of ways. We, the reader, are still in the dark. We do not know what Jamie's plan actually is, we've only been shown a few elements of it. THE Plan, the one which any number of unknown groups are working on all at the same time, we know absolutely nothing of. Until Renaud very recently reviled the discontent within the Vipers themselves. That shocked me. I had not anticipated their discontent or that they could be part of any plan at all.

    One thing has been made clear to Jamie and Niklas (and all the Ghadar) is that they do not fit into the Emperor's plans for escape from the planet.

    I will again take a guess at things to come since my last guess was washed away. The generator has been hijacked by Jamie, for what purpose we do not know. It is possible the this could interrupt the plans to leave the plant, leaving the human members of the elite to perish in the plague. Personally, I do not believe that either the Emperor or Savaron Loka survive the coming tidal wave.

    The show at Castle Rood is planned to distract the population of the planet from the fact that the plague is out of control and that the Emperor is leaving them behind. One thing we do know, is that Jamie is the fly in the ointment. It has been made clear that no one paid very close attention to the results of Icarian bonding. By bonding I do not mean the legal paperwork connected with it. By Icarian bonding I mean the bonding of two senient being by thei own consent where a bond for life is biologically built into them. We do have some real animal models of life bonding; in geese. Some geese, if bonded to another and one dies, the other never takes another mate, even though it may take part in caring for young.

    There are also models of male/male bonds. Elephants for example, spend time with female elephants only for as long as it takes to breed. Then they return to their male cadre where they often have formed bonds with other males which last for years.

    No one in the Empire has thought of what will happen if the mate of a bonded pair thinks that his mate is in danger. This is precisely the situation they are setting up for Jamie and Niklas. Jamie has powers even he is unaware of (yet), and when he see's Nic and his Ghadar brothers in danger his reaction will be completely unexpected.

    This, I believe, is the catalyst for the other disparate parts of THE Plan to kick into high gear and do their part. I think that at that moment perhaps a dozen different "plans" will lift off, catching the Empire completely off guard.

    I know, I've not said much; I've merely used what we know to forecast what might happen when certain things we know have been planned take place. These are all things at the Empire's control. In essence, they throw the switch which throws THE Plan into high gear.

    I have refrained from speculating on other parts of plans which have been hinted at but for which we have not enough information to even guess. I doubt that the Kalorians are killed as planned by the Empire though, its one of those events that is thwarted when Niklas life is threatened.

    Now, we wait' we go hunting for other fantasy fiction stories which never are quite as good as TSOI or are left unfinished.

    cheers,

    dioscuri

    P.S. I've read all of David McLeod's "Book of Heros" translations (and dearly wish for more);

    "I am Not From Earth" It had possibilities until the end. I hate Cinderella stories where the Cinderella finger ends up back in the ashes -- no better than at the beginning.

    Rick Spencer's "Chronicles of Kadin" which remains unfinished -- leaving off in the middle of part two of Book One. We are left in suspense with no end in sight...s

    Libby Drew's "Paying the Piper" is worth read at least twice and is complete!

    So while you wait for TSOI, keep reading!

  18. Hippolito probably did something that caused the pup to bite him to begin with. And let's not forget what he tried to do to Jamie when they went horse back riding.

    I think it was back in the Interlude that we started to see his true colors.

    What surprised me, and I think it pre-dates (even if by only a few days or weeks) Jamie's first 'date' with Hippolito and his ride on a horse which Hippolito deliberately tried to spook, is the encounter at Jamie's first party at the Emperor's Palace. Miro was not only cold, but bluntly rude to Hippolito to the point of deliberately not introducing him to the people he knew Hippolito did not know. He directly accused Hippolito of snooping and filtering information directly to Savaron Loka.

    I was shocked that Miro was say such things in light of Hippolito's favoured position at Loka's side. Although, Miro may have counted on his "bad behaviour" being put down to the fact that he was a mere "Ghadar" and such crass behaviour was to be expected. Who knew it was completely true!

    cheers,

    dioscuri

  19. What we know about Taldor Valoran, we've learned after the Icarians woke from stasis. Apparently, the valley was known during the time of the Empire as Jamie used a gate to take Brotus there and Ludewik and Barsetba home. It's possible that some of the Kalorians fled to the valley and stayed there. Then during the great cleanings, it was thought the valley was inhabitable so the plague victims were driven there to die. Now that I think about it, we have a possible place to find more stasis units.

    Given the mating bond, and Jamie's temper, I think we can expect a very explosive situation when it comes to Castle Rood.

    Remember that Jamie did something with the huge generator under construction. Exactly what his plan was I don't know, but I have a feeling that what ever it was he did, will ultimately interfere with something the empire has planned since the generation plant has security employees watching it closely. Since Jamie has co-opted it, it seems to be destined to be used during the transfer of the Kalorians and/or any Icarians it is also possible that he has used it to power the shield in place South of the mountains.

    So this is another of those puzzles which we await the author's writing.

    At the risk of going off topic, I've worked with David on his 'Book of Hero's' series. At one point, he was offered and accepted Hosted Author status at Gay Authors. He eventually backed out of the offer due to health concerns.

    That is truly unfortunate. His writing seems very simple at first, but I found that I have kept returning to the stories again and again, and enjoying them, finding new things I'd missed. His concept of magic as a part of our physical universe and subject to the laws of physics is something I had not thought of. That magic may be a physical expression in the universe like light, energy, magnetism is very alluring.

    That life evolved only on earth and was transported through doors or wormholes seemingly with some sort of intelligence controlling it is also fascinating. Seeing that more than a few North American native human races seem to have legends about these doors or worm holes lends credence to the possibility.

    It is also unusual that World is without a religion and has no creation stories or stories and legends about God or gods is also interesting. Hopefully there is a chance that the author will pick up writing at some point -- even at a much slower pace -- would be welcome.

    I've read some of Dan Kirk's writing and have found it interesting but always racing towards some sort of resolution except none is ever found and his heros or subjects of his writing never seem to find any sort of resolution to their situations. Perhaps I have not continued reading far enough, but all his characters seem to always be in turmoil.

    Compared to TSOI, I could very well imagine Jamie and Niklas finding nothing at Kuronos and simply continuing with Altinestra completely leaving Loren out of the picture, finally showing the Sarjanian religion along with Hippolito as the frauds and hypocrites they really are and working into some sort of relationship with the Zakarias, the Ghroum or another Kingdom on the planet. Not so with Dan Kirk's characters, they seem always in the middle of a storm which shows no signs of ending.

    I did find the Dragon Earl Series which is finished but remains open ended and with the possibility of more stories -- even by different authors. Dragon Earl was a bit a surprise. I did not think I'd like it as well as I did. Again, I keep my fingers crossed.

    On Gay Authors I am a bit perplexed by the number of unfinished stories and so try to look carefully for authors who finish stories and series.

    The nice thing about TSOI is that we are assured that the author has a game plan and that the story has an ending already planned and laid out. The best writers work like that. Even Tolkien's who's work took a life time to write, began with his work on language and the creation of the Elvish Language. As Tolkien explained, all languages are the result of a history and so the stories of LOTR are the result --- actually the end of the history of the Elves on earth (where they were apparently not meant to live as corporeal beings permanently). He knew the end as he was writing or creating the beginning.

    You know, I did not read LOTR in order. I would frequently jump from place to place and eventually from book to book. As I've stated before some parts of it seem to be separate entities in themselves (like the story of Aragorn and Arwen), but with TSOI I cannot do that, so I have to be content with reading it in the order the author posts. It is a completely new genre in that way.

    cheers,

    dioscuri

  20. It's very clear that the Kalorians did survive in Taldor Valoren. It is also clear that someone who survived the plague owned the winery, Domain Carolus. Domain Carolus is far to the North of the barrier and where the Ghadar were hidden. Another thing is quite clear from the narrative; there was trade between the farmers of Taldor Valoren and the Green Valley (Part of one of the surviving countries. So, the Kalorians were not unknown in the rest of the continent, they were just not known by the official rulers of the countries. They had assumed that it was a desolate place of death.

    It seems there was a huge disconnect between those ruling those countries and what was really going on. Not even the Sarjanus church knew about Taldo Valoren nor the trade that took place between the small mountain hide away and the rest of the farming communities of the continent. How many Kalorians were blended into the human population of the land during the 2500 years? Barcepa must have spoken both Kalorian and the common language of the continent as well. There is much going on in the background about which the rulers of the countries remain completely ignorant.

    Now on the subject of the fate of the planned exodus to Argon, two things may have put a monkey wrench into those plans; first, Jamies attack on those who threatened his mate, Niklas. It seems it was quite destructive, though we do not know how destructive. We also do not know how what Jamie did affected the spread of the plague. It is entirely possible that the human population behind the barrier was completely wiped out.

    We've also left out the Monastery and the Tower of Agromon. Neither of these items are of human origin, and we do not know who put them there. Jamie and Charlie are the only ones who know what is written there. There is something quite astounding written on the Monastery walls which no one in the Empire save perhaps, Croal, ever understood. Even Charles doesn't know.

    We have an unfinished story and not enough evidence to even hazard a guess at what happens in the end. We have not one, but two cliff hangers currently plus all those enigmatic conversations who's subject we are not quite sure of. Off hand I can think of at least tow or three of those. How can we even guess?

    I've given up guessing and during the wait for other chapters I've been reading other stories. Most of them not nearly as good as TSOI. The ones I keep going back to, however, are David MacLeod's stories from his "translations" of the "Book of Heros". (David McLeod's stories are on Gay Authors). People from this earth have been transfered by some gate to another place, a world where Magic exists. There is no religion, one is either working for the light or for the dark. These stories are utterly unlike TSOI so don't expect a continuing saga, These are just some stories about a place called "World".

    Others, like "I Am Not From Earth", I really disliked. I don't like Cinderella where Cinderella goes back to sit in the ashes.

    cheers,

    dioscuri

  21. In Chapters 41 and 42 Hippolito is finally revealed for the nasty vindictive, political and social climber he really is. His cruelty almost makes him a candidate for definition as a sociopath.

    A Sociopath has no sympathy or empathy for anyone but himself. As far as he is concerned, the world revolves around him. My reason for saying this is the revelation that when Savaron Loka gave him a puppy and the puppy nipped him, instead of taking time to train it, he tossed it out of a third story window and so killed the creature. His reason: it would be to much trouble to train him.

    If we wondered in Book Two why Miro hated him and treated him like the scum of the earth even at one of the Emperors Balls, we can now see what Miro seemed to have seen in Hippolito, and why he regarded him with disdain and warned people about him.

    It is no wonder that Hippolito has no respect or use for the Ghadar -- in fact, they are far to bright, intelligent and intuitive for his liking. He cannot deceive them the way he seems to be able to charm others.

    I think of all the Icarians we have gotten to know, Hippolito is the most dangerous, least endearing and most uncaring of them all, and a true son of the Empire.

    Apparently the puppy understood and disliked Hippolito from the start but didn't know enough to stay out of his master's way, unfortunately. Usually, puppies like everyone!

    cheers,

    dioscuri

  22. I see CRV Boy is where "Owen" is hosted. I've been reading it off of Nifty for quite some time. It has been an unexpectedly wonderful story. The characters are all well drawn, some very disparate personality types are thrust together and find ways of thriving together.

    The story ends with chapter 54, but a second book of stories about the characters from Owen and about his hometown of Riverton.

    Cheers

    dioscuri

  23. Update:

    Azy over at CW has graciously offerred to edit for the time being, so we may see chapter eight of volume two up in the not too distant future.

    Thanks Azy!

    Rick

    Well, Chronicles of Kadin seems to be at Codysworld at the moment. There is now three volumes of it. Desperate for sci/fi/fantasy fiction while waiting for new chapters of TSOI, I am reading Chronicles of Kadin with just as much pleasure as TSOI. Thanks for a great story!

    cheers,

    dioscuri

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