|#1phaaf_glienAug 19, 2006 0:13:01||I shall attempt to keep this somewhat short and simple:|
The 2nd box (Wanderer's Chronicle, page 14), Beyond the Prism Pentad and other post-2nd box publications (yes, I am aware that BtPP is not "technically" post-2nd box...), in their crude description and understanding of the final battle of the Prism Pentad all contend that Rajaat is, after Rkard's sun spell attack, re-imprisoned within the Hollow. This confusion is not helped by Lynn Abbey's peculiar version of Rajaat's imprisonment, which I honestly want to discuss with too much detail because it is too far askew from the PP. She does have Rajaat in the Hollow though (R&FoaDK, 202).
Is Rajaat in the Hollow?
A detailed reading of the Cerulean Storm has Rajaat in a peculiar, and for our purposes, somewhat ambiguous prison. Rajaat is inside Rkard's sun spell. We assume Rajaat's essence, both physical and otherwise, was invested in his shadow upon bieng freed from the Hollow by Tithian. It is possible that he retained his spirit in the Hollow even upon being freed, but this seems quite strange to me, although an interesting strategy in case of battle, for after being imprisoned for so long, one would imagine he would completely free himself.
The strongest support however goes to his entire essence being possessed in his shadow. His bones and body, or what remained of it (if anything did) after being released from the black ball in the center of Ur Draxa seem not to have been invested with any critical power, and indeed, upon Rajaat's second imprisonment, the body begins to "dissolve" (CS, 334), although interestingly his skeleton slumps to the ground there in the giant pit made by Borys' massive spell, and his cloud body, seemingly almost the more important "physical" part, ascends into the sky, adding to the storm above.
When the imprisonment occurs, Rajaat's shadow boils away. Why then is he anywhere? The CS clearly has him in the sun orb produced by the Dark Lens (CS, 333, etc.). Notably, as there seems much confusion on this, the sun orb in which Rajaat is imprisoned is not the Dark Lens, even though the Lens itself is said to erupt into a mini sun. There are two burning orbs here, one being the Lens, the other Rkard's spell, and the Lens eventually dies down its flames.
It seems that Rajaat, his essence's manifestation destroyed, became sucked up in Rkard's spell. Why Rajaat was not really able to act in this fiery prison, or why he could not free himself, is a peculiar matter. To me it is incredible he survived this at all. A solution indeed is that if Rajaat's essence was still in the Hollow, Rkard's spell would have broken Rajaat's link to the PMP, but then again, the Hollow had no warding spells on it at that time, so still, why could not Rajaat escape?
Whatever the case, it seems to me that Rajaat is entrapped within this ball of light. Indeed, Sadira puts wards over this, not the Hollow, and no mention is made of Rajaat being re-imprisoned in the Hollow. He is in the ball of light. I am curious if anyone has some good arguments as to why we should consider that Rajaat is once again in the Hollow. I cannot easily come up with any.
Also, on a lesser note, after the destruction of Rajaat's prison at the center of Ur Draxa, I see no reason why the loyal servants of Rajaat would have reverted back to shadow people, for while Rajaat is free they are certainly not shadow people anymore (CS, 320-321). The magic imprisoning them was destroyed by the Lens. An entirely different method and spell seems to have been used to re-imprison Rajaat, and I cannot conceive of any solid reason why they would return to being shadow monsters.
There is much to be said on all of this, on either side, but I seem rather convinced of these conclusions, but I am looking for anyone with logical alternatives. Post-2nd box statements supporting something other than my conclusions seem to me to be written by someone without the best understanding of the PP, and are in general poorly conceived and written.
-Rajaat is not in the Hollow.
-Rajaat's halfling servants are no longer shadow people, but are regular halflings.
I would appreciate it if anyone could critique or challenge such arguments.
|#2lyricAug 19, 2006 14:03:14||Maybe once released from that Black Orb the First Sorceror had a contingency or Quickened Spell take place that rerouted his life essence to his shadow. He would likely have easily guessed that "alarms" would go off, summoning the SK's on his release, so would have taken precautions. As for why he's assumed to be in the Hollow again rather than that sun orb, well, the best thing I can figure, is that when he was blasted with the sun cleric energy through the dark lense, it was amplified in a unique way that was never attempted before. (Sun energy through a Sun style artifact? Whoah, go figure) Then, when his shadow was blasted with that sunlight (which he'd be extra vulnerable to due to his state of being) the only way he could save himself, was to toss himself back in the hollow, which I'm sure he assumed would be temporary.. but it was a location that could handle his essence (indeed, had been designed for it) and it would preserve him from the attack of that sun orb...|
Or one might assume some sort of backlash unforseen mixing of magics when he was almost destroyed by the sun spell that caused his essence to again return to the hollow... anyway you go, there's no logical reason, so we just look at it and say... "huh.. well, if you say so"..
My question is, how is it that Sadira is able to keep him locked up? Yes she uses sun magic, (which shouldn't be too tough for the first sorceror to overcome) but her powers weaken at night, and in RaFoaDK Hamannu also has sun magic.. Yet it was Borys who was Rajaat's keeper, requiring huge amounts of life energy to keep him in check... Are we supposed to believe anything in RaFoaDK when supposedly he could have taken over for Borys at any point with no loss of slave life and indeed no chance for Rajaat's parole?
I don't care how tough Sadira's sun magic is, Rajaat should still be able to win past her barriers. She's only got 9th level spells to use, and Borys had Psionic enchantments that needed to be renewed every year..
|#3dirk00001Aug 19, 2006 16:29:57||I just read the end of the CS, from the point where Rkaard casts the sun-spell into the orb through the end of the book. From a literal (...literary?) standpoint you are correct - the orb doesn't stay a "mini sun" it simply amplifies Rkaard's spell 10-fold, but the spell itself is a distance away. When it flares up, it seems to get rid of Rajaat's shadow - his essence - which puts his "body" into a state of stasis. We then are told that Rajaat's blue eyes glow from within the sun-spell, and that Sadira then uses the Dark Lens to cast some sort of permanency spell on the sun-spell in order to keep Rajaat permanently imprisoned. His body seems to react to this, perhaps trying to "free" his essence from the orb - or maybe just going into its "death throes" - and then disintegrates into component parts and appears to add to the storm.|
Later on, as an important side-note, when Sadira throws the Dark Lens into the lava it results in an "explosion" (which has been noted on a different thread), prior to which the Tithian-storm asks to be freed "before you destroy the Lens." The Oba even says "it has been done" after that calamity occurs...so I think it is more feasible that Denning intended for the Lens to be destroyed, as opposed to simply "trapped," and that sources that state otherwise missread this section.
So, having said all of that, here's what I suspect happened here, and how it relates to Phaaf's original question:
- Rajaat had "separated" his essence from his physical body, pretty much completely, and stored it in a shadow. This was likely a result of the original binding & "separating" spells that the Champions used on him as well as his own twisted thoughts and plans.
- As part of this separation, he seemed to have directly bound his physical form/skeleton to the elemental plane of water, at the least, and possibly to others as well (perhaps Air, or together, the paraelemental plane of air)
- When the sun spell went off, it obliterated Rajaat's shadow - it was noted that his shadow streached down the side of the crater behind his body, and that the sun spell "took root" behind the body, which places the sun spell directly over the shadow...and from that angle, you can't have a shadow at all.
- Given the various connections between the Black and the sun, shadow and light, that are discussed in the PP it's my guess that, once unable to "be" a shadow, the only place for Rajaat's essence to go was into the light source that had obliterated his shadow, and that in essence is also the source of the shadow (it's described as a "sun spell" and appearing to be a "miniature sun" - I think this description is repeatedly stated for this very reason, to give it a direct correlation to Athas' dark sun).
- Once his essence was trapped within the sun-spell, and permanently sealed with Sadira's Lens-boosted spell, his body disintegrated...but given its connection to the elements, it basically just "redirected" its elemental energy into the storm, adding fuel to the fire.
- The Lens is tossed into the lava and destroyed.
So, in regards to "where is Rajaat?" the answer, IMO, is that his physical form no longer exists, and that his essence/soul is trapped inside of a permanent, extremely bright sun spell somewhere on the outskirts of Ur-Draxa. I don't think he's inside of the Hollow, simply because there was no direct route between the sun spell and there, nor was the intention of the spell to put his essence there. As for why he couldn't "break free" from it, I think that matter is simple enough - he can't exist as a shadow when "inside" of a blazing ball of light, and from what we can see it's this new shadow-form that's "him." If he was in some form other than a shadow I think you'd be correct and that he'd simply have been destroyed...but as I mentioned there's this omnipresent shadow-light connection that indicates to me, at least, that it's the combination of the two that's important...as long as there's light he "exists," but without a shadow he is incapable of doing anything *other* than existing. The shadow, essentially, became the "body" for his essence - without it, he's powerless.
As for the halflings...no clue.
|#4lyricAug 19, 2006 18:43:32||I'd find it hard to believe that Tithian is a reliable source when it comes to the destruction of an ages old artifact... like anyone, he would think that something tossed into molten lava gets destroyed.. the lense could be destroyed or it could be (pretty much) inaccessable (except perhaps by a magma cleric of high enough level :P). I still find it hard to believe that a permanency spell was all that's needed to keep the First Sorceror in check. Dark Lense or not. The SK's have tons more power than Sadira has through use of their Epic Spells, and they required tons of life energy on a regular basis to keep the First Sorceror trapped, they also figured that was the best way to trap him in the first place ages ago. Sure I can deal with the luck of a sun spell vs the first sorceror when he's a shadow, but come on, he's Epic Level to the max. I refuse to believe that Sadira, a mortal non-epic character, could trap him permanently, dark lense or not. Not when Epic level characters with access to the Dark Lense (Prior to transforming Borys) couldn't hack it very well. Was there not thought of destroying the dark lense by giving it to Borys? Why would he destroy it unless it was a threat to him? Why not use it to further bind Rajaat? Likely because it had uses far beyond being a magic amplifyer or psionic powerhouse. They were likely afraid it would be used in the Tower to create those who could really threaten them.|