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Goodkind 54: How to Revive a Dead Dick


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Great question; I also wondered this often while reading. I have both good news and bad news: Nate Dog is absolutely in the book. Sadly, however, he is back at the People's Palace in Dick Central, and there is sooo much more lame crap to get through before we get there. It'll be around six installments from now, I think, counting this one. I assure you though that once he does appear, while he does very little because he is a person who is not Richard who has the misfortune to be in a book with Richard, he will be snappily dressed and his gaze will be piercing.


Totally forgot to post yesterday's installment! Who's ready for some compound nouns!


Warheart, Chapters 27-32: In Which Dick Learns the Hidden Secrets of the Universe, Part 1


            I think reading and recapping this nonsense is starting to effect my state of mind.  After a long Warheart marathon yesterday evening I had a weird semi-lucid narrative dream.  In this dream Henry Kisinger was an evil robot who worshipped the sun.  I'm not totally sure if there was some sort of alien who lived in the sun and Evil Robot Henry Kisinger worshipped that, or alternately if the sun was somehow sentient, but I recall it appeared in humanoid form at one point so I suspect the former.  The plot was that there were unicorns all over the place, and Evil Robot Henry Kisinger was a unicorn hunter, and he was trying to convince a young upstanding lad to help him slaughter the unicorns.  The point of this digression is to attempt an illustration of the lengths my brain is going to in order to avoid devouring itself in catastrophic boredom and despair caused by sustained exposure to Terry's works.  I in my overweening pride have done what we have long been counseled not to do: I have gazed deep into the Yeard.  I think the Yeard is beginning to gaze back.


            Dick translates all night.  When Kahlan comes back in the morning, bearing food, Nicci is asleep and Dick is in a majorly pissy mood.  Kahlan and the sex ninjas talk for a while about how they need to take care of Dick, how important it is that he has entered their lives, and how they want him to be around forever.  This is hardly an original observation, but Goodkind really is crap at women's friendships: when they talk to one another, Kahlan, Nicci, and the sex ninjas' conversations are, almost literally without exception, filtered by and through their relationships to Richard.  They talk almost exclusively about him, and on those few occasions when he is not referenced directly — or when there is any hint of competition — Kahlan and Nicci in particular seem the tiniest bit subliminally hostile toward one another.  Granted their lives are generally crisis-filled, but they never just talk about shit to be talking to one another because they're friends, and almost every time they express care for each other, even though we're told that care is genuine, the text almost immediately brings that back to them being an important part of the taking-care-of-Dick infrastructure.


            Anyway, Kahlan makes Richard eat, feeding him when he won't eat himself.  He's aloof and bitchy, muttering unhelpfully about how he has learned "too much" and wishes he had not come back to life, but Kahlan is persistent, and finally he turns his "grey, raptor gaze" on her and thanks her.  RAPTOR GAZE, EVERYBODY! He starts talking like a conspiracy theorist whackjob, explaining that for all these years he hasn't realized what was "actually going on beneath the surface, or even how much there was beneath the surface." He tinfoil hats it up for a little longer, then lays it out:


            Okay, so these scrolls are the mother load of information, more valuable than all the libraries in the People's Palace put together.  They contain everything that has happened since Dick and Kahlan were born, as well as a shit-ton of other stuff.  Also everyone take note: in addition to being dashingly handsome, morally spotless, and always right, Richard is also the pinball wizard of speed-readers, because it has been one night and while he hasn't read nearly all of the cerulean scrolls he has gotten through a buttload of them.  Prophecy, Dick explains, real prophecy when a prophet-wizard goes into a trance, rather than lame false prophecy spoken by country plebs, is actually dead prophets speaking from the Underworld.  The Omen Machine, which is called Regula, is part of the "power of the Underworld," and is apparently "death itself" made manifest in the world of the living.


            Continuity time: the reason for this is that, when the Temple of the Winds, that place Dick's evil brother found lo these many books ago, was banished to the Underworld, the world of life had to take in the power of Regula to balance things out.  Regula is the collective power of prophecy from the Underworld, and having it in this world powers and perpetuates prophecy.  I'm not quite sure what Terry has a hate-boner for here, probably anything to do with speculation about the future, like gambling or climate science.  Kahlan dismisses all of this as fable, and Dick explains that no, the scrolls mention him, and talk about all the shit he's done like using the Boxes of Orden to banish the commies to our world.  In magic-talk, incidentally, using the Boxes of Orden to realign the worlds is called "initiating a phase change," which sounds like something Captain Kirk tells Mister Chekov to do on the bridge of the Enterprize.  Oh no wait, half-way down the page and Terry's forgotten that; it's a spectral fold now, which sounds like something a character in a Brandon Sanderson novel does.  This is so fucking boring you guys.


            Turns out that this spectral fold initiates a "star shift," which resonates back and forth through time to make this current war they are now fighting necessary for some reason.  I'm sorry, I am weak and not expressing this well; I'm giving it what I've got but this is just compound noun soup now, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.  This star shift - spectral fold thing has not only brought separate worlds together for the purposes of commie banishment, it also brought the world of life too close to the Underworld and borked up the veil that keeps them apart, which does not get a capital for some reason.  This weakening of the veil is what has allowed Sean Hannity to resurrect Suchi and his horde of illegal immigrants.


            Oh my friends, the path is dark.  My steps falter; my head droops in despair.  But take heart: we have just passed page two-hundred! Though the awful truth of the Yeard claws at my mind, and doubtless at yours as well, we are making progress.  There is only one path out of this wasteland we have entered in our naive wish for entertainment, and that path is through.


            No sooner, however, have I mustered these words of hope than we are confronted once more by how tough this is gonna be, because good Christ Dick is still not finished infodumping: So Sean Hannity knew about all this phase change spectral fold star shift business long before it happened, since what it would do was predicted in these cerulean scrolls, and gave Darken Rahl the last Box of Orden in order to begin facilitating these events.  They marvel at what a master manipulator he is, at the incalculable thought and planning required to read a bunch of stuff that tells you unambiguously exactly what is going to happen in the future in so many words and then do the things this precise guide describes being done in order to bring this future about.  Truly Hannity's ability to read an instruction manual makes him an incomparable genius.


            Dick is really excited about prophecy's origins in the world of the dead, so excited that he leans forward in "a meaningful manner." Aw man, this language is just so expressive and descriptive isn't it? Like I dunno about all y'all, but every so often I see somebody lean forward, and I say to myself: "that dude just leaned forward in a meaningful manner, and some shit is about to go down."


            So there's no measurement for time in the Underworld, so the future's the same as now.  Since Regula, the Omen Machine, is from the Underworld, it sees all the future outside of time.  When Regula was brought into the world of the living all the stuff it knew about the future got smooshed into time and all mixed up.  So for the Omen Machine the events it describes aren't prophecy, they're reportage.  Bringing that awareness of what Dick says is called "the eternal now," a phrase the book is pleased with and repeats roughly a bajillion times, into the living world perverts the natural order of things, because being aware of something that is going to happen far in the future drags that event back in time into the present, which Dick equates to killing it.  This means that prophecy is super-shitty, because it introduces death magic into the world of the living and quashes free will.  Richard has "always instinctively recognized prophecy as carrying death within it," and the reason he has always recognized this, he informs Kahlan with a straight face, is because "I'm the one ...  the pebble in the pond." In a sense this is refreshing: Even Mary Sue characters are often falsely modest, so it's kinda nice that Dick just lays it all right out there.

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Let's do a second chunk of recap today, since I forgot to post one yesterday:


Warheart, Chapters 27-32: In Which Dick Learns the Hidden Secrets of the Universe, Part 2


            The scrolls have also revealed to Dick that there is a thing called the twilight count, which measures how eroded the veil between life and death is and is basically like a doomsday clock for all existence.  When the apocalypse comes, the fact that our society sometimes produced sentences like "The twilight count was begun, like turning over an hourglass, by the initiation of the star shift of the spectral fold" will be part of the reason we'll deserve what we get.  Dick doesn't know how much longer they have on the twilight count, but apparently Sulachan's return and the flow of prophecy from the Underworld into the world of the living means time's gotta be almost up.  Sulachan wants the twilight count to run down, because he thinks that he'll then rule the entirety of creation because the dead world and the living world will be the same, except what will actually happen is that being alive and being dead will no longer have separate meanings, so all of creation will wink out of existence.  How come evil genius wizards never think of this stuff?


            Oh, hey, we now learn why Sulachan doesn't just kill Sean Hannity: Richard was the bridge that allowed Sulachan to return to life, but Hannity's tattoos are what keep him here, because fuck you that's why.  Sulachan can't kill Hannity, because if Hannity dies then he poofs.


            What Dick needs to do now is to cut off the flow of prophecy between the worlds, because that will complete the star shift and let life begin a new phase and something the whatever and verb the noun and make all the bad shit go away again.  And this in turn requires that he kill Sean Hannity.  He then informs Kahlan that only someone called a "warheart" can kill Hannity and send Sulachan back to the Underworld and generally verb all the nouns that need verbing up in here.  He says this without first providing any context for what the term "warheart" means, so that Kahlan will ask "what?" like a dumb motherfucker and give him an excuse to launch into the next phase of his marathon infodump.  Okay, here comes the explanation for what a warheart is.  Everybody ready? I'm betting everything I own that it's just yet another name for Richard.


            I get to keep all my shit, because "warheart" is totally another name for Richard! Terry tries to hang a lampshade on this weak sauce by having Kahlan say "don't tell me, it's someone we know," but this is like putting a large pile of dogshit in the middle of a carpet and then erecting a sign next to it directing all who enter the room to please notice the large pile of dogshit in the middle of the carpet and take note of the ways it helps to make the space feel homey and lived-in.


            So a warheart is a "unique war wizard," like one of the shiny foil ones that only come in random card packs and you have to buy like ten fucking packs before you get one; this person must have "war in their heart," but must also "possess the balance to that," which is "the love of one who is virtuous." That's Kahlan, so Kahlan's big contribution to the plot mechanics here is that she loves Richard and that Richard loves her, and through his love for her loves life, because I guess if she wasn't around he would be all "fuck life" and sit around in the dark eating canned chili and never shaving, but since she is around and he woves her so much life's okay I guess.  So that's quite the positive role TG's got his leading woman playing in the story there; I can see how he's put a lot of thought into that.  Oh and the last requirement is that only a war wizard who has gone to the Underworld to rescue his soul mate can be the true warheart and verb all the nouns and make everything better.  So in conclusion: No one's quick as Lord Rahl, / No one's slick as Lord Rahl, / No one's neck's as incredibly thick as Lord Rahl! / 'Cuz there's no one in town half as manly, / Perfect, a pure paragon, except now this incontrovertible fact is adorned with another fancy new name.


            Except, uh-oh, there's a problem! Richard's still got the poison in him, so his magic mojo doesn't work, so none of this means fuck all.  Kahlan reminds him that he still has his mind, which is as all good folk know the most capacious mind in all the land.  He smiles his Special Smile of Sharing just for her, and she knows that, though he is frustrated, he is committed to seeing this through.  She suggests booking it past Sulachan's army to get to the People's Palace, where there's a containment field Richard can hang out in to suspend the progress of the poison while Nicci somethings the something in order to get it out of his body, but no, Dick says that's too far and they'd never make it, and Dick knows all.


            But wait, Dick's figured it out! He knows a way to get to the People's Palace before the poison kills him! He starts babbling incoherently about time rather than explaining himself, so that TG can keep us in suspense and make Richard look clever a few pages down the line.  He wakes Nicci up and tells the Mord-Sith to rustle up horses and soldiers.  When Cassia dares to ask what the plan is he shouts at her and she remembers her place and books it.


            Nicci and Kahlan ask Richard again what he's planning, and eventually squeeze the following out of him: Stroyza, aka Shitty Cave Town, was set up as an early warning system: When the legally-inconspicuous very-tall-wall-like-structure inevitably failed and all the undead and half-dead illegal immigrants came swarming over the border bringing drugs and crime and taking everybody's jobs, people from Stroyza were supposed to book it to the Wizards' Keep in the New World with the news — they've been isolated for so long that they don't know that the world has been introduced to the wonders of Dick and think the wizards still run the place.  However, the route from Stroyza to the Wizard's Keep goes right through where all the illegals would be at as they were coming through the barrier.  At this point Richard stops explaining and nobody pushes him further, so we are not at this time privileged to know why this is the slightest bit relevant, but I'm guessing he thinks the Stroyzans had some alternate way of getting to the New World and wants to go back there to find it.


            Dick tells off most of the soldiers to stay here at the Citadel and guard the cerulean scrolls, then sets out for Stroyza with a small detachment including Commander Fister and about a dozen of his guys, all of whom will die, Nicci, Kahlan, and the three new main sex ninjas.  They ...  oh holy shit there is still light and hope and mercy in the world I feared this day would never come, they are leaving the recording room.  Warheart is a 464 page book.  456 of its pages have the text of the novel on them.  64 of those pages have been spent in this room, infodumping in the most boring, nonsensical fashion imaginable.  That is 14% of the novel.  But now we are free, and I have one more piece of glorious news, which is that we just passed the novel's half-way mark, so we're gonna call that a win for today.

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It has been nearly a full day since the great Llama (Lorenzo Llamas?) last updated us on the doings in Dickland. I believe we can safely assume that he has died. 

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Oops; woke up this morning and remembered that I had once again forgotten to post yesterday's Terry Time. Not dead, though given the peril of the undertaking the assumption is indeed a safe one -- just forgetful, and perhaps subconsciously trying to avoid gazing longer into the Yeard, even if only secondarily via proofreading.


Also yeah is there really new Stannek? How much did Stannek actually write? How much time does this poor dude have on his hands? At a certain point I become torn between horrified glee at the whole Stannek "project" and a degree of genuine concern for his mental well-being.


Anyway, today Dick and Kahlan go out adventurin' like in the old days!


Warheart, Chapters 33-40: Fun With Dick and Klan, Part 1


            Kahlan is overjoyed to be leaving the Citadel, because everything that's happened there has been super shitty.  I share her joy.  We now get about three pages of Kahlan thinking about how mind-blowing all the stuff Richard figured out in the recording room is, complete with how she feels duped by all the "various established authorities who claimed absolute certainty on such subjects," goddamn them and all their commie book-learnin'.  Don't bother going to university or devoting your life to study, kids, just be a puissant master of all things like Dick is and you can discover things in a single night of reading very quickly that'll totally run circles around those pompous no-nothing pencil-pushers, because that's how research works.


            Saavedra, the city below the Citadel, is a dump.  It rains all the time, the sun never shines, the constant damp makes the walls mouldy, the shops only sell plebeian things and no luxury goods so the people here clearly haven't been rising up and living life enough, and it is always winter and never Christmas.  I'm not sure where it's supposed to be; it's far away from the enlightened modern fastness of D'Harra and it is "old," so maybe this is Terryland's UK? Let's run with that for now: Kahlan's glad to be out of Birmingham, because some people hiding sneakily amongst the icky plebeian mass might still be loyal to Sean Hannity.  Once they've ridden clear of the city Dick sets a fast pace. He's worried about Sammie trying to ambush them.  They ride up into the mountains and then make camp for the evening, with Dick, of course, choosing the best most ideal campsite.  Kahlan eagerly anticipates the opportunity to "cuddle up to Richard," which she couldn't do while he was dead.


            Next day they're riding along, having reached a spot just above Shitty Cave Town, when suddenly something up ahead starts smelling like roadkill.  It will be the rotting corpses of either A: every single person in the town, or B: every single person in the town except for one survivor, probably a kid, who can tearfully relate what happened.  Nicci should be able to feel all the living people and livestock with her sorcery powers, but she can't sense shit.  Richard draws the Sword of Truth, which in accordance with its contractual obligations makes its distinctive ringing noise, and gets super angry and hulked up.  Since the poison blocks his access to saidin, he can't see the glow of saidar around Nicci either, but he knows that she's all keyed-up and holding the True Source and ready to cut a bitch.  They head down the trail toward Shitty Cave Town.  The fruit trees haven't been picked and the place looks deserted, oh come on Terry they're all dead, we all know, Terry, WE ALL FUCKING KNOW, just throw it down and get it over with.


            Oh okay yep here it comes: All the village's animals are dead in their pens.  There are bloated hogs and milk cows lying around and chicken corpses scattered everywhere, so at least the illegal immigrants who doubtless did this know enough to guard against evil incarnate's preference for manifesting in chicken form.  No word on any dead noble goats though, so that's good.  Then they get to the bottom of the trail and yep the people of Shitty Cave Town have all been thrown out the mouths of the caves and their rotting flyblown corpses are lying one atop the other splootered among the rocks.  It is sad and also super smelly.  There are a number of dead cats among the corpses as well.  I think I recall reading something in the plot synopsis for The Omen Machine about cats freaking out around prophecy-laden people or some such when I was preparing for this mad project, so maybe that's relevant?


            The soldiers inspect the corpses, and Commander Fister reports back that if he had to guess he'd say they all fell or jumped to their deaths.  Officer material, this guy right here.  He also reports that the cats appear to have had their fur singed off.  Since one of TG's supporting characters always has to say something absolutely dumbfuck stupid in scenes like this and she's drawn the short straw today, Cassia suggests that this is due to decomposition, because it is widely known that the effects of decomposition and fire are pretty much identical.


            And here, as Dick and Klan and their entourage made their way up the cliffs into Shitty Cave Town, I weakened for many days, which turned into weeks, which turned into over a month.  I confess my cowardice freely: I had known ahead of time that there was going to be about a week during which I probably wouldn't have any time to work on the recap at all, but once that week was over I found to my dismay I could no longer muster the will to carry on.  My celery had wilted.  Again and again I tried to choose life; again and again I failed.  But now, now my friends, I return and I look upon my unfinished work, and find that I cannot allow Warheart to defeat me.  Am I, I ask myself, some kind of weak, cringing death chooser? Or am I as the goat, strong and noble and doughty of spirit? To stop now would be to leave my work unfinished in the hope that some stronger, wiser, handsomer soul who loved freedom more than I would one day pick it up, and anyone who would do that must be some sort of god-damned communist.  I am pressing on now, my friends.  I am pressing on and I pray only that you will accompany me.  Together we will vanquish this beast, except not like actually together like in cooperation, because that is something socialists would do.


            So Dick and friends head up the cliffs to Shitty Cave Town.  Commander Fister suggests that some of his dudes should lead off, but Richard leads because he's the best, and entrusting anyone else to go first would endanger the entire party, since nobody in Dickland except maybe Kahlan and sometimes Nicci can find their ass with a map absent Richard's direct assistance.


            Once they get up the cliff they sweep all the passageways to search for survivors, but no dice.  Richard, Kahlan, Nicci, and the Mord-Sith go first, and the non-player characters follow behind them doing more thorough searches of each room, so when something attacks from the shadows — this is totally Sammie — and explodes the fuck out of the cave the named characters are all spared except for Commander Fister.  Richard wheels around and to a man the soldiers are super dead, their fragments falling out the cave entrance to the rocks below.  Sammie is standing in the cave mouth, having stepped out of a side passage in which she was apparently invisible to everybody who was just checking for survivors because see above about asses and flashlights, and she whips out another explosion.  Nicci returns fire with some sort of high-level lightning spell, but of course it does fuckall.


Aw shit! Cliffhanger! How will Dick and the Dickforce possibly get out of this one?

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Thanks for risking your sanity for us, Maester Llama! A tad socialisty to do so, but greately appreciated.


I love how it's completely normal for Terry to have Dick be the very fucking source of wisdom be surrounded by the virtually braindead.

20 hours ago, Maester Llama said:

The soldiers inspect the corpses, and Commander Fister reports back that if he had to guess he'd say they all fell or jumped to their deaths.  Officer material, this guy right here.  He also reports that the cats appear to have had their fur singed off.  Since one of TG's supporting characters always has to say something absolutely dumbfuck stupid in scenes like this and she's drawn the short straw today, Cassia suggests that this is due to decomposition, because it is widely known that the effects of decomposition and fire are pretty much identical.

This is just one of those pearls.

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You are most welcome! Yes, it is a bit suspiciously socialist, but we are all weak flawed mortals and cannot be as upright and spotless and individualistic as Terry would have us be. Alas.


Warheart, Chapters 33-40: Fun With Dick and Klan, Part 2


            Sammie pursues them deeper into the tunnels and Richard sees a shape wrapped around her, "darker than the shadow, darker than black, darker than the blackest night." Also she has cat scratches on her arms, and from this Richard and Kahlan deduce that it was Sammie who murdered the people of Shitty Cave Town, her old neighbours, and that she's possessed by one of the dark ones.  You remember, the dark ones who were dragging Richard down into the dark darkness in the part of the Underworld where Nicci went that was darker than darkness? Sammie has allowed herself to be inhabited by one of these demonic jokers in order to give herself more power / in order to eliminate any last vestiges of interest and ambiguity in her character.  In truth, Reader, we should have known this was coming, for who can be morally rehabilitated after so consistently questioning and contradicting the will of Dick, praise be unto him?


            Sammie demands that Richard give himself up in return for the safety of his remaining friends, the important ones with names, to which Richard responds with a harty "no you." Sammie tries to roast them again, and Richard begs her once more to listen to the truth, but she persistently continues to choose death and starts powering up her supermove.  Cassia tries to charge out and smack Sammie with her painrod to suck away her magic, but Richard grabs her and reminds them all that since his Lord Rahl mojo is broken the painrods aren't working, which has been explained in simple language at least once already.  As Richard tugs Cassia away, Laurin deeks around him and charges Sammie, who promptly explodes the shit out of her, turning her into little crystalline black bits without moving a muscle.  Cassia and Vale both cry out in rage at this entirely predictable turn of events and try to rush Sammie, perhaps distraught at their friend's fate, but on the other hand perhaps jealous that their buddy Laurin has found a way out of this boring fucking story and desiring only to follow her into the sweet embrace of death, but nothing doing: Dick pulls them back around the corner.  Sammie starts collapsing the cave and Dick and the Dickforce have nowhere to run.  They are basically fucked, which means it is almost time for something absurd to happen.  I await this with interest.


            I think the kids who live above me are watching Moana.  Lucky swine.


            Sammie starts doing this robot walk toward them that's supposed to be menacing.  I am kind of wondering if she maybe needs to take a dump.  Richard is just getting ready to charge at her when some more slabs of rock explode behind him and the ceiling collapses, knocking Nicci and the Mord-Sith down and requiring even oaken pillar of manhood Dick Rahl to dodge some flying shit.  In the wake of the collapse all is quiet, and when Richard peers around the corner again he sees a bloody arm poking out from under the rockfall, because TG couldn't think of another way out of this scene and he loves making people who are evil and/or reject Dick's wisdom out to be incompetent cockwombles, and so Sammie's gone and collapsed the ceiling on herself like a dumb motherfucker.  They pontificate on how they saw this immaturity and lack of control in Sammie long ago, and how "passion rules reason," and how it was her "inborn nature" that led Sammie down this path of hate and so Richard shouldn't feel in any way bad about the fact she's dead.  It's gross.  Dick gives Laurin's leather phallic substitute to Vale.


            Turns out they're trapped in this tunnel and the rockfall is a single block of solid granite they have no hope of moving.  Kahlan, who has still not gotten the message about how selectively useful Nicci's magic is, asks if she can cut through the rock, but haha lolnope, that would be helpful, Nicci can't do shit — to be fair the reason she gives is that blasting the granite block might bring more of the mountain down and kill them all, which does make sense.


            Richard explains at some length how much rock is between them and the entrance.  Kahlan finally demands he stop being an asshole and tell them why he brought them here.  The reason Goodkind conjures up for Richard hiding the ball about what he wants in SCT, it turns out, is that Richard figured everyone would "think I was crazy" and so "wanted to find it first," as though other people's opinions are generally something Richard gives the tiniest fuck about, but finally here it comes: He thinks there's an access point for the sliph here, that, ...  um, that, ...  fuck I don't remember my Terrylore well enough to say anything helpful here.  It's some kind of magical being that lives in a network of wells full of silver liquid, and its sole purpose and joy in life is apparently to transport Richard from one place to another via these wells.  Dick thinks there's a sliph well here because SCT was supposed to be the outpost that would report back to the Wizard's Keep if the undead ever got past the non-legally-actionable wall-like structure, the said Wizard's Keep is a long-ass way from here directly across ground the invaders would be marching through, and dispatching a courier to run this distance with such crucially important news would be very stupid — credit where credit is due, this is pleasingly practical.


            They start exploring the part of the complex they're trapped in.  They find the room Sammie's been staying in since murdering everyone who lived here and their cats.  Then they pass through a bunch of rooms full of pastoral sculptures depicting shepherds, which I had to backtrack and write in because they turn out to be important and not just a weak attempt at atmosphere.  Then they reach a shielded passageway that separates the living quarters from the caverns deeper within the mountain where all the stuff that matters is, which Nicci opens with her magic.  The walls back here are all nice and polished and covered in writing in the Language of Creation.  They reach a window through which the people of Stroyza could watch the barrier — why they needed a special window expressly for this and couldn't just have somebody stationed outside is unclear to me.  Nicci points out that there are no rooms in this corridor, which suggests that the sliph is not here.


            They stand a while in thought.  When the people of Stroyza talked about the journey to warn the wizards, they remember, they always spoke about it as a long overland trek, but, rather than coming to the conclusion that this means Richard was wrong and the sliph is not here, they — quite reasonably, for Richard is never wrong — realize that what it really means is that the people of Stroyza had lost the ability to read the Language of Creation inscribed on their own goddamn wall that they saw every single day of their lives and therefore did not know the sliph was here, because the people of Stroyza suck at their one job.  I am bewildered.  Did the last LoC-speaker not, like, tell anybody? Nicci and Richard find a line of text on the wall that says "let the shepherd guide you." Gasp! That shepherd art they passed by ten pages ago wasn't just random! It was hiding the well aaaaaaaall aloooong.  Marvel, Reader, at the intricacy of plot on display herein.


            Richard books it back out of the fancy passage to the shepherd sculptures.  Nicci magic-pokes both statues, but nope, bupkis.  Then Richard realizes one of the statues is attached to the shelf, and its face is pointing in the direction of the Wizard's Keep.  He breaks both statues, and discovers that the clay was only an outer layer and there are metal versions of the same sculptures underneath.  Nicci grabs them with magic hands, but once again nothing happens.  Then Cassia points out that Richard isn't attending to the "real meaning of the writing" — holy shit, stop the presses, is Richard wrong about something? She points out that he, Richard, is their shepherd, and so he must guide them — oh, I see, so Richard has indeed misunderstood, but only insofar as he is in fact even more special and indispensable than he assumed himself to be.  He grabs the statues and sure enough they respond to his Dickly touch: the stone walls crack and a concealed door swings open.  They have found the bonus level within Shitty Cave Town.

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In reading these summaries, I get this weird sense of Trump-fulfillment on the part of Tairy.  As if imagining Dick looking like Trump would help matters any.

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Re the sliph's origins: Ugh, that's gross. I had no memory of this. Very Terry.


And re Dick as Trump: Huh, I ... oddly I had not thought of that. I wonder how Goodkind feels about Trump? I don't know that he writes about politics or anything else online -- or maybe it's just that I don't go to his website -- but I dunno that we have any public statements from the man himself on the Carrot King. I could actually see this going either way.


Warheart, Chapters 41-47: A Dick in the Dark, Part 1


            They mozy on into the hidden chamber and yep, the sliph's well is there.  Kahlan exposits happily about how now they can zip off to the People's Palace, where Nicci can heal Richard and remove the "touch of death," I guess in case readers have amnesia or are reading this in weekly episodes, which is considerate.  Richard thinks moodily about how he's not mentioning that he can't actually allow Nicci to heal him, which I assume means that he has to die or be dying in order to defeat Emperor Sulachan and Sean Hannity for reasons that will no doubt be explained at length in the fullness of time.


            I'm finally sick of calling Suchi by his actual name, by the way, so from now on he's Cranky Zombie Voldemort.  I'm not totally happy with it, but he's just such a flat nonentity of a villain, at least in his one moment of screentime thus far, that I kinda like the idea of him sharing another fictional character's name, and he is looking to conquer death.  Basically it is as lame as he deserves and that's what I'm after.


            Richard and Nicci call the sliph, Nicci using her magic and Richard using his sheer importance.  The sliph whooshes up out of the well in a gout of silver magical liquid.  Richard informs her that they will all need to travel, and she is all "okay I guess, maybe," but doesn't sound happy about it.  Richard recalls that the sliph usually falls all over herself to do whatever he says immediately, as is the ideal state of mind for any sentient being so fortunate as to find themselves in the enviable position of being able to render Dick some manner of service, and he wonders what ails her.  In the past, Richard has been unable to travel through the sliph's wells with the Sword of Truth, but he tells her he has to bring it this time.  The sliph says tough turkey, continuing to be notably pissier than usual, perhaps having grown tired of being treated like a living fast travel mechanic in a computer RPG.  But then she examines Richard and the sword and spouts some bullshit about how the death magic in the sword won't kill Richard or any of the others when they travel on this occasion, because Richard has death "in" him.  So he can take it, but it will increase the amount of death he has in him.  Kahlan insists that the sliph explain this, which is super boring.


            Richard says they need to go to the People's Palace, but the sliph says she doesn't know where that is, and further that she has never seen Richard before.  Richard assures her that she has taken him to and from the People's Palace many times, and that she has "pleased him," about which she makes it clear she gives not one solitary smidgeon of shit.  She says she only goes to the Wizard's Keep, that there are no other places.  She also asks them why they call her "sliph," because her name is Lucy.  I find Goodkind's name choices hilarious.  So pissy not-sliph Lucy only travels between Shitty Cave Town and the Keep, but it turns out this is nbd because Richard says there is another sliph well in the Keep, so this has just been about burning a few more pages, like the whole find Isidore to find Naja to find Richard in the Underworld plot nonsense.  Lucy grabs them all and whooshes them down into the well's silvery depths.


            The trip is painful for Richard, and he feels the death magic in him leeching his life away.  He passes out and wakes to his companions pulling him out of the well and pounding him on the back.  He pukes out sliph liquid and blood and is very weak.  Nicci electroshocks him with magic.  He is lying by the well and Lucy is vulturing over him.  The sword now has a "dark metallic gleam" because it has travelled through death, and apparently looks badass.  They have been travelling with Lucy for many days and are all hungry, which explains why Richard's bad touch disease has advanced so much.  They are definitely in a different room, and Lucy insists it's the Keep, but none of them recognize the room.  There's a symbol in the Language of Creation over the entrance that names this place the Sanctuary of Souls.  There are additional symbols on the door that Richard doesn't recognize, and Nicci says they're defenses, that the door is in fact warded to hell and gone, specifically against the dead, so there be ghosts outside.  Richard remembers that he has seen some of these symbols on the gates leading out of the Third Kingdom, so these wards are super old.  Whatever, though: they bust out of the warded room to go find the sliph.


            We just passed page 300, everybody! In fact we passed it about a chapter ago but I didn't wanna break the flow.  150 pages left! We are on the downslope!


            The hallway outside is dark and empty.  Richard wonders in what sense this boring-ass place can be a "Sanctuary for Souls" when souls have the whole Underworld to play around in.  They come to another square room, which is likewise dark and empty, except there's some sort of freaky shadow in here that Richard spots for a moment.  It retreats into the darkness so they can't see it, I guess either because Goodkind thinks this is atmospheric and creepy or because he can't bestir himself to figure out what it looks like, but it's got them sketched out now and they hasten onwards.  When they reach a fork in the passage, Vale, formerly Cara Understudy No.  3 and henceforth to be known as Ghost Food, says she thinks she sees doors down one branch, darts off taking the lantern with her, oh come on now, and then actually goes inside one of the rooms like a goddamn moron who was born yesterday.  Miracle of miracles she makes it back after searching a number of rooms to report nothing of interest, and says that there are more intersections down here with lots more rooms to scope,.  Nicci says that "the rooms aren't what matters," and that they need to focus on escape.


            The next fork has a cloth divider hanging over it with more symbols on it.  These symbols are meant to attract spirits, as opposed to the ones in Lucy's well room, which are meant to keep them out, and Richard finds this puzzling, OH MY GOD EVERYBODY THIS IS SO BORING, SO BORING! More rooms.  Some of them have hangings over their doorways.  We are in a spooky undead dungeon, but Goodkind feels that the most relevant atmospheric detail to share with us is that some of these hangings "were the silky material, while others were heavier material, something like burlap." I hate this sentence with every fiber of my being.  Richard senses something watching him in every room they pass.  I long only for some of these shadowy spirit creatures to leap out and kick off proceedings, but that might run the risk of being fun and fuck fun, apparently.


            More twisty passages.  More hanging cloths, which Goodkind seems to be obsessed with.  Dickie-boy starts losing his bearings.  He starts hearing noises behind them and realizes they are being followed, "by spirits" he guesses.  Kahlan and Cassia act surprised, despite the fact that this place is called the Sanctuary of Souls.  They wonder what spirits would want with a bunch of empty rooms and hallways, which is a great question from where I'm sitting because this place is dull as dishwater.  Nicci says the symbols tell her that this place isn't connected to the Underworld.  Richard says he needs to go back and check something alone, turns down the lantern, and heads off by himself in flagrant defiance of all creepy ghost story etiquette; I hope one of them dies because of this.

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Mr. Goodkind does not participate in the online. I believe that he does probably receive electronic mails, but other than that he has no use for the World Wide Web. In the good old days there were several fan run websites dedicated to his yeardly work, and on those websites one could find two individuals purporting to have access to Terry and who were willing to share some of his thoughts and opinions on certain subjects. Sadly however, those websites were scrubbed from teh interwebs right around the time that Terry's tv show was nearing release. Sadder still, nothing has emerged to fill the void they left in the intervening years.

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Had to make an account to thank llama and myshkin for your selfless work.

Also: is there any consensus on whether the Anders (book fiveish?) are supposed to be a metaphor for Evil Jews or just run-of-the-mill white guilt?

Also: does Nicci ever end up having non-rape sex (that elusive act in Goodkind's universe)? 

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5 hours ago, RaptorGays said:

Had to make an account to thank llama and myshkin for your selfless work.

Also: is there any consensus on whether the Anders (book fiveish?) are supposed to be a metaphor for Evil Jews or just run-of-the-mill white guilt?

Also: does Nicci ever end up having non-rape sex (that elusive act in Goodkind's universe)? 

The Anders were a metaphor for OPPRESSIVE PC CULTURE and the Haken were a metaphor for decent white folk who are the REAL victims of racism. 

Nicci did have consensual sex at one point, but she didn't enjoy it, and was only doing it to make Kahlan think Dick was cheating on her. And IIRC it was only borderline consensual anyway, because dude was brutish and rapey despite receiving consent.

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5 hours ago, Ded As Ned said:

Seems like one of those assistants Myshkin mentioned showed up here a few years back.  IIRC we were even nice to him/her, but they didn't stick around very long.  

That was a different person, sent in to clean up Terry's online image in advance of his TV show's release. He was an okay kinda guy. He sent me a signed copy of Confessor and a Faith of the Fallen t-shirt. That's right assholes, I've got a t-shirt featuring Dick's famous freedom statue.

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