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From: Adam Stephanides <adamsteph@earthlink.net>
Subject: Re: (whorl) Mother Godspeak (Redux)
Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2001 17:00:15 

on 3/15/01 12:49 PM, Robert Borski at rborski@charter.net wrote:

> Horn has asked the Greater Scylla of Urth how to find his mermaid sweetie
> Seawrack; why he believes Scylla knows this is beyond me

Presumably it was Scylla-in-Oreb who suggested it, as bait to get Horn to
take her to Urth.

> (is she running an
> intergalactic missing persons retrieval service on the side? Are we to
> believe she's currently in contact with the Mother?)

Not necessarily; she could give Horn some sort of invocation which could
call up the Mother somehow.  But it's not impossible, either.  If Horn can
astrally travel the distance between Urth and Blue, then Scylla and the
Mother could be in telepathic contact.

> But again, what is the Mother doing on
> Blue? Scylla of Urth at least is trying to take over a world; as Typhon at
> one time puts it, "There are powers in the sea now that would rule." But
> before the colonists reach Blue, the only "people" hanging around are a few
> stubborn Neighbors and some inhumi.

We don't know how long the Mother has been on Blue; she may well have
arrived before the Neighbors on Blue were hunted to near-extinction.  As to
why she stayed: while she arrived from space, it doesn't necessarily follow
that she can leave the planet on her own.  Or maybe she was content to rule
over the her underwater retinue and be a god to the remaining Neighbors;
just because her sister has world-conquering ambitions doesn't mean she
does.

> I'm therefore at a loss to figure out
> the Mother's mission d'Ítre (or why she'd still be communicating with
> Greater Scylla, if that's your argument); it must be mighty important,
> however, if, as you suggest, Cilinia has somehow convinced her father that
> Blue must be their first target of choice.  What, in other words, does
> Cilinia gain by coming all this way to rendezvous with the Mother? What,
> precisely, is in it for her?

I don't know.  My point was simply that, even without Typhon being a
Neighbor, there was already an indirect connection between Typhon and Blue
through Cilinia, so Typhon picking as destination the world where Scylla's
sister lived wasn't necessarily the huge coincidence you argued it was.

Another possibility is that all, or most, inhabited worlds have sisters of
Scylla, in which case it's no coincidence at all.

> And why, if Cilinia has schemed so diligently
> to be with Greater Scylla's "sister," does she want to go back to her tomb
> on Urth and take the long dirt nap?

This one isn't so hard.  Her plans, whatever they were, would have been
predicated upon her arriving as a goddess.  Instead she's a "sketch" of
herself, trapped in the brain of a bird, hunted, and not much of a natural
lifespan anyway.  She wants to die with dignity.

> Somewhat related question to Adam, Blattid, or Alex, whoever cares to
> answer: why, in your opinion, does the Mother (rather a benign figure
> compared to Greater Scylla) give Seawrack to Horn?

Beats me; this is one of the things I'd expected RTTW to deal with, and it
didn't.  At one point Horn conjectures that the Mother "shaped" Seawrack and
gave her to Horn so that the human colonists would love her (158, OBW hb).
But if that was her plan, letting her go off to the Whorl seems
self-defeating.

> And how does she acquire
> the mermaid--especially, if, as I've argued, she's really Screadhbhuidhe, a
> special talent?

Well, at one point Seawrack says "I was on a big boat, and I remember a
woman who talked to me, and carried me sometimes.  I think that was my
mother....My real mother drowned, I think, and the underwater woman [the
Mother] ate her." (244, OBW hb)  This suggests that the boat Seawrack was on
sank, and the Mother rescues her.

--Adam


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