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WoR I8


Point of view: Eshonai
Setting: Narak

Progression of the Interlude:

Eshonai returns to her people, bearing a new form; she displays new skills as well as a different armor (and new hair); she feels the wind writhe around her, and knows that she controls it now; she sees everything clearly with her new red eyes; Venli is in awe that the experiment worked; Eshonai can feel a new storm beyond the Rhythms; she pointedly ignores the voice deep inside her, screaming in horror.

Quote of the Interlude:

"Cast aside despair and sing to the Rhythm of Joy! I have looked into the depths of the Storm Rider’s eyes, and I have seen his betrayal. I know his mind, and have seen his intent to help the humans against us. But my sister has discovered salvation! With this form we can stand on our own, independent, and we can sweep our enemies from this land like leaves before the tempest!"

This just hurts. Oh, the lies. "We can stand on our own, independent." Or, not so much. More like, "We can be controlled by the old gods, slaves to their will. But hey, at least we’re really strong slaves."

Commentary:

The real Eshonai, the one readers were coming to know and like, is trapped deep inside this Stormform Eshonai; that Eshonai knows what is happening, and knows it’s bad is heartbreaking.

From Venli's reaction, it's unlikely that she actually held this form previously. She might have discovered another form that was another form of power subject to the old gods, but this one seems new to her. She probably knew it would be controlled by the gods, however, and was all in favor of that minor detail.

Thude sees Eshonai’s red eyes, and is as worried as the old Eshonai would have been; now, she brushes aside his concern as "it’s a representation of what I’ve become." (That was his point.) She also feels the Everstorm, lurking beyond the Rhythms. Does this mean it will be summoned from the Cognitive Realm, or perhaps the Spiritual Realm, when it comes?

Stormwatch:

This is the morning after the highstorm, the same one seen from different angles for several weeks now (i.e., same day as Chapter 31, Chapter 32, Chapter 33, Chapter 34, and Interlude 5). It’s day 31 of the book; 38 days remaining in the countdown.

Sprenspotting:

Just how active the spren itself is in this form remains as yet unknown. But, a lot of red lightning is around Eshonai in this form. Here, it’s just emanating from her fingers if she makes a sudden fist, and running up her legs as they absorb the impact of landing after jumping the chasm.

Heraldic Symbolism:

The Listener icon is obvious, as it’s the one for Eshonai’s POVs. But why Nalan for the sole Herald? Confidence? Judgment? Or is he now in the same camp as the old gods?

- Paraphrased from Alice Arneson[1]

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