(urth) Blood 'n' gods

Roy C. Lackey rclackey at stic.net
Fri Oct 5 00:16:24 PDT 2007

Recently I wrote:
>Disiri is the only Aelf to
>receive a soul (if she did) we are shown in the text. Able's blood *seemed*
>to be the medium. Baki got Toug's blood, but I don't see that she gained a
>soul by it. The only differences I can see are love and Able's status as a

I should amend that to say that Able's blood enabled Disiri to become human;
a soul comes with the body. But the different results from the blood
infusions remain.

A number of people seem to think that love is what accounted for the
difference. Maybe so, but I am not convinced.

Baki was injured in consequence of service to Able. She came looking for
Able to heal her, and she had earlier healed Able with her blood. Able was
ethically if not morally obligated to return the favor. He could do it, and
she knew he could do it, but he refused to do it *personally*, saying that
he *could not* do it. He discharged his obligation by getting Toug to heal

Able wasn't exactly lying, but he wasn't quite truthful, either. He *could*
do it but elected not to. After a chapter and a half, he finally told Toug
the why of it. He had sworn an oath to The Valfather not to use the god-like
powers (the authority of Skai) of an Overcyn while in Mythgarthr. "I no
longer have the authority of Mythgarthr. That can never be mine again. My
authority's that of Skai." (W, 56) It was okay for Toug to heal Baki because
he was a god to her.

Able can get away with that on a technicality, the proper relation of god to
supplicant in the Seven Worlds. But why make a big deal out of it? Any human
could have healed her, so how would healing her himself have violated his
oath, unless there was some property peculiar to Overcyn blood that would
have yielded a result different from that of human blood? Able did not love
Baki anymore than Toug did, so that is not the answer.

At the end, after Able had broken his oath and healed some people, and just
before The Valfather spoke to him, he was exhausted and said that he "could
heal no more." He had exhausted his Overcyn magic, but he still had Overcyn
blood. He gave it to an Aelf and the Aelf became a human woman.


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