Zona, wise beyond her years. In some ways, wiser even than her sister.
Forced death is bullshit. Never liked that kind of railroading. Anyway, since the easy option is out, why not summon the child’s soul for a proper goodbye? It’s not like that will change anything.
Mainly because ‘where do you stop?’ The Ancient Erogeneans didn’t, and their descendants know where that got them. It’s one of those hard questions that Western society is not good at grappling with. For example, we can keep a body alive for a long time after the person has gone. We can allow a child life that would’ve died before, even if that life sometimes involves everyday pain. We can keep people who’re dying of various diseases alive and in pain or, possibly worse, alive when their minds are wrecked, when everything that has made them the individual they were has long been destroyed.
I am neither advocating not decrying these capabilities. I am instead saying that at some point we must ask ourselves ‘where do we stop?’
see, it’s not so simple as it is here. Here, there’s a great deal of uncertainty regarding the afterlife and such, nobody knows who’s right or wrong (no matter how strongly the FEEL about it), while there, they’ve got literal divine magic and such. Not to mention confirmation about what happens to you. Plus, they’ve got the historical context of the bigass evil empire their culture used to be, that DID perform necromancy. What I’m trying to get at is that here, preventing death is pretty much the most important thing. If we could reanimate people, we’d probably do it. There, they’ve experienced what happens when they do, and it was part of what fueled their evil empire, which seems pretty awful. And last, but not least, forced death is the only way for things to actually have consequences. Otherwise, you fall into the DnD trap of reviving every party member that dies, ever, and everyone else you don’t want to die. The story dies, even if the characters don’t, because death becomes meaningless. Sacrifice goes by the wayside because it’s expected behavior, and the characters are confident that they can take truly stupid risks.
Fantasy stories like this are full of examples where Very Bad Things happened by trying to bring back the dead, in any capacity. Better to not try at all than risk some demon coming back and taking the boy’s body, or turning him into some kind of ravenous zombie, or maybe something even worse…
I am so glad she had this discussion with Mentl. When *Zona* says there’s nothing that can be done, it really drives it home. She’s done some amazing, seemingly impossible things before, and so has Tula…but this is magick, and even magickless Zona understands and agrees It Is Not Done.
But, more importantly!! She does so by acknowledging that Mentl cares, that he’s trying to reach out from a good place with good intentions. Yes, he has power, and probably could do it. Yes, he’s sweet and kind and hurting right alongside everyone else, and yes, he wants to fix that hurt. She acknowledges that, and this is what makes their relationship such a good dynamic. They do see each other. They see into each other. And that’s fantastic.
…it also makes sense that the evil Shuach-worshippers were the ones who thought nercomancy was a “great idea”…
The phrase you’re almost using, cousin, is ‘The road to Hell is paved with good intentions’.
“Look, all I know is what they taught me at command school. There are certain rules about a war. And rule number one is young men die. And rule number two is, doctors can’t change rule number one.”
–Dr. Henry Blake, “Sometimes You Hear The Bullet”, M*A*S*H
“Mostly-dead is slightly alive”
Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. That’s an important life lesson. In our own society we are still trying to figure out the boundaries; it would probably be worse if we had magick, too.
Maybe he can sing a song to help deal with the sorrow instead? Soothe the mind of the living.
Ugh, Mikey comes faces the roughest of lessons… Raw Power vs. The right time to use it.
I love this scene, even if it hurts. I love the emotion and the discour of Zona and how Mentl (who is still fragile from all that had happened) reacted.
Wait, “the ancients did it” is enough reason not to do it?
Are they sure the ancients never had sex?
Exactly what I thought, Hans. “That alone is reason not to do it” is really short-sighted, to put it mildly.
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