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From: Dan Rabin <wolfe-lists@danrabin.com>
Subject: (whorl) Urth sacrifice
Date: Mon, 12 Feb 2001 21:23:21 

Matt asks,

>(5) What does the following passage mean:
>"It was the magnetism that drew others to him that caused his embryo 
>to be put aboard the lander. That was the work of Pas's scientists, 
>as Pig's size and strength were. (Recalling the Red Sun Whorl that 
>it became, I cannot but wonder whether it did not sacrifice too much 
>for us.)" (RttW p. 96)
>The phrase in the parentheses really mystifies me. What does the 
>first "it" refer to? What became the Red Sun Whorl? Is he merely 
>talking about Urth itself? Is he talking about Silk's embryo? Is he 
>talking about Pig's size and strength? Is he talking about the work 
>of Pas's scientists? I just don't get it.
>And what is the second "it" referring to? What sacrificed too much 
>for us? I assume he is referring to the first "it" as well, which 
>means I still don't have a clue.

I take the parenthesis to mean that Urth looks very weak with its 
dying sun, yet it is the original Short Sun Whorl from which the 
_Whorl_ was sent out.  Urth can no longer accomplish such wonders as 
building the _Whorl_, so the speaker is imagining that creating the 
_Whorl_ sapped Urth of its vitality somehow.

Being exhausted by a magical creation is a common motif in the 
fantasy tradition, I believe.

   -- Dan Rabin

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