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K-mun is doing a reread of Elloran's main book, so here are some

"And though she knew that the Inquestors held in their hands the power of life and death not only over men but over whole planets and star systems, yet she knew she did not envy him." - p. 6

"Power is why we exist, we Rememberers. We are frail; some of us are even blind, that our remembrances may be more vivid, unfetted by the present. But without us, the Inquestors would forget that power is not always a good thing..." p. 12

"Don't mind the ancient" Gava said. "He can't quite understand the Inquest's monumental indifference - to him, to this planet, to the whole god damn galaxy."
She saw a sudden fire in his eyes; abruptly it seemed to douse itself "Revolutions, revolutions." the boy said. "Just a game."

(Gava is the Tash boy who ends up in Zalo's necrodrama, Jenjen is the darkweaver, Zalo the corpse dancer... arezhdur is Elloran's palace, just as Kilimindi is Karakael's.

"There are four million shades of darkness, and not one of them the true darkness."

"...and besides, it was only yesterday that I saw you as a child. Since then I have sailed the overcosm to play shtezhnat with Ton Karakael, when I came back time dilation had affected me, and made twenty years elapse to my single day..."
Elloran said, "I understand why you are angry. You thought that you would always be a weaver of bright colors. You're an impulsive woman; you threw yourself into your light-loom...but all the time you were fleeing *me*! For when we met in that museum, you did not see me as others see me: a god, immutable, omnipotent. You saw instead the darkness and the grief. You saw a great truth...you may one day become the greatest of all darkweavers. You must not fear your destiny, Ir Jenjen. Do you understand?"
"No, Lord." But her mind was racing to her childhood...the same eyes of clear gray, compassionate and sad. How could I have forgotten? She thought. But of course she had never forgotten. Even tucked in the womblike lightloom, with lattice after lattice of laser brilliance exploding from her fingertips, something had troubled her. Was it dread of this meeting to come that had imbued her work with its much-admired urgency, its fiery fervor? "I do understand," she said suddenly. And looked into his eyes. And felt once more that pity. Why? How could you pity a man who bestrode worlds like a god?
"Yes, Lady?"
"Whater are my duties? I see no equipment for weaving darkness...On the contrary, they've furnished me with a luxurious lightloom. Am I supposed to create something on it?"
"No instructions, Lady. But..when you get to know Ton Elloran better...you'll realize that you're not going to be commanded to create anything before you're ready."
"I don't know about that! It was pretty highhanded, the way he brought me here."
"Highhanded! Lady, he's an Inquestor. He can do anything he wants. He's showing you unheard of favor. The palace has been buzzing with news about you ever since yesterday."
"Yesterday you were still a little girl, of course. Our time."
"How can I learn more about him?"
Keep reading this (book) post.
"Go on to the Rememberers. Ask for Tash Tievar; he knows everything." And the steward was gone.

"Listen, then. One day, perhaps your world Essondrass will fall beyond in makrugh, the High Inquest game of life and death. Well, on every world there is a House of Tash, where adepts are trained for this final contingency. We, Rememberers. When a world is about to be visited by the fire-death, each Inquestor who has participated in the planet's death must take with him one of us...It is we who must remember for him the sounds, the fragrances, the textures of the dead world...who must remind him that though he lives in splendor he must not abandon compassion, or he will become less, not more, than human. My world, for instance -"
"Gone, without trace! At least, all civilization has been wiped out from my world. And perhaps the planet itself destroyed! And its people scattered, in their people bins throughout the overcosm, waiting for a new world to open up! Oh, my dead world! Its cities buried beneath child-created mountains, its seas poisoned by the childsoldiers' breath!"
"And he keeps you here as a macabre memento of it!" More than ever she wanted to leave, to renounce her clan-name, to return to Zalo and the backworld. "I suppose that's what I am too - something to remind him of a cure conversation he once had twenty years ago!"
"No. He needs us, Jenjen. At first I was angry too. I too felt - plucked away, helpless, resentful. For all you know, by the time you go home your whole world will have been destroyed, the people you once loved dead for centuries...for when we sail the overcosm the real universe ages in a few instants. Soon Varezhdur itself will depart Essondras's orbit and dart from star to star like a tadpole. One of the hardest lessons I learned - I, a Rememberer - was forgetting! But you are so much younger than I. And more resilient than you think you are."
Jenjen sat down on the floorfur, which wrapped itself about her knees. "They tell me" she said, "that you know many stories."
"Yes. We're not just the Inquest's slaves, you know. We have our own traditions. For the Inquestors, tales of long-dead planets; for ourselves...We tell stories about the Inquest: its glories, its spectacles, its dark secrets. Ton Elloran has given you the freedom of the palace. You will wander the labyrinth as you please; you will see many beautiful and cruel things in the universe of the powerful. Adepts such as I will fashion remembrances; you will doubtless find ways of weaving them into tapestries of light. And in time you will come to understand much, and there will be stories that you alone can tell..."

(Elloran to Sajit) "The Inquest is compassionate. I will take care of you."
"You can't even take care of yourself!"

"Elloran had emerged completely from behind the rocks. His shimmercloak flapped in the wind. For the first time that day, Sajit was sick with hunger." p. 42 (oh gods yes I ship it, who wouldn't? The entire scene the quote is from is chock full of ho yay.)

"Don't you understand anything?" Elloran screamed in anguish. "Everything has gone wrong! An Inquestor made this world. He made a dead world of utter beauty and he embalmed it so that it would never change. He's a heretic - a false utopian- a madman, and he's down there and he has the power to explode a planet to watch the fireworks! An Inquestor has gone insane!" He was shaking with rage.

"The war is over." Elloran went on. "And now I have to and deal with whoever it is that has made this..."

"And what of Essondrass? What possible use could the death of Essondrass mean to the minions of Karakael, anyway? ((Kaaree: tee hee, I have minions!)) - p. 63

"Among the Inquestors," Said Siriss, "we have our own system of memento mori. And who is to say that ours is any less macabre? I would say that there is a certain honesty, an integrity in keeping actual corpses at home..."
"Ah yes," said the anthropologist. "Your Rememberers."
"Somewhere far away came a chime, and a plaintive after echo like the mieow-roar of a pteratyger "What a serendipitous remark!" Elloran said, not without irony. "I believe it is time for our daily dosage of guilt." - p. 64

"Just like you, Elloran, to ruin a perfectly fine meal with talk of dead planets."
"The Inquest falls." Elloran said quietly. This statement triggered another sullen hush. 'It is good that we should remember not only its brutality, but its ideals, its compassion, its splendor."
"Tell them, Tievar!" Ton Elloran cried. "Let it not be said that I have no heart!" To Siriss he sad: "And know, Sirissheh, that I understand your loss." Jenjen knew from this that the Inquestrix had lost someone she loved. Then Elloran turned to Jenjen and said, "And you...know the perils of loving what you cannot have. You have feared darkness so long only because you feared your own capacity to love-" - 64

...And he pitied Elloran then. He must always be alone, after all, and have slaves for friends and feel compassion instead of love and play the Inquestral game of makrugh instead of living relationships.

"What do you want of me, Sajit?"
"Powers of powers, Inquestor! I just want you to admit that you're human too, I just want you to step down from your mountain of power and touch the people you kill by the billions....Look!" He kicked up a flurry of dust and dried excrement. "I was born out of this dust, Elloran! And you came out of a Prince's palace. Yet you destroy planets, and I make songs." He turned away. He had broken all the bounds of propriety. In public it would have meant certain death.
"You too, Sajit." Elloran said at last. To Sajit's annoyance he did not seem angry. "There are times when I think you almost understand, but..." He tore the songjewel from his throat and flung it into the debris. A single clank and it was gone. "Are you satisfied now?"
"You asked to be punisted, Ton Elloran."
"Yes. Yes." The Inquestor turned back and began walking back to the slum and the Sewer Labryinth. Was he angry? Sajit could not read him. Perhaps they had quarreled, if a person could be said to have had a quarel with an Inquestor. Sajit let him go.
"Powers of powers!" Sajit cried. "I speak my mother's tongue and you flatter me for picking up a few foreign phrases! I come looking for a woman and you show me images of my mother!"
"I see," the old man said, ill at ease now. "You are a son of Airang, I see that, Excellency! Come. Follow me. I have just the thing. I know your types! Made it good, gone freeloading off the High Inquest...Now you feel guilty about it all! Ha. Abuse. That's for you, abuse. But I'll make it beautiful of you-is that a deal?"

"Elloran, she's just using you! Or you're just using her to get back at me, because you can never really create beautiful things! You're playing some kind of hideous makrugh -"
"Enough. I do not play makrugh with underlings," said Elloran.
"Then I am lost," Sajit said, wheeling to face the whirling nebula. The dust twisted slowly, sparks shifting from shining to shadow. "You have won. As you must always win. You are the Inquestor. I will always serve you. But you cannot make me love you."
One evening, attending the Inquestor at the hour of retiring, he asked Elloran why he had felt impelled to take Zhendra away from him.
"She did not belong to you in the first place." Ellran said.
"You never gave me the chance."
"Oh, Sajit. Am I not allowed to be human at all? Should I not fear transience too, and death? tell me why you are so obsessed with her." Elloran's shadow blurred; it was edged with shimmerdust. "I will tell you. We both see what we can never have."

"What is that? Freedom?"
"You should not mock me, Sajitteh." The Inquestor said gently. "Do you think I am free? Duty fetters me more tightly than you can imagine. And man's guilt, which we Inquestors in calling the game of makrugh into being, have taken upon ourselves. Do you remember the song you used to sing, about the homeworld of the heart?"
"In her own way, my friend, she has found that homeworld...But it is not as you our I imagined it, with angels singing and breezes wafting and the brooks and medows oozing contentment. No, it is a harsh homeworld, and noe that exacts a terrible price... But it is hers, hers alone, and we will never touch it. That is why we lavish love on her, why we quarrel over her, whom neither can possess. Do you understand that?"
"No! I think you just want to teach me a lesson, you've seen me grow proud, perhaps, because I am your friend, you want to knock me back down into the Sewer labyrinth of Alykh. Do you think you can win my loyalty with casuistry?" Sajity had gone too far again.
"We do not choose what we are. I must command, not woo you, Sajitteh. Beware. I'm not just in one of my moods, friend. There are things we both must learn."
"Its all very well for you to flagellate yourself - I understand, it's part of your high Inquestral complex or something. By why me?"
"Is it that I cannot banish from me all feelign for you? For an Inquestor, the way of compassion means the renunciation of love - do you not see that? The greater compassion means we must steel ourselves to tear down civilizations, to load whole planets' populations into people bins and scatter them cafflike through the overcosm-can you not understand how it must hurt me? But I should not speak this way to you. You cannot understand."
"No, hokh'Ton I cannot." said Sajit. And abruptly he left the bedchamber of his Lord.

Tell me, did you truly love me?
"Of course I loved-still love you." Sajit said.
No. You do not. Your inner conflict never centered on me. It was Elloran, to who you had given your whole life, with whom you quarrelled; I was a pawn, nothing more. Do not try to convince yourself that you give to Elloran only out of duty. It is him you have always loved from the heart, not me. You have turned your whole world inside out, only to discover that you cannot flee from yourself.
And Sajit wept, for he knew that he had finally learned the truth: freedom is an illusion, and the freer a man seems, the more fettered he is in fact. Perhaps even truth is an illusion. He wept until he was senseless.

"How could you have known?" He tried to read the Inquestors face, tried not to show his own startlement...but he saw only a cipher. "You knew and did not warn me?" He felt anger for a moment.
"Could I have stopped you?" And now Ton Elloran had found his throne in the half dark, and he was dusting it with a fold of his shimmercloak. "You have forgotten so much Sajit. You who have known me since I was a child, before I destroyed my first utopia...
Do you really think I am not human? Do you really think I can't feel love, pain, the rejection of those I trust, hate, envy? We dare not express these things, we Inquestors, but once I did so, and to a mere soldierchild without a clan..."
"You left my palace when she left, Sajit. You were gone five years. Don't you think I ever longed for her? Don't you think I was ever hurt that both of you had abandoned me? Do you think I never needed to go to Aeroesh for myself, to see her for myself, to be convinced for myself that my love was a hopeless one? Sajitteh-" He stopped for a moment. In the pause, another strain of music coursed through Sajit's mind. "I heard those answers too, Sajit. And at least we have this now. We have both touched the edge of her terrible joy, and it has changed us."
It was then that Sajit understood how deep their loyalty to each other had always been. Even if the Inquest did crumble around them, this loyalty must still stand...He knew that he would always be Elloran's servant, giving music of his own free will, giving love even... The dust was the great leveler, making the palaces and slums one.
As always, he waited for a command.

"And my story? Did that not show you Elloran's heart?"
"There was so much in your words. The Inquestor...he's so ancient now, not like in the story at all. Surely the story is but a blurred reflection of that remembrance. And I'll never understand all the details of your stories. There's so much I've never seen. Each convolution seems to open up vast new vistas....Yet to you they seemed like commonplaces. The fire-snows of Ont. The great cities of Chembrith. That zul-shop where Sajit found out that they had turned the story of his childhood into a myth....Was that not Essondras? I heard Karnofara mentioned. But Karnofara is an ancient man, last in a line of many Karnofaras, all corpse-dancers. It could then have all happened centuries ago..."
"It could have. Or on another world. The Dispersal has a million worlds, and necrodrama is not unique to yours, I'm sure."
"You say you have shown Elloran's heart...yet I am more confused than ever before."

"If all of them had been like him, the war would have never begun."

"Listen. I am Ton Exkandar z Vangvel K'Ning, Inquestor and Kingling."
"Ruler of my homeworld.."
"Yes. Don't say I didn't have the right to kidnap you."
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