Planescape: Torment

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Planescape: Torment

Postby Кал » Thu Sep 03, 2015 6:34 pm

Отзив-колаж в Goodreads за Planescape: Torment (новелизацията на Logan Stromberg)

This is the second novelization of Planescape: Torment I've read (after the one by Rhys Hess), and it captures the charm and philosophical thrills of the original game as vividly as I remember them. (Adding its own scintillation--like Morte snoring, hee-hee.)

I shuddered at the realization that some of the Nameless One's first conversations hold the key to everything that he's about to go through--but without going through it he has no way of making sense of them. That's torment of the finest degree.

Since my brain has recently been wading through its own private torment, I don't think my words can do justice to the book. So instead I offer you a selection of choice bits:

My fingers curled around the bone dagger's hilt, and taking advantage of the troco's confusion I thrust the blade up into its heart. The first blow merely earned an agonized screech, but with the second and third stabs its movements began to slow.

I don't recall how many times I gouged pale flesh, but by the time the frenzy was over I was covered in a good layer of bilious black blood.

I did what I could in those catacombs. It was a tenuous alliance, born kicking and screaming and soaked in the blood and fluids of the mortal dangers that lurked in these catacombs. I fought only to carve a way deeper into the dank tunnels with the slim hope that I might find the bronze sphere, while the ghouls fought only to spread their dominion so that they might sate, even for a moment, their neverending hunger.

And once they achieved their goal, I would be useless to them, protected only by the edict of a dead King.

Some days, I just really need a hug.


(If you're already familiar with the Nameless One, you should have giggled hard. Did you? :)

...

Maze Entry 5

They say that when the Lady mazes people, she leaves an exit in here somewhere, but it's so well-hidden that people go mad with desperation searching for it. I'm keeping it together pretty well, though. I'm sure I can find it.

I just wish the voice in my head would shut up.

~

Maze Entry 6

I'm still hungry.

Hunger pangs distracting. Must eat and clear mind if I am to escape. Conjured a little water and a touch of fire.

The process is painful, but access is easy with a little bending and a polished blade. Sliced harvested kidney into thin pieces and boiled for soup. Meaty. Tastes faintly of urine.

~

Maze Entry 7

Found some claw marks along the path and a little dried blood. Looks like someone went into a bit of frenzy here. Seems like a good sign though... I'm beginning to trace the path my previous incarnation took. He must've found a way to escape in the past. The memories haven't pointed the way yet though... most of it is just crazy gibberish.

For the crown of our life as it closes
Is darkness, the fruit thereof dust;
No thorns go as deep as a rose's,
And love is more cruel than lust.
Time turns the old days to derision,
Our loves into corpses or wives;
And marriage and death and division
Make barren our lives.

And pale from the past we draw nigh thee,
And satiate with comfortless hours;
And we know thee, how all men belie thee,
And we gather the fruit of thy flowers;
The passion that slays and recovers,
The pangs and the kisses that rain
On the lips and the limbs of thy lovers,
Our Lady of Pain.


~

Maze Entry 8

I found a piece of gar-bar root stuck in the bottom of my pack. Picked off the lint. It was the most delicious thing I've ever eaten.

Regeneration too slow. I am running out of kidneys.


...

"Ego enwraps us like a prison. Forgot I did that it ofttimes serves as a shield." Ravel clicked her tongue. "My pretty, pretty thing, there is much wisdom and understanding in the truth that life is a preparation for the ultimate goal: death. Our life is a means by which we learn how to die. If we FORGET such things..."


(For all you lovers of David Zindell's Requiem for Homo Sapiens: remember the warrior poets' sayings?)

...

"My name? Where do I hail from? Such odd questions, for the answer to both are one and the same: Ileron of Sen-Tau."

Epetrius blinks, cocking his head. "Surely you jest."

"Nay. That is who and where I am."

The Guvner shakes his head, and makes a show of wiping a particle of dust from his spectacles. "Ileron, if that is your name, is a myth. I myself visited the Prime World of Sen-Tau in an archaeological expedition twelve years ago, and all anyone could find resembling civilization was some crude ruins of sun-baked clay brick," he scoffs. "Even the Sen-Tau Wanderers that call themselves the People of Ileron will admit it, as much as they like to claim that they dream of a city of gold and crystal. If you claim to come from the mythical paradise of Ileron, much less the world of Sen-Tau, then you're twice as barmy as the pirate."

"I have heard of Sen-Tau," Scii-Tavakis murmurs, gazing into the obsidian point of her spear. "A desert world, so barren that it would make Athas look like a lush paradise."

"But I am Ileron," the man's lips peel back into a cold grin. "For I was once the city itself."

A stubborn denial seems to form on Epetrius' lips, but he merely resigns himself to shaking his head.

Ileron nods in approval at the silence, and begins.

"Lo, I have had many names across the ages: Shangri-La, El-Dorado, Es-Annon, Tir Na nOg... but the oldest and truest of them all is Ileron, for even though I no longer stand on the world of Sen-Tau how could humanity not dream of the Palace of Ten Thousand Suns? The Arch of Crystal Dreams? Who could forget the Coullan Wings that swam through the skies, ferrying people along avenues of pure hope?

"At dawn the morning winds would blow through the Spires of Harmony, and I sang my denizens to wakefulness. At dusk the kiss of twilight would fall upon the Silvered Quarters and I lay my people to rest. Sweetwater flowed free through the aqueducts and they were my veins. Polished golden marble shone by day and glowed by night, and the walls and buildings were my bones. Every hour the Citadels rang their bells and the priests sang paeans of joy over their lives, and the resonance of their prayers was the beating of my heart. The gods themselves smiled on my libraries and temples, blessed the smallest inn and dimmest alley, for all Ileron was utopia. It was the city of dreams.

"Can you imagine, then, the sheer boredom that a city such as I would suffer? To be the shell of such rejoicing, but never partake? To be the boundary and border, but never to know the adventure of crossing one? I was both prison and prisoner, paradise and purgatory.

"For millenia I lay in languor, feeling the millions of footsteps across my walkways, listening to the mind-numbing murmurs of joy and wishes of good fortune and prosperity. Until one day, long ago, it was time for the Festival.

"They came from distant lands: magicians from Yudanii, whose coats held nine hundred folds and just as many secrets; alchemists from Braen Woods, who carried the Elixir of Truth; long-haired dancers of the Star People, wearing gowns of spun moonlight; shirtless men of the Takka spinning fire-staves and sweating with celebration. Each delegation came bearing gifts, thanking Ileron and its people for the gift of happiness, and for allowing them to see the dream of paradise fulfilled. They laid their gifts at the Celestial Court at the Palace of Ten Thousand Suns, each more lavish than the last, until finally, a young boy came to place his offering on the altar.

"He was small, and young, and terribly malnourished, but he came because Ileron barred no one from its pleasures. In a small box of pressed paper was a crystal sphere banded with silver, pulsing with a sickly gray light. It was a sensory stone, and it contained the memories of who you call the Nameless One.

"I was intrigued, and for the first time I learned firsthand what it was like to explore planes beyond my own. No dry books or texts on the Outer Planes were these, no, but experience, rare and new.

"And so inspired I picked myself up from the world of Sen-Tau, taking my veins which once fed the people sweet nectar, my bones which once housed men and memory, the beating of my heart which once kept faith and joy and hope. I took the history of Ileron with me, leaving behind only the people and the memory of what once was, fading like a fecund dream as if the city never existed.

"For many years I fled and the Gods of Sen-Tau chased after me. Many times they tried to slay me and lay me back to rest on the world which I once called my home... where I once was home. But the people of Sen-Tau are scattered, wandering the planes and weeping with lament over losing what they never knew. Each year that passes more of the People die, and each year the power of the Gods fades.

"And so I hid myself here in Sigil, the City of Doors. Oh such wonder to stand in a city, where no longer am I a border, but a man who has infinite borders at my fingertips! Endless possibilities and places to travel, no longer a place, but an individual! No longer am I imprisoned by duty: here I shall wait and bide my time. No Gods can enter Sigil... and so I am safe from their blades of starfire and opalescent fury. And when the final Wanderer dies, when the Gods breathe their last and are interred in the Astral, I shall be free. Free to cavort across the Planes! Free to sing and revel and explore, crossing borders, walking roads, passing through gate and door and threshold! I shall dance forever, and never die."

He digs around in his coat. "Pockets!" he grins. "Truly a wonderful thing of mortals. If you kept your hopes in pockets rather than temples, you'd never lose them. Ah!" Ileron pulls free a small sphere, the size of a peach and banded with silver. It pulses weakly with a gray light, like a mournful fog.

With that in one hand he pulls his shirt open with the other, and where there should be a wedge of bare chest there is instead a flash of light, and a series of silver-gray arches flanked by lush green leaves. Down through his heart is a gilded path, as if inviting you to in. The smell of fresh, clean air washes away the rankness of the bar, and down the road you see a circular glass. Behind that window, in contrast to the greenery surrounding it, a desert land of cracked clay terrain and wind-borne sand sprawls across your vision.

"Come now," Ileron murmurs, "and walk with me through my gardens, which were once paradise..."


...

They say there are two great forces in life that make the multiverse go round: love, with all its devoted, enveloping pleasures; and hate, the all-consuming obsession. A good philosopher could give a good argument that all action in life is built around one of these two forces in some way. Creation and Destruction. Life and Death. Ying and Yang. Eros and Thanatos. Personally, I think there's a third option that cleaves between the two.

Cold, directed purpose.

I mean, let's have an earnest conversation here. Even with my feelings for Annah at one side and Morte's jabbering on the other, the axis becomes less of a principle of contemplation and more like something you grab at a moment's need so you can impale a critter with the pointy end (probably the "hate" part of it). It isn't love that I feel when the resonance of the multiverse is flowing through me, nor is it hate that causes me to turn a trelon into a bubbling smear spread across ten square feet of masonry. It's just the annoying fact that I need to get from point A to point B and these damn things are blocking my view of the destination.

Though if we're on the subject of trelons, might as well say this:

I hate these things.

Trelons are more claw and fang than they are flesh, come at you in swarms, and their only two forelimbs end in giant claws. Punching one is like swinging into a sack of razors. How do these things even mate? Their existence is either one of lifetime chastity or a brutally kinky cycle of murder-suicide.
Last edited by Кал on Wed May 13, 2020 3:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Planescape: Torment

Postby Кал » Wed May 13, 2020 3:42 pm

My reviewlet of Planescape Torment: The Unofficial Torment Novel (the novelization by Rhys Hess):

I have taken the liberty to add an electronic book here because of its one outstanding qulaity: the awesome dialogs. In this (unofficial) novelization, Rhys Hess has linked together the most memorable scenes from the game in a single coherent plotline, showcasing the verbal interplay that is in turn poignant, hilarious, philosophical, and sheerly shocking in its Otherness.

You do not need to have played the game (or even be familiar with the Planescape multiverse) in order to cherish this novel: both in terms of literary style and ideas.

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