Tuesday, 24 May 2016
The End Of Ys
When Niall, enemy of Ys, walks along the seawall to unlock the gate and let in the sea:
"A billow afar growled like the drums of an oncoming army."
-Poul and Karen Anderson, Dahut, Chapter XIX, section 5, p. 441.
And the sea will enter the city like an invading army.
"As it drew closer, gathered speed, lifted and lifted its smoking crest, the breaker's voice..." (ibid.)
A literal voice? Will Lir speak?
"...became such thunder as rolls across the vault of heaven." (ibid.)
Not a literal voice. However, Gods are associated both with heaven and with thunder.
"When it struck and shattered, the sound was as of doomsday." (ibid.)
Ysans are about to experience their doomsday.
When Gratillonius is roused from a slumber spell, he is compared to a fish pulled towards the light. We remember that the Apostles were called fishers of men and we might remember from previous readings of The King Of Ys that Gratillonius will convert to Christianity.
"On his second rising, he saw the grey-bearded craggy face." (p. 444)
A bearded fisher of men? God the Father? Christ? St Peter? Maybe but here and now they are manifested in the form of their minister, Corentinus:
"'Rouse, rouse, man!' the pastor barked." (ibid.)
Pulled up like a fish, Gratillonius is saved from drowning like most other Ysans. On pp. 444-445, Corentinus describes his warning vision in appropriately Biblical language. It is rather long but I will quote it in full if anyone wants me to who has not got access to the text. Thunders resound while the angel cries, 'Woe...' etc.
Wall and gate have protected Ys for four centuries - twenty generations? A long time. Everything ends but a time traveler who wanted to enjoy a full lifespan in Ys could travel back to an earlier century.