The Staves of Law (even if the author more or less intended to insert some phallic symbolism there, never spell it ‘the Staff of Love’) are long poles formed of the pieces of the One Tree and utilized to channel and wield Earthpower. In the event of the staff squirting white flames, it becomes even more a matter of fertility figuration and overcompensation.
The First Staff
While the exact details of this enterprise remain vague, Berek Halfhand shaped the first freudian fashioning from a branch of the One Tree before the chronology of the First Chronicles, akin to Wotan forming his famous, almighty spear in the author’s favorite opera. How Berek managed this sans rousing the Worm (ohgods these myriads of references to goings-ons…) is shrouded in the veils of mystery as well. The Staff had metal fittings at each end, and was carved with sorcerous symbols. Later, his offspring inherited the implement, until the grand-grandkiddo Kevin Landwaster suffered from a fit of self-loathing and ran amok to nuke the Land. Millennia later, the Cavewight Drool Rockworm discovered the vanished Staff somewhere in the bowels of Mount Doom Thunder and utilized it for some shady self-gratifying purposes best left undescribed ere Lord Foul caught a whiff of this grand re-emergence.
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The Second Staff
Fashioning the succeeding stick during the Second Chronicles involved rather more twists and turns, deceased Giants, and wossnamy imagery than the first. The “materials” were gathered bit by bit during an arduous voyage spanning the Land and exciting foreign locations inhabited by nymphomaniac mermaids and lickerish, possessed wizards, to name a few curiosities. The steps were as follows:
- The ur-viles created Vain, a robotish wight of pure structure, to function as a basis for the Staff. He was granted to Covenant by Foamfollower’s spectre in Andelain.
- Vain pilfered the magical heels of the first Staff while sojourning in Revelstone, and took to wearing them as fashionable bling-bling.
- An Elohim called Findail the Appointed joined Linden and Covenant’s company upon leaving Elemesnedene. A being of pure Earthpower, he was fated to become an integral part of the novel stick.
- On the Isle of the One Tree, Vain’s forearm turned into One Wood, thus enabling the use of the same core element as powered the original Staff.
- In the very end, Linden blessed the union of Vain and Findail by joining them happily ever after into a vessel where they might forever remain in each others’ arms. Thus the Second Staff was born, and immediately wielded to eradicate some perverted suns and deformed spines and make the ardent shippers of First/Pitchwife weep with joy.
The evolution of the Second Staff ends not here. During the Third Chronicles, and after some hassle with time travel, Linden re-acquires the priorly disappeared thingamajig and tosses it over to Caerroil Wildwood for some rune-carving. “Mastering the runes”, a concept lifted straight from the Norse mythology--and perhaps some songs of Amon Amarth, in case the author became ever so slightly weary of listening to Der Ring des Nibelungen for the 10002nd time--and denoting the harnessing of the instrument's full powers here, becomes one of the themes of the Last Dark. Namely, Linden’s self-doubt and flaws dye the flames of her power a delicate shade of Nordic black metal--of which any sane fan of the genre would be ludicrously proud in the moshpit, yet which she regards as a shortcoming--and she can neither dig into the very core of the Staff nor comprehend the Viking alphabet. Hence, she transfers the stick to Jeremiah, who conveniently brims with Earthpower and possesses an inherent genius to comprehend structures. During a thrilling deus ex machina moment, a Raver teaches Jeremiah some Norse runelore along with a couple of sentences of Old Icelandic, and thus the full virility of the Staff unfolds. In the right hands, and combined with wild magic, entire Arches of Time can be repaired.
Powers and Feats
Other individuals of the Earth bear, as the Lurker eloquently opines, “sticks of power” of lesser potency. The reader(ess) ought not to gaze longingly below Honninscrave’s navel now, but direct their attention for instance towards the Forestals. One example concerns the Last Dark, where the new warden of woods, Caerwood ur-Mahrtiir, acquires a tree bough staff to herd some bushes and forbid worms, severed by Coldspray from the fast-growing sapling granted to ex-Mahrtiir by Wildwood and which…by gods, this time travel -aided recycling of vegetation can get confusing! In essence, staves and rings rule this fantasy realm.
A character called Stave furthermore participates in the adventures of Linden’s army on the pages of the Third Chronicles, and he most definitely rules.