The Book of the Short Sun -- The Dream Team

In RttW, Silk has a dream about driving in a carriage with Scylla, Mora, and Fava. Abruptly, Fava turns into a painted doll with Chenille's dagger between its ribs. Right after that Mora turns into Hyacinth. After this dream, Silk says that he knows who the doll in Hide's dream was (RttW 5, p. 94 TOR).

Who was the doll? The key is in NtLS, because Chenille stabbed Orpine with her "burning cat-tail" dagger when Orpine was possessed by Mucor. I believe that the doll in both dreams is Mucor.

I believe Mucor was involved in all the Fava/Mora posessions. It looks like a living being is required as a conductor to allow a dead person's spirit to astral-project or enter dreams. For example, Silk said that if Oreb died the astral projection of Scylla would disappear. Mucor was the conductor for Fava. Other examples are Mora/Hyacinth and Silk/Horn.

Here is my reconstruction:

  1. After Fava died from exposure during the astral projection to Green, her ghost was found by Mucor (who was astral projecting to check up on Silk/Horn).
  2. With Mucor's help, Fava entered the dreams of her friend Mora.
  3. From Mucor, Fava and Mora learned how to possess people. From Fava, Mucor learned to disguise her skeletal astral form as a painted doll (inhumi are often described as looking this way).
  4. The three astral-projected back in time to give Silk a dream on the Whorl about Spider (Mucor?) and the two girls, before he met them (RttW p. 85). This may be when they picked up Hyacinth's spirit. In the dream, Silk asks about Hyacinth and is told she is dead. "Down there where you're going and she can't come back." They mention a cake for the dog, which refers to the Greek practice of burying the dead with a coin to pay Charon and a cake to distract Cerberus. Knowing that Silk wanted to see Hyacinth and failed to do so, they brought Hyacinth back for a later dream.
  5. It is also possible that Mucor brought Hyacinth/Kypris to Mora earlier, possibly giving her a helpful partial possession. Mora suddenly becomes much more mature and speaks with authority (much as Mint did after possession by Kypris). Hyacinth's experience may have helped Mora to shrug off the rapes more quickly, so she could marry Eco.
  6. The three located Silk and Hide on the road and engaged Hide in a dream of "Hide"-and-seek.(RttW 1). The characters in that dream are probably Mora and Fava as themselves, Mucor as the living doll, and the Oreb/Scylla girl as the girl hiding under the sofa. The smell of pepper in cooking suggests the "Pig and Pepper" chapter in Alice in Wonderland. Could Pig be involved in this dream somehow? The living doll also seems to echo the doll at the end of The Cat.
  7. In Aanvagen's house, Silk had the dream of Scylla, Mora, Fava, the doll Mucor, and Hyacinth.
  8. Oreb was absent at the time, so the dream Scylla was probably Aanvagen. She must have been possessed before she left the Whorl, since there are no working windows or glasses on Blue. Her husband wanted to talk to Horn when she was absent, claiming she was unintelligent, but actually she seemed to be the brains of the couple. He was probably afraid of her and sought escape in overeating. Aanvagen used the word "for" more frequently than other Dorp characters. ("'For not you say", RttW 7, p. 154). Silk felt sorry for Beroep (RttW 17, p. 339).
  9. During the stagecoach dream, Mora and Fava pestered Horn with questions about Vadsig, like her hair color and where the kitchen was. They left his dream to find Vadsig. When they did, they left behind Mucor and Hyacinth.
  10. Mora probably brought the ghost of Hyacinth along for the ride to see Silk one last time. while on the Whorl, Silk/Horn remembers an earlier dream (in Litary of the Long Sun, pp. 345-347) and relates it to the coach-ride for Orpine's funeral (RttW 138). One driving goal in RttW is to put Syclla/Cellina to rest, which is also a sort of funeral.
  11. At the preliminary hearing Mora and Fava possessed Vadsig. They had her say something in non-Dorp syntax and they allowed her to escape her gag twice. (RttW 7).
  12. After the hearing Horn questioned Vadsig and confirmed the possession. They giggled when he says something about Mucor, because Mucor was there too. (RttW 9).
  13. Vadsig probably gained something from these possessions. Early on, she was illiterate (RttW 5, pp. 99-100). Later, Hoof expected that she would be able to fix up his writing (RttW 17, p. 370). Mora's literacy and Fava's storytelling skill seem to have rubbed off on her. Probably she is the one responsible for the great literary style of the third-person passages in RttW, since they seem beyond the capacity of Hoof, Hide, and Daisy.
  14. Vadsig may also have gained leadership skills from Mora and Fava. Horn credits her with organizing the women of the Dorp rebellion (RttW 11, p.222).
  15. One more unexplained astral projection is Auk in Dorp. We saw Auk as a slave on Green (IGJ 13, p. 193 TOR). He was captured by Sinew's village along with Chenille (IGJ 24, p. 366). Horn no doubt persuaded the village to set them free, and Auk applied his Pas-given tech skills to finish repairing the lander. Auk and Chenille returned to Blue. Auk probably picked up basic astral projection by watching Horn on Green, since he can figure out how anything he sees works. Using that, he and Chenille followed Horn to Dorp. Chenille got drunk and was attacked by the hungry Jahlee. Auk, angry over this, tried to talk to "Patera" but was rebuffed. (RttW 7, p. 153). His skills were probably not up to the level to let him keep trying.
  16. I don't think the presence of an inhumi, or even a proto-inhumi staff is necessary for astral projection. Horn did it before he had one (from the pit to Nettle), and Auk seems to have done it alone. Neighborly help may have been involved.

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