ELFQUEST
FORUM ARCHIVE     ABOUT EQ     READ ONLINE     SHOP    
ABOUT     READ     SHOP    

On Ekuar's Missing Body Parts...

Raven_Emrys

So I have a question that has been plaguing me for ages, and maybe someone here can help me... So here goes..

Why doesn't Ekuar have Leetah shape a new arm, finger, and leg, from his own body - just like she does with Sunstream when she shapes his body for water in the Prologue of 'The Final Quest'?

In 'Kings Of The Broken Wheel' #8, pg 20, there is the line where Leetah ponders as she is changing Skywise's blood...

"There is nothing I do it seems, that Winnowill has not already done... Nothing!"


Yet I don't remember her ever transforming the actual physical form of any other character throughout the entire series up to this point, like Winnowill did for Tyldak. So I am assuming by her comment that she can do it - but why hasn't she for Ekuar? Just curious... maybe I've missed something somewhere...

Tam

Ekuar's lived thousands of years without the body parts he's missing, presumably. He's probably just happy without them. When Leetah and Ekuar first meet, she looks at him with pity, and he tells her not to. "I am free. I belong to myself now." While his body may not be whole, his spirit is. He doesn't need anything else.

In terms of Leetah's comment, I think she means more...figuratively. Not necessarily that she's changed someone's physical form, but that she's changed an essential part of them. Removing Skywise's wolfblood covers both Winnowill giving Tyldak wings and removing Windkin's wolfblood. But on top of that, her comment may cover too that she's had thoughts of using her powers for her own desires, like when she contemplated removing Cutter's wolfblood without his consent in Siege.

stargazer

Leetah says that everything she does as a healer, Winnowill has already done. NOT that she has done everything Winnowill has. There's a difference. :-)

RedheadEmber

Wasn't there a scene in one of the novels where Leetah couldn't restore One-Eye's missing eye because it was competely gone?
I'd imagine the same issue would come up if she was to attempt restoring Ekuar's missing body parts.

Heather

I believe it's in the big gatherum, that it is possible that Leetah offered to restore Ekuar, but that he refused. His reasons would be his own.

Thornbrake

Also, Leetah has been living in/near the Palace for a while, and has the help of two other healers, before she reshapes Sunstream into his Wavedancer form. Perhaps even she didn't feel she had the skill to do it before. But mostly I think it's what @Tam said, that Ekuar was happy with who he was and didn't need it.

jeb

Yep, I think that's one of the central conflicts for Leetah. After she meets Winnowill she realizes all the possibilities of what she could do, but also that just because she CAN, doesn't mean she SHOULD. She makes comments about that several times, after she restores One-Eye, and more directly when she starts to re-grow Cutter's hair. Her struggle is not to try to push her will on others. And, repeating what other's have said, I think that Ekuar is pretty happy how he is.

lunakat

I dont think it had to do with Ekuar not wanting his limbs back. I think it was more that, at that point in her career as a healer, Leetah actually couldn't do this for him. It's probably one thing to make hair grow longer, fuse a bone, stretch limbs (The frames of Tyldak's wings are actually his arms and fingers stretched long with skin stretched out between them. The claw at the tip is his thumbnail. ), or heal damaged tissue-- but another level of skill altogether to construct a knee, ankle or foot, arm, wrist or hand from scratch. That seems a lot more complicated. And the last time Leetah saw Ekuar was after the shards war. The only time she spent time with him was during Book four. Her abilities were more limited then.

lunakat

This is consistent. You'll notice, she reanimated One Eye's body-- but she never reconstructed his eye.

Trollbabe

That was my impression, that even a powerful healer like Winnowill could only modify existing organs, not replace them entirely. If a healer could create bones, eyes, etc., what would stop her from making herself pregnant?

Tam

Nothing would stop her from making herself pregnant, except that she can't create a soul.

I have always been of the belief that even if she wanted to restore Ekuar, she couldn't because...where's that flesh going to come from? But then Sunstream was brought up, and that's a good point; even with two or three healers helping, where do all those spines COME FROM? *laughs*

lunakat

I think a healer can generate cell growth. But my point was that reconstructing a knee is complicated. Constructing a foot from scratch is complicated. Maybe creating an eye when all of the material of the damaged eye was absent was beyond what Leetah could do. Maybe building entire limbs was beyond what she could do. Growing a spine might be simpler.

Leanan

Winnowill did make herself pregnant; I think it's highly unlikely that she could have given birth to Two-Edge without using magic.

Raven_Emrys


Wow! What a great range of answers! Thanks to all who took the time to respond!

Here's my take on some of your responses...

I thought an accomplished healer could 'draw forth' the missing tissue, blood vessels, bone, muscle, etc from the existing living body, and form it through will, to whatever form the healer so choose. It's just like replicating existing materials to heal a wound - Basic Healing 101. Another way of looking at it would be like knitting a bone that has a huge chunk of bone missing... the missing part has gotta come from somewhere. And it's just replicating and splitting cells - like an accelerated form of a baby developing.

I mean if Winnowill could create such huge wings, (of which, obviously, the biological material had to come from somewhere, as I'm sure Tyldak didn't have that much extra flesh, bones, etc...), she had to somehow replicate existing biological materials to make them. So it would stand to reason that Letah (much later on in the story line - and even possibly with the help of Snakeskin and Skimback) could have reconstructed Ekuar's missing parts had he wanted them so. And the fact that they could change Sunstream to breathe water, well that's almost like changing species... and a pretty massive overhaul. Because that's changing how the body accesses and processes oxygen. So drawing bone and tissue forth to make normal land "elf" parts, should not have been an issue.

Yes, Ekuar's lived thousands of years without the body parts he's missing... but just because he’s been without them for so long, is no reason not to get new replacements if the opportunity is available. It would help him to be able to get around so much better – and flee faster if he should ever have need to. Yes his soul was whole and he was free, but that's no reason not to have a whole body as well.

Also it was mentioned by lunakat that Leetah “...reanimated One Eye's body-- but she never reconstructed his eye.” But honestly, we don’t know for a fact that she didn't reconstruct his eye, because no one ever bothered to lift his eye sash and look. His eye could have been whole under there, but because his soul was absent from it’s shell, no one bothered to worry about such a trivial thing as an eye being back that could never be used.

Just some thoughts...


Trollbabe

If Leetah was the mother of twins, she would have been sorely tempted to grow a second pair of eyes in the back of her head!

Tam

Raven_Emrys said: Yes, Ekuar's lived thousands of years without the body parts he's missing... but just because he’s been without them for so long, is no reason not to get new replacements if the opportunity is available. It would help him to be able to get around so much better – and flee faster if he should ever have need to. Yes his soul was whole and he was free, but that's no reason not to have a whole body as well.


As others have said, growing new limbs and bones, if Leetah can do it, is probably long and hard on her...but also probably EXCRUCIATING for Ekuar.

Even if it was completely painless, Ekuar's lost limbs are probably part of his personal identity now. Sure, he could potentially move around better, flee faster, have a "whole" body, but is it worth the pain to get one? Or just having to relearn how to walk, use hands with all four digits?

I have a friend in a wheelchair. She lost use of her legs when she was in a car accident at 7. We've talked about technology that's helping fix "disabled" people...giving sight to people who are blind, hearing to people who are deaf. She would refuse such a thing if it was offered to her, and if she could go back and prevent the accident from happening, she wouldn't. Her wheelchair is part of her identity. And from what I've seen, many people who get these devices to make them "whole" end up discarding them. A blind person has gotten around well enough without having to adjust to a whole new sense. (probably best not to get me started on cochlear implants)

It all boils down to this; Ekuar doesn't want to. He might not be whole in that he doesn't have two legs and two arms, and only two fingers, but he's whole to himself. Sure, he could move around faster if he had two legs, but at what cost?

lunakat

Yes! And also- I'm sure it CAN be done- but how complicated is it? A knee and a foot and a hand are pretty complicated structures. That was my only point. An eye is pretty complicated too. I'm sure if she could have recreated one eye's eye, she would have done it while he was alive and healthy, not waited until he was nearly a corpse. Regarding tyldak's wings- you realize that those are his arms and fingers stretched waaay out? Yeah- he didn't have all that flesh- but those wings were not newly created from nothing. Winnowill modified his arms. And yes, it looks like it hurt like hell.

Trollbabe

I also wonder how much fingertip use Tyldak had, once his fingers became claws and umbrella spokes. How did he get in and out of that Borat fur leotard? Relieving himself was probably a chore.

Raven_Emrys

@Trollbabe

Trollbabe said: I also wonder how much fingertip use Tyldak had, once his fingers became claws and umbrella spokes. How did he get in and out of that Borat fur leotard? Relieving himself was probably a chore.


It is funny how often I've thought of those same things! I've also wondered how exactly did he eat and drink... how did he ever wash his face, or bathe his body for that matter?

Raven_Emrys

Again, I thank you all for your responses! :-D

Here's my 2 cents....

It really hadn't occurred to me till just now, but perhaps the reason why this question about the replacement of Ekuar's missing body parts troubles me so, is because I too am crippled and in a in a wheelchair from a horrible car accident in 2006. And if I had the opportunity to get the proper functioning of my legs back - I would take it without hesitation. Even if the pain was temporarily excruciating to get them back, it would be completely worth it to have a lifetime of normality, and painlessness... to not be a burden on my family and friends when trying to get around. I guess it's all about personal identity, and what makes a person feel most comfortable though.

In my humble opinion, for the procedure to replace missing limbs being considered too "complicated"... I really don't think so. Not if healers can change the physiology of Sunstream to breathe in water, which would be a far more difficult task to accomplish (and which is probably why it took 3 healers to accomplish.) As a healer, you are gonna know elven anatomy inside and out. So yeah, it shouldn't be too complicated to achieve.

As for Leetah not replacing One-Eye's eye while he was still healthy, maybe he never asked for it, the way Ekuar never felt the need to. Maybe One-Eye was thinking, '... and then I'd have to get a new name... aw owl pellets, that's just too much trouble.' or something like that. But when he was a hair's breath away from the brink of death - and Leetah was healing as never before - maybe it was a 'blanket' type of healing. The kind that just completely encompasses the entire body as the healer tries to fuse body and spirit back together. And the eye was replaced, not as a specific healing, but as a residual part of a larger healing.

Regarding Tyldak's wings... Oh yes, I realize that those are his arms and fingers stretched waaay out. And yes, those wings were not newly created from nothing. It's as Winnowill said, "I drew them from the very substance of his body." She had to have replicated (aka "drawn") upon his existing bio materials just to have enough materials to make such huge wings with. That's why I believe that a healer could replace missing limbs by causing the replication of cells to make/grow new body parts.

Very thought-provoking discussions my friends!


Trollbabe

I recall an interview in an old WaRP publication - I think it was the "Elfquest Gaetherum" - that turned to the topic of cutting an elf in half. Would a healer turn the two halves into two elves? Or two living halves of an elf? Elfmom said she wouldn't draw it, even if it were possible.

When the orthopedist finally convinced me that he couldn't restore flexibility in either of my elbows, I went to the library and read biographies of two people born without limbs. I also watched the movie "Soul Surfer," and visited Joni Eareckson Tada's website.

The stories of people much worse off, who rose above their circumstances, really inspired me. But there was one thing I noticed, about people with visible disabilities. They struggle with their disabilities, but they also have to deal with other people wanting very much for them to be restored. People mean it in a very loving way, but at the same time, it suggests that others don't accept them as they are.

Maybe Ekuar doesn't ask for his limbs back, because since he was rescued, other elves have accepted and accommodated him. The tough Go-Backs probably carried him when necessary. But between his rockshaping ability, and Rayek's power to levitate him, he can go anywhere he pleases.

I still don't get it, though. If I were in Ekuar's condition, I would want every available healer to gather in the Palace and at least make an attempt to restore me. (Including my hair!)

MrsGrizzley

I believe that ultimately it comes down to a question of Consent, and not Ability that limits what Healers do for those who have been disabled through injury, and that makes it ALL the more powerful.

Yes, they can. But that doesn't necessarily mean they should. I believe that Ekuar would be given the option, in the current environment if he were there, but I think that he's at peace with his broken body and doesn't NEED to be healed in order to be whole where it really counts.

I want to say that there was a line somewhere about Leetah offering to restore him and Ekuar kindly refusing, but I can't remember where, or even whether or not I'm just imagining it.

I *like* the idea that for the elves Consent is King, especially in something like this. Each person knows him or herself best. They are the only ones qualified to make these decisions so long as the injuries aren't life threatening. It's empowering and reassuring, too. It's why I like the elves, especially since they aren't inhumanly perfect in all things.

To tweak a quote from somewhere else, though, "they've got it where it counts, kid".

lunakat

I disagree. I think the problem really was that Leetah couldn't actually do it. In the novel, "Journey to Sorrows End," she tries to heal One Eye's eye but realizes she can't because there is nothing left of it. Rain had healed over the socket with a flap of skin, but the eye was burned out. She pretty much states that she just didn't have enough to work with. Now, that was just an eye. Imagine her trying to grow complete limbs with complex structures, like joints, hands and feet. If she couldn't make an eye- how could she be expected to make an arm or a leg? And, keep in mind, Leetah only knew Ekuar for a short period of time. She met him during the palace war- which was only a handful of years after she met Cutter, and well before the Palace enhanced her skills. Beyond that, the only time they spent together was after Rayek kidnapped her. Then, she was shipped off with Ember, and Rayek and Ekuar disappeared when she returned. She didn't have the ability to heal him when she had the time- and if and when she developed the ability, he was gone.

Trollbabe

(I asked around the Troll community, about Ekuar's missing body parts. The general consensus is, they were quite tasty.)

We are only three issues in, and I have been too busy to run by the comic shop lately, but I think there is plenty of time for two or three healers to work on Ekuar. (Hmm... would you call three healers a "triage"?) Maybe it just hasn't been a good time yet for Ekuar. He's a very unselfish and patient old soul.

Zinegirl

I think an eye is far more complicated then a leg or a hand. A leg is just made flesh, blood and bones, and I think a good healer can 'shape' or 'extend' (idk what to call it) those materials from the stump. An eye however is not made from the same material as its socket, so a healer would need to create completely new material with his/her magic. Maybe with multiple healers and the palace magic it could be done, but not by just Leetah. (By the way, Suntoucher refused to let his blindness cure by Leetah, meaning she can cure blindness if one's eyes are still there.)

I alway thought that Ekuar refused being healed (I'm not exactly sure why though).

lunakat

A hand is actually really complicated- and so is a foot. There are multiple small bones, cartilage, tendons and nerve endings.

lunakat

Ekuar disappeared with Rayek as soon as the Palace was recovered. Leetah and Mender would have been the only healers around for him- and Mender wasn't fully developed back then. I think it was just too complicated, and probably an uncomfortable process.

Diana

MrsGrizzley said: I want to say that there was a line somewhere about Leetah offering to restore him and Ekuar kindly refusing, but I can't remember where, or even whether or not I'm just imagining it.


I'm not sure if such a scene between Leetah and Ekuar is there, but Suntoucher certainly expresses this in one of the first comics. He says that the sun teaches him much more than his eyes could ever show him, or something to that extent. By losing his eyes, he may have become a better empath.

lunakat

Suntoucher sacrifices his vision while meditating on the Daystar. I don't think he realized he would go blind by looking into the sun, but once it happened, he found that his other senses more than compensated. I think I wrote a grab bag about it once...