The Obelisk Gate, Ch 3, 4, Interlude
Schaffa is almost killed when Syenite destroys the Clalsu. He survives by partially succumbing to a psychic force that takes him over. He loses much of his humanity in exchange for even-more superhuman powers. He is taken in by a family of fishermen. Etiz, one of the children, is an orogene and asks to be taken by Schaffa. Schaffa kills most of the rest of the village then leaves with Etiz.
An injured Hunter is brought back to Castrima, covered in scalding insects. Alabaster destroys one, but the orogeny seems to turn his forearm to stone. Essun kills the rest. But the hunter's injuries are too great; Ykka orders his euthanisation and Lerna carries it out. There's an ongoing turf war between the stone eaters (Hoa and Ruby Hair), seemingly over Essun.
- The endnotes of these two chapters give more hints at a hidden history: the Guardians predating the Sanze empire, and variations of stonelore discovered and passed to the Fourth university (destroyed while experimenting on obelisks)
This talks about a war, or perhaps an eradication of vermin. It seems to be written by someone who considers themselves above humanity, or perhaps in the service of somehing beyond humanity.
- Schaffa already knows about stone eaters, obelisks, and orogeny. Do you think the Guardians knew about the obelisk at Allia before Syenite discovered it?
- The force that rescues Schaffa seems similar to what overtook the Guardian just after Damaya found the Socket in the Fulcrum. What is it? How else may it have been manifesting? How does the surgical damage to Guardians' sessapinae come into it? Do you think we'll get coherent answers to these worldbuilding questions?
- Essun seems to have very easily given up on the search for her daughter, Nassun. Is this a character-driven decision or a plot-driven one?
- What does the treatment of the injured hunter tell us about the personalities of Lerna, Ykka, and Alabaster?
- Who is the narrator of this interlude? Is it still Hoa?
- Jemisin's trying to say something about who has the right to rule. The Sanzed way is that orogenes are too dangerous to rule and must be controlled, enslaved. Meov and Castrima had orogenes in charge, but solely because of their power, not their wisdom. Both models are "might makes right" imposition of control. Is such a power structure essential in times of crisis?