The Splinter Worlds
Q: Does anybody on Dascen Elur know about Paravia? I'd assume the mages at Rauven do, but what about the other people? And if so, what is the extent of their knowledge of it?

Most of the recorded knowledge (archived and reliable) about Paravia on Dascen Elur is at Rauven. Dari's transcribed histories are the source material. The knowledge is not common, specifically due to Dari's aware viewpoint....she was not only highly trained, but a talent with a rogue gift. For this reason, access to Rauven's inner libraries is not "free" to anyone.

The other areas only hold fragments - largely lapsed into legend. There is a reason for this - it has to do with the course of that world's settlement, and the fact that written knowledge of Paravia really wasn't relevant to the purpose of the relatively small number (think outpost) of people living there at the time of the directional sealing of the Gate.

Q: What was Dascen Elur like before the royal lines sought refuge there? Why are the Worldsend Gates important? And why didn't the Koriani ever choose to leave through one of the Gates before the Fellowship directionally sealed them?

The "splinter worlds" were gate linked to Athera at the time that the compact was designed and accepted, as PART OF mankind's grant of sanctuary.

The fine points are both simple and complex.

Athera is a high resonance planet, has to be, to support Paravian survival, and even, to enable the lives of the dragons who first evolved there. Not every human refugee WANTED the changes required to live there....not every human was suited to life as it would need to be lived. Not every human, in short, desired to align with the lifestyle required by the compact, which was a set guideline to protect Athera from experiencing a downward spiral in frequency.

Each gate has two worlds - a "first" world, which acts as a buffer, and a second, which served as a destination. Paravians might visit the buffer for short periods. (Recall that they live without entropy) The terms on the buffer worlds were a little looser.

The destination worlds allowed complete free choice existence. No law or restriction in frequency was in place.

When humans settled Athera, not Everyone came. Those that DID accepted the terms of the compact. The loss of unrestricted land use DID have benefits: humans on Athera seldom fall sick from debilitating disease (did you not notice??? Talera s'Ahelas died of fever on Dascen Elur, but had she lived on Athera, she would likely not have perished of disease) The very few instances of "sick" you have seen were confined to Etarra and Jaelot (or other areas where lane flows were disturbed. (The Mayor's gout, a jailer's cold, Halliron's brief cold all occurred in Jaelot's proximity, and the flow to that focus circle is flat messed up)

Each destination world had to be CAREFULLY chosen. It had to accept human habitation by free will. Dascen Elur in particular had very little inhabitable land mass - it was largely open ocean. (Reasons for this, and also reasons why the buffer world was predominantly a mineral desert)

Each of the gate worlds had a purpose, as "escape valve" for specific things -- South Gate was where technology was permitted to develop.

The immediate question: why should the Koriathain NOT have gone to a gate world -- is easily answered -- because their "magic" worked FAR MORE STRONGLY on Athera. They stayed for the power. That simple. Stayed for the power, and but always were resentful they could not make full use, as they pleased.

So - now you know the gate worlds permitted, even if in mosaic fashion, free expression of human free will - in such a way that Athera could remain undamaged - then you may be able to peer into the cracks of this tale and extrapolate some of the extenuating politics.....:-)

The gates, and the splinter worlds, were Fellowship workings - with a degree of partnership from the Paravians, since their world was the one subject to the effect by the prospect of human settlement.

Dascen Elur was a far flung set of islands, inhabited by a varied set of cultures who had to work together to trade to maintain their quality of life. It had a few spots where resonance was magic-friendly - and Dari s'Ahelas obviously would choose to settle there. Her issue remained.

Amroth - where s'Ilessid stayed, was the largest population center - and a prince whose gift was justice would naturally gravitate to that place.

The more sensitive s'Ffalenn heir chose the peacefully isolate, out of the way beauty of the original Karthan.

I have always warned that the complexity of Athera's fabric is wider and larger than this story reflects - or even, than all the points in this story can illuminate. Take care not to oversimplify as you play with the concepts.

The gates and splinter worlds, their makeup and function, were anything but simple in designed intent. To view the Law of the Major Balance on Athera, and man's FREE place in the pattern, the gates and splinter worlds must be taken into account.

Q: When exactly did the Fellowship exile people through South Gate?
A: Exile through South Gate, for those who chose to pursue the Compact's forbidden technologies, would have happened before creation of the Mistwraith.
Q: Can you tell us more about the worlds beyond South Gate before the creation of Desh-thiere? Why did the Koriani never choose to leave Athera?

The question ties to the function of Southgate itself, and its intent: to provide a "free will" escape from the constrictions of the compact.

Primarily the worlds past south gate were chosen for expansion of "technologies" that held the potential to shift planetary resonance. Machines that could "level mountains" - clear-cut forests - develop weapons of mass destruction - change the day/night balance of the light on a world - all these (and many more) would apply.

Therefore, what went through southgate would not return unless a wisdom accompanied, that understood the full scope of resonant cause to consequence. This is not a linear function. It is dimensional, and frequency based.

The frequency of the environment on the otherside of southgate would not readily support certain forms of "magic" - power and control based would not function with nearly the same range of potency. Therefore, Koriathain would avoid going where their powers would be "lessened."

Next - their jewels. Would not function as powerfully as they do in Athera; and the knowledge stored IN them - would be "cleared" by the gates forces. To take a focus jewel through - would erase its records; clear it. A focus jewel set as record keeper on the other side - brought back by an adept - would be cleared; and the adept, understanding resonant causation, would have no REASON to base themselves in a technological paradigm....

The events at the time of the compact were COMPLEX...a right tangle of politics and messy issues on the human side, and a frank dilemma, on the Fellowship's. Koriathain came to Athera and settled by CHOICE - they were, and remain, piqued, that they were not party to the formation of the compact. The compact permitted them to hold their records in crystal - it would be a straight violation to access them with intent to make them manifest in Any other form. Accessing a record from crystal - no work for a novice! Only the highest levels of administrative rank could do so....and in the case of the Waystone, and certain depths of the Skyron, at this time, only the Prime.

Therefore - why be Koriani and go through Southgate, and effectively, place yourself in an environment where your powers are, if not stripped, then vastly reduced...and you can't take your records that are technology based to recreate them...take yourself back to the 'magical' stone age and start from 'scratch' - in a technology oriented society...would you? The entire oath taking/initiation system they hold as their "order" would break down....and their PRIMARY reason for existing would be lost, irrevocably....their fundamental purpose is in the books...

Q: Why was Rauven so unfeeling toward Lysaer?
A: The Lady Talera of Rauven married Lysaer's father, who was King of Amroth. The marriage settlement was gifted talents to be assigned to her unborn children. (Had she more of them, yes, there would have been more elemental masters). When the King of Amroth later indicated, through a political slip, that his insistence on this form of dowry and the marriage itself had been for expediency, in gaining an edge with his feud with the pirate kings of Karthan, naturally, the mages at Rauven were not so terribly pleased.

Talera made threats that if the childrens' gifts were to be used for gain in war, she would retaliate. Her immediate obstruction made itself felt: no more children would be born to the marriage. Once her husband reached the point where he would impose his will upon her regardless of what she threatened, she left, and had her liaison with Avar s'Ffalenn. This was not supposed to be a love match, but grew to be so. When it became plain that the war between Karthan and Amroth would only be exacerbated by her indulgence, she broke off the relationship and returned to Rauven. Arithon was born there. Lady Talera died only a few years later, some said of grief; others of exhaustion and stress, since the years she had endured as Queen of Amroth had never been happy ones for her, caught as she was as a gamepiece between feuding factions.

The High Mage of Rauven had the raising of Arithon. As the boy was also the most gifted apprentice he had ever trained, and much of his love for his lost daughter was invested in her child, it is natural that his sympathies should have fallen to Arithon, the grandson who was close to him, and not the one who had been born as an instrument of war (whether or not Talera's obstruction prevented Lysaer's use on the battle front, at least until the time of Curse of the Mistwraith's opening. The fact that exile fell upon both grandsons, equally, was a "fairness" of the nature of the code by which the Rauven mages live, which is an evolved and different code than the tenets of the Major Balance by which their ancestress Dari received training from Sethvir. Years of isolation on Dascen Elur would ensure change; would promote change; which was the lynchpin of the West Gate Prophecy.

Q: Can you tell us more about Marak, where the Mistwraith originates?
A: The Order of Events as actual was this:
  1. Marak's world had no mists.
  2. The Fellowship created the gates (Southgate leads through another world to Marak, much as the West Gate leads to the world of the Red Desert through another to Dascen Elur)
  3. Those who INSISTENTLY kept reinventing technologies that required NO frequency based knowledge or awareness to invoke power and control = mass destruction - chose exile.
  4. Their "science" began the process that eventually created Desh-thiere.
  5. A bleed-thru happened - an attempt to combine the End Result of initiate awareness with tech based appliance. It backfired, and badly - the planet of Marak lacked the electromagnetics to support it.
  6. What you got.....

The scenes in the novel(s) that detail the creation of the Mistwaith are sketchily shown (at this point) in Warhost when Kharadmon returns to Althain Tower.

Q: How did the blood feud between s'Ilessid and s'Ffalenn originate?

Dascen Elur is a world of oceans, with small population, and widely scattered volcanic archipelagoes. Communication was slow and difficult, with all goods carried by ship. With no major continents to break up the wind, weather patterns were dangerous, quick to change, and the dangerously fierce storms could cause widespread damage. Fishing was a major staple; salt fish, in particular, carried folk through winter where soil was stony and crops subject to storm damage. Spruce forests on the mountainous slopes and the straight trees in protected valleys were used for ship building, and the houses warmed by gathering peat or sea weed.

The s'Ahelas lineage had been trained to the rudiments of power by Althain's Warden. Upon their small islet, the descendents made craft their byword and their trade.

S'Ilessid had the largest population and the wealthiest holding of land, best protected for agriculture.

Karthan and s'Ffalenn had very little arable land, and the severe storms at the wrong season often caused the crops at low elevation to fail. So they made their way by using what timber they grew to build ships, and move trade goods by sea in exchange for coin to buy what they needed.

The inception of the feud did not involve the royal houses at all, at first, but began when a grain merchant engaged s'Ffalenn ships to move a surplus crop to another islet. This merchant was subject to Amroth, from the largest island in the richest archipelago ruled under s'Ilessid. The grain shipment was outbound for smaller islet where crops had failed due to drought, also subject to s'Ilessid, and under the royal treasury's auspice, and funded by Amroth's council as relief to the realm's subjects caught in hardship.

The grain delivery was accomplished in the teeth of a rising storm, and the sacks of barley, oats and wheat placed into a dockside warehouse. The stores should have been removed to the security of high ground immediately, but the factor's son in charge of the lading was injured in the rushed unloading, and the underling who took over for him made off with a portion of the shipment for blackmarket profit. To hide his nefarious tracks, he got the overseer drunk, and paid off a corrupted harbor official. So the rest of the grain languished at harborside, and the s'Ffalenn captain, ignorant of skulduggery, had already laid his deepwater vessel offshore to escape the dangers of riding out a bad gale in an exposed, inadequate anchorage.

His ship rode out the storm elsewhere and returned to Karthan, unaware of anything amiss.

The grain in the warehouse molded, dampened by leaks from a storm-damaged roof. In desperate efforts to hide the mishandling and the shortfall due to theft, in fact to deny the fact that the relief grain had arrived at all, the guilty parties jettisoned the spoilage in the harbor by night to avoid vigilante justice at the hands of the hungry. The lading lists, the records, all documents appertaining to the shipment were destroyed; and in the famine that raked the isle, many of the key witnesses sickened and died.

Karthan sent to the King of Amroth to collect its due fee for shipping; and s'Ilessid paid in good faith; while the islet suffered, unknown to anyone, until the desperate appeal reached Port Royal that folk suffered, with children dead, and no relief grain received to ease their condition.

A s'Ilessid cousin was dispatched to investigate. He was received by officials unaware they were covering a lying colleague's dishonesty. No grain had been delivered, they insisted. No paperwork existed in the harbor master's office.

A now angry delegation was sent to Karthan to demand redress, not just for payment for a delivery paid for by the royal treasury, that was apparently never made, but to claim blood fee for the dead, and fines to settle the devastated islanders, with the additional demand for another shipload of grain to replace the one (apparently) absconded at sea.

S'Ffalenn denied all charges. Under questioning their captain swore he had made a proper delivery. The time of year being winter, there was no surplus grain in Karthan to spare, and Karthan's wealth, being ships, the demand in gold was too great to pay, even had there been cause for redress.

The quarrel grew heated. The s'Ilessid ambassador sailed back, unsatisfied, but bearing the original ship's log, and the stamped excise papers with the island factor's sign off for receipt of the shipment.

The ambassador was murdered in Port Royal, enroute to the s'Ilessid King, and the papers he carried disappeared. Whether this was the unrelated work of footpads, or the long reach of the corrupt island official, who now feared to hang for treason, is not clear.

But a second delegation, by two of the royal family, was sent from Amroth to Karthan to demand immediate redress. Without the original proof, the s'Ffalenn decided there was no way to swear to their honesty without sending their own ambassador to the King of Amroth, so both parties set sail together for Port Royal, including two sons of s'Ffalenn descent to earnestly match the two sons of Amroth's king, returning empty-handed to their father.

Mishap struck at sea, a common occurrence with Dascen Elur's violent weather. All four royal sons died of bad food from spoiled ship's stores. The bodies were heaved overboard by the captain, who ordered his ship, and his sickened crew, back to Karthan.

Amroth's s'Ilessid king was told by a corrupt council member that his sons had been murdered by a bribed councilman, paid off by the blackmarketeer on the islet. Both royal houses were devastated with grief, and for their own reasons, stayed annoyed with each other – s'Ilessid, believing s'Ffalenn corruption had caused a whole islet's population to suffer cruel deprivation, and s'Ffalenn, for believing they had been set up, since the original state papers had vanished in Amroth's capitol with no explanation.

Negotiations broke down again over the grain, and s'Ilessid's response was a demand, in coin or in kind, for damages to both the islet domain's families, AND now the royal house, for two sons dead on a s'Ffalenn ship. Reparation was promised if the settlement was not paid immediately in full.

Another meeting was attempted, with discord and hot words on both sides, and again, the issue was clouded by the dishonest factor who ditched the grain, and the harbor officials on the islet, now terrified to disclose the (likely) unsavory truth, with royal deaths involved on both sides.

The end result raised contention enough to send an army out of Amroth, which invaded the sparsely populated archipelago of Karthan and sowed the fields with salt to punish its villagers in like fashion for the starvation of Amroth's cheated subjects.

So began the feuding between the kingdoms on Dascen Elur, which lasted until the last s'Ffalenn prince was exiled through the Worldsend Gate. A peace was accomplished – with the eventual annexation of Karthan as a subordinate colony under Amroth's crown.