Archive through July 22, 2008

Janny Wurts Chat Area: Arc 4: Sword of the Canon: Initiate's Trial: First Sneak Preview - contains Stormed Fortress spoilers: Archive through July 22, 2008
   By Janny Wurts on Monday, April 21, 2008 - 02:22 pm: Edit Post

All right then - here it is. Flinch factor solved by shortening the cutoff, just shy of the truly explosive bit.

Please respect, the following is draft, and copyright material. With respect to the author, you are requested not post or forward it off this site, though direct links here for such sharing are welcome.

And - WATCH OUT! If you have not read Stormed Fortress, there be SPOILERS here!!!

The Fellowship Sorcerer entered the Koriani sisterhouse at Whitehold empty-handed, his purpose to close the terms of an ancient score, declared in an hour of bitter defeat, on a morning well over two centuries ago. He came clothed in formality, his robe of immaculate indigo velvet brushing the marble floor. The bright silver braid bordering his sleeves and collar caught the shafts of morning sun, slanted through the hall's seaside windows. As steely light were his eyes, steady as he took the measure of the Prime Matriarch of the Koriathain, enthroned in state panoply to meet him.

Always dangerous, the enchantress sat above everyone else in the room. Her coquette's beauty was regaled in the deep purple gown and gold thread of her supreme office, and her massive chair, placed atop a canopied dais, looked down on the initiate sisters selected to attend the audience. Where the Sorcerer was required to stand at her feet, his immense strength leashed in stilled patience, she glittered in extravagant triumph. Pale aquamarine, her eyes, hard as her jewels of amethyst and diamond, and just as stone cold, as she savored her moment to hound him to humiliation.

She had cornered his game, or so she believed. The flicker of jewels on the gloves worn to mask her grotesquely scarred hands all but shouted contempt. Peremptory, all but drunk on the thrill of her victory, she gestured for him to open the proceedings.

"Prime Matriarch," he greeted, too self-contained to sound cowed, though the grandiose hall with its marble and gilt splendor had been chosen for demeaning spite. The soaring pillars that upheld the domed ceiling diminished his upright stature. Lean and tall as he was, in that setting even his rangy build appeared inconsequential. Certainly the onlooking regard of the ranked Seniors picked to share his Fellowship's demise seared the atmosphere to contempt.

The weathered lines on the Sorcerer's features might have been quarried, his hawk's features deadpan and expressionless. "I have come in accord, to confirm the reckoning owed by our mutual promise."

Perfect with youth, though she was in fact aged, her vitality served by dark spellcraft that cheated death, the Prime Matriarch tipped her coiffed blond head to acknowledge his careful greeting. "Asandir." Her coral lips turned. That small smile of poisonous satisfaction stayed at odds with her cordial tone. "We accept, by your presence, the open acknowledgment that your Fellowship's debt is now due... "

[admin corrected quotes and apostrophes]

(Message edited by admin on April 21, 2008)

   By Catherine Wilson on Monday, April 21, 2008 - 02:44 pm: Edit Post

Dear Janny:


Well done! And, thanks.


   By Clansman on Monday, April 21, 2008 - 03:15 pm: Edit Post


Well, you did warn us. Man, I burn up really crispy.

I too, am hooked, and more than a little singed, but I asked for it. AND (in the words of the immortal Maxwell Smart, played by Don Adams) LOVING IT!

   By Zorana Lewis on Monday, April 21, 2008 - 03:21 pm: Edit Post


That says it all. Actually no, I think Clansman summed it up better so I'll reiterate what he said:


*ahem* And now I've got that out of my system. *grin* I too am completely Hooked. An awesome distraction from the blood, guts, gore, death and destruction currently taking up all my time (University essay time again!)and now, after I've recovered from my quivering heap of O.O -ness I can say Thank You for giving us this.

   By Auna on Monday, April 21, 2008 - 03:52 pm: Edit Post

Ooo, most excellent choice. Thanks Janny!

   By Waliam on Monday, April 21, 2008 - 03:58 pm: Edit Post

Oh. Very good Janny. Just sink the hook that little bit deeper into your loyal fans and keep them hanging. This makes me drool with anticipation and patience is a downfall of mine. Thanks for the tease . Can't wait for the publication.

   By Hellcat on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - 05:19 am: Edit Post

What Clansman said!!! ARRRRGHHHH!



   By Clansman on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - 09:29 am: Edit Post

Precisely: What debt? Anyone remember, since this is a spoiler thread? Methinks I need to start a re-read, 'cause I don't have a clue.

And 200 years? Hmmmmm....

   By Neil on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - 09:33 am: Edit Post

"well over two centuries ago"...which might even be after Stormed Fortress?

More than 2 centuries? Goodbye to Sulfin Erend in that case then unless a quick trip to 5 centries fountain has become a popular holiday destination.

Or was the debt incurred 100-200 years before Arithon's arrival on Athera?

Why would the Fellowship have a debt to koriani?

"cornered his game, or so she believed" ...hmm...hmm.

"dark spellcraft" doesn't seem to have come off too well in this series to date...I await, I hope, her disappointment in the next few paragraphs in this book sometime before Summer 2011 ;-)

   By Clansman on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - 09:33 am: Edit Post

Though I must say, I don't think Selidie is going to wear that satisfied smirk for very long...This is Asandir she is dealing with, after all.

   By Zorana Lewis on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - 09:57 am: Edit Post

I'm trying to figure out what the SF spoilers were in there, because at first glance there is nothing that screams SF......which suggests it isn't overly obvious.......or suggests I've finally cracked like I've been threatening to do for years! :-D

   By Zorana Lewis on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - 10:11 am: Edit Post

Urgh...this 'you can't edit after 5 minutes thing is annoying at times'. lol.

Anyhoo - there are SF Spoilers here - guess it's polite to warn you.

I'm guessing that the '200 years' bit is mostly pre-SF (or at least I'd like it to be) because, as others have said, it would mean that over the past few books characters such as Sulfin Evend have been developed, only to end up 6ft under (i.e. dead) from the outset of this book. Twould be a shame if that is the case, especially the Sulfin/Lysaer duo going on...

It would also mean no Arithon's daughter, unless she were specifically trained in longevity by the Fellowship, Biedar, or even the Koriathain.... though I have to admit the irony of having Elaira go through all that trouble to stop the Koriathain having control over her daughter only for said daughter to go and join on her own volition would probably kill half the population of WoLaS fans in one fell swoop! hehehe.

   By Brittani on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - 01:03 pm: Edit Post

OKay first I would like to say, I don't know whos idea it was to get a sneak preview almost three years before the publication but I could almost shoot them. Is it really summer of 2011? Jeesh!

Janny you were right, I am officially burned to a crisp!

So now onto speculations....

I am thinking that the 200 years ago had to pre-SF. Like Zorana said, if it wasn't that would mean that all of the characters Janny has developed would be dead and I just don't see that as being the way things are gonna go.

I can't wait to find out what Asandir does to Morriel. Won't it be great if they figured out a way to make her release Seledie's true self.

Ohh Im Excited!

3 years? Are you serious?

   By Janny Wurts on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - 02:07 pm: Edit Post


This said, barring the unforeseen, it should take place much sooner than projected above. :-)

Please, people, do not toss out even casual speculation with regard to publication dates - somebody invariably sees that, and takes it for "official" - then misinformation multiplies. Already several posts have fixed on the numbers and repeated them....a late in comer may not read the original flippant post, and go larking off, reposting someplace else...I want to avoid that!

The publisher has tentative plans. Though a nice sweet date has been discussed and projected, I will not announce it! No way, before draft is done, and before the book is actually in production, AND set in the publisher's catalog! Until that last step, the schedule is tenuous and subject to change, for all sorts of crazymaking reasons.

Schedules get shifted!! I could be on time, but another author, late in, could take the slot, this far out....I'd prefer to avoid the manic fury that happens when a release date gets moved.

Please - unless I post something, or confirm it, it's not solid information. Let the work on the book get done, first. :-)

   By Zorana Lewis on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - 02:15 pm: Edit Post

Bu.but..but does that mean that the date I heard from my cousin's sister's friend who just happened to hear from his brother's teacher's son who just happened to be told by his newphew's friend's father's boss was wrong?!

Well darn it! Thought I had an exclusive that I could go Nah Nah Nah Nah Nah with! *pouts*

..... :-D

   By Brittani on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - 02:22 pm: Edit Post

For the record...

I actually read "summer of 2011" right here. In fact it was posted at about 9:30 this morning.

and besdies

My family all read Steven King novels...creepy

If your cousin had a sister, wouldn't the sister be a cousin too?

Just kidding.. My Bad. I read it and thought it was an announcement about an estimated date that was being quoted by someone.

   By Clansman on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - 02:50 pm: Edit Post

I think Neil is tugging very, very hard on more than one leg.

   By Zorana Lewis on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - 03:10 pm: Edit Post

Well you would think the sister of a cousin makes her a cousin as well, but the step-sister of one of my cousins doesn't see herself as my cousin. So *grins* Technicalities. hehehehe.

Either way, I was only joking. :-)

   By Clansman on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - 03:11 pm: Edit Post

"She had cornered his game, or so she believed...Peremptory, all but drunk on the thrill of her victory, she gestured for him to open the proceedings."

To me,the words "or so she believed" are the foreshadowing of yet another comeuppance for Morriel/Selidie. But first, we must track down this reckoning, or debt from "the terms of an ancient score, declared in an hour of bitter defeat, on a morning well over two centuries ago."

Firstly, what is the hour of bitter defeat that occurred 200 years ago?

Secondly, what is the debt (Selidie's word) or reckoning (Asandir's word)? (The two words being different is NOT an accident. Janny has taught us that lesson.) What was the deal that was struck?

Thirdly, when was the bargain struck? I agree with the above posts (Janny cackles maniacally in the background) that we cannot be too far past SF. Too many good characters would have been lost. Therefore, we can only assume that this is around 150 years before the fulfillment of the West Gate Prophecy.

Any guesses?

   By Zorana Lewis on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - 03:31 pm: Edit Post

Well as to point 1.) The actual wording of the bitter defeat bit is: 'declared in an hour of bitter defeat, on a morning well over two centuries ago.'

Which means it is more than 200 years since that moment in the book. Now, the last bit of SF mentions the birth of Arithon's daughter, so we're talking at least 9 months have gone by. So....IF this is a direct follow on, then the 200 years ago bit would be around 5470ish.......give or take a decade or two (and make the dangerous assumption that it is 200 years on, and not more, as the sentence does indeed say 'well over two centuries'. lol. The only thing I know that happened around that time is Cilaldis leaving the continent in search of the Paravians (he did this in 5462), so I'm probably way off the mark, though it could be bitter.....but a defeat? hehehe

   By Auna on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - 04:01 pm: Edit Post

This is why I love this particular snippet. It's not painful enough to send people with knives on a stabbing spree, but it does send us on a treasure hunt through the past material to figure out if there was any whisp of a hint about what happened 200 years ago that involved Fellowship and Koriani.

   By Auna on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - 04:11 pm: Edit Post

hmm.. "She had cornered HIS game..." A reference to Arithon?

   By Hunter on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - 06:39 pm: Edit Post

I'm thinking that Initiate's trial is set over 200 years *after* the end of SF. Simply, if there had been a bitter defeat of the Fellowship by the Koriani, Morriel/Selidie's actions would have been very different, as would have been their interactions. For example, a bitter defeat before the conquest of the Mistwraith would have altered the meeting of Morriel at Althain.

200+ years later, the key characters are still around - Arithon, Elaira and Lysaer; the Koriathain and the Fellowship/Dakar/Verrain. The s'Brydion have served their purpose, the Alliance is broken. Arithon now has an heir, whom will presumably beget more heirs so the s'Ffalenn line is secured.

Elaira invoked a Koriani obligation on the Crown of Rathain (not Arithon) during the conception scene to recall Arithon. So there is a foothold. We also don't know what Selidie might do with or to Elaira that might cause Arithon to act or submit, threatening the Black Rose Prophecy, Paravian survival and so on.

After all, Morriel/Selidie has had her fingers singed (literally and figuratively) in every scrape with the Fellowship and Arithon throughout the series. The possible exception being her lane flux attack on Asandir. At some point, she has to win, or think she's won. It may also take her 200 years to work out how to get the stray iyat out of the Great Waystone!

In SF we finally saw the actual circumstances of Davien's discorporation. I would think relevant backhistory from shortly after SF ends would be told in snippets or exposition as required.

   By Brittani on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - 06:53 pm: Edit Post

I don't know. 200 years of extemely action packed history to have to tell via flash backs sounds hard. Otherwise we completely loose Sulfin Evend and several other well developed characters.

Janny may not have told us about the "secret" agreement between the Koriathain and the F7. I mean it was a "secret". And besides when have we ever been told every fun little tid bit that would eventually be interesting. I mean if we knew everything then nothing would be a surprise.

   By Lyssabits on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - 07:16 pm: Edit Post

Well, we lost Feylind in SF, and unlike television series, there are no contracts to break. ;) So I don't find it hard to believe that it's possible for us to be jumping two hundred years into the future if the only argument against it is that we'd lose Sulfin Evend. ;)

On the other hand, I DO find it hard to believe that we wouldn't be allowed to witness Arithon's discovery of his daughter's existence in real-time, nor that even the Fellowship could keep her a secret for 200 years. So the idea that the next book is all flashbacks is a bit hard to swallow as well.

However I honestly can't think of what this bitter defeat would have been. I wouldn't mind a jump, and the beginning of the book is a logical place to put one.. but it seems hard, given how many loose threads there were at the end of SF there that we could successfully jump without needing to backfill in the story. And if suddenly some event from before Mistwraith is being brought up that we've had no hint of before, well, ret conning usually leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Though I wouldn't put it past Janny to have left hints that none of us have picked up on before now.

   By Meredith Lee Gray on Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - 12:37 am: Edit Post

Well, personally I don't think the fact that we here can't think of what The Bitter Defeat might be means that it has to happen in the future (meaning, after the close of SF).

We have collectively been surprised and blind-sided by previous information we didn't know about. It's not unprecedented.

We didn't know about the bargain between Davien/Seshkrozchiel (sp?) or the manner of Davien's discorporation. We were all surprised by the full extent of the necromancer machinations (though Janny I think has indicated that we should have seen that coming). I mean... there have been many times when Janny introduces new info into the series. We don't know everything. In fact, I think we know only the tip of the iceberg.

So my point is that The Bitter Defeat could indeed have happened 200+ years prior to (approx) the end of SF. Just because we don't know what it could be, doesn't mean it isn't there.

I also agree with others who feel that many of the characters that have been thoroughly developed should/would not be just dropped. Sulfin Evend for one. His character has grown and been built up, for a purpose I believe, and I don't think he has fulfilled it yet. The subplot of Arithon's daughter for another. Like Lyssabits, I just can't imagine a scenario wherein, maybe Elaira or one of the F7 says to Arithon "Gee, remember how P.O.'d you were when you found out you had a daughter? And remember how important her birth was to the Fellowship, Sanpashir Tribes, and Koriathain? She was swell. Too bad she died. But at least now you have tons of great-great-grandchildren running around! Good times..."

I also agree with Lyssabits that there are probably hints in the interactions and POVs of the Fellowship/Koriathain about this but that we just were oblivious to before. Like the Kralovir.

There was also indication at the end of SF that the Fellowship were pretty much maxed out on tolerance for the Koriathain's shenanigans. So perhaps this is the culmination of that.

Another possibility is that the book could start out soon after SF ends, and maybe The Bitter Defeat occurs, and then we jump ahead a few centuries to this scene. Janny has made big time jumps in previous installments--but, granted, not THIS big. (Anyhow, I expected Initiate's Trial's start to have moved forward at least, I don't know... anywhere from 5-20 years from the end of SF, just so we can get into the action with Arithon's daughter right away and not have to wait for her to, say, learn how to walk and talk.)

*sigh* It's so fun to speculate, but it's so frustrating that no matter how logical our reasonings are, Janny seems to just be one step ahead of us.


   By Greebo on Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - 03:37 am: Edit Post

Belatedly I stroll in to join the fun...well that was an intriguing little snippet. ;)

My guess, off the top of my head, the "bitter defeat/ancient score" is set before SF and is something not yet detailed - something to do with the Great Waystone maybe? Unfortunately I have a terrible memory so sharper minds than mine will no doubt set me straight.

   By Hunter on Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - 05:34 am: Edit Post

This is indeed a fun discussion..

I quite like Sulfin Evend as a character, but I think he too has reached his useful life as a sidebar character in this series. Sulfin Evend had two key roles to fulfil in SF - which he did - and hence his contributions are completed. The key roles were what he did when confronted by the injured Arithon in the ship escaping Alestron (as the Biedar said he would have an option) and secondly, and most importantly, he was the spark that allowed Lysaer to gain a foothold on his sanity, repel the Curse and begin his path towards countering the Curse and indeed, potentially, much of the damage he has done with his Alliance.

We have lost many characters who fulfilled a function - Steiven, Dania, Jieret, Fionn Areth, even perhaps Parrien. Cattrick... the list goes on. If Sulfin Evend, or even Arithon's unborn daughter were blindingly critical to the series, they would have come along far earlier in the picture and been central characters.

I don't want these subsidiary characters along - hence moving 200 years into the future is good way of cleaning out the supporting cast from the Alliance battles and allow the final two Arcs to concentrate on the major unresolved issues in the series - which were all raised in one form or another in Curse. These include:
- The resolution of Desh-thiere which is still in Rockfell
- The defence or otherwise against further incursions from Marak (which was always a matter of when, not if, they came)
- The return of the Paravians
- Restoration of the Fellowship to Seven (i.e. Ciladis' return)
- potential for humanity to retun to other worlds (in which I think Lysaer is a key character to lead humanity off Athera to a new existence)
- resolution of whether the Koriathain can recover their original founding purpose or be part of the move to restore humanity to space faring travel.

A clarification - I mentioned that *relevant* bits from past history might revisited - not a complete re-run of historical snippets.

That Arithon is never to know he has a daughter rather indicates her path is not to be a s'Ffalenn.. One wonders whether she may re-found the royal line in Shand (but that is another issue).

Ultimately, I would be very disappointed if Arc IV only started generation after SF. There are another 450 years of the Five Centuries Fountain.. we can't spend the entire series in the first 50 years of this..

This of course, is all wild speculation on my part, only Janny knows for sure..

   By Iris on Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - 08:38 am: Edit Post

My first thought was that the failure referred to here was the failure of the F7 to return the Paravians to Athera - which the Prime may interpret (did I read this in SF??) as negating the need for the compact...


   By Neil on Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - 09:00 am: Edit Post

Apologies for being flippant above concerning said pub date of next WoLaS book ;-) I did figure it would be sooner, hence the joke (if one can call it that...) I hope to read the next book before I am 40.

Agree with Hunter. There are way too many big issues still left.

Arithon could deal with the free wraiths apparently...there are at least 3 hints.

"Desh-thiere" the paravians were unwilling to Name this.

"potential for humanity to retun to other worlds" ...hmm... I don't believe humans will be building spaceships quite yet. Daviens point was that Atheran humanity needs to *learn* to respect the higher freqiencies. The other F6 did not want humanity going off world...e.g. Ciladas: "reconciled solution" when Davien voted to send them packing). Maybe we'll see what is through the other gates though (other "release valves" as part of the compact, I think Janny called them?).

"Koriathain can recover..." - Arithon is still tagged as their nemesis...the biedar are "awakened" and seem to have bided their time thus far...patient bunch...perhaps because Arithon was seen as key.

My fear is that Arithon may succeed in helping restore the paravians but fall along the way...he may never know his daughter if she lives less than 500 years...the F7 know how to keep secrets...if he found out retrospectively, i.e. decades later...this might irritate him just a bit into an anti-F7 strategy. Humanity and F7 on athera cannot exist together long term ...there has to be an expiry date so to speak sooner or later.

The religion may attack Ath's adepts and Havish at some point.

   By Lisa on Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - 09:57 am: Edit Post

"If you have not read Stormed Fortress, there be SPOILERS here!!!"
What spoilers do you think Janny is reffering to?? The only thing i can think of is perhaps
maybe the fact that Asandir is there and not stuck in the grimward like he was at the end of TK

   By Clansman on Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - 10:32 am: Edit Post


Lisa, I do believe you are correct. Asandir was in dire peril at the end of TK, and for much of SF. I for one can't see any other spoiler in the so very brief snippet that we were allowed to see. (SOB!)

Anyway, back to speculation! Hunter has often shown a great deal of canniness in speculation. However, the loss of Sulfin Evend would be momentous. He is now a major character, and just glossing over the rest of his life (I believe he is relatively young (30-ish)) is not likely. I mean, Arc III took five huge novels to complete, so that all the ends would be tied up. I cannot see Sulfin Evend being ended as a footnote or a brief conversation in Initiate Trial (hereinafter "IT"). Janny doesn't leave danglers like that. All of the names Hunter cited had a described, real time (insofar as the story is concerned) death, not a death that occurred sometime in the past.

This being said, maybe Janny'll jump around the timeline a bit, but she hasn't done that yet, so I don't expect it now. Perhaps this meeting is set throughout the book, with flashbacks occurring over the past 200 years to bring the story up to the present.

So maybe Hunter and Meredith are both right.

It is the Bitter Defeat that is the key. Must start re-reading series....

   By Zorana Lewis on Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - 12:26 pm: Edit Post


Here is a quote right from the end of SF:

Spring 5672

"Far south, amid the black sands of Sanpashir, on the dark moon fallen nearest the spring equinox, the eldest of the Biedar unsheathes an ancient flint knife to cut the birth-cord of an infant successor; and her words, in thick dialect, charge the child to watch over the one names as Mother Dark's Chosen through the trials of the next generation."

Now, the way I interpret that is that the infant is Arithon's daughter, and she has been told to watch over Arithon, whom we know is Mother Dark's Chosen.

The 'trials of the next generation' would suggest that the Biedar at least know or suspect that something big is going to happen in relation to Arithon in his daughter's life.....which is the 'next generation' bit, which could, (unless she is given longevity training - which is a possibility as it has been agreed she will be under the care of the F7 for a time) argue that there has been no major jump forward in time, and suggest for of a gentle couple of decades jump.

Now, the next bit, in which Sethvir and the Biedar eldest have a little 'chat', in which the following is said:

By Sethvir: "My oath rests, that the father must never hear of the birth, or acknowledge the daughter delivered from this night's mating....You would not intervene, but through dire necessity."

By the Eldest: "This child shall come to spare her father, one day, dispossessed of his knowledge of her paternity."

Sethvir's reply: "Then, madam, I beg that you ask for such grace. In free will, by her royal gift of compassion, let Arithon's daughter choose for herself when the time comes to shoulder her fate."

It is obvious, that neither the Biedar, or the F7 want Arithon aware of her, so, as Hunter said, she does not sound destined for s'Ffalenn rule. But, by that little exchange between the two, it sounds to me as though she isn't destined for rule in Shand either.

This sounds cruel, but in my opinion, it sounds as though she was born to die, to save her father's life. I come to this conclusion through the fact that the Eldest says she will come to spare her father.

From what?

The only thing he could possibly want sparing from at this moment in time is the responsibility of crown rule, and as F7 say her paternity cannot be revealed, she won't be sparing him of that.

*shrugs* Just my thoughts. Though I really need to read the books thoroughly.

   By Trys on Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - 01:25 pm: Edit Post



The one thing you didn't address was 'successor'. If the child is to become the successor of the 'eldest of the Biedar' and there has been some indication that the eldest has been watching over 'Mother Dark's Chosen' is it likely/possible that the successor to the Biedar is out-tribe?

I suppose it is, but I just wanted to play "devil's advocate". :-)


   By Zorana Lewis on Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - 02:13 pm: Edit Post


Trys - I'll agree; it's likely she will succeed the 'eldest of the Biedar', but more in the sense of her becoming the main person to watch over the 'Mother Dark's Chosen'. According to this quote (pg 526):

"The time and the hour had been her kept charge, since her affirmation as keeper of Mother Dark's Chosen."

It sounds like AD (Arithon's Daughter) could potentially be the successor to this unenviable position.

And play away. I love Devil's advocates - always good to hear other opinions/ perspectives. :-)

[edited a rather daft spelling error]

   By Meredith Lee Gray on Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - 02:49 pm: Edit Post

I'll put SPOILER space for SF, even though we've been pretty much gung-ho the entire thread.


I don't believe that the infant who is being born at the end of SF is Arithon's daughter at all. IIRC from when I finished reading the book, the timing of that birth would not coincide with Glendien's necessary 9-month gestation period. When I read SF, I remember being really confused by the dates "Spring 5672". Because that's, like, right after the scene with Glendien still at Althain, is it not? Someone would have to check the dates, because I don't have the book to hand. But I remember commenting about it here in the chat at the time.

Anyhow, I take that infant successor to be the Eldest's successor from within the tribes there (presumably, she's of the Biedar, though it's not mentioned), destined to be the new "Eldest" of the Biedar and to watch over Arithon through the trials of the "next generation", unrelated to Glendien or Arithon's daughter at all.

OK, this is what I wrote in another thread after I just finished SF:

Oh, and speaking of the last triplet. At first I assumed the child being born was Arithon's daughter. But the timing isn't right. Because the Concatenation chapter occurred in Winter (not even EARLY Winter like some of the earlier chapters were), and the last triplet with the cutting of the birth-cord of the "infant successor" is supposedly in Spring. So at MOST that would be six months. Granted I have never carried or birthed a child myself, but isn't normal gestation 9 months? And I was confused as to why/how Glendien was suddenly in Sanpashir. ;-) So my conclusion is that the child is the Biedar Eldest's successor, to "watch over" Arithon in his coming trials. Maybe this was obvious to everyone else but me, IDK. I had to read it a few times to understand what was going on.

So I think just from the dates it's pretty much impossible for that child to have been Arithon's daughter being born.

But you do bring up an interesting point that just from that triplet, mentioning watching over Arithon through the trials of the "next generation" seems to be a set-up that we will be able to see some of those trials, so Initiate's Trial could very well begin sometime within that designated "next generation" time frame.

As Hunter says, fun speculation. But, as always when speculating on Janny's books, we are all just banging around in the dark, knocking our shins on the furniture and stubbing our toes.


   By Meredith Lee Gray on Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - 03:07 pm: Edit Post

Oh, and I did want to say in all fairness and objectivity, that the more I thought about it, the more I did acknowledge the point that some, like Hunter and others in the "let's jump ahead a few centuries" camp had made, regarding characters that have fulfilled their purpose.

Sulfin Evend is the main player of whom it's debatable if he's outlived his usefulness (so to speak). Yes, he did some important things in SF, and I suppose you could end it there. But I do feel in my gut that he has an even more important role to play--possibly with Arithon, but especially with Lysaer of course. It seems like there may even have been foreshadowing to suggest such, but from memory I can't dredge anything up.

Then you have Jeynsa, but she seems to have come to terms and moved on with her life, and I don't think we have anyone at all in the Rathain clans that have any especial tie to Arithon. They seem to be set for now.

Kyrialt, Parrien s'Brydion, Fionn Areth, Feylind, and Vhandon are all unfortunately deceased.

There's Talvish, whom I love as a character, but unfortunately is still expendable. There's Fiark, but he doesn't seem to be destined for any huge fate, useful as he is. Erlien is certainly entertaining, but already pretty old, and he has never shown any interest in doing much else besides protect his feal following (understandable).

The s'Brydions have become an ineffective ally for Arithon now, what with their lack of a fortress and considerably less of an armed fighting force.

Glendien's purpose seems to pretty much be to give birth and possibly nurture Arithon's daughter a bit. But beyond that, is there any indication of a greater destiny?

We have Lirenda, but she seems pretty well truly trapped in her useless position, and anyhow she should have the extended lifespan to survive 200 years.

There's Kevor and Ellaine, and their ultimate fate seems much of a mystery to me. Would their life expectancy be any longer dwelling with the Adepts? I don't think there's been any indication. Is their destiny completely sealed to just stay where they are until they eventually die in peace? Or was there something mentioned in the books about the possibility of Kevor to return from the groves and interact with his father in some important way? Or was this just speculation on this site? Or maybe I'm just off my rocker.

Then of course there's Arithon's daughter. The F7 and Biedar seem fairly certain that Arithon should know nothing about her. But is this just their intention (which can always go awry), or is it some sort of prophetic declaration? In any case, it seems she does have a destiny. "This child shall come to spare her father, one day, dispossessed of his knowledge of her paternity." It is possible that this could be some obscure rendering, wherein one of her great-great-great-grandchildren does something for Arithon at some time in the far future... but I rather think it's more of a one-on-one, deliberate type "sparing".

But otherwise, I think almost all the other characters have extended lifespans and would thus still be around 200+ years in the future.

So anyhow. The point of this long rambling is just that yes, many of the characters could be theoretically dropped--in the sense of their mortality finally catching up with them--and having the story advance.

But I still think Initiate's Trial will start shortly after SF ended. Within a few decades at least.

   By Trys on Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - 04:14 pm: Edit Post

Spoiler messages are very much required as this is not even in the SF spoiler topic. :-)

I've renamed the thread to indicate that there are spoilers in here but please use the standard SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER all on one line please.

(Message edited by admin on April 23, 2008)

   By Neil on Thursday, April 24, 2008 - 09:01 am: Edit Post

I wonder whether trial could be a trial as in a law court?

As an aside: Davien told Arithon that the end never justified the means. The F7 means are certainly questionable several times in the story as far short term goes...and I suppose if they explained their reasoning it would nullify their intent sometimes.

   By Julie on Thursday, April 24, 2008 - 04:20 pm: Edit Post

The way I read the infant Biedar is just as it says- the seer to watch over a prophesy fullfilled-Mother Dark's child (Arithon). Now that he is in the world and apparently integral to Biedar they will have watchers for the span of his life.
Sulfin Evand is a much more complex character than Feylind etc. He did not make the choice over Arithon's life in SF. Remember he was attacked by Parrien before he took any real action. The reason for him drawing his blade is not clear. So I imagine the role he will play in affecting future generations(see translation of the Biedar name for him)is yet to happen. I still hope he is eventually offered Fellowship initiate training.
As to the 200 years- It is not clear if Janny refers Seldie's physical state- we know what Morriel did to cheat death, so this scene may not be too far beyond SF.
Thats my 2 cents!

   By Erik-Berndt Scheper on Friday, April 25, 2008 - 08:55 am: Edit Post

Well, there's something else that struck me, which hasn't been covered yet. The preview above states that Asandir entered the Koriani sisterhouse at Whitehold, which is in Eltair Bay, Melhalla if I'm correct.
But the end of SF, Asandir has told Elaira that the Prime Matriarch means to retire in and sulk in seclusion at Forthmark, which is a city in Vastmark, Shand.

Any suggestions?

   By Clansman on Friday, April 25, 2008 - 09:09 am: Edit Post

The Whitehold sisterhouse was chosen to impress. It wouldn't take long for Selidie to travel there with her entourage after licking her wounds. I don't see the change of locales as significant beyond Selidie's stated purpose, but I have often completely missed important details like this before in this series.

Janny is a crafty, cunning tale-spinner, after all.

   By Jo on Friday, April 25, 2008 - 01:48 pm: Edit Post


Wasn't Sulfin supposed to meet Arithon 3 times? Something to do with killing not killing him. Can't quite remember and could be wrong. Once in the cave, once on the boat and there must be another meeting.

   By Auna on Monday, April 28, 2008 - 01:26 pm: Edit Post


I don't think we are done with Sulfin, there is the matter of the oath he swore and the ultimate choice implied - land or Lysaer. I really expect this to come to a head at some point. I don't think the boat scene quite cut it in regard to this tidbit.

Short of re-reading everything again, I can't think of any situation where the Fellowship 'lost' to Morriel or made any type of bargain with Koriani. 200 years would mean Morriel's lifetime or Morriel as Seledie. I'm betting on something new that we didn't know about but probably should have seen coming.

   By Brittani on Friday, May 02, 2008 - 03:22 pm: Edit Post

I just realized something.

At the end of SF after Asandir puts the F7 flag at Alestron it says something like Asandir said that Alestron would be sealed until the Paravian's come to judge - but then the ending - where 'for centuries' the passersby noticed that the F7 flag on the topmost keep didn't fade.

I wonder if that is a hint?? It would imply that either the Paravians did not come back for centuries, the Paravians did not give Alestron back to the S'Brydian and the flag just stayed there or the S'Brydian all died so there was no one to claim the fortress.

Maybe it is a hint that in fact the next book will be starting a couple of centuries after the end of SF. I just don't feel like enough of the lose ends were tied up to be able to jump ahead several hundred years. Just think of all of the major events that happen over the course of decades much less centuries.

   By Julian Miller on Friday, May 02, 2008 - 09:04 pm: Edit Post

I'd just like to make my first post on this here site to say, ouch!. I'm going to be wondering about that snippet till the book comes out!.

An intriguing turn of events indeed.

   By Janny Wurts on Saturday, May 03, 2008 - 12:05 pm: Edit Post

Hi - Welcome here Julian Miller!

   By Aria on Sunday, May 04, 2008 - 07:52 am: Edit Post

Hee come out of lurkerdom again and what do I find? :-)
Thank you, Janny!

My thought on the snippet was that it was 200 years after the events in Fugitive Prince, and it was referring to Morriel's takeover of Selidie. But then I reread. :s

Bah! It's been too long since I read the series (including Stormed Fortress -I managed to find it in the shop before the Pub. date) and now stupid exams mean that I can't reread any time soon. :-(

Still, very intriguing Janny and good luck with writing the rest to the deadline that YOU want (and not what other people -other than the Publisher- says).

   By Hunter on Sunday, May 04, 2008 - 06:19 pm: Edit Post

Whether or not the "bitter defeat" was before or after the setting of SF, the next question is why Morriel took 200 years to call due the debt? It's clear through the series that the Koriathain hoard debts and use them at the time of their choosing. If Morriel did have a debt over the Fellowship, what circumstances might prompt her to call in such a debt?

   By Zorana Lewis on Monday, May 05, 2008 - 07:52 am: Edit Post

Spoiler and all that jazz

The thing that springs to mind with me is that in SF Morriel/Selidie comments on her 'annoyance' (to put it mildly) about how Elaira managed to have Arithon's daughter fall out of their control, when something similar happened with Dari s'Ahelas way back when.

So could it not be that the birth of Arithon's daughter is what prompted the call of debt?

   By Clansman on Monday, May 05, 2008 - 09:14 am: Edit Post


You'd better pick up "Child of Prophecy", which is the short story that explains the Dari s'Ahelas events. I don't believe the two are even remotely related, due mostly to the contents of that story.

   By Zorana Lewis on Monday, May 05, 2008 - 09:26 am: Edit Post

Now that is one that I'm struggling to get hold of. No book store in Birmingham seems to stock it, and Waterstones and Borders don't even have it on their inventory so I can order it. (and yeah, before anybody asks, I am asking for 'The Masters of Fantasy ed. Bill Fawcett, and NOT simply Child of Prophecy by Janny Wurts. lol) *sighs* Amazon have it, but after a bit of a 'disagreement' with them, they locked down my account so I can't shop with them anymore.

But cool. I'll do my best to read it, but it's just finding the durned thing. lol.

   By Meredith Lee Gray on Monday, May 05, 2008 - 01:16 pm: Edit Post



I don't think the two are related, but I think Zorana has a point about the similarity of the instances. Bear with me, because it's been a while since I've read Child of Prophecy.

But in both situations, the Koriathain were thiiiis close to getting their greasy mitts on a child of royal birth, but in both instances they lost out. In CoP, the Fellowship had a more direct intervention. But even in SF, the Fellowship played some role in pulling the unborn child clear of Koriani machinations (well, so far).

   By Clansman on Monday, May 05, 2008 - 02:30 pm: Edit Post

My point, which I should have taken the trouble to actually state, was that the birth of Dari s'Ahelas was not the bitter defeat. It was too long ago, and it was a downright victory, as the wee bairn was almost in the clutches of the Twisted Sisters when-

ah, but that would be telling. Obviously, it didn't happen, but I won't tell Zorana about the ending here. Suffice to say, it was not a bitter defeat. Nor was Arithon and Glendien's union. If anyone got defeated, it was the Koriathain, not the F7.

   By Meredith Lee Gray on Monday, May 05, 2008 - 03:50 pm: Edit Post

Sorry, I guess I misunderstood. I didn't read Zorana's original post as her saying that she thought Dari's birth was the 'bitter defeat.' I thought she was just commenting on the similarity of those situations.

No, obviously the timeline's would not be correct for that, as you say.


   By Zorana Lewis on Monday, May 05, 2008 - 03:57 pm: Edit Post

I didn't mean to imply is was the 'bitter defeat' either. lol.

What I meant to imply was that in SF it states that the Koriani had failed to get hold of Dari (told in CoP; though do remember I've never read this *g*) and that the same has just happened again with Arithon's daughter (AD). So, is it not possible that Morriel is now going to desperate measures to try and get AD....or indeed thinks shes found a loophole from some old debt that means she thinks she can claim AD for the Koriathain?

As for the time issue, the sentence in question is:on a morning well over two centuries ago

Which does kinda raise the point that it is more than two centuries........

But *shrugs* Yeah. I really need to get my mitts on CoP. Stop me making daft assumptions.

   By Meredith Lee Gray on Monday, May 05, 2008 - 04:15 pm: Edit Post

SF SPOILERS AHEAD (I guess I don't need to post this, since the thread title warns it?)


FWIW, I agree with your daft assumptions, having read CoP. I'm glad you clarified, because originally that was what I thought you meant. That due to again missing out on an opportunity to claim a royal child by default (or, heck, even just trumping Arithon for once), they are calling in this debt.

I think that the morning in question would be closer to the 200 year mark though. Otherwise, Janny probably would have written "close to three centuries ago" or "over three/four/five/etc. centuries ago". So I think we should be checking for events that occurred 200-250 years ago. Since the verbiage is "well over two centuries" it is probably not near the 200 year mark, though.

Hunter is absolutely right in that it's (perhaps even more) important to wonder what prompted Morriel to cash in this particular chip--obviously the 'bitter defeat' that brought on the debt is a momentous event. So is it due to missing out on claiming Arithon's daughter that Morriel is now resorting to desperate measures? Or has something else happened that we don't know about yet? And why has Morriel or the F7 never reflected on the owing of this debt? Or have they, and we've just missed it?


   By Zorana Lewis on Monday, May 05, 2008 - 04:22 pm: Edit Post


As far as timing goes, you're probably right to say it's around the 200 mark. And the only thing I can find that happens around 200 years ago is Ciladis going to look for the Paravians, which he does in 5462. He never comes back, and he never finds the Paravarians........well, he might have done, but he never comes back to tell the F7 about them.

That's certainy a bitter defeat as far as the F7 are concerned, but how that involves the Koriani? *shrugs* beats me.

   By Meredith Lee Gray on Monday, May 05, 2008 - 06:12 pm: Edit Post

Yeah, that's pretty much the only thing anyone's been able to come up with for what happened at that approximate time.

But as you say, what does it have to do with the Koriani?

Maybe, some time after Ciladis disappeared and Sethvir could not longer track/locate him, they asked the Koriani to scry for him for some reason. Maybe they have some secret or special way of searching that was beyond what the Fellowship could do. With one of their fancy-schmancy crystals. If the Fellowship asked a favor such as that, you can bet the Koriani would milk it for all it was worth... Just a random supposition.


   By Brittani on Monday, May 05, 2008 - 06:15 pm: Edit Post

Maybe it has something to do with how Sethvir ended up with the waystone. Some how or another the Koriani lost their big stone during the uprising I think and that could be considered the bitter defeat.

   By Shuvra Ray on Monday, May 05, 2008 - 11:24 pm: Edit Post

I'm new to the website but not new to the wonderful world of Janny. What a delicious little snippet you have provided for us... both honeyed for its insights and bitter for its brevity. Oh I pray the book comes out as soon as possible. My best wishes Janny.

   By Trys on Tuesday, May 06, 2008 - 05:05 am: Edit Post

You do need to add the spoiler warning so that when people do searches and the list of posts come up a spoiler is not revealed in that list. :-)

   By Clansman on Tuesday, May 06, 2008 - 08:30 am: Edit Post


"...honeyed for its insights and bitter for its brevity."

That is both an exceptionally nice turn of phrase, and apt.

As for the Waystone, wouldn't that be a bitter defeat for the Koriani? And didn't that happen in the uprising, four or five hundred years before Morriel possessed Selidie?

   By Janny Wurts on Tuesday, May 06, 2008 - 10:02 am: Edit Post

Hi Shuvra Ray - welcome here!

   By Brittani on Tuesday, May 06, 2008 - 05:49 pm: Edit Post

Okay so now I really want to real Child Of Prophecy. But I can't find it. I think it is part of a book called Fantasy Masters but I can't find any place that sells it online.

Janny a little help please?


   By Janny Wurts on Tuesday, May 06, 2008 - 05:54 pm: Edit Post

Masters of Fantasy, edited by Bill Fawcett and Brian Thompson, published by Baen Books.

   By Hunter on Tuesday, May 06, 2008 - 06:07 pm: Edit Post 1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1210114959&sr=8-1

   By Brittani on Tuesday, May 06, 2008 - 06:15 pm: Edit Post

Found and Ordered!

I had the name backwards and I didn't know anything other than the title was made up of the words Masters and Fantasy and I had them in the wrong order.

Makes it a little hard to decide which book you need.

Thanks a bunch Janny and Hunter!!

   By fhcbandmom on Tuesday, May 06, 2008 - 09:09 pm: Edit Post

In another topic Janny wrote:

"This I can promise - the conflict will not stay static or ever be as it appears (you were well warned in the prologue!!!) This is NOT a linear story, but a dimensional one. As it expands, like ripples, the apparently linear progression of All Other plot lines will come to reveal wider facets."
Sounds to me like the "sneak peak" could be from 200 years after SF - like Hunter suggested. We're not reading a "linear" story - but it had been up to this point. Maybe Janny has been watching too much "LOST"! (LOL)

   By Meredith Lee Gray on Tuesday, May 06, 2008 - 11:53 pm: Edit Post


I don't think Janny's statement that her story expands dimensionally means that we will have a jump of +200 years at the end of this book.

I think we're all aware that there could and very possibly will be a jump of a significant chunk of time. But I really don't feel it will be before the story of Initiate's Trial begins. It's conceivable to me that IT starts just after SF, and then makes a significant jump ahead at some point during that book.

If this defeat that the F7 suffered is so grievous and bitter and happens just after the end of SF, I wouldn't think it would be told as a flashback or an aside when Janny is in the position to be able to tell us that story in "real time" as it were, chronologically. If any of that makes sense.

I took Janny's statement that fhcbandmom just pasted above to mean that her story would expand, not just in one straight line from beginning to end. But it would grow in all directions. It has already begun to do so, in my mind. It doesn't have to do with time, and whether you skip 5 years or 200 years of time. In my mind, I think of it more like the growth of a tree. The trunk doesn't just grow straight up from the ground until it stops. But it grows branches, and those branches grow branches, and the branches leaf out, and the canopy spreads out in all directions... LOL, well maybe I'm getting a little carried away.

In any case, I think Janny's quote above is just as much an argument that there IS a bitter defeat 200+ years before where we are right now (in the storyline) that we just don't know about. ...the apparently linear progression of All Other plot lines will come to reveal wider facets. This bitter defeat, previously unknown, could just be a wider facet that will come into full light at some point during IT. Like the Kralovir during TK. Like Seshkrozchiel and Davien during SF.

P.S. - If this all turns out to be nonsensical ramblings, my apologies. It's getting late here in the PST so maybe I'm just losing it altogether...

   By Hunter on Wednesday, May 07, 2008 - 07:37 am: Edit Post



This story is told as a series of Arcs, it has just so happened that the first three Arcs comprise less than half a century (Third Age 5637 to 5671). Lysaer's Alliance is broken, Lysaer himself no longer believes in his Alliance, so is he going to continue gallivanting around Paravian rousting yet more people up to try and kill Arithon and remaining clanspeoples? I think he will continue to try and free humanity from the tyranny of the Compact - Lysaer grew up on a world without the restrictions of the Compact, his view is that human destiny should not be thwarted, Compact or not.

Assuming this is 200+ years into the future, let's say the year 5900, Lysaer and Arithon will then be over 250 years young. Longevity in Fellowship mages and Koriani is understood, the clansfolk understand the magecraft behind the Fellowship and semi-mortal Paravians so understand the impact of Davien's Five Centuries Fountain.

How does Lysaer, who has no supporters similarly blessed with longevity, survive? What impact does it have on his Religion when he does not age and outlasts generation after generation of followers?

Several pending issues might mitigate against this being 200+ years into the future. The potential escape of Desh-thiere from Rockfell is one such possibility that won't wait 200 years. Similarly the rest of Desh-thiere on Marak may yet invade - is 200 years sufficient time for all the trees that formed the basis of the beacon to bring Kharadmon home to die of natural age? I suspect not.

   By Julie on Wednesday, May 07, 2008 - 12:37 pm: Edit Post

Since I'm a Sulfen Evand fan I like to think that Asandir wove a longevity spell into the wardings he placed on SE at Althain Tower. What's the point of having a caithdien when there is no one prepared to step in if SE dies before Lysaer is firmly on the path to redemption?

   By Brad on Thursday, May 08, 2008 - 05:23 pm: Edit Post

I'm wondering if it could be a prescient dream of Dakar or Arithon.

   By Brittani on Thursday, May 08, 2008 - 05:24 pm: Edit Post

You know that sounds like something Janny would do too!

   By Waliam on Thursday, May 08, 2008 - 09:29 pm: Edit Post

I agree with Brad this could be a prophets dream, however, I find it interesting that most of us are asking the questions, "When did this happen and what debt could the Koriathain have over the F7?".

I have been wondering what prize or restitution could the Prime Matriarch be about to ask of Asandir? Whatever she wants to settle this debt is obviously something Janny does not want us to know about yet.

So if we know the answer to this puzzle, maybe we will have a better shot at finding out when and what the debt is about.

A change of perspective often yields the hidden reward.

   By Brad on Friday, May 09, 2008 - 09:41 am: Edit Post

Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler

This preview really runs counter to everything that happens at the end of Stormed Fortress. Davien gets his body back. Asandir gets out of the grimward and Sethvir isn't suffering from the earthlink anymore.

I was happy to see the F7 finally get Athera under control again and expected the Koriathain to be served a comeuppance. Now we see a glimpse that something disastrous has/could happened.

My first though for the F7 to go under an obligation of debt is a large scale invasion of free wraiths (not all of them but enough to risk the world) and they needed the witches to minimize the damage to humanity.

-Reading Hunter's post now, Desh-thiere is definitely a similar possibility.

My second is that Arithon really does get cornered and imprisoned as Morriel saw. The entire reason that Morriel has been trying to get him was to use him as a wedge to break the compact. If the F7 see that Paravian survival WILL end (via strands) if nothing is done, they are drake bound to do something.

All I can say is this teaser is pure evil Janny. We're going to be nuts over this for months.

   By Julie on Friday, May 09, 2008 - 11:32 am: Edit Post

This scene is much more detailed and straight forward than any of the prophecies revealed in earlier books. I read the line about having his game cornered, "or so she thought" as Asandir being more in control of the situation than Selidie thinks.

   By Kenneth Murphy on Monday, May 19, 2008 - 07:05 am: Edit Post


Have lurked on this site for a long time now & have never succumbed to the temptation to post until now!

Big part of me wishes I hadn't read this preview, it's gonna have me up at night! lol.

Just wanted to make 2 comments :

1. I do think the story will jump forward 200years, the 2 side characters most everyone (& myself) seem to want in the next book(s) are Sulfin Evend & Arithon's daughter, both of these certainly have the potential to attain or be given longevity, so I don't think we have to worry about losing them!
The comments at the end of SF about the centuries passing over Alestron & the Beidar Elder passing on the 'mantle' to watch over Arithon seem to indicate a major time shift.

2. I think the most intriguing thing is the name of this Arc "Initiate's Trial'.
Who is the intiate? Can't help but think it is Arithon's daughter, perhaps just after SF something happened to obligate the F7 or the daughter herself to the Koriani, perhaps the only thing the F7 could do was delay the inevitable, for 200years?

I find the line “The Fellowship Sorcerer entered the Koriani sisterhouse at Whitehold empty-handed..” why make the reference to empty-handed? Was Asandir supposed to bring something or someone with him? (Perhaps Arithon’s daughter for intiation into the sisterhood?)

LOL. Getting carried away speculating now…

   By Julie on Monday, May 19, 2008 - 11:21 am: Edit Post

Why would the F7 ever promise a child to the the Koriani when their practices go against most of the Law of the Major Balance? Even if they schemed to get a sympathetic initiate into the sisterhood, the child would have to swear an oath over a presumed cleaned major crystal- too many potential pit falls.
I think the F7 needed potential heirs for Rathain as well as new talent into the clan gene pool, and the Beider need Arithon specifically for their prophesy.
I'm still holding out for Sulfen Evand apprenticing with the Fellowship perhaps 200 years down the road(maybe he is the "cornered game").

   By Kenneth Murphy on Monday, May 19, 2008 - 02:07 pm: Edit Post

I was thinking the 'bitter defeat' being on the morning of the girls birth, something goes awry & the child becomes indebted to the Koriani, perhaps Elaira assists in the birth & is forced to save the baby using her skills as an koriani enchantress; The F7 defeat being their failure to stop this, instead only delaying payment of the debt.

As I said pure speculation run wild! ;p

   By Julie on Monday, May 19, 2008 - 05:48 pm: Edit Post

Can't imagine either the F7 or the Beidar would allow that to happen. I hope it is in reference to something totally different. I like when Janny weaves side stories in to the main narrative.

   By Izzy on Monday, May 19, 2008 - 08:41 pm: Edit Post

I think nearly everything (not all) could be found in Asandir's statement:


"I have come in accord, to confirm the reckoning owed by our mutual promise."

to "confirm" the "reckoning" owed by our "mutual" promise. It implies that the Twisted Sisters (I love that term. Kudos to whoever first said it :D) promised something back to the F7, and that Asandir is there for a reckoning, and not necessarily to pay a debt.

Also remember, that the F7 do nearly everything via permission. If the Koriani were to ask for something, it could well be beyond Asandir's power to deliver due to him NOT being given the necessary permissions.

As someone said above (sorry, can't find the name to acknowledge on a quick sweep) wording is critical when it comes to Janny's works :-)



   By Blue on Tuesday, May 20, 2008 - 01:31 am: Edit Post

It was either Hunter or Clansman who first used "twisted sisters" to describe the Koriani, if I recall correctly.

For the record, it is a favorite expression of mine to describe that little coffee klatsch. :-O

   By Brian Uri! on Tuesday, May 20, 2008 - 08:55 am: Edit Post

Another point to consider with all the speculation about missing too much if the narrative jumps ahead several centuries -- although this fragment feels very much like a "Chapter One", it could also be an opening scene from a later part of Arc Four (like starting with Grand Conspiracy rather than Fugitive Prince). It could be that we will get to experience the bitter defeat firsthand, but Janny just had a later scene that had to get out on paper!

   By Janny Wurts on Tuesday, May 20, 2008 - 11:06 am: Edit Post

Hi Kenneth Murphy - warm welcome to the ranks who are visible!

And to everyone - you have no idea how delightfully fun this is, seen from the author's perspective. Keep stabbing away in the dark...:-)!

   By Auna on Tuesday, May 20, 2008 - 01:24 pm: Edit Post

Oh that was mean Janny ;)

I'm actually having a blast too. This is a great snippet to postulate theories over.

I too think the wording is very key. Good luck trying to corner the Fellowship. Can't wait to see the end of this exchange.

   By Neil on Saturday, May 24, 2008 - 04:37 pm: Edit Post

I reread and (I think) saw this, this evening: "Perfect with youth, though she was in fact aged".

Selidie was not "aged" during the last story arc. I don't think this "aged" is refering to Moriel.

Conclusion: some time has passed since AoL.

   By Julian on Monday, May 26, 2008 - 05:11 am: Edit Post

Ah, but Neil that sentence also mentions the dark spellcraft with which she is kept alive which i believe is a reference to the possession of Selidie by Moriel. So it could well be talking about Moriel in that sentence.

Mind you, i do think it is an event in the future, as i can think of nothing that would of left the seven indebted to the Koriathain, nor can i see the Koriathain having the seven in debt and not taking advantage of it already. I imagine Moriel would of brought it up when she visited Althain tower to complain about the waystone!.

I do hope Janny doesn't skip too far into the future with this next book, as i've been looking forward to Lysaers struggle with the curse, now that he has realised that he can fight it. Also, it would be a pity for characters such a Sulfin Evend to drop out of the story, but i don't think that would impact too much on the story as a whole.

   By Neil on Tuesday, May 27, 2008 - 07:48 am: Edit Post


Hmm...fair point. How long does would Koriani look young for?

Several hundred years IIRC as per the koriani in Furgitive prince that Caolle dealt with.

So selidie might still be young or just look it...who knows?!?

Agree about the timing of the koriani debt.

If you were Arithon, would you find a way to tell Lysaer that you, Arithon, had removed the curse? The clans would certainly pass the word to each other.

Maybe the curse has served the purpose of the mistwraith...religious momentum within humanity.
If the curse was aimed purely at nullifying the Arthon + Lysaer threat, and captured Arithon's knowledge surely it would know that shadow and light elemental control could be duplicated on Dasclen Elur again. Although this could be an acceptable short term win.

Killing Arithon seals humanity's fate. On a solely paravian inhabited paravia would the mistwraith be forced to face the might of the dragons? Presumably a dragon could dream the destruction of mistwraiths to save paravians?

You know that Sulfin, at least, has some idea of the real issues and can pass that information on to his successors.

Would he tell the priests? Who would surely have the talent (sooner or later) to perceive? But perhaps they carry on regardless...

I wonder whether Arithon, Luhaine, Davien will pre-emtively strike against Koriani and fail perhaps?!? Hence the debt? They have to run out of patience sooner or later. The Biedar seem to be communicating solely with Sethvir however and their aim to protect Arithon long enough to deal with koriani, necromancy and free wraths on his own?

Has a koriani prime ever met a paravian?

   By Julie on Tuesday, May 27, 2008 - 11:55 am: Edit Post

Priests would be the last group Sulfin Evand would confide in at the current time, even though he persuaded Lysaer to recruit talent to the Light. SE has had is own epiphanies partly through the unleashing of his own raw talent and his one on one experience with Lysaer. Lysaer and SE have to figureout how to now dilute the priesthood of talent before it takes on another life of its own.
AS far as successors to SE- the young guards whose names I can't remember(who originally guarded Kevor) seem to be the best choices. THey are loyal and not blinded.

   By Dave Shaw on Friday, May 30, 2008 - 02:55 am: Edit Post

Hi All
Been following these postings with great interest and thought i might share a couple of thoughts.

"I have come in accord, to confirm the reckoning owed by our mutual promise."

The only thing that comes to mind that they were in accord with and held a mutual promise is Elaira¡¦s longevity.

They both agree that Elaira needed the longevity treatment for Arithon, tho for far different reasoning
They both made a promise to Elaira that shell live for the same amount of time as Arithon.
If the prime matriarch finds out about F7 interference with Elaira¡¦s longevity she may consider there being a debt for such, or may threaten Elaira in someway that holds sway over F7. in either case "I have come in accord, to confirm the reckoning owed by our mutual promise." May make some sense. Then again maybe not.

Well I hope this adds to that entire hair ripping, nail crunching hysterics that has Janny rolling around her study in stitchers HE hee. ļ

   By Erik-Berndt Scheper on Monday, June 02, 2008 - 02:13 am: Edit Post

How about Enithen Tuer? She certainly was old enough to fit in the timeframe. Maybe the F7 and the Koriathain made an agreement when the F7 freed her from oath-bound duties to the Korathain.

   By Dan Whitehouse on Thursday, June 05, 2008 - 05:27 pm: Edit Post

I'm not sure if this qualifies for SPOILER status (being a little newbie here)... but just in case: SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER! ;-)

I think Erik-Berndt's idea is very interesting, I hope that there's a chance for a little Enithen Tuer back story... or possibly that elderly lady in Jaelot from GC(?). I keep wanting to give Elaira a damn good slapping over revoking her oath to the Koriathain. At some point Elaira's crystal and its preferences must force the issue to a head.
As for Sulfin Evend, perversely I don't think he'll be around much longer. It would be too much of a benefit to Lysaer to have someone so level-headed at his side. He's got to go.
In direct reference to the lovely snippet of story with which the lovely Janny has ruined my ability to sleep tonight:
Ancient score - it's been mentioned before, and unless Janny does a massive time jump (which popular opinion thinks is unlikely) it has to refer to something prior to the arrival of Lysaer and Arithon on Athera. By ancient, I'm wondering just how ancient... the arrival of man on Athera? The Koriani weren't invited to debate on the terms of the Compact but I can't imagine them just keeping quiet.
In any event, the manner in which the debt comes to be repaid is interesting... what could possibly cause the Fellowship to be in this position? Is Asandir taking a leaf out of Davien's proverbial and setting up Seldie? There could have been some hints in the above "draft", I thought. Could this then be a blind in order to release Seldie from Morriel's possession? I'm trying to think if the personal nature of an oath of debt could be used somehow in conjunction with the philosophy with which initiate mages see the relationships between themselves and the world.
Oooh, "mutual promise" suggests some back-scratching has occured. I think someone ealier mentioned the Sorcerers asking the Koriani for help with the wraiths... could be. The term "demise" gave me pause, but that was from the witches' perspective and so hopefully they're deluded.

Many thanks to the lovely Janny for allowing us all (and me in particular) to speculate (and ramble). I'm just pleased I live in England and so get to buy the books a little earlier than others... selfish, I know, but I'm an addict.

   By Erik-Berndt Scheper on Friday, June 06, 2008 - 03:49 am: Edit Post

Well, I certainly don't believe there's going to be a huge time jump. Actually, there's more I found last time I re-read the book (but didn't share here yet).
I wonder if anyone noticed Asandir's phrase "Don't rest on your luck. I'll be there before you." with regard to Selidie, just before parting from Davien.
Also, we are told that Sethvir has done an augury on the whereabouts of the Koriathain. I cannot believe that's a coincidence, but then again, I may be wrong...

   By John Parsons on Monday, June 23, 2008 - 04:55 pm: Edit Post


I'm really enjoying the speculation in this thread (Although we're probably so far off course that Janny is choking with laughter!).
Here is another snippet I've just noticed:


Certainly the onlooking regard of the ranked Seniors picked to share his Fellowship's demise seared the atmosphere to contempt.

1. somebody's death: the death of somebody, especially when it happens slowly and predictably
2. end of something: the end of something that used to exist, especially when it happens slowly and predictably

As has been said, Janny chooses words very carefully, so not defeat or suffering but demise!
Why? How?


   By Mark Stephen Kominski on Tuesday, June 24, 2008 - 11:02 pm: Edit Post


A. Return of Paravians (but then Koriani would not be happy)

B. Towns finally went too far, and Fellowship were forced to observe the compact and obliterate humanity (doubt Koriani would be too happy about that, either)

C. Note the phrasing "picked to share"; implies an event that is forthcoming, as they are not already sharing in it. Would further imply that Koriani machinations have brought the Fellowship to an impasse where their demise (most likely as a Fellowship...just don't have enough power to shut the F7 down on their lonesome, these witches) is possible, or

D. The witches made the Dragons a deal they couldn't refuse, and have replaced the F7 as the wardens of the compact (is that Janny's teeth I hear cracking?).

Gonna vote for 'C', although certainly don't have a monopoly on the alternatives....

   By Carole on Tuesday, July 08, 2008 - 03:50 am: Edit Post

Hello everyone I'm new here :-).

I've recently started re-reading these books and then found this discussion.

Towards the of the very first book Traithe finds Elaira to stop her from contacting the Fellowship and during the course of the discussion he says something like a reckoning owed. This is in respect to the fellowship choosing to sacrifice Lysaer when the mystwraith are about to break free, instead of Arithon. Could it be this that is being referred to?

Its probably way off but I thought I'd post anyway :-)

   By Janny Wurts on Tuesday, July 08, 2008 - 09:00 am: Edit Post

Hi Carole - welcome here!

Guess away.....:-)!

   By Carole on Tuesday, July 08, 2008 - 02:13 pm: Edit Post

Oops just re-read the bit I was referring too and its not quite where I said it was.

It's where Dakar is talking to Kharadmon on their way to imprison the wraiths.

If anyone wants to look it up, in my paperback version its the top of page 664, chapter(or is that subchapter...) called Incarceration.

exact wording is "If so, our Fellowship has a reckoning to answer for."

   By Neil on Tuesday, July 08, 2008 - 04:34 pm: Edit Post

I took this to mean that Kharadmon is admiting that the F7 made a mistake in casting Lysaer into jeopardy and that the mistake was compounded because of the justice geas.

The reasoning behind the royal geas is yet to come I guess. I assume the geas is needed to maintain integrity through the years whilst on Athera until an alternative solution can be found.

   By Shuvra Ray on Friday, July 11, 2008 - 11:07 pm: Edit Post

I've just been reading through the extract again carefully. It is quite clear that a significant period of time has passed since SF as Selidie is described as being aged. Whilst the text mentions the use of dark power to keep her looking young, this surely refers to Koriani longevity training and not to Morriel's possession of Selidie which plays no part in keeping Selidie looking young.

Also I agree that the use of the word demise is very specific. This suggests that the fellowship has fallen in some way. Troubling thought:-(

   By Hunter on Saturday, July 12, 2008 - 02:09 am: Edit Post

The specific passage is "Perfect with youth, though she was in fact aged, her vitality served by dark spellcraft.." which to me suggests that Selidie's body has undergone Koriani forced longevity training. However her hands have not yet healed. Which is perhaps not incorrect.

Healing her hands requires regeneration aligned with the original spirit of the flesh - which is the poor Selidie, incarcerated in her own flesh, whereas the Koriani longevity is enforced longevity. Given those tenants from necromancy, the concept of a foreign entity ruling the flesh with unnatural longevity is perfectly acceptable.

   By Gary on Tuesday, July 22, 2008 - 04:39 am: Edit Post

First time poster...

I have to say that I don't think Janny has given ANYTHING away in the snippet above!

What "mutual promise"?

This phrase suggests the Koriani and the F7 agreeing to work in accord on something. The Koriani have no interest in Major Balance or the Paravians or the rule by the royal lines. There driving interests seem to be in power and in human kind - probably in that order. The F7 have no interest in power, other than the correct application of it in line with tLoMB and only to the degree necessary. Seems to leave the only possible area of cooperation with human beings. (Unless, of course, I'm obviously missing something!)

They could both agree that continuance of human life on Athera would be a worthy target for cooperation. However, since it doesn't appear that all the Koriani are going to be deported to some other planet, at least some humans are remaining.

I'm intrigued by the idea presented somewhere above that the F7 meddling with the royal lines may have crossed some important line. Lysaer had no way to defend himself from possession because his line was not allowed the freedom to question anything related to his sense of justice. The F7 essentially robbed the royal lines of freedeom of choice in a fundamental and important way.

Could this be what the F7 did that has put them in this position of trouble? If so, what took the Koriani so long to figure it out? And where, when and how did they figure it out?

I look forward to hearing everyone's enlightened insights on these ideas!

By the way, Janny, LOVE the work!

   By Janny Wurts on Tuesday, July 22, 2008 - 09:24 am: Edit Post

Hi Gary - welcome here! :-)