Hi, Tom here, 22 and student from Leicester, Loved the books for many years now and thought to finally delurk. I have a question, regarding the above title and time paradoxes
We know from 'Sundering Star' and various other references that Sethvir is Calum Quaide Kincaid and the group referred to as 'his lifework and that of his six genius colleagues' presumable refers to the individuals that would become the fellowship of seven. We also know that after unleashing destruction the seven fled from what they had done across space from where they were plucked by the dragons, given an opportunity to redeem themselves and fight the war against the Seardluin on behalf of the Paravians. We also know that upon completion of this war their task was to ensure paravian survival and had almost ensured this when humanity arrived creating the compact and forcing the seven to remain.
With me so far, this is when it gets complicated.
In one timeline Kincaid unleashed destruction, presumably just before the beginning of the second age, this then gives him time to travel across space, be noticed by the dragons and arrive on Athera at the start of what will become the second age and fight the Seardluin war.
However at the beginning of the third age, many millennia later, humanity arrive fleeing the destruction caused by Kincaid themselves and the implication is that it has just happened. This creates a time paradox as Kincaid cannot have unleashed death at both times!!!!! Did Kincaid unleash his destruction just before the beginning of the second or the third age?, if the second what did humanity do in the mean time before arriving on Athera and if the third how could he do that and simultaneously be on Athera looking after the Paravians,
Anyway sorry if I am not making any sense but this has been bugging me for a while now
Consider the possibility that the 'remains of humanity' are what are left millennia after the destruction 'sown' by Kincaid and that they have wandered (with perhaps stops along the way) all this time before arriving at Athera.
I have considered this possibility but surely that is not a very good answer as that would imply the very miniscule possibility that they would just happen accross the same planet as the fellowship had landed on. Also if during their wanderings humanity had found a semi acceptable planet surely they would have stayed and not kept on wondering. Also then, when they arrived on Athera why should this planet be any different. Why would they not accept Davien's offer of resupply and move on. Particulary with what they would percieve as a great destructive evil, i.e. the Fellowship already in residence would they not seek to leave as soon as possible. They would remember due to the collective memory of the Koriani.
My $0.02 is that the dragons were not and are not bound by linear time. So the call to find the masters of destruction to combat the Seardluin went across both space and time. So my presumption is they were plucked from wherever they were going by the dragons and deposited on Athera. Their spacecraft is rusting away quietly at the bottom of Crater Lake.
I'm not sure the parallel timeline existence is of huge importance in the story. I'm not about to do a Doctor Who type time and space discussion on what is or isn't possible..
It is not clear exactly how the remnants of humanity arrived on Athera - i.e. how they found Athera and the manner of their travel. It is presumed that the Koriathain were in charge but that would be pure conjecture.
On Athera, people have forgotten the Fellowship, the Paravians and the Compact after not too many generations. If the remnants of humanity arriving were several millennia after Calum Kincaide's original cataclysm, that event would be folklore at best.
And, to address your last point about the Koriani - yes they remain knowledgeable about Calum Kincaide's weapon and it's effects. The Koriani having continuously strained against the restrictions imposed by the Fellowship. But (it is the big but!) as far as I recall, the Koriani have not yet put two and two together and matched Sethvir and the Fellowship with Calum Kincaide and his colleagues. The Koriani would have reacted very differently if they had made that link. The Koriani therefore didn't equate the Fellowship with the great destructive evil, rather the Korian saw the Fellowship as overbearing guardians thwarting self-believed Koriani rights to rule humanity on Athera.
The Koriani also rather liked Athera - as a high resonance planet, the Koriani spellcraft worked exceedingly well, allowing them power they would not have on many other planets.
Hi Thomas Fairman! Welcome in, it's so much fun when folks finally delurk! (yup, there are who knows how many others about....grin) The bigger the party, the better!
You've probably lurked long enough to know I don't answer questions unless asked directly by name.
Let the discussion go on, meantime.
I know just thought I would throw this out there for discussion
I had assumed that Morriel's mention of Kincaide meant she knew Sethvir was the same person.
I'll be alert for that passage when I do my next read-through.
My take was also non-linear time but no reason why humanity might not have drifted 10000 years. They *were* a space-faring civilisation...there is no implication that the civilisations recently collapsed at beginning of Athera 3rd Age. All we know is that Davien considered them a rag-tag remnant...there is even a reference to their population in a conversation with Arithon(?) Necromancers must have been part of the population. The Biedar came later perhaps?
The Koriani purpose is not to rule. It is to maintain humanity's "higher culture". A human- centric view that they do not have the power to enforce on Athera.
I do not think they ruled on the way to Athera either. Although their seniors' longevity is an advantage...but if the prime had experiences via waystone why live bother to live longer? Presumably because their system needs years of training that would not be possible for a human living only 70-80 years.
It is certain that Morriel does not recognise Sethir as Callum. Fugitive Prince conversation makes this very clear. He probably did not have grey hair or a beard back then! And I believe that Koriani seniors are not all aware of what Morriel/Selidie knows historically about humanity. This knowledge could only be in the waystone.
I am not certain the Seardluin were the only drakespawn problem either...they are simply the most bloody so far...the hate-wraiths were pretty nasty too :-)
I am not convinced I agree with these statements.
The Koriani purpose is not to rule. It is to maintain humanity's "higher culture".
The Koriani very much wanting to be the ruling power, they may have previously had a figurehead who was the recognized ruler but that person clearly danced to the Koriani tune. This is clear from Sundering Star.
As Elaira says on any number of occassions to both Selidie/Morriel and Lirenda, the Koriani have strayed far from their original tenet, which was healing and guidance. Not sure "higher culture" was ever on the Koriani agenda.. if there is a specific example, please share as I'm happy to be corrected.
Quite possibly how previous Seniors used the Waystone may have been different, but it's clear that Morriel's ability to wrest all of the secrets - and indeed take guidance from the Waystone - are limited at best. Remember that all of the Koriani crystals are in fact sentient - something recognized on Athera but only by Elaira of the Koriani. Previously it appears they had simply been used as tools. For example, spell crystals being forceably cleared after the death of an enchantress. A sentient crystal probably doesn't take too kindly to forced clearing.
See Fugitive Prince (trade paperack page 120) or "demand" within chapter 3.
"founded to resist the collapse of higher culture"
Granted they worked with rulers ("stood beside them" or something like that? Probably in the same conversation with Sethvir)
According to Moriel's reflections in this passage F7 battled drakespawn (not just those seardluin :-)
Koriani were "lent no voice" in the council that negotiated with the F7 / Paravians when humanity arrived. Who negotiated then for humanity.
How are necromancers even tolerated? Surely humanity would have some kind of reaction to this dark practice?
20,000 humans arrived according to Davien / Arithon conversation in TK.
I think that the Koriani are still not fully expressed in the books. They have military/religious like ranks...and the Biedar, Arithon and Davien are not fans :-)
But the Koriani Prime has something she feels worth maintaining. We do not know what this all is. Assume knowledge of things that the paravians and F7 deem dubious practice.
Arithon explains to Sulfin in Stormed Fortress that they catalogued everthing...and this was dubious and open to corruption / distortion
The Koriani may have been founded to resist the collapse of higher culture but by the catastrophe caused by Kincaid it seems obvious they had strayed, they stood at 'the right hand of government'. Also even if they were granted no official voice it is still perfectly possible that they were the driving force behind the actual negotiatiers, the 'shadow behind the throne' as it were. Also I had always assumed that the knowledge of the koriani deemed dubious was the eventual implications of gunpowder. Asandir, when talking to the s'Brydion admits that the seven deny gunpowder in order to prevent a repeat of their previous mistakes. But the Koriani Prime would have knowledge through the waystone. This would certainly be seen as dubious practise. As would their practise of enslaving crystals to power. Though this would be something the seven would be powerless to prevent, they could certainly try, and do, restrict any knowledge of gunpowder.
We know very little about the actual arrival of humanity on athera. I had always assumed they arrived quite soon after the devestation by means such as the Worldsend gates, after all we still don't know were two of them go, or some other means. Is it possible that humanity too were drawn to Athera by the drakes for some as yet unrevealed purpose. This would explain how they just happened accross the same planet as the seven in the vastness of space?
I disagree about the gunpowder, as that is simple technological knowledge that is denied by the terms of the Compact. I think that is something of a red herring, as it arose only in Ships of Merior, and has not been heard from since.
I think that a much closer look at the short story Sundering Star is in order. That story deals with the Koriathain and the Beidar, and their first interactions. They intensely dislike each other now (to say the least). Why? It appears that the Beidar are a force for good, and are supportive of at least elements of the Compact. They do not appear to have power ambitions, and we know that the Koriathain are a bunch of power-hungry ambitious harpies. Certainly Morriel/Selidie is.
Thomas, I've always gone with the answer of coincidence as far as the human settlers showing up on the same planet as the fellowship. Sometimes there isn't a plot motivated reason... although with Janny that isn't often.
Apparently none of you have read 'Sundering Star' the short story by Janny about the origins of both the Koriani and the F7. But it also makes clear, at least to me, that the Biedar were the ones who effected humanity's transfer to Athera.
There's a good discussion about this over at Goodreads:
Annette, I can't believe you haven't talked about this, or traced it, the way you've traced the lanes and so forth.
Janny asked at Goodreads if anyone could figure out if Morriel Prime has connected her knowledge of history to the present. One reader found the answer in Grand Conspiracy when Morriel attacked Asandir when he was trying to effect a transfer:
In the riptide of weakened control, he risked disclosing every damaging detail of his origins to Morriel's grasping interest.
That above anything, he must not allow. Those ancient blood debts had been fully redeemed. Events carried through on distant soil and other worlds served no place here and now on Athera. Set in the wrong hands, or whispered in the ears of Lysaer's fledgling priests, the damning history of Fellowship affairs might be used as an arsenal to damage the future.
Grand Conspiracy pg 424 (paperback version)
That would seem to imply that the Koriani were NOT behind humanity's transfer to Athera. I always assumed that the F7 had something to do with it since they hammered out the contract with the Paravians. I also took from Sundering Star that the Biedar were the ones who actually did the transfering... presumably by some kind of bending of time and space.
I am Aussie500 over at Goodreads so yes I read all the side stories and picked them apart. Janny has just not yet given us the clues to pick apart what Scathac means which is what I was hunting for when I noticed that thread, thought I would contribute a bit while I was there. Although I knew what Janny was angling at with the fellowship point of view, took me ages to find the reference.
The other split reality thing similar to how Scathac survived, was when the fellowship cast strands at Earle. Arithon is going to be visiting Earle at some point in the next 2 books, will be interesting to see what he asks for when he gets in.
I doubt the Biedar had anything to do with humanity's arrival on Athera. Humanity arrived by spaceship, Biedar arrived in their own mystical fashion, no way would you get them on any spaceship. Although they do not seem to follow any law of the major balance, I am not sure they would have influenced the course the human survivors were taking. They probably already knew where they were going to end up anyway. I often wondered though just who Torbrand arrived with, was it the remains of humanity, or was it the Biedar tribe. The fellowship had been on Athera for some 12,000 years, so I doubt they had anything to do with humanity finding Athera and ruining all their plans. They just caused the problem that sent humanity wandering in the first place. The fellowship just helped draw up the compact and the kingdom charters, although Davien would rather have just resupplied them and sent them on their way. Which we will probably find out would have been the wrong thing to do.
Janny never answered my question concerning the diminished tribe on Athera. But it could be that it is not only that there is only one tribe on Athera that the tribe is diminished. The koriani did not seem that powerful, magic wise back when Sundering Star took place. It could be when they stole the knowledge of the tribes, it also allowed them to steal something else. Something to do with the origins of the tribes and perhaps the power that has been passed down through the Koriani Primes.
I also find it strange Morriel/Selidie knows so much about ancient history, but does not seem to know very much about the origins of their own major focus stones.
Oh, duh. Aussie500, huh? I think I saw you'd said that before.
What makes you think humanity arrived on Athera by space ship? Lysaer and Arithon arrived by the 'world gates.' I know humanity was there before that, but where is it said or implied that they arrived by space ship?
The Biedar are the tribe or 'fringe elements' on Scathac that Jessian was sent to talk with. At the time of the great calamity, the Koriathain were much less powerful than they are in the time that the WoLaS take place. And the series makes plain that they stole much of their power from the Biedar. And Jessian wasn't sent there to rescue them, but because of their power, their esoteric knowledge, their magic. The Koriani coveted it, quite naturally, as they saved Scathac in some manner that bends my thought processes and I can't quite understand it. But they seem to move the planet, either through space or through time or both.
I'm not sure what you mean about the F7 casting strands at Earle? Where and when does that take place?
Possible spoilers way down at the bottom......
Janny's question from Goodreads
"What did you think ACTUALLY occurred on Scathac, and - how might the potential for such power impact events on Athera - go on and speculate! Have you seen traces of this in the story itself, yet?"
'As the makers of form and substance,' Luhaine petitioned, 'we beg permission to access your mastery through the hour we shape our augury. Guesswork is too dangerous. The Mistwraith's curse has stirred the most powerful human factions on Athera to renewed pacts of hatred and violence. Now, the dragon-skull ward blinds Sethvir to the consequences. For the sake of our duty to uphold the compact, hear our formal appeal. We ask elemental help to bend time. Allow us to view the true course of events as they come to be manifest.'
Fire replied, a crackling sibilance of sparks. 'We cannot assist with an act of intervention that would alter the thread of the world's fate. We serve free will; its ordained limits are not ours to cross.'
Grand Conspiracy pg 282 (mass market pb)
'Your request is granted, given the grounds of appeal. We will lift the veil of time for the duration of twelve years, but no more. No ward set by man will blind Sethvir's vision, but beware: the foreknowledge you gain must not open temptation to meddle.'
Grand Conspiracy pg 282 (mass market pb)
Unseen but for the stir of wild energies that prickled the hair at the nape, the elemental forces Luhaine had petitioned now joined with the Sorcerers' stilled focus. The workings of invisible powers reknit the veil of the mysteries, and subtly, silently, transcended the boundaries that anchored the root of the world.
An electrical current swept the core of the circles, spiked with the sheered tang of ozone. The water cavorting in the fountain sublimated away into nothing, and the sparks in the fire pan whirled up in a crackling vortex and vanished. Blackness claimed the sealed chamber, more dense than the vacuum between stars.
Against that unwritten scrim of poised force, Sethvir spoke again, a lyric line phrased in ancient Paravian that granted an unconditional consent.
A snap just past the limits of sound grazed through bone, flesh, and sinew. Time broke from the present. The air outside the conjured circles went unutterably still, its essence beyond animate concept of dark: lightless, empty as the void of potential that preceded the solidity of creation. Inside the circles, on an islet of chill stone, the square of dark velvet lost contour and form, until it became a primordial extension of the same formless energy. This conjury was no mere seeing, no illusion or reflection, but a perilous unmaking of all bonds to matter by the primal forces of the four elements. By their dire cooperation, the scrying within would go forward outside the frame that maintained the world's form and function.
Grand Conspiracy pg 286 (mass market pb)
Wow, thanks, Annette. I'm waiting on my reread until closer to the release of Initiate's Trial, and I'm getting impatient to start. I have a lot to look for when I do it. I can't remember for sure, but think I've read the whole series twice, and this will be my third? I'm in awe of your ability to find these tidbits.
When you start that re-read would you consider starting a discussion thread to see if others want to join in? I know I would try to participate.
Just to give some insight into space travel, humanity could have been fleeing from the cataclysm for a relatively short amount of time.
Based on the pretty good assumption that a spare-faring humanity survived via ships, they would have access to ships that travel at relativistic speeds.
If the ship was sufficiently fast (such as those roughly 1/4 the speed of light or greater), 10,000 years could go by in a matter of years (or months, or weeks, etc) with respect to the inhabitants of the ship(s).
I don't see there being any problem with a time paradox.
Iagree with Annette. I think they came thru a world gate. the North worldsend gate probably leads right to Seattle!!!lol
The gates were formed as part of the compact that allowed humanity to settle on Athera, there were no splinter worlds and no gates before humanity arrived. And there was no proof the human survivors had light speed vessels. In Sundering Star we were told PanTac had a monopoly on the light-speed class hulls that made starships (Undercover of darkness pg 241). It could have taken humanity longer than 12,000 years to find an uncharted planet, they would not have come directly to Athera and we have no idea how long it took the human civilisations to actually collapse. Or the dragons could have snatched Calum Kincaid and his team from any time even the far distant past well over 12,000 years before the start of the third age, they could have been brought forward in time.
There seems to be an anomaly with the number of Prime Matriarchs since the destruction of the home worlds. There has been over a thousand them! Although they probably never started out with an extended life span, and Morriel is probably the first to live over 1000 years, for an unbroken line of Primes we seem to have a bit of a mystery.
I have almost finished collecting my quotes, just have to flip through the books and actually find the page numbers.
I'm fairly certain that humanity did NOT arrive on Athera in space ships! That just outrages my sense of mystery... I have a vague memory of Asandir telling about their arrival there and will make note in my reread.
And Trys, I would be glad to start a thread. I'm lousy at reading slow and taking note of things, though. I always get caught up in the momentum of the story and can't stop! But I'll try.
To save Sleo looking.
Koriani travelling was based on the technology of the civilisation that they originally came from. The same technology they agreed to give up under the terms of the compact when they settled on Athera. The fellowship also used an engine to travel between the stars, theirs just arrived on Athera by more mystical means.
Morriel Prime sat in her nest of piled cushions, eyes unseeing and open. Right and left hands rested yet on the focal channels of two crystals, with her frail body in linkage between them. The Great Waystone twined the given talents of thousands of enchantresses into one. Upon that cold flux, the Prime imposed her given will. She had no sentimental attachment to Athera; on the contrary, the viability of any one planet became an expendable resource. Break the compact and the covenant of Paravian preservation, and mankind could reclaim its interdicted knowledge and remanifest the technologies of star travel.
Grand Conspiracy pg 439-440 Mass Market PB
'Our Fellowship was drawn here by drake-dream,' Asandir confided at last. 'The power of old dragons has a very long reach, and it chose us
because we were deemed masters without parallel in the terrible arts of destruction. The engine we had taken to flee the horrors of our past was
plucked from its transit across the deeps between stars. Crater Lake in Araethura marks the site where the forces arisen from the drake's desperate
need hurled it earthward.
Ships of Merior pg 400 Mass Market PB
I well remember Morriel Prime's obsession with gaining mankind's lost ability to travel between stars.
And the second quote by Asandir is talking about when the F7 arrived at Athera, is it not? Was that not separate from humanity's arrival?
It was two seperate arrivals, by some 12,000 years. The fellowship arrived at the start of the second age, the remains of humanity seeking sanctuary arrived at the start of the third age. But both came from the same civilisation and both used the same technology before arriving on Athera. The Biedar who were apparently following the Koriani were an entirely different culture, they do not use technology.
ARGH! I was trying to find this discussion and couldn't, so Trys suggested I open another thread, so I did and posted this that I am copying and pasting here:
Somewhere else in this forum there was a discussion on this subject and now I can't find it, of course. I was outraged by some suggestions that they got there by space ship, as the whole idea of a space ship on Athera just outrages me. I'm currently rereading the books, to prepare for the release of Initiate's Trial, and also to sift for Janny's damnable esoteric hints!
Asandir does say how he and the other sorcerers arrived:
Quote: Our Fellowship was drawn here by Drake-dream, Asandir confided at last. The power of old dragons has a very long reach, and it chose us because we were deemed masters without parallel in the terrible arts of destruction. The engine we had taken to flee the horrors of our past was plucked from its transit across the deeps between stars. Crater Lake in Araethura marks the site where the forces arisen from the drakes' desperate need hurled it earthward. We were given our deliverance there from the guilt and the agony that harrowed us since our acts. And though bloodshed by then was abhorrent to us, we fought to ensure Paravian survival until the last of the Seardluin lay dead.
Then it only says 'Men arrived..." not how.
I just finished Ships of Merior in hopes that Asandir told the s'Brydions in his lecture about Atheran and F7 history, but alas, he does not say specifically. It dawned on me suddenly, though, that they must've arrived through the World Gates. He (Asandir) does say that certain ones were expelled through the Gates.
Side question: Do we know who or what made the World Gates?
The Fellowship made the World Gates, as part of the compact apparently.
WORLDSEND GATES - set at the four compass points of the continent of Paravia. These were spelled portals constructed by the Fellowship
of Seven at the dawn of the Third Age, and were done in connection with the obligations created by their compact with the Paravian races which
allowed men to settle on Athera.
Ships of Merior Glossary
Oh! Well that seems to imply that humanity used them to settle then. As to how humanity arrived at the same planet as the F7, might we assume the F7 invited them??? Perhaps out of their guilt for past misdeeds and for the fact that humanity was in tatters?
Humanity went from Athera to the gate worlds, not the other way around. The Fellowship never created them till humanity had arrived and the compact was needed.
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.
Davien & Ariton disuss in Traitors Knot? Humanity were capable of moving on...at the time, reprovisioned. Presumably Koriani Prime has this knowledge of space faring technology for the moment. The Bieder might also be on Athera by choice and could move on? It is not discussed but townborn and clan might still have this knowledge?
Humanity arrived at Athera on their own. Without paravian permision humanity would not have been permitted to settle on Athera. The F7 agreed to help negotiatations IIRC.
Yes the remnants of Humanity arrived on Athera many millennia later. consider that the possible stops along the way is how humanity first colonized the worlds beyond the worldgates and they just stumbled through there after technology had digressed back to that of Medieval times.
Note many books and films depicting how "backward" civilisation and technology becomes in a post-apocalyptic world.
side note: it took Moses and his group 40 years to cross a desert. a group of straggling survivors is going to take much longer to cross infinite space (even if they did have a homing beacon on the F7 ship).
final note: towns and clan folk were not the first people either. the children of Mother darkness got there first and so are not bound by the compact.
Richard, how would humanity stumble though something they would not have access to unless they were already on Athera? The gates were not even built till just before the compact was agreed on, since the conditions of the compact needed the gates to be able to move beings from Athera when needed. None of the linked worlds had a human settlement before the compact was agreed on.
The remnants of the old civilization arrived at Athera with their starship, so they never digressed at all to a backward civilization while looking for a new home. In accepting their new home they had to give up their old ways and their technology, they accepted that. Just as the koriani accepted they would not be able to use their knowledge of that technology. They are grumbling about the tyranny of the compact, they were free to take their technology and knowledge and go find some where else to settle, no one forced them to settle on Athera.
The splinter worlds connected to Athera by the gates had no settlements till after the compact was agreed on. It was explained in the books how those banished through the south gate developed an advanced civilization, which destroyed itself by creating that Mistwraith. Mearth was settled by the Paravians for a while, and Dascen Elur was settled by the royals fleeing the rebellion, who presumably took enough people with them to start what they thought would be temporary settlements. Arithon and Lysaer were the only ones to return.
The North Gate seems to be built for dragons only, and we have yet to hear what went through or is yet to go through the East Gate. But if the Worldsend Gates were built as escape valves for things from Athera, everything that went through them was Atheran, not refugees from another world.
I did always wonder how humanity managed to find Athera, which it seemed was not on any of their maps. I thought they might have been following that meteor that Alithiel was made from, a cinder of a fallen star. Or that someone might have sent a homing beacon to guide that cinder home to Athera. Bound to be a story behind that meteor, I suspect we have already started it, how it all began. Have to wait and see.