I think it's because Selidie's spirit is present in the body that the F7 haven't acted against Morriel.
First, my apologies that I haven't read Traitor's Knot yet. It's all the United States' publisher's fault! (laughter)
I agree that Arithorn cares about others-- I can think of dozens of examples of his caring, where he showed a great deal of compassion and understanding. The isolated woman in Vastmark, the twins, their mother, Therrick, Haliron, etc. But you can care and still be arrogant, even though it's a rather weird mix. Lysaer has the same mix-- he's arrogant while simultaneously caring about others, although in Lysaer's case he does huge numbers of evil acts. Lysaer has convinced himself that he's destroying Arithon for the good of humanity and justifies pretty much any act he takes as being for the greater good; a version of moral utilitarianism. But he cared about his first wife, he saw the error of his ways (yet refused to repent) when confronted at Althain tower, refused to have the clansmen enslaved (early on, though ironically he later ordered them into slavery himself) etc.
The primary difference between Arithon and Lysaer is that Arithon cars about people as individuals, whereas Lysaer cares about people as communities and groups. It's hard to send someone marching to their death when you see that person as an individual (Arithon) versus that person as a group (the people of Tysan, the people of Athera). People do this in real life; they'll talk about feeding the world while ignoring the starving begger at their feet (Lysaer's approach), or in reverse, feed the begger but ignore that there are six thousand other starving beggers over the next hill (Though Arithon isn't that way at all... he's aware of the other six thousand, he just never asks for help).
The Fellowship is certainly human. As I've grown older, I've become more myself (as goofy as that sounds). The Fellowship appears to be the same-- "more themselves", if that makes any sense. They have great power, insight, and wisdom that comes from the Paravians, their magery, and their sheer experience. That doesn't mean that they've stopped being the individuals that they were from the beginning. That's why each member of the Fellowship has his own temperment, sense of humor, they play practical jokes, another likes tea, and so on.
I confess that I do not grasp why they do not simply ask for help ever now and then, or actually try to talk to people. It would certainly clear up some misunderstandings, such as the fisherman who challenged Asander when he was on the boat to save the Caithwood.
Morriel, crazy as she is, was horrified when she learned of the incoming wraiths from Marak. That opening might have been something that could have been followed up on by the Fellowship, but they declined to make the suggestion-- and Morriel is too prideful to offer to help in return.
The way I understand it, to displace Morriel from Selidie's body under the Law of the Major Balance would require Selidie's permission and consent to whatever acts or force may be required to remove Morriel - who is highly unlikely to want to leave voluntarily. Clearly Selidie is unable to give such permission.
It was heartening to read that the healing of Selidie's charred hands was failing because of the misaligned spirits within the body. The inference being that should Morriel depart, it's likely the damage could be repaired..
It's also likely that on the current scale of things that can go pear shaped, thanks to Davien allowing Selidie to injure herself, she's basically been constrained and not allowed to make further mischief of a large enough scale.
Oops-- forgot to mention Davien. Certainly the Fellowship does NOT know the secret of how to make themeselves corporeal, or they would not have been surprised when they saw Davien (in a scrying) in a flesh-and-blood form in Peril's Gate. And they have talked to Davien, though only briefly, when Arithon was undergoing the trials of Davien's Maze. Asking Davien for his advice and insight would probably appeal to his vanity, ego, and sense of irony. Asking him certainly wouldn't hurt.
One of my favorite scenes in Curse of the Mistwraith occurred when Sethvir was attempting to extricate the wraith from Lysaer's aura directly after Arithon was cursed. Asandir, experiencing a terrible despair, lost his control so much that he referred to his colleague as "Cal."
I suppose I liked this particular scene because it reveals the personas of the Fellowship Sorcerers to be basically facades, though they do possess great wisdom and experience due to their enlongated lives. Underneath, they are fragile humans still, and, perhaps, unfit for the job (i.e. humans are NOT supposed to live forever, physically or psychologically). Long years of struggle easily catch up to their fallible humanity.
I loved the emotion and the exploration of the F7's relationships in this scene - I think it's one of the best in the series, as far as scenes speaking to me about the nature of the characters.
I'm not pointing to Arithon's kindness as cancelling out any arrogance. In fact, I don't really remember brining that up.
At first I wouldn't have called Lysaer arrogant either. I think he's very confident and self-assured, but his curse driven instinct to be in perpetual denial and blinding himself to some truths that we see very clearly may be read into as arrogance. He's very sure of how he leads people as a ruler, but I don't think that that automatically makes him arrogant, unless you just want to take the easiest road to dismiss him... He has certainly had moments where we could all hope that he would humbly repent, but was unable to. Either through his own human shortcomings, or due to the Curse's distortion of them.
Okay, so let's say (to use your example, because it's Monday and my brain is slowly liquefying anyhow) there's 6,000 beggars and Arithon couldn't come close to feeding all of them with his limited resources (presuming they were limited). But he has the chance to ask some rich person to please feed the beggars out of the goodness of their heart. Do you think he would be too arrogant to ask for that assistance? It's just, unfortunately, rarely so simple as just asking and receiving.
The Felloship still have their unique personalities, which otherwise would make them half as interesting. But can you see them displaying such human foibles as getting so irritated with someone that you stalk off and slam the door and then go out and get drunk, or talking smack about someone behind their back, or coming to blows out of sheer frustration...
I think it's a slippery slope from volunteering information from your deep stock of millenia-old wisdom and insight, and setting yourself up as an oracle and having people flock to ask your advice or have you look into the future or start a religion around you. Besides, just giving information out doesn't help people develop critical thinking skills.
I can pretty much guess what points you're frustrated about them not just stepping up and saying "Look, here's what you need to do." Elaira, for one. But humans are not necessarily the F7's first or only responsibility to oversee on Athera. They're always short-handed, so they can't show up everytime there's a conflict to just announce what the easiest solution is.
Morriel is quite old ::coughcrazycough:: and set in here ways. A simple "Let's shake hands and be friends now. Let's work together! Oh, but you have to renounce your unrepentantly wicked ways." would probably have been insufficient to rehabilitate her.
I don't know that I would conclusively call that scene with Asandir and Sethvir in PG 'surprise' at Davien's discovery. They only commented on it. It could be construed as a "Look what he finally figured out to do." Not saying that it wasn't surprise, but it could just as easily not have been. Crap. I was about to reference another scene in TK where... CRAP. Bah. Suffice it to say, TK sheds a lot of light on Davien's willingness to volunteer assistance when it's required.
Sorry Bradford. The TV is BLARING (through no choice of my own), and I really seem incapable of stringing together coherent thoughts to say what I want to say.
Still an interesting conversation, though...
Laughter! Well look at it this way Hannah, somewhere around March 15th (probably the 20th or so) I'll have read Traitor's Knot and you can give me more examples!
I agree with you that simply giving people the solution to various problems isn't always the best idea ("...give a man a fish, feed him for a day... teach a man to fish feed him for life..."). But I see a distinction. I'm not suggesting that the Fellowship offer answers to OTHER people's problems. I'm suggesting that they might try asking for help for their own. Got a problem with 20,000 meth-spawn getting ready to rampage? Warn the surrounding inhabitants. A couple million free wraiths inbound from Marak? Inquire whether the Korathain might be willing to help (and expect a "no).
"Give a man a fire and he's warm for the rest of the evening. Set him ablaze and he's warm for the rest of his life". (this might be a Pratchet quote?)
I've always wondered about the F7's "marketing strategy" but I think that the majority of people might not be inclined to believe them in the first place. And it's not their first responbility to look after humans...the scope of their project is defined so to speak and their priorities one presumes are well organised...it's just that we haven't seen all there is to know yet.
I think the clans were their process for communication. And they're always looking to reestablish this. Curious that Davien's uprising would perhaps initally (well for at least 500 yaerrs) make communication worse between F7 and humankind.
The people who live near the meth-spawn probably don't live there by choice. Or perhaps they live far enough away for the risk to be acceptable. Would the first victims of a mithlain escape be clan or town? If town, would a warning only cause panic and accusation? ("F7 meddlers creating evil" blah blah blah). In any case the F7 tend to cast strands to see the future to the point where they avoid where possible scenarios where they mgith be obliged to warn the poplace...i.e. it never get's to that point?
But Arithon does seem publicly (in the towns) to take the blame for F7 business (Alestron cannon, lane balance, etc.) Is this spin doctoring to avoid bad press for the F7 through the centuries?
As for the wraiths from Marak well, I don't think the koriani in general have the necessary breadth of perception to help there...even Ath's adepts if I understood correctly "could not be expected to face damnation on this scale" (although I'm not sure what this means)
So I guess the F7 problems are often not solvable by others...they do have Verrain, Dakar and Arithon...these 3 are *asked* for help.
Maybe where others have the ablility to help they are offered training? There have been other apprentices in the past apparently.
It is possible that there is no one that the F7 can ask that can actually help within their operating. In spite of (or is that because of) the nature of the wraiths the Koriani style of magic may not be acceptable to the F7. Looking back at how the free wraiths that followed Kharadmon back from Marak were handled, there was no forced magic or 'annihilation' and I suspect that this would likely be the approach the Koriani would take. I also suspect that if push comes to shove the F7 are probably quite capable of annihilating the wraiths but things aren't to that point yet. A more desirable solution is being sought.
It was my understanding that Morriel took possession of Selidie, and that the Koriani do not follow the 'Law of Major Balance'. So Morriel stole her body as the wraiths would do if they had the chance. They donm't ask permission, they overpower and take possession of the being they wish. And it just occured to me they must be terribly powerful if even the F7 were at risk of possession. Disagree??