Archive through October 26, 2004

Janny Wurts Chat Area: Arc 3: Alliance of Light: Fugitive Prince, Grand Conspiracy; Peril's Gate & Traitor's Knot: Traitors Knot Discussions: Sneak preview II: Archive through October 26, 2004
   By Hunter on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 07:40 am: Edit Post

Re-reading this sneak preview after having re-read the series, some interesting questions given that Sidir, Braggen and Dakar are all together.

At the end of PG:
- Dakar was trying to get off Rockfell with Fionn Areth with their destination being Alestron
- Sidir had escaped Lysaer's Alliance troops and had been re-united with Jeynsa to confirm that she's about to assume the role of caithdein
- Braggen was being looked after by clansmen in the Mathorn Mountains.

If we assume that Braggen has recovered and rejoined Sidir and Jeynsa in Halythwood - what is Dakar doing in Halythwood? That north west of Rockfell, the direct opposite direction he should be going if he's taking Fionn Areth to Alestron!

   By Silvia Hemmings on Tuesday, July 13, 2004 - 11:52 am: Edit Post

Hi all, I'm not entirely new here but I haven't introduced myself yet, exactly...Hello!
So, I need to get this off my chest. I've no doubt it's been canvassed thoroughly elsewhere, so sorry if I'm repeating conversations, but the threads are way too long for me to trawl through them looking for the relevant posts.
Now to business: I feel really sorry for Lysaer! Admittedly he's behaving pretty badly now, but that just makes me pity him more. Remember him in Curse of the Mistwraith? He was a good and well-intentioned sort of guy back then. Here's an exercise for those of you who hate his guts: find a good Lysaer passage in CotM and then imagine how the boy you see represented there would feel if he knew what he would later do. Or to put it another way, imagine how Lysaer would feel if he knew the truth and could see, with a clear mind, the insanity and cruelty of his behaviour. It would destroy him, surely? The more he does, the less like himself he becomes and the more it's going to hurt if he ever wakes up. In a way, I feel much more sorry for Lysaer than Arithon. I always pitied Arithon most when he was at the mercy of the curse and in danger of losing his identity to it- but at least he was able to come back from that - self-hating, guilty, yes - but still himself. Lysaer doesn't have that ability to regain his self-hood. Also, compare their positions:
Arithon is constantly BARRED from the things he wants and loves: freedom from kingly responsibility; time and license to pursue his interest in music; Elaira; his mage-craft, until recently; a clear conscience; peace.
Lysaer, on the other hand, is in the even more unpleasant position of being directly responsible for the DESTRUCTION of everything he wants and loves: justice; peace; Talith.
For Lysaer, there is no way back, as far as I can see. This is one of the few things I don't like about WoLaS - the fact that, for Lysaer, originally one of my favourite characters, it appears there can be no redemption.
Also, let's just look at his position in relation to the reader. You can bet that if the two characters were asked if they wanted to be liked, admired and understood by the reader, Arithon would look petulant and make some snappy remark that would send anyone sane running for the hills, so to speak. Lysaer, on the other hand, would say that yes, he absolutely wanted the reader's understanding and sympathy. This could be interpreted as mere self-adulation and a craving for attention, but I see it as kind of emotionally generous and endearingly vulnerable and dependent. Arithon doesn't NEED any of us to care about him - I don't think he'd even WANT any of us to care about him, particularly. Poor Lysaer, on the other hand, would crave our approval and clemency and he'd be utterly appalled to think we all hated him. I think, as readers and human beings, we have a responsibility to remember and pity the Lysaer whose life, mind and future have been destroyed as a consequence of a good and generous action - remember him stepping forward to confine the wraith with his bare hands? He neither wanted nor deserved what's happened to him. And whatever people may say, it's not his fault - it's been made clear that the flawed Fellowship geas of s'Ilessid Justice makes it impossible for him to fight the curse. He too is a victim.
And breaaaaaaaaaaaaaaathe...oh, so glad I said that.

   By Hannah on Tuesday, July 13, 2004 - 02:01 pm: Edit Post

Hey Silvia! Glad we have another in the ranks of the small sect here that will occasionally rise to play devil's advocate on Lysaer's defense. :-)

As you pointed out, the catch-22 is that we all would like to see Lysaer be miraculously healed of the influence of the Curse and stop acting like a demented popinjay, but if it were to clear his mind so he could put in perspective his actions, it would surely drive him to destruction.

I think Lysaer is an interesting character, maybe difficult for some readers to sympathize with, from CotM onwards, because fantasy readers are too used to reading about royalty that doesn't act like royalty or is fleeing from their royal responsibility, while Lysaer wholly embraces it. I think a lot of his actions and mannerisms, readers may label as vain or arrogant, but are just the actions of someone really living what a Prince or King could be.

That was kind of a side tangent. Anyhow

   By Auna on Tuesday, July 13, 2004 - 02:21 pm: Edit Post

Lysaer is pure tragedy. I feel only sorrow watching him destroy everything he cares about and veering so far from what he would be had he never been cursed.

For me, that's what makes this series so powerfully moving. I care about the antagonists and their possible redemption.

   By Blue on Wednesday, July 14, 2004 - 12:31 am: Edit Post

Good one, Silvia, and certainly a worthy challenge...

[Picture a large woman rolling over to her bookshelf and rummaging around, swearing, "What the %#*& did I do with CotM now?!?"]

   By reverie on Wednesday, July 14, 2004 - 01:58 pm: Edit Post

I feel sorry for Lysaer but I can't condone some things about him. What he did to Ellaine for example, was that just?
Also if I remember correctly the Fellowship asked him to stop hunting Arithon because he was being influenced by a curse but he chose not to because he didn't want to admit he was wrong (the judgement at Althain in FP).
On a tangent, does Lysaer's power over people's belief extends to himself? he seems to get more self-deluded as the series progresses (or is that the mistwraith's work?)

   By Trys on Wednesday, July 14, 2004 - 02:16 pm: Edit Post

Considering what we saw in Kewar Maze regarding how the Curse was manipulating Arithon, is it not likely that it is manipulating Lysaer as well? To be honest I can't see where it's action would cause him to abuse Ellaine (I think that was remorse/guilt over Talith's death) but it I think it could have certainly manipulated him in Althain tower to deny the Curse's existance.


   By Hunter on Wednesday, July 14, 2004 - 06:31 pm: Edit Post

I agree with you Trys about Lysaer's treatment of Ellaine - whereas Arithon's dalliances with Dalwyn had Elaira's face on them, Lysaer's treatment of Ellaine was not, to Lysaer, about Ellaine at all. Whichever woman was there was wearing the ghost of Talith and had to battle Lysaer's self-loathing.

Arithon has battled, so he thought, the Curse properly since that day in Etarra. We've seen Lysaer being influenced, without his knowledge or awareness on many occassions where the Mistwraith has invisibly exerted it's will - in the Ath's Adept hostel in Shaddorn when Lysaer was looking for Jinesse and Tharrick; when Sulfin Evend was retrieved from the Korias Grimward and when Lysaer was berated by the Fellowship at Althain. Possibly the one line that gave Lysaer the greatest moment of introspection was at that time when the representative of Ath's Adepts told him he would have his hearts desire, but it would be written in blood.

And I disagree that Lysaer has veered so far from where he would have been had he not been cursed - because of his upbringing, Lysaer already had an enormous distrust of magecraft and the s'Ffalenn lineage and a favouring to merchants and land holding. His inability to comprehend what he sees before him and understand and view from different perspectives have limited Lysaer long before the Mistwraith got to him. His visit to the clans en route to Althain showed this quite clearly.

   By Stefan Urlus on Wednesday, July 14, 2004 - 07:29 pm: Edit Post

Indeed Hunter,

I was thinking of that very same example when Arithon's actions required Lysaer to be "unmasked" as S'Illesid in front of the clans in CotM, prior to seeing the townsmen. During this chapter (or two) it clearly demonstrates Lysaers feelings of disgust (perhaps a strong word, but I think it fits) with the clans way of life and the lengths to which they are driven to survive. I believe that this provided fertile ground for the Mistwraith to exploit ... so as to feeling sympathy for Lysaer .... hmmmm not me

Let's face it - on some levels he has been confronted with the knowledge of the curse (Ath's hostel and in Althain) and he has held firm - some part of this must go with his S'Illesid justice, but in my opinion, he has refused to acknowledge this for personal reasons as well.

My two bobs worth

   By Hunter on Wednesday, July 14, 2004 - 08:50 pm: Edit Post

Lysaer shows his predisposition to townsfolk, merchants, the "rights" of mankind to land ownership and to buy and trade the resources of the world. All of course verboten under the Compact - so Lysaer can't comprehend the Compact, what it means and why the clans act as they do. Hence the Mistwraith has little to combat, just a little well placed urging to fan the flames..

If I remember correctly, the final comment by the Ath's Adept in Althain is to Lysaer to ponder whether, at his moment of triumph, whether concern for humanity or overweening pride was the root of his cause.

I'm very much hoping that Traitor's Knot starts showing Lysaer that his inner Cabal's interests are starting to diverge and how he will deal with that will be very interesting.

   By George on Wednesday, July 14, 2004 - 09:34 pm: Edit Post

The issue at the heart of the matter here is a question of CHOICE. The whole series is about choices and the right to choose and have free will.

I remember reading somewhere that the MW's curse provides a compulsion to do something. It works strongly against your will, however, when you acquiesce it gains stronger ground and roots itself further. This I believe is because you CHOOSE to follow the curse over NOT following it. Based on that choice, you give free-reign to the curse to embed. That i believe is the problem with Lysaer. His constant choice of choosing the curse has caused it to become a greater part of his character.

IF it were to be removed, i do not believe it would change him. Probably on the basis that after he had lived in such a manner for such a long time that acting in the particular way with those prejudices would inevitably become second nature. (Think people who have been traumatised or abused...they have a HARD time letting go, and even if they do, they are still in some way "different").

Ultimately, only Janny knows the answer!

As for pity for Lysae...well sure I pity him but by the same token has a choice (and was given previous choices) to be free.

I pity him because of his choice not to be free of his compulsion, not because of the fact that he labours under the curse.

My two cents!

   By Andrew Ginever on Thursday, July 15, 2004 - 03:29 pm: Edit Post

While this is an interesting discussion, let us not forget that, despite his current actions and intent, Lysaer CAN be redeemed IF the curse can be lifted from him.

For my own 2c worth, I think the sunchildren will be critical in restoring Lysaer to sanity AFTER the curse has lifted.

The passage in FP when he is summoned to Althain seems to reflect this: despite his stiff mien, the statues of the sunchildren cause him to struggle deeply not to laugh. He will need to learn to live again, especially if he kills Arithon himself.

We know from PG that Lysaer doesn't trust the centaurs, associating at least one with acting on Arithon's "side". He probably wouldn't trust a unicorn either, should he be fortunate enough to encounter one. And we have yet to see the sunchildren take a major role in the story (remember that there has to be a reason for this) and as the Paravians most likely to have inhabited the towns during the Second Age, Lysaer might be able to relate best to them.....

   By Gary on Thursday, July 15, 2004 - 04:56 pm: Edit Post

I don't have PG with me at the moment, but I think Arithon thought something like that the curse cut off the "avenues of change" of a person, stopping personal growth.

Lysaer seems to me, to still be very like the person he was back in COTM. He appeared to care deeply, but had shallow understanding of complex issues (such as some issues described in Hunter's post). I'm not so sure that non-cursed Lysaer would have turned out the same. He seemed naive and biased, but he was willing to listen to the Fellowship. He was willing to learn, and change. He did seem to hate making a wrong decision, but learning was part of what he would need to do, in order to govern fairly (e.g. his talk with Traithe at Althain Tower).

After the curse, Lysaer seemed to stop questioning, other than where it suited his pre-existing prejudices. Perhaps if the curse could be lifted, it would allow Lysaer to start questioning again. It seems to be part of a theme in the story, to question preconceptions, and then question them again. Dakar had to do this. Elaira was asked to not be overly-prejudiced against fellow Koriani (she hasn't quite reached this stage yet). Talith. Caolle. Many others.

I like the sunchildren idea idea for afterwards... Lysaer's self-loathing at Etarra would be nothing compared with a time just after he allows himself to see past his prejudice. He will need help...

   By George on Thursday, July 15, 2004 - 05:53 pm: Edit Post

Lysaer needs DOCTOR PHIL!



   By Blue on Thursday, July 15, 2004 - 10:38 pm: Edit Post

Gary, interesting take on the Curse and its effects on Lysaer. Thanks for bringing it up. I had almost forgotten that passage.

P.S. George, I think Lysaer needs a clue more than he needs Dr. Phil.

   By Phil on Friday, July 16, 2004 - 03:36 pm: Edit Post

I think Lysaer needs more immediate help.

Going to take a few years till I can get my doctorate

   By Hunter on Friday, July 16, 2004 - 06:35 pm: Edit Post

What about Arithon and Lysaer on Jerry Springer? :-)

   By Kam on Saturday, July 17, 2004 - 12:00 am: Edit Post

Wouldn't that wreck the studio?

Suppose it'll rake in the ratings, though.

   By George on Sunday, July 18, 2004 - 12:49 am: Edit Post

No.. for Arithon and Lysaer to be on Jerry Springer, they'd have to be living in trailer parks, lost the majority of their teeth, have horrible "mullets" and have dated their sisters!!

but it would be funny nonetheless!

   By KimberlyIsrael on Tuesday, October 05, 2004 - 07:57 pm: Edit Post

On one hand, Lysaer definitely has sometimes refused to see the truth about Arithon for the sake of pride - the F7 say as much when he gets tossed out of the Compact in FP - the curse is strongly involved there, but he also chooses not to listen to other ideas because it's too painful - he'd rather close his eyes and shut his ears and keep going in the same direction than risk the pain of being wrong. And the longer this goes on, the more painful admitting his wrong will be, and probably the less inclined he'll be towards doing so.

On the other hand, there are plenty of scenes throughout the books that show Lysaer in his natural role as an incredible leader who really believes that he's right. And it's so sad to see that - I'm always thinking "This would be just the way to act and to motivate people, if only he were actually right."

I've also often wondered if I would actually get along with Arithon in real life. In the story, I adore him - and possibly if I could keep my memories of the story when I met him, that would help, because I could still understand why he acts the way he does. But I don't's not just the temper, but also the reticence - it would be difficult to get to know him. And also, he doesn't seem the type of person to have light, casual friendships - it's full depth or nothing. And that full depth of friendship seems to leave no room for anything less than total honesty - not just not lying, but fully facing everything. I don't like to admit it, but I don't know if I'm strong enough to hold up under that kind of intensity. Maybe working on it in fits and starts, but not there yet...

   By Hannah on Tuesday, October 05, 2004 - 10:23 pm: Edit Post


I think you're quite right re: relationships with Arithon. I like to look at Jinesse's reaction to him. As a "normal" person in Athera, that is, a person just trying to live a day-to-day, provide your basic necessity, life... she was often intimidated and thrown outside of her depth. I could really put myself in her shoes and it made those scenes between herself and him quite interesting.

How do you relate to a person who can all but read your mind through powers of perception and compassion, and then the next morning he's tossing you over his shoulder and abducting you for a weekend excursion?

It's the reaction a lot of passing characters have had to him, only those that are allowed to stay in his company for an extended period of time can adjust to the way he is. I think this is a point Janny tries to really underscore, but maybe a lot of us readers miss or choose to ignore in our fan adoration. ;) I know I still choose to ignore it sometimes.

But he is a very difficult person to interact with, let alone to know. You can't blame Dakar for so badly misinterpreting his motives and actions in the beginning of their relationship.

That's a really interesting thread to pursue when it's so late at night. But I'll just stop mid-point. See which book I have to hand for a late night re-read.

   By Maria Ĺborg Lagerstrand on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 12:49 pm: Edit Post

I agree that it´s not just the Curse with Lysaer - although it´s a compulsion, it still had to have something to work on. His pride and vanity have been used and twisted, just as his feeling of justice and wish to do the right thing. I feel revolted by what he has done to himself, Athera and its people. And still I pity him. I find the parts about Lysaer very painful to read, which I am sure is just what Janny intended. I´m still hoping that the Paravians can do something to redeem him.


   By michael hammer on Wednesday, October 13, 2004 - 03:30 am: Edit Post

hey, long time lurker. just a few things.Lysaer does fight the curse, it can be seen in his eyes when he is telling the priest to leave while on campaign (when Arithon awakens his sword). welll fight it sometimes,

Trys- i don't believe Arithon will lose his mind to the curse again.reread the seen in kewar when he has the talk with his dad. if he fights the curse it takes full control. if he doesn't have anything to show hes there it won't know hes there so he can still make the music to break it.

i wonder if he'd be able to unbind Lysaer without being killed.
Wonder if Arithon will end up like Davien where he is spirit and yet .... not.

   By Trys on Wednesday, October 13, 2004 - 04:32 am: Edit Post

Welcome to the board Michael.

I'm not sure what I said up thread that you are referencing, but I think it possible that if Arithon gets unexpectedly too close to Lysaer he may not have time to engage his music to master the Curse... but time will tell.


   By Daryl Bamforth on Wednesday, October 13, 2004 - 12:07 pm: Edit Post

During Arithon's trip through the maze, didn't he regain full control of his powers and see how to unbind the curse fully?

   By Trys on Wednesday, October 13, 2004 - 02:42 pm: Edit Post


I don't believe so.


   By Blue on Wednesday, October 13, 2004 - 03:43 pm: Edit Post

Not fully, Daryl. He regained full use of his mage talent and mage sight, and he was able to ease the compulsion. A comparison that came to my mind is that the Curse is like a migraine, and all Arithon had at hand was one regular strength aspirin. The Curse is there, but it no longer has FULL control of every single thing he does.

   By Róisín on Thursday, October 14, 2004 - 04:36 am: Edit Post

Would it be right to say that he basically reset the Mistwraithe's influence back to what it was at the beginning? Only now, he's got better knowledge of how it works, so it will have to be even more devious and underhand to get to the same level of influence.

It's the same sort of thing I guess, as having to get over ...say... a tendency to put yourself down a lot ...? Once we become aware of it happening, and realise we are NOT the critical voices in our heads (for example) the influence is curbed, but the tendency is still there and will find other ways to express itself.

So I guess, it may seem like a curse, but is also in fact, a nasty but useful teacher. Would Arithon have been pushed to find his true self, without the curse?

   By Hunter on Thursday, October 14, 2004 - 08:51 am: Edit Post

The other point is that the curse is only bound through his magecraft because his masterbard skills weren't developed at that point..

   By Trys on Thursday, October 14, 2004 - 10:42 am: Edit Post

If memory serves, the phrase 'mastered the Curse' or something like it was used.

   By Róisín on Friday, October 15, 2004 - 08:25 am: Edit Post

Does mastery indicate total control? It's harder for the curse to influence him as Hunter pointed out, because of his music, but it still might, depending on the choices Arithon makes.

It will be fascinating to read/watch what he does, as he's indicated he won't kill. This decision might still be used against him by the mistwraithe - the danger is that Arithon might feel that he has no choice ... in NOT killing people, as he did in HAVING to kill them?

   By Hunter on Friday, October 15, 2004 - 09:01 pm: Edit Post

Actually, that wasn't the point I was making. Arithon has two masteries - magecraft and music. When the Mistwraith sampled his aura at Ithamon, his mastery was magecraft only, hence that is what the Mistwraith attacked.

In Kewar, Arithon was finally able to see all of how the Curse had been maligning his magecraft - which he been using to plan his activities. The implication is that from hence forward, Arithon would be able to recognize, control and counter the Curse's impact on his magecraft. His masterbard skills stayed uncontaminated because the Curse couldn't sample these in the attack at Ithamon.

   By michael hammer on Tuesday, October 19, 2004 - 06:22 am: Edit Post

look page 593. to what i meant. where he doesn't fight the curse. that combined with his masterbard training leads me to believe it won't overwhelm him anymore. though just speculation

   By Róisín on Wednesday, October 20, 2004 - 08:39 am: Edit Post

Can the mistwraithe not 'sample' his mastery of music at some point in the future, or over time?

Perhaps I'm belabouring the point, but I'm also curious from the character development point of view. If Arithon can grow, why can't the mistwraithe?

   By skeoke on Wednesday, October 20, 2004 - 11:11 am: Edit Post

The mistwraith gained Arithon's knowledge of sorcery during the episode at Ithamon, but not his mastery of it. Since it is very unlikely that the mistwraith will have that sort of access to Arithon again, it will not be able to process his bardic knowledge. Ruled by hate as it is, it is very unlikely that even given the knowledge of music as magery, the mistwraith would be able to do anything with the music.

In this case knowledge does not equal power. It takes a depth of spirit to enable that knowledge to become power.


Though it does seem to be able to use the knowledge that it garnered at Ithamon to unravel the defenses and wards wrapped around it by Asandir. But not the others. Hmm, and wasn't it Asandir that Dakar saw as similar to Arithon. Where will that bit go?

   By Blue on Wednesday, October 20, 2004 - 11:17 am: Edit Post

With the spirits comprising the Mistwraith "bound captive and insane in unrequited hatred" [slight paraphrase] I wonder if it is even capable of creativity or growth? As Janny points out, creativity is born of love and unbridled joy. The original directive of the Mistwraith was as a weapon of mass destruction. It has since turned on its makers and assimilated all of the spirits of its victims.

***All is knows is how to destroy.***

Creativity and growth go hand in glove with one another. It can be a painful process, but ultimately rewarding.

The Mistwraith cheated when it fought first Traithe and then Arithon at Etarra. It fought from a point a half-step forward in time. To me, that suggests tactical/strategic ability that perhaps was programmed into its original matrix. But now that Arithon is aware of its limitations, and due to his own growth/maturity, I doubt the Mistwraith will ever get another shot at possessing him directly again. I suspect it will redouble its efforts either through Lysaer or possibly even another puppet should Lysaer fail in his attempts to get rid of Arithon.

   By Róisín on Thursday, October 21, 2004 - 04:37 am: Edit Post

But creativity is also born out of the destruction of old things - can't make an omelette without breaking some eggs, as the old saying goes.


I'm not disputing that the mistwraithe is evil/destructive/force of chaos etc. But it is the force that broke the 'egg' that pushed Arithon to have to choose to either make something from the 'raw egg' or to become trapped in the shell again.

There's always space for learning - an easy way and a hard way. Perhaps Arithon will choose the easier way from now on...

And then, on a larger scale - the mistwraithe is the very thing that can break the compact - yes - but in that is the salvation - if the people pick up the pieces and create something new? It's perhaps the key to freeing the F7 from their horrific dilemma - should they ever come to the point of having to use their power to preserve the compact.

I can't see the mistwraithe as evil and malevolent - more as a force of chaos that can, if dealt with in the right way - lead to freedom.

Or I'm hoping it does, at any rate! Depends on how Atherians interpret it.

Perhaps it's not that the Mistwraithe grows - but a force like water flowing - finds all the little cracks in the bedrock - and produces beautiful valleys even though, it destroys in order to do this...

   By Neil on Thursday, October 21, 2004 - 05:54 am: Edit Post

I do see the mistwraith as malevolent although the spirits are insane so should be forgiven for "evil" which is one of those words you use when you believe you, yourself, are good (ahem...Mr. Bush).

I'm now curious ( least until I get my hands on Traitor's Knot) to go look to see exactly how Janny describes the mistwraith / hate wraiths - are they described in the text as "evil" (I seem to recall evil / pure evil? Not sure...)? But if so, from who's point of view.

I'm still curious why "nothing" appears to have happened in 500 years during the Mistwraith's dominion? Would a planet really not die without sun for 500 years? It's a long time. The F7 could do a lot in 500 years, I feel. What exactly were they doing on a day-to-day basis? Maintaining the planet as best they could?

I feel Arithon is generally choosing the best solutions he can find with the viewpoint he has - that and the fact that he's always pulled through so far (against the odds)...that's what makes him a hero for me - it's just that most of the choices are "difficult" ones ("there is always a choice; just the end result that sadly limits things" or something like that, he says to Fionn?).

Arithon has inherited a lot of issues history has created for him. And he is accepting responsibility for them. Interesting. (Something Janny does not *seem* to believe in herself - I'm going out on a limb here from memory; I could be wrong - She once refused responsibility for ancestors "actions". e.g. atomic bombs on Japon 2nd world war...but then the USA people have not sworn oaths to any fellowship of seven not had their DNA altered...yet :-)

Hope that's not too long/boring/critical.

   By Izzy on Sunday, October 24, 2004 - 09:49 pm: Edit Post


I'm still curious why "nothing" appears to have happened in 500 years during the Mistwraith's dominion? Would a planet really not die without sun for 500 years? It's a long time. The F7 could do a lot in 500 years, I feel. What exactly were they doing on a day-to-day basis? Maintaining the planet as best they could?

I don't recall it ever being mentioned what they were doing during those 500 years, but I'd imagine they were keeping the earths lifeforces flowing so that everything didn't rot and die.

I'm not sure of the direction of your first question, but it probably leads into your subsequent questions. However, to answer it in another way... Kharadmon mentions that the wraiths don't actually really notice anyone until they are or feel threatened. With the F7 not even being aware that the Mistwraith was sentient, there was no cause for the wraiths to cause mischief.

A question that I have is what were the original wraiths? In WoV, Kharadmon mentions that he couldn't find Names for the original set of wraiths that made up Desh-thiere. Were they human volunteers that agreed to merged with machine? Were they some other form of entity? I don't recall any other reference to the original wraiths. Is further information about Desh-thiere's origins uncovered later in the series? Or do we have all the info we're going to get?



   By Neil on Monday, October 25, 2004 - 02:27 am: Edit Post

Yes Izzy, I guess the F7 were busy already looking after the land once the paravians left - the grimwards would have been new experiences I guess?

Yes, the mistwraith cannot just "attack" embodied humans it seems...but what form did the initial high king/paravian/F7 defence take I wonder?

I wondered since the mistwraith seems to be "flexible" with respect to time, whether the spirits contained within are even present in the present all the time (if you get my meaning).

I'd say that it's likely that the spirits would all have been human...proof by induction.

One thing I noted on a reread in COTM is that there is practically nothing about the mistwraith (obvious I guess if Kharadmon has to go to Marak in a subsequent book to enlighten us...). malevolant is used a few times, that's about it.

Arithon does seem to take the stance, at one point, that it is "evil" as well.

The fellowship take the view that it is "insane".

One thing I found in COTM is that Kharadmon likens the lyranthe in Arithon's hands as a "weapon"! Asandir replies something like "not yet". I keep forgetting that the F7 probably *know* a fair bit about the future as part of their responsibilties. Against who will the "weapon" be used?!?

   By Hunter on Monday, October 25, 2004 - 08:48 am: Edit Post

Regarding the Mistwraith, there are plenty of details in the text.. some key items:

1. The Paravians refused to Name the Mistwraith's myriad entities.
2. The start of Warhost when Kharadmon returns with nine wraiths in tow gives as much insight into the Mistwraith as we know at this stage.
3. Sethvir's comments that "once, they were human" shows the origin.
4. Kharadmon's comments that it was a "weapon created by frightened men" that tried to merge technology with human spirits. This back fired when the entity escaped the mists, laying waste to two planets before entering Athera via the Southern Worlds End gate.

The Mistwraith's entities have gone mad and forgotten their human love and compassion, resembling in many ways the methuri that Verrain looks over at Meth Isle. It is assumed (always very dangerous with this series) that Arithon's masterbard skills may be able to recall for the Mistraith's spirits their humanity and ease their passing through the veil, as Sethvir did. The how and whys of Arithon and others making this happen is yet to unfold, if it does at all.

   By neil on Monday, October 25, 2004 - 09:48 am: Edit Post

My point was that in rereading the "curse of the mistwraith" (only!) I expected to find more information since there was contact with the mistwraith. The scenes don't give much away - unsurprising in restrospect. But I expected to unearth a few more "defining characteristics" than just malevolent/evil/insane/human origin/brooding.

Moriel seems to believe that Arithon as a masterbard could redeem the wraiths. Howevern she tells the F7 that it is a slender hope (or something like that?) A vision by Dakar relates to this also no? Decades/Arithon's best syle, etc.

In COTM I did stumble on Elaira with a farming community when she see stars for the first time - I'd forgotten that (unless I just dreamt it...) It seems that apart from Towns/Clans/desert/Vastmark/Ettinmere/drifter factions there is a "farming faction" that fell afoul of the towns after the rebellion?

Also, I remember that Davien seems to have committed betrayals (plurial) not sure whether this means anything?

   By skeoke on Monday, October 25, 2004 - 01:47 pm: Edit Post


resembling in many ways the methuri that Verrain looks over at Meth Isle

In my opinion, the mistwraith also bears an astonishing resemblance to the Waystone.

Anybody else.

   By Kitsune on Monday, October 25, 2004 - 02:21 pm: Edit Post

Well, like everyone else, I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of "Traitors Knot". Thanks for keeping our appetites whetted with the sneak previews, Janny! You make the waiting almost bearable!

Just thought I'd chime in a recommend a few other authors/books I've been reading of late (I have many, many books in queue):

--"Wicked": A truly staggering tale about the Wicked Witch of the West, told from her POV. A must-read, if you haven't already!
--"Inkheart" and "Dragon Rider" by Cornelia Funke. A great authro from Germany (her stores are translated into English). These fairly light-hearted stand-alone stories remind me a little of Harry Potter, in that they're ostensibly for children, but a closer reading reveals greater depths.
--"The Fox Woman" by Kij Johnson. I'm a sucker for fables and mythology of any kind, and this is on the top of my list.

For series, I'm currently enjoying (some mentioned before, others not):
"A Song of Fire and Ice" by George RR Martin
"Tales of the Otori" (Forget the author offhand, sorry!)
the "Otherland" quartet and the "Dragonbone Chair" series by Tad Williams. TW is probably my favorite fantasy author next to Janny. He is one of the few authors whose work I splurge on and buy in hardback.
the "Wraethu" trilogy by Storm Constatnine
the Dark Tower series by Stephen King (Reading Book 6, Book 7 on hold.)

Of course, "Traitors Knot" will go immediately to the forefront of my queue.

Actually, as an Xmas gift for a hard-headed friend, I picked him up the whole series to date. We have similar tastes in books, and I continually mentioned the WoLaS to him, but he never got to picking it up. Now, he has no excuses for not joining the ranks. :-)

   By Hunter on Monday, October 25, 2004 - 11:21 pm: Edit Post

Sorry Neil.. missed your point that you thought that CotM would actually give you information on the Mistwraith!!

Skeoke - the Waystone has some similarities, although it could be asked whether the spirits in the Waystone were mad before they were sucked into it! :-)