Archive through January 17, 2006

Janny Wurts Chat Area: Arc 3: Alliance of Light: Fugitive Prince, Grand Conspiracy; Peril's Gate & Traitor's Knot: Traitors Knot Discussions: Spoiler Topics: Earl of the North: Archive through January 17, 2006
   By Damian on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - 09:15 am: Edit Post

Janny (or anyone who knows),

can some one tell me what region the Earl of the North 'looks after'? I notice that different Earls usually look after a princedom (eg. Alland) however it is not mentioned that i remember whether Steiven or his heirs look after Deshir or another area.

Another question can anyone explain how the Chieftain systems work. Persumably i would have thought that a kingdom in absence of a High King would be looked after by the Cathdein, however when Shand is mentioned in the books it seems the destiny of the clans is ruled by a council of chiefs.

Its funny but i'm thinking of a few questions now . How do the drifters relate to the Clans people. Are they resistent to the Paravian presence or are they similar to the townspeople but only 'drifters' as the name suggests.

I also notice that the present Cathdien of Rathain does not have a title. All cathdienen mentioned so far are Earls, (Alland, of the West, of the North)

Cheers in advance

   By Janny Wurts on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - 10:11 am: Edit Post

Damian - You Asked.

The title "Earl of the North" is a historical reference that has ties to the ruins of Penstair. The territory appertains to the Free Wilds of Deshir. At the time of this manuscript, the titled lineage for Halwythwood is vacant - therefore, the two domains are loosely "connected" - Halwythwood looks to s'Valerient, and the caithdein for King's Justice in the absence of am actively endorsed ruler.

Originally, each lineage in a clan had an Elder - appointed by concensus, or claimed, by right of aware power. These Elders form the council. Many decisions for the clans are human ones, not rooted in Paravian Law. The council and chieftain therefore handled such matters, by vote or unanimous concensus - which way depended on the gravity of the issue.

The drifters are clan based, and do inhabit the free wilds - just not a forest landscape.

The appendix in the US edition of TK clearly defines how power descends....the title of Caithdein does not necessarily follow the earl's line of inheritance. Often, it might. You are viewing the rare circumstance when the power is split between Barach and Jeynsa - the reason Why is detailed in that appendix....if you don't have access to the appendix, it's a logical extension of what's happening in the historical setting of the story.

   By Blue on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - 03:22 pm: Edit Post

As an addendum, if I may, I was under the impression that the Caithdein did not rule with absolute authority in the absence of the High King. It always struck me that the sitting Caithdein was aware that the whole of the clans were sharing the risk occupying the kingdoms without the protection of the High Kings, and the chieftains would be speaking up for their subordinates to offer advice or constructive criticism on the course of action the Caithdein had chosen. This way, the Caithdein knew which way the wind blew, so to speak, amongst the individual havens of clansfolk.

Which brings up a question Janny, if the clans were unhappy with the Caithdein, could someone appeal to the F7 to challenge the appointment or even remove an unsatisfactory Caithdein?

   By Damian on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - 10:14 pm: Edit Post

Thanks alot Janny, sorry i did not mention this already, but i'm enthralled by your books!

Things are much clearer now. I am in Australia so i didn't have the appendix as mentioned in you post.

Thanks for clearing this up!

   By Janny Wurts on Thursday, January 12, 2006 - 10:03 am: Edit Post

Blue -

You Asked Also.

Much of your question is also covered in that US edition based appendix. (A sidebar note for me here - for ME to write my editor and ask if it can't be included in another UK edition....)

There are a few points I may both reiterate AND clarify:

Caithdeinen are appointed as "designate" by the chieftain & council of Elders. In this instance, the ceremony of Investiture carries a point of testing initiation. There would be a Presence involved - either Fellowship OR - and this is an extremely important fine point: a Crowned High King, initiate to all four of the elements. Crowned High Kings were a long step! from what you know as "Sanctioned Crown Prince" - the story in all likelihood will illuminate this difference in due time.

A Caithdein appointed by Fellowship auspice would Never be displaced.

Post investiture - a Caithdein would Never be displaced.

The selection process itself IS an exacting process that weeds out the likelihood of a corrupted candidate.

If - and I say IF - there occurred an impactful event that COULD shift a caithdein from right principle - I would postulate that the Fellowship Sorcerers would carry the ultimate responsibility to take the authority back.

The Shadows Behind the Throne acted in force, as the King's conscience. It was they, who could overthrow a crowned sovereign, or council, not the other way around.

So in an oblique way, your supposition was partially right.

   By Blue on Thursday, January 12, 2006 - 03:55 pm: Edit Post

Thank you, Janny! :-O

   By winter on Friday, January 13, 2006 - 03:24 pm: Edit Post

Janny, how frequently did Caithein actually have to overthrow a Crown High King?

   By Hunter on Saturday, January 14, 2006 - 04:21 am: Edit Post

Conspiracy theory #345, consider the following:

  1. "Shadows Behind the Throne" = caithdeinen
  2. "Master of Shadows" = Arithon

Þ Arithon = Master of those behind the Throne

As of today, Arithon already in reality represents the hopes of caithdeinen of four kingdoms - his own Rathain, Tysan, Shand and Melhalla - and Eldir would arguably be more disposed to Arithon than Lysaer. And Arithon could add Havish should Lysaer invade Havish and displace Eldir.

Þ Arithon = High King of Athera (all five kingdoms)

The five Kingdoms of Men were established as part of the Compact. Paravian royalty existed since their arrival, but it is not clear at all whether there was one Paravian Kingdom or several, or where the kingdom boundaries may have been. If the Compact is sundered, the Five High kingdoms of Men cease to have relevance and it's a battle of survival between the old behind Arithon and the townborn under Lysaer..

   By Janny Wurts on Saturday, January 14, 2006 - 11:48 am: Edit Post

winter - You Asked.

Let me see how to answer this one. If I dumped out a boxful of notes and napkin bits and thumbed through a bunch of notebooks, some with Paravian in the margins....I might provide you a number.


The fact, besides taking time to compile - the fact alone would be horridly misleading!
HOW MANY TIMES is too general an answer.

Each one was highly individual. And your word "overthrow" implies - well - revolution in the form of a 'power play' - which the caithdein's office was specifically formulated to PREVENT!

Under a Caithdein's formal action, a High King might retire, step down, consent to a re-evaluation by the Fellowship, or possibly be dethroned and supplanted, but in this case, it would NOT be in a fight - the circumstances would be OBVIOUS to many eyes....the story will reveal some angles of this in Stormed Fortress, if you look clearly enough to see it....

How much should I reveal - the issue is complex because the Atheran High Kings did not hold "office" under the same power structure you may be presuming, derived from Earth based feudal culture.

There is Certainly short story material here! Appendix and fun with backhistory area. To approach even a shallow summary of the "reasons" such a change might happen - would take pages! on this chat. To nail even one of them, in clear depth, would touch on many other areas that will be unveiled directly by

It Happened. Often enought that it wasn't 'rare' - but not often enough that it was 'common' or even, presumed to occur as a matter of course.

How often is a world leader assassinated??? It happens. Not entirely rarely, but not expected as a daily matter of course. One feels the shock. The happening does not become just another item of news. There is no parallel here (High King to assassinated figures of state, NOT!) - just an effort to show you that these events happen occasionally, are possible always, but never occur as a matter of course.

For a caithdein to challenge a high king was SERIOUS. Everything stopped until the matter was resolved - as you saw, already, in Fugitive Prince. Both in Earl Jieret's behavior, in the gravity of the manner in which he handled it before anything, and in the severity of Arithon's response, to clear the issue AT ONCE.

There are other refs. to "the testing of princes by caithdein" - look again at the chapter in Ships of Merior, following Arithon's sword battle with Erlien. And at the same volume, when Maenalle challenges Lysaer, before her "arrest" - and look again at what the s'Brydion sent to Etarra as Alestron's ambassador felt about that event, written in Warhost.

These notations in the text would not have been spurious - but would have had historical precident.

   By winter on Tuesday, January 17, 2006 - 11:52 am: Edit Post

Thanks Janny, it's food for thought.

I guess Arithon would be aware of all the historical precidence and custom as part of his role as Masterbard. Lysaer on the otherhand might be woefully ignorant of much of it. By the end of Traitor's Knot he is clearly learning more and more about what the clans are and what their role was, he's probably unaware of a fair bit. I tend to forget that Lysaer would have no knowledge beyond Dascen Elur (and even less knowledge of that world than Arithon probably had) and having spent most of his time with townborn, probably has a lot dimmer understanding of Athera's nature and history than Arithon does. I wonder if Sulfin Evend won't continue what he's started and fill Lysaer in.