hi, been reading the forums for a while, been reading the series for even longer, and just started re-reading the series through again from the beginning and came across something which confused me the first time i read it, and still confuses me so thought i'd finally join up and post.
in grand conspiracy, on pg310, it references the initial fight as the mistwraith invaded, and highlighted are the particular points i'm referencing.
"The ruin at Earle provided no exception in the annals of legend and lore. Once the fortress had held the first line of resistance against the mistwraith's assault. The defenders who had shed blood and lost lives were a sorrow too lengthy to list; nor were their memories forgotten. At solstice dawn in the Third Age 5654, the sky lay mantled and weeping."
If the fellowship had been unaware of the maliciousness of the mistwraith until it attacked the half brothers, what exactly where the first line of resistance fighting and what caused them to shed blood and lose lives?
Was it not the uprising of the towns people??
Not the actual mistwraith that was fought but the over throwing of the High Kings etc??
hmmm...could be. never thought of that. from the wording, it seems to state that it was the first line of resistance against the mistwraith, and those defenders shed blood. but, i can accept that they were fighting the uprising as well. thanks.
John Herrmann, welcome here.
Two short stories set in the Atheran universe may shed a bit of light on your question:
Reins of Destiny, printed in The Solaris Book of New Fantasy, edited by George Mann (Solaris books)
Child of Prophecy, printed in Masters of Fantasy, edited by Bill Fawcett and Brian Thompsen (Baen books)
I believe both are still in print.
For newcomers, I don't answer questions unless asked directly by name, which leaves people wanting to speculate free to do so.
Relying solely on memory so some of this may not be exact. The incursion of the Mistwraith too place some 25 years before the rebellion. Earle is where the Fellowship and the High Kings setup their first line of resistance against the Mistwraith. When the rebellion occurred that line began to falter as the High Kings were distracted by the rebellion and so the Mistwraith began to make further inroads until eventually it cover the skies.
Again from memory, at the time that the Fellowship and High Kings were holding the Mistwraith at Earle the Fellowship did not know the specifics of the thing. In other words, they probably viewed it as a single entity. Not until later did they discover that it was not.
Two WoLaS short stories, "Child of Prophecy" and "Reins of Destiny", deal with these times.
So, since blood was shed at Earle, any conjectures on what form it might have taken. We have some clues as to what Desh-thiere might be capable of doing.
My immediate guess, given what Desh-thiere did with Arithon and Lysaer when it attacked them at Ithamon is that Desh-thiere slipped through some defenses at Earle and was able to possess one or more of the defenders who may have then turned on their fellow defenders. I can't see Desh-thiere physically taking up arms, however turning human defenders is most likely another matter - Crown Jewels or not.
What is most troubling in this line of thinking is then how the Paravians may have died. We know Paravians can die - as in the Paravian haunt near Caith-al-Caen from where Arithon came back shaking prior to getting to Ithamon in Curse. Could a Desh-thiere cursed human defender have killed a Paravian? Could the Crown Jewels have been misused to effect this? Or would the Paravians indeed die by mortal efforts? This isn't how I understand the nature of the Paravians, who are semi-mortal.
I'm assuming that the Paravians who died at the hands of the drakespawn in the First Age where basically rent asunder by the Seardluin and others, however I'm not sure exactly what death might mean for Paravians.
It's also not too clear exactly what manner of defence was enacted at Earle. From the encounters at Ithamon in Curse we know three things - 1. the brothers simply confined the mist containing the wraiths; 2. the Paravian wards were able to confine the Mistwraith; and 3. the Fellowship were able to craft a flask to then contain the Mistwraith.
The mentions of the battle at Earle seem to imply it was a battle of containment. Being a mist, Desh-thiere is probably not too concerned about whether it is over land or water so one can only conjecture that the barrier originally containing Desh-thiere near the South Gate was a sorcerous rather than a physical barrier and that the rebellion splintered those holding the sorcerous barrier together, hence it dissipated and let Desh-thiere through..
thanks, janny, and everyone else. i'll have to check out the short stories and come back with my thoughts afterward. definitely curious how the fellowship was fighting the mistwraith if, according to the FAQ, the paravians withdrew and the only thing that seems to hold the mist in check, since it can attack through time, are paravian wards, as used in the container made in curse.
gotta do some reading.