Just got and did a first reading of Initiate's Trial yesterday after Kinokuniya somehow got the book into Singapore earlier than they told me it'd arrive.
But what a ride it is! Physically, the book is as deliciously thick as the others - it looks slightly thicker than my hardcover-sized softcover copy of Stormed Fortress. Pacing wise? I feel as if it were... shorter. In a sense. And the opening... well. 200 over years of literally chained and bound imprisonment, completely alone except for the free wraiths he manages to free even without any idea of who he is and what he can do, barring the occasional 'visits' by a creepy Koriani witch in the pejorative sense... It really does set the mood, with Arithon being put through the wringer like that.
On a funnier sort of note? Considering Arithon and Elaira have apparently been enduring a very unpleasant separation for the past 200 over years, it's just as well that their love is so very transcendant. And literally earth-moving in how it is expressed in marital relations.
Though the tidbits of background lore were incredibly fascinating, as usual. Even more than all the plotting and whatnot, I have rediscovered that what draws me the most to Janny's writing is the lovely, lovely worldbuilding. Each new book just makes Athera more and more interesting and fascinating. If I could find them, I'd grab each and every last book set in this particular universe just so my mental headcanon gets a bit more complete. For instance, right now part of me is itching to know what precisely is Northgate, where it leads, and why it apparently is guarded on the other end by a great drake. And why whatever is on the otherside is apparently inhabited by great drakes with offspring.
And of course, if I could, I'd cheerfully rip Morriel's self out of the puppeteered body and shred it. Speaking of people who cheerfully toss aside every opportunity for redemption. And who seem scarily short-sighted and self-focused. Or maybe I should say, who assume that they can control all the ranging consequences of their actions, despite all the evidence to the contrary.
I would not be so sure Morriel does not have a place to play in things, maybe she has good reason to survive no matter the consequences. She just lost sight of a few important things waiting all that time.
It will be interesting to see where Morriel might end up, and in what form.
'May her black heart char for eternity, and her spirit twist in the lightless pits at the negative pole of creation.'
'From the negative pole of dense-form matter to the exalted realms of pure spirit'
He dared not close with heavy energies while immersed in a transformed state of higher frequency. The smallest, most subtle attempt to engage adverse forces would open the floodgates to disaster. In unbodied form, the altered vibration of his physical being and the unbinding spells of attack would combine in one shattering burst of annihilation.
OK. This may not be a spoiler, but I'll put it here anyway.
What good are the Fellowship Sorcerers? Sethvir has been in a coma for the last 3 books up until this book, so everybody was on their own.
Now, Asandir has sealed an oath to necromancers who he knew BEFORE were body snatchers as well!
Poor Arithon! Nobody ever helps him for one reason or another, yet they all rely on him to cover their shortfalls. And then there's Elaira, don't get me started on her brave heart being left undefended.
i found myself pretty angry with the hair/beard pulling Sorcerers. I mean who keeps oaths to necromancers? And now, there was an inference that Arithon's bloodline may not matter since these same necros now have the power to break the compact!
That's a fine howdy-do!
And is Janny going to write another before 4 years are up and not go larking off with Feist and leave us hanging?
I remember a woman with cancer appealing to Stephen King before she died , she wanted to know how his Dark Tower series finished. She died not knowing. I'm beginning to think I will too with this series.
Criminy, I wish I could reach thru the pages and slap those sorcerers upside the head. Now they've lost Luhaine. I figure Ciladis ran off with the Paravians, so now they're down to 5 again.
What a way to run a railroad!
Forgive me, the book just came out where I am so I just finished it
LOL. While I understand your frustration I feel obligated to point out that the F7 have held Athera together and maintained the compact so far. And I doubt the 'necromancers' will be able to pull off their wild schemes. Also I happen to know Janny's hot at work on Destiny's Conflict.
I agree with you about Elaira!
Luhaine is hibernating with the dragon to leave Davien free, and because he can survive all the years that hibernation might last since he's discorporate. Also, Ciladis is asleep with a unicorn watching over him somewhere and none of us know why... did the Paravians take him captive? Hmmm.
And poor Arithon! I do hope he is able to remember everything soon.
You keep an oath no matter who it is to, otherwise you are as bad as the other party. Asandir was not the one who chose to be obligated to Selidie, someone else made that decision for the Fellowship, he was just clearing the debt.
Lysaer swore guest oath to Maenalle s'Gannley, he later broke that oath and had her executed. He considered her a criminal so broke his oath.
"To this house, its lady, and her sworn companions, I pledge friendship. Ath's blessing upon family and kin, strength to your
heirs, and honour to the name of s'Gannley.
Beneath this roof and before Ath, I share fortune and sorrow as your brother, my service as steadfast as blood kin."
'Of us all, Ciladis was the least shielded. More than finches found joy in his presence.'
Why not let the darkness unveil its own light, and resurrect its next hope of salvation?'
'Ciladis could not,' Sethvir whispered. Anemone pale in the thin flood of starlight, he kept up his laboured speech. 'After one armageddon and its cost of deliverance in slaughter, I believe he would finally go mad.'
Well, I'm glad Janny's working on the next book.
I must admit it was a shock to open this one and find 250 years had gone by.
Even with the 5 Centuries Fountain, time's getting a bit short, maybe a refresher from the Fountain is about due!..... I do enjoy the books but I can't quote them.
The Initiate's Trial seemed to me to be a really clever way to comment on the zealotry sweeping our own good Earth/Athera.
I can't help but wonder how much of the wonder here on this planet has been shattered.
Wurts makes some interesting analogies and that was my favorite part.
I just had to comment on the Sorceror's as they seemed pretty good for nothing in this book. I guess that's why they cast Dakar on his own, to see if he was ready for more stringent tasks.
I felt really badly about King Gestry and I still am confused about why he was abandoned except for Dakar and also the black stallion left for dead by Asandir after he nearly came apart safeguarding Isfarann's spirit in the grimward and who couldn't possibly know(could he?) that the dragon would make the black horse immortal and a friend Arithon desperately needs.
I have a thing for animals, you see?
I don't understand where this statement is coming from. Mistress of the Empire, the last collaboration with Ray Feist, was published in 1993 the same year as Curse of the Mistwraith. Janny has not gone 'larking' off with any other author in the last two decades.
And is Janny going to write another before 4 years are up and not go larking off with Feist and leave us hanging?
Although Janny is hard at work on the next masterpiece that does not mean it is not going to take 4 years to get it ready though. There was 4 years between the last 2 books and Janny seemed to be working as fast as she could. The books seem to be getting harder to write.
So, I had deferred reading IT, hoping to wait until DC was released to read them together, but I just couldn't hold off any longer. So yay, I finally get to read spoiler topics! Here is a few of my random thoughts having just finished the book.
First up - loved it, just as I love every book in this amazing series. Thankyou Janny for all your hard work, I just love the way you write. After reading a WoLaS book, the next book I read always seems childish and dumbed down in comparison. It takes a while for my brain to shift back to the lower diction.
Regarding Kassandra's question about Isfarran, I believe Asandir laid in the dying horse's aura a request for the dragon to intervene, who did so in gratitude for Asandir's previous efforts to settle the dead drake's spirit in the grimward. While he had no surety that Seshkrozchiel would help, that was certainly his hope/plan. The reason he rode the horse (and himself) so hard was that he had get out of Havish ASAP, before Arithon entered, lest he somehow be seen as aiding Arithon and thereby breaking the non-intervention oath. At least that was my understanding.
Regarding the huge time lapse, I quite like the idea of it, but I'm not sure why such an extended period was necessary, especially when very little has changed either for the major characters or the world in general during that time. I guess there were a LOT of wraiths. It seems like stuff happened for about 10 years after SF, then absolutely nothing until the start of IT. I too am still confused by all the oaths and debts and deals and betrayals that happened, but I understand they have been deliberately withheld and look forward to DC shedding some more light on that missing period.
I am sad we missed seeing the Great Schism though - I was thoroughly proud of Lysaer after finding out he had divorced the True Sect. (though surprised he had taken up residence in Rathain, of all places. I guess he was pretty well known there, moreso than in the southern kingdoms, and its the next major kingdom other than Tysan and Havish...). In fact, I loved Lysaer in this book. His personal torments were pretty heart-wrenching. Near the end I thought the Paravian presence might cleanse him of the curse, only for Arithon to then fall back under the curse from Morriel's snare. That would have been a devastating(ly awesome) reversal.
I loved that it was the F7 who unleashed the wraiths on Athera. Talk about desperate measures, that was one hell of a gamble!! How it must have chafed Morriel that she was forced to let Arithon live! I love seeing that woman's plans fall to ashes, haha.
My one qualm, though, is that the wraiths have now been entirely disarmed, and offscreen! Personally, I derived a lot of anticipation and tension from that constant, looming threat of a wraith incursion, and had been expecting it to happen in the finale of the series, but as usual I can never predict Janny. I guess there are still the wraiths in Rockfell...
Tarens is awesome. I hope he is reunited with his father, whom we glimpsed in that one brief vision. After losing so many family members already it would be nice for him to have one returned. I hope his father didn't die in the Lanshire campaign... that would be devastating.
Daliana - also awesome. She might not have brute muscle but the girl has skills! Would love to see her in action some more, not just applying her talents to darts.
What's the deal with Saroic? I assume that part was included for some future purpose. My understanding is that, being of s'Gannley descent, he will become Tysan's next caithdein after his grandfather. But then, Daliana is also of s'Gannley descent, and it seemed like she was effectively being asked to stand as caithdein pages later. Was that just an unofficial request for help from Asandir to Daliana? Did she simply swear a caithdein's oath but not officially take up the title? Did Sulfin Evend ever actually hold the title? I admit, I've never been able to get my head completely around the bloodlines and their roles, especially when they outbreed and mix and whatnot. If someone could clarify Saroic and Daliana's positions for me that would be great.
I loved that backstory tidbits about Jessian and the pre-Atheran relationship between the Beidar and Koriathain. I have a feeling that relates to one of the short stories, but I haven't yet been able to get my hands on those. Was there any progress about releasing the shorts stories here on the website, Janny?
I hope Verrain gets some more page-time. He seems like an under-utilised resource. Mirthvain never sleeps I suppose. Poor guy must be itching to get out of that swamp though.
Is Morriel not aware of the fact that the F7 will have to destroy mankind before letting the compact break? Or is she plotting her way around that outcome as well?
"...the field Sorceror engaged the Creator's sublime portal and vanished."
Where the heck has Asandir gone??
But the Fellowship hardly unleashed the wraiths on anyone, and Selidie knew that. The Fellowship were doing their best to keep them away from Athera. Way back in one of the other books, as Morriel the Koriani Prime had been told of the problem and the possible solution. By the end of Stormed Fortress the problem was getting worse, so it was hardly surprising the Fellowship intervened to save Arithon, they needed him, and it seems Seledie thought it was a good idea to get rid of the free wraiths, or they got her to agree to it some other way. Arithon could spend centuries confined in horrific circumstances, redeeming all the wraiths, and then Selidie could kill him.
I did wonder why the Biedar needed to split time in order to retrieve Arithon. Did it only take 249 years to redeem the wraiths of two planets, or did it take longer? Sometimes Janny said there had been countless millions of wraiths, sometimes countless thousands. And Arithon had been doing it for thousands upon thousands of days. Arithon was possibly badly injured before being imprisoned, and the wraiths might not have turned up straight away, the Fellowship would need time to organise such an elaborate construct to hold and seperate them.
Dakar saw Arithon playing in darkness for decades (Fugitive Prince pg 135 in the newest pb version), so either Arithon was blind and in pain or he was elsewhere either before his term of imprisonment, or maybe it was later and will turn up in DC. Or maybe it was just Dakar's interpretation that was out and it was the same term of imprisonment, he was just seeing it from a different perspective.
I would think Asandir went where ever he wanted to.
About potential reasons for the extended time lapse, there were a number of changes; two seem especially interesting to me (and really required large amounts of time to come about):
- The clansmen in Rathain have increased their sensitivity to the mysteries quite significantly. The three children seemed to have much clearer awareness of the flux than any ancestor we experienced from before the timeskip (except Jieret). Not sure what this means for the story, but if Arithon regains his full range of abilities and memories, he might have some interesting strategic ideas
- Lysaer has had ~250 years without Arithon's presence. He was very young when he first came through West Gate; how can he battle the curse if he does not know who he is? I think he probably has a much better idea now of how the Curse pulls at his wishes, and where they diverge from his natural autonomous choices.
Other changes over time:
- Arithon's sensitivity to emotion, but that did not require 250 years, if Janny decided otherwise?
- The Koriani organization seems a lot more corrupt than before Selidie's ascent to Prime - what happened to "we do not kill"? And I can't see that trap at Scarpdale being very happily received by Seniors in earlier books. Am I underestimating the behaviour of the Koriathain in the beginning, or has Selidie caused an ongoing loss of morality? Especially without a First Senior, there seems to be no counterbalance within the system to her decisions.
- What's this drake war thing?
Janny's just posted a new short story in the webstore. There are now two there in eformat - Sundering Star and Reins of Destiny.
Check the thread 'Other Short Stories' for the link.
Well the stories are hardly new, although we got a nice painting of the falls of Lind'stair as a cover for new ebook version of Reigns of Destiny, as well as Havish's blazon, which Janny showed us earlier.
Be interesting to see if we get Melhalla's gryphon blazon with Child of Prophecy, or perhaps Shand's chevrons.
And a glossary for them all would be nice,especially Reins of Destiny had some interesting names.
Seeing the stories available for ebooks made me very happy, since I just recently purchased all the WoLaS books on kindle and was wondering where I stuffed those anthologies that had the short stories in them.
I make a horrid librarian and my books are not sorted properly. My Janny books are mostly clumped in one area in what is supposed to be the A's and universes like Star Trek or Forgotten Realms. Totally makes sense if you are lazy and want fast access to them though. *giggles*
To reply about the Koriani - Here's my take:
In the short story. The Sundering Star, when Jessian meets the Biedar they show her how they see the sisterhood's meddling as ugly, blind, arrogance. This was before the worlds were destroyed. So in their view the Koriani were always a corrupt organization.
However, the Prime feels her duty is to humanity and she is doing everything she feels is vital to that end and has even justified stealing Seledie's body to maintain humanity's knowledge locked away in the Waystone which only she can access. If this precious knowledge is threatened then she has no choice but to kill because to lose all that knowledge would be devastating to humanity in her opinion.
The F7 is also a terrible threat to that knowledge and the Prime is doing everything in her power to break the compact to hopefully force the permanent exile of the Parathians and remove the F7's purpose to exist.
So, they have always been corrupt as long as we've known them. But the increased dangers have made it seem like they are more corrupt than normal. Also, they have been in slow decay as far as community relations go as they increase the number of unreasonable trades they make for services rendered.
I never saw the entire Koriani as corrupt, just the head of the order and a few seniors. Morriel was mad even before she possessed Selidie, she just seems to have got worse. Does not matter what the other seniors think of her mad plots and warping of the basic foundations of the order, they are her enslaved puppets and can do nothing. The only one in the order who seems capable of independent action is Elaira. And the only reason I can think of as to why that personal crystal of hers would have insisted on continuing to serve is it knows prime power is eventually going to fall to Elaira.
I am sure Elaira would waste no time cleaning the order and its priorities up. What she does with all those red banded harpies who do not want to reform will be interesting. I never could work out what their original purpose was. But I am sure helping their Prime to destroy Athera was not it. Maybe they and their Prime were meant to be doing something else.
Morriel seemed to have no interest in Athera if she was willing to sacrifice the planet to get her freedom from that compact. If Athera and her high resonance are the source of the increased power the Koriani have, would not destroying the planet destroy most of their power as well? What was Morriel expecting to do if she had her own way? Obviously it is not Athera's humanity the Prime is interested in protecting. Maybe she hopes to restore that star spanning civilisation they lost, and put that knowledge she is protecting to use. But still she seems to be going around it the wrong way. Even if she had the powers of the creator, she has a heart of stone and no compassion what so ever, so like the dragons, whatever she created would go wrong.
And the F7 seems no threat to the knowledge the Prime is protecting, by the Law of the Major Balance they can do nothing. It is the compact that prevents Selidie unleashing that knowledge. The compact only covers what is native to Athera, so even though the Waystone was sitting in Althain tower all those centuries, it was untouched. Sethvir even handed it back when the Koriani eventually got around to asking for it.
The Koriani agreed to the compact when they settled with rest of humanity. There is probably something there we have not seen yet, concerning the balance of power between all the different groups on Athera, but still no one forced the Koriani to stay.
Hmm... did I misinterpret chapter 2, regarding the wraiths arrived on Athera?
"Malice spiked the Prime's anger. The sweet hour of ascendancy heated her blood, all the more rich since the vicious riposte thrust upon her by the Fellowship Sorcerors' underhand tactic: a deadly influx of wraiths unleashed on the world as their ruthless weapon in counter-threat. Unconscionably, they had gambled! The survival of mankind on Athera had been callously tossed on the board as their bargaining chip, with the innocent populace placed at risk under a lethal threat to buy Arithon's chance for reprieve."
It seems as if the Koriani captured Arithon, then the F7 intentionally allowed the wraiths into Athera, forcing Morriel to stay Arithon's execution so he could deal with them. She seems very bitter about the fact - it's not a plan she agreed to willingly. I could be wrong.
I, too, imagine Asandir has gone wherever he intended, but this seems to be different to a "simple" focus circle transfer, especially since that's the last we see of him in this book. Can't wait to find out!
Thanks for the tip about the short story availability, just bought and read them both =) Was shocked to see a certain corpse in Reins of Destiny!
Regarding the Koriani... if they weren't corrupt before Kincaid's weapon and Jessian's betrayal, they certainly were afterwards. Jessian initially believed in the Order's humanitarian nature, and I suspect many of the lower level sisters in current times believe the same. But the Prime and seniors have definitely corrupted those ideals.
The Order now exists only to sustain itself, not to sustain humanity. Any humanitarian work they actually do seems to be a front a) to keep the populace from turning on them, and b) to lure in new recruits to bolster their own power. Morriel's current actions seem to be in line with the order's prior policy of unrestrained ambition, regardless of cost/ethics/etc...
Am I right in thinking that Davien was Kincaid? I can't remember if his identity was ever revealed. I'm basing that assumption purely on Kincaid's description as brilliant in Sundering Star - admittedly not much to go on, but it's a common descriptor for Davien. I had previously thought it was Sethvir but I can't remember why, probably because he seems like the F7's leader, even though they are all equal (but different). It's been way too long since I read the early books...
This is probably getting off track from the thread's topic.. sorry.
Good thoughts Matt! You're right about the wraiths being used to keep Arithon alive. It says fairly early on that Sethvir is Kincaid. I think Asindar refers to him as 'Cal' - Kincaids first name I believe.
Matt, you are looking at the wraith problem from the perspective of a power drunk, mad woman, who will destroy anything and anyone to get what she wants. It was Selidie who was using the underhand tactics to try and get what she wanted, not the F7. You turn everything around that Selidie was thinking and you get closer to the truth.
It was not Asandir who had been lying awake night after night all those years hoping Selidie would change her mind, it was Selidie who had the sleepless nights, and she was the one who demanded a child as a hostage, even though she already had a hostage, again because she thought she could use that child, her planned strategies came to nothing. If Selidie could have, she would have sabotaged the star construct to unleash those wraiths in a bid to break the compact. We have yet to see if she actually did. At least that is one less thing she can use now to get what she wants. But there are still other options she could and has used.
The Koriani purpose was to preserve the knowledge of their former civilisation, this was it seems to supposedly benefit humanity. Knowledge is not always wisely applied, or that beneficial. They had that knowledge once and destroyed themselves, all those who wanted to keep their technology were sent through South Gate, all those who started on the path to such dangerious knowledge and would not give it up, were also sent through South Gate before it was closed with the Mistwraiths arrival. The civilisation on those two worlds eventually destroyed itself, just like it seems every other human civilisation other than the Atheran one has. How the Biedar managed to go a different path has not been explained, and probably will not be till the last book.
The Paravians were trying to protect humanity from itself with that compact, to give humanity a chance to develop enough that they would not need technology or would be wise enough to know how to use it. The Biedar are an example of what humanity could become. They can travel from planet to planet, yet have no technology. Running true to form, knowledge, greed and ignorance seem set to destroy the compact.
And although the Koriani methods and purpose might have left a lot to be desired. They still seem to have had some respect on Athera before Morriel became Prime, so it is Morriels madness that has probably had the most influence on where even what knowledge they could use has lead them, her entire order is tainted by necromancy now. Possibly it was Morriel who introduced the changes to the Koriani oath and practices that made that possible.
When the knowledge the Koriani were fiddling with escaped their clutches and started necromancy off in the first place, their oath was not so strict. It did not seem apparent when exactly that happened. But all the examples we know of on Athera seem to have occurred after Morriel became Prime. And it was the knowledge they stole and those crystals that made all that possible. Probably all those focus stones and crystals are stolen as well, but we have yet to see if their previous owners also followed the Koriani to Athera. But there is one hidden group we have not yet seen.
And Sleo is right, in CotM Asandir calls Sethvir Cal and in the glossary we were told that was his mortal name before the sorcerers swore fellowship.
And you will notice the first time we hear the name Calum Kincaid in Fugitive Prince
Our first Prime Matriarch stood at the right hand of free governance before Calum Kincaid sold out his great weapon and became the destroyer of worlds.
- Fugitive Prince
Annette, I think the F7 did exactly what it said in the book. Released the wraiths on Athera to force Morriel to delay Arithon's execution.
No, think about it, why would they? It would be against everything they believe to deliberately endanger all life on the planet. Even to save Arithon, they would not do it, the Fellowship are not the ones rewriting their moral code each time they are challenged, they will stick to their stance no matter the consequences. Selidie is the only one who would endanger humanity and would have the power to free the wraiths, so if she is blaming the Fellowship for doing it, then she was the guilty party. Look back through everything she has said through the books, especially when swayed by emotion.
Look at what else she says and thinks in that passage, is any of it actually true? If you go through each thing and work it out, Selidie is not going to actually tell the truth about that one thing, she is going to deny the truth and blame the Fellowship (or someone else) for it all. Why would you believe anything Selidie said in the first place, has she ever shown any care for humanity? Has she ever shown she can be trusted to tell the truth? Look back on what she said when complaining about the compact, or her Waystone was any of it true?
What would Selidie have done to keep the Fellowship busy while she was having her enslaved puppets capture Arithon?
I think you're right, Annette, that the truth is skewed through Morriel's twisted perception. The language used clearly shows her opinion of what they did. But I think the factual element of it is accurate. She may be manipulative and ambitious, and she definitely twists peoples' motivations for the things they do, but she is usually quite observant and doesn't just make up events, or misattribute them to other parties.
Remember that the statement was in her own thoughts, not something spoken, so not a direct attempt at manipulation. And while I've no doubt of her abilities for self delusion, to get the factual part so blatantly incorrect, especially if it was herself who caused the wraiths to break through the star wards, seems unlikely. Her madness doesn't seem *that* far gone, or perhaps, not of that variety.
Morriel says "The last invasive free wraith from Marak has been duly banished by Athera's Masterbard. The event occurred yesterday. This dawn, by the covenant carved onto stone in the King's Chamber at Althain Tower, the stay of execution your Fellowship demanded on behalf of Prince Arithon of Rathain is named forfeit."
On what grounds would Morriel have otherwise delayed Arithon's execution, except to save her own skin from invading wraiths? The F7 *had* to let them in, else Arithon would have been killed, the Fellowship would never have been restored, and the compact broken. The only other option would have been to destroy mankind themselves to ensure the compact. Morriel is correct that they had gambled, but it turned out to be a worthwhile risk.
The oath of non-interference was part of the original deal to spare Arithon - now simply confirmed by Asandir. I believe Teylia's role as hostage was to guarantee the F7 wouldn't go against that oath and attempt to retrieve Arithon, as if their word wasn't enough. But I'm not entirely sure about this. Regardless, the fact that the Koriani's distrust caused them ultimately to lose Arithon amuses me greatly.
Good questions about the nature of the Koriani before Athera. It does seem like they had a significant hand in the politics surrounding the war. I knew their intervention on Scathac wasn't purely for the sake of the Biedar, but I had been willing to assume they wanted the Biedar's knowledge so they could save other planets/people as well. But now I'm not so sure.
And it's VERY interesting that Morriel's not aware of the F7's true origins. I can't think of any conceivable way she might find out, but I'd love to see it. Maybe the truth is hidden in the Waystone? If she is clearing the trapped spirits from the stone, maybe one will somehow spill the beans.
Is it possible the weapon still exists, and that the F7 brought it with them on their ship? The Paravians probably wouldn't have approved of that, I suppose.
The F7's ultimate task is to ensure Paravian survival. That is why they were brought to Athera, not for humanity's benefit. So to that end, risking mankind is perfectly reasonable and well within their purview, albeit something they hope to avoid if possible. They're not rewriting their moral code. Remember, they made Arithon swear oath to survive *at all costs,* which very much includes costs to human life. How many people have died already to ensure Arithon's survival? He is the key to everything. He *must* live, at least until he fulfils his purpose.
If forced by their binding directive, that is true. But I'm don't think that Arithon's survival directly triggers that. Arithon and the restoration of the F7 are certainly needed for full restoration of the system of government and rule (part of the Compact), but the Compact is not critical to Paravian survival. If the binding had taken hold, they would have gone in, guns blazing, each time Arithon's life was at risk, and so far in the series, they haven't. At Etarra, at Athir, free will was respected.
Arithon's binding to life was done because of the wraiths, after Kharadmon returned with his news about the two worlds beyond South Gate. The Fellowship did not want the same thing (whole worlds bound in possession and slavery) to happen to Athera.
Actually, the whole situation can be explained if Asandir's blinding trail had failed, and we know it was only expected to last for a few years. That's possibly quite enough to allow a large invasion to reach the star wards. There would be no point in the Fellowship trying to explain that it was a coincidence, Selidie seems quite wilfully blind on matters relating to them, and would not believe them.
Yeah that's definitely possible, that the wards decayed naturally.
My impression was that the F7 were brought to Athera as a group, because that group specifically met the dragons' requirements to save the Paravians. And if that group is broken (as will probably eventually happen if they aren't restored) it will no longer meet those requirements. That's why I thought Arithon's survival was linked to that of the Paravians. But perhaps I'm reading too much into it and making extrapolations that aren't there. Yours does seem a very logical explanation!
Nice discussion! All of the F7 have always said that they would have to destroy mankind if the awful event happened that the compact was in danger of being broken. I have never understood Morriel's constant efforts to break it unless she doesn't know that. And if she doesn't know, why don't they tell her? Or she at least didn't seem to understand it the night she caused the great upset in the flux when she transferred herself into Selidie's body. She does seem to understand the damage that can be caused by grimwards, as I remember her satisfaction with the fact that the F7 would be too busy trying to keep their wards from failing to interfere with her designs.
Matt, there do seem to be hints about something special with the F7 gathered as a whole, but not sure what yet.
A lot of my speculation comes from seeing what events have or have not triggered the drakes' directive in the past, so I don't see Arithon as critical to Paravian survival (or at least that seems to be the current perception of the Fellowship). Saying that, I still wonder why Elaira potentially having a baby of royal descent (in Traitor's Knot) was so serious as to engage that binding. Probably a different discussion to be had there
Sleo, I assume there are going to be some reveals in the next two books I have no answers to your questions; also, when the Fellowship was tied down with rescuing grimwards left, right, and centre, why couldn't Selidie ignore the Compact, and do as she pleased? Why is it so important to her that the Compact be broken rather than ignored? I wonder if it is related to the reason why the Koriathain never went through South Gate (as described in the FAQ, they like the high resonance of Athera, so perhaps Selidie wants it all - control of the planet and its resources, and interstellar travel).
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
I always believed the truth about the wraiths was more that the wards were decaying, Athera was indeed in grave peril and the F7 told Morriel that Arithon was required to fix the problem or else everyone would die. Of course she would believe the F7 threatened to release wraiths on the world on purpose to thwart her desire to kill Arithon because that's how she thinks.
I don't think anyone knows about the destroy all humanity consequence of breaking the compact and it's not something the F7 would tell anyone because that would probably go against the Law of Major Balance.
OK what happened here? what did I miss?? I realized that IT wasout and I had to get it but found it on my shelf and it had to have been there at least a year. I understand how Dakar would have been seen as a betrayer but I relly don't understand what Eiragal did. I read this book twice and then read the book before but then rearead the whole series and that last 250 years has me stumped. [smilin at ya]
You had IT on your shelf for a year and forgot to read it?
Eriegal was the one who arranged for Arithon to be captured. Since he had sworn fealty to Arithon, that betrayal ended up getting him executed for treason and brought shame on the clan.
I really doubt Eriegal knew the Koriani were going to end up with Arithon though. I suspect it was more to do with what happened at Alestron and the s'Brydion losing their ancestral home that Eriegal thought Arithon owed restitution for, as well as a bit of misguided revenge. I thought Eriegal might have handed Arithon over to the s'Brydion, and Seledie controlled things from then on. Bransian might have blamed Arithon for what happened and thought Arithon could have intervened to get Alestron back, with a bit of persuasion.
And they would have all turned up for Jeynsa and Sevrand's wedding.
‘Eriegal has never found trust in his Grace. That’s why he was not sent to Vastmark, by Caolle. No Companion among us has not hated, for loss. But some nurse the wound like a canker.’
pg 297 Stormed Fortress
Because, tangled by a misguided revenge, Arithon understood the motive behind his betrayal.’ Here, Dakar quoted the prince verbatim from history. ‘Grief suffered in childhood broke the man’s spirit. If Eriegal dies, if he’s cast out, he might never outgrow his child’s rage for the family reft from him. Alive to accept the result of his choice, he might heal the wound of his losses. As I have, one day he might find his forgiveness for the human short-falls which led the clans to stand their doomed ground for my sake at Tal Quorin.’
Eriegal had been breeding his hatred since Tal Quorin. I don't think it had anything to do with Alestron.
I agree with Sleo- although Eriegal may have viewed Arithon's refusal to stand with Alestron in the same vein he views Tal Quorin.
Annette- why would Bransian have attended Jeynsa's wedding?