Koriathain and the Fellowship

Janny Wurts Chat Area: General Discussion: Koriathain and the Fellowship
   By hosanna on Thursday, May 12, 2005 - 08:51 pm: Edit Post

Hi Don't know if this has been touched on anywhere already ... thought I might start some vigorous debate by asking whether there is sexism in having the Koriathain (all female) doing 'bad magic' (forced domination) and the Fellowship (all male) doing 'good magic' ie. with permissions etc.

Also, another comment that may raise some passionate response - I'm rereading the series and loving it and like most readers of sci-fi fantasy I have an imagination that tends to run a bit wild. I LOVE Elaira and the relationship between her and Arithon but I can't help thinking of an alternative story where Elaira doesn't exist and Lirenda is the heroine. Elaira is really the perfect mate for Arithon as is but Lirenda would have had to go on an interesting journey to overcome her character flaws. The seeds are there in her fascination for him and in a sense they are opposites with her ambition for power and his desire to avoid the responsibility of kingship. But we know from the Black Rose Prophecy he must come to embrace kingship. Opposites attract?

   By Blue on Friday, May 13, 2005 - 02:52 am: Edit Post

I think you have some good questions, Hosanna, and I think it WOULD have been interesting, had Elaira not existed.

Would Lirenda have actually tried to overcome her shortcomings to win Arithon over?
Would he have allowed her to win him over?
HOW would she have ultimately reclaimed herself, and her inner wholeness?
And if she did reclaim herself, and mature out of her flaws and weaknesses, would she still be so fascinated with Arithon?
How would he have felt at someone making such an effort to win his affections?

One thing I noted to Janny in a private e-mail one time was that I was glad she did not fall into the trap of so many other fantasy authors - i.e. all male orders = BAD, all female orders = GOOD.

(I could probably generate real anger when I point out that that was one of the main reasons I disliked "Mists of Avalon" so much. The portrayal of King Arthur as helpless did not help, either.)

It is an interesting twist, however, that the all male order [the F7] is far more mysterious, and while engaging in "good" their actions generate real fear and doubt.

But the questions you raise, Hosanna are very good ones, and I hope the vigorous debate you are looking for materializes.

I wonder what it was that kept the Koriani point of view out of the initial conference about the settlement of humanity on Athera? Had the F7 and the Paravians given them a fair shot at putting forth their agenda, and perhaps negotiated the sticking points, would the Koriathain be such a thorn in the sides of the F7?

   By neilw on Friday, May 13, 2005 - 04:12 am: Edit Post

"I wonder what it was that kept the Koriani point of view out of the initial conference about the settlement of humanity on Athera"

Blue, I think Janny mentionned this somewhere. It's that the Koriani "force" approach is a philosophy opposite the 'permission' approach.

They also I suspect practiced things which would upset the balance of Athera(?) On the other hand maybe their spaceship just turned up later when negotiations were finalised :-)

OCT 2001 Janny quote:

"The Koriani, as alluded in Fugitive Prince, Morriel's visit to Althain, were enraged not to have been consulted when the terms of the compact were drawn up by the Fellowship. They were given the choice: Fellowship way, or the highway. To settle, they had to submit. Which meant leaving much of their stored knowledge proscribed. Ticked, in short, in a major way. And by a power too strong for them to overthrow. The struggle continues."

I like too the "twist" in this series where whatever the F7 / Arithon do act for the benefit of the planet or masses it's misinterpreted by those do not have the perception to judge correctly...a bit of a shame really!

   By maxine marie pankonin on Friday, May 13, 2005 - 04:15 am: Edit Post

Good point Hosanna! But I believe that not all the koriathan are evil. I believe that their leadership [Morriel] have skewed reasoning and Lirenda was well on her way to being a Tyrant. And I still don't trust the F7. They ARE nice and their characters are very likeable. So I don't understand my own ambivalence toward them. And even tho I think the koriathan may not all be bad I REALLY don't like them. Well come to think of it I agree with you. There does seem to be a resentment of females. OK I am going to quit rattling my leash for now until I figure out what I am reacting to. [smiling at ya]

   By hosanna on Saturday, May 14, 2005 - 04:24 am: Edit Post

further thoughts ... I guess the F7 while being portrayed as doers of good magic are also portrayed as having previously wreaked havoc on humanity and having learned from their mistakes. Hopefully the Koriathain will in time also learn. I noticed an interesting quote on my re-read where Morriel mentions the order having been founded and at the right hand of govt. during the time that the disaster was coming to humanity that lead to them seeking refuge. Of course finding the exact bit again seems impossible. If anyone is dedicated I think it was in Ships or Vastmark. Which reminds me ... I like the titling for the different arcs - first one uses "something of something" pattern; second using the impactful two words adjective/adverb followed by noun. I keep wondering what pattern Janny will use for the next arc - a single word? 3, 2, 1???

   By hosanna on Saturday, May 14, 2005 - 04:27 am: Edit Post

and another commonality between Arithon and Lirenda - he loses his mage sight; she loses her spell crystaal

   By Trys on Saturday, May 14, 2005 - 06:17 am: Edit Post


Actually Arcs 1 & 2 use 'X of X'. CotM is arc 1 and SoM/WoV are arc 2. :-)

   By Blue on Saturday, May 14, 2005 - 06:49 pm: Edit Post

Hosanna, I believe the bit you are looking for is in FP, when Morriel is confronting Sethvir about the "impairment" of the Great Waystone.

   By hosanna on Sunday, May 15, 2005 - 02:28 am: Edit Post

You are both right of course
The part of which I was thinking is in the chapter titled Demand in FP.
"amid the suffering and the atrocities of humanity's Armageddon, the Koriani Order had been founded to resist the collapse of higher culture. Their purpose had been to perpetuate mercy, while other specious, greedy factions waged war, and burned a priceless heritage to ashes ... Morriel, sole protector of mankind's banished history ... 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"
I am very interested in these hints. I wonder about the science and technology based society that had an order of witches at the right hand of governance - does Prime Matriarch stand for First Lady? And if Morriel is now the "sole protector of mankind's banished history" she must know a HELL of a lot. also, the Koriani order being founded to resist the collapse of higher culture is interesting. They were foreseeing the downfall of civilization.
I'd love to know more about these aspects? Janny - does it come into the future story at all?

   By Trys on Sunday, May 15, 2005 - 07:16 am: Edit Post


No guarantee that when the first Prim Matriarch stood at the right hand of free governance that a) she was Prime Matriarch (i.e., head of an order of "witches") or b) capable of using magic. Perhaps the order was founded in much the way the Red Cross or the Sisters of Mercy were founded and the magic came along later. Perhaps the order was founded after the weapon was used and the woman who stood there became the first head of the order.

Then again, you could be right. :-)

Trys <-- just playing devil's advocate.

   By Hunter on Sunday, May 15, 2005 - 07:49 am: Edit Post

These posts have taken a hideous turn. It's possible that Arithon may need to save Morriel or ensure a successful Koriani succession. My skin is crawling at the thought...

My contention all turns on the phrase 'Morriel - sole protector of mankind's banished history.' **AND** the premise that mankind's banished history must/should/needs to be saved.

The Fellowship knows the history (they caused it!) but their sworn cause is for the Paravians, not their own kind, as Asandir mentioned quite specifically on many occassions, including in the boat en route to Caithwood in GC.

The Koriani Prime hoards this information (information is power in the Koriani) and holds it for when the Compact can be broken and mankind is free to resume space travel.

If I assume no one else on Athera has this information then Morriel becomes the critical single owner of this information who would use this to allow mankind to re-develop.

If Morriel dies without passing on her information via a succession to a new Prime, this information is lost and the Atheran human population remains in a medievil technological advanced status - artificially held in check by the Fellowship because of the terms of the compact.

If Arithon was to decide he wanted to allow humanity to develop - probably off world - then he would need to ensure this information survives. Which means he needs to allow Morriel to survive or complete the succession to ensure this information isn't lost.

What also concerns me following this line of thought is what information the Erdani conspiracy has. They have records from before the uprising.. just how much information was retained from Third Age Year One of from where mankind originated and the past history? I'm not sure we know enough now to follow this..

   By Janny Wurts on Sunday, May 15, 2005 - 08:38 am: Edit Post

Hosanna - you asked - and you betcha, it does.

Some of it beginning in the very first chapter set of Stormed Fortress - and far far more coming later.

   By hosanna on Sunday, May 15, 2005 - 06:00 pm: Edit Post

Wow! Thank you so much Janny for answering my question. I didn't really expect those hints of back story would be fully developed - I hoped but thought I was optimistic. I am even more excited now to read Stormed Fortress. The experience of reading this series is unlike any other. Most fantasy novels I've read set up the world and then tell the story within it and you know where you stand but in this series the world is constantly expanding so to speak with more possibilities. Mistwraith blew my mind as I began to grasp the scope and scale then each successive book more so but especially Peril's Gate and Traitor's Knot - each in completely different ways. Just when you think you know where you stand the ground shifts.
I LOVE this series!

Re Morriel and her knowledge ... while searching for the quote above I spotted a -seeming- anomaly with first a line stating about the Fellowship "Whoever they had been, whatever their unrevealed origin, they chose this place for their work". Then Morriel says the line about Calum Kincaid later. So it may be that Calum Kincaid was famous and what he did well known but Morriel has not made the connection that he is Sethvir. Wouldn't she be thrilled!!!

   By Hunter on Sunday, May 15, 2005 - 08:08 pm: Edit Post

It may also indicate that the knowledge retained by the Koriani has names but not images? That the knowledge of who Calum Kincaid is has been passed down by successive Primes isn't that surprising. It would seem that the world destroying weapon of Calum Kincaid was a fundamental part of the founding charter of the Koriani - so they would know the legend. What knowledge may be protected by Morriel and how much of that she's actually read I can only wonder.

I'm presuming here that the Fellowship Sorcerors look rather like they did when first called to Athera by the drake dreams.

Any thoughts on how angry Morriel might get if she was able to make the connection of who Sethvir is? The irony would just about kill her. Firstly Calum Kincaid was responsible for the weapon that decimated humanity - the dregs of humanity who survived the weapon fled to a safe haven on Athera. Only to find they can only live there under a strict set of terms, presided over by the same person! Face to face and continuing to live under the shadow of the Masters of Destruction..

   By Neilw on Thursday, May 19, 2005 - 06:26 am: Edit Post

I just wanted to pick at a few threads & quotes. Apologies if I have bitten off more than I can chew...

"And I still don't trust the F7"

- I think that the F7 motivations are explained fairly well so far in the narrative and we can understand their dilemma. Mankind (read townborn) on Athera cannot trust the F7 to save humanity if townborn chooses to mess around too much on Athera. It's a shocking mess that mankind has not been encouraged to maintain knowledge of the compact. Or have necromancers, koriani, etc. strategically destroyed knowledge?

Somehow the mistwraith made things much worse, I guess paravian inability/unwillingness to live on paravia with the mistwraith in the skies...it's not clear to me why the P. haven't come back yet. I've never understood Asandir's conclusions in GC re: survival of humanity at risk.

But I think we can have faith that the F7 are not intentionally "nasty" but they are *bound*...so humanity on Athera cannot really "trust them" to look out for humanity...but it seems the F7 have searched for a way to avoid the binding (hints exist that they're are not at all happy about being bound...but Davien points out that the end result is the same: paravian survival...and Ariton is still *key*)

"Hopefully the Koriathain will in time also learn"

Elaira seems to have concluded (PG/TK) that the koriani have followed a dead-end strategy. Moriel herself had fleeting doubts concerning the awareness of all things on Athera. But the crystals are a crutch to be removed.

"science and technology based society that had an order of witches at the right hand of governance"

- I agree that it's odd. The crystals are off-world in origin. I wonder whether they were used in a similar way on other worlds or whether Athera accentuates the usefulness of the crystals albeit without permission. "Witch" = "spells"? The Koriani control "forces"; one might call them electromagnetic scientist-doctors.

"It's possible that Arithon may need to save Morriel or ensure a successful Koriani succession"

- Would Arithon value a humanity based on a culture of fear, etc.? Arithon has a duty to Rathain but not to humanity in general.

"mankind's banished history must/should/needs to be saved" / "Morriel becomes the critical single owner of this information who would use this to allow mankind to re-develop"

Depends on how they redevelop. The F7 (or parvians) seem to be of the opinion that humanity can and should learn initiate awareness before taking to the stars again...Paravians certainly insist on olutions based on general awareness of one's place in the universe.

Would Marak people have been capable of star travel?

"If Morriel dies without passing on her information via a succession to a new Prime, this information is lost and the Atheran human population remains in a medievil technological advanced status - artificially held in check by the Fellowship because of the terms of the compact"

I like the fraudien slip here : medieval :-) But any info for future development is pointless if one repeats the same mistakes...Janny's humanity would seem likely to destroy itself again based on current philosophy (Asandir in "ships").

Today in our reality we feel more advanced than the humans on Athera...but you had better look at the longer term consequences...there is little illness on Athera even if there is no televison. Do you really need a fridge, radio, nuclear missiles? Are the Atherians humans really worse off than us? I used to think so but now I'm not so sure.

"If Arithon was to decide he wanted to allow humanity to develop - probably off world - then he would need to ensure this information survives. Which means he needs to allow Morriel to survive or complete the succession to ensure this information isn't lost"

I disagree. Arithon is not responsible for humanity's development but I guess in his ongoing battle for survival he is going to have to make informed choices which may heighten awareness in order create a situation where the paravians are "saved". Humanity may get a push along the way. Paravians don't seem to have developped offworld. Why should humans? What's the obsession with space travel anyway?

"Any thoughts on how angry Morriel might get if she was able to make the connection of who Sethvir is?"

I think the F7 have made a mistake to keep this secret. They consider themselves redeemed and so no longer the same people who made those past mistakes? This secret almost has to come out sooner or later :-)

   By Kimberly on Thursday, May 19, 2005 - 01:27 pm: Edit Post

Some picking apart of my own - regarding “Would Arithon value a humanity based on a culture of fear, etc.? Arithon has a duty to Rathain but not to humanity in general.”

Knowledge without the wisdom to see the implications of actions and the responsibility to act for the best good is the drawing line. In CotM Asandir tells Arithon that a lot can change in 500 years and Arithon responds that a whole lot hasn’t changed in 500 years. Society at large, in particular townborn society acts as a whole to promote personal power as opposed to acting in the best good for all creation. Also, Arithon tells Elaira in CotM “Kings all too often get their hands tied. And for what? To keep food in the mouths of the hungry? Hardly that, because the starving will feed themselves if left alone. No. A bad king revels in his importance. A good one hates his office. He spends himself into infirmity quashing deadly little plots to make power the tool of the greedy.” I believe that Arithon would deny general populace knowledge (star faring technology) without the wisdom to use that knowledge. It’s not so much that Arithon would/would not value a humanity based on a culture of fear, but rather that Arithon will consistently make choices for all of Athera’s best possible good, regardless of his duty to Rathain - even if those choices are to his own detriment.

On another note…previous have wondered what if Elaira were out of the equation…I wonder what if she became the Prime Matriarch? I think it was Sethvir who said she was the one Koriathain that could handle the right of succession. There was also some F7 concern that a Prime Matriarch tied by affection to Arithon would be disturbing. Elaira is embracing a philosophy of permissions; in as much as her own vows allow. In a position of power would she act to “free” all of the Koriathain crystals? She was willing to clear her personal crystal in PG. If freed, would some of them choose to help retain knowledge? Is the knowledge of prior civilization stored w/in the crystals themselves? Or would Elaira act to disband the order? While Elaira finds the current “unnatural” strictures of the Koriani intolerable, she does seem a likely advocate for an order whose precepts are founded on mercy. Saving a populace from disease would certainly be right up her alley! Just some free wheeling thoughts that have been rumbling around my head lately…;-)

   By Hellcat on Saturday, May 21, 2005 - 02:34 am: Edit Post

Janny, is famine a problem on Athera? (Apart from the current situation with lane imbalance.

How much of our view of life for your average Atheran is coloured by Earth's medieval history?. The idea of the poor disease ridden peasant on the edge of starvation. Wars obviously did happen during the third age, Alestron's defenses testify to that. But a peasant not threatened with disease and starvation has a lot less to worry about. Humanities resentment of not being able to exploit the Free Wilds takes on a different complexion iif survival is not at stake.


   By Janny Wurts on Saturday, May 21, 2005 - 09:03 am: Edit Post

Hellcat -You asked.

My response: have you SEEN any "starving subservient peasants" in the course of the manuscript? It isn't rather the Atherans' "colored view of Earth's history" happening but (NO slur at you or anyone, just general authorial observation) what coloration comes to the "story" is in the eyes of the READERS.

Athera does not have a starvation problem, nor disease as we know it "here." The rule is not "midieval" one whit, as evinced by the oaths taken - the High Kings are in SERVICE to the people not the people in service to the High King....the King's justice in fact functions differently.

Somewhere on this board, in a question, I answered that this world's "boundaries" are vibrational ones...there is a new appendix put into the US version of Traitor's Knot that will go into this, and some of the ruling issues, and it also mentions WHY disease is less prevalant - and more in some areas than others.

Survival on Athera is NOT at stake - and where on Athera, in the manuscript, was there one little place that depicted the problem....what areas of difficulty you did see (the children conscripted by the knackers in Vol I) were created by POLITICAL lines....look carefully and notice Which cities you see street children....the clues are all quite in view and self evident. If your eyes are not presuming, in which case, you will assume what you see --

   By Hellcat on Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - 07:00 am: Edit Post

Thank you for that Janny. I must admit I'd assumed that disease and starvation were part of life on Athera, especially given that the Korani order have healers. I presume the lack of disease and starvation applies for all life forms in which case reproduction must be moderated to avoid population explosions. Speculation: Is this what some of the Athera Mysteies and renewal ceremonies were about, to maintain this exacting balance of population control and a healthly planet. The lack of renewal of the mysteries may upset this balance. Also I guess the more in tune with the natural world your lifestyle is the less likely you are to be prone to disease, those who indulge their greed e.g. Morfett suffer.

Thinking about it, I can't recall Elaria mixing a cure for diseases. the fisherman's son in Merrior was hurt in an accident and Fionn was a birth complication.


   By Neilw on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 06:19 am: Edit Post

I have a question concerning Arithon. (I'm NOT asking Janny for the moment :-) )

The F7 did not object to Arithon becoming Masterbard.

I'm not sure whether the masterbard has specific duties/obligations...are masterbards an Athera thing? How many bards are there? Do they communicate together formally?

Would / should a masterbard ever become King?

Would there be any conflict? A king has a duty to his kingdom to protect the land and therefore the people.

Would a masterbard have duties that cover Athera? Or could he just sing wherever he wants (Hallioron travelled widely - was that a choice or an obligation) What triggers the masterbard to seek an apprentice? When a talent yong guy comes by or the mastbard's old age? Or am I just complicating things too much?

There is a hint that Arithon may not become king or F7 may have to choose bewteen Rathain and the compact?

   By Hannah on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 09:40 pm: Edit Post

I don't think the F7 would have objected if Arithon decided to set himself up as the biggest pimp in Jaelot. They might have voiced concerns and, if he asked, explain why that really wasn't the wisest career choice. But could they actually force him not to do it, block his free will? Obviously they have their ways of going about business with Arithon. Blood oaths, and such. But I don't believe that forcibly telling him 'no, you can't be Masterbard' is something they would have done, no matter the circumstances.

I think--well, know there are certain traditions and ceremonies and privilages awarded the Masterbard title (as we've seen a few times, and it's been mentioned, scattered throughout the series), if the so-named person wants to pick them up. But apparently, there's no specific... "Masterbard must sing at crowning of new King" type of obligations. I don't recall any having been mentioned. Except for more moral type compunctions. As in, as Masterbard, Arithon couldn't turn his back on Dalwyn's grief (of course, influenced by his royal gifty). Those types of 'obligations' may be more specific to each individual Masterbard. Halliron probably wouldn't have reacted the same way (what a thought, sheesh!).

I think if a Masterbard was also King there would be a horrible opportunity for the obligations of those two position to the people to clash. Like a social worker (that's more how I think of Athera's Kings) who was also a rock star. Which is a weird analogy, I know.

Although, when you think about it, a rock star's responsibility is very similar to the Masterbard's (as we know it). Travel around a lot to entertain the masses, and when you get to your next 'gig', if the booking is good and respectable, you get preferential treatment deserving of your celebrity/talent/standing in the industry. You don't have any real obligations, except when you agree to play something for someone and/or somewhere (because it would be uncool if you canceled). But you are expected to treat your fans well, give them what they want and entertain them, understand them and interact with them.

I've been curious about the apprentice bit, too. I suppose if some really talented person comes along, it wouldn't make sense to not try to instruct them at least a little bit. I don't think an apprentice technically has to be a person who's going to be replacing you. It can just be a student that you teach, and then they go off on their own.

Will Arithon ever find an apprentice? And if so, when? They guy's gonna live 500 years (thereabouts, presumably), so when would he think it would be an appropriate time to find a succesor? Who on Athera could ever impress Arithon enough for him to think "Wow, he could better than me! He should be the next Masterbard!" Not that I should assume it would be a 'he.' Maybe it'll be a woman, or a Paravian. Maybe Arithon will die without a successor, so the next best person who happens to be alive at the time will just inherit the title. But then who makes the decision on that!

Ah, that's good speculation Neilw.


   By Konran on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 11:42 pm: Edit Post

XD fwahahaha Arithon as a pimp? Now I'm having mental images of him in the pimp outfit from Gaia... must... stop... giggling...

   By Benjamin Kenneally on Monday, November 28, 2005 - 02:39 pm: Edit Post

I don't necessarliy think that Arithon's status as Masterbard conflicts with kingship in any way. If you look throughout the series, the Masterbard is not so much an rock star (riding around entertaining people) as someone who uses music to bend people's ear to wider awareness. Arithon's royal gift of compassion gives him a natural insight into seeing more than his own side to any story, which is augmented by his bardic training as well as his sorcerer's awareness. These tools will ALL serve him well in his kingship, in my opinion. as the kings of Athera are not so much rulers as they are stewards of the land, I think the Masterbard is not so much an entertainer as a steward of the heart of the people of Athera. This is much closer to the traditional role of bards originally in ancient Ireland, who stood as judges and teachers much more so than entertainers.

   By Ryan Gohl on Monday, November 28, 2005 - 02:44 pm: Edit Post

Well said.

   By Trys on Monday, November 28, 2005 - 04:19 pm: Edit Post

It may be true that there is no inherent conflict between the roles of Masterbard and High King, but I can see where the duties could conflict. The Masterbard is for the all five kingdoms whereas the High Kingship will only be for Rathain. What happens where the duties conflict? Will the High Kingship automatically supersede the role of Masterbard? Could it happen that the King's responsibilities would be so time intensive that he would have to neglect his Masterbard's duties?

Trys <-- playing devil's advocate. :-)

   By Benjamin Kenneally on Monday, November 28, 2005 - 05:10 pm: Edit Post

I think that the difference between the two is that the needs of the kingdom require the king to move to them. The needs of the kingdom require proactive thought from the ruler, to keep the peace as well as keep the charter, so the people of the kingdom live within the compact. The duties of the Masterbard, as I see them, are much more reactive. To be open to what the Masterbard does, the listener must have sought him out in some way, even if it is only to have requested a tune. Traditionally, from what we saw of Halliron, the Masterbard traveled the realm so he could steward the hearts of all the people of Athera. However, I think as long as Arithon continues to open his ear to the needs of his listener as Masterbard he will still be fulfilling the role. Perhaps not as well as others had in the past, but still well enough to hold the title. I could very well be wrong in this, but that's my take.

   By Hunter on Monday, November 28, 2005 - 05:31 pm: Edit Post

We've never seen any Masterbard in action prior to the rebellion. The treatment given to Halliron and Felirin quite apart from Arithon's peculiar heritage shows how far the role of a bard on Athera has fallen out of favour.

Athera's Masterbard should be universally welcomed the length and breadth of the continent, playing for kings, paupers and everyone in between. The comment by Felirin when he meets Asandir early in Curse is very instructive. Felirin asks how many of the old ballads are true - Asandir's reply of "most of them" show (to me) that the MasterBard's role is as much about historical teaching and keeper of the olde lore as a device of pure entertainment.

Role of Masterbard and High King have the inherent conflict that the former is for all of Athera, the latter, by definition, to a specific part of Athera only. The Masterbard appears, from we've seen, to be able to move at his/her whim anywhere they wish. A High King would be most unlikely to have this freedom.

   By Benjamin Kenneally on Monday, November 28, 2005 - 05:41 pm: Edit Post

Here we fall again to what is best for the role versus what is needed, which is very subjective. To fall back to a twist on the earlier 'rockstar' analogy (despite what I said about the Masterbard not being like one), current bands normally go on tour in order to promote their music. This assist very much in making them successful. However, it is not necessary to tour to be successful as a rockstar.

In much the same way, I think it would be BEST for the Masterbard of Athera to travel, bringing music and understanding to the people he serves. However, I do not necessarily think that it is NECESSARY. I believe that Arithon could still serve the role of Masterbard while seeing to the needs of his kingdom. It may not be the greatest choice, but at the moment I don't believe there is any other. It's been some time since I read the later books (I'm working my way through Fugitive Prince again right now, to lead up to rereading the following books again) but I have yet to have seen a worthy successor for the title at this time.

   By Hunter on Tuesday, November 29, 2005 - 07:08 am: Edit Post

Benjamin - I was responding to your views that Arithon's kingship and Masterbard are not incompatible. To date we have a very limited view of the role of the Masterbard on Athera. Arithon has so many other tangles on him, given how low the bards are currently held by the townborn, Masterbard status is the least of his worries.

I wonder if the MasterBard was a requirement of the Compact or a position someone started at some time after the start of the Third Age? The answer this question will have an interesting impact for Arithon - there didn't *seem* to be other obligations on the Master Bard but certainly the Master Bard's was measured by more than just his music. I doubt very much that the Master Bard toured simply to promote his music, although given the lack of CDs and Internet on Athera, probably a necessary evil.

I disagree with you - I think it absolutely *critical* that the Masterbard continuously travel throughout Athera. In normal circumstances, that would be one way of spreading news and fashions around Paravia as well as all of Paravia getting the chance to see and hear the Master Bard in action.

In the current time when the lies, ignorance, hatred and bigotry by townborn to clans and the Compact in general is resulting in human bloodshed on a scale never seen on Athera, the Master Bard *should* be the voice of the Compact, the voice of Law and traditions to provide the alternate context to the Great Unwashed of Athera who are too lazy, ignorance, timid or bigotted to think of any other viewpoint than that fed to them by Lysaer and his zealots. Athera's need for a functioning Master Bard who wouldn't be roasted alive the minute he steps one foot inside a town has never been greater in my opinion.

The whole Master Bard thread still seems to be a sleeper thread in my opinion. It's been there right through the entire series - but mostly seemingly to provide Arithon additional angst amongst his many conflicting priorities, to lay another death at Dakar's door, for Arithon to do mage stuff when mage blinded and to show the beauty of music. The incidents of what music can do (e.g. Arithon transporting to Jaelot from Sanpashir) and how this marries to the mysteries of Athera are still to be explored much further I believe. There is a lot in this series about magecraft, Prime Vibrations and energy/matter type discussions, but only ancillary discussions on where music - audio vibrations - plays..

   By neil on Tuesday, November 29, 2005 - 08:55 am: Edit Post

When Arithon accepts Halliron's lyranthe, Asandir seems, to me, to imply some meaning regarding acceptance (or is it just implied acceptance of the title?).

Arithon has been too busy trying to stay alive for it to be a major conflict of interest so far...but I suspect his kingdom takes precedence (he has had the ceremony at Etarra) and then there is the F7 binding on him to stay alive.

Sethvir can oblige Arithon to play at Eldir's court.

A masterbard can set help a bell foundry set fiend banes...maybe travelling bards helped calm the towns from iyats...no need for full time presence...plus some inter-kingdom communication benefits perhaps...impartial witness (although an impartial witness would need clan blood to perceive the "clan side")

The paravians "work magic" with song...Ath's adepts also...I guess townborn could learn this? Could song give them much-needed perception of the Athera environment. Is bardship a way of promoting growth in the townborn.

The masterbard is perhaps a living human standard of what is possible for other bard to benchmark themselves against...with a view to improving over the cenuturies...Arithon may well leave his mark within future bards of athera rather than restoring his royal line.

However, the F7 Scrying from CotM implied that Arithon would not have the opportunity to pursue his musical path thus avoiding crown responsibilty. So maybe the bardship is a way of showing the reader what Arithon has had to sacrifice: "carefree" v. "snowed under" it might not be key to the story.

   By Neil on Friday, June 01, 2007 - 08:05 am: Edit Post

2 random thoughts qfter plqying with the paravia map..

I missed where Arithon took his bloodoath...Athir. Right next to the east gate. Which persons in the human population of athera would know what lies through the gates (even if as a legend?) Does Arithon know at this point in the story? Would a masterbard know. Clans? Townborn?

Anyone clocked which towns have koriani sisterhouses?

Oh...and ***Gryphon***...nudge nudge where are those new book covers ;-) {'mutton' launched playfully into the air for target pracice...}

   By Trys on Friday, June 01, 2007 - 10:03 am: Edit Post

The gryphon sees the mutton flying through the air, listens carefully for the sound of bleating and failing to hear said sound decides the mutton must be 'faux-mutton'.


   By Neil on Monday, June 04, 2007 - 07:54 am: Edit Post

boo hoo ...

...but I've just seen the new covers ;-)


Looking forward so much to Stormed Fortress. I fear my expectations may be high :-)

   By Janny Wurts on Tuesday, June 05, 2007 - 11:39 am: Edit Post

No way are your expectations too high for this book....however high you raise them, expect the limit to be blown out.

It IS the culmination of the Alliance of Light arc.

   By Richard Myburgh on Friday, December 02, 2016 - 04:59 am: Edit Post

I think you should note that the Korani do not see that what they do is bad. After all, they do serve Humanity's best interests (but not all life) and they see Arithon as a threat to Humanities freedom and right to claim Athera as their own. They see the compact as going against human freedom of choise. They forget that their helping of the towns is leading to a destruction of magic (this would lead to their own destruction as well - due to the lack of new initiates).

Same can be said for the F7 - protecting all life but oppressing human free will and creativity (note how they stop the guy who re-invented gunpowder and the forced Medieval existence). One could argue, based on what is happening on Earth, that it is because we learnt from our mistakes that we are now creating "eco-friendly" technology. the F7 are preventing humanity from finding a balance (this would also adhere to the Law of the major balance).

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