--There was a theory that cows are sacred in Hinduism because they were/are valuable and religion was a method to keep the starving masses from poaching--
There is another theory, having more creedence, that the Hindu Priests made the cow sacred because of a communicable disease. There is similar confluence with papuan natives not eating monkeys, as prions from the monkeys cross the blood-brain barrier in humans, as can BSE cross from cows to humans.
That is to say: the Priests - being the keepers of knowledge - saw that eating bovine products caused harm banned the eating of cows on religious terms.
Religion is a concept formed to allow a minority to control the majority. Often used wisely it can set a standard of moral values and protect the unwary of unwholesome practices, There are many good things with religion but when used by some it can have a reverse effect, hence the never ending wars and oppression!
Is it stated definitively that these seventh age sages are still on Athera?
No. Everything is carefully written. :-)
The sages do know of Dasclen Elur and of Etarra (and Athera!).
The 7th age is referred to and if so, the 7th age of where if not Athera? (reference is made to "ancient past": 3rd age of Athera).
For me, they are on Athera.
That would be waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too simple.. and since when is that the case here?
I'm making an assumption that the Sages are a small group of the most learned / knowledgable on Athera. Not just bored University Students researching arcane knowledge and writing "Arithon lives" on walls..
Are the Sages researchers who think the Religion of Light seems too good to be true / relies too much on an omnipotent Saviour / has a few holes in it's story? This is the Seventh Age after all. Given the praise and myth attached already to Lysaer after only a decade or two in the Third Age, who knows what he will end up being said to have done by the Seventh Age? It could be said he formed the Universe, the Sun, Stars and so on by that stage.
Or are the Sages revolutionaries of their Age? Sick and tired of the lies and deceit of the Religion of Light, looking to throw off the yoke of dumbed down intelligence of said Religion?
I find it immensely encouraging that Arithon's name has at least survived to the Seventh Age. That his name survived on fragments on manuscript is rather intriguing. The Clans don't write anything down, the Korithain record it in their crystals, the Religion of Light is unlikely to record anything on manuscript claiming Arithon is a mystic and Saint. I doubt the Paravians would record anything on manuscript, which may leave the Fellowship. When they complete their purpose and move on (whatever that might mean, hopefully we find out), what will happen say to Davien's Library? Will it be bequeathed to someone "trustworthy"?
Actually I did forget another possible source for the fragments of info that survived to the 7th age. We know from the teasers for Initiate's Trial that Sulfin Evend was reviled by the third age temple archives as the Light's most nefarious heretic. What did he do that was so bad? Lysaer seems to have been able to protect him from his adoring fanatics at least long enough to start a family. But Sulfin when we last saw him was no longer fooled by Lysaers false claims, and he had already met Arithon twice, so had a chance to judge for himself the truth. Would Sulfin at some point have perhaps written something denouncing Lysaers false religion?
Potential Spoilers pre-"Initiate's Trial"....
So far, all of the numbered ages are noted by an ARRIVAL of a new element to Athera: First, the Paravians; Second, the Fellowship Sorcerers; third, humanity....
In a potential future, could the arrival of the Mistwraith be retroactively considered as year one of the Fourth Age? Or, perhaps, the arrival of the Marak Wraiths by way of the star ward?
Regarding Sulfin Evend's 'heresy', Kharadmon publicly called him to service as caithdein. That would give him the appearance of a tool of the Fellowship that the religion opposes. He probably would have been removed and executed without Lysaer's direct support/favor.
Regarding Arithon still living, why could he not be capable of learning 'longevity training'? There might be some purpose other than self-interest that would cause him to keep himself and his gifts available. Of course, he probably wouldn't do so without Elaira....
Oh, I think Elaira would also be staying around for a fair while as well, Arithon would be heartbroken without her. Even if Elaira does not get a chance to drink from any magical fountains every five hundred years, she would have a partner capable of extending her longevity.
As ages of redemption go, the mistwraith is a curse, a blight to all that is bright, no redeeming qualities, they are they ones that need saving. Although it could be argued humanity is almost as bad, but the Paravians agreed to let them stay under the conditions of the compact. The wraiths are not likely to be around much longer, so perhaps getting rid of them would start the fourth age. More likely someone who's arrival started an age will leave, or someone else will take over a significant role in Athera's future. For the fourth age of redemption to start presumably something has to happen to improve Athera's currently dire future. Even without the wraiths, Selidie, Lysaer or Lysaer's fanatics could still bring about humanities destruction.
My bet is on the fellowship of seven leaving Athera being the start of the fourth age. But we have two books to go to find out.
While the wraiths will probably be freed to peacefully 'cross the wheel' when they are named, I'm not certain that will be the case, so I'm kind of interested to see how that works out.
I just finished a detail reread of the series and saw no mention of the "Ages of Redemption". So I did a search and found Janny's post that mentions the Ages of Creation, Destruction and Redemption.
So the Paravians were to redeem Athera from the drakespawn; the Fellowship to redeem the Paravians from the drakespawn; and the compact to redeem humanity from their plight and the Fellowship from their part in causing humanity's plight...hmm.... [have I missed something?]
What remains that affects Athera?
1. Annette mentions redemption of the Fellowship from their binding (though I don't see why they'd leave Athera unless they perceive themselves as a threat to Paravian survival).
2. redemption of Athera from threat by wraiths...
3. redemption of humanity from its penchant for disharmony
4. redemption of stone-life not originally from Athera?
Regarding Elaira, I'm also wondering how her time with Ath's adepts might affect her longevity separate from Luhaine's replacement of the Koriani life extension procedure by way of Grand Conjury. By the way, I didn't see how he acquired Elaira's permission to do that.
Do marine sentients fit in here somewhere?
Marine sentients seem smarter than land ones, they never strayed, and unless Lysaers fanatics take to the sea and start hunting them they should be quite safe. We do have undersea ruins that are warded, and a grimward that is not on land. Perhaps the marine sentients can help with those problems. How we get a grimward not on land remains to be seen but if the dragon died on land and the Paravians contained its haunt in a grimward, and then the land later sank, it could have ended up underwater.
Janny has never explained how the ages of redemption work but I see it as...
The Paravians came to redeem the drake-spawn, they failed. They did redeem some drake-spawn and the Sorcerers though. And the dragons were sorry for their creations being the cause of Paravian deaths. Not sure that counts as them being redeemed though.
The Sorcerers came to save the Paravians from extinction, they succeeded but still there was the problem of redeeming the remaining drake- spawn. So far they have killed, banished or locked them up.
Humanity came seeking sanctuary, but yes I believe the Paravians knew they also brought new hope for a solution to the problem.
Janny would probably answer your Elaira question if you asked her. I believe because Elaira undertook the longevity realignment in the first place for the sake of Sethvir's augury that gave the fellowship the opening to change it to the less painful method that did not involve a second life binding to crystal. Since Elaira did not choose to join Ath's adepts I doubt her training with them would not have affected her longevity.
Davien seems to be hoping for a reprieve from the compact and the original drake binding. He or someone else has put a lot of thought and planning into finding the solution to the problem. If someone else was to take over guardianship of Athera, there are no doubt other things the sorcerers could do with those vast powers they have. Assuming they get to keep them when freed. Perhaps healing the damage to the gate worlds and the damage to the original planets that comprised the human civilisation would be at the top of that list. Or maybe a few will just want to retire.
The wraiths are already dead, so when redeemed would they not have to cross fates wheel. Nine free wraiths were already redeemed once their names were known. If they are redeemed I would have thought they got to go to Athlieria, Ath's peace is not likely to be found any where else for those who have died.
At to what is left to redeem, there are still lots both dead and still living, but that stone knife is not I think one of them. The stone knife probably just needs to be claimed. Arithon so far is showing no signs of interest.
1. wraiths both free and imprisoned
2. one cursed brother
3. humanity (could be a long term job that)
3. various drake-spawn
4. various drake ghosts enclosed in grimwards
5. not precisely redeeming, but the damage to Athera needs to be healed.
6. Necromancers and their victims, there are still two cults left.
7. Certain Koriani crystals and all those enslaved to them
8. Paravian ghosts?
9. Perhaps some of the Paravian ruins will be restored
10. Dragons that died unnamed?
11. Paravians lost? What happened to those who warded the dragon haunts on Kathtairr?
12. Something still needs to be done concerning live dragons, although Davien seems to be working on that.
13. There will no doubt be something else that needs saving.
I suspect that great drakes are not limited by water any more than they would be by space or time once they are aware of their potential.
By stone-life, I was referring to stone/crystals as entities rather than inert matter.
Stone-life, sorry Jeff, read that wrong. I doubt we need anyone special just to throw them in salt water and free them, if they actually want to be freed. But the Skyron Focus and Waystone would need more careful handling. How they get around the off world problem I have no idea. Maybe the crystals themselves could agree to a solution to that. Or maybe they just need to be Named for the earth link to see them.
I thought the dragons were well aware of their potential, which is why they made themselves scarce. I doubt they want to start any new ages of destruction. Getting over a distaste for water is not likely to give them any understanding of compassion or love. Daviens agreement with Seshkrozchiel could lead to something though.
Yet the dragon knew naught of the creatures she shaped, though her eye imprinted detail with rhythms of memorized poetry: she could number the rings on the carapaces of the tortoises, buried in hibernation, and puzzle together the fragments of egg-shells that had hatched nestling birds the past spring. Despite that vast repertoire, she could not recognize the current of spirit made voice, that underpinned a live being. Her ear could not fathom the tuned identity in the vibration struck off a crystal. Seshkrozchiel enacted these things in command of a masterful majesty, but as a mirror would copy reflections. The unfoldment of Scarpdale occurred by rote, a glorious discipline of assembled nuance, unbiased by cognizant empathy. Her emotions detected no harmonious communion. Such was the nature given to dragons since the embodiment of Ath's creation.
Today marked the advent of perilous change. As Seshkrozchiel raked through the spiralling vortex sown by the haunt's enraged spirit, she carried the bargain struck with a Fellowship Sorcerer.
Once she had loaned her vast power to Davien, enabling his translation from spirit back into flesh. Now, as her price, called in to curb the desecration arisen from Mankind's mishandling of four dragonets, the Sorcerer's fused being embellished the moving enactment of her awareness. All that Seshkrozchiel perceived shared the dynamic of Davien's experience.
Actually I had a thought about what might be an event that starts a new age. When last we saw it, Ithamon was only missing the middle tower, the kings tower for justice. Considering the events likely to happening in Destiny's Conflict, what are the chances 4 towers are still going to be standing after Arithon's execution. Surely human civilisation would have at least abandoned compassion and grace as well as justice, perhaps wisdom as well. The Black Tower who's virtue is endurance I would expect to be in no danger. Perhaps a few more towers will fall. Maybe the following ages of redemption are noted by human civilisation reaching a point where a tower can be rebuilt. In the seventh age Ithamon is again complete and perhaps that brings about something else. Just an idea, since it seems unlikely we are going to be having more arrivals to start a new age and the Biedar and Sorcerers are likely to both leave around the same time. Even though there would still be lots of things to do, what significant events would be starting the ages of redemption after the 4th?
Of course, who the mistwraiths are could be a pivital point.
We know there are many but their origins are unknown.
A reference to cataclysmic works by Kincaid and co might be linked and the 7 might need to find redemption for what turn out to be the lost spirits of their past mis-deeds and the stewardship of athera merely atonement.
As to ages, the demise (or passing over of) the wraiths might fuse into the release of the 7 and another form of guardianship take over.
Or possibly the end of the wraiths is the significant event to herald the next Age.
Also given the technological background of mankind, an intrusion by a splinter colony or other lost remnant of civilisation is a possiblity, although whether advanced science would mar the whole ethos of the books is something I wouldn't want tested lol.
Ah well, patience is a virtue but so frustrating too ;-)
I think advanced technology already inflicted enough woes on Athera with the Mistwraith, which already invaded. I somehow doubt Selidie Prime will ever get the chance to unleash her proscribed knowledge on Athera, and it seems unlikely any further human refugees would ever get permission to settle on Athera. It was mentioned in one of the books that the remnants keep destroying them selves, so there is probably no chance they could ever find Athera. Marak's civilisation already destroyed itself so is not likely to be sending any further trouble to Athera.
It was the seventh age sages doing the investigating, not seventh age scientists. I would expect Athera's humanity to take a different path. They did after all settle on Ath's world, so probably something a lot better than technology could eventually be theirs. The Biedar need no advanced technology and look at what they can achieve.
When I mentioned great drakes discovering their potential, I was referring to their learning from youth to adult. For example, in Initiate's Trial (and its related sneak peek), Asandir faced a young great drake who had yet to learn the full range of its abilities, and how to responsibly restrain itself from causing harm.
I know it's been a while; I revisited this post while performing a search for something else.
Considering what is left of Kathtairr and the burned and destroyed parts of Paravia, are we sure even mature dragons can be trusted to restrain their dreams and thoughts and not cause harm? Maybe Seshkrozchiel is an exception, and the rest are sitting on a cinder of a world they already destroyed? Just a thought on how not safe that lot might be, even when grown. Their past record of restraint is not good.
Apparently dragons do not get a Name till they mate, with no Name, maybe they are considered unformed? But still they are animated spirit, so it will be interesting to see how Arithon, if he must, goes about redeeming the unNamed. Maybe he needs to learn the lost art of Name binding? That young dragon that was dead in one of the grimwards was too young to mate, yet Dakar mentioned something about it's spirit. A clue for something.
Considering the way they get their Name, I suspect dragons do not learn as we do.
I wonder whether the seers looking back are using the gift of the Tysan clan blood? And why Lysaer is not named? Will the Lord of Light claim to have never been human since if Lysaer dies - as he must...it kind of shows the fraud?
Recall that Kathtairr is now healing, as a result of Davien and Seshkrozchiel's creative activity. And, Kathtairr was burned and destroyed at the beginning of the Age of Dragons, suggesting that it may not have been Dragons who did the deed?
We need to learn more about the world beyond the North Gate to answer the Dragon question. It is clear that a dead dragon is not truly dead, hence the Grimwards, and Seshkrozchiel cannot mend all of them.
"seared lifeless by drakefire" K to S in Fugitive Prince?
It was definitely dragons who did all the harm to Athera during the Age of Destruction and some perhaps after that. On a re-read you will notice none of the harm they did on Paravia has not been healed either. From the land that fell into the sea, to the deserts and swams they formed, despite all the healing the Paravians could do, and their grasp of the mysteries, the harm to the land caused by the dragons has never been healed.
If dragons hold the template of what the land once was, why could they not remake it? It might be a bit like why Seliie's hands cannot be healed, spirit does not match the living Athera yet. If mankind took over from the Paravians, maybe all of their talent needs to work together, to raise the resonance of Athera? Or raise themselves to match Athera?
Lysaer's false religion in the 7th age would be long dead, all that would be left is the temple archives. The false religion might have survived ages after Lysaer, but they would have eventually realized the truth and no longer needed religion to cloud their way. Mankind in the 7th age has evolved to the point where the wise can access the truth for themselves, they need no false savior to lead them down the path to damnation. They can find Ath for themselves. That such talent survives and is freely used in the 7th age, shows what a glowing bright future mankind eventually found.
Which brings up the question of what Arithon's legacy was that still survives in the 7th age. But I bet Ithamon stands in the 7th age, with all 5 towers, fully restored.