I'm curious. Apart from the fact that we probably all agree it would be wonderful to restore the fellowship to seven because they wouldn't be so hard-pressed, and the Koriathain might be brought to heel, why is it so important?
The active sorcerers are doing everything they can to restore themselves to seven within the Law of the Major Balance. To me it seems it is not just to keep the Paravians on Athera (which is what they are bound to do). Nor is it just because they are incredibly bonded after thousands of years and growth together (the sparring and niggling notwithstanding, they need each other).
The words in so many books actually say so that the fellowship can be made whole, or so they can be seven again, not 'to restore a Paravian presence'. Now our beloved author is never careless, and it seems a repeated theme to me.
So... it is like the mystery of high kingship ... is there something special that happens when all seven of them are present, or might there be another prophecy about them being seven? Think of the power of a circle of Koriathain - a circle of seven Sorcerers might be incredible. But I don't think it's a power thing - any one of the seven can wield as much power as they want, if they choose to.
What do you all think? Janny, any clues?
The understanding I have is that all seven together are greater than the sum of their parts.. and the return to Seven I think necessarily includes the healing of Traithe.. now given some of Traithe appears to held in the Mistwraith in Rockfell, that's gives some tantalizing thoughts for how and where Arithon might play a role in restoring the Fellowship to Seven.
I wonder if there isn't anything Arithon is NOT going to have to do to get some peace and quiet? I would be smacking Dakar the next time he made one of his prophecies.
"Enough, already! I am up to my eyeballs as it is, and now YOU are prophesying that I have to find a cure for baldness, too?"
The term 'restored' - could that mean not just fully restored to protect Athera, but restored to freedom from their Drake binding?
I had to delete the last post as it was a Stormed Fortress spoiler.
I think the answer to this question just occurred in the thread in the Author's Corner on Davien's Discorporation. The dissolution would have devastating consequences upon Athera, and especially its human inhabitants, due to the binding nature of the Compact with the Drakes, and the requirement for unanimity between the Sorcerers.
Unanimity, Clanny? When was the last time the Fellowship had that? Easily before the overthrow of the high kings. It's reasonable to say that, until [spoiler removed] there'd been precious little unanimity to be found amongst the sorcerors (regardless of what Ciladis is dreaming about in his unicorn guarded tropical isle). Agree with you on the consequences of F7 dissolution, though....
(Message edited by admin on August 28, 2008)
I had to remove a Stormed Fortress spoiler in the last post.
Ooops, my bad, Jeff. Absolutely right. Clanny and I have both read it, of course, but there's bound to be others. Thanks for the catch!
Longtime fan of the series, but only just recently started reading the boards after a full re-read of the series... Found this post interesting though, so I figured I'd throw in my two cents even though it was a long time ago. Thanks for all your hard work on this fantastic world Janny!
I would think it comes down to the fact that the Drakes dreamed the Fellowship to them to 'save the Pavarians' (paraphrasing there I think)...
As exactly those 7 individuals were the ones that were dreamed, and the Pavarians definitely need saving, I would guess that the seven and their intact Fellowship are needed in order to accomplish said saving (even though this time it isn't saving from drakespawn). Maybe the drakes dreamed better than they had anticipated -- and the Fellowship still has a critical role to play beyond the obvious that we haven't anticipated...
I do not think even restored to seven they would be able to solve Athera's current problems. Perhaps they have a critical role some where else? Restore them to their freedom so they can choose what they want to do themselves.
Which of Athera's problems are really the Fellowship's to solve? Ensuring survival of the mysteries so that the Paravian's survive is clearly their goal - all else is secondary. Note that the re-enactment of mass genocide - should humanity really threaten the mysteries - is viewed as abhorrent by the Fellowship but also what they are charged to do and whilst they are trying to avoid such a course of action, it may be necessary and they will do so if required.
The Biedar were in nasty disagreement with the Koriathain well before coming to Athera - Arithon is Mother Dark's chosen. As much as we'd like the Fellowship to really stitch up Morriel/Selidie and her crones, clearly the Biedar through their agent Arithon is most likely to fix up the Koriani. I'm thinking that Arithon at some point will be called upon to settle the demented shades of failed past Primes currently in the Great Waystone.
The earlier versions of the glossary were different to what is currently stated in the Fellowship of Seven entry, and points towards what I think are the Fellowship's personal goals, more so than what they are bound to do; in those versions, the Fellowship were sworn to
- uphold the Law of the Major Balance
- foster enlightened thought in Athera
Certainly they look to me like what the Fellowship would like to do. And a problem becomes yours, if you embrace it (see how Arithon ended up being pushed into accepting being crowned in CoTM). But I think the Fellowship can see that they don't have to embrace the problem forever, which is their choice if not bound. I don't see the Fellowship as getting tired just yet, but if their presence worked against the above two items, they might certainly leave.
I have the feeling that having to enforce the Compact actually works against the second item above at times (fostering enlightened thought). And it's an ongoing problem that one might like to see solved by the end of the series :-)
On the restoration to Seven, I think there are more than hints that there is a special quality to having the full complement of sorcerers. There is some discussion here and in the FAQ about the Seven having had colours which match the seven physical chakra, but it's unclear to me how important this is.
There are multiple examples where Janny points out the special quality of Seven, but I can only find one right now:
... if Desh-thiere's aspects were advanced enough to slip the constraints of time, the Fellowship as it stood could do little more than bind temporary wards against recurrence.
'Restored back to Seven, we could resolve this,' Sethvir sighed.
Don't forget that any 'matrix' formed by the presence of the available Sorcerers would only total about 5.5. No Ciladis and only part of Traithe. What would a 'matrix' of all Seven look like, I wonder. I'm envisioning a couple of possibilities. Six points around a circle with one in the middle. Seven points around a circle. Any thoughts anyone?
No ideas about the matrix, but seven is one of those numbers that are considered powerful. In the Bible, the words of the Lord are seven, He ended his work in seven days, because it was complete, entire, perfect. Seven is a significant number throughout the Bible. (Interestingly, five is the number for Grace, the word uttered by Arithon that ended the Kralovir cult.)
There are many other symbolic meanings for the #7, of course, but in the light of the meaning for perfection, its significance for the F7 is rather obvious, I think.
I wonder if Sethvir's library layout suggests that seven around a circle would be more likely than six? It seems (currently) to be one of the main locations for major conjury. Could the layout have been different in the past? Though of course, the matrix would not necessarily need to be related to physical location.
On the other hand, that six-pointed star on the Fellowship pennant certainly has some kind of meaning. It has sometimes been used to represent the four elements, but it could be for another reason here, as it explicitly represents the Fellowship.
If it were six around one, I would assume the middle part of the spectrum range would have been the likely centre (Green?)
Re my last post:
Saying that six-pointed stars could represent the four elements - depends on whether the symbol is a hexagram, or something different. Has the symbol been described in any more detail yet?
Th Fellowship pennant can be seen at the end of the glossary in Stormed Fortress, along with the Koriani swan. From the descriptions in the book we get, a deep blue, triangular cloth slashed, contrary, by a diagonal white bar, with the upper quadrant marked by a white six-pointed star.
I always thought it was the four elements for the star and Light, and maybe the shape of the pennent was a reference to Ath. But you never know. I cannot remember how many points Evenstar's star had, but I suspect it was 6, so there is that name as well. And the polestar also seems important, yet there were not many clues as to why.
seem to recall there being an oath not to separate or something like that (presumably following the great weapon fiasco)
I think fellowship are tired spiritually...Asandir had mentioned this "we who are bound...", Davien is clear in his dislike of status quo to Arithon and Sethvir...L, K and T do not seem to compain?
Ciladis is (and parts of traithe are) missing in action and they would understandably want to recover their colleagues.
Ciladis would "willingly talk on that matter" says davien...why is ciladis refered to in particular I wonder?
The fellowship is a spectrum and I suppose there is a synergy when they are together like when several colours make white when added together (Janny likes her physics perhaps ;-)?)
I note from SF that Moriel believes that with great waystone she is a match for Biedar in straight contest of power.
Actually all the Evenstar reference said was "a white star carved on her counter" so it might not have been a six point star. Took me a while to work out where I read it, it was in Grand Conspiracy (pg 108 in the current edition).
Another possibility is, since the Fellowship swore the compact with the Paravians, in order for someone else to take over guardianship of Athera, the Fellowship has to be reunited again. The Fellowship of 5 or 6 will not do, it has to be all 7 as a group and the Paravians who agree to any changes.