How humans got to Athera

Janny Wurts Chat Area: General Discussion: How humans got to Athera
   By Sleo on Monday, September 26, 2011 - 02:26 pm: Edit Post

Somewhere else in this forum there was a discussion on this subject and now I can't find it, of course. I was outraged by some suggestions that they got there by space ship, as the whole idea of a space ship on Athera just outrages me. I'm currently rereading the books, to prepare for the release of Initiate's Trial, and also to sift for Janny's damnable esoteric hints!

I just finished Ships of Merior in hopes that Asandir told the s'Brydions in his lecture about Atheran and F7 history, but alas, he does not say specifically. It dawned on me suddenly, though, that they must've arrived through the World Gates. He (Asandir) does say that certain ones were expelled through the Gates.

Side question: Do we know who or what made the World Gates?

   By Sleo on Monday, September 26, 2011 - 02:39 pm: Edit Post

Asandir does say how he and the other sorcerers arrived:

Quote: Our Fellowship was drawn here by Drake-dream, Asandir confided at last. The power of old dragons has a very long reach, and it chose us because we were deemed masters without parallel in the terrible arts of destruction. The engine we had taken to flee the horrors of our past was plucked from its transit across the deeps between stars. Crater Lake in Araethura marks the site where the forces arisen from the drakes' desperate need hurled it earthward. We were given our deliverance there from the guilt and the agony that harrowed us since our acts. And though bloodshed by then was abhorrent to us, we fought to ensure Paravian survival until the last of the Seardluin lay dead.

Then it only says 'Men arrived..." not how.

   By Sleo on Monday, September 26, 2011 - 04:08 pm: Edit Post

I copied and pasted these posts into thread: The Arrival of Humanity on Athera.

   By Annette on Monday, September 26, 2011 - 04:24 pm: Edit Post

Well if the team who would later become the Fellowship were travelling by spaceship (engine) when snatched by the dragons. And the remains of humanity who later arrived to seek sanctuary came from the same civilisation, why would people think they were using some other form of transport. If humanity had been advanced enough to not need technology, they would not have destroyed themselves in the first place. That is after all the reason why such technology is forbidden on Athera, and why those who insisted on seeking it had been banished through South Gate. And yes, true to form that civilisation destroyed itself.

The Biedar do not use technology, they never came with the human refugees, they were just following them.

Sundering Star clearly depicted how both factions got around. The technology based humans were ripping Scathac apart for the minerals they needed for the shielding on their starfaring ships. A military organization called WorldFleet could hardly be expected to be using anything else to travel. PanTac had the monopoly on the light-speed class hulls that made starships, so perhaps everyone else got around in something a bit slower. The order Jessian was a part of had no real power, they dealt mainly with illusion. They would have relied on the same technology to get around.

When their planet was threatened by destruction, the Scathac tribes which included the Biedar used real power to alter reality and move an entire planet.

   By Sundancer on Tuesday, September 27, 2011 - 03:13 am: Edit Post

Did Scathac move? I'll have to re-read 'Sundering Star' - I thought of it as creating a parallel reality. As I recall everyone who 'knew' the planet was about to be destroyed disappeared, which suggests they stayed on that reality path.

I'll look it up when I get home...

   By Annette on Tuesday, September 27, 2011 - 04:51 am: Edit Post


In one, Scathac's surface was wasted to ash. In the second, the planet spun on, captured inside a majestic symmetry. The moment suspended, as an undaunted, fierce people steered their home world within the gravitational embrace of an untrammeled, whole sun.

Under Cover of Darkness pg 255

It is a bit hard to be sure but I always took that they had to steer the planet within the gravitational pull of a Sun that had not been destroyed as moving to another sun. The two realities created contained two Scathac's, (I will put this here to shut the censor up so I can post the reply, stupid censor!) it never said anything about two suns, so I took it as the sun was destroyed, but the planet moved. Otherwise would they not have been investigating the mysterious disappearance of their base and people instead of the mysterious survival of the planet?

I might be completely wrong there though, perhaps they only moved during the pause and then when time started again, were back were they had started as if nothing had happened. Except for the missing WorldFleet base and its people. But then if Scathac's sun was the first targeted, and nothing significant actually happened, would they not have abandoned the idea the weapon even worked?

   By Trys on Tuesday, September 27, 2011 - 05:19 am: Edit Post

I took it that the Biedar recreated reality in its entirety causing a split where one branch resulted in the destruction and one branch did not.

   By Sleo on Tuesday, September 27, 2011 - 08:06 am: Edit Post

I think it had something to do with quantum physics, if anyone understands that.

   By Trys on Tuesday, September 27, 2011 - 11:39 am: Edit Post

Any sufficiently advanced system of science will appear as magic to those who don't understand it. But I think the converse is true too. Any sufficiently advanced system of magic will appear as science to those who don't understand it. ::Big Grin::

   By Sleo on Tuesday, September 27, 2011 - 11:54 am: Edit Post

Ha! Smarty..

   By Annette on Tuesday, September 27, 2011 - 05:24 pm: Edit Post

Either way, the Biedar would not need a spaceship to simply move to another planet. They colonised other planets before Scathac, moving to Athera would not pose a problem. They seem to have the template for everything so would know where to move to.

   By Sleo on Thursday, October 13, 2011 - 04:37 pm: Edit Post

Aha! I found it! Which all goes to show, if everything else fails, follow directions (ie. check the glossary)

In the glossary of Traitor's Knot QUOTE:

WORLDSEND GATES---set at the four compass points of the continent of Paravia. These were spelled portals constructed by the Fellowship of Seven at the dawn of the Third Age, and were done in connection with the obligations created by their compact with the Paravian races, which allowed Men to settle on Athera.

Ah sooo. There it is. No space ships. Unless you count the machine bearing the F7 that was pulled to Paravia by the dragons....that lies at the bottom of Crater Lake according to the history given the s'Brydion in Ships of Merior.

   By Brian Uri! on Thursday, October 13, 2011 - 07:18 pm: Edit Post

The Worldsend Gates were created to allow mankind an exit FROM Paravia, for those people who chose not to obey the restrictions of Paravian life (e.g. no technology).

In various places in the books, the humans who arrived in Year One Third Age are regularly described as "spacefaring" although I don't recall any specific references to spaceships. However, I remember at least one passage from Morriel's point of view which said that breaking the Compact would allow humankind to regain the interdicted knowledge needed to travel between the stars.

   By Sleo on Thursday, October 13, 2011 - 07:27 pm: Edit Post

Well, then, how do you account for the above quote? It's straight from the book. It says nothing about an exit. I assume they do both - allowed mankind to enter, and then exit, but the quote says they were created to allow Men to settle on Athera.

   By Sleo on Thursday, October 13, 2011 - 07:31 pm: Edit Post

And yes, of course, there was space travel. That's what the Koriani want back. But I'm just saying that's not how mankind got to Athera.

   By Brian Uri! on Thursday, October 13, 2011 - 07:41 pm: Edit Post

I could be wrong, but that quote refers to "the Compact" as allowing Men to settle on Athera, not the Worldsend Gates letting them in. As in, the creation of the Worldsend Gates was one requirement of the Compact created between the Fellowship and the Paravians.

I also thought that the Koriani arrived with Mankind, but I'll have to look for that again. This is where full-text search would be nice! :-)

   By Sleo on Thursday, October 13, 2011 - 07:54 pm: Edit Post

Oh, I see what you're saying, but I think it's hair splitting. The gates are what allowed mankind to settle, after the compact was worked out. I'm going to speculate wildly here and extrapolate that since technology isn't allowed on Athera (AEB the kerfluffle over gunpowder) they built the gates to avoid the necessity of space ships per Paravian preference.

   By Brian Uri! on Thursday, October 13, 2011 - 07:58 pm: Edit Post

I can vividly see the scene I'm thinking of in my mind, but can't find it in a skim of TK or SF. It's the scene where humankind has arrived on Athera begging for sanctuary, and the Fellowship are faced with the question of whether to let them stay or reprovision them and send them on their way.

I think the timeline was:
- Mankind arrived (via spaceship?)
- Compact agreed upon
- Worldsend Gates created as a result of the Compact.

Spaceships definitely would not have been permitted to linger, but I don't think one would have been prevented from arriving on Athera. Just like gunpowder could be discovered, but after that, the inventor would have to make a conscious choice to abandon it.

I posted this info to the wiki once:
Each gate leads to a buffer world where the terms of the Compact were less strict. A gate in the buffer world then led to a destination world with "complete free choice existence. No law or restriction in frequency was in place"1 These worlds were linked to Athera by the Fellowship at the time the Compact was instituted, as part of mankind's grant of sanctuary.

I'm leaning towards spaceships!

   By Brian Uri! on Thursday, October 13, 2011 - 08:17 pm: Edit Post

I found the passage I was thinking of, "Wakening" in Chapter II of Traitor's Knot, but it, too, is ambiguous about the exact mode of transport.

   By Sleo on Thursday, October 13, 2011 - 08:24 pm: Edit Post

LOL, well you can lean toward spaceships and I will lean toward Worldsend Gates - perhaps with the trek from free worlds to buffer worlds to Athera. Especially since the text is somewhat ambiguous.

   By Brian Uri! on Thursday, October 13, 2011 - 08:25 pm: Edit Post

The fun thing about discussions like these is how they make me want to reread (yet again) :-)

   By Sleo on Thursday, October 13, 2011 - 08:33 pm: Edit Post

:-) I'm just starting my 3rd or 4th read of Stormed Fortress, having read the whole series again in preparation for the new release.

   By Annette on Thursday, October 13, 2011 - 10:43 pm: Edit Post

The worldsend gates never existed till mankind found Athera and the compact was needed to allow them to settle. Sleo if you do not think mankind arrived by spaceship how do you think they found Athera? Theirs was a civilisation based on technology and spaceships were the only way they had to travel between the stars.

Humanity never settled on the splinter worlds till after they found Athera, there was no native human population on any of the splinter worlds. Each world had to accept human habitation before the gates were built. Reading the FAQ for Splinter Worlds will make that clear hopefully.


Each destination world had to be CAREFULLY chosen. It had to accept human habitation by free will. Dascen Elur in particular had very little inhabitable land mass - it was largely open ocean. (Reasons for this, and also reasons why the buffer world was predominantly a mineral desert)

Each of the gate worlds had a purpose, as "escape valve" for specific things -- South Gate was where technology was permitted to develop.

The refugee population and the fellowship came from the same civilisation which is clearly shown as using spaceships in Sundering Star. And yes the Koriani would have arrived with the rest of mankind, even with their focus stones we have never seen them show any abilities that would enable them to travel between the stars any other way.

Morriel wanted freedom from the compact so mankind could have its technology back, the same technolgy that destroyed their civilisation in the first place. The same technology they used to destroy the worlds they used to have, and the same technology that ended up destroying the human civilisations on Marak and its buffer world. Morriel complained at one point that no one stepped forward to help humanity to survive. But they did, the fellowship and the Paravians are trying to help humanity and now she is complaining about it. Give humanity back the means to destroy themselves and they will, since they have not so far learned any better.

Those interested in developing technology went through south gate, others who might not have wished to settle on Athera might have chosen to settle elsewhere for political or religious reasons, or maybe they were just too fond of killing each other and making war. They had to accept the terms of the compact in order to settle on Athera, some would not have been happy living that way, they were given a choice. We do not yet know what other reasons there were, maybe some splinter worlds have not yet been settled and they will be in the future.

   By Trys on Friday, October 14, 2011 - 08:29 am: Edit Post

I've always envisioned the following series of events:

1) Humankind arrived at Athera (note... not on Athera) saying 'Please, may we settle here".
2) The Fellowship said, 'Hold on a sec, gotta check with the bosses.'
3) The Fellowship asked the Paravians who responded with very specific guidelines and strictures which included instructions to create escape valves for 'problem children'.
4) The Compact was drafted, submitted to humanity. Those who chose to settle accepted it. Those who didn't left in their ships.
5) The Gates were created.
6) Some people chose to fool around with proscribed technologies and were shown the way off Athera via Southgate and ended up on Marak where they continued to develop tech that eventually consumed them and left the wraiths.
7) Desh-thiere invades through Southgate and eventually four Princes and families, et. al., are sent through West Gate with three Princes arriving, eventually, on Dascen Elur.

If any were shown the way off Athera via Northgate or Eastgate is unknown to us.

The above is just my opinion, YMMV.

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