First chapter speculation. SPOILERS!!!

originally posted by Annette

And here is the quote from Traitor's Knot which describes the results of necromancy.


If Lysaer succumbs fully, he'll be worse than enslaved. Something other than dead. The rites the cults practise do not leave soul or spirit intact. We are sadly left to release what remains. The devoured husk must be burned in white fire to put an end to a horrific misery.
Traitor's Knot pg 149 (pb)

We have two examples of how Morriel could have possessed Selidie, probably she used both, but neither harm the spirit. What Morriel/Selidie might have got up to after that might have caused harm, but we have no idea what that was. After Morriel took possession of Selidie she seemed to think she would not be needing a successor any time soon, or at least that was the way it seemed when I was reading. We never heard anything about Seledie receiving longevity privileges, she never seemed sick. In Ships of Merior when Elaira was offered longevity privileges we learned it was something usually reserved for proven seniors. Selidie should never have qualified, until after Morriel had already taken possession. But even if the attunement was before Selidie became Prime, would it have worked for Morriel? They could not heal Selidie's hands, because of the mismatch, maybe the longevity also does not work, Selidie/Morriel does not seem to have used Selidie's personal crystal after she became Prime.

originally posted by Sleo

The passage from Traitor's Knot tells what the results of the Kralovir cult are. Not the other cults.

originally posted by Annette

It says cults, not cult so presumably they all damage spirit and soul. Look at how Jeynsa reacts to the possibility Arithon is involved with necromancy, she is not stopping to ask which cult.

originally posted by Sleo

Well none of the other examples you've cited are examples of one person dying and occupying another's body, which is how the Kralovir cult extends their lives for centuries. Isn't that exactly what Morriel did with Selidie? The only difference that I see is that she occupied Selidie's body and let her own die. And how are you so sure that Selidie's soul isn't harmed? What's going to happen when/if Morriel ever lets go? Are the longevity bindings on Selidie or on Morriel? Is she going to shrivel to skin and bone the way the enchantress did when Caolle dropped her crystal in salt water? I don't think we know. However, I find it hard to believe that no harm will be done. I know that I would be pretty pissed off if someone occupied my body for centuries, oath or no oath.

Regardless of this, however, why aren't the things we know Selidie/Morriel has done already enough for Asandir to see her as an abomination? She has tried to destroy Athera time and again. She wants to kill Arithon because she thinks he will bring her downfall. She has killed thousands of people in her aim of 'saving humanity' … The end NEVER justifies the means. I see those behaviors as abominable.

originally posted by Sleo

Dark sources were tapped without wisdom. Sigils with binding aspects were forged. Worse forms evolved later, recombined with blood ceremony, which warped offshoot was leaked from the order.
Stormed Fortress pg 33(pb)

This quote says quite clearly that 'sigils with binding aspects were forged…' seeming to imply that this is related to the forms which evolve later combined with blood ceremony.

I'm pretty sure that 'binding aspects' are abhorrent to the Fellowship and to Arithon and the Paravians.

I had some thoughts while rereading this thread that all of the violations of the contract with the Paravians could be contributing to poor harvests, famine, and illness.

originally posted by Trys

Necro means relating to death or a corpse. I'd say that what Morriel did to Selidie is not necessarily necromancy as she wasn't dead and brought back by spellcraft to inhabit Selidie's body. She transferred her spirt into Selidie's body and then her own died. I'd call what she has done simple posession… not that necromancy isn't possession… just a difference in source material. :smiley:

originally posted by Sleo

Well, she died. And I just reread that bit and vividly remember all the spells and sigils she constructed before she died. Was her transfer between bodies instantaneous? Selidie stayed 'asleep' for a while after Morriel's death. And this transfer certainly involved death.

originally posted by Sleo

And the difference seems to be that Morriel initiated it, not Selidie. There was blood involved, as she was pierced by the exploding crystal. Also she used feathers from birds in the ritual who had been killed sacrificially on the dark moon, in ritual with stone knives. And during her ceremony, the feathers 'recaptured the energies in resonance. Their thin, silvered auras pulsed a dull, heavy red.' Much as the ceremonies later shown to us in Traitor's Knot.

Sounds like a form of necromancy to me.

originally posted by Julie

Hi Annette:

Just getting back to famine- the crofters may have rotting food in their fields becuase plague claimed family and field hands. They may however had several bad growing seasons leading to food shortages and starvation. Also as to the heavy taxes- this is the first time we really hear from the peasant's point of view. Usually we hear the wealthy townspeople complain about the cost of going to war against shadow.
The current "war" may be against Havish since that was also "seen" by Dakar.

originally posted by Trys

Sleo, I think what you are describing in your last post is blood magic… dark magic… black magic. In my opinion, the necro part is directly related to the spirit that will be doing the inhabiting, i.e., raising the dead spirit, not shedding blood that results in the death of others.

Janny, I am asking directly. Did Morriel use necromancy when she possessed Selidie's body?

originally posted by Sleo

I guess Janny's been busy, but I dug around and found an answer from her in the Traitor's Knot topic.

By Janny Wurts on Tuesday, November 01, 2005 - 10:23 am: Edit Post

Arend: you Asked, and a rather unpleasant subject it is, too…

Necromancy on Athera is the enslavement and "theft" of another being's life essence for the purpose of prolonging another being's phyisical existence…

Morriel's possession of Selidie would be a "marginal" case. She has borrowed and usurped the body, but the definitive point to be asked is: did she leave Selidie's spirit "intact" in the process? If the essence of the spirit was torn, then it's necromancy. If not, if she's held passively captive, then it's an enslaving imprisonment.

Necromancy is more than an imprisonment, it is vampirism of the life essence rightfully another's, by birth.


I was looking in the TK section because I am rereading it and am mystified by Enithen Tuer and her death.

Sandra, You Asked.

Here is what I can say on the matter:

Extant in the manuscript, with regard to the vows taken by initiate Koriathain: see Traithe's talk with Elaira on the strand at Narms, in Vol I.

On 'underage' consent: look at Asandir's response to Bransian s'Brydion, concerning Jeynsa in the Entailment chapter at the close of Stormed Fortress.

On the count of 'whether' Koriani sigils are a form of Necromancy, Initiate's Trial will definitively state this, yea or nay - but it's one of those lines that you have to NOTICE/not lose in the course of a speedy pass to see what happens.

On the other 'cults' of the practice extant on Athera: the story itself will address them directly; I will say that they already have an active thread in the current volumes to date. Speculation may identify them.

Last, on this premise, there are two choices to make/regarding your stance of 'belief' and given which stance, you will have a DIFFERENT higher moral ground: IF you believe that life is basically random and meaningless, then the theft of a lifetime's free will experience would be demeaned/considered to have little or no value. IF you believe that life has meaning/that there is value fulfillment in living, then - the theft of experience by coercion takes on a whole other parameter. Likewise, IF you believe the ends justify the means, then subversion of a human spirit for a goal carries a different significance.

For this series the belief structure ALWAYS affects the stance the reader will take, one way or another.

There is much more to be read (also) regarding the human/Paravian INTERFACE with Athera in the Appendix - found in the US hardbound of Traitor's Knot, and all versions of Stormed Fortress.

I welcome you all to have at it! :wink:

originally posted by Sleo

Thanks, Janny. I think we need to read on! And I will be glad to as soon as I get my copy!

originally posted by Annette

Thanks for the reply Janny. :smiley: And thanks for finding the quote Sleo.

Sleo I always assumed the spirits after Enithen Tuer were something to do with her broken Koriani oath, but that was an assumption. The knife had protected her while she had it, and she knew she would die once she gave it to Sulfin Evend. The fellowship knew she would need their protection to safely cross over. I was always happy just to wait for that answer to become apparent, but it is no doubt relevant to the direction our speculation is going on the Koriani. I was waiting to see if Arithon was going to have to redeem any lost spirits held in the Skyron focus and Waystone. Some where in the series I thought I read that the Koriani could keep a spirit even after death. And the spirits after Enithen Tuer seemed similar to the ones from Marak.

originally posted by Sleo

Yes, Annette, rereading that excerpt last night seemed very much to relate to our discussion here.

I thought the spirits after Enithen Tuer seemed very similar to the wraiths but also to what Lysaer's valet described to Sulfin Evend after the ceremony that broke his ties to the necromancers.

originally posted by Annette

Could be, although the Valet's description was a bit more vague, and no fangs were mentioned. :smiley:

Although I always took notice of the fangs when the wraiths were described, I never thought of them as vampires but I suppose the image fits them just as well as it does the necromancers. No doubt we will all think the worst of Morriel if she changed her image from a spider to a vampire, be interesting to see what mischief she has been up to as Selidie. Has she been sucking the life essence out of anyone or not. There was no mention of Lirenda in the first chapter, you would think if she was the initiate attending Selidie/Morriel Janny would have mentioned her by name.

Trys - You Asked, too; :smiley: I think the above note addresses your question, too - at least as far as I'm willing to go at this stage of the story.

More may be said, perhaps, after Initiate's Trial's denouements, as I don't want to shade the experience, ahead of time, one way or the other.

originally posted by Mike A

As a long time lurker who just completed his re-read, I can't resist chiming in.

Arithon's explanation to Sulfin Evend quoted above by Annette suggests that necromancy was practiced within the Koriathain order before the cults were formed. Also, the following line of that explanation explains why the Koriathain binding oath exists:


As I understand, the breach happened before today's stringent oath, which shackles each sister to unswerving loyalty. (Stormed Fortress, p37)

As I read this, it implies that oath came into being to prevent further leaks, and speculatively to prevent further practice of those rites.

originally posted by Annette

Could be, but even with the current oath, dangerious things have been known to be "leaked" to unsuspecting victims. The change in the oath and the leak might equally not be related. Such a binding oath would not have been possible before they started experimenting. Power instead of prevention could have been the motive for changing the oath.

originally posted by Sleo

I just noticed the fact that Koriani are now practicing at the 2nd age Paravian ruins? Am I just forgetful or is that something not done by them earlier? I thought they avoided Paravians like the plague.