originally posted by Trys
Post moved from Royal Lines in the General Discussion.
originally posted by Trys
originally posted by R’is’n oc
On the issue of royal bloodlines - F7 fostered those five traits in the bloodlines - but wasn’t the true test, exposure to the presence of a Paravian? I also recall somewhere (correct me if I’m wrong) that decendents of the bloodline can actually fail this test? I’m thinking of Lysaer, who should have, by this stage, been tested.
Arithon was able to withstand the test, despite his burden of grief. Elaira also survived living Paravian presence.
Wonder what that means? Can new bloodlines be chosen for royalty?
Another thought comes to mind: wasn’t the line of the Tier S’Gannley originally asked found the lineage of the High Kings of Tysan? Their ancestor said no, so Lysaer’s S’Illessid ancestor agreed instead.
Doesn’t this set precedent for a new lineage to be founded to replace S’Ellestrion?
That is, if the solution to the survival of Athera is reinstating the bloodlines. Davian thinks this system is unstable.
Looking forward to see all of this play out.
originally posted by Miranda
How far, I wonder, are the Paravians, to some extent, a metaphor for religious or ethical faith? The sense of believing in something greater and better than self and selfish/power hungry/mercenary humanity? For all their royal geas and so forth the s'Ilessid kings on Dascen Elur seem to have gone quite mightily wrong and, with the exception of Arithon (who received mage training and is anyone an exceptional sort of person) the s'Ffalenns don't seem to have been any better. Without faith in those things the Paravians and the things they represent (beauty? loyalty? strength? selflessness? joy?), the qualities of Justice and Compassion are perhaps somewhat meaningless, or at least directionless. Also, a naturally slightly egotistical man (e.g. Lysaer) might find that negative aspect of his personality somewhat curbed by repeated exposure to something so obviously better and greater than him as a Unicorn/Centaur. I don't think Lysaer really believes in anything more important or more sublime than mankind (e.g. abstract ethics, religion, even Paravians), and this is why he has only human (at best) and selfish (at worst) interests and aims. This (as well as his upbringing) is why he finds it so hard to accept the clansmen's disdain of the notion of owning land. He doesn't consider the land to be a greater or more important thing than man itself - quite the contrary - so it seems preposterous, to him, that man should be subject to the land rather than vice versa.
So - the question of where the Paravians are, may, to an extent, be psychological/sociological rather than geographic. Athera operates on a system of respect, and human existence there is dependent on humility and an awareness of man's designated space within a wider, greater order. Man is only creative in Athera when he accepts this Greater Otherness, and acknowledges his place within the system - c.f. asking permission of things during magic, the cycles of the Ath's Adepts. The Paravians are, perhaps, a sort of embodiment of the values attached to this sort of respect, and they have disappeared, because man's humility and respect have disappeared. (I wonder how Davien fits in with this?)
As to the question of whether or not new bloodlines can be chosen for royalty - yes, I should think they can, but probably only with Paravian approval.
I think we're due to find out a great deal more of Davien's political philosophy and history. I certainly want to - he's one of the best things in the series. I'm so glad he popped up. Gotta say - the system seems pretty unstable. Quite apart from anything - fancy giving power to a family of jumpy crosspatches like the s'Brydions! They're tremendously amusing, and would be helpful in a war, but in a world desirous of peace, surely they'd be a liability.
Let me give this one a shot, as Hunter and I have been discussing this, among other things, off-the-board (warning: this is in a spoiler thread for a reason, TK spoilers are present below):
What do we know: The Paravians are living beings, unlike other flesh-and-blood creatures (links to Ath Creator, not mortal, can still die, etc).
Should we treat them as being "special" in thier own right, or are they "only" channels for a greater force ("Ath's light")?
I'm tending toward the latter, simply because it would explain so much in the story to date that's otherwise inexplicable.
Anything touched by the Paravians, or created by them, would channel some or all of Ath's will into the real world. In a way, items would become self-aware, intelligent entities enfused with life, etc in much the same way as the Paravians. This would include humanity (different traits might be emphasized through contact, such as the royal gifts, and you could get different aspects of Ath's will coming through in different people or items, but still a unified whole).
And so we get Alithiel's defenses activating on their own (I don't know how else to explain the clothes chest in Ithamon in CotM – everywhere else Alithiel has had to be in someone's hand, Arithon's or Jieret's or Dakar's for it to blaze in defense).
We also get the towers at Ithamon as having different tones and identities, yet sentient too in their own way (and unified in their grief, via the missing tone).
It could also explain why Desh-thiere can't cross Paravian wards: they are aware and channel at least some power from Ath on a constant basis, renewing and remaking themselves infinitely.
Some things, such as renewal of lane force, went dormant without the Paravians to actively maintain it, but the echo's still there, and it could be lifted back to life by one sensitive and strong enough (as Arithon has done repeatedly with his music).
Arithon and the adepts would channel Ath's light through themselves at times, in effect invoking a defense of sorts, strong enough to take down a necromancer's cult. The F7 would seem to be able to do the same, but as I told Hunter they are restricted by the Compact in the when and how of this.
Arithon would seem to have no such restrictions (other than his obligations as a crown prince of Rathain).
Having gotten a little off track, let me address some of your other points with some speculation (which could be way off):
Ath's guidance on Dascen Elur seems to have been limited (when Lysaer first visits a hostel it's nothing like he experienced on Dascen Elur) – I'd tend to say that humanity there, at least under s'Ilessid, lost its way (and in Lysaer's specific case, remain lost).
I think the Paravians are still present somewhere on the continent, just nowhere likely to be found on a map (like the grove of the hostels perhaps?). Their impact would largely have been spiritual. We don't really know enough yet about how the clans lived in Paravian times, only how far they've fallen to have to rely on force-of-arms to survive.
I'm of the opinion that new royal bloodlines could be chosen, but not without Paravian consent. The kingdoms were older than humanity, but it's not yet clear if the old Paravian royal lines still exist (to either resume or replace dead human ones).
Davien also intrigues me. I think he is largely misunderstood, and he was right about the instability of the rule of high kings as you clearly pointed out. His comment to Sethvir about stepping back and allowing the darkness to unveil its own light and salvation is perhaps the most telling to me. In effect this is what happened with the great drakes, and then Ath Creator sent the Paravians to redeem Athera. If Lysaer gets darker and darker, the Paravians are likely to have to come out of hiding and face him directly.
Let's see if this stirs up some discussion
originally posted by Miranda
Well that was definitely very interesting! A whole new way of thinking about the books, for me, at least. So, you think of Ath Creator as a real and interventionalist 'being' - or as a central origin for good? I hadn't thought about it in that way. As an atheist myself, I suppose I have a tendency to take an automatically secular view of anything I read, and I approached Ath, Daelion et cetera as more mythological or spiritually ideological than actual. Now, thinking back, I think your view of it is probably closer to what's intended - I've been very subjective, always rather dangerous! - which means I'll have to go back and have another look at all the books. (Not that I'm sorry about that, and frankly it's about time, too…!) And when I've done that, I'll be able to add more to this discussion than I can at the moment.
As for now: well, "If Lysaer gets darker and darker, the Paravians are likely to have to come out of hiding and face him directly"
Perhaps. But what exactly has been the effect of humanity on Athera and the Paravians - perhaps even on Ath? How far are they still within the control of Ath and the Paravians? Or how far is this situation a test, as it were, for humanity? Perhaps the Paravians simply WILL NOT not help except in the capacity of providing spiritual guidance (when asked - as at the end of Arithon's trial in Kewar).
That is, Atheran mankind are currently faced with a choice between, on the one hand: pride, selfish human considerations, the unwholesome, but regrettably human, belief that mankind is the most important and powerful being in existence (all represented by Lysaer and his townsmen followers); and, on the other hand: unselfish respect for the world and for ethical or spiritual values (Arithon and the clans). The F7 have already learned the consequences of choosing Lysaer's path; it is up to the rest of the race to make the correct decision without having to undergo the same, very hard, lesson.
In rebelling and overthrowing the high kings who effectively controlled and policed man's collective ego the rebels (now townsmen) also rebelled against these greater values, thus releasing themselves from their controlled and consequently globally harmless state.
(In a sense, Davien acted as the serpent and the townsmen as Adam and Eve, resulting in a loss of the Paravians, and so effectively Eden, in a sense - interestingly the choice of the various 'scientists' who decided to leave Athera in order to pursue their research marks a similar ranking of forbidden knowledge/intellectual freedom above what might be thought of as religious faith etc. C.f. also the choice made by the s'Brydions about gunpowder.)
Under these conditions (i.e. those of man's free choice of action) the Paravians cannot - or at least should not - intervene. I'm not suggesting that we have to view this as a Christian fable, as such, but Lysaer could be seen as something like Milton's Satan in Paradise Lost (not because he's attractive to the reader as Satan sometimes is - in this respect Davien's far more of a parallel- but because he exemplifies traditional heroism but is actually misguided, if not decidedly evil). Arithon, then, might be a Christ figure - persecuted, undervalued, possibly destined to be sacrificed by an angry and deluded human population. (One can quite imagine him looking to heaven and begging Ath to 'forgive them for they know not what they do', don't you think?)
Um…right…I think that's all I have to say for the moment. All thoughts and comments very welcome… I do hope Ms Wurts forgives me for my presumptuous and highly subjective interpretation of her material…!
originally posted by Trys
I think you will find that Janny does not mind when we wander off the garden path with our interpretations of this work. However, it's worth noting, she won't step in to keep us from stumbling into the briar patch and getting all snagged up.
quote:Based on what Asandir has revealed, this lesson may be quick and non-remembered. My interpretation is that if it becomes necessary for Paravian survival the F7 are bound by the Drakes to eradicate mankind.
The F7 have already learned the consequences of choosing Lysaer's path; it is up to the rest of the race to make the correct decision without having to undergo the same, very hard, lesson.
originally posted by Miranda
And thank goodness for that - I like being wrong when it means I get a good surprise, and Janny's awfully good at delivering those.
Yes - I think if Lysaer and company's noxious ways continue unchecked the F7 will have no choice but to commit mass slaughter (poor souls). Not so much a lesson as a solution, really. What I meant is that it's mankind's job to wise up mighty quickly and see Lysaer for the fraudulent semi-psychotic that he is. The trouble is that they don't want to because it's in their immediate (though clearly not long-term) interests not to. They, presumably, don't want the Paravians to come back, and they don't know that the price for attempting to banish the Paravians permanently is wholesale eradication.
(By the way, is anyone else reminded of a nuclear explosion by the consequences of Lysaer going barmy with his 'gift'?)
Also - 'if it becomes necessary for Paravian survival the F7 are bound by the Drakes to eradicate mankind' - I wonder what compulsions the F7 are actually under? Does Janny say anywhere? Is anything other than their consciences actually in place to enforce this? If not, are we sure the F7 would make that choice? Not sure Davien would, at least…
originally posted by Trys
Have you read the FAQs on the website? Much information in there. So much I forget what's in there. The FAQ pages are located under the Author's Notes menu.
originally posted by Jonathan
Since the original issue on this thread was about the nature of the royal bloodlines, I would like to pose a question: although the Five bloodlines have been refered to as the Five Ruling lines, wasn't the responsibility of the Royal lines, in fact of all of the clansmen (clanspeople), to simply uphold the Compact and to carry out Paravian will? There was a discussion in one of the books, forget which book, where it was mentioned that the townspeople rebelled because they resented Clan rule, but that the Clans didn't rule as much as they acted as intermediaries between humanity and the Paravians. If that is the case, then the problem that S'Illessid and s'Ffalenns encountered on Dascen Elur might not have been because Ath's guidance was limited, but simply because the Royal lines became Ruling lines, something that they were never intended to be and a role for which they were unsuited.
originally posted by R’is’n oc
Nice thread so far… a few more rambling thoughts on clan lineages - purposes etc…
I suppose asking ‘what is the nature of Ath?’ is like asking ‘What is the nature of God?’.
I do recall Janny mentioning that one of the reasons the Paravians evolved on Athera was because, scientifically/magically speaking, the planet had a high enough frequency for them to manifest. Their dances and rituals worked with those frequencies, to maintain them. We eat food, drink water for sustenance, they raise the mysteries? Do Paravians graze? *grin*
Humans come from planets with lower frequencies -and so the clans were created to bridge that gap. I’d love to know more about exactly HOW that was achieved - Jieret’s clan line wears the same braid as the ghost Paravian he summoned.
But surely in that crossover - clan humans inherited the ability to evolve to match Athera’s frequency - which I think is happening to Arithon and could happen to Elaira. (Wonder what clan lineage Elaira carries? Actually, I can’t recall exactly what Elaira’s magical abilities are specifically, all I can recall is that she’s attuned to water. Does anyone know?)
Not terribly ‘romantic’ in terms of spirituality - I make it sound like spiritual growth is a side effect of evolution, whereas I mean that spirituality is the next phase in evolution… like the Catholic concept of ascension. Suspect this is the only way that Athera will keep its high frequency - ensure Paravian survival etc… etc…
I don’t think the Paravians are some kind of master race that will come and kick Lysaer’s butt. I never get that impression from the books themselves - they are a miracle of creation, but so are humans - it’s just that humans are further away from the Prime Source (have lower frequency) and so choices are more subject to confusion and forces of entropy.
I do hope the non-clan town dwelling people also would have a chance to reach that frequency - I suppose these are the ones that end up in Ath’s brotherhood?
originally posted by neilw
The clans weren't "created" on Athera like the royal lines were.
I think the clan lines were picked from the arriving humans that genetically could withstand paravian presence (albeit at high risk to health and sanity).
Why this should be the case is interesting…did they orinally come from particular planets that had a higher than normal frequency?
We know most town-born humans on Athera in the 3rd age don't have the ability to see the damage they might do…so the F7 stand guard to limit damage to both cultures. I would be surprised if the Ath's adepts come from townborn…Kevor was the first new adept since when? Paravian departure? 100 years? I'm not sure…it's in PG. It's not clear how a human could find their way to becoming an adept?
I'm guessing (there have been hints) that they can be taught if they *ask* but no-ones asking…and they *cannot* ask the paravians directly and they don't trust the F7/adepts so the townborn seem a little "stuck". Not an ideal situation for any foot loose and fancy free fellowship members…
Maybe changes are happening slowly and after 20000 years humans would adapt to Athera?!?
Lysaer has no right to live on Athera ("cast out of the compact" as explained by Enithen Tuer in TK) - Where would he have to go I wonder? East Gate, North gate? Curiously the Centaur in PG seemed to be asking Lysaer to solve the curse by choosing death(?)
originally posted by Roisin O'Connor
Neilw: Then why did the Illiarthis *sp?* Paravian say to Lysaer that Jieret was 'as my brother' and show his braid to have exactly the same thread count and style as Jieret's?
originally posted by Blue
Roisin, I think that identical braid, plus the "brother" identification might have been a spiritual, rather than literal relationship. The Centaur was acknowledging Jieret's calling him forward in time as a "thought projection", something I don't think any other Caithdein was/is able to do. And their desire was the same, to prevent desecration of sacred ground, protecting Arithon, and with any luck, redemption of Lysaer from the Curse. Thus, a spiritual "brotherhood," and a tribute to Jieret, who was holding true to the pledge his ancestors made to the Paravians, even though this meant Jieret's physical death was near.
The identical braid may also have been real.
The five high kingdoms date back before Third Age 1. This means that kings and caithdeins would pre-date humanity's arrival.
It's possible that the centaur who was summoned was a past caithdein of Rathain, answering the need of a current caithdein via projection (and later the need of a current crown prince by actual physical presence).
originally posted by Neilw
Blue answered more eloquantly using precise Janny-type phrases than I ever could
I agree, for me, the Centaur was respecting the fact that Jieret was acting for the land and objecting to his mistreatment. Humans are still not permitted to be in the free wilds; Jieret as clan was the sole human not trespassing.
Did cathdeins exist before humanity? Would a cathdein be necessary in a "paravian kingdom system?" I have always felt that a cathdein is a support role / insurance / back up / temporary replacement.
The king sooner or later is going to go expire/retire due to significant paravian contact. (Being a king/queen was a originally a *rough job*). So the Cathdein may be necessary to counter any bad decisions in the event the king "goes crazy" and to cover in absence.
From FAQ "…stand as conscience for their king… and can stand in judgement of them… ". I don't feel a paravian system would have need of cathdeins. I could be wrong.
Just a remark on the irreplaceability of royal lines…the "contract" would have been made for all time…sort of outside our immediate limited human perception…but a paravian (and F7) would perhaps perceive the complete time-line…one cannot create a royal line unless one creates a new contract and maybe the contract is considered revoked for that kingdom if ever the humans do not care for their royal line (free choice etc. etc.)
Maybe I was wrong but I was under the impression that the role of caithdein was a Paravian tradition, just like the kingships themselves. (This could be one of Davien's "bones of contention" so to speak: humanity didn't really fit into Paravian society on an equal basis…)
Lets see if I can explain it a little.
I think that it started with the references in CotM to Paravians succeeding the end of other lines when Asandir gave Alithiel's history. (There seemed to be some kind of hierarchy for getting the throne and/or distinguishing "rank" between Paravians)
Being a king/queen seems to have been a rough job at any time in Atheran history (with Khadrim and Seardluin and meth spawn and other perils).
Human kings and queens may have had shorter tenures, but the basic reasons for a caithdein as shadow behind the throne would seem to be equally valid for Paravians (their kings and queens would have been bound by all the elements too, caithdeins bound to serve the land).
We don't even know for sure that the Paravian royal lines are all extinct.
I get a funny feeling sometimes, particularly when we see references to Teir's' for the current caithdein's lines (where they refer to a person who is the duly empowered caithdein of a kingdom, rather than their chosen heir to the caithdein's title, like Jeynsa): why would they be successors to power when they're currently empowered as caithdein? (in Arithon's case, as crown prince, it makes sense: he's successor to power for the high kingdom of Rathain). We don't know the origins of clanborn lastnames – it's possible they were carry-overs from Paravian lines (not a physical merging of Paravians or humans if that's what you're thinking when you read this), where a human line, under the compact, inherited the rights, duties and obligations of a Paravian line from its Paravian holders. This could be interpreted as making all of the clans heirs and successors to particular Paravians (especially where Second Age Paravian towns were ceded for human occupancy under the rule of humans, e.g. Hanshire, Alestron, Jaelot…)
Janny's stated elsewhere that the Paravians were not bound in time as we'd perceive it. Don't know what impact this might have on the duration of royal lines, etc.
Lots of unanswered questions, and "maybe's" I'm half-hoping that the promised appendix in US edition of TK might shed a little more light on some of this (At least then I might know if I'm dead wrong). One thing's sure: nothing in WOLAS is ever as black and white as we might try to reason it through.
originally posted by neilw
The "rough job" quote was a comment made by Janny and I took this to mean that even the strongest human kings had trouble withstanding paravian presence for a long time and that within a few years most kings would have to retire or go mad, etc…
I wonder whether Arithon has any advantages now that he is mage-trained + masterbard?
My reasoning for a paravian cathdein not being necessary being that the "rough job" referred to human kings regularly dealing with Paravians. I don't think a paravian king would have quite the same issues (i.e. he would have no problem with a paravian presence).
Would a Cathdein would be necessary at the "end" of a king where he needs to be backed up? Why a cathdein though? Why not a royal heir? Perhaps a family member could not easily act a "cathdein" since this might be a conflict of interest?
My "take" is that the cathdein is a safety net in the "human ruling" structure / in the mental or physical absence of the king. Was there always sufficient numbers of royal family adults to take on the role continuously if on average every 5 years(?) they needed a new king. Perhaps a cathdein could temporarily fill any gaps?
Do Paravians suffer any ill effects from human presence I wonder? Or is the only risk that of humans "smashing up" the environment?
originally posted by R’is’n
Interesting reading - all the comments! Lots of food for thought.
I will for the moment cling to my fantasy about this Fantasy - that perhaps the inheritance - although initially spiritual - is now manifesting at the physical level allowing humans to evolve to be able to access the source themselves (as Arithon did with the Kralorvir).
I could be wrong.
originally posted by winter
I was thinking randomly about this today and decided to revive this thread. My thought was WHY can't new royal lines be created. I understand that it's a big responsibility for the Fellowship to interfere with people that way. And from the FAQ that the Paravians themselves chose the founders of the royal lines. So maybe the lack of handy Paravians is the reason new lines can be named and stamped with geas at the moment. However it's stressed time and again that the royal lines are IRREPLACEABLE. There doesn't seem to be any suggestion that it's a temporary problem but a final one. Why?
I suspect that the statement of irreplaceability as a fact without explanations suggests this is a spoiler of some sort. Or has implications not yet revealed in the storyline.
Janny, can you fill us in here?
There will be more about this in the due course of the story line.
Paravians are not present to choose, or ratify any candidate AND there was a promise made to them, and to the human ancestors that provided the first five lineages. Fellowship Sorcerers keep their word. The initial binding was not done lightly. There is much more in the weave than you realize regarding HOW this heritable influence was accomplished.
This is a maddeningly small sliver of view, perhaps - but - the rest will have to wait!