Davien's Discorporation

originally posted by Clansman


A debate has been ongoing between a few of us on the www.sffchronicles.co.uk (the Chrons), about Davien's discorporation, and how it occurred. There are four of us arguing, and two believe (Grimward and The Procrastinator) that there is a continuity error or that you changed your mind, and two believe that the passages in question are completely reconcilable (myself and Dekket).

Here are the relevant passages (taken from Grimward's and Dekket's posts on The Chrons):

OK, almost finished with my re-read of Grand Conspiracy, and I've found a minor continuity conflict (or, possibly, a change of heart by our author!). It concerns Davien, and the events leading to his becoming "Discorporeal".

In Grand Conspiracy, page 426 (Hardback Harper Prism edition), the Talespinner writes of Davien:

"His nature had never been quiet or retiring, nor his work, which had formented the rebellion that overthrew the old order and dethroned the five chosen high kings. For that act of violence, made against the will of the other six Fellowship Sorcerers, he had received his due hour of censure. In recognition of the damages caused by his hand, he had been rendered discoporate through a ceremonial destruction of the flesh. Since then, his colleagues had granted their strict respect to his right to private withdrawal."

If you turn now to Stormed Fortress, Ms. Wurts describes the event in a flashback in Chapter 16, Scarpdale, on Page 548-9 (remember, my hardback is the UK Book Club edition, and so is compressed; the page could vary wildly!):

"'Say again that this is not a staged trial, tailored to fit the renegade criminal roped in for summary judgement! I find the role that you've scripted too pat. Your string-puppet accused will not dance for the question!' Quick as the turn of a leaf in a storm, the Sorcerer spun on his heel. He strode towards the doorway with a fierce glance back, talking fast to jam Luhaine silent. 'You don't need my presence to bandy conjecture. Carry on, by all means. Enjoy your salacious dissection of character without the bother of my protestations.
Sethvir's fraught cry for restraint went unheard. His tenure as Warden was too recent, yet, for his colleagues to grasp the full significance. Or perhaps Davien sensed the overshadowing gravity. In his wild rage, he might have left the warning suicidally disregarded. The heated moment had fanned Fellowship tempers too high for clear sight: that Althain Tower's Paravian defences had stirred active by their raw dissension.
The warding seal at the doorway had never been meant for restraint. Sethvir's token binding was symbolic, a sincere gesture to confront wounded trust and reforge a confidence torn by the pressures of Desh-thiere's invasion.
Davien approached the drawn line and stepped out. Brilliant as autumn, he vanished into the stairwell, without second thought crossing the focused will of the appointed Warden of Althain Tower.
Asandir was alone, as he leaped in response to the unforeseen crisis. Chair slammed over backwards, the field Sorcerer vaulted the ebony table and launched off in desperate pursuit.
He might have overtaken Davien in time. Intervention, at speed, perhaps could have checked wounded pride and stopped his colleague's incensed departure.
But Kharadmon slammed the door in Asandir's path. 'Let the betrayer go his own way!'
[Luhaine contributes an irrelevant tirade, then…]
'Shehane Althain's aroused!' Sethvir's shout at last broke the clamour.
But the fortunate moment was already lost. Davien encountered the raised might of the tower's gaurdian centaur, and the vigorous reflex for self-preservation entrapped him, past any recourse save one: the ceremonial dissolution his colleagues enacted to spare him, that stripped the spirit out of living flesh…"

The first quote implies that he was stripped of his flesh as a punishment, the second, as an only recourse. Whether Sethvir, Asandir and the rest intended to punish him with discorporeal existence never surfaces. Am I missing something?

Here is Dekket's reply:

The crux of the matter is the initial portion of the line from Grand Conspiracy:

In recognition of the damages caused by his hand

The gathering of the fellowship at Althain, as described by Janny in Stormed Fortress, was along the lines of an inquest into the damages caused by Davien (i.e. the uprising).

Althain Tower's Paravian defences had stirred active by their raw dissension.

and the dissension was due to the acts of Davien. This dissension (and Althain's rousing) was then followed by:

Davien approached the drawn line and stepped out. Brilliant as autumn, he vanished into the stairwell, without second thought crossing the focused will of the appointed Warden of Althain Tower.

This act was recognised by Shehane Althain as one that required action against.

To save Davien from Shehane Althain, the fellowship had only one recouse:

the ceremonial dissolution his colleagues enacted to spare him, that stripped the spirit out of living flesh…

But the original line from Grand Conspiracy still rings true,

In recognition of the damages caused by his hand, he had been rendered discoporate through a ceremonial destruction of the flesh.

we readers now know enough to look at it from another point of view. But it does raise the question would the Fellowship have 'punished' Davien in any way for the uprising, if he hadn't stormed out of the meeting

This shows the two points of view. So, which is the answer to the question, Mistress of Athera? Did you change your mind about Davien's discorporation, did you make a mistake ("Say it ain't so, Joe! Say it ain't so!") or did you plan this as a little twist all along, and we just assumed that Davien became a ghost as the result of a judgment, instead of an accident?

originally posted by Trys

Don't answer yet Janny… Give us a chance to comment, ruminate, and discuss. :smiley:

I think the key word in the first quote:


he had received his due hour of censure. In recognition of the damages caused by his hand, he had been rendered discoporate through a ceremonial destruction of the flesh.

is 'censure'. I believe that those who see a discontinuity are tying 'censure' to 'discorporation'. We don't know enough about Shehane Althain to know why he responded to the activities within the ward… only that when Davien crossed the circle… something happened and the end result was discorporation.

I think that, in fact, the censure was occurring and Davien walked out on it… encountering the guardian of the tower, or the energies raised by him, left the other Sorcerer's with no choice but to render Davien discorporate to save his existence.


originally posted by Trys

I meant to add to this, that I don't see a continuity error OR a change of heart… simply our lack of understanding of the events that we've been given but a glimpse of. :smiley:

I was asked directly - I can withhold comment in favor of a discussion as requested - but - in fairness to the locale of the Actual discussion in question? Is it right to suggest, perhaps, that the gauntlet was thrown down for an open discussion elsewhere?

I will hold off till the contrary requests, here, be reconciled, as to which course to take, first. :smiley:

Of course, direct questions get answered - when they are not in conflict with the upcoming twists and turns of the plot, in a major way.

Just to pique some side interest lights - have a look at the other refs. to Shehane Althain in the existing text…which will reveal something more, before I uncan the answer directly.

originally posted by Clansman

Trys, you and I are on the same page. No way is this a continuity error, and it appears to be a deliberate twist of the plot.

It would be good to have some speculation prior to Janny answering. Any naysayers out there (Mark? Greebo?)?

It appears that Janny hasn't had to think about what her answer will be…

originally posted by Trys

'twist of plot'? or twist of our perceptions in how we see the plot… isn't this what has happened time and again through the course of these books? Things that we think are one thing turn out to be something else or something more? In this case I'd say, something more. :smiley:

originally posted by Clansman

Right you are, o wise Gryphon. We read it one way in GC, and it turns out that we shouldn't have narrowed our perception so much. However, I do think that Janny counts on us to perceive things a certain way, only to show us how narrow our vision can be. Then the light goes on, and we realize how poorly we perceived what was going on.

originally posted by Trys

Indeed. Something that I think is good to have happen to one's self… having our perceptions challenged.

I am off for a weekend PIRATE FEST - piping on the vessel that will broadside the town, literally…grin.

So, yes, there is an answer to this - no, I can't write it out, just now.

It is a multi level event - as several things were involved in collision at that moment.

To understand the choice of language and why things ran the way they did, will take more time than I have today (packing! Fixing up the Animals etc). So - speculate away! I'll ring in shortly.

If you want to play in advance of that - look at Shehane Althain.

Consider Sethvir as Warden of Althain.
Consider the Fellowship of Seven's internal workings, historical and current.
Consider their binding with the Dragons.

Look at the word: censure.

originally posted by Clansman


1. strong or vehement expression of disapproval: The newspapers were unanimous in their censure of the tax proposal.
2. an official reprimand, as by a legislative body of one of its members.
'verb (used with object)
3. to criticize or reproach in a harsh or vehement manner: She is more to be pitied than censured.
'verb (used without object)
4. to give censure, adverse criticism, disapproval, or blame.
(from Dictionary.com)

HMMMMM. That doesn't sound like it is a punishment that fits with the death of one's body and being turned into a ghost. Being censured is a slap on the wrist, so to speak.

originally posted by Mark Stephen Kominski

*Addresses the gathering herein*

This gauntlet was indeed formulated for an open discussion elsewhere, but the primary architects (who are the usual suspects on that forum, and are listed by Clanny above) are all that have weighed in to date. As my colleague The Clansman and I are on opposite sides of the discussion, we'd love to hear what the other good denizens here have to say.

*Completes role as supplicant, assumes a forward position…*

What then are we to make of the very next sentence after the reference to "censure" in Grand Conspiracy, and two sentences after the description of his role in the rebellion…

"In recognition of the damages caused by his hand, he had been rendered discorporate through a ceremonial destruction of the flesh."

I must confess an inability to read this in any other fashion than cause and effect…are the "damages" in question not referring to the rebellion and the overthrow of the 5 kingdoms? Am all for being tossed like a cork on the Seas of WoLaS, but occasionally a spade is, well, a spade…except when it's the Spanish Inquisition…:wink:

originally posted by Laneth Sffarlenn

I must say that the level of clarity, understanding and speculative power so many of ye possess regarding the WoLaS series far outshines that which I hold.

While I can confidently recount the story so far to friends who are interested, I cannot possibly, with so much detail and with such accurate recall and refrence, argue the intricasies of the story.

I tilt my hat and step back to enjoy the speculation and creative twists we're putting on the as-yet unfinished story :smiley:

originally posted by Mark Stephen Kominski

But what a story to speculate on, eh?

Would add that if any are interpreting my comments as complaints or criticism…well…DON'T!!!

(They're not!)

originally posted by Auna

Ok, I'll toss in my .02 :wink:

I think the centuar guardian saw Davien's actions - his inciting the Fellowship to such anger and crossing Sethvir's will - as threatening the Fellowship's existence. So he neutralized the threat as a result of the damage done. In some ways he was right, the Fellowship is still 'damaged' from that incident.

originally posted by Mark Stephen Kominski

*Checks the tip drawer and sees in it…2 cents (Thanks Auna!)*

Surely there are others out there who have opinions on this? I mean, other than these thunderous crickets…:wink:

Well, here you go…I am not sure this info will NOT crop up again, in magnified form, later - but - if it does, the spoil will be small.

To understand the warding laid over Althain Tower - note - Sethvir gave Lirenda the ILLUSION of the centaur…and she did not attack the tower, or seek entry without his presence and permission. The consciousness remaining on site there envelops the entire tower. To go within, is, in fact, something of a "merging" event. That conscious would be aware of all that transpired within.

The Warden of Althain is in relationship, direct, to that consciousness. To cross the Warden's direct will - a big oops!!! Paravians do not have a concept for "punishment" - they do understand balance. A direct cross of the warden's will would result in INSTANT removal from Athera's physical existence, no return…it would not be a limbo, but a shift in vibration that would take the violating consciousness - elsewhere - in fact, healing it of its contention. But that spirit could never return, it would be beyond all recall to bodily reality.

Sethvir/the Fellowship were created at the time of the creation of the Great Weapon…they agreed to stand together and not do anything/make any decision regarding use of power that all did not agree upon.

The Drake's binding then fell atop that prior commitment, to stand together at all costs.

When Davien was called to Althain, it WAS a formal summons asking him to account for his actions (answer for them, NOT be punished) and, for at least the other six, a call to find accord and keep their covenents - with themselves and with the dragons. The accounting was called. What shape it may have taken, had Davien chosen to cooperate is not known.

Sethvir set a ceremonial warding on the door as his EMPHATIC statement the commitment to find accord was serious, not to be avoided or ducked, and a formal call to Davien to honor and hold their oath of Seven as inviolate.

Davien broke accord by crossing the line, walking out on both answering and seeking accord for the future. This was INTERPRETED by the guardian warding as a break of personal faith, AND a break of a sworn oath between peers, AND a repudiation of the Dragon's binding to ensure Paravian survival. Therefore, on three levels, Davien was forsworn, in the "eyes" of Shehane Althain's consciousness.

This pulled into play the direct power of the warding of Shehane Althain…which was GOING to remove Davien from his body, and ALSO irrevocably disbar his presence on Athera…which would have shattered the accord with the fellowship, and destroyed the binding of the Dragons, by willed event - an act that would have brought UNKNOWN and perhaps terrible consequence for the other six who remained.

Therefore, the Six Sorcerers acted FIRST - stripped Davien of the flesh - and in doing so, struck a concession/balance with the warding of Shehane Althain - for without the flesh, Davien would not so easily be able to create with the brilliance of his gifts…in the physical…The concession was paid to KEEP DAVIEN ON ATHERA - as spirit - thus, censure was the correct word - something of his presence was given up to placate Shehane Althain's demand, and stop/deflect the full impact of his guardian warding.

All this complexity was way too much to stack onto a hot scene - but it's there in the background, and bits of that may yet play.

originally posted by Brittani

WOW! How do you keep all of the really intricate little details of history inside your head?

Janny you are just awsome!!!

originally posted by Laneth Sffarlenn

I've heard rumours that even the most die-hard fan, and even Mr. Maitz, wouldn't dare venture into the realm that is our Janny's office / writing room :smiley:

Remember the scene from The Sword in the Stone (cartoon) when Merlin packs his travelling bag? Papers, bits-and-bobs, knick-knacks etc. all flying around? Imagine a slightly more organised and less tornado-ey room :smiley:

originally posted by Laneth Sffarlenn

Oh, I also have these awesome dreams that a similar thing will happen with Paravia that happened to Middle Earth - all the notes and back-stories will be compiled into one or several compendiums for us details-crazy folk to drool over.

Also, kinda like the "Dragonlover's Guide to Pern" :smiley:

originally posted by Hunter

Janny has previously mentioned a wish to do a compendium kind of post Arc V novel (when we know how this all ends… well, at least some of it!) to provide more back history, etc. However, with Arcs IV and V to do, I suspect this will stay a wish for a while - especially as some of this back history is, I'm sure, related directly to the story at hand and to reveal it now would drop some major spoilers into the mix…

Having said that, Trys set up the Paravia wiki for fan based contributions to have a similar kind of reference site - link is https://wiki.paravia.com/wiki/Main_Page. This is fan based input so it only contains information from published sources (the books plus anything Janny might say here) and comes from fans rather than Janny herself.

(Trys - is this linked via the menus from Janny's page? Couldn't find it…)