Koriathain and the Fellowship

originally posted by hosanna

Hi Don't know if this has been touched on anywhere already … thought I might start some vigorous debate by asking whether there is sexism in having the Koriathain (all female) doing 'bad magic' (forced domination) and the Fellowship (all male) doing 'good magic' ie. with permissions etc.

Also, another comment that may raise some passionate response - I'm rereading the series and loving it and like most readers of sci-fi fantasy I have an imagination that tends to run a bit wild. I LOVE Elaira and the relationship between her and Arithon but I can't help thinking of an alternative story where Elaira doesn't exist and Lirenda is the heroine. Elaira is really the perfect mate for Arithon as is but Lirenda would have had to go on an interesting journey to overcome her character flaws. The seeds are there in her fascination for him and in a sense they are opposites with her ambition for power and his desire to avoid the responsibility of kingship. But we know from the Black Rose Prophecy he must come to embrace kingship. Opposites attract?

originally posted by Blue

I think you have some good questions, Hosanna, and I think it WOULD have been interesting, had Elaira not existed.

Would Lirenda have actually tried to overcome her shortcomings to win Arithon over?
Would he have allowed her to win him over?
HOW would she have ultimately reclaimed herself, and her inner wholeness?
And if she did reclaim herself, and mature out of her flaws and weaknesses, would she still be so fascinated with Arithon?
How would he have felt at someone making such an effort to win his affections?

One thing I noted to Janny in a private e-mail one time was that I was glad she did not fall into the trap of so many other fantasy authors - i.e. all male orders = BAD, all female orders = GOOD.

(I could probably generate real anger when I point out that that was one of the main reasons I disliked "Mists of Avalon" so much. The portrayal of King Arthur as helpless did not help, either.)

It is an interesting twist, however, that the all male order [the F7] is far more mysterious, and while engaging in "good" their actions generate real fear and doubt.

But the questions you raise, Hosanna are very good ones, and I hope the vigorous debate you are looking for materializes.

I wonder what it was that kept the Koriani point of view out of the initial conference about the settlement of humanity on Athera? Had the F7 and the Paravians given them a fair shot at putting forth their agenda, and perhaps negotiated the sticking points, would the Koriathain be such a thorn in the sides of the F7?

originally posted by neilw

"I wonder what it was that kept the Koriani point of view out of the initial conference about the settlement of humanity on Athera"

Blue, I think Janny mentionned this somewhere. It's that the Koriani "force" approach is a philosophy opposite the 'permission' approach.

They also I suspect practiced things which would upset the balance of Athera(?) On the other hand maybe their spaceship just turned up later when negotiations were finalised :smiley:

OCT 2001 Janny quote:

"The Koriani, as alluded in Fugitive Prince, Morriel's visit to Althain, were enraged not to have been consulted when the terms of the compact were drawn up by the Fellowship. They were given the choice: Fellowship way, or the highway. To settle, they had to submit. Which meant leaving much of their stored knowledge proscribed. Ticked, in short, in a major way. And by a power too strong for them to overthrow. The struggle continues."

I like too the "twist" in this series where whatever the F7 / Arithon do act for the benefit of the planet or masses it's misinterpreted by those do not have the perception to judge correctly…a bit of a shame really!

originally posted by maxine marie pankonin

Good point Hosanna! But I believe that not all the koriathan are evil. I believe that their leadership [Morriel] have skewed reasoning and Lirenda was well on her way to being a Tyrant. And I still don't trust the F7. They ARE nice and their characters are very likeable. So I don't understand my own ambivalence toward them. And even tho I think the koriathan may not all be bad I REALLY don't like them. Well come to think of it I agree with you. There does seem to be a resentment of females. OK I am going to quit rattling my leash for now until I figure out what I am reacting to. [smiling at ya]

originally posted by hosanna

further thoughts … I guess the F7 while being portrayed as doers of good magic are also portrayed as having previously wreaked havoc on humanity and having learned from their mistakes. Hopefully the Koriathain will in time also learn. I noticed an interesting quote on my re-read where Morriel mentions the order having been founded and at the right hand of govt. during the time that the disaster was coming to humanity that lead to them seeking refuge. Of course finding the exact bit again seems impossible. If anyone is dedicated I think it was in Ships or Vastmark. Which reminds me … I like the titling for the different arcs - first one uses "something of something" pattern; second using the impactful two words adjective/adverb followed by noun. I keep wondering what pattern Janny will use for the next arc - a single word? 3, 2, 1???

originally posted by hosanna

and another commonality between Arithon and Lirenda - he loses his mage sight; she loses her spell crystaal

originally posted by Trys


Actually Arcs 1 & 2 use 'X of X'. CotM is arc 1 and SoM/WoV are arc 2. :smiley:

originally posted by Blue

Hosanna, I believe the bit you are looking for is in FP, when Morriel is confronting Sethvir about the "impairment" of the Great Waystone.

originally posted by hosanna

You are both right of course
The part of which I was thinking is in the chapter titled Demand in FP.
"amid the suffering and the atrocities of humanity's Armageddon, the Koriani Order had been founded to resist the collapse of higher culture. Their purpose had been to perpetuate mercy, while other specious, greedy factions waged war, and burned a priceless heritage to ashes … Morriel, sole protector of mankind's banished history … our first Prime Matriarch stood at the right hand of free governance before Calum Kincaid sold out his great weapon and became the destroyer of worlds"
I am very interested in these hints. I wonder about the science and technology based society that had an order of witches at the right hand of governance - does Prime Matriarch stand for First Lady? And if Morriel is now the "sole protector of mankind's banished history" she must know a HELL of a lot. also, the Koriani order being founded to resist the collapse of higher culture is interesting. They were foreseeing the downfall of civilization.
I'd love to know more about these aspects? Janny - does it come into the future story at all?

originally posted by Trys


No guarantee that when the first Prim Matriarch stood at the right hand of free governance that a) she was Prime Matriarch (i.e., head of an order of "witches") or b) capable of using magic. Perhaps the order was founded in much the way the Red Cross or the Sisters of Mercy were founded and the magic came along later. Perhaps the order was founded after the weapon was used and the woman who stood there became the first head of the order.

Then again, you could be right. :smiley:

Trys <– just playing devil's advocate.

originally posted by Hunter

These posts have taken a hideous turn. It's possible that Arithon may need to save Morriel or ensure a successful Koriani succession. My skin is crawling at the thought…

My contention all turns on the phrase 'Morriel - sole protector of mankind's banished history.' **AND** the premise that mankind's banished history must/should/needs to be saved.

The Fellowship knows the history (they caused it!) but their sworn cause is for the Paravians, not their own kind, as Asandir mentioned quite specifically on many occassions, including in the boat en route to Caithwood in GC.

The Koriani Prime hoards this information (information is power in the Koriani) and holds it for when the Compact can be broken and mankind is free to resume space travel.

If I assume no one else on Athera has this information then Morriel becomes the critical single owner of this information who would use this to allow mankind to re-develop.

If Morriel dies without passing on her information via a succession to a new Prime, this information is lost and the Atheran human population remains in a medievil technological advanced status - artificially held in check by the Fellowship because of the terms of the compact.

If Arithon was to decide he wanted to allow humanity to develop - probably off world - then he would need to ensure this information survives. Which means he needs to allow Morriel to survive or complete the succession to ensure this information isn't lost.

What also concerns me following this line of thought is what information the Erdani conspiracy has. They have records from before the uprising… just how much information was retained from Third Age Year One of from where mankind originated and the past history? I'm not sure we know enough now to follow this…

Hosanna - you asked - and you betcha, it does.

Some of it beginning in the very first chapter set of Stormed Fortress - and far far more coming later.

originally posted by hosanna

Wow! Thank you so much Janny for answering my question. I didn't really expect those hints of back story would be fully developed - I hoped but thought I was optimistic. I am even more excited now to read Stormed Fortress. The experience of reading this series is unlike any other. Most fantasy novels I've read set up the world and then tell the story within it and you know where you stand but in this series the world is constantly expanding so to speak with more possibilities. Mistwraith blew my mind as I began to grasp the scope and scale then each successive book more so but especially Peril's Gate and Traitor's Knot - each in completely different ways. Just when you think you know where you stand the ground shifts.
I LOVE this series!

Re Morriel and her knowledge … while searching for the quote above I spotted a -seeming- anomaly with first a line stating about the Fellowship "Whoever they had been, whatever their unrevealed origin, they chose this place for their work". Then Morriel says the line about Calum Kincaid later. So it may be that Calum Kincaid was famous and what he did well known but Morriel has not made the connection that he is Sethvir. Wouldn't she be thrilled!!!

originally posted by Hunter

It may also indicate that the knowledge retained by the Koriani has names but not images? That the knowledge of who Calum Kincaid is has been passed down by successive Primes isn't that surprising. It would seem that the world destroying weapon of Calum Kincaid was a fundamental part of the founding charter of the Koriani - so they would know the legend. What knowledge may be protected by Morriel and how much of that she's actually read I can only wonder.

I'm presuming here that the Fellowship Sorcerors look rather like they did when first called to Athera by the drake dreams.

Any thoughts on how angry Morriel might get if she was able to make the connection of who Sethvir is? The irony would just about kill her. Firstly Calum Kincaid was responsible for the weapon that decimated humanity - the dregs of humanity who survived the weapon fled to a safe haven on Athera. Only to find they can only live there under a strict set of terms, presided over by the same person! Face to face and continuing to live under the shadow of the Masters of Destruction…

originally posted by Neilw

I just wanted to pick at a few threads & quotes. Apologies if I have bitten off more than I can chew…

"And I still don't trust the F7"

- I think that the F7 motivations are explained fairly well so far in the narrative and we can understand their dilemma. Mankind (read townborn) on Athera cannot trust the F7 to save humanity if townborn chooses to mess around too much on Athera. It's a shocking mess that mankind has not been encouraged to maintain knowledge of the compact. Or have necromancers, koriani, etc. strategically destroyed knowledge?

Somehow the mistwraith made things much worse, I guess paravian inability/unwillingness to live on paravia with the mistwraith in the skies…it's not clear to me why the P. haven't come back yet. I've never understood Asandir's conclusions in GC re: survival of humanity at risk.

But I think we can have faith that the F7 are not intentionally "nasty" but they are *bound*…so humanity on Athera cannot really "trust them" to look out for humanity…but it seems the F7 have searched for a way to avoid the binding (hints exist that they're are not at all happy about being bound…but Davien points out that the end result is the same: paravian survival…and Ariton is still *key*)

"Hopefully the Koriathain will in time also learn"

Elaira seems to have concluded (PG/TK) that the koriani have followed a dead-end strategy. Moriel herself had fleeting doubts concerning the awareness of all things on Athera. But the crystals are a crutch to be removed.

"science and technology based society that had an order of witches at the right hand of governance"

- I agree that it's odd. The crystals are off-world in origin. I wonder whether they were used in a similar way on other worlds or whether Athera accentuates the usefulness of the crystals albeit without permission. "Witch" = "spells"? The Koriani control "forces"; one might call them electromagnetic scientist-doctors.

"It's possible that Arithon may need to save Morriel or ensure a successful Koriani succession"

- Would Arithon value a humanity based on a culture of fear, etc.? Arithon has a duty to Rathain but not to humanity in general.

"mankind's banished history must/should/needs to be saved" / "Morriel becomes the critical single owner of this information who would use this to allow mankind to re-develop"

Depends on how they redevelop. The F7 (or parvians) seem to be of the opinion that humanity can and should learn initiate awareness before taking to the stars again…Paravians certainly insist on olutions based on general awareness of one's place in the universe.

Would Marak people have been capable of star travel?

"If Morriel dies without passing on her information via a succession to a new Prime, this information is lost and the Atheran human population remains in a medievil technological advanced status - artificially held in check by the Fellowship because of the terms of the compact"

I like the fraudien slip here : medieval :smiley: But any info for future development is pointless if one repeats the same mistakes…Janny's humanity would seem likely to destroy itself again based on current philosophy (Asandir in "ships").

Today in our reality we feel more advanced than the humans on Athera…but you had better look at the longer term consequences…there is little illness on Athera even if there is no televison. Do you really need a fridge, radio, nuclear missiles? Are the Atherians humans really worse off than us? I used to think so but now I'm not so sure.

"If Arithon was to decide he wanted to allow humanity to develop - probably off world - then he would need to ensure this information survives. Which means he needs to allow Morriel to survive or complete the succession to ensure this information isn't lost"

I disagree. Arithon is not responsible for humanity's development but I guess in his ongoing battle for survival he is going to have to make informed choices which may heighten awareness in order create a situation where the paravians are "saved". Humanity may get a push along the way. Paravians don't seem to have developped offworld. Why should humans? What's the obsession with space travel anyway?

"Any thoughts on how angry Morriel might get if she was able to make the connection of who Sethvir is?"

I think the F7 have made a mistake to keep this secret. They consider themselves redeemed and so no longer the same people who made those past mistakes? This secret almost has to come out sooner or later :smiley:

originally posted by Kimberly

Some picking apart of my own - regarding ‘Would Arithon value a humanity based on a culture of fear, etc.? Arithon has a duty to Rathain but not to humanity in general.’

Knowledge without the wisdom to see the implications of actions and the responsibility to act for the best good is the drawing line. In CotM Asandir tells Arithon that a lot can change in 500 years and Arithon responds that a whole lot hasn’t changed in 500 years. Society at large, in particular townborn society acts as a whole to promote personal power as opposed to acting in the best good for all creation. Also, Arithon tells Elaira in CotM ‘Kings all too often get their hands tied. And for what? To keep food in the mouths of the hungry? Hardly that, because the starving will feed themselves if left alone. No. A bad king revels in his importance. A good one hates his office. He spends himself into infirmity quashing deadly little plots to make power the tool of the greedy.’ I believe that Arithon would deny general populace knowledge (star faring technology) without the wisdom to use that knowledge. It’s not so much that Arithon would/would not value a humanity based on a culture of fear, but rather that Arithon will consistently make choices for all of Athera’s best possible good, regardless of his duty to Rathain - even if those choices are to his own detriment.

On another note’previous have wondered what if Elaira were out of the equation’I wonder what if she became the Prime Matriarch? I think it was Sethvir who said she was the one Koriathain that could handle the right of succession. There was also some F7 concern that a Prime Matriarch tied by affection to Arithon would be disturbing. Elaira is embracing a philosophy of permissions; in as much as her own vows allow. In a position of power would she act to ‘free’ all of the Koriathain crystals? She was willing to clear her personal crystal in PG. If freed, would some of them choose to help retain knowledge? Is the knowledge of prior civilization stored w/in the crystals themselves? Or would Elaira act to disband the order? While Elaira finds the current ‘unnatural’ strictures of the Koriani intolerable, she does seem a likely advocate for an order whose precepts are founded on mercy. Saving a populace from disease would certainly be right up her alley! Just some free wheeling thoughts that have been rumbling around my head lately’:wink:

originally posted by Hellcat

Janny, is famine a problem on Athera? (Apart from the current situation with lane imbalance.

How much of our view of life for your average Atheran is coloured by Earth's medieval history?. The idea of the poor disease ridden peasant on the edge of starvation. Wars obviously did happen during the third age, Alestron's defenses testify to that. But a peasant not threatened with disease and starvation has a lot less to worry about. Humanities resentment of not being able to exploit the Free Wilds takes on a different complexion iif survival is not at stake.


Hellcat -You asked.

My response: have you SEEN any "starving subservient peasants" in the course of the manuscript? It isn't rather the Atherans' "colored view of Earth's history" happening but (NO slur at you or anyone, just general authorial observation) what coloration comes to the "story" is in the eyes of the READERS.

Athera does not have a starvation problem, nor disease as we know it "here." The rule is not "midieval" one whit, as evinced by the oaths taken - the High Kings are in SERVICE to the people not the people in service to the High King…the King's justice in fact functions differently.

Somewhere on this board, in a question, I answered that this world's "boundaries" are vibrational ones…there is a new appendix put into the US version of Traitor's Knot that will go into this, and some of the ruling issues, and it also mentions WHY disease is less prevalant - and more in some areas than others.

Survival on Athera is NOT at stake - and where on Athera, in the manuscript, was there one little place that depicted the problem…what areas of difficulty you did see (the children conscripted by the knackers in Vol I) were created by POLITICAL lines…look carefully and notice Which cities you see street children…the clues are all quite in view and self evident. If your eyes are not presuming, in which case, you will assume what you see –

originally posted by Hellcat

Thank you for that Janny. I must admit I'd assumed that disease and starvation were part of life on Athera, especially given that the Korani order have healers. I presume the lack of disease and starvation applies for all life forms in which case reproduction must be moderated to avoid population explosions. Speculation: Is this what some of the Athera Mysteies and renewal ceremonies were about, to maintain this exacting balance of population control and a healthly planet. The lack of renewal of the mysteries may upset this balance. Also I guess the more in tune with the natural world your lifestyle is the less likely you are to be prone to disease, those who indulge their greed e.g. Morfett suffer.

Thinking about it, I can't recall Elaria mixing a cure for diseases. the fisherman's son in Merrior was hurt in an accident and Fionn was a birth complication.


originally posted by Neilw

I have a question concerning Arithon. (I'm NOT asking Janny for the moment :smiley: )

The F7 did not object to Arithon becoming Masterbard.

I'm not sure whether the masterbard has specific duties/obligations…are masterbards an Athera thing? How many bards are there? Do they communicate together formally?

Would / should a masterbard ever become King?

Would there be any conflict? A king has a duty to his kingdom to protect the land and therefore the people.

Would a masterbard have duties that cover Athera? Or could he just sing wherever he wants (Hallioron travelled widely - was that a choice or an obligation) What triggers the masterbard to seek an apprentice? When a talent yong guy comes by or the mastbard's old age? Or am I just complicating things too much?

There is a hint that Arithon may not become king or F7 may have to choose bewteen Rathain and the compact?