Morriel / Selidie

originally posted by Michelle-Louise

Hell yes.

Sometimes it seems awful that people like Elaria are unable to ask for assistance because they are unaware of it… How can the dissemination of knowledge of the LOMB be against the LOMB?

P.S. How can Selidie ask? Where is she?

originally posted by Trys

Perhaps it is not unlike Star Trek's Prime Directive. That is, to offer information unasked for to someone who is not ready to receive the information would be changing their development as a person and, perhaps the most important, their spiritual development.

originally posted by Auna

As irritating as it may be, if the F7 started telling people they could do stuff, then people would do it based on a powerful being telling them instead of them coming to realize it themselves. That would then blur the boundary between free will and being influenced.

originally posted by Blue

You have been warned!

I am just wondering how OBVIOUS Arithon is going to have to make himself or how many times Morriel/Selidie is going to have to be whacked upside the head with the proverbial two by four before she gets the hint and leaves him alone?

Let's see, how many upsets has she suffered now, some of them directly at Arithon's hand?

1. Elemental tempest in CotM, when Arithon (With Lysaer in concert) rejected her "useage" of Elaira's feelings to spy on him.

2. "Corruption" of Elaira, a promising initiate

3. Making herself look foolish, thus losing said First Senior's awe of her competence - This was implied in CotM, and stated outright in PG.

4. Suborning a promising First Senior - Lirenda was fascinated by him, a break in "flawless" persona needed to use the Waystone safely.

5. Threatening the continued Koriani succession - prophesied in WoV using the restored Waystone.

6. Plot to assassinate Arithon thwarted by Dakar in WoV.

7. Useage of Waystone curbed by Fellowship "meddling" while said stone was in Sethvir's custody.

7. Overthrow of her plot in FP, leading to the humiliation and disgrace of said First Senior.

8. Putting up with a dingaling (Selidie) while Fionn Areth grew up to further humiliate Lirenda. (You have to admit, re-reading some of the passages in FP and GC that Morriel seemed to be truly masochistic putting up with a total incompetent.)

9. Possessing Selidie, thus "usurping" her body. The mind boggles, whatever happened to Selidie herself? Illegal and immoral and against every Koriani code of propriety and decency.

10. Using Elaira to "get at" Arithon, knowing he is the "stepchild of cleverness." Though in CotM, she stated that he was not truly clever when he was being honest, he was just using s'Ahelas farsight to stay one step ahead of her.

11. Burning/wreckage of her hands, after spying on Davien in PG.

12. Enslaving Lirenda's free will totally. Yeah, good idea, THAT'LL shut her up - and keep her from issuing warnings about things like what happens in # 13…

13. Waystone turned from Amethyst to Ametrine by an Iyat Arithon sent after her, for threatening Feylind.

Morriel/Selidie does not strike me as being particularly bright. Why does she insist on going after someone, in spite of all of the above upsets (and I have probably forgotten to list some!) and setbacks? Is she a masochist, truly? Is she just a dumb, dangerous mad hag?

What about the rest of you? I think Arithon's statement in PG "A hatchling crow has a better memory." is all too true.

originally posted by laneth_shadow-walker


That was outstanding…while I feel kinda
uncomfortable bagging out 'someone' who lives
in the recesses of our beloved author's mind,
I agree wholeheartedly…It's getting tiring
how she just relentlessly tracks him and plots…

But even more annoying is the simple fact that
her plans have so many obvious flaws.

My speculation on the state of Morriel/(Selidie)
Prime as a character would be that her rote
understanding and usage of the Koriani
Order's Arcane Knowledge would not be tainted,
if only slightly, but her Will and her Self
may be slightly damaged for the time she has
spent alive.

Technically speaking, she isn't anything in
comparison to the Fo7 in terms of power or
self-contained awareness, or even Arcane
training, so her longevity has come at a high
price in that it's dulled her wits slightly.

Then again, we don't know exactly what goes
on inside that semi-translucent skull of hers
as she guards herself and her thoughts/feelings
through the rank of Prime Matriarch of the

Any thoughts on what her vigil will turn out,
hinted to at the end of TK?

originally posted by Trys

Please be careful about spoilers outside the spoiler topic.

originally posted by Bradford

I haven't read Traitor's Knot yet (in the States) but I think that you might be judging Morriel a little harshly. (Also, I haven't posted on these boards before).

Certainly possessing Selinde is unethical and evil, and Morriel has bent her order's own rules to carry out her plots. But she's merely using the resources available to her to carry out what she feels is humanity's destiny.

What you suggest is blindness and stupidity (i.e. she persists despite setbacks) could also be interpreted as a firm belief in a vision for a better world for humanity. Things worth fighting for rarely come easily, and she operates under the handicap of the Fellowship of Seven. The Fellowship ITSELF pities her even while they're exasperated with her-- for they themselves were in her position in the past.

In terms of spying on Elaria via "compassion", that's simply a clever trick. Elaria herself gave that tool willingly to her order, and Moriel took advantage of it. Scrying isn't an attack-- Arithon became offended (understandibly) and retaliated… which has led to a lot of his problems. The entire Mistwraith series is filled with characters who seem incapable of talking to one another, asking for help, or listening to each other's perspective. Has Arithon ever considered just talking to the Korani order about how to set their fears at rest without him becoming a prisoner or being killed? As far as I can tell, Arithon hasn't even considered it!

Arithon is incredibly arrogant-- at times, more so than Lysaer. Has Arithorn ever asked the Fellowship about what their plans are or why? He always wants to take up the world's burdens (while complaining about it) without ever asking whether anyone else can help-- or worse yet, refusing help of people that offer it. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Why not ask for advice from the Fellowship? Has he ever considered asking if the gift of compassion can be lifted from him if it's such a curse? Why not sit down for a few days and ask for someone to teach him the history of Aeretha? I would love to see Arithon get whacked up side the head a few times with a two-by-four so he was a little less arrogant and high-handed towards the people around him.

The Fellowship have their own issues. They are powerful and apparently, fairly wise out of sheer life experience and exposure to the Paravians. Yet they are still human, and they have a certain amount of conceit. For all their talk about free-will, they act as if they lack any of their own. They're always walking around being mysterious waiting for people to ask them for their help… but why don't they ask for help themselves?

Why not ASK the Korani order for their assistance with the wraiths from Marak? Why not TALK to Morriel about her possession, or offer to aid with the Waystone (clean it up) and the Koriani succession? Why not explain to Lysaer of the concerns of the wraith invasion and the killing of talent? Why not ASK Davien for the secret of becoming corporeal again, so that our two Fellowship wraiths can become incarnate again?

Just because the Fellowship shouldn't dictate terms to others (taking others free will) doesn't mean that they can't ask for others assistance themselves. They are prepared to ask for the assistance of the elements, but not the assistence of ordinary people. We, as readers, see that all matter is sentient, but the people of Aretha don't have the advantage of that insight. How are they supposed to know that domination of the environment is inappropriate? The Fellowship itself learned this only from hard experience. Who says that that the Fellowship's view of what humanity should do is correct? The Fellowship are really just forest rangers in charge of a game preserve. They have a job to do-- protect Aethera from destruction and overdevelopment-- but beyond that, they're (1) free agents and (2) no better judge of what's a good or bad idea than anyone else. No one died and made them God.

They have CHOSEN to carry out their caretaking via the lines of the five kings, but why should that governmental structure remain in place? Are the people of Aethera to be deprived a voice in their own governance? Is the rule of the five kings the only way to maintain the compact, or is that simply the way that was selected? Has anyone-- mayors, Fellowship Sorcerers, clansmen, Koriani ever thought to have a dialogue with each other and tried to reach an agreement that would preserve the Compact?

No one seems to know exactly what the compact says at this point, because the Fellowship seems to keep that information fairly close to it's chest.

The closest anyone seems to be to actually talking to one another is Ath's Initiates. They seem to have a sense of humor, too.

I love the series, but I find the refusal of anyone (Fellowship, Arithon, Koriani, the Mayors) to talk to one another and actually explain their positions and goals and try to reach some sort of understanding frustrating. A lot of misery would be avoided if they would…

originally posted by Hannah


That was an interesting post. I always enjoy listening to someone play devil's advocate and rail against what are develepoded paradigms about the series are.

If you've ever read a stock romance novel, you've experienced the frustration of these contrived plots that hinge on the fact that the characters are too prideful to actually talk to each other about their problems.

But this series is a lot more complex than "I saw him kissing another girl and now my heart is broken." For most of the problems Athera and these main characters are experiencing, there is no easy solution that will satisfy everyone.

I think you give the Fellowship too little credit. Over the thousands and thousands of years they've been alive, I think they are beyond the point of "still human." I believe that they really are beyond the point of being susceptible to petty human emotions such as vanity, foolish pride, etc.

They also have the ability to study the future and the possibilities that their actions could bring to life. They've resided in Athera with the Koriani for many many moons now, and I have to believe that if they thought there was any good to be gained from approaching them at this point in history, they gladly would.

Also, Davien has effectively distanced himself from his colleagues, so it really isn't as if they can call him on the phone or send him an e-mail to ask about his secret. Plus, we ourselves haven't yet conclusively figured out what he is doing, switching between apparent corporeality and discorp. at a whim. Who's to the say the Fellowship doesn't already know how he is doing it, but just choose not to use the same technique for whatever reason? Also, with the F7 being so shorthanded, it's rather convenient to have at least one of them that can span the continent in a few second, and I doubt they have time to spare to spend on questions like that.

I think there is one scene in Traitor's Knot, I was going to point it out to argue against Arithon being 'incredibly arrogant', but then I remembered that you haven't read it yet. But anyhow, there is a scene that shows just how little Arithon places his own good name and reputation over the well-being of his friends and complete strangers.

I would be careful to avoid confusing arrogance with confidence, self-assurance, competency, or mad-cap genius. I'm not saying that neither Arithon nor the F7 have made mistakes. I love the series because they have made mistakes and been wrong. The Fellowship aren't demi-gods, sitting around with laurel wreaths on their heads judging lowly humans or providing vague pearls of wisdom to aid on grand quests.

Let's face it, in the real world there are some people that cannot be reasoned with. Whether or not Morriel could be reasoned with, I would be amazed and dumbfounded if she was able to made to understand how wrong she was being, how her Order violates the laws they were given. She's more than a little mad, with or without the fresh body given by her posession of Selidie

Hitler was unethical and evil. I'm sure he also believed what he was doing was for the good of humanity… Can you imagine Winston Churchill or Roosevelt showing up on his doorstep with a "C'mon, can't we just talk out our differences?"

Interesting thoughts…


originally posted by max

Does anyone actually know what happened to Selidie? Is she still present and crouching in the corner of her own mind? Or was she ousted when Morriel took possesion and her spirit is dead.?
I don't see Arithon as arrogant but I can see how he comes off that way. He is self-sacrificing to the point of suicide. That actually is a form of arrogance. One can see this in a doctor who refuses to let a patient go when they have passed beyond medical help. If they take that failure on themselves I want to yell at them, 'You are not God!! You don't get to rescue everyone and you don't get to win all the time. Sometimes it is out of your hands'

originally posted by Trys

I think it's because Selidie's spirit is present in the body that the F7 haven't acted against Morriel.

originally posted by Bradford


First, my apologies that I haven't read Traitor's Knot yet. It's all the United States' publisher's fault! (laughter)

I agree that Arithorn cares about others-- I can think of dozens of examples of his caring, where he showed a great deal of compassion and understanding. The isolated woman in Vastmark, the twins, their mother, Therrick, Haliron, etc. But you can care and still be arrogant, even though it's a rather weird mix. Lysaer has the same mix-- he's arrogant while simultaneously caring about others, although in Lysaer's case he does huge numbers of evil acts. Lysaer has convinced himself that he's destroying Arithon for the good of humanity and justifies pretty much any act he takes as being for the greater good; a version of moral utilitarianism. But he cared about his first wife, he saw the error of his ways (yet refused to repent) when confronted at Althain tower, refused to have the clansmen enslaved (early on, though ironically he later ordered them into slavery himself) etc.

The primary difference between Arithon and Lysaer is that Arithon cars about people as individuals, whereas Lysaer cares about people as communities and groups. It's hard to send someone marching to their death when you see that person as an individual (Arithon) versus that person as a group (the people of Tysan, the people of Athera). People do this in real life; they'll talk about feeding the world while ignoring the starving begger at their feet (Lysaer's approach), or in reverse, feed the begger but ignore that there are six thousand other starving beggers over the next hill (Though Arithon isn't that way at all… he's aware of the other six thousand, he just never asks for help).

The Fellowship is certainly human. As I've grown older, I've become more myself (as goofy as that sounds). The Fellowship appears to be the same-- "more themselves", if that makes any sense. They have great power, insight, and wisdom that comes from the Paravians, their magery, and their sheer experience. That doesn't mean that they've stopped being the individuals that they were from the beginning. That's why each member of the Fellowship has his own temperment, sense of humor, they play practical jokes, another likes tea, and so on.

I confess that I do not grasp why they do not simply ask for help ever now and then, or actually try to talk to people. It would certainly clear up some misunderstandings, such as the fisherman who challenged Asander when he was on the boat to save the Caithwood.

Morriel, crazy as she is, was horrified when she learned of the incoming wraiths from Marak. That opening might have been something that could have been followed up on by the Fellowship, but they declined to make the suggestion-- and Morriel is too prideful to offer to help in return.


originally posted by Hunter


The way I understand it, to displace Morriel from Selidie's body under the Law of the Major Balance would require Selidie's permission and consent to whatever acts or force may be required to remove Morriel - who is highly unlikely to want to leave voluntarily. Clearly Selidie is unable to give such permission.

It was heartening to read that the healing of Selidie's charred hands was failing because of the misaligned spirits within the body. The inference being that should Morriel depart, it's likely the damage could be repaired…

It's also likely that on the current scale of things that can go pear shaped, thanks to Davien allowing Selidie to injure herself, she's basically been constrained and not allowed to make further mischief of a large enough scale.

originally posted by Bradford

Oops-- forgot to mention Davien. Certainly the Fellowship does NOT know the secret of how to make themeselves corporeal, or they would not have been surprised when they saw Davien (in a scrying) in a flesh-and-blood form in Peril's Gate. And they have talked to Davien, though only briefly, when Arithon was undergoing the trials of Davien's Maze. Asking Davien for his advice and insight would probably appeal to his vanity, ego, and sense of irony. Asking him certainly wouldn't hurt.


originally posted by Ellydee

One of my favorite scenes in Curse of the Mistwraith occurred when Sethvir was attempting to extricate the wraith from Lysaer's aura directly after Arithon was cursed. Asandir, experiencing a terrible despair, lost his control so much that he referred to his colleague as "Cal."
I suppose I liked this particular scene because it reveals the personas of the Fellowship Sorcerers to be basically facades, though they do possess great wisdom and experience due to their enlongated lives. Underneath, they are fragile humans still, and, perhaps, unfit for the job (i.e. humans are NOT supposed to live forever, physically or psychologically). Long years of struggle easily catch up to their fallible humanity.
I loved the emotion and the exploration of the F7's relationships in this scene - I think it's one of the best in the series, as far as scenes speaking to me about the nature of the characters.

originally posted by Hannah


I'm not pointing to Arithon's kindness as cancelling out any arrogance. In fact, I don't really remember brining that up.

At first I wouldn't have called Lysaer arrogant either. I think he's very confident and self-assured, but his curse driven instinct to be in perpetual denial and blinding himself to some truths that we see very clearly may be read into as arrogance. He's very sure of how he leads people as a ruler, but I don't think that that automatically makes him arrogant, unless you just want to take the easiest road to dismiss him… He has certainly had moments where we could all hope that he would humbly repent, but was unable to. Either through his own human shortcomings, or due to the Curse's distortion of them.

Okay, so let's say (to use your example, because it's Monday and my brain is slowly liquefying anyhow) there's 6,000 beggars and Arithon couldn't come close to feeding all of them with his limited resources (presuming they were limited). But he has the chance to ask some rich person to please feed the beggars out of the goodness of their heart. Do you think he would be too arrogant to ask for that assistance? It's just, unfortunately, rarely so simple as just asking and receiving.

The Felloship still have their unique personalities, which otherwise would make them half as interesting. But can you see them displaying such human foibles as getting so irritated with someone that you stalk off and slam the door and then go out and get drunk, or talking smack about someone behind their back, or coming to blows out of sheer frustration…

I think it's a slippery slope from volunteering information from your deep stock of millenia-old wisdom and insight, and setting yourself up as an oracle and having people flock to ask your advice or have you look into the future or start a religion around you. Besides, just giving information out doesn't help people develop critical thinking skills.

I can pretty much guess what points you're frustrated about them not just stepping up and saying "Look, here's what you need to do." Elaira, for one. But humans are not necessarily the F7's first or only responsibility to oversee on Athera. They're always short-handed, so they can't show up everytime there's a conflict to just announce what the easiest solution is.

Morriel is quite old ::coughcrazycough:: and set in here ways. A simple "Let's shake hands and be friends now. Let's work together! Oh, but you have to renounce your unrepentantly wicked ways." would probably have been insufficient to rehabilitate her.

I don't know that I would conclusively call that scene with Asandir and Sethvir in PG 'surprise' at Davien's discovery. They only commented on it. It could be construed as a "Look what he finally figured out to do." Not saying that it wasn't surprise, but it could just as easily not have been. Crap. I was about to reference another scene in TK where… CRAP. Bah. Suffice it to say, TK sheds a lot of light on Davien's willingness to volunteer assistance when it's required.

Sorry Bradford. The TV is BLARING (through no choice of my own), and I really seem incapable of stringing together coherent thoughts to say what I want to say. :frowning_face:

Still an interesting conversation, though…


originally posted by B radford


Laughter! Well look at it this way Hannah, somewhere around March 15th (probably the 20th or so) I'll have read Traitor's Knot and you can give me more examples!

I agree with you that simply giving people the solution to various problems isn't always the best idea ("…give a man a fish, feed him for a day… teach a man to fish feed him for life…"). But I see a distinction. I'm not suggesting that the Fellowship offer answers to OTHER people's problems. I'm suggesting that they might try asking for help for their own. Got a problem with 20,000 meth-spawn getting ready to rampage? Warn the surrounding inhabitants. A couple million free wraiths inbound from Marak? Inquire whether the Korathain might be willing to help (and expect a "no).


originally posted by Neil

"Give a man a fire and he's warm for the rest of the evening. Set him ablaze and he's warm for the rest of his life". (this might be a Pratchet quote?)

I've always wondered about the F7's "marketing strategy" but I think that the majority of people might not be inclined to believe them in the first place. And it's not their first responbility to look after humans…the scope of their project is defined so to speak and their priorities one presumes are well organised…it's just that we haven't seen all there is to know yet.

I think the clans were their process for communication. And they're always looking to reestablish this. Curious that Davien's uprising would perhaps initally (well for at least 500 yaerrs) make communication worse between F7 and humankind.

The people who live near the meth-spawn probably don't live there by choice. Or perhaps they live far enough away for the risk to be acceptable. Would the first victims of a mithlain escape be clan or town? If town, would a warning only cause panic and accusation? ("F7 meddlers creating evil" blah blah blah). In any case the F7 tend to cast strands to see the future to the point where they avoid where possible scenarios where they mgith be obliged to warn the poplace…i.e. it never get's to that point?

But Arithon does seem publicly (in the towns) to take the blame for F7 business (Alestron cannon, lane balance, etc.) Is this spin doctoring to avoid bad press for the F7 through the centuries?

As for the wraiths from Marak well, I don't think the koriani in general have the necessary breadth of perception to help there…even Ath's adepts if I understood correctly "could not be expected to face damnation on this scale" (although I'm not sure what this means)

So I guess the F7 problems are often not solvable by others…they do have Verrain, Dakar and Arithon…these 3 are *asked* for help.
Maybe where others have the ablility to help they are offered training? There have been other apprentices in the past apparently.

originally posted by Trys

It is possible that there is no one that the F7 can ask that can actually help within their operating. In spite of (or is that because of) the nature of the wraiths the Koriani style of magic may not be acceptable to the F7. Looking back at how the free wraiths that followed Kharadmon back from Marak were handled, there was no forced magic or 'annihilation' and I suspect that this would likely be the approach the Koriani would take. I also suspect that if push comes to shove the F7 are probably quite capable of annihilating the wraiths but things aren't to that point yet. A more desirable solution is being sought.


originally posted by max

It was my understanding that Morriel took possession of Selidie, and that the Koriani do not follow the 'Law of Major Balance'. So Morriel stole her body as the wraiths would do if they had the chance. They donm't ask permission, they overpower and take possession of the being they wish. And it just occured to me they must be terribly powerful if even the F7 were at risk of possession. Disagree??

originally posted by Bradford


My impression was (and I could be completely wrong) that possession is a matter of physical contact between the flesh and the spirit attempting possession plus raw willpower.

The Mistwraith isn't neccesarily stronger, it's that it is a collective entity; 1000 wills versus one gives them an advantage. Plus they are insane, and they're out of step temporaly. They get an advantage in a fight because they're ahead in time. Moreover the wraiths aren't hampered by worrying about damaging the person they're trying to possess, and they aren't worried about harming the other spirit. The Fellowship could annihilate an attacking wraith (they said as much when Sevthir was attacked), but they'd have to destroy the soul to do so, which is anathma to them.

But this can't be right, because the wraiths can also possess spirits (or Khadmaron wouldn't have been at risk as he doesn't have a body). So I don't know.