The Arrival of Humanity on Athera

originally posted by Thomas Fairman

Hi, Tom here, 22 and student from Leicester, Loved the books for many years now and thought to finally delurk. I have a question, regarding the above title and time paradoxes


We know from 'Sundering Star' and various other references that Sethvir is Calum Quaide Kincaid and the group referred to as 'his lifework and that of his six genius colleagues' presumable refers to the individuals that would become the fellowship of seven. We also know that after unleashing destruction the seven fled from what they had done across space from where they were plucked by the dragons, given an opportunity to redeem themselves and fight the war against the Seardluin on behalf of the Paravians. We also know that upon completion of this war their task was to ensure paravian survival and had almost ensured this when humanity arrived creating the compact and forcing the seven to remain.

With me so far, this is when it gets complicated.

In one timeline Kincaid unleashed destruction, presumably just before the beginning of the second age, this then gives him time to travel across space, be noticed by the dragons and arrive on Athera at the start of what will become the second age and fight the Seardluin war.

However at the beginning of the third age, many millennia later, humanity arrive fleeing the destruction caused by Kincaid themselves and the implication is that it has just happened. This creates a time paradox as Kincaid cannot have unleashed death at both times!!! Did Kincaid unleash his destruction just before the beginning of the second or the third age?, if the second what did humanity do in the mean time before arriving on Athera and if the third how could he do that and simultaneously be on Athera looking after the Paravians,

Anyway sorry if I am not making any sense but this has been bugging me for a while now

originally posted by Trys

Hi Thomas,

Consider the possibility that the 'remains of humanity' are what are left millennia after the destruction 'sown' by Kincaid and that they have wandered (with perhaps stops along the way) all this time before arriving at Athera.


originally posted by Thomas Fairman

I have considered this possibility but surely that is not a very good answer as that would imply the very miniscule possibility that they would just happen accross the same planet as the fellowship had landed on. Also if during their wanderings humanity had found a semi acceptable planet surely they would have stayed and not kept on wondering. Also then, when they arrived on Athera why should this planet be any different. Why would they not accept Davien's offer of resupply and move on. Particulary with what they would percieve as a great destructive evil, i.e. the Fellowship already in residence would they not seek to leave as soon as possible. They would remember due to the collective memory of the Koriani.

originally posted by Hunter

My $0.02 is that the dragons were not and are not bound by linear time. So the call to find the masters of destruction to combat the Seardluin went across both space and time. So my presumption is they were plucked from wherever they were going by the dragons and deposited on Athera. Their spacecraft is rusting away quietly at the bottom of Crater Lake.

I'm not sure the parallel timeline existence is of huge importance in the story. I'm not about to do a Doctor Who type time and space discussion on what is or isn't possible… :smiley:

It is not clear exactly how the remnants of humanity arrived on Athera - i.e. how they found Athera and the manner of their travel. It is presumed that the Koriathain were in charge but that would be pure conjecture.

On Athera, people have forgotten the Fellowship, the Paravians and the Compact after not too many generations. If the remnants of humanity arriving were several millennia after Calum Kincaide's original cataclysm, that event would be folklore at best.

And, to address your last point about the Koriani - yes they remain knowledgeable about Calum Kincaide's weapon and it's effects. The Koriani having continuously strained against the restrictions imposed by the Fellowship. But (it is the big but!) as far as I recall, the Koriani have not yet put two and two together and matched Sethvir and the Fellowship with Calum Kincaide and his colleagues. The Koriani would have reacted very differently if they had made that link. The Koriani therefore didn't equate the Fellowship with the great destructive evil, rather the Korian saw the Fellowship as overbearing guardians thwarting self-believed Koriani rights to rule humanity on Athera.

The Koriani also rather liked Athera - as a high resonance planet, the Koriani spellcraft worked exceedingly well, allowing them power they would not have on many other planets.

Hi Thomas Fairman! Welcome in, it's so much fun when folks finally delurk! :smiley: (yup, there are who knows how many others about…grin) The bigger the party, the better!

You've probably lurked long enough to know I don't answer questions unless asked directly by name.

Let the discussion go on, meantime.

originally posted by Thomas Fairman

I know just thought I would throw this out there for discussion

originally posted by Jeff


I had assumed that Morriel's mention of Kincaide meant she knew Sethvir was the same person.

I'll be alert for that passage when I do my next read-through.

originally posted by Neil

My take was also non-linear time but no reason why humanity might not have drifted 10000 years. They *were* a space-faring civilisation…there is no implication that the civilisations recently collapsed at beginning of Athera 3rd Age. All we know is that Davien considered them a rag-tag remnant…there is even a reference to their population in a conversation with Arithon(?) Necromancers must have been part of the population. The Biedar came later perhaps?

The Koriani purpose is not to rule. It is to maintain humanity's "higher culture". A human- centric view that they do not have the power to enforce on Athera.

I do not think they ruled on the way to Athera either. Although their seniors' longevity is an advantage…but if the prime had experiences via waystone why live bother to live longer? Presumably because their system needs years of training that would not be possible for a human living only 70-80 years.

It is certain that Morriel does not recognise Sethir as Callum. Fugitive Prince conversation makes this very clear. He probably did not have grey hair or a beard back then! And I believe that Koriani seniors are not all aware of what Morriel/Selidie knows historically about humanity. This knowledge could only be in the waystone.

I am not certain the Seardluin were the only drakespawn problem either…they are simply the most bloody so far…the hate-wraiths were pretty nasty too :slight_smile:

originally posted by Hunter

I am not convinced I agree with these statements.

The Koriani purpose is not to rule. It is to maintain humanity's "higher culture".

The Koriani very much wanting to be the ruling power, they may have previously had a figurehead who was the recognized ruler but that person clearly danced to the Koriani tune. This is clear from Sundering Star.

As Elaira says on any number of occassions to both Selidie/Morriel and Lirenda, the Koriani have strayed far from their original tenet, which was healing and guidance. Not sure "higher culture" was ever on the Koriani agenda… if there is a specific example, please share as I'm happy to be corrected.

Quite possibly how previous Seniors used the Waystone may have been different, but it's clear that Morriel's ability to wrest all of the secrets - and indeed take guidance from the Waystone - are limited at best. Remember that all of the Koriani crystals are in fact sentient - something recognized on Athera but only by Elaira of the Koriani. Previously it appears they had simply been used as tools. For example, spell crystals being forceably cleared after the death of an enchantress. A sentient crystal probably doesn't take too kindly to forced clearing.

originally posted by Neil

See Fugitive Prince (trade paperack page 120) or "demand" within chapter 3.

"founded to resist the collapse of higher culture"

Granted they worked with rulers ("stood beside them" or something like that? Probably in the same conversation with Sethvir)

According to Moriel's reflections in this passage F7 battled drakespawn (not just those seardluin :slight_smile:

Koriani were "lent no voice" in the council that negotiated with the F7 / Paravians when humanity arrived. Who negotiated then for humanity.

How are necromancers even tolerated? Surely humanity would have some kind of reaction to this dark practice?

20,000 humans arrived according to Davien / Arithon conversation in TK.

I think that the Koriani are still not fully expressed in the books. They have military/religious like ranks…and the Biedar, Arithon and Davien are not fans :slight_smile:

But the Koriani Prime has something she feels worth maintaining. We do not know what this all is. Assume knowledge of things that the paravians and F7 deem dubious practice.

Arithon explains to Sulfin in Stormed Fortress that they catalogued everthing…and this was dubious and open to corruption / distortion

originally posted by Thomas Fairman

The Koriani may have been founded to resist the collapse of higher culture but by the catastrophe caused by Kincaid it seems obvious they had strayed, they stood at 'the right hand of government'. Also even if they were granted no official voice it is still perfectly possible that they were the driving force behind the actual negotiatiers, the 'shadow behind the throne' as it were. Also I had always assumed that the knowledge of the koriani deemed dubious was the eventual implications of gunpowder. Asandir, when talking to the s'Brydion admits that the seven deny gunpowder in order to prevent a repeat of their previous mistakes. But the Koriani Prime would have knowledge through the waystone. This would certainly be seen as dubious practise. As would their practise of enslaving crystals to power. Though this would be something the seven would be powerless to prevent, they could certainly try, and do, restrict any knowledge of gunpowder.

We know very little about the actual arrival of humanity on athera. I had always assumed they arrived quite soon after the devestation by means such as the Worldsend gates, after all we still don't know were two of them go, or some other means. Is it possible that humanity too were drawn to Athera by the drakes for some as yet unrevealed purpose. This would explain how they just happened accross the same planet as the seven in the vastness of space?

originally posted by Clansman

I disagree about the gunpowder, as that is simple technological knowledge that is denied by the terms of the Compact. I think that is something of a red herring, as it arose only in Ships of Merior, and has not been heard from since.

I think that a much closer look at the short story Sundering Star is in order. That story deals with the Koriathain and the Beidar, and their first interactions. They intensely dislike each other now (to say the least). Why? It appears that the Beidar are a force for good, and are supportive of at least elements of the Compact. They do not appear to have power ambitions, and we know that the Koriathain are a bunch of power-hungry ambitious harpies. Certainly Morriel/Selidie is.

originally posted by Kirsten Laurelle Wallace

Thomas, I've always gone with the answer of coincidence as far as the human settlers showing up on the same planet as the fellowship. Sometimes there isn't a plot motivated reason… although with Janny that isn't often. :smiley:

originally posted by Sleo

Apparently none of you have read 'Sundering Star' the short story by Janny about the origins of both the Koriani and the F7. But it also makes clear, at least to me, that the Biedar were the ones who effected humanity's transfer to Athera.

There's a good discussion about this over at Goodreads: kely

Annette, I can't believe you haven't talked about this, or traced it, the way you've traced the lanes and so forth.

Janny asked at Goodreads if anyone could figure out if Morriel Prime has connected her knowledge of history to the present. One reader found the answer in Grand Conspiracy when Morriel attacked Asandir when he was trying to effect a transfer:

In the riptide of weakened control, he risked disclosing every damaging detail of his origins to Morriel's grasping interest.
That above anything, he must not allow. Those ancient blood debts had been fully redeemed. Events carried through on distant soil and other worlds served no place here and now on Athera. Set in the wrong hands, or whispered in the ears of Lysaer's fledgling priests, the damning history of Fellowship affairs might be used as an arsenal to damage the future.

Grand Conspiracy pg 424 (paperback version)

That would seem to imply that the Koriani were NOT behind humanity's transfer to Athera. I always assumed that the F7 had something to do with it since they hammered out the contract with the Paravians. I also took from Sundering Star that the Biedar were the ones who actually did the transfering… presumably by some kind of bending of time and space.

originally posted by Annette

I am Aussie500 over at Goodreads so yes I read all the side stories and picked them apart. Janny has just not yet given us the clues to pick apart what Scathac means which is what I was hunting for when I noticed that thread, thought I would contribute a bit while I was there. Although I knew what Janny was angling at with the fellowship point of view, took me ages to find the reference.

The other split reality thing similar to how Scathac survived, was when the fellowship cast strands at Earle. Arithon is going to be visiting Earle at some point in the next 2 books, will be interesting to see what he asks for when he gets in. :smiley:

I doubt the Biedar had anything to do with humanity's arrival on Athera. Humanity arrived by spaceship, Biedar arrived in their own mystical fashion, no way would you get them on any spaceship. Although they do not seem to follow any law of the major balance, I am not sure they would have influenced the course the human survivors were taking. They probably already knew where they were going to end up anyway. I often wondered though just who Torbrand arrived with, was it the remains of humanity, or was it the Biedar tribe. The fellowship had been on Athera for some 12,000 years, so I doubt they had anything to do with humanity finding Athera and ruining all their plans. They just caused the problem that sent humanity wandering in the first place. The fellowship just helped draw up the compact and the kingdom charters, although Davien would rather have just resupplied them and sent them on their way. Which we will probably find out would have been the wrong thing to do.

Janny never answered my question concerning the diminished tribe on Athera. But it could be that it is not only that there is only one tribe on Athera that the tribe is diminished. The koriani did not seem that powerful, magic wise back when Sundering Star took place. It could be when they stole the knowledge of the tribes, it also allowed them to steal something else. Something to do with the origins of the tribes and perhaps the power that has been passed down through the Koriani Primes.

I also find it strange Morriel/Selidie knows so much about ancient history, but does not seem to know very much about the origins of their own major focus stones.

originally posted by Sleo

Oh, duh. Aussie500, huh? I think I saw you'd said that before.

What makes you think humanity arrived on Athera by space ship? Lysaer and Arithon arrived by the 'world gates.' I know humanity was there before that, but where is it said or implied that they arrived by space ship?

The Biedar are the tribe or 'fringe elements' on Scathac that Jessian was sent to talk with. At the time of the great calamity, the Koriathain were much less powerful than they are in the time that the WoLaS take place. And the series makes plain that they stole much of their power from the Biedar. And Jessian wasn't sent there to rescue them, but because of their power, their esoteric knowledge, their magic. The Koriani coveted it, quite naturally, as they saved Scathac in some manner that bends my thought processes and I can't quite understand it. But they seem to move the planet, either through space or through time or both.

I'm not sure what you mean about the F7 casting strands at Earle? Where and when does that take place?

originally posted by Annette

Possible spoilers way down at the bottom…


Janny's question from Goodreads

"What did you think ACTUALLY occurred on Scathac, and - how might the potential for such power impact events on Athera - go on and speculate! Have you seen traces of this in the story itself, yet?"

And the most obvious similar event I can think of is when the Sorcerers cast strands at Earle.


'As the makers of form and substance,' Luhaine petitioned, 'we beg permission to access your mastery through the hour we shape our augury. Guesswork is too dangerous. The Mistwraith's curse has stirred the most powerful human factions on Athera to renewed pacts of hatred and violence. Now, the dragon-skull ward blinds Sethvir to the consequences. For the sake of our duty to uphold the compact, hear our formal appeal. We ask elemental help to bend time. Allow us to view the true course of events as they come to be manifest.'
Fire replied, a crackling sibilance of sparks. 'We cannot assist with an act of intervention that would alter the thread of the world's fate. We serve free will; its ordained limits are not ours to cross.'

Grand Conspiracy pg 282 (mass market pb)


'Your request is granted, given the grounds of appeal. We will lift the veil of time for the duration of twelve years, but no more. No ward set by man will blind Sethvir's vision, but beware: the foreknowledge you gain must not open temptation to meddle.'

Grand Conspiracy pg 282 (mass market pb)


Unseen but for the stir of wild energies that prickled the hair at the nape, the elemental forces Luhaine had petitioned now joined with the Sorcerers' stilled focus. The workings of invisible powers reknit the veil of the mysteries, and subtly, silently, transcended the boundaries that anchored the root of the world.
An electrical current swept the core of the circles, spiked with the sheered tang of ozone. The water cavorting in the fountain sublimated away into nothing, and the sparks in the fire pan whirled up in a crackling vortex and vanished. Blackness claimed the sealed chamber, more dense than the vacuum between stars.
Against that unwritten scrim of poised force, Sethvir spoke again, a lyric line phrased in ancient Paravian that granted an unconditional consent.
A snap just past the limits of sound grazed through bone, flesh, and sinew. Time broke from the present. The air outside the conjured circles went unutterably still, its essence beyond animate concept of dark: lightless, empty as the void of potential that preceded the solidity of creation. Inside the circles, on an islet of chill stone, the square of dark velvet lost contour and form, until it became a primordial extension of the same formless energy. This conjury was no mere seeing, no illusion or reflection, but a perilous unmaking of all bonds to matter by the primal forces of the four elements. By their dire cooperation, the scrying within would go forward outside the frame that maintained the world's form and function.

Grand Conspiracy pg 286 (mass market pb)

Arithon has an execution to get past somewhere arc 4, in order to free Lysaer he has die and cross the Wheel, from what the adept said it seems that is the way Lysaer is going to be freed of the curse. Yet it seems so much depends on Arithon surviving, the re-unity of the fellowship, the survival of the mysteries the Paravian existence is dependent on, and Davien's plans for Arithon's future all depend on him surviving. Bit of a paradox, how can Arithon do both? How can he both die and cross the Wheel, and survive to return to Athera? There might be some other explanation, or it might have something to do with the way reality was split when Scathac survived.

It might take me a bit longer to find the info on the start of the third age, but I will not forget.

originally posted by Sleo

Wow, thanks, Annette. I'm waiting on my reread until closer to the release of Initiate's Trial, and I'm getting impatient to start. I have a lot to look for when I do it. I can't remember for sure, but think I've read the whole series twice, and this will be my third? I'm in awe of your ability to find these tidbits. :smiley:

originally posted by Trys


When you start that re-read would you consider starting a discussion thread to see if others want to join in? I know I would try to participate.


originally posted by bradly wyn

Just to give some insight into space travel, humanity could have been fleeing from the cataclysm for a relatively short amount of time.

Based on the pretty good assumption that a spare-faring humanity survived via ships, they would have access to ships that travel at relativistic speeds.

If the ship was sufficiently fast (such as those roughly 1/4 the speed of light or greater), 10,000 years could go by in a matter of years (or months, or weeks, etc) with respect to the inhabitants of the ship(s).

I don't see there being any problem with a time paradox.