When will Arc IV open?

originally posted by Hunter



So… will Arc IV open shortly after the events at the end of Stormed Fortress, or will *some* time - years, decades, centuries? - pass on Athera before Arc IV starts?

I'm guessing years at most given some key items from the end of SF would seem to require playing out… such as
- growth of Glendien's child and role in Arithon's future
- Elaira finding out the quandary of just what her crystal wanted to do and why it stayed
- Sulfin Evend staying the course of any possible redemption by Lysaer over the Curse. (Hmm… Lysaer thrown out of Compact, yet to face full Paravian justice for his actions; Sulfin Evend, sworn Caithdein's oath, latent clan lineage, **should** be able to withstand, intercede(?) in Paravian audience for Lysaer?)
- Oh, and wondering just what Davien might do with his dragon? Command her to find Ciladis and restore/return/retrieve him?

Interesting to note that the scene from Exile's Return hasn't come to fruition in Arc III.

originally posted by Hunter

Or this could start centuries later from end of SF and cover this via recall.

originally posted by Laneth Shadow-Walker

I remember Janny commenting on the fact that Acr IV will be able to read without prior knowledge of the first 3 arcs (I could be wrong there though)

The centuries-gap would make sense if this were the case…

Glendien's Child = must be written about because of the role the F7 / Biedar forsee her having in Arithon's future, (and the fact that he's Mother Dark's Chosen, I think Glendien's daughter & the Biedar will have more of a tied-in fate to Arithon)

Elaira finding out the quandary of the Crystal's chosen path - (the fact that it is a non-Atheran crystal might speak of its intent, along with the fact that the crystal might have been used by other initiates through the many years it's been in service to the Order)

Ciladis' return?
Wouldn't the Black Rose prophecy speak of his return in the form of Arithon's Accession?


"Davien the Betrayer shall hear no reason, nor bow to the Law of the
Major Balance; neither shall the Fellowship be restored to Seven until
the Black Rose grows wild in the vales of Daon Ramon."
"The briar will take root on the day that Arithon s'Ffalenn embraces kingship."

I don't know as to whether the Dragon would intercede on the F7's behalf, given that it wouldn't be a Dragon's priority to do so? (guess)

Also, Davien not bowing to the Law of the Major Balance, wouldn't that BENEFIT the F7 because they would (now) have an agent that can act out where they can't? He can interfere where the LoMB won't allow the others.

I'd love to see the Paravians return to questions Davien's actions, and get him to justify them within the bounds of the Dragons' binding.

I think I'd like to see Lysaer enter the King's Glade in Tysan to submit an appeal to the Mysteries on behalf of the people in his care. With the new-found foothold he's found on the curse, it'd pose a terrifying dilemma. He's too proud to ask for help for himself so he'd ask on behalf of those striken by shadows, and the answer from the Mysteries/Paravians would try to make him see that he is also a subject of Tysan and needs the help as well.
They'd see that he's cursed and wants to be released, but wouldn't act unless asked. I think they'd refuse his appeal on the grounds that the people can speak for themselves, and that he's not their sanctioned voice under the Compact.

I think that Arithon is going to make a trip to Havish in this next Arc. Not sure why though yet.

Sulfin Evend will be a strong backing for Lysaer, though it'd be interesting to see how his confusion as to Arithon's actions at Alestron will pan out - given the promise in Sanpashir and his belief that Arithon broke it.

I'm at work and have lost my train of thought…apologies to all :smiley:

originally posted by Blue

About the only thing I am comfortable predicting is that Our Miss Wurts will once again blow our expectations, and our minds, clean out of the water. :smiley:

She has NEVER let me down on that front! I love that very unpredictability.

SF spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler

Off the top of my head, we also have not covered:
- the mysterious neutral ground between Lanshire and Araethura
- the vision of Lirenda having kidnapped Arithon (from GC I think?)
- the vision of the Alliance invading Havish during the time of Eldir's descendents
- the temporarily thwarted wraiths out of Marak
- the suggestion that Ciladis may have abandoned the F7 rather than been captured
- the vision of Arithon being gored by a unicorn

And just a curiousity I noticed:
The flag protecting Alestron is marked with a 6-pointed star symbol, which is also the symbol used on the overland map to mark a city that did not fall in the rebellion. This mark is also used on the Ettinmere Settlement – I vaguely recall hearing mention of Ettin in my whirlwind first read of SF, and when I asked Janny about it by e-mail, she just grinned and said the story hadn't gotten there yet!

originally posted by Andy

*- Oh, and wondering just what Davien might do with his dragon? Command her to find Ciladis and restore/return/retrieve him? *

I kind of think it's the other way around. The Dragon is the master and Davien is the pet. Or, better yet, their relationship seemed to be one of mutual symbiosis. I don't think he has the ability to command her to do anything.

Also, Davien not bowing to the Law of the Major Balance, wouldn't that BENEFIT the F7 because they would (now) have an agent that can act out where they can't? He can interfere where the LoMB won't allow the others.

This probably gets into the philosphy of it all, but I don't think the F7 would think that any good would ever come from someone (especially a Sorceror) being able to act outside the LoMB. Even that statement is a bit nonsensical, because any thing, by virutue of free choice, can always choose to act contrary to the LoMB. The F7 are bound to the LoMB by choice. To the extent Davien is not bound, it is by his choice. So according to the prophecy, Davien will recommit himself to the LoMB (perhaps he has already started to do this with his reincarnation and reconciliation (in part) with Asandir and Sethvir et al.), when the Black Rose grows wild in Daon Ramon and Arithon "embraces" kingship. I know the prophecy has been discussed at length in earlier threads, but both these requirements could very well be metaphors, not literal.

I'd love to see the Paravians return to questions Davien's actions, and get him to justify them within the bounds of the Dragons' binding.

Hmmm. I don't think that is how it works. I don't get the sense that the Paravians are "judges". Plus, I always got the sense that the drake's binding was self-executing, in other words, the F7, by their given consent, are incapable of acting contrary to the binding and are perhaps even compelled to fulfill it (e.g., destroy humans on Athera if necessary to preserve Paravian existence).

Andy - You Asked. :slight_smile:

You will need to stay at a total loss, a bit longer. This is not (entirely) cruelty on my part…but the fact is, while I DO know what this Arc must encompass, and have an accurate time line of its events, HOW I will present the information is of critical importance.

First of all - no title. This is deliberate. I HAVE a working title in my notes from lo, 30 years ago! And it's a Major Spoiler in its own right!!! So, I can't use it. Period. Just the words would ring too many chimes…I am in the process of letting the book develop, to see what OTHER title may emerge…and how the early chapters lay down, WHAT areas achieve denouement, and what areas won't (as part of the ongoing suspense) will be critical to how this arc flows. I will let the alternate title emerge once I have a grasp of how the story moves, on page. Knowing the EVENTS and the characters does not necessarily show which scenes will do the dramatic work of the unveiling.

Too many people are just now getting into Stormed Fortress, or (hopefully!!!) just discovering this series in its state of 3/4 completion to risk letting cats out of the bag. As the events in Arc III reached pitch, so, as a whole sweep, the series itself is now Reaching pitch…the denouements to come will be increasingly major.

Next, the loss of the hardback - and the state of affairs with no (yet) US publisher, means soon, I have to take the plunge and set this behemoth on the market. Arc IV, Book I is under contract to Britain - it will be my next complete novel…so…how to get that NEW title seen by an editor (here) who likely has no idea of the prior volumes (unless, of course, one comes onto the job already indoctrinated, or, even better, I hope! - rising numbers in Britain could make waves enough to turn a few heads - or - some other circumstance I cannot imagine drops serendipity into my lap) - this story will have to be fashioned to stand on its own. Much as possible, if not completely.

Tall order - I will have to write up to it.

The way Arc IV moves, this won't be difficult. In fact, the story line suits it quite beautifully…but this initial sequence does leave me with much the same mess that starting Chapter I, Curse of the Mistwraith did - (and that baby took 17 rewrites, all when I was very young, and didn't know much of how to handle a story on page) how do I tell a massively wide story from the view of a narrow cast of characters and present the immense complexity of what Else is there. All of it. New. You old readers HAVE to be given a fresh understanding and deeper angles…and there's quite a LOT to inventively reintroduce, just as, there's a whole lot to advance and move forward.

New readers won't know all the names and traditions, and I cannot take much time to reintroduce stuff. Period. The story must move Forward, not back. So I have to select each scene with more than the usual extreme precision.

This I can promise - the conflict will not stay static or ever be as it appears (you were well warned in the prologue!!!) This is NOT a linear story, but a dimensional one. As it expands, like ripples, the apparently linear progression of All Other plot lines will come to reveal wider facets.

It's a no holds barred, bang up explosion…so, speculate all you wish. Each arc has its distinct "signature" and this one will too!!!

If I tease you at all, with actual text - it's bound to unveil waaay more than I want. If there are any "innocuous passages" I have yet to encounter any.

originally posted by Andy

Well, I'll have to wait. But what more can I say, than "Janny, you're the best." Thanks as always for your thoughtful comments. I will wait with bated breath.

originally posted by Mark Timmony

I love it when you tease us Janny! :smiley:

originally posted by Blackrock

OK, I'm constantly going back to re-read the prologue from CotW. To me there are just too many clues there, but the one that always gets me going are the statements:

"The Wars of Light and Shadow were fought during the third age of Athera…"

"…,sages in the seventh age meditated upon the ancient past…"

So, I'll make the assumption that the definition of an "age" and the move from one to the next denotes a monumental event.

I'm not quite clear at present on ages 1 & 2, but I think the third age was the arrival of human refugees.

To move on, based on the prologue we will see the end of ages 3, 4, 5 & 6 before the sages sit down and ponder their collective navels.

Again I'm going to make the assumption that the end of the third age will be the end of the WoLaS.

To speculate what will be the monumental event to end Age 3?
The obvious one, the end of the WoLaS, redemption/removal of the curse of Lysaer, fall of the religion (prologue doesn't exactly say the religion still exists)maybe even Arithon and Lysaer teaming up to denounce/remove the false religion and then fix up the wraiths!

The end of the compact (But not by the F7 wiping out humanity to preserve the Paravians existence as we have humans in age 7)?

The end/release of the F7? For a number of reasons:
We have a loose dragon floating around that may end to the dangers of the existing dreaming dragons and dragon spawn, therefore the risk to the Paravians.
Hand over the control to the Clans/Beidar?

The end/cleansing/redemption of the Koriathain? (Although, I think this is more likely happen in Arc 4 with a confrontation between Elaria and Seldie/Morriel)

The return of the Paravians?

I'm rambling a bit, but the prologue simply does my head in, I know there are significant clues in there but I just can't pin them down. Then I read the tantilising clue from Janny's post …"(you were well warned in the prologue!!!)"

I'd love for others to join in and help me out…Of course Janny as I ask, You could provide a couple of more teasers!

originally posted by Yvonne

Quote "…as we have humans in age 7" Do we? Couldn't the sages be Paravian? Or dragons? As dragons dream true, she could dream herself a mate! But the prologue doesn't actually say "humans".

originally posted by Blackrock

Ahh yes very true, I made a prejudiced assumption that a "sage" must be human

originally posted by Sundancer

Too much, too many ideas here, too tired, but two points –

'not a linear story' 'apparently linear progression of ALL other plot lines'- I find it hard to imagine the next arc could be anything but at a later date - but perhaps it could - perhaps it is parallel to the current story - think dimensions - time, space, other worlds, other races (paravian, dragon, biedar, Marak), other points of view. Janny has already spent energy retelling the story from a new perspective in Kewar, where we gained some amazing insights, why not again?

Second point about the future, too tired to be coherent but (1) the Paravians are immortal and cross-dimensional so if they exist in the 7th age why can't they tell the story from memory without the meditations of sages (I can't imagine Athera without Paravians), and (2) isn't there a hint that children of some sort (not necessarily human but the implication is there) exist in the 4th age? Somewhere Janny quotes a children's rhyme which I think is 4th age - can anyone recall where it is?

Mind you, I think writing from a dragon's point of view would be exhausting.

originally posted by Clansman


"Interesting to note that the scene from Exile's Return hasn't come to fruition in Arc III".

What scene is this? Could you point me to it (book, chapter, page, etc.)?

Thanks in advance.

originally posted by Hunter

Exile's Return is the graphic of Arithon in front of Ithamon with Alithiel and his signet ring. It is one of the front graphics for this website - https://paravia.com/JannyWurts/website/index2.html.

Arithon now has his signet ring back at the end of Stormed Fortress, so this scene is now possible in a future book.

originally posted by Hunter

Note also the copyright date on the image… 1989!

originally posted by Laneth Sffarlenn

That image there is my favourite of Arithon, and indeed of all the Atheran images. It is stunning.

In fact, (minus the cloak), what he's wearing is along the lines of what I want to wear to my wedding - my fianc’ is slowing coming around, but just can't imagine it in her mind…

Personally I've always wanted a robe like Auskiere's (to the left), tailored to my build, for my wedding…but that was knocked back…
Damn my aversion to wearing a suit…
(I wear one every day to work - I want my wedding to be special, not just another day in a suit…)

originally posted by Meredith Lee Gray

In regards to Exile's Return, it seems like I had noticed once a long time ago that the clothes he's wearing in that painting matched the description of what he wore in GC before he goes ashore to begin the sequence of Fionn Areth's rescue…

Note: that may not be the scene I'm thinking of. I'm at my grandma's, so don't have the books to hand… but I clearly remember him pulling out those clothes, and Dakar was highly concerned and said something about how he was a little overdressed to commune with sheepherders [or some group like that], and Arithon was being very glib and agreed, and then he grabbed his lyranthe and left… and I think it was after he had been recruited Talvish and Vhandon… I think it's before he goes to rescue FA, but I could be wrong. If anyone has the book to look it up and confirm or deny, I'd appreciate it, because now I'm really curious.

Anyhow, my point is, the clothing matched what is in the painting. However, this may be irrelevent, because that may just be the attire he reaches for when he wants to indicate royal position.


originally posted by Hunter

I agree Mer… the title "Exile's Return", the fact that Arithon is at Ithamon, his ancestral stronghold and ruling seat, garbed in his royal attire, with his royal sword (not activated)…

To me this looks suspiciously like - "embracing kingship"… black rose anyone?

originally posted by Clansman

I was trying to call the image up on the website, but can't. The cover page today is a building on fire (avoiding a spoiler there. Those who know, know which).

Any tips on how to pull it up?