Random notes and musings
12 February 2002
Five Hundred Years After
- Chapter 17: Do I really want to know what a winneasaurus is?
- Also Ch. 17: Daro chooses to wear red, and can be mistaken for a Lyorn,
even by Khaavren.
Perhaps this is related to why Vlad thinks she's a Lyorn.
- Someone noted the oddity of Miklos having trouble pronouncing or
translating Bolcseseg (Wisdom), which we'd assume is a Fenarian/Hungarian
- It's still unclear to me whether sorcery is blocked from all of Fenario,
now that Verra has been banished, or whether it just doesn't work near the
Palace. Note that Devera blips in and out of the New Palace itself with no
trouble. Of course, it's not clear that Devera is constrained by much of
anything. Did Brigitta leave because she can't reach the Orb from Fenario, or
can't reach it and live near Miklos, or just doesn't feel she belongs in
Fenario now? Note that this issue would concern Vlad greatly, if he wanders
out there. Hey. For that matter, it'd concern any invading Dragaerans
- Sandor says some witches are still hiding out in the marshes. I'd expect
his dismissing them, that's standard for sorcerors, but he makes them sound
pretty marginalized. Vs. Noish-Pa doing business right in South Adrilankha,
and Vlad and Cawti both being witches, although Cawti seems to lack a
- Aliera thinks the Dragons had higher standards than the other houses.
Personally I suspect the Dzur have even higher standards, it's just that if
you don't meet them, you're dead.
- Pretty cool on-the-fly spell modification and casting in summoning Rocza.
- So what's a Shaman? A pre-Imperial sorceror? A witch? Did Aliera get
her Shaman skills with her Shaman memories?
- Paresh says only the Teckla and Jhereg take all comers. But if Aliera
got all of her facts right, and Vlad passed those on to us, the Jhereg started
as a mishmash, while the Teckla in fact started as Dragaerans with the genes
of teckla, which seem to be field mice. There may have been some influx of
new genes from Dragaerans expelled from their House, but the majority of the
Teckla population is probably still teckla [sic]. This could make a
successful revolution difficult, if your proletariat is inherently cowering
and deferential. Bold Teckla such as Paresh might have other genes in their
ancestry. Failed Dzur or Dragons who didn't go to the Jhereg, say. Or
- So did Vlad's psychic energized dagger tip the battle and do Loraan in?
- The Lord Dragon doesn't know where the Cycle is. The Lord Dragon must be
really lazy and inattentive to current events, or for that matter the Giant
Stone Wheel not that far away.
- Someone suggested the Dragon is actually a manifestation of the current
Great Cycle. I don't think so, but cute idea.
- The gods nearly prevented Zerika from leaving, they claim. Do they not
care if there's an Orb and Empire?
- And why send Zerika, who's effectively 18? Couldn't undead Sethra have
gone in and taken the Orb out?
- Vlad's a pretty awesome witch (the dagger, the teleport, the binding of
Rocza under maximally non-ideal conditions).
- There's a Maelstrom somewhere, which seems to block oceanic exploration.
I can't visualize that map.
- And I keep thinking someone should be able to fly over it. Never mind
floating castles; how about blimps? They understand air pressure (the trap
Kiera disables in Orca; a vacuum should be easy. Martin Given says
Castle Black seems supported by a rune beneath it, but Daymar levitates, and
Aliera levitates and moves around.
- The Orca captain also mentions "breakwaves"; someone suggests these are
tsunamis, from underwater volcanos and earthquakes, a la the "fire from the
ground" Zerika tells Vlad the Orb prevents.
- Dragaera has badgers; Master Wag tells a story of a Badger and the Clever
- Rocza is careful not to breathe when flying through the Overcast (pg 75).
And it's orange. Elvish smog? Dragaera is Southern California?
- Rocza flies through the Overcast a lot; it can't be that high.
- Vlad met a philosopher a few years ago and killed her.
- People don't like the undead. Savn is incredulous Loraan would be
undead. And undead can't serve in Imperial positions. Yet we're told later
the undead are those the gods find so useful in this life that they're sent
- Page 90: "I wouldn't know. I've never been in the army." Hmm, so much
- One thing which struck me was that he seemed to be using magic a lot more
than he reports of himself. I wouldn't have thought that he could make people
forget things, or put things out of mind, as he did to Savn and his parents.
And pretty casually, too. And once he got the energy to do any witchcraft he
healed himself pretty damn quick. I wonder if he's leaned on magic more since
he went on the run, or there's a whole side of him he's underreported, except
for unusually cool spells, or ones which required help.
- Also note that Rocza can hear Savn's mental screaming, despite her never
communicating directly with Vlad.
- Brust seems to have confirmed that the dragon was Devera. Let it be
noted that the only damage done to the Jenoine was by Devera and Godslayer.
Devera accomplished more than several gods and Great Weapons. Although "cave
deum" points out she may have struck before they re-established their link to
- Sethra says she's had more to do with the Serioli than anyone else, and
still not that much. Okay, she is older than anyone. But in Athyra
there are villages whose speech patterns seem to have been strongly affected
by living near Serioli. Of course, they're Teckla. Maybe even Sethra has a
blind spot there, and some Teckla elders could tell you a lot about the
Serioli, if you just asked.
- Amorphia doesn't exist anywhere else, and Jenoine have a natural immunity
to it. How can they have a natural immunity if it doesn't occur in nature?
Either Sethra's wrong, or Jenoine evolved in a really odd place. I suggest
they're like the angels in To Reign in Hell in origin. I'm not saying
TRiH is in the same universe, but there are obvious similarities between
cacoastrum/iliaster and amorphia/sorcery, and a race of outsiders created from
raw amorphia could come along as well.
- It has been speculated that magic came into the world with the Great Sea.
But if pre-Imperial sorcery is the magic of the Jenoine, that can't be. If
they're like the angels, they'd have their own iliaster to manipulate... not
sure if that'd be like sorcery or witchcraft, actually. And they'd have
knowledge of what to do with chaos. And they could more plausibly be "more
powerful than a god".
- "I heard you talking as if they had come to our world from another
place. That is not entirely true... they do not remain stationary as we do...
they are to us as amorphia is to normal matter." Okay, none of that makes
much sense, although the last part might support the 'angels' hypothesis. But
for the first two... I suddenly thought of Neil Gaiman's Endless, and
Destruction's description of them as cosmic wavefunctions. Perhaps the
Jenoine exist everywhere at once, as a mystical wavefunction-type thingy, and
the bodies we see are just their focus of concentration. Or the particle
where the wave interacts with normal matter.
- I suppose the same idea could be reused for gods and demons, only with
multiple simultaneous foci.
- "I am cute." Someone says Brust has said jhereg have only
two legs, like birds or bats, not four like fire lizards. They're also
repeatedly described as having snakelike heads. My modified mental picture of
a jhereg is way less cute than a fire lizard, more like a scaly bat. Sorry,
- I wonder if Verra is the 'spirit' of the Great Sea, the way Adron seems
to be the sentience of the Lesser Sea. Obviously she'd be more competent than
he is. But if so, it might explain her name somewhat, given the odd
interaction between herself, the highly controllable Orb, and the Great Sea.
If she's just some goddess who figured out elder sorcery before anyone else I
don't see why she'd be the "personification of magic" (Brokedown
- Maybe Noish-pa is Margit's son, and of demon blood. Thus the patronymic
Taltos, and his going to Faerie, and Vlad being odd... [later: I think Margit
is way too old to be Noish-pa's mother.]
- Or maybe 'taltos' just means "magical", so a taltos bull is a magical
bull, which is pretty true of a bull which can talk. I've tended to think it
meant something more specific, but I can't justify that... although there's
the Taltos in The Gypsy. But at any rate, 'Taltos' as patronymic might
just mean "I'm a cool witch".
- I'd really like to know why Noish-pa came to the Empire, though.
- Loiosh can communicate with Cawti, and Morrolan. Why not Savn? Because
Savn isn't good at psychic communication? Or perhaps because Cawti and
Morrolan are witches? There seems to be pure psychic communication, and
sorcerous-mediated communication; somewhere we're told losing access to the
Orb makes psychic communication harder. Loiosh, of course, does not have a
link to the Orb.
- Cawti's son could be a Prince of Fenario, and possibly the heir, if Andor
and Vilmos haven't had children.
- Coyu suggests "Jeno == geno?" (As in genotyping)
- I think Lyorn should be Vlad discovering more about his family,
or organizing Easterners, or meeting Miklos or Khaavren, or preferably all of
those. I don't know how to work an actual Lyorn in there.
- I wonder if Zerika IV is the reincarnation of Zerika I. If Sethra helped
her access old memories (or she's always had them from childhood) that could
explain her precocious wisdom. It might also make her a kickass pre-Imperial
- Hey. Sorcery's better now. Some say skills have increased during the
Interregnum. (How?) Others thing the Orb changed in the Paths. Maybe Zerika
reprogrammed it. (Or Zerika I might have, if she's hanging around the Paths
instead of being reincarnated.)
- Actually, I really like these ideas. Zerika I creates the Orb, puts in
various functions to enable sorcery. Zerika IV visits the Paths and gets the
Orb, and upgrades the thing, putting in teleportation routines with Sethra
Lavode's help, and revivification functions based on what she learned in the
Paths, or from the Necromancer, or both, and maybe psychic communication
routines just from what good sorcerors could do before the Interregnum. Then
doesn't tell Verra about it, so Verra thinks it's a skills increase, even
though that doesn't make much sense. Or maybe Verra lied to Vlad, figuring
Zerika changing the Orb is an Imperial Secret, like Morrolan's window. ("A
Dream of Passion")
- Hey, wait. Honored Dragaerans die and get sent, physically, to the
Paths, where we see both decomposing bodies and 'dead' people walking around
and wielding weapons. Such as Kieron -- is that his original body walking
around, or an embodied soul, or what? But at any rate, one way to get a new
House of the Phoenix would be for the Phoenix in the Paths to make a break for
it, but to come out alive, not undead.
- Steve Simmons smacks his head and says "Devera's a god!" Talk about
being spoiled by your grandmother.
Back to Brust.