Random notes and musings

12 February 2002
Spoilers ho.

Five Hundred Years After

  1. Chapter 17: Do I really want to know what a winneasaurus is?
  2. 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.

Brokedown Palace

  1. Someone noted the oddity of Miklos having trouble pronouncing or translating Bolcseseg (Wisdom), which we'd assume is a Fenarian/Hungarian word.
  2. 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 greatly.
  3. 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 familiar.


  1. 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.
  2. Pretty cool on-the-fly spell modification and casting in summoning Rocza.
  3. So what's a Shaman? A pre-Imperial sorceror? A witch? Did Aliera get her Shaman skills with her Shaman memories?


  1. 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 half-breeds.


  1. So did Vlad's psychic energized dagger tip the battle and do Loraan in?
  2. 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.
  3. Someone suggested the Dragon is actually a manifestation of the current Great Cycle. I don't think so, but cute idea.
  4. The gods nearly prevented Zerika from leaving, they claim. Do they not care if there's an Orb and Empire?
  5. And why send Zerika, who's effectively 18? Couldn't undead Sethra have gone in and taken the Orb out?
  6. Vlad's a pretty awesome witch (the dagger, the teleport, the binding of Rocza under maximally non-ideal conditions).


  1. There's a Maelstrom somewhere, which seems to block oceanic exploration. I can't visualize that map.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.


  1. Dragaera has badgers; Master Wag tells a story of a Badger and the Clever Chreotha
  2. Rocza is careful not to breathe when flying through the Overcast (pg 75). And it's orange. Elvish smog? Dragaera is Southern California?
  3. Rocza flies through the Overcast a lot; it can't be that high.
  4. Vlad met a philosopher a few years ago and killed her.
  5. 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 back.
  6. Page 90: "I wouldn't know. I've never been in the army." Hmm, so much for Dragon...
  7. 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.
  8. Also note that Rocza can hear Savn's mental screaming, despite her never communicating directly with Vlad.


  1. 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 the Sea.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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".
  5. "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.
  6. I suppose the same idea could be reused for gods and demons, only with multiple simultaneous foci.
  7. "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, Loiosh.
  8. 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 Palace).


  1. 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.]
  2. 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".
  3. I'd really like to know why Noish-pa came to the Empire, though.
  4. 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.
  5. Cawti's son could be a Prince of Fenario, and possibly the heir, if Andor and Vilmos haven't had children.
  6. Coyu suggests "Jeno == geno?" (As in genotyping)
  7. 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.
  8. 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 sorceror.
  9. 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.)
  10. 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")
  11. 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.
  12. Steve Simmons smacks his head and says "Devera's a god!" Talk about being spoiled by your grandmother.

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