Speculation Space

Posted: November 4th, 2012 under Spoiler Space.

This thread is for those who want to discuss what they think might be coming up in the next two books (Book IV, which is Limits of Power, and Book V, which has no official title yet.)   Please confine speculation about these books to this thread, and if it gets too long let me know and I’ll open another one.    I am not advertising this space by announcing its existence on Twitter, since the people who already hang out here deserve a chance to fill it up first.

Necessary legal warning (not that I think any of you would transgress intentionally, but…)    Your speculation on what I’ve written may coincide with something that turns up in the book–but this does not mean your ideas were stolen.   Limits is already written…it’s done.  Book  V is very well along, with much of the rest planned out now, with lots of notes on what and why and how.   If you guess correctly what I wrote a year or more ago, that’s a good guess, but it gives you no intellectual property rights in either book.    (Given the intellectual level of this group, and previous experience with your sensitivity to the built-in clues, some of you will certainly be hot on my track!)

I won’t be reading Speculation Space (at least until Book V is done) unless there’s an interpersonal problem that comes up with those posting to it–and I hope there isn’t, but if there’s something going on you think I should know about, you can always drop me an email via the website.


  • Comment by Kerry aka Trouble — November 4, 2012 @ 7:56 am


    While we would all love to have a Book VI, I think you meant to say Book IV (4), not VI (6).

  • Comment by Richard — November 4, 2012 @ 10:50 am


    I’ve been wondering for a long time, are the “sleepers” actually asleep? What Paks and the others found in the Hall was rows of people kneeling, not lying on beds. So is this a case of (elven) time manipulation? Have they been wide awake, “praying”, as each century passes in about ten minutes (to use our modern language for time measurement)?

    Remember the fresh ink that, when Paks tried to use it, was suddenly 500-years dried up.

  • Comment by Daniel Glover — November 4, 2012 @ 12:54 pm



    I’m being lazy and not going to get the book. I think the ink “looked” fluid to the high marshal/scribe but wasn’t.

  • Comment by Genko — November 4, 2012 @ 5:13 pm


    Yes, he thought it shifted and moved. There was much that was mysterious about that whole thing, which is part of the wonder of it all, and also incidentally leaves room for various explanations.

  • Comment by Sam Barnett-Cormack — November 4, 2012 @ 5:56 pm


    I feel like there won’t be many ways to make everything consistent, much less explained. I think many things in the Kolobia stronghold looked different to what they were.

    ISTR from the ending of Liar’s Oath that Luap was left sort-of awake as time sped past him, sort of like he was taken somewhat out of time (which we know Elves can manipulate in some degree), and it seemed that it was done by the combination of Paks’s and Kieri’s powers – and we still don’t entirely understand the extent or nature of either.

  • Comment by Jenn — November 4, 2012 @ 7:11 pm



    I had the thought that the ink was fluid but that it reacted to the taint growing in Paks and therefore solidified.

  • Comment by elizabeth — November 4, 2012 @ 7:22 pm


    Sam (answering both yours as much as I can): There’s not perfect temporal consistency–I warned about that somewhere on this blog awhile back. There’s a big honkin’ problem and we’re just going to gulp and swallow it whole. It’s the result of a mistake I made when writing Liar’s Oath–should not have given any clues to when magelords were put into a sort of safety-time capsule. However, the hint given wasn’t as big as you’re thinking–was only about 10-15 years on, not 30+. And it’s less, and there’s a reason. I’m fixing what I can. Kieri has aged backwards since he came to Lyonya, as his elven heritage reacted to the taig, and even more since…wait, I can’t say that yet. (Shuts mouth very tightly.) The powers involved in dealing with the situation at the end of Luap’s book were not just Kieri and Paks but also Gird himself. Luap was not–exactly–alive there–not his ordinary body, anyway, and that was all Gird’s doing. His awareness was there, but he was unable to act, and his appearance (as noted when the Girdish expedition arrived in Paks’s day) was a phantasm that vanished with the High Marshal and Paladin called on Gird.

  • Comment by Gareth — November 5, 2012 @ 3:28 am


    I suspect that when they ‘wake’ they have a very limited time left. (Maybe that’s what happened to the ink…) I can see all sorts of possibilities for powerful magelords who wake after 500 years but now only have a very short viable time left. Good ones may use their powers to leave a legacy, bad ones try to continue themselves via possession (like Dorrin’s relatives)… Lots to speculate on.

    Got to think that Dragon and his ‘judgement’ has a part to play here. Goodness, there’s a lot of threads to weave and who knows what cloth will emerge!

  • Comment by Karen — November 5, 2012 @ 4:53 am


    I’m cheered by the realization that Paks is coming back! I wonder where she’s been in the meantime.

  • Comment by Sam Barnett-Cormack — November 5, 2012 @ 7:31 am


    For the future, I’d love to see more stories like Surrender None, about the ‘true story’ of other saints. Maybe not a novel each – perhaps a novella anthology for Falk, Camwyn, Torre, are there others?

    Not that I’d tell Elizabeth what to write – anything she wants to write, any setting, is going to be fantastic!

    I was sketchy on the details of Liar’s Oath, I’m afraid, because I kinda skimmed a lot of it.

  • Comment by Daniel Glover — November 5, 2012 @ 8:06 am



    I know I grabbed on to the prologue to LO right when this series came out and I found this website. I don’t know if I was the first or not to but I know Elizabeth responded much as she did above to me back then as well. It was one of my first posts to this site–if there was some way of tracking that down.

    Basically, the reference to Keiri’s great(?–books not here at the moment) grandchildren and Paks graying hair were not necessarily correct–the rest is being worked on.

  • Comment by Jenn — November 5, 2012 @ 11:00 am



    I think if you go into the “background” blogs about a year or so back Elizabeth put in some nice stories of Falk, Torre, and others. But yes having novellas would be great. Of course a novella on any of the background characters would be great. They are all for it in the extras break room.

  • Comment by Jenn — November 5, 2012 @ 11:06 am


    Any thoughts on how the woken mages will be received by the various realms? Fintha has long been suspicious and hostile to magery, Tsasia is now having to deal with a resurgence of magery and may or may not be welcoming, they are most likely going to war in Aarenis so I don’t think any one will be to happy after surviving a mage war. Siniava’s was bad enough.

  • Comment by Sam Barnett-Cormack — November 5, 2012 @ 12:00 pm


    If it comes with an increased understanding of Gird’s own opinions about magery, the leadership of the Fellowship of Gird might not be too hostile to the woken Magelords, but the Girdish population is unlikely to be happy. I don’t imagine Lyonya will be too fussed. The Pargunese, and possibly any other Seafolk-derived peoples, will not be happy.

    The Elders will probably be inscrutable, but not particularly bothered. Except possibly Dragon, given as he is to understanding the long consequences of things, and thus an attention to detail.

    The other question that comes to mind if the Kolobia magelords awaken – what about the Kolobia Iynisin?

  • Comment by KarenH — November 5, 2012 @ 6:44 pm


    If the mage lords and ladies have more than a short time to live after being awakened, there could be lots of conflict around issues such as what happened to their lands (owned by someone else now) and how they would be supported (food, clothing, lodging, etc.). Even if they were the “good mages” back when the went to Kolobia with Luap, they might have feelings of entitlement, etc. once they wake.

  • Comment by Iphinome — November 5, 2012 @ 6:59 pm


    @KarenH I doubt that. When they went into exile they pretty much gave up their claim to lands in Tsaia and Fintha. The Girdish won, they lost, they went to Kolobia to start over. I want to say it was clear to them that they’d be supplicants wherever they ended up but since they were about to be overrun by kuaknom the only worry about the future was how messy their deaths were about to be.

  • Comment by Daniel Glover — November 5, 2012 @ 7:22 pm



    The Kolobia Iynisin are already awake. One killed The Lady.

  • Comment by tuppence — November 5, 2012 @ 8:09 pm


    And what would the old time mages think of Alured?
    The more testy of them probably start with damned upstart and go downhill from there!

  • Comment by KarenH — November 5, 2012 @ 10:18 pm


    @Iphinome – Ooops, I didn’t remember that. Thanks for the clarification.

    @Daniel Glover – I don’t remember that we know where the Iynisin who killed the Lady came from. IIRC he just appeared in Kieri’s palace. And after Elizabeth let slip that there are a lot more Iynisin than Sinyi, he could have been from somewhere else.

  • Comment by Ginny W. — November 6, 2012 @ 2:19 pm


    Sam, I would like to hear more about the other saints too.

    I suspect we could hear more about Falk (or at least the Falkians) in the upcoming books, since Dorrin is a Falkian and has the rather vexed problem of sponsoring Beclan to knight’s training somewhere other than the Order of the Bells. Also, somehow reawakened mage-lords seem more in Falk’s province than Gird’s. Although no doubt Gird will have something to say.

    Perhaps the reawakened mage-lords will spend the remainder of their shortened lives ridding the world of those iynisin? It might redeem them and their kind from the bad press left behind from the Girdish Wars. Somehow, that feels like another story, though, just as Surrender None and Liar’s Oath are a different story than the Deed.

    My gut says that there will be a face-off in the South, and that Arvid the younger has an unexpected role to play.

  • Comment by Linda — November 6, 2012 @ 7:57 pm


    Been re-reading Echoes to take my mind off politics and was really amazed at how much Dameroth (Arians’ father) had to say about the state of the world, Paks’ role in bringing change etc. I’m assuming that the explosion of events immediately thereafter just swept it out of my mind but now I’m making a list of all the things he has to say.

    Things such as Paks having freed Kieri’s “Mage power” and that Dorrin’s power with water is very unusual, Arian’s not knowing her whole name, and Dragon being “Wisdom itself” and able to answer Dorrin’s questions.
    And that Alured has the necklace, that the regalia came from Aare and was able to overcome the elves wards, that Alured wishes to kill Dorrin to gain power over the regalia. And Dameroth fades in and out during this discussion over breakfast … and says that he is worried about what he does not want overheard … and so forth.

    Of course it is hard to say exactly what he knows and what he merely suspects, and whether he is reliable. Nevertheless in these few pages it seems that much is revealed while at the same time more questions arise.

    These questions may not have a lot to do with the outcome of this group of books, but could. For example, Oakhallow and the other Kuakgan … the Lady certainly has an ax to grind, but the half-elven Rangers and Damroth seem to have quite a different attitude. It would appear that the Elves are divided and that the “harmony” they claim is specious.

    I suspect that the Elves are much more divided than they appeared at first and wonder where that will lead. It is becoming obvious that the Lady’s objection to Arian as a daughter in law has little or nothing to do with her father’s choice of mates and more to do with their political/philosophical differences.

    Perhaps I was obtuse to let the poisoning/miscarriage/death of the Lady make me forget the discussion over breakfast, but I’m really glad that I noticed this time through. And I wonder what other bits I’ve overlooked.

  • Comment by Richard — November 7, 2012 @ 7:15 pm


    the iynisin in Kolobia are certainly awake – it was they who captured Paks, made her fight in their arena, and poisoned her wounds.

  • Comment by Abby — November 7, 2012 @ 9:02 pm


    I need to go back and read again, but I remember wondering if the iynisin who killed the Lady was her heir, the one she had with the King of the Kingsforest that turned bad- which could pull even more elves into the picture.

    I want to see what happens with all were those high and mighty types who appeared at the end with Luap, to take him to task for waking the iynisin. I think there was someone from each of the elder races? I have my copy of The Deed here, but not the book about Gird to look.

    KarenH – I missed that – where was it slipped about there being more iynisin that sinyi? Want to go read up on that…..

  • Comment by Richard — November 8, 2012 @ 7:28 am


    Karen (#9),
    regarding your question – where has Paks been? – wherever it was, her gods ensured she never got to Fin Panir while Arvid was there.

    My post to this effect was the one Nayda the Unnamer has hidden. In it I also wrote that to follow Elizabeth’s #7 here, it helps to have read not just Sam’s #5, but also his #10 from the other thread http://www.paksworld.com/blog/?p=1708#comments .)

  • Comment by Ginny W. — November 8, 2012 @ 7:48 am


    Linda: Your observations made me go back and read that passage again. I had read it before as backstory to the necklace and the dragon. I think the mage-powers that Paks awoke were Dorrin’s, not Kieri’s. The conversation implies a connection between dragons and magelords and the necklace that has been forgotten by humans, but that Dameroth remembers because he was alive (and involved somehow?) at the time, which he implies was before the magelords, or at least the Verrakai magelords, came to Aarenis.

    It seems to me that the conversation foreshadows a meeting of some kind between Dorrin and the dragon, but when? early so as to influence her actions? late to explain some unexpected effect of the necklace? If Paks rode off to the South, will she encounter Alured?

    We have seen transformation in the lives of elves, the nation of Lyonya, Kieri, Dorrin, and Arcolin as a result of Paks’ deeds. But in a way Alured was transformed as well, and unlike the others he is not seen to have grown, but to have twisted. Or perhaps he has grown in a more negative way. I wonder whether we will get a more direct view of that change.

  • Comment by Richard — November 8, 2012 @ 8:31 am


    Sam, Jenn (#11)
    yes, March 2011. To save going back by calendar a month at a time

    Torre: http://www.paksworld.com/blog/?p=1110
    Falk: http://www.paksworld.com/blog/?p=1114
    The Severance: http://www.paksworld.com/blog/?p=1118
    Dragon Colors: http://www.paksworld.com/blog/?p=1123
    Mikki-kekki: http://www.paksworld.com/blog/?p=1123

  • Comment by Richard — November 8, 2012 @ 9:38 am


    add in what Dameroth said to Kieri in KoN about Paks bringing change by having touched forbidden things. The coming outbreak of magelord powers is another piece of the puzzle and I am starting to see how they might all come together.

    There’ll be more to it (I’ve always expected)than Dorrin fighting Alured for control of the regalia, putting on the crown, declaring herself Empress of Aare and issuing an edict that everyone live peacefully ever after.

    The obvious question is, how does Dameroth know Alured has the necklace? The issue isn’t how the news gets across the snow-bound mountains before the Spring Evener, but how Alured lets it out in the first place. Is he flaunting the necklace all across Aarenis? Do elves have an ambassador or a spy in his domain? Are they tapping into the taig of the forest where he lives? Or is it (this is the interesting one) the necklace itself broadcasting to whoever has the ability to “listen”?

    Did the iynisin know when the Lady left the safety of her elvenhome? Or can they “hear” and go to attack anyone who talks about them (outside an elvenhome) as Kieri did? The latter would explain Dameroth’s reticence.

    One detail: what Dameroth said about resetting wards, I think refers to the standing stones that nearly killed Paks and Macenion when she drew her sword (on their way up the mountain, before meeting the snowcat).

  • Comment by Richard — November 8, 2012 @ 10:02 am


    Mikki-kekki http://www.paksworld.com/blog/?p=1127

  • Comment by Genko — November 8, 2012 @ 12:40 pm


    Although Paks doesn’t awaken Kieri’s magery in the direct way she does with Dorrin, still it is by her agency in bringing him the sword and putting together all the pieces that restore him to the throne that he regains it. And so, she proves pivotal in world events in a number of ways. It is indeed curious where she has been and what’s going on in the south.

  • Comment by mikelabb — November 9, 2012 @ 6:48 am


    I think Arcolin has a major part to play sometime soon. There have been hints that he hasn’t told anyone, not even Kieri, about his family origins. Elizabeth posted a SPOILER snippet a few weeks ago which started me thinking about a number of possible plot lines. Are any of them likely? I’ll have to wait for a couple of years I guess.

  • Comment by Ginny W. — November 9, 2012 @ 8:29 am


    Richard: Thanks for the mikki-kekki link. I wonder how the elves and the mikki-kekki interact (if at all). Or if contact with the mage-lords has anything to do with their hostility to humans? I had missed it somehow and it was a great lead.

    The question of knowledge is a terrific one, and I am glad you raised it. Dameroth seemed to interact with humans more than some elves. (Hence the too many half-elven children.) Alured had contacts with the woodsfolk before the Siniava war (as did Kieri). I wonder if Dameroth also has connections there. That would provide an underground network for the passage of information that is mostly hidden from the awareness of our main characters, (and incidentally from us). It could also be groundwork for a confrontation between Arvid and Alured over the necklace? It is entirely elf-like for Dameroth to show off superior knowledge without revealing its oh-so-ordinary sources.

  • Comment by Jenn — November 9, 2012 @ 12:54 pm


    I would like to see how Dorrin interacts with the woken mages since the only mages she has ever known were Verrakai.

  • Comment by Genko — November 9, 2012 @ 1:14 pm


    Hmmm… one could argue that she “knows” Falk — since he’s spoken to her. And of course she knows Paks, though Paks isn’t a mage. Still…

    In any case, Falkians seem to be much more comfortable with magery, and I would suspect that she’s seen and/or known others with it.

  • Comment by Sam Barnett-Cormack — November 9, 2012 @ 3:35 pm


    My wondering about Iynisin in Kolobia was more along the lines of “are all of them already awake, or are there more?”.

  • Comment by Karen H — November 10, 2012 @ 11:19 pm


    @Abby #23

    Regarding the Iynisin being more numerous than the Sinyi:

    I am not sure my statement is correct. I found the post and when i reread the whole thing including the comments, I fond that there is some ambiguity. The post is “Gnome Expansionism”, dated March 14, 2012. If you select the category “Background” you can get to it faster. I will try to include the url for a direct link, but I am on my IPad and not so confident I can do it.


  • Comment by Richard — November 11, 2012 @ 4:59 am


    yes, and what will the iynisin in Kolobia do when the magelords awake? Also, will the elf king (and dwarf king, and gnome lawmaster or their successors) insist that before anything else the magelords still have to re-imprison the iynisin that Luap unwittngly released?

  • Comment by Sam Barnett-Cormack — November 11, 2012 @ 6:32 am


    I would hope that *someone* would offer them some help with re-imprisoning, if that’s needed.

    I really want to find out what’s going on with the Kingsforest/Westforest/Western Kingdom.

  • Comment by Jenn — November 11, 2012 @ 11:52 am



    My guess is Western Kingdom will be for a new series. I hope we won’t have to wait 20 years for it though! It would be neat to see what happened to the kingdom known to Luap and if it still stands.

    How do you think they will wake the mages? I wonder if they will have felt the passage of time?

  • Comment by Richard — November 14, 2012 @ 2:38 am


    Will the Rosemage be one of the sleepers?

  • Comment by Jenn — November 14, 2012 @ 10:57 am


    If memory serves me correctly Rosemage went off after discovering Luap’s deceit to battle with the elves.

  • Comment by Abby — November 14, 2012 @ 1:36 pm


    Thanks, Karen. Interesting that they could be more numerous – somehow, I don’t see them being too into the whole process of bringing new life into the world, so they must work more by conversion of true elves, perhaps…unless of course, they go to the other end and try to despoil by overpopulation and reproduce by rape and/or kidnapping ( like the old changeling myths).

    It’s always interesting to compare and contrast a bit with our existing mythologies of the Seelie and Unseelie, etc…..

  • Comment by Richard — November 16, 2012 @ 2:24 am


    Yes. That was an open ending.

  • Comment by Jenn — November 17, 2012 @ 5:20 pm



    I assumed she died protecting the surrounding farmers so they could escape.

  • Comment by Linda — November 17, 2012 @ 6:54 pm


    I sure an glad that I’ve never felt the need to write an epic! Just reading the comments and considering the possibilities is rather like trying to remember some awful convoluted family tree.

    I have visions of a chart covering an entire wall with teeny tiny printing, a gigantic flow chart, probably in different colors , with aspects of a timeline showing events happening in a dozen locations … each portion with dozens of characters, any of whom may encounter another if the plot twists in certain ways.

    My hat is off to Elizabeth for creating such an endlessly fascinating world, populated by folks I’ve come to care about and who I hope to meet again. As we approach Thanksgiving I am immensely grateful for books in general and these in particular. Blessed be!

  • Comment by Richard — November 22, 2012 @ 6:05 pm


    Regarding Marshal Sofan’s challenge to Arianya (see http://www.paksworld.com/blog/?p=1667 ): I’m guessing that what they will be fighting about is his pogrom against the new magelords. He may not be its only, or even its chief instigator, just the nearest to Fin Panir and the first one Arianya heard about. Whatever the outcome of the fight there will be more trouble between Marshals convinced that evil must be stamped out at any cost, and those convinced that the pogrom itself is the evil.

  • Comment by Jenn — November 23, 2012 @ 11:14 am



    Schism in the fellowship. That cannot end well.

  • Comment by Ginny W. — November 23, 2012 @ 11:55 am


    Richard: I see the civil war that you envision now. It sort of connects back to the problem with Beclan and his family doesn’t it? And so spills over from Tsaia to Fintha (in a kind of reversal of Gird’s War in Surrender None, which spilled over to Tsaia from Fintha.

  • Comment by Richard — November 23, 2012 @ 5:49 pm


    I see Beclan’s trouble as just a foretaste of the widespread (across the north) outbreak of magelordery that the publisher’s blurb for Limits implies. Good storytelling by Elizabeth showing us a single case first so we appreciate the implications before the epidemic.

    If Sofan is just the first of many Marshals reacting the same way to cases in their different areas, then maybe the outcome of his challenge will polarize rather than resolve the dispute – particularly since Elizabeth hinted something about his relatives, so maybe they (whoever they are) would be unhappy at him being killed, and want to do something about it.

    How a stuffed cow could affect this particular conflict I’ve no idea – even if it were a Relic. So maybe it fits in somewhere else.

  • Comment by Ginny W. — November 24, 2012 @ 11:42 am


    Richard: I agree. There are several points where the dispute can crystallize. (I am using crystallize in the sense of solidify or harden into a definite structure.) The dispute with Ariana is one, Beclan and the mage-blood of the royal family of Tsaia is another. But I really think the dispute will center on Dorrin as freak and the renegade Verrakai as the evil monsters, with Kieri’s ancestors somehow contributing to the misunderstanding.

    In Surrender None (which I am rereading, slowly) we are introduced to a Bermuda Triangle of misunderstanding between the mage lords and the serfs (as descended from the Old Humans), and between the magelords who follow Liart and the ethos that died in Old Aare (or on the Eastern continent, or maybe in Aarenis). The customs of the Old Humans have resurfaced in Lyonya, with the bones of Kieri’s ancestors. The allegiance of the mage-lords with Liart has come up again with the renegade Verrakai. It is as though the Fellowship of Gird put a patch over a serious rip in the way humans reflect the divine realm (mage lords vs Old Humans), and patch is ripping away from the cloth at the edges. It would not be at all surprising if the conflict reached a climax in Book IV, before being resolved in Book V.

    From this Girdish angle, I don’t see the stuffed cow either. But if it is connected to the regalia – renegade Verrakai – who are the real gods of the mage lords angle. Maybe.

    I think I will re-read what we were told of the Fall of Aare in connection with Andressat.

  • Comment by Richard — November 25, 2012 @ 5:27 am


    Yes, Gird gave his life to patch a wound, thinking he was buying time for it to heal; but Luap suppressed the truth of what Gird died for and used the time bought to sweep the problem under the carpet (away to Kolobia). (Apologies for the mixed metaphors.)

    Spoiler time big way, sticking my neck out with a leap of the imagination from books, blogs, and the blurb about LoP. Amidst constant petty quarrels in the house (we’ve had three books of them), the person who last watered the lawn, hearing a tiny splash on the patio outside, thinks he must have left the garden tap dripping, but it is really the first raindrop from Superstorm Sandy (or Hurricane Katrina if you prefer).

    What the story is about is that all humans are about to become magelords, just like in Old Aare before its end, and from the same cause. Over how large an area I don’t know – it will start in Fintha as well as in Tsaia, the blurb suggests Lyonya too, and I’m guessing parts of Aarenis should follow. Whether it will take a mere two years or a mere two centuries I don’t know either, but the elves do, because they’ve seen it all before. Some of them that is, and Dameroth is one of them – he’s spotted the storm coming but cannot decide what to do. He knows what is bringing the storm but not whether it should be welcomed, deplored or stopped; and if the latter, he has only the vaguest idea how it could be stopped. (Unlike Elrond who knew exactly how Sauron’s Ring could be destroyed: I’m having fun drawing loose parallels with LotR.)

  • Comment by Jenn — November 25, 2012 @ 11:28 am



    It will be interesting to see if you theory plays out.

  • Comment by Ginny W. — November 25, 2012 @ 4:01 pm


    Andressat – both Count and bastard grandson – will contribute something significant somehow. And I don’t think it will be in the North, since the Count has ventured forth only once in his life, and probably won’t do it again at his age.

  • Comment by Richard — November 26, 2012 @ 9:45 am


    as you say, it is only a theory. (Half my theory – the older half I daren’t divulge even here.) Elizabeth knows that epic fantasy needs a momentous Problem for the hero(es) to confront, but it doesn’t have to be a Dark Lord with magically mighty minions and an enormous army. If I’m wrong, there’s always the iynisin.

    I chose the word “epidemic” deliberately in my post before last. It will start with only a few cases; how far it will get in the next book I don’t know. In Fintha, after an initial outbreak, the disease may even stop coincidentally with a mass “cull” of infected “animals”.

    I like watching golf on television. Two or three tournaments (in part) a year are enough. The Augusta Masters is my favorite, partly because it is on the same course each time. The point about watching golf is that when a player stands on the tee, I know that in a few minutes time the ball will be in the hole. What matters is how it gets there. Well with Paladin’s Legacy I think I’ve made out the shape of the hole being played, that’s all.

  • Comment by Ginny W. — November 26, 2012 @ 2:26 pm


    Richard: Nice analogy!

  • Comment by Ginny W. — November 30, 2012 @ 10:12 am


    Richard, Now that I have had a few days to think about it, I don’t think that magery will break out among all humans. It wasn’t that way in the beginning, and heredity has been built into the capacity. It may well come back in the noble families of Tsaia, who after all are descended from the mage-lords. I think that Fintha could quite possibly expel any who show mage talents. But the civil war will break out in Tsaia, which is already destabilized by Mikeli’s youth and regency and the Verrakai treachery. It is in Tsaia that the Fellowship of Gird holds an uneasy leash on the powers of the nobility – ordinary economic and military powers exercised through a very feudal system. The resurgence of magery among the nobility, and not the peasantry could upset that balance – with violent consequences. And the central position of Tsaia relative to the other kingdoms will cause the imbalance to spill over.


    Any thoughts on the man that Camwyn will grow into?

  • Comment by Richard — December 1, 2012 @ 5:59 am


    the old Aareans had powers, all of them. We know that because Arranha told Gird so. Assuming his sources hadn’t simply omitted the powerless as no-account non-citizens.

    When I first read the LoP blurb I wondered where the suddenly-appearing magelordery is coming from. Now, I’ve guessed an answer. Something I could mention will start (has started) giving those powers (“ordinary” magelord if not “royal”) to people in the north – including I think to people of Aarean descent at all, despite what those around will assume is the explanation. You are quite right it won’t be to everyone all at once, nor even at first to enough in any one place to resist those who’ll want to murder them. But it won’t stop until someone finds out what it is (Book IV) and how to stop it. Which stopping may be easier said than done, especially if someone else tries to stop the stoppers – Book V.

    If it does come to civil war in Tsaia before that, which side will Arcolin be on, and will all the soldiers in the Company support him? Or will they all be down in Valdaire or Foss?

    I hope Camwyn does make it through.

  • Comment by Ginny W. — December 2, 2012 @ 8:55 pm


    If a civil war does break out in Tsaia, Arcolin could well be caught between his obligations to the crown of Tsaia and his obligations under a contract in the South. The last time we saw him, he was headed south with a contract, and also with a relatively pressing need to put Dorrin’s former cohort under oath to himself.

    The part of the company most likely to be affected is Valichi and the new captain in the North, because recruiting would be seriously affected, and the granges in that domain are relatively new.

  • Comment by Daniel Glover — January 19, 2013 @ 1:36 pm


    With Elizabeth’s comments–is it Arvid or Dorrin that’s going to take one for the team?

  • Comment by pjm — February 7, 2013 @ 7:27 am


    Richard, I have wondered from time to time about the issue of magery breaking out. I can’t help thinking that people are people, and that human magical powers are fundamentally the same for old human, magelord, and all the others we catch glimpses of. It is what they do with the magic – whether it is expressed in magery, parrions, or potions and scrolls that changes between peoples.

    I suspect that for the last several hundred years a lot of human magical power has gone into supressing magery. Something has now stopped this. Maybe Kieri, maybe the regalia, maybe something else. Interesting times.


  • Comment by GinnyW — February 17, 2013 @ 12:46 pm


    But are people necessarily people when some are elves (or part elves) and some are not? There are quite a few “people” in Paksworld who are not human, and very few hints concerning the possible crosses between the peoples. We also see that the gods can empower people in some drastically different ways. At a minimum, the blood magery practiced by the Liartians would appear to be different in many ways from the taig sense of the elves and half-elves.

    Parrions seemed to be more of a talent developed into a skill than a type of magic. Their value appeared to be more in the combination of aptitude and applied knowledge that could be passed on to the next generation.

  • Comment by pjm — February 19, 2013 @ 6:21 am



    I really should have written humans are humans, rather than people are people.

    Elves, dwarves and gnomes all have characteristic magical abilities. I think humans have a specifically human magic, though it is not clear just what it is.

    Some parrions do seem to be non-magical skills, but the ability to lay pain on a stone is mentioned, and Gird mentions to Arranha a parrion of singing charms for demons. I suspect there is a minor magical component in most parrions.

    There may also be a magical component in the offerings to merins etc. A merin keeps a well good, and is fed by the magic offered by the humans who use it.

    We see magery fading in Gird’s time and before, and we see wizardry appearing in Gird’s time. As I said above, I can’t help thinking a lot of human magic is being used (probably unconsciously) to supress magery.


  • Comment by Richard — February 20, 2013 @ 3:08 am


    Yes, and it was stolen human power that helped feed Achyra’s rise to minor evil deity (coupling Dragon’s remark about her not being Elder with something Elizabeth blogged).

    It may not be just humans suppressing human magic; the elves in Lyonya look to have done a good job of denying the powers of ancestral bonehouses.

  • Comment by pjm — February 21, 2013 @ 7:40 pm


    Richard – hmm yes (maybe!)

    On another tangent – Simyits was the god of justice in old Aare, but is now a god of luck, worshipped by gamblers and thieves (due to gnomish influence). What role do the god’s own preferences and characteristics have here? Are the gods actually individuals or are they aspects of a single god? In some fantasy worlds the inhabitants create their gods, deliberately or inadvertently. I don’t think Paksworld is one of these.

    I can imagine Arvid in a paladin-like relationship to Simyits, trying to bring a sense of justice into the thieves’ part of society.


  • Comment by Mollie Marshall — February 27, 2013 @ 3:35 pm


    Hermes, like Simyits, is the trickster god, father of the thief and liar Autolycus (hmm, sounds like Arvid?). Hermes, as god of thresholds and transitions, is also the guide of souls to the underworld, which could parallel Simyits’s justice role. Perhaps the High Lord wants Simyits to turn over a new leaf as well?
    I don’t like the sound of pogroms against any who show signs of magery, given the way it’s apparently popping up all over the place like measles. The order of Gird is surely going to have to come to terms with the resurgence of magery, and eventually to accept that it may have an honorable use. In Tsaia they can’t deal with everybody affected as drastically as they did Beclan, especially as we now know who one of those will be. Either way, Tsaia is facing de-stabilization, not only from this but also from Alured’s undermining of society in Aarenis and the northern kingdoms.
    Will we discover what Andressat’s archives said about the Verrakai?
    Still 3 months to go. Getting itchy!

  • Comment by Linda — March 2, 2013 @ 7:26 pm


    Rereading Oath of Gold … If Elves are so anti-Kuakgan, how come the Rangers and Oakhallow work together? How does tavern keeper know about the connection between Oakhallow and Paks … why is the mention of Kuakgan not as shocking to those in the Elven tavern as it is to the Lady? Also in the most recent book, the “wind” Kuakgan seem to be able to get to Chaya pretty fast when needed … with the elven kingdom partly co-existing with Lyonya it sounds weird that the Lady get so upset by their presence.

    I am trying to figure out why I mistrust Amrothlin … the scenes with him at the end OofG (in the “tavern”) are part of it. Is he really missing whenever the Lady is around for a ceremony?

    I am beginning to feel a real need for a system of reference to specific passages … book, chapter, and this is where it gets sticky, verse.

  • Comment by elizabeth — March 2, 2013 @ 10:31 pm


    Linda: Not all Rangers are anti-Kuakgan, because not all of them are elves or even part-elves. There are questions I haven’t thought to ask yet (and thus the answers haven’t trickled in…) but you distrust Amrothlin because I wrote him that way–as a potential traitor. Wasn’t sure whether he was or not. I’m still…a little ambivalent, though I think, after his long talks with Arian and Kieri, that he’s just a person who’s grown up surrounded by, and influenced by, some bad people. But I have this book to go, and I’m still yanking him back and saying “Show me the REAL Amrothlin!”

  • Comment by Richard — March 3, 2013 @ 7:33 pm


    So who are the bad people around Amrothlin? Will we meet them in LoP?

    Linda, so many questions touched on by one short post. About three Kuakkgani getting to Chaya so fast, I think they must be able to get places (when they need to) by some means other than ordinary walking, even if not instanteously like elves. It reminds me a bit of the walking stick Ker is given in Judgment – have you read that? – that carries him several leagues in just a few paces.

    Elves know a sometimes surprising amount about events – or is it people? – that interest them. (Since she cleansed the elfane taig, Paks certainly interested them.) How they found out about Paks and Oakhallow is easy, though – Haleron met the two together, the best part of a year before she went to the elven tavern. We need allow no special elven abilities to account for that gossip having spread.

    (A remark from Gird’s book that I always have trouble finding again: “Sier Sehgrahlin has much of the old magicks, but not the way of calling mind to mind … There’s no one much left with that.” If magelords could do that once, then surely elves (between themselves) had and still have a similar ability.)

    Wasn’t the Lady less anti-Kuakgan at end of OoG, talking to Paks after the battle, than in EoB?

  • Comment by Daniel Glover — April 2, 2013 @ 12:49 pm


    So for Elizabeth’s comment about not having met the big, bad being yet–if this being is such that it manipulates the Webspinner (that Dragon seems to have contained) and our unsinging elf that so quickly dispatched the Lady are it’s minions–just what IS it?

    Paks already released that which held the Elfane Taig in thrall, is it that or another such ilk?

  • Comment by Richard — April 6, 2013 @ 5:08 pm


    Did Elizabeth say that? She’s just told us that someone we haven’t met yet who “needed killing” will meet an unusual but fitting end in book V, but couldn’t that be just another middle-management minion?

  • Comment by elizabeth — April 6, 2013 @ 11:54 pm


    One of the bad people around Amrothlin will show up in LoP. Other bad people in his past will be revealed.

    I am assuming that the master-mind (so to speak) of the bad stuff is actually not present…but considered to be Gitres or Nayda, depending on which theological position you start in. OTOH, they may be merely theological personifications of evil that are used more as excuses than having a reality (“Gitres made me do it…”) The gods appear to appear in peoples’ heads–people hear them or see them (or think they do, in a religious experience much like those reported here.) They do not come onstage as characters. This is partly my decision and partly my inability to handle it.

    FWIW, and this will convince some of you I’m nuttier than fantasy writers usually are, I have had two rock-solid humdingers of religious experiences–not the warm-fuzzy kind. There is no way to convince anyone who doesn’t believe that such occur, and no way to convince those who’ve had one that it was just an hallucination. I’ve had migraine auras and dreams and other things…it was different at a level that defies description. Yes, I could be wrong. That’s what belief is. (Also FWIW, the first one is _why_ I now have the belief. Some people are born believers. Some require the 2×4 clue-bat.)

    Anyway. The someone who needed killing isn’t a higher power of some kind, just an ordinary (if particularly nasty) person. What surprised me was not that the person ended up dead & gone, hurray, but how it happened. I was prepared for a fairly ordinary demise (whop with a length of firewood, sword stroke, something like that.) Quite a few people who needed killing end up dead at the end of Book V, along with some who, alas, did not need killing. (Still trying to finagle a way to save someone I like a lot, but I’m afraid there’s no way without warping the story. This person picked up the red shirt worn by someone earlier in the series who died, and promptly put it on, with the author yelling “No! Not you! You’re not expendable, dammit! Take it OFF!”)

  • Comment by Richard — April 7, 2013 @ 6:33 am


    If my guess as to the old wearer of the shirt is correct, then I’m hoping my guess as to the new wearer will be right too, because the alternative would be even worse.

  • Comment by Daniel Glover — April 7, 2013 @ 12:58 pm


    I stand corrected–though I really thought there was more to the story–and maybe there is, just not where I thought it was going. :-)

    Elizabeth, you’re not nutty some of mine have been bigger than the 2×4 kind. Maybe that’s why I get your writing. Thanks, and keep at it.

  • Comment by Daniel Krause — June 13, 2013 @ 3:55 pm


    A favorite author of mine, Dennis McKiernan, I think, put little hooks in his stories, called red slippers, that allowed him to use them as lures into other stories. I suspect Lt Moon of using similar strategy.
    Dan Krause AT1 USN (ret)

  • Comment by Mollie Marshall — July 16, 2013 @ 12:56 pm


    Does anyone else wonder if we are to hear more of the Verrakai in other bodies (OoF): a merchant in Valdaire and a moneychanger in Vérella?

  • Comment by GinnyW — September 30, 2013 @ 8:59 am


    This response has been a long time coming, but I suspect that either the Verrakai/merchant in Valdaire or the moneychanger in Verella could have alot to do with (a) Arvid’s persistant troubles with the thieves’ guild, and (b)the way that Alured seems to be able to track Fox Company.

    My guess is that the moneychanger in Verella was rooted out by the purge right after Paks’ ordeal. We know that the moneychanger directly connected with the Verrakai dealings was implicated, and the money that he held for the Verrakai confiscated.

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