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 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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