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War Maid's Choice Spoiler... Isvaria's Axes

Fans of Bahzell and Tomenack come on in! Let's talk about David's fantasy series and our favorite hradani!
Re: War Maid's Choice Spoiler... Isvaria's Axes
Post by FriarBob   » Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:58 am

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David T. Shaw wrote:I love the idea of the Periwinkle being some sort of artifact for allowing Leeana to speak to the dead (or maybe just one particular dead champion).
However, I see a problem - Vaijon's first act of transcending death wasn't with Leeana - or with her anywhere about.
He helped channel energy to Bahzell shortly after his death - far, far away from the Wind Plains and Leeana.

Perhaps Tomanak and Isvaria have made some sort of deal in regards to Bahzell and Vaijon in particular, or with His Champions in general?
Just wondering, has any mention of ghosts been made in the series? I can't remember any serious discussion off hand, but it's been at least a year since I read the first three books.

If I'm right that the Periwinkle doesn't expain Vaijon's ghost, does it do anything?
And what is the significance of Isvaria recognizing Leeana and Gayrfressa as 'daughters'? Is it like calling someone a child of God - just a recognition of their loyalty to the light? Or perhaps something along the lines of being of the 'elect' because they will always be loyal to the light? Or is it some special status or relationship to the God (besides being Her Champion)?

As already mentioned, the scene with Isvaria must foreshadow something.


There was no previous textev of dead champions still being alive in any fashion prior to this book. There were plenty of undead creatures on the side of the "dark gods", but those creatures still weren't actual ghosts or anything like that, just simply unnaturally sustained beyond the natural physical limits. And except for the traditional concept of "souls" feasting at Isvaria's table after they died and went to the local concept of "heaven", which so far as I'm aware only first explicitly appears in this book, there wasn't even anything I noticed about the "afterlife" even in this book (much less any previous one) to foreshadow the climax of the book.

It's possible that within the fictional metaphysics of this universe the way the Champions were able to utterly destroy the devils of this storyline was to intertwine their "soul" with the essence of Tomanak himself, and thus despite physically dying in combat Vaijon's "essence" was somehow partially separated from his body at the moment of his physical body's death, and that this combined with his link with Tomanak allowed him to semi-survive in a fashion no previous champion had.

Or it's possible that you're right, that Isvaria and Tomanak simply felt Vaijon still had more work to do and decided to not "banish" him from the physical world by sending him to her "table" immediately.

But as for the periwinkle, I'm pretty sure that's been explained as what caused the scrying difficulties for the dark wizards in the climax of situation with the king. So yeah it did do something, just not what you were expecting given who provided the device. I can understand why people would expect such a device to come from Semkirk instead, but if that's what you were thinking you too quickly forget that the "light gods" are truly allied and cooperative. Semkirk could very easily have been involved behind the scenes, but he would have had no problem at all with Isvaria helping him out for a minute or two, either in the creation of the device or the delivery or both.

So I'm not sure the scene really foreshadows anything at all... except perhaps that the "strands" of time are rapidly approaching a truly critical "cusp point" and that the light gods are going to be as involved as they have to in order to make sure they win... at least in the universe the storyline is set in.
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Re: War Maid's Choice Spoiler... Isvaria's Axes
Post by PeterZ   » Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:28 pm

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FriarBob wrote:
David T. Shaw wrote:I love the idea of the Periwinkle being some sort of artifact for allowing Leeana to speak to the dead (or maybe just one particular dead champion).
However, I see a problem - Vaijon's first act of transcending death wasn't with Leeana - or with her anywhere about.
He helped channel energy to Bahzell shortly after his death - far, far away from the Wind Plains and Leeana.

Perhaps Tomanak and Isvaria have made some sort of deal in regards to Bahzell and Vaijon in particular, or with His Champions in general?
Just wondering, has any mention of ghosts been made in the series? I can't remember any serious discussion off hand, but it's been at least a year since I read the first three books.

If I'm right that the Periwinkle doesn't expain Vaijon's ghost, does it do anything?
And what is the significance of Isvaria recognizing Leeana and Gayrfressa as 'daughters'? Is it like calling someone a child of God - just a recognition of their loyalty to the light? Or perhaps something along the lines of being of the 'elect' because they will always be loyal to the light? Or is it some special status or relationship to the God (besides being Her Champion)?

As already mentioned, the scene with Isvaria must foreshadow something.


There was no previous textev of dead champions still being alive in any fashion prior to this book. There were plenty of undead creatures on the side of the "dark gods", but those creatures still weren't actual ghosts or anything like that, just simply unnaturally sustained beyond the natural physical limits. And except for the traditional concept of "souls" feasting at Isvaria's table after they died and went to the local concept of "heaven", which so far as I'm aware only first explicitly appears in this book, there wasn't even anything I noticed about the "afterlife" even in this book (much less any previous one) to foreshadow the climax of the book.

It's possible that within the fictional metaphysics of this universe the way the Champions were able to utterly destroy the devils of this storyline was to intertwine their "soul" with the essence of Tomanak himself, and thus despite physically dying in combat Vaijon's "essence" was somehow partially separated from his body at the moment of his physical body's death, and that this combined with his link with Tomanak allowed him to semi-survive in a fashion no previous champion had.

Or it's possible that you're right, that Isvaria and Tomanak simply felt Vaijon still had more work to do and decided to not "banish" him from the physical world by sending him to her "table" immediately.

But as for the periwinkle, I'm pretty sure that's been explained as what caused the scrying difficulties for the dark wizards in the climax of situation with the king. So yeah it did do something, just not what you were expecting given who provided the device. I can understand why people would expect such a device to come from Semkirk instead, but if that's what you were thinking you too quickly forget that the "light gods" are truly allied and cooperative. Semkirk could very easily have been involved behind the scenes, but he would have had no problem at all with Isvaria helping him out for a minute or two, either in the creation of the device or the delivery or both.

So I'm not sure the scene really foreshadows anything at all... except perhaps that the "strands" of time are rapidly approaching a truly critical "cusp point" and that the light gods are going to be as involved as they have to in order to make sure they win... at least in the universe the storyline is set in.


The periwinkle pin might just allow the living to see souls floating about. Recall that Bahzell felt the link once power flowed into it. He knew where that power came from. What he did not do was see Vaijon. It wasn't until Leeana and her periwinkle was about that Vaijon was able to become visible. I further suspect that once a soul does manifest itself (with the help of the talisman) to a living being that being can see the soul going forward.

The interesting thing is that Isvaria states unequivocally that Leeana and her windsister will end up in end up in Isvaria's halls. No demon will eat their souls. No stupid decisions leading to damnation. Perhaps that's what the periwinkle indicates, that the owner will find her way to the halls regardless?

I can't wait to find out.
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Re: War Maid's Choice Spoiler... Isvaria's Axes
Post by AClone   » Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:01 pm

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I'm currently wondering if she might wind up somehow being a champion of all the Gods of Light. She certainly does seem to be appreciated.

Unfortunately, it's doubtless going to be years before the next installment. Sigh.
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Re: War Maid's Choice Spoiler... Isvaria's Axes
Post by Polyglot   » Thu Feb 13, 2014 8:35 pm

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BrightSoul wrote:Spoiler Space....







Did anyone else find it a tad forshadowing that Leeana meets Isvaria right after Gayrfressa has a conversation with her about learning to fight as a Wind Rider and she's dressed in full Plate with a Battleaxe? Is this a glance at her eventual future training?



It is foreshadowing, but IMO has nothing to do arms, armor, tokens, or any of the physical representations.

In literature as in real estate, it's location. location, location... This scene is pivotal. Just prior, Leeana is fretting about her fears for Bahzell's mortality, and Gayrfressa fretting about Leeana's vulnerability in fight on foot. Not long afterwards is the set-up of events that leads Leeana to prove herself as a very lethal killer.

I read the scene as putting a literal 'face' to the fact that Leeana is about to face death for the first time.
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Re: War Maid's Choice Spoiler... Isvaria's Axes
Post by LonChaney   » Sat Sep 06, 2014 6:49 pm

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I know it's a necropost, but as far as using a battle axe from a courser goes, remember that Tellian used a battle axe from Dathgar's back in the battle against Cassan's forces at the Hunting Lodge. So there's a precedent for it being done.

Now I'll go back to lurking and waiting impatiently for the next book.
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Re: War Maid's Choice Spoiler... Isvaria's Axes
Post by tootall   » Sun Sep 07, 2014 1:57 am

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Now I'll go back to lurking and waiting impatiently for the next book.[/quote]


Nice to see someone on this site...I think we get to wait a long time. Welcome aboard this (presently) lonely forum.
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Re: War Maid's Choice Spoiler... Isvaria's Axes
Post by dan92677   » Fri Sep 12, 2014 12:26 am

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I'm here too, almost daily to see if anything new has been added. At this time I just don't have anything new to add....
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Re: War Maid's Choice Spoiler... Isvaria's Axes
Post by biochem   » Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:46 am

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Yeah. I like this series too. I hope we start to see some info about the new books that are in progress. I think a lot of that will depend on Sharon's health though. MWW keeps saying he's behind schedule because of the extensive health problem's she's been having this year. His priority is her (as it should be). Hopefully she has a better year next year.
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Re: War Maid's Choice Spoiler... Isvaria's Axes
Post by Festival   » Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:31 pm

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Just saw this thread because this was one of the few Weber series I delayed reading (normally not much of a swords 'n sorcery guy...), but I've jumped in! Not surprisingly, I'm enjoying it...RFC just knows how to spin a tale!

Anyway, I know a wee bit about mounted combat, so I thought I might chime in on that "battle axe from the saddle" stuff. In actual historical armored combat from horseback, two-handed weapons really aren't seen.* The mounted fighter's reach advantage comes from the lance (which is actually a one-handed weapon). The lance is a far better, more devastating weapon than any axe , mace, or sword from the saddle...the "go to" hand weapon for the mounted warrior. A long-bladed sword or long-handled (for reach from the saddle) axe, mace, or hammer was more of a backup weapon for mounted warriors in most every culture that developed armored fighting from horseback.

In the development of the sword in the West, you can see the influence of the need for reach from the saddle, too: the knight's sidesword got generally longer as you move from the Norman (etc) era on through the Crusades and eventually to more-or-less the end of the Wars of the Roses or a bit beyond. Blades first got longer, for reach. Then they got pointier (and more commonly had room for both hands) as armor got better and blows with the edge against plate armor became basically useless (whereas a thrust into a gap could still make things unpleasant for the enemy). By the end of the 16th Century, full plate armor was starting to disappear, and cavalry weapons changed accordingly (the saber would soon arise...but the lance remained the horseman's best weapon for quite a while, basically until the majority of cavalry were essentially dragoons with firearms).

Of course, this is a fantasy world, but still...Weber isn't one to ignore things like basic physics and body mechanics, even when writing fantasy. There are big problems with trying to properly wield a full-on two-handed weapon like a heavy battle axe or a poleaxe from the saddle. On a regular horse, including (and actually especially) one trained for combat, the necessary body movements needed to wield such weapons would send some really strange signals to the horse. Skilled mounted fighters can fight without using the reins, but that's because they are able to stay "connected" (the equestrian definition of the term) to the horse with their legs and seat. The horse is trained to respond to these leg and seat cues...which are going to be all shot to hell if you're gyrating around trying to get the necessary leverage to swing a battle axe with anything resembling speed and power. It's just not gonna work...

It might be different with coursers (but probably not). Having your mount be as smart or smarter than you are would change the equation a bit! But the saddle is still a pretty lousy platform for using two-handed weapons from, regardless of what kind of critter's under that saddle. And I think a courser might have some choice things to say about someone wriggling and flailing around up there...

*The exception, obviously, is the horse bow, but I'm placing missile weapons in a different category for the purpose of this discussion.
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Re: War Maid's Choice Spoiler... Isvaria's Axes
Post by Oline   » Fri Oct 31, 2014 11:47 pm

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Actually what interfered with the wizards scrying was in fact her wedding bracelet as far as they themselves could tell. I suspect in part that the periwinkle was to make sure she knew the encounter with Isvaria was real rather than a dream or imagined. This encounter may have been to set something else up but it might also have been to reassure Leanna about her life course.
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