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SofTS Official Snippet #8

Fans of Bahzell and Tomenack come on in! Let's talk about David's fantasy series and our favorite hradani!
Re: SofTS Official Snippet #8
Post by Graydon   » Sun Feb 08, 2015 8:30 pm

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jsburbidge wrote:
Graydon wrote:(Maybe the younger brother/heir. But I'm going to go with Emperor.)


I'm guessing that, what with coincidence being minimal around Champions, that he's the young boy Bahzell rescued from Baron Dunsahnta, who had his chest pretty thoroughly carved up.


Oh, that's a good one. I didn't think of that. Though that opens the question of where the unsettling skills come from; that kid didn't seem to be in prospect of unusual degrees of training, though I can suppose they wound up training with mages, and mages would go with memory erasure as an ability.

(Once we postulate memory re-writes, it's hard to use any specific knowledge as evidence of any kind of place; the transporting mechanism might have installed substantial local knowledge either before or after the wiping mechanism happened, it could be one mechanism, or the poor could just have been hit on the head.)

jsburbidge wrote:I'd agree that he's probably a descendant of the house of Ottovar, able to use its heirlooms (and Weber has elsewhere identified the Sword of the South as a main heirloom of the House. He knows too much about current items (e.g. War Maid ranks) to be from 1300 years ago.


I'm not sure descendant is what's required; there are a lot of descendants, pretty much all of the Sothoii by now. I'm guessing it's an ashes-of-the-last-red-heifer thing, and the Carnadosians aren't worried about what's about to happen because there isn't any way to use the surviving heirlooms with direct transmission, and they know they killed everybody in the line of transmission. Only, well, not quite...

The other thing that comes to mind is that this is Leanna from the next universe over, the universe where they were born a son. The carefully evoked strong similarity of appearance, or at least colours, between them might argue for that.
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Re: SofTS Official Snippet #8
Post by Sharidann   » Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:58 am

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David,

first things first... Make sure Sharon Comes back to her health. Rest can wait....

Albeit I must admit that such juicy snippets make the wait quite hard.

Thanks for that one.
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Re: SofTS Official Snippet #8
Post by jsburbidge   » Mon Feb 09, 2015 3:50 pm

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Graydon wrote:Oh, that's a good one. I didn't think of that. Though that opens the question of where the unsettling skills come from; that kid didn't seem to be in prospect of unusual degrees of training, though I can suppose they wound up training with mages, and mages would go with memory erasure as an ability.


It's not all that unlikely that he would have had some continued supervision by / contact with Tothas.

I note that Wencit hasn't come right out and said that it was a Carnadosan wizard who erased the man's memory; he's merely implied it in such a way as to make it a motivation for him. It's entirely possible that the memory removal was voluntary and carried out by a mage precisely to provide protection for him. Of course, that might apply to anyone.

It's unlikely to be the emperor's younger brother, stasis-preserved for 1300 years, by the way, since he was a Carnadosan.

On the other hand, an argument for his coming from rather farther away is that he's an experienced warrior but seems not to have moved in circles where he would have run into Brandark's Lay -- unless the memory of that was removed, too.

One thing we don't know yet is what the man's accent is. His train of thought sounds a bit as though he's not Sothoii -- he thinks of them as a separate group -- and there's a hint that he's not an Axeman (he thinks of the strangeness of Bahzell's tavern being in the middle of the Empire of the Axe, not "the middle of Belhadan", which to me suggests a foreigner) although he's obviously fluent in Axeman.

Graydon wrote:I'm not sure descendant is what's required; there are a lot of descendants, pretty much all of the Sothoii by now. I'm guessing it's an ashes-of-the-last-red-heifer thing, and the Carnadosians aren't worried about what's about to happen because there isn't any way to use the surviving heirlooms with direct transmission, and they know they killed everybody in the line of transmission. Only, well, not quite...

The other thing that comes to mind is that this is Leanna from the next universe over, the universe where they were born a son. The carefully evoked strong similarity of appearance, or at least colours, between them might argue for that.


I'm willing to hazard "legitimate heir to the throne" with whatever occult skills such an heir to Ottovar might have (in which case this will be a "legitimate king returns" plot arc).

While we're on the coloration, I wonder whether there was any colour of hair which was associated with the House of Ottovar, and whether Gwynna's name is a nod towards Gwynytha. (Also, the blurb referring to her -- I assume her, unless/until something else proves me wrong -- as having a "heart of harp music" may link up with the third main heirloom of the House of Ottovar being the Harp of Chesmirsa.)
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Re: SofTS Official Snippet #8
Post by Bahzellstudent   » Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:22 pm

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RFC - sorry to hear that Sharon has been so poorly; there are some pretty nasty winter bugs around this year so the only thing that matters for now is to get her well. As others have said, we are just fans - and family and health must come first.

Look after yourselves - from all your fans
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Re: SofTS Official Snippet #8
Post by fallsfromtrees   » Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:36 am

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jsburbidge wrote:
Graydon wrote:
It's unlikely to be the emperor's younger brother, stasis-preserved for 1300 years, by the way, since he was a Carnadosan.


And yet, if he was a Carnadosan who has had his memory selectively wiped to be used against her, what a delightful twist of events.
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Re: SofTS Official Snippet #8
Post by Graydon   » Tue Feb 10, 2015 5:09 pm

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jsburbidge wrote:It's unlikely to be the emperor's younger brother, stasis-preserved for 1300 years, by the way, since he was a Carnadosan.


Which is a reason to suppose it's the Emperor, and not stasis-preserved but flung forward in time.

jsburbidge wrote:One thing we don't know yet is what the man's accent is. His train of thought sounds a bit as though he's not Sothoii -- he thinks of them as a separate group -- and there's a hint that he's not an Axeman (he thinks of the strangeness of Bahzell's tavern being in the middle of the Empire of the Axe, not "the middle of Belhadan", which to me suggests a foreigner) although he's obviously fluent in Axeman.


Yes. Though I find myself wondering -- when did Bahzell acquire major scarring? I may have forgotten something, but Bahzell has come out of most fights relatively unscathed. Yet Leanna describes this fellow's torso scarring as being worse than her husband's. It makes me wonder what's happened and if Bahzell might be in semi-retirement due to physical disability.

Sort of a reminder that the known quantities might have moved when I thought of that. ("Commander of a Thousand" rather implies there was a war, too.)

jsburbidge wrote:
Graydon wrote:The other thing that comes to mind is that this is Leanna from the next universe over, the universe where they were born a son. The carefully evoked strong similarity of appearance, or at least colours, between them might argue for that.


I'm willing to hazard "legitimate heir to the throne" with whatever occult skills such an heir to Ottovar might have (in which case this will be a "legitimate king returns" plot arc).


Legitimate occupant of the throne? :)

jsburbidge wrote:While we're on the coloration, I wonder whether there was any colour of hair which was associated with the House of Ottovar, and whether Gwynna's name is a nod towards Gwynytha. (Also, the blurb referring to her -- I assume her, unless/until something else proves me wrong -- as having a "heart of harp music" may link up with the third main heirloom of the House of Ottovar being the Harp of Chesmirsa.)


I can't see the blurb not referencing the Harp of Chesmirsa. There really isn't narrative space to have it link to anything else.

House of Ottovar is, hurm, do we know what Wencit's hair colour was before it went grey? Though that gets into questions of Wencit's ancestry which remain rather open.

Can't see the plot goal being a restoration; not having wizards seems to be at least Wencit's settled policy. Though I suppose if the Rage can be redeemed there must be a way to redeem wizardry.
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Re: SofTS Official Snippet #8
Post by jsburbidge   » Tue Feb 10, 2015 8:31 pm

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Graydon wrote:
Which is a reason to suppose it's the Emperor, and not stasis-preserved but flung forward in time.


There's very little difference, functionally, between stasis a la Niven and being flung forward. For that matter our young man may have been a sleeper under the hill, if he's not the Spearman boy.

Graydon wrote:
Legitimate occupant of the throne? :)


I tend to agree that this will involve something a little more final than a simple restoration to the throne. It will, at a guess, involve the Crown as an artifact of Power, but there may be no throne. Also, Weber has scotched the idea in advance of young-hero and Gwynna as consorts restoring the line by indicating that she cannot produce issue.

Graydon wrote:Can't see the plot goal being a restoration; not having wizards seems to be at least Wencit's settled policy. Though I suppose if the Rage can be redeemed there must be a way to redeem wizardry.


It could be the opposite - Wencit has been lacking the preconditions to reimpose the Strictures up to now - it's suggested that they had power beyond a simple voluntary vow - and this will give him the opportunity to reintroduce white wizardry.

There's also the question of what Wencit is. The end of Sword Brother indicates that there is something inferrable from his real appearance which explains his ability to anticipate events centuries ahead of time.
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Re: SofTS Official Snippet #8
Post by biochem   » Tue Feb 10, 2015 9:58 pm

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I'm willing to hazard "legitimate heir to the throne" with whatever occult skills such an heir to Ottovar might have (in which case this will be a "legitimate king returns" plot arc).


I tend to lean toward Toren, the last emperor.

But for the sake of argument...

Legitimate heir to the throne could be quite a mess after all of these centuries. Just look at quandary George Washington poses. There are literally 3 people with legitimate claims to the "throne".

http://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/2013/04/30 ... tons-heir/

Or the various alternatives to the English line of succession, for another example. History is history and Elizabeth II is on the throne, but if none of the people had actually ruled for the last few hundred years and then all of the sudden we were trying to determine who the legitimate heir was... it would be another mess.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternativ ... lish_crown


Of course it's a fictional story and thus, not necessarily subject to the messiness of real life inheritance problems.
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Re: SofTS Official Snippet #8
Post by Peter2   » Wed Feb 11, 2015 7:48 am

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jsburbidge wrote:

There's also the question of what Wencit is. The end of Sword Brother indicates that there is something inferrable from his real appearance which explains his ability to anticipate events centuries ahead of time.


Not only what Wencit is, but what he's got – more specifically, the properties of his sword.

from Sword Brother(the fight with Tremala):

There was something about him, something that grew stronger as she stepped closer.

[snip]

Her eyes narrowed, then dropped to the sword at his side and widened in sudden shocked understanding. No wonder he knew so much, had managed to predict so many attacks so accurately!

"My compliments, Wencit," she heard herself say. "I've always wondered how even a wild wizard could see the future as accurately as you've always managed. Thank you for satisfying my curiosity after all."


Is Wencit actually bearing the Sword of the South, I wonder?
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Re: SofTS Official Snippet #8
Post by Graydon   » Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:59 pm

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jsburbidge wrote:There's very little difference, functionally, between stasis a la Niven and being flung forward. For that matter our young man may have been a sleeper under the hill, if he's not the Spearman boy.


If the hypothesized Torren Sword-Arm has been flung forward in time, getting them to Norfressa is much, much easier to explain. Stasis sort of implies they were transported in that state, presumptively in Wencit's luggage, which makes explaining where the Emperor went -- it's not like Wencit flew through O'Hare -- kinda difficult.

jsburbidge wrote:
Graydon wrote:
Legitimate occupant of the throne? :)


I tend to agree that this will involve something a little more final than a simple restoration to the throne. It will, at a guess, involve the Crown as an artifact of Power, but there may be no throne. Also, Weber has scotched the idea in advance of young-hero and Gwynna as consorts restoring the line by indicating that she cannot produce issue.


Given the general theme of female agency with Warmaid's Choice and what little we've seen about Chesmiria I expect we're not going to see a wedding plot.

Especially since I expect the denoument is going to be held on the smoking ruins of the Canadosian capital in several decades.

jsburbidge wrote:
Graydon wrote:Can't see the plot goal being a restoration; not having wizards seems to be at least Wencit's settled policy. Though I suppose if the Rage can be redeemed there must be a way to redeem wizardry.


It could be the opposite - Wencit has been lacking the preconditions to reimpose the Strictures up to now - it's suggested that they had power beyond a simple voluntary vow - and this will give him the opportunity to reintroduce white wizardry.


Except Wencit's said they want wizardry to go away, or at least so I recall Warmaid's Choice. And the Carnadosians had to have got started somehow, and Wencit's been enforcing the strictures for the last fourteen hundred years. (Presumably on the basis of the continuing authority of either the Empire or the Council of Ottovar.)

I get the feeling we're seeing the carefully (and, from the divine perspective, sneakily) assembled preconditions for _something_, but I have no clear idea about "preconditions for what?"

The big theme of this series is redemption; redemption of the Hradani in several respects through all the Bahzell books, the (social, at least) redemption of the War Maids, Vajon's personal redemption, there's a pile of examples.

Are we going to see a redeemed Carandosan sorcerer? We don't know why a group of people with lots of magical talent in the Ottavaran Empire wanted to escape the strictures. It's not impossible someone had a defensible reason, or that in a thousand years, someone is trying to overcome their cultural background and be basically decent.

jsburbidge wrote:There's also the question of what Wencit is. The end of Sword Brother indicates that there is something inferrable from his real appearance which explains his ability to anticipate events centuries ahead of time.


Yeah. And I'm pretty sure we don't know enough about why.

(My personal current favourite theory is that Wencit has the Crown, and isn't predicting the future, he's reading minds over a large radius.)

I'm also pretty sure we don't know enough about the subsidiary heirlooms of the House of Ottovar to know what Wencit's got; I'm quite sure it's not the Sword of the South because narratively, handing it to our new hero at the end just won't work. Wencit's irascible but not that obnoxious.
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