Concerning Great Weapons & Baritt (spoilers for POTD)

Mon Mar 10 16:58:54 PST 2003

> On 10 Mar 2003, Jag wrote:
> [3] Tangent four: how sure is it that souls consumed by Morganti weapons
> are really gone forever? Could they be extracted from the weapon later by
> some process? The Mysterious Case of Mr. Loraan makes me wonder, even
> apart from Vlad's "Jewel of Judgement" experience in Issola.

I would say "not remotely", since we have at least one clear 

It seems to me that SKZB has been broadly hinting, since at least Dragon,
that souls are, in fact, indestructible.  Check what the Serioli says
(and which phrases the author prevents him from finishing).  My belief
is that morganti weapons prevent the soul from manifesting in their
vicinity (I'm leaving "vicinity" purposefully undefined; it seems to
at least cover the Empire, but could cover the planet, or even the
"plane of existence").  See also Brokedown Palace, where Verra is
"killed" in a way that (as later becomes clear) means "unable to manifest
in a given place."

This would explain how GWs are able to "hold souls" for later
retrieval; *all* MWs "hold" souls, it's just that GWs are the
only ones that can be convinced to let go.  And it also neatly
covers the case we see in Issola.  It also suggests why the Jenoine 
would tend to have them; given their peculiar relationship with
spacetime, "prevention of local manifestation" may be one of the
few things they recognize as a significant threat.

This theory does suggest that the destruction of the MW might "release" 
the souls.  That somewhat weakens the theory, since the Serioli would
presumably find them less of a war-deterrent therefore.  OTOH, it may
be extremely hard to destroy a MW.  IIRC, we only know of a single case
where it has happened, and it's a sufficiently strange circumstance
that it could easily be exceptional in a number of ways.

This also raises the issue of whether a MW can "fill up".  It seems
that they ought to have a finite capacity.  Perhaps this accounts for
their varying "strengths".  They all start out with a large capacity 
(say, 20, on average), but get weaker over time as they "fill up".
Hey, this would also answer another problem!  If this is the case,
holders of Great Weapons would routinely *not* destroy souls (as
many have already theorized), not out of any kindness, but simply
because they can't do it an unlimited number of times.  They only
"destroy the soul" of those whom they *really* never want to deal
with again...

It may be that this information on the nature of MWs isn't generally 
known outside of the Serioli (though I expect those who have a good 
deal of Great Weapon experience probably know).

I haven't done a systematic collection of the supporting evidence,
but I recall having seen a lot of it in the last few books.


Alexx Kay
Opinions expressed are my own and not necessarily those of my employers
alexx at world.std.com
Pick your enemies carefully --
 they're harder to get rid of than friends.
   [Seen on a Nancy Button, http://www.nancybuttons.com/]