another few comments on _tPotD_

Mark A Mandel mam at theworld.com
Tue Mar 18 11:58:40 PST 2003

On Sun, 16 Mar 2003, Philip Hart wrote:

#Do we know there were no pre-Interregnum resurrection?  Ah yes, _Phoenix_,
#Lesson 8, tDG talking to Vlad about the upgraded skills of sorcerers.

This is involved in a Crack (inconsistency):



Off With His Head, For Now

Vlad's preferred method of permanent killing is a stiletto through the
left eye and into the brain. [Yen9] Duels in Castle Black are always
under the conditions of "no cuts to the head, and revivification
afterwards". [Jrg76] But even without damage to the brain itself,
chopping off the head or otherwise severing the spine makes a person
unrevivifiable [Jrg42,Phx139].

But in the events leading up to the first Dragon-Jhereg war, about
10,000 years before the Interregnum, the Dragons

"... got the head of their messenger returned to them in a basket.
The insult, reasoned the Jhereg, wasn't *that* great. After all, they
hadn't destroyed the poor fellow's brain, or done anything else to make
him unrevivifiable. They were just sending the Dragons a message."

As I reconstruct it, my lords, here is Brust writing his first novel,
still building the world of Dragaera. The general idea of revivification
is clear to him, and he thinks at one point, "The brain has to be
intact". That allows for non-permanent decapitation, and the early
Jhereg-Dragon insult is framed in those terms. But later it occurs to
him that what we think of as the brain is continuous with the spinal
cord, so that severing the spine actually does damage the brain
irrecoverably; and that becomes the premise for all further writing
about revivification. Unfortunately, he forgets to fix the part already

It's not as though the sorcerers of the Sixteenth Cycle knew how to
revivify a spinal case. It should be possible in Vlad's time, if ever,
because of the methods developed during the Interregnum to deal with the
absence of the Orb [Phx117]. [*] Since it's not possible in Vlad's time,
it probably wasn't possible before the Interregnum either.


-- Mark A. Mandel
   a Steven Brust Dragaera fan website