Other Great Weapon (SPOILERS)

Steve Simmons scs at di.org
Thu Oct 20 05:17:33 PDT 2005

On Wed, Oct 19, 2005 at 08:28:09PM -0700, Amit Runchal wrote:
> Based on all this, is it safe to assume that Barritt was never linked  
> to a Great Weapon, even though he possessed one? It seems like he was  
> killed off fairly casually, as mentioned in Yendi if memory serves  
> correctly (and wasn't StY involved in that as well?). Plus, I'm not  
> sure why he would disguise Pathfinder, or if in fact, Pathfinder  
> disguised itself.

I don't think Barrit disguised Pathfinder, or even knew what the disguised
Pathfinder was.  He just knew there was something special about the thing,
and was trying to figure it out.  So IMHO there is clearly no link.

As a loose bit of textual evidence for this, note that most folks
recognize great weapons as being different from the 'run of the mill'
Morganti weapons.  Vlad, who's been exposed to them more than most, even
recognizes their distinct personalities.  If I had to put a semi-spoiler
fine point on it, I'd say that Morganti weapons are semi-sentient, but
Great Weapons also have souls.  In any case, since Barrits long exposure
to the disguised Pathfinder never let him figure out exactly what he had,
odds are good that Pathfinders disguise was something that obscured both
its physical and personality features.

And, he was killed off without the effort one would normally have to
expend for a GW holder.

> This also brings up the question that if Barritt wasn't in fact  
> linked to Pathfinder, is it possible for a great weapon to reject a  
> claim of ownership for some reason? Aliera mentions in Dragon that  
> she thought that Pathfinder was searching for her, so maybe the  
> personality of the Great Weapon is a bit more sentient than I  
> previously thought.

We have seen three cases where a GW bonds with it's owner.  The details of
Paarfi's description of Morrolan and Blackwand are not at all reliable,
as he probably dramatizing something he heard third- or fifth-hand.
In particular, the physical handling description is useless.  Vlads
description of he and Godslayer are probably atypical because Godslayer
becomes a GW while he is holding it, and Vlad participates actively
in the process of assembly.  Thus it's clearly not the same as someone
finding a pre-existing GW.  And the description of Aliera and Pathfinder
seems relatively reliable, but we see it only from the viewpoint of the
rather-busy Vlad, and it's rather cursory.

So all in all, we have no textual evidence to say that there's anything
consistant about the situation - even from owner to owner within the
same weapon.  Blackwand may happily come into possession of the first
person to hold it while Pathfinder may hide itself until the right person
comes along (we know both have had previous owners).  And Iceflame may
still be in the hands of it's original owner.  Thus Steve can do whatever
he pleases, because there's no visible pattern.  He can create rules if
needed, or simply never bother to explain it at all.

Hey, here's a future speculation/idea (feel free to rip me off, Steve):

There have been more than clear statements that Vlad is being trained
for something.  We know Sethra was returned undead because she had not
yet completed her purpose, and IMHO she's more than ready to lay down
and be done with it.  Steve seems to be building towards an overall
long-term plot, which IMHO will involve either the removal of the Gods
or the Jenoine or both from Dragaera.  The obvious conclusion is that
Vlads being trained to be a key piece in the process.

We also know that GWs, as Great as they are, can be resisted by a
prepared Jenoine (and perhaps a prepared God?)  We also know that Steve
likes to have the best-laid plans go a-gley, causing Vlad to improvise.

To permanantly seal off/dispose of either the Jenoine or the Gods or
both will require something unprecedented.  Like, say, Sethra Lavode
being killed in battle.  One of the Jenoine picks up Iceflame, kills
Verra.  Vlad kills the Jenoine as it's standing there with Verra
impaled.  Verra falls, the Jenoine falls, Vlad picks up Iceflame,
which now has three souls: it's original, Verras, and the Jenoines.
Not to mention he still holds Godslayer.  A doubly unprecedented
situation has now arisen.  Hijinks ensue.
Realize that life is a situation comedy that will never be canceled.
A laugh track has been provided, and the reason why we are put in the
material world is to get more material. 
     From "Swami Beyondananda's Guidelines for Enlightenment"