Soul destroying - Issola Spoiler

Davdi Silverrock davdisil at gmail.com
Fri Nov 11 16:16:16 PST 2005

On 11/10/05, Maximilian Wilson <wilson.max at gmail.com> wrote:

> Dragaeran lifespans don't map exactly to human lifespans. One of the
> books remarks that Dragaerans don't age visibly until they are very
> old (2000+). Furthermore, Taltos makes it appear that very young
> Dragaerans (3 or less?) grow at approximately the same age as
> Easterners, and IIRC 20-year-old Dragaerans resemble 5-year-old
> Easterners, and 60-year-old Dragaerans are like 10- or 12-year-olds.
> Thereafter the curve seems to slow a bit. FHYA has a remark about
> Aliera's remarkable youthfulness at age 500, like someone in their
> first or second century still; I get the sense of someone saying that
> a 28-year-old still looks 18. Perhaps Dragaeran aging is logarithmic?
> I propose a wild guess: the apparent physical age of a Dragaeran at
> age N is that of a human of age 2*((N/2)^0.5). That is, age 100 is
> about 14, 120 is about 15 1/2, 200 is 20, 500 is 31, 800 is 40, and
> 3000 is 77. For a wild guess, it matches surprisingly well with my
> preconceptions.

I have been pondering a section on aging for the wikicites article on
Dragaerans, and I like the idea of a neat mathematical formulation
like that.  However, while I think it is close, I also think it needs
a slight adjustment.  Perhaps 2.6 as the multiplier, rather than 2?

I propose this change because Khaavren is the analog of D'Artagnan,
and Khaavren is about 95 at the start of TPG, to D'Artagnan being
about 18 at the beginning of /The Three Musketeers/.  This would also
make 3000 closer to 100 (human), which "feels" more correct; great old
age rather than just old age.  Of course, perhaps the whole formula
needs tweaking.

Of course, there is quite possibly a certain amount of variation in
Dragaeran aging as well.  As has been noted before, Savn appears to be
about the same age that Khaavren was, yet he comes off as younger. 
Note that Savn does have a certain degree of responsibility, and he's
in the middle of his apprenticeship, not just starting it (I note that
apprenticeships were from 14-21, says Wikipedia:Apprenticeship). 
Perhaps it is simply because he is less bold, and less clever, than
young Khaavren was, that he thus appears to be younger.

A few more thoughts on aging, and age-appearance:

I recall that Hwdf'rjaanci tells Kiera "You don't look old enough to
remember the Interregnum"; that is, Kiera looks very, very young
indeed, since the Interregnum only ended a few centuries before this.

Paresh says that he was sixty when he was granted some land, which is
incredibly young by either formulation.  But perhaps Vlad
misremembered what he heard, or, possibly, Paresh is misremembering
his own age; not entirely unfeasible.  What's a few decades off when
your life expectancy is millenia?  Paresh also describes the Duke of
Arylle who accosted him as being his own age.  This does seem odd, and
until /Sethra Lavode/ was published, made me think that this could not
possibly be Aerich (along with the idea that Aerich - pedantically
correct Aerich - got the baronness' gender wrong). However, on a
recent re-read of the Paarfiad, I noted in a couple of places that
Aerich is described as being ageless; perhaps Paresh was simply
confused.  Paresh also describes his Baronness as being "old", when
Tazendra is about the same age as Khaavren.  Perhaps this is because
of all the stories he's heard about her; he presumes that someone
cannot possibly have done all of those things without her lifetime
being rather long.  And perhaps Paresh is just very very confused

Or maybe it's just Paarfi.  Or Vlad.  Or that other guy, the one who's
writing these stories down.