Concerning the Gods

Davdi Silverrock davdisil at gmail.com
Sun Nov 13 14:44:29 PST 2005

On 11/8/05, Bryan Newell <bryann at bryann.net> wrote:
> Be warned there be Spoilers ahead for the following books:
> Sethra Lavode
> Brokedown Palace
> Issola
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> * spoiler space *
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> 2. Verra is slain (or, perhaps more accurately, "banished" from the East) in
> Brokedown Palace.  Why can she still manifest in the Empire (see Issola)?
> Is the Empire a different "plane of existence" than the East?  Tri'nagore is
> also slain in the East, and yet there seems to be little doubt that he is
> banished from the Empire as well as the East.  Does this imply that Dzur
> Mountain and the Lesser Sea of Chaos (the two places Verra manifests in
> Issola) are on different planes of existence than the rest of the world of
> Dragaera?

I don't think that it would make sense to conclude that different
locations, which we know can be reached by simple physical motion on
the surface of the planet, are on different planes of existence. 

(this may go into Speculation:God at some point)

While the nature of the gods is less than entirely obvious, I think
that there may be enough bits and pieces here and there to at least
speculate on.  So I would suggest as follows, based partly on the
Paarfiad and partly on the Vladiad, and partly on Brokedown Palace:

1) Gods have power proportional to the number of people who worship
them (although a better phrase might be "dedicate themselves to"
rather than "worship" - "worship" being an Easterner concept, which
doesn't feel quite right given other stuff we've seen about the gods).

2) The Gods can enter into a location when persons who are dedicated
to them invite them (request them?) to enter (which is how Verra was
able to enter the Jenoine's Place -- Morrolan, bearing Verra's blood
(and being otherwise bound to Verra); Aliera, being Verra's daughter;
Teldra, being Verra's priestess; and I think even Vlad, initiated by
his grandfather to worship the Demon Goddess from an early age -- are
all dedicated to Verra, for certain values of "dedicate")

3) A God who has been invited into a location can request that those
who performed the invitation dedicate the location itself, with some
sort of physical monument, which may be something provided by the God,
or by the people, or something which requires a cooperative effort-
quite possibly, a sacrifice; possibly even a blood sacrifice.  For the
Demon Goddess in Fenario, this was her statue; for Tri'nagore, this
was something described as an "icon", which sounds like something
similar to a statue.  This physical monument might act as an anchor,
making the location it exists in a

4) When the monument belonging to a God is desecrated, it is the first
step in a ritual of *de*invitation, an expulsion.  If the God can then
kill the one(s) trying to perform the expulsion, then the expulsion is
incomplete, but if the God is killed, the expulsion is final - for
that location.  We may also speculate that if the expulsion is to be
permanent, then all who are dedicated to the God, and might therefore
re-invite the God, must leave (or be forced to leave) the location or

5) If a God has multiple monuments dedicated to him/her, then being
expelled from one location does not mean that that God cannot manifest
any longer on that plane of existence - only from that location on the
plane of existence.  We might speculate, therefore, that a God may
manifest anywhere within a certain radius of the monument (Thousands
of miles? Hundreds of miles?  Seventeen miles?  Who can say?), and an
expulsion creates a locale, again of a certain radius, where a God may
*not* manifest.

While most of the above is speculation, I think it accords well with
what we've seen so far.  Tri'nagore, for example, only had the one
monument/icon; most (all?) of his worshippers/dedicators in the East
were killed; and Skinter and Habil, who might have performed a ritual
of dedication in order to summon him, are also dead.  Thus, he has
nowhere else on this plane where he can manifest now.  Verra, on the
other hand, has a lot more worshippers/dedicats, presumably still in
the East and definitely in Dragaera, and can therefore manifest in
many places in Dragaera, but one fewer in the East. Thus, she can
still manifest on this plane in areas still dedicated to her.

Of course, we might also speculate that Verra can actually only
manifest on Dragaera close to *persons* who have dedicated themselves
to her - so she always shows up near Aliera, or Morrolan, or Vlad, or
one of her priests/priestesses (Teldra).  Which could also explain how
she was able to show up at Dzur Mountain and near the Lesser Sea of

There.  That is tolerably clever speculation, I nearly think, if
hardly conclusive.