On the longevity of Easterners

Davdi Silverrock davdisil at gmail.com
Sun Nov 13 20:37:42 PST 2005

On 11/8/05, Bryan Newell <bryann at bryann.net> wrote:
> Be warned there be Spoilers ahead for the following books:
> The Paths of the Dead
> The Lord of Castle Black
> Sethra Lavode
> *
> *
> *
> *
> *
> *
> *
> *
> *
> *
> * spoiler space *
> *
> *
> *
> *
> *
> *
> *
> *
> *
> *
> *

> 8. On the longevity of Easterners:  Zerika's Eastern lover is named Laszlo
> in the Paarfiad, and she also tells Vlad in Phoenix that her Eastern lover's
> name "is" (note the tense) Laszlo.  If this is the same Easterner, he is
> very long lived indeed.  On the other hand, Morrolan's head of the circle in
> the Paarfiad is Arra--who, we are told, has been granted longevity by
> Verra--and yet by the time of Issola, that role is filled by Surill (pg 24
> of the paperback).  Of course, this could be the same person (Chaz/Tukko,
> anyone?)

I've had a few really pararectal notions about the Easterners that
Paarfi portrays.

One is this: Dragaeran-Easterner crossbreeds are a lot more common
than we've been led to believe (see also Speculation:Crossbreeds). 
Thus, Arra, Brimford (Laszlo), and perhaps even Miska, are all partly
Dragaeran, and have lifespans which are naturally much longer than
what we would consider to be normal, but which are shorter than
Dragaeran lifespans.  And in appearance, they're much closer to being
Easterners, and are thus considered to be such.

Another notion is this:  Paarfi is conflating characters because *he*
thinks it's plausible and/or dramatic to do so.  So Paarfi has (a)
Information about an Easterner who travelled with Morrolan from the
East, who was highly skilled in witchcraft, and aided in the
restoration of the Empire, and who received an Imperial title of
"Brimford" from Zerika (and whose given name is not recorded), and (b)
rumors that at some point in Zerika's lifetime, she had a lover who
was an Easterner named Laszlo.  So Paarfi looks at this Brimford, and
the honors showered upon him, and puts 1 and 1 together, and gets 17. 
Aha! he says.  These could have been the same person!  So he goes and
writes his "history" that way, including the scandal that got Pel
dismissed.  But is there any other information that this conflation is
correct, especially given Zerika speaking of Laszlo being her present
lover in Vlad's time (ignoring my part-Dragaeran notion)?  Of course,
perhaps Vlad has misreported Zerika's words or meaning.

Or perhaps we need to take into account reincarnation - Zerika's lover
was indeed Lord Brimford (his name unknown but interpolated as being
Laszlo by Paarfi), reincarnated as Laszlo in Vlad's time.  Or maybe
his name was Laszlo each incarnation, used because it was what he
remembered as the name he had the first time he met Zerika?

Who can say?

I had a similar notion about Arra.  As we see in /Issola/, Teldra is a
High Priestess.  Now, Paarfi may have heard that Morrolan travelled
from the East with a Priestess, and that he travelled from the East
with Teldra - and for whatever reason, decided that Teldra and the
Priestess were separate people.  So perhaps the entire character of
"Arra" was made up by Paarfi out of a misunderstanding? [1]
Alternatively, perhaps there *was* an Arra, who was Morrolan's chief
witch when he left Blackchapel, but she was not a priestess of Verra,
that having been Teldra, and who had a normal lifespan, the whole
extended lifespan thing having been made up by Paarfi.

Again, who can say?

1:  I note, by the way, that in Hungarian, "arra" means "out there;
that way", which may or may not mean anything in conjunction with the