Jenoine and Gods

Thu Feb 16 08:23:20 PST 2006

> The obvious answer is that Morrolan's mistaken, but can 
> anyone come up 
> with a cleverer reading?
> Claire

Clearly, Morollan could be mistaken, though being on a first name basis with
both Sethra and Verra would tend to make him better informed on such things
than the average Elf.

Part of the mystery could be in the nature of the Gods. Becoming a god
involves more than a physical alteration. As Lady Teldra has told us in
Issola, the Gods are each the embodiment of a concept or symbol. The
ascension to deity involves a spiritual and metaphysical transformation. I
trust Teldra on this one, more than Morrolan even. Her training would
require her to be educated in understanding divine nature in order to
properly treat with divinity. Morollan's knowledge of Verra and, indirectly,
the other Lords of Judgement, is that of a vassal to a lord.

At some point (Yendi?) Vlad rather flippantly tells us that the creation of
the Lesser Sea resulted in a big bang and a "few new gods". If the trauma of
the event could spontaneously turn Dragaerans into gods, it could
conceivably do the same to Jenoine. We  could take Verra's words to heart at
this point: "I was never human, but if I had been, I wouldn't be now." The
same would apply to any Jenoine who ascended along with Verra and her
friends. An "ascended Jenoine" would no longer be a Jenoine. Given that, the
motivations of these new Jenonine-Gods would probably be rather different
from that of their "normal" fellows.

Moreover, the Gods may not even have "free will" as we understand it. If
each embodies a symbol, then that symbol will rule their nature forever
after. According to Teldra, Verra "represents the random arbitrariness of
life". This may mean that Verra is not just precocious compared to the other
Gods because she likes to be. It may mean that she's incapable of behaving
in any other fashion. Now, in the same passage Teldra also points out that
Verra's home appears anything but arbitrary so that one should probably take
such musings with a grain of salt. 

For our purposes, though, it's sufficient to realize that a Jenoine ascended
to Godhood would be something rather different than what she/he/it began
life as, and thus might well have an altered viewpoint on whether the
Jenoine Incursion ought to be aided or opposed.

It's also worth pointing out that when Sethra speaks of the Jenoine in
_Issola_, she says "No, I fear what we are facing is rather more powerful
than a god." This is punctuated by the final battle in which several gods
face off with a couple of Jenoine and it still takes the arrival of
Godslayer and the intervention of Adron (or his consciousness anyway) to
turn the tide. An ascended Jenoine might actually have something to fear
from his former comrades. It may not be a condition that a Jenoine would
normally aspire to. 

In any case, "destroyed" in this case may not be the same as "wiped out of
existence". As long as the ascended Jenoine became Gods and allied with the
other Gods, then Sethra would be essentially correct in saying that all of
the Jenoine were destroyed. The handful that ascended weren't really Jenoine
any more.