Multiple emporers in a reign, revisited

Mon Mar 13 14:33:14 PST 2006

> I find it interesting that at the end of FHYA, the Orb sought 
> out Adron (the Dragon Heir) not Loudin (the Phoenix Heir) despite the 
> fact that we found out later that the cycle never changed to that of the
> ...Or did Adron simply have control of the Orb, despite the fact that the
cycle never 
> actually turned away from the Phoenix?
> Am I missing any other possibilities?
> Majikjon

Part of the answer may be to rely on other sources. Aliera's version of
events, related in _Jhereg_, has it this way:

[Aliera] nodded. "My father... As you know, it was Mario who finally killed
the Emperor, when he tried to use the Orb against the Jhereg. Another
Phoenix tried to grab the throne, and father had to move too quickly. The
next thing you know, we have a sea of amorphia where the city of Dragaera
used to be, no Emperor, no Orb, and no Empire."

Now, Aliera may not be the most dependable narrator either, but she's at
least an eye-witness. Wherever Paarfi got his information, it's all
second-hand. The interesting thing, from the perspective of this discussion,
is that Aliera claims that another Phoenix, who would almost neccesarily be
Loudin, "tried to grab the Throne", and thusly forced Adron to make his move
before he was fully ready.

To me, this has the ring of truth to it. On the one hand, it appears to be
some independent evidence that a House doesn't neccesarily give up the Orb
just because the current Emperor has died. It also jibes with the recurring
idea that someone has to decide that the Cycle has turned or not and
actively make a claim upon the Orb. Paarfi's notion of the Orb seeking out
the next Heir is not only in direct contradiction with events (i.e., the
non-turning of the Cycle at the time of Tortaalik's death) but also with the
general description of the transfer of the Orb from one House to another.

If Aliera is telling the truth, then there would have been another Phoenix
Emperor sitting on the Throne barring any interference from Adron. As it
was, Adron's spell was probably intended to do exactly what Paarfi described
it doing, but unlike in Paarfi's version, the real Adron hadn't mastered the
spell properly and the result was the Lesser Sea.