Multiple emporers in a reign, revisited

Mon Mar 13 15:40:01 PST 2006

> > Wherever Paarfi got his information, it's all second-hand.
> Matter of opinion.

Given that Paarfi is an historian relating events that he's researched from
other sources, many of which he names, I can't see any other opinion to
have. As far as I know, he's never claimed that he was relating events that
he personally witnessed first-hand. 

Even if Sethra is Paarfi's ghost-writer, he still spends a great deal of
time talking about events that he could only have learned about after the

As far as Sethra being Paarfi's ghost-writer, I tend to doubt that based on
the section of _Five Hundred Years After_ in which Paarfi goes on at length
about how marvelous Sethra is. I can't see Sethra patting herself on the
back like that. She might be one of Paarfi's sources, maybe a primary
source; but not Paarfi himself or his ghost-writer.

> Why would a usurpation hurry a revolt?

That's an excellent question. If Paarfi is correct that Mario was aided by
Elder Sorcery then the Princes who might normally take Jamiss' view (no
defense = Cycle turned) would instead view the abnormality of the event as
reason to doubt the turn of the Cycle based solely on the death of
Tortaalik. If Loudin had claimed the Throne and the Orb and been ratified by
the Council of Princes, then it would be a public acknowledgement that the
Cycle had NOT turned. (I can't see how an Heir stepping in after the Emperor
has died is an usurpation unless he arranged for said death. That doesn't
appear to be the case.) Adron would then be in the wrong to even start a
revolt. He'd have no moral basis for it.

Much better, PR-wise, to grab the Orb while it's ownership was "up in the
air". If he succeeded then, as Paarfi noted, it would simply prove that the
revolt was justified. With House Dragon in disarray due to the war with the
Jhereg, Adron made a poor decision and relied upon a poor support structure
and *BOOM*; no more Dragaera City.

> > the time of Tortaalik's death) but also with the general 
> description of
> > the transfer of the Orb from one House to another.
> What general description?

Without books at hand to draw examples from, the general description is a
hand-off from one outgoing Emperor to an incoming emperor; often at the
point of a sword. We have heard of at least one abdication due to inability
to manage a war. We have at least one death and probably a couple that I'm
not remembering at the moment. These occurences and others always involve
someone deciding that the Cycle had turned and taking the Orb away from the
incumbent House. Paarfi's description of the finale of _Five Hundred Years
After_ is the only tale that describes the Orb linking to the next Heir of
its own volition.

> It seems unwise to speculate based on such an extraordinary 
> ill-understood
> event.  And I somehow doubt that the first member of House 
> X+1 to claim
> the Orb upon the House X Emperor's death gets it.

Well, the first member of House X+1 to assert such a claim would be the Heir
of that house unless that House was extraordinarily lax in their