Janny Wurts: Are the Koriathain misguided, corrupted or evil [SPOILERS]

Discussion in 'Janny Wurts' started by dekket, Mar 9, 2008.

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    dekket

    dekket New Member

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    Considering that the founding principle of the Koriani Order was Mercy, the Koriathain enchantresses seem to have fallen a long way. But then, humanity has fallen far since the order was founded.

    Trying to sum up a bit of their history:

    Morriel once mentions that the Koriani Order was founded "at the right hand of government during the time that the disaster was coming to humanity", and that "our first Prime Matriarch stood at the right hand of free governance before Calum Kincaid sold out his great weapon and became the destroyer of worlds".
    It was that disaster was what lead to the remnants of humanity seeking refuge on Athera.

    Now Perhaps the order was founded along the lines of "the Red Cross" or "the Sisters of Mercy", bringing aid and mercy to survivors. But another of their founding tenets was preservation, as they were foreseeing the downfall of civilization.
    For "amid the suffering and the atrocities of humanity's Armageddon, the Koriani Order had been founded to resist the collapse of higher culture. Their purpose had been to perpetuate mercy, while other specious, greedy factions waged war, and burned a priceless heritage to ashes".

    So initially it could be imagined that the Koriani were an order dedicating to bringing mercy, but also of gathering and safekeeping the store of human knowledge/culture.
    I wondering if, in the technologically advanced spacefaring civilisation of the time, recording information in crystals was a common thing, or if it was soemthing developed by the order?

    I presume it was also at this time (during the "Armageddon" of starfaring humanity) that they recorded the secrets of Biedar ritual, and developed the use of magic/Korianthian teachings involve the use of (non-atheran) crystals and forced dominion - which must have been established before arrival on Athera.

    When humanity arrived at Athera and pleaded for sanctuary from the Paravian races, the Koriani were already well established.
    However they were apparently kept from forwarding the Koriani point of view at the initial conference about the settlement of humanity on Athera.
    It was alluded in Fugitive Prince, during Morriel's visit to Althain, that the Koriani were enraged not to have been consulted when the terms of the compact were drawn up by the Fellowship. They were given the ultimation: do things the Fellowship way, or that humanity would not be granted sanctuary. To settle, they had to submit. Which meant leaving much of their stored knowledge proscribed.
    This left the Koriani Prime as the sole protector of mankind's banished history, in that the Prime Matriarch is the only Koriani enchantress able to access the proscribed knowledge within the Greay Waystone.

    However the Prime Matriarch seeths beneath the yoke of Fellowship oppression, and keeps this information untill the time that the Compact can be broken and mankind is free to restore is spacefaring civilisation.

    So it seems as if the Koriani order started of with good intentions, and perhaps much of the order still follows those faounding tenets. However, Morriel seems focused on over turning the compact, so as to enable the release of the knowledge stored in the Waystone.

    Perhaps she sees this as the ultimate fullfillment of the orders founding principles.

    She seems to be overlooking/ignorant of the fact that if the Compact is broken, and Paravian survival is threatened, the Fellowship would be compelled to eliminate the threat (humanity).

    But enough of the background, let me get to the point of this thread: Are the Koriathain misguided, corrupted or evil?

    Here is my opinion - For an order founded on Mercy, they are far to willings to enslave, assassinate and manipulate. They seem to be able to justify all this by saying it is for "the greater good", however that really doesn't wash with me. Especially when "the greater good" is narrowly defined by the orders Prime Matricarch, and could easily be replaced by the words "the Koriani orders best interests" or even "Morriel's best interests".
    This started off with Morriel simply trying to ensure the handover of Prime power to Lirenda, but since then has become so much more sinister. Morriel has subsequently tried to assassinate the Master of Shadow, has possessed the body of a junior enchantress, has tried to smash the compact by disrupting the power of Athera's lanes of force, and has Dominated Lirenda completely to hide the fact that she is in possession of Seldide's body.

    I believe that the Prime Matriarch of the Koriani order has been corrupted by the very knowledge that she has been safekeeping for so long. Rather than simply preserving, she is actively working to restore the knowledge, (by smashing the Compact) no matter the consequences.

    Whilst the lower orders of initiates devote their time to caring for the sick, or caring for orphans, etc, and believe that they are doing good, what is really happening is that the Koriani orders is gathering life-debt, and increasing its pool of talent/resources. These resources are then able to be used to the furtherence of the Koriani Prime Matriarch's designs.
    I believe that the average Koriani enchantress could be labelled as misguided.
    The ranked seniors, however, know enough about how the order operates that they can not be considered as merely misguided. But I don't believe that they have been corrupted by any outside force, it is just that, due to how the order operates, none can oppose the will of the Prime, without facing obliteration.
    A country where opposition to the leadership leads to death is a tyranny/despotism, and are generally considered evil.
    So can we consider the Koriani as an evil organisation comprised of lower leveled enchantresses who are merely misguided, but who are led by a corrupt Prime Matriarch.
  2.  
    Clansman

    Clansman Lochaber Axeman, QC

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    Re: Janny Wurts: Are the Koriathain misguided, corrupted or evil

    Dekket, I believe that you are postulating on a major theme of The Wars of Light and Shadow, that being that all human organization, no matter its founding purpose, is prone to corruption.

    Sethvir pronounced with authority in one of the earliest books, I believe it was Curse of the Mistwraith, that Morriel was quite insane. None of her present Seniors know about her possession of Selidie, only the enslaved Lirenda, who is bound to silence unless ordered to speak.

    The Sisterhood is certainly corrupt, as its founding tenets are almost completely ignored, and they are willing to use whatever means they can to achieve their stated noble ends. This theme is repeated entirely in the Alliance of Light religion.

    Are they evil? Depends on your definition of evil, but I would say that they are as evil as any human organization could be, at times. They use compulsion constantly, and without reserve. They make the worst loan shark look good. If they heal you, you pay the price later in spades, with triple interest.

    Misguided? Constantly. They see humanity's return to the stars as the noblest objective, but they forget why humanity doesn't deserve to be there. Heck, they can't even live peacefully on one planet.

    The short answer: Yes. All three.
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    The Procrastinator

    The Procrastinator 1 Candlepower Brain

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    Re: Janny Wurts: Are the Koriathain misguided, corrupted or evil

    Corrupted - certainly. Evil - in part. Misguided - in part. Most of the individual members are blameless, but its safe to say that the current leadership is corrupted and evil. Misguided would refer more to the subordinate members than to good ol' Moriel/Selidie. She knows exactly what she is doing and I think she's one of the few characters in the series that cannot be redeemed. Her corruption infects the actions of the entire order. The order itself probably needs a bit of a rethink, as its left itself open to the sorts of problems that have now manifested, but is salvageable - once Moriel/Selidie is out of the picture. ;) Maybe Lirenda, too. There is certainly a need for the kind of humanitarian order the Koriathain aspire to be, but cripes - helping people - they're doing it wrong.
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    Clansman

    Clansman Lochaber Axeman, QC

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    Re: Janny Wurts: Are the Koriathain misguided, corrupted or evil

    Given my last post in another thread related to this one, how would you compare the Koriathain to the Bene Gesserit of Frank Herbert's Dune series. Both appear to be semi-secret societies that work behind the political scenes to achieve their own stated ends, but there are obvious significant differences.

    I am wondering if Herbert's BGs were an influence on Wurts' Koriathain. They operate very differently, but they seem to have a similar role. Feel free to blast away at this very poorly thought-out hypothesis.
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    Spade

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    Re: Janny Wurts: Are the Koriathain misguided, corrupted or evil

    Are you guys pushing for a Janny Wurts sub-forum? ;)
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    Clansman

    Clansman Lochaber Axeman, QC

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    Re: Janny Wurts: Are the Koriathain misguided, corrupted or evil

    :rolleyes:I already asked in the Feedback section about 10 days ago, and have since withdrawn my request, due to the nature of our discussion there. The time is not right.

    If I can speak for Dekket, Grimward and The Procrastinator, I would say that we really love her stuff, and we joined the Chrons a while back not only to talk about it with people who love science fiction and fantasy, and to draw like-minded peoples' attention to a great body of fantasy writing, but also to discover other great authors that we would enjoy. We have not been disappointed.

    But I don't think, especially given the discussion in the Feedback section, that it is time for a Wurts sub-forum yet. In the long run yes, I think it would be a great idea.

    Spade, why not read To Ride Hell's Chasm, (a one shot novel that is a lot of fun), and see if you would like to contribute! I'll be posting a review of it on the Chrons later.
  7.  
    Grimward

    Grimward Where matter vanishes...

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    Re: Janny Wurts: Are the Koriathain misguided, corrupted or evil

    :cool:If one considers recent postings (say, the past 2 months), we definitely are the Four Horsemen of the Wurts Epoch-alypse in the Chrons, Senor Spade (Due props given to all Wurts fans who pre-existed us on the Chrons, of course). All one has to do, however, is read one of her books to see that there's lots to discuss!

    Happy to contribute the Bene Gesserit "nudge", Clansman my comrade in arms.;):D It would only have been a matter of time before someone else did, however; as we've seen, there are striking similarities between the two.
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    dekket

    dekket New Member

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    Re: Janny Wurts: Are the Koriathain misguided, corrupted or evil

    Four horsemen, I like that.
    I agree that there are many similarities between the Bene Gesserit and the Koriani, but then again there are many differences also.
    I am of the opinion that the concepts behind any "secret society" will be basically the same, meaning that any such society will look very much like the next, at least on the surface.
    I have always wondered about the similarities between the Bene Gesserit and the Illuminati (other than the obvious difference in gender between the two organisations).
  9.  
    The Procrastinator

    The Procrastinator 1 Candlepower Brain

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    Re: Janny Wurts: Are the Koriathain misguided, corrupted or evil

    So its a choice of War, Plague, Famine or Death? Charming. Maybe I could be Clancy?

    Hmmm, I seem to recall the Bene Gesserit as being an order of women dedicated to the selective breeding of the human gene pool, for purposes of their own - perhaps the fulfilment of human potential?

    Can't say that there's too much resemblance really between this and the Koriathain, aside from both being a bunch of women getting around in daggy robes. Although I 'spose the Koriathain are meant to be working for the survival of humanity as a whole.

    Maybe the BG was an influence but its very hard to say. The Koriathain certainly aren't a patch on the BG when it comes to "secret women's business". Not sure about the correlation between the two really.
  10.  
    dekket

    dekket New Member

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    Re: Janny Wurts: Are the Koriathain misguided, corrupted or evil

    Though the Korianthain aren't above trying to breed themselves a future Prime Matriarch. Isn't part of the goal of trying to trap Arithon and Elaira into having a daughter the likelihood of begetting a potential 9th level initiate.
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    Grimward

    Grimward Where matter vanishes...

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    Re: Janny Wurts: Are the Koriathain misguided, corrupted or evil

    *tiny spoiler*

    The Koriathain were indeed pushing Arithon and Elaira in that direction, and some of their most humorous setbacks (e.g., Arithon sending the iyat to possess the Waystone) within WoLaS have come from spying on Arithon for that purpose. I in turn agree that the similarities aren't so numerous or obvious that one could claim an influence, though. My hard back copy of Stormed Fortress is (finally!) on the way, so I may learn something to the contrary in the latest book that you two already know; if so, bear with me!

    And regarding the Four Hoursemen quip, we don't HAVE to stick to the classical membership! Terry Pratchett apparently took hilarious liberties with the characters (before Clancy's take). Both Neil Gaiman and Peirs Anthony have interpretations of their own, too. Accordingly, I think we can safely say we've already been provided with genre-specific openings to do the same! There was an American Football team about 85 years ago (Notre Dame) who nicknamed their offensive line "the Four Hoursemen" too, for example, and were none the worse for the experience. Saddle up! ;):p
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    The Procrastinator

    The Procrastinator 1 Candlepower Brain

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    Re: Janny Wurts: Are the Koriathain misguided, corrupted or evil

    OK...so we could be, like, the 4 Horsemen of Indecision...
    Waffling, Dithering, Ambivalence and Procrastination?
  13.  
    Clansman

    Clansman Lochaber Axeman, QC

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    Re: Janny Wurts: Are the Koriathain misguided, corrupted or evil

    Hey! You got the best one by default!
  14.  
    Grimward

    Grimward Where matter vanishes...

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    Re: Janny Wurts: Are the Koriathain misguided, corrupted or evil

    **Some spoilers here**



    Hmmmm, by default or by design?!! :eek: :p

    Bringing the nickname alternatives closer to JW's stuff, let's see....there's the 4 world's end gates. Somehow, that wouldn't make for scintillating exchanges (West: "Hey South, how you doing? South: Not so good, there's a ravening bunch of wraiths chewing my backside!"). It's not the Fellowship of the 4, although with Ciladis absent, Davien gone rogue and Sethvir prostrate containing my namesakes, maybe there's potential there (somewhere).

    Wandering further (might be making your point for getting stuck with "Dithering"!), we could be Procrastination and the Pips (what the H-E-double hockey sticks is a "pip", anyway??!!), A Tribe Called Clan(sman), or Dekket's Midnight Runners. As none of these seems particularly attractive to me (or more importantly, and hopefully, to any of you!) I find myself returning to the Horsemen theme. Can't we choose some other names, though?

    Remember: No Stormed Fortress spoilers in the replies, or at least clearly mark them! (as noted above, still waiting for the book!)

    *whines and sulks*
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    Clansman

    Clansman Lochaber Axeman, QC

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    Re: Janny Wurts: Are the Koriathain misguided, corrupted or evil

    Oh Grim One, how are you getting a hardback copy of SF? It was only issued in trade paperback, despite hardcover runs for the seven preceding books. Is it a bookclub copy?

    The trade paperback run is almost completely sold out. Anyone wanting one better hurry, or pray for a second printing or the fast coming of the mass market edition.

    Had you read SF, your post would have been different, but I won't tell you hoo-ow! You are going to be completely BLOWN AWAY!!! I can't even talk about the book, because every page is a mega-spoiler! Even for the topic of this thread. When you get the book, stop going online and finish it as soon as you can! Then we can really dig into this particular issue.
  16.  
    Grimward

    Grimward Where matter vanishes...

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    Re: Janny Wurts: Are the Koriathain misguided, corrupted or evil

    It is the British Book Club copy, good sir, and I am ever so fortunate to have an acquaintance in London who agreed to grab it for me. Someone actually did produce a version in "hardcover", which set us back a bit (stiffer paperback is what my source called it, and we had to send it back!). Given the circumstances, this will easily be the most I've ever shelled out for a SF book (Janny or otherwise), but since the rest of my WoLaS books are hardback, I wanted to keep the string alive if I could. Been a wrench waiting for this sucker (you've no idea how hard it is to scan down threads here or at Janny's site, only to have to stop reading because the topic has wandered into Stormed Fortress!). Should have it in about a week or so, though. You and our fellow Horsemen will have to put up with me until then! ;)
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    The Procrastinator

    The Procrastinator 1 Candlepower Brain

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    Re: Janny Wurts: Are the Koriathain misguided, corrupted or evil

    How tempting it is to give out hints! Must...not...give....in....
  18.  
    Grimward

    Grimward Where matter vanishes...

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    Re: Janny Wurts: Are the Koriathain misguided, corrupted or evil

    *Points out the window*

    "Oh look! A jar of honey.....!" :p
  19.  
    The Procrastinator

    The Procrastinator 1 Candlepower Brain

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    Re: Janny Wurts: Are the Koriathain misguided, corrupted or evil

    Oh, how lonely it looks...I think someone ought to sit with it for a while so it doesn't feel neglected...

    And don't you get too cheeky Mr Grimmy, because I know something you don't know, several somethings in fact. I am not above:
    1) Spoiling without warning
    2) Half-spoiling without warning
    3) Making up lie-spoilers without warning

    I warn you - Pooh-bears are not to be trifled with.
  20.  
    Grimward

    Grimward Where matter vanishes...

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    Re: Janny Wurts: Are the Koriathain misguided, corrupted or evil

    As always, a good chuckle is appreciated, Mr. P. ;) Put your spoiler claws away, though; I promise not to point at any more honey pots.

    Now, regarding the Koriani order, did you ever wonder why they choose to have cloisters next to the sea if salt water negates their crystals? Seems rather hazardous to their health, doesn't it?
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