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General Lore ()
#1 Copy

Will Wight

Razael, the Wolf

The Way protects, but it also strengthens. The Wolves are the Abidan combat division, and each of them commands formidable destructive potential. While most other divisions are filled up by Abidan from Sanctum and the other core worlds--and thus essentially born into the Abidan--the Wolves pride themselves on taking "wild" recruits.Most Wolves were renowned warriors in their original worlds, and they carry those powers with them into battle.As Gadrael is the Court's shield, Razael is their sword. She is the unstoppable force, the heavy artillery unleashed against the greatest of the Abidan's enemies.Before the rise of Ozriel, it fell to the office of Razael to destroy worlds as completely as possible. Razael therefore considers herself something of a rival to the Reaper.Ozriel does not return the sentiment.

September 2018 - December 2018 ()
#2 Copy

Puppet Master

did dragons evolve as a species or are they a result of their status of Sacred Beast?

Will Wight

I don't know if this is a spoiler or not, so I'll answer it anyway: sacred beast, but dragons exist in many forms in different Iterations similar to humanity     So the relationship and origin of dragons is a subject of study among Abidan
General Lore ()
#3 Copy

Will Wight

Iteration: Any universe that the Abidan recognize as capable of sustaining human existence and living out a complete life-cycle.Every Iteration has a destined progression. A world is born, it lives out its existence, and then it quietly dies, breaking into fragments. These fragments float through the void, crashing and combining randomly until they form into a new universe.They are called "Iterations" because the thousands of universes currently in existence are thought to be different versions of the same original world or worlds, spun out in different combinations again and again for eternity. Even the Abidan Judges do not know when this cycle began.On its own, an Iteration should exist for billions of years, except for a certain underlying requirement: each Iteration is anchored to the Way by sentient consciousness. As long as humans* are around, the world is tethered to the natural law and order of the Way. The fewer humans there are, the looser that connection becomes.When humanity dies, the world dissolves.

Cradle ()
#5 Copy

Questioner

Im starting to realize you cant kill Suriel. Anything you throw at her she can banish it. I guess Suriel is too strong. I wonder whst Path she follows.................

Will Wight

Well, she's immortal.

That said, there are entities that threaten her and the rest of the Abidan, but at that point you're dealing with specific power interactions. She draws her power from the Way, the force of pure order that keeps time, space, and reality in the universe on track. There are beings that draw from pure chaos, disrupting that order. There are also entities that could cut off her access to the Way, or out-predict and maneuver her into a situation where she could be destroyed.

...but all that comes in later books.

General Lore ()
#6 Copy

Will Wight

Ozriel, the Reaper

When a world lives too long and drifts from the Way, only one person can terminate the Iteration without scattering corrupted fragments that threaten other worlds.For most of the history of the Abidan, there was no Ozriel. They eliminated worlds the old-fashioned way, and most of their manpower was spent defending Iterations from chaos-corrupted fragments. Ozriel reduced the threat of corruption to such a degree that the Abidan could spread their manpower to an unprecedented degree. Where once it took hundreds of Abidan to protect and maintain a single Iteration, now that same team could supervise an entire Sector of ten or more worlds.However, the entire system of the current Abidan now hinges on one man.Where most Judges are rule-abiding and structured by nature, Ozriel is not so rigid. He often challenges Abidan laws and traditions, trying to change and improve the policies of their organization. He might have succeeded by now if he were willing to relinquish control and cooperate with others. But, traditionally, he has never been much of a team player. When others don't agree with him, he tends to do exactly what he wants anyway.As the one individual in existence with a world-erasing superweapon, he's used to getting his way.And now he's missing.

Cradle ()
#7 Copy

George

Will, how many people of Northstriders level would it roughly take to defeat weakest member of The Wolves? I know that suitability is a huge factor in a fight, which is why i don'T expect a definite answer.

Will Wight

Assuming the weakest of the Wolves, i.e. someone who has no other powers besides those of the Abidan and little combat experience but they're trying to work in the Wolf Division anyway...AND assuming we mean "beat in a fight" rather than "kill"...Northstrider might be able to do it in a 1v1. There's a wide gap between the least of the Abidan and the Judges, plus people who are weaker than Northstrider could still technically ascend.

George

Do you ascend simply after reaching a certain level, or is it only possible after gaining an enlightenment of a certain laws of the universe, kinda like Linley did in Coiling Dragon later in the books?(For example, Profound Laws of Earth)If it is the latter, could technically a copper ascend by understanding a certain amount of laws, or is that, already, not possible, because mastering such laws allows you, immediately, to reach a higher cultivation rank even if it is an unconventional way.

Diego

I imagine it's a lot like the transition to iron for Lindon though. If someone weak ascends too early it probably limits their future growth. Or maybe the iteration the weakest Wolf came from allows early ascension so he's not all that strong yet.Hey Will another question: What stops immortals from mastering different magic systems from different iterations? (Like in disguise so they don't disturb fate too much)

Will Wight

@George: It's more like mastering Laws than pure cultivation, but no a Copper couldn't do it.@Diego: Yep, you nailed it. The weakest Wolf is from an Iteration other than Cradle (so he might have to leave a lot of his power behind) and has just started learning to tap into the Way.What stops immortals from going to another Iteration and learning the magic system?The Abidan. There's nothing in the rules of the universe to prevent that, and indeed one of the rival organizations of the Abidan is made up of people who do this.

General Lore ()
#8 Copy

Will Wight

Gadrael, the Titan

The Way is fundamentally a force of protection, a barrier against chaos and destruction. Gadrael is the embodiment of that concept.Titan Abidan are the defenders of the Abidan worlds, raising shields and barriers against creatures of chaos and against the enemies of the Court. Whenever the Abidan need a world quarantined, a weapon sealed, a prison reinforced, or an attack turned aside, they call on the Titans.This generation's Gadrael was rescued from a dying world, then raised as a son by Makiel. His loyalty to the Hound is total.He once had a reputation as the weakest Judge, due to his lack of skill in any discipline but his own. Other Judges typically have expertise in more than one area; Suriel, for instance, is an accomplished Fox (who excel at instant travel) and an able Spider (who detect deviations in chaos). Makiel could have inherited the post of Razael the Wolf instead, had he desired to do so, and Ozriel was skilled enough to fulfill the duties of any Judge but Suriel.Gadrael cannot read Fate, he can barely cross through the Way, and his combat power is lower than many ordinary Abidan.But his barriers are flawless.Gadrael is is the sturdiest protector in existence, a one-man fortress, an immovable object, an impenetrable wall. Worlds under Gadrael's protection can rest easy, but there are thousands of Iterations under the purview of the Judges.And the Titans cannot be everywhere at once.

Cradle ()
#9 Copy

Questioner

Maybe a story about the Paths or lives of the first people who cycled on Cradle? Or something about how they evolved? (I'm talking before the Abidan were a group, so a really long time ago).

Will Wight

I have a potentially disappointing "spoiler" for you. ARE YOU READY? ARE YOU READY TO HAVE YOUR ILLUSIONS SHATTERED AND THE DISAPPOINTING TRUTH REVEALED?

...I've never thought about that. I've planned out the history of the Abidan and the development of most of Cradle's continents, as well as organized sacred arts, but I've never thought about how primitive sacred arts first emerged.

That's an untapped area for me.

Cradle ()
#10 Copy

Questioner

How would the Abidan deal with a sci-fi Iteration with millions of worlds?

Will Wight

When Suriel personally intervened in Harrow, it was because the Abidan were not prepared for Harrow to be infected with corruption at all. She decided to save as many people as she could. Limit was the world that was scheduled for demolition, its population evacuated and quarantine implemented. But Ozriel didn't show up to destroy it. The corruption spread until the Abidan weren't prepared to contain it, and that's when it spread through the Way into Harrow. So: if they were prepared to save a sci-fi world with a galactic empire, they absolutely could. It would be easier and far more organized than what Suriel did in Harrow. That said, civilizations with trillions of inhabitants and multiple inhabited planets are tethered very tightly to the Way. They're very stable and difficult to corrupt naturally, so they tend to be safer.

Cradle ()
#12 Copy

Questioner

I find it more interesting to delve into what Suriel and the Abidan court actually is... are they "gods" or "architects" ???Will we ever know? 

Will Wight

They're like rulers and guardians of an interdimensional system that's sort of like a government, designed to keep the Iterations under their control safe, separated, and as free from outside intervention as possible.

Cradle ()
#13 Copy

Questioner

Is the Way universal, or can recognizable reality exist beyond it?

Will Wight

The influence of the Way anchors worlds in reality by providing structure. Consistent, recognizable rules. In some of these worlds, even forces like gravity or time work differently, but they do work consistently within the world. That's the influence of the Way.When the Abidan first started exploring the "shape" of the Way, they found it like a branching river, with Iterations like boulders in the stream. Outside the Way was the void: a hostile emptiness dotted with the fragments of broken worlds and populated by strange, unknowable creatures that sought to break rules and disrupt order.The farther you travel into the void, the more recognizable reality crumbles, until you cease to exist. Even these fiends of the void, incomprehensible nightmare beings, can only exist somewhat close to the Way, because existence itself is a function of order.However, when the Abidan organized, they determined that they would explore the scope and breadth of the Way. They followed each branch to its ending, until the power of the Way grew too thin to sustain them. Then they turned back.They found that the Way WAS finite. It had an end. They've mapped it like a three-dimensional spider web, like a branching skeletal ball. In and among its branches is the endless, infinite void.But their theory says that the Way should be infinite. There's no reason it should ever be contained, and indeed they've never seen it end; they've only followed it as far as they could.Some believe that the Way stretches across an endless cosmic darkness, and this is the only place it has pooled thickly enough to sustain life.Others believe that our Way is only one of many, and that there are other collections of reality out there. Perhaps an infinite number.

General Lore ()
#14 Copy

Will Wight

Zakariel, the Fox

The Way governs space, separating universe from universe, but its branches reach into every Iteration. Foxes use these branches like tunnels, slipping through the Way to reach their destinations without the headache of physical distance.Virtually every Abidan has some ability as a Fox--at least the minimum spatial control required to enter and leave an Iteration. But only the best and fastest join the Fox Division: the heralds, scouts, and couriers of the Abidan.Each Zakariel has always been fickle and unpredictable, perhaps as a side effect of the ability to travel anywhere at any time. This generation's Zakariel likes to meddle, as a godlike child with her toys. She tests the bounds of the Eledari Pact with her actions, and the Foxes beneath her have grown unruly and undisciplined. She has been chastised before the Court of Seven many times, but her personal power and ability have kept her from being pressured out of her mantle.She is also an insatiable collector of anything she finds intriguing. Legendary weapons and rare creatures are displayed in her collection side by side with adorable stuffed animals and interesting leaves.

Cradle ()
#15 Copy

Questioner

What's life like for the average person in Sanctum? Are they living it up in a post scarcity universe, or are they still doing the 9 to 5 grind?

Will Wight

People in Sanctum have their basic needs met in a peaceful, prosperous world, but their society is engineered so that everyone has the opportunity to play a part. The Abidan see people as a valuable resource, so they've done their best to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to provide a benefit to society.

Some people choose not to, of course. And some people hate doing what they're best at, but they do it anyway. People are people.

Cradle ()
#16 Copy

Questioner

Is there a ranking system by the Abidan to measure the world level of advancement? Could u give us the rating for your currently displayed worlds if yes?

Will Wight

Yes, the Abidan do have such a system, and sufficiently advanced worlds are allowed to interact with the Abidan openly. Though most Iterations never make it to this point.I can't share it with you, though, because I haven't perfected it yet. I have an early version of the system, but I don't like it much, and it's likely to change before it makes an appearance in the books.

Cradle ()
#17 Copy

Questioner

Eldest Nye versus Suriel 1.0- the prior bearer of Suriel's mantle. In Valinhall. Since I feel location would be important there, maybe. When they give up a mantle does that make them more or less human?

Will Wight

Eldest Nye vs. Former Suriel

They're more human when they pass on the mantle, and they lose access to the former extent of their powers.

However, this only means that she would be unable to tear Valinhall apart with the force of her will alone. She'd still have his millennia of experience and skills, as well as his personal power.

However, she's scarred from killing people so she would likely stall, which the Eldest Nye would not do, and the Eldest has the backup of the entire House.

In the end, I don't think the Eldest has enough firepower to kill even a mortal Suriel. In the end, Suriel 1.0 would probably just find a method to cut through the Way and leave.

General Lore ()
#18 Copy

Will Wight

Telariel, the Spider

The Spiders essentially function as the Abidan intelligence network. They spread their awareness through the Way, sensing deviation and disorder all throughout existence. Spiders maintain the system of Sector Control, through which Iterations are divided into sectors in order to make them easier to manage.Inter-universal communication between Abidan is also handled by the Spiders, so they have a reputation as the busiest Division. However, they are also known as the weakest in combat, so they are usually left to roles in support and management.A Spider may be hard-working, but the Spider is lazy, disreputable, and prone to leaning on the perks of his position. Telariel has long ago reduced his personal responsibility to only handling communication between Judges, which rarely requires his personal attention.When Ozriel vanished, Telariel cast his laziness aside and bent his full attention to the search. He was soon forced to admit defeat. Ozriel took steps to hide himself from the detection of the Way, and the Spider's skill is nothing next to the Reaper's.(After receiving the blow to his pride, Telariel retreated back into seclusion. To sulk.)

General Lore ()
#19 Copy

Will Wight

Makiel, the Hound

The story of each universe is written in Fate.Fate governs the natural lifespan of each Iteration. It isn't a detailed plan that determines every action of each person, but rather a force like gravity that pushes a world toward a healthy life ending in that Iteration's natural death.‚Äč Since humans tie the universe to the Way, people figure prominently in Fate. One individual life is unlikely to affect the destiny of an entire Iteration, but their actions might be a necessary step toward a world's continued existence. Or its end.Makiel and the Hound Division of the Abidan supervise Fate. They tap into the Way to read the past and the future, and to deal with any deviations that may jeopardize one or more worlds.Makiel is something of a leader among the seven Judges, though the Eledari Pact technically gives him no authority over his peers. This is a tradition continued from the original Makiel, who first realized the need for such a pact and organized its creation.He is rigid and inflexible, utterly dedicated to the enforcement of the rules that protect existence. This mindset has led him to clash with Ozriel, who tends to value his own will over externally imposed guidelines. He has tried many times to recover the Scythe and Mantle of Ozriel in order to pass the title to a different, more worthy bearer, but the Reaper has eluded or defeated him at every turn.

Cradle ()
#20 Copy

Devin

How would a fight between the Reaper and the Wolf go?Also, could a retired Judge craft a new mantle and weapon to be on par with a current Judge? And if so, did Ozriel craft his own mantle and weapon?

 

Will Wight

Ozriel crafted his own weapon, but I don't think the mantle (I'd have to check my notes to be sure, but I don't think so).A retired Judge could not (in theory) craft his own mantle and weapon to be on par with a current Judge, because you couldn't do it secretly. The Abidan would notice the rare materials and the huge conflux of power it would take to create something like that.It's also difficult for anyone but the Abidan to do it because it requires materials and magic from multiple worlds.