Ilitharis

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The Ilitharis Paravians are one of the three semimortal Paravian races. They are commonly referred to as centaurs -- half-human, half-horse beings with antlered heads. Their strength was to nuture the growing earth, and defend it with their blood if need be.[1] The song of the Ilitharis can ease the burdened energies of untimely death into peace. In their absence, rain can affect the same result, but over thousands of years.[2]

Centaur guardians guarded high-resonance sites on Athera and were ritually bound to the land in a manner that transcended time and space.

Notable Centaurs

Role in the Story

Spoiler warning: Contains plot elements from multiple books in the series.

The Gallant

Third Age 4995: The centaur guardian at Methisle Fortress is preoccupied with the invasion of the Mistwraith, and fails to notice a strain of methspawn with cierl-ankeshed venom. A swarm of quetzals migrates south and threatens Ganish as a result. The swarm is eventually contained with barrier wards fashioned by centaurs and a Fellowship Sorcerer.

A centaur erects a monument stone in Lisianne's memory east of Ganish. On the anniversary of her death, it marks the brightest star in the sky.

Warhost of Vastmark

Third Age 5646: A projection of Shehane Althain appears over Althain Tower when the Koriathain attempt to gain entry.

Peril's Gate

Third Age 5670: When Jieret lends his voice in defense of the land, it brings a centaur from the past, Kadierach, into the Etarran army's camp in Daon Ramon Barrens. This centaur recognizes Lysaer as Outcast from the protection of the Compact, and offers him unconditional redemption. When Lysaer refuses, the centaur warns that living Paravians still inhabit Athera and that Daon Ramon Barrens is protected by Paravian Law. The centaur blows his horn and vanishes, causing chaos in the human camp and leaving it at the mercy of lurking iyats. This same centaur appears in Kewar Tunnel during Arithon's trial. Kadierach offers Arithon absolution and challenges him to dispel the belief that he is powerless.

Traitor's Knot

Third Age 5671: Kharadmon tells Princess Ellaine that the centaur which appeared in Daon Ramon Barrens was a mere projection that did not leave tracks.

Initiate's Trial

Third Age 5923: High King Gestry wields his crown jewels on the battlefield in Scarpdale, summoning projections of all three Paravian races. This calling halts the fighting and renders many combatants senseless. A centaur appears before Tarens, Esfand, Khadrien, and Siantra, charging one of them to rise and bear Alithiel. The centaur's projection vanishes when Khadrien claims the sword.

Destiny's Conflict

Third Age 5925: A centaur carries Arithon to shelter after a close encounter with a Riathan Paravian on Los Lier.

Trivia

  • Centaurs once escorted unicorns through the patterns of their seasonal migrations.
  • Centaur horns were once used to call dragons. Massive gold-banded horns made from dragon spines and rimed with the Names of forests are stored in Althain Tower.
  • The strand count and pattern of clan braids are precisely matched by the braids of centaurs.
  • The walls of Alestron were warded by centaur masons to defend against Khadrim attacks.

References

  1. © Janny Wurts, Ships of Merior, p. 289 (US-Hardback)
  2. © Janny Wurts, Ships of Merior, p. 794 (US-Hardback)