Law of the Major Balance

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The Law of the Major Balance states that "no force of nature should be used without consent, or against the will of another living being"[1]. This law is the driving guideline behind the actions (and inactions) of the Fellowship of Seven, as taught by the Paravians. The Fellowship cannot use direct force to intervene in events without unseating the world's destiny and, as of Third Age 5653, they have not done so in two ages of history.

According to the author, the Law of the Major Balance is a term "for a concept that is not human-centric. These concepts were not brought in by the Fellowship, or by Man, but would reflect to some degree human effort to ascribe meaning to what cannot be defined in a linear fashion."[2]

Spoiler warning: Contains plot elements from Curse of the Mistwraith.

In Curse of the Mistwraith, Asandir cites the Law when noting that the Mistwraith was caused by human meddling, and therefore must be defeated by humans. Another tenet states that the Paravians were not any man's concern unless he embraced them for his own[3].

Spoiler warning: Contains plot elements from Ships of Merior.

The Law of the Major Balance is not a strict law with penalties -- in Ships of Merior, when Dakar attempts a minor geas of thirst against the s'Brydion brothers, he realizes that it goes against the Law, but deems the offense insignificant.

Role in the Story

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

Curse of the Mistwraith

Third Age 5638: When Arithon engages in a banespell to unbind a crossbow bolt, he is doing this in direct conflict with the Law: "By nature, any snare of unbinding held a lawless compulsion to annihilate. Counter to the Major Balance and in parallel with chaos, frail strictures bent to harness the ungovernable were wont to spin dangerously awry."[4]

Warhost of Vastmark

Third Age 5647: During the healing of Jilieth, Arithon cannot begin the healing without the girl taking the first steps. As a child who doesn't necessarily grasp adult concepts, consent is gained in stages. First, Jilieth consents to escape the pain of her condition. Later, when Dakar protects Arithon's allies in Vastmark, he spends long days seeking permission from sheep to wear the illusion of rocks, and vice versa.

Fugitive Prince

Third Age 5653: Sethvir sees that Dakar will request Fellowship help in three days time, but cannot directly intervene. He seeks permission from key players, enabling the party in trouble to save themselves. When Asandir stabilizes a grimward enough for Arithon to cross safely, he also allows Sulfin Evend to believe that Lysaer was his savior, in service of the Major Balance.

Grand Conspiracy

Third Age 5653: Asandir requests permission from nature to propel a fisherman's boat across Mainmere Bay.

Third Age 5654: When Luhaine pushes to intervene in the Koriani plot with Fionn Areth, Sethvir cites the Law and Fionn Areth's unconditional consent.

Third Age 5669: When Asandir makes haste to Isaer, he burns his own inner strength to keep his horse from flagging.

References

  1. © Janny Wurts, Ships of Merior, p. 905 (US-Hardback)
  2. Chat Area Post on November 29, 2006
  3. © Janny Wurts, Curse of the Mistwraith, p. 288 (US-Hardback)
  4. © Janny Wurts, Curse of the Mistwraith, p. 554 (US-Hardback)