Lirenda

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Lirenda is the First Enchantress of the Koriathain. She is described as coldly ambitious, intent on becoming the next Prime Enchantress, and is the forty-third candidate in line for prime succession.

Lirenda is tall and graceful with tawny brown eyes, aristocratic cheekbones, and sleeked back black hair in a single coiled braid. She has lips of bleached coral and hands too fine to have done any manual labor. As First Senior, she wears a pleated robe with a high initiate's cowl that has a silver-wired band, a violet mantle, and gold-banded sleeves. The version worn by seniors is less elaborate, with fewer jewels, and fewer bands of rank. Red-rankers begin at four stripes.[1]

History

Lirenda originally came from a pedigree family and begged to be taken in for training. With her prodigious talent, she was always too vain for obeisance, and continually overlooked her lonely heart in favor of ambition to ascend the ranks. Even has a child, she had owned an elegant self-assurance, although she was subject to a mother's withering criticisms. Her helpless misery left by childhood feelings of uselessness caused her to retreat into rigid perfectionism.

Lirenda became First Senior of the Koriathain in Third Age 5597.[2] She has a natural affinity for magecraft channeled through flame.

Role in the Story

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

Curse of the Mistwraith

Third Age 5637: Lirenda is first introduced berating Elaira for ignoring lane watch duty. She suggests that Elaira be sent to Erdane in hopes of blunting her insolence. She is also the Ceremonial Inquisitor during Elaira's closed trial for her indiscretions in Erdane.

Third Age 5638: When the half-brothers battle the Mistwraith from Kieling Tower, Lirenda shows Morriel Prime a scene of Corith, where the Mistwraith no longer covers the sky. She then engages the Skyron focus, attempting to use Elaira's love for Arithon as a shield to the scrying. Arithon immediately detects them and upsets their scrying. After Elaira observes the night sky over Mogg's Fen, Lirenda sends her a message via the Second Lane ordering her to travel to Etarra. Once the Mistwraith is imprisoned, Lirenda informs Morriel of the Fellowship's actions.

After the failed coronation at Etarra, Morriel, Lirenda, and Elaira meet in an abandoned dye works at Narms. Elaira submits for a character scan of each half-brother, and Lirenda becomes captivated by Arithon's compassion and character.

At the close of the story, Lirenda is in Korias, and informs Morriel Prime that her initiates have lost track of Arithon after the Battle of Strakewood.

Ships of Merior

Third Age 5644: For the next six years, Lirenda assists Morriel Prime with tracking Arithon in Rathain. Because his signature has changed as the result of the Curse, he cannot be found despite lane scryings, tag spells, and trigger traps.

Third Age 5645: Lirenda is present for a grand scrying (at the hostel south of Forthmark) on the Vernal Equinox. It is thwarted when the Fellowship raises Arithon's Name over Meth Isle Fortress. Morriel sees nothing beyond Arithon's surface paradoxes, and judges him a threat. Following the scrying, Morriel summons Elaira to have the initiate's crystal submitted for longevity enhancement, in spite of Lirenda's arguments. Based on Elaira's conjecture about Arithon's location, Morriel and the Senior Council travel to Athir, where they perform a grand scrying with twenty-four sorceresses over the Skyron Focus. The scrying fails, until Arithon's antics in Jaelot are noticed.

After tracking Arithon's trip southeast, Lirenda reports her findings to Morriel. Based on the direction of Dhirken's ship in a Sixth Lane scrying, she realizes that Arithon's eventual destination is Merior. After Elaira fails to bind Arithon in Merior, Lirenda believes that there may have been some level of collusion between the two. However, Morriel rebukes her, realizing that Arithon was able to outmaneuver them through flaws in their own design.

Third Age 5646: When beldame Haltha arrives with news of the Great Waystone, Lirenda displays a moment of unguarded anger when she realizes that the information was traded for Arithon's location. She is ordered by Morriel to retrieve the Great Waystone from Sethvir, supported by a grand circle of 108 sorceresses and the Skyron focus.

Warhost of Vastmark

Third Age 5647: Morriel notes in passing that Lirenda's attempt to retrieve the Great Waystone can occur no earlier than Spring Equinox. Lirenda travels with 108 supporting sorceresses to Althain Tower by way of the Isaer road. She intends to challenge Sethvir on the equinox, without realizing that Sethvir is away in Havish at the time. She attempts to expose the wards around Althain Tower and unwittingly raises a projection of Shehane Althain. Lirenda is set outside of the veil and warned against tampering with the wards. She is ordered to return when Sethvir is home, and ask for the Great Waystone instead. Had Sethvir not interceded, Lirenda's meddling would have raised the tower's wards and killed the entire circle. Lirenda waits on the doorstep until Sethvir returns home from the Ostermere ransom exchange. He invites her in for tea and, when asked, returns the Great Waystone into her care. Lirenda travels to Firstmark to deliver the Great Waystone to Morriel Prime.

Fugitive Prince

Third Age 5648: Lirenda is summoned to Morriel's tower in Thirdmark for her first trial in the mastery of the Great Waystone. Her initial exposure fans the ambition to become Prime Enchantress at any cost. She observes Morriel's failed attempts to compel mastery over the elements and learns that Sethvir has empowered Athera to recognize the Great Waystone's signature and reject its channeled force of intervention.

Third Age 5652: Lirenda is at Valenford when Arithon returns to the continent. After something goes wrong in Capewell, she is summoned to the Koriani sisterhouse. She breaks the seals of privacy on the observatory with the help of the sisterhouse's senior circle and traces the arc of Morriel's conjury to capture Arithon, realizing that she yet lacks the skill to create such a construct herself. She ultimately leaves Morriel where she has fallen, so as not to disturb the conjury in progress.

Third Age 5653: Lirenda arrives in Riverton with two other sorceresses and a contigent of Hanshire men led by Sulfin Evend. She intentionally mentions the plot to capture Arithon in Mearn's hearing, causing him to leave the city to give warning. After finding Caolle near death at the Laughing Captain Tavern, Lirenda decides to spare his life, changing the design of Morriel's plot. Lirenda and the Koriathain preside over a tribunal at the shipyards, using spells on Arithon's conspirators to reveal the truth. She advises Cattrick to become Lysaer's man, now that his double-cross is common knowledge. Later, she signs extradition papers to load Caolle and the convicted men onto one of the three newly completed brigs, with the intent to blockade Mainmere Bay.

Through subterfuge, Caolle is able to overpower his healer and then Lirenda. He claims their spell crystals and grounds the healer's crystal in elemental fire, salt water, and an iron bucket, resulting in her death. Through this gambit, he forces Lirenda to help him reclaim the ship. She calls the captain of the Lance of Justice below deck into an ambush, and is then held as a captive along with fifty Etarran soldiers. Her spell crystal is sent away through Maenol's clansmen to Arithon.

After arriving at Corith, Lysaer's officier insists that Lirenda be the spokesperson for a prisoner exchange. Lysaer destroys the ship and prisoners at anchorage as an object lesson, to show that he will not allow interference from outside orders like the Koriathain. He reveals his motivation for his actions to be more than just the building of a power base -- he believes that no one else is capable and willing to stand up for humanity. In the ensuing storm, Lirenda borrows a diamond from Lysaer to perform a simple scrying and reveals that the surviving clansmen from the Lance have sabotage ships, reclaimed the Cariadwin, and left Lysaer's men stranded on Corith.

Three months later, Lirenda returns to the mainland with Lysaer at Orlest. She accompanies him overland to Middlecross and then travels to the sisterhouse at Capewell, where she is taken into detention by Morriel. During her trial, Lirenda refuses to admit guilt to oathbreaking, and is given the opportunity to restore confidence in her competence. Morriel tasks her with capturing Arithon to regain her former status as First Senior. While Selidie cleanses Lirenda's spell crystal through selective resonance, Morriel grants the assistance of other enchantresses. Lirenda uses images taken from lane watch to devise a new plot to capture Arithon. Based on his decision to never return to the continent during his natural lifetime, Lirenda's plot involves the innocent shepherd boy, Fionn Areth, and the sorceress, Elaira. Morriel grants her permission to proceed, in spite of the fifteen year span required to bring it to fruition.

Grand Conspiracy

Third Age 5653: In the autumn, Lirenda visits Elaira in Araethura and commands her assistance with the plot to capture Arithon. After soul searching, Elaira agrees to help, trusting that Arithon will be able to thwart the plot. Lirenda uses the Skyron focus to summon Fionn Areth outside in the middle of the night. In a spell trance, he consents to giving his destiny over to the Koriathain in exchange for a new sword, scabbard, and training from a tutor at arms. Lirenda and Elaira perform a ritual that will transform his physical features into a close match for Arithon over the coming years.

Lirenda returns to Capewell and is immediately commanded by Morriel to scry for Arithon's allies. The proximity of her spell crystal, which Selidie has not yet cleansed, triggers a connection to Arithon himself. Arithon gives her the information she needs to reclaim her autonomy. Lirenda realizes that Morriel has set her up for failure in front of Selidie.

Third Age 5654: Lirenda finally receives her cleansed spell crystal in the spring.

Third Age 5669: Morriel puts the final touches on the plan involving Fionn Areth with Lirenda. Lirenda suggests distracting the Fellowship by disturbing the Sixth Lane with a circle of Seniors. While traveling to Jaelot, she is contacted by Morriel who reveals that Fionn Areth has departed early. Morriel orders her to continue on to Jaelot. When the sky turns red from Morriel's attack on Asandir, Lirenda convinces the Mayor of Jaelot for the need to place defense wards around the city. The wards are actually intended to locate Arithon.

On Winter Solstice, the Mayor of Jaelot meets with Lirenda to discuss the hiring of a new executioner. When Arithon causes the Koriani wards around Jaelot to collapse, Lirenda learns that Arithon did not enter by way of the town walls. When the Koriani plot is overheard by Jaelot's guard captain, Lirenda uses her spell crystal to eliminate his distrust.

Third Age 5670: Lirenda oversees Cadgia and other enchantresses as they scry for Arithon. His location is inadvertently revealed by Elaira but he is still able to effect an escape with Fionn Areth from the town square. Lirenda orders the sorceresses under Cadgia to control Arithon's ecsape path, but they lose him and Fionn Areth after Jasque invites them into the house of The Lady where Koriani scrying can't reach them.

After Elaira spiritwalks to help with Fionn Areth's healing, Lirenda realizes that Elaira would have knowledge of Arithon's escape plans from the contact. Elaira reveals the information under her vow of obedience, and Lirenda orders her to come along for the capture. Cornered by Lirenda while escaping Jaelot, Arithon uses Shadow to briefly interrupt her access to her spell crystal. However, he is blindsided by Elaira's presence at the final gate. Unwilling to let Elaira break her vows of obedience, Arithon kisses Lirenda in a ploy to make her complicit in the escape. She recognizes a passion that she had mistaken for the surrogate of ambition and briefly entreats him not to leave.

Peril's Gate

Third Age 5670: After the escape, Lirenda orders the sorceresses to continue searching for Arithon but they are thwarted by a blizzard. Cadgia dismisses the sorceresses and reveals the succession of power that had happened the night before. Lirenda realizes that she had been intentionally distracted by Morriel during the transfer of power. She amplifies the geas set upon the Jaelot guard captain, compelling him to pursue Arithon beyond the limits of endurance. Lirenda and Elaira travel to Highscarp for an audience with Selidie. When Elaira is summoned directly to meet with Selidie but Lirenda is not, Lirenda opts to follow Elaira, warning her to behave as though Morriel were present. Lirenda observes the meeting and recognizes that Morriel has possessed Selidie. Selidie threatens a Ceremonial Inquiry over Arithon's escape from Jaelot to keep Lirenda silent.

Later, Lirenda is assigned to unranked service in the Highscarp sisterhouse, helping the fifth-rank senior, Saytra, with fiend banes. She is escorted by Cadgia to a summons before Selidie, which turns out to be a formal, closed trial with a Ceremonial Inquisitor. As punishment for her unsanctioned spellcraft, she is branded with the mark of shame and robbed of her free will. She is assigned as Selidie's personal servant to offset Selidie's damaged hands. While passing through Jaelot enroute to Forthmark, Selidie appeases the Mayor with the severity of Lirenda's punishment.

Traitor's Knot

Third Age 5670: Lirenda is present in Forthmark when healers once again fail to repair Selidie's maimed hands. Selidie orders Lirenda to fetch the Great Waystone for a scrying of the Evenstar, and then uses her to craft a sigil of tracking for the Evenstar. Lirenda realizes that the sigil also contains a summoning spell for stray iyats and that Selidie is more concerned with capturing Feylind than Fionn Areth.

Third Age 5671: After the failure of Selidie's trap on the Evenstar, Lirenda assists with the ritual induction of new initiates, who she evaluates through the Great Waystone. The initiations are interrupted when the lane watch informs Selidie that efforts to secure a child from the s'Gannley line in Hanshire have failed. Selidie orders Lirenda to scry for the Evenstar and track Arithon's movements. Lirenda observes Arithon experimenting with his captured iyats. She cannot cut off the connection before Arithon enspells an iyat directly into the Great Waystone.

Informed of a shimmer along the Fourth Lane, Selidie orders Lirenda to fetch Elaira's spell crystal[3].

Stormed Fortress

Third Age 5671: Lirenda accompanies Selidie to the battle lines at Alestron. Selidie reveals to her Senior Circle that a sigil of rapport has been placed on Lysaer, to prevent any premature ending of the siege. In the midst of a session of inquiry against a Koriani initiate, Selidie learns that Elaira is using her powers within Alestron to heal Sidir. She orders Lirenda to link Elaira's spell crystal through her Oath of Obedience in the Skyron Focus. Aware of the link, Arithon alters his music to heal Lirenda as well but Selidie severs the connection before it can work. Selidie is unable to interfere with Sidir's healing after Alithiel and the wards under Alestron sound in his defense.

When Arithon awakens Alithiel at the Siege of Alestron, Selidie orders Lirenda to scry for the source of the disturbance. To salvage the siege, Selidie orders Lirenda and a circle of six senior peeresses to raise sigils that send Parrien and his men on a vengeful path of bloodlust through the unaware Alliance troops. Dakar has a premonition involving a new sigil worked over an effigy by Selidie and Lirenda and worries that it may involve Fionn Areth. Selidie and Lirenda interfere with attempted sabotage by Cattrick's laborers, waiting until the crew leaves the Paravian walls to explode the rebuilt Evenstar.

From Telzen, Selidie, Lirenda, and a circle of seniors attempt to interfere with Elaira's magecraft at Athir. Because of Elaira's precautions and Biedar intervention, the Koriathain find no means to lay claim on Arithon's conceived daughter. Selidie is also informed that the Biedar have undone the sigil of conception forced upon Elaira.

Initiate's Trial

Third Age 5922: Lirenda is still under Selidie Prime's control. She helps to extract the rogue iyat from the Great Waystone. Selidie mocks Lirenda and orders her to fetch Elaira's personal spell crystal.

Third Age 5923: After Selidie's initiates fail to capture Elaira in Ithish, Lirenda is shown hoping for a misstep that will restore her freedom.

Selidie is sentencing a third-rank healer for careless handling of a wand when lane watch reports Arithon's location in Caithwood. Lirenda hopes that Arithon can defeat Selidie Prime before being crushed himself.

In Highscarp, Selidie sacrifices lower ranked initiates to regain mastery over the Great Waystone. Sethvir observes through Lirenda's willing consent as she uses the surrogate initiates to explore the Great Waystone's altered matrix.

Destiny's Conflict

Third Age 5924: Lirenda travels with Selidie Prime and her Senior Circle from Whitehold to Daon Ramon Barrens in late summer. On Selidie's orders, she engages in a ritual that amplifies Vivet's longings, through the use of Elaira's, Lirenda's, and Vivet's personal spell crystals.

Arithon is captured in Daenfal and covertly transported to the remote camp in Daon Ramon Barrens. With his access to magecraft and Shadow restricted, Selidie orders the use of the Great Waystone to break down his defenses and reveal how he manipulated the flux at Caithwood. When the attack through the Great Waystone risks killing Arithon before his talents can be unlocked, Selidie orders Lirenda to light tienelle to intensify her probe. Arithon unexpectedly sends his consciousness into the Great Waystone. Selidie stands down, expecting the Great Waystone to destroy Arithon and preserve a record of his talent. Instead, Arithon uses music to pull Morriel's entrenched spirit out of Selidie's body and into the Great Waystone. When the Prime attempts to regain control of the focus, it destroys her over the broken vow of using Elaira's love to engineer Arithon's downfall. The focus explodes, killing Selidie and the entire Senior Circle.

Lirenda regains awareness to find herself the Prime Matriarch by default. Angered that Arithon has escaped with Elaira's spell crystal, she resolves to track down Elaira. She combs through the Koriathain's history in the Skyron Focus.

Third Age 5925: Lirenda returns to Whitehold in the spring and summons all 180 Senior enchantresses to reinforce her claim of being Prime Matriarch. The strategy keeps her competitors distracted in travel and unable to unify against her. She uses a talent sounding to elicit a duel from the Whitehold peeress and condemns her with the cipher of domination. To strengthen the Order's defenses, Lirenda orders the library at the Highscarp sisterhouse to be catalogued and asks the remaining Senior enchantresses to assess promising talent for promotion. She requests regular updates on the status of Lysaer, Dakar, and Elaira, and decrees Arithon's life forfeit.

In late spring, she receives word that Arithon has returned to the continent and is traveling to Ettinmere Settlement. Lane watch then reports that he has vanquished the Ettin shamans and headed north with Vivet and Valien. The Koriathain send a storm into the Storlain Mountains, delaying Arithon's journey and forcing him away from Havish to resupply.

In coordination with the Daenfal sisterhouse and members of the True Sect, Lirenda arranges a trap at the room where Arithon has hidden Vivet and Valien while he resupplies. She uses his own melody to breach his defenses and orders him bled out upon capture to weaken him. Elaira feels the effects as well and reveals that Lirenda Prime has traded Arithon's execution to the True Sect in exchange for the High Temple of the Light's sanctioned blessing of the Koriathain.

Asandir arrives at Whitehold minutes before Arithon's execution to see his oath to closure. Lirenda and the Senior Circle monitor the execution in Daenfal in Asandir's presence. When Elaira reveals herself, Lirenda orders the use of the Skyron Focus to kill her with the master sigil of command. Valien's crossing of the veil as Rathain's heir ends the Fellowship's oath of nonintervention, and Asandir cancels the spell before Elaira can be harmed. He reaffirms the Fellowship's compliance with their oath and vanishes, to reappear with Kharadmon in Daenfal. Thwarted, Lirenda notes that Fellowship's expedient sacrifice of Valien will likely anger Arithon.

References

  1. Chat Area Post, October 22, 2008
  2. © Janny Wurts, Fugitive Prince, p. 525 (US-Hardback)
  3. The story initially mentions that this event occurs in Highscarp, but later prose correctly places it in Forthmark.