Fionavar

Fionavar is a fantasy world created by Guy Gavriel Kay as the main setting for his trilogy of books The Fionavar Tapestry. It is supposedly the first of all worlds, particularly in a mythological sense; the sagas and tales of other worlds originate (or culminate) in this most primary of settings. There is also, as in much mythical fantasy, a hierarchy of gods and other supernatural figures. The most central is the Weaver, at the Loom, shuttling back and forth the threads of the great Tapestry which tells the story of all worlds. As is custom, this central figure makes no direct appearance in the tales, but many of the other gods and demigods are seen, and influence events.

Lands

Most of the action takes place in the northwestern corner of Fionavar, an area bounded by arctic barrens to the north, the Sea to the west, and mountains to the east. The south, beyond Cathal, is not brought into consideration.

The dominant realm is Brennin, the High Kingdom, with its capital at Paras Derval. It is primarily agricultural, and is bounded on the south by the river Saeren and on the north by Pendaran Wood and the Plain of the Dalrei.

South of Saeren is Cathal, the 'garden country' of an ethnically divergent people. Though petty wars have been fought with Brennin over time, the primal threat of the Dark always brings the kingdoms together.

The Plain is home to the nomadic Dalrei, who hunt in diverse tribes. Their communal meeting-place is the standing stones at Celidon.

Pendaran Wood is home to many magical and primeval forces; at the time of the story the forest is very vengeful and angry towards mortal peoples due to the loss of their most beloved spirit centuries before.

The shadowland of Daniloth, northwest of the Plain, is home to the "lios alfar", the immortal children of Light. As they are the most hated by the Dark, and their numbers are few, they have placed an enchantment over their land to waylay anyone who attempts entry.

The mountain-realms of Eridu in the east include those of the dwarves in Banir Lök and Banir Tal; various groups of humans; and the caves of the pacifist giants in Khath Meigol, now believed abandoned and haunted.

The north is dominated by the massive Mount Rangat, the sparse woods of Gwynir, and the blasted plain of Andarien which lies before Starkadh, stronghold of Rakoth Maugrim the Unraveller.

Powers (deities)

Weaver, Weaver at the Loom - the creator of Fionavar and all its people, who shuttles back and forth the threads of the great Tapestry which tells the story of all worlds. This central figure makes no direct appearance in the tales, but many of the other gods and demigods actively influence events.

Macha and Nemain - goddesses of war and bloodshed, often referred to with the epithet "Red" as in "Macha and red Nemain."

Ceinwen - huntress, goddess of the wood and the forest, often called Ceinwen of the Bow.

Cernan - Ceinwen's male counterpart and brother, known as Cernan of the Beasts. Galadan is his son.

Mörnir - often referred to as Mörnir of the Thunder, the Summer Tree belongs to him and the sacrifice thereon becomes his. He has two ravens, Thought and Memory.

Dana - the Mother, counterpart to Mörnir, protector of her children. Her most ancient sacred place is in the caves of Dun Maura.

Eilathen - a water spirit who dwells in Ysanne's lake.

Flidais - a forest sprite who claims to have had thousands of names, including Taliesin.

Liranan - the sea god who comes to the aid of Paul/Pwyll more than once.

Owein and the Wild Hunt - a group of warriors who, with their leader Owein, brings randomness to the world, making freedom possible despite the Weaver's chosen patterns.

Rakoth Maugrim - also called "The Unraveller," a renegade god who opposes the Weaver; the ultimate power of Darkness. His escape from his thousand-year imprisonment sets in motion the events of the Fionavar Tapestry.

Magic

Magic in Fionavar takes two forms. The primeval earth magic of sacrifice, which is always paid for in blood (though usually not death), is practiced, studied and mastered by the priestesses of Dana. The more scholarly and controlled magic of the Mages is directed by a Mage but paid for by the mage's "source", an individual bound to the Mage for life. Usually this binding is undertaken willingly by both parties. The source's life energy powers his (or her) Mage's magic; sources can be thoroughly drained even to death, although that is far from being a common occurrence.

Various creatures, deities and individuals also have a variety of magical powers, for example:

* Kim has the power of sight
* Leila and Finn are able to contact each other no matter how far apart they are
* Pendaran Wood is sentient and can herd unwelcome visitors wherever it wants
* Calor Diman, the Crystal Lake of the dwarves, has strange magical properties
* Pwyll Twiceborn can wield some of Mörnir's powers when needed

History

This is a logarithmic timeline.

* ??? - Iorweth comes from the sea and founds Brennin.
* ?? - Conary forbids the rituals of Liadon
* -1000 - Bael Rangat. Dwarves of Banir Lök make and give Lökdal to Colan dan Conary.
*?? - Lios Alfar make Lisen's circlet and build the Anor Lisen to guide Amairgen from Cader Sedat.
*-600 - Birth of Brendel
*-500 - Prince Alore of Brennin passes Saeren (the last to do so) and builds the stairs.
*-400 - King Vailerth dan Lernath and his wizard, Nilsom, attempt to cut the summer tree. Civil war begins. Lagos of Seres becomes King
*-53 - Raederth calls Eilathen and Ysanne becomes a Seer
*?? - Raederth gives Lisen's circlet to Ysanne
*-50 - King Garmis Garante orders death of Raederth. Ysanne steals Lökdal from his body. Duke Ailell dan Art revolts.
*-41 - Kaen becomes ruler of Dwarves and Matt Sören abandons the kingship. He meets Loren.
*??? - King Ailell marries Marien of Garante and names her cousin, Metran, First Mage of Brennin
*-30 - Last war between Brennin and Cathal
*?? - Birth of Aileron dan Ailell
*?? - Birth of Diarmuid dan Ailell
*-26 - Ysanne calls Eilathen and binds him to guard the Baelrath (Warstone)
*-17 - Birth of Sara
*-14 - Birth of Leila
*1 - Loren Silvercloak brings five strangers to Fionavar and the events in the books begin

ee also

* Fionavar Tapestry

External links

* [http://www.brightweavings.com/books/fionavar.htm Fionavar Tapestry official home page]


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